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Be Afraid
War Is Hell
Something's Missing
One Nation
Then What's the Point?
Trust Us
Just an Update
They Suck
I Use Chicken Blood, Myself
Gideon's Word

« March 2004 | Main | May 2004 »

April 30, 2004

Be Afraid

Be very afraid:

When questioned about what religious or nonreligious group doesn’t share their vision of American society, survey participants indicated that atheists — with 54 percent — provided the greatest threat, Hartmann said. Survey participants said Muslims create the second-highest threat.

“This result shows that religion is deeply intertwined with conceptions of American society,” he said. “The absence of faith, the belief in a higher being seems to be a major barrier between people in our society.”

That's right, we're coming for your children. And if don't get them, the Muslims will. And if the Muslims don't get them, then the homosexuals will. Or, jumpin' Jesus forbid, the International Super-Secret Conspiratorial Brotherhood of Atheist Gay Muslims will latch on to them!


Posted by Andy at 10:49 AM | Comments (16) | TrackBack (0)

War Is Hell

Holy crap.

(found via Soviet Invasion Plan)

Posted by Andy at 08:17 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

April 29, 2004

Something's Missing

Beautiful, but maybe not so bright:

Couples rule People magazine's list of "The 50 Most Beautiful People in the World 2004," with cover girl Jennifer Aniston and her husband, Brad Pitt, among them...

She also says she and Pitt are "absolutely in the process" of trying to have a baby, which includes taking folic acid and setting aside a room in their new house for a possible nursery.

Errrr...I think you two have overlooked the really essential element of baby-making. Does anyone have their address? I'll send them a diagram. Or, if Brad's the open-minded sort, maybe Jennifer and I could...

Posted by Andy at 11:19 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

One Nation

Indivisible, but not under God, in this post by Brent from UTI.

A politician, who happens to be a Christian who supports the principle of separation of church and state to such an extent that he omitted the words "Under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance on Tuesday while it was his turn to lead the House in it's recital.

His name is Representative Jim McDermott, and he's a democrat from the Seattle area of Washington state.

Of course, the Republican theocrats went insane and began bleating about how McDermott had "embarrassed" the House of Representatives and the state of Washington. The presiding officer of the House of Representatives, Rep. Mike Simpson - a republican from Idaho - actually stated that the he would alter the Congressional Record of Tuesday's proceedings and insert the words "Under God" into it, regardless of what was actually said by Jim McDermott. He would deliberately lie in the Congressional Record, in other words.

Brent, Brent, Brent - given that Rep. Simpson has little respect for Amendment I, why should he have any respect for Commandment VIII*?

* For you Protestant or Jewish visitors, I believe that would be Commandment IX. God never got past remedial math, you see.

Posted by Andy at 11:09 AM | Comments (19) | TrackBack (0)

Then What's the Point?

From the World Wide Rant Technology and Full Body Massage Bureau comes this:

The world's biggest retailer is offering a DVD player that slices out potentially offensive content from movies, such as nudity, violence and foul language.
Internal memos report that the product will also take users to a magical world where everything was peachy before those damn atheists took prayer out of the schools. Look for Ward and June Cleaver to be the pitchmen.

Posted by Andy at 07:05 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

April 28, 2004

Trust Us

We're the TSA:

A security screener at Denver International Airport has been disciplined for allegedly taking money from a passenger who was going through security Saturday.

A Denver police spokesman said the passenger was pulled aside in a secondary search in the screening area. A short time later, he noticed that he only had $600 in his wallet, instead of the $1,000 he said he started with.

Actually, according to the latest news, the screener has been arrested after admitting to the theft.

However, this is indicative of the problems in the entire TSA plan:

Aviation analyst Mike Boyd of the Boyd Group told 7NEWS that the majority of people who work for TSA are honest. However, he said screeners were hired -- and are still being hired -- in a rush to fill vacant positions and that many are not qualified to be doing the work they are.
I feel safer already.

Posted by Andy at 11:07 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (1)

Just an Update

As work is keeping me rather busy, here's a lengthy update on myriad topics to keep you at bay. Oh yeah, I hear ya barkin' at the back door, beggin' for more, but this is gonna have to do. Down, boy, down.

First up, tonight we had bangers and mash for dinner - par for the course when your wife is from Old Blighty. We served it with a bottle of Cline Cellars Red Truck California 2002. The wee Fiona had a vegetable medley and milk from the tap (although not in public, so you yabophobics need not panic).

We just finished watching Intolerable Cruelty. It's no Raising Arizona, but still an enjoyable hour and a half or so. While Catherine Zeta-Jones is an absolute, drop-dead-gorgeous, nail-that-ass (a reference to the movie, honestly!) hottie, however, her character is never convincingly redeemed and so I found the ending rushed and lacking. Oh well. Netflix is only $22/month, so no complaints.

Still to be watched: House of Sand and Fog, and the classic Excalibur.

Now, books I'm reading and/or listening to (courtesy of the good people at

OK, must go - bed calls. Have a splendid evening! Jesus loves you.

Posted by Andy at 10:32 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

April 27, 2004

They Suck

Oh, oh, this won't please the "I can't help but get a big dog woody everytime I see a boob even though Jesus doesn't approve" crowd one bit:

DENVER -- Gov. Bill Owens has signed a law making it legal for a mother to breast-feed an infant in public in Colorado.

The new law, which took effect immediately upon Owens' signature Friday, specifies that "a mother may breast-feed in any place she has a right to be."

We'll think of the kids while you think of the tits. Deal?

Posted by Andy at 11:01 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

I Use Chicken Blood, Myself

New study finds: One-third of Americans are using prayer for healing. Coincidentally, almost three-thirds are also using modern medicine. The small portion that are not happen to be strangely incapacitated or dead, and thus their answers might be questionable anyway.

There is no clinical evidence that prayer improves health, but that's not the point of the study, says McCaffrey.
No, the point of the study is that people are all kinds of silly.
Doctors now recognize that acupuncture, massage and even some herbal treatments can be useful when combined with traditional medicine. This survey suggests that prayer may be another powerful tool that can't be ignored.
Um, no, it doesn't. See the part about "there is no clinical evidence that prayer improves health."

Posted by Andy at 11:39 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (1)

Gideon's Word

Religious opportunists unite!

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

Crisis on the Dark Continent

So long as Africa has leaders like these, don't expect progress to be a buzz word on the continent:

President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe was today given a standing ovation by political leaders and thousands of guests at a party to mark ten years of post-apartheid rule in South Africa.

Nelson Mandela, his wife Grace Machel and President Thabo Mbeki, rose to their feet and led the applause as the Zimbabwean leader arrived at the ceremony in Pretoria's Union Buildings.
And what noble accomplishment encouraged the accolades?
Mr Mugabe is regarded as a pariah leader in Europe, as his policy of forcibly seizing white farms and redistributing the land amongst his supporters has led to widescale famine in Zimbabwe.

He is also accused of rigging the polls that saw him re-elected to power in 2002, and ordering the persecution of political opponents.

In Africa, however, he is regarded as a champion who has stood up to the former colonial overlords.
Anybody but Bush whitey, consequences be damned.

Until Africa manages to find a means to create and encourage stable, relatively honest governments, our assistance to the people there will continue to be as effective as the UN oil-for-food program was in Iraq. That is, not very much at all.

In the meantime, they applaud brutal thugs like Mugabe while his people starve (of course, Mandela has been known to defend other tyrants as well).

So much for progress.

Posted by Andy at 07:11 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

April 26, 2004

The Blue Light Special?

Jordan today broadcast a confession from Al Qaeda members recently caught planning attacks within the kingdom:

Their overall aim, he [one of the plotters] said in Arabic, was "carrying out the first suicide attack to be launched by al Qaeda using chemicals" and "striking at Jordan, its Hashemite (royal family) and launching war on the Crusaders and nonbelievers."
Wait, against nonbelievers? You mean this is a religious war? You mean it's not just about our troops being in the holy land? Gosh, this will be news to the far left - and, uh, the Spanish.
The plan, officials said, called for a careful explosion of a new combination of 71 chemicals, including nerve gas, blistering and choking agents, that would have produced a mile-wide toxic cloud for which their is no known antidote.
Nerve gas, blistering and choking agents... hmmm. Wonder where you pick stuff like that up. Say, didn't Saddam use nerve gas against the Kurds? Hmmmm.

Maybe it just the local K-mart. Surely.

Posted by Andy at 05:53 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

April 24, 2004

Benne & McDermott: Together Again

So, hüsker dü these fellows? They were the subject of my last really long dispatch (the one beginning here) and they professionally profess that most rigorous and factually demanding of objective and fact-based hard sciences, theology, at Roanoke College. Well, they're at it again and this time they've brought another erroneous citation.

Updated 4-28-04

Gimme gimme more more more »

Posted by Jon at 07:34 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

April 23, 2004

Playin' the Numbers

Don't ask.

Calculator Proves God Created Languages
On those days when the world just doesn't make much sense, I comfort myself in the knowledge that there are complete wackos who make even less.

Update: And if you felt that your kooky quotient was a bit low, why not refill up at The Church of Fandel?

Posted by Andy at 10:45 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Not Just Anti-War

...but, as the saying goes, on the other side. Does this February story out of North Korea sound familiar?

Here, they teach that today's Nazis are the Americans – and that today's Hitler is George W. Bush. And, to hammer that home, whenever North Korean students refer to President Bush, or to other Americans, they're taught to call them “Nazis,” or “warmongers."
Just asking.

(found at North Korea Zone)

Posted by Andy at 12:27 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

A New World Order

Should a Tom Clancy wet dream ever materialize, resulting in the untimely annihilation of the Congress, there's a new plan in place to ensure that the government continues to tax your paycheck in a timely manner:

The House of Representatives passed a measure Thursday to ensure Congress can continue its work if many lawmakers perish in a terrorist attack...

The legislation, approved 306 to 97, would require states to hold special elections within 45 days after the House speaker certifies that at least 100 of the chamber's 435 members have been killed in a catastrophic event.

But opponents warned that the bill would not prevent a power vacuum at a time the country could least afford one.
People of the United States, have no fear.

Should there be a power vacuum in a time of crisis, should our government be decapitated by a terrorist strike or perhaps a smallish meteor exploding in its vicinity, I hereby give notice that I will step in to ensure that our nation does not perish from the Earth.

I shall rule with enlightened benevolence, and the periodic iron fist, as deemed necessary by my own infallible judgement. And you will be appreciative.

In light of this, I am taking applications for offices in the future new government. Feel free to propose a new department and why you are uniquely qualified to lead it. After careful consideration of the proposal, I will see if you are a hot chick and base my decision on that alone.

Thank you, and good day.

Posted by Andy at 09:22 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

April 22, 2004


From the Denver Press Club - where we're working out the details of your Rocky Mountain Blogger Bash III. Details to follow.

Posted by Andy at 07:25 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Fire Sale! Doors Closing! Everything Must Go!

Now going out of business: The Discount Blogger.

Someone must put a stop to this crazy "I am going to stop blogging" meme; it's downright annoying, really.

Posted by Andy at 04:14 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

April 20, 2004

Independent My Ass

Today's topic to ponder:

Al Jazeera's ubiquitous presence at news events in Iraq has some wondering whether the Arabic satellite news network is a willing or even enthusiastic partner in the anti-American campaign being waged by Iraqi insurgents.
I have the answer: DUH, YA THINK?
Said to be the most watched Arabic network, available in 53 million homes around the world, Al Jazeera promotes itself as independent and professional, with journalistic integrity.
So do the National Enquirer, Atrios, and Jen Taliaferro. What's their point?

Posted by Andy at 09:12 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

On The Anniversary

Denver's very own (or is it Chicago's very own these days? I can never keep up with the boy) ... um, anyway, blogger Dave Cullen's got another story up at Slate - a new view on the Columbine massacre.

Check it out.

Update: Dave e-mails to notify us:

I'll be on for the last 20 minutes of the first hour. (In Chicago/central, that's 1:40 - 2:00 p.m. Add or subtract accordingly.)
Wow, he's got five extra minutes on his allotted fifteen! You go, Dave!

Posted by Andy at 11:35 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

The Man Who Would Be President

But who thankfully won't be:

Nader is advocating a pullout, within six months, of all U.S. military forces from Iraq.
Yes, leaving behind a destabilized Iraq which will then be overrun by an Islamic junta of anti-American militants sounds like a fine foreign policy stance.


Posted by Andy at 08:57 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

Yes, We Have No Bananas

We have no bananas today.

Posted by Andy at 08:51 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Just One More Reason

Why radical Islam must be destroyed:

Several Islamic militant groups are preparing attacks on London, making such a strike unavoidable, a radical Muslim cleric says in an interview with a Portuguese magazine.

"It's inevitable, because several [attacks] are being prepared by several groups," Sheikh Omar Bakri Muhammad told Lisbon's Publica magazine from London, where he lives...

He added: "We don't make a distinction between civilians and non-civilians, innocents and non-innocents. Only between Muslims and unbelievers.

"And the life of an unbeliever has no value. It has no sanctity."

Attention useful idiots: it's not about oil.

(found via philosophical sometimes-ally, more-often-than-not-adversary Mark Shea)

Posted by Andy at 08:48 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

April 19, 2004

Well Done, Please

Hey, the site IS called Grill a Christian, and I happen to own a Weber Anti-Apologetics model:

God is real. How can it be proven to you? Honestly, I can’t that is why it is by faith.
OK, so you can't prove it to me and you take it by faith. Discussion over because you've no more merit to your stance than a Muslim, a Buddhist, or a Heaven's Gater. Right?
But by using the rules of logic and common sense, the evidences for God are there and in such a vast amount that saying that there was no higher power is just a statement of arrogance in wanting life to be all about you and a statement that proves that your predisposed biases toward life keep you from being able to weigh the options and decide.
Uh, wait one second, you just said it was an unproveable matter of faith based on overwhelming evidence and logic. Errr... hmmm... has anyone ever told you that you're a walking contradiction?
Look out the window. No, I am not kidding, trying to be cute, or just stating that. Get up out of your chair, find a window, and look out and then return to reading. You looked out the window. What did you find?
A white basement window well, some rocks, and some windblown papers. I'm in awe.
How did these things get there? What force caused it? When it comes to how in the world the world happened, there tends to be two prevalent ways of thought.
Oh, are there?
The first way is that it all happened by some random chance. There was an atmospheric fart that produced the world as we know it.
Yep, everything that has ever happened has been by purely random chance. No accumulation of effects. No probabilities involved at all. Just sheer random chance. Here's an idea - pick up a book on cosmology, abiogenesis, or evolution sometime. Preferably one of each since I'm sure that you'll confuse confuse the origin of the universe, the origin of life, and the diversity of life as one and the same.
The second option which is the logical one is that there was a higher being that created the world as it is.
Well, that settles it.
Before we move on you must decide which is more logical, a Creator or a little bit of atmospheric indigestion.
OK, decided.

Before we go any further, your extremely weak apologetics have already collapsed - if the universe is so complex that it requires a creator, then your posited creator is necessarily more complex and thus requires its own creator, ad infinitum.

However, because mocking people is often too much fun to let pass, I'll also post your graceful death blow to all arguments against the existence of a god:

Logic is a standard to see if something makes sense or is reasonable. Man set up logic. Logic is man’s term from man’s dictionary for man’s standard for man’s principles. Do you agree with that equation? Is that “logical” to you? Where is God in that? You don’t see it do you. The list clearly states man, man, man, man. Where did the universe come from? We have already concluded that it must have come from God. What is the most intelligent part of the universe? Man would be the most intelligent part. So therefore, God created man and man created logic.
Uh, ok. Ummm...hmmm. Oh well, anyway, moving right along.
God created the world His way, on His timetable, and within His plan. God’s ways are God’s ways, and man’s ways are man’s ways. Therefore God isn’t ruled are controlled by man or man’s ideas, such as logic.

B-b-but you just said, and I quote:

But by using the rules of logic and common sense, the evidences for God are there....
...and yet, now, you claim that God isn't ruled by logic. So why would you try to use the rules of logic to demonstrate the evidence for God?
Logic doesn’t give Christians trouble.
Well, I can name one Christian it doesn't give trouble - of course, he'd have to actually use a little bit of it before that could happen.

Keep your day job, stranger.

Update: More piss-poor apologetics for your reading pleasure, suffering the same flaw as the "undesigned designer" above. If this is as far as apologetics has come in the last 2000 years, then atheists have nothing to worry about.

What am I saying? Of course it does, since most folks tend to be generally unthinking shmoes who would believe in Binky the Magic Space Clown given half a chance (but not you, dear reader, you're bright, people like you, and Binky, blessed be his big red nose, has found favor with you).

Posted by Andy at 09:10 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (1)

The Right of the People to Peaceably Assemble*

A reminder:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
...and it looks like the good people of Brunswick, GA could use a refresher course.

The coastal city of Brunswick, where Randall hopes to gather up to 10,000 people to protest the world leaders' summit, passed a law last month that places conditions on public demonstrations.

Organizers of protests like Randall's "G-8 Carnival" must put up refundable deposits equal to the city's estimated cost for clean up and police protection. Demonstrations may only last 2 hours, 30 minutes. Signs and banners may not be carried on sticks that might be brandished as weapons. And the signs may not be larger than 2-by-3 feet.

While I understand the thinking behind such a move, given that unwashed looney lefties tend to enjoy breaking things and puking on sidewalks when they gather in groups, I also think such a law assumes guilt before anything wrong is done.

If they gather, and if they cause trouble, then fine them to your heart's content. Slap them in jail. Force them to be de-loused at your earliest convenience. Tell those long-haired hippie freaks that "Rock and roll has got to go!"

Until such time, though, that pretty piece of paper loaded with articles and amendments is the supreme law of the land.

* Yours for the low, low price of $19.95 per person peaceably assembling, plus a land use fee of $125, public utilities fee of $35, state and local tax of $299. Other fees may apply.

Posted by Andy at 12:17 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0)

April 17, 2004

Reach Out and Touch a Geek

Vocera is bringing Star Trek to the masses (or, at least, the bespectacled portion of it that generally dies with its virginity intact):

US firm Vocera has created a wireless voice communicator just like they use in Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Similar to the TV series, all you do to contact someone is press the talk button on the lapel badge, say their name, and you will be put through.

OK, fine, I want one too.

Posted by Andy at 07:17 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (1)

Band Seeks New Drummer

...and Hamas seeks yet another leader:

Abdel Aziz Rantisi, the leader of the militant group Hamas in Gaza, was killed Saturday in Gaza City by an Israeli missile strike, Israeli officials and Palestinian security sources said.
Explode like the wind, indeed.

Update: Good move:

Hamas secretly appointed a new Gaza Strip chief early Sunday, but refused to reveal his identity following Israel's assassination of two previous Hamas leaders in less than a month.
I guess that means Israel will just have to pick off Hamas members one-by-one to make sure they get him. Get to it, guys.

Posted by Andy at 04:19 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

April 16, 2004

Meaning and The Mind

Good article in the New York Times on the search for an understanding of consciousness by Dr. Francis Crick (of double-helix doodad fame) and Dr. Christof Koch.

Naturally, any scientific quest to find "the seat of the soul" puts on edge those with a vested emotional interest in the belief of being haunted by the ghost in the machine.

This sort of shallow, cocky materialism is in a horse race to be funny or nauseating, I can't decide. Crick discovered the double helix. That hardly "solves" the mystery of life.
Mark must have been reading a different article than I, because the one I read said that Crick had "solved one of the basic mysteries of life here on Earth." One of. As in, "of more than one." Basic. As in, "there are more complex mysteries to be solved." Remedial Reading For Comprehension 101.

The discovery of DNA was, indeed, a momentous event, enhancing our understanding of how the design of life is encoded, copied, and passed on; how errors are introduced, resulting in one of the propulsive forces for evolution; and allowing high school students all over America to use a centrifuge to extract strands of the stuff from onions to ooh and ahh over.

And it doesn't even come within hailing distance of "solving" consciousness or the question of the existence of the soul.
Except that, once again, the article says no such thing - from the article:
For him, the most profound implication of an operational understanding of consciousness is that "it will lead to the death of the soul."
See, we're not talking about DNA anymore; we're talking about an understanding of human consciousness and how that relates to the soul. I've no doubt that, no matter how well we understand it, there will always be people who posit some unknown force behind it all, be it God or Keebler elves with their delicious, moist cookies.
Rather, what we are looking at, of course, is a dogmatist in search of evidence for his a priori faith which would go on believing in Materialism no matter *what* evidence he found.
As opposed to the non-scientist (probably an employee of the Creation Research Institute)who, no matter that the evidence indicates a materialist basis for whatever the topic may be, claims there's an undetectable, unfalsifiable deity hiding in the mix. I know who I'd trust first.

As for the implied claim that there could be evidence of the supernatural, what would it look like? How can we separate it from evidence of a purely natural cause? Is it based on our ability to explain it? That ability grows day by day, such is the province of science. The willingness to throw up one's hands, declare defeat and that a subject is beyond the scope of human understanding, and say "Goddidit!" is the province of religion.

Once again, I know which I prefer: the willful quest for knowledge over the retreat into stubborn ignorance.

Posted by Andy at 11:52 AM | Comments (17) | TrackBack (0)

April 15, 2004

No Dice

Isn't that cute? Osama bin Laden goes all Monty Hall on us and wants to make a deal:

The U.K. and Italy today rejected a purported offer by Osama bin Laden for a truce in terrorist actions in Europe.
Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, the new Spanish Prime Minister, is reported to have said "Wait, wait, gentlemen, don't be so hasty. Let us judge the offer on its merits." He then promptly offered Andalucia to bin Laden if he would just quit blowing up trains.

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

Under the Covers

Since everyone else is doing it, why don't I?

So here goes. Some tunes. You might like'em. You might hate'em. Either way, it's ok, you still love me. Give us a kiss.

It's Maryanne, led by Dave Slutes (one of the unsung heroes of alternative rock from the very early 90s), doing covers of:

Of course, to those of you who think that non-melodic guitars and absurdly loud screaming are the only forms of music worthy of your attention, you might as well just move along, nothing to see hear (get it? hear? ok, shut up). I'm all in favor of a bit of noise here and there, but Slutes has long had a knack for melodic alt-rock of the early-1990s "120 Minutes" variety.

Anyway, I'm off to bed. Amen.

Posted by Andy at 01:24 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

April 14, 2004

Jody*, Cancel Your Trip!

And Pieter, pack your bags!

Zanzibar, a country known for little else than being over-used in the monikers of not-very-cleverly named watering holes (welcome to the Zanzi Bar!), has outlawed homosexual acts:

Zanzibar's parliament has passed a bill that outlaws homosexuality and lesbianism.

The bill imposes stiff penalties which include up to 25 years imprisonment for those in gay relationships.

Heh heh uh heh heh heh, he said "stiff."


* Jody is one of our favorite gay boys. So to speak.

Posted by Andy at 11:34 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack (0)

April 13, 2004

Out of Office Notification

Hi. Your inbound hit has been counted; however, I'll be out of the office, today, April 13, 2004 and Wednesday, April 14, 2004. Should you need immediate assistance please visit one of the fine blogs on the blogroll* to the right.

* Now with realistic kung-fu action!

Posted by Andy at 06:34 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

April 12, 2004

Why Vote?

Well, what more do you need?

Thought so. Hey, if his positions don't have to make sense, why should his campaign slogans?

Courtesy of the Kerry Sloganator!

Oh what the hell: One more out of boredom...

Posted by Andy at 11:12 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)


Look, a new toy. Cool.

Earth Impact Effects Program

Robert Marcus, H. Jay Melosh, and Gareth Collins

This program will estimate the seismic, blast wave, and thermal effects of an impact as well as the size of the crater produced by the impact. The crater size is determined using pi-scaling.

So, let's say that a 2000 foot diameter object made of ice, traveling 20km/s, hits Idaho Springs, CO (vaporizing The Tommyknocker and all their cheese fries, which is a tragedy beyond compare) at a 45 degree angle. What would happen to me?

2.37 x 1019 Joules = 5.67 x 103 MegaTons TNT

Hmmm, not looking good so far.
Final Crater Diameter: 6.26 km = 3.88 miles
I'm guessing that I-70 is going to be blocked by a bit of rubble. Guess the ski trip is off, kids!
Visible fireball radius: 5.6 km = 3.5 miles
The fireball appears 26.2 times larger than the sun
Thermal Exposure: 4.66 x 105 Joules/m2
Ooh, pretty fireworks.
The major seismic shaking will arrive at approximately 9.7 seconds.
Richter Scale Magnitude: 7.1
Mercalli Scale Intensity at a distance of 48.3 km:

X. Most masonry and frame structures destroyed with their foundations. Some well-built wooden structures and bridges destroyed. Serious damage to dams, dikes, embankments. Large landslides. Water thrown on banks of canals, rivers, lakes, etc. Sand and mud shifted horizontally on beaches and flat land. Rails bent slightly.

I'm betting my homeowner's policy isn't going to cover that.
The ejecta will arrive approximately 99.7 seconds after the impact.

Average Ejecta Thickness: 6.0 cm = 2.35 inches
Mean Fragment Diameter: 26.8 cm = 10.54 inches

Duck and cover!
The air blast will arrive at approximately 161.0 seconds.
Peak Overpressure: 4243.5 Pa = 0.0424 bars = 0.6026 psi
Max wind velocity: 8.9 m/s = 20.0 mph
Sound Intensity: 73 dB (Loud as heavy traffic)
Hmmm, looks like the program could have summed all the above up as:
You are so screwed. On the bright side, there will be a nice breeze.

Posted by Andy at 11:08 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

One More Before I Go

This is too good not to share with you fine people:

A series of mysterious spontaneous fires some blame on demons have flared up again in a small Sicilian village....

The fires have broken out in the residents' furniture and electrical devices – everything from refrigerators and televisions to washing machines and cell phones.

Creepy, huh? Ooh, but wait, it gets better!
Residents decided with the local priest, Don Antonio Cipriani, to allow the scientists to examine the fires, but a Catholic exorcist, Gabriele Amorth, told the Italian newspaper Il Messagero, "I've seen things like this before."

"Demons occupy a house and appear in electrical goods," he said. "... Let's not forget that Satan and his followers have immense powers."

In cases of demon behavior, the Vatican expert said, "it is normal for domestic appliances to be involved and for demons [to] make their presence known via electricity."

And they apparently have very bad taste in movies.

Found via Mark Shea, who readily admits he'll apply Occam's Razor and take a simple supernatural explanation (the Prince of Darkness hates Nokia!) over a more-difficult, natural one. Well, so much for the scientific method and for, uh, Occam's Razor.

Don't mistake me, though - I think the story is fascinating, and apparently it's quite true. I also happen to think that those who jump to "it's the Devil!" as the cause are the same kind of folks who, long ago, would have tried to beat the Prince of Darkness out of an epileptic.

Science finds root causes. Religion makes them up. I think I'll take the light from the lamp of science rather than curse the darkness filled with demons.

Posted by Andy at 08:47 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (1)

Busy Day, So Your WWR Fix Follows

So, who watched the Nick & Jessica Variety Hour last night? I can't say I endured the whole thing, but I was left wondering what they paid the two bouncing stars of the show. And, no, I don't mean Nick and Jessica.

Are you listening to the Yonder Mountain String Band? You probably should be. It's difficult to have a negative thought when listening to upbeat, updated bluegrass; it's also difficult to drive the speed limit while doing the same. This morning's commute, against light traffic, and through the twists of T-REX became more like the General Lee with a trunk full o'moonshine trying to outrun Roscoe P. Coltraine. Except, of course, that it wasn't that at all, but just a 30-something guy zipping to an office with delusions of being a redneck.

I know, quite the aspiration, isn't it?

Speaking of music, blogger Phil Dennison has a band: The Fragments. Check it out; I did. It didn't make me think I was Bo Duke, so that was a bit disheartening, but overall I liked what I heard. It honestly reminded me of a couple of bands from my college DJ'ing days, but that was a while ago and the names have escaped me. Judge for yourself (the music, that is, not whether the names have escaped me, because I can promise you, verily, they have).

The amazing AquaDog: miracle, hoax, or global domination conspiracy? Goldstein's on the case.

While we're on the topic of miracles, what the hell is going on with the weather in Denver? It's mid-April, and we had our second winter storm in as many days come through. Don't worry, folks, when it's 100F and bone-dry outside, I'll probably bitch about that too. It's in the blood.

The Fates should punish stupid people, not reward them. Jealous? Me? Never!

The National Organization for Women is pleased that, in the FCC-inspired aftermath of Janet Jackson's boob sending conservatives into the streets gouging out their eyes and self-flagellating, Victoria's Secret has decided to drop their televised lingerie show:
Olga Vives, vice president of the National Organization for Women (search), praised the cancellation, saying the show only objectifies women.

"We're concerned young women think they have to look this way," Vives said, adding she hoped the cancelation is permanent.

I'm concerned young women think they have to look that way too, but I also am mature enough to not fault the media for that mindset. Lord knows I'm not going to land on the cover of People as the Sexiest Man Alive, but I don't get upset when Madison Avenue portrays the current standard of the male ideal in myriad commercials. Get over it - and if you're impressionable, take stock of yourself and quit pointing fingers externally. You may not be the most attractive woman on the planet, but your whining is what's really unappealing.
"There are many other ways to promote their product."
Of course there are. But having a hot model walk around in them on a television works too. I bet Kleenex stock soars the day before as well.

Anyway, the difference between this and the Janet Jackson flashfest is this: you know what you're getting when you watch it. But don't you worry your purty lil' head, 'cause Big Daddy Gubmint gonna take good care o'yous.

On the subject of boobs, a new study says women need more breast exams. Any takers on who'll be the first blogger to volunteer for duty?

That's right - the World Wide Rant: all maturity, all the time. I wish I had a NOW-nut like Linda F. in my comments. Jeff Goldstein (ooh, a double plug) is so lucky.

Maureen Dowd gets paid to write a lengthy column that could have been comprised of just one word: bureaucracy. Once again, I am so in the wrong line of work.

OK, that's it for now. That'll do. Back later, if and when I get this project of mine completed. Have a great Monday, and I'll envy you for it.

Posted by Andy at 08:12 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

April 11, 2004

St. John The Democrat

John Kerry's going to church, and some bishops are none too pleased:

Mr. Kerry's decision to receive communion represented a challenge to several prominent Catholic bishops, who have become increasingly exasperated with politicians who are Catholic but who deviate from Catholic teaching.
Having been raised a practicing Catholic, and having attended many a Catholic college singles drink-up, I feel I can safely say that they should be bitching and moaning about most American Catholics, and not just John Kerry.

Or maybe bitching and moaning about the child molesters they oversee, but maybe the Kerry angle sells better.

Posted by Andy at 06:11 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (1)

Ooh, Almost Forgot

Happy Sunday everyone!

Posted by Andy at 10:20 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

April 10, 2004

A Fish Tale

Or a fishy one.

Call me skeptical, but I've yet to see a dog give birth to a fish (alive or otherwise), unless Jesus is pulling an "Oh Heavenly Dog!" Easter stunt and feeding the masses via inexplicably scaled offspring.

"The first thing I did was run next door to find my neighbor, because I knew nobody would believe me. But she was out shopping. So then I thought I should leave the house, because it's not everyday a dog does such a thing. It was maybe a miracle, but I was scared of it anyway."

Update: Jeff Goldstein has more.

Posted by Andy at 06:39 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (3)

Nothing Shocking

About the August 6 Presidential Daily Briefing, that is:

Sources aware of the PDB say much of the intelligence is uncorroborated, and none of it is related to the eventual September 11 terrorist plot.
Pssst, and, no, moonbats, that isn't from Fox News.

In other news, I wasn't sure of it before, but if anyone needs evidence that Atrios has officially jumped to the lefty kook pass-me-my-tin-foil camp, look no further.

And, finally, unrelated, but isn't it supposed to be Spring?

A Winter Storm Warning is in effect for Denver and the Front Range foothills as a surge of colder air moves bringing wet snow. Look for 4-8" of snow by midday Saturday with overnight lows in the mid 20s.
Yay. Or not.

Posted by Andy at 09:14 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

April 09, 2004

Art Imitating Life

I try to avoid writing about reality television, primarily because most of it sucks and it leaves Jon something to write about (because we all know how you homersexurals like your American Idol and such). However, this bit of gossip was just too good to share:

Her stint on "The Apprentice" wasn't the first time Omarosa Manigault Stallworth heard the words "You're fired." People magazine says she was bounced from four jobs in two years with the Clinton administration.
Hard to believe, I know, what with her being such a pleasant and charming personality.

Sorry, Omarosa, m'dear, but no one dislikes you because you're a successful woman of color (quite possibly because "successful" and "fired from four jobs" don't usually go together). They dislike you because you're arrogant, deceitful, and whiny - and that combination of traits comes in only one color: butt ugly.

Update: That's right, not only am I writing about reality television, I'm providing updates:

The NY Daily News reports that Omarosa's publicist even fired her as a client.

Posted by Andy at 01:23 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

I'm curious to know...

what the readers of this blog think of this image. (It actually originated here, but I'm linking to Moore because he has greater bandwidth.)

I've posted it on two message boards and opinion is mixed, with about half of the respondents agreeing with me and the other half being wrong.

Gimme gimme more more more »

Posted by Jon at 12:40 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

You've Got Your Crap In My Mediocrity!

And you've got your mediocrity in my crap!

What do you get when you take two inexplicably popular songs by the equally inexplicably popular Nickelback and play one out of each side of your stereo (with true StereophonicTM life-like quality!)?

You get this.

Looks like someone bought the Ronco Top 40 Song Cookie Cutter!

Found via Zomby.

Posted by Andy at 11:09 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Good Friday

Sick yesterday. Better today. Blogging to resume. I'm like the resurrected Jesus, two days early. Amen.

Posted by Andy at 08:19 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

April 07, 2004

You Must Not Vote for this MAN

Voting is more than a right- it is an obligation. It is the cornerstone of our world, the sole proviso of our founders that distances us from Third World despotism. It is not to be taken lightly.

Ordinarily I would think that a person's vote is as sacred and private as their religious beliefs, but when I see a travesty like the one that is happening today when people attempt to assuage their consciences and their simplistic moralities by voting for the person who they feel exemplifies the ideals and norms of a Golden Era that never existed save in the televised black and white mythologies of our collective video subconscious while ignoring the obviously more qualified and worthy candidates, I cannot keep silent without feeling that I have abandoned all principals.

America, you simply cannot vote for this man.

Gimme gimme more more more »

Posted by Jon at 04:29 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack (0)

So Not Good


"We will attack to destroy the Mahdi Army," Army Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt, the coalition's deputy operations director, vowed to reporters during a news conference.

U.S. and coalition counterattacks will be deliberate, precise and powerful, "and they will succeed," he said.

U.S. Marines in the third day of a battle to pacify this Sunni Muslim city fired rockets that hit a mosque compound filled with worshippers Wednesday, and witnesses said as many as 40 people were killed.
Well, crap.

Posted by Andy at 01:11 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

I See

Uh, ok.

A jailed man accused of killing and cutting out the hearts of his son, estranged wife and her daughter plucked out his own eye and then quoted from the Bible, officials said Tuesday.

Andre L. Thomas was in a county jail cell Friday night when he tore his eye out of its socket with his hands, said Grayson County Sheriff Keith Gary.

Of course, he quoted from the book of Mark, about how if one's eye causes one to sin, pluck that sucker on out because it's better to have poor depth perception in Heaven than to be able to enjoy 3-D movies in Hell.

Silly. Everyone knows that since an all-powerful, all-knowing god made the universe that he's ultimately responsible for sin. I don't see him doing any plucking!*

A judge ruled Monday that Thomas will be evaluated by a mental health professional.
Gosh, ya think?

* Not that I've seen him ever; since making an appearance in a book without pictures some 2000 years ago, he's been very anti-social.

Posted by Andy at 08:41 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

April 06, 2004

All About the Baghdad

Al Qaeda plots terrorist attacks against U.S. embassy in Jordan - and Jordanian institutions too.

On Saturday, government officials said suspected terrorists believed linked to al-Qaida were planning to attack sensitive Jordanian government institutions, but did not mention foreign embassies as potential targets. The officials declined to say which Jordanian establishments were targeted, but security has been tightened around public offices, especially the interior and prime ministries.

I mean, errrr ... uh....

Posted by Andy at 06:03 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

They Don't Get It

The Spanish, that is:

"The reason we've got terrorists on our doorstep is the war in Iraq, it's pretty clear," said Toni, a 40-year-old woman attending a demonstration in the suburb where up to six suspects in the Madrid train bombings blew themselves up at the weekend.

The march honouring a policeman killed by the bombers turned into an anti-war protest demanding Spain bring home the 1,300 troops it has sent to Iraq.

It's not just about Iraq. As I said before, it's about being part of the wrong civilization. It's about not being a nation of Islamic zealots willing to blow themselves up to get some virgin tail. It's about thinking that the Alhambra is beautiful (and it is) but that you'd rather not have neo-Moors calling the peninsula home again anytime soon.

Speaking of that:

Professor Fernando Reinares, author of a recent book on terrorism, said in an editorial in El Pais that Spain was a target simply for being a Western country.

Moreover it was a soft target "because of the porous nature of its frontiers and the presence of dense communities of immigrants from north Africa", and Spanish authorities have arrested a number of al Qaeda suspects in recent months.

This simply isn't about one issue, and Spain's decision to capitulate by withdrawing from Iraq isn't going to get them off the hook. In fact, it's probably inviting terror in even more countries:
Powell said Italy now looked vulnerable since Romano Prodi, leader of the opposition centre-left, said he would bring Italian troops back from Iraq if the left was in power.

"That's an open invitation," Powell said. "Also Rome is an obvious target because there's the religious significance."

If you want to know how to stop Al Qaeda in their tracks, there are two options:
  1. Convert everyone in your country to radical Islam via encouragement or, failing that, the sword; put the women in burqas and keep them uneducated; require men to grow thick beards (I am so screwed); and take on an anti-science attitude (ok, we're almost there in some ways). Do all of this and give Al Qaeda a big hug, but be sure the Ministry of Vice and Virtue doesn't interpret it as some gay thing and have you summarily executed. Or...

  2. Find these terrorists wherever they may be and destroy them. Demand again and again that nations choose sides in this clash, and respond accordingly. Quit thinking that "give peace a chance" is the answer to everything and realize that sometimes a MOAB is the best way to say I love you.
I know which one I prefer. Y tu, Espana?

Posted by Andy at 09:48 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

April 05, 2004

Blood on Our Hands

I figure for cases such as this, we probably need a new verb - "he's been Tancredo'd."

A 16-year-old boy who fled his gang in Guatemala and was denied asylum in Denver has been killed 17 days after U.S. authorities deported him...

"I know that they will kill me if I am returned to Guatemala. They will kill me because I left their gang," Chocoy stated in an affidavit filed in Denver's federal immigration court in support of his application for asylum.

Members of the street gang that Chocoy was trying to escape in Guatemala City killed him March 27, said Kim Salinas, a Fort Collins immigration lawyer who had pressed Chocoy's case to stay in the United States.

We send this kid back, a kid who believed his life was in danger, a kid whose aunt wrote to authorities saying she had the financial means to take custody of him in the United States, a kid who - by all indications - was working to turn his life around to chase the American dream, and now he's dead.

A shame.

Maybe someone should pass Tom Tancredo and his friends some hand soap.*

* Not that I think Tom Tancredo is personally responsible for the young man's death, just that obtuse anti-immigration stances contribute to such tragedies.

Posted by Andy at 08:53 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (2)

April 04, 2004

God Made Me Do It, Part Two

In which the author defends the acquittal of Deanna Laney, charged with murdering two of her three children:

A jury acquitted a Texas mother of killing two of her sons and seriously injuring the third after determining she was insane at the time.
Despite the horrific nature of the crime and the vulnerability of the victims, I think this was the right decision.

People will ask how a loving mother could do such a thing. I agree: how could she? The crime was a calculated event, not the act of a parent thrashing out in anger and harming the child. There was no apparent motive for the killing, no Susan Smith-esque doing-it-to-keep-my-boyfriend nonsense. There was, quite simply, no sane reason to do what she did.

I'm afraid that leaves me with only one answer: the woman was insane at the time. Might very well still be. She needs help, many years of it. No, we can't bring back her children; we'll never know what difference they might have made in the world. We can, however, choose to understand what happened, why it happened, and how we can prevent it in the future. Their deaths don't have to be for nothing, but locking Deanna Laney away for life would amount to that.

I'm not saying she should ever walk free again. I'm saying she needs help - help which might not do anything, but at the very least will further our understanding of what would drive a mother to do such a thing, especially to her own children.

I'm a father, a loving one, and my little girl means the world to me. I love her more than I love anyone. So don't bother telling me that I don't understand the love of a parent. It's my understanding of such feelings that makes me ever more certain that Ms. Laney was, for whatever reason, insane.

No sane, loving mother could, with cold calculation, summarily execute her children.

Did God tell her to do it? I think not, but then again, I'm an atheist. I do think, however, that her religion gave her mental disorders a foothold, gave a persona to the voices in her head.

I also think that every single Christian out there who has automatically condemned her as a human being and wished Hell upon her is a raging hypocrite of the highest order. I'm sure you will, in public, claim to follow the will of your God above all else - but what if he told you to kill? What if you were, deep inside, sure it was your God telling you to do this? Who are you to deny your God in favor of some state law, or in favor of what you feel is good or right?

This is, after all, your god talking to you.

I'm sorry, but belief in an undetectable deity who tells you to only do good things is different from an undetectable deity who tells you to kill exactly how? One of you has a belief that is less detrimental to those around you, but the "altruism" of a belief doesn't determine its validity.

Don't bother defending it - it's indefensible. Both of you have beliefs which are completely beyond any standard of proof or reason, and to attempt to use either in defense of your god over hers is a non-starter.

I am positively disgusted by the actions of Mrs. Laney. I think her actions were vile, a crime committed against the most vulnerable among us, against children who thought their mother was there to protect them and love them. And it is that very expectation, that knowledge that I - as a parent - hold of my own feelings for my daughter, that leads me to conclude that she had to be insane in order to undertake such a crime.

That in mind, I hope she gets the help she so clearly needs. Mindless punishment of her will do nothing to deter those in our society with no respect for life, and will do nothing to deter those who are insane. We can, however, gain some perspective from an understanding of her psyche, and of what could lead a mother to do something so horrible.

You may hate me now.

Update: People, just because she was found not guilty by reason of insanity doesn't mean she's going to be turned out on the street this afternoon:

Instead, she will immediately be taken for evaluation to a maximum security state psychiatric hospital, where she could stay as long as 40 years.
Continuing from my post above, the age of her youngest child virtually screams (to my non-med-school, fan-of-the-news mind) an undiagnosed, misdiagnosed, or utterly ignored (per the Yates family) case of post-partum depression. While smashing her brains out with a rock sounds like a fine way to get revenge for her crime, it would do nothing to help us understand why and how such horrors occur.

To those of you who say "so what? kill her! research be damned!" - I say it's sad that you would sacrifice untold numbers of children down the line on the altar of your righteous indignation. Who needs science, right? After all, everyone knows epilepsy is really demonic possession - stone the shaking fools!

Posted by Andy at 08:38 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack (0)

But Of Course I Is

Grammar God!
You are a GRAMMAR GOD!

If your mission in life is not already to
preserve the English tongue, it should be.
Congratulations and thank you!

How grammatically sound are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

(courtesy of fellow grammatical deity, Michele)

Posted by Andy at 07:40 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (1)

April 03, 2004

Half-way Through the Weekend

Happy Saturday to one and all. Just a quick chime in to say hello, and point out to Zombyboy that his link to a post of mine actually pointed to Walter's announcement of the Rocky Mountain Blogger Bash III, coming your way May 28 - stay tuned for details.

Anyway, we watched Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star late this afternoon (and helloooo, Mary McCormack), and then had dinner. We needed something simple and relatively quick, so tonight's meal was Chili-dusted Pork Chops, served with seasoned creamed corn, and a bottle of Parducci Petite Sirah California Vintner Select 1999.

If food is your thing, you can find some other meals I've made in the links below:

Steak Hache' au Poivre with Pommes de Terres "O'Brien"

Tuna and Veggie Pizza

A bunch of British stuff

Beer Cheese Soup

Have a positively splendid Saturday evening. I will.

And don't forget, clocks spring forward tonight, giving us all a reason to sleep in an extra hour tomorrow.

Posted by Andy at 09:29 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Back to El Drawing Boardo

Looks like yet another terrorist attack in Spain:

The Web site of the Spanish newspaper El Mundo is reporting that an explosion has taken place inside a building in the Madrid suburb of Leganes.

An Islamic militant allegedly related to the March 11 train attacks threatened earlier to blow up the building.

So much for going the political route of capitulation and appeasement.

I think the problem here is that people, for some reason, think that this is a war of regions, rather than of civilizations. It's not about us getting out of the Middle East. It's not about us being simply Jewish, Christian, atheist, or other.

It's about us not being a particular variety of violent, fundamentalist Muslim.

They don't want to kill me, you, and your friends and loved ones because of what we are, but because of what we are not. Because we aren't sinners in the hands of an angry Allah.

This driving philosophy behind groups like Al Qaeda is not something we can just educate against or something that will go away if we offer to play nice and share our peanut butter sandwich with them. It is a cancer spreading among humanity, and it must be destroyed. Before it destroys more of us.

I see no reason to wait to see a mushroom cloud rising over downtown New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Atlanta, Miami, or Denver before we realize that these assholes are playing for keeps.

I fear too many people have forgotten the horror, fear, and anger of September 11, 2001. I fear that when the next, bigger attack comes - and I believe it will - there will be proclamations of America losing its innocence, of why didn't we see this coming, of why weren't we protected better, of how could anyone do this to innocent people.

The answer will be the same as it is today: because we have short-term memories and the deaths of 3,000 of our countrymen and friends pale in importance to Janet Jackson's bare breast on national television.

So, why? How?

Because we let them.

Let's not do that.

Update: CNN has more. Looks like terror suspects holed themselves up in the building, and threatened to destroy it.

Update 2: Zombyboy has similar thoughts over at his blog. Honest, we didn't plan this!

Update 3: ...and more from Dever, who should work hard to make the upcoming RMBB 3.0.

Posted by Andy at 02:40 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (3)

It's a Boy

Congrats and many dirty diaper wishes to Mr. and Mrs. Wizbang on the arrival of the Wee-Wizbanger. Wizbangbaby? Wizbangite? Whatever, it's a boy!

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

April 02, 2004


If you'd like to make a memorial contribution to help support the families of the four civilian contractors killed on March 31, 2004 in Fallujah, Iraq, Blackwater USA, their employer, has arranged for such:

A Memorial Fund has been established to support the victim's families of the March 31, 2004 Fallujah attack. All memorial gifts will be documented and appropriately acknowledged with due regard to the wishes of the donor and the nature of the contribution. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims

Please Mail the contributions to:
Memorial Fund
PO Box 159
Moyock, NC 27958

Please Make checks Payable to:
Memorial Fund

Please no cash contributions.

Posted by Andy at 01:56 PM | Comments (20) | TrackBack (0)

Amazon: For All Your Intelligence Needs

Breaking news:

A former translator for the FBI with top-secret security clearance says she has provided information to the panel investigating the 11 September attacks which proves senior officials knew of al-Qa'ida's plans to attack the US with aircraft months before the strikes happened.
What, exactly, the panel will do with a copy of Tom Clancy's Executive Orders and a DVD of the first episode of "The Lone Gunmen" is unclear.

If it makes the Democrats out there feel any better, I think Condi Rice's statement that no one could have imagined anyone attacking us in such a way was idiotic as well, based on the above evidence that plenty of people had both thought and read about such an scheme.

Posted by Andy at 01:47 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

April 01, 2004

Big Money, Big Money

This site reminds me of days spent at my grandmother's house in Charleston, SC when I was but a child. Well, except that I've replaced the Sanka Instant Coffee, holding some eighteen teaspoons of sugar in a supersaturated solution, with beer.

(found via Kristi)

Posted by Andy at 07:58 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

One Billion Bytes Served

Instapundit is wondering if this is an April Fool's joke:

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. - April 1, 2004 UTC - Amidst rampant media speculation, Google Inc. today announced it is testing a preview release of Gmail – a free search-based webmail service with a storage capacity of up to eight billion bits of information, the equivalent of 500,000 pages of email. Per user.
If it is a joke, then I have two complaints:

First, I read the story on March 31st.

Second, aside from this:

User Complaint About Existing Services Leads Google to Create Search-Based Webmail

Search is Number Two Online Activity – Email is Number One; "Heck, Yeah," Say Google Founders

...there's nothing really, well, funny about it.

Time will tell, I suppose.

Update: More, from BusinessWeek:

The timing of Google's announcement and the press release's playful wording sparked instant speculation that Gmail might be an April Fool's joke. But it's hard to believe that a company angling for a massive IPO would pull such a stunt in an environment where the Securities & Exchange Commission is on red alert for any false moves that could spook investors. Google would surely understand that this announcement would easily affect share prices of other companies -- specifically Yahoo -- so a hoax would be a pretty dim idea.

Update The Second: And now from MSNBC:

Google spokesman David Krane, reached Wednesday night, admitted that the "color and personality" of the press release -- which is dated "April 1 UTC" and includes phrases such as "millions of M&Ms later, Gmail was born" -- "was indeed in the spirit of April 1" but said that Gmail was a serious product.

"We are beginning to test a free e-mail service," Krane told

Well, cool.

Posted by Andy at 08:18 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

Judge to CRIA: Take Off, Eh?

The Canadian Recording Industry Association just got dealt a blow:

The music industry's fight against illegal file sharing suffered a major setback yesterday when a Federal Court judge ruled that swapping songs on the Internet for personal use does not break the law.

"Downloading a song for personal use does not amount to infringement," Mr. Justice Konrad von Finckenstein of the Federal Court of Canada wrote in his decision. "I cannot see a real difference between a library that places a photocopy machine in a room full of copyrighted material and a computer user that places a personal copy on a shared directory."

Make note that, at long last, there is finally one good reason to move to Canada.

Just kidding.

And, just kidding again, Canucks - you know we love you. Like a little sister.

Posted by Andy at 08:10 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)