Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Borophyll

Sorry I haven't been posting much. Trying not to fail out of medical school. It's probably better to have the thoughtful posts that have come lately rather than my usual schizophrenic video rampaging.

Game of the year

A friend of mine who I hadn't seen for a while came over last with the plan of enjoying a night of booze and video games. Spent a little time chattin' about his new Japanese girlfriend whom he met when her car broke down in front of his house. He also brought her PS2 and the game katamari damacy, which is, incidentally, the most amazing game I've played in quite some time. You're this little weird dude that rolls around this ball which can pick things up that are smaller than the ball. Of course, as you collect more things on the ball, it gets bigger, so you can start picking up bigger and bigger objects. For example, in one level I started out picking up paper clips and protractors and ended up picking up school students, deer, and office furniture. The gameplay is so elegantly simple, but so much fun. I urge you to check it out.It harkens back to good ol' NES days where simple gameplay was chief.

Also, went to a bar that specializes in belgian beer and chatted with the owner for a while and it turns out he drives a '56 Chevy truck. He showed us pictures on his cell phone, and it is cherry. Gotta love finding a Belgian beer loving, American car driving bar owner in small town Japan.

Monday, May 29, 2006

X-Men 3 is a classic impersonater, but Singin' in the Rain is the Great Appreciator

Part I: A Conjunction of drones simulating the way in which a classic was born.

This past Friday, X-men 3 came out. I never have too much hope for mainstream representations of my favorite heroes, especially when they are switching media, however, I was blown away by X-men 2. Sure it was just a fun movie, but it was really well made, with interesting character development and gripping plot that made relative sense. In light of this, I can't help but say that I was let down by the most recent installment, and Sorry Shu, but I don't think you're missing anything. (SPOILERS TO FOLLOW, but honestly I don't think its the kind of movie that gets any better if you dont know what is going to happen). Ok so you were warned. Scroll to next bold area if you don't want to read this. The movie starts with phoenix being dead, she proceeds to come back to life as we all expect and in a loving embrace...mysteriously kill Cyclops!!!!! As her power is spiraling out of control, in another scene, xavier tries to help her. She proceeds to mysteriously kill him as well!!!!! in a kind of disintegration by particle kind of way. Magneto turns up as token baddy, tries to form an army, the real enamy in the end ends up being phoenix, in one of the last scenes wolverine kills her!!!!!! to stop her from killing other people!!!!!! Now I am no stranger to the comic-book medium. I know that none of them are really dead, and it will all be explained in a later book/movie. This, however, is the very device (or at least a big one) that comics receive so much flak for, for not being serious literature. Superman cant ever die because he has to be around for the on-going monthly series he is featured in. This is also true for any of the basic elements in place that make the comic work. In an attempt to make his danger seem real the writers concoct deaths which they can retract only with some careful planning. These deaths are not resolved in the movie! One of the last shots is a pan of the three grave stones. (after credit scene aside). This leaves wolverine and storm to carry the team, which I must admit is pretty interesting, and they are both done well, however, the rest of the team consists of iceman, rogue, neither of which I like in the movie, a pretty well done beast, and colossus and shadowcat, that are good but not seen enough. Very small team considering the wealth of characters they have to choose from. Also a problem with comic movies is the way in which they change who characters are. Archangel was one of the founding members of the x-men, but here becomes the newest recruit. One great scene is the one in which wloverine battles jeans psi energy and walks up to her despite his flesh being torn apart and knitted ack together, managing to kill the woman he loves- that was amazing. All in all, considering the material they are working with, they could have done so much better. What about all the hundreds of amazing stories that are already out there but unkown to most of the public, oh well.

Part II: Benjamin Steele caught in the existential maze of history.

On another note I recently saw Singin' in the Rain for the first time. It is fucking incredible. I didn't know. There are so many aspects to it, that make it feel unbelievably modern, maybe even post modern. They mix silent film, with black and white film, color film, sound film, spoof silent film, filming of silent film, musical, filming of musical, in a menagerie of styles that interweave creating an absolutely surreal reality. The ability to act as in life, especially singing and dancing, is a metaphor for true ability and heart. All the silent film actors are phonies. The main characters crisis comes when talkies come out and he realizes he doesnt know how to act or speak lines. The solution comes when he decides to make his first talking picture a musical, which is what made him want to get into the business in the first place, and of course what he has been showing the audience all along. He has a fake "for show" romance with his silent film co-star who can't sing, but starts to fall for the girl who is a theatre actor who he gets to voice over the other womans' songs when they go musical. Lastly, I got chills when the scene started in which I new the title track was coming. It embodies the absolute epitome of happiness in who you are, and what you are capable of despite everything. He taps like a pro up until he starts tapping in puddles and ends the number stomping around in them to the beat of the song as it builds in crescendo. If you havn't seen it, or seen it recently, do your self a favor.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

I thought it was Nukular

An excellent quote from the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Mohamed ElBaradei.

"Nuclear feeds nuclear. As long as certain countries continue to insist on the indispensable character of nuclear weapons for their security, other countries will want to procure them. It is impossible to escape this simple truth."

I personally think anyone who ever considers even the possession of nuclear weapons a reasonable position should visit Hiroshima. Having been there, I can tell you that nothing disuades you like being at the point of a blast and looking at pictures of what happened while you're standing in that location. Bonus trivia fact: Every time any country conducts a nuclear test, the mayor of Hiroshima writes a letter condemning it and asking that country to cease their nuclear program so that no one should ever have to bare what people of that city once did.

Gore Says He's Not Running

The Times has an article up now about how Gore claims he's not going to run for President in 2008. I think he's just playing coy, and hasn't really made up his mind. If there's a strong enough groundswell, he'll be there.

Speaking of a former Democratic Presidential candidate who still wants in, Kerry keeps pressing his Swift Boat defense, though no one really cares any more...

Gore = Hitler & Global Warming = Jews

Yo Morg, given your love affair with Gore, I thought you might be interested to hear that his certainty about global warming has been compared with Hitler's obsession with the Jews...

Saturday, May 27, 2006

The Mighty O

A new song by Outkast has been released recently and is available here. I don't know where it comes from or even if it is a finished version. But it's out there. I wasn't super impressed but I've been berated by Steele enough times not to judge any song out of the context of its album. Whether this comes from Idlewild or not, I couldn't tell you.

The Question On Everyone's Lips

"It seems like fewer and fewer people are upset or are frightened of homosexuals. Congressman Frank, what can homosexuals do to reinstill people with an irrational fear?"

June, 1995. Westwood Plaza Hotel, Los Angeles

Good, this is a serious dialogue. Where do we begin?

You tell me.

Let's try Quentin Tarantino, the guy who is responsible for introducing the works of Wong Kar-Wai to the American cinema-going public.

The most-quoted guy in Los Angeles in 1995. And?

Try and tell us "How Quentin Tarantino Became A Fan of Wong Kar-Wai".

Tarantino strikes me as someone who really enjoys movies. I think he sees just about anything, and is interested in everything he sees. Some people love to tell others that they want to direct films, whereas Tarantino actually does it - his satisfaction comes from the process of making a movie, not the idea of making it.

For me, some filmmakers may be working in different places on totally different things, but when their works come out, the spirit can be very much alike. Just like when Tarantino sees the work of Takeshi Kitano, he understands what Kitano is doing; he sees the work of Wong Kar-Wai, he understands what I am doing. We may not be working on the same thing, but somehow we manage to find this comprehension in the air, like students from the same class, reunited after years of separation.

Look at it in another way, we are different from those directors before us. Directors in the old days had lots to discover: the movie world was fresh then. It was an undiscovered space, waiting for people to explore. Now we have reached an age of recycling. Our generation gets to see lots of movies, and takes these movies to heart; and we knock them down and start reconstructing. It is like going to the same supermarket where we are all faced with the same stock, we make an effort to cook up something new. And we get fun out of doing that.

Ask a Ninja

What is podcasting?

-A factory that produces apple pies for whales on a consistent basis. Check video for details.

Is it going down?




Video linked left.

We running shit, baby.

Yung Joc.

Bad Boy South.

It's goin' down.

'Nacho Libre' and the Legacy of the Luchadores

I don't know if you guys remember that video I posted back in the day with the luchadores. It was a hip-hop video where they attempted to splice an old luchador movie to make them look like they were rapping along with the artists (Ghostface and someone I can't remember).

Anyways, lucha libre is the subject of a NYTimes article and they talk about the sport's history, the upcoming Nacho Libre movie, and even the two characters featured in the aforementioned hip-hop video.

Friday, May 26, 2006

The 40-Year-Old Virgin and the King of Truthiness

Found this ancient clip from the Dana Carvey Show, which apparently co-starred Stephen Colbert and Steve Carell, unbeknownst to me. Interesting to see how they got their start, plus the skit is pretty classic: waiters nauseated by food.

Daily Show Hilarity

John Stewart and Stephen Colbert run into some gay jokes about Prince Charles that they can't handle. One of the few times you'll ever see Colbert break character. Or deepthroat a banana.

Marsha?!?!



Another blast from the literal past: Jon Robbins and me with a short ode to "Marsha." Recorded off the cuff on a webcam (hence the bad quality) in order to annoy Kovnar (worked better than we hoped) during our freshman year at Wash U (note the now deceased Eliot 6 in the background).

Revenge of the Nerds

I'll just say it now: Al would be just fine with me.

Do I think he could win? Who the fuck knows. But after having to put up with Mr. Masculine for eight years, the guy who is likable but doesn't have a fucking clue, all I want is a nerdy guy who loves facts. I've heard Mark Warner is a bit of a dork. Maybe he is the realistic version of Gore.

But doesn't Gore have that wonderfully ironic and absurd luster to him? In so many ways he is like the anti-president - but that is exactly what I feel like having. His jokes are pretty flat. So flat that they really really amuse me. I know he's been in a position to push honesty, but come on, if there has been a straight shooter these past few years its been ol' Al. As Colbert would say, "I just like the guy...he's a good joe."

Is anyone else feeling what I'm saying here? Shu, fellow nerd, you've got to be with me. Nerds 08 or bust.

You know what else I love about Gore. FoxNews and CEI will not get off of his balls. Everything I read these days basically says "yeah global warming 5 years ago was not a sure bet, but now a consensus has been reached that 1) it is happening 2) it has something to do with humans," but the conservative media takes such an extreme stance that it's absurd. I mean FoxNews is calling the whole thing a scare tactic. I have a question. Why would intelligent, informed individuals waste their time with global warming if they didn't take it seriously? What the fuck does anyone gain from a false campaign against global warming, and why is that FoxNews just sounds so biased against it?

People aren't stupid: they can figure out who has incentives and who doesn't, ok? Give me a fucking break CEI.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

where the hell did that video como from?

Awesome. Now I actually know the words again.

maybe I'll record it sometime when I'm NOT about to cry.

Images of DC for Morg


There are 3 DC landmarks in this pcture. For each you can name I'll put up more.

Optic Blast


I just want to publically display my contempt for those of you who will be able to see X-Men 3 this weekend. It comes out in Japan in September. Have a great time and fuck you all.

Benicio del Toro vs. 32 ounces of freedom

The aforementioned video of 32 ounce shotgunning dude. Quite incredible, especially if you've done it once or twice yourself on a 12 ounce. He goes by the name Squidburns - and I love him as a brother, possibly more than a brother. He might be approaching the adopted sister range. You know, when you like love them as a family member but then you kind of want to do them because they're not blood-related though you would be lying to yourself if you didn't admit that whole transgressive doing your sister thing is kind of sexy.

Interpretative Dance

I'm not sure what to say to get you to watch this video. My roommate, Dustin, discovered these guys after one of them shotgunned a 32 ounce can of beer in 7 seconds and posted it on youtube. Who knows who the fuck these guys are. They look like a bunch of high school dropout druggies - but they're pretty amusing (to me). I wish Saba were here to see this but I guess, as they say, shit in one hand and wish in the other and see which fills up first.

Ode to Saba



I thought that maybe if we show her some love she'd be overwhelmed an unable to resist the allure of the blog.

But what is Saba really? Some say she's a Human Capital Management Solution. Others would tell you that she's an island in the Dutch Carribean (just stay away from her Hell's gate). She even has her own medical school and conservation center. In other circles, she's known more for her complete coverage of Yemeni news. I'll tell ya, you've never known more about Yemen than after you hear what Saba has to say about it. But when you talk to her about that, make sure you don't forget to learn a little about the car park business, because ain't nobody know more about that than Saba. I remember this one time we were drivin by this car park, and she was like "Are they operating with the AR-24 automatic entry/exit control system? Damn, that shit is whack! E'ry body knows the AR-36 is far superior in terms of dynamic loss prevention dogg." Oh, man I didn't even know what to say to that. But then again, that's just Saba for you.

And of course, anytime you want to go anywhere with Saba, you're bound to be stopped by people asking her for fashion advice. Especially Aussies, though I'm not sure why. And then once she's stopped, you know they're gonna ask her to sing a song from her new album. But she won't sing for long because more likely than not, she has to get on a plan and go to Scandinavia on an import trip. It's a tough job, but nobody does it like Saba. Just like nobody makes adhesives for bonding foam components like saba. That's right, get your elmer's glue the fuck outta here. She also does more for Singapore businesses in America than anyone. But after she gets done with business, you'll usually find her advocating for bicycles in Sacramento, killing feminine odors in mexico, or researching legacy systems in their business applications.

If you're going to travel, make sure you visit Saba in Istanbul. You know she'll show you a good time. And make sure you taste her scrumptious grape syrup. You'll think that you're in heaven. You could also visit Saba on your way through Bali. She'll always welcome you with open arms. Now, my friends in Japan will tell you that Saba is a delicious fish. Personally, I don't care for the taste, but I love her just the same. So really, whatever Saba is to you, we all know she's wonderful.

My baby don't care for blogs...

Sure would be nice if Saba were here. She would be all like aaaah and I would be all like you crazy ohmygod. And then Justin would be all like in Dick vs. Jane 104 U.S. 069 the defendant used Proposition 3.1 and then everyone would laugh at him cause no one EVER knows what the hell Justin's talking about.

A Blast From the Past: Winkler's Finest Hour?



OK, J embedded this video earlier and I fucked it up while editing. Hopefully everything is resolved now.

Christmas in May

Whoever is responsible (I'm guessing Shu) for making 6331 light up like Christmas - niiiice. One question, though: why is the picture linked to photobucket.com?

A New Superhero Joins the OWP

OWP has a new contributor, Brittan Heller. I don't know why I found her post so fucking incredible. Maybe it was her quoting William Carlos Williams to perfectly evoke her thoughts. Or maybe it was the words "wide pupilled eyes."

The subject, generally, is Argentina's Dirty War. This post of mine is a badly thought out and unpersuasive advertisement - but please, if you love me, go read her words.

sweet

cool shu, sounds like I'm all set then

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Think Green

EveryVideoGame.com

This site has videogames you can play within your browser using Java. Sound is good. Usually doesn't freeze up unless you have a really slow connection. If you do, then you may want to turn the sound off.


Here are a couple of options for you. The first obviously is the original Ghosts 'n' Goblins. The second, RBI Baseball, which everyone knows was totally the shit.

Get your war on




This site probably hasn't been updated for a while, but if you haven't read this strip, you must. It's brilliant. http://www.mnftiu.cc/mnftiu.cc/war.html

Clever conservatives

Ya know, I looked at the CEI site fully prepared to immediately say "this is the craziest fuckin thing I've ever heard," but they actually seem to put together a more cogent argument than most against the alarmism associated with global warming. Granted, they don't sell me on it and I haven't read all the associate / referenced journal articles, but for propaganda, it's fairly decent. Of course, my favorite part in one of the ads is at the end when they're talking about CO2 and they say "they call it dangerous, we call it life." or something to that effect.
I was looking in another article they had about restrictions at chemical plants and found this tasty nugget:
"The end goal was the same as the long-rejected “toxics use reduction” scheme: grant regulators authority to essentially ban or reduce politically unpopular chemicals. Yet many products are valuable because they are “toxic” or “inherently dangerous.” Indeed, the toxic properties of pesticides and disinfectants are what make these products valuable in the war against deadly pathogens. Banning or reducing their use would only undermine public health and safety, yet activists continue their efforts. "

The big reason why I doubt the sincerity of their efforts is a tidbit I found on wikipedia. If you check out the funding section, you'll see a large of amount of big oil and other big pollutors, plus Phillip Morris. Maybe it's naieve, but my general policy is that if PM is for it, I'm against it.

Shameless self-promotion

I figure I'll jump on the bandwagon.

Anyone not doing anything June 2-4? Come to my FESTIVAL Desert Rocks!!!!!

I designed and am running the lights for 24 bands (dusk til dawn, Fri and Sat) in the desert outside Moab, UT.

Shu

Air, Aarrow, double A, duracel, copper top, crazy A, A doggs, A. Ron Hubbard, Mr. Shu, Shu, Shuster booster, shuery, shuppidy doo, shuffix, SHUFUCKER, Shufuck, Shuilator, Shustair, Shuey McShuinton, and of course, fuckface.

Man, there are probably more. If you can think of any, please, shu-it up.

Oh yeah, and AJ (my middle name is James) because in elementary school there was this stupid girl named Erin who could never tell if the teacher was calling on her or me even though we were on opposite sides of the room and the teacher would always look at one of us. Not sure why I had to change, she's the one who sucks.

Please, call me Mr. Poo Poo

I was trying to remember all the nicknames that I've acquired at one time or another.

Morgdog, Morgante, Ol' Morgery, Ol' Morgery Dorgery, Mizzy Gizzy, Mannish, Gante, M.T., Morpoopi, Morgee, Orgee Morgee, Q, Mule, Mo Tay and there are probably others I can't remember.

"Q" was probably my first widely used nickname. Was given to me by the guys on my wrestling team because I thought I was really smart (as in IQ) and my haircut accentuated my already-large cranium.

Can you guys remember all the different permutations of your names?

Gante - bringer of truth

I love it.

Do it Morg-dog. Keep us on top of PRIMARY sources.

Shit, I don't watch TV or read papers anyway.

But I do listen to C-span for at least an hour every day.

An Ode to Bread Co.

I imagine that one of the most difficult aspects of being an academic is getting over writer’s block. Not just once or every once in a while, but every day. There must be weeks or months when it’s a struggle just to turn on the computer, knowing that there’s a good chance that you’ll just sit there and stare at it with nothing to say. To be in that position – for that to be your job – must be absolutely frustrating.

I’ve been fighting my own case of writer’s block recently in trying to write the one paper I have left to complete my first year of law school. Actually, it’s not really writer’s block; it’s more like “motivation drain.” I just can’t find it. Every time I formulate a sentence in my head, I think, “that’s dumb,” “that’s obvious,” or “that’s incoherent.” It’s really no wonder academics are often insufferably arrogant; you have to have supreme self-confidence to stare down your biggest critic day after day – a blank computer screen.

Part of my recent problem is that I’m now in D.C., and I’m not exactly comfortable yet with my surroundings. However, just as I was drifting off to sleep last night, inspiration struck – Bread Co.! That’s where I should study! It’s familiar, with good food, cheap coffee, and they never care if you sit there for hours on end using their free wireless! So first thing this morning, I hopped on the neighbor’s wireless and looked up my nearest Bread Co. in Panera’s clothing, and here I am. Feels good to be surrounded by the familiar tables, chairs, and fireplace, and to have my usual French toast bagel with a mug of coffee (unlimited refills). Kind of sad to think there’s no chance Morg will stumble in and order some random combination of bagel, tomato and cheese, but it’s the closest thing to home I’m likely to find today…

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

CEI Responds to Scientist's Criticism of Global Warming Ad Campaign

Fascinating. Apparently one of the scientists the CEI video referred to said his research was misappropriated and misrepresented. CEI responds here, attempting to refute his points, one by one. You have to read this stuff. I'm not pulling it out of an article - after searching for CEI, I found their website and did some investigating.

Can you believe they use the phrase "inconvenient truth" at the end? In-fucking-credible. Obviously a dagger pointed at Al Gore's film but it is almost reminiscent of Orwell's 1984, their attempt to reverse meaning.

Global Warming

This will be my first search for the truth. I am going to find out if global warming exists and what it means for the future. "But it's already been proven," you say? Fortunately for me, I've been re-educated by the Competitive Enteprise Institute (their video linked to pic). Now I am filled with doubt. You should be too.

If I don't figure out the details on things like these I'm going to have to listen to idiots spewing baseless opinions that I can't refute. No more.

The ACLU cracks down on free speech

I thought this fucking article was hilarious. There is a new proposal to be voted on by ACLU members (I believe) concerning public statements by ACLU directors. Excerpt:

"Where an individual director disagrees with a board position on matters of civil liberties policy, the director should refrain from publicly highlighting the fact of such disagreement," the committee that compiled the standards wrote in its proposals.

Later on...

"If you disagree with a policy position," she said, "you are implicitly criticizing the judgment of whoever adopted the position, board or staff."

Bar, barbarbar, bar barbar.

It's all meaningless talky talky to me. Started reading these opinions people were giving on David Brooks' column about General Hayden. Someone said "wrong man for the job." Just said it. Don't remember there being much else around it. It's amazing, you know, modern conversation has made me so much more aware of what is necessary to feel you know something, can believe in it.

A hundred people cry out in earnest against Hayden, but likely enough exactly one hundred of them know jack shit about him or anything else in this world.

You can witness all the levels people are getting caught up on. Do Democrats like him? What does my paper say? What about my favorite columnist? My friends? Obviously one can't recheck every piece of knowledge leading up to Hayden, starting from 1+1...

Thinking over the the immigration issue I read Justin and Sean over at OWP, quoted to my friends and colleagues their summaries of summaries of summaries of a study or academic fact. Yes I'm saying the obvious, that one who isn't an expert must rely upon those he trusts, but I'm not sure this is good enough for me. One can never know something for oneself these days but I wouldn't mind being one or two degrees away - integrating data for myself - rather than the Kevin Bacon situation I find myself in these days.

Does anyone really know what the salient facts are about Hayden? Does anyone know what exactly we need at the CIA? Says who? It strikes me that the very committee that just recommended him maybe have little answer for these questions - and if they did, as David Brooks points out, did it even matter?

Three kinds of visual fun




a nose bleed that turned me into a french model.











Now for something serious. A test. Which of these two abstract paintings is more successful and why? I want concrete facts boys and girls. Votes and supporting evidence in comment section only please.

And now, ... a fire hydrant and a red-head that look alike.

You can also vote on which conceptual photograph is stronger, maybe that would be more fun.

E-85 E-85 Set Hut Hut

Clinton says less oil more ethanol. Nothing new, Bush said already. Dick Morris steal from Friedman. Use phrase "Manhattan project." Morgan no understand politicians. This idea encompass many problems of US. Why not make big big push, Clinton, say it is your mission. How can lose? "Manhattan project" very catchy. Morgan no understand phrase but read in comic books, sound cool. E-85 sound awesome too.

I guess Clinton no want Bush claim her idea. But he no say "Manhattan". Why not do joint thing with Friedman, scientists, use big poster say phrase. Bush no use poster. Say Bush no serious, no really mean.

Morgan wonder. Oil not just for car. Oil for many many. Does fix car oil make big deal? If oil my hand, how many fingers car oil?

embedding IS kick ass

but i sure as hell don't know how to do it.

Shu, I would love to come to to the show but no need, the bands come to me. I've lit three of those groups already this year (I think? Can't remember if I did Romance or if they had a guy. did the attack and the monkeys though).

Stizzle- Can't wait til you get here man. I like what you doing with your work. Cool subtext and cool results.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Because embedding is kickass




Just thought I'd put up a video showing the increasingly popular home-made making of music videos by cutting up anime and setting them to music. Enjoy.

Let's see if this works...




should be an embedded version of J-cox's vid. For real now.

Capoeira in the Lou

Check out a short video I just uploaded to youtube - it's a video I took in May of 2004 on the Loop in the Lou of some capoeira action. It's a cool video , but I mainly just wanted to start uploading to the newest viral app of the 'net.

Morg, how do you post it with a linked pic?

McCain "threading the needle"

Video displaying John McCain's stance on the Federal Marriage Amendment. Sorry, can't provide a pic this time - blogger.com acting up.

Justin over at OWP has questioned in the past where McCain really is on the political spectrum.

He's trying to get away with avoiding the issue although he seems to say he would support the amendment if he deemed it to be a federal responsibility rather than a state one. It's scary to see ol' Mav bullshitting but at least he's throwing feces at the right rather than the left.

Speaking of Vadges...

Justin writes an Op-Op-Ed over at the OWP explaining the issues with Koppel's proposed mercernary solution. Be patriotic: support your J-Lo and read his wonderful post. What kind of friend are you if you don't even glance at it? You disgust me.

Vadges?

Just so you guys didn't miss it you should read Ted Koppel's Op-Ed piece, "These Guns for Hire" (linked to my left) over at NYTimes.com. Need I remind you that I have already provided the necessary member ID and password on this blog?

"THERE is something terribly seductive about the notion of a mercenary army. Perhaps it is the inevitable response of a market economy to a host of seemingly intractable public policy and security problems...

"Just as the all-volunteer military relieved the government of much of the political pressure that had accompanied the draft, so a rent-a-force, harnessing the privilege of every putative warrior to hire himself out for more than he could ever make in the direct service of Uncle Sam, might relieve us of an array of current political pressures."

I mean, come on - Ted Koppel writing about mercenaries - need I say more?

For some reason this makes me want to read some F.A. Hayek.

Hate to post the mundane after the sublime, but I suppose someone has to do it. My brother Matt sent out a family email describing how the Chinese don't really think for themselves (He had just visited China).

My father in reply asked the question "who does?", which is a good question if you know my father...he was once convinced that the economy was going to collapse within a year and bought a gatling gun of sorts to ward off the hungry mobs that might come for our cows. Needless to say, he was impervious to our arguments that he might be taking things a bit far - the man really takes his own conclusions and runs with them.

Finally, my brother Ben emailed concerning Matt's statement and for some reason I really liked his take:

I once asked my thesis advisor in college about acertain professor I was thinking of doing graduate work with... his response was that Prof. Nakanishi was "arbitrary, but not unfair"

The distinction of a rule of law vs rule of the strongman is that one spends a lot time guessing someone else's reaction

The whole discussion reminded me of Shu talking about his students in Japan and their absolute unwillingness to hazard their own opinions (in a public setting, at least).

shubricoxkins





I decided to do four paintnings, each on one member of the unholy quadtich. My students were using national geographic covers as palettes. After they were done with them I would photograph them, edit out any visible words, have them blown up, put really elaborate frames around them and paint on top of them myself. My hope being to access some collective consciousness though misappropriating known images, filter them through the unconcious minds of my unsuspecting students, and try myself to tie it all together, with what I feel like was some pretty interesting results. Each one went in a completely different direction due to the requirements of the image, and marks already present. I was forced to work outside of my usual habits. Shubricoxkins had nothing to do with it actually, I just came across that listing in my old phonebook.

More Pictures, Please

Yo Shu - any chance we can add more pics to that slideshow thingamajg? Personally, i don't think we have enough pictures of Morgan in women's clothing. And the absence of the float-trip crucifixation of Shu is near criminal (not to mention Ben's post-mortem impersonation).

Colbert at the Correspondents' Dinner

Picture should take you to a video of the entire C-SPAN recording of the Correspondent's Dinner. I believe they've removed most clips available but this one has been ok'd by the network and so should remain active. Includes Bush's routine with his impersonator and also youth scholarships...guests entering at the beginning. About 50 minutes into the video you'll find Stephen Colbert's routine.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Can I get a what what?

Hey Jizzy Jay, if you find time and have a camera, I would love to have a couple of representative shots of your surroundings and any...uhhemm...interesting sights to be seen in the DC area.

Also I just want to say thank you to you guys for giving this whole community blog idea a shot. It's been something fulfilling for me but most importantly I hope other people are finding benefits in the whole venture - that is what it's all about. It's becoming clear that this place not only serves for me as a meeting place but also as a catalyst of further involvement with my friends in other areas. Getting into discussions about personal space, the role of friends in happiness, immigration and even personal development of teacher and student was more than I had even initially hoped for...I imagined simply a trading center for videos, articles and such - which this blog certainly serves as - but it's become more and that's great.

Rockin'

So I've probably told most of you about this, but my unending sadness forces me to proclaim it publicly. My friend is getting married on the 12th of august, for which I must go back to the states as I'm going to be a groomsman in the ceremony. However, there is a particular concert happening in Tokyo on the 12th and 13th, called Summer Sonic, which this forces me to miss. In regards to the concert, I'll repeat what one of my students said:

Hey!Aaron!
I checked SummerSonic06 site... It was FUCKIN' great!!
''Tool'' will come this year!!Hell yeah!!
Daft Punk, Massive Attack, Deftones, My Chemical Romance, Arctic Monkeys, Sotne Sour...
I decide to go to Summersonic!!

He ain't kiddin'. Man, I think one of you should come and watch this in my stead. or, better yet, you can go to the wedding for me and I can go to the concert. Oh yeah, just to add insult to injury, my tux rental for that wedding will be $155, which is about as much as a ticket. Bloody hell

I'll take lyin' about BJs any day

Copied from truthout.org:
Austin, Texas - Former President Bill Clinton said on Saturday global warming is a greater threat to the future than terrorism and that the United States and other countries must "get off our butts" and do something about it.
Clinton, speaking to the graduating class at University of Texas' Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, said the United States must pursue policies that make "more partners and fewer enemies" and use "institutionalized cooperation" before there is catastrophic damage from global warming.
"Climate change is more remote than terror but a more profound threat to the future of the children and the grandchildren and the great-grandchildren I hope all of you have," Clinton said.
"It's the only thing we face today that has the power to remove the preconditions of civilized society," he said.
"I am not one of those who is pessimistic about the future of the world, assuming we get off our butts and do something about climate change in a timely fashion."
During Clinton's administration, the global Kyoto Protocol to curb the release of greenhouse gases was created but the Bush administration has rejected it on grounds it will hurt the U.S. economy.
"I think we should be in the Kyoto climate change system," Clinton said. "We can't solve global warming or any other problem in the world you can mention that amounts to a hill of beans by ourselves."
The United States is considered the largest emitter of the "greenhouse gases" blamed for global warming. President George W. Bush has said that global warming may be occurring but its cause is not clear. Generally, it is believed that the burning of fossil fuels is the primary cause of climate change.

*******************************
Ya know, I agree that lying under oath is something a president should never do, but at least all that clinton lied about was staining a dress. I mean, Bush has pretty much self-admittedly broken the law. In fact, some estimate that the number of laws he claims authority to break number above 750. Yeah, I'll take a BJ-havin pres over that any day.

ok now im really here


So, Im an image kinda guy...so maybe ill do this that way. This is a good one, me holding up drawing that one of my students did of bottom half of my face in front of bottom half of my face. They did a pretty good job, I gave them an A+ but mainly for subject choice. Damn you guys have covered a lot of ground while ive been sleeping, I think im finally caught up now, didnt want to post until id read it all, kinda like walking into a movie halfway and voicing a really loud opinion that you find out to be totally wrong, 6331 huh? Its pretty interesting framework, and all the contributors are all the roster, no one else is invited? Anyway, I liked what justin had to say about home. When I got out of High School i couldnt wait to get away from Maryland. Now I find myself thinking there is no better place for me, although that is to do with # of friends, and not family. For me a move there takes me further away from almost all family members. What with high school buds kicking around, all you wash u peeps who are trying to take over my home turf, old acquaintances, lees best bud from high school, as well as just the overall central location, close to philli, ny, dc, and coastal inlet of the cheasapeake makes this kid pretty excited about Sorry Justin, Yale just didnt work out for me, although I think MICA (in Baltimore) had become my first choice even before I got the rejection letter from Yale. Hey you cant win them all. All in it is something about the familiar that I feel as comforting. Maybe I wont settle there but at least for a couple years it sounds really good to be with a fuckin crew again. Boston has been real but im ready for a change. I also liked Winklers posting about the people we meet. My current specialization has been becoming a fusion between the ghetto and the fine art world. This young man to my right is one of my most recent students. He is currently preparing to render this image in charcoal. Ive started a lot of them off with drawing of their hands, their choice of image and pose. Ive gotten a lot of gang signs, or other sybolic gestures. It is interesting that to them, it is just a fact of life, maybe they are even scared to create an image without a hard face on it, for fear of what their comtemporaries will think. I absolutely love these images and even find them to transcend their usual meaning by changing the context. The lighting, compostions, and care each one puts into creating their work places it distinctively outside of their environment-my influence. The subject remains inside. At times I almost feel as though my direction of them results in a conceptual piece of my own, like the artist John Baldassari who has other people execute paintings for him of his own conception which change meaning through those that execute them. Needless to say the whole experience has been eye-opening. A story I already told Morgan: After class one day I left the school where upon I saw one of my students who hadnt come for a while waiting at the bus stop. She pretended to ignore me, so I had to cross the street to engage conversation. Upon asking her when she was coming back she proclaims loudly so everyone waiting for the bus can hear, "You look like a god damn social worker" , stunned I pause, then say, "I am one". She answers, "yeah but not mine", to which I say, "Yes I am, Im your teacher". This is the same girl that tried to start a fight with another student in a class that comprised of 3 students while I was still on crutches. All of them arent this bad, actually most of them really respect me when they see me out on the street, but still, things like this happen pretty often that just open my eyes to this world. This image is of one of the grated windows in the art room in the Jeremiah Burke High School at which I teach. The sign was made of paper was up for about 2 weeks before being torn down. Ill try to comment on what some of you guys say in the future but i just thought I had to throw all this in there, hey you didnt invite an artist to talk about politics anyway now did you? Watched some of your colbert morg dog, put up the bush ones you were telling me about. And yes this last picture is a portait, done by one of my students, of me with a full beard, crying, wearing a polka-dotted tunic. Quite good, I gave it a B+.

Dustin O'Hern vs. Pitbull, 3.13 seconds


The Big Sleep

I love David Brooks over at the NYTimes. This guy is too smart or too good a writer, whichever you prefer, to be where he is today. You know if a opinion columnist sticks "soporificity" into a sentence his job may be getting him down. That is a word to wake his mind up, not ours. An excerpt, although you should read the full article over the banality of the Hayden hearings:

"In fact, in terms of sheer soporificity, they achieved a certain narcoleptic greatness. An interaction among human beings — whose hearts were presumably beating and whose brain waves were presumably functioning — so lacking in normal human arousal deserves a show of respect.

And for this reason, the hearings must be investigated, for their dullness derived from three catatonic streams. It was, to twist the metaphor of a recent book, a perfect calm."

My username password found toward the beginning of the blog.

bin Luther

Stephen Colbert interviewing Reza Aslan, author, over his book concerning the current "reformation" of sorts within Islam. Pretty young guy, smart, really up to the challenge of Colbert's interview. I highly recommend you watch - the kid does great.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

In defence of the best of the worst otra vez

You know looking back at it I realized I made this really dumb assumption that the top half of earners meant top half of earners in that state. Silly assumption, and it kind of negates my concerns if it's a national comparison.

Do you think mentary?

Docu-mentary that is. (I'll pause for your riotous laughter here). Anyways, just watched a documentary entitled "The Corporation" which is about the status of the corporation as a legal entity in our society. Pretty interesting stuff. I found it to be a bit overly dramatic, especially in the beginning, but there are still some very interesting points that they bring up. It's definitely a good look at the downfall of this all important element of modern capitalism. I think the best point is that corporations are set up to demand that the corporation always act in the best interest of their shareholders which means always choosing profit over conscience. Anyways, don't want to go into to much if you're going to watch it, but it's worth watching. Also, if you get a chance, you should definitely check out another documentary called "Why We Fight" which was procuded by the BBC and it about the military-industrial complex in the US. Really really good look at the relationship between money, guns, and the drive for war.

In defence of the best of the worst

Just wanted to respond to the question raised by Morg below. I thought the point should be raised that you have to discriminate between effects due to the individual versus their environment. Granted, the economy of Zacatecas isn't particularly impressive (though looking at the S&P rankings it appears that some positive things have been done recently in support of their ailing economy). However, to say that the top earners in this area are not desirable because of their environment is a bit misleading. Indeed, their environment is not without effect. But perhaps many of those best of the worst are merely waiting for a better opportunity to take advantage of their natural talents. You never know when a farmer may have a dream of owning a store or of becoming a professional in an environment where that's available. I agree that the most desirable immigrants would be those that are already professionals, but I think we should be careful about not dismissing a motivated person from an area where professional possibilities are severly limited. It may merely be the case that their environment has artificially limited their productivity and they're heading to the states to seek those opportunities. And hey, in the end, I'd rather have the best farmers than the worst farmers. I mean, not all oklahomans are worthless.

Quien esta? La repuesta de mis suenos!

Sean Strasburg over at OWP finally writes something I can somewhat understand (not a knock on his writing but on my ignorance), or at least that is what I'm hoping.

He talks about a study showing that the highest-earning Mexicans are the ones coming to the US and that those remaining are paid more because of the decreased supply leading to increased demand.

Anyways, the main idea that hit me was something I've always believed (because it makes sense) and always will believe - that the people who immigrate are going to be braver, tougher, more intelligent and, most importantly, more motivated on average than those who stay behind. A study showing that these immigrants were previously better earners than the average joe doesn't hurt my belief. An interesting side fact, though, was the kind of states within Mexico that were providing these immigrants: Zacatecas, Michoacan and Guanajuato were named. Central Mexico.

Central Mexico sounds good. Mexico city is right around all those states. After doing some research on these states though I've wound up with more questions than answers. Zacatecas, from my very narrow readings, is primarily agricultural (no suprise I guess, doctors ain't coming to the US to pick fruits), has horrible social services and is way behind the national average in terms of economic growth. I need to do more research to confirm these things and to even know if they are relevant. But it sounds like a backwards shithole. It's like saying "we here at Yale have the absolute cream of the crop from Oklahoma. Kids can build 400 yards of fence in two days and have completely reloaded our football team's offensive line."

But high earners from crappy Mexican states doesn't ring my bell. I'm a misreading it? Do citizens of states surrounding Mexico city leave the campo to work in the city and so maybe their productive capabilities aren't really seen within their own state? Zacatecas had a huge earthquake in the recent past. Was everything hunky dory until that point, past which the state has been recovering? It would just be good to know the details before I used this information to berate Oklahomans for not wholeheartedly supporting immigrants.

S&P rates Michoacan
S&P rates Zacatecas
S&P rates Guanajuato

From what I can tell Micho and Guan are growing just fine. But all are well below the average per capita GSP. Correct me if I'm wrong. Another question: does the fact that we may be getting the best of the worst even matter? Can we say that the high earners of this state, just because they have less natural resources or whatever, can we say that the condition of their environment reflects on them?

Great Big 6

In the course of my day I generally run into some pretty eccentric people. Crazy englishman who run across thin and dangerously high places, Female musicians with really hot, really stupid boy toys, and cats who can do lighting AND sound (we'll see if anone gets that).

Yesterday was special. Yesterday was The Great Big International Drag Queen or, as the men themselves refer to it, Great Big 6.

When Liz and I were together I learned and got pretty used to the whole gender pronoun thing in reference to transgender folks. As best I know, since it's a difficult thing to ascertain from subtext, it's polite to just ask. But man if that shit wasn't difficult. On a large scale. Ken looks more woman than man, but is a he. Tina is half pre-op half post-op and is a he. Ad Infinitum.

Highlight: For the first number, we flew Ken in from the rafters and I was on the spotlight. Next to me on the spot platform was this kindly older woman who reminded me a great deal of my mother. Just before showtime she changed in public and then added her mustache and goatee.

On the whole, an eye-opening and pleasant evening.

*

Funny animation very subtlely added by SI.com to the image to commemorate Bonds pulling up with the Babe. Don't know if you can see it on this image but Babe shakes his head...whether in disbelief or disappointment, I'm not sure. OK, just checked - click on this image to see the head wag.

O'Reilly fails to get in Cam's cerebellum, tell 'em:

Cam'ron, the rapper, and Damon Dash, producer, on the O'Reilly Factor discussing the effect of hip-hop on school age children with a high school principal. Not something you'll see everyday. The two hip-hop entrepreneurs do a bit of rationalizing but certainly have a grip on the issue.

And then the clouds parted, as Friedman looked beneficently down up his flock.

Couple of things:

The 2005 Toyota Prius, a hybrid, originally sold for around 21,000 (sticker price). It now can be sold by it's owner for about 25,000 dollars. Even if the car has tens of thousands of miles on the odometer. Apparently Toyota dealers usually stick a few thousand onto the sticker price, making it a profitless deal in most cases - but hey, you just drove a free car for two years that gets the best gas mileage in town.

Also I saw O'Reilly interviewing a conservative commentator (I believe) who called for a "Manhattan Project on alternative fuels". Bill's face went a little flat during this section as the commentator verbatim repeated the comprehensive philosophy of Thomas Friedman (which I'm sure O'Reilly is familiar with). I mean - don't underestimate the word "comprehensive" here, it was that crazy. It has reached that funny point, I believe, where conservatives are starting to see the benefit of a whole lot of liberal policies. The dreamer awakes. Not that I don't appreciate the gist and inspiration for the conservative movement...but this closedmindedness is what has destroyed the majority party these past years.

OK I just found out the interviewee was Dick Morris so scratch all that. Still, that is interesting in itself....hmm....more later.

Friday, May 19, 2006

What you know about Ghouls and Ghosts?!

The picture should take you (Aaron Shumaker) to a Super Nintendo midi vault, S-Z section, so you can hit up those Ice Forests jams. Bizzam! Steele has got to get on this shit. I don't remember J getting very involved. He was probably too busy making the weaker argument the stronger.

For Saba

I found this picture of a really hot guy in tights and thought you might like it. That hairy chest is really gross - hopefully he can do something about that. And don't you think his stance suggests he just won a carrot in his ass rather than a wrestling match?

Whither B-ry?

The title says it all.

I wanna hear what Bru-Bru has been up to. Get his ass in here.

Go Cavs

You guys better be keeping up with the playoffs right now.

Let's Build A Fort

Over at the OWP Justin talks about the instinct of boys/men for personal spaces.

I didn't read the NYTimes article but it's not really necessary - know exactly what is being talked about. My own take is a little different, though. There has always been a primitive obsession for me to form my own environment, but I think it has usually involved creating my own communites rather than personal areas.

Fort building, man, that was...no one even had to suggest that concept to a young boy. You just knew that it was the right thing to do. As Justin writes, it wasn't good enough to have a controlled space, you needed a very closed in place. Obviously we've all set up the cushions from a number of couches into a series of tunnels and rooms. For me, it was a social instinct. I liked to be alone, but those urges came along more when friends stayed over.

This blog could be considered an example of a enclosed, isolated community...at least in the intention. 6331 had that aesthetic as we were cut off from the main WashU community to a degree and actually almost all other WashU students. Justin organized 517 like some sort of utopian community, our own nerdy enclave. I felt it had less mystique (as my naming of this blog reveals) however because of it's lack of isolation. One felt more impinged upon. Maybe this was due to our female friends joining in the whole venture.

Whenever you play videogames, of course it's relieving to transition from say, battling, to a safe zone. But sometimes I remember thinking it was a little too comforting, you know. I just wanted to fool around in the Sky level all day when Shu and I were playing that one RPG game. Can't remember the name.

Well I suppose I'm generalizing above and beyond Justin's discussion. But I definitely see the need for male spaces. It's just not the same when our beautiful girlfriends are around too. Talking to you guys on the phone we've discussed the impossible idea of living right around each other in our own community. Certainly when I envision the whole thing it isn't Shu being five minutes away and J-Lo in the suburb on the other side of the city. It's across the street, over the fence...through the yard.

This was all something I asked my older brother about. My father had acquired this sadness and lack of feeling - deadness that for some reason I recognized as loneliness, though he never said as much. And it became a conscious goal: I have to stay around my friends or else what will my life be? When spending time with Saba, Shu, etc. the constant (pointless) drive to create meaning or any kind of stimulation whatsoever is partly fulfilled. But you can't fill that piece with other things. I asked my brother if when I got older I would miss my friends and did he keep in touch with his. He said he did keep in touch with his. But just the way he kind of stared off...he was probably bored but I felt like he maybe had missed the boat and was thinking over this aspect of his life.

Democratic Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon

I loved this quote from him explaining his annoyance with lack of disclosure about NSA programs: "My line is: What do I know? I'm only on the Intelligence Committee." It has to be so frustrating to be a congressman right now trying to deal with the Bush White House. Even when it's your job to provide oversight of US intelligence for the legislative branch, Bush makes your job pointless.

What kind of mentality is that? We're fighting a common enemy but I think you're just a silly representative of the people who doesn't know what I know and if you did you would probably just abuse it or misunderstand it. Must be infuriating.

The finer things...




Not that I saw the final boss, but I heard he was amazing.... fuckers....

Nachooooooooooooo

Actually this isn't about Nacho Libre. But it does have Luchadores.

Video for "The Mask" by Danger Doom featuring Ghostface Killah. They steal clips from some old show or movie where these two luchadors walk around and have dinner and chill out with crazy hot ladies without ever taking off their mask. They also attempt to match, to the best of their abilities, the rapping and lip movement in the video - with little success. Little suprise there, considering that to even want to do something like this you would have to be stoned out of your gord.

Not that I nor anyone else associated with this blog would know anything about that...or watching a muted church channel overlayed by gangster rap. But I've heard stories.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Best served cold

This is actually a forward I got from a highschool friend of mine:

You got to love this guy... This is a true story about arecent wedding that took place at Clemson University.It was in the local newspaper and even Jay Lenomentioned it. It was a huge wedding with about 300 guests. After the wedding, at the reception, the groom got up onstage with a microphone to talk to the crowd. He said he wanted to thank everyone for coming, manyfrom long distances, to support them at their wedding. He especially wanted to thank the bride's and his familyand to thank his new father-in-law for providing such a lavishreception. As a token of his deep appreciation he said he wanted togive everyone a special gift just from him.S o taped to the bottom of everyone's chair, includingthe wedding party was an envelope. He said this was his gift to everyone, and asked them to open their envelope. Inside each manila envelope was an 8x10 glossy of his bride having sex with the best man. The groom had gotten suspicious of them weeks earlier and had hired a private detective to tail them. After just standing there, just watching the guests'reactions for a couple of minutes, he turned to the best man and said,"F--- you!" Then he turned to his bride and said, "F--- you!" Then he turned to the dumbfounded crowd and said, "I'm outta here." He had the marriage annulled first thing in the morning.While most people would have canceled the wedding immediately after finding out about the affair, this guy goes through with the charade, as if nothing were wrong.His revenge--making the bride's parents pay over $32,000for a 300 guest wedding and reception, and best of all, trashing the bride's and best man's reputations in front of 300 friends and family members. This guy has balls the size of church bells.

The (Un)Making of Man: The Morgan Taylor Story

Just wanted to give you a heads up that our boy Morg stars in the latest post over at the Opinion Work Product (and I like getting the extra hits at our site).

Also Morg, bee-tee-dubs, I added a hit counter to 6331. It's at the very bottom of the page. Click on it and you can see daily, weekly, monthly hits, locations, referring urls, all kinds of cool shit.

AB is to A as A is to B

I am absolutely crazy about S. Pellegrino, the carbonated mineral water from Italy. Walmart sells that shit in Oklahoma! For a $1.42! I usually buy their whole stock and roll up like a pimp to the counter.

The goal is purity, though, so I try to mix it with something preservative free (them shits give you cancer, dog). Knudsen's "Just Cranberry", the harsh cranberry concentrate (that you can't get at Walmart) works well in a certain ratio. Speaking of Just Cranberry my roommate and I chugged a whole bottle and taped ourselves retching afterwards. Don't know what the deal was but I felt the effects for a couple of days.

Always wanted to do the water thing but just found water too damn boring. But the fizz and the strangely clean looking, green Pellegrino bottle just pulls you in. It's artistic. It's like a monolith to my ape hands. Shit is crazy awesome. I got so into at first that I had to be drinking about 3000 ml a day - pissed all the time. Which is actually not unhealthy but 2000-2500 is probably enough to really lower your probability of bladder cancer (that whole 8x8 thing is an unsubstantiated myth, you could drink 1500 and be fine).

Haditha

Video interview linked to this picture of a little girl displaying her shrapnel wounds. Apparently U.S. Marines massacred her family and another in retaliation for a IED that killed a soldier near her house. In the video she recounts the attack. She stayed hidden well enough to evade them.

I've heard multiple places that the Army has changed it's story from "family was killed by shrapnel" (whatever that means) to "family was caught in firefight". I guess another video taken directly after the attack (some of it shown within this piece) made those stories hard to sell. The whole thing was broke by Time magazine in March, after which the Army began an investigation. But I guess a congressman (Murtha) commented today that it was much worse than previously thought. 30 civilians shot rather than 15. A Marine spokesman shed doubt on this claim...

But who trusts authority anymore? I can't believe Time ran something on this and it never really made headlines (or did it? I don't remember the story). Too many bad things happening, I suppose.

Lee Farrow of Brookline, MA suggests...

Inspirational Comedian Judson Laipply: The Evolution of Dance, linked to my lizzeft.

Justin, she believes you would benefit the most from this video.

Money, Money, Money...Money!

"The Fever for Exotic Stocks" at NYTimes.com. My brother is a hedgefunder but I don't know how exotic he gets (but I'll ask). He did mention a couple of weeks ago that he's running a more balanced game because things are starting to look pretty iffy (I guess everyone is on that bandwagon now). What balanced meant I've little idea (I don't think he meant risky vs. non-risky). He seemed to suggest he'd make just as much money with the market in free-fall as he would in the opposite case. Doesn't make any sense to me. J, any ideas? I guess you'd need a little more info.

OK I'm done now

I apologize to anyone who found the previous discussion really obvious and self-evident. That is how it appears to me now. The real question is what is meant by "autistic thinking"? What is the underlying neurological reality. I'll post on that in the future.

Also, Shu, I love what you've done. Thanks for hooking up the satellite image - I think the size is perfect. My only critical input is on the slideshow, which may make things a little too busy at the top. Just my personal opinion. And the 6331 is fucking money, dude. Has like a ninja aesthetic to it. Though I'm sure Justin "Mr. Stuffy Pants" Cox will disapprove.

Selective Advantages Part Deux

Read the previous post first! So while glancing over this article I found this random link to an article about mild autism in which Vernon Smith talks about having Asperger's syndrome. This interested me for two reasons: 1) my nephew is autistic and the rest of my family has a similar autistic theme (focused single-mindedness, paucity of emotion and trouble recognizing others' perspectives) and 2) this guy seems to be giving the personal opinion that the mild forms of autism give selective advantages.

Thinking back, I always believed this but never really dwelled upon it. Maybe it's not true. But it's fun to grossly oversimplify the whole thing into, like, a sickle cell framework. Heterozygotes, like myself and my brothers, get to be wonderful test takers and thrive in today's environment while a portion of our offspring, if we choose another slightly autistic mate, suffer the consequences of an extreme mind.

Smith: “I can switch out and go into a concentrated mode and the world is completely shut out,” he said in a recent interview. “If I'm writing something, nothing else exists...Perhaps even more importantly, I don't have any trouble thinking outside the box,” he said. “I don't feel any social pressure to do things the way other people are doing them, professionally. And so I have been more open to different ways of looking at a lot of the problems in economics."

Selective Advantages Part 1

While checking out the scene over at Justin's blog, I got interested in a post by his co-contributor, Sean Strasburg. For those of you don't know, Saba and Sean totally GOT...IT...ON!

No they didn't.

Well, ok, yeah they didn't really but I know this guy who knew this other guy and he said...

Anyways the post links to an open letter for Pres. Bush that has been signed by prominent economists and represents the "economic consensus" on immigration. (In an unrelated thought, I love how liberals push the economics of immigration but somehow try to argue against outsourcing. Get it together guys!)

The whole thing blew my mind - experts in their field have blogs and use them professionally?! The letter pretty much said what you would expect: a process that has been beneficial for over 200 years will suprisingly remain so. To confirm the prominence of the listed experts I wikied one, Vernon Smith, because I am ignorant, and found him to be a nobel laureate. You know what, I'll continue this on another post.

For Ben Allen, wherever I may find him

So was in Matsumoto, the bigger city near my small town, teaching an english conversation class when these two foreigner guys walked it. Apparently one of the students had met them and had invited them to watch. They were normal, white, slightly dorky looking guys in a nice white t-shirt and tie. Now besides the shirt and tie, i suppose that could describe me, but there was something about them. A presence I haven't felt since........that's right, freshman year. It'd been a while since I'd met some good ol' latter day saints preachers and I couldn't help but reminisce about sweet sweet benjamin franklin allen. I thought about how far away he is and I thought, "Shiz!" Then I went and played counterstrike on my roommates computer for about 6 hours straight.
Seriously though, even though I know that they're here to prosyletize, they never did it in my class or to me. In fact, I've never actually heard a mormon giving any sort of real religious speech. Not really sure how they manage to recruite people. Maybe the just win 'em over by marrying them.

I have the power

Sweet! Not sure why it wouldn't let me do it before but I managed to get in and change the template a bit. Also changed the title like you were asking about, Morg. You like? I can always change it back if you'd like (or if anyone else would like).

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Longitude -89.52568, Latitude 37.21937

Well...

I actually already gave administrative privileges out to everyone. Except Saba. I find her combination of intelligence and opposing gender to be threatening.

In all seriousness, though, you and Shu have had administrator status for about two days. And anyone else who wants it can let me know.

Except Saba.

A little power sharing?

Yo Morg,

A few of us were kinda...ya know....thinking and stuff...and we were wondering if maybe, if you wanted to and stuff....maybe you could give us administrative access, too? I mean, if you want this to be your thing, that's all good, but, ya know....we could help out and stuff. Add some links, Shu could put that graphic up top like you want....maybe put in a concession stand in the back...a turnstile...ya know, little things. Cosmetic things. Nothing major. And of course, if you want, you can retain veto power.

Just a thought.

Ya know.

The Aristocrats

I'm not going to give a review or anything, but if you haven't seen it, you should. I've heard people complain that it's not that funny. Half true - it's not supposed to be laugh out loud, more of a meditation on...I don't know...the structure of comedy, it's boundaries. Anyways, blah blah blah here is South Park's version of the famous joke, which I thought was one of the funnier and more relevant. Sarah Silverman was a highlight, too, as Saba rightly pointed out.

Shadiness

I guess this is old news, but I read this interview with this ABC news reporter, Brian Ross, who found out from his sources that the government was using a Patriot Act provision to track his cell phone calls and...anyways he explains the issue:

"And they do this, they say, legally. What that means is they use a provision in the Patriot Act -- which is designed to go after terrorists, but they're using it to go after reporters -- what they call a National Security Letter. Essentially, it's a letter an F.B.I. agent writes, takes it to a phone company -- or anywhere, really -- but takes it to a phone company, and the phone company is then required under the provisions of the Patriot Act to turn over the information, and also a phone company is required not divulge to the customer, me or anybody else, that the records have been sought by the government."

I haven't heard about this on NYTimes or anything, so maybe it's bullshit. First heard about this on the Colbert Report, oddly enough.

me too

everybody needs a winkler.
im here

Conservative Commentary


Colbert patriotically attacking Iranian President Ahmadinejad and his crew of flunkies, the Democratic Party.

Haiku fun

International Politics class (with Prof Sobel) freshman year was terrible, except for the fact that I got to know that scary Muslim girl on our floor, Saba.

The main source of our entertainment that semester, of course, was to write haikus during Sobel's ramblings. Sabs just found some of our haikus and emailed them to me. They aren't great as poetry, but they are funny. A sampling of hers:

Sobel - he is hot
But he has smarts, I do not.
Will he marry me?

Justin is jealous
I have good sense of humor
He wishes he did.

The next two, the first Saba’s and the second mine, are in reference to me shaving my goatee for the first time all year:

Justin's hair grows fast
Could be rumor, but is not
He'll be ZZ Top.

The hair on my face
Growing too fast for my blade
Stuck with hairy grin.

By the way, these were also posted over at my other blog.

Ninjas and politics

New post at askaninja.com about net neutrality. I think he does a pretty good job explaining it on his own, but just in case you need more info about it, I recommend checking out this. Basically, net neutrality is the idea that your internet service provider cannot do anything to control the sites you have acces to. This is actually becoming a pretty important issue as many companies are trying to broker big-money deals with ISPs in order to assure their sites are more accessable than their competitors. Sorry to get all political and shit, but I think it's a pretty important thing.

Thug Out

If anyone would like access to TimesSelect on NYTimes.com (Opinion, staff blogs, etc.) you can use my account.

Member ID: morgdog
Password: hamlet52

Japictures



Why hello my western hemispheric friends. Hope all is well in the land of bread and honey (and oil and deep-fat frying) Thought I'd post links to some pics I've taken here recently. Here are some various pics including some from a day when my kiddies were cooking outside. And if you want to see some lovely scenery and nature pics, please check out the pretty flowers. And keep in mind, it's totally not gay to take pictures of flowers. Haha! Stewie 1, bryan 0.