xkcd on how to be a tech support guru. Seems about right.
res ipsa loquitur
In this Bill Maher interview, Jeff Sharlet discusses "The Family", a cult that perverts Christianity into a "might makes right" philosophy, and whose members consider themselves the new "chosen ones" -- and include many conservative members of Congress. I especially like their comparison of themselves to the Mafia, and the quote about how "morality is for the little people".
xkcd on the history of calculus. When I was in high school, my physics teacher and my calculus teacher had a bit of rivalry over who really invented calculus...
From March 23 2009: in a promotional stunt for a Belgian reality-TV program "In Search of Maria" "The Sound of Music", more than 200 dancers (with just two rehearsals!) put on this number from "The Sound of Music", in the Central Station of Antwerp. It's staged of course(!), but the passengers weren't in on it. Some discussion here.
I missed this lovely bit of dialog between Glenn Beck and Craig T. Nelson back in May, but it just came up on The Daily Show.
It's just so perfectly illustrative of the same sort of mindset that has 39% of Americans agreeing that the government should "stay out of Medicare".
For readers outside the U.S., or for fatally ignorant Americans, I should note that Medicare is a government program to provide medical care to senior citizens and the disabled. I'm guessing there's a large overlap between these folks, and the astounding 24% of Americans who think that Obama wasn't born in the U.S. -- including 6% who think he was born in Hawaii but that Hawaii is not a state. (I'd also bet that almost every one of these folks is in the 50% of Americans who think that a woman should be legally required to take her husband's last name after marriage. Remember folks, when you're dealing with a bell curve like intelligence, half the people are going to be below average...)
Anyway, in this gem Nelson says he's not going to pay taxes anymore because the government is cutting funding for important things like education and fire fighters. And he goes on to say, "What happened to society? I go into business, I don't make it, I go bankrupt. I've been on food stamps and welfare, did anybody help me out? No. No." (Again, for readers outside the U.S., or for fatally ignorant Americans, welfare and food stamps are tax-funded government programs that help people like Craig T. Nelson out when they fall on hard times.)
ExxonMobil's 2008 profits, according to Fortune magazine: $40.6 billion dollars. That's profit, mind you, not total revenue; that was a bit under $373 billion.
2010 budget for the entire EPA: $10.5 billion.
I.e., if the EPA devoted itself entirely to policing this one oil company, ExxonMobil could outspend it three to one and still remain profitable.
Res ipsa loquitor.
Girl Scouts learning about labyrinths, world peace, global warming, yoga, avatars, incense, Zen gardens, and feminism
Haven't been a big fan of Scouting, not since I dropped out of the Cub Scouts...though as I've learned a bit about the history of Seton and the original Scouting movement, and it's possible connection to the Pagan revival, my opinion has improved.
But now that I've learned from WorldNetDaily that the Girl Scouts are
learning about stone labyrinths, world peace, global warming, yoga, avatars, smudging incense, Zen gardens and feminist, communist and lesbian role models.
In "Amaze: The Twists and Turns of Getting Along," girls from the sixth to the eighth grade will read a quote from Buddha and be encouraged to explore mazes and stone or dirt labyrinths – symbols rooted in pagan mythology and popular within the New Age movement as meditation tools.
They will be briefly introduced to Polish poet Anna Swir, known for her feminist and erotic poems, and Jane Addams, an ardent feminist and pacifist who received a Nobel Peace Prize.
The text features a quote from Harriet Woods, former president of the National Women's Political Caucus – a bipartisan group that endorses pro-abortion female candidates who run for public office.
To cope with bullying, girls as young as 11 are encouraged to "take a peace break," make a Zen garden, take martial arts, do yoga and visit a website to learn the sun salutation poses.
The book features a strong emphasis on feminism and world peace, concluding with the following message:
Life is a maze. Navigate its twists and turns and you'll find true friendships, meaningful relationships, and lots of confidence to boot. So, go ahead, enter the maze. The goal is peace – for you, your world, and the planet, too.
Many of the female role models mentioned are feminists, lesbians, existentialists, communists and Marxists.
All I can say is, go Girl Scouts!
Emacs-users like to stay in their own little world, even when interacting with the Others - and they are right of course. Why leave the comforts of your well-configured emacs for the inconveniences of yet another app? For example, when using twitter, I prefer to do that from within emacs. There are different ways and packages to do so. My favorite so far is twitter.el.
Coming to AMC this fall: a revamp of The Prisoner.
And to make it sweeter, full eps of the original mind-blowing series can be viewed on AMC's website.
Be seeing you.