Get Smart's Discordian connection

Recently I was talking with our good friend Carl Schwartzman when the recent death of Don Adams, who of course played Maxwell "Agent 86" Smart in Get Smart, came up. Carl mentioned that since Adams's death, the number 86 kept popping up for him.

Of course any numerological topic brings to my mind the the Law Of Fives. And I quickly realized that 8 + 6 = 14, and 1 + 4 = 5. Law of Fives, front and center. What else would you expect from a show where the heroes are trying to fight "KAOS", but often end up making more trouble than their opponents? No question, Max was a Knight Of The Five-Sided Temple.

Christians who know "all about the apocalypse but not the Beatitudes"

Tim Kreider, of The Pain - When Will it End?, gives the best description I've ever heard of the problem with most of the religious right in his artist's statement for last week's strip, in which he says of George W. Bush, "He was a mean drunk who got arrested for driving under the influence and threatened to beat up his father, and he was born again as a mean Christian who knew all about the apocalypse but not the Beatitudes."

Next time some hate-monger claims to be a Christian, quiz 'em on it; ask them to recite the Beatitudes, the heart of the teachings of Jeshua ben Joseph. (I can't, but then I don't claim to be a Christian.)

The best we can hope for in Iraq

Something I posted to a Slashdot thread today (material in italics is from the post I'm replying to), addressing a common pro-war attitude:

As a side benefit, the people of Iraq have a chance at self-rule

Well, the 100,000+ dead don't have any chance at self rule, no...and those left have more chance of falling into civil war that, at best, ends up in a theocracy, than of ending up with a stable democracy.

After the way the neocons have fucked things up over there, the very very best we can hope for over there is that in 50 years or so, after a few hundred thousand more people have been killed in the fighting, things will be as nice and stable in Iraq as they are in Northern Ireland now.

Will current oil crunch push us to renewables, or to other oil sources?

Since gasoline hit $3 a gallon, suddenly words like "biodiesel" are being heard a lot more often. Maybe this oil crunch could provide impetus to finally get us moving toward renewable energy.

Or maybe not. Other terms coming up recently are coal-to-oil and shale, different ways to extract and use fossil fuels that might become economically viable if oil prices remain high.

Honda designs canine-friendly car

Honda's W.O.W. concept car has built-in dog crates, washable roll-out flooring, and wide sliding doors. The article notes that in Japan, demand is growing for cars that cater to dogs and their people.

I noticed during my first visit (I'm going to get to go back in a few weeks) that Japan seemed a dog-friendly country, it seemed more common for people to have their dogs out with them in Kobe than in Baltimore. Also more older dogs, it seems they rarely put dogs down just because they get old.

Armed dolphins let loose by Katrina?

The Guardian reports - and they don't seem to be making this up - that three dozen armed dolphins may have been set loose in the Gulf of Mexico when their compound, believed to be near Lake Pontchartrain, was breached by Hurricane Katrina.

Experts familiar with the U.S. navy's program believe that the military trained the dolphins to shoot underwater terrorists with dart guns. The Navy has refused to confirm that any of its cetacean agents are AWOL.

If Brooklyn gets "Oy Vey", why can't we have "Hon"?

Thanks to Brooklyn borough president Marty Markowitz, motorists leaving Brooklyn via the Williamsburg Bridge into Manhattan now see a sign proclaiming "Leaving Brooklyn Oy vey!".

I like it. But if Brooklyn can have "Oy Vey", why can't we have "Welcome to Baltimore, Hon" on the BW Parkway?

sold the house, hurray, hurray!

Well my friends, after far too many months of stress and financial wrangling, I'm happy to say that yesterday we closed on the sale of my late grandfather's house.

It's not only a financial windfall that (partly, at least) offsets the losses of my dad's extended unemployment and health problems, but it finally lets us get some emotional resolution about my grandfather's death, and about the shoddy and shameful treatment his second wife gave us. I found myself feeling about ten pounds lighter today, actually whistling singing as I was grocery shopping..."Sarge" was something of a whistler, I remember him  whistling little tunes when he would take my brother and I for after-dinner walks around the neighborhood when we were boys.

Mother Nature

This story was pointed out to me by our good friend Mike Gurklis, who notes, "There's nothing better than things that are both beautiful and strange."

Indeed. You really need to follow the link and see the photos on this one!

NAIROBI (AFP) - A baby hippopotamus that survived the tsunami waves on the Kenyan coast has formed a strong bond with a giant male century-old tortoise, in an animal facility in the port city of Mombassa, officials said.

...

"After it was swept and lost its mother, the hippo was traumatized. It had to look for something to be a surrogate mother. Fortunately, it landed on the tortoise and established a strong bond. They swim, eat and sleep together," the ecologist added.

bizarre comics and Orwellian misconceptions

I'm just enough of a comics fan to get some laughs from the bizarre covers and outrageous outtakes at Superdickery.com. In their discussion of propaganda in comics, they linked to a contemporary bizarre right-wing comic:

It is the year 2021, tomorrow is the 20th anniversary of 9/11. It is up to an underground group of bio-mechanically enhanced conservatives led by Sean Hannity, G. Gordon Liddy and Oliver North to thwart Ambassador Usama Bin Laden's plans to nuke New York City ...And wake the world from an Orwellian nightmare of United Nations-dominated ultra-liberalism.

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