Saturday, July 14, 2007

Stuff that gets stuck in my head

A few days ago I had an old Sesame Street cartoon running through my head. It was about this kitten who was knittin' a kerchief, a kite, and a polka-dot mitten. The voiceover guy asked, "May I ask, Miss Kitten, why are you knittin' a kerchief, a kite, and a polka-dot mitten?" Miss Kitten responded, "Meow, yes, you may ask." So voiceover guy repeats in an exasperated voice, "Very well then, Miss Kitten, why are you..."

She finally responds, "Because it's Thursday."

I wanted to find the exact words to the sketch, because, well, sometimes I get obsessive about such things. And I usually find that someone else out there has gotten even *more* obsessive about the same topic, and there's a wiki.

Turns out that there is indeed a wiki where people have described, in excruciating detail, episodes of Sesame Street. Not so obsessive as to write out all the words to the kitten segment, but pretty darn detailed.

By the way, you've got to check out the story arc in this particular episode. As a child, somehow I was oblivious to the almost crippling obsessive-compulsive symtpoms that the Count so clearly displayed.

Haloscan comment thread

Friday, July 13, 2007

Bill Moyers discusses impeachment

Hat tip to Booman for alerting me that Bill Moyers will be discussing impeachment tonight. In the clip embedded here, Bruce Fein, a conservative who wrote the articles of impeachment against Bill Clinton, states that what Bush's crimes are even more worrisome than Clinton's were. Also on the program is John Nichols, author of The Genius of Impeachment: The Founders' Cure for Royalism.

Haloscan comment thread

Okinawa's Friday the 13th

From listener

Typhoon Man-Yi wallops Okinawa
by Jeff Masters

(scroll down a bit)
In the Pacific, Typhoon Man-Yi battered Japan's Okinawa Island this morning, striking as a super typhoon with 155 mph winds.


Naha, Okinawa recorded sustained winds of 76 mph with gusts to 105 mph (Figure 1), and a pressure of 939 mb. This was very close the minimum pressure estimated by satellite, 937 mb. Media reports indicate substantial damage occurred on Okinawa, and over 100,000 people lost power. Twelve crew members of a Chinese ship were missing after the vessel sank some 600 km northwest of Guam in strong winds and high seas. Man-Yi is expected to make landfall on the Japanese island of Kyushu Saturday. However, the storm should weaken to a Category 1 storm by landfall, as wind shear from an approaching trough of low pressure has already reached 20 knots on the west side of the storm, and is expected to increase further.


More Images at:

Haloscan comment thread

Thursday, July 12, 2007

The Foot Stomper in Chief Speaks

From Press Esc: I run the war, Congress only funds it - Bush

US President George W. Bush today reiterated his stand that he has the sole authority to run the war and the only job for the Congress is to fund it, after it emerged that the Iraqi government had failed half of the 18 benchmarks contained in the Iraq Accountability Appropriations Act.

"I don't think Congress ought to be running the war," Bush said at a press briefing. "I think they ought to be funding our troops."

"Congress has all the right in the world to fund. That's their main involvement in this war, which is to provide funds for our troops," he re-emphasised.
"I will repeat, as the Commander-in-Chief of a great military who has supported this military and will continue to support this military, not only with my -- with insisting that we get resources to them, but with -- by respecting the command structure, I'm going to wait for David to come back -- David Petraeus to come back and give us the report on what he sees," he said.

Bush used the term "Commander-in-Chief" seven times to refer to himself during the briefing.

He said he will disregard US citizens view on Iraq on the grounds that the troops do not want "their Commander-in-Chief making decisions based upon popularity."

That man is going to have to learn some humililty. Or have it thrust upon him.

Haloscan comment thread

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Science vs. Silly Walks

This link popped up in my Gmail:

'Silly Walks' Dissed by Mathematicians

I decided this was simply too silly NOT to share...

Scientists have explained mathematically why the famous "silly walks" of Monty Python's John Cleese have never caught on in the long history of Homo sapiens.

The giant, leg-twirling strides of silly walks may enable a person to leap around swiftly but are simply too expensive in metabolic energy compared to conventional locomotion, according to a paper published on Wednesday by Britain's Royal Society.
Click here for more.

Or visit the Silly Walk Generator here.

I read the rest of the article, by the way, and it describes recent research into human locomotion, which illustrates that the typical models of human walking and running are the most energy efficient.

Duh. So they tricked me into reading about a fairly dull and pointless sounding study with a cheap reference to Monty Python. I'm just too easy sometimes. But I thought this would be a fun diversion in the middle of the week.

Haloscan comment thread

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Science Open Thread

Well, as usual you can talk about whatever you like, but I've got science links for you, so I'm calling it a "science open thread".

As I mentioned in the previous thread, I'm watching part of a DVD of Rough Science with Son in Ohio. It's the one where they are in Death Valley doing simulated space challenges.

I don't know if I've shared this link here before, but I learned about it from someone on my last project (where we were scoring science tests).

The Radioactive Boy Scout

Honestly, there was a Boy Scout merit badge in atomic energy back in 1991? And that seemed like a good idea to someone?

Haloscan comment thread

Shameless Plug Thread

We've been meaning to do a major overhaul of our Cafe Press store for some time, in order to reflect the evolution from a mostly political focus to a wider range of designs. There's still a bit of tweaking to do, but here's what we've got so far.

Brainchild Designs: Bumper stickers, t-shirts, etc.

And now I need a break from all that productive work, so I'm going to take Daughter in Ohio out of the house for a bit. Not sure exactly where, but somewhere air-conditioned.

I wrote a new post last night, but it seemed to fit better at my Religious Left Blog than here, but you can read it there if you're interested.

Keep cool, everybody.

Haloscan comment thread

Monday, July 09, 2007

Net Neutrality Action Item

This arrived in my inbox from Free the Internet, and I thought it was worth sharing--Renee

Dear Media Reformer,

Save the Internet: Click here

Watch and Rate Our New Video

We have only five days left to defend a free and open Internet at the FCC. The agency needs to hear from you about Net Neutrality -- the principle that stops AT&T, Verizon and Comcast from controlling where you can go online.

Thousands of people have already told their stories (see below) urging the FCC to protect Net Neutrality. Now it's your turn:

Tell the FCC to Save the Internet

You need to act now before the FCC closes its comment period. If we flood them with comments in support of Net Neutrality, the FCC will be pressed to stand up to the giant phone and cable companies that seek to undermine free choice on the Web.

At, you can read stories from others, view photographs, and join the fight to make the Internet affordable, open and accessible to everyone. You can even create your own personal comment page to share with others. Go there now to see our new video:

Watch Our New Video and Save the Internet

This may be the best chance we have this year to demonstrate to Washington that protecting the free and open Internet is an issue that matters to millions of Americans. The FCC needs to know why Net Neutrality is important to you. Tell them how an open Internet impacts your daily life, your business and your ability to connect with others.

To save the Internet, we need to flood the FCC with stories from people around the country. Can you ask five friends to send their stories to the FCC?

Tell Your Friends to Take Action

With your help, we can send a message to the FCC that they can't ignore.


Timothy Karr
Campaign Director

P.S. Here's what others are saying:

"The greatest hope that this country has is the reconnection of American voices with our political system. The Internet is the first medium that is truly interactive, in which one person's voice can reach millions. This fundamental change would end the open Internet as we know it." Read Jennifer's full story.

"In rural America, the Internet is very important in staying informed. We read several national newspapers every day to get the news our local paper does not thoroughly cover." Read Charles & Carol's full story.

"Currently the media is not diverse at all, and the only option I have found to escape from it has been the Internet. ... If the Internet is controlled by powerful people with money, will it ever be what it has been? Will we be able to enjoy diversity?" Read Norie's full story.

To read thousands of other stories visit:

Take action on this campaign at:

Tell others about this campaign at:

If you received this message from a friend, you can click here to become a Free Press activist.

Haloscan comment thread

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Sunday Night Open Thread

I just finished doing some "impeach Cheney" designs, and after spending time looking at that man's evil mug, I thought some cute kitties would be a nice antidote.

'Night everybody.

Haloscan comment thread

The Secret

by Subway Serenade

I just finished watching a film called "The Secret." It's essentially designed to look mysterious like "The Celestine Prophecy" or "The Da Vinci Code." but it's essentially a self help primer for Eternal Beings. It has all the fun of "Think and Grow Rich" and at times feels like a lecture by Dr. Phil. For all it's flash it really doesn't offer anything new. Except...

It essentially starts from the premise that we ARE Eternal beings by nature, and that we need to teach our children this. But they don't present the nuts and bolts of their process until near the end of the film. The Secret, is the energy field or 'charge' created by focused intent.

The entire film confirmed for the viewer what Gizmo was designed to quantify, and I would be surprised in anyone featured or involved in the film had ever considered Bliss Entrainment as a possibility on a mass scale. Yet every one of those who contributed, even that guy who wrote "Chicken Soup of the Soul" spoke of a coming transformation and wonderous times ahead if we can give this wisdom to our children and grandchildren.

If you've ever been to a self help seminar, or learned a structured meditation, much of what "The Secret" has to offer won't be much of anything new. We are all individual expressions of a unified energy field and the way to manipulate the field for your benefit is through positive focused intent.

What I took away from the film, other than the fact that Gizmo is an integral technology for teaching focused intent on a global scale, was that progressives should stop talking so much about the things we oppose and focus on the positive aspects of the struggle. Don't be 'against' a certain candidate. Be 'for' his opponent. 'Anti-war rallies' should be called 'peace marches' because when you are against something, there has to be an equal and opposite push back.

In other words they are calling for a change in the language of the mind. If you see something you don't like, rather than saying 'I don't like that,' try finding a thought about it that doesn't focus on the negative.

My favorite part, near the end was when FINALLY one of these self help thingies finally recognized that our BEING begins at the sub atomic level and that we have consciously willed ourselves into physical existence. As Shakespear wrote, "All the world's a stage."

It was nice to see a film that joyously presents such a fundamental Truth.

Haloscan comment thread

Open Thread

Son in Ohio got a kick out of this sign at the pool we visited yesterday, and wanted me to take a picture of it. If you can't read it, it indicates that there is a depth of 0 feet, 0 inches at this particular part of the pool, along with the caution "No diving".

Talk amongst yourselves.

Haloscan comment thread