31 July 2009

Protecting human rights by violating human rights

News out of the Congo today: Nigeria claims that they tracked down and killed a radical Islamic militant who was fomenting violence and trying to enforce sharia law.

The author of the article had to be laughing when he wrote this part:
New York-based Human Rights Watch called for an investigation.

“The Nigerian authorities must act immediately to investigate and hold to account all those responsible for this unlawful killing and any others associated with the recent violence in northern Nigeria,” said Corinne Dufka, the group’s senior West Africa researcher.

And followed it up with this:

However, it was unclear whether Yusuf’s death would end the violence or inspire revenge attacks by the group, also known as the Boko Haram sect, which seeks the imposition of strict Sharia in the country.

Strict sharia law is ALL ABOUT limiting your human rights. Soooo... human rights watch is up in arms (figuratively speaking, natch) about killing someone... who was trying to limit human rights. Maybe Corinne Bufka should have just gone to Nigeria and tried to hug it out? Radical islamic militants are usually so amenable to peaceable solutions. Wait... Bufka might not be a muslim and therefore is unclean, so maybe hugs aren't such a good idea.

Is this thing on? Helloooooooooo????

Get ready for some judgy judging!

My friend took this picture of a toad dominating Nicaragua. I think had to break eye contact or the toad was going to smack him.

In baseball news there's been a lot of hand-wringing about the (supposedly confidential and anonymous) drug test results that say some MLB players tested positive for steroids in 2003. Leaving out the part where the players participating were told the results would never be released - who cares if they tested positive for drugs that may or may not have even been banned? Not me. It's just a big bunch of hot air being blown around because there's nothing else to talk about in sports this time of year.

When the players come up for HoF induction the judgy sportswriters ("bitter because they're ugly and the pay sucks" - thanks Ufford) will sit in judgment and decide whether or not players who may or may not have taken drugs should be allowed in. The guidelines even say that they should be judges of "character":

5. Voting: Voting shall be based upon the player's record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character, and contributions to the team(s) on which the player played.

Here's the thing: Sportswriters are not qualified to judge sportsmanship, character and integrity. This should not be a popularity contest. Just watch them play baseball and decide, based on their performance, if they are worthy. You're either good enough or you aren't (and you might get in anyway*).

What, you think drugs are cheating and 'cheaters' should forfeit eligibility? Well, I've got news for you: there's a long and wonderful history of 'cheating' in baseball, and it's not enough to keep you out of the HoF. Not even close. Plus: drugs aren't as cheaty as you might think: many of the drugs that Bonds, McGwire, et. al. took weren't even banned until after they stopped taking them. How can you call them cheaters retroactively? If you're going to do that you can do the same with greenies, which were way, way more common than muscle-builders and HGH, and introduced decades ago.

*I could do a whole post on this short linked slice of bullshit from Tom Verducci but it's been done better by others and I'm busy. Verducci summarizes (in one paragraph!) several reasons why HoF balloting is a complete joke. 8 all star teams! Wow! That guy is amazing! [wanking motion]

29 July 2009

Polling is stupid because people are stupid

The citizens of this great country elected George W. Bush to presidential office. Twice. Then tens of millions of them voted for a ticket with Sarah Palin.

Showing some sense and electing Barack Obama does not get them off the hook for 8 years of epic, willful stupidity. Who cares what the polls say? Not me.

This video made me laugh. Also, the drummer of the Roots (?uestlove?) is the coolest motherfucker I've seen on TV in years. P. Diddly-Doo should take a lesson from that cat on what cool really is.

Vegas is good for you

Went to Vegas for the weekend. It was fun. This is the best picture from the trip. I'm not in it, which is not a coincidence.

It captures everything that's excellent about a Vegas hotel elevator: mediocre girl trying to pull herself together after a long night, my friend Ben taking a self-portrait, and random guy caught in the act on the way to his hotel room. I laughed.

In unrelated news I got the new Blackberry Tour. I've had it for 24 hours and I'm not a fan. I'm returning it today. It has tons of features and it's a beautiful phone but it's not for me.

Sorry I don't have more to share. I'm not in the mood. I'll do better tomorrow. Get excited.

22 July 2009

The best thing someone else ever ate (map)

This comes from a guy that decided to map all the places featured in "The Best Thing I Ever Ate" from the food network.

Something to remember the next time you're thinking about trying a new restaurant, or maybe taking a trip somewhere new and want to know of a good place to eat.

Link to the blog, and link to the full-page map.

Way to plus it, internet!

21 July 2009

Old, yet good

This is old but it's one of my all-time favorite videos. I might have even featured it in this space before but I'm too lazy to look. Either way, audio is NSFW. And also fantastic.

What is oozing out of our ground?

I don't like to make fun of people because they are ignorant* but sometimes I can't help it.**

* This is a lie.
** By 'sometimes' I mean 'always'

20 July 2009

Dick jokes never get old

I'm too lazy to crib the photos but here's the text from Autoblog- click through the link for the pictures.


Giant wieners can do a lot of damage, it seems. Just look at what happened today in Racine, WI. There, the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile penetrated a home's closed garage door in a decidedly non-consensual manner.

Fox6Now.com reports that the Wienermobile's driver took a wrong turn down a dead-end street. Subsequently faced with a scenario in which there was nowhere to stick the enormous 27-foot wiener, she decided to back up the street and start fresh. Unfortunately, she mistakenly hit the accelerator instead of the brake, a course of action that simply did not cut the mustard. In the end, it was a long day filled with hard lessons, as demonstrated in the attached photo gallery.

18 July 2009

This is how you know something isn't intimidated by you

Most sea creatures are very shy and retiring - they either ignore you or want to get away as quickly as possible. Almost all wild animals are like that. The ones that aren't wary are dangerous. To you. Take, for example, the Humboldt squid. It will just swim up and check you out:

Roger Uzun, a veteran scuba diver and amateur underwater videographer, swam with a swarm of the creatures for about 20 minutes and said they appeared more curious than aggressive. The animals taste with their tentacles, he said, and seemed to be touching him and his wet suit to determine if he was edible.

Just want to let you know that if an animal is swimming up to me to check if I'm edible I'm getting out of the water RIGHT FUCKING NOW.

Image courtesy/copyright MBARI, which I'm guessing is the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, but I'm too lazy to check for sure. Article here.

17 July 2009

What's he doing?

Nothing to see here folks - move along. Move along.

Video and text aren't matchies

Who said the video and text had to go together? I got my bike back yesterday. That took a lot longer than it needed to since the shop had let the battery die and (more egregiously) let me ride it away with a dead battery so that it stalled out and died after I got about a 1/4 mile down the block. Mmm... summer in Santa Ana... who wants to push a 400 lb. motorcycle in boots/jeans/jacket/gloves/helmet/backpack? I could have taken the gloves off and maybe the jacket, I guess, but there was nowhere to put my super fancy helmet. So I walked it back. Bikes don't roll all that well, btw, and although there's roughly the same amount of sharp bits on my motorcycle as there are on a bicycle, they stick out farther, and that's a crucial point when you're muscling the bike up a small hill and want to get your weight over the middle of it so you don't tip over. Footpegs become your bitter enemy. As do previously inconsequential changes in terrain.

Eventually we got it sorted and now I'm back to riding again. Need to get the decals off the bodywork. They're ugly. Besides that all's well that ends well. See you on the road.

13 July 2009

The people have spoken

Got a note from my friend that he's not impressed with the infrequency of the posts. I know how you feel - imagine how boring it is not to have anything to write about. The last thing with the jacket was bad enough. Everything that is blog-worthy lately hasn't been appropriate because it might hit a little too close to home or it's so boring I can't bring myself to type it, much less invite you to read it.

It's been unpleasantly hot and sweaty in my office b/c the AC is not working right. So that rules.

Here's something funny from wwtdd - it's adult in nature but you're a grown up and you can take it. When the bike gets out of the shop I will post pictures and blah blah blah.

Latin chicks are always tan and they have gorgeous long hair, but they’re all nuts. It’s a terrible combination. They’re super hot, but they’ll also stab you. Thankfully many of them have no tits and a big ass so even if they’re hot it’s not a problem. If you see one with a nice ass and big tits, beware. That’s natures warning sign to stay back, like how cobras do that thing with their neck.

Why no, I don't have my motorcycle back yet

Bike is still in the shop. Waiting on the insurance adjuster now. The parts are ordered and delivered, all is in readiness. Now it's a matter of paperwork. I should have it by maybe Friday of this week. It will be nice to ride again. Less nice having to learn how to ride all over again.

I tried to find some good pictures from 4th of July but I'm over it. I'll try harder tomorrow. Maybe.

10 July 2009

I guess that makes me the only one

The recent heartbreak of the bike crash (not my fault - other party assumed 100% liability, thanks for asking) has not prevented me from buying bike-related stuff. Case in point, this superbly kickass Belstaff 'Snetterton' motorcycle jacket I ordered from Urban Rider.

The brand is unusual in that you can't buy their leather jackets here in the states at all. I had mine shipped from London. You can find some of their textile jackets here and those are awesome for places where you actually have weather but I live in Southern California and I'd be the first person to tell you that the seasons I get down here are sunny and hot, sunny and cool, then partly cloudy followed by sunny and cool. So no need for much in the way of technical outerwear (close friends will point out that this hasn't prevented me from acquiring a stack of North Face and similar jackets in my closet, at which point I am compelled to remind you that sometimes I travel to places where it is cold, though only reluctantly).

In any case, this thing is effing awesome and I emailed Urban Rider to tell them so. They said thanks and let me know that they had not shipped one to California before, so as far as they know, I'm one of the only people here that has one. Which rules.

Though the jacket is surprisingly heavy, it looks the business and includes armor in the shoulder and elbows and protective padding on the back. You don't really notice how heavy it is once you get it on. I hope I never end up needing the protective stuff - I just love it because it looks cool on and off the bike.

08 July 2009

Wildly good times

Lots going on this past week but not much of it blog-worthy. As in, hardly any of it. Big fourth of July celebration. Plus I'm busy with that other thing.

Latest news is that I hope to be reunited with my girlfriend (and by 'girlfriend' I mean 'motorcycle') some time soon. I was originally told maybe by the end of this week but now it looks more like two weeks from today at the latest. That's not what I had in mind when I talked to the insurance company but I can't do much about it so I'm trying not to get frustrated. Trying. urg.

On the upside the bike *should* be fully repaired and back to excellent when all the repairs are done. That's a huge bonus.

This cartoon from the consistently excellent xkcd reminded me of my Friday nights. So I am sharing it with you.

02 July 2009

Let's blow stuff up!

I love fireworks. A lot. You can buy fireworks in mexico that are like a mortar - you have to bury the base of a tube in the ground and light the fuse and stand well back because it shoots up in the air and goes off like an artillery shell. You better believe it is awesome. Anyway, happy fourth of July. I'll be drinking light beers exclusively this year because I'm going to Vegas in three weeks and need to tighten it up for the pool. I'm on the program. Fewer desserts. Mixing in a salad. Back in the gym on the regular. And no booze after this weekend until I'm poolside. Or maybe on the plane. We'll see.

Image courtesy someecards. They have updated their site so you can't just grab the cards and use them on your blog any more, and also you have to register in order to send a card. Registering is a hassle but they have a right to make some monies on their intellectual property. And I still cribbed their sweet 4th of July card. So there.

01 July 2009

Canadia Day

I was all set to write something snarky about our neighbors to the north and then I got an email from my friend in NYC. (Or as I like to call it, the 'big apple turnover'.) Not sure if it's original work but I'm too lazy to check sooooooo... take it away Sonia and JB:
From: Sonia
This guy I work with is Canadian and he sent this out today…I don’t know why I found it so funny but I thought you might enjoy it…


From: JB
Sent: Wednesday, July 01, 2009 10:15 AM
Subject: Canada Day - Fact #1

Contrary to popular belief, the national animal of Canada is not the polar bear, moose, weak-ass caribou, or lynx; but rather, it is the mighty beaver. Although we got off to a rough start by hunting them and skinning them for their fur, we are over that little misunderstanding and we embrace them as a symbol on our money and stamps. To anyone who does not believe that the beaver would defeat a bear in a deathmatch, I would like to present youtube evidence, but unfortunately nobody has posted their video yet. But believe me, while the beaver looks peaceful and calm, it would be able to chop down the bear in much the same manner it gnaws through the majestic maple tree. The beaver is all the more impressive when you consider that they were the first land mammal to build submarine shelter, beating out humans, likely by thousands of years, not to mention that no other animal excluding us engineers its own shelter as extensively out of sticks and mud. So on this day we not only celebrate the birthday of Canada but also one of its heroic symbols of domination over nature.

Happy Canada Day!