Jim Downey's picture

Certainly NSFW . . .

. . . but pretty damned funny. A little something to make up for my earlier grimness:

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Yeah, it's gotten that bad.

A thought experiment for you: Consider, if you will, at what point the absurdity of "security theatre" crosses the line from the merely annoying to the actively dangerous (to our civil liberties). How would you detect such a point?

How about with a simple American flag?

Metal plates send messages to airport x-ray screeners

One of my favorite artists, Evan Roth, is working on a project that will be released soon - the pictures say it all, it's a "carry on" communication system. These metal places contain messages which will appear when they are X-Rayed. The project isn't quite done yet, Evan needs access to an X-Ray machine to take some photos and document. If you have access to an X-Ray machine he's willing to give you a set of the plates for helping out.

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I love clever criminals.

Seriously - I have always really appreciated a clever crime. Particularly ones which are non-violent and show a bit of imagination. And this is a good one:

Armored truck robber uses Craigslist to make getaway

MONROE, Wash. – In a move that could be right out of a Hollywood movie, a brazen crook apparently used a Craigslist ad to hire a dozen unsuspecting decoys to help him make his getaway following a robbery outside a bank on Tuesday. He then made his escape in an inner tube on the Skykomish River.

* * *

The robber sprayed the guard with pepper spray, grabbed a bag of money the guard was carrying and ran about 100 yards to the creek that runs into the Skykomish River, shedding clothes as he ran.

But apparently, the robber had planned ahead. In case anyone was hot on his trail, he had at least a dozen unsuspecting decoys waiting nearby, which he recruited on Craigslist.

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Bloody hell.

OK, I've been gone/sick for the last couple of days, and not really up to anything tonight.

But I just had to share this hilarious item from Phil Plait, the Bad Astronomy dude, from Antarctica:

Door to Hell in Antarctica - Watch more free videos

Bloody hell, that's insane.

Jim Downey

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The Miracle Club

Copyright © 2008 by Sidney Harris.

In Manatee County, Florida there is a "special" club that has just formed called "The Miracle Club". This is a club that focuses on telling tall tales Real True Stories™ about their experiences in order to help all of those atheists and misguided doubters who have been "sucked into scientific materialism" know that their own flavor of magical god-thing exists and that the materialists "need to know Him".

Welcome to the pat-yourself-on-the-back-for-being-so-dang-holy club.

[link] Scheele said he became excited about Smith's idea because of his own concern about what he termed "frontal attacks on Christianity and religion in general." He pointed to several books that decry religion.

"These are people who are not just atheists, they're anti-theists," he said. "They don't just believe there's no God, they believe religion is a pox and a disease and it's dangerous."

Yup. Absolutely correct. You know why? Because most religion is a pox and a disease and dangerous.

To rebut the idea that science cannot support the idea of God, the Miracle Club can play an important role, he said.

"The idea behind the Miracle Club is very simple: If there is no God, how can miracles occur?" he said.

Indeed. How can miracles occur Mr. Sheely? I'll tell you. Magic. That's how.

"There are other ways of refuting the anti-God lie, but one of the most spectacular and encouraging is to share the miracles that occur in people's lives that can't be explained scientifically at all."

Uh-huh. Because anecdotal evidence is used all the time in scientific experiments.

Why, just the other day I was reading an abstract from the prestigious scientific peer-reviewed journal "Personal Anecdotes From The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences" called "Natural selection of FLT1 alleles and their association with malaria resistance in utero*" - and this is what it had to say:

We heard some stories about placental malaria (PM) that may be, according to some third-party sources who had a dream about it, caused by Plasmodium falciparum contributes significantly to infant mortality in sub-Saharan Africa and is associated with pregnancy loss. We hypothesized that fetal genes that modify PM would be associated with fetal fitness. Dr. Muehlenbachs told a story about his brother who knew some guy who said that during PM, placental trophoblasts produce soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase 1 (sFlt1), also known as soluble VEGF receptor 1, an angiogenesis inhibitor associated with preeclampsia. Here we present a bunch of uncorroborated stories about examining the genotype of the fms-related tyrosine kinase 1 (FLT1) 3? UTR in Tanzanian mother–infant pairs.

Gosh! If those nasty atheist/scientific materialists can't see the hard science that forms the basis of The Miracle Club, I guess they won't ever know about the loving majesty and grandeur that is Binky the Magic Space Clown.

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Awaiting Your Correspondance - Important Business Matter

Via Marketplace, this item:

Dear American:

I need to ask you to support an urgent secret business relationship with a transfer of funds of great magnitude.

I am Ministry of the Treasury of the Republic of America. My country has had crisis that has caused the need for large transfer of funds of 800 billion dollars US. If you would assist me in this transfer, it would be most profitable to you.

I am working with Mr. Phil Gram, lobbyist for UBS, who will be my replacement as Ministry of the Treasury in January. As a Senator, you may know him as the leader of the American banking deregulation movement in the 1990s. This transactin is 100% safe.

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Sunday Morning Edict From The Home Office

Take a picture of yourself right now. Don't change your clothes, don't fix your hair, just take a picture. Post that picture with NO editing. Post these instructions with your picture.

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If you didn't already know, today be International Talk Like A Pirate Day! So, go out and be all piratey. Amuse your buckos, and confuse your Cap'n!

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A fool and his $30,000 watch are soon parted.

Gods, I love the smell of schadenfreude in the morning:

GOP delegate's hotel tryst goes bad when he wakes up with $120,000 missing

He met her in the bar of the swank hotel and invited her to his room. Once there, the woman fixed the drinks and told him to get undressed.

And that, the delegate to the Republican National Convention told police, was the last thing he remembered.

When he awoke, the woman was gone, as was more than $120,000 in money, jewelry and other belongings.

* * *

The haul included a $30,000 watch, a $20,000 ring, a necklace valued at $5,000, earrings priced at $4,000 and a Prada belt valued at $1,000, police said.

Now, you may think it unkind of me to take pleasure in the poor fellow's misfortune. Normally, I would agree. But I dare you to watch this clip of the idiot at the RNC prior to his getting ripped off and not share my opinion:

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Sarah's blog.

OK, I just spent too much of my Sunday morning catching up on "Welcome to the PalinDrome: Sarah Palin's Blog". Yeah, I know, I shoulda been at church instead. But seriously, this is pretty funny. Here's an excerpt from the post Banning Books:

Brent Rasmussen's picture

I'll Take "Things I Never Thought I'd Hear The Premiere Of Melbourne Say" For A Thousand, Alec.

[link] "...there are too many reports of you in your underwear for me to ignore."

Sheesh. Who would've thunk that dancing around in your underwear wasn't a smart career move?

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Talk about inscrutable . . .

Offered without further comment:

(Video under the fold...)

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"Say it with me now:"

Bill Maher has created an incantation to shoo away the boggart of religion. Say it with me now: Religulous.

The title melds the words "religious" and "ridiculous" and the film, the brainchild of humorist Bill Maher and "Borat" director Larry Charles, pulls no punches in its attack on organized religions and their cultural impact.

"Just to question why is faith good, I think is a question never contemplated by most people" in the United States, Maher told Reuters at the Toronto International Film Festival, where the documentary debuted this week.

Damn, I may need to see that. I could use a laugh.

Jim Downey

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Your legal system at work:

‘Forgotten’ Defendant Sits in Jail for Two Years

The federal prosecutor in St. Louis says she is concerned about the performance of a lawyer who represents a defendant sitting in jail for almost two years with apparently no action to secure his release on bond.

U.S. Attorney Catherine Hanaway spoke to the St. Louis Post Dispatch about the case of Joseph A. Shepard Sr., charged with intent to sell methamphetamine and gun possession. The newspaper labels Shepard “a man the system forgot.”

Lawyer Michael P. Kelly has not filed any documents on Shepard’s behalf in all of 2007 and 2008 and apparently did not seek his release on bond, the story says. "I am very concerned about his lawyer's performance," Hanaway told the newspaper.

No kidding. But others seemed unconcerned, including Shepard. From the St. Louis Post:

Brent Rasmussen's picture

Manly Bike For Sale

Manly Bike for Sale

Date: 2008-07-22, 10:18AM PDT

Bike for sale

What kind of bike? I don't know, I'm not a bike scientist. What I am though is a manly guy looking to sell his bike. This bike is made out of metal and kick ass spokes. The back reflector was taken off, but if you think that deters me from riding at night, you're way wrong. I practiced ninja training in Japan's mount Fuji for 5 years and the first rule they teach about ninja biking is that back reflectors let the enemy know where you are.

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Confession Time: Best Foreign Movie(s) edition.

Well, it's been more than a month since our last Confession Time. And for whatever reason, this afternoon I was thinking about my favorite foreign movie, so that'll be our theme.

Fess up - name your favorite foreign movie. For our purposes, any non-American movie will qualify, though extra points will be awarded to movies which were not made in English. No need to explain why you have to 'confess' that this is a favorite - just liking a 'furrin' movie is confession enough. Multiple entries allowed.

As usual, I'll start.

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The 'Not Ready for Prime Time' Party.

OK, John McCain had the Republican nomination locked up, what, back in March? So since then he's had plenty of time to pick a running mate, get his convention all sorted out, be ready to put on a good show for the final two months of the election season when most people start really paying attention after Labor Day.

And this is what we get???

First off, the Palin debacle. Yeah, I know Brent's redneck friends think she's great. But seriously, think about how many different issues have popped up with her name attached this last week, alone. Troopergate. The Jet That Didn't Sell on eBay. Theocrat. Lies about the 'Bridge to Nowhere'. And that doesn't even touch on her questionable judgment as a parent and wife. Clearly, the McCain camp did not do the necessary background checks on this woman. No wonder they're now saying that they'll limit her contact with the press until the election.

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"That will not work."

Via dKos, this clip from just before McCain announced his VP pick:

Yeah, that's a couple of the right-wing pundits mocking the idea that Gov. Palin had anywhere near the necessary qualifications to become President if something would happen to John McCain.

Brent Rasmussen's picture

Jesus Christ, Action Hero

It's a graphic novel with all the right elements: A pissed-off, cigar-smoking Jesus Christ, gay angels, evil Nazis, fecal incontinence, a fat, time-traveling, machine-gun-toting Ernest Hemingway as a sidekick, and an absentee father-God - who just happens to look like Marlon Brando playing Jor-EL.

Check out the graphic novel "Jesus Christ - In The Name Of The Gun". Fun, fun, fun.

I loves me the sweet, sweet intertubes. :) Kudos to Ethan Nicolle and Eric Peterson of Bad Karma Productions!

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"Our Kermit, who art in heaven . . . "

OK, just for a moment consider what would happen here in the US:

Museum defies pope over crucified frog

ROME (Reuters) - An Italian museum Thursday defied Pope Benedict and refused to remove a modern art sculpture portraying a crucified green frog holding a beer mug and an egg that the Vatican had condemned as blasphemous.

The board of the Museion museum in the northern city of Bolzano decided by a majority vote that the frog was a work of art and would stay in place for the remainder of an exhibition.

* * *

The Vatican wrote a letter of support in the pope's name to Franz Pahl, president of the regional government who opposed the sculpture. Pahl released parts of the letter, which said the work "wounds the religious sentiments of so many people who see in the cross the symbol of God's love."

"A lot of Christians wear crosses around their necks. You think when Jesus comes back, he ever wants to see a fucking cross? Kind of like going up to Jackie Onassis with a rifle pendant on, you know."
- Bill Hicks, of course.

Everyone have a good weekend.

Jim Downey

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