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There’s a joke in there somewhere

The Green Bay Packers drafted a defensive back named Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, and Monica Lewinsky is back in the news.  I can’t be the first person to make that connection.


UPDATE: Yep.  Josh Sitton had it covered.

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Fear of long words.  Seriously.

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Legos: is there anything they can’t do?

Well, yes.  I’m sure there are many things they can’t do.  This is not one of those things. Observe:

Really, I’m only posting it so I don’t have to bookmark it.  ‘Making of’ video is at the link above.

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If they’re naked, how do you know they’re cheerleaders?


I wonder if Instapundit followed up.  One fourth of a mile isn’t that far to go.  Hang on, I’ll ask him.

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My cynical side has some questions

Because, perhaps due to the Tea Party’s influence, it has again become fashionable among Republican politicians to disapprove of taxes and government spending, and to advocate decreases in each.

Because my cynical side thinks they’re just kissing ass mouthing pieties and if they regain power they won’t actually make much of an effort, other than the token sort.

Because when it comes to politics in 21st century America, there’s no such thing as “too cynical.”

And because my non-cynical side (yes, I still have one) rather likes this Paul Ryan fellow.  The cut of his jib, and all that.  I lived in his district until just recently and he may be one of those politicians with “ideals” and “convictions” and whatever.  He certainly hasn’t been just another go-along-to-get-along type in the House.  And he’s the brainy type.

So here are my questions:

1) Does picking Ryan as his running mate mean that Romney is serious about cutting spending and getting the budget under control?  And that he’ll really make those hard decisions once he’s in office?  Not so sure.

2) Ryan is currently the chairman of the House budget committee.  Is he going to be a more effective fiscal hawk as vice president?  Not so sure.

3) Most importantly, am I the only one who sees this,and thinks of this?

Eddie MunsterHerman







I can’t be the only one.  I’m sure.

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Pop quiz: what does Tom Barrett have in common with the Milwaukee Brewers?

1) They live in Milwaukee;

2) They enjoy a nice porterhouse, medium rare with onions and mushrooms, house fries on the side and maybe some pie al a mode for dessert;

3) They’re having some Achilles tendon issues lately;

4) They both lost by 10 points tonight;

5) They secretly love Justin Bieber’s music.

Here’s a hintHere’s another.

[Kind of bittersweet, I suppose.  But you know what they don’t have in common?  The Brewers get another chance tomorrow.]

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Another entry from our “Things I Wish I’d Thought Of” department:

“Voorhees a jolly good fellow, Voorhees a jolly good fellow, Voorhees a jolly good ACK!  Aauggh!  Run! Save yourselves!!”


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Guns don’t kill people, people kill people

To hear some people talk, if the government doesn’t guarantee access to “free” birth control, it amounts to a ban on birth control.  This is no more than statism thinly disguised [as usual] as compassion.  Because we count on the government to take care of us.

Also [beside my point] go read those links and be treated to an astounding display of ignorance about how employer-based insurance really works.  I’m going to have to assume they’re lying, just to preserve [these final pitiful shreds of] my faith in humanity.

On the other hand, you could read James Taranto’s column and get the idea that birth control is the root of all of society’s ills.  You might even wish it had never been invented.  This is not statism, necessarily; few people support illegalization, after all.  [And that’s totally a word.]

The widespread availability of birth control technology did coincide with a number of serious cultural changes in this country.  But to claim that birth control made them happen is just confusing co-incidence with causality.  [Good discussion here.]  It occurs to me that my birth also coincided with the beginnings of some of these cultural shifts [close, anyway]; maybe Taranto would like to blame me.  Bring it on, Jimmy, I could use the traffic.

Getting right down to it, birth control presented a set of options to women, and to men, that was different than the set of options available before.  That’s all.  Saying that birth control is itself responsible for declining marriage rates, increasing divorce rates, single-parent households, et cetera, is exactly like saying that outlawing guns will reduce crime.  It’s saying that fast food causes obesity, that credit cards cause debt, that television causes illiteracy.  It’s saying that human agency is inadequate; that people can’t be trusted to make their own choices.

Which, frankly, is not that far removed from saying that the government has to take care of them.

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A complete economic or political collapse in the United States is a possible thing, these days

Instapundit said so:

“State representatives on Friday advanced legislation to launch a study into what Wyoming should do in the event of a complete economic or political collapse in the United States.
House Bill 85 passed on first reading by a voice vote. It would create a state-run government continuity task force, which would study and prepare Wyoming for potential catastrophes, from disruptions in food and energy supplies to a complete meltdown of the federal government.
The task force would look at the feasibility of: Wyoming issuing its own alternative currency, if needed. And House members approved an amendment Friday by state Rep. Kermit Brown, R-Laramie, to have the task force also examine conditions under which Wyoming would need to implement its own military draft, raise a standing army, and acquire strike aircraft and an aircraft carrier.”

Instapundit: no particular comment of his own.
Althouse: “Frankly, I think all the states should have made plans like this a long time ago.”
An Instapundit reader: “When SHTF states matter more than the federal government.”
Mister Pterodactyl: What the fuck does Wyoming need with an aircraft carrier?

Cue Village People montage now

I’m glad to see someone thinking in what-if mode, but this is why I’m so skeptical of government at any level being useful when ‘SHTF’.

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Five reasons why Star Wars is actually awesome

Yes, this is a (belated) reaction to Kathy Shaidle’s “Five Reasons Why Star Wars Actually Sucks,” from a couple weeks ago.

Shaidle admits to deliberately taking a nap during her first screening of Star Wars, and I’m guessing she never gave it another shot.  That doesn’t actually disqualify her from having an opinion, but . . . . here’s a thumbnail version of Shaidle’s five reasons:

1) Star Wars was influenced by classic movies and cultural ideals.  Also, Joseph Campbell.
2) George Lucas is kind of a douche.
3) Star Wars fans are worthless nerds – real men don’t have time for frivolous pastimes or hobbies of any sort.
4) A link to a wikipedia page about a William Shatner vanity project is better than one to a CS Monitor piece about holograms, bionics, and lasers.
5) Finally there’s a vague complaint about the cultural effects of the popularity of Star Wars.  Vomit is involved.

To sum up, Shaidle hates Star Wars and anyone who doesn’t hate Star Wars.  And those are her reasons why.  But what’s missing from her list?

Think about it.  I’ll wait.

Did you say “She didn’t actually say anything about the movies”?  I bet you did.

Whining about the peripheral effects of a major popular-culture icon is like saying that Chris Christie’s shadow is “rotund”.  So here, for your edification and delight, is my counter-list.  Five reasons why Star Wars is actually awesome:

[I’ve got a bad feeling about this – Ed.  Shaddap.]

1) If it wasn’t for the success and popularity of Star Wars, would we have gotten Battlestar Galactica, Star Trek TNG (and later incarnations), Babylon 5, Farscape, Firefly?  maybe, maybe not.  Not to mention The Matrix, the current fad for superhero movies, and insert your example here.
2) The special effects arms race.  Before Star Wars, we had mechanical sharks and guys in rubber dinosaur suits.  Now we get hobbits, terminators, and Na’vi.  All because Star Wars made Hollywood realize that green screens are the color of money.  And if Hollywood has gotten a little too fond of trilogies, summer blockbusters, and advertising tie-ins, it’s really a small price to pay.
3) Diversity!  Remember the Mos Eisley bar scene?  Of course you do.  Bilateral symmetry is apparently quite common in that part of the galaxy, but otherwise no two patrons of that establishment were alike.  Excepting the show’s protagonists, of course.  Same for Jabba’s throneroom and the Jedi Council (almost).  All speaking their own languages, too.  In fact other than Admiral Ackbar, various Jedi masters, and that two-headed thing doing play-by-play for the podrace, every nonhuman spoke a language other than English.  And everybody understood each other all the time.
4) Do, or do not.  There is no try.
5) The Star Wars movies are endlessly fun to nitpick.  Why can’t the Stormtroopers hit anything with those blasters?  Was the Obi-wan/Darth Vader lightsaber duel shot in slow motion?  Was the Death Star garbage smasher monster part of the crew, or what?  EWOKS??  Does Jabba realize he’s that fat?  Why don’t Jedi carry a spare lightsaber, since they seem to lose them so often?  Why couldn’t Kenobi just force-push those buzzdroids off his ship?  And for that matter how come he seemed so surprised when Anakin jumped back into the elevator car?  Et cetera.
And was Jar-Jar really the most annoying thing about Phantom Menace?

No. No he was not.

Bottom line, if I want a movie with intelligent dialogue, three-dimensional characters, no space battles, and thoughtful well paced plotting, I can go see one.  They’re out there, though they rarely inspire Lego sets.
6) [Did I say five?  Well I have altered the deal.  Pray I don’t alter…oh, forget it.]  Vader’s breathing, Yoda’s syntax, the sound of lightsabers being swung, C3PO’s whining, and dozens of other little things have become instantly recognizable metaphors for every occasion.  And speaking of little things, Leia’s bikini has taken on a life of it’s own at this point.

Shaidle is undoubtedly not alone in her distaste for the movies and their long, long shadow.  But when something is so widely loved, you might as well admit that there might be something to love, there.  This notion has helped me to accept the existence of karaoke machines, Survivor, and sparkly-vampire movies, it can do the same for Shaidle and her ilk.  Because fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, and hate leads to ill-considered, poorly reasoned rants that live forever on the internet.

I will give her this, though: George Lucas is kind of a douche.

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The 25 Least Influential People Alive

Here’s the list.  And you know who isn’t on it?  YOU.

I suppose it’s not all that surprising.  GQ’s been on the cutting edge of the public consciousness since, well, never.  And that article was obviously written by a committee made up of syphilitic hobos, mutant squirrels, and a single five-year-old who’s late for his nap.  Still, take a moment to bask in the knowledge that someone, somewhere, thinks there are at least twenty-five people out there who count even less than you do.

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So the Green Bay Packers finish the 2011 regular season 15-1

By beating the Detroit Lions.  Again.

In doing so, the Packers became the first team to complete a sweep of the NFC North division (which has only existed since 2002), and extended their Lambeau Field Lions-humiliation streak to 21 straight games.  The last time the Lions won a game at Lambeau was December 15th, 1991, when Don Majkowski was the quarterback.  It was Brett Favre’s rookie year (he was with the Falcons) and Tony Mandarich’s third and final year in Green Bay.  Remember him?

Matt Flynn, who was 6 years old on 12-15-1991, did an OK job filling in for the resting Aaron Rodgers.  Flynn played the entire game, completing 70% of his passes for 480 yards and 6 touchdowns. The latter two numbers are both Packers franchise records.

Matt is in the final year of his contract, making him a free agent at the end of this season.  I would like to be the first to congratulate whichever team signs him.

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Th-th-th-that’s all folks!

Kim Jong Il is no longer ill (that joke works better spoken aloud).  Nork dictator #2 buys the farm rice paddy gulag.

About damn time.  I wonder who gets his glasses.  Better keep an eye on Ebay, just in case.

The new boss is Kim Jong Eun.  He’s that pudgy fellow in the black outfit.  Let’s see how long he lasts.  Smart money’s on “not very.”

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This year, the (inaugural) Big Ten Championship game will be played in Indianapolis.

Which is great, because the Indiana Hoosiers have one more win than the Indianapolis Colts.  Which is to say, one.  Ahem.

So far, anyway.  the Colts could still pull ahead.  Really, they could.

So having Wisconsin play Michigan State in Indy means the nice people there will get to see some good football for a change.

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At the sound of the beep, the time will be 11:42 AM, November 11th, 2011‏

A little more than half an hour ago it was 11:11:11 on 11-11-11.  And you really wanted to be looking at the clock at that moment because it would be cool to see that.  By some peoples’ definition of ‘cool,’ anyway.  And you were going to make sure to draw everybody else’s attention to it and make a joke about it being 4095, or 63 on 63, or something even more clever (and okay, you hadn’t exactly come up with a good line yet but you just knew that you’d think of something really funny when the moment came).  And you went to work thinking about it, and you put a little note on your wall to remind yourself, and you even wrote some 1s on the back of your hand to make absolutely sure you wouldn’t forget.  But the phone started ringing, and the guy in the next cubicle wanted to tell you about his fishing trip or whatever, and your manager came around again to bitch about the TPS reports and then Rachel from accounting walked by and it was just one thing after another until it just plain slipped your mind.  So you missed it.  You BLEW it.  And now you won’t get another chance for a hundred years, dammit DAMMIT DAMMIT!!!


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Obscure Reference Alert*

Football games on TV are interrupted by commercials on a regular basis.  Lately, I’ve been seeing a lot of them for a new movie called ‘Tower Heist’.

“Tower Heist” stars Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy.  To judge from the commercials (because research? bah) Stiller is a hotel worker who decides to rob a rich guy who stiffed him and his co-workers on a deal of some kind, and Murphy is an ex-con he recruits to help with the job.

It has been years and years since I went to an actual movie theater to sit through an actual full-length movie.  I can’t even remember the last one that didn’t have the words ‘star’ and ‘wars’ in the title.  But I’ll tell you what: I will make a point of going to see “Tower Heist” IF….

IF Eddie Murphy’s character is named Reggie Hammond.  That would be awesome.

Otherwise, forget it.

*Obscure Reference Alert is a term I’m familiar with from this blog, where I am a frequent visitor and commenter.  It’s fun.  As for this particular ORA, figure it out.  You have internet access, right?
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I am generally disdainful of bumper stickers

I don’t care how much you love your golden retriever, or that your other car is a flying saucer, or how many friggin’ stick figures there are in your family.  And as for political messages, does that ‘coexist’ sticker really reflect your beliefs, or do your beliefs reflect the sticker? If you can articulate your philosophy in six to eight words plus a cute logo, you need to grow up. And if it takes more words than that and you still try to put it on your bumper, only you can read it.  You know that, right?  Bumper stickers are stupid.

Until today.  Today I saw a bumper sticker I can get behind.

Well technically, I was behind it.  Traffic, y’know.

You probably have to be a Wisconsin sports fan to really get this.

Also, I hear it comes in a t-shirt.

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How many neutrinos does it take to change a light bulb?

None. They just go back in time until it doesn’t need changing.

Last week, some scientists conducted an experiment where they got some neutrinos to, apparently, move faster than light. It wasn’t the first time this apparently happened, either. They fired the neutrinos out of some kind of big slingshot, sent them through the earth’s crust, and caught them in a second location 450 miles away. The neutrinos hit the finish line 60 billionths of a second before light would have (if light could travel through the earth’s crust which is, after all, opaque).

How do they know its the same neutrinos? Those things all look alike to me.

Here’s my hypothesis: a hidden underground race of mole men superintelligent earthworms (mole men are so cliche) is trapping our neutrinos, while simultaneously firing off others from a few feet to the left, making it appear that the neutrinos are FTL when in fact they didn’t traverse the entire distance. Just to mess with us.

But seriously:

Experiments show that as one approaches the speed of light, time slows down relative to slower-moving objects. If you spent a year traveling at (say) half of light speed, when you returned you would find that what seemed like a year to you was a much longer time for the earth-bound.

In theory, any object reaching the speed of light would experience zero time. A trip taken at light speed would seem instantaneous to the traveler, no matter how long it was*.

The linked Economist article states that going faster than the speed of light would therefore cause time to reverse. This is a nonsensical statement. Would the traveler actually become younger? What would his perception of the trip be like? ‘Reverse time’ in this context is similar to ‘negative length’. You can say it, you can think it, but you can’t explain it. It has no meaning.

More importantly, it’s nonsensical because experiment also shows that as an object accelerates, it’s mass increases. In theory, the mass of an object becomes infinite once the object reaches the speed of light. Infinite (or just near-infinite) mass would mean an infinitely strong gravity field, which would immediately pull in and destroy all other matter in the universe. So who cares about ‘reverse time’?

“Don’t destroy the universe” is one of those little rules I try to live my life by. Unfortunately, it makes faster-than-light travel a lot harder. That’s why they use massless particles like neutrinos in these experiments; because a 1000% increase in zero is still zero.

So if you ever want to travel faster than light, better get started on that diet, lardbutt. What, you didn’t think all those chins could affect anybody but you?

*It occurs to me that not only would the trip seem instantaneous to the traveler, but also to his vehicle.  Which means it wouldn’t require much fuel at all, once it reached light speed.  Think how much you could save in gas money if you could drive at relativistic speeds!

Yes, there are many, many things wrong with that assertion.

UPDATE: “We don’t allow faster-than-light neutrinos in here,” says the bartender. A neutrino walks into a bar.

Okay, yours was funnier. 

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