August 2006 Archives

While I was waiting in line at the grocery store today, I noticed the woman in front of me with her two children. The older one couldn't have been more than two; the younger, about nine months. The lady herself was quite obviously pregnant again; at least five months along. I didn't think anything further about it until I got out to my car, which happened to be parked right across from hers.

And that's where I noticed the garter hanging from the rear-view mirror.

So was I wrong to yell "Hey lady, I think I've figured out your problem?"

Em'ly Pos' Guide To Redneck Etekitt

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White Trash Wednesday

I'm really pressed for time this week, so I'll dust off this chestnut from 8 years ago that I found while cleaning out my email archive.

    Redneck Driving Etiquette
  • Dim your headlights for approaching vehicles, even if the gun is loaded and the deer is in sight.
  • When approaching a four-way stop, the vehicle with the largest tires always has the right of way.
  • Never tow another car using pantyhose and duct tape.
  • When sending your wife down the road with a gas can, it is impolite to ask her to bring back beer.
  • Never relieve yourself from a moving vehicle, especially when driving.
  • Do not remove the seats from the car so that all your kids can fit in.
  • Do not lay rubber while traveling in a funeral procession.
    Redneck Personal Hygiene
  • Unlike clothes and shoes, a toothbrush should never be a hand-me-down item.
  • If you have to vacuum the bed, it's time to change the sheets.
  • While ears need to be cleaned regularly, this is a job that should be done in private using one's OWN truck keys.
  • Plucking unwanted nose hair is time-consuming work. A cigarette lighter and a small tolerance for pain can accomplish the same goal and save hours. (Note: Its a good idea to keep a bucket of water handy when using this method.)
    Redneck Dining Out
  • Remember to leave a generous tip for good service. After all, their mobile home costs just as much as yours.
    Redneck Entertaining in Your Home
  • A centerpiece for the table should never be anything prepared by a taxidermist.
  • Do not allow the dog to eat at the table . . . no matter how good his manners are.
  • If your dog falls in love with a guest's leg, have the decency to leave them alone for a few minutes.
    Redneck Dating (Outside the Family)
  • Always offer to bait your date's hook, especially on the first date.
  • Be aggressive. Let her know you are interested: "I've been wanting to go out with you since I read that stuff on the men's bathroom wall two years ago."
  • If a girl's name does not appear regularly on a bathroom wall, water tower, or an overpass, odds are good that the date will end in frustration.
    Redneck Theater Etiquette
  • Crying babies should be taken to the lobby and picked up immediately after the movie has ended.
  • Refrain from talking to characters on the screen. Tests have proven they can't hear you.
    Redneck Wedding Etiquette
  • Livestock is usually a poor choice for a wedding gift.
  • It is not okay for the groom to bring a date to a wedding.
  • When dancing, never remove undergarments, no matter how hot it is.
  • A bridal veil made of window screen is not only cost effective but also a proven fly deterrent.
  • For the groom, at least rent a tux. A leisure suit with a cummerbund and a clean bowling shirt can create a natty appearance. Though uncomfortable, say yes to socks and shoes for this special occasion.
    Redneck Etiquette for All Occasions
  • Never take a beer to a job interview or ask if they press charges.
  • Always identify people in your yard before shooting at them.
  • Always say "Excuse me" after getting sick in someone else's car.
  • It's considered tacky to take a cooler to church.
  • Even if you're certain that you are included in the will, it's considered tacky to drive a U-Haul to the funeral home.
  • The socially refined never fish coins out of public toilets, especially if other people are around.
  • Always provide an alibi to the police for family members.

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When I saw the title of the Boing Boing post Armor of God kids pajamas, I thought it would be some kind of Mormon sacred underwear thing, or maybe an anti-masturbation aid (e.g., item 5 here).

Turns out the pajamas aren't that weird, although it could be argued that sleeping in a metaphorical representation of Ephesians 6:10-18 (the verses about putting on the Armor of God to do battle against the armies of Satan, etc., etc.) isn't far removed from sleeping with the Book of Mormon in hand (suggestion 18).

Then I saw the picture:
Armor of God pajamas

and thought "The boy's got crazy eyes... Operation Rescue eyes."

And "Shouldn't the word along the bottom of the tunic read 'No!' and be upside down?"

And "Speaking of 'Truth' appearing over young Stuart's Danger Zone, who's going to be the first to make the joke 'You can't handle the Truth!'?"

Also on the topic of 'Required Reading For Freshmen' is 10 Tips On How To Think For Yourself. They're all good, but I like this one the best:

3) Understand People.

Does the person communicating with you have an agenda that might be influencing what they are telling you? What is motivating this person? Why do you think they think this way?

[H/T Lifehacker, again]

Maybe, But How Did Bush 'Know' Saddam Had WMDs?

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And speaking of required reading for incoming freshmen: maybe if more people read this essay on how to detect bullshit, then schmucks like Ward Churchill and the ISM would be far less popular:

The first detection tool is a question: How do you know what you know? Throw this phrase down when someone force feeds you an idea, an argument, a reference to a study or over-confidently suggests a course of action. People so rarely have their claims challenged, that asking someone to explain how they know sheds light on whatever ignorance they’re hiding. It instantly diminishes the force of a BS driven opinion. It works well in response to the following examples:

# "The project will take 5 weeks". How do you know this? What might go wrong that you haven't accounted for? Would you bet $10k on this claim? $100k?
# "Our design is groundbreaking." Really? What ground is that? And who, besides the designers/investors, has this opinion?
# "Studies show that liars' pants are flame resistant.." What studies? Who ran them and why? Did you actually read the study or a two sentence press clipping (poorly) explaining the results? Are there any studies that claim the opposite?

When you ask a flavor of “how do you know what you know?” often they can't answer quickly. Even credible thinkers need time to sort through their logic, separating assumptions from facts: an an exercise that works in everyone’s favor.
[H/T LifeHacker]

The Suspect's Name Is Joe-hammad Bin Pukin

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White Trash Wednesday

'Mysterious bag left in airport,' White Trash Style:

(SOMERSET, Ky.) -- In this day and time when terrorism is a threat, you just can't be too careful.

A suspicious-looking black bag was sitting close to 20,000 gallons of jet fuel at the Somerset Airport Tuesday, prompting an employee to dial 911.

. . .

Fortunately, the only thing nefarious about the bag was its odor. The contents included a vomit-stained shirt and some empty beer cans.
[H/T Fark]

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South Park 2, $cientology 0

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Paramount Pictures drops Tom Cruise because he's nuttier than a PayDay bar (which puts him squarely in the fat part of the sanity curve when compared to all committed $cientologists). In a totally-unrelated story, Paramount Pictures signs South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone to a two-picture deal in spite of their attack on $cientology.

Bwah!

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And You Can't Back Up While In One, Either!

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It's the beginning of the fall semester here at IPFW, all the new freshmen are clogging up my campus, and none of them knows how to drive in a roundabout. This should be mandatory reading for any incoming freshman.

One more time, people:

  • You cannot turn left into a roundabout.
  • You cannot turn left into a roundabout!
  • YOU CANNOT TURN LEFT INTO A ROUNDABOUT!

OK, that was three more times. Sorry.

I can't wait until the less motivated half of the freshman class quits.

OK, so maybe yesterday wasn't the apocalypse like I was worried about.

Although some Romanian oil platform workers may disagree with me:

A Romanian oil rig off the coast of Iran came under fire from an Iranian warship and was later occupied by Iranian troops, a company spokesman said.

The Iranians first fired into the air and then fired at the Orizont rig, said GSP spokesman Radu Petrescu. Half an hour later, troops from the ship boarded and occupied the rig and the company lost contact with the 26 crew members shortly afterward.

The first thing that came to mind about the 'flying while brown' passenger revolt last weekend:

Passengers noticed that, despite the heat, the pair were wearing leather jackets and thick jumpers and were regularly checking their watches.
If you're wearing a heavy sweatshirt and leather jacket on a flight out of the Costa del Sol in August, you're either trying to hide something under your coat or fixin' for a rumble. And in neither case do I want you on my plane, no matter what color you are.

So How Do You Say 'Armageddon' In Farsi, Anyway?

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Just sittin' here in the bunker with my fingers crossed, hoping Ahmadinnerjacket doesn't have anything apocalyptic planned for today...

I Question The Timing

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First, Bu$hitlerburton staged 9/11 because they're evil neocons and they have to have an Enemy. Then they staged a fake terror plot in Britain because Lieberman lost to Lamont (a loss, it appears at the moment, that may not be permanent) and they needed to distract the sheeple from that. But people were beginning to wonder, so they staged a another fake terror false alarm to cover that, and since people of course immediately questioned that one, they staged another false alarm to cover it, but it didn't even complete its first run on the neocon-pwned media before it came into question.

Bu$hitlerburton knew that not even Osama's head on a plate (which, btw, has been in a freezer in the basement of PNAC headquarters since November of 2001) would be a sufficient distraction at this point, so they went all-in, Nuclear Final Option.

They rolled out Jon-Benet Ramsey's killer.

Today's "Fun With English"

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Why do we say "What time is it?" and "Where are we?" but not "When are we?" or "What location is it?"

Life Imitates Snakes On A Plane

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White Trash Wednesday

Snakes In A Trailer:

A man was arrested Monday after deputies found 35 dead reptiles and dozens more malnourished and living in his camper, authorities said.

Craig Thomas Zoodsma, 50, was charged with 35 felonies for the death of the animals and 41 misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty.

Deputies found 35 snakes, three lizards and three turtles still living, but underfed and badly dehydrated, the Pensacola News Journal reported for Tuesday's editions.
I guess this is the male White Trash equivalent of 'crazy lady with 85 cats living in her house,' the key difference is that all the cats tend to still be alive.

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Life Imitates Jurassic Park...

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Man screws with Nature again, just because he can:

Descendents of the woolly mammoth could once more walk the earth, new research suggests.

Scientists have found that frozen sperm taken from dead animals can be used to produce offspring.

If they could also get sperm from animals that have spent millions of years encased in ice, this suggests it might even be possible to create a modern-day version of once-extinct species.

In the case of the woolly mammoth - several of which have been found preserved in ice - this would mean impregnating its closest living relative, a female Indian elephant, to produce new offspring.
Mammoth steaks, baby. I can hardly wait.

What, You Thought He Was Going To Disappear?

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Ned Lamont is 'surprised by [the] harshness of attacks' in the wake of his primary victory over Joe Lieberman. MSNBC:

Conn. Senate nominee stunned by partisanship
Lamont says he’s surprised by harshness of attacks from Lieberman, Cheney

WASHINGTON - Democratic Senate nominee Ned Lamont, the anti-war candidate who toppled Sen. Joe Lieberman in the Connecticut primary, says he was surprised by Lieberman and Vice President Dick Cheney’s claims that his victory could embolden terrorists.

. . .

After British officials disclosed they had thwarted a terrorist airline bombing plot on Thursday, Lieberman warned that Lamont’s call for a phased-withdrawal of troops from Iraq would be “taken as a tremendous victory” by terrorists.

Cheney on Wednesday had suggested that Lamont’s victory might encourage “the al-Qaida types” who want to “break the will of the American people in terms of our ability to stay in the fight and complete the task.”

If he's surprised, he ain't paying attention, for two reasons. First, that's the Vice President's response to EVERYBODY who wants a timetable from a withdrawl from Iraq. You may not agree with that argument, but for Lamont to be surprised by it is, well, surprising.

Second, it's not like Lamont's hands are exactly clean on this. He'd like us to forget that a prominent leftist blogger who he didn't know who he met once who directed him in a commercial and followed his campaign with very close access posted a picture of Lieberman in blackface and tried to send it down the memory hole when busted on it.

I'm OK with bare-knuckle politics, but don't do shit like that and act surprised when your opponents respond in kind.

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Code Monkey No Like War Protesters

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So you're a modern-day Northern Irish socialist, lazing around the commune, when you hear that the Zionists have invaded Lebanon and are driving back the heroic Hezbollah charity who wants nothing more than to be left in peace so they can distribute rockets food to the Israelis poor people of Lebanon.

This is absolutely the last straw; now you've just GOT to stick it to The Man. Remembering the axiom "Think Globally, Act Locally," you recall the local instantiation of the Imperialist Capitalist Running Pig-Dog Military/Industrial Complex just over the hill in Derry. Your mates have been protesting this Raytheon building on and off ever since it came to Derry, but just kid stuff, really - a brief sit-in and a bit of street theater. No, it's now time to show the Zionists and their warmongering enablers some Direct Action:

Anti-war protesters today stormed American arms manufacturer Raytheon's Londonderry base, with nine people barricading themselves into the building and wrecking equipment.

The protesters were soon locked in a tense stand-off with upwards of 50 police officers, after some of them inflicted considerable damage, especially to computers.

According to the protesters, the computer system was "completely disabled".

Amid chaotic scenes at the Buncrana Road site, thousands of documents and dozens of computers were burned and thrown from windows by members of a group that entered the building at 8am today.

That the building is a software development center writing Air Traffic Control systems software is irrelevant; it's all about the symbolism:

Fellow anti-war protester and member of Socialist Environmental Alliance Goretti Horgan, who was one of those protesting outside the building at the Ulster Science and Technology Park on Buncrana Road, said: "There is a bit of property damage but that is as nothing compared to the thousands of people dying.

"We had to do the damage in order to get a chance to put Raytheon in the dock. We want to try and stop or slow down Raytheon production even for a short while because any kind of delay to getting bombs to Israel to drop on innocent Lebanese and Palestinian people has to be welcomed."

And your stunt must have worked really really well - so well, in fact, that Bu$hCo was forced to trump up a pretend terrorist crisis in order to keep you off the front page! Brilliant!

I, for my part, will help you take your message to the next level: if you really want to 'stop or slow down Raytheon production,' I'll start a collection for plane fare to fly you to Tucson where the missiles are actually built.

You'll have to bring your own body bags, though.

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I'm On The 15-Day Disabled List With A Bad Dream

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I have a tendonitis problem in my elbow that flares up every time I play hockey. It's not too bad; it's sore for a day or two afterwards, but it's OK by the time I play hockey again the next week.

Well, now it looks like I've screwed myself - I had a dream last night that I vacuumed my whole house with an old-fashioned reel lawn mower, and my elbow still feels like I just played a quintuple-overtime game.

White Trash Wednesday

Dr. Bukk, he of the fake teef, has a different take on the idea of Civil War War Of Northern Aggression reparations:

As you probably know, the people collectively known as "white trash" suffered more losses during and after the War of Northern Aggression than any other group! This discrimination has ruined our life for more than a century. That explains why today we are so funny looking.

Our brave ancestors fought against Yankee aggressors even though they did not own any slaves. Why? The question has plagued historians because slave owners, and even their slaves looked down on us white trash. There was nothing in it for us, yet we fought hard! We fought to preserve our Southern way of life. A life where you could grow corn and make your own tax-fee whiskey. A life where you could put woodland wildlife on the table, so long as you had the ammunition. A life where the womenfolk did all the drudgery while you gambled, drank, fought, farted and belched your life away.

RTWT, which in this case means "Read tha 'hole thang!"

Or find somebody to read it to you iff'n you ain't gotcher GED yet.

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Say What You Think, Get Treated Accordingly

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Remember when I posted about the Chixie Dicks' troubles now that they've decided they don't want redneck fans no more? Well, the hits just keep on comin'. Dixie Chicks Cancel 14 Shows On Tour:

Several concerts on the Dixie Chicks' "Accidents & Accusations" tour have been canceled after slow ticket sales, but the group says it has replaced them with other dates.

Kansas City, Houston, St. Louis, Memphis and Knoxville are among 14 cities no longer on the original schedule released in May, according to a revised itinerary posted Thursday on the Dixie Chick's Web site.
Houston. They're from Texas, and they can't get a gig in f'ing Houston? BWAHAHAHAHAHA!

But it's all good, though - they've replaced those shows. With Canadian ones. Of course, they'll need to play 30% more dates to cover the exchange rate.

Group spokeswoman Kathy Allmand said Monday that the total number of North American dates remains the same, with several Canadian cities added in place of the U.S. shows.

The trio released a statement last week attributing the changes to attempts to "accommodate demand" and said more dates might be added next year.

I am in awe of the epic spin job represented by the phrase 'accomodate demand.' What a way to express the sentiment "accomodate the lack of demand we brought upon ourselves by shitting on the fans who made us rich. And famous. But mostly rich":

I [Natalie Maines] like lots of country music, but as far as the industry and everything that happened... I couldn't want to be farther away from that. And it's easier when you're financially set, because you can be a little more ballsy, and just do what you want to do.

As for the Canadian tour dates, am I the only one thinking "Out: Houston. In: Moose Dick, Saskatchabertitoba Territory?"

[H/T Coach TC on KisP]

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Intoxicants 1, Mel Gibson 0

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You've all heard by now about Mel Gibson running afoul of the axiom in vino veritas, but there's something about this whole incident that bothers me. My panel of experts concurs wholeheartedly - a BAC of 0.12% should not make you drunk enough to do and say what Gibson did.

I can think of two possible explanations for this discrepancy: first, that the BAC was fudged to make it appear lower than it really was. I don't see why the police would do this; first of all, it's evidence tampering. Second, if they wanted to give him a pass, they wouldn't have tested him in the first place. Take him home, say "Good night, Mr. Gibson, try to be more careful next time," end of story.

The other - and I haven't heard anybody say this, so let me be clear that I'm just pulling this out of my ass right now - is that Gibson had something else on board.

I'm not much of a fan of what Big Music is jamming down our throats nowadays (especially rap, which they insist on spelling without a leading 'c', and which I characterize as "boasting to a drumbeat," which line I cribbed from someone else I can't recall at the moment and for which Google shows one hit - my previous reference to it - which now marks a personal record for most 'which's in a parenthetical remark).

Anyway.

I guess the point I'm trying to make is that I'm about the last person I would expect to defend rap, but when the attack against it is even stupider than the music itself, I figure I gotta say something. It would appear that Modern Youth is powerless to resist sexual lyrics:

Teens whose iPods are full of music with raunchy, sexual lyrics start having sex sooner than those who prefer other songs, a study found.

Whether it's hip-hop, rap, pop or rock, much of popular music aimed at teens contains sexual overtones. Its influence on their behavior appears to depend on how the sex is portrayed, researchers found
OK, so it's kind of my ox being gored here with the rock and everything, but whatever.
Teens who said they listened to lots of music with degrading sexual messages were almost twice as likely to start having intercourse or other sexual activities within the following two years as were teens who listened to little or no sexually degrading music.

Among heavy listeners, 51 percent started having sex within two years, versus 29 percent of those who said they listened to little or no sexually degrading music.
That's 76% more likely; hardly what I would consider 'almost twice as likely.'

Even granting this fairly strong correlation, nothing in the study (at least, nothing in the story) really establishes causation. There doesn't appear to be any acknowlegement that the relationship may be reversed - that teenage horndogs tend to like songs with sexual lyrics.

The first 'expert' quoted is a teenaged editor for a 'teen sexual health web site,' and even she admits that she doesn't pay attention to the lyrics...

Natasha Ramsey, a 17-year-old from New Brunswick, N.J., said she and other teens sometimes listen to sexually explicit songs because they like the beat.

"I won't really realize that the person is talking about having sex or raping a girl," she said.
...before remembering to get back on message.
Even so, the message "is being beaten into the teens' heads," she said. "We don't even really realize how much."

. . .

"Teens will try to deny it, they'll say 'No, it's not the music,' but it IS the music. That has one of the biggest impacts on our lives," Ramsey said.

To be sure, the article makes room for a dissenting viewpoint...

However, Yvonne K. Fulbright, a New York-based sex researcher and author, said factors including peer pressure, self-esteem and home environment are probably more influential than the research suggests.

"It's a little dangerous to just pinpoint one thing. You have to look at everything that's going on in a young person's life," she said. "When somebody has a healthy sense of themselves, they don't take these lyrics too seriously."

. . .

"A healthy home atmosphere is one that allows a child to investigate what pop culture has to offer and at the same time say 'I know this is a fun song but you know that it's not right to treat women this way or this isn't a good person to have as a role model,"' she said.
...which of course must be immediately outweighed by the scaremongers:
David Walsh, a psychologist who heads the National Institute on Media and the Family, said the results make sense, and echo research on the influence of videos and other visual media.

The brain's impulse-control center undergoes "major construction" during the teen years at the same time that an interest in sex starts to blossom, he said.

Add sexually arousing lyrics and "it's not that surprising that a kid with a heavier diet of that ... would be at greater risk for sexual behavior," Walsh said.

Anybody Need A Free Pepsi Ringtone?

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I've got about 20 more Pepsi Smash ringtones than I'll ever use, and it appears that I can cash them in for cell numbers other than just my own. So poke around there, find one you want, and let me know via email (parking underscore god ayat yahoo dawt com). First come first serve; offer ends August 20th.

Queer Eye For The Cave Guy

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A Bob & Tom three-fer today (actually yesterday, blah blah blah I'm a day behind, yada yada yada podcast during workout). Laura and Tom read from a [London] Times story about how the 'metrosexual' may not be a modern invention:

Scientists examining prehistoric bodies found in the peat bogs of Ireland have discovered evidence of careful grooming on male corpses. One of the bodies, dug up in 2003 at Clonycavan, near Dublin, had Mohawk-style hair, held in place with a gel substance. The other, unearthed three months later 25 miles (40km) away in Oldcroghan by workmen, had perfectly manicured fingernails.

The findings on the bodies, which are 2,300 years old, suggest that despite living in the Iron Age, ancient man had some very modern concerns.

This led comedian Andrew Kennedy (whom I WILL see if he comes to the Fort) to speculate that not all may have been as it appeared to be:

Meanwhile, there's some ... Irish guys talking about it at a pub, how they dug up these bones and did the mohawk and then put them back in there - 'Oh, that was funny, wasn't it? It's all over their news, can you believe it? They think they had a mohawk, stupid bastards!'

I would have taken it one step farther:

'Let's finish our pints and go out and do some crop circles after!'

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I'm Just Mad I Didn't Think Of It

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Some enterprising soul has put pictures to Bob & Tom's Cleveland Steamer and put it on YouTube:

I've also updated my post of the lyrics to point to this video.

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Bob & Tom's Kristi Lee is 'on assignment,' as they say, so Laura Steele has been sitting in for her (forget that last link - go here instead). Although I doubt she will want to come back again, because in hour 2 of yesterday's show, the boys managed to get her to admit that she rarely wears underwear (leading to this [MP3] observation from Chick). From the 'EXTREMELY Unfortunate Context Convergence' department, the conversation soon turned to what kind of coffee each cast member drinks.

I think Laura meant to say that she just has a plain coffee, a very simple order. However, it came out like this [MP3].

And as long as I'm playing with Cool Edit Pro, here's a little snippet that you could probably make into a ringtone.

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Chicks Is Different From Dudes

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Lawrence Summers says it and loses his job. I'm guessing the same fate won't befall California neuropsychiatrist Louann Brizendine:

Now her first book, "The Female Brain," which she describes as a kind of owner's manual for women, is due in bookstores next month. Brizendine realizes she's going to take some heat. "I know it's not politically correct to say this," she says, "and I've been torn for years between my politics and what science is telling us. But I believe that women actually perceive the world differently than men. If women attend to those differences, they can make better decisions about how to manage their lives."
Wow. A scientist who can actually separate her politics from her science. Not many of those making the news nowadays - she's a keeper, regardless of what her politics are!

Although the professionally outraged are, well, outraged:

Examining the biological underpinnings of gender difference is bunk, these critics say, because there aren't many. Last year prominent psychologist Janet Hyde examined decades of studies that compared the emotional and behavioral lives of men and women and concluded that most differences between the genders were statistically "close to zero." "There is no gender-difference phenomena to explain," she says.

. . .

Hyde, a psychology and women's studies professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, who conducted the meta-analysis of men and women last year, says she's disgusted by scientists, writers and publishers who exploit trivial differences between the genders. Books like this "are bad for my blood pressure," she says. Dr. Nancy C. Andreasen, a psychiatrist and neuroimaging expert at the University of Iowa's medical school, says nurture plays such a huge role in human behavior that focusing on biology is next to meaningless. "Whatever measurable differences exist in the brain," says Andreasen, "are used to oppress and suppress women." [emphasis added]

Nancy, baby, go protest against Newsweek for misspelling 'womyn.'

Update: It would have been a better comparison if I'd originally spelled Summers' name correctly.

[H/T INDCJournal, not like Bill needs it or anything]

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White Trash Neighbor v2.0 - Now With Extra Trash!

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White Trash Wednesday

I few months ago, I pointed to the Redneck Neighbor story. Well, today's hero makes the Redneck Neighbor look like the epitome of class and decorum - Seminole County's Worst Neighbor:

The man dubbed Seminole County's worst neighbor was released from jail and returned to his home, according to a Local 6 News report [yay Local6! - ed] . Alan Davis was released after 17 months behind bars for failing to follow the rules of house arrest . . .. Before his arrest, neighbors complained about Davis and the piles of junk and rats in his yard for more than 10 years . . ..

I'm not sure how long this story will stay up on Local6's site (it's on their 'weird pictures' slideshow), so here's the picture:

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This is the only bridge off Oak Island.  So why do they need this 'Hurricane Evacuation Route' sign?

The picture quality isn't the greatest. The sign says 'Hurricane Evacuation Route.'

Life Imitates The Tin Man...

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Dale Brown's 1999 novel The Tin Man describes a futuristic armored suit that is designed to remain flexible under normal wear but stiffen when hit by a projectile.

Slashdot is reporting that a company will start selling 'liquid armor' next year. Liquid Armor The New Bulletproof Vest:

kjh1 writes "Armor Holdings Inc. plans to start selling their 'liquid armor' next year. The new armor, originally envisioned to be spread on like peanut butter, is instead sprayed onto Kevlar in ultrathin coats. From the article: 'it's a mix of polyethylene glycol, a polymer found in laxatives and other consumer products, and nanobits of silica, or purified sand. Together they produce a "sheer-thickening liquid" that stiffens instantly into a shield when hit hard by an object. It reverts to its liquid state just as fast when the energy from the projectile dissipates.'"

Spiffy. Incidentally, life also (sorta) imitates Lyndon Hardy's Master of the Five Magics here, since that book had a magical cage whose bars stiffened proportionally to the robustness of the tool used against them (and was eventually defeated by using a magically-dull ceremonial dagger previously thought useless by its owner).

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