Top Ten Writers, You’re Fired!

Letterman needs to fire the writers who titled tonight’s Top Ten list.


Yeah. Seriously. I kid you not. Arrrrrrggggh!

posted on 29 April 2005 at 2357entertainment1 commentstrackback

Gull Lake School Board Stands Its Ground

Kudos to Gull Lake Public Schools for standing their ground on the evolution vs. intelligent design debate. Despite threats of a lawsuit by the Thomas More Law Center in Ann Arbor, GLPS has said they will continue to enforce their ban on the teaching of the pseudoscientific cockamamie crap known as intelligent design. The ball is in your court, Fundies. Gull Lake just called your bluff.

posted on 29 April 2005 at 2315politix0 commentstrackback

Attention, Readers!

As many of you know, I’ve switched to SpamLookup for my blog spam control needs. The initial teething period had some minor issues, but those should all be behind me now.

I’m posting this to remind you of one thing: if you find yourself unable to comment for seemingly no reason, it’s quite likely that you’ve been assigned an IP address that, until recently, was being used in an inordinate number of attempts to post spam here. I’m banning all IPs that attempt more than five spams, and SpamLookup is helping me keep track. This probably won’t affect anyone in the U.S., but I’m posting this as a reminder just in case.

As always, you can mail the text of a rejected comment to (comment-rejected) at this domain name, and I can approve it manually.

posted on 28 April 2005 at 1240meta0 commentstrackback

Looking for N64 Expansion Pack

I’m officially on the lookout for an N64 expansion pack, so if any of you readers have one or know someone who’s looking to get rid of one, give me a holler.

On a related note, anyone who wants to play some serious GoldenEye and doesn’t have an N64 to do it, I can highly recommend Babbage’s/GameStop as a good source of $20 used N64s, with a 90-day warranty to boot.

posted on 27 April 2005 at 1651entertainment0 commentstrackback

Dumbass of the Day

A would-be burglar locked himself in a trunk in Fresno, California, while attempting to steal items from the car. A security guard at the apartment complex followed a trail of blood from another ransacked vehicle to the perpetrator’s “hiding” place and informed authorities when he heard a banging noise coming from the trunk.

Red FormanRed Forman Dumbass Rating: Bob (Dumbass) Bob (Dumbass) Bob (Dumbass) Bob (Dumbass)

(via Autoblog)

posted on 26 April 2005 at 1654humour0 commentstrackback

They’re Definitely Suspicious Now

A man in southwestern Wisconsin is in court after keeping his dead mother’s body in a freezer for the last five years. The man claimed he did it because he was afraid police would suspect he had killed his mother.

“Fred, I think we’ve got an eater!”
“I’ll get the oven on!”

posted on 26 April 2005 at 1648humour0 commentstrackback

“Locusts” Update

In the spirit of Dave Barry’s updates on Fox’s hit “24”, Blizza Blizza is proud to bring you the world premiere “Locusts” update.

2102: Tasty Blonde Girl is so going to get eaten.

2108: Apparently Gavin Vereek is running a sketchy little side project that has created these weird things.

2112: Ooh, Xena just fired Gavin.

2113: Was that a locust in the drain? Also, Xena seems to be married. And she wears suits!

2115: Xena’s husband has just kicked her out, probably because he found out about Gabrielle.

2116: Someone tell Donald Bellisario they stole his little computer-typing-in-green-text title idea.

2117: They’ve — and by “they” I mean Angry Husband — been using Sulphate of Potash Magnesium!

2120: Caricatured African Diplomats are laughing at how stupid American men are. And Xena is going to have Angry Abandoned Husband’s baby! If the grasshoppers don’t eat it first.

2121: Ominous music and tents. Nice visual pun.

2122: Token Black Guy is definitely Not Tickling Token Black Girlfriend. Those locusts are horny little buggers. Token Black Guy should not take this lying down.

2123: Still no IPEX commercials. This bears investigating. Xena needs to be brought in.

2126: We fear for the welfare of windshields everywhere.

2128: Xena is not wearing an IPEX halter top.

2130: Creepy Scientist Gavin (not his real name) suspects something.

2132: The bus windshield is no match for the iron heads of locusts!

2133: Resistant to all known pesticides, but easily succumbs to the spray of a CO2 fire extinguisher? We don’t think so.

2135: Three commercial breaks already and not one Ortho commercial? Someone at CBS missed a Golden Opportunity™.

2139: PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: Dead locusts are a biohazard and must be disposed of properly.

2142: Xena is still not wearing any IPEX products. Also, Pittsburgh is now in the Great Lakes region.


2145: They are Closing Down the Festival!

2148: Stacey looks good today. And we cannot disagree.

2150: Surprise!

2151: “They can’t get in the building.” Yeah, right.

2158: A whole hour, and not one IPEX commercial. This is criminal.

2200: The Government thinks The Terrorists are behind it. And BJ is Xena’s dad.

2205: Just to reiterate, Locusts Eat EVERYTHING!

2206: It’s a Sign from God. Someone should tell NBC.

2208: Even the sheep are scared.

2211: She is pregnant. With an alien grasshopper baby, probably. That way, CBS can have a sequel.

2215: I wonder if locusts taste good with ranch…

2216: Still no IPEX commercials. Things are getting critical. Maybe the locusts ate the entire production.

2217: Someone at the DoD forgot to watch The Rock.

2222: BJ is about to be in Grave Danger! Xena must save him from the Government, which is still blissfully ignorant of The Rock.

2226: Xena has taken Matters into Her Own Hands. PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: Never mess with pregnant ladies.

2229: French’s has made a Mustard Breakthrough! Unfortunately, our only weapon against the locusts was the Watery Mess. Alas, we’re all going to starve. But at least we’ll have mustard.

2234: Creepy Scientist Gavin’s daughter is OK. But she is also clearly spaced out on drugs. All the Important People are converging on BJ’s farm. Suspect locust swarm may trap them there in a giant love-fest. Hunter S. Thompson will make an appearance after writing critically acclaimed “Fear and Locusts in Vernon, Indiana.”

2236: Creepy Scientist has Never Seen swarming behaviour like this!

2237: BJ and Xena are being very resourceful. Hawkeye would be proud. So would McGyver.

2239: Creepy Scientist has died of locust bites. Large sparks from high-power AC generator fail to ignite copious amounts of very dry hay. Millions of locusts fall off silos like so much black rain.

2241: IMPORTANT PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: The world’s cravings can now be satisfied.

2245: Matt says, “This is the best episode of Xena I have ever encountered.”

2247: The DoD and DHS are back to their willful ignorance of The Rock. Dr. Stanley Goodspeed is not pleased.

2250: The entire Rocky Mountains and Mississippi Valley are being turned into giant electric fences, in hopes that they’ll make the World’s Largest Bug-Zapper. Haha. Fat chance.

2252: Xena and her husband have now completed their flight. They boarded a Citation, flew en-route in a Falcon 2000, landed in a Gulfstream III, and disembarked from another Citation. Good job, guys.

2255: This Is It!

2257: Xena has given birth to Alien Grasshopper Baby, and there’s been An Outbreak™.

2258: Roll credits. All two of them. Probably to save the actors the embarrassment.

2259: Two whole hours, and not one single IPEX commercial. What a waste of time!

posted on 24 April 2005 at 2110entertainment0 commentstrackback

T-Mobile Makes Coverage Maps Public

In a first for U.S. wireless carriers, T-Mobile has decided to release detailed street-level wireless coverage maps to the public. I’ve done quite a bit of traveling in the I-94/I-80 corridor, and along the I-69/I-75 corridor, and the maps jive pretty well with the coverage I’ve experienced. If you’re on T-Mo, have a look and see where you can expect to have your calls dropped.

(via PhoneScoop)

posted on 22 April 2005 at 1457sci-tech0 commentstrackback

Rick Santorum Sells Out to Corporate Interests

Senator Rick Santorum has officially sold out to corporate interests. He has introduced a bill that would eliminate free weather information as provided by the NOAA’s National Weather Service.


Because AccuWeather, a very large corporate “constituent” headquartered in Pennsylvania, Santorum’s “home” state, thinks the NOAA’s free information is keeping people from buying the same information from AccuWeather.

AccuWeather doesn’t have anywhere near the data-gathering capacity of the NOAA. They don’t have taxpayer-funded satellites or thousands of taxpayer-funded offshore bouys. They don’t have ten taxpayer-funded WC-130s flying as part of the 53d Weather Reconnaissance Squadron, better known as the “Hurricane Hunters.” They are a private company that, ironically enough, relies very heavily on NOAA data for their business.

Corporate welfare at its finest. This is utterly ridiculous.

posted on 21 April 2005 at 2257sci-tech2 commentstrackback

Right-Wing Nutjobs Again Miss the Point

The Thomas More Law Center in Ann Arbor is contemplating suing Gull Lake Public Schools if “intelligent design” is not taught in their seventh-grade science classes.

Never mind that intelligent design is not science.

Never mind that Thomas More was a respected man who believed that a good education was very important.

Never mind that American public school students have consistently scored near the bottom of worldwide educational surveys, especially in science.

Never mind that evolution is a fact, and “theory” of natural selection doesn’t mean what the Fundies want you to think.

Never mind that most pro-creationism (or pro-intelligent design) “scientists” have worthless credentials and aren’t scientists at all.

Never mind all that. If the Fundies don’t get God into science class, we’re all going to Hell.

Gimme a friggin’ break.

posted on 21 April 2005 at 1849politix0 commentstrackback

Dumbass of the Day

Note to Residents of Canadia: if you run out of gas, please do not lie down in the middle of the Trans-Canada Highway to get attention. See, the thing is, people tried that already, and a lot of them died.

Red FormanRed Forman Dumbass Rating: Kelso (Dumbass) Kelso (Dumbass) Kelso (Dumbass) Kelso (Dumbass)

(via Dave Barry)

posted on 21 April 2005 at 1440humour0 commentstrackback

Must-Have Swiss-Army-Knife Gadget of the Year

Sunbeam makes toasters, right? Toasters, microwave ovens, toaster ovens, coffeemakers, that sort of thing, right?

I’m just struggling to wrap my head around how a company that was, until yesterday, best known for their toasters could birth something as ridiculous (and as ridiculously useful) as the “20-in-1 Superior Panel” (review).

If I had even the slightest inkling that I might be getting a tower computer any time soon, I would be all over this.

(via Gizmodo)

posted on 21 April 2005 at 1245sci-tech0 commentstrackback

About That Whole Adobe-Macromedia Thing

I think John Gruber pretty much nailed it.

Best quote:

[From the FAQ…]

How many employees does Macromedia have?

Macromedia has approximately 1,450 employees worldwide.

Please note use of present tense.

How many employees does Adobe have?

Adobe has approximately 4,000 employees worldwide.

Ditto regarding use of present tense. Please also note that PDF is an excellent format for sending out résumés.

posted on 21 April 2005 at 1236humour0 commentstrackback

Giant Hypocrite of the Day

The award for today goes to Tom DeLay, House Majority Leader and real-life counterpart to Eric Gordon.

DeLay is angry with Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, mostly because Kennedy, along with the rest of the court, refused to hear the Terri Schiavo case. Mr. DeLay rails against so-called “judicial activism,” but what he’s really mad about in this case is that Kennedy, a Republican appointee to the court (by no less a conservative icon than Ronald Reagan!), isn’t being activist in favour of DeLay’s right-wing Fundie nutjob policies.

Sorry, Tommy, but that’s how the Supreme Court works. Just because you feel a compelling need to interfere in someone else’s life doesn’t mean SCOTUS has to agree with you.

posted on 20 April 2005 at 1156politix0 commentstrackback

Utterly Superfluous Automotive Accessories, Part LXVII

GM has announced it will be offering roof-mounted DirectTV satellite dishes as an option on 2006 Cadillac Escalades. Now pedestrians, car drivers, and motorcyclists everywhere can cower in fear at the possibility that someone will be watching 600 channels of high-definition digital entertainment instead of the road, whilst piloting a three-ton hunk of metal and fuel directly at them.

posted on 20 April 2005 at 1147car0 commentstrackback

Virgin Mary Appears in Chicago

She’s moved from her former habitat in a grilled cheese.

posted on 20 April 2005 at 1143general0 commentstrackback

Michigan Legislature Attempts Smoking Ban, Again

Both houses of the state legislature are now backing a measure that would ban smoking in workplaces, restaurants, and bars. Here’s hoping it passes.

It’s expected that the Michigan Restaurant Association, a 4500-member trade group, will again oppose the legislation. WOOD-TV says, “[m]any restauranteurs say they should be able to decide the issue for themselves.”

Yeah. And I should be able to decide for myself whether or not to sue your irresponsible asses for letting secondhand smoke give me cancer in 30 years. It’s a public place. No smoking. If people want to kill themselves in their own houses with all the windows closed, more power to them, but don’t inflict that on the rest of us, OK?

posted on 19 April 2005 at 1202general6 commentstrackback

Blindingly Obvious Headline of the Day

From ScienceDaily:

Research Could Lead To New Drugs For HIV

Next on CLN News at Six: Old Age Can Lead to Death!

posted on 18 April 2005 at 1336humour0 commentstrackback

Eat Chocolate, Kill Cancer

This is just too cool.

In addition to the psychological benefits of eating a bit of chocolate, researchers at Georgetown have now found compounds in chocolate shut down cancerous cell division.

The physiological properties of theobromine, the primary alkaloid in cocoa beans, are well-known. Hopefully we’ll be able to add procyanidin to that list.

(via ScienceDaily)

posted on 18 April 2005 at 0110sci-tech0 commentstrackback

Move Over, Virgin Mary

Remember the Virgin Mary Grilled Cheese?

She’s been superceded by the Elvis Presley Cat Hairball.

And to think that if Wisconsin legalises cat hunting, we might be forever deprived of future celebrity-shaped hairballs from feline Cheeseheads.

We’re holding out for the Lindsay Lohan profile version.

posted on 15 April 2005 at 1114humour0 commentstrackback

Number One, and Only

Flat-D Innovations, Inc. claims to be “the #1 name in flatulence odor control products.”

Number one — and only.

(not via Dave Barry, but via Lee via IM)

posted on 13 April 2005 at 0050humour0 commentstrackback

Not to Toot My Own Horn, But…

Apparently some folks have been reading the stuff I’ve posted on The Apple Blog. Cracked me the heck up. Thanks, guys.

posted on 11 April 2005 at 2258politix0 commentstrackback

This One’s for You, Lee

That would be “Lee” as in “Lee Bennett,” fellow ATPM staffer and blogger, who is quite possibly the only person I’ve ever met who might be more vehemently anti-smoking than I am.

Best Anti-smoking Commercial Ever

(via Jalopnik)

posted on 11 April 2005 at 1718humour0 commentstrackback

Dumbass of the Day: Parenting 101

Never, ever, ever let your child sleep in the same bed as a man three times his age.

Red FormanRed Forman Dumbass Rating: Hyde (Dumbass) Hyde (Dumbass) Hyde (Dumbass) Hyde (Dumbass)

posted on 11 April 2005 at 1714humour0 commentstrackback

I Have a New Hero

His name is Brad Choate. (Sorry, Jay. I still love you and all, but…well, read on.)

SpamLookup has blocked or moderated every single attempted spam on this blog since I installed it two days ago. MT-Blacklist, as good as it was, was allowing one out of every couple hundred comment spams through, and it had no means of moderating trackbacks at all.

What can I say? Even Jay loves it to death.

Thanks a bunch, guys. I really appreciate both the great utilities.

posted on 11 April 2005 at 1402meta1 commentstrackback

Housekeeping Notes

I’ve cleaned up a few more template issues so that just about everything should be consistent in appearance now. The search template is the most noticeable change, and I think you’ll be happy with its new look.

I’ve also dropped MT-Blacklist entirely in favour of Brad Choate’s new SpamLookup plugin, which combines many of MT-Blacklist’s features with Brad’s older DSBL plugin. If you’ve had any problems commenting in the last week, please re-try your comment if you wish. I’ve been doing a lot of behind-the-scenes work with anti-spam plugins in that time and some things may have been somewhat broken. Everything should be back to normal now, and we’ll see how SpamLookup does on blocking the thousands of spams per month this blog is getting.

posted on 09 April 2005 at 1630meta0 commentstrackback

Essays For Sale

From the “gee i never woulda thought of that and it’s such a giant surprise” department, Techdirt is reporting that most essays for sale online are “just plain bad”. Of course, there are also starving improv comedians who are willing to perpetrate all sorts of hilarity on the scum of the earth who would dare to perpetuate such a crime against academia.

Do your own work, you lazy sonsabitches. If you just want the piece of paper, I have a couple thousand spams here that describe how to get a de.6ree from a pr3stig.i0us un1.vers1.ty for only $50. Bonus: you save mommy and daddy a hundred grand, or you get a hundred grand you can spend on booze and E.

Yes, I graduated from college, and did a year of Ph. D. work besides.

No, I’m not the least bit resentful toward people who act like the world owes their drunk asses a degree.

Why do you ask?

posted on 07 April 2005 at 0311school0 commentstrackback

Job Hunt Updates and Miscellany

Apologies for the unannounced absence earlier this week. I had some family business to attend to (namely, getting out of town for a few days).

Without being too specific, the Ann Arbor job is out, I’m waiting to hear from Texas, and posting will be irregular at best around here at least through the weekend as I’m headed to Wisconsin for an interview on Friday and have a local lead to follow up on tomorrow.

On top of that, I have one…two…three…four…five…six pending reviews with one more supposedly somewhere in the morass of FedEx-ia. For those of you keeping score, that list includes the Altec Lansing FX6021 and XT1 speaker systems, Kensington’s Expert Mouse 7.0, Keynamics’ amazing Laptop Stand on Wheels, the AlBook I’m typing on — now dubbed “Al Kaline”, Better Energy Systems’ Solio iPod charger, and MaxUpgrades’ MaxSleeve. Look for those seven reviews in upcoming issues of ATPM which, by the way, just celebrated its 10th anniversary!

So yeah, I’ll be a bit busy. Expect news as I get it.

posted on 07 April 2005 at 0250meta0 commentstrackback

Thinking of My Happy Place

Because if the Robo-Urinal touches my penis, I swear on all things holy that I will dismember it into a million pieces and insert every last one of them up the urethra of its designer, like a million tiny candirú.

posted on 06 April 2005 at 2342sci-tech0 commentstrackback

Headline of the Day

As usual, from the BBC:

Shuttle rollout delayed by crack

So would that be virtual or real crack?

Update, 0031 EDT:

To the surprise of absolutely no one, Slashdot needs headline editors too.

Crack Found in Shuttle Tank

Way to go, guys. Way to freakin’ go.

posted on 06 April 2005 at 2336humour0 commentstrackback

Dumbass of the Day

Thanks again to Dave Barry, who provides us with this wonderful story:

Two teenagers in Colorado are in custody after admitting to stealing a car from New Mexico, filling it full of 265 POUNDS of marijuana, and illegally parking in a handicapped space at a local motel.

Memo to criminals: remember the lesson of Al Capone, and don’t draw unnecessary attention to yourselves.

Red FormanRed Forman Dumbass Rating: Bob (Dumbass) Bob (Dumbass) Bob (Dumbass)

posted on 06 April 2005 at 2324humour0 commentstrackback

Stop the Bigotry!

The scariest Presidential candidate in recent memory was at Western Michigan University for a speech and Q&A session last night, where a 24-year-old protester attacked him with a bottle of salad dressing.

The video is absolutely hilarious. (Requires Windows Media Player, unfortunately.)

posted on 01 April 2005 at 1048politix1 commentstrackback