Saturday, May 28, 2005


Big Brains in the British Medical Community

Well it's in. Murder is on the rise in the U.K. as that august periodical the British Medical Journal informs us. And what is the weapon of choice of our Anglo brethren? Knives, accounting for one third of all homicides.

The solution to this epidemic of death by cutlery... "We suggest that banning the sale of long pointed knives is a sensible and practical measure..."

I'm no expert on the dynamics of the thought processes of the criminal mind but I have grave concerns for our future if this is the best that the brightest among us have to offer.

My suggestion to the authors of the above referenced study: Knives don't kill people. People with murderous intent and access to knives, guns, baseball bats, heavy chains, various and sundry poisons, heavy sculptures, automobiles, garrots, high balconies, any manner of power tools and flammable accelerants kill people.

My list is not exhaustive and I invite the reader to contribute to other modes of destruction (all of which apparently require some sort of federal ban).

Thursday, May 26, 2005


Tumescent Law

Eugene Volokh of the Volokh Conspiracy recently published this post. He quotes the language of some Indiana and Tennessee law defining the crime of public nudity. Volokh calls particular attention to this clause:
"the showing of covered male genitals in a discernibly turgid state."

I'm particularly gratified to note the precise exposition of this important bit of legislation. However, several questions arise:

I'd be grateful for some legal clarification as a confluence of events might find me in one of the states in question in the state in question.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005


One Big Cake

Thanks to A Welsh View for this post: Las Vegas is claiming the record for the world's largest birthday cake.

I'm anticipating a lot of doggie bags.

Monday, May 16, 2005


Logical Flaw in Newsweek's "Koran Down the Toilet" Story

Michelle Malkin has more to say about the Newsweek story retraction.

Personally, I never trusted Newsweek's story about the Guantanamo Bay intelligence agent who flushed a copy of the Koran down a toilet. I don't know how things are at your house but around here, any such attempt would require a prompt search for the plumber's helper.

Saturday, May 14, 2005


Someone's in a lot of trouble!

At last!

Friday, May 13, 2005


Huffington's Post vs. Huffington's Toast

I think it's really a shame that The Huffington Post doesn't make their traffic data public as the Huffington Toast does. This is definitely a race for market share I'd love to follow. Thing's at the Toast are picking up dramatically. Is it too late to get in at the ground floor?

Wednesday, May 11, 2005


Michael Heistand's take on the impact of the NHL player's strike

Michael Heistand wrote a column for USA Today on the fact that ESPN's ratings are no worse since replacing NHL games with other things (such as some sports star bowling show). It must be tough on the best hockey players in the world to know that the ratings they generate are no better than those of women's softball.

His article quotes NHL spokeswoman Bernadette Mansur as saying "the point is not about the ratings."

Heistand then makes the exceptionally apropos observation that "When leagues or networks say ratings are not really the point, they're usually talking about unflattering ratings." That's how journalism is done.

Monday, May 09, 2005


The Best of Arianna Huffington's Blog

A lot has been said about the Huffington Post, much of it scathing. I would like to post one link that is quite a gem however. Jonah Peretti, the site's technical guru has posted a demo of just what an expert with Photoshop can do. The original graphic artist responsible for the display, Greg Apodaca has other examples here.

I particularly liked this example of how he made the model's breasts larger and her hips slimmer. One can only imagine the wider applications.


Conspicuous absences at the Time Traveler Convention

The Instapundit linked his readers to an account of the MIT Time Traveler Convention. Apparently the convention was a big success. Unfortunately, there were no time travelers in attendance.

Six reasons for this conspicuous absence were raised. To me, there was a seventh: Perhaps in the future, time traveler conventions are generally dismissed as passé.

Saturday, May 07, 2005


Disturbing developments in Mount Kisco, NY

Parking meter man Jason Burke is in big trouble. It seems that the Mount Kisco, NY public servant stole some $30,000 worth of quarters he collected over an eight month period. This in itself raises troubling questions about government oversight in this community.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing, a quarter weighs 5.7 grams. It therefore follows that $30,000 weighs about 1,508 pounds. A little research reveals that Mount Kisco is a rather small town (according to the very informative Mount Kisco Chamber of Commerce website). It doesn't reflect well on a municipality when, though with a population of less than 10,000, they can't keep track of three quarters of a ton of parking meter revenue.

In fairness to those in charge, this crime was apparently uncovered as a result of changes to meter collecting procedures. These were obviously overdue.

There's one other point I'd like to make. I've never held myself out as an expert on parking meter revenues but if $30,000 was not enough of a percentage of all such revenue to be easily noticed, I'd submit that Mount Kisco residents are being exploited for their parking dollars.

By the way. I know most of you are wondering: how much would that $30,000 worth of currency weigh if it were in pennies? Always your faithful servant, I calculate that at 2.5 grams per penny, that would be 16,535 pounds.

Friday, May 06, 2005


British Islam Coming of Age

It's not very funny but here's something that should definitely give us pause (if true). I wonder how non-Muslim Brits view the rising political power of their Muslim neighbors.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005


Lynndie England's Position in the U.S. Military

Lynndie England is truly the Rodney Dangerfield of the U.S. military. She couldn't even get a military court to accept her guilty verdict. Its conclusion was that she didn't know what she was doing. I don't know what's more humiliating, her infamous photo ops or her court-adjudicated incompetence.

Either way, I hope she exhibits a higher level of competence when she commissions the ghost writer for her inevitable book. If I may suggest a title: I've got you under my shin, a love story.

Monday, May 02, 2005


More on NASA's commitment to flight shuttle safety

It seems that NASA's most experienced shuttle pilot has some less than favorable words about the NASA upper management "culture".

When someone criticizes an organization, one needs to assess three things:
To me the answers are yes, yes and, unless NASA has failed to make good on some back wages, no.

Sunday, May 01, 2005


U.S./N. Korean Relations and the Language of Diplomacy

Linguistics scholars have long been concerned with the implications of words and syntax uttered by national leaders and their representatives. Recall the complex discussions regarding the president and his Russian translator in the novel Fail Safe.

It seems quite likely that North Korea has tested a short range missle by firing one into the Sea of Japan. What then will the linguists make of the following words exchanged by representatives of President Bush and leader Kim Jong Il?

White House chief of staff Andrew H. Card Jr: The North Koreans are "bullies" and President Il is "not a nice person."

North Korean spokesmen: President Bush is "a hooligan" and a "philistine".

Words that hurt.


Mapplethorpe Controversy Relived

Two men in Wyoming created a snow phallus in their front yard. The press clearly wasn't quick enough on the draw for this story. Philistine neighbors destroyed it before a picture could be taken. Now that would have been a front page New York Times photo I'd like to have seen!

By the way, one point I've learned from this story is the accepted journalistic term for the male genitalia (thankfully a topic not often seen in the lay press).

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?