Wednesday, December 17, 2008

LITERATUREHYPE: Jim Goad

Every now and then one comes across some writing that speaks the truth with no holds barred. Just yesterday I found Jim Goad's site (how is a different story completely), and would like to recommend that you have a look. If you can handle it, that is.

Aside from his frequent use of obscenity, there are a number of different topics that most writers would find too outrageous to touch. Make no mistake, political correctness is not of of Jim Goad's strengths - the lack of it is. In addition to publishing a few books, most notably The Redneck Manifesto, he's got his own page on Wikipedia. Nowadays, that's almost an accomplishment.

Here's a short sampling of his writings...

On Kurt Cobain (in haiku style, no less):
Musical genius?
Voice of a generation?
Or dead blond asshole?

...

I'm always depressed
I play depressing music
Guess I'll kill myself
On doing time in the joint:

You’ve heard all the rumors. You’ve seen all the TV movies. You own The Shawshank Redemption and Oz on DVD. You’ve read all the "You Are Going to be Raped in Prison" books.

You’re scared shitless.

You know that when the gavel falls and they send you up the river, you’ll be a "new fish" dumped into a pool of bloodthirsty piranhas. The first time you walk down the tier to your cell, praying for God to give your trembling knees the energy to keep pushing forward, you’ll hear the hoots and whistles and see the grimy hands reaching out to grab your ass, leering toothless mastodons making kissy-face at you, the nauseatingly horrifying amorous advances of drooling tattooed sociopaths ready to split your rectum open like they’re deboning a chicken. Your anus will pucker in terrified self-defense.

...

Believe me—prison is hell. Being salted away inside a steel box is worse than you could imagine. And it turns your worldview upside-down when you see it’s society…not the criminals…that is harming you. It fucks your head up to realize the system…not Bubba…is the predator.

The night I got out of prison, I went shopping at a local supermarket. While I was standing in the checkout line, someone bumped into me and kept walking without apologizing.

I was stunned. I didn’t know what to do. I hadn’t been treated like that in years.

People are never that rude in prison.

On San Francisco "Bay Aryans":

San Francisco constantly struggles with itself to solve the question of how many assholes it's possible to fit into a square mile. How many cybersissies can you cram into a phone booth? How many Gaia-peddling belly-floppers? How many self-absorbed monkish Nerf® balls of ideological irrelevance? How many dayglo lemon-meringue fashion tarantulas? How many gaunt, cellophane-wrapped nipple-tweakers? How many prune-twatted hipster debutantes?

It's a star-lit ballroom full of elitists masquerading as egalitarians. Of snobs pretending to be socialists. Of petty backstabbers who appoint themselves as moral crusaders.

...

Perhaps it hasn't occurred to you, but human history is not entirely summarized by the bold struggle for the "right" to poke your veiny ding-dong through disco-bathroom glory holes. Not every act is political. Some are just silly and ugly and stinky.

On Success:

I have no control over the government. No control over their laws. No control over the taxes they bleed from me. Very little freedom from others and how they define me. Can’t even control my own body. Can’t force it to stay healthy. Can’t stop my inevitable death.

But I can control the words that I put onto a blank page. And so I take that limited domain of power more seriously than I take my own life.

...

The rednecks, at least, seem like they mean business. Their rebel yell is aimed right at the source: multinational corporations, tax-free foundations, the Federal Reserve, the IRS, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Trilateral Commission, and the media puppets who parrot the press releases of the insanely powerful. Pauperized whites seem to be the only group serious enough to declare war on the government. Serious enough to worry the government. Everyone else is just looking for free popcorn and a big-screen TV.

There is a lot more - why muslim girls are hot, The Clash - before they sucked, untold stories of sexual abuse by nuns, etc. I certainly don't agree with all of it, but it's still worth reading. Poke around (probably best not to read this at work) and you'll find even more material.

Jim Goad

Monday, November 24, 2008

SPORTSHYPE: The Welsh Haka Standoff

As is normal, the All Blacks performed the haka before their match against Wales at the Millenium Stadium in Cardiff on November 22, 2008. This is always an occasion, and on this day, even more so, because it's been said that Wales and New Zealand are "the two most rugby religious countries in the world" - something I certainly believe to be true.

The reaction of the team facing the haka is always interesting to watch. In the past, opponents have gone eye-to-eye (Richard Cockerill), ignored it entirely (David Campese), put on t-shirts with the colors of the national flag (France in 2007), and of course responded with their own challenge (Samoa, Tonga, and Fiji).

What Wales did was something new: they remained standing where they were, not retreating an inch after the All Blacks finished the haka. A staring contest ensued, and the game only got started after referee Jonathan Kaplan interceded. It would appear that Wales won this particular contest, but the game... well, you'll have to watch the game for yourself. I won't ruin it for you.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

MOVIEHYPE: Extreme Obscenity

Caution: foul language ahead.

Here's the short version of Scarface:



And then there's the short version of Casino:



And just to prove that mob movies aren't the exclusive domain of obscenity, here's an amusing outtake from Glengarry Glen Ross:

Monday, November 10, 2008

FOODHYPE: Teeny Tiny People

I KNEW it!! I remember when I was a child, I hated broccoli. I always thought that I was eating little trees. Then I found this and I realized that......

BROCCOLI IS PEOPLE!!!!


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

POLITICSHYPE: President Obama

Well, it appears that we Yanks finally made a decision that the rest of the world can agree with...

Now we can be free of those damn political ads (for another couple of years, anyway).

Also, check out some of the world newspapers today.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Monday, October 20, 2008

POLITICSHYPE: Uncle Sam Speaks



What would Uncle Sam be saying right about now?

PAY MY DEBTS!

You heard it first at The Daily Hype.

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Event Coordinator:
Milton Friedman (a.k.a. MC Free Market)


Thursday, October 9, 2008

FINANCEHYPE: The Debt Clock

If you're American - man, woman, child, or some variation thereof - you're in hock. In addition to the credit cards, student loans, car payment, mortgage, home equity loan, and so on, your share of the national debt of the United States government is approximately $187,000 at the time of this writing.



If you take a minute to look at this clock, the debt is increasing by approximately $100,000 per second (at the time of this writing).

There was a story in the news recently about the national debt clock in New York City running out of room to display the ever-increasing total. As NPR put it:
The National Debt Clock has run out of numbers. The giant sign in New York City changes constantly as the federal debt increases. It was put up years ago by a real estate developer horrified that the debt was approaching $3 trillion. Some years ago, the clock stopped when the U.S. started running a surplus. But now it's running again, and when the debt struck $10 trillion recently, the owners had to improvise an extra number one.
This is apparently getting some attention (rightfully so!), because a web version of the debt clock is showing more 503 errors, which usually indicate capacity problems. If that page refuses to load the first time, try it again - it usually comes up. It has several interesting links with more information, as well as a news feed of related stories. One of the better ones describes some of the consequences and how nobody noticed when we passed the $10 trillion mark.

However, according to the folks at Truth in 2008, who "aim to bring the truth back into the national debate — and to stop our politicians from sweeping this issue under the rug," the problem is actually much worse. Things like Medicare and Social Security represent billions of dollars in unfunded obligations that will have to be paid for. On top of that, there's interest to be paid on this debt. If you've ever watched mafia movies, you know about the vig. If you haven't, then take a close look at your most recent credit card bill!

We pass no judgment on the veracity of the claims made by Truth in 2008, but they seem reasonable, and these folks make a good argument. Logically, this might - just might - have something to do with the way the stock market's been performing recently!

Monday, October 6, 2008



Out of the mouths of babes....

Saturday, October 4, 2008

KARMAHYPE: OJ is very, very guilty



One thing I have learned during my short time on earth is that "what goes around, comes around". It may not be on our timetable but eventually, it will catch up to you, and bite you in the butt.

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And as a bonus, here's a demonstration of karma catching up to OJ:

Sunday, September 28, 2008




Just a heartbeat away....

Saturday, September 27, 2008

ANIMALHYPE: Ninja Kitty


Friday, August 29, 2008

POLITICSHYPE: My Obama Experience


I wanted to tell you all about our experience as we became part of history here in Denver on Thursday August 28th 2008. We were lucky enough to be able to attend Barack Obama's acceptance of the democratic presidential nomination at Invesco Field (Mile High Stadium) along with 85,000 of our fellow democrats. It was an amazing, inspiring, joyful....awful, aggravating, exhausting experience.

We started our day at 4:00AM with my daughter crawling into our bed, burning up with fever. We had been looking forward to this day for 2 weeks. I was able to secure these tickets (a.k.a. "community credentials") by submitting my name via email, along with thousands of others. When I received the email confirming that I had "won" I was very, very excited. Needless to say, when my daughter came down with this sudden illness I thought I was going to have to miss it. Luckily, her illness was just a cold with a fever that broke later on that morning. My babysitter's mom offered to fill in for her (so she would not catch the cold) and would not accept monetary payment either. I promised her that if she ever needed to borrow a cup of sugar in the future, I would give her the whole bag.

We had planned to leave at 3:30PM to head down to the stadium but we started hearing rumors about the gates closing early and about street closures so we managed to head out at 3PM. We had planned on meeting a friend at his house and riding our bikes to the stadium. It turned out that the bike ride would be about 10 miles so our friend discovered that the Ramada Hotel across the street from his house would be shuttling people to the event. Much better idea, in my opinion. After a bit of confusion we caught a couple of shuttles and were dropped about a block away from the stadium. Couldn't have been better! As we approached we saw a sea of people. They were in a line that wound back and forth in a huge parking lot, over a bridge and over a hill. And the line was not moving. We stood around for about 10 minutes evaluating the situation and tried to decide if we wanted to take on that challenge. Finally we headed off into the middle of this crowd in search of the end of the line. Thank goodness that the temperature was in the mid-80's compared to the mid-90's we had been experiencing for most of this past summer. We had water and comfortable shoes so we waited. And waited, and waited. There was some good-natured grumbling but most of the people around us were very happy to be there and the mood was relatively light. Eventually a few people (including our friend) decided to explore the line further and try and determine why it seemed to be stalled. Thanks to their efforts and some help from the police the line began to move. Apparently there had been a few "merge" points that were the problem. The police were great and they joked with us and brought us cases of water. As we navigated through the huge lot, over the bridge and over the hill we found....a second parking lot, full of people and another hill which we could not see over. We laughed about the never-ending line and debated about the possibility of a third lot and we trudged on. The line was really moving along now and it made things easier. We could see that most of the musical acts were going to be finished by the time we got through the line. We saw Stevie Wonder on the JumboTron from about a quarter of a mile away. We all agreed that we were not too disappointed because it was Obama that we really came to see. Eventually we reached the security tent, the final stop before we could make our way to our seats. We noticed that the security people were only giving our credentials a cursory glance rather that the barcode scan and confirmation were were told to expect. I believe that this was the real reason the line finally started to move. I was not complaining but I did wonder just how much I could have sold that ticket for after all.


Once inside we climbed the ramps all the way to the top of the stadium (level 5) where we would find festival seating within section 521. After all that water I really need to make a pit stop where I found all the toilet paper gone (the aggravating part) and as I finished up I heard Al Gore conclude his speech. Ah well, I guess I will have to try and catch him the next time he is in town. We found our section and discovered that we had a big climb ahead of us. We ended up finding seats about 10 rows from the top. We had never been to the stadium before, a football game is not in our budget, so we were amazed at how high up we were. My stomach did a little dance as we settled into our seats. I realized these huge stadiums would not be possible without the wonderful invention of the JumboTron. The people at the podium looked like colored ants and without the giant TV we would have no way of knowing who we were actually seeing way down there.

We saw a woman named Eisenhower, a bunch of Generals and Admirals and Joe Biden spoke and then introduced a wonderful group of our fellow Americans that were chosen to tell us their personal stories of struggle in the current administration. They were truly inspirational and I will always remember Barney Smith who told us that "Barack Obama would never put Smith Barney ahead of Barney Smith". The crowd went wild and a star was born. They chanted "Barney, Barney". Awesome. If tears were shed they definitely came during these speeches.

Then we saw a video of Barack's biography and the photos of him as a youngster had the crowd all responding with, "awwwww". That was sweet. It did help us all see Barack as "one of us" and I found a new appreciation for him and his character. That was nicely done.

Then Barack arrived and the small flags left at every seat were flying and the stomps rocked the stadium. I have never witnessed such an enthusiastic and warm welcome for a speaker. There was a lot of love and hope in the air that night.

He spoke to us about unity and brotherhood, about the future and his plans, about our job and his job, about hope and dreams for our country and he convinced us that he would be a fine leader that could bring us to that place we all know as the American Dream. The crowd really appreciated his comments about taking care of our military, the bleak economic situation and the disillusionment with our current leaders. I could see his vision and I was convinced that this was the direction I wanted to move in, it was the message that I needed to hear.
He really is an amazing speaker.



At the end of his speech, as he and his family waved to the crowd, the fireworks exploded just feet above our heads. I have never seen my husband jump like that before. I started thinking about all these people leaving the stadium at once and I turned to my husband and asked, "are you ready?". We started down, as quickly as we could. By the time we reached the lower level we were in a huge mass of people moving very slowly into the dark. We were not familiar with the area and had lost track of our friend so we were on our own to make our way back to the hotel and our truck. We decided to head toward the area where the shuttles were lined up to take the delegates to their hotels downtown. We thought we might get lucky and hitch a ride. As we maneuvered through the people and buses we came to a sign. The sign listed 3 bus routes and one was a shuttle to the Ramada where we started!! I cannot tell you how much of a miracle it was that we found this sign in the dark. There was a bus there but the driver said it was full so we figured that the next one would be along soon. As we waited the bus pulled away and stopped about 20 yards away, it was complete gridlock. No buses were coming or going. After about 45 minutes things started looking bleak. All of a sudden the doors opened on the bus and most of the passengers started to get off. It turns out that they had boarded that bus thinking it was going downtown when it was actually headed to the west side of town. We asked the driver if they were going to the Ramada and she said "yes"!! It really was a miracle. We boarded and within 10 minutes the gridlock cleared and we were off. We were actually on the first city bus shuttle that left the parking lot. We arrived at our truck about 15 minutes later and we made it home by 11:00PM. I cannot express to you how amazing it was to experience all the pieces falling into place like they did that night. It was something special.

What I will remember most about that remarkable evening was when Barack told us, "Change happens -- change happens because the American people demand it, because they rise up and insist on new ideas and new leadership, a new politics for a new time. America, this is one of those moments." That reminded me that I too have a job to do, I have an obligation to this country and to my fellow Americans. No politician alone is going to accomplish all that we need to do. They can lead us and help us stay focused but, in the end, it is up to us. I am motivated now, motivated to help bring about change and to bring us back, back to being the country that the world looked toward for vision and inspiration. The future is bright, for now.


Read the speech here: LINK

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

GAMEHYPE: Tanks (Artillery)

Try to ignore the "warning" message - if the guys at freeonlinegames.com were that worried about people stealing their content they wouldn't have put an "embed this game in your website" link on it, now would they?



This is the best web version of Artillery (Tanks, in this case) that I've seen out there. It's simple, but totally addicting.

It's highly recommended as an efficient way to waste time at work. If you're really desperate for a distraction while in the office, set both players to be controlled by the computer and let 'er rip!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

TECHSUPPORTHYPE: The Website is Down




My siblings and I have been involved with the computer industry for over a decade now.  A few of us have been employed as Technical Support Reps or as Systems Administrators.  So when I ran across this website (thanks to my hubby, tech support guru himself) I couldn't help but laugh....hysterically.

Friday, June 27, 2008

SPORTSHYPE: Rugby Refereeing - Not For Sissies!

The game of rugby always needs more referees. Your local union would almost certainly welcome your interest!

However, in addition to the benefits (exercise, keeping you out of the pub on Saturdays, developing management skills, camaraderie), there are a couple of hazards that go with being a rugby referee. In addition to the number of players the game's single referee has to manage (30), s/he has to be careful of swinging legs at the tackle, and also has to stay out of the way in general. Keeping up with play is a full-time job though, so occasionally bad things can happen.

The lead picture - click it to see the larger version - shows French referee Christophe Berdos after a head-to-head collision in a Heineken Cup match (Leinster-Gloucester on 2006-10-21). Here's another one showing the aftermath, and another showing him being helped off the pitch.

Have a look at a few video clips below that showcase these dangers. You can also find more at Rugby Dump. The first one shows the Berdos incident in great detail, and was put together by the IRB:



Next up is an amateur contest in Biarritz, France, which leaves the ref with a broken nose:



Then there's the non-systematic risk, if you will. Every now and then a crazed supporter decides that s/he doesn't like the way the game is being called, and goes after the ref. Here's David McHugh getting attacked by a guy twice his size (resulting in a separated shoulder) while refereeing the Springboks vs. the All Blacks in South Africa:



However, at most levels, the enjoyment people get from refereeing is palpable. Especially compared with other sports. Check out this English guy's story about why he stopped refereeing football (soccer) in favor of the oval ball code:



Here's a perfect example from an English Premiership match - the two team captains get into a shouting match in front of the referee about whether or not a try was scored. They are quickly put in their places, calmly and surely. Note that they stop arguing immediately:



If you're interested, leave a comment and we can put you in touch with the right people in your area. The Daily Hype has a global audience, so it wouldn't make much sense to put more than a couple of links here. However, the first link in this article is to the RFU referee recruitment site (England), and here's a similar one for the USA Rugby local referee organizations.

There's also other rugby hype on offer here at The Daily Hype.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

EXTREMESPORTHYPE: Cheese Roll



It was a great year for the Cheese Roll, a Gloucester, England favorite event. It was made especially exciting by all the rain!

If you are not familiar with the sport of Cheese Rolling, it goes something like this:

At the command (given by the Master of Ceremonies) of ........

'ONE to be ready!'

'Two to be steady!'

'Three to prepare!' .....

........ the guest 'roller' releases the cheese, which rolls down the hill at great speed,

The M.C. continues .....

.... 'and FOUR to be off!'

At this point the competitors hurl themselves down the slope after the cheese.

The first person to arrive at the foot of the hill wins the cheese.

Those who come second or third receive a small cash prize.

The slope has a gradient that is in places 1-in-2 and in others 1-in-1, its surface is very rough and uneven and it is almost impossible to remain on foot for the descent. Injuries incurred are usually minor and competitors (particularly the successful ones) enter again year after year.

The 5 downhill races are held at twenty minute intervals, one is a ladies' race.

Between the downhill races there are also uphill races, one for boys of 12 years and under, one for girls and an 'open' race there is an open mens and open womens uphill race too!

Obviously no cheeses are rolled, but a small cheese is the prize for the winner of each race.

From:
Cheese Rolling at Cooper's Hill in Gloucestershire
a great website for all things realted to Cheese Rolling. A must read!

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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

AVIATIONHYPE: Heathrow's Ghost Flights

In these days of rising airfares, reduced airline capacity, and near-daily introductions of new fees for what used to be included in your ticket price, you'll be glad to hear that airlines still have a few more dirty tricks up their sleeves.

At London's Heathrow Airport (one of the world's busiest), not just anybody can turn up in their airplane and expect to be able to land. That rule goes for private planes as well as the biggest of the big airlines. There's a concept at work called slot allocation - basically, a limited number of takeoff and landing slots each day/week/month/etc. Airlines pay a lot of money for these slots, naturally, and are then forced to use them or lose them. If they don't maintain a certain level of service, the slots are taken away and sold to someone else.

For the purposes of this article, the term "ghost flights" does not include any of the following:
  • Planes flown empty due to lack of crew or other operational reasons like repositioning;
  • Canceled flights due to weather or equipment malfunction;
  • Mysterious aircraft owned by CIA front companies (allegedly) used to transport disappeared terrorism suspects around the world.
Except for the last point, those are a normal part of the airline business.

The following, however, is not. A couple of different news outlets have reported on how airlines will go to any length to maintain their slot rights at places like Heathrow. For example, here's a story about British Meditteranean Airways as seen in The Australian's business section in March 2007:
An airline is flying an empty passenger jet between Heathrow and Cardiff on a daily basis - just so that it can hold on to its lucrative slots at the London airport. The flights, which have pumped hundreds of tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere in the past five months, threaten to undermine the aviation industry's public stance of trying to reduce emissions.
Wait, so the airlines are doing something different than what they're preaching to the public? No - it can't be!
The flights are being run by British Mediterranean Airways (BMed) - until recently part-owned by the family of Wafic Said, the Syrian-born financier - which flies the Airbus passenger plane from Heathrow to Cardiff and back six times a week. No tickets are sold and all 124 passenger seats are empty. Because there are no passengers, the "ghost" flights, which have run since October, do not appear on departure or arrival boards.
Could it be that the owner of this airline is rolling in piles of petrodollars? It seems a reasonable assumption to make, but then again, BMed no longer exists as a separate entity.
The sole purpose is to keep hold of landing slots on runways at Heathrow, the world's busiest airport for international flights. The slots can be reallocated if an airline does not use them regularly. They are so valuable that they can change hands among airlines for up to £10 million each.

By the end of this month, the flights will also have cost BMed at least £2 million. There is a £2,500 fuel bill for each flight, plus £300,000 a month for the lease, insurance, crew and maintenance charges.

The flights reveal the lengths to which airlines will go to hang on to runway slots. A slot is the right to use a runway for a take-off or a landing at a given time of the day. The practice is known in the airline industry as "keeping slots warm".
Interesting, isn't it? A business is doing something that otherwise may appear illogical just so they can hold on to something of value. And let's not consider the reduction in taxes created by these artificially- and purposefully-generated losses... what about the environmental angle? Surely flying an empty airliner back and forth between London and Cardiff (~125 miles/200 kilometers, or about the same as the trip from Philadelphia to Washington DC) can't be good for the environment, can it? Here's some more analysis from the article:
Over the five months, the 12 flights a week will have sent as much CO2 into the atmosphere as 36,000 cars streaming along a motorway. It is equivalent to the annual CO2 output of a town of 2,000 people.

Graham Thompson, of Plane Stupid, a campaign group, said: "It's quite shocking. These ghost flights very much undermine the greenwash we get from the airlines on how they are going to protect the environment. This shows that they are willing to sacrifice the climate for a profit."
Companies would rather make money than take care of the environment? Really? It can't be!

Here's the original story, along with another report with a slightly different angle from the BBC.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

POLITICSHYPE: Obama vs McCain vs YOU


















OK, I really don't want to spoil this for all of you (clueless tools) who are enjoying the whole us-against-them, I-believe-the-puppet-on-the-left/right-shares-my-views nonsense, but John Pilger "renowned investigative journalist and documentary film-maker, [and] one of only two to have twice won British journalism's top award", steps forth with a painfully insightful view into our latest mock-battle for the position of "most powerful man in the world".

After Bobby Kennedy

John Pilger," wrote Harold Pinter, "unearths, with steely attention facts, the filthy truth. I salute him."

Somewhere deep in the heart of the un-brutalized inner child I still carry within me, I always wanted to believe that RFK was the one (like Neo) who was pure and uncorrupted and still in the game at the highest level. This despite all I had learned about JFK... but listen, really, at that level, it's all front men for evil cabals -- the only question is which cabal are you with? And none of them seem to give a damn for me so f*ck them, JFK and RFK included... oh yeah, and Barack, and Hillary, and John, and the whole crew... it's a game, kids, and all your votes for these lying scumbags legitimize the game.

If we could get money out of the electoral process it might make a difference. Muhfuggahs might get into politics because they had a good idea about how our government might more effectively serve the people for less money, with the goal of a more just and peaceful society. Other muhfuggahs might vote for them because they too desired justice and peace and less pain for the muhfuggahs I see daily sleeping in f*ckin' doorways... but noooo... I (your name here) do solemnly swear to manipulate the business of the people so as to steer the greatest amount of munitions contracts to my boy (his name here) who bullsh*tted enough muhfuggahs and bribed enough corrupt muhfuggahs to get my ass in this office (and damn my leather chair is sweet!)!















What was that lyric by OK Go! again?
Well here it goes here it goes here it goes again yeah here it goes again I should have known should have known should have known again

OK Go! Here It Goes Again at YouTube








































Don't believe the hype - its a sequel
As an equal, can I get this through to you
The meaning of all of that
Some media is the whack
You believe it's true, it blows me through the roof
Suckers, liars get me a shovel
Some writers I know are damn devils
For them I say don't believe the hype
Yo Chuck, they must be on a pipe, right?
Their pens and pads I'll snatch
'Cause I've had it
I'm not an addict fiendin' for static
I'll see their tape recorder and grab it
No, you can't have it back silly rabbit

Public Enemy "Don't Believe The Hype"

Thursday, June 5, 2008

GLOBALWARMINGHYPE: Ice, Ice Baby...

I found these pictures of Antarctica and it occurred to me that it may be awhile before we run out of ice on this planet.

But then again.... 

From National Geographic:
• Average temperatures have climbed 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit (0.8 degree Celsius) around the world since 1880, much of this in recent decades, according to NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies.
• The rate of warming is increasing. The 20th century's last two decades were the hottest in 400 years and possibly the warmest for several millennia, according to a number of climate studies. And the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports that 11 of the past 12 years are among the dozen warmest since 1850.
• The Arctic is feeling the effects the most. Average temperatures in Alaska, western Canada, and eastern Russia have risen at twice the global average, according to the multinational Arctic Climate Impact Assessment report compiled between 2000 and 2004.
• Arctic ice is rapidly disappearing, and the region may have its first completelyice-free summer by 2040 or earlier. Polar bears and indigenous cultures are already suffering from the sea-ice loss.
• Glaciers and mountain snows are rapidly melting—for example, Montana's Glacier National Park now has only 27 glaciers, versus 150 in 1910. In the Northern Hemisphere, thaws also come a week earlier in spring and freezes begin a week later.
• Coral reefs, which are highly sensitive to small changes in water temperature, suffered the worst bleaching—or die-off in response to stress—ever recorded in 1998, with some areas seeing bleach rates of 70 percent. Experts expect these sorts of events to increase in frequency and intensity in the next 50 years as sea temperatures rise.
• An upsurge in the amount of extreme weather events, such as wildfires, heat waves, and strong tropical storms, is also attributed in part to climate change by some experts.

 




Tuesday, June 3, 2008

FINANCEHYPE: Cutting Costs the AA Way

Back before the days of $130-a-barrel oil, airlines were worried about more mundane things. Cutting costs was always a priority, however, and one of the best in the business was Robert Crandall. He was the CEO of American Airlines (AMR) from 1985 to 1998, and not too long ago was interviewed as part of a special report on the airline by MSNBC.

Here's a short excerpt of his views on how to cut costs. I won't spoil the story, which should be required viewing for any business student, but I will present the dramatis personae:
  • A station manager at a small island in the Caribbean
  • A night watchman
  • A guard dog


Mr. Crandall, apparently, is available to speak at your function for a fee in the neighborhood of USD 15,000 - 20,000.

Monday, May 26, 2008

MOVIEHYPE: All drivers to your cars please...

"Speed Racer" hasn't been getting very good reviews -- maybe the Wachowskis have offended someone -- but judge for yourself:



Speed Racer first seven minutes

Unprecedented colorgasmic moviemaking! Go Speed go!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

OILHYPE: Dubai Part II


Did You Know: Dubai And Our Gas Dollars

I don't know what to say.....road trip coming up, makes me want to cry.

Friday, May 16, 2008

CARHYPE: The Handicapped Ferrari

Seen on the campus of Stanford University on 2008-05-03 was the following (click on the picture for a larger version):

Now, I don't know about you, but when I think of what it takes to drive a Ferrari (anyone know what model this one is?), being handicapped isn't something that springs to mind. Handicapable, maybe, but odds are that the owner of this ride has a doctor for a friend - probably one who now has a fresh case of scotch!

I'll let you draw your own conclusions, but my opinion of people who abuse handicap tags is pretty low.

In fact, seeing this reminded me of the GooglePlane being based at Moffett Field!

HOAXHYPE: Could Have Fooled Me

Don't laugh....this could be in your future!!!



After you check out Child Trader be sure to check these sites as well:


OK, now you can laugh.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

FINANCEHYPE: The End of the World As We Know It

OK - gut feeling? Late-at-night (for me), fueled-by-rum-and thirty-odd-years-of-education-in-how-this-"ruling cabal"-rolls, opinion? It's a game. And you ain't playing -- you on the table. You a piece, or a chip, or a pawn... In the immortal words of Jamie Foxx in "Any Given Sunday":












"I'm gonna stay who I am. Steamin' Willie Beamen. With the time I got left, I'll play my way. Get my dollars up. So when you go to waive me, trade me or whatever the fuck y'all do... I'll be worth 10 times what I was worth before I got here."







In the immortal words of Nick Nolte in "North Dallas Forty": "Every time I call it a game, you call it a business -- and every time I call it a business, you call it a game!"

All of American life ( and increasingly, Euro life) is being turned into pro football. The biggest, baddest, smartest dogs will get a go on the field. If you're good, you might hopefully make enough to pay for all the knee-braces and wheelchairs you will need later in life (like age 40). If you ain't good, you meat...

And you'll pay whatever the muhfuggahs in charge decide you should, cos it's their game.

You see it over the years, and you start to see the patterns -- the boom and the bust, the S&L "scandal", the subprime mortgage "scandal"... why does the Secretary of the Treasury always look like a mafia capo? Cos he's a mafia capo!

Stuff you're not supposed to say... People can't deal... American life s'pozed to be like "Schoolhouse Rock" ("I'm Just A Bill" at YouTube)...

Bill Hicks: "You want to know the political views of the average American? Here they are: 'I think the puppet on the left shares my views!' 'I think the puppet on the right shares my views!' 'Hey! There's one guy holding up both puppets!' 'Shut up!'"



Bill Hicks: "What Is The Point To Life?"



JustMe - I think you're doing every thing the best it can be done. You're the American the power structure can't lose. When you and yours hit the streets with AK-47s, the Naval Observatory ain't gonna be so cozy for Dick Cheney.

Mark my words: It will change at the election.
Just like it changed at the 2000 election. All these poor muhfuggahs I see on my way to work will be able to get handouts. Whatever favored industries (telecom, biotech) will go on hiring sprees. Google will rule the world. Suddenly a boom. And we all forget those plowed under in the latest bust. Cos when someone's dead -- it's easy to forget them...



– this is prime blog material. Or hype material – Cacetudo objects to the word blog, rightly. Prime hype material, which is why I posted it ...



Wednesday, April 30, 2008

FINANCEHYPE: Shadow Government Statistics

Note: This article applies mostly to those living in the USA, at least until its brand of capitalism is (forcibly) exported to your neighborhood. Gas prices in the picture to the right are as at 2008-04-20 in San Francisco, CA.

Wondering why your wallet has been getting easier to fold up lately? Have you noticed that every time you go to the grocery store or the gas station, you're getting less for more? You're not the only one - and yes, you are getting screwed! The case could even be made that you're being lied to.

While the average American consumer suffers through ongoing price increases (milk, eggs, bread, rice, gasoline, etc.), the government's official line has been that the country is only experiencing moderate inflation. The presidential candidates continue to pander to the voting bloc du jour - drinking beer & whiskey, going bowling, proposing meaningless gas tax "breaks", and anything else that can create photo ops and sound bites to grab (i.e. divert) people's attention instead of seriously discussing the economy. This sort of behavior crosses ideological lines and party affiliations, so don't be fooled. It's apparently been the same for years.

However, John Williams has been keeping it real for the past 25 years or so, when he first realized that the government was using fuzzy math when calculating economic statistics. Here's an excerpt from his site, Shadow Government Statistics, explaining the information he's providing and why he's providing it:
Have you ever wondered why the CPI, GDP and employment numbers run counter to your personal and business experiences? The problem lies in biased and often-manipulated government reporting.

We offer an exposé of the problems within the reporting system, and an assessment of underlying economic reality. Despite minor changes to the system, government reporting has deteriorated sharply in the last decade or so.

There is good reason for the gap between common perceptions and government reporting: government data are biased in politically correct directions and increasingly have diverged from common experience and reality since the mid-1980s. Inflation and unemployment reports are understated, while employment and other economic data are overstated, deliberately.
So, to summarize, since the politicians couldn't make the numbers look good, they redefined them instead. Here's the CPI (consumer price inflation) chart, which may well track with your experience at the grocery store:



As you can see, the official story shouldn't really be believed (and that's putting it politely). The thick blue line shows what the CPI metric would be if calculated the same way that it was in 1980. The red line shows what they've actually been reporting over the same time period. One of these numbers has to be false... and no prizes for guessing which one.

Keep all of this in mind the next time you're paying the weekly vig at the gas station and you hear the talking heads on the radio telling you that it ain't really that bad. After all, who are you going to believe - them, or your lying eyes?

John Williams appears on CNN:

Thursday, April 17, 2008

PANICHYPE: Stuck In An Elevator For 41 Hours

I guess this video has been out there for awhile but I just ran across it. Pretty powerful stuff. The version on New Yorker's website has awesome music but this version has music by Flo Rida and, in my opinion, it really fits the video.

The story is about Nicholas White who had gone out for a smoke break and on his way back became stuck in elevator #30 in New York City’s McGraw-Hill building for 2 days!

Don't know about you but, I'd quit....my job and smoking. No way I would get in that elevator again.

ANIMALHYPE: Killer Killer Whales

Ever been to SeaWorld? Ever seen the (terrible) movie Free Willy? The Orca, or Killer Whale, as it's commonly known, is no harmless little fish. Here's a video from the people at Punta Norte Orca Research in Argentina that shows an Orca risking death by beaching itself in order to get its teeth into a baby seal (note that you may have to reload this page to see it again).



Reuters has more (2008-04-17):
PLAYA PUNTA NORTE, Argentina - A six-ton orca, or killer whale, torpedoes toward the beach, its dorsal fin cutting the Patagonian sea. It launches itself onto the sand in an explosion of water and foam. Before the waters die down, the orca is shaking its immense head from side to side with a sea lion pup clamped between his jaws.

Then the orca wriggles into position to catch a wave to carry it back out to sea. This is a rare occurrence, in which a whale seems to defy its instincts by coming onto land, risking death if it becomes stranded on the inhospitable beach.

Only seven orcas in the world are known to hunt this way, all of them members of a pod that patrols the coast of Patagonia's Valdes Peninsula at this time of year. It happens almost exclusively in March and April -- early autumn in the southern hemisphere -- when baby sea lions are learning to swim.

One of the favorite hunting spots is at Playa Punta Norte, the northern tip of the peninsula, where a deep channel leads up to the sand, passing between two rocky areas where sea lions breed. The sea lion pups learn to swim by crossing the channel between the rocks. Once they can swim well, they are too fast and agile for the orca. But the youngest ones, who stay on the sand at water's edge, are perfect prey.

The orcas can beach themselves several times a day, but this hunting method is risky. Whales can die if they remain out of water, so they have to time the waves and judge distances carefully. They use sonar -- orcas are members of the dolphin family -- to hunt, and only beach themselves in high tide, on steep and pebbly beaches that help them roll back.

APPRENTICE KILLER

Orcas are highly social and long-lived: females can live up to 80 years and males almost 60. But the pods grow slowly because orcas take at least 15 years to mature, the females have calves only every five years or so, and many of the calves die young.

"It's a culture at risk," Roberto Bubas, a ranger with 15 years of experience observing orcas in Patagonia, said of the hunting method, noting that of the seven, only five are teaching the technique to younger members of the pod. Mel, the 30-foot (9-meter) male who caught the baby sea lion on the beach was shadowed by a smaller apprentice, who shared the spoils of the hunt and followed the big expert up near the sand, but did not dare to beach itself.

The orcas, sea lions and penguins attracted 340,000 tourists to the Valdes Peninsula last year, when 36 cruise ships made stops nearby, three times as many as in 2002.
Makes you think twice about how sweet and cuddly Shamu is!

In fact, Orcas have attacked (and occasionally killed) great white sharks before. Here's a video of one such orca-great white encounter:

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

OILHYPE: The Future of Dubai

So, have gas prices gotten to you yet?  It seems that day by day we are feeling the effects of rising prices at the pumps.  My grocery bill has gone up by about $40.00 a week and I am buying LESS!! Luckily, last year we saw the writing on the wall.  We traded in our older, gas hogs and bought brand new, ultra low emission, 35+ mpg Hondas.  I quit my job, so no more commute.  My husband telecommutes 3 days a week.  We still pay too much for gas but, man, it could have been so much worse.

Anyway, I was thinking about where all that money we pay for oil is really going.  Are the big oil company executives living in mansions and driving Ferraris?  If they are, the National Enquirer isn't getting any pictures.

Check this out:







Well that explains it! Somehow, it makes me want to go out and buy solar panels. I think they give really good rebates here in Colorado.

DEVICEHYPE: The Jet-Powered Beer Cooler

This is something that was published many years ago, but it's still well worth a read.

Imagine creating your own jet engine out of spare car parts. Impressive enough, but what would one do with such a device?

Well, as the author explains, one can use it to cool beer quickly. Think of a microwave in reverse (that analogy works only in the sense of how fast it works, not how it accomplishes the goal). Why is this so? Well, a jet engine uses a lot of fuel - propane in this case. Using a lot of fuel out of a propane tank in a short period of time will cool the tank rapidly, due to the ideal gas law (PV = nRT). Basically, if you decrease the volume of a gas (V) while maintaining the same pressure (P), the temperature (T) of the remaining gas has to drop (n and R are constants).

For a science lesson, follow the Wikipedia links above. For a great diversion, read all about the Jet-Powered Beer Cooler.
In New Zealand there are two things that are the essence of being a 'good Kiwi bloke'. These are of course playing rugby and having a shed.

Not being built for playing rugby I have had to go with the shed. I may not know a rugby hoop from a cricket stick but I know my shed like the head of my hammer. A shed is a place where a kiwi bloke spends much of his time alone surrounded by his tools, current and past half finished projects and the collection of parts and material usually referred to by others (typically wives/girlfriends) as 'that pile of junk'.

...

Unfortunately [a] small quantity of ice would not keep multiple beers cold during the course of a day in the shed. And no, you cannot, not under any circumstances, put ice into the beer. No!

It was obvious I had to come up with a better solution to the problem.

I knew from some long forgotten physics lecture that when a liquid expands into a gas it will draw heat from its surroundings. And I happened to have a source of a suitable liquid right in my shed in the form of a LPG cylinder (liquid petroleum gas). Obviously it would not do to evaporate vast quantities of a flammable gas into the closed confines of my garage. That would probably be dangerous. What I needed was a way to remove the dangerous gas. The solution was obvious. The gas is flammable so why not burn it. Burning the gas with a normal burner would not use up the gas fast enough to give me any serious cooling. What I needed was a way to use up a lot of fuel very, very quickly.

What I needed was a jet engine!
Gotta love those Kiwis!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

SPORTSHYPE: Kirkpinar




This is not a "gay" thing. Not that there would be anything wrong with that, just... this is not gay. It's just "the mother of all sports." From the dawn of civilization to a grassy field in Turkey some day soon, I give you Kirkpinar:

During the 636th annual Kırkpınar of Edirne, Agha (mc) Hüseyin Sahin agreed with Veyis Güngör (chairman of Türkevi Amsterdam) and Mohamed el-Fers (MokumTV Amsterdam) that they would unite their forces to promote historical oilwrestling in Europe and the world. Three days El-Fers filmed almost every match. On the September 4th 1996 MokumTV started a weekly program on the A1 Amsterdam channel. It proved to be the start of fast growing respect in Europe for this unique and highly esthetic ´mother of all sports´.









Hmmm... OK, maybe it's kinda gay, but y'know, that's not really the point -- I mean the ancient Greeks were kinda gay, let's face it, and they invented a bunch of crap, like, y'know, uhh... democracy, and geometry, and plays, and stuff... so there's nothing wrong with "gay", it's just -- that's not what this is. This is one of the great sporting spectacles in the world. Fit for days of sitting around drinking raki and smoking from a nargile while you root on your favorite (probably that cute boy, with the pecs). Like they say (with near-perfect coherence), at Kirkpinar.com:

"Kirkpinar Oil Wresting", which has been bounded with a tradition of almost 650 years, hosts persevering contests for a week, with the active participation of media, folk-dance groups, millions of spectators, artists and statesmen both from Turkey and all over the world, and with a varying array of activities every year.
The enthusiasm, which is brought to life by headwrestling [Headwrestling?!? Ed.] and other forms of wrestling contests, as well as the performances of the "Janissary Band" and local and foreign folk-dance groups throughout the contests, turns "Kirkpinar Oil Wresting" into a traditional festival.

If you think this is "gay", you get out there with these maniacs. You'll get your ass waxed! Uhh... and not in a "gay" way, either!



Er Meydanı Serik Pehlivanlar diyarı II.serik Güreşleri 2


Kirkpinar.com
Wikipedia and the history of Oil-Wrestling

SPORTSHYPE: The Old Ba' Game

If you're a man living in Kirkwall, in the Orkney Islands (in the far north of Scotland, surrounded by ocean, where anything less than a 100-mph wind is considered a light breeze), what do you do on Christmas Day?

You play Ba'. You don't whine about how you might get hurt. You don't worry about the highly likely result of twisted fingers, black eyes, broken noses, and torn clothes - you MAN UP and join your side in the game that's been going on every year for hundreds of years. Either Uppie or Doonie, you'll participate... oh yes, you will.

The Washington Post has a fantastically well-written article on this sporting tradition, along with a whole lot of pictures to go with it. A montage is presented below (click the image to see a bigger version).

Here's a short excerpt from the article:
William Thomson's family had played this sport for centuries, so he understood that he needed to choose between two strategies for the annual Christmas day ba' game.

The scrawny 17-year-old could fight for the ball in the center of the riotous scrum, where more than 300 men would function as a human juicer, turning his face red, then purple. He would be scratched, punched, kneed and bitten. His ribs might break. He could pass out unconscious.

Or, Thomson could follow convention for players his size and stay near the edge of the scrum, pushing the pile. This would work well unless the ball popped out and the mob changed direction. Cars, gravestones, houses, strollers, hotel lobbies -- all had been kicked, shoved or trampled in pursuit of the ball during previous games. Anticipating such a stampede, business and homeowners in town had nailed wooden planks across their doors and windows. "If you're on the edge of the scrum and it turns on you," one veteran player said, "then you might as well be dead."

This, Thomson decided, was his safest option.

...

"You know, da'," [Sean Smith] said, "still not quite sure I'm playing this year."

"Hell you're not!" Kevin said, punching his brother in the shoulder. "What, you scared? Come on!"

"Naw, I'm too small," Sean said. "I could get killed in there."

"Ahh, it's not about size, never has been," [Ian] Smith said. "If I taught you boys one thing about the ba', it's that nothing matters but heart and effort. Don't make a damn difference if you're seven foot tall or four foot. You're a Smith, so you'll play. And you'll play Doonie."
Link to the article: Tradition | Why We Compete | The Old Ba' Game

And here's the complete photo gallery by the Post.

For more on this sporting tradition, check out bagame.com.


2008 Ba', Orkney