Wednesday, July 8, 2009
It seems to me that young people don't accomplish a Hell of a great deal in a 24-hour period.
The Daily "To Do" List For God Damned Young People
|Haul your ass out of bed at noon, scratch your furry ass and then start grousing that there isn't a hot breakfast waiting for you. |
|Eat anything that isn't nailed to the floor and leave a filthy mess in the kitchen as a symbol of your outrage over "the unfairness of life." |
|Ride your damned skateboard around in front of a senior's house. Spit every 7 seconds and make sure that every other word out of your mouth is an obscenity. |
|Spend an hour in the shower in order to "decompress" from the stress of having to microwave your own breakfast and live rent free in your parents' basement. |
|Be ironic (but don't understand why you are being ironic.) |
|Send a "tweet" to let people know that you just passed gas and are considering chugging a soda. |
|Chat online with you idiot friends. Bitch and moan because you can't find a $60 an hour entry level job as a video game tester. Consider becoming an "porn star" instead. |
|Defile yourself. |
|Open your bedroom windows and play god damned rap music so loud that the old man next door has to go inside, call the police and lie down with a damp washcloth on his head. |
|Smoke reefers and watch cartoons in your underpants. |
|Moan and complain. |
|Complain and moan. |
|Call your no account lazy-assed buddies and discuss possible names for the "band" you are going to form as soon as you learn how to play a musical instrument and master Guitar Hero. |
|Demand that your parents give you more respect, autonomy, freedom and a drive to the Mall. |
|Use your parents credit cards to buy things you don't need, won't use and that will be obsolete by the time you get them out of the package. |
|"Hang out" with other reprobates. Loiter, shoplift and harass innocent old people who are shopping for reasonably priced socks. |
by Meg White
The punditry over the Fourth of July weekend was intensely focused on the announcement that Republican Gov. Sarah Palin will not only not be running for reelection, but that she is resigning with a year and a half to go in her first term as Alaska's momma-bear-in-chief.
Every political analyst willing to say what they really think has called this move disastrous and confusing coming from a woman who has made it abundantly clear that she wants to be the nation's first female president.
News reports cite Palin's loss of support from conservative kingmakers across the spectrum as a result of the resignation.
But they're wrong. Not that strategists are supporting Palin's recent decision. Psychopaths such as Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh aside, most on the right are calling this political suicide.
It's more that Palin never had the "support" of Karl Rove, Mike Huckabee, George Will and others who are denouncing her now. Conservative strategists had always been willing to use Palin to bring in her particular brand of voter to the booth, but only as long as she didn't turn off the rest of the voting-age population.
Even GOPUSA President Bob Eberle (whose reaction to the news was basically, "What is she thinking?!") was before probably more of an opportunistic cheerleader than a real Palin lover. After all, his organization's goal of "promoting the grassroots conservative philosophy" is only aided by Palin while she can attract more voters to the Republican fold. Presently, she is treading water at best.
This seemingly recent change of heart does not mean these people are cold-hearted liars. They're strategists and fundraisers; they act from PAC pocketbook balances and polling numbers, not the heart. But the reason the media is so enraptured with what conservatives have to say about the Palin resignation is that their words have a direct bearing upon Palin's ability to follow a "higher calling," as she put it.
Meanwhile, Palin is quick to warn against those nasty critics, "spinning" their "false info," and urge her supporters to "hang in there" via her handy TwitterBerry and various other social networking avenues that are becoming more and more popular with her base.
And it works. As David Corn points out on CQ Politics, Palin's true believers are still with her.
The hardcore Palin supporters (the only kind she has nowadays) seem to be the same type you saw in the disturbing rallies at which Palin appeared as Sen. John McCain's running mate. They're religious "hockey moms" who see Palin's rapid ascent to power as both a palatable brand of feminism and as proof that they too can have prestige without all that hard work that gives you those nasty wrinkles.
By John Byrne
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has a new plan for dodging "spurious" ethics charges — if winning the White House is considered a plan.
In an ABC News interview released Tuesday, the onetime Alaska commander-in-chief signaled that if she succeeded in a presidential run, life would get easier.
"I don't think it will be the day after day after day of ethics violation charges that are frivolous, that are ridiculous," she quipped. "I think on a national level your department of law there in the White House would look at this, the things we have been charged with, and automatically throw them out, not make somebody hire their own personal attorney to get out there and fight."
Wrote ABC's Kate Snow and Rick Klein wryly, "There is no 'department of law' at the White House, though Palin appears to have been referring to the White House counsel's office."
She could also have been referred to the Justice Department.
Posted by Xeni Jardin
(Photo by Plug1 of whatimseeing.com)
Oh, this is stupid and sad. Pez Candy Inc., makers of pixel-y candy dosed out in those iconic character dispensers, is suing the Burlingame Museum of Pez Memorabilia for copyright infringement. Doctor Popular blogs about it over at Laughing Squid:
The suit, filed last week, claims that the museum deceives the public into believing they are operating under the authority of Pez and asks that the museum's 7 foot tall replica of Pez dispenser be destroyed. The lawsuit also takes issue with the museum's sales of toy truck Pez dispensers which had been modified with Obama and McCain logos during last years elections. The museum has been opened since 1995 and is said to be the only place in the world were you can see every Pez dispenser ever made.Pez Suing Burlingame Museum of Pez Memorabilia (Laughing Squid)
VA resources strained; many are single parents
WASHINGTON - The number of female service members who have become homeless after leaving the military has jumped dramatically in recent years, according to new government estimates, presenting the Veterans Administration with a challenge as it struggles to accommodate the hundreds of thousands of returning veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan.
As more women serve in combat zones, the share of female veterans who end up homeless, while still relatively small at an estimated 6,500, has nearly doubled over the last decade, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs.
For younger veterans, it is even more pronounced: One out of every 10 homeless vets under the age of 45 is now a woman, the statistics show.
And unlike their male counterparts, many have the added burden of being single parents.
"Some of the first homeless vets that walked into our office were single moms,'' said Paul Rieckhoff, executive director and founder of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. "When people think of homeless vets, they don't think of a Hispanic mother and her kids. The new generation of veterans is made up of far more women.''
Overall, female veterans are now between two and four times more likely to end up homeless than their civilian counterparts, according to the VA, most as a result of the same factors that contribute to homelessness among male veterans: mental trauma related to their military service and difficulty transitioning into the civilian economy.
Wallabies have been observed acting strangely in poppy fields
Australian wallabies are eating opium poppies and creating crop circles as they hop around "as high as a kite", a government official has said.
Lara Giddings, the attorney general for the island state of Tasmania, said the kangaroo-like marsupials were getting into poppy fields grown for medicine.
She was reporting to a parliamentary hearing on security for poppy crops.
Australia supplies about 50% of the world's legally-grown opium used to make morphine and other painkillers.
"The one interesting bit that I found recently in one of my briefs on the poppy industry was that we have a problem with wallabies entering poppy fields, getting as high as a kite and going around in circles," Lara Giddings told the hearing.
"Then they crash," she added. "We see crop circles in the poppy industry from wallabies that are high."
By Joseph L. Galloway
"I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure." —Clarence Darrow (1857–1938)
Well, the aptly named Robert Strange McNamara has finally shuffled off to join LBJ and Dick Nixon in the 7th level of Hell.
McNamara was the original bean-counter — a man who knew the cost of everything but the worth of nothing.
Back in 1990 I had a series of strange phone conversations with McNamara while doing research for my book We Were Soldiers Once And Young. McNamara prefaced every conversation with this: "I do not want to comment on the record for fear that I might distort history in the process." Then he would proceed to talk for an hour, doing precisely that with answers that were disingenuous in the extreme — when they were not bald-faced lies.
Upon hanging up I would call Neil Sheehan and David Halberstam and run McNamara's comments past them for deconstruction and the addition of the truth.
The only disagreement i ever had with Dave Halberstam was over the question of which of us hated him the most. In retrospect, it was Halberstam.
When McNamara published his first book — filled with those distortions of history — Halberstam, at his own expense, set out on a journey following McNamara on his book tour around America as a one-man truth squad.
McNamara abandoned the tour.
We picked 250 images for a mammoth show. Fifty would be blown up to poster size, the rest displayed in eight groupings of 25 original Polaroids. My opening date was Sept. 18, 1989. I met with their PR firm and they drew up a press release.
Then the Academy voted in a new president, Karl Malden, who took one look at my pictures, cancelled the press release, and said "Wait a minute. Do we have releases from all of these people?"
Of course I didn't. I was a film critic for a local paper. The subjects of the show were public figures whose pictures I was literally invited to take at press conferences. I've been assured by the constitution of the United States that nobody needs permission to display a public figure's image on their wall. Nevertheless, Malden decided that my pictures were weird and that some people might not like them. He declared that no pictures would be shown without signed releases from the subjects.
Okee doke. No problem. That week, the Academy sent out black-and-white Xerox copies of my pictures to all of the subjects themselves, along with a letter asking for permission to display the picture in their lobby. The Xeroxes were atrocious so I knew this was a bad idea, but I couldn't stop it.
Some of my subjects know my work. I was sure that Emilio Estevez would say yes because one of my photos was once spied on his refrigerator. But I was concerned about people like Ted Turner or Hugh Hefner or Menachem Golan. To them, I would have been just another schmuck paparazzi who took their picture one day and disappeared into the crowd. What would they think when they opened their mail to find ugly Xeroxes of their faces distorted into hideous mutants, along with a letter asking permission for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to make an enormous blow-up of the monstrosity to display in a popular public place where all their friends went?
But what did it matter who said no. My reaction was "Great, let's go. 66 pictures is plenty for a show." When's the last time you saw a gallery show with 66 goddam photographs. More than enough. Doug Edwards agreed and the blowups were actually ordered, but then the word came down from Malden. The whole thing was cancelled. 66 yeses somehow confirmed in his mind that the show must not go on. It was a question of whether the glass was half empty or half full, though 22 noes is only a third of the yeses. He was worried about the people who didn't respond. (Huh? Maybe they wouldn't like the ugly pictures of other people who gave their permission?) Also, some of the negatives were big negatives. Harry Dean Stanton not only said no, he threatened to sue the Academy if they displayed my picture of him. (On what possible grounds? Malicious surreal facial reconstruction of a celebrity in an artwork?) Here's the shot.
In any case, Doug and I got the runaround. The Academy was enthusiastic about the show, they looked forward to doing it, some time, maybe the next spring, unless they got that new air conditioning system, which would mean the lobby might be torn up, so they might do the show in another location, or possibly later in the year.
Doug had a suggestion. "Let's just wait for the Academy to vote in a new president," he said.
The very next Monday, I opened the Los Angeles Times and was stunned to read Doug Edward's obituary. He had died of AIDS. I didn't even know he was sick.
Dear Mr. Dare,I recognize your frustration in losing the chance for an exhibition of your work, but I've discussed the situation with Bob Rehme and Ric Robertson and we really don't see a place here for your show. The problem isn't just the anticipated emphasis on in-house-generated exhibitions in the near future. Call us Philistines, but the hard fact is that no one here but Doug had ever been able to generate much enthusiasm for your photos as a subject for the Academy's lobby. With Doug gone, you've lost your only real advocate. However disappointing this news is, I'm hoping you'll find a straightforward assessment of the situation more useful that one that might encourage sure-to-be disappointed hopes. I hope you'll find another venue.Sincerely,Bruce Davis, Executive director
The sperm was grown in a laboratory in Newcastle from embryonic stem cells. Led by Professor Karim Nayernia, researchers developed a method of growing early-stage sperm from human embryonic stem cells by using retinoic acid, a vitamin A derivative.
They found that about 20% of the cells produced early-stage sperm cells or spermatagonia and, after further culture, they could see a number of cells continue to split and divide.
The breakthrough came when some cells continued to grow, elongating and growing a tail which caused them to move, and forming recognisable sperm cells.
Nayernia, of Newcastle University and the North East England Stem Cell Institute (Nesci), described the cells as "fully mature, functional" sperm, which he called In Vitro Derived (IVD) sperm.
He said: "This is an important development as it will allow researchers to study in detail how sperm forms and lead to a better understanding of infertility in men – why it happens and what is causing it.