But, the good news is Alabama Practice has begun

Ironic that this man would choose Friday the 13th to begin practice in full pads, eh?

What's the encore for a wildly successful 12-2 season (#6 overall), whereby we were the #1 team for over a month before getting whacked by Florida for the SEC and falling flat against the Utes? Well, our main man -per his usual singular focus- has his sites set on one thing: Domination.

“Finishing plays, finishing games, it’s very, very important...The purpose of spring ball, first of all, is to give every player on the team every chance to be successful. That’s probably the No. 1 goal. Knowledge, technique, what to do, how to do it, why it’s important to do it that way, for every individual player is critical.

“Working to finish, working to dominate are our goals as a team.”

While I don't think 12 wins are in our future this year, the schedule shakes out a little nicer. The main issues to address are 1) depth on the defensive front (where we need some pass rush to help our back seven) 2) getting Fluker up to speed at LT and3) figuring out if this is the year where a game manager QB (McElroy) gets overtaken by raw talent (Star Jackson). Besides keeping your eyes on Trent Richardson, who will play from day number one, watch A) Dre Kirkpatrick take over the corner position, badly in need of an upgrade from Marquis Johnson, B) what we do without Rashad Johnson at the safety spot. That kid will be missed for his big play making and leadership, and C) young WR's Bell, Bowman or Kelly give us a much-needed #2 to free up Julio Jones

Wanted: Good Sense

Excuse us, have you seen where we mislaid our judgment? Image via Tuscaloosa News.

Brandon Fanney, last year's third-leading tackler, and Doghouse King, Prince Hall (All-American Freshman, all-world knucklehead since then) have been suspended for Spring. In the case of the latter, it's indefinite.

Since Saban's arrival, Hall has seen less and less of the field and more and more of the pine and suspension time...for issues usually related to "violation of unspecified team rules, despite his talent. This time is no different. This kid is a headcase, I fear.

Your Country is Fucked: Cyprus

Cyprus is, and has always been, fucked. Don't believe me? I submit the following evidence:

1. The ethnic Hellenic-Cypriot and Turkic-Cypriot civil war (one that has raged roughly since there were Greeks and Turks), but really picked up steam after the leftist Greek militants attempted to annex the whole damned place.
2. The island is subdivided into four parts; one of which only Turkey recognizes (in the North); the Southern portion, which is in control of the true Republic of Cyprus; a UN controlled zone and a British controlled zone. And, don't forget the entirety of the island is a member of the EU and EC. Who votes?
3. The economy is -to say the least- erratic. Nearly 80% of Cyprus's fortune relies on Western visitors. When you've got a 35 year civil war, needless to say, you don't want tourism (followed by seawater desalination) to be your main income.
4. Cyprus has, as to be expected given its prime location in the Mediterranean, always been a ping pong in the game of imperialism. First Greek, then Phoenician, then Assyrian, then Greek again (sorta' --it was Macedonian), then Ptolemaic Greek, then Roman, then Byzantine, then Venetian, then Ottoman, then British. Then, and only then, independent in 1960. But in 1963 the Turk-Hellene violence broke out, and you know the rest since then.

This font of violence, upheavals and overlords, does lay claim to the birthplace of Aphrodite, Adonis and the king Pygmalion, and is among the most beautiful destinations in the Mediterranean, but nevertheless remains (and likely will always remain) fucked.

Excellent Joke...and clean, too!

My hero...

From the April 11, 2005 Sports Illustrated:

A man stops to ask directions from a farmer sitting on his porch and is amazed to see a three-legged pig sitting at the farmer's feet. "That's a weird-looking pig," the man says. The farmer is furious. "Don't you ever say anything bad about this pig!" he says. "Just last week my wife and I were sleeping, and a fire broke out. This pig dragged us both to safety. Last month a robber broke into the house. The pig knocked him down, dialed 911 with his snout and sat on him until the police arrived. So don't ever say anything bad about him."

"I'm sorry," the man says. "But what's the deal with the three legs?"

"Mister," the farmer says, "a pig like this you don't eat all at once."

Happy Pi Day*

You're still sexy to me, big guy.

In honor of our favorite irrational number, and in lieu of hot chicks, I give you National Pi Day (3/14...get it?! D'oh). Anyway, some fun facts about Pi:
1. Congress has devoted a day to it...to the chagrin of some.
2. According to the "History of Mathematics" it is a constant "whose value is the R of any circle's circumference to its diameter in Euclidean space; this is the same value as the ratio of a circle's area to the square of its radius. It is approximately equal to 3.14159 in the usual decimal notation." In other words, you need it for any sort of meaningful mathematics.
3. Pi may not be a natural number, that is, any meaningful block of digits may not repeat more or less so than would be expected through random numerical assignment

Not as easy as you think, smart ass.

4. People loooooove to calculate pi, and, in this age of supercomputing, Pi has been expressed or carried out to the 1,241,100,000,000th decimal point without a repeating series.
5. For all of you SETI folks (like me) out there, yes, they did write code for calculating pi on your home computer. Try here.

* * * * *

*Besides being Pi day, on this date in 1879 a droll little man who liked to tinker with formulas was born in Ulm, Germany....

Damn, what was his name again?


Allegedly better than FlowBee

You can get all fancy with your dynamic hose, clear attachments and fire-engine red enamel, but, at the end of the day, you're still Rick Hunt's bitch, RoboCut.

Better than Flowbee? Blasphemer! Yet, it is true. The RoboCut alleges to be be better than Flowbee. How, I will never understand. It is cheaper, true. But, you get what you pay for, as these reviewers note in discussing which is better: RoboCut or Flowbee:

I have actually used both. I started with Flowbee and then briefly tried a Robocut. I'm sure I could have got a better feel for the Robo if I had used it more. The first time I used it though I spaced it out about what I wanted it to be for length, but its design generated more suction or something and my hair got cut way shorter than I expected. After that cut, it went on eBay and I've been using my trusty Flowbee ever since. lol

Take that! And, don't think you can fool the erstwhile American consumer by showing the RoboCut's uses for pets....

That's right, Lassie...you're Rick Hunt's bitch too.

Because Rick Hunt thought of that shit a looooong time ago when, in his vision, he invented the Pet Flowbee.

So, RoboCut, know this...yes, you are Rick Hunt's bitch, but, we are all Rick Hunt's bitch.

Lord Stern to Planet: "Sorry, Chap, you're screwed"

I love the smell of Hummers.

Maybe now the "civilized" or "developed/developing" world will listen to "enviro whack jobs"...Global warming and climate change aren't just screwing the eco-system, it's worse than previously thought and is going to screw the global economy, too.

"Do politicians understand just how difficult it could be, just how devastating rises of 4C, 5C or 6C could be? I think, not yet * * * A rise of 5C would be a temperature the world has not seen for 30 to 50 million years. We've been around only 100,000 years as human beings. We don't know what that's like. We haven't seen 3C for a few million years, and we don't know what that looks like either.
Stabilising emissions of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, might be about 1 per cent of annual global GDP by 2050. But the cost of doing nothing was found to be far greater – risking up to 20 per cent of the world's wealth *** Lord Stern revised this prediction, saying the cost of inaction would be "50 per cent or more higher" than his previous highest estimate – meaning it could cost a third of the world's wealth."

Full, excellent article found here, at the UK's Independent.

The Corporate Teat and the Farm Bill Proposal.

I am among the most vociferous of farm bill critics, believing that we often subsidize these guys (ranchers especially) into artificially-inflated wealth. Apparently, the president believes the same thing, and proposes a cap on subsidies to land-owned farms over $500,000. I should be jumping, but I'm not...this is bad news for the small American farm and here's why.
1. It will destroy the tenant farmers who do not own their land, but largely lease from smaller owners, because the prices will inevitably be passed on onto them.
2. It does absolutely nothing about Big Farm agribusinesses (think ADM) who lease these monster farms and then still get subsidies.
3. It is based on operating revenue of $500,000. Not profit. Revenue. Well, look at it like this. For an average small farmer, who has the basic 200-250 acre farm, what does he need to pay for?
Combine? 225K
Baler? 30K
Tractor? 100K
Disc driller? 150K
Farm truck? 40K
Cost per acre? 3-5K
How about work clothes, oil, gas, spare parts, feed, seed, fertilizer, water, electric, labor cost for trucking and services cost?

See the problem? This is not a good deal for the small farmer.

Your Country is fucked: Chile

Welcome to Chile: Otherwise known as Anaconda Copper/CIA/Nixon's playground. This isthmus of fat to Argentina's NY Strip has spent the better part of 35 years recovering from US actions in a previously-stable, democratic nation. Chileans are fucked.

Chile was, until the 16th Century, part of the Inca dynasty. Then the Spanish came with a great deal on blankets, and the nation came under the rule of that nation. In 1810, Chile declared independence (and was mocked); then again in 1818 it claimed its independence (not mocked quite so much). Only after kicking the shit out of those military powers Peru and Bolivia (and taking a nice heaping of its northern lands) did Chile get taken seriously.

From that moment until 1969, things progressed smoothly. Then center-left beloved Allende gets elected, and -in a big time mistake- nationalizes Anaconda Copper. The Nixon administration (led by anti-Christ Kissinger) toppled the gov't in a military coup led by murderous bastard Pinochet. Enter the assassination of Allende, the soccer stadiums filled with executed prisoners and the use of "disappearances" as a political terrorism. In 1990 Pinochet was evicted, then arrested, then put on trial and died before he could face the music for his human rights abuses.

Ever since 1990, Chile has really been getting over its CIA-induced coup hangover. To the Chileans credit, they're not as fucked as they could be. Their government is stable, their currency has rebounded, and reasonably free representative elections are still held. Chile still exports a shitload of copper, some illegal drugs, and otherwise keeps a low-profile, except for the rocking capital of Santiago...one of the most luxuriant, Euro-style cities in the Western Hemisphere.

Speaking of beating on cripples...

The University of Wisconsin Badgers, Big 10 fixture over the past decade, has decided in its utter bravery to add the University of South Dakota Coyotes to its 2011 schedule.

I know USD is a I-AA team now (after decades as a d-ii power) but, c'mon, USD? But, then again, from some of the smattering of Message Board Warriors, USD might be in the Badgers' league:

(2/27/2009 2:46 PM)
Maryland Badger says:
Didn't we almost lose last year to Cal Poly. If my memory serves me right, they would have won the game if they had a kicker. Wofford and S. Dakota may be in our league as long as Bielema is coach.

(2/26/2009 6:29 PM)
MB says:
The difference between Texas and Florida scheduling FCS schools is that UT and UF win Rose Bowls and National Championships year-in year-out. We schedule FCS schools and then proceed to get demolished 42-13 in Champs Sports Bowls. UF & UT-Austin have earned the respect from their fanbase and alums to schedule weaker opponents...we haven't won a Big Ten title in a decade and only have three more Big Ten Championships than the University of Chicago.


(2/28/2009 11:06 AM)
Leo the Lip says:
Memories of playing Nebraska, Oklahoma, LSU, Penn State, Notre Dame in the 60s and 70s grows dimmer and dimmer. It's sad.

Today's Hot Nerd: Hillary

Love her, hate her; she's still smarter than you...

Only one name needed, thank you very much. While she is undoubtedly one of the most polarizing figures of American politics over the past quarter-century, her nerdentials are impeccable: Wellesley College followed by Yale Law School and law review; counsel for WalMart, law professor at the Univ. of Arkansas (IP), child advocate, then first lady of Arkansas and First Lady of the United States (first woman in that role with a post-baccalaureate degree), ambitious advocate for health care reform, Junior Senator (D-NY), almost-First Woman President, now Secretary of State under Obama's philosophy of keep thy enemies nearer. While she's not for everyone, you still have to give her props.

She can also outdrink you...and a certain senior Senator from Arizona.


There is an Israel Lobby....And it is powerful.*

So, I read an interesting book; the Israel Lobby. Therein Mearsheimer and Walt make a compelling (although sometimes tenuous) argument for the loose (and not-so loose) coalition of individuals and entities that advance the cause of Israel in general, and pan-Zionism in particular. While not agreeing with the balance of the book, I do agree that very often what is in Israel's best interest isn't necessarily in the best interests of our nation or the people of the U.S. Thus, the book is best read critically, with an open-mind, and reach your own conclusions.

Enter Charles Freeman, an undisputed intelligence genius, who just happens to hold views critical of the Middle East conundrum, and who feels, like many others do, that our unilateral intractability (e.g., Palestine - bad, Israel - good) isn't perhaps the best way to broker peace. Then the shit hit the fan. Online campaigns from the "Lobby" essentially made Freeman's acceptance of the Chair for the Nat'l Intell. Council untenable. Now, others are questioning the Lobby's disproportional influence. Including, naturally, Freeman himself:

"The libels on me and their easily traceable email trails show conclusively that there is a powerful lobby determined to prevent any view other than its own from being aired, still less to factor in American understanding of trends and events in the Middle East," Freeman wrote.Referring to what he called "the Israel Lobby," he added: "The aim of this Lobby is control of the policy process through the exercise of a veto over the appointment of people who dispute the wisdom of its views." One result of this, he said, is "the inability of the American public to discuss, or the government to consider, any option for US policies in the Middle East opposed by the ruling faction in Israeli politics."

While this is rhetoric of a bitter man, wrongly tarred, it is useful to ask ourselves: Who gains from having a foreign policy voice that is status quo as opposed to one that seeks bilateral concensus, and a more diplomatic option for all the principals in the ne'er-ending Israeli-Palestinian conflict? I think you know the answer.

Preface: before I get tarred with the ADL's all-time favorite schtick (e.g., "anti-semite" taunting), I will put my goddamned civil rights record as a professional, an attorney, an activist and human being against nearly anyone. Having spent the better part of my 35 years working in ghettos, shtetls, barrios, reservations, trailer parks, suburbia, micro-mansionville and the like, I am hopeful -but not expectant- that what is said here will be judged on its merit without the de rigeure resort to name-calling. Thank you for listening to the barrage.

Capitalism is killing us: Shitty Health Care that costs more

In a past life, I was a card-carrying member of the Public Health community (yes, I smoke and drink, but do as I say, not as I do). One of my big pet projects was universal coverage: either socialist style (the U.S. Armed Forces) single-payer (Canada) or multi-payer (France) systems for healthcare coverage and delivery. See my findings in "Capitalism is Killing Us" here.

Only now does big business want it changed...not because it's been fleecing folks for three decades since Nixon, rather because the current model is an inefficient system that is bad business for consumers and providers, and, in fact, provides us with all-in-all pretty piss poor health care.

" If the global economy were a 100-yard dash, the U.S. would start 23 yards behind its closest competitors because of health care that costs too much and delivers too little, a business group says in a report to be released Thursday. "

Thanks for joining folks.

Ah, good ole' federalization of crimes.

I think, since federal crimes are [promulgated and made possible solely by stating that an offense has a nexus with interstate commerce, that the feds should have to, as an element of the offense, prove that interstate commerce was implicated.

For instance, a former prosecutor (and not my favorite folks, btw) in Montana faces 20 years of prison time for buying cocaine and letting his guests snort it at parties. Is it criminal under state law? Sure. Is it 20 years-worthy, with no parole, under the federal system? You bet your sweet ass it's not. And why? Because it's a federal crime, implicating "interstate commerce".

If that's really the case, on the consumer's end, then make these damned cripple-beating feds prove that this guy engaged in economic activity across state lines, or that cocaine here was an instrumentality of interstate commerce, or that his few lines had a cumulative effect on interstate commerce. Until then, it's a bullshit war on "drugs" that is, in actuality, a war on people.

Today's Hot Nerd: Joanna

Meet Joanna from Nerdgirls.com.* This well-traveled, calculus-loving, ultimate frisbee aficionado is a biochemical engineer at Big Pharma. All that and bangin' to boot. Nerdalicious :)

* don't worry, the rest are coming.

Your Country is Fucked: Slovenia

Ahhh, Slovenia....Welcome to the neighbors from hell: Surrounded by ethnic genocide and internecine Balkans warfare to the East/South; the Teutuons and ex-commies to the North, and the old Roman empire to the West. The only good thing going is the Adriatic Sea, permitting the fucked Slovenes to drown themselves when one nation or another inevitably attempts to annex and/or slaughter the nation and its inhabitants?

Why does everyone have all the hate for Slovenes? Simple. They have no political subdivisions beyond their 182 municipalities. I kid, the real reason is two fold. First, like real estate, Slovenia is location, location, location....a natural entry point to and from the Balkans from the Old Empires. And, boy, did they ever.

Which brings us to the second point, Slovenia has, for most of its existence, never really existed...it's always been part of one empire after another....and not that British Empire, smug sorta imperialism...we're talking homicidal regimes: The Romans, the Ottamans, the Yugoslavs and the Hapsburgs. Later, it was incorparated (swallowed) by the Austria-Hungary empire; Then swallowed by the Fascist Axis powers in WWII. Did I mention that whole Yugoslavian thing?

Slovenia also earns scorn because, in a cesspit neighborhood, it has been a remarkable post-war model of political and economic stability (sorta' like Auburn Hills outside of Detroit).


When I think Fight Club, I think this...

The first rule of this Fight Club is that you do.not. talk about about Fight Club.

That is, I think of grown men whacking one another out of some pre-Apocalyptic, post-capitalistic pique. I do not, nor have I ever, thought that "fight club" should involve profoundly mentally and physically retarded juvenile prisoners. Yet, in Texas that's what happened as guards would provoke the troubled and/or disabled kids into fighting one another, with wagers undoubtedly being cast on the winner.

The first rule of this Fight Club is that they can not spell "fight club".

Your Country is Fucked: Vanuatu

This tiny cluster of volcanoes, the taint of Australia and the Marshall Islands, is another one of those damned Melanesian paradises/banana republics. Fuck the Vanuatuans.

Vanuatu was founded, damned near entirely, by British and French missionaries. The problem with dueling enemies, who outnumbered the indigenous population, resulted in the creation of a fucked up system of government called the "British-French Condominium"; a convoluted system of governance where laws and disputes were made and resolved solely by an infrequently-held joint high court. I'm sure that worked well. Eventually, the native Austronesians got pissed and begged nicely...the New Hibrides (as they were called) were granted independence in 1980 and now sport the new appelation.

Their previous best exports were indentured servants, sandalwood, dysfunctional half-assed coups and some bizarre cult best known for the accumulation of material wealth through magic (shit, Dumbledore can't even do that). Currently it imports tourists and Lord of the Rings stageprops that have washed onto shore from New Zealand. This miniscule chain of volcanoes has an alleged president with the impossible-to-pronounce name of Kalkot Mataskelekele.

Vanuatu, you're fucked.

More on the "God Spot"

Was reading Richard Dawkins yesterday, ironically enough, when I got to a section where he discusses "the god center". He makes a point which I hadn't thought about (but that's why he's Richard-freakin-Dawkins and I'm just lawya'in in the Midwest). Anyway he argues as follows:

1. He rejects group selection theories for the god spot. I tend to agree, since I've never been big on ethnophysiological theories.
2. He also rejects, as do I, the notion that religion's function, at the initial level of selection, was a byblow of power dynamics (e.g., mechanisms of social control). I do think that I can speak for Dr. Dawkins when I say, irrespective of its initial purpose, religion has very much been kept alive in the meme pool for some of those reasons.
3. Finally, and the most crucial observation, ties into the dual concepts of proximate purposes versus ultimate purposes. That is, a proximate purpose is one involving mechanisms or behaviors, which in turn selects a given trait. The other inquiry is the ultimate cause; that is, what is it all for.

Thus, according to Dawkins, it doesn't matter if there is a necessary physiological correlate between credulity and individual behavior vis-a-vis religious activity, we are still left with the ultimate question...what's it all for. And, I believe -even if the Brit researchers did find a "god spot", that they can answer (maybe) some of the proximate questions, but cannot adduce the Darwinian ultimate questions.

Like I said yesterday, interesting stuff.


Today's Hot Nerd: Me MFers. Me

It would have been cool to live 6000 years ago to see the Earth's creation and ride dinos.

The Great Road Trip of '08
with stops including: Grant Wood's American Gothic House; the Bridges of Madison County; Lincoln's & Jeff Davis's birth places; Lincoln-Douglas debate sites; the Mahaska Co. Courthouse (Katko v. Briney, lawyas); Mammoth Cave; the Creation Museum in Cincinnati; random bad restuarants and hotels; the Kentucky Derby; the Home of Sliced Bread (Chilicothe, MO); Shaker Museums; My Old Kentucky Home; Whitehaven; Mark Twain's digs in Hannibal, MO; the Wild Turkey Distillery; the Trail of Tears sites; and other random confederate battlefields/monuments in the midsouth.

American Gothic, indeed.

Your Country is Fucked: Uzbekistan

The world's 56th largest, 42nd most populous country: Uzbekistan. Fuck the Uzbeks.

This landlocked country in Central Asia is not, in fact, Asiatic at all...it's Turkic, formed out of the ashes of the reclamed Turkic lands after kicking the Mongols asses out...eventually (hear that, Jin Dynasty?)

Uzbekistan exports a shit load of cotton, minerals and civil unrest. While it counts as its main imports oil development firms for the Aral sea, the occasional jihadist and ruthless ass-kicking imperialists (besides the aforementioned Mongols, see also the Parthians, the Ottomans and the Soviet Russians).

The market economy is a farce and human rights abuses still abound under world class asshat Islam Karimov. This tiny, mountainous shithole calls Tashkent its capital and stands firmly astride the worlds of the old Ottoman empire and the equally-defunct transcaucasus Russia.

Uzbekistan, you're fucked.

Ohhhhh, Kwame.

I only put it in a lil' baby.

Disgraced, disbarred ex-Detroit Mayor, Kwame Kilpatrick, he who served a stint in the pokey for obstructing justice and schtupping his admin asst. has had all of those spicy text messages released. The Detroit Free Press is my hero for this!

The "God spot"

Interesting article from the UK's Independent on religious belief and a neurological correlate. The long and short of the research is that A) the authors believe there may be a biological/neurological basis for belief (the so-called "god spot"), and B) that such belief in a deity or other supernatural entity may have Darwinian advantages.

While I am inclined to agree with the study's authors that belief may be embedded into other cognitive structures and processes, the simple fact is that neurological activity can and does influence, alter or create physiological changes (e.g., creation and retention of brain involutions, etc). Thus, causation seems to be imputed from a neurological association here. Second, the conclusion that belief (even if it could have a physiological diathetical mechanism -- a conclusion I'm not ready to take a face value) has some advantages for natural selection seems attenuated at best. This is why: The authors point to moral and/or spiritual "conundrums" and decision-making, yet, are these necessarily innate to the survival and reproduction of the human species? I don't see how, and the authors don't explain how. Moreover, the very real social dynamics are ignored: religion and morality are social constructs and very often are mechanisms of social control far removed from the cortical development and advancement of h. s. sapiens.

I'm not ready to call this bunk, but I'd like to see a lot more research first. In the meanwhile, it's food for thought.

What are we?

Lonely monkeys...all six billion of us. Via Ernest Cline with h/t to the MonkeyGirl

Today's Cute Nerds: The Empire's Got Back

I would go with the Imperial Guard unis...not as revealing, but they're better shots.

Very cute girls in Star Wars' Stormtrooper outfits.* Nothing else to say...this floats my boat :)

* via Bert Boerland's Blog


Today's Economy: A quick juxtaposition

CEO "bonuses" fell 19% last year, from an average of $1.1 million to "only" $899 K. Awwww, poor fellas.

Meanwhile, homelessness for children is at 2%...that's one in fifty children...in America.

Today's GOP: "offensive, radical, insulting and confusing..."

...all at the same time." So spaketh a voice not from the left wing bloggerati. Rather those very true words were uttered by (uber-cutie) Meghan McCain, the conservative daughter of conservative Sen. John McCain, and speaking of the shrill voices who have assumed de facto leadership over the GOP: Coulter & Limbaugh.

These GOP thugs and arsonists in America's barn do not wish to actually accomplish anything. As House republican bigwig McHenry said, "Our goal is to bring down [Dem] poll numbers". Confuse, obfuscate, naysay, sabotage. That is the face of the new GOP.

But, this is not a face that true, dyed in the wool conservatives approve of. How bad is it? David Frum, avowed right winger from hell, essentially said Limbaugh is a blathering idiot. Frank Schaeffer, a founder of the Reagan revolution is particularly scornful in his article "Open Letter to the Republican Traitors"

How can anyone who loves our country support the Republicans now? Barry Goldwater, William F. Buckley and Ronald Reagan defined the modern conservatism that used to be what the Republican Party I belonged to was about. Today no actual conservative can be a Republican. Reagan would despise today's wholly negative Republican Party. And can you picture the gentlemanly and always polite Ronald Reagan, endorsing a radio hate-jock slob who crudely mocked a man with Parkinson's and who now says he wants an American president to fail?!
Nor is his the only voice echoing this sentiment. Newt Gingrich, author of the Contract with America and the 1994 GOP coup d'etat, had this to say about these "pundits" who wish American policy and American presidents failure "You're irrational if you don't want the President to succeed".

Yet, here we are....45 days into Obama's presidency, FauxNews Nutwork is trying to lay 8 years of disaster and incompetence at Obama's doorstep. Never mind the fact that their bubblehead gave away over a trillion dollars to the rich, deregulated out the ass, let corporations get away with murder and spent over three trillion for war efforts and defense budgets. If you want to know how to take the greatest surplus in history and turn it to the greatest deficit, then you only need think back to the past 8 years. 45 days is hardly going to take root. We are in a tailspin folks, and everyone needs to break a sweat, put in some elbow grease and get on board to dig ourselves out of this nearly intractable mess. Failing that, the arsonists can just shut the fuck up.

Don't just make a snack; make a snack masterpiece

Behold, in all its glory, the SnackMaster Sandwich maker. Allegedly great for grilled cheesed, white bread/jelly "pastries", and a variety of other uses. Can you think of some? One enterprising man makes -no shit- spaghetti sandwiches (Atkins friendly, I'm sure). And, there is an entire Yahoo Group devoted to the splendor of Snackmaster and its many uses. Scoff if you will at its schlock, it's lowbrow utility, but before the Lean Mean Grilling machine, it was.

Obama keeps stem cell promise

Pop Quiz: Does this single cell look like a baby to you? Or....

Pres. Obama has kept his promise to open up the promise of stem cell research.

In case you don't remember, Bush didn't veto a single piece of legislation for almost six years. The Democrats regained leadership of the house and senate in 2006, and then and only then did the Pretzelnit Autocrat start wielding his veto crayon; striking down such things as equal pay for women, labor policy, children's health insurance and threatening to do so with anti-torture legislation. But, his very first veto was for something wildly popular: Stem cell research. By a wide, bipartisan measure, Congress passed a bill permitting research into stem cells and their use. And it was overwhelmingly popular with Americans (not the brightest or most scientifically inclined bunch...so it's gotta' be worth something). But, the fascist theocrat (e.g., "43"), struck it down based solely his own religious convictions, and of the other dead-end 19% of Americans who comprised his base.

Stem cells are highly variant, as they are the only cells in the body that can take on the characteristics of other, mature cells. This, in essence, gives scientists another tool in the arsenal against paralysis, genetic diseases, cancers and other conditions which are the bane of human existence. Today, Obama kept the pledge, reversing Bush's executive order against research into stem cells. Naturally, the Wingnuts are apoplectic, with some even daring to call this breakthrough into human medicine "a distraction". Fuck 'em...elections have results, and humanity can and will greatly benefit from American energy, industry, dollars and ingenuity in helping to explore the hope that stem cell research represents.

Or, is this the baby? Case closed.

Today's Nerd Hottie: Jodie Foster alleged lesbian edition*

I am not the only man who looks at this and thinks "damn, what a pity"

I've always had a crush on Jodie Foster; not that John Hinckley sorta' crush, but you the normal kind. Ms. Foster was the definition of child prodigy, and her young film career is well-documented, beginning with the seminal early role in Taxi Driver. However, Jodie also attended Lycée Français de Los Angeles, a French-speaking prep school where she finished valedictorian. Following her preparatory education, Foster continued her theater career, and attended Yale University, graduating magna cum laude with a B.A. in Literature.

Rob Lowe may have tapped this. Then again, maybe not.

Jodie Foster is notoriously private about her sexuality, owing largely to her mother's own bisexuality/lesbianism, and this has fueled speculation (hence, "alleged lesbian" in the title of this post). Foster is also a well-known atheist; although, she has a command of many faiths and professes respect for all religions. Then again, intolerance wouldn't seem to be very much in keeping would it? The Shadow salutes beauty, brains and tolerance, so here's to you Jodie Foster.

I love your accent in "Silence", Jodie. Will you please stay a virgin for me?**

** Okay, that last one was a bit over the top. See right heeyah.


There. Is. A. God.

In this lonely existence in our cold universe, I've often hoped and prayed and wished to feel the hand of the divine: To simply feel anything. But, it never came, leaving my world the poorer. But, now I have had an experience that makes the words "transcendental" and "sublime" seem flimsy as they leave my throat. Behold. The. Brilliance.*

You can't touch this, because it's too cold. Too cold.

* Yes, that IS Vanilla Ice and MC Hammer...on one stage...in UTAH!

Nerd Hottie: David Tennant a/k/a The Tenth Doctor with special guest captioning

Guest Comment "Nerdalicious"

This was a requested Nerd Hottie (also nerd eyecandy for the ladies). Behold, David Tennant. This Scottish actor found his calling at age three as a bigtime fan of Doctor Who...and thereafter became "singularly motivated" to assume that role. Although Tennant is best known as the Doctor, he is a skilled stage actor, and is a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Guest Comment: "The only thing that would be better is if it had the TARDIS in the background

According to Wiki this do-gooder from an Ulster Unionist family disavows the schism, is a supporter of ecologically friendly technologies, and was voted the "Greenest Star on the Planet". Additionally he is a patron for international cancer research. Not bad for a 37 year old bloke, and uber-nerd.

Guest Comment: "Superman for the nerd age"

Guest Comment: "You can bring your sonic screwdriver to my house anytime"

T.O. to the Bills

Wh00t!!! Wh00t!!

T.O. the pride (and shame) of Alexander City, Alabama, all-pro nutjob is going to my beloved Buffalo Bills. We have Lee Evans on the outside, but not another demonstrable playmaker to take the pressure off of him (well, I guess Josh Reed in the slot, but that's just a slot position).

Last year, we were in the middle of the pack throwing the ball (about 30 atts per game for 209 ypg). But the production from the wideouts was awful, with only 14 tds through the air. TO has 25 in two years. Moreover, we carried a lead into the 4th or were within one score 7 times in 16 games. Yet, the inability to threaten teams through the air led to the sure loss in four of those...that's difference between 7-9 and 11-5. This year, we will win 10 and be on the outside for a playoff spot.

Great pickup!

I give you the 1995 Nebraska Cornhuskers

Nothing short of an M-1 Abrams tank could have taken these guys down.

In honor of my new digs, I give you the 1995 Nebraska Cornhuskers. That team was simply the very best I have ever seen in my life. They didn't throw a whole lot, but could when they needed to. They were the nastiest, most physical team -on both sides of the ball- of the past 20 years: Speed, power, coaching, strength, and a mean streak, they destroyed everyone in their paths.

Here's the results from their season (via Wiki)
August 31
Oklahoma State Cowboys #2 Lewis FieldStillwater, OK ESPN W 64-21 42,100
September 9*
Michigan State Spartans #2 Spartan StadiumEast Lansing, MI
W 50-10 73,891
September 16*
Arizona State Sun Devils #2 Memorial StadiumLincoln, NE
W 77-28 75,418
September 23*
Pacific Tigers #2 Memorial StadiumLincoln, NE
W 49-7 75,630
September 30*
Washington State Cougars #2 Memorial StadiumLincoln, NE
W 35-21 75,777
October 14
Missouri Tigers #2 Memorial StadiumLincoln, NE
W 57-0 75,552
October 21
#8 Kansas State Wildcats #2 Memorial StadiumLincoln, NE
W 49-25 76,072
October 28
#7 Colorado Buffaloes #2 Folsom FieldBoulder, CO
W 44-21 54,063
November 4
Iowa State Cyclones #1 Memorial StadiumLincoln, NE
W 73-14 75,505
November 11
#10 Kansas Jayhawks #1 Memorial StadiumLawrence, KS
W 41-3 53,300
November 24
Oklahoma Sooners #1 Memorial StadiumLincoln, NE
W 37-0 75,662
January 2, 1996
#2 Florida Gators #1 Sun Devil StadiumTempe, AZ (Fiesta Bowl)
W 62-24 79,864

They averaged an un-fucking-real 399.8 yards rushing and 52.4 points per game, and scored 40+ ten times. Inside zones and the vestiges of the power I and triple option, it was a thing of beauty and was absolutely uncontainable, much less stoppable.

This team smoked the Florida Gators in the National Championship game 62-24 (and it wasn't that close. Steve Spurrier still wears Tommy Frazier underoos).

ESPN can yammer about how great the 2004 Trojans, 2001 'Canes or the 1985 Sooners were; for my money, this was the best. There was only one team, defensively, that could have held their own: The 1992 Alabama Crimson Tide, rightly called the best defense of the Century, and it was. But, the offense was awful, and in the end, NU would have worn us down, scoring a pretty easy 10-14 point win.

As good as THAT team was, it wouldn't have stood a shot against the 1995 NU machine.

Make no mistake, the '95 Cornhuskers relied on domination at the point of attack, and then speed thereafter. Trojan Football Analysis, a nice X's and O's site, breaks down the running attack of the mid '90s Nebraska Juggernaut. The analysis is in four parts, and they are all worthy readings. Do your football IQ a favor and go there.

Nebraska: Grab the holy water

My nest, my nest. In all the world, my nest is best.

Lock 'em up, boys and girls, because the Shadow is coming to town!!! Wh00T!!! I had asked some colleagues from Omaha where the best place to live was, and they all said, to a person, WEST! DEAR GOD, GO WEST! They weren't kidding...at all. That is one hella' gentrified town. East of I-680 and south of about Pacific it starts getting OMG11 sketchy. That's fine, I've lived in Appalachia, Tuskegee, Montgomery, etc and am accustomed to (and generally don't mind) very diverse neighborhoods, extreme poverty and/or mixed tenure, but one thing you don't want to hear is the following:

Monkey Girl: What's the crime like around here?
Cog in the Real Estate Machine: Well, I've lived here all my life * * * All of the residents pass their criminal background check.

Ummm, I'm probably in the wrong neighborhood.

Needless to say, alternative plans were made in a beautiful lil' community. Got a great deal too: Only about $8/ft sq...in W. Midtown....only a mile from I-680 and about 4 from the office (thanks recession!). And, besides having a big open kitchen, vaulted ceilings, and a lot of space, the deck overlooks a beautiful tree line and grove. As I grow older, the more I appreciate a lil sanity when I get home: Never, ever underestimate the mental health benefits of snuggle time and a hot meal in a beautiful, quiet, well-appointed place.*

When I see this man I have a strong urge, nay a compulsion, to order him off my lawn.

*No, I'm not mellowing out: I love to raise hell, only now it's even easier to do: cabs and public transit! Can you say Seraphim Shock and Warped Tour?

Cutie Nerds: Correction Edition

Der Schatten still loves ya' baby!

Yesterday, I posted a picture of someone whom I believed to be a then-younger Dr. Rachel Yould. mSomeone has astutely informed me that that photo does not belong to her*. Thus, we shall display the current Dr. Yould's photo.

* Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know...how can you anonymously know in the libertarian frontier that A) it wasn't her, B) that they knew it wasn't her, C) that the correction isn't correct. Good questions all. But, for the time being, I make corrections because I wouldn't want a random bikini hottie to be called a criminal.