Archive for the ‘fun’ Category

world of warcraft tax

October 17, 2006

“There is a concern that the IRS might step forward with regulations that start taxing transactions that occur within virtual economies. This, I believe, would be a mistake,” Chairman Jim Saxton said today.


but really?  so… i log on to wow and kill a dragon.  it drops 2 gold, and i owe – what – 34% of that to the IRS in taxes, but if my annual income in one year is more than 30 geldars it goes on a graduated scale?  only the us government could come up with a way to require accountants in a game with elves, dwarves, and orcs.

thats supposed to be a joke in the onion, not actual government policy. 


reality vs the dinosaurs

September 26, 2006

Thoughtful Conservative: sad is that 42% of americans think the president intervened to lower gas prices before the nov. elections, and that 65% of those people were democrats
me: this from the kid that thinks we found wmd in iraq?
Thoughtful Conservative: this from the kid who has seen credible articles showing that decayed biological weapon residue inside weapons
me: you do realize that decayed means no longer working, right?
like, depleted shells aren’t exactly going to cause mass destruction?
Thoughtful Conservative: yes, this i know, they are not themselves wmd´s but the decayed remains of them.  sorta like, we find dinosaur bones and go, these must have lived here at some point in the past
me: yeah, but you wouldn’t say there were dinosaurs in iraq, either
Thoughtful Conservative: that there had been dinosaurs and since we knew how many dinos we sold them and how many were used.  we did math and found there were some unaccounted for
me: so, when we invaded iraq, did we go to war, because dinosaurs were there?
about to go Jurassic Park on us?
Thoughtful Conservative: that have been found to date, no.   we did because they were unaccounted for, and who knows where they are nowfinding decayed remains has shown that there were dinosaurs once in iraq
me: but 65 million years ago isn’t exactly an imminent threat
Thoughtful Conservative: i agree, the time span is the achilles heel
me: yes, after you put the heel through a woodchipper
Thoughtful Conservative: only a flesh wound

[update:  NeoCon objected to being called NeoCon, got upgraded to Thoughtful Conservative.  i still say, anyone that likes Leo Strauss…]

don’t drink the hemlock

September 22, 2006

maybe i read too much plato, but calling your outdoor morale retreat hemlock isn’t the brightest idea, is it?  just a bit too symbolic, i think.  and if anyone thinks i’m following the example set by the crito, you’re crazy.

on second though, rereading the text…

i heart the onion

September 22, 2006

Cancer June 22 – July 22
Unwavering faith in a supreme, all-knowing being that controls the universe will help you to overcome a series of rational and seemingly insurmountable arguments this week.

shiver me timbers**

September 19, 2006

ahoy, me hearties & prepare to be boarded

as outlook my parrot just reminded me, today be international talk like a pirate day.  (you can tell, because i’m putting “be” in sentences where it doesn’t belong).  so remember, today, when answering the telephone, call out with an “avast” or an “ahoy matey” (that, i think, is in the code of the brethren).  swear a blood oath to skewer your boss / lab director / roommate, should they threaten your rum.  why celebrate?

  1. pirates are, and always will be, better than ninjas
  2. what’s a pirate’s favorite russian city?  YAR!-oslavl!
  3. laptops are benches God gave us fer wenches (song)
  4. johnny depp


* really, what does this mean?

kill bill and the laws we ignore

September 18, 2006

i’m watching kill bill on TNT at the moment. i find it slightly hilarious that, in a movie created as an homage to violence, they find the need to edit out f— and p—y. really? the commercials said it was a movie where “viewer discretion isn’t just recommended, it is highly encouraged”.

so i’m expected to believe that, somehow, naughty words are worse than the slaughter of others.  this really is a farce.

hm. so what if i’m a dirty person?

September 12, 2006

science has an article connecting personal hygene and ethics.

Ethically compromised individuals experienced an increased desire to cleanse themselves, but physical cleansing alleviated the psychological consequences of unethical behavior, both assuaging moral emotions and reducing moral-compensatory behavior

the proper study of mankind and thoughts in a haystack have summaries.  apparently the phenomenon is known as the macbeth effect.  it seems that after ‘cleaning’ we appear less likely to make amends for our immoral acts.

i’ll have to remember this, the next time i yell at someone for being a right-wing f-wit.

poor, poor idaho

September 12, 2006

that idiot is just an idiot“.

geek-off, phaser optional

September 8, 2006

last night at dinner, my friend called me a nerd every 5-10 minutes.  this is not uncommon.  my poor roommates have the same response cycle, generally alongside some comment like “i really don’t care that you’re doing an end of history markov chain as a fukuyama spoof, i just want to watch football”.  my attempt to ‘relate’ to football stats by attempting to aggregate and test ecological inference techniques doesn’t do much better.

all the same, it seems i’m doomed.  i knew i should have spent more time posting about math… nothing hurts more than missing a geek-off.  the challenge was issued a couple days ago.  some basic questions have been outlined at questionable authority.  (the cutoff is 1/3, i hit 12/25… i’m not going to lie, thats a poor showing.)

man, i’m no good at this nerd-off.  79%, and a mid-level nerd.

in my defense, however…

  • sitting outside on a perfectly beautiful day, i noticed black spots on the bottom of the fountain i was sitting by, and decided to calculate the size of the eddies that generated them.  the only thing notable about this event was my disturbing lack of graphing paper at a critical moment.
  • i know more computer programming languages than human ones
  • i played both the star trek and the star wars collectable card games… while maintaining my magic deck.  oh, and if they invented a science collectable card game, i’d be down
  • i’m currently looking up data documenting procedures – largely for fun.

i am, in fact, sexually tame

September 8, 2006

ack, this post appears to have died, so i have to redo it…

a couple weeks ago, during a trip to a sex shop in dupont circle (a friend needed a halloween costume… or so he says), i discovered that i am vastly more sexually tame than many people.  in no small part because i spent far too long figuring out why someone would want a rubber forearm (can i just say… eww)

but carl zimmer sets new levels.  his nytimes article on sexual cannibalism is pretty darn entertaining.  the blog post, on adaptationism and exaptations is equally interesting.  of course, all i can think is that i’m glad my date wednesday involved dinner.

Books, my love

September 3, 2006

Wacky posts are best on Sundays, I guess.  Book memes, however, are tons of fun

A book that changed my life:  Going for something profound?  The RepublicThe Art of Happiness?… oh!  of course!  Critique of Pure Tolerance.  Changed the way I view the world (provoked a minor emotional breakdown in the process), but I’m the healthier for it.

A book I’ve read more than once:  Patriot Games by Tom Clancy.  I could have taken the easy way out, but I’m not going to lie, I love the Jack Ryan series.  I’m generally reading at least one of them.

A book I would take with me if I were stuck on a desert island:  if I can take a collection, the Complete Works of Shakespeare.  There is something in there for all moods, and I figure I’d want something insightful into the nature of humanity.

A book that made me laugh: The Man Who Loved Only Numbers – my poor roommates had to put up with me laughing at math jokes all through a biography of Paul Erdos.  I keep telling others to read it.

A book that I wish had been written:  My own.  Or, if someone else feels up to it, an excellent copy introductory textbook to American Political Science (advanced level).  Something that can serve, as in biology, to really introduce the field.

A book that I wish had never been written:  I’m a fan of JS Mill, you have to be kidding.

A book I’ve been meaning to read:  Endless Forms Most Beautiful by Sean me right now… taunting me.  It is actually sitting next I’m also thinking of the Diskworld series, but not sure if I want to take all that time.

I’m currently reading: The Cardinal of the Kremlin by Tom Clancy.  Four Essays on Liberty by Isiah Berlin.  A Solution to the Ecological Inference Problem by Gary King.  And I just finished Rousseau’s Dog by Edmonds and Eidinow.  And people think this blog is chaotic…

i don’t know what she said…

August 28, 2006

…but that won’t stop me from objectifying and exotifyng her.

(my love of country music turns awry.)

wish i had said that #104

August 28, 2006

exclamation points are pretty much the rhetorical equivalent of a backwards baseball cap

rude pundit

sunday cartoon wrap-up

August 22, 2006

i wonder if it is appropriate to put these on my desktop.

i’ll be sitting on K street with a taser

August 18, 2006

washington lobbying firms are hiring well connected democrats in anticipation that the dems will win at least one house of congress this year.

[camera moves to ‘wrath of khan’ look-over, i drop to knees]


in anticipation of this, i suggest a democracy brigade be deployed to K street and barricade the lobbyists inside.  i mean, i’m happy about the weather signs.  and that my roommate will get that job he wants.  but can’t we quarantine k-street?  de-louse it?  throw the thing into the hellfires that forged it?

this kind of power corrupts.  corporate lobbyists will still pull for terrible bankruptcy laws.  they’ll still oppose a sensible healthcare policy (one that lets doctors be doctors, not file paperwork).  and don’t even think about campaign finance, or strict lobbying rules. 

the ten most harmful books

August 17, 2006

Human Events, a right-wing altar to ann coulter turned dating service with reports on on flowers growing in iraq, has published a list of the top 10 most harmful books of the 19th and 20th Centuries (HT:  doing justice).

  1. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, The Communist Manifesto
  2. Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf
  3. Mao Zedong, Quotations from Chairman Mao
  4. Alfred Kinsey, The Kinsey Report
  5. John Dewey, Democracy and Education
  6. Karl Marx, Das Kapital
  7. Betty Friedan, The Feminine Mystique
  8. Auguste Comte, The Course of Positive Philosophy
  9. Friedrich Nietschze, Beyond Good and Evil
  10. John Maynard Keynes, General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money

Honorable mentions:

  • Theodore Adorno, Authoritarian Personality
  • John Stewart Mill, On Liberty
  • Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species
  • Michel Foucault, Madness and Civilization
  • Margaret Mead, Coming of Age in Samoa
  • Simone de Beauvoir, Second Sex
  • Antonio Gramsci, Prison Notebooks
  • Rachel Carson, Silent Spring
  • Sigmund Freud, Introduction to Psychoanalysis

just look at that!  on the top 10 most dangerous books of all time, On Liberty by John Stewart Mill, only gets an honorable mention!  not even top 10.  the shame of it all.  come on, i mean, doesn’t this deserve at least #7?

the sole end for which mankind are warranted, individually or collectively in interfering with the liberty of action of any of their number, is self-protection. That the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not a sufficient warrant. He cannot rightfully be compelled to do or forbear because it will be better for him to do so, because it will make him happier, because, in the opinions of others, to do so would be wise, or even right. These are good reasons for remonstrating with him, or reasoning with him, or persuading him, or entreating him, but not for compelling him, or visiting him with any evil, in case he do otherwise. To justify that, the conduct from which it is desired to deter him must be calculated to produce evil to some one else. The only part of the conduct of any one, for which he is amenable to society, is that which concerns others. In the part which merely concerns himself, his independence is, of right, absolute. Over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign.

right there.  we all have to be pro-choice, pro-feminist, support gay marriage, stop teaching creationism in schools, end the iraq war, play nice with our international neighbors, respect the first amendment, and otherwise behave like decent human beings.  what could be more dangerous than that?  the book is practically responsible for my whole view of the world.  come on – two entries from marx – thats just being lazy.

i’m actually offended, for mill.

(i have to agree with law and society – drop mao and hitler, and this is a decent reading list in critical thought)

why i’m rather picky

August 14, 2006

this weekend was fairly insightful. by late saturday night, i finally realized the source of my dating problems.

on friday, two girls and i meet up with some guys, lets call them torvald and HH. they’re both in their 20s, though neither is that cute (t suffers from early balding). since my roommate wants to sleep with one of them, my job for friday was to play the wingman. (keep in mind, the other girl and i had no idea who they were.)

by the end of the night, the torvald character had me in a virtually loony-tunes level of wrath. (i pictured taking out an oversized acme sledgehammer and shotputting him off the roof of the building). i’d never heard ‘pussy’ and ‘vagina’ used as an insult so many times. the attempted conversation about strippers went on well past the point where it was funny, and just started to make my skin crawl. but what set me over was the joke about sexually assaulting one of the girls we were with. at this point, wingman be damned, i mocked the guy into submission. he remained quiet for the rest of the night. (seeing a sexist deflate: priceless.) the roommate wholeheartedly (and a little drunkenly) agreed.

then, saturday. at the bar, i met a girl who thought many women used abortion as a form of contraception (as in, this was the source of most abortions [wrong]). not a feminist, because sexism is “pretty much over”. literally right as she said this, across the bar, two of the girls we were out with got offered $1,000 each for prostituting themselves. they run back, creeped out, and the anti-choicer doesn’t make the connection. (demeaning? huh?)

at that moment, i realized my problem. i refuse to associate with people who have the sexual politics of a viking raid.  i just don’t want to deal with non-feminists. i can’t stand women who expect me to act like torvald and HH. i don’t (i hope), i won’t, and while i won’t knock what gets people off… just… not with me, ok?


et tu, brute?

July 21, 2006

82.37 cups of betrayal-y goodness.

three laws safe

July 21, 2006

unintended complications from i, robot may have infested my work computer. this may be a sign.

totally stealing the best sentence idea soon.