28 February 2009

The Awesomeness That is THE REAL SHAQ

Just a few of his tweets from today:

Went to a horse style cirk us dolay show called cavalia, very impressive
(translation, 'went to Cavalia, a show that in some ways reminds me of Cirque du Soleil, though instead of acrobats and contortionists, you have horses')

Bout to go to bed tonite, gotta b ready for da kobster and da lakers,
(translation, 'After getting our asses kicked in Los Angeles Thursday by the Los Angeles Lakers, I fear we're about to suffer another thrashing by their hands in front of our hometown patrons')

People n phoenix u have 5 min to touch me I have 2 laker tickets n my hand I'm on a corner at a bus stop
(translation, 'I'm lonely')

From the Archive . . .

front and backyard photos 043

When spring sprung last year, it really sprang to life. This year, not as dramatic, but there's plenty of blooms blossoming, just haven't shot them this year yet, so let last year's sprungy spring pictures stand in for this year's springy sprung pictures. And this post is in no way meant to taunt you folks who are facing a major winter storm as February slides into March.

The Precipitating Cause That Shall Not Be Named . . .

The reasons are varied. The cost of services continues to outpace inflation. Programs are being squeezed out by things the government was not providing in the halcyon 1950s and early 1960s, including Medi-Cal and some welfare programs. And the state has been reluctant to embrace new ways of funding services while holding back state money to plug other holes in the budget.

Now, what could possibly have changed over the past 30-40 years in California to account for the costs of services outpacing inflation? If one were writing this particular article about the middle class squeeze in Cali for the Los Angeles Times, then there is one cause that definitely won't ever be allowed to even be a shadow of an inkling of a thought to enter into an article on our deteriorating state infrastructure.

What could it be?

Oh, yeah, VDH wrote a book about it, Mexifornia (link goes to an article he wrote five years after the book was published on how many things got worse faster than he imagined back in 2002) . Mexicans aren't bad, Mexicans in fact, are pretty great (hell, I'm part Mexican and I'm pretty great), what's changed is that the disparity of the standard of living of those coming to the States from Mexico is now vast, and when we are getting a constant influx of people escaping abject Third World levels of poverty and violence, it's inevitable that not all of that poverty and violence fails to cross the border along with those seeking opportunity and refuge. Legal immigration is a fantastic thing, that energizes this state like no other in the Union. Illegal immigration, on the other hand, has had copious negative effects on the standard of living for those who live in states where the majority of illegal immigrants settle.

Even with the economic downturn, and the nation's highest unemployment rate, California still attracts people with family connections here, and news of the state of our economy may not filter to every pueblo south of the border. The flow north has been slowed by the economy (and there's evidence of some 'self deportation' going on since it's cheaper to be poor and jobless in Mexico than it is to be poor and jobless in California), but it won't stop, and given the near collapse of civil structures in parts of Mexico due to narcotics trafficking, some will flee north not for jobs, but just for personal safety, and if the collapse spreads and worsens, the flow north will increase, even without low paying, unskilled jobs to absorb this population.

California will continue to welcome more people than it can handle, and those with the resources and will to leave, will find places to go. There's plenty of blame to go around for the state of our state, it's not only a problem due to illegal immigration, we also have a political culture that loves to spend lavishly on itself when times are good, and then enact the most business unfriendly legislation around when times are bad (which can only make the bad times even worse). That'd screw us over even without importing Mexico's social ills into our state, but added together, it really makes our state stand out as THE basket case of all the basket case states.

California is where the future happens, maybe we'll find a way through this mess, despite our political class, we still have a dynamic, energetic, and diverse population, we still have some of the most desirable real estate on the planet, and we still have an abundance of physical gifts that no other place has, so once a rebound happens, we'll charge back to being a leading example of what a great state can be, rather than a leading example of what a great mess (but if we don't begin to take the problems associated with illegal immigration seriously enough to at least name them as a possible cause for some of our hardships, then we're screwed).

If He Was Really Part of the Zionist Propaganda Machine, Wouldn't His Last Name Be "Potterstein"?

Or maybe, Potterbaum, or Pottergold (wait, that sounds too much like a leprechaun), oh I give up, David Finkelstein is right, the Iranian leadership is nuts, and they should never be allowed to have a working nuclear bomb.

I'm amazed the Bush administration didn't level the facilities where Iran is developing their nuclear weapons program as a parting gift to the Obama administration, now instead Pres. Obama (and Sec. Clinton) have to step up to the plate and get something done, and so far he hasn't shown the will, the fortitude, or the inclination to prevent these nuts from getting their hands on the means to make their genocidal dreams come true.

Just cause their outrageous lies about Israel and 'Zionism' are laughably outlandish, doesn't mean that they should be ignored, or don't present a mortal threat to a valuable ally and if events turn violent, could make the current merely economic problems seem like very small potatoes in the very near future.

" Barry Komisaruk, a neuroscientist at Rutgers University, has subjects bring themselves to orgasm while lying with their heads in an MRI scanner"

First of all, I'm impressed, I'm not sure that I could easily 'bring myself to orgasm while lying with my head in an MRI scanner', and secondly, is this really research, or is Mr. Komisaruk just satisfying his own unusual fetish?

That's just one part of a massive article from The Times of London regarding female sexuality. It seems it's more complicated than most would like.

Also, perhaps for the first time in research history, violating the Althouse rule for research studies, women are described in negative terms when compared to men:
Meana spoke broadly and not only about her dyspareunic patients when she said: “Female desire is not governed by the relational factors that we like to think rule women’s sexuality as opposed to men’s.’’ She finished a small qualitative study in the past year consisting of long interviews with 20 women in marriages that were sexually troubled. Although bad relationships often kill desire, she argued, good ones don’t guarantee it. The generally accepted therapeutic notion that for women, incubating intimacy leads to better sex is, said Meana, often misguided. “Really, women’s desire is not relational, it’s narcissistic,’’ she said. It is dominated by the yearning to be the object of erotic admiration and sexual need. Still on the subject of narcissism, she talked about research indicating that in comparison with men, women’s erotic fantasies centre less on giving pleasure and more on getting it. “When it comes to desire,” she added, “women may be far less relational than men.”

Quick, somebody needs to spin that kind of narcissism as being healthier and more validating than the male habit of fantasizing more about 'giving' rather than 'getting' pleasure.

Another section of the article that's bound to spark conversation and controversy is this bit:
After Meana’s mention of women’s wish to be pinned against a wall, we discussed rape fantasies. According to an analysis of relevant studies published last year in The Journal of Sex Research — an analysis that defines rape as involving “the use of physical force, threat of force, or incapacitation through, for example, sleep or intoxication, to coerce a woman into sexual activity against her will” — between a third and over a half of women have entertained these fantasies, often during intercourse, with at least 1 in 10 women fantasising about sexual assault at least once per month in a pleasurable way.

The appeal is, above all, paradoxical, said Meana: rape means having no control, while fantasy is a domain manipulated by the self. She stressed the vast difference between the pleasures of the imagined and the terrors of the real. “I hate the term ‘rape fantasies’,” she said. “They’re really fantasies of submission.” She spoke about the thrill of being wanted so much that the aggressor is willing to overpower, to take. “But ‘aggression’, ‘dominance’ — I have to find better words. ‘Submission’ isn’t even a good word — it doesn’t reflect the woman’s imagining of an ultimately willing surrender.”

Chivers, too, has struggled over language about this topic. As soon as I asked her about rape fantasies, she took my pen and wrote “semantics” in the margin of my notes. “The word rape comes with gargantuan amounts of baggage,” she said. “I walk a fine line, politically and personally, talking frankly about this subject. I would never, never want to deliver the message to anyone that they have the right to take away a woman’s autonomy over her body. I hammer home with my students, ‘Arousal is not consent’. It’s the wish to be beyond will, beyond thought,” said Chivers about such fantasies. “To be all in the mid-brain.”

There's no safe way for me to address this subject, other than possibly to say that this is both kinda messed up, but also makes some sense from an evolutionary psychology standpoint (and to reiterate what Chivers says, there is no justification for sex without consent, even if some women respond physically in that situation).

(also, who am I kidding, I could bring myself to an orgasm with my head in an MRI Chamber, so long as one of my hands was free . . .)

If You Like Listening to Men Conversating In Regards to Masturbation and Defecation, Then Do I Have a Podcast FOR YOU!!!

With the sudden death of FM talk radio at KLSX 97.1 (now AMP Radio, all pop-drivel all the time!) their former morning talk host has nothing better to do than to turn his attentions to podcasting. Over at Carollaradio.com Adam Carolla has finished his first week of daily podcasts. It's been humorous so far, he's had guests (Dr Drew, Dave Dameshek, Bill Simmons, Joel Mchale, and others), he's talked about lancing a carbuncle on his own ass (it involved flashlights and mirrors, apparently), and he's delved deeper into his rules for onanism than you probably ever wanted him to, but overall each podcast has had entertaining moments, and it seems like a perfect venue for him. Plus in just one week he cracked the one million download barrier and has the number one podcast over at iTunes, so having CBS yank him from syndication and pay him not to be on radio till the end of the year may end up being the best thing that ever happened to him.

It's the wave of the future, satellite radio is on borrowed time, terrestrial radio no longer seems like a good investment for advertisers given that many folks listen to their own mp3s in their cars, and don't listen to radio at home other than as an alternate to a beeping alarm on their clock radios. Broadcasting is dead, narrowcasting to niche audiences will be the norm in every medium. Adam Carolla got a big helping hand with his exposure as the replacement to Howard Stern on west coast radio stations, he didn't hold on to that much of the old audience share, but then, not very many followed Howard onto satellite, either, all those listeners just sort of evaporated away. Carolla had enough left over listeners to be the biggest thing to hit podcasting in awhile, though, it will be interesting to see what he does with this audience, and which way he goes once his contract with CBS runs out. Will he remain as scatological and wide ranging as he was his first week, or will he tone it down as he seeks sponsorship? I think he may benefit from a little bit of restraint, there are only so many ass stories he could tell, hopefully.

25 February 2009

Who's Going to Buy This For Me So I Can Take Some Really Great Pictures?

Nikon D5000 budget DSLR rumored to be introduced next week at PMA

(I promise to up my picture taking game if someone gifts me with this bad boy)

Alright All You Snarky Bastards, Really Listen to This Song And Then Tell Me It's Not One of the ALL TIME Best Constructed Pop Tunes . . .

I present to you MMMBop (UMG doesn't allow embedding, but at least the video is up so you can be reminded of just how well put together this insidiously infectious bit of pop fluff was)

This project sounds interesting, but all anyone can come up with is, 'the middle kid from Hanson, really?'

(I'm guessing at least 40% of the snark derives from the fact that many men had untoward thoughts regarding that guy when they mistook him for a preternaturally pretty 14 year old girl)

Above is an introduction to the members of the group, and a snippet of two songs off their first album due in late April. Sounds like good old fashion power pop to me, and that ain't a bad thing.

20 February 2009

Escape From New York . . .

Conan's last show from 30 Rock airs tonight. As an added bonus The White Stripes will perform for the first time in quite some time, so ought to be a party tonight at 12:35am.

Hopefully he won't follow Snake Plissken's precedent and follow the New York original with an inferior, bigger budgeted, L.A. based product.

19 February 2009

Damn, If Only That User's Name Had Been "Chewbacca" Instead . . .

Enigmax at Torrent Freak has been following the Pirate Bay trial in Stockholm.

Seems the "King Kong" Defense has been a winning argument for the side of the infringement facilitators.

I still like the Chewbacca defense better.

(found via Boing Boing, who found it via Slashdot)

(and if you are just now finding out about this via this site, what the hell kind of geek are you that you don't read Slashdot or Boing Boing?)

17 February 2009

How To Turn Tweets Into Twats . . .

Twitter is for 'tweeting', not 'twatting'.

Both Lily Allen and Perez Hilton are acting a bit twattish with their tweets lately. But, I'm totally on Lily's side on this one, even if she is being a bit of a twat.

(and saw Lily on Leno last night, sounded great, looked great, and just downloaded her new album from Zune Marketplace today, so far it's a solid sophomore effort)

So Lily, if you're still in L.A., look me up, I'd love to show you around to the non-tourist-y, non-celebrity haunts hereabouts (and since you've said you are done with older men, it'd be completely platonic, I'm cool with that).

And here's her twitter handle, lilyroseallen, if you want to follow her, and The (self proclaimed) Queen of All Media, Perez Hilton, can be followed at, Perezhilton.

UPDATE: I take back the whole 'platonic' thing, now that I know Allen is an In-N-Out aficionado, I think I'm in love.

14 February 2009

What My Body is Saying at This Moment . . .

Ow, ow, ohhh, ow, ow, ugh, ow, ow, ough.

(2 on 2 basketball is rough stuff, plus jammed my right thumb, so using my trackball is a bit tough, going to have to go old school and use more keyboard shortcuts to navigate)

09 February 2009

At Some Point in the Near Future, This Might Not Be a Joke . . .

Some joker created a twitter account for the White Bentley involved in tonight's as yet unresolved low speed car chase.


The joker inside the car, is most likely DJ Khaled, now let's see how long before his wiki is updated with the chase info, [update within an update] OK in the time it took for me to search wikipedia for his page, someone has already put in a line, but they should call it a slow speed, rather than high speed chase . . .

(and please don't mistake this idiot DJ Khaled with Khaled (or when he first started out Cheb Khaled) who is an awesome Rai singer)

See, Khaled singing Didi from his album Khaled from 1992, pretty awesome, right? Not bothering embedding any DJ Khaled or Terror Squad vids cause they're predictably idiotic.


DJ Khaled was not involved with this, he's doing fine and is in Miami, he still has many years of crappy rhymes ahead of him. The LAT has identified the person involved as a "businessman of Pakistani origin". He shot himself, and was taken to the hospital, his condition grave.

Wil Wheaton said it best when he tweeted:

Man, nothing ruins a good car chase like actual tragedy.

07 February 2009

Something's Missing From the Stimulus . . .

I think this fine, made in the USA product should be sent free of charge to every taxpayer in the United States as part of the stimulus package (and by 'free of charge' I mean additional federal debt should be accrued to pay for this item, so that future generations can pay for this temporary injection into the economy).

If we are going to get taken for a ride, might as well make it as comfortable as possible.

06 February 2009

A Day's Worth of Tweets Ripped Out of Context

My tweets from February 4th, 2009 (less the @username and links to give context as to what I'm responding to or linking)

More owls, fewer rodents, the only owls out here are plastic or wooden, get hawks, though, even seen one grab a live rat before

I figure I should get a shot at the Raiders job sometime before 2015, I'm ready and waiting . . .

Life/Art Imitation?

Hire bad students as TAs? Brilliant!

Bill Gates, Misquito wrangler!

There's a dirty joke in there someplace, but I'm not touching it . . .

I believe, "oh snap" is exactly the correct response . . .

Misestimating distances where you don't live is pretty common. Europeans can't believe how spread out LA is when they visit.

Also, there's very little that can be said that can't be construed as risque, if one is inclined to see that side of things

Speaking of things that might sound a bit risque . . .

We're Well, and Truly, SCREWED . . .

Not good.

I Don't Agree With Every (or Even Most) Opinion(s) Expressed by the Bloggers at Jezebel, But on This We Agree . . .

Those Vermont Teddy Bear commercials are wrong in many, many ways, Anna at Jezebel breaks it down for us.

If She Wasn't So Hot, I Might be a Little Pissed Off . . .

On my phone recently:

Direct from mkhammer:

Hey there! Look forward to chatting with you about politics or, uhh, my dinner. It happens.

She's lucky she's so damn scrumptious, witty, and intelligent, or else I might be pissed off getting spammed on my phone.

Instead, I'll dream of showing her around town should she ever visit the Los Angeles area. I'm sure she didn't just spam all her followers, instead it's a real personal connection she feels towards me after she read my twitter account and my blog. I'm dead certain, that's the case.

(and that's a sincere offer, she just needs to email me, and I'll be ready to be her chauffeur/tour guide)


(how could I not upload her latest bit of YouTube fun?)

Faireys, Stains, and Copyright Law . . .

So, Shepard Fairey and the AP photographer who shot the shot that was the basis for the famous series of paintings/posters are seeking an amicable agreement on what the photog sees as an infringement of his copyright. I say screw amicability! Fight this to the Supreme Court, somebody needs to stand up for fair use (the story I linked doesn't say they're working towards an agreement, but subsequent reports suggest a settlement is in the works).

Above is a reworking of the Stains video. Under current interpretations of copyright law, that's probably a violation, but luckily Animal Planet hasn't bothered with getting agressive with the takedown notices yet, cause that's some serious awesome right there (found via Martinsargent's twitter, in turn he credits nippys)

Copyright law must allow for that sort of awesomeness (or even the Obama poster stupidity, for that matter). Until that is legal, the law must be rewritten.

President Obama, fixing this and allowing mash-ups to flourish would be Change I Can Believe In!

Maybe the Kutchers Aren't So Liberal Afterall . . .

MrsKutcher tweeted today:

No school today so out treasure hunting with my girls!

If Ashton and Demi (and Bruce, blended family and all, sure he helps choose the schools, too) are sending their younger children to schools that take off Reagan's Birthday, guess they aren't the total liberal tools that they sometimes seem.

(obviously leave Bruce out of the liberal tool part of this post, given that he's one of the few Hollywood conservatives that is 'out' about his conservatism)

And as apropos of it being February 6th, it's a good time to reflect upon the utter crappiness of the late 70s, and the extreme awesomeness of Reagan and how he rescued us from Carterian (or is that Cartesian?) malaise.

(it's especially appropriate given that our current President seems enamored of Carter-like pessimism and social programs)

Also, eat some damn Jelly Belly's.

(and the photo at the top of this page was found at this USA Today article, and the original artwork can be viewed at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in beautiful Simi Valley)

If Only They Had Worked in Dramatic Chipmunk, as Well

The Christian Bale David After the Dentist Mash-up (NSFW language, but who cares? it's funny as hell, and if you are listening to YouTube clips with the sound turned up at work, then foul language is probably the least of your worries).

Awesome stuff, this YouTube thing might be around to stay.

(I had oral surgery when I was a bit older than David, don't remember any tripping, do remember the post surgery vomitting, though)

Friday Funk Embed (sans Lyrics): Brides of Funkenstein, Disco to Go

So, it's a Friday, and I'm feeling Funky, so why not a return engagement of Friday Funk (without the lyrics)? I was doing these before YouTube took off, so didn't embed videos back in the day, but now, I can rectify that situation.

Not one of the more intellectually stimulating tracks to be found in the PFunk oeuvre, but hey, it's still funky, and Bootsy's bass line on this is pretty sick.

05 February 2009

47.5 Seconds!

Probably losing your license, is bad, but the worst part has to be the 47.5 seconds.

Yahoo Fails to Defuse "Google Bomb", New White House Miserable . . .

Google fixed the 'miserable failure' google bomb so that it doesn't list Whitehouse.gov as the number one search hit for that term, but Yahoo hasn't as of this screencap on February 5th, 2009.

Maybe Yahoo knows something Google doesn't.

04 February 2009

You Really Expect Us to Believe That Line of Crap?

"I don't go out there for the numbers, I just play my game," James said. "You guys seen every phase of my game tonight, the scoring, the rebounding, the assists and defensively just trying to attack the opposing team.

Yeah, sure, Kobe dropping 61 the night game before on this same sorry (defensively) Knicks team had nothing to do with your 50+ point performance the night game following. Nope, nothing to do with it at all. Just going out and playing the game, sure thing BronBron.

And yeah, LeBron James is a lock for MVP this season, his game has been out of this world, and even if Kobe carries the Lakers the rest of the regular season without Bynum and puts up crazy numbers, LeBron is still the MVP.

Sunday's game on ABC between the Lakers and Cleveland ought to be fun.

UPDATE: Edited to reflect the fact that Kobe's performance was from the previous game at MSG, and not the previous night, same difference.

This Idea Is Total Balls. . .

The United Kingdom's Schools Secretary Ed Balls thinks it's a great idea to have low-achieving 15 and 16 year old students to be used as paid classroom assistants.


No, wait, the exact opposite of brilliant.

I think Lileks said it best, the UK has become an incubator for every bad socialist idea that our own socialist loving politicians might be dreaming of. Here's hoping that the negative outcomes present themselves quickly enough to discredit the various horrible ideas being trotted out in Ol' Blighty.

01 February 2009

My World's Been Turned Upside Down . . .

Growing up as a football fan in the 80s and 90s, you could rely on two things (for the most part), that the Superbowl game itself would suck, and that the commercials would be entertaining.

Well, that's been turned on its head lately. I don't know if I like this new regime. When the game sucks, and the commercials kick ass, it gives you plenty of time between commercial breaks to do other stuff and enjoy the company of those gathered in the communal activity of not really watching a boring football game.

But now, with tense fourth quarter action, the game is actually the focus of the evening, and that just feels wrong somehow.

Congratulations to the Steelers, they fought hard, they might have gotten a few breaks from the officials, and but for one boneheaded throw by Warner, they probably would have lost, but the final score had them up 27-23, so in the end they become the first franchise to collect their 6th title in the Superbowl era. They capped off an impressive season with an impressive win, and Arizona demonstrated that despite being awful at times this season, they did belong in this game, and played well enough to beat most teams, just not Pittsburgh this evening.

And to all you creative types, come up with better ads next year, this latest crop sucked, you can do better.