Yeah, maybe they've had enough revenge already.

Fox Atomic have officially ceased production on its remake of Revenge of the Nerds, according to Variety.

From "KillerMovies - Movies That Matter," which also lists such flicks as The Mummy 3, Spiderman 3, Terminator 4, Jurasic Park 4, and Indiana Jones 4.

Speaking of revenge.

Isn't it a little early for the Christmas blues?

"Don't let our kiddies know."

(AP) FOND DU LAC -- Some Fond du Lac parents have asked school officials to remove former U.S. poet laureate Maya Angelou's autobiography from the high school [emphasis mine] curriculum.

...parents have objected to passages that describe Angelou's rape and subsequent unwanted pregnancy.

Any way you cut it, it ain't good.

Bush is "in a very tight spot," said Henri Barkey, a Lehigh University professor who was a State Department policy-planning expert on Iraq.

State Department policy-planning expert on Iraq? Is that an oxymoron or what? Maybe a double oxymoron, even. Or a triple.

Meanwhile, David Rothkopf, a Carnegie Endowment for International Peace fellow and the author of "Running the World: The Inside Story of the National Security Council and the Architects of American Power," somewhat more specifically, says:
"I don't think, in modern American history, there is another example of such egregious failure of policy and execution. We're really seeing something unprecedented here. Even Vietnam was a slower decline, and the military forces were more in balance. ... I don't know anyone who thinks there is an outcome in Iraq now that is hopeful."

"These ruthless acts of violence are deplorable," White House spokesbimbo Scott Stanzel said, helpfully.

In the end, my guess would be, we're going to have to fight our way out.

Unclear on the concept. Way, way unclear.

From Breaking News.ie:
Security was tight amid reports that al Qaida-linked militants could try to disrupt Bush’s six-hour visit to the sleepy city of Bogor, just south of the capital, Jakarta, with thousands of rifle-toting soldiers patrolling the streets, mobile phone signals jammed, and water cannons deployed.

Demonstrations by Islamic hard-liners, students, housewives and taxi drivers have been staged every day this month and nearly 10,000 turned out to meet the US president today, some holding banners that said “Bush is a terrorist!” and “Go to Hell.”

Others called him a war criminal and chanted “Allah Akbar” or “God is great.”

Students in at least two cities tried to seal off American-owned restaurants, sometimes clashing with police.

DOOFUS calls all this "a good sign of a healthy society."

So I guess we've still got a long way to go.

It was a heckuva party, Chuckie boy. Too bad you're four years late.

America finds itself in a dangerous and isolated position in the world. We are perceived as a nation at war with Muslims. Unfortunately, that perception is gaining credibility in the Muslim world and for many years will complicate America's global credibility, purpose and leadership. This debilitating and dangerous perception must be reversed as the world seeks a new geopolitical, trade and economic center that will accommodate the interests of billions of people over the next 25 years. The world will continue to require realistic, clear-headed American leadership -- not an American divine mission.

Where he gets the perception America is the ordained (realistic, clear-headed, yada yada) leader of the world, Chuck Hagel, a senator (R) from Nebraska, does not explain in his otherwise blindingly obvious Washington Post OpEd.

Straight Face of the Day award goes to AP.

[MA Gov. Mitt ("Mitt")] Romney, who opted not to run for a second term as governor this year, is nearing a decision on whether to seek the 2008 Republican presidential nomination.
Romney's running. He decided a long time ago. Also a long time ago - a longer long time, no doubt - he decided he'd be willing to trash the state if that would help him get what he wants.

(Story via MyWay.)

Next: The Santa machine.

"In principle it could make almost any item that people want."

So this is the real "war on Christmas" then.

Very cool stuff from SPIIDERWEB™.

"The safest big city in the nation."

(Washington Post) - It is one of the least-told stories in American crime-fighting. New York, the safest big city in the nation, achieved its now-legendary 70-percent drop in homicides even as it locked up fewer and fewer of its citizens during the past decade. The number of prisoners in the city has dropped from 21,449 in 1993 to 14,129 this past week. That runs counter to the national trend, in which prison admissions have jumped 72 percent during that time.

Nearly 2.2 million Americans now live behind bars, about eight times as many as in 1975 and the most per capita in the Western world....

Approximately 60 percent of U.S. convicts serve time for charges related to drug peddling and addiction.

No one's sure exactly what factors caused the crime drop in NYC, says a former city official, but it wasn't caused by tossing more people in jail. And New York is just the best, not the only, evidence for arguing locking more people up is not necessarily the best (or only) way to drive down crime.

Meanwhile it sure seems to me we'd be better off with better schools than bigger prisons.



Just goin through the files.

Coming soon to a TV commercial near you.

LONDON (AFP) - A 72-year-old man escaped with minor injuries when he drove his car over a 30 metre (100 foot) cliff before landing on the beach below, police said.

As soon as we find out what kind of car it was.

What is this, karma or deja vu or what?

Synchronicity. Maybe. Or something.

Anyway, I was just about to say something about the old black becoming the new white when what should appear on Slashdot but another article, this about, you gotta love it, beige. "The days of the beige box are behind us," begins the author (Zonk), who apparently (I'm just guessing here) has recently returned to the planet, after having been away though kandykolored iMacs, white, titanium, aluminum, more white, and (oh yeah) black. A decade, more or less, that would be.

But it's nice to hear. I mean, don't get me wrong. In fact, I may still have a beige box in the back of the closet with the skinny ties. And the fat ties. And a double-breasted suit. I've pretty much given up on the suit and the ties but now that it's finally, officially been declared out, any day now beige will be back in.

As long as it doesn't involve letting the government negotiate drug prices.

Caught by SPIIDERWEB™:
The proposals set up a likely clash between the new Democratic Congress and the Bush administration, which has sent strong signals that it will seek big savings in Medicaid next year.


(NetworkWorld) - Results of a high-tech research project to be released next week promise to finally unravel much of the remaining mystery of a 2,000-year-old astronomical calculator....

But it has taken some of the most advanced technology of the 21st century to decipher during the past year the most advanced technology of the 1st century B.C....

The team includes astrophysicists, radio astronomers, mathematicians and philologists (philology is the study of ancient texts and original documents), reflecting the complexity of the Antikythera Mechanism.

I wonder if they could figure out the clock in my car.

And the winner is...


Every November I have this sort of personal contest for first sighting of the word, "tryptophan." Usually my sister nails it during Thanksgiving dinner but this year she was just not on her game and Arianna snuck a mention in first.

So now that's done, I can go back to sleep.

Going on six years late, Novak has the story.

[There's] something deeply wrong with George W. Bush's presidency...

Nice work, Bob. But you know, it's not exactly a scoop.

Of course what finally got Novak going isn't death and destruction, dishonor and mind-bending deriliction, it's the way that mean old grinch, Dubya, treated that nice Rummy guy. Ain't that a bitch.

"Loyalty appears to be a one-way street for Bush," Novak laments.

Don't worry, Bob, you're probably not as high on the list as you think. It'll be a while before they come for you.


Here's the scary dude...

...mentioned in the next post down.

Next time his class needs a substitute teacher I hope Jessica Alba shows up (also below). It'd be only fair.

And thanks to Fred for finding the pic.

"Just how scary does a six-year-old look in his school coat?"

Depends on what school, maybe. I don't know.

And while we're asking, how scary is it when Ananova carries a story without mentioning where it happened? (Yeah, yeah, I know. Depends on what story.)

Come to think of it, how scary is Ananova? ("Come back soon to check.")

What, a broccoli scanal too? Oh, the shame!

If this is how they treat the turkeys when the country's distracted, one can only imagine what they're doing to the vegetables.

Never mind the shovels, did they put on chains?

ORLANDO, Fla. - There was hardly a run on snow shovels, but a few flakes of the white stuff hit the ground in Orlando for the first time since 2003, meteorologists said.

That's what they used to do in Atlanta when I lived there. Whenever there was snow, folks put chains on their tires. Snow melted off by noon; chains stayed on for about a week. Just in case, I guess.

Noisiest Interstate I ever drove on.

Yum! Is that Stephanie in the bird?

Here's a story from the New York Times this morning about a rare condition called synaesthesia, sufferers from which - if you want to call them sufferers, to me it sounds kind of cool - among other things, often taste words. And for one subject of synaesthesia researcher Julia Simner, the name Stephanie tastes like sage stuffing. For others, John tastes like cornbread; William, potatoes; Roger, sausages.

If you taste like mint chocolate chip ice cream, drop me a note.

Oh yeah, it's a holiday now.

First email this morning is a note from Barnes & Nobel advising Carl Hiassen's newest novel, "Nature Girl," is on the shelf. Woohoo! Run, don't walk.

And how's it working out so far?

WASHINGTON, Nov. 17 (UPI) -- Hollywood actress Jessica Alba was named the ideal celebrity to be a substitute teacher, a poll by the National Education Association found....

"Our celebrity Substitute Educators Day poll is an excellent way for us to spotlight the collective contributions of substitutes to schools nationwide," said NEA President Reg Weaver.


Oh yeah, this is awesome. You gotta look.

A presenter at a technology conference demonstrates a new idea for designing a computer interface.
In case you haven't noticed, this is the last day of the first three days of the week. Which, I think, right there, makes it a good time to take a little break from reading the news. So I haven't been. Much. So far. And what I have been - reading, I mean - has been so uniformly, dismally depressing I haven't felt like posting any of it. But I'm making spaghetti for supper so that'll get me going again.

Anyway I have to do some Excel stuff because I have an Excel class next week. Not that I haven't ever done Excel before, but it always takes a little time to sort of pull the pieces back together and get the lessons planned and handouts whipped into shape, I like to sort of fool around with the plans a little anyway, try something new, see if I can find a better way. It's only a three-morning class this time, which isn't a whole lot of time for something as complex as Excel, and there's always a tradeoff between time spent entering data to work with (practice, up to a point, is good) and time doing the working with. So I think I'll fool around with that mix a little bit next week, see what happens.

Which is another thing.

Ooops, forgot to mention.

If you haven't got your shopping done for Thursday's dinner yet, forget about it. Cancel the whole thing and plan on pizza, delivered. Groceries are no longer an option. Trust me on this.

I went to the grocery store yesterday - what a disaster. Parking lot jammed with little old ladies in SUVs. Inside, a zoo.

Ladies. Please. IM, or something. The soup aisle is not the place to hold reunions with all your friends.

No matter how long you stand and stare at the lettuce, the price will not change. Just pick one up and go.

And yes, it is too late to buy a frozen turkey, OK?

Ah. Sorry. Wandered off there for a minute. Just take my word for it. Do not go.

Some days it's just like living in a sitcom, isn't it?

First Daughter Barbara Bush had her purse and cell phone stolen as she had dinner in a restaurant in Buenos Aires, Argentina, even though she was being guarded by a detail of Secret Service agents, according to law enforcement reports made available to ABC News.


The hippies - they're still out there.

(Lexington Herald-Leader) - Radicalized, the flower children morphed into lefty loonies who now masquerade as social progressives. No matter what they rename themselves, however, their agenda hasn't changed.
Be on the lookout for geezers with pony tails.

Colbert Nation claims nuke.

Also, thank freaking goodness Stephen got himself a nuclear weapon already! Am I the only one who’d been waiting for that to happen for kind of a long time?! Sure, there are a lot of countries with the bomb, but all of those countries are weighed down by checks and balances and citizen populations and blah blah et cetera! Hello, can anyone say red tape?! Finally there’s someone with an H-bomb who can just up and set his off if the situation demands that kind of decisive action. Hooray!


And you thought Voltaire's birthday was a big deal.

It is, you know. Voltaire's birthday, I mean. Today. Or at least that's what Garrison Keillor reports in his Writer's Almanac (podcast) for today.

But that's not all - and Keillor ignores this entirely, I had to go to World Weekly News to find out - it's also the anniversary of the day, in 1954, the cocktail umbrella was invented. I mean, where was Writer's Almanac re: that?

I went looking at World Weekly News to check out the cover story about a redneck turkey shoot - "My stomach turned to cranberry sauce when I saw that 10-ft bird!" - or words to that effect - so I wouldn't have to buy it in the grocery store. But it doesn't seem the story, or a decent picture of the cover either, is online. Which may be why.

  • But there is lots of big news there, including:
  • Health Food Stores Particularly Vulnerable to Alien Attack
  • Surprise-Party Death Rate at an All-Time High
  • Fat Camp on Moon Boasts Instant Results
And wait! There's more! In the "Intergalactic News" section this report:
  • Cash-Strapped NASA Readies Space Needle for Launch
I don't know what cash has to do with it but think - a rotating restaurant in space!

Ha! I knew not running marathons would pay off some day.

(NINEMSN) - Marathon runners may face an increased risk of skin cancer, Austrian researchers report.

So now it's official. Everything you thought was good is bad. Everything you thought was bad, is.

Wait a minute. We've invaded Hawaii too?

HONOLULU Nov 21, 2006 (AP)— President Bush will have breakfast with the troops at Hickam Air Force Base in Hawaii today and get a briefing from senior officers before heading back to Washington after an eight-day Asian trip.

No word on whether he's bringing the plastic turkey.

FYI, Scarborough.

On a recent show blabberhawk Joe Scarborough tried to compare his journalistic cred to Walter Cronkite's (video at TalkLeft):
I don't know if Walter Cronkite served in World War II or the Korean War, but Walter Cronkite can come on and talk about the Tet offensive...
So here you go, Joe. From the Museum of Broadcast Communications:
...in 1939 Cronkite joined United Press (UP) to cover World War II. There, as part of what some reporters fondly called the "Writing 69th," he went ashore on D-Day, parachuted with the 101st Airborne, flew bombing mission over Germany, covered the Nuremburg trials, and opened the UP's first post-war Moscow bureau.


I kind of like this idea: Take the world offline, clean up the goo.

(ITWorld) - A virus has infected a virtual world, and there’s no Matrix like Neo saviour in sight, flying around the world zapping the bug with his super matrix-y powers. Instead, Second Life’s technicians needed to take the world offline over the weekend and clean it of all sings of the virus before turning it all back on again.

Of course it's a "virtual" world, not the "real" world we're talking about here, not that it's always easy to tell which is which. Called "Second Life," which I haven't become involved with myself, mostly because I'm still trying to get the first one figured out.

In other virtual news:
The World of Warcraft virtual world was attacked recently...

...by, I don't know - who would attack the World of Warcraft? The World of Peacecraft? Go figure that one out.

There'll always be an England.

(ANANOVA) - At least 70 people have absconded from a controversial open prison this year, the Home Office said.

I don't know, might be a good idea to close the door?

Just a thought.

Ohio guy crosses the line with Nazi cookies.

OBERLIN, Ohio - "He's gone way overboard this time," [shop owner Charlie] Palmer said of artist Keith McGuckin. "A few of his other displays were on the edge, but never that crazy."

Or, wait. Is gingerbread a cookie or a cake?

When you go mushroom picking take your toys.

Because you never know.
CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) - An iPod screen glowing in the middle of the night from thick underbrush led rescuers to a mushroom picker lost in the woods.

Wherein the Feds save one WMD from three clowns.

BISMARCK, North Dakota - Three men protesting the presence of weapons of mass destruction in North Dakota were sentenced Thursday to federal prison terms of over three years and ordered to pay $17,000 in restitution by a federal judge in Bismarck. The three dressed as clowns and went to the Echo-9 launch site of the intercontinental Minuteman III nuclear missile in rural North Dakota in June 2006. They broke the lock off the fence and put up peace banners and posters. One said: "Swords into plowshares - Spears into pruning hooks." They poured some of their own blood on the site, hammered on the nuclear launching facility and waited to be arrested....

The 40 ton Minuteman III site they damaged lies deep in rural North Dakota, at a site called Echo-9 about 100 miles north of Bismarck. Coiled beneath the surface of a bland concrete bunker, it is clearly visible from the gravel road. In fact, the otherwise pastoral countryside of farms and silos is full of nuclear weapon silos. One nuclear weapon launching site lies just across the road from a big farmhouse, another just down the road from a camp for teens. There are 150 other such nuclear launching facilities in North Dakota alone.

News Corp burns OJ book, yanks interview.

NEW YORK - After a firestorm of criticism, News. Corp. said Monday that it has canceled the O.J. Simpson book and TV special "If I Did It."

"I and senior management agree with the American public that this was an ill-considered project," said Rupert Murdoch, News Corp. chairman. "We are sorry for any pain that this has caused the families of Ron Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson."...

For the publishing industry, the cancellation of "If I Did It" was an astonishing end to a story like no other. Numerous books have been withdrawn over the years because of possible plagiarism, most recently Kaavya Viswanathan's "How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild, and Got a Life," but a book's removal simply for objectionable content is virtually unheard of.

Quit playing videogames. Get back to drugs and alcohol. Kill real people.

Seems to pretty much sum on O'Reilly's plan to save American youth from turning into a bunch of couch-zombie geeks.
(GamePolitics.com) - American society is changing for the worse because of the machines… In the past to flee the real world people usually chose drugs or alcohol… now you don’t have to do that, Now all you have to do is have enough money to buy a machine…

So this is a big, big problem. It’s going to change every single thing in this country...

I really fear for the United States because, believe me, the jihadists? They’re not playing the video games. They’re killing real people over there.

Yeah, you saw that coming, didn't you? Kids, the terrorists don't play videogames. Those bastards.

O'Reilly rants on:
I don’t own an iPod. I would never wear an iPod… If this is your primary focus in life - the machines… it’s going to have a staggeringly negative effect, all of this, for America… did you ever talk to these computer geeks? I mean, can you carry on a conversation with them?

Which raises two questions:

  1. Why does he sell podcasts as a "premium benefit" on his web site?
  2. Which one of you guys has been talking to this jerk?

Makes me wonder who Kristol's war's against.

Discussing, ostensibly, the situation in Iraq on Faux News:
If...things aren’t getting better on the ground or there’s not a really plausible change of tactics here at home, I am very worried that political support will crumble not among Democrats, but among Republicans.
(Emphasis mine.)

Tactics here at home?

Of course it's only Kristol (and, for that matter, only Faux) so one can't really expect too much here. Like, for example, anyone who uses "will" between "political support" and "crumble among Republicans" is seriously suffering from some kind of out of time experience.


Muttonheaded Red Cross turned down big bucks.

I missed this when it happened but it came up in an interview Howard Stern did with the Dixie Chicks yesterday so I checked it out at the Miami Herald and sure enough...
It has been three years since ''The Incident,'' the term the Dixie Chicks use when discussing the anti-Bush remark lead singer Natalie Maines uttered onstage in London and its fallout: detailed death threats, vandalism, a boycott by country radio, mass gatherings to destroy the group's CDs, the Red Cross' refusal of their $1 million donation.

It was all due to one line said in frustration days before America went to war in Iraq: "Just so you know, we're ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas.''

And this from the guys who sell your blood.

The new breakfast of champions.

Chocolate, red wine, and...
(SFGate) - A substance found in fish oil may be associated with a significantly reduced risk of developing Alzheimer's and other dementias, researchers reported Monday.


These guys just don't let anything get by them, do they?

So a woman from Connecticut mailed some brownies laced with rat poison to members of the Supreme Court last year, turns out. Nobody much noticed at the time. (Well somebody noticed, because the woman, Barbara Joan March, 60, got 15 years in the slammer for her recipe.) But it became news when Sandra Day O'Connor mentioned it at a conference last week.

From CNN:
"Every member of the Supreme Court received a wonderful package of home-baked cookies, and I don't know why, (but) the staff decided to analyze them," the Fort Worth Star-Telegram quoted O'Connor as saying at the legal conference November 10 in the Dallas area. "Each one contained enough poison to kill the entire membership of the court."

The letters did not seem to pose much of a real danger since the threatening note told the recipients the food was poisoned. In court papers submitted with the plea agreement, prosecutors said each of the envelopes contained a one-page typewritten letter stating either "I am" or "We are" followed by "going to kill you. This is poisoned."
(Emphasis mine.)

I hope she knew a little more than that about the cases she ruled on. But hey, nice going, staff!

(And a note to the good folks at NSA: This is why I googled "poison supreme court" a few minutes ago. Honest. I'm not kidding here. Cross my heart.)

Kissinger cuts and runs.

LONDON -- Military victory is no longer possible in Iraq, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger said in a television interview broadcast Sunday.
Hey, it was never about "stay the course." What would have given you that dopey idea?


There's no such thing as bad publicity.

Nov. 27, 2006 issue - To those who worried our violent, sex-obsessed, celebrity-crazed culture had at last reached the very farthest depths of depravity, O. J. Simpson and Judith Regan come bearing news: we had so much farther to fall. The accused but unconvicted killer and the attention-hungry pulp publisher have teamed up to create a product so lacking in taste and decency that people are already lining up to buy it.

Or, as Charlie Finley is credited with saying, "I don't care what you say about me as long as you spell my name right."

What I can't do is figure out whether to laugh or cry.

In the book, he cites extensive data analysis to demonstrate that values advocated by conservatives -- from church attendance and two-parent families to the Protestant work ethic and a distaste for government-funded social services -- make conservatives more generous than liberals.
--From a guy named Matt Margolis at a place called "Blogs for Bush," which styles itself as "The White House of the Blogosphere."

To be fair, it's not only the Protestant work ethic and "distaste for government-funded social services" that makes conservatives so laudably generous, it's also some stat the author has come up with (it's not Margolis's book all this stuff comes from, it's something by some other guy) - some stat, I say, that supports a claim conservatives give more to private charities than "liberals" do. Or un-conservatives. Whatever. Which is about as helpful as saying Bill Gates gives more to charity than I do. Not very, in other words. Especially when I don't know who figures out who "conservatives" and "liberals" are. (And anyway I give a greater percentage of my income to charity than Bill Gates does, you can make book on that, and that's something.)

Nonetheless. I just dropped by "Blogs for Bush" because I noticed it on somebody else's blogroll and thought I'd peek in to see how things are going with those guys about now. Answer: it's all Nancy Pelosi's fault, the bitch.

YA R has trouble figuring out what time zone he's in.

(WASHINGTON POST) - [Kenneth] Adelman has broken with the Bush team. He had an angry falling-out with Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld this fall. He and Cheney are no longer on speaking terms. And he believes that "the president is ultimately responsible" for what Adelman now calls "the debacle that was Iraq."


What's with these guys, anyway? Maybe it's just they're happier when things are safely in the past and they can pretend to strong, principled positions on things on things that are over and done with, and can no longer bite them in the ass.

Well, whatever. Sorry to be the one to tell you, Kenny boy. It ain't was yet.