Friday, June 29, 2007

Page 3

Quote of the day:

"When the Journal gets its Page 3 girls, we'll make sure they have M.B.A.s."

— Rupert Murdoch, on his attempt to purchase the Wall Street Journal

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Household Explosives, Redux

It's always fun to check out the Site Meter stats (icon at the bottom of the page). Since I've been inactive for the last couple of years, most of the visits I've had are people looking for something else. I wrote about this in Referral, where somebody was looking for "pocket sized witch detectors". I still have no idea what they were after.

Far and away the most common search that's finding me is for "household explosives". The searches find "What's Your Household Like?", which is almost certainly not what they're looking for.

I suspect that the folks doing the searches are looking to make explosives out of stuff they already have lying around. The one comment on the post suggests this. Folks, if you're thinking of trying this. one word of advice. Don't

The World's Dirtiest Joke

A new act comes in to a vaudeville booker. It's a man, a woman, a little girl, and a little dog. They're all well dressed and clean-cut and wholesome looking.

"So what's your act?" the agent asks.

"It's kind of hard to describe", the man replies. "We'll show you."

So they start into a sweet little song-and-dance number. However, it starts to change. Soon is is the most ghastly, obscene routine imaginable. It's the kind of act that would be banned in Thailand.

(This is what makes this the World's Dirtiest Joke — it's all in your head. I'm sure you can think of things that would gross you out totally that I might consider a mildly boring kink, and vice versa. Just imagine the grossest thing you possibly can.)

As the act comes to a close, it changes back to a sweet little song-and-dance. They've worked cleaning themselves up and rearranging clothing into the act, so that when they finish, they're all clean-cut and wholesome looking again.

The agent is aghast. "Well, what do you think of it?" the man asks.

The agent is speechless. He tries to think of something to say, but all that comes out is "What do you call your act"?

"The Aristocrats"

The metaphor is obvious.

New Template!!


The old one was nice for its time, but it was seriously long in the tooth. It used lots of tables for layout, and was quite cluttered. Blogger doesn't seem to have the little graphics that did these table outlines any more. Sic transit Web.

I've tried to keep the CSS down to a set that any modern browser can handle. If not, it'll work just fine without it. The only Javascript is for the comments and site counter. When I figure out an acceptably obfuscated way of handling mailto: URLs, it may use Javascript.

Naturally, I'm not completely happy with the template. In particular, I'm not sure about the popups. They're CSS, not Javascript, so they'll work properly on non-CSS or text browsers. I don't know if I like having the sidebar boxes as popups or not. If you have an opinion one way or the other, please leave me a message in the comments. After all, it'll be mutating anyway. What about the popup lists coming up over the post text? The template doesn't need the extra width, and if I start getting a zillion hits, there's lots of room for Blogads. (Ha!)

Some general coments

  • The font for the posts is set to the default font. If you don't like it, or it's the wrong size, check your own browser settings.
  • If one of the popup lists goes off the bottom of the screen, you can navigate in it by putting your cursor somewhere inside the list and using the arrow keys or the scroll wheel to go up and down.
  • I may or may not go back and add tags to old posts. It's probably not worth the effort.
  • The "No comment" section is just a bunch of random links that I find interesting, for some reason. They'll come or go at whim.
  • The template is set up to resize properly. I hate having to side-scroll to read something. (I'm lookin' at you, LiveJournal.)

Anyway, we'll see if it works!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Alternate Universe

Another traditional SF theme is the Alternate Universe. What would things be like if some historical event happened just a little bit differently? It's a fun area of speculation; two of my favorites are Too Many Magicians, by Randall Garrett (Richard III didn't die at the siege of Chaluz) and 1632, by Eric Flint (small town in West Virginia gets dropped into the middle of the Thirty Years War. Alternate History ensues).

Now, folks in the Administration have come out with statements about American and World history that range from wrong to hallucinatory. Assuming they're not just Making Stuff Up, what Universe are they from? Greg Cochran has an article in American Conservative that puts all of the pieces together. By golly, they all fit! So, our current ruling politicians are, quite literally, from another world. A not very nice one, it seems.

The question, of course, is what to do about it. Greg suggests:

Of course this means that we need to corral some or all of these visitors for study and experimentation. Such experiments would, I suppose, interfere with their civil liberties, if they had any, but they’re obviously not citizens of these United States. Technically they’re illegal aliens. Gitmo’s a-waitin’.
Hey, it's their laws!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

"Pro-Life"? Bunk.

So the Supremes uphold the ban on the medical procedure "intact dilation and extraction" (IDX), misnamed "partial- birth abortion". What other specific medical procedures have been banned by name? I can't think of any. Misnamed? IDX is almost never used on a viable fetus. I say "almost" as a safety measure; I've never heard of it being used on a viable fetus, but I'm no expert.

IDX is a method of getting a dead or dying fetus out of a woman's body. Just how, exactly, is banning it "pro-life"? In its absence, a woman is supposed to wait for a "spontaneous miscarriage", which will hopefully happen before she dies. Often, it doesn't.

Yeah, IDX is icky. Note that "icky" is neither a medical term nor a legal term.

So we are going to have women dying to keep doctors from doing an icky procedure. Shows ya how much the "pro-lifers" value women.

The so- called "pro- life" types cleave naturally into two camps. The true pro- life folks are the ones who push sex education, provide prenatal and neonatal care for poor women, work with adoption agencies, and in general try to see to it that the people who get born have as good a chance as possible. Do they want to ban abortions? Some do, some don't. Most see it as a necessary evil. Legal abortion may be bad, but illegal abortion is a lot worse. I have really nothing to say to the true "pro- lifers"; it's a respectable position.

The "anti- choice" contingent is a lot simpler. Keep 'em barefoot and pregnant. It's not about "life", it's about control. Simplistic way of telling who's who — "pro- lifers" are women; "anti- choicers" are men.

The anti-choicers are the ones who make most of the noise — to the extent that a lot of pro-choicers I've talked to don't seem to think the "real pro- lifers" really exist. They do; they just tend to be quiet.

I could get into all sorts of things like the bogus theology that the anti- choicers throw around — St Augustine and Original Sin and the Immaculate Conception and the Scofield Bible, but that would bore most people to distraction. I could document that the most fanatical anti- choicers have real Issues with (ie, are terrified of) women, but that's pretty obvious.

I'll just say that this nonsense is going to kill people.

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