Sep 28, 2005

It's time to play GUESS...WHO'S...SLIMIER!

I don't think I need to explain the instructions. Let's go!

Question 1: Oil companies that profit off human misery, OR, a humongous squid?

Question 2: Human goo-puddle Tom DeLay, OR, Cronenbergian nightmare Brundlefly?

Question 3: Bill "What's The Vig" Bennett, OR, fictional drink mascot Slurms Mackenzie?

And the answers...are painfully obvious.

But tune in again to play GUESS...WHO'S...SLIMIER!

Sep 22, 2005

Chocolate blogging...

Since I'm visiting friends and family this weekend, I decided to try a recipe that caught my eye, Emeril Lagasse's Chocolate Chipotle Brownies. Gotta say, it's a winner. Nice dark chocolate flavor, not too sweet, and a pleasant lingering warmth from the ground chipotle chile pepper.

It's also ridiculously easy, and how can you not love a recipe that requires you to slooooooowly melt a bar of chocolate and a half-pound of butter?

I don't see how.

Sep 19, 2005

Today's news, in sonnet.

With a wave of presidential magic
Fearless Leader pledges billions certain.
For each dollar to a victim tragic,
several thousand doled to Halliburton.

Scientific breakthroughs can be groovy
when they leap from science fiction's pages.
If you have to imitate a movie,
why on Earth pick one of Nicolas Cage's?

So you want to take some dough from Tyco?
Guess you must enjoy the smell of prison.
Now you're dining with a bunch of psychos.
Do you still agree with your decision?

To the owner of a franchise storied:
Thanks for bringing Jersey hockey glory.

Sep 18, 2005

Um, about that last post...

Just realized something, looking at the model: If I have two corners poking through the same edge, that violates the symmetry rule stated for the model, well, doesn't it?

This is why I HATED geometry.

Oh well, will update when repairs are done...

Tom Hull's five interesecting tetrahedra, part one.

Well, I've got three of the five frames interwoven, so the easy part is over.

Here you can see two of the frames already together, with the third ready. I left a point open so I could place it around the other two. For frame construction, Tom Hull's instructions are pretty straightforward; I would recommend after putting two frame pieces together, using a toothpick to add a little glue along the seam.

Now, basically there are no set instructions for weaving them together after the first two. Tom Hull's site gives this advice:

There is a very strong symmetry behind the formation of this structure, and understanding this symmetry can aid you in the construction. The finished object should have the following property: any two tetrahedra are interwoven with one corner poking through a hole of the other and vice versa, kind of like a 3-D Star of David but slightly twisted. (This is what we tried to describe above.)

So, for the third frame, if I have a corner of the third frame going through the intersection of the first two frames (shown in green below) and have the the corners of the first two frames (circled in red) going through the same hole of the third frame, I should be OK.

And it looks like it will be.

And there it is; 60% done.

I'm hoping that I can get away with the same trick for the fourth and fifth frames, but I'm not sure if I'll be that lucky. I still have to fold the last two frames, but that's not the time-consuming part. Anyway, we'll see what happens...

Sep 17, 2005

Let's see what's on...

"Good morning, and welcome to Meet the Press. Today, we were originally scheduled to have conservative pundits discuss why intelligent design should be taught, why Cindy Sheehan is a traitor, and why President Bush deserves none of the blame for the handling of the Katrina aftermath. However, we've decided that such a lineup would be too undignified for a show of the caliber of Meet the Press. So instead, Tom Green is going to stand on his head in a wading pool full of yak semen."
"I'll make slurping noises, too!"
"Yes, Tom, very good."
"There's definite trauma here at the fourth cervical vertebrae..."
"Wow, no wonder they call you Bones. You can tell all that just by looking at that emaciated corpse?"
"Huh? The morgue's down the hall. I'm just a massage therapist in for the day."
"And I'm not an emaciated corpse, I'm punk legend Iggy Pop!"
"Oh., you're emaciated."
"And that was our final contestant tonight on Rock Star: Men Without Hats. What do you think, Dave Navarro?"
"All I know is I'd gun down a bus full of orphans if it would get that song out of my head."
"Tonight, on PBS' Historical Roundtable, we will discuss the Spanish Influenza epidemic of 1918. Our first guest is former FEMA director Michael Brown."
"Well, you've got to understand that you're going to get killer epidemics every now and then, it's not really a big deal in the global scheme of things..."
"Our guest today on Meet the Press is Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, who will talk about his 2006 re-election campaign."
"Good morning."
"Right after he stands on his head in a wading pool full of yak semen."
"Um...excuse me?"
"Look, you want the airtime or not?"
"Well...all right. But that better be from a straight yak."

Sep 14, 2005

I haven't forgotten...

...that I said I was going to take a stab at Tom Hull's five intersecting tetrahedra origami design and document the hilarity for blog prosperity; at this point, I've only completed one of the five frames, but look this weekend for a pictorial update, and most likely a lot of crumpled paper.

BTW, another reference for this design is the out-of-print-but-still-available Origami Handbook by Rick Beech.

Sep 10, 2005

This deserves a really good cockpunching.

From the Houston Chronic blog concerning the evacuees at the Astrodome:

U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's visit to Reliant Park this morning offered him a glimpse of what it's like to be living in shelter.

While on the tour with top administration officials from Washington, including U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao and U.S. Treasury Secretary John W. Snow, DeLay stopped to chat with three young boys resting on cots.

The congressman likened their stay to being at camp and asked, "Now tell me the truth boys, is this kind of fun?"

They nodded yes, but looked perplexed.

(Caught by Crooks and Liars.)

Sep 8, 2005

"I know that! Don't you think I know that?"

People who are nostalgic for old Saturday Night Live character Nathan Thurm must be happy to see his return, of sorts, in the guise of White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan. Through his last few press conferences (list here, with a Kos diary on the subject), McClellan has kept us all entertained with his hilarious plump robotic dismissals of increasingly pointed accusations that the administration mishandled this crisis. Which, of course, they did.

An example (full briefing here):

Q Scott, does the President retain confidence in his FEMA Director and Secretary of Homeland Security?

MR. McCLELLAN: And again, David, see, this is where some people want to look at the blame game issue, and finger-point. We're focused on solving problems, and we're doing everything we can --

Q What about the question?

MR. McCLELLAN: We're doing everything we can in support --

Q We know all that.

MR. McCLELLAN: -- of the Department of Homeland Security and FEMA.

Q Does he retain complete confidence --

MR. McCLELLAN: We're going to continue. We appreciate the great effort that all of those at FEMA, including the head of FEMA, are doing to help the people in the region. And I'm just not going to engage in the blame game or finger-pointing that you're trying to get me to engage.

Q Okay, but that's not at all what I was asking.

MR. McCLELLAN: Sure it is. It's exactly what you're trying to play.

Q You have your same point you want to make about the blame game, which you've said enough now. I'm asking you a direct question, which you're dodging.


Q Does the President retain complete confidence in his Director of FEMA and Secretary of Homeland Security, yes or no?

MR. McCLELLAN: I just answered the question.

Q Is the answer "yes" on both?

MR. McCLELLAN: And what you're doing is trying to engage in a game of finger-pointing.

Q There's a lot of criticism. I'm just wondering if he still has confidence.

MR. McCLELLAN: -- and blame-gaming. What we're trying to do is solve problems, David. And that's where we're going to keep our focus.

Q So you're not -- you won't answer that question directly?

MR. McCLELLAN: I did. I just did.

I'd almost feel sorry for Scotty McFlopSweat if he wasn't playing childish semantic games instead of giving honest answers about the worst-handled natural disaster in history. But, I do think it's fair that the media ask different questions, as he must be getting tired of the same tough questions for a week straight.

Here's a couple of ones I'd ask.

"Mr. Press Secretary, suppose the President was a tree. Would he be a lying tree, an incompetent tree, or an obnoxious asshole tree?"


"Many people would call our President a wormy, cretinous imbecile, and recent events would seem to indicate that characterization is correct. With that in mind, my question is, do you like pudding?"

And so on.

Sep 6, 2005

Don't show this to Bush, he'd eat it by mistake...

A prototype for a rollable LCD screen has been developed, meaning that we're a step closer to those video-newspapers and video-cereal boxes of Minority Report.

Right now, it only displays four shades of gray, so Phillips is either going to take of that in a future prototype or they're counting on ASCII art to make a comeback.

Sep 5, 2005

You have got to be kidding me.

Steve Gilliard and Crooks and Liars posted this as proof that the disaster would've been handled more effectively if the government had just viewed their own website...

..even if they only looked at...

...I still don't believe this...

...the FEMA for Kidz rap.

(I swear to God, they spelled it that way and everything.)

Sep 2, 2005

The airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow.

And to answer your next question, the European swallow.

Sep 1, 2005

What else is there to say?

Of all the terrible stories to come out of this disaster, the first one to really hit me hard was the talk about an outbreak of cholera.

Cholera. In America of 2005.

It's just heartbreaking.

And to focus some righteous anger, anyone who scams off of this disaster is lower than dirt.