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Wednesday, September 03, 2008

"You probably wouldn't worry about what people think of you if you could know how seldom they do." - Olin Miller


Classic Chinese Face Reading - Mole's on Women's Face - This is hilarious. Some of the attributes/characteristics/results the moles "predict": Uncontrollable sexual lust,
Multiple marriagies, Indulge in sexual lust, Prone to accident with water, Prone to lose husband, Prone to fire accident, Prone to gossip, Prone to be robbed, Prone to self-harm, Prone to jealouse, Prone to give birth to twins, Back luck to subordinates, Enjoyment of food and Short of money. There're dups: variants of "lust" come up 4 times, as does having an accident with water (there's only one with fire - maybe they drowned witches in Ancient China).

Which Side Of The Road To Drive On? Left Or Right, Country By Country Around The World - "The reasons that countries around the world drive on either the left side of the road or the right side of the road are outlined chronologically."

Comedy review: Allah Made Me Funny - "This touring show from the US stars three stand-ups whose jokes show that there is no disconnect between comedy and the Qur'an. "We want you to clap," the MC, Preacher Moss, tells the largely Muslim audience, "like it's the end of Ramadan and you can eat again." So is this a comedy feast? It certainly serves up laughs, first from Moss, an African-American convert to Islam. "I stopped drinking, I started hanging out with guys. I stopped chasing women. My mom didn't think I was Muslim - she thought I was gay."... Small wonder at violent stereotypes of Islam, says Usman, when some of its followers' public response to the Danish cartoon row was, "Islam means peace. And if you don't believe me, I'll kill you.""
Time to arrest people for inciting religious hatred!

Must Atheists Study Sophisticated Theology to Address God, Religion? - "Even if atheists are attacking "weaker" forms of religious beliefs and arguments, they are not attacking Straw Men because they are dealing with things which people actually believe... If detailed knowledge of sophisticated theology is necessary before criticizing religion and theism, why isn't is necessary before adopting a religion and professing some sort of theism? We can turn this around and ask why theists can criticize atheism without being able to demonstrate a knowledge of more sophisticated atheistic philosophy and arguments against gods?... The second significant problem is how these "sophisticated" religious beliefs, ideas, and arguments may ultimately all be quite beside the point. The most sophisticated version of a bad idea doesn't rescue that idea from being bad; the most sophisticated belief in something false doesn't rescue that belief from being false. Even if we grant that there are indeed genuinely sophisticated theological ideas, arguments, and beliefs, none of that matters if the ideas and arguments are bad and beliefs are false... You don't need to read, understand, and address sophisticated works on textiles to observe that the Emperor is naked. You don't need to read, understand, and address sophisticated works on astrology to observe that there is nothing to it and that the stars do not even influence, much less direct, our lives."

Don't Ask, Do Kill: Gays Persecuted in Iraq - "Now that Iraq's sectarian war has cooled off, it's open season on homosexuals and others who infuriate religious hardliners... Virtually no government officials would sit for an interview. And the United Nations human-rights office, which has a big presence in Iraq, dodged the subject like a mine field... Saif, one of the older residents at an Iraqi LGBT house, recalls Saddam's repressive but secular regime wistfully. "Those were the most beautiful days of our lives," he says. "The fall [of Saddam] was the worst thing to happen.""

Radical ideas to save the planet suggested by leading scientists - "Artificial clouds to reflect away sunlight, creating colossal blooms of oceanic algae, and the global use of synthetic carbon-neutral transport fuels - just three of the climate-transforming technologies in need of urgent investigation, according to leading scientists. The group argues that, with governments failing to grasp the urgent need for measures to combat dangerous climate change, radical - and possibly dangerous - solutions must now be seriously considered."

Women get massages with 'happy endings' too - "Back when Indian barbers were eunuchs, a chap could get a shave, a haircut and, afterwards, fellatio... "An ex went for a regular massage. It was her first time at this establishment, and the receptionist suggested that she get her massage from George. She called me two hours later to ask me if it was okay that a Chinese guy in scrubs had brought her to orgasm six times. I was more impressed than anything. My girlfriend recommended George to several friends, most of whom went to the massage parlour. George, they were told, had been let go, and nobody hinted at ‘happy endings’ being on offer.""

I Blame The Patriarchy: Raper's Delight - "A day without the story of another misogynist response to another sexual assault is like a day without the persistent melancholy precipitated by round-the-clock oppression by a dominant culture whose constant refrain is "none takes pity on thy pain, O thou most ingrateful, savage, and inhuman creature!" Today's tale of slime, which scrapes the lurid, clammy underside of a new low, comes to us from Canada... Although rapists already have it pretty good the world over, in Canada, the coveted sexsomnia diagnosis is a free pass to even the most reluctant pussy! It's a frat boy's dream come true!" (This article is about sleep sex)
The crazed and vicious feminists who formed a cyber lynch mob. As one commented (without any hint of irony): "My sleeping mother once cooked an elaborate breakfast and then threw it away and went back to bed"

A Magnificent Obsession That Starts With Rice and Fish - "Despite this cultural and culinary baggage, it is worth noting that sushi began not as an elegant way to eat raw fish but as a way to preserve it. Packed between layers of cooked rice, whole raw fish fermented slowly instead of rotting, becoming lightly pickled. That pickled flavor is still a faint but essential element in sushi. It is why sushi rice is sprinkled with vinegar... Fresh wasabi has been available in the United States for some time, but most of it is grown in Oregon, and Mr. Ishida said its flavor is not as strong as the Japanese variety... ''We used to have the stewardesses from Japan Air Lines smuggle it through customs. We paid them for the service in sushi.''... Another sushi commandment, often flouted in American sushi bars, forbids dropping a piece of sushi into soy sauce and leaving it to soak. All the careful hospitality of the Japanese tradition could not conceal the shudder that ran through every sushi chef when asked about this practice. ''It is very painful for us,'' Gen Mizoguchi of Megu said."

Entrepreneurs Find Ways to Make Technology Work With Jewish Sabbath - "In 2004, Mr. Veffer invented the Kosher Lamp, with a shade that can be twisted to block out the bulb’s light but that does not turn it off... For decades, Orthodox Jews trudged through their houses in a pre-Sabbath ritual of turning off home security systems, taping down the button that turns on the light inside the refrigerator when the door is opened, and lighting a flame to leave burning on the stove so food can be heated... General Electric introduced its Sabbath mode in 2000, and said the special setting is featured on more than 150 of its wall ovens, ranges and other cooking appliances. These modes either turn off certain lights, fans and alarms, or use a Jewish legal concept known as “gramma,” or indirect action, to operate the appliance on holy days. In refrigerators, for example, a built-in delay prevents the compressor from turning on immediately after the door is opened... [Zomet] developed pens that use ink that disappears after a few days, based on a rabbinic interpretation that only forbids permanent writing, and Sabbath phones, which are dialed in an indirect manner with special buttons and a microprocessor... he said, “if you make the burden slightly lighter, it’s O.K. The Torah doesn’t want to make life impossible.”"
Love the last line. And all this is going to accelerate Climate Change. Tsk.

Hollywood Takes on the Left - "Zucker's latest movie, An American Carol, is unlike anything that has ever come out of Hollywood. It is a frontal attack on the excesses of the American left... Zucker was still nominally a Democrat when George W. Bush was elected in 2000. "Then 9/11 happened, and I couldn't take it anymore," he says. "The response to 9/11--the right was saying this is pure evil we're facing and the left was saying how are we at fault for this? I think I'd just had enough. And I said 'I quit.'"... The entire film is an extended rebuttal to the vacuous antiwar slogan that "War Is Not the Answer." Zucker's response, in effect: "It Depends on the Question."... Zucker and Friedman poked fun of the know-nothing culture of antiwar protests. During a rally at Columbia University, students chant: "Peace Now, We Don't Care How!" Some of their protest signs are ones you'd find at any antiwar rally. Some are not. "9/11 Was an Inside Job," "Kick Army Recruiters Off Campus!" "End Violence--War Is Not the Answer!" "End Disease--Medicine Is Not the Answer!" "It's Too Dark Outside, The Sun Is Not the Answer!" "Overpopulation--Gay Marriage Is the Answer!"... Zucker says that one of the major differences between the left and the right in America today is that leftists think of their political opponents as evil."

The Straight Dope: Are those weird laws you hear about for real? - "Lots of so-called weird laws are like this: entirely reasonable when looked at in full or in context, but capable of being narrowly framed in some specific way that makes them seem silly. Other weird laws are left over from previous eras. Michigan still has a statute prohibiting blasphemy... statutes can be repealed or simply ignored as no longer applicable. Along the same lines are another kind of snicker-inducing legal provision: blue laws. These laws prohibit certain activities on Sundays, and pretty much no matter what activity they prohibit, it comes out sounding funny... 'In the U.S., state legislatures have repeatedly yielded to various business groups that wanted to be exempted from Sunday closing. As a result U.S. blue laws are riddled with erratic contradictions. In Pennsylvania it is legal to sell a bicycle on Sunday, but not a tricycle'... Of course, sensationalist reporting is another part of the problem. An example: I saw a headline on a news Web site suggesting that a man had been ticketed for wearing a skirt while operating a riding mower... The real story was that Clinton, Louisiana, home of the man in question, has a sagging-pants ordinance, and those often bar exposing one's undergarments or anything such garments might ordinarily be expected to conceal."

Beaumont officer suspended in spa investigation squares off in court against police chief - "In amended court documents filed Wednesday, Breiner states that between the Sun Spa and VIP Spa, he engaged in sex acts on at least five occasions - with his wife's consent - as part of an undercover investigation... "He eagerly completes all assignments given to him and offers to help other officers," Watts read from one evaluation... Coffin said there "are limits to what the police department should do or not do to enforce the law." "There does not appear to me to be a logical, work-related reason to have repeated sex with prostitutes in order to make a misdemeanor case." He added that he didn't think it would have been appropriate even for a felony investigation, which was the original intent... The undercover officers were not supposed to engage in sex acts to make cases, Coffin testified. Instead, they were to enter the spas and expect the women to make advances such as grabbing their genitals, he said. However, Coffin said he later learned that Breiner began having sex with the spa workers "right off the bat." "From there, it should have been stopped," Coffin said, adding that the situation quickly devolved into "a comedy of errors."... Breiner was approached for the undercover operation because it was thought that "Breiner and his wife were so stable in their relationship as to allow them to make the necessary, temporary adjustments as a sacrifice for his job and the community's interests.""
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