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I found this while looking for a way to make a sensible comment on an entry by [ profile] fireheart, and I have to say I like it a lot!
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Just in case anyone had forgotten that the Chinese government is utterly evil:

China Presses Hush Money on Grieving Parents

They even beat a pregnant woman for protesting! Yet George W. Bush and the world community continue to grovel to them. What's even more ironic is that according to a report I heard on NPR this morning, the vast majority of Chinese citizens believe that the world generally holds China in high regard and admiration.

In fact, of course, world opinion is quite the reverse. Why do so many people in China have a completely distorted understanding of world opinion? Because their government controls the media, of course!

I'm tempted to draw a parallel with the many American idiots who were so sure that Saddam had been responsible for 9-11.

Sorry, I'm sure almost everybody knows about all this. It's just that I'm feeling particularly outraged this morning.
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We were up in Maine for the 4th of July, as I noted in a recent phone post. My folks have a lot of magazines up there, particularly The New Yorker. I bought around 25 books from the used book store, but I still spent some time reading magazines. And I ran across an extremely funny piece in The New Yorker. I'd read it the year before, and laughed a lot; I don't want to forget it again.

If you haven't read it, you should.

My Nature Documentary by Jack Handey
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A quick gift for my flist: I just found the complete text of Eric Frank Russell's wonderful short novel The Great Explosion online. Enjoy!
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Ever heard of "fainting goats"?

I'd never heard of them before this morning, when I read a comment that the media was acting like fainting goats over Obama's "bitter" comment. It was such an odd phrase that I had to look it up.

When startled, these small goats basically faint and fall down. The thing that kills me is this line from the wikipedia article:
In the past they were used for protecting livestock such as sheep by involuntarily "sacrificing themselves" to predators, allowing the sheep to escape.

For some reason that thought makes me sad.


Feb. 8th, 2008 01:27 pm
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This story by Ursula K. LeGuin kills me. Fair warning, if you haven't read it: it's painful, and will stay with you.

"The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas"
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From the discussion thread for the question "what is the name of the book that came out in the 20's 30's , exposed the slaughterhouses"

It was The Jungle by Upton Sinclair. A modern equivalent is Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser. I read that and gave up eating fast food completely - haven’t had any for more than six years now!

By the way, it was The Jungle that helped Teddy Roosevelt push through regulation of the meat industry and establish the Food and Drug Administration. Ironically enough, under the Bush Administration meat-industry lobbyists and businessmen were placed in charge of meat inspections. Funding for inspection and enforcement was slashed to the bone, and the industry was heavily deregulated. As a result, the nation’s meat supply is now less safe than it has been in decades.

I’m also reminded of "The Story of Beef", which was an incredibly sick but extremely funny cartoon that appeared in one of the final editions of Critters, a furry anthology comic book (it was issue #50). It featured a happy, smiling cartoon cow who described and showed how he and his cousin, Veal Calf, were turned into...meat.

I showed it to my brother, a confirmed meat-eater. He laughed, but gave up eating beef for about a year.

All in all, I think that if we knew everything that happened in the process of turning animals into meat, a lot of us would probably turn vegetarian. For example, I had a relative who worked in the health insurance office of a union of supermarket workers. Apparently a huge number of claims came from workers in the butcher shops; virtually none of them still had all their fingers. And the word was that when someone accidentally ground up one of their body parts with the ground beef, what came out of the grinder was not thrown away.

It was sold.

As beef.

We’re all cannibals.

(By the way, I myself still eat quite a lot of beef. I just don’t think about it, that’s all.
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From the discussion thread for the question "How can Christians become less judgmental?"

I have no idea. I suspect that quality isn't amenable to logic or reason, so the only thing I can think of is for Christians to interact more with non-Christians and Christians of differing sects. If they get the chance to see that those "others" are human beings instead of monsters, maybe that would make it less easy to snap to judgment. At least for some of them.

I hope.

Ah, Christian touches on a point which I've pondered for a long time.

Some Christians "know" that all nonbelievers are surely destined for Hell - and by "nonbelievers", they often mean anyone who doesn't follow the precise same sect of Christianity as their own.

By that logic, it is not only reasonable for Christians to use virtually any means necessary to convert nonbelievers; it is practically a moral duty. The problem is that although these Christians "know" that they're right, nonbelievers disagree.
Read more... )
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From the discussion thread for the question "God is more interested in you listening to God, than talking to God. Can you explain this?"

Since I consider "God" to be completely imaginary, there is no listening to be done - you can't listen to what doesn't exist, and something that doesn't exist can't listen!

That's not what you wanted to hear, of course, which is why I didn't take an answer slot. But I thought I'd represent the atheist position.

"Peter, how can you consider something, "GOD" to be nothing?"

EternalOptimist, how can you consider something, "SANTA CLAUS", to be nothing?

Of course I used the words "completely imaginary", not "nothing". Obviously "God" exists as a concept. But Thor, Zeus, and Superman exist in the same way. That doesn't mean you believe in them, do you?

Read more... )


Nov. 28th, 2007 01:35 pm
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It's a truism that you need to walk or jog for at least 30 minutes to elevate your metabolism. Anything less doesn't really help much, I'd heard.

But a couple of weeks ago, I found myself wondering: what would happen if, every two hours, I got up from my desk and took a five-minute walk down and up the stairs? Would it make any difference? I was planning to try it, but between the holidays and getting sick I didn't really have a chance.

But now I will, because apparently researchers have found that sitting for hours on end actually causes the enzymes that burn fat to shut down.

A New Way to Control Weight? Scientists Say Just Standing Up May Be as Important as Exercise

Go figure! This also explains why some Wii users lose weight, come to think of it.


Oct. 29th, 2007 03:01 pm
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I was doing a little research and came across a page with the text of many of Kilgore Trout's short stories.

O Senator

Aug. 28th, 2007 09:56 am
bobquasit: (NewQuas)
A tribute to staunch family values Republican Senator Larry Craig (R-Idaho) who has been caught numerous times in compromising circumstances with men but swears that he's not gay (his wife backs him up). Most recently, he "accidentally" pled guilty to misdemeanor disorderly-conduct charges stemming from his June arrest by an undercover police officer in a men's restroom at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

I love Republican hypocrisy!

(To the tune of "O Canada")

O Larry Craig
You gay-denouncing man
True hetero love Republicans demand

So you can't go in
a bus station
and grope a plain-clothes cop

You can't suck off
teen-aged prostitutes
This sleazy behavior has to stop

The Senate must be
O Senator, cops stand on guard for thee

O Larry Craig, cops stand on guard for thee!

Or perhaps it would work better as

"Congress must be

What do you think?
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David Broder wrote yet another classic example of High Broderism today, deploring the lack of civility in Congress.

A Setback For Civility

I couldn't resist posting my comment in rhyme:

Civility, civility above all!
For when our checks and balances fall,
and congressional oversight goes to the wall,
a shared cup of tea is the perfect cure-all.

Let there be no Congressional complaint!
Such rough-shod ways make David Broder faint!

We should all sit hand in hand,
sipping tea (or is it sand?)
While democracy across the land
vanishes - or was it banned?

But let there be no ruckus, please!
Such crudities make Broder wheeze!

I should write more poetry, I think. It's fun.
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I just made a comment over in the [ profile] advice community (I've been commenting there pretty often lately) which quite amused me. You can find it here.

The poster was concerned because the guy she's sleeping with (not a boyfriend, a f_ck-buddy) wasn't responding to her IMs, emails, and calls. Part of my response:

Now when I was a boy, if we wanted casual sex we did it as God intended - with cheap prostitutes. :D

And we didn't have to call them afterwards, either!

Do I need to note that I've never actually been with a prostitute? Probably.

Someone else later on in the thread had one of the greatest quotes I've ever seen on the subject of "Why doesn't he call me?":

"If he really wanted to talk to you, he would find a way to do it."

I totally love that. It would have answered about 60% of all the questions I saw back when I was on Advicenators. :D
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In Salon's advice column today there was a letter from a woman whose boyfriend was visually checking out other women - even when they were together. He was apparently trying to hide it, but I guess he wasn't good at it, because she caught him several times.

My boyfriend is checking out chicks while I'm standing right there!

My sarcasm mode immediately turned on, viz:

Dump the cheating bastard!

How DARE he obey eons of genetic selection for males who are constantly on the watch for potential mates? Doesn't he know that he's not even supposed to notice any other girl in the world, now that he's with his current girlfriend?

Even if he was surrounded by gorgeous naked starlets, it would be his basic moral duty to claw his own eyes out rather than look at him.

Nasty, dirty, filthy man. Doesn't he know that the only reason he has the instinct to appreciate female beauty was to allow him to meet his one destined soulmate? And that now that that function has been fulfilled, he must never find any other woman to be attractive?

He may whine that it's out of his control. NONSENSE! Everyone knows that the male sexual urge is totally volitional in every way.

Oh my god - I just had a horrible thought. What if he sometimes actually fantasizes about having sex with other women? That's the moral equivalent of ADULTERY! His girlfriend must sue him for divorce immediately - right after they get married, that is.

Then she can continue her search for the perfect non-girl-watching boyfriend. I'm sure he's out there somewhere!

In the meantime, I just had another horrible thought. What if her boyfriend ever decides to have a wet dream? Or even multiple wet dreams? Serial adultery - and she could catch an STD from one of those dream-sluts, to boot! She'd better get herself checked by a doctor right away. While she's at it, she could talk to her doctor about some form of medication or surgical procedure for her boyfriend which will eliminate all of those nasty, unacceptable sexual urges.

That may leave her a bit frustrated, of course, so she might also want to invest in a good vibrator. Which she will use only while fantasizing about her now-safe boyfriend, of course.

Problem solved!

What do you think - was I unfair? :D
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My old friend Steve is watching and reviewing every single episode of the original Star Trek. He's watching them in the original airing order, too. He created a blog just for that project, incidentally, in addition to his usual one.

Steve's a damned good writer, and funny as hell. So his blog is well worth a look. Unfortunately it's on Blogger, but what can you do?


Oh yeah: just in case the title didn't make it obvious, Steve never holds back.
bobquasit: (dot)
Wandering around online, I found this article which translates the uncaptioned Japanese from the filming of the Suntory Whisky commerical in "Lost In Translation". It's pretty funny.

What Else Was Lost in Translation
bobquasit: (Sam - Holy ^@%#!)
I haven't posted much lately. That's because I've been working on a rather large project that has taken up most of my spare time. I mentioned it in a phone post last week, I think.

Basically, I'm creating a set of spreadsheets for all the entries in the Chaos Project on my site. Not only am I consolidating the archives and "live" entries (which aren't normally viewable any more, because the guestbook service is virtually unreachable), but I'm editing the entries, assigning keywords, and adding other sorting fields and data.

It's interesting. I wish I had one or more people to help me with this part of it, but I've come to accept that that's not going to happen. Perhaps once I've completed the project and it has been posted online more people will contribute to it; I hope so.

On an unrelated note, yay! I found an active copy of the DFC archives! Here's a link to my favorite one, in which Billy aims his cranial spout with care and prepares to eject his pineal gland, while Xena kills people with her "Chakrum". You can navigate to the index from there.
bobquasit: (Chris Elliot)
I read this a long time ago in National Lampoon (back in the early days, when it was good), and it stuck in my mind. I didn't realize that Howard Stern later stole it. But I was pleased to find it online anyway: Fartman!


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