Friday, October 31, 2003

Happy Halloween

Don't eat too much candy, or this could happen to you:


Thanks again to

Check out all the winners of the Extreme Pumpkin Carving Contest

Posted at 07:24 AM in Humor | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Thursday, October 30, 2003

Photo Fog - Anti-Flash Photo Radar Defense

Stop Traffic Light Photo tickets . . . (anyone have any experience with this product? Does it work?)


Photo Fog is a spray that makes your license plate super reflective. The flash of a photo radar or red light camera is reflected back to the camera. The result of this is an over-exposed picture, with an unreadable license plate number.

Photo Fog is proven to be effective against the flash of photo radar, red light cameras, and speed cameras. However, Photo Fog only works when the flash is being used by the cameras. Because of this limitation, it is only recommended in areas where the Super Protector license plate cover can not be used.


Posted at 06:49 AM in Science | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Satellite photo of So Cal fires

Smoke from wildfires in southern California drifts over the Pacific Ocean on Sunday in this image via NASA's Aqua satellite. NASA Photo via Associated Press


Deadly walls of flame -- 'It's almost like a war' / DISASTER TOLL: 16 dead, thousands homeless, 16000 homes destroyed.

Just insane . . .

Photo courtesy

Posted at 07:01 AM in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Suicide Pumpkin

Another terrific pic, courtesy of


Check out all the winners of the Extreme Pumpkin Carving Contest

Posted at 06:10 AM in Humor | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Iraqi invasion was primed in 1997

The argument that the Iraq invasion was a response to terrorism is based upon a false premise: Namely, that September 11th is what led to the decision to effect a regime change.

The Project for the New American Century suggests that the Iraq invasion plans were in the works since 1997. Here's an excerpt:

"In June 1997, a group of self-proclaimed foreign-policy experts drafted a statement of principles aimed at making a case that the United States should use its position as the world's only superpower to shape the events of the 21st century, to ensure they are favorable to America's principles and interests. The statement maintained that the United States has a vital role to play in advancing the cause of peace and security throughout the world and that the use of military power and bold global leadership will be essential elements of this plan. The goal was to make America as great a nation in the 21st century as it had been in the 20th century.

These principles, and the group of men who espoused them, became known as the Project for the New American Century. The 25 original signatories of the statement included Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz and former Minnesota Rep. Vin Weber.

On the surface, these principles seem a reasonable definition for the role that a superpower should take to provide the global leadership expected by our friends and allies. But as the group became more active in their pronouncements, their motives became highly questionable . . ."

Why American business should care
by Ronald Bosrock, Published October 27, 2003

Posted at 06:00 AM in Current Affairs, Politics, War/Defense | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

"But Officer . . .

. . . isn't it possible that your radar gun is miscalibrated?"


I got my 1st speeding ticket in nearly 10 years last month, and my date for traffic court is tonite -- that's when I came across this picture.

The great irony of this is that it was in Mrs. Effluvia's station wagon, and I was barely moving. In my car, I am frequently attempting to break the sound barrier (yes, most of those times it was me and not the Concorde you heard). It's almost embarrassing to get a speeding ticket in a PT Cruiser . . .

Posted at 02:33 PM in Humor | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Monday, October 27, 2003

What's your goodness/evil ratio?

This site is certified 35% EVIL by the Gematriculator

This site is certified 65% GOOD by the Gematriculator

The Gematriculator is a service that uses the infallible methods of Gematria developed by Mr. Ivan Panin to determine how good or evil a web site or a text passage is:

Basically, Gematria is searching for different patterns through the text, such as the amount of words beginning with a vowel. If the amount of these matches is divisible by a certain number, such as 7 (which is said to be God's number), there is an incontestable argument that the Spirit of God is ever present in the text. Another important aspect in gematria are the numerical values of letters: A=1, B=2 ... I=9, J=10, K=20 and so on. The Gematriculator uses Finnish alphabet, in which Y is a vowel.

Experts consider the mathematical patterns in the text of the Holy Bible as God's watermark of authenticity. Thus, the Gematriculator provides only results that are absolutely correct.

Uh, sure. Try the Gematriculator here anyway. Its amusingly good fun

Posted at 01:06 PM in Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Sunday, October 26, 2003

today's mental virus

The song I cannot get out of my head today is Sister Hazel's pop confection: "Change Your Mind"   

Don't say you weren't warned . . .

Posted at 04:46 PM in Music | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Halloween is coming

Giant Carnivorous Pumpkin, courtesy of


Check out all the winners of the Extreme Pumpkin Carving Contest

Posted at 03:17 PM in Humor | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Friday, October 24, 2003

Repeat after me: Oil price rises are not a tax increase

1984 Redux: Political double speak has reached monumental proportions. Orwell explained (and predicted) that the motivation behind those who bastardize the language is to eliminate debate -- mostly about policy issues and apportionment of power. The old boy had a point.

Which brings me to my weekend peeve: Whenever Oil increases in price, you will hear it described as a “Tax.” This nonsense is spouted on Bloomberg, CNBC, CNN, Fox -- essentially anywhere the chattering headshold court. Here’s the typical thoughtless sound byte:

“With each dollar increase in the cost of a barrel of Oil, we lose almost 6 billion dollars of GDP. Price increases in Oil act as a Tax on the economy.”

There is no doubt that increased energy costs are a drag on the economy. The greater percentage of their finite resources consumers spend of gasoline and home heating oil, the less discretionary dollars they have to spend on other things. As oil prices rise, dollars which could be better spent elsewhere in the economy become unavailable. Rising energy prices are an expense, a cost, a drag on the economy.

That’s not my beef . . . It’s the disingenuous labelling the increase “a tax” which is so, well, Orwellian.

Why? We have organized ourselves in a society to collectively do what we could not accomplish as individuals. We form governments to administer these tasks, including the collection of (horror!) Taxes.

This turns out to be a good thing. Your taxes are what pays for teachers’ salaries, so your kids can get an education. Taxes build the schools, buy the books, fund the H.S. sports teams.

When oil prices go up, none of that revenue finds its way to schools. So pray tell me, how is it a tax?

Here’s another place where your tax dollars go: Police, Firefighters, EMTs. Have we already forgotten the valor of those who died trying to rescue others on September 11th? These were municipal employees; Their salaries were paid with tax dollars. So were their uniforms, police cruisers, walkie talkies, firetrucks, ladders, axes, oxygen masks, waterhoses. EMT’s use ambulances, emergency medical supplies and training -- all taxpayer supported.

When OPEC cuts production so oil prices go up . . . that money never finds its way to cops, EMTs, and firemen; It goes to the Saudis, who fund the Madras religous hate schools, which indoctrinated the terrorists who (tuition funded via Oil revenues) trained at flight schools where they learned to fly the planes that eventually took down the Twin Towers.

We haven’t even started discussing the roads those ambulances travel on, the bridges and tunnels the National Guard protects, or the harbors the Coast Guard patrols.

I find it especially galling to hear higher oil prices called a “Tax” during War time. This obnoxious denigration of tax dollars is a backhanded slap at society. It is offensive to anyone who thinks about it.

The Kevlar protecting the heart and lungs of every U.S. Military personnel in the Gulf was paid for by taxes. Each Abrams M1 tank, every F-117 stealth fighter, M16 rifle and tomahawk cruise missile is funded with tax dollars -- not higher oil prices. There are five aircraft carrier battle groups in the Gulf region; Each carrier group houses 10,000 men, has 3000 aircraft. Guess how they were paid for?

The next time you hear some Minister of Propaganda spouting this nonsense, challenge them on it. Ask them how much of this “tax” pays for teachers or cops or firefighters or soldiers in the armed forces. Force them to confront their own “Newspeak.”

Some of them aren’t even aware of what they are saying; These are the idiot Parrots with limited intellectual bandwidth. They exist in large numbers, and are dangerous when they repeat the meme.

Politely correct these people before they spread.

Much more insidious are the bastards who are fully cognizant of their word play. They need to be publicly humiliated for their linguistical crimes.

Freedom costs money. So do schools, roads, water supplies, and everything else a modern civilization requires. It behooves you to understand what does -- and does not -- pay for them.

Posted at 11:49 AM in Finance, Media | Permalink | Comments (15) | TrackBack