The Rude Pundit’s observations on Obama’s first four days in office will make you either:
- Laugh out loud and clap your hands in glee
- Fall to the floor and begin snorting blood from your nose
I chose ‘1’
OMFG. Laughed out loud several times. Classic. Not to be forgotten.
Requiem for VHS
Come bear witness to the Flying Head
No longer airborne
M-wrapped for all eternity
Cart him away
add an adhesive
let him seal the cases
of the new media God
DV or not DV
it is no longer a question.
we shall rewind
Okay, it is now officially time to be afraid – very, very afraid.
Images read from human brain
The Yomiuri Shimbun
In a world first, a research group in Kyoto Prefecture has succeeded in processing and displaying optically received images directly from the human brain.
I’m not worried about the government spying on me… No, I’m much more worried about my imagination ‘running wild’ – the world is not ready for what’s inside my head.
Hell, I’m not quite ready for it.
A favorite of mine:
So Long Mom
WWIII song – Tom Lehrer
This year we’ve been celebrating the hundredth anniversary of the civil war and the fiftieth anniversary of the beginning of world war I and the twentieth anniversary of the end of world war II, so, all in all it’s been a good year for the war buffs and a number of LPs and television specials have come out capitalizing on all this… nostalgia with particular emphasis on the songs of various wars. I feel that if any songs are going to come out of world war III we’d better start writing them now. I have one here. You might call it a bit of pre-nostalgia. This is the song that some of the boys sang as they went bravely of to world war III.
So long, mom,
I’m off to drop the bomb,
So don’t wait up for me.
But while you swelter
Down there in your shelter,
You can see me
On your tv.
While we’re attacking frontally,
Watch Brinkally and Huntally,
The cities we have lost.
No need for you to miss a minute
Of the agonizing holocaust. (yeah!)
Little Johnny Jones he was a US pilot,
And no shrinking vi’let was he.
He was mighty proud when world war three was declared,
He wasn’t scared,
And this is what he said on
His way to armageddon:
So long, mom,
I’m off to drop the bomb,
So don’t wait up for me.
But though I may roam,
I’ll come back to my home,
Although it may be
A pile of debris.
I’m off to get a commie,
So send me a salami,
And try to smile somehow.
I’ll look for you when the war is over,
An hour and a half from now!
Are you tired of those sissy ‘friendship’ poems that always sound good, but never actually come close to reality? Well, here is a series of promises that actually speak of true friendship. You will see no cutesy little smiley faces on this card— Just the stone cold truth of our great friendship.
- When you are sad—I will jump on the person who made you sad like a spider monkey jacked up on Mountain Dew!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
- When you are blue—I will try to dislodge whatever is choking you.
- When you smile—I will know you are plotting something that I must be involved in.
- When you’re scared—we will high tail it out of here.
- When you are worried—I will tell you horrible stories about how much worse it could be until you quit whining, ya big baby!!!!
- When you are confused—I will use little words.
- When you are sick—Stay away from me until you are well again. I don’t want whatever you have.
- When you fall—I’ll pick you up and dust you off—After I laugh my butt off!!
- This is my oath…I pledge it to the end. ‘Why?‘ you may ask—because you are my FRIEND!
Friendship is like peeing your pants, everyone can see it, but only you can feel the true warmth.
Send this to 10 of your closest friends, then get depressed because you can only think of 4 .
The roundest knight at king Arthur’s round table was Sir Cumference. He acquired his size from too much pi.
I thought I saw an eye doctor on an Alaskan island, but it turned out to be an optical Aleutian.
She was only a whiskey maker, but he loved her still.
A rubber band pistol was confiscated from algebra class because it was a weapon of math disruption.
The butcher backed into the meat grinder and got a little behind in his work.
No matter how much you push the envelope, it’ll still be stationery
A dog gave birth to puppies near the road. She was cited for littering
A grenade thrown into a kitchen in France would result in Linoleum Blownapart.
Two silk worms had a race. They ended up in a tie.
Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.
Atheism is a non-prophet organization.
Two hats were hanging on a hat rack in the hallway. One hat said to the other, ‘You stay here, I’ll go on a head.’
A sign on the lawn at a drug rehab center said: ‘Keep off the Grass.’
A chicken crossing the road is poultry in motion.
It’s not that the man did not know how to juggle, he just didn’t have the balls to do it.
The short fortune-teller who escaped from prison was a small medium at large.
The man who survived mustard gas and pepper spray is now a seasoned veteran.
A backward poet writes inverse.
In democracy it’s your vote that counts. In feudalism it’s your count that votes.
When the cannibals ate a missionary, they got a taste of religion.
Don’t join dangerous cults: Practice safe sects!
First, here’s the eulogy I wrote for his memorial service.
It was an amazing service. The Kiskiminetas Mason Lodge 617 turned out as did the Shriner Clowns whom he had been a member of.
The Masonic service was incredibly moving and it was very obvious my father’s fellow lodge members loved him dearly and grieved his death. Being a mason was a big part of my father’s life and when he and my mother returned to the Pennsylvania area, he became active again – eventually joining the Shriner clowns and helping to raise the spirits of sick children. My dad loved children and it’s so obvious in photos and stories told about him – tying balloon animals for hours so that every single child at an event took something away to remind them of the happy time.
Something the Shriner Clowns did was just touching beyond words – they each left a small balloon animal on the altar as they passed. Seeing the Masonic symbols (lambskin apron, evergreen sprigs and scroll) together with these simple icons of childhood were crushingly poignant. Clearly you could see this was a complicated man who touched people on a lot of levels.
There’s so much story to tell that I’m just going to start dropping in photos and describe them. Try and keep up.
Here’s some family photos that came to me after the funeral (click images to enlarge)
My dad was born and grew up on a farm in Spring Church, PA.
This is his family. I think that’s him on the left in the first row of kids.
When my father left his family farm (another story!) he went to work in the local steelmill (US Steel) and met my mother (Shirley) and his to-be inlaws. This is such an iconic shot.
Emily and William Rowe, my mother’s parents. I knew only Emily, William died when I was very little. (here’s my eulogy for my grandmother)
My mother had two sisters, Bobby and Gwenevere and a brother William (my uncle Mickey). Here’s a great shot of all of them after a night on the town:
Back row: Mickey Rowe, Les Walsh, Bob Fleissner, George Wray.
Front row: Jean Rowe, Emily’s three daughters, Bobby Rowe (Walsh), Gwen Rowe (Fleissner) and Shirley Rowe (Wray). Note the horns being added by my uncle Bob and my father. I take it from the straws that drinking had been involved. Uncle Bob looks either very sleepy or completely fried. Needless to say, it was a very close-knit group. All of these people were very much a part of my life as I was growing up and I love them all dearly. (High-resolution image available.)
Well, it wasn’t long after (maybe even before) this photo was taken that my parents started building a family.
The children of George and Shirley Wray are, in order:
Bonita Jo (Bunny)
David William (see also this entry)
Here’s a couple of shots of my mom and I sitting on the front porch of our house in Apollo – we lived in two different places – one in the lower part of town, the other ‘up on the hill’ (Oak Hill) (map).
Love ya dad.
I start to remember my father’s career starting around the time he got a job at the US Steel Monroeville Research Center. (everybody’s welcome to help me fill in his earlier years in the steel mill, then San Diego in the Navy and then as a door-to-door insurance salesman – all I know is stories passed on) If I remember right, he started out doing welding for vacuum systems, which led him into a position on the new one-million-volt electron microscope US Steel was buying. That was a rough time for him – apparently he’d claimed a high-school diploma and didn’t actually have it! So he had to hurriedly cram for and take the GED, not something you just do in a week. He did. He also learned electronics via correspondence, amazing to me even now. He worked at US Steel for (I think) twelve years, took early retirement and moved to a job at the University of Colorado’s Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology.
Here’s some photos from George’s time at US Steel’s Monroeville Research Center:
The RCA 1-million-volt transmission electron microscope. That’s George at the console – he spent thousands of hours running this sci-fi-lookin thing. I spent a fair bit of time here with him on various occasions. The room was kept darkened when the microscope was in use. That, combined with the huge, hulking supports, the humming of pumps, clicking relays and control switches only made it more exciting. This was the glowing heart of scientific research at the time – and my dad was square in the middle of it!
This is the ‘accelerator room’ – I think they called it that because it made your heart race to come up the stairs, turn a corner and see this. It’s a Cockcroft-Walton generator and was a part of early ‘atom smashers.’ This is where the one million volts of energy was generated to accelerate the electrons into the microscope’s ‘column’ downstairs.
Cutting-edge, state-of-the-art video recording technology! 2″ reel-to-reel VTR (before cassettes and helical scan!) I think they were recording steel samples being heated/stressed mechanically to watch the crystalline structure change in real time. Never-before-seen effects!
My father didn’t just -work- on this machine, he helped assemble it. This transformer is below the floor of the accelerator room shown above. There’s my dad, as usual, up to his elbows in the dirtiest job. I think he loved doing the ‘messy’ jobs that no one else wanted to do.
Here’s George at the top of the electron-beam column. He’s actually -inside- the part that the guy is polishing in the photo above of the accelerator. This was the ‘electron gun’ assembly where the ‘filament’ was housed that actually created the beam of electrons.
Here’s a color advertisement US Steel ran -great shot of the accelerator. That’s my dad applying a grounding rod to it. For what it’s worth, my dad didn’t really wear a lab coat all the time.
I think this group is the team that assembled the microscope. My dad’s in the back row, second to last on the right.
Another group shot. I think this was the primary building-installation team. My dad’s in the back row, last one on the right. Note that everone’s wearing dosimeters – this thing generated high-energy x-rays when it was on, so radiation exposure had to be monitored.
Group shot of the entire research staff. I think this is everyone that worked at the Monroeville Research Center.
Here’s my dad, closeup from the photo above. He’s in the fourth row back, third in from the left. Look at his face – I know that look. He was so tickled he was probably trembling. This had to be one of the Big Moments in his life to be counted among these people.
When George left US Steel Research after 12 (?) years his co-workers presented him with a notebook filled with significant photos (several shown above) as well as some fun ‘geek humor’:
I love that it’s all elements from the lab: the Dymo labeller (very new at the time and the labels were ubiquitous throughout the lab. The USS logo patch that was on coats, the part-tag (with my dad’s employee number I suspect, but don’t know for sure). Basically it’s supposed to be an ‘operating log’ similar to the one kept for The Scope.
This page is just filled with all kinds of silly ‘in’ jokes. The ‘Description of Specimen’ is, however, perfectly accurate. One of the signatures at the bottom right is J.Scott Lally. If I understand the ‘Plate exposure’ line, 39,683 photos were taken by the MVEM during my father’s time there. Not a bad record!
Map to ‘Party for George Wray’ – I think the location name is also a gag: ‘Elec. Heights Hous. Assoc.’ very likely means ‘Electron Heights Housing Association’ and was perhaps housing for visiting scientists. It had a ‘hut’ which is Cold War slang for a guard shack. This was probably a meeting hall for the research campus. I love that “Informal” has no less than seven underlines. I think they meant VERY informal.
We moved to Boulder, CO in the 1970s and baby, it was a whole different world. From a high-security corporate research lab to a wide-open biology research lab on a college campus. A whole new microscope to install and operate. Nobel-prize-winning scientist Dr. Keith Porter was in charge at the time, so it was pretty heady stuff.
Dick McIntosh and George Wray pose on the upper deck of the JEOL 1000C TEM.
Taking apart the Hanford, WA scope. They worked round-the-clock for days salvaging every single unique component they could. Many parts of the Hanford scope went into keeping the Boulder, CO scope going.
After my father retired from the University of Colorado, he and my mother moved to Winston-Salem, NC. Wake Forest University friends had him teaching students in no time flat. He kept working for several more years and no doubt contributed immensely to the sciences by teaching yet another generation of microscope users how to get the most out of a TEM.
When he finally decided to stop working, he wanted to return to Pennsylvania to his roots. He and my mother moved back to PA near the town of Indiana where my sister Georgia (Missy) lived at the time. My mother began having TIAs and finally succumbed to a massive stroke shortly after they’d renovated a home and were settling in nicely. It was such a blow. My father went on. He became active in the Masons again and then the Shrine and became a clown. Here’s some photos from that time:
And now, the clown pix:
|George Wray as ‘BOO’ the clown.|
|Closeup of George Wray as ‘BOO’ the clown.|
|All dressed up and going on!|
|Making balloons for the kids.|
|Another happy kid – a clown’s best reward.|
There’s SO, SO much more to say, but I’ll leave it up to you readers to find the comment field below and add your own memories of George or correct me where I’ve mis-stepped. All submissions welcome. Send your images to firstname.lastname@example.org and don’t worry about whether it’s appropriate or not. George would have loved it – anytime one of his friends laughs, I’m sure his spirit hears them.
And in all this, my mother appears only a small satellite due to her reluctance to having her picture taken. Know that she was everywhere my father was. For over forty years they walked together as husband and wife and I am certain they are rejoined now. As much as our world is dimmed by his passage, I am sure somewhere there are angels singing and laughing.
Goodbye My Father. You are in my heart always.
Our friends Marty and Kate Beier are delightfully twisted people.
After several years of sharing adjoining campground properties, we finally installed a (slightly used) outbuilding that was immediately christened ‘Wizzengard’ due to it’s tall stature.
During a recent visit I discovered that the Beiers had finally added the crowning touch – a sign complete with a miniature Saruman holding a palantir.
Akismet has caught 5,806 spam for you since you first installed it.
Not one got by.
Spammers = slime.
Weak, foolish and clownlike.
Akismet crushes them like tiny dung beetles.
Your idiot ads will never despoil my site. Never.
Die spammers. Die.
The Coulter Hoax: How Ann Coulter Exposed the Intelligent Design Movement
( reposted from LiveScience.com )
By Peter Olofsson
posted: 07 April 2007
09:11 pm ET
In the summer of 2006, I heard that a new book called Godless presented an insightful and devastating criticism of the theory of evolution. Although I learned that its author, Ann Coulter, is not a scientist but a lawyer turned author and TV pundit, she nevertheless appeared to be an intelligent and well-educated person, so I started reading.
ablution/ablutions–to wash the body of; to wash one’s hands of the matter. Fields used this in correspondence.
abscond/absconded–to steal; stolen. Fields used these terms in some tall tales.
ad lib/ad libitum–to improvise. Fields ad libbed on stage, in film, and on radio. He used the words often in correspondence.
alacrity–eagerness, quickness. Fields used this in radio scripts and letters.
(hat tip to Jon Bell, mechanical wizard par excellence)
What to call all those exquisitely-useful (and painful!) things in the workshop.
Top Ten Reasons Working From Home RULES
Can you read these right the first time?
This is dedicated to John “Slidemeister” Wilwerding. Remember the Marines’ rifleman creed (This is my rifle…)? This was created by a Marine at WESTPAC. (I don’t know who this guy is but it was on the e-mail that was received….)
Most definitely NSFW.
by Joe Quesada and Jimmy Palmiotti
‘Twas the night before Christmas,
Da whole house was mellow,
Not a creature was stirrin’,
I had a gun unda my pillow.
When up on da roof’
I heard somethin’ pound,
I sprung to da window,
To scream, “Ay! Keep it down!”
When what to my
Wanderin’ eyes should appear,
But dat hairy elf Vinny,
And eight friggin’ reindeer.
Wit’ a bad hackin’ cough,
And da stencha burped beer,
I knew in a moment
Yo, da Kringle wuz here!
Wit’ a slap to dere snouts,
And a yank on dere manes,
He cursed and he shouted,
And he called dem by name.
“Yo Tony, Yo Frankie,
Yo Sally, Yo Vito,
Ay Joey, Ay Paulie,
Ay Pepe, Ay Guido!”
As I drew out my gun
And hid by da bed,
Down came his friggin’ boot
On da top a my head.
His eyes were all bloodshot,
His b.o. wuz scary,
His breath wuz like sewage,
He had a mole dat wuz hairy.
He spit in my eye,
And he twisted my head,
He soon let me know
I should consider myself dead.
Den pointin’ a fat finga
Right unda my nose,
He let out some gas,
And up da chimney he rose.
He sprang to his sleigh,
And away dey all flew,
Before he troo dem a beatin’.
But I heard him exclaim,
Or better yet grump,
“Merry Christmas to all, and
Bite me, ya hump!”
The legend lives on
Always wanted to dress your iPod collection up as The Village People? Well, wait no more! Those zanies over at iAttire have just what you need.
Here we see a full-size iPod sporting the ‘Cowboy’ character. All you need is some scissors and a (very) steady hand to make those into crotchless chaps.
There’s a whole range of outfits, including the quintessential Beret as well as Pirate and Princess.