About that asteroid near-miss

Friday, 27 February 2004, 9:11 | Category : Lunatic Fringe, Stargazing
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Phil Plaitt’s Bad Astronomy Pages has a good article on what really happened (no, they didn’t almost call the President). Phil’s site is a good place to see how the movies and television has represented astronomical topics; he also debunks the loonies like Nancy, Zetans, and the Planet X nonsense.

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Spongmonkey business

Wednesday, 25 February 2004, 9:34 | Category : Geek Stuff, Other Stuff
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These guys have been made famous, or infamous, but the Quiznos ad. Now you can read more about them at Slate or at their creator’s website at rathergood.com). That’s a slow-loading site, however, so be warned aforehand. But I can see further adventures for these little guys. Appearances on Letterman. Spongmonkeys hosting SNL. “Spongmonkeys Sing Barry Manilow” CDs. Truly, art at this level should not be allowed to wither away.

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Monday, 23 February 2004, 8:57 | Category : Politics
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Dave says Nader is a “self-aggrandizing ass who’s obsessed with running for President”. (OK, Dave says he’s probably an ass, he allows that it’s possible Nader just lives in a fantasy world). I think he’s only partly right – Nader is a pompous fool dressed as a self-aggrandizing ass, living in a fantasy world. I’m convinced Nader threw the 2000 election to Bush. Think of it this way: Nader got 97,000 votes in Florida. If instead, 70% of those voters had just stayed home, and 51% of the remaining 30% voted for Gore, Al Gore would have won Florida and the election, or at least forced the Jebbites to get more creative. And it was obvious in the weeks before the election that it was going to be close enough that a continued Nader candidacy could result in something like that. Reports the next day quoted Nader voters in some places saying “what have I done?” This election shapes up as another very close one; and with the results of four years of GWB evident – ignoring the Iraq thing, and just focusing on the environmental policy changes, the health care changes, the continuing weak job market – Ralph Nader decides that what we need is a replay.

Dave also says what the Democrats need as a counter is a Kerry-Dean ticket, to keep the Deaniacs in the party. That might keep them in – but how much national appeal will there be in a ticket featuring a Massachusetts senator and a Vermont governor? Yes, you’ll keep those who are going to vote Democrat regardless. But that won’t pull in many independents. And it certainly isn’t going to garner much enthusiasm in the South, Midwest and West. That’s a high price to pay for a candidate who’s finished third or worse in the primaries since New Hampshire, where he was a distant second. The Democrats owe Howard Dean, but not that much. And they owe Ralph Nader nothing. He’s lost his credibility, what he had left, with his announcement yesterday.

Death of a television

Friday, 20 February 2004, 8:56 | Category : Poetry
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A brief moment’s freedom
Unplugged and unbound
A short inner passage
On your way to the ground
Does a picture tube panic?
Do transistors know fear?
Does the zen of the moment
Ease your end-time here?
I missed your death-flight
So I did not observe
Your final appointment
With the cold concrete curb
But to see as I did
The debris field of parts
Makes me think it was worthy
Of praise from the arts
So I offer these lines
As a requiem now told
To a dead television
In the grass by the road

Potted Meat Food Research

Wednesday, 18 February 2004, 9:31 | Category : Other Stuff
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I said I didn’t really want to know about this stuff. Just the name is enough to make a vegan out of you. But I couldn’t help myself. First, there was Jeff Lee’s Potted Meat Food Product Tribute Page. But Jeff wasn’t content to just make a tribute page to PMFP. No, he also wrote a song. And then, there’s the Potted Meat Food Museum. Venturing further into the digital hinterlands, there’s this blog entry from The Sneeze, which contains an actual picture of an opened can of PMFP. And this site gives a history of Armour PMFP ingredients. PMFP seems like really nasty stuff. I cannot imagine how much worse imitation PMFP, or IPMFP, would be.