Speaking of jokes

April 17th, 2008

I watched part of the Democratic candidates' debate last night. I didn't watch it all, because I had other things to take care of, but I wouldn't have, anyway, because the questions that I saw were %&@&! inane.

Gibson and Stephanopoulos were asking the most irrelevant questions imaginable. I'm surprised they didn't ask about the candidates' shoe choices, and then questioned their patriotism based on their answers. Maybe I missed that part.

Apparently, the rest of the debate wasn't any better.

It's a joke...right?

April 16th, 2008

I'm assuming that the desire for an Augmented Reality helmet is a joke:

Kids’ knees and noggins can be protected with padding and helmets—but how do we safeguard their delicate minds? The answer may lie with Augmented Reality (AR), a technology that combines sights and sounds of the real world with virtual information. AR eyeglasses could detect inappropriate sights and remove them from view, while AR-enabled earbuds would delete ambient cursing.

But I do wonder how many people read that article and thought that it was an absolutely brilliant idea (or would think that, if they happened read the article).

I'm a parent (note the subtle declaration of authority on this subject), and I admit that I'm uncomfortable when people curse around my kids. Not because I'm afraid that my children will start screaming obscenities; It's just rude behavior, not socially acceptable, and you tend to expect adults to know better.

I think that the initial results of such a device attempting to block "inappropriate sights" would be hilarious, though. That's almost worth seeing. Or seeing what you're not seeing, I suppose.

Doing a bit of testing (with BRS)

April 10th, 2008

Let's see if this works:

Blood Red Shoes - "Say Something, Say Anything"

A reasonable suggestion

April 8th, 2008

Caveat: I know enough about economics to get into trouble, but not enough to avoid having my eyes glaze over when someone whips out the really technical details about interest rates and trade imbalances and any curve more complex than the Supply-Demand chart.

So, even though I skip his longer posts, I do appreciate it when the wise and illustrious Brad DeLong points out some grade-A Stupid.

There's more there than I'm going to talk about, but this part is the obvious Stupid. This is the sort of thing that makes me froth, rant, and generally want to apply the Bat of Clue to some smug bastard. In this case, Lawrence Kudlow, who is apparently paid to write utter nonsense:

Recessions are therapeutic. They cleanse excess from the economy. Think about excessive risk speculation, leverage, and housing. Recessions are curative: They restore balance and create the foundation for the next recovery.

Here's my quite reasonable proposal: Whenever someone writes something like that, they get fired. Immediately. Call it "downsizing," or being "laid off," or simply "cleansing excess from the writing staff." I don't care what it's called, I just want to see how these people react when their job is the one that's cut. Will it still be "therapeutic" when they can't pay their bills? Will they say, "Why, yes, I was excess that needed to be cleansed! And now I'm homeless! Huzzah for recessions!"

I'm just guessing, but I think it's much easier to write such inane drivel when it's not your job on the line. And, of course, when you don't know, and don't give a damn about anyone whose job is oh-so-therapeutically eliminated.

Insects of Doom

April 7th, 2008

I've been largely unconcerned about the debate over spraying clouds of pesticides over the Bay Area to kill the light brown apple moth. I grew up in LA in the 80s, so I probably have a few organs that are sludgy with malathion.

(As an aside, this quote about malathion amuses me: "Chronic exposure to low levels of malathion have been hypothesized to impair memory, but this is disputed." I imagine researchers setting up test cases, and control groups...and then forgetting what they were testing for.)

At least, I was unconcerned, until I heard that the light brown apple moth is native to Australia.

My blood ran cold.

Most venomous spiders? From Australia. Most venomous snakes? From Australia. Most venomous sea life? Swimming right around Australia. Even the platypus has poison-filled spikes. And then you have the crocodiles, sharks, scythe-clawed koala bears, the spiders that aren't full of poison but are as large as your head...Australia is, in short, the perfect place to send people who you'd rather never see them again.

And now their insects are invading California. Heck yes we should spray. We should start handing out flamethrowers. Sure, we'd probably suffer a few unintended losses (just, say, everything that's flammable), but would you rather have an Australian insect gain a foothold in our state? Because if it does, you know that it's going to invite its friends.

(Just read about these things, for example.)