Comments or suggestions: Gerard Van der Leun


Today in Awwwwwwwwwwwwww!


Today is National Puppy Day - The Atlantic

Hey, every day is National Puppy Day!


Posted by gerardvanderleun at Mar 23, 2017 1:02 PM |  Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: Extreme Yo-Yo-ing

Oh yeah, it's easy to tie your yoyo string in knots

. The real challenge is to get it untangled without dropping the beat! The European Yoyo Championship was held over the weekend in Bratislava, Slovakia. American Evan Nagao took first place in the open finals division, and deservedly so. Evan Nagao Takes European Yoyo Championship - Neatorama

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Mar 18, 2017 4:37 PM |  Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Saturday Review

Realistic Anatomical Paintings Reveal The Structures That Lie Beneath Our Skin

10 Of The Most Adorable Animal “Mlems” Ever Still, the prize for the longest tongue in relation to the body size goes to the chameleon. This tiny fellow can stretch its tongue up to 1.5 times to its body length when trying to reach the sweet nectar of flowers.

Monsanto House of the Future: When Our Future Was Made of Plastics Built in Disneyland in 1957 as a joint project between Disneyland, Monsanto, and MIT, the House of the Future was constructed of 16 identical plastic shells that were fabricated off-site and then shipped to the building site for assembly. The home was meant to display technological marvels, such as the microwave oven and speaker phone, but mainly showed the many ways that plastics could be incorporated into home-building of the future. Materials included: Acrylon, melamine, rayon, vinyl (flooring), and even plywood. Each of the four wings was capable of supporting 13 tons.

Calvin Coolidge: Address at the Celebration of the 150th Anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, Philadelphia, Pa. It is the product of the spiritual insight of the people. We live in an age of science and of abounding accumulation of material things. These did not create our Declaration. Our Declaration created them. The things of the spirit come first. Unless we cling to that, all our material prosperity, overwhelming though it may appear, will turn to a barren scepter in our grasp. If we are to maintain the great heritage which has been bequeathed to us, we must be like-minded as the fathers who created it. We must not sink into a pagan materialism. We must cultivate the reverence which they had for the things that are holy. We must follow the spiritual and moral leadership which they showed. We must keep replenished, that they may glow with a more compelling flame, the altar fires before which they worshiped.

Dynamic Duo “What entranced me was the pride with which the twins showed off their matching outfits.” After reading about the pair in a story on Retro Renovation, Kevin Howard located them in an online yearbook from Denison. He discovered that Maurine Elizabeth Everett and her sister Noreene Dodd died within four months of each other around 2004, at ages 88 and 89, respectively. He also learned that their mother was a seamstress, which explained all the matching outfits.

Before Smartphones And Computers Kids Had Real Fun

Assault Trombone:

This is the oldest known photograph of a human in America
The story behind the first selfie in the world Since daguerreotype needed a lot of light, Robert had to work outdoors. The famous first selfie was taken in October 1893, outside the lamp and chandelier store which was owned by his family. For the photo, Robert used a box fitted with a lens from an opera glass. Since thedaguerreotype needed 3-15 minutes to be taken, the young photographer had enough time to uncover the lens, run into the shot, stay there as long as necessary or more, and then replace the lens cap. In the self-portrait, Robert's image appears off center, showing a man with tousled hair and his arms crossed, looking at the camera with uncertainty.

A cynic might argue the world is better off having North Korea collapse now while it only has about a dozen nukes than waiting until 2020 when the number will be nearer a hundred.

The Einsteins in the federal government thought they had to warn America that not paying for abortions will mean fewer abortions.

No one saw an almost unimaginably huge and powerful wave crest at 600 feet and sweep down the inlet.

Sunshine Yogurt’s Roadmap to Global Market Domination – Eleven New Yogurts


Posted by gerardvanderleun at Mar 18, 2017 3:27 PM |  Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
White Rabbit: Grace Slick A Cappella

"I'm not a singer. I'm a shouter." -- Grace Slick

Slick wrote White Rabbit at home in Marin County a year earlier, on an upright piano with missing keys, at the end of an acid trip during which she listened to Miles Davis’s Sketches Of Spain for 24 hours straight. Then she presented it to her then bandmates, San Francisco raga-folk avatars the Great Society. "They'd read us all these stories where you'd take some kind of chemical and have a great adventure. Alice in Wonderland is blatant; she gets literally high, too big for the room, while the caterpillar sits on a psychedelic mushroom smoking opium. In the Wizard of Oz, they land in a field of opium poppies, wake up and see this Emerald City. Peter Pan? Sprinkle some white dust-cocaine-on your head and you can fly."

And now... complete with lyrics and her backing band...

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Mar 18, 2017 1:37 PM |  Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Get Ready... Get Set... Spring!


How to Prepare for Spring, 1528

"Of prymtyme, and what it is. The prymtyme is hote & moyst temperatly as the ayre. This season the blode moeueth and spredeth to all the membres of the body, and the body is parfyte in temperate complexyon. In this season chekyns, kyddes, and poched egges ought to be eaten, with letuses & gotes mylke in these thre monethes. Prymetyme begynneth whan the sonne entreth the sygne of Aryes and lasteth .xcii. dayes, an houre and a halfe fro the .x. day of Marche to the .x. day of June. In this season is the best letyng of blode of ony tyme. And than is good to trauayle and to be laxatyfe. And to be bathed. And to eate suche thynges as wyll purge the bely." -- Secretum secretorum, tr. Robert Copland / Are you ready for primetime? Nothing makes for a festive spring like lettuce, bloodletting, and laxatives.

Posted by gvanderleun at Mar 9, 2017 9:48 PM |  Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: If Millennials Were Lumberjacks

Via Never Yet Melted サ If Millennials Were Lumberjacks

So, of course, cue Monty Python!

I cut down trees, I wear high heels
Suspendies and a bra.
I wish I'd been a girlie, just like my dear pappa.

He cuts down trees, he wears high heels?
Suspendies...and a bra?

...He's a lumberjack and he's OK
He sleeps all night and he works all day.

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Mar 6, 2017 11:36 AM |  Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Core Samples

Kellyanne's World via Never Yet Melted

7 Major Experiments That Still Haven’t Found What They’re Looking For Super-Kamiokande—and its planned upgrade, Hyper-Kamiokande—located a kilometer under a mountain in the Kamioka laboratory in central Japan, have been charged with looking for (among other things) the tell-tale signatures of such extremely rare proton decays in gargantuan tanks of super pure water.

TSA rolls out new, 'more intimate' airport pat-downs For those who were hoping to have a closer relationship with their TSA prober.

Oh, put a sock in it! Moral Outrage Is Self-Serving, Say Psychologists

Intricate Fruit & Vegetable Carvings by Japanese Artist Gaku

Dr. Patrick Moore was right: @Greenpeace IS full of sh*t "Greenpeace Claims Immunity from Lawsuits Because Its Claims Are ‘Hyperbole’"

The science of “hangry”—why some people get grumpy when they’re hungry

Why pay less? Luxury Iceberg Water at $100 a Pop “It’s extremely pure right off the bat. It has no pollutants or contaminants whatsoever naturally. So, we don’t have to do anything to touch the chemistry of the water,” he adds. “It also has an incredibly light taste, that is why we call our tag line, 'the taste of snow and air.'”

American Shale Ready to Take On Petrostates

At last,Case closed on the Rosenbergs - latimes Julius and ethel Rosenberg were executed 55 years ago, on June 19, 1953. But last week, they were back in the headlines when Morton Sobell, the co-defendant in their famous espionage trial, finally admitted that he and his friend, Julius, had both been Soviet agents.

Burn Voyage: Schoolchildren give goldfish Freddy and Bubbles Viking funeral Both fish were pushed out to Valhalla in longships that they made out of cereal boxes and egg cartons in small group

The Eternal Question:Do Zebras Have Stripes On Their Skin?

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Mar 5, 2017 7:55 AM |  Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The night was a wild one. Here is what happens when President Trump goes to dinner.


Inside Trump's Secret Dinner: A Side of the President You Don't Ever See Inside the restaurant, I was seated at a table which I had booked hours earlier, directly next to where Trump would be dining. I made the booking based on a tip from a trusted source.

8:45 PM: Trump is served his entree. According to a waiter, who wished to remain anonymous:

“The President ordered a well-done steak. An aged New York strip. He ate it with catsup as he always does. The sides and appetizers on the table were shared. Three jumbo shrimp cocktails were delivered before the meal. At one point, the President looked at his watch and remarked ”They are filming 'Saturday Night Live' right now. Can't wait to see what they are gonna do to me this week.“ It was hard to serve him because he is so funny and relaxed, it makes you laugh.

Trump talks jovially with his guests for the next two hours. His iconic hand motions fill the space as dinner is served....

10:14 PM: Trump and his party get up to leave. The president is stopped momentarily for selfies and handshakes. Discretely, Trump can be seen handing cash to one of the latino busboys for his table. The president handed the young man a $100 bill.


Posted by gerardvanderleun at Feb 26, 2017 5:19 PM |  Comments (16)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Stalking Your Stalker: Russian Spy Tips for Meeting People from Dating Sites


So you've foolishly agreed to meet an online contact in meat space. And yet you know that online made meetings can be appointments to rob you[ Sacramento police warn of social networking robbery trend ]. What to do?

Never fear. Sensing's got you covered with his own training:Sense of Events: A Soviet spy on how to meet a dating-site match in person

Thanks to my training at the Army's counter-terrorism school and former Soviet spy Victor Suvorov's explanation of "fieldcraft," the steps that espionage agents take to avoid capture while spying on and in hostile countries, here are the rules for meeting anyone whom you have not met in person before:

1. Try to get a photo sent to you beforehand. The sticky wicket is providing one back. In a word, no. But if you are meeting someone from a dating site, this can be difficult. Judgment call to ask. But it is also likely that the other person's social media, perhaps even the dating site itself, will have one. But be prepared for it to be, um, inaccurate or out of date.

2. Do insist on being fully told how you will recognize the other person - what s/he is wearing, color of hair, does s/he wear eyeglasses, height, weight (yeah, good luck with that, guys), etc. Then when you go to meet, wear something else. If robbers are using these sites to lure you there, you do not want to show up looking like you.

3. Arrive very early. Suvorov wrote that he always arrived a few hours before the set time, found a spot away from the meeting place and keenly observed who came and went, especially those who came and didn't went. Of course, he was stealing military secrets so you don't need to arrive hours, plural, early, but one hour. And then watch. I am guessing that thugs will get there 15-20 minutes beforehand, so be alert, as Suvorov was, for men who arrive and seem to have no purpose being there. In other words, they look like they are waiting.... Read even more tips at Sense of Events

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Feb 25, 2017 2:25 PM |  Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Pandas Gone Wild


In a large forested enclosure of the Wolong Reserve, panda keepers Ma Li and Liu Xiaoqiang listen for radio signals from a collared panda training to be released to the wild.

Tracking can tell them how the cub is faring in the rougher terrain up the mountain. As conservation icons go, nothing quite beats the giant panda. Instantly recognizable worldwide and adored by billions, the giant panda is a virtual brand whose resemblance to anything wild is as tenuous as it is rare. Like many endangered species, giant pandas have declined as a growing human population has seized wild lands for human uses. The Chinese have spent the past quarter of a century perfecting breeding methods, building a captive population and protecting habitat. The giant panda was recently taken off the world endangered species list—a minor miracle, due to the unique efforts of Chinese zoologists and conservationists. -- Winners of the 2017 World Press Photo Contest


Posted by gerardvanderleun at Feb 13, 2017 12:22 PM |  Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Toad Tunnel

Fortunate that the drooling moron mayor of Davis now sleeps with the squashed toads.

[HT: Armchair Sinner: "Gawd, I forgot about Julie Partansky: a proponent of leaving potholes unpaved, lest we should lose their historic value (I'm not joking); one of the architects of the Dark Skies campaign, which dimmed and shaded streetlamps to better view the stars, much to the delight of drunken college students, graffiti "artists," rapists and muggers (finally, we folks in the Downtown Davis Business Association -DDBA- been able to make some headway against this crime issue); and, last but not least, Ms. Partansky was a vocal opponent of mosquito abatement, particularly with respect to West Nile Virus spraying.

RIP, Julie, 'cause now that you're gone, we sure are.

Oh yeahhh, we can't forget this little gem either (sorry about the Jon Stewart/Stephen Colbert link, but it's funny and from way back in 1999, when he wasn't so insufferable.):"]

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Feb 12, 2017 5:08 PM |  Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Reading Assignment: Ol' Remus on Kristallnacht A little rhyme of history


In Tuesday's Woodpile Report. Ol' Remus offers up a fine study of the recent regrettable events in that bastion of Free Speech, Berkeley, California:

Having achieved their stated goal—shutting down the event—the mob then surged into the city of Berkeley and went Full Ferguson, again without serious inconvenience by law enforcement.
It appears there was another, unstated goal. Those who committed acts of violence and property destruction were promptly called "outsiders" on the basis of no public evidence whatever. Such speedy certainty suggests insider knowledge, perhaps prior knowledge.

Actual "outsiders" in student mobs, meaning "no affiliation to the campus", are rare. They ask us to imagine a sudden and sizable influx of random opportunists where there was no evident gain. "Outsiders" are more often the most inside of insiders, on call for criminal thug work . On call by who? Perhaps by those who can offer credible assurance of noninterference by law enforcement....

Oathkeepers has infiltrated organizations like The Berkeley Against Trump Coalition and has this to say about the "outsiders" they deploy:

The anarchists are by far the most dangerous of these groups. They are organized like militias. They actively train and practice their operations. They have discipline and zero tolerance for weakness. They have a number of former military personnel providing expertise to enhance security, logistics and martial arts capabilities. The majority are physical fit, military age males. They are primarily white with few minority members. Their leadership tends to be either former military, a proven leader from the occupy movement or a highly educated alpha-male.

The rest is right next to the top at last Tuesday's Woodpile Report.

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Feb 10, 2017 5:30 PM |  Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
On a gathering storm comes / A tall handsome man In a dusty black coat with / A red right hand

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Red Right Hand

“People have completely forgotten that in 1972 we had over nineteen hundred domestic bombings in the United States.” — Max Noel, FBI (ret.)

Take a little walk to the edge of town
And go across the tracks
Where the viaduct looms
Like a bird of doom
As it shifts and cracks
Where secrets lie in the border fires
In the humming wires
Hey man, you know
You're ain't coming back

Past the square, past the bridge
Past the mills, past the stacks
On a gathering storm comes
A tall handsome man
In a dusty black coat with
A red right hand

He'll wrap you in his arms,
Tell you that you've been a good boy
He'll rekindle all those dreams
It took you a lifetime to destroy
He'll reach deep into the hole
Heal your shrinking soul
Hey, buddy, you know you'll never turn it back.

He's a god, he's a man
He's a ghost, he's a guru
They're whispering his name
Through this disappearing land
But hidden in his coat
Is a red right hand

You ain't have no money?
He'll get you some
You ain't have no car?
He'll get you one
You ain't have no self-respect
You feel like an insect
Well don't you worry buddy
'Cause here he comes
Through the ghettos and the barrio
And the Bowery and the slum
A shadow is cast wherever he stands
Stacks of green paper in his
Red right hand

You'll see him in your nightmares
You'll see him in your dreams
He'll appear out of nowhere but
He ain't what he seems
You'll see him in your head
On the TV screen
Hey buddy, I'm telling
You to turn it off
He's a ghost, he's a god
He's a man, he's a guru
You're one microscopic cog
In his catastrophic plan
Designed and directed by
His red right hand

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jan 31, 2017 11:35 PM |  Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Repeat after me, "I make grease pellets with my sweat."

With this millions more can break the record of the most views of "THE BEST INAUGURATION EVER!"

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jan 25, 2017 10:37 AM |  Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Netherlands Welcomes Trump

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jan 25, 2017 8:28 AM |  Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Strictly for Dickheads: The Grab A Pussy Hat Protest

We love that you are looking for a #pussyhat and want to get one to you as smoothly as possible.

A group of boojie women gathered at Knitty City in New York lay down their plastic brain-substitute devices long enough to make their pink Pussyhats in preparation for protests, in Washington and New York, for women’s rights following the election of Donald Trump - - 18 January 2017

Short form: Thousands of dickheads are to hit the streets in "protest" by jamming their empty skulls into their hand-made slack and scratchy pussies.


Days before the March

apussyhat1.jpgWe love that you are looking for a #pussyhat and want to get one to you as smoothly as possible. So, here’s the plan. We are going to have few pickup sites in DC in the days leading up to the March. We will be announcing them on Facebook and Twitter. Please be patient.
Our first distribution scheduled will be at Busboys and Poets at their 5th and K St. Location at 2 pm Wednesday, January 18. We will be there until the hats run out. We will see how that goes and then announce more times as soon as possible.

Day of the March

We are giving out hats at the March. We love that you are a marcher who is already part of Pussyhat Project with your enthusiasm, passion, and commitment to women's rights. We have a spot confirmed and almost ready to announce. Follow us on Twitter: @pussyhatproject for any last minute changes.

Are you still a little concerned about hat distribution? We are doing our best! Hat makers are pouring their hearts into making hats for you and we are all so grateful for your participation. Please sign up on Twitter @pussyhatproject for logistics in DC (yes, we are mentioning it again). We have to be nimble and may have to make some last minute location changes. If so, we want you to know ASAP.


apussyhat2.jpg1. We hope you continue to wear your pussyhat loudly and proudly everywhere and anywhere for years to come. Be prepared to don your pussyhat for future marches and protests.
2. If you do not want your pussyhat after the march, please give it to a feminist who will wear it loudly and proudly. We know that there are many who are still in search of pussyhats.
3. The Michigan State University Museum is collecting stories, selfies, pussyhats, and other items related to Michigan women’s participation in the Women’s March in Washington, DC, and in Lansing, Michigan. Please consider donating your stuff and the stuff of your memories to the MSU Museum to document this historic event. Before you send anything, please contact Shirley Wajda, Curator of History, 517.432.4582 or (better) (It is possible that other collections will also be asking for artifacts related to the Women's March and Pussyhat Project)
4. Bring your pussyhat back to your hometown and give it to someone who needs it to keep warm. We have had many participants suggest women's shelters and cancer wards. Become more involved with the organization you are supporting.

Thank you for being part of Pussyhat Project! We are deeply grateful.

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jan 19, 2017 2:27 PM |  Comments (19)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: Making Inroads

Mesmerizing. Made by the Shire of Moora here's how they lay this road in the outback of Western Australia.

Finishing touches were recently accomplished on the $443,000 upgrade to Airstrip Road. Funded through Roads to Recovery Funding Program. A great job by our road works crew and Trevor Longman with the Shires drone for the footage. A total of 4.9kms were completed over a two day period.
I love work like this. I could watch it for hours.

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jan 18, 2017 11:26 AM |  Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Global Warming Strikes Again: How Cold Is It?


It is block of ice containing a drowned fox who broke through the thin ice of the Danube river cold. Fridingen, southern Germany, Friday, Jan. 13, 2017

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jan 15, 2017 8:40 AM |  Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The ABC of Death: No Volvo for Me But This Commercial Makes Its Point

With the untimely death of my car last month, I have been forced to shop for a new (used) car. For me shopping for a car is the closest thing I've had to a near-death experience since my real-death experience five years ago.

Buying a car is a skill that I do not have, in a realm I know nothing about, and which requires more money than I can easily spend, in order to get a car that will not collapse, crawl to the side of the road, wheeze, steam, gurgle, gasp, and die.

In short, I have become very weary about everything in the car-buying process. Still, I must persevere and make this all an extended Zen moment.

And in the course of looking about with my Zen"I have to get a car"Mind I stumbled over this ad from Volvo. It didn't sell me on the over-rated and over-priced Volvo, but I think it will amuse you just the same.

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jan 12, 2017 7:09 PM |  Comments (31)  | QuickLink: Permalink
A Concentrated History of Global Warming


The true believers keep a comin'
But the train done gone.

Via Never Yet Melted's Climate Change History

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jan 7, 2017 8:11 PM |  Comments (11)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Welcome to 2017, where Bernie Sanders brings posters of Trump’s tweets to Congress


Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jan 6, 2017 10:32 AM |  Comments (9)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Digging Out? Save Your Back and Your Life. There's a Reason They Call the First Big Snowfall "The Widow Maker"

How to shovel snow the easiest & safest way! Aching back NO MORE

No bending your back. No aching back. No chiropractor.

This is how I shovel, when I need to.

No special shovels, no money to waste on half baked contraptions.

All you need is a piece of rope, or chain, or anything flexible that you attach to the lowest point of your snow shovel, or other type of shovel, or pitchfork.

Stand with your back straight and arms straight down. Load the shovel. Lift by curling your arm that is holding the rope while the other arm shoots the snow, or the sand etc., away. When shoveling upwards on steps, just shorten up your rope grip..... something you cannot do with the bent shovels.You can also shovel going downwards on steps, just lengthen your rope grip. At all times KEEP YOUR BACK STRAIGHT UP AND DOWN.
This is how I save my back, save money, and my shoveling is actually fun.

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Dec 16, 2016 10:39 AM |  Comments (11)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Boomer Anthems: "Fire all of your guns at once / And explode into space"

Get your motor runnin'
Head out on the highway
Lookin' for adventure
And whatever comes our way
Yeah Darlin' go make it happen
Take the world in a love embrace
Fire all of your guns at once
And explode into space

I like smoke and lightning
Heavy metal thunder
Racin' with the wind
And the feelin' that I'm under
Yeah Darlin' go make it happen
Take the world in a love embrace
Fire all of your guns at once
And explode into space

Like a true nature's child
We were born, born to be wild
We can climb so high
I never want to die

Born to be wild
Born to be wild

Or, as I used to say before I died, "I just wanna flash before I crash." Then, after I came back from the dead, my motto became....

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Dec 15, 2016 11:50 AM |  Comments (9)  | QuickLink: Permalink
In America, if it is worth doing it is worth overdoing.


Standing at around five feet tall, the impressive architecture was shaped with a Dremel tool. In addition to its gothic silhouette, it includes inlaid candy glass windows with intricate, hand-painted details throughout. What’s even more remarkable is the gingerbread’s structural integrity. “There’s no supports of any kind,” McConnell explains, “and everything (aside from the lights) is edible.” It took her a full month of 10 to 15 hours per day to finish..... McConnell documented the edible masterpiece in progress. Artist Sculpts Massive 5-Foot-Tall Gingerbread Castle

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Dec 14, 2016 10:53 AM |  Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Beautiful and So Very, Very, Very "Correct;" 2016 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year


The Approach, 2nd Place, Action.

An EF2 tornado bears down on a home in Wray, Colorado, on May 7, 2016. As soon as we were safe, as the tornado roared off into the distance through a field before roping out, we scrambled up the hill to check on the residents. Thankfully, everyone was all right, and we were grateful for that. As I was checking in with a young woman coming out of the basement, we became very aware of a strong new circulation right above our heads. We needed to run for cover and did so before saying a proper goodbye. # © Tori O'Shea / 2016 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year

Winners of the 2016 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year Contest - The Atlantic

Two more if you...

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Dec 12, 2016 11:44 AM |  Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Fully Automatic Glock or Hand of God? We Report. You Decide.

File under: "In America, if it's worth doing, it's worth overdoing."

Then again, if the pistol fails you there's always the fully automatic shotgun....

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Dec 11, 2016 8:33 AM |  Comments (11)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Boomer Anthems:Aquarius

"When the moon is in the seventh house...."

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Dec 7, 2016 9:27 AM |  Comments (11)  | QuickLink: Permalink

Up to November 8 it was a very stressful year. Now it's time to go and get your opossums de-stressed.

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Nov 30, 2016 6:46 PM |  Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
NBC Caught Lying About Chevrolet Trucks Exploding: Fake News? Here's some from NBC back in 1992.

"We acknowledge that the placing of the incendiary devices under the truck was a bad idea from start to finish."

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Nov 29, 2016 12:05 PM |  Comments (9)  | QuickLink: Permalink

Black Friday Zombie shoppers lined up by the hundreds at Best Buy, Target, Walmart, and other Box Box retailers. Have a look at these parasitic consumers who can't wait to buy more flatscreen televisions, tablets, and toasters, while they go deeper into credit card debt. Media analyst Mark Dice has the story

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Nov 25, 2016 12:24 PM |  Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"Scha·den·freu·de" I.... I.... I wish I knew how to quit you!

Just when I think I can take things more seriously, they pull me back in.

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Nov 14, 2016 12:50 PM |  Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
11 Minutes of Solid Schadenfreude for Your Viewing Pleasure

Scha·den·freu·de noun pleasure derived by someone from another person's misfortune.

Breathe deep the gathering gloom,
Watch lights fade from every room.
Bedsitter people look back and lament,
Another day's useless energy spent.

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Nov 13, 2016 1:21 AM |  Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Love and Loss in One Instant


Out of some subway scuttle, cell or loft
A bedlamite speeds to thy parapets,
Tilting there momently, shrill shirt ballooning,
A jest falls from the speechless caravan.

- - - Hart Crane,To Brooklyn Bridge

[A Photographer captures suicide as couple jump off 40 meter high bridge ]

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Nov 6, 2016 1:46 PM |  Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Cubs Win the World Series, Donald Trump is in the World Playoffs, and Keith Richards Lived to See Both!

Yea, verily it is said....

Inspired by the Cubs, Trump voters begin to come out to vote. Their theme?

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Nov 2, 2016 10:11 PM |  Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: Guy Dresses Up as His Dog’s Favorite Chew Toy

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Oct 31, 2016 2:20 PM |  Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The More Things Change, the More They Remain Insane: Sunset Boulevard, Beverly Hills, 1925


California Historical Society Collection, 1860-1960

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Oct 31, 2016 12:57 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
Meanwhile, in der Führerbunker: Hitler Learns the FBI Reopened the Investigation

"I'll get Bill and Anthony fixed at a group rate."

HT:Meanwhile, In The Bunker… | Western Rifle Shooters Association

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Oct 30, 2016 10:38 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
Res ipsa loquitur.

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Oct 25, 2016 9:52 PM |  Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Landscape Game [Bumped -- SPOILERS "Answers" NOW AVAILABLE]


Once Only

almost at the equator
almost at the equinox
exactly at midnight
from a ship
the full


in the center of the sky.
--- Gary Snyder, 1958

I don't remember who first played "The Landscape Game" with me. It would have been many, many years ago. I also don't remember what my answers were to the game's ten questions, but I wish I had written them down. Played once the game is played forever. Once the first answers are lost, they are lost forever.

You can only play The Landscape Game once in your life. Once you know the questions and the interpretations any chance of replying honestly and openly is gone. It is one of those things that, if you know the "solution," makes any further revelation impossible. "The Landscape Game" is true once and once only.

So no peeking by any means. There's no "win" in the game and the only player you can cheat is yourself.

Next Monday you will see why....


Posted by gerardvanderleun at Oct 17, 2016 1:49 PM |  Comments (19)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Can You Dig It?

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Oct 10, 2016 4:05 PM |  Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Roadside Distractions


Paradise, California: Neal Road between the Skyway and 99.

[Photo by MEH: October 1, 2016]

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Oct 9, 2016 1:32 PM |  Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Japanese: Nuked Too Much or Not Enough?

When you want to stay Zen but also feel your metal.

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Oct 9, 2016 10:45 AM |  Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Word of the Day Set to Music in 1931

Harry Roy & His Orchestra "My Girl's Pussy" (1931)


There's one pet I like to pet
And every evening we get set
I stroke it every chance I get
It's my girl's pussy

Seldom plays and never purrs
And I love the thoughts it stirs
But I don't mind because it's hers
My girl's pussy

Often it goes out at night
Returns at break of dawn
No matter what the weather's like
It's always nice and warm

It's never dirty, always clean
In giving thrills, never mean
But it's the best I've ever seen
Is my girl's pussy...

And then there's the current occupant of the White House.....

President Obama says, "Gotta have them ribs and pussy too!"

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Oct 8, 2016 3:32 PM |  Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Wives Are Coming!

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Oct 8, 2016 10:07 AM |  Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Anti-Trump Ad turned Pro-Trump

Flatulating "Famous Faces" fulsomely fucked. Courtesy of The Brilliant Basket of Deplorables

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Sep 26, 2016 11:06 AM |  Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Hillary Clinton Statement About 9/11

"I'm fine. Really, I'm fine. Thank you for asking. I'm fine. I am better than 100 percent."

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Sep 20, 2016 10:58 AM |  Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Paris, City of Light (September 2016)

Why take a walk on the Champs Elysees when you can take a walk on the wild side? Too bad about Paris. It had nice ideals.

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Sep 14, 2016 9:01 AM |  Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Fire on The Ridge: Even If You Live in Paradise It Can Quickly Become Hell


Up on "The Ridge", as natives refer to Paradise, California area, you don't keep a weather eye on the horizon, you keep a fire eye. This morning this was the news from my town. Cal Fire issues new round of evacuation orders, road closures as Saddle Fire burns 600 acres

The Saddle Fire, that burned throughout the night near Paradise and forced the closure of most of Pentz road and many of its cross streets, has a new round of evacuation orders in place this morning. Pentz Road remains closed from Malibu Drive to Mesilla Valley Road and all roads that connect to Pentz. Concow Road has been closed from Highway 70, which includes Jordan Hill Road, Granite Ridge Road and Deadwood Road. Pinkston Canyon Road and all roads that connect to Pinkston Canyon Road was the newest closure that was issued overnight. Nelson Bar Road also remains on the list of mandatorily evacuated areas. Evacuation warnings remains in effect this morning for Pentz Road from Malibu Drive to Canyon View Drive


This is five miles and an entire township away from my place, but you learn quickly in this town to stay informed about the position and the pace of any fire. Driving up the Skyway into Paradise I have noted at least 5 fresh spot fires by the side of the Skyway in the past week. Once I came by as Cal Fire crews were mopping up a small one. Further up the Skyway I also pass the now madrone and manzanita covered scars and burned stumps of the much more frightening 2008 Paradise fire:

74 Paradise homes destroyed by Humboldt Fire Furious winds and unusually dry conditions had fueled a fire that raced up ridgelines and surrounded the southern end of Paradise, giving this town just east of Chico its greatest threat in modern times. The flames engulfed two of the three escape routes out of Paradise - and the third was threatened as well. Firefighters ordered the evacuation of more than a third of the 26,000 residents, including a large number of retirees. With only one two-lane route out of town, it took more than two hours for residents to drive 10 miles. Some panicked. The one fatality involved an elderly woman who tried to flee even though her neighborhood wasn't being evacuated. She died of a heart attack. "The greatest fear is fire on the ridge," said Shauna Robbins, 37, who grew up in Paradise. "There's no way out. You're trapped. If the fires jump, you're in a mess."

It's a town of lava cliffs, deep ravines, and tendrils of mesas covered in dry grass and pitch pine at this season of the year. The views afforded also mean that there are, as noted above, not a lot of ways out of the town. Unlike 2008 when there were three roads out, the Skyway, which once ended at Sterling City, has been extended north east for miles to Lake Almanor, so now there are 4 escape routes. As I once did when I lived in Laguna Beach where the houses have a tendency to slide off the sides of the cliffs, I keep a "Go-Bag" in the trunk of my car. I don't think I'll need it today, but I'm keeping my fire eye on the horizon.

After all, the key part of the term "wildfire" is "wild."

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Sep 6, 2016 9:01 AM |  Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
“The intellectual irritates the civilized man, just as the adolescent irritates the adult....""


Found in the always on the mark WrathOfGnon


Posted by gerardvanderleun at Sep 5, 2016 12:41 PM |  Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Before buying a used car one should always take it for a test drive.

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Sep 2, 2016 1:04 PM |  Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Electoral Mind Maps of the United States, 2016




Posted by gerardvanderleun at Aug 26, 2016 12:02 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
The Difficulty of Ruling over a Diverse Nation (1578)

The more things change, the more they stay insane.

16th-century Dutch engraving depicting a fantastical animal with the heads of various other animals sprouting from its body: an allegory for the difficulty of ruling over a diverse nation. In the background, watching on, can be seen a small mob or leaders, both secular and religious. This work by Antwerp-based artist Pieter van der Borcht the Elder, with its image of a confused and troubled body politic, can perhaps be seen as particularly salient in regards the US presidential elections. | The Public Domain Review

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Aug 24, 2016 9:06 AM |  Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
And now a few words from our sponsor, Fiber Fix.

Fiber Fix, The Manly Man's Tape, asks 'What happens when you flip a car with a roll cage held together by duct tape?'

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Aug 20, 2016 7:43 PM |  Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
[My Slack Pages / 2013 ] Rhiannon: A Song From That Ancient World When Performances Were Not Phoned In

The Iconic Stevie Nicks in 1976: Big hair, big hips, big pipes, hot lips, and (alas) the brain of a singer. But when she turned it on she could blow up the entire building and leave everyone charred and cheering in the rubble.....

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Aug 17, 2016 10:29 AM |  Comments (24)  | QuickLink: Permalink
After the Ball Is Over: Past Olympic Sites Today

Beach Volleyball Venue, Beijing, 2008 Summer Olympics

Main Swimming Pool, Athens, 2004 Summer Olympics

Olympic Sports Complex, Sarajevo, 1984 Winter Olympics

Recently, the average cost of hosting the Olympics exceeded $5 Billion with Rio coming in at =/-$11.6 billion. Pricey, but what's money when it comes to a really fabulous venue for synchronized swimming? Images from Imgur

It wasn't always just Corinthian sports followed by urban decay, From 1912 to 1948, the Olympics awarded medals to sculptors, architects, writers and musicians, too.

“William Butler Yeats’ brother Jack won a silver medal in the 1924 Olympics... in painting,” the commenter wrote. And sure enough, a look at Olympics results history shows that Jack B. Yeats placed second in the 1924 painting event for his work “The Liffey Swim.”


Posted by gerardvanderleun at Aug 15, 2016 9:16 AM |  Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Season 3 of "This Old Nag:" Dragging Her Over the Finish Line


Well I'm about to get UPSET
From watchin' my TV
Been checkin' out the news
Until my eyeballs fail to see
I mean they say that every day
Is just another rotten mess
And when it's gonna change, my friends
Is anybody's guess

So I'm watchin' and I'm waitin'
Hopin' for the best
Even think I'll go to prayin'
Every time I hear 'em sayin'
That there's no way to delay
That trouble comin' every day
No way to delay
That trouble comin' every day

- - - The Mothers Of Invention - Trouble Every Day

Standing instructions to Hillary Handlers

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Aug 11, 2016 12:31 PM |  Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Breaking News: Bikers for Hillary are on their way to Philly

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Aug 5, 2016 8:13 AM |  Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"‘The key is in the window, the key is in the sunlight at the window"

The First Photograph:


Taken in 1826, "View from the Window at Le Gras" is the world's first photograph

View from the Window at Le Gras is a heliographic image and the oldest surviving camera photograph. It was created by Nicéphore Niépce in 1826 or 1827 at Saint-Loup-de-Varennes, France, and shows parts of the buildings and surrounding countryside of his estate, Le Gras, as seen from a high window.
Niépce captured the scene with a camera obscura focused onto a 16.2 cm × 20.2 cm (6.4 in × 8.0 in) pewter plate thinly coated with Bitumen of Judea, a naturally occurring asphalt. The bitumen hardened in the brightly lit areas, but in the dimly lit areas it remained soluble and could be washed away with a mixture of oil of lavender and white petroleum.

A very long exposure in the camera was required. Sunlight strikes the buildings on opposite sides, suggesting an exposure that lasted about eight hours, which has become the traditional estimate. A researcher who studied Niépce’s notes and recreated his processes found that the exposure must have continued for several days.

Nearly 200 years and trillions of photos later, at the nano-instant it was taken, this was The Last Photograph:


‘The key is in the window, the key is in the sunlight at the window"

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Aug 4, 2016 3:23 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
Alan Jacobs' boilerplate letter to social media services


I don't think Alan would take it amiss if you used this form letter for your own enjoyment. I do.


Someone has signed up for your service using my email address. (And, interestingly, using this name.) Please delete my email address from your database.

The email I got welcoming me to your service came from a no-reply address, so I had to go to your website and dig around until I found a contact form. I see that you require me to give you my name as well as my email address, so you're demanding that I tell you things about myself I’d rather you not know because you aren't smart enough, or don't care enough, to include one simple step in your sign-up process: Confirm that this is your email address.

This neglect is both discourteous and stupid. It’s discourteous because it effectively allows anyone who wants to spam someone else to use your service as a quick-and-easy tool for doing so. It’s stupid because then anyone so victimized will tag anything that comes from you as spam, which will eventually lead to your whole company being identified as a spammer. You’ll all be sitting around in the office saying, between chugs of Soylent, “We keep ending up in Gmail's spam filters, what’s up with that? Those idiots.”

So, again, please delete my email address from your database. And please stop being a rude dumbass, like all the other rude dumbasses to whom I have to send this message, more frequently than most people would believe.

Most sincerely yours,

my - Text Patterns - The New Atlantis

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Aug 1, 2016 9:33 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
Requiem for Ted Cruz

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jul 28, 2016 11:12 AM |  Comments (11)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Life in Kalispell: Reportedly, a drunken man shot a firework “out of his butt”


My kind of town: Where the still have a good old-fashioned 4th!

8:05 a.m. A concerned Bigfork resident reported that the neighbor has created some sort of “firework bomb” with several propane tanks. Apparently, he plans to set it off tonight.

8:22 a.m. Someone saw two elderly women drag a bear off of Highway 2 East.

9:42 a.m. A local man reported that his missing iPad notified him that it had made its way to Florida.

9:52 a.m. A Kalispell resident complained that the neighbor man has refused to clean up his firework mess.

1:57 p.m. Spastic boys in a Jeep Wrangler were seen chucking fireworks out the window as they drove down River Road.

2:43 p.m. The owner of a local ranch reported that four foreign men checked in to a room with only two queen beds. He thought this was weird.

2:46 p.m. A Kalispell man reported that the maintenance manager threatened to end his life over excessive water usage.

2:52 p.m. Someone reported that a man wearing fuzzy pajama bottoms was standing between ShopKo and Super 1, looking very “lost.”

7:02 p.m. A report was made about a local “bugler” who was shooting fireworks at “tubers” floating the river near Bigfork. He was told to knock it off.

7:15 p.m. Kids were seen tossing fireworks into the woods along Mountain Meadow Road.

8:48 p.m. A Kalispell resident reported that the fireworks in their neighborhood seem louder than the fireworks in other neighborhoods.

9:42 p.m. Reportedly, a drunken man shot a firework “out of his butt” in the direction of children who were sitting on a dock in Lakeside.

Firework Frenzy - Flathead Beacon

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jul 24, 2016 1:34 PM |  Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: "It's a Small World After All"

Made, like Porsche, in der Black Forest mit der elves.

For an inside look in great detail: Explore Der Wunderland courtesy of Google Maps. Mouse down and look around.

Wunderland's History

During the following hours, the idea of realizing a long forgotten childhood dream became vivid more and more. On the very same day, he called his twin brother Gerrit and surprised him with the following words: „We are going to build the largest model railway in the world“.

Gerrit, who is more rational and sceptical by nature, doubted Frederik’s state of mind, and didn’t take the idea too seriously. However, six phone calls later, each with Frederik in the line enthusiastically presenting new ideas about this topic, Gerrit realized that his brother was serious, indeed. So, he started to consider the project from an economical and technical point of view.

He came to the conclusion that the project is technically demanding, the economic aspect very risky, and from an entrepreneurial point of view it is plain crazy – but possible, nonetheless.

Aliens in the Wunderland

Thanks to intensive research, the Wunderland team succeeded in receiving information and documents and have recreated Area 51 in the America section. The model of AREA 51 consists of three different floors, developed from carefully crafted plexiglass and sandpaper, which form a realistic simulation of the cold, barren concrete walls of this secret research facility.

For the equipment a lot of unusual materials were used, for example:

- Star gate: Medical X-ray image viewer lamp
- Floors in the control center: Rechargeable battery inner casing
- Walls in the control center: Lamellas of a camping gas heater
- Rotor: Toothed circular saw and cable armoring
- Alien spider: Casting of a genuine spider in silver
- Control desks: Fiber optic cabling with LED lights
- Monitor: Converted MP3 Player

The Area 51 has two servo motors (star gate, UFO), an engine (rotor), and approximately 300 LEDs installed. 30 guards protect the area, in which can be found 50 researchers and technicans, along with 20 aliens and 2 robots.

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jul 24, 2016 9:23 AM |  Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
She's Baaaaaaaaack!

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jul 20, 2016 5:48 PM |  Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: Sheepview360 in the Faroe Islands

The Faroe Islands have some of the most beautiful roads in the world.

It is impossible to describe what it feels like driving through the green valleys and up the mountains, or alongside the ocean, surrounded by steep drops and tall cliffs. It’s an experience like no other. But there is a problem. Unlike almost all other parts of Europe, we don’t exist on Google Street View. The Faroe Islands may be rugged and remote but this collection of 18 islands in the North Atlantic also provide some of the world’s most magical landscapes and it is time that this hidden Nordic nation is revealed to the world. Taking matters into my own hands, I decided to create my own version of Street View – Sheep View 360.
I gently placed a 360˚ camera, powered by a solar panel, on the back of a sheep that would take photographs as the animal freely grazed the open hillsides of the Faroe Islands. Photos are then transmitted back to my mobile phone so that I can upload them to Google Street View myself, finally putting the Faroes on the map in a very unique way! But now I need your help. My sheep are great for capturing the tracks and trails of the Faroe Islands, but in order to cover the big sweeping Faroese roads and the whole of the breath-taking landscapes, we need Google to come and map them." -- Durita Dahl Andreassen
[Note: The pointers at the upper left will spin the POV around as in Google Street View.]

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jul 13, 2016 5:57 PM |  Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
This Map Shows the Average Income of the Top 1% by Location:


Taking the top spot by a long mile is Teton, Wyoming – the county home to the affluent Jackson Hole ski area, and 40.4% of the famous Yellowstone National Park. The Top 1% that live near Old Faithful are particularly well-off, making an average of $28.2 million each year! - - Full Article Here



Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jul 13, 2016 9:59 AM |  Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The New Nigerian Email Scam Is to Offer Reparations to Victims of Nigerian Email Scams

This recent addition to the spam folder pretty much closes the circle of strife:



This is to bring to your notice that I am a delegate from the US AMBASSADOR TO UNITED NATION to The IMF (International Monetary Fund) Regional Payment Office to pay 721 scam victims $1,500,000.00 USD (One Million Five Hundred Thousand Dollars only) each. You are listed and approved for this payment as one of the scammed victims to be paid this amount,respond to this mail and contact MR JOHN BROGAN in Abuja Nigeria as soon as possible for the immediate payments of your $1,500,000.00 USD*(ONE MILLION FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS) compensations funds.


[1] Full Names:...... ..
[2] Contact address:....
[3] Direct Telephone:...
[4] Country:............
[5] Occupation:.........

Phone: 2348754356576

Mrs Susan Rice

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jul 10, 2016 10:35 AM |  Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Riding the California Zephyr: A Long Lost "High Peak of Enjoyment"


"It must be the summer of 1949 and she's taking my brother and I back home to her family in Fargo for the first time. I would be almost four and he'd be two and a half. The war's been over for some time and everyone is now back home and settled in. My father's family lost a son, but -- except for some wounds -- everyone else came out all right.

"We're living in Los Angeles and her home is Fargo, North Dakota, half a continent away. So we do what you did then. We took the train. Starting in Los Angeles we went north to San Francisco where we boarded the newest form of luxury land transportation available that year, the California Zephyr.


"Out from the bay and up over the Sierras and down across the wastes until we wove our way up the spine of the Rockies and down again to the vast land sea that stretched out east in a swath of corn and wheat that I remember more than the pitched curves and plunging cliffs of the mountains.


On the Zephyr you sat in a plush chair among others in a long transparent dome at the top of the car and it seemed all Earth from horizon to the zenith flowed past you.



"There was the smell of bread and cooking in the Pullman cars that I can still capture in my mind, and the lulling rhythm of the wheels over the rails that I can still hear singing me down into sleep.


"At some point we changed trains to go north into the Fargo Station and, as we pulled into Fargo in mid-morning, my mother's family met us with their usual humble dignity -- they brought a full brass band that worked its way down through the John Philip Sousa set list with severe dedication. They also brought me more family members than there were people living on our entire block in Los Angeles. There may also have been a couple of Barbershop Quartets to serenade us during the band breaks, but I'm not sure about that. My Mother at 100 @ AMERICAN DIGEST


"Train travel once played a large and vital part of America’s passenger transportation network, but today it’s taken a back seat– all the way in the back. Rail transportation in the nation now consists primarily of freight shipments, while passenger service plays a seriously limited role compared to train travel in many other countries. By the late 1950s, America’s railroad flagship passenger services were unable to compete with airlines, and it all pretty much went downhill from there. Which is frankly, pretty sad because when they were at their best, American railways really knew just how important the glamour and elegance of travel was to the passenger experience. Streamliners were designed to reduce air resistance, offering multi-day high-speed across journeys across the country in train cars resembling luxury hotels and private clubs. Life aboard them really did seem to reach a “high peak of enjoyment” as the brochure says…." Streamliner Trains that Oozed the Elegance of Old World Travel

The observation car of the California Zephyr today.

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jul 2, 2016 4:19 PM |  Comments (13)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Bounty for Beginners

Pay attention. It will be on The Final.

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jun 30, 2016 6:35 PM |  Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Soft Language

"And we have no more old people in this country. No more old people.

We shipped them all away, and we brought in these senior citizens. Isn't that a typically American twentieth century phrase? Bloodless, lifeless, no pulse in one of them. A senior citizen. But I've accepted that one, I've come to terms with it. I know it's to stay. We'll never get rid of it. That's what they're going to be called, so I'll relax on that, but the one I do resist. The one I keep resisting is when they look at an old guy and they'll say, "Look at him Dan! He's ninety years young." Imagine the fear of aging that reveals. To not even be able to use the word "old" to describe somebody. To have to use an antonym. And fear of aging is natural. It's universal. Isn't it? We all have that. No one wants to get old. No one wants to die, but we do! So we bullshit ourselves. I started bullshitting myself when I got to my forties. As soon as I got into my forties I'd look in the mirror and I'd say, "well, I...I guess I'm getting...older." Older sounds a little better than old doesn't it? Sounds like it might even last a little longer. Bullshit, I'm getting old! And it's okay, because thanks to our fear of death in this country, I won't have to die...I'll pass away. Or I'll expire like a magazine subscription. If it happens in the hospital, they'll call it a terminal episode. The insurance company will refer to it as negative patient-care outcome. And if it's the result of malpractice, they'll say it was a therapeutic misadventure. I'm telling you, some of this language makes me want to vomit. Well, maybe not vomit. Makes me want to engage in an involuntary personal protein spill."

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jun 26, 2016 1:03 PM |  Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
SkySlide? Include Me..... Out!


Angela Cox,

takes a photo with her phone as she takes a ride down a glass slide during a media preview day at the U.S. Bank Tower building in downtown Los Angeles, on June 23, 2016. Starting this weekend, thrill-seekers can begin taking the “Skyslide,” a 1,000 feet high slide perched on the outside of the tallest skyscraper west of the Mississippi. All that separates riders from the dizzying space below is a piece of glass just 1.25 inches thick. Photos of the Week: 6/18-6/24 - The Atlantic

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jun 26, 2016 12:56 PM |  Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
A trillion here, a trillion there, pretty soon you're talking about no money.

World's debt share by country - Business Insider

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jun 26, 2016 11:02 AM |  Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Today, from Monty Python: "Never Be Rude To An Arab" The New Official Anthem of the World

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jun 20, 2016 1:34 PM |  Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Japanese: Nuked Too Much or Not Enough?

I think we've reached Peak Trump.

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jun 18, 2016 9:40 PM |  Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jun 16, 2016 1:40 PM |  Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Gearhead Special: 17 Minutes of Pure Relaxation

I really can't take much more of the "news of the day" this week so I'll just take the rest of the day off with "How to Build a 3.8L Porsche Track Monster." You can too if you choose to....

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jun 15, 2016 7:37 PM |  Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
This "Thought Leader" Will Make You Think

Self proclaimed “thought leader,” Pat Kelly gives his talk on “thought leadership” at the annual This Is That Talks in Whistler, B.C. In the seminar, Kelly covers: How to talk with your hands, how to get a standing ovation, and how to inspire people by saying nothing at all.

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jun 13, 2016 3:11 PM |  Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
“This is the stupidest idea I’ve ever had,” yelled at the top of his voice. Magnificent.

I Suspect These Are Not, I Repeat, NOT, Engineering Students

There is a kind of beauty in their farmboy practicality. It has a hint of baling wire kludge to it that I find endearing. I also love the Intertunnel for turning “Benghazi” into the term for, as the Urban Dictionary defines it: An attempt to cover a screw up so bad that it will cost you everything, then lie, get caught, & continue to lie to try & cover the lies.

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jun 7, 2016 3:00 PM |  Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
We rode Big Wheels. It was back when gods walked the Earth.

Big Wheel Keep on Turning – BSBFB

We played hockey. In the street. We played Frisbee. In the street. We played Wiffle Ball. In the Street. We played Knock-Down with our baseball cards. Against the curb. In the street. We went outside until the streetlights came on. We played lawn darts. Nobody died. We rode our bicycles everywhere without a helmet. We played baseball without uniforms. We played football without pads. We rode Big Wheels. It was back when gods walked the Earth.

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jun 6, 2016 9:03 AM |  Comments (15)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"Serving Size:" Food and Its Discontents

“Fig Newtons’ serving size? Two cookies. Who the hell eats two cookies? I eat Fig Newtons by the sleeve.”

Right now Brian Regan is my favorite stand-up comic. Endlessly funny and strongly grounded in the truth but with nary a four-letter word or cheap sex or defecation reference to be found. Truly masterful in these days when most stand-ups -- men, women, or unaffiliated freak -- simply shovel the mire of their souls from their side of the footlights to yours where you are expected to laugh at your own degradation.

Here he's taking a swipe at our current cult of food fanaticism. You know, the unquenchable lust to consume ever bizarre items that are fair-traded, organic, sustainable, local, and somehow crafted by artisans. In short stuff in bags where the BS goes on before the food goes in. Looking at some of the latest bags of BS spun into the stores by "marketing" I always wonder, "If it is this flipped out now, how can this BS still be going on ten or twenty years? Surely they can't continue to find new food items on a planet that's been explored for food from the high-mountain meadows to the Mariana Trench."

But of course they can. Absent a long overdue incineration of the planet the marketing droids will be showing up for their jobs day in and day out until the last ding-dong of doom and coming up with fresh BS for the same tired crapola.

I was reminded of this yesterday while making my way through Trader Joes and pausing at the "New Items" shelves. I'm always window-shopping but never stopping to buy at the "New Items" shelves, but I do find them to be an interesting place to track how the secretive, neo-German and almost fascist Trader Joes company is coming in the endless realm of product extension. I was not disappointed.

They were clustered on their own New Items shelf and clad in bright, gleaming, shimmering orange foil packets. They were the "Crispy Jeju Mandarin Orange Slices -- Nothing Added -- 1 oz." Oh frabjuous day!


Picking up the package I knew instantly of the truth of the hot marketing phrase "Nothing Added." At one ounce the package itself felt as if there were nothing in it at all; just puffed foil. Shaking it, however, there was a faint rustle as if the freeze-dried ghost of an orange's shadow was trapped within and whispering to be released.

Intrigued by this shiny package and its come-on blather about the contents within being fashioned from some rare orange grown only on the graves of ancient sacrificed virgins on some desolate island off the coast of Korea, I made a move to put the bag in my cart. But then I saw something that made me freeze:


Yes, $3.29. Three. Dollars. And. Twenty. Nine. Cents. For. One. Ounce. Or, to put it another way, just a hair above $52.00 a pound. For oranges. For oranges without the orange juice. For a slice of citrus dust. Crunch. Poof. Gone.

Yummy, yummy, yummy,
I've got dust in my tummy!

It's highly unlikely that I will be around in 20 years to marvel at whatever ramped-up BS the "marketing" droids come up with to sell new slices of crap to old palates. In a way, that's fortunate. At that point all food will be at $20 a bite, a serving size will be one dried slice, it will take a half an hour to read the FDA warning label, and your personal government overseer will give you an hour's exam to see if you've understood the label before you will be allowed to taste it.

Oh brave new world that has such dried up fruits in it!

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jun 5, 2016 7:40 PM |  Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: Millennial song

HT: Morgan's Wife.

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jun 4, 2016 6:45 PM |  Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Evidence of Things Not Seen 2

Anti-Trump protesters surround one woman and throw eggs at her head and watermelon straight into her face. These anti-Trump protesters are much worse than the Wisconsin protesters. They have devolved into outright violence, including mob attacks on lone individuals.

The 128 foot wide telescope mirror: Europe's staggeringly large telescope project takes a step forward An astronomy organization consisting of 15 European countries, as well as Chile and Brazil, has signed a ($450 million) contract to move forward with the construction of a large dome and structure to support a massive optical telescope that will have a 39-meter wide main mirror.

Extra AOL CD's also used as coasters: U.S. is still using floppy disks to run its nuclear program - That's according to a new report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), which found that the Pentagon was still using 1970s-era computing systems that require "eight-inch floppy disks."

Really? Who could have guessed? A Major Malaise of Climatology is Pervasive in Science |

In Search For Cures, Scientists Create Embryos That Are Both Animal And Human : "We're not trying to make a chimera just because we want to see some kind of monstrous creature," says Pablo Ross, a reproductive biologist at the University of California, Davis. "We're doing this for a biomedical purpose." Yeah, right.

Zoom! Experimental hypersonic craft hits Mach 7.5 = 5,700 miles per hour.

How a Single Car, Inadvertently Braking, Causes a Traffic Jam You always knew it was that geezer in front of you!

Boring: World's longest railway tunnel in Switzerland will travel at 155mph for 35 miles Travel times between Zurich and Milan will be down to two hours and forty minutes, roughly an hour quicker than current times

Could There Be A Fifth Fundamental Force Of Nature?

The World’s Largest Solar Plant Just Torched Itself Mistaeks wur maid.

Drone Catches Incredible 70-Shark Feeding Frenzy

Oh my, totally didn't see that coming! Obamacare's 13th Co-Op Is Closing. Why More Could Follow.

Peak Whiteman: The lavish life of the 'preppiest man on Instagram' Kiel James Patrick |

The Envelope Please.... The Worst Airport in the U.S. for Delays Is... The worst airport, by this measure, is Newark Liberty International Airport, with a misery score of 95, earned by having the lowest on time ranking, being among the five worst for on-time departures, and ranking in the ten worst for getting planes to the gate at their scheduled arrival time. New York’s other two airports—LaGuardia and JFK—didn’t fare much better with a score of 94, a dubious metric they share with Chicago O’Hare.

On your mark, get set, bang! Beware what you wish for: Russia is ready for war If push comes to nuclear shove, the S-400 and especially the S-500 anti-missile missiles would block all incoming US ICBMs, cruise missiles and stealth aircraft. Offensive drones would be blocked by drone defenses. The S-500 practically consigns to the dustbin stealth warplanes such as the F-22, F-35 and the B-2.

[HT: Remus and BirdDog ]

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jun 3, 2016 10:44 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
Why the New BBC Top Gear Will Fail Without The Talent of the Old Top Gear

Meanwhile, at the lame replacement foisted on the audience by the BBC: What The Hell, Top Gear?  At one point, three quarters into the film, LeBlanc’s voice-over said “Morale had hit rock bottom.” Keep in mind, this wasn’t in regards to the presenters crossing impossibly harsh deserts or digging cars out of stinky mud ruts for hours. This was in in reference to driving two cars from one British city to another via a goddamn highway. They get to Blackpool under an archway that says “Welcome To LeBlancpool” and the film ends.

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jun 2, 2016 6:00 PM |  Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Civilizational Death Dance

Brannon asks what could be the burning question of the century: How could an entire generation get so cucked to give their entire nation & values away like this.


Via | Chateau Heartiste

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jun 2, 2016 9:09 AM |  Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Florida. On one hand, no personal income tax. On the other hand....

Posted by gerardvanderleun at May 31, 2016 5:04 PM |  Comments (13)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Think the Grand Canyon's "Grand"? Naw, THIS is a "Grand Canyon"


Mars will look good in Earth's skies over the next few days -- but not this good.

To get a view this amazing, a spacecraft had to actually visit the red planet. Running across the image center, though, is one the largest canyons in the Solar System. Named Valles Marineris, the grand valley extends over 3,000 kilometers long, spans as much as 600 kilometers across, and delves as much as 8 kilometers deep. By comparison, the Earth's Grand Canyon in Arizona, USA is 800 kilometers long, 30 kilometers across, and 1.8 kilometers deep. The origin of the Valles Marineris remains unknown, although a leading hypothesis holds that it started as a crack billions of years ago as the planet cooled. Several geologic processes have been identified in the canyon. The featured mosaic was created from over 100 images of Mars taken by Viking Orbiters in the 1970s. Tomorrow, Mars and Earth will pass the closest in 11 years, resulting in the red planet being quite noticeable toward the southeast after sunset. APOD: 2016 May 29 - Valles Marineris: The Grand Canyon of Mars

Posted by gerardvanderleun at May 30, 2016 5:50 PM |  Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: An Unseen World

“An Unseen World” is an award winning short film by Paul Rosolie that captures the remarkable biodiversity in the Amazon Rainforest. The film weaves together camera trap footage taken on an Amazon Rainforest tributary located in the Madre de Dios region of Peru.

Posted by gerardvanderleun at May 28, 2016 9:28 AM |  Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Evidence of Things Not Seen

Breathtaking Landscapes of Guilin, China by Kyon.J


Posted by gerardvanderleun at May 27, 2016 2:35 PM |  Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Slop Thickens

Posted by gerardvanderleun at May 22, 2016 9:18 AM |  Comments (18)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Rich and Strange: “DARTH BY DARTHWEST”

You will not be sorry should you chose to

Posted by gerardvanderleun at May 19, 2016 10:45 PM |  Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink

Posted by gerardvanderleun at May 10, 2016 7:24 AM |  Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The First Rule of Knight Fight Club is Don't Fall Down


"For Damion DiGrazia, joining the Air Force, graduating from Harvard and Columbia and putting together a lucrative career as a management consultant at a top investment bank in Manhattan wasn’t enough.

He had one more, slightly less conventional item for the bucket list. When this Sunday school teacher isn’t spreading the Good Word, he prefers a metal fist to the teeth. DiGrazia is the captain of the New York chapter of the Armored Combat League — a sort of medieval fight club whose members smash the hell out of each other while dressed like attendees of the Red Wedding in Game of Thrones. “This is a sport that requires passion,” he explains. “Because there’s no responsible way to do it.” "

10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
- - Ephesians 6

Posted by gerardvanderleun at May 8, 2016 7:40 AM |  Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
I fly 747s for a living. Here are the amazing things I see every day


3) The weight of a plane is the main variable in how it feels to fly

I'm occasionally asked if one 747 feels the same as another. It does. But the feel of a plane changes with its weight. And the weight of a jet varies greatly, both between flights and during a flight. A 747 flying from the East Coast to London — with not many customers on board, say, and not too many boxes of lobsters or advanced medical equipment (if we're departing from Boston!) in the cargo holds, and with the fuel tanks only a third full for this relatively short flight — seems to practically jump off the runway, and it's light to the touch once we're in the sky. On the other hand, a fully loaded jet leaving Singapore for a long flight to London, with enough fuel to fight the winter headwinds the whole way, takes much more power and runway to get airborne, and it has a pleasant, quite stately feel in our hands.

4) There are rivers in the sky

It's easy to forget, when you're in your backyard under clear skies on a windless day, that the world above you is almost certainly in motion. Indeed, in an airliner at high altitude, it's a very rare moment when the weathervane-like digital pointer on our main navigation screen indicates no wind at all. Through this already-moving landscape of air cut the jet streams — vast, racing rivers, howling, if only we could hear them, at 100 or 200 miles per hour or more. These jet streams strengthen or weaken; they migrate and twist over the planet. I'm a fan of the maritime world and of its charming echoes in the aeronautical realm (think of terms like deck, air-liner, purser, port and starboard…) And so I find it endlessly pleasing that as the winds and currents shaped the journeys of ships in the old days, similarly today, over the Atlantic, pilots routinely sail hundreds of miles out of their way to avoid a headwind, or to catch a tailwind that will speed us across the sea.
In my book I speculate a little on how culture and mythology might have accounted for the jet streams, if only we could see them. Although they're among the most physically dramatic phenomena on earth, they were all but unknown to us until the age of aviation. How might we have worshipped them, or beaten drums to summon or scatter them, if they were a prominent feature of the daylight sky? Or if these air-rivers' remarkably clean-cut edges or shimmering, racing depths were somehow visible at night? At the very least, I suggest, we would have named them. Maybe someday we will.
[RDWT AT . - Mark Vanhoenacker @ Vox]

Posted by gerardvanderleun at May 6, 2016 12:31 PM |  Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Kid of the Month: “I shot through the hamper he was carrying,” Chris Gaither said. "It went straight through the back of his leg. He started crying like a little baby."

11-year-old protects Talladega home against intruder

Posted by gerardvanderleun at May 6, 2016 12:22 PM |  Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
One Tab Tuesday


Say Goodbye to Your Mind

In order to be an effective persuader, you must embrace the idea that common sense is an illusion. And you must understand that humans rarely (if ever) do anything because of logic and reason. The part of us we consider rational is in reality a rationalizer. Your mind is creating little movies in which you are the star.

Should Flogging Be Reinstated As A Criminal Punishment?

Individuals answer to incentives. Rewards and punishments are an important guide in daily life. Today, prison is a deterrent for normal, civilized persons, but it has long ceased to be for those who dwell in a thug culture. Thugs boast about their condemnations as if they were something to be proud of.

If Mark Twain had been a blogger....

As 1906 began, he hit upon a system that finally produced a vast manuscript of more than half a million words: he hired a brilliant stenographer, Josephine Hobby, and he abandoned all thought of chronology, preferring simply to tell a tale, which reminded him of a story, which reminded him of a person, which reminded him of an adventure, which reminded him of a funny anecdote, all of which the talented Hobby would capture in full flow, complete with the pace and rhythm of Mark Twain the glorious and legendary raconteur. Brian Doyle delves into Twain’s autobiographic treasure trove

This is the story of a man who tried to capture the world, and really wanted us to listen.

Thrown into this avant-garde who's-who, Teibel could have been starstruck. Instead, out angling his microphone at the Brighton Beach surf, he got seastruck. Teibel’s roving mind craved a magnet—he loved his sleepless city, but it was no good for calming down, or corralling his thoughts. Even his hobbies had lost some luster. After years of manipulating noise for fun, he told a friend, he suddenly "found it hard to do anything pleasant" with it.
The sea sounds, though, were easy to love. Taken back to his Manhattan apartment and looped on repeat, they were even better. They quieted his mind. They helped him concentrate. They did something plain old human music couldn't.  The Man Who Recorded, Tamed and Then Sold Nature Sounds to America

Posted by gerardvanderleun at May 3, 2016 1:06 AM |  Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Brigadoon Trailer Park: I could be trailer trash in this mobile home park REAL easy....


"A perfect summer day, sunny and warm in the Owens River Valley.

We stumbled across this trailer court in either Lone Pine or Independence & have not been able to find it since....we've certainly looked. Wouldn't it be cool to have a place that is 'just big enough'....? get rid of that big house that's such a drag to clean & maintain. Maybe we passed through a time warp or something, wish we could've stayed there. Emma Paperclip at Flickr

Posted by gerardvanderleun at May 2, 2016 7:07 PM |  Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
#TrigglyPuff: This is What a Social Justice Warrior Looks Like


What #TrigglyPuff Means : The Other McCain

The phenomenon of #TrigglyPuff — Cora Segal, the angry feminist who disrupted an event at the University of Massachusetts this week — deserves extended analysis, and I’ve got a 4,000-word draft in queue, awaiting the final touches. Spending two days analyzing the social significance of this comedic phenomenon was perhaps too much, but that’s my job. You need someone to totally overthink it? I’m available.

Anyway, while working on that brain-straining endeavor, it dawned on me what a small world radical feminism actually is. Cora Segal became notorious in March 2014 for a “Fat Justice” event at Swarthmore College that I blogged about, and here she is two years later, notorious again.

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Apr 30, 2016 8:57 PM |  Comments (10)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Age-Activated Attention Deficit Disorder AKA Just Another Average Day At My Place
Posted by gerardvanderleun at Apr 29, 2016 4:50 PM |  Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Be It Ever So Humble: A Cottage for Sale: 1936

September 1936. "House for sale in Manchester, New Hampshire." - - | Shorpy

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Apr 26, 2016 7:34 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
G2E Media GmbH

5-Minute Arguments
American Studies
Analog World
Art Within America
Bad Americans
Blather & Spew
Blodder Award
Click-Pix: Blogs on a Roll
Coasts & Heartland
Connect the DotComs
Critical Mass
Culture & Civilization
Drool-Cup Award
Enemies, Foreign & Domestic
Essays & Items
Fish Barrel Bang
Frequently Answered Questions
Global Reach
Grace Notes
Heroes & Hustlers
Intellectually Insane
Issues & Episodes
Its the Law
Letters from Home
Letters Never Sent
Mass Distractions
Military Affairs
Mondo Bizarro
Moving Images
My Back Pages
Myths & Texts
News to Me
Nota Bene
Obsessed & Confused
On the Land
Patriot Gains
Pinhead Punditry
Political Corrections
Political Pablum
Pure Opinion
Pure Products of America
Quisling Corner
Reportage Redux
Rumors: Substantiated & Otherwise
Science Made Stupid
Site Notes
Sites Unseen
Space Patrol
Squawking Points
The Americans
These Just In
Thinking Right
Tinfoil Brigade
Truth @ Slant
Under Review
Useful Idiots
What's Just So Wrong With This Picture?
Word Forge


Warning: include(): http:// wrapper is disabled in the server configuration by allow_url_include=0 in /home/boswell/public_html/mt-archives/cat_driveby.php on line 2685

Warning: include( failed to open stream: no suitable wrapper could be found in /home/boswell/public_html/mt-archives/cat_driveby.php on line 2685

Warning: include(): Failed opening '' for inclusion (include_path='.:/usr/lib/php:/usr/local/lib/php') in /home/boswell/public_html/mt-archives/cat_driveby.php on line 2685