Comments or suggestions: Gerard Van der Leun


Meanwhile in Japan the Genetic Damage from Radiation Goes On and On and On and On and....

World Order: "Have a Nice Day"

This one goes out to any space aliens that are even thinking about invading the Earth.

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Apr 21, 2014 1:21 AM |  Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Benton Performance

Because I love seeing '66 911s moving on tarmac.

John Benton has been passionately restoring, racing and maintaining Porsches

since the moment he bought his first 912 in 1984. With Benton Performance, he's created a distinct approach to Porsche restoration which keeps true to the original while pushing the famed german engineering to even greater heights.

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Apr 16, 2014 5:20 PM |  Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Deep Pings

The depth of the problem -as illustrated in the Washington Post: After an Australian vessel, Ocean Shield, again detected deep-sea signals consistent with those from an airplane’s black box, the official leading a multination search expressed hope Wednesday that crews will begin to find wreckage of a missing Malaysian airliner “within a matter of days.”

“I believe we’re searching in the right area,” Retired Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston said.
Yeah. Right. Here's the beginning, only the beginning, of where that box might, we repeat, might be....


It goes on down, very far down, from there. As you can see HERE.

[HT: Morgan]

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Apr 10, 2014 10:05 AM |  Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
This is going out as a deeply felt "Thank you" to all those at Swedish Medical that made yesterday so memorable....

with a very special shout out to the anestheologist who made me completely forget all the detailsthis stirring memoir by David (I got one too) Barry;

You know you're supposed to get a colonoscopy. But you haven't. Here are your reasons: 1. You've been busy. 2. You don't have a history of cancer in your family. 3. You haven't noticed any problems. 4. You don't want a doctor to stick a tube 17,000 feet up your butt.
Let's examine these reasons one at a time. No, wait, let's not. Because you and I both know that the only real reason is No. 4. This is natural. The idea of having another human, even a medical human, becoming deeply involved in what is technically known as your ''behindular zone'' gives you the creeping willies.
I know this because I am like you, except worse. I yield to nobody in the field of being a pathetic weenie medical coward. I become faint and nauseous during even very minor medical procedures, such as making an appointment by phone. It's much worse when I come into physical contact with the medical profession. More than one doctor's office has a dent in the floor caused by my forehead striking it seconds after I got a shot.....
My friend the doctor the colonoscopy procedure to me in a thorough, reassuring and patient manner. I nodded thoughtfully, but I didn't really hear anything he said, because my brain was shrieking, quote, ``HE'S GOING TO STICK A TUBE 17,000 FEET UP YOUR BUTT!''....
On the day before my colonoscopy, I began my preparation. In accordance with my instructions, I didn't eat any solid food that day; all I had was chicken broth, which is basically water, only with less flavor. Then, in the evening, I took the MoviPrep. You mix two packets of powder together in a one-liter plastic jug, then you fill it with lukewarm water. (For those unfamiliar with the metric system, a liter is about 32 gallons.) Then you have to drink the whole jug. This takes about an hour, because MoviPrep tastes -- and here I am being kind -- like a mixture of goat spit and urinal cleanser, with just a hint of lemon.
MoviPrep is a nuclear laxative. I don't want to be too graphic, here, but: Have you ever seen a space shuttle launch? This is pretty much the MoviPrep experience, with you as the shuttle. There are times when you wish the commode had a seat belt. You spend several hours pretty much confined to the bathroom, spurting violently. You eliminate everything. And then, when you figure you must be totally empty, you have to drink another liter of MoviPrep, at which point, as far as I can tell, your bowels travel into the future and start eliminating food that you have not even eaten yet.
.....When everything was ready, Eddie wheeled me into the procedure room, where Andy was waiting with a nurse and an anesthesiologist. I did not see the 17,000-foot tube, but I knew Andy had it hidden around there somewhere. I was seriously nervous at this point. Andy had me roll over on my left side, and the anesthesiologist began hooking something up to the needle in my hand. There was music playing in the room, and I realized that the song was Dancing Queen by Abba. I remarked to Andy that, of all the songs that could be playing during this particular procedure, Dancing Queen has to be the least appropriate.

Which is, as far as I can tell, pretty much how it went for me. I think. After I woke up and was taken home by a dear friend it took me about ten more hours to remember that I didn't remember I woke up and was taken home by a dear friend. As for the aftermath, well, we'll see. But for now just let me stay that with that procedure behind me I am again sitting pretty. And not in the smallest room in my house.

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Apr 9, 2014 9:59 AM |  Comments (21)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Signs of Spring



Posted by gerardvanderleun at Apr 5, 2014 10:55 AM |  Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Big Daddy Vlad would like to send this one out to Barry

The wind in the willow played
Love's sweet melody
But all of those vows we made
Were never to be

Though we're apart, you're part of me still,
For you were my thrill on Blueberry Hill.

Clapping along with Vlad in 2010 we have those lovely Americans Sharon Stone, Goldie Hawn, Mickey Rourke, Kevin Costner, and Kurt Russell.

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Apr 2, 2014 7:42 PM |  Comments (15)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Will Brooke for Congress: Watch him put a full clip through Obamacare

An Alabama congressional candidate uses a .40 Glock pistol, a .270 Cooper rifle and an AR-15 to destroy a copy of the Obamacare bill in a new video released by his campaign.

The message in candidate Will Brooke’s video, shared first with The Daily Caller on Wednesday, is clear: Republicans have been successful in taking shots at Obamacare, but it’s going to take “more extreme measures” to get rid of it. - - The Daily Caller

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Mar 27, 2014 7:08 PM |  Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
That Was the Winter That Was

Satellite Time-Lapse Movie Shows U.S. East Coast Snowy Winter | NASA "The once-per-day imagery creates a stroboscopic slide show of persistent brutal winter weather," said Dennis Chesters of the NASA/NOAA GOES Project at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. who created the animation.
To create the video and imagery, NASA/NOAA's GOES Project takes the cloud data from NOAA's GOES-East satellite and overlays it on a true-color image of land and ocean created by data from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer, or MODIS, instrument that flies aboard NASA's Aqua and Terra satellites. Together, those data created the entire picture of the storm and show its movement. After the storm system passes, the snow on the ground becomes visible.

According to NOAA's National Weather Service (NWS), as of the first day of spring Washington, D.C. had received 30.3 inches of snow for the 2013-2014 winter season. Washington's average winter snowfall is 15.3 inches, so the snowfall for the Nation's Capital was almost double that, exceeding it by 15.0 inches. An early spring snow on March 25 is expected to add to that total.
Further north in Boston, Mass. snowfall totals were even higher. The NWS reported that since July 1, 2013, 58.6 inches of snow had fallen in Boston. The average snowfall is 40.8 inches, so Boston was 17.8 inches over normal snowfall.

The big snow story this winter has been across the Great Lakes region which has also seen record amounts of snowfall. According to NWS in Buffalo, the city has received 121.7 inches, or more than 10 feet of snow, as of March 24. Chicago has received 80 inches of snow which is more than double their annual snowfall amount of 34.4 inches.

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Mar 27, 2014 1:16 PM |  Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Because Leningrad cowboys & Red Army Choir

In the future everyone will be Russian for fifteen minutes.

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Mar 26, 2014 12:56 PM |  Comments (19)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Campaign Poster: Hillary 2016

If you know anything about the artist, S. Weasel you know you do not want to click the "Continued" link below to see the poster. No, really, you do not want to do it. Trust me. Have I ever steered you wrong before? Horseman, stay thy clicking hand. Just keep scrolling on. Nothing to see here. No.... no.... mustn't.... mustn't....

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Mar 26, 2014 10:09 AM |  Comments (14)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something All Too Typical: "This Is a Generic Brand Video"

Behold this homage to our modern mountain of bullshit.

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Mar 25, 2014 3:16 PM |  Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
My list of Pols who need this skill used on them probably overlaps your list.

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Mar 25, 2014 12:15 PM |  Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"Guilty.... but with an explantion."

"A Russian father and his baby daughter are having a seriously heated discussion.

The little girl most likely only understands a few of the words, and she can’t reproduce them coherently, because she’s a baby. She can, however, reproduce the cadence, emphasis, and body language to an amazing degree, which is adorable. If I understood what she was arguing about, she’d have me convinced." A Father Daughter Debate - Neatorama

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Mar 23, 2014 7:51 PM |  Comments (15)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Subterranean Anagram Blues

Even Bob has his off days.

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Mar 22, 2014 11:42 AM |  Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Frozen City


Most New Yorkers spent this past winter complaining about the harsh weather.

George Steinmetz took on a more ambitious project: photographing the snowbound city from the seat of a two-person piston-powered helicopter. Steinmetz and his pilot, Dennis Weaver, took multiple trips around the tri-state area, departing from Caldwell Airport, in Fairfield, New Jersey, at dawn. Over Coney Island, the Bronx, Bayonne, and Staten Island, Steinmetz photographed the subway yards, cemeteries, and athletic fields below. As Lauren Collins wrote in her Profile of Steinmetz, from 2010, “Taking aerial photographs is, in a way, like metal detecting—a hunt for treasure invisible from the earth’s surface.” - - | The New Yorker

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Mar 21, 2014 7:52 PM |  Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
CNN Goes Full Racist on Flight 370. Blames Black Holes

CNN’s Don Lemon: ‘Is It Preposterous’ to Think a Black Hole Caused Flight 370 to Go Missing? | Mediaite Mary Schiavo, a former Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Transportation, said, “A small black hole would suck in our entire universe, so we know it’s not that.” [I don't know Schiavo's personal experience with black holes but with that "observation" she takes the Gold for biggest ignoramus to date in this whole fiasco.]

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Mar 19, 2014 11:10 PM |  Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: Superman With a GoPro

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Mar 17, 2014 5:40 PM |  Comments (0)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Comcast: The Company That Doesn't....

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Mar 17, 2014 11:50 AM |  Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"Light up a Lucky, it's light up time. Be happy, go Lucky, it's light up time. For the taste that you like light up a Lucky Strike.... Relax. It's light up time."

Untitled (100 Cigarettes) from Wyatt Burns


Posted by gerardvanderleun at Mar 5, 2014 10:41 AM |  Comments (16)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Coming Soon to a Pizza Hut Near You

"And on the pedestal, these words appear:
My name is Pizzahutdias, King of Kings;
Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away."

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Mar 3, 2014 10:03 PM |  Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Presenting the Future: From 2014 AD Until One Hundred Quintillion AD

Life is short but lunch is long ... plan ahead.: The Timeline of the far future.


I don't know about you but I'm not keen to stick around until May 3, 7138 AD for the second Mayan endtimes. I couldn't bear having to sit through the John Cusack sequel.

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Mar 3, 2014 9:10 PM |  Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Carnival 2014

Rio and points elsewhere: Around the World - In Focus New Orleans needs to up its game.

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Mar 3, 2014 1:04 PM |  Comments (0)  | QuickLink: Permalink
New York -- "Hell, with good restaurants"-- Now with Muppets Too!

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Mar 2, 2014 11:08 AM |  Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Academy Awards Live From Kiev

Ukraine is game to you?

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Mar 2, 2014 8:39 AM |  Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
On the Lam: "I can't go back!"

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Feb 28, 2014 11:19 AM |  Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Boob Belt Fever: The Movie

Why this masterpiece isn't up for the Oscars is beyond me. Michelle Obama's Mirror:

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Feb 27, 2014 5:51 PM |  Comments (14)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Mummy, I could have done that







Peter and Jane go to a modern art gallery.

In one room there is an old master that has been defaced with a giant penis; in another a canvas scrawled with the words ‘Why did you f**k me and leave???’ hangs on the wall; in another there is nothing at all. “There is nothing in the room because God is dead”, says mummy. “Oh dear,” says Peter. - - The Independent

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Feb 25, 2014 10:47 AM |  Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"Up in the mornin' and out to school...."

Want a Career in Weed? Enroll at Cannabis University: VICE: What made you start a cannabis university?
Jeremy Bufford: Well, honestly, it was a way for us to be a first mover in the space, because we won’t be able to actually operate our treatment centers and our laboratory facility until mid-to-late 2015. We have the opportunity from now until then to operate under our business name to go ahead and brand ourselves as the trusted place to get your education around medical cannabis.

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Feb 21, 2014 11:59 AM |  Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The State vs The People: Kiev's Independence Square: Before & After

Detail. Full picture after the jump.

[ By the way, for those Americans worried about the coast-to-coast SWATification and militarization of American police forces..... well, move along.... nothing to see here:]

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Feb 20, 2014 10:10 AM |  Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Reasons to Go Back to Space: Kate Upton in Zero-G


Management suggests full screen mode when viewing the video after the jump. This in order to examine the more critical elements of this very scientific experiment.

For more details please pursue your scientific studies at Swimsuit 2014 - Kate Upton Zero Gravity - Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2014 -

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Feb 18, 2014 7:53 PM |  Comments (14)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Danger Close: In case just about every one in America has forgotten (and they have), there's a war on.

And --as in all wars -- Mistaeks kan bee maid.

FUNKER530 » Military Videos & Veteran Community » 500 Pound Bomb Dropped on U.S. Soldiers By Mistake – INTERVIEW

Paktika Province, Afghanistan – After spotting Taliban forces on a distant ridge line, U.S. Army mortar teams engage with 60mm mortars. A simultaneous airstrike is called in which accidentally drops a 500 pound bomb on a U.S. Army infantry outpost, mistaking the position for Taliban fighters.
Luckily there were no friendly casualties in this incident. It is still unclear what caused the pilot to target the wrong position.


Q: What events led up to this bomb drop, and what was going through your mind after the bomb hit?

A: We had been taking harassing sniper fire for a little over a month and could not find out where this guy was, so we were up in the OP, took a few rounds and battalion heard we were in a TIC. Then about a minute prior to being cleared hot we heard they were in route. We heard weapons free, they told us to get small, and I replied with “Yeah, I get small” sarcastically, and then it landed about 15m behind us.

Honestly we had dropped so many bombs up to that point that the thought never even crossed my mind that this could even happen, especially with all the checks put into place. About a half second before impact you could hear the bomb screaming in like I hadn’t ever heard before, and I definitely knew at that point something was off. After the initial realization that it had hit behind us, we were so scatter brained trying to figure out what happened. It hit so close to the guys in the tower it actually knocked the fill out of radios.

Then we went up to check on the rest of the boys. Luckily our First Sergeant called up and put everyone on stand to, inadvertently saving the lives of at least 3 soldiers who would have been in the bay that had shrapnel sent through every inch of it including shearing holes into weapons. Once the smoke had cleared and we realized that no one was seriously injured, we were just sitting there in awe as the anger started to build.

If it hadn’t been for the decision of the First Sergeant to bring everyone to “stand to”, three of our guys would have died in that wood building. His decision saved three of our men.

It is still unknown how this mistake happened or why the friendly location was mistakenly targeted.

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Feb 18, 2014 6:57 PM |  Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Dont Tell Mummy!

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Feb 16, 2014 6:57 PM |  Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Cavalcade of Dunces: One of those rare moments when judicious use of a firing squad could improve just about everything in the nation.

Left to Right: Joe Nocera, Thomas L. Friedman, Arthur Sulzberger Jr., Carmen Reinhart, Andrew Rosenthal, Paul Krugman

Another former Times writer, someone who has gone on to great success elsewhere, expressed similar contempt (and even used the word “embarrass”) and says it’s longstanding.

“I think the editorials are viewed by most reporters as largely irrelevant, and there’s not a lot of respect for the editorial page. The editorials are dull, and that’s a cardinal sin. They aren’t getting any less dull. As for the columnists, Friedman is the worst. He hasn’t had an original thought in 20 years; he’s an embarrassment. He’s perceived as an idiot who has been wrong about every major issue for 20 years, from favoring the invasion of Iraq to the notion that green energy is the most important topic in the world even as the financial markets were imploding. Then there’s Maureen Dowd, who has been writing the same column since George H. W. Bush was president.” The Tyranny and Lethargy of the Times Editorial Page

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Feb 16, 2014 4:17 PM |  Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"Life is a vortex, not just rotation"

Strap in and pre-deploy the airbags. It's a wild ride.

What had that flower to do with being white,
The wayside blue and innocent heal-all?
What brought the kindred spider to that height,
Then steered the white moth thither in the night?
What but design of darkness to appall?--
If design govern in a thing so small.

- - Design by Robert Frost

[ True North: The helical model - our solar system is a vortex]

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Feb 16, 2014 10:29 AM |  Comments (9)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Lemons. Lemonade Snowcones.

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Feb 14, 2014 6:35 PM |  Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Harvester Head: There's a metaphor in this, but I'm not sure what it is.

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Feb 13, 2014 5:26 PM |  Comments (19)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Plot? Story? Moral? Who Cares?

The Monkey King: The simple story of a Buddhist monk's pilgrimage to India to collect religious texts.

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Feb 13, 2014 4:32 PM |  Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The $12,000 Dress That Is "Bigger Than the President of France"

Any smaller and MO could conceal him on her person.

Michelle Obama wears '$12,000' Carolina Herrera dress at White House state dinner | Mail Online Michelle Obama chose Venezuelan-American designer, Carolina Herrera, for the gown she wore Tuesday to the state dinner honoring French President Francois Hollande.

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Feb 12, 2014 11:45 AM |  Comments (23)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Thin Ice: Attention Texas, Alabama, Georgia and Points South


How to Survive Falling Through the Ice: An Illustrated Guide

If you live in a place where snowy and icy winters are the norm, you know the dangers of falling through the ice. And this guide is especially pertinent for those areas of the country where freezing weather only visits sporadically. When frigid temps descend for a short time upon a location that’s not used to seeing them, people, especially children, are apt to go out exploring their neighborhood ponds and reservoirs. As you can imagine, this creates a danger because the cold weather hasn’t been around long enough to create ice strong enough to walk on. That very scenario has happened here in Tulsa this winter, where two young men, in separate accidents, both drowned when venturing out onto a thinly-frozen creek and pond.

On the other hand....

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Feb 12, 2014 11:24 AM |  Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Drifting Away

123 layers. Embiggened after the jump

Photographer Erik Johansson

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Feb 11, 2014 12:06 PM |  Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Dennis Miller Solves the Deficit

HT: Kathy Shaidle+

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Feb 11, 2014 10:10 AM |  Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Gigapixel ArtZoom of Seattle


Somewhere inside this Gigapixel ArtZoom are these (and many more). Seek them out.


Beginning on a brilliant sunny day in October, we climbed up to the roof to capture our first panorama using a Canon digital SLR camera, a professional 400mm lens, and a Gigapan robotic tripod head. We captured two half panoramas from opposite corners of the roof because no single spot had a perfect view in all directions (this explains the seams you see). All together, the full panorama consists of 2,368 twenty-two-megapixel images. : About

HT: Mumblix Grumph

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Feb 9, 2014 7:30 PM |  Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Turn Backwards, Turn Backwards, Time in Thy Delta Flight

Delta's 1980's themed In-Flight Safety Video

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Feb 9, 2014 7:13 PM |  Comments (0)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Jay Leno Tonight is No More, But Jay Leno's Garage Endures

Jay Leno: "Randy, you always go up to Oregon and smoke something and come back with these fabulous looking vehicles...." - - Jay Leno's Garage

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Feb 9, 2014 5:19 PM |  Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
D'oh the Shitcave! AKA "Lawine Pill Moos Passeier Beibach Pillerstrasse with english subtitle"


You know how you always wanted to know what to say during a massive Swiss avalanche? Here's your chance....

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Feb 8, 2014 8:38 AM |  Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
What if Buying Coffee Was Like Buying ObamaCare?

Via House of Eratosthenes

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Feb 6, 2014 9:09 AM |  Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Death Wish at 40


This movie packed a powerful reminder:

no matter how much incessant propaganda tries to make people believe a lie, one perfectly-packaged dose of truth is enough to make it all go away. --

Paul Kersey: Nothing to do but cut and run, huh? What else? What about the old American social custom of self-defense? If the police don't defend us, maybe we ought to do it ourselves.

Jack Toby: We're not pioneers anymore, Dad.

Paul Kersey: What are we, Jack?

Jack Toby: What do you mean?

Paul Kersey: I mean, if we're not pioneers, what have we become? What do you call people who, when they're faced with a condition or fear, do nothing about it, they just run and hide?

Jack Toby: Civilized?

Paul Kersey: No.

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Feb 6, 2014 12:19 AM |  Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
It's 10:30 in Seattle. If You're Not Downtown, You're Not Going. Seattle is Full.


What you need to know for the Seahawks victory parade: Parade temperature to dip into 20s to 30s. The Seahawks and Seattle officials are telling football fans to dress warmly for Wednesday's parade and celebration. The high temperature for the day is forecast only in the 30s. It will be sunny, but breezy conditions will make it feel like it's in the teens.


An estimated 300,000 will show up downtown for the victory parade celebrating the Seahawks’ NFL championship. Virtually every downtown hotel room is sold out. Seahawks aboard Ducks | Sportspress Northwest


Live Streaming for the duration at KIRO 7 Eyewitness News RIGHT HERE

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Feb 5, 2014 10:29 AM |  Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me"


During the daytime, a shadow cast by an opaque object illuminated by sunlight has a bluish tinge. This happens because of Rayleigh scattering, the same property that causes the sky to appear blue. The opaque object is able to block the light of the sun, but not the ambient light of the sky which is blue as the atmosphere molecules scatter blue light more effectively. As a result, the shadow appears bluish.

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Feb 4, 2014 5:29 PM |  Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: Casino's Law -- A Local Superbowl Commercial from Savannah

"There was a halftime Super Bowl ad you probably didn't see. You should fix that right now."

"At some point a man must ask why God created him."

"During the first local commercial break of last night's Super Bowl broadcast, residents of Savannah, Ga., were treated to something truly incredible. Personal injury lawyer Jamie Casino bought the entire two-minute block of local advertising and aired the masterpiece you see above." -- Deadspin

All of which operates as the already produced leadin for a new Netflix mini-series that combines elements of "Archer," " The Sons of Anarchy," " 24," and "Who Framed Roger Rabbit." Called? Called.....?

Hell, can't improve on "Jamie Casino," and Nick Cage is overdue for farming himself out for a few seasons of television. What's more, he's already got the wardrobe covered with the non-singed side of Ghost Rider.

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Feb 3, 2014 3:37 PM |  Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Coyote vs. Acme, Plaintiff's Opening Statement


"My client, Mr. Wile E. Coyote, a resident of Arizona and contiguous states,

does hearby bring suit for damages against the Acme Company, manufacturer and retail distributor of assorted merchandise, incorporated in Delaware and doing business in every state, district, and territory. Mr. Coyote seeks compensation for personal injuries, loss of business income, and mental suffering caused as a direct result of the actions and/or gross negligence of said company, under Title 15 of the United States Code Chapter 47, section 2072, subsection (a), relating to product liability.

"Mr. Coyote states that on December 13th, he received of Defendant via parcel post one Acme Rocket Sled. The intention of Mr. Coyote was to use the Rocket sled to aid him in pursuit of his prey. Upon receipt of the Rocket Sled, Mr. Coyote removed it from its wooden shipping crate and sighting his prey in the distance, activated the ignition. As Mr. Coyote gripped the handlebars, the Rocket Sled accelerated with such sudden and precipitate force as to stretch Mr. Coyote's forelimbs to a length of fifteen feet. Subsequently, the rest of Mr. Coyote's body shot forward with a violent jolt, causing severe strain to his back and neck and placing him unexpectedly astride the Rocket Sled. Disappearing over the horizon at such speed as to leave a diminishing jet trail along its path, the Rocket Sled soon brought Mr. Coyote abreast of his prey. At that moment, the animal he was pursuing veered sharply to the right. Mr. Coyote vigorously attempted to follow this maneuver but was unable to, due to poor design and engineering on the Rocket Sled and a faulty or non-existent steering system. Shortly thereafter, the unchecked progress of the Rocket Sled led it and Mr. Coyote into collision with the side of a mesa.

"Paragraph One of the Report of Attending Physician (Exhibit B), prepared by Dr. Ernst Grosscup, M.D., D.O., details the multiple fractures, contusions, and tissue damage suffered by Mr. Coyote as a result of this collision. Repair of the injuries required a full bandage around the head (excluding the ears), a neck brace, and full or partial casts on all four legs.... Mr. Coyote states that on occasions too numerous to list in this document he has suffered mishaps with explosives purchased of Defendant: the Acme 'Little Giant' Firecracker, the Acme Self-Guided Aerial Bomb, etc. - - Ian Frazier, The New Yorker : Feb 26, 1990


Posted by gerardvanderleun at Feb 1, 2014 5:15 PM |  Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
It Never Stops! First the Alien Invasion and Now Tumbleweeds!

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jan 31, 2014 3:07 PM |  Comments (13)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"It was a miracle of rare device, / A sunny pleasure-dome with caves of ice!"

Record Temperatures Freeze a Path to the Spectacular Lake Superior Ice Caves | Colossal



Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jan 31, 2014 8:40 AM |  Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Middle Class Liberal Well Intentioned Blue

Written over 30 years ago, but there's nothing quite as timeless as liberal guilt. From Gold Turkey: National Lampoon Radio Hour/Greatest Hits:

I wish I was a Negro
With lots of Negro songs
So I could stay true to my ethnic roots
And still play rock 'n' roll

If I was a funky Negro
Eating soul food barbeques
I wouldn't have to sing
The middle-class liberal well-intentioned blues

Intentioned blues
Intentioned blues . . .

I wish I was an Indian
A grown-up Sioux papoose
So when I get drunk on a beer and a half
I'd have a good excuse

I'd be a noble savage
Wouldn't ever wear no shoes
And I wouldn't have to sing
The middle-class liberal well-intentioned blues

Intentioned blues
Intentioned blues . . .

I wish I was a Wetback
On strike in a lettuce patch
Or a slant-eyed peasant with Viet Cong
Stashed underneath my thatch

I only ever cross a picket line
To pay my union dues
To keep on singing
The middle-class liberal well-intentioned blues

Intentioned blues
Intentioned blues . . .

But I am not a Negro (c'mon!)
Not a Red Man nor a Mex (join me kids!)
I'm a member of the oppressing color
Language, age, and sex

I sympathize with the Arab cause
I feel for the put-upon Jews
And I keep singing
The middle-class liberal
Meaningful dialogue
We are all responsible
Well-intentioned blues

Intentioned blues
Intentioned blues . . .

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jan 30, 2014 9:39 AM |  Comments (9)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"Killed in a bar when he was only three!"


May 1955. "Actor Fess Parker on a 22 city promotional tour as Davy Crockett. Includes public appearances at department stores." From photos by Maurice Terrell for the Look magazine assignment "Meet Davy Crockett." Shorpy Historical Photo Archive

And, yes, I had the hat. Did you?


Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jan 29, 2014 9:38 PM |  Comments (24)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Under the Arctic Blanket

This NOAA GOES-East satellite image was captured at 1445 UTC/9:45 a.m. EST on January 28,

and between the clouds and the snow on the ground with cold air overhead, it appears as if much of the U.S. has been covered by an "Arctic Blanket." Arctic air has surged into the U.S. pushing into the Southeastern states and dropping high temperatures there into the 20s with colder wind chills. -- NASA Goddard / Satellite Shows an "Arctic Blanket" Over the U.S.


Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jan 28, 2014 4:30 PM |  Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
True Love Tester: Once again we must ask, "The Japanese. Nuked too much or not enough?"

Redefining one night stands – The worlds most high tech bra which only unhooks on detecting true love:

To commemorate its 10th anniversary Japanese lingerie manufacturer Ravijour has released a bra which has the potential to change hook ups and possibly put an end to the ‘walk of shame’. The ‘True Love tester’ as it is called is no ordinary bra, it is more like a chastity belt of the 21st century. The bra comprises of a sensor which monitors your heart rate and other vitals, the data is constantly transmitted via Bluetooth to a mobile phone which processes the data using a special app and measures the heart rate elevation using special algorithms and preset data and it is only when your heart has truly found that special someone would it beat in a way that the app would recognize and wirelessly unhook the bra.

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jan 25, 2014 11:19 AM |  Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Guns in Hollywood by Chicks on the Right

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jan 24, 2014 9:01 PM |  Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Lip Reading the NFL: "I wonder if there's a rodent out there."

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jan 24, 2014 2:47 PM |  Comments (0)  | QuickLink: Permalink
So Many Open Tabs. So Little Scroll Space.

The image that, if used religiously, will keep Chris Christie out of the White House for the rest of eternity.

1839: SELF PORTRAIT: Daguerreotype. Cornelius, a young American chemist turned daguerreotypist, took this image of himself in approximately 1200 seconds using a silver-plated copper sheet treated with the vapors of both iodine and bromine to accelerate the imaging process. Photographing Time - Nautilus

Dumb appoints dumber: Obama's Ambassador to Norway Fumbles Basic Questions About Norway | The Norwegian newspaper The Local commented, “Future US envoy displays total ignorance of Norway.”

Retired Senior Citizens Recreate Movie Scenes Blues Brothers Lothar Wischnewski 76; Margarete Schmidt, 77

KLAVAN: Why I Changed My Mind About Abortion | Truth Revolt The only relevant question about abortion is whether an unborn child is or is not a human being. If she is, I do not see how you have the moral right to kill her except in extreme circumstances.

Getty Publications Virtual Library Over 200 free digital backlist titles from the Getty Publications Archives. Titles like: Cézanne in the Studio: Still Life in Watercolors

Oleaginous Abundance | So here’s the thing: shrimp is a good protein, low in calories. But shrimp is bland. On the other hand, olive oil is delicious. And when you infuse olive oil, you had an extra layer of deliciousness.

Bob Dylan is either the most public private man in the world or the most private public one. He has a reputation for being silent and reclusive; he is neither. He has been giving interviews—albeit contentious ones—for as long as he's been making music, and he's been making music for more than fifty years.

The Sumter County Does – Futility Closet No one has ever explained who the pair were, how they came there, who might have killed them, or why.

From Hummingbird Heads to Poison Rings: Indulging Our Antique Jewelry Obsession | Collectors Weekly

‘What we’re gonna do is turn Detroit into an Indian reservation, where we herd all the Indians into the city, build a fence around it, and then throw in the blankets and corn.” | The Detroit News

Michelle Obama's Mirror: Sundance Film Review #1: Afronauts set in 1969 of the newly independent nation of Zambia’s unofficial efforts to beat the U.S. and U.S.S.R. to the moon.

“When you have an efficient government, you have a dictatorship.” — Harry S. Truman

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jan 23, 2014 11:15 AM |  Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"Miniature body parts": No Fire Escapes In Hell

Samyukta Mullangi: "I should tell my readers right off the bat that I am pro-choice, and that I believe strongly in female autonomy and control over her own body.

But I’ll be the first to agree that it’s difficult to argue with those who believe that life begins at conception, for even if those fused cells represent potential and nothing more, potential is all-important, all we often ever have. When I stood in my sterile gown, watching the resident dilate the cervix and then introduce a little plastic tube through the opening to suction to the contents of the uterus out, I was a little on edge. And when we then took the jar of liquid and tissue to the sink and rinsed it out with a sieve, to count the little dismembered fetal parts with a forceps, I have to admit that I was shaken. Here was a little arm. And here was a little thigh. And here we were, putting them together like little puzzle pieces to make sure we hadn’t left anything behind. Never in my life did I think I would bear witness to this. I put a finger to my own pulse.
Just a few nights prior, I had been part of a long argument with friends at a local bar about this very subject. “If you don’t like it, don’t perform abortions! Don’t get one yourself!” I had said, impassioned. “But quit judging something that you will never know yourself.”
"I spoke as if I was in the know, and the others weren’t. But now, standing in the clinic, I had to confront myself with the fact that I really had had no idea what I’d been talking about either. Before this day, I too had not a clue about what a termination really entailed. And I never thought I’d ever find myself looking at a sieve full of miniature body parts. - - Samyukta Mullangi, The First Pass Effect, Scientific American

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jan 21, 2014 8:27 AM |  Comments (9)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Seattle: Mama said there'd be days like this....
Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jan 20, 2014 5:09 PM |  Comments (10)  | QuickLink: Permalink
‘This is not the first film to use the ‘secret clues tattooed on women’s behinds’ gag…’

Or so says Kathy Shaidle. Who should know.

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jan 19, 2014 4:57 PM |  Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Fly and the Eye

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jan 18, 2014 4:53 PM |  Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Coming Soon to a Nation Near You


Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jan 18, 2014 11:16 AM |  Comments (11)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Signs of the Apocalypse: Shotgun Gardening

And they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their shotguns into seed spreaders: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. Isaiah 2:4

Really? Seriously? You wouldn't be putting us on, would you? Shirley, you jest.

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jan 17, 2014 9:19 AM |  Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Revelation 6, Prophecy, and Gun Trucks

"I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see. And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer."

The isolated mountain road was bordered in some places by wide-open fields and in other places, heavy woods, making ideal ambush sites. In some areas the grade was very steep with winding hairpin turns, causing the heavily laden trucks to drive even slower. There were two major mountain passes - An Khe and Mang Giang - which quickly became known as "Ambush Alley."

The only preserved Vietnam guntruck is Eve of Destruction, that can be seen at the U.S. Army Transportation Museum (Fort Eustis, Virginia)

Gun trucks in Vietnam:

In the event of an ambush, their role was to drive into the kill zone during the first few minutes of the attack, and saturate the attackers with their firepower.
Early designs proved flawed, as the sandbag protections quickly became waterlogged in the frequent rains, weighing down the whole vehicle. They were later replaced with ad hoc steel armor plating, salvaged from scrap yards.
The crew consisted of a driver, two gunners, a non-commissioned officer, and sometimes a grenadier armed with an M79 grenade launcher.
On November 24, 1967, during an engagement in "Ambush Alley", a group of gun trucks managed to thwart an ambush. The convoy lost six transport trucks and four gun trucks damaged or destroyed, and several drivers were killed and wounded, but the Viet Cong lost 41 KIA and were forced to withdraw. ...
In all, an estimated 300 to 400 trucks were transformed in this way.

[Some of the other names given them were: Steppin Wolf, The Abortion, The Baby Sitters, The Boss, The Creeper, The Hawk, The Mercenary, The Misfits, The Pallbearers, The Protector, The Rebel, The Saint, The Smiling Death]

They were intended as a temporary solution, but the Transportation Corps never received enough of their proposed replacement, the V-100 armoured car, so the gun trucks continued to serve until the end of the American involvement in Vietnam, in 1973.
With the end of the Vietnam War, the need for such vehicles disappeared and most were either scrapped or returned to cargo carrying. One truck, an M54 named by its crew "Eve of Destruction," has been restored and is on display at the Army Transportation Museum at Fort Eustis, Virginia.
But then..... they came back!


"Necessity is a mother."

A gun truck damaged by an IED in Iraq. All the crew members survived.

Next Gun Truck Gathering #12 August 5th to 9th, 2014 :
Holiday Inn Columbus North
2800 Manchester Expressway Columbus, GA 31904

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jan 16, 2014 10:59 AM |  Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
New Obamacare Ads Aimed at Young People

I'm so pleased to see my cohort is still getting work in advertising.

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jan 15, 2014 9:53 AM |  Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Dog Kenneller

Pssst, time to go into your kennel....

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jan 15, 2014 8:36 AM |  Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Slow Film for Fast Times: Waiting for a Train


Adam Magyar - Stainless, 42 Street (excerpt)

Instead of standing on a platform shooting passengers speeding past him, Magyar now positioned himself inside the moving subway car, recording stationary commuters on the platform as train and camera rolled into the station. Magyar shot the footage at 56 times normal speed, turning 12-second blurs into nearly 12-minute films of excruciating slowness. His commuters stand, together yet apart, with the studied, three-dimensional grace of statues—only the twitch of a lip or a finger drawn toward an iPhone indicating that these people were caught in hyper-slow motion, inhabiting an elongated moment.

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jan 15, 2014 8:28 AM |  Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
When are you people going to start believing me when I tell you not to click on a link?

It's called Devil Baby Attack and it's about an animatronic "devil baby" in a remote controlled stroller that goes on a rampage through the streets of New York City. It uses hidden cameras to record people's reactions. There is no way in hell that you want to ....

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jan 14, 2014 12:34 PM |  Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
If I die before I wake I humbly request to be reincarnated as hula hoop for the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders

Why? Because.

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jan 11, 2014 5:14 PM |  Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Derelict: DeSoto Chrysler 1952 Wagon

On the Road

From the rear



DERELICT: "As found vintage body structure, reinvigorated with modern chassis and creature comforts. Versatile daily drivers, under the radar. The art of patina." More @ ICON

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jan 11, 2014 10:47 AM |  Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Why Can't We All Just Get Along..... At the Redddd House!

Cynics will think this is a parody. They will be wrong....

Red House Furniture is your local retail furniture store in High Point, NC specializing in quality furniture. We have couches, lounge suites, desks, dressers, and a range of other quality pieces in our furniture store. Everything your customers need to furnish their home is offered at our store.



Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jan 10, 2014 11:11 AM |  Comments (10)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Armyin' Is Hard, Yo

"You've got to go through basic training before you slay any dragons, dude or dudette. You have to sit on the bus and talk about shrimp first, Napoleon. It has always been thus.

Eisenhower had to get MacArthur's coffee for a good long time before they let him up on the furniture. And no offense, but you're no Eisenhower. So just try to hold the pin and throw the grenade, not the other way around, and do whatever the fellow with all the stripes and the stentorian voice tells you, and you'll do fine." | The Borderline Sociopathic Blog For Boys

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jan 8, 2014 2:09 PM |  Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Victory at Sea: "In Our Lifetime we have won the War on Global Warming"


Where are the ticker tape parades?HappyAcres

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jan 6, 2014 9:25 PM |  Comments (9)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Remind me to keep myself and everyone I love far, far away from Old Spice body spray

Quietly and relentlessly and increasingly perverse and creepy. A real achievement in the sewer that forms most of today's "advertisements."

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jan 6, 2014 2:55 PM |  Comments (16)  | QuickLink: Permalink
1938 Plymouth: "The cheapest car on the lot"



The term "recession" was recruited to gloss over the fact 1938 was a re-Depression year.

Once again people bought the cheapest car on the lot, which in Plymouth's lineup was the six cylinder, two-door, ultra-spartan Business model. The right hand tail light and a windshield wiper—singular—were among the optional extras. Plymouth was a well built, reliable, low-price car so customers bought despite disliking its bloaty, bug-eyed look . When Plymouth realized what was going on, they renamed it the Roadking. The two-door shown below was priced at $11,323 in 2013 dollars. - - ol remus and the woodpile report

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jan 5, 2014 9:33 AM |  Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Arctic Chill in LA

HT: Scott M.

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jan 5, 2014 1:30 AM |  Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
It's Time to Run the Progressives Into the River

Because.... it's time.

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jan 4, 2014 9:24 PM |  Comments (17)  | QuickLink: Permalink
January 3 2014: So, how cold is it tonight inside some random hotel in Minnesota?


Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jan 3, 2014 10:43 PM |  Comments (12)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Mother of Mercy, Is There Anything Kim Jong Un Cannot Do?

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jan 3, 2014 10:20 PM |  Comments (10)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Door

Photograph by James Hilgenberg @ The Foghorn / Impressions | inconsistency ....

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jan 3, 2014 11:59 AM |  Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Fire and Ice by Robert Frost


Fire and Ice

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I've tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jan 2, 2014 9:49 AM |  Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Happy New Year: Let's Dance!



Posted by gerardvanderleun at Dec 31, 2013 11:53 PM |  Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Restart the Presses!


As a nostalgic indulgence....

"The thinking here is that if vinyl records, straight razors, slow food and absinthe cocktails can all mount comebacks, there is no reason print can’t as well. The keys are marketing, perception and, frankly, snob appeal, plus a few minor tweaks.... Restart the Presses! - Op-Art -

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Dec 31, 2013 12:53 PM |  Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Votes Are In And the Award for Wimp of the Year Goes to the Deballed....


Michelle switched seats after Obama got up to speak.

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Dec 31, 2013 11:39 AM |  Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink


Posted by gerardvanderleun at Dec 30, 2013 8:50 PM |  Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
What Would It Take to Improve MSNBC? A Flamethrower Would Be A Good Start.

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Dec 30, 2013 3:35 PM |  Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Family that Went to the Moon


On April 23, 1972, Apollo 16 astronauts Charlie Duke and John Young embarked on the third and final EVA of the mission, exploring the Descartes Highlands via Lunar Roving Vehicle. During the EVA, before setting up a Solar Wind Collector, Duke placed a small family photo he had brought along onto the lunar surface and snapped a few photos of  it with his Hasselblad film camera. This is one of the photos.

The portrait shows Charlie, his wife Dorothy, and their two sons Charles and Thomas. It looks like they are sitting on a bench in the summertime.

The family photo, gingerly wrapped in clear plastic and slightly crumpled from being stashed in the pocket of a space suit, was left on the Moon. It presumably still sits there today, just inches away from Charlie's boot print --€” which, presumably, is also there. Universe Today


Posted by gerardvanderleun at Dec 29, 2013 4:27 PM |  Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"Published on Dec 28, 2013: so this happened today"

The Borderline Sociopathic Blog For Boys is of the opinion that: This Is How Every Parkour Video Should End

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Dec 29, 2013 3:16 PM |  Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The awful question is no longer "Is this a lie?" but "How big of a lie is this?"

Healthcare Enrollment Surged Prior to the Deadline for Coverage on January 1 |

And when you read the headline "White House Rejects Idea Of Creating An Obamacare CEO" why would you have a moment's doubt that one is currently being selected if not already hired and being trained?

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Dec 29, 2013 11:01 AM |  Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
What Kind of a Year Was It?


"It was the Year of the Zombies. Not in the sense of most of humanity dying from a horrible plague and then reanimating as mindless flesh-eating ghouls. No, it was much worse than that. Because as bad as a zombie apocalypse would be, at least it wouldn’t involve the resurrection of Anthony Weiner’s most private part." Dave Barry’s Review of 2013, the Year of the Zombies - The Washington Post

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Dec 27, 2013 4:27 PM |  Comments (0)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"I can tell right now you don't know shit about dynamite."

It's a good thing that nobody's working today because this one is highly unsafe for work, children, and tender sensibilities from coast to coast.

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Dec 26, 2013 3:58 PM |  Comments (11)  | QuickLink: Permalink
I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus


Posted by gerardvanderleun at Dec 25, 2013 8:07 AM |  Comments (0)  | QuickLink: Permalink
This Just In: Santa Claus Goes to School, Takes a Pledge, and is Still White

While the news world has forgotten last week's question, "is Santa white?," and gone duck dynasty hunting, last week's question has been answered for all time with the revelation that "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa School.

Upon graduation from the Santa School, all surviving Santas receive a diploma and take the pledge:

"This certifies that …. has honorably and diligently completed the course in the study and art of Santa Claus. As holder of this diploma, I fully realize the responsibility and privilege that is mine in spreading joy and happiness to the children of this world through their beloved friend and servant, Santa Claus. I hereby sincerely and solemnly promise to give my best, my all to carry out the principles Santa Claus stands for."
Who could ask for more?

Santa before finishing school: "He had potential. It would take the heat of battle to make him reach that potential; to be all the Santa he could be."

Trial by fire: "Some say the slackly diapered toddler is the greatest threat Santas face, but those are by and large an anomaly in long days and nights of hysterical children one is forbidden to smother with a pillow. Hence, this is still the acid test."

The finished product: "We pride ourselves with turning out the most sustainable, organic, and locally sourced Santas anywhere. Even the jelly in the belly bowl is made from sustainable quinoa in a subaqueous solution."

The certificate tells the tale: "Look for the Union Label. Stock no substandard Santas. Do it for the children."

[HT: Messy Nessy Chic Messy Nessy Chic]

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Dec 20, 2013 1:21 PM |  Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
TEOTWAWKI! It’s the end of the world as we know it.

How The Media Will Report The Apocalypse



Posted by gerardvanderleun at Dec 18, 2013 8:01 AM |  Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Objects In the Rear View Mirror of Your Life


Posted by gerardvanderleun at Dec 16, 2013 12:16 PM |  Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Long Gone Golden Age of Islam: July 30, 762 to February 13, 1258


[ A Multi-Layered, Many Linked MetaFilter Masterpiece by Boris Smelov - - "July 30, 762 to February 13, 1258" | @ MetaFilter ]

In two weeks of blood and fire, one of the greatest intellectual and cultural legacies the world had ever seen came to an end. Crushed under the hooves of a mighty foe (in one case literally), a dynasty, an empire, a city, and a library all disappeared. It was perhaps the swiftest and most complete collapse of a civilization ever, still felt to this day. Now, how about for some context?

The Abbasid Caliphate had ruled the Islamic empire since 750 when Abu Muslim led forces to overthrow the Umayyad dynasty. They quickly established a capital at Baghdad, a hub of trade-routes and waterways which soon grew into one of the greatest cities in the world. The Round City of Baghdad was an architectural wonder, with two concentric circular walls surrounding residential districts and vast gardens, palace and mosque in the middle. (Its likely site in modern Baghdad can be seen here.) At the heart of this city lay the Bayt al-Hikma, or House of Wisdom. Built by the Caliph al-Mansur, it housed the great library which he moved from the old Umayyad capital of Damascus. This became the home of the Translation Movement, a drive to gather texts from all across the world and translate them into Arabic. Texts on philosophy, medicine, astronomy, religion, and every other topic a burgeoning empire could need streamed into the city. The Islamic Golden Age had begun.

The Mongols were your typical steppe nomads, horseback archers whose speed and efficiency allowed them to defeat much larger forces (not to say their own forces were always small), and who believed they had a mandate from God to rule the entire world. Hulagu Khan was the grandson of Genghis Khan. Charged by his brother Möngke (the Great Khan at the time) with conquering the Islamic lands to the Southwest, he prosecuted his errand with typical Mongol efficiency. With a quick stop to destroy the Assassin stronghold at Alamut, Hulagu was at the outskirts of Baghdad by the 11th of January, 1258.

Within a month, the great Library of Baghdad had been burned, so many of its manuscripts thrown into the Tigris that the river ran black with ink, and the last Abbasid Caliph was trampled by horses while wrapped inside a rug, it being a sin to spill royal blood. Baghdad's elaborate irrigation system was destroyed and the city was so severely depopulated that no replacement system would be built until the 20th century. Virtually the only survivors of the slaughter were Christians hidden in a Nestorian church — a church which was spared at the request of Hulagu's wife, Doquz Khatun, a Nestorian Christian herself.

With the death of the dynasty, and of the city itself, on February 13, 1258, the Islamic Golden Age was over.

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Dec 14, 2013 6:24 AM |  Comments (10)  | QuickLink: Permalink
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