Comments or suggestions: Gerard Van der Leun
Prancercise: The exercise sensation that's sweeping the nation

Yesterday morning when, through an errant link, I first saw and brought the Prancercise video to my discerning readers' attention the counter at You Tube was at 301 views. Today it is, as of this posting, at 346, 182 and trending up with a bullet.

Yesterday morning the Prime Prancer's website,, went down on her as the slavering internet hordes mobbed the domain of which she was the mistress. Today Prancercise is up and down, but it's creator, Joanna Rohrbuck, is up... way, way up.

‘Prancercise’ Creator on Her ‘Wacky’ Workout and Being Too Famous to Prancercise:

She’s aware that people think her exercise routine “Prancercise” is “goofy,” and that by extension its founder must be “spooky and goofy and weird and wacky. I say bring it on. I love it. Look at all the attention it’s getting me. If I wasn’t all those things, I wouldn’t be who I am.”

She also wouldn’t be an internet sensation, which is something of an understatement. Since Rohrback recently revived the hilariously original aerobic routine she created in 1989 but shelved for more than two decades, the Coral Springs, Florida, woman has been bombarded with so many clicks at her web site that it crashed Wednesday, and she’s scrambling to figure out how to add more server capacity. She can barely keep track of the interview requests galloping in. It’s such a big deal that its founder can’t find the time to prancercise.

“I didn’t even get to do it today, and I’m so upset about it,” Rohrback told The Daily Beast. “I can’t even do all the interviews. I’m going wacko.”

And, of course, the Prancerciser wannabes have trotted out of the woodwork and into their paddocks:

What accounts for the craze? All the obvious reasons including the fact that, as one of my friends said on the phone after watching the video I sent him, "I laughed so hard I think I threw a kidney."

Meanwhile, over on Amazon, the rave reviews or, if you will, the raving reviewers are pouring in: Customer Reviews: Prancercise: The Art of Physical and Spiritual Excellence Bronies need exercise, too!

I am not going to even prance around the point -- I am a brony. What's a brony? An adult, male fan of My Little Pony. But not just any fan, I am a serious fan. I go to conventions dressed as my favorite pony (Twilight Sparkle, duh), and my room could easily be mistaken of that of a five year old girl's due to all the MLP collectables I've acquired. The one thing that the new My Little Pony franchise has not really taken into consideration is the health of their fanbase. Friendship is great, but what good is it when you are lethargic and flabby? That is where Prancercise comes in.
I first discovered Prancercise while surfing the popular website Reddit. Granted, people were posting links to the author's video for the sake of mocking it, but something in the freedom of her movements spoke to me. Underneath that crisp, salmon-colored jacket and those tight white leggings was a kindred spirit. A spirit that had been sent onto this earth to spread friendship, cheer, and prancing.
Look, I know how it sounds, and I know you're probably thinking that either I am sitting here being facetious or that I am a total nutcase. But I promise you that I am sincere, and that I am at least sane enough to be an independently living adult with a full time job. So, I mean, that's something. I implore you to pick up this book and give Prancercise a chance. It has changed my life. I went from lazy, lethargic, barely having enough energy to squeeze into my size 6T Pinkie Pie pajamas (they need to start making these for adults). Now I am full of energy, life, joie de vivre. I am a new me. A new pony. I do not skulk around, I PRANCE. I prance PROUDLY and with gusto.

"PROUDLY and with gusto....." Where have we seen such proud gusto before? Ah yes.....

It never gets old and, I note, you can Prancercise to it!

Posted by gerardvanderleun May 30, 2013 12:27 PM | Comments (21)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Oh Yeah!

Posted by gerardvanderleun May 30, 2013 10:40 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
Why We Win! Prancercise: "Let's Stop Talking and do some walking!"

I can see that my own and, indeed, all of America's fitness programs are up for some severe revisionism. I think I can say without fear of contradiction that if only somebody would put this program in front of Obama he'd prefer it over golf. He's a natural.

There are four (count 'em 4!) modes:

1: "Let's Stop Talking and do some walking!"
2: "We'll step up the pace with the Prancercise trot. It's really hot!"
3: "We're gonna really cut the noose and let it loose with the Prancercise gallop!"
4: "The Shadow-Box Prance: Better to punch empty space than in your face!"

"Now it's your turn!"

Get the ebook!

prancercisebook.jpg Prancercise: The Art of Physical and Spiritual Excellence A Review/Testimonial

I'm a man who used to weigh 340lbs. I used to lift weights to stay in shape, until I dropped a bar on my head and wasknocked into a coma. While unconscious, an angel visited me in my hospital bed and commanded me to wake up and try Prancercise. I regained consciousness immediately and bought this book, and what a difference it has made in my life! I'm now 148lbs and have never felt better. I have to buy a new set of ankle weights though, since I had to remove my last pair to get away when a dozen teen girls came running after me the last time I was prancing through the park. Get this book! You won't regret it.

Posted by gerardvanderleun May 29, 2013 1:59 PM | Comments (20)  | QuickLink: Permalink
On Top of the World Sixty Years Ago

Tenzing Norgay, May 29, 1953, 11:30 AM

"I continued on, cutting steadily and surmounting bump after bump and cornice after cornice looking eagerly for the summit. It seemed impossible to pick it and time was running out. Finally I cut around the back of an extra large lump and then on a tight rope from Tenzing I climbed up a gentle snow ridge to its top. Immediately it was obvious that we had reached our objective. It was 11.30 a.m. and we were on top of Everest!" -- Sir Edmund Hillary

In 1953, a ninth British expedition, led by John Hunt, returned to Nepal. Hunt selected two climbing pairs to attempt to reach the summit. The first pair turned back after becoming exhausted high on the mountain. The next day, the expedition made its second and final assault on the summit with its fittest and most determined climbing pair. The summit was eventually reached at 11:30 am local time on May 29, 1953 by the New Zealander Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay climbing the South Col Route.

Hillary: “I had carried my camera, loaded with colour film, inside my shirt to keep it warm, so I now produced it and got Tenzing to pose for me on the top, waving his ice-axe on which was a string of flags—British, Nepalese, United Nations, and Indian. Then I turned my attention to the great stretch of country lying below us.” Everest First Ascent


James Morris, the correspondent on the spot of The Times newspaper, heard the news at Base Camp on 30 May and sent a coded message by runner to Namche Bazaar, where a wireless transmitter was used to forward it as a telegram to the British Embassy in Kathmandu. The conquest of Everest was probably the last major news item to be delivered to the world by runner. Morris's encrypted message to his paper read: "Snow conditions bad stop advanced base abandoned yesterday stop awaiting improvement".[18] By happy coincidence this was received and understood in London in time for the news to be released on the morning of Queen Elizabeth II's coronation on 2 June. La Wik


Posted by gerardvanderleun May 29, 2013 11:30 AM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Note to Self: When Coming Upon a Burning Freight Train Derailment Resist the Impulse to Film It With Camera


You'd think that people would pay attention to:

Warehouses and businesses in the area of Rt 40 -- if you can see the smoke plume, emergency mgmt advises you to evacuate. @BACOPoliceFire
But noooooooooo......


Posted by gerardvanderleun May 28, 2013 2:48 PM | Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Real People

Bill Whittle shows you an iconic image of a rainy day when a U.S. Marine held an umbrella over the head of President Obama. Is this photograph a metaphor for President Obama's actions in Benghazi and his Administration's targeting of the AP, Fox News and the Tea Party? Hear what Bill Whittle thinks.

Posted by gerardvanderleun May 27, 2013 12:25 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: Erik Satie Gymnopédie No. 1 - Tzvi Erez, piano

The work was possibly based upon the poetry of J.P. Contamine de Latour (1867–1926),[4] who wrote Les Antiques ("The Ancients"), a poem containing these lines:

French version
Oblique et coupant l'ombre un torrent éclatant
Ruisselait en flots d'or sur la dalle polie
Où les atomes d'ambre au feu se miroitant
Mêlaient leur sarabande à la gymnopédie

English translation
Slanting and shadow-cutting a flickering eddy
Trickled in gusts of gold on the shiny flagstone
Where the atoms of amber in the fire mirroring themselves
Mingled their sarabande with the gymnopaedia

On his long walks to and from Paris, shielded by his ubiquitous umbrella (he hated the sun), Satie would keep a hammer in his coat to defend himself against potential assailants. He could let his guard down long enough to pause and compose in little notebooks under the streetlamps when an idea came to him en route. Five things you didn't know about Erik Satie - Classical Music - Limelight Magazine


Posted by gerardvanderleun May 25, 2013 11:22 AM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Jelly Doughnut in Lyra: Hubble reveals the Ring Nebula’s true shape,"Things are not as simple as we previously thought."

Well, are they ever?

The Ring Nebula's distinctive shape makes it a popular illustration for astronomy books. But new observations by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope of the glowing gas shroud around an old, dying, sun-like star reveal a new twist. "The nebula is not like a bagel, but rather, it's like a jelly doughnut, because it's filled with material in the middle," said C. Robert O'Dell of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn. He leads a research team that used Hubble and several ground-based telescopes to obtain the best view yet of the iconic nebula. The images show a more complex structure than astronomers once thought and have allowed them to construct the most precise 3-D model of the nebula. -- NASA -

Bland Old RingNebula:


New Jelly Doughnut Nebula:


Posted by gerardvanderleun May 24, 2013 6:58 PM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Mr. Roberts and Operation Swill: An American Tradition

"Smooth! And some little blonde will never know the difference...."

Rubbing alcohol as scotch? N.J. officials release details of 'Operation Swill' In most instances, they said, bars swapped higher-priced brands for less-expensive liquor. But in a few instances, "they didn't even bother doing that," said Michael Halfacre, director of the New Jersey Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control.

"They literally just filled it with whatever they had available," Halfacre said.

That, Chiesa said, poses a health risk.

"I think it's pretty dangerous," he said. "I wouldn't drink rubbing alcohol in my house. It serves a very specific purpose: to rub."


Posted by gerardvanderleun May 24, 2013 12:31 PM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Big Brother Always Has a Soothing Soundtrack and a Hot Beverage

Posted by gerardvanderleun May 24, 2013 11:46 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
Be On the Lookout For


Posted by gerardvanderleun May 24, 2013 10:38 AM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
It's Not About the Nail: "Don't try to fix it. I just need you to listen."

File under "Things Rodger the Real King of France has brought to my attention because he is a depraved and merciless human being with no sense of decency, yes sir, at long last no sense of decency."


Posted by gerardvanderleun May 23, 2013 6:20 PM | Comments (12)  | QuickLink: Permalink
FBI vs The Kingsmen + At Last! The Real Lyrics of "Louie Louie"

UPDATE This Just In: The FBI Investigated the Song ‘Louie Louie’ for Two Years --

The song “Louie Louie” by the Kingsmen might not strike you as Federal Bureau of Investigation material. But the song was under investigation by the FBI for two whole years. The bureau’s interest had to do with the lyrics of the song, which most listeners find either confusing or simply impossible to understand. Those muddle words turned out to be big trouble for “Louie Louie,” as at least one person heard a few things in there that weren’t exactly suiting for a teenage audience. -- | Smart News

When she's not quietly, politely, and respectfully driving a stake through the heart of the Obama campaign, neoneocon dallies with a certain number of odd obsessions. Recently she was on a Jello Mold binge, but seems to have turned her attention of late to ancient pop culture. In that capacity, you might want to take a trip through some of the worst songs of decades gone by that are embedded in her essay, Whatever happened to really silly pop songs?

Most of the greats are there: “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini,” "Purple People Eater," "Monster Mash" and others just as odious. But she misses the Godzilla of silly pop songs, "Louie Louie."

"Louie Louie" is the ultimate "silly pop song" for two main reasons: 1) It is a highly infectious ear-worm that heard once seems to gnaw its way to your brain stem. 2) Nobody in the history of the world really knows what the hell the lyrics are. Until now.

Click and see, at last, the lyrics synched to the song as put together by a great human being; one who had to have subjected himself to untold excruciating repetitions of "Louie Louie" to create this video. He probably died from the effort murmuring "Hey gotta go now," but he did not live in vain.


Posted by Vanderleun May 23, 2013 12:54 PM | Comments (15)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Doors: "Cancel my subscription to the Resurrection / Send my credentials to the House of Detention"

Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarek (February 12, 1939 – May 20, 2013) has passed away. His music endures.

"Forty days after finishing film school, thinking they had gone their separate ways, Manzarek and Morrison met by chance on Venice Beach in California. Morrison said he had written some songs, and Manzarek expressed an interest in hearing them, whereupon Morrison sang a rough version of "Moonlight Drive". Manzarek liked the songs and co-founded the Doors with Morrison at that moment."


Posted by gerardvanderleun May 22, 2013 11:56 PM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"Exterminate All the Brutes" [Warning: Violent and Deeply Disturbing]

'Soldier beheaded' in 'Islamist terror attack' oustide barracks in Woolwich - Telegraph Two suspected terrorists were shot by armed police after attacking a pedestrian, believed to be a soldier, with a machete-style knife close to military barracks in an 'Islamist attack'...

One man is reported dead and two others injured amid reports of a shooting incident close to the Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich this afternoon.One witness reported seeing a man beheaded in the street in an attack by two men.

The report also said that police officers opened fire after the attack in John Wilson Street in Woolwich. - Beheading in Woolwich, UK - British Soldier Dead

Twitter user Boya Dee writes an account of the incident online. These details have not yet been verified.

He wrote: 'Ohhhhh myyyy God!!!! I just see a man with his head chopped off right in front of my eyes!

'Oh my God!!!! The way Feds took them out!!! It was a female police officer she come out the whip and just started bussssin shots!!

'Mate ive seen alot of s*** im my time but that has to rank sumwhere in the top 3. I couldnt believe my eyes. That was some movie s***.'

The two black bredas run this white guy over over then hop out the car and start chopping mans head off with machete!!

'People were asking whyyy whyyy they were just saying we've had enough! They looked like they were on sutn! Then they start waving a recolver

'Then boydem turn up!! Woolwich feds didnt want it... They had to wait for armed response.. Helicopters everyting...

'Then thats how u know they were on sutn cos they actually went for armed feds with just two machete and an old rusty lookin revolver

'The first guy goes for the female fed with the machete and she not even ramping she took man out like robocop never seen nutn like it

'Then the next breda try buss off the rusty 45 and it just backfires and blows mans finger clean off... Feds didnt pet to just take him out!!

'These times i was just going to the shop for some fruit and veg and i see all that!' -

One eyewitness described how the men got out of their car and started to cut him "like a piece of meat".... The BBC's Nick Robinson said the attack had been filmed and that the men had cried "Allah Akhbar [God is great]". - - IBTimes UK

Woolwich Attackers 'Filmed' Each Other and asked members of the public to take pictures during the assault, Sky sources say.


Posted by gerardvanderleun May 22, 2013 11:23 AM | Comments (23)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: Bob Dylan & Johnny Cash - Girl From The North Country

"Please see for me if her hair hangs long,
If it rolls and flows all down her breast.
Please see for me if her hair hangs long,
That’s the way I remember her best."

[Live / The Johnny Cash TV Show 1969]

Posted by gerardvanderleun May 22, 2013 10:22 AM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Free to American Digest Readers: The Quotable Sherlock Holmes

Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle (22 May 1859 – 7 July 1930)

“My name is Sherlock Holmes. It is my business to know what other people do not know.” -The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle

What everyone who cares about “the best and the wisest man whom I have ever known” knows is that today is the 154th birthday of Arthur Conan Doyle. Here's my homage to one of the world's greatest literary creations free to download.


Every so often, I either write or make a book. And every so often, as is the way of the world, those books go out of print. But not, I dare say, on the Internet. While it is not as compact or as slick as the original, it still has all the text and should give no little pleasure to those that love the "World's Greatest Consulting Detective."

Originally Published by The Mysterious Press (Time-Warner) in 2000.
Now sadly out-of-print -- except here.**

Click Right Here to Download Free PDF [ 530K ]

Please feel free to link here, to download, to email and otherwise and pass it along.


Posted by Vanderleun May 22, 2013 9:04 AM | Comments (32)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Jay the Carney Barker Better Puff Up the Resume Because He's About to Take a Turn in the Barrel

Jay Carney, 2006: 'I'm sure I wouldn't be any good' as a press secretary -

Jay Carney, then --Time Magazine Washington bureau chief, tells C-SPAN why he "probably wouldn't be any good" as a White House press secretary. (2006)

But, as commenter TMAC notes 7 days ago:

"He was so wrong! The guy is a natural. The lies and B/S just flow from this guys mouth as if he actually believes it. And he probably does! And there will be plenty of future opportunity for him. Any fortune 500 company employs countless ass kissing, brown nosing, yes men that can lie to you all while smiling and looking you straight in the face. And with this white house gig on his resume, he can pick and choose his future degradation. Good on him."

Jay the Carney Barker yesterday:

"I mean, nobody's been more outraged by the reported conduct here than the president of the United States," said Carney.

Posted by gerardvanderleun May 22, 2013 7:25 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
[BUMPED AND UPDATED] In the Midst of Horror, Something Wonderful: "I had two prayers. He answered both. This is my second prayer."

Wait for it.

UPDATE: Barbara Garcia, Her Dog, and Life Under the Oklahoma Sky : The New Yorker

Barbara Garcia had been living in her neighborhood in Moore, Oklahoma, for forty-five years before yesterday’s tornado flattened her house. She was interviewed by a TV news crew while standing on top of the rubble of her home. She is covered in dust and has some scratches, but she describes the experience calmly—she took shelter in a bathroom, sitting on the toilet with her dog on her lap. She felt the stool lift up out of the floor. “I rolled around a little bit,” she says, and then found herself lying in the debris. She never lost consciousness, but she lost her little dog. She looks over the pile of wood and metal scrap behind her. “I know he’s in here somewhere.”

Posted by gerardvanderleun May 21, 2013 6:30 PM | Comments (11)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Just What Did the Hitler Rants Say?

Adolf Hitler speech English Subtitles

In those iconic newsreels where Hitler rants in black and white, it's easy to forget that those rants had content.

He was railing against a group of people, labeling them as enemies of the state (and enemies of the people who mattered), mocking them, de-legitimizing them, blaming them for the country's problems, tacitly endorsing any actions taken against them.

Oh yes; it can happen here.

A comment at ‘When Fascism Comes to America . . .’ | National Review Online

Posted by gerardvanderleun May 21, 2013 12:31 PM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Birth of the F4 Moore Twister

Charles Cook captured the six minutes of the 5-20-13 tornado's chilling beginnings from a mall parking lot on his cell phone camera.

"Incredible video my Dad took of the May 20th tornado FORMING and destroying everything in its path near Newcastle, OK. He was out that way for work today and just happened to be in the right place at the right time. He was worried it was going to come back at him and was searching for a way to scoot out its way once he was able to gauge how insanely close it was to him. He hung in there, though. Unbelievable." -- From Reddit

Large video after the jump.


Posted by gerardvanderleun May 21, 2013 9:34 AM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Alexander Pope May 21, 1688


Know then thyself, presume not God to scan,
The proper study of mankind is Man.
Placed on this isthmus of a middle state,
A being darkly wise and rudely great:
With too much knowledge for the Sceptic side,
With too much weakness for the Stoic's pride,
He hangs between, in doubt to act or rest;
In doubt to deem himself a God or Beast;
In doubt his mind or body to prefer;
Born but to die, and reas'ning but to err;
Alike in ignorance, his reason such,
Whether he thinks too little or too much;
Chaos of thought and passion, all confused;
Still by himself abused or disabused;
Created half to rise, and half to fall:
Great lord of all things, yet a prey to all;
Sole judge of truth, in endless error hurl'd;
The glory, jest, and riddle of the world!

Go, wondrous creature! mount where Science guides;
Go measure earth, weigh air, and state the tides;
Instruct the planets in what orbs to run,
Correct old Time, and regulate the sun;
Go, soar with Plato to th'empyreal sphere,
To the first good, first perfect, and first fair;
Or tread the mazy round his followers trod,
And quitting sense call imitating God;
As eastern priests in giddy circles run,
And turn their heads to imitate the sun.
Go, teach Eternal Wisdom how to rule--
Then drop into thyself, and be a fool!

-- Poets' Corner - Alexander Pope - Essay on Man

No fool Alexander Pope, born on this day in 1688, but rather the scourge of fools. A man who would be as much at home on the Internet today as he once was at Bartholomew Fair:

The melting, sweating, human tide was swept this way and that wreathed in the smell of roast pigs and burnt crackling, old clothes and foul breath, tobacco, coffee and ale, its ears assaulted `with the rumbling of Drums, mix'd with the Intolerable Squeakings of Cat-calls, and Penny Trumpets, made still more terrible with the shrill belches of Lottery-Pick-Pockets, thro' Instruments of the same Metal with their Faces'. The cries of nut-sellers and fruit-vendors fought with those of showmen whipping up an audience for waxworks, rope-dancing and music booths, conjuring tricks, acrobats and drolls. Once inside the booths, the impatient fairgoers, sitting on rickety benches or at trestle tables, crunched walnuts and damsons, handed round baskets of plums, pears and peaches, flirted and joked and heckled with cries of Show, Show, Show, Show!' until the players arrived....

Laughter and humiliation, illusion and reality merged in the flesh. Bearded women, Siamese twins, giants and dwarfs, 'monsters' and freaks mingled with the costumed devils and heroes of the plays, the attenuated moral emblems of medieval religious drama. The old play of The Creation of the World came complete with Noah's Ark, flying Angels, Dives rising out of Hell, and -- in 1702 -- 'with the addition of the Glorious Battle obtained over the French and Spaniards by the Duke of Marlborough'. The Fair was present and past, dream, desire and trickery, its pickpockets cunning as its conjurors, its audiences dupes to both. It could itself become the stuff of a morality play...

Not at all unlike the morality play acted out daily within the world of blogs .... discussion boards ... and other online destinations.

Indeed, if Pope were alive today he'd no doubt be posting from a page called

Posted by Vanderleun May 21, 2013 1:13 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
Are You Not Entertained?

Posted by gerardvanderleun May 20, 2013 9:42 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
Unsung Great Americans: Vivien Maier


"Picture this: quite possibly the most important street photographer of the 20th century was a 1950s children'€™s nanny who kept herself to herself and never showed a single one of her photographs to anyone.

Decades later in 2007, a Chicago real estate agent and historical hobbyist, John Maloof purchased a box of never-seen, never-developed film negatives of an unknown "amateur"€™ photographer for $380 at his local auction house.
John began developing his new collection of photographs, some 100,000 negatives in total, that had been abandoned in a storage locker in Chicago before they ended up at the auction house. It became clear these were no ordinary street snaps of 1950s & 60s Chicago and New York and so John embarked on a journey to find out who was behind the photographs and soon discovered her name: Vivien Maier. -- Found at Auction: The Unseen Photographs of a Legend that Never Was


Posted by gerardvanderleun May 20, 2013 8:26 AM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Judge Jeanine Pirro: "So Who's Running the Joint? I'm Convinced My Mom Could Do a Better Job"€

"Why is it that you can mobilize the IRS to go after political enemies but you can't mobilize troops to save American lives in Benghazi?"

Last week eloquently summed up, rolled into a ball, and tossed into the next week which should, I hope, be even more devastating to the current crop of craven cowards in the White House.

Harry Reid said, "€œThey're hyperventilating about Benghazi. President Obama was absolutely right to call this a sideshow. This is about smear politics and nothing else."€
Hyperventilating?  I'll tell you what Mr. Reid, and no due respect intended here:
There were only two people hyperventilating in Benghazi.  They're the ones painted by Al Qaeda-linked lasers - two men on a roof who disobeyed your order to stand down, waited hours for help that never came because you wouldn't give the cross border authority order, and instead, fired up Air Force One for your Las Vegas fundraiser, and went to bed.
So don't give me your holier than thou rhetoric, and your arrogant condescending hogwash that you're going to get rid of all the wrongdoers or throw us a few crumbs like the grainy pictures of terrorists 8 months after an attack.  Or give me your "I'm going to fix it" riff. And do us all a favor - explain a few things. Judge Jeanine Blasts Obama Admin @ Fox News Insider

Posted by gerardvanderleun May 19, 2013 9:11 PM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Commute: Crossing the river in Russia with excavators

Posted by gerardvanderleun May 18, 2013 5:15 PM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Greatest Pickup Ever: The ICON Dodge Powerwagon D200


From the genius that is ICON.The speaker has a flat affect but stick with him and the overwhelming nature of what was done with this Powerwagon will engulf you.


Posted by gerardvanderleun May 17, 2013 9:24 PM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Shift It

Posted by gerardvanderleun May 17, 2013 3:50 AM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
More Obama I Say. MORE O!-BA!-MA!


In the afterglow of the last week I have come to realize that what is deeply wrong with this country is that so far we have neither heard enough nor seen enough of President Obama.

I now think we need to see more. Much more. We need to bask in his warm visage and be lulled with the hum of his valved voice. We need to have a morning message from the President every day on all cable news channel. Indeed, we need to have it broadcast on all TV channels, especially ESPN and other places where citizens dodge their need to know the truth and their duty to look up from their coffee and upon the wonderful latte-tanned visage that is Obama.

We need to see his face with his honeyed message oozing out of his mouth in the lead-in to Good Morning America and Fox and Friends both without fear or favoritism.

Weather Channel too.

We need to have Barack Obama’s message, whatever it might be on whatever day, delivered dripping from his lips to all of us on the front page of whatever newspaper we are still reading online with a video-embed set on autoplay.

We need to have Obama's dulcet tones crooning his soothing message as the lead-in to NPR’s Morning Edition and that thing most considered among All Things Considered.

We need to have Obama's lilting phrases replace the bumper music at the top of Rush Limbaugh’s show.

In short, we cannot have enough of listening to the President tell us what he’s thinking and what the right way to think about what he’s thinking is.

We need to hear his inspiring words and see his craggy and indomitable face every day. We need to look and look again upon that clear eye, square jaw, and firm forehead leaning ever "Forward" and asking for our spare five bucks. We need this every single day.

I am in ernest about this. I will even pay higher taxes to make this so. We need, in the most urgent and important way, to see the wonder that is Barack Obama.... All. The. Time.

I hope that his coming testimony to the Congress, and to the special prosecutor, and to a grateful nation of church ladies in wild hats is only the beginning of this program of all Obama all the time!

This then is my solemn prayer. in the words of that most holy and revered of Presidents, George W. Bush, "LORD, MAKE OBAMA APPEAR IN THE FACE OF ALL. BRING. IT. ON. 'Give me excess of it, that, surfeiting, The appetite may sicken, and so die'."

Posted by gerardvanderleun May 16, 2013 6:24 PM | Comments (12)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Up on Cripple Creek

Posted by gerardvanderleun May 16, 2013 9:49 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
Hipster "Heavy" Industry: From Shinola

Walking the Walk | Shinola | A Continuous Lean.

What Shinola is doing is an ambitious undertaking and the amount of investment up until this point must have been huge. When’s the last time you heard about a company that has gone to the great length of opening a manufacturing facility of this complexity, training workers and simultaneously building a brand as developed as this? Let me tell you, I follow this stuff closely and I don’t see it very often. Honestly, I’ve never seen anything the likes of this. Shinola has put a lot on the line, and for that I have immense respect for the brand. This is just the beginning too, who knows what this can become.

It’s my view that what Detroit needs is more thinking like what is exhibited at Shinola. To recover, Detroit needs to embrace the unconventional ideas and its own inner-weirdness. It needs to start projects that draw out the skeptics (some city governmental integrity wouldn’t hurt either). That’s what in my mind will lead to a strong economy and bright future.

Shinola – Where American is Made |

Quality Watches, Bicycles, Fine Leather Goods & Journals | Shinolaョ

The big line moved one mile an hour
So loud it really hurt
The big line moved so loud
It really hurt
Back in '55
We were makin' thunderbirds

We filled conveyors
We met production
Foremen didn't waste words
We met production
Foremen didn't waste words
We were young and proud
We were makin' thunderbirds

Posted by gerardvanderleun May 16, 2013 8:32 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
Brand New State. Gonna Treat You Great!: Let's Hear It for Oklahoma

Posted by gerardvanderleun May 15, 2013 2:54 PM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Edward Tufte & The Art of Data Visualization: "You want to see to learn something, not see to confirm something."

"Style and aesthetics cannot rescue failed content. If the are not truthful the most appealing fonts wont’ turn lies into truth." -- Edward Tufte, Yale University

"Humans have a powerful capacity to process visual information, skills that date far back in our evolutionary lineage.

And since the advent of science, we have employed intricate visual strategies to communicate data, often utilizing design principles that draw on these basic cognitive skills. In a modern world where we have far more data than we can process, the practice of data visualization has gained even more importance. From scientific visualization to pop infographics, designers are increasingly tasked with incorporating data into the media experience. Data has emerged as such a critical part of modern life that it has entered into the realm of art, where data-driven visual experiences challenge viewers to find personal meaning from a sea of information, a task that is increasingly present in every aspect of our information-infused lives."

Where The Buffalo Roamed – How Far Can You Get From McDonald's? FOR MAXIMUM MCSPARSENESS, we look westward, towards the deepest, darkest holes in our map: the barren deserts of central Nevada, the arid hills of southeastern Oregon, the rugged wilderness of Idaho’s Salmon River Mountains, and the conspicuous well of blackness on the high plains of northwestern South Dakota....

Then there's always "Charles Joseph Minard who was a pioneer of the use of graphics in engineering and statistics. He is famous for his Carte figurative des pertes successives en hommes de l'Armee Francaise dans la campagne de Russie 1812-1813, a flow map published in 1869 on the subject of Napoleon's disastrous Russian campaign of 1812. The graph displays several variables in a single two-dimensional image:

  • the size of the army - providing a strong visual representation of human suffering, e.g. the sudden decrease of the army's size at the crossing of the Berezina river on the retreat;
  • the geographical co-ordinates, latitude and longitude, of the army as it moved;
    the direction that the army was traveling, both in advance and in retreat, showing where units split off and rejoined;
  • the location of the army with respect to certain dates; and
  • the weather temperature along the path of the retreat, in another strong visualisation of events (during the retreat "one of the worst winters in recent memory set in 1861").

See it large along with a Facebook map of the world in 2013....


Posted by gerardvanderleun May 15, 2013 1:40 PM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Jon Stewart: "I didn't realize apologies were sufficient in IRS related issues...."

Posted by gerardvanderleun May 15, 2013 11:28 AM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
War in the Contemporary World: Victor Davis Hanson

Speaking at Hoover Institution's 2013 Spring Retreat.

Posted by gerardvanderleun May 15, 2013 8:38 AM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
SOLIPSIST: Something Rich and Strange

Full fathom five thy father lies;
       Of his bones are coral made;
  Those are pearls that were his eyes:
       Nothing of him that doth fade,
  But doth suffer a sea-change
  Into something rich and strange.
  Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell:
  Hark! now I hear them -- Ding-dong, bell.

-- Ariel's Song, The Tempest

Posted by gerardvanderleun May 15, 2013 8:35 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: Home

Filmed in the town of Springdale, Utah bordering Zion National Park.

Posted by gerardvanderleun May 15, 2013 7:45 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
W.H. Auden: Old People's Home (from Epistle for a Godson, 1972)


All are limitory, but each has her own
nuance of damage. The elite can dress and decent themselves,
        are ambulant with a single stick, adroit
to read a book all through, or play the slow movements of
        easy sonatas. (Yet, perhaps, their very
carnal freedom is their spirit's bane: intelligent
        of what has happened and why, they are obnoxious
to a glum beyond tears.) Then come those on wheels, the average
        majority, who endure T.V. and, led by
lenient therapists, do community singing, then
        the loners, muttering in limbo, and last
the terminally incompetent, as impeccable,
        improvident, unspeakable as the plants
they parody. (Plants may sweat profusely but never
        sully themselves.) One tie, though, unites them: all
appeared when the world, though much was awry there, was more
        spacious, more comely to look at, its Old Ones
with an audience and secular station. (Then a child,
        in dismay with Mamma, could refuge with Gran
to be revalued and told a story.) As of now,
        we all know what to expect, but their generation
is the first to fade like this, not at home but assigned
        to a numbered frequent ward, stowed out of conscience
as unpopular luggage.
                  As I ride the subway
        to spend half-an-hour with one, I revisage
who she was in the pomp and sumpture of her hey-day,
        when week-end visits were a presumptive joy,
not a good work. Am I cold to wish for a speedy
        painless dormition, pray, as I know she prays,
that God or Nature will abrupt her earthly function?


Posted by gerardvanderleun May 15, 2013 5:43 AM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Too Many Plates on the Sticks

Western plate spinning performers usually present comedy acts and typically feature one performer with an assistant, spinning multiple plates on sticks held vertically in stands.

Other forms of plate manipulation include plate waltzing, where plates are spun on their edges on a table top, and plate juggling, where plates are manipulated and thrown by the performers. Some performers have combined several of these elements into restaurant or kitchen-themed acts.

The Guinness World Record for spinning multiple plates is held by David Spathaky, assisted by Debbie Woolley, who spun 108 plates simultaneously in Bangkok, Thailand, on television in 1996. He had previously held and broken his own record four times since 1986. La Wik

Bellini Brothers

Peking Opera

Posted by gerardvanderleun May 14, 2013 6:28 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
Obama Is All Wet: The Newspage Genius of Matt Drudge

The Drudge Report now:


Extra visual, verbal, and historical punning points for "Son of Watergate?"

Why has Matt Drudge never received a Pulitzer? Because a Pulitzer, at this point, would demean this most modern Michelangelo.

Posted by gerardvanderleun May 14, 2013 10:17 AM | Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
He's Back! Chris Hadfield's Mission Reflections and Highlight Reel

"The space station is an outpost. It's right on the edge of the human experience."

"Hadfield, 53, an engineer and former test pilot from Milton, Ontario, was Canada's first professional astronaut to live aboard the space station and became the first Canadian in charge of a spacecraft. He relinquished command of the space station on Sunday.... He has now landed safely back on Earth with two other astronauts after a five-month mission - and immediately tweeted it was 'wonderful to smell and feel Spring.'

During his tour, Hadfield made several 'vlogs' documenting how ordinary things are done in outer space. In the process he became a new star to the Earth spinning below him. Here's a few excerpts:

[This video may or may not be available based on traffic volume demands at The Daily Mail]

Posted by gerardvanderleun May 14, 2013 9:44 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
The Spielberg Method

What gives Steven Spielberg his magic touch in movies? It has to do with perfect pitch when it comes to conveying emotion. Here's 12 minutes worth of insightful clues.

Posted by gerardvanderleun May 14, 2013 9:03 AM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Bitchy Resting Face

Bitchy Resting Face - watch more funny videos

Bitchy Resting Face is a disorder that affects millions of women every day. Together we can face the problem.

Posted by gerardvanderleun May 14, 2013 8:27 AM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Amazing Photos: Baby Hummingbird Nest

[Click to enlarge]

[Click to enlarge] and, yes, that's a housefly in the foreground.

Just two shots from a massive photo essay on this miracle on a small branch of a small tree next to the parking lot of a golf course in Colorado. Full show RIGHT HERE. Take your time. It's a big (BIG) page and the photos are high-res, but it's worth it. [Thanks to Rodger the Real King of France]

[Reposted from 2011 to go with the Nest Video below]

Posted by Vanderleun May 14, 2013 1:01 AM | Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Robins: 4 Eggs, 4 Weeks

Robins: 4 Eggs, 4 Weeks from Fred Margulies on Vimeo.

Posted by gerardvanderleun May 13, 2013 9:50 PM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
They Said Nobody Could Update "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band." They Were Wrong.

Blur Brain sez This Music Video Got Nearly 89 Million Views, Find Out Why "My recent post of a member of the Japanese vocal group AKB48 eating Tororo gave some of you a bad case of yellow fever so here’s one of the group’s most popular music videos. Not sure why it’s so popular, maybe it’s the catchy tune or the odd lyrics. Perhaps you can figure it out."


Posted by gerardvanderleun May 13, 2013 1:41 PM | Comments (12)  | QuickLink: Permalink
MinusIQ | The pill to lower your IQ permanently

Posted by gerardvanderleun May 12, 2013 11:34 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: Space Oddity from the Space Station

Wow! Just wow! Every so often you come across something that reminds you that, with all the old evils of this Earth, we still live in the age of miracles and wonders. This is one of those.


Posted by gerardvanderleun May 12, 2013 8:50 PM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Boston Marathon bombing -- The FBI investigates

Make no mistake, we cannot prevail over the death cultists of Mohammedanism until we prevail over the culture of death of the Left.

Of the two religions that hate Christianity and call America the Great Satan, Political Correctness is more pervasive and more persuasive. In part, this is because one of its religious dogmas, never to be questioned, is that it is not a religion and it has no dogmas: it is merely the truth believed by all right-thinking non-child-eating non-bigots. --Ongoing Investigation | John C. Wright's Journal

Posted by gerardvanderleun May 11, 2013 9:30 AM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
One World Trade Center: "Hey, I'm Back"


The spire atop One World Trade Center has been fully installed and the structure has reached its symbolic height of 1,776 feet. The finishing touches were put in place this morning and the building now becomes the tallest in the Western Hemisphere.


Posted by gerardvanderleun May 11, 2013 8:30 AM | Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
This Is Water

Posted by gerardvanderleun May 11, 2013 7:57 AM | Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Prowler Cam: Peeping at the Peeper

RAW: Police seek prowler peeping at underage girl - YouTube

Published on Apr 12, 2013
The Stockton Police Department released this footage of a prowler caught peeping into the bedroom window of an underaged female in north Stockton.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Stockton Police Department at (209) 937-8377 or Crime Stoppers at (209) 946-0600. Callers can remain anonymous. Cellphone users can text information to 274637 (CRIMES) by entering the keyword "TIPSPD" followed by their tip. Internet users can visit the Police Department's Facebook page and click "Submit a Tip."

Posted by gerardvanderleun May 10, 2013 8:03 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
Earth Holds Infinite Heavens: By The Lake, Tasmania

on Vimeo

A lord asked Takuan, a Zen Teacher, to suggest how he might pass the time. He felt his days very long attending his office and sitting stiffly to receive the homage of others. Takuan wrote eight Chinese characters and gave them to the man:

"Not twice this day

Inch time foot gem.

This day will not come again.

Each minute is worth a priceless gem."

"Phipps lives in a fisherman’s shack in Tasmania

that his family’s owned all his life. His front garden is a giant lake, brimming with 9lb trout; his neighbours are wedge-tailed eagles and possums and tiger snakes. This is a day in Phipps’ beautiful, quiet world."

Posted by gerardvanderleun May 9, 2013 10:47 AM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Sacrifice and the Reckoning: The Event

"We have made a dark bargain with ourselves to let one of our cities die."

[First published: October 2004]

San Diego, California. August 6th, 11:36AM

THE TECATE TRUCK was just like all the other Tecate Beer trucks that went back and forth daily at the border crossing, except that it was not owned by Tecate. The driver of that truck spoke fluent Spanish and the truck was always loaded with Tecate. In time the US border guards got used to it. The difference was that this truck had, at its center, a narrow, hollow space shielded with thin sheets of lead so that no ambient radiation would escape.

It had cost The Base over $150,000 to convert the truck at a garage in Ensenada a year before. That was little enough when it came to securing the device which had cost the same group more than $10 million in Russia in 1997. In any event, the truck did its job and passed without incident over the border and into the United States at Tecate, California on August 6th. Dates were important to The Base, and this date was especially significant. After all, what could be more significant than the day on which Hiroshima was destroyed?

After clearing the border the Tecate Truck followed Highway 94 north to it's merge with Highway 8 at La Mesa, California, and then drove west towards Highway 5. It pulled off the road at a rest stop where it picked up a technician in a Tecate uniform who was carrying a case with the necessary electronics and a couple of weapons. After that, the two men followed the road thought the heart of San Diego. It got off the freeway in downtown and quickly made its way to the intersection of North Harbor Drive and West Broadway. It's total travel time from the border to downtown San Diego was just over an hour. It was running close to schedule. It was about 11:30 in the morning.

The truck pulled over and parked along North Harbor drive and the technician took out some binoculars and scanned the harbor beyond the Navy Region Southwest Complex whose entrance was less than 100 yards away. Intelligence was correct. The USS Ronald Reagan was in its home port and riding comfortably at anchor.

The technician opened his case and took a wire that ran from the back of the truck along the floorboards. He plugged it into a jack in the simple switching device in the case. He looked at the driver and smiled. The driver smiled back. They both began to recite a prayer in Arabic while looking over the San Diego harbor. At some point in the prayer, without really thinking about it, the technician threw the switch. In the next instant, at the intersection of North Harbor Drive and West Broadway in San Diego, California on a warm August morning, a miniature version of the Sun appeared on the surface of the Earth.


Posted by Vanderleun May 9, 2013 9:19 AM | Comments (58)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Robinsons 'Pals'

Posted by gerardvanderleun May 9, 2013 8:28 AM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Rose of Saturn


"The spinning vortex of Saturn's north polar storm resembles a deep red rose of giant proportions surrounded by green foliage in this false-color image from NASA's Cassini spacecraft. Measurements have sized the eye at a staggering 1,250 miles (2,000 kilometers) across with cloud speeds as fast as 330 miles per hour (150 meters per second)." -- NASA - The Rose

Posted by gerardvanderleun May 9, 2013 7:58 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
Most Lethal Tweet of the Year

Iowahawk leaving an indelible mark on his latest victim:


Posted by gerardvanderleun May 8, 2013 4:49 PM | Comments (12)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Declaration's Checklist: Let's Review

First draft

Compare, contrast and keep track. There will be a test.

  • He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
  • He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
  • He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
  • He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
  • He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
  • He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
  • He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
  • He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
  • He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
  • He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
  • He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
  • He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
  • He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
  • For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
  • For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
  • For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
  • For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
  • For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
  • For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
  • For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
  • For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
  • For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
  • He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
  • He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
  • He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
  • He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
  • He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

Posted by gerardvanderleun May 8, 2013 9:48 AM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Hive Mind of the Progressive Impulse in America Illustrated

This work was awarded the 16th Grand Prize if the Japan Media Arts Festival.

Posted by gerardvanderleun May 8, 2013 9:19 AM | Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Russian Dashboard Cams That Will Make Your Day Better: "Мир не без добрых людей... / Good people"

Gets a little misty in here.

Posted by gerardvanderleun May 6, 2013 4:03 PM | Comments (17)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: The Internet Archive in the Christian Science Church -- "The web is, in fact, infinite..."


Archive is a documentary focused on the future of long-term digital storage, the history of the Internet and attempts to preserve its contents on a massive scale.

Part one features Brewster Kahle, founder of the Internet Archive and his colleagues Robert Miller, director of books, and Alexis Rossi, director of web collections. On a mission to create universal access to all knowledge, the Internet Archive’s staff have built the world's largest online library, offering 10 petabytes of archived websites, books, movies, music, and television broadcasts. The video includes a tour of the Internet Archive’s headquarters in San Francisco, the book scanning center, and the book storage facilities in Richmond, California. -- Internet Archive on Vimeo

"It's not a thousand times the size of the Library of Congress.... but it's starting to get there."

Posted by gerardvanderleun May 6, 2013 3:20 PM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: "It Makes No Difference," The Band

Should you ever meet anyone unclear on the meaning of "plaintive," "yearning," or "regret" just point them toward the tone of the singer in this song.

These old love letters
Well, I just can't keep
Just like the gambler says:
"Read 'em and weep"
And the dawn don't rescue me no more

Without your love, I'm nothing at all
Like an empty hall, it's a lonely fall
Since you've gone it's a losing battle
Stampeding cattle, they rattle the walls

And the sun don't shine anymore
And the rains fall down on my door

Posted by gerardvanderleun May 5, 2013 9:56 AM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Sinko de Mayo


I must have been sleeping when this became an "official" national holiday. Of course,the question of which nation is still, sort of, open.

Posted by gerardvanderleun May 5, 2013 7:47 AM | Comments (9)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Resist and Ignore Evil Laws: Why You Would Want to Have a High Capacity Magazine

"There is a certain number of “rounds” a gun has to hold in order to be a deadly weapon capable of ending a human life, or altering it forever. And that number is one.

Some gun-rights advocates consider the magazine-capacity limit to be among the most logical and persuasive proposals to be offered by their opposition. I strenuously disagree with this. It doesn’t even begin to make a lick o’ sense. The whole thing is a silly bunny trail. First test of a rational proposal is, can you define its objective — so what’s the objective here? Make a gun that’s safe? Ladies-and-gentlemen, boys-and-girls, guns aren’t safe. They are life-threatening and deadly. They’re supposed to be. Guns are like car insurance, in the sense that (in this context) you hope you never, ever have to use them. Those who do their responsible thinking, as opposed to feeling, realize “I hope I never have to use it” is meaningfully different from “I don’t want it to be effective if I ever have to use it.” -- House of Eratosthenes

Posted by gerardvanderleun May 4, 2013 1:28 PM | Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink


The Great Figure

Among the rain
and lights
I saw the figure 5
in gold
on a red
to gong clangs
siren howls
and wheels rumbling
through the dark city.
-- William Carlos Williams

What Alexander Graham Bell's Voice Sounded Like: We now know what the man who made it possible to hear the voices of cross-country friends sounded like.

Deep Inside Taco Bell's Doritos Locos Taco

I'm Thirteen and I Have Gonorrhea Debuts on MTV

“Cty of Jesey:”Where Mail With Illegible Addresses Goes to Be Read

Let’s Hope the Next Bomber is a Liberal Journalist

The Obama Borg | National Review OnlineHow “man-caused disasters” replaced Islamist terrorism in the Obama lexicon

6 Harsh Truths That Will Make You a Better Person |

The wonderfully slow and delightfully agonizing death of the Washington Post: Ed Driscoll サ Through a Gimlet Eye: Studying the Washington Post Kremlinologist-Style

Ormond Gigli's best photograph – women in the windows in Manhattan: 'The building was knocked down the next day. The supervisor let us do it – provided we cast his wife'....


Posted by gerardvanderleun May 4, 2013 9:08 AM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink


So it was and so it is in the time of a totalitarian system. Every day brings a new heartache, a new tremor, more helplessness, and yet another reduction of freedom and free thought in a censored society already bound and gagged. In Prague: Philip Roth's PEN Remarks

Every Noise at Once

"This is an algorithmically-generated non-analytical map of the musical genre-space. Genres and artists are positioned by code and data, adjusted for legibility, but the underlying vectors are less interesting than the juxtapositions and clusters that they produce, so the axes have been deliberately left unlabeled and uncalibrated. You are invited to imagine your own qualities and magnitudes that the geometry might be expressing."

Click around on this page forever.

The Rules of Terror in Horror Movies “No one in the theater is going to walk out in the first thirty minutes, they just aren’t. So you’ve got ‘em for at least thirty minutes. Now you better deliver at the end of thirty minutes, but you’ve got all this time that you can build, build, build.”

Bruce Charlton's Miscellany: Is it possible to do good things for bad reasons? Not for long...

Many who express their admiration for Orwell today have yet to absorb his point that screaming ‘Fascists!’ in the faces of those you disagree with is not the same thing as making your case. ‘Libel’, as he concludes, ‘settles nothing’. sp!ked review of books preview | Homage to Orwell

People Whose Guts You Should Hate @ Curmudgeonly & Skeptical presents Boned Jello

Van Gogh's true colours were originally even brighter | Art and design |

Posted by gerardvanderleun May 4, 2013 7:47 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
"Celebrate! Celebrate! Dance to a new day!"


I've been away but I am back just in time for..... World Naked Gardening Day (WNGD)!

So what should you do? First of all, on May 4, 2013 find an opportunity to get naked and do some gardening. Do so alone, with friends, with family, with your gardening club, or with any other group collected for that purpose. Do it inside your house, in your back yard, on a hiking trail, at a city park, or on the streets. Stay private or go public. Make it a quiet time or make it a public splash. Just get naked and make your part of the botanical world a healthier and more attractive place.
Secondly, tell someone about your experience. No one owns this event, so it does not really matter whom you tell, but tell someone . Tell your friends about your day of naked gardening; write down what you thought of it and email it to your local newspaper; post your thoughts and images onto an Internet site; submit stories and photos to your club newsletter.
This was celebrated last year at various places in Seattle but, when I tried it, I am sorry to say that elders screamed and toddlers burst into tears before I could begin to tiptoe through the tulips. SWAT was called.

Posted by gerardvanderleun May 4, 2013 6:37 AM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: John Prine, Lake Marie -- "Give God a guitar, and this is what you would get....."

"Saw it on the news on the TV news in a black and white video.
You know what blood looks like in a black and white video?
Shadows, shadows that's exactly what it looks like. "

Posted by gerardvanderleun May 2, 2013 12:41 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: Gregory Corso reads his poem "Marriage"



Posted by gerardvanderleun May 1, 2013 12:05 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
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