Thursday, December 11, 2008

Computer spam = WMDs? GROOOOAAAAN!

Badtux does the linky thang to a Wired piece about the civilization-destroying threat posed by...computer malware and spam.

Don't look at me. It's the right-wing Hoover Institution sounding the alarm over what their distinguished fellows (suppresses chuckle) call eWMDs. That's short for electronic weapons of mass destruction. In other words, malware programs, viruses, and those annoying FREE MEDS e-mails are somehow as dangerous as nukes and biological weapons. And the US should enlist the National Guard to track down these idiots--er, I mean, terrorist masterminds.

Sounds like someone at Hoover got carried away after deleting the junk mail from his e-mail inbox.

Another group, calling itself the Commission on Cybersecurity for the 44th Presidency, has suggest sanctions for countries that harbor cybercriminals. File this one under Ideas that Sound Badass But Are Totally Unworkable. Why do I have a feeling these cybersecurity "experts" aren't very familiar with operating systems?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Good Gawd, now I've seen everything

Hey kids! It's the Clean Coal Carolers! A new energy policy can't come soon enough...

What? No political cronies?

The Wall Street Journal notes that Obama "appears to be moving left with some of his new choices" for cabinet posts. Specifically, he's an energy czar and an EPA head who are actually serious about reducing greenhouse gases. He has also hired a Nobel Prize-winning physicist for Secretary of Energy. In other words, he's hired competent people who are serious about their jobs.

I am, needless to say, somewhat optimistic about this new administration.

(Via The Great Beyond.)

Speaking of black metal...

This has got to be the most ridiculous idea since grunge fashion.

If Abbath Doom Occulta starts appearing at runway shows, you'll know civilization has truly gone to hell in a handbasket.

Via The Daily Swarm.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

What's the matter with Scandinavia?

Seriously, that part of the world has produced one of the silliest musical movements in recent memory. No, I'm not talking about Roxette or Ace of Base.


The movement in question is black metal, one of those fringe genres consisting of super-serious corpse-painted wannabe-demonic metal acts trying to convince the world how eeeeeeeeeeevil they truly are. To be fair, a handful were involved in church burnings during the 1990s. Black metal even has its own Charles Manson in the person of Varg Vikernes, who's now doing time for murder.

All in all, however, black metal tends to outdo even Marilyn Manson in terms of unintentional humor. The dudes in the picture above are Horgh and Abbath Doom Occulta of the band Immortal. You can see how black! metal! they really are, can't you? I guess posing for pictures with your fly open is also really black! metal! Right, Abbath?



Both pictures are taken from this list. It's NSFW, but definitely funny.

If you're hankering for more silliness, here are some black metal bands breathing fire, jamming in the wilderness, and grimacing for the camera. Including the aforementioned Immortal. (Is it just me, or does Abbath Doom Occulta sound a lot like Popeye?)

Thursday, December 04, 2008

And now a music break

Here is Ladyhawke's video for "Paris Is Burning." She gets extra points for the Snoopy shirt.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

My thoughts on Free Republic

I checked out the infamous Freeperland right after the election. Man, that is one ugly, poorly designed Web site. Can't they get some nice rich right-winger to give them money to, I dunno, hire a professional Web designer? I mean, it's bad enough that the Freepi are a bunch of whiny paste-eaters. Can't they make that site look good?

Of elephants and clogged arteries

Latest post-election spin is that the South's political influence is waning. Along with that is the spin that the GOP remains entrenched in the Deep South while the rest of the nation floats leftward. Note the NYT graphics for more details. Arkansas, in particular, looks positively crimson in places.

Yup, that Southern strategy sure worked, as the ghost of Nixon could attest. However, there is a down side to said strategy.

Louisiana has displaced Mississippi as the unhealthiest U.S. state and other Southern states were close rivals due to high obesity and smoking rates in new rankings that deemed Vermont the healthiest....

Many Southern states were clustered near the bottom of the rankings. The region has some of the highest rates of obesity, which contributes to heart disease, stroke, diabetes and some types of cancer, as well as high rates of smoking, which causes cancer, lung disease, heart disease and other problems.

One in five Louisianians lacked health insurance, while 31 percent were obese. It also suffers from high child poverty, infant mortality, premature death rate and cancer deaths, according to the report.

The GOP is really in a bind here. The party's higher ups (what's left of them) have two options:

1. Try to expand the party's reach to other parts of the country (where's your Howard Dean, dudes?), or
2. Embrace the concept of health care reform, if only to ensure that your voting base survives to the next election cycle.

How's Governer Bobby "GOP Savior by Default" Jindal going to address his state's sorry health statistics, anyway?

We need a new rule here

I call it Noonan's Rule, in honor of Peggy "Palin Pick Is Bullshit" Noonan. The rule is this: If you're anywhere near a microphone, assume it's live. No ifs, ands, or buts. And don't say anything around a microphone that would embarrass you if it were broadcast in Times Square.

The latest to violate Noonan's rule is Governor Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania, who said that Janet Napolitano would be a great head of Homeland Security because she has "no life" and "no family."

Campbell Brown, needless to say, has some words for Governor Rendell. As she and Jack Cafferty noted, Napolitano's predecessors were both married and had kids.

Rendell, Brown, and Cafferty all miss one small fact: Napolitano may be unmarried, but she does, in fact, have a family. She has a dad, a grandmother, siblings, nieces, and nephews. There are pictures of them a family album on the governor's Web site. You don't think she might enjoy taking a break from work to visit her dad or play with nieces and nephews?

Even if she doesn't have kids, perhaps she has a pet? My brother and I don't live with our mom anymore, but she still has a cat, Yowler, living with her. The implication that an unmarried person has no life away from work is just silly.