In the late 1980s I was working on a story--to which I never assigned a real title--which revolved around a small group of really smart people at a fictional technical university in the Pacific Northwest. I use the technique employed by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in the Sherlock Holmes series: it's written in first person but the main character is not the one who delivers the narrative. The story is about one William "Goober" Riley, as told from the viewpoint of his friend Paul Valdez. Goober is super-intelligent and almost totally cracked, which makes it impossible for a good story to be written from his viewpoint. Using Paul as "Watson" enables the story to be told; Paul also acts as the "straight man", the more-or-less normal observer seeing (and reacting to) all the insanity taking place around him. (He rapidly becomes acclimated to it, though.)
In one version of the story--the first one--part of the Goober mystique was built around Goober being so spectacularly unpopular with the other students that his ostracism was contagious: people would see Paul at a meal and whisper, "Goober touched him," and avoid him as if he were on fire and radioactive, like some kind of portable Chernobyl.
And what precipitated this outcast status? Well, one reason was "Underwear Man": in the process of trying to hide some spectacular prank (before its realization) Goober jumped into a crowded dorm hallway, in front of the Dean, several trustees, some bluebloods, rich parents, etc, with his boxer shorts on his head and a beach towel for a cape--and nothing else on--shouting, "It's Underwear Man! I'm here to, uh, to keep starch out of your shorts! Farewell!" And then he streaked away.
This story ended up being excised in the rewrite, for several reasons, but I did have an homage to it in the later version. And so the phrase "underwear man" has a special place in my heart. A weird place I don't normally talk about, but a special place nonetheless.
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On a more serious note, though: People are wishing death on Rush Limbaugh.
Said Wanda Sykes, at the White House coorespondents' dinner:
"Rush Limbaugh said he hope this administration fails. So you're saying, 'I hope America fails.' He just wants the country to fail. To me, that's treason. He's not saying anything different than what Osama Bin Laden is saying. You know, you might want to look into this, sir, because I think maybe Rush Limbaugh was the 20th hijacker but he was just so strung out on OxyContin he missed his flight.Well, we've sure come a long way from "dissent is patriotic", haven't we? When Bush was in the White House, it was the height of loyalty to want the President to fail, for his policies to end in disaster. But now that Obama is in the White House, now it's "treason", and it's perfectly acceptable to wish death on someone for that.
"Rush Limbaugh? 'I hope the country fails,'" continued Sykes. "I hope his kidneys fail, how about that? He needs a little waterboarding. That's what he needs."
Just imagine the outcry which would have come from the left had someone on the right suggested, during the Bush administration, that some of the leftists who actively advocated the assassination of President Bush should die for their actual real crimes? (The Secret Service takes all threats against any President seriously. I am reminded of a letter from a 7-year-old who wished some President would die; this letter prompted an actual investigation. The kid was found not to be a danger to the President and was not charged. They could have charged him for it, but common sense prevailed.)
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"...[R]esulting in the physical deterioration of Earth"? The headline of this nonsense is "Earth likely to disappear in two centuries, warn experts". Come now: "disappear"?
The planet has been around for billions of years and it has survived a lot. It has been much hotter than the ultimate doomsday scenario of a positive six degree global temperature anomaly. It has also been much colder than it is now. It has been repeatedly smacked with asteroid and comet fragments. None of this has caused the Earth to "disappear".
You're talking about moderate changes to a thin 100-mile layer of gas which lay atop a ball of rock seven thousand miles across. If you happen to look at a peach, the height of the fuzz is approximately analogous to how thick Earth's atmosphere is compared to the planet itself.
The crust is a thin scum of rock atop a gigantic ball of molten rock, and the core of the planet is around 10,000° F. Six degrees is nothing to the Earth.
The article is a regurgitation of all the anthropogenic global warming (AGW) absurdity which I have dealt with here time and time again. It's based on faulty science and it doesn't even take into account the recent cooling episode.
"Disappear". As if.
I like how they use Stephen Hawking's name to try to lend credence to the claim. They quote Hawking as saying that we ought to find usable planets around other stars and colonize them, and imply that he said this as an endorsement of AGW. They do not quote him as acually endorsing the theory; and although journalistic standards are not what they were even five years ago I would assume that a pro-AGW quote from such a prominent scientist would be plastered all over the place. Particularly in an article which spews all the AGW nonsense verbatim.
Meanwhile, sea ice is thicker and more extensive than the average since 1979. We've only been able to map arctic sea ice since 1979, so you might as well say "...as long as we've been able to measure it".
Either way, things don't look so good for these cretins.
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How much did this douchebag get paid to be Mr. Spock for the new movie? And he couldn't master the freakin' salute? They had to glue his fingers together?
Trek fanboys who can't master the use of soap can do the salute with both hands in the dark while surfing the Internet with their freaking toes. You would think that would be part of the audition or something. "Live long and prosper!" "No, sorry, pal, but if you can't do the salute, we can't use you."
I learned how to do it all by myself when I was seven years old fer Chrissakes. This twenty-something who is cast to play the part of Spock couldn't learn how to do it? Out of all the millions they spent to make that movie they couldn't spare twenty grand or so to get someone to teach this anus how to do it? WTF.
I mean, WTF.
* * *
I haven't been looking forward to the new movie anyway. My reaction to the trailers and such has been "meh" because the ST movie franchise has been blowing chunks ever since The Undiscovered Country, which itself was lesser in quality than The Voyage Home. (VI and IV, respectively.) Basically since the Next Generation cast got into the movies. The worst ST movie was better than the best TNG movie. IMHO. And I haven't even seen the last TNG movie. (Nemesis? I can't remember. I just know I haven't seen it.)
Shamus nails it here. I've enjoyed more Star Trek than I have hated, but my enthusiasm began to wane during Voyager and never came back. I don't mind saying it: Voyager sucked. I mean, come on: in one episode the state-of-the-art starship Voyager is laid low by cheese. Okay? CHEESE. FREAKING CHEESE.
Admittedly, it was a first season ep. Still: cheese? And the series never got any better. When the Borg got involved, I lost interest. (Voyager has one distinction, though: it is the only series in which the warp core ejection system ever worked</i>.)
I liked Enterprise. When it was being touted I was not optimistic about it, but the actual series surprised me pleasantly. It shouldn't have been canceled, and I haven't the faintest idea why people thought it was terrible. It was, in fact, closer to the original in just about every way than any prior series save the original itself.
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It amazes me that more people don't understand what is wrong with this: we have an entire genre of music which is predicated on the notion of its "artists" (I am using the term very loosely, hence the scare quotes) being actual criminals.
But this reads like a freakin' parody: the guy robbed a store with a BB gun, shot the clerk (who received only a minor injury)...and the moron fled the scene on a goddamned moped.
So much for "street cred".
Anyone who defends the "gangsta rap" culture as somehow noble or "authentic" has his head lodged in his anus.
* * *
Replacing Vista by December? I have a hard time believing that. Vista is barely two years old, and for all of the foo-raw surrounding its release it's actually turned out to be quite usable.
Now that all my software works, that is.
Yes, I was on the anti-Vista bandwagon for several months; I was there because most of the software I wanted to use would not work under Vista. Now it does; and for the stuff that didn't, I found perfectly acceptable substitutes, for free. (The only exception was the scanner. That wasn't Microsoft's fault; it was HP's. HP used to indefinitely support all its machinery. Now it doesn't. I won't buy another HP product.)
Is Vista better than XP? I'm not sure. Is it worse? No. There is nothing really wrong with Vista. You should not try to run it on any machine older than vintage 2007, but then you shouldn't try to run XP on a 486, either.
This machine came with Vista Home Basic pre-installed, and it was never a high-end screamer, yet Vista has never visibly reduced the performance of any software I ran on it. (Once the compatibility issues were taken care of, that is.) By and large the operating system has been pretty much invisible, as it should be.
Then again, I never had any troubles with Windows ME, either, and everyone went on and on about how horrible it was.
I'm not about to rush out and buy the upgrade to Win7.
No matter how good it sounds, never gamble on a first release. I learned that from watching Patlabor.
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If the Bush White House had revoked the press pass of the only hispanic journalist in the audience, what would the left have said about it? They would have called Bush "racist" and "bigoted".
By that standard, then, Obama is a racist and a bigot. Ha, ha.