Friday, July 31, 2009

The Wesley Cup! (gay)


Huntingdon. I hate those ghost-seeing, laptop-getting yahoos almost as much as those fuckers at Millsaps. I love manufactured rivalries, though.

I'm sure I would get tired of this song eventually

should sound familiar

listen.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Bud Light, huh

Change we can believe in?

Given that Bug Light is owned by a Belgian company, boo! Also, it tastes not too great. I assume that Obama has to pick something quintessentially American, which is why he went with Bud Light. That says something about this country, but I don't know what. Some better choices:

-Sam Adams Double Bock: Few things are as American as Sam Adams, and if he serves a couple of Double Bocks, everyone will be too full to want dinner. That means a savings for us, the taxpayers.
-Yuengling Black and Tan: America's oldest brewery. Their B&T is a cheap beer that tastes like a mid-level beer.
-Blue Moon Summer Ale: Colorado is an important electoral college state, right?
-Pabst Blue Ribbon: Endear yourself to the hipster crowd. Please, if you're going to cheap, bad beer, at least do it right.
-Left Hand Milk Stout: Colorado does something right, I guess. Milk Stout is my favorite beer, but I like their Deep Cover Brown Ale too, although I've only had a single bottle of it.

Based on true events

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Birdy Nam Nam

Cap'n, when you played up The Holy Mountain so much, I expected it to be like this.

BIRDY NAM NAM - THE PARACHUTE ENDING from Steve Scott on Vimeo.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Speaking of people 3E likes

and he can do the robot dance!

We here at 3E love Peter Crouch. When asked what he would be if he weren't a professional footballer, his answer: "a virgin." Adorable. Tha Captain couldn't be happier that the Premier League's tallest player signed for Spurs today.

If I were Crouchy, and some suit asked for a resume, I would show them:

1. Pictures of my wife:

2. Videos showing that despite being the most awkward looking human being on the planet, I can do this:

The Godfather vs. Arrested Development

Here. A sample:
Connie is the only daughter of Don Vito. In "Part II": Though she and Michael care for one another very much, she often abuses what little power she has and requests money with spite. She is lazy and unmotivated, treading on the comforts that her familial status gives her. She rebels against the values of the family by remarrying somebody that the rest of the family despises.

Lindsay is the only daughter of George, Sr. Though she and Michael care for one another very much, she often abuses what little power she has and requests money with spite. She is lazy and unmotivated, treading on the comforts that her familial status gives her. She rebels against the values of the family by marrying somebody that the rest of the family despises.
If it had robot sword-fighting, it would be everything I love in pop culture.

Monday, July 27, 2009

40" to freedom

Gates arrested

Has any news story in the last decade or so led to more people getting the wrong message from a situation than has this Henry Louis Gates thing? Everybody is pushing the wrong angle -- that it's about how a black man in America can't catch a break, or an elitist professor trying to pull rank on a regular guy cop, or Barack Obama meddling in a local issue.

I've seen very few people note the real issue, which is the abuse of police authority. You can arrest a guy for being a mouthy jerk? How is that reasonable? And how should we consider addressing this problem? Would reforms in training, or hiring, or discipline work?

I guess the race angle is better for ratings, and it's a more familiar, more easily discussed topic. I wish someone besides the barely-marginal libertarians would be pointing out that it's not why Gates was arrested that's such a big deal; it's the fact that he could be arrested at all that should make us concerned.

Obama's birth certificate

This is pretty funny.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

An apology

Soon after we smoked, the tapestry-draped, cinder-block dorm room began to feel extremely cramped. There was nowhere to sit. Pat and Ben were talking about stuff I couldn’t understand. I wondered at some point whether they’d made up a secret language. But I nodded along so as to be polite.

It was a great relief to get outside. But by that time, 8 p.m. maybe, it had gotten dark and the road back to the quad had taken on a sinister air. I had still had no idea what Pat and Ben were saying when they spoke. And when they laughed, it was worse.

Back at the tent, the party had begun. Seniors were arriving, drunk and loud as they’d been all week. You were a whirl of orchestrating activity, talking fast, with people surrounding you wherever you went. I didn’t dare approach. Pat and Ben, though, went to get their assignments, and were soon stationed at the side of the stage, ten feet behind an orange rope. There’d be a band playing later, and I guess they were supposed to keep people away from the instruments or something. It was all very confusing. I walked around by myself for a while and it soon became clear that everyone was against me.
Dear Julia Neaman

Friday, July 24, 2009

I learned how to raise my voice in anger



Pete Townsend said this was the worst Who song recorded.

What am I seeking for the weekend? High-gravity beer. Thanks, Free the Hops!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

3E Presents: A Top 21 Things on the Internet: #14 I'm on a Boat, the Natalie Portman Rap, and general Lonely Island stuff



This is the second straight entry that makes me want to say "Shawtee!"

Actually, most of their stuff isn't terribly good. But a lot of it is good, and some of it is downright brilliant.



I think it started with Weird Al, that parody and satire started to be better than the target of ridicule. Rap is so silly, though, and so ready to sell out (that is, after all, T-Pain up there), that we're going to reach the point where we can't really talk about satire.

I can't be the only one

Does anyone else watch The 40 Year Old Virgin and get jealous of all the free time that Steve Carrell has? I'd like to play video games for a couple of hours in one of those big chairs every night.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Helmet catch

There is much to enjoy about this video.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

One question

Where is Yoshi's Cookie???

Images and lawsuits

You've probably seen this email on whatever internet things you look at:



But did you know there's more to the story? Now you do.

Monday, July 20, 2009

oh man yes

Weekly World News at Google Books

Unrelated:

A series of spoilers for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

A major character dies at the end.

-

A major character betrays another major character.

-

In the penultimate scene, Harry Potter and Voldemort throw massive left hooks at the exact same time. They connect, knocking each other out. Both men are counted out, and when Voldemort wakes up, he realizes Harry's still got it. The crowd chants, "Potter! Potter!" and the two fighters hug, each having a new-found respect for the other.

-

At the end, Harry Potter wakes up next to Susan Pleshette, and it was all a dream. Before going back to sleep, Harry tells her she should wear more wizarding robes.

-

It turns out Albus Dumbledore was actually a Grand Wizard.

-

Harry is startled by the dog while sleeping in his favorite easy chair. He sits up, sore, and realizes he has never accomplished anything important since he was in high school, fifty years ago this May. He peaked, and nothing he ever does again will matter. He gets up to mix another gin and tonic.

-

Wizards aren't real.

Friday, July 17, 2009

So wrong

Fox casting for new Futurama voices.

yeah and fuck you for your painstaking efforts to gather all the broadcast information

typos will not be tolerated!



just kidding! it's got what you need.

I knew it!

Let's start with something small. Many people believe that each of the tartan (plaid) patterns worn by Scottish Highlanders corresponds to a particular clan and that kilts made of this fabric have served as the uniforms and emblems of that clan since time immemorial. But, as the historian Hugh Trevor-Roper pointed out in a famous essay titled "The Invention of History: The Highland Tradition of Scotland," that simply isn't true. "Indeed," Trevor-Roper wrote, "the whole concept of a distinct Highland culture and tradition is a retrospective invention," cooked up in the 19th century. Much the same can be said of the customs of the "traditional" wedding (the elaborate church ceremony, the white dress, etc.), which were concocted a the same time. In fact, for most of the history of Christendom, a wedding was a low-key affair conducted at home without the benefit of clergy.

Neither of these interesting tidbits appears in Margaret MacMillan's "Dangerous Games: The Uses and Abuses of History," however. MacMillan, a Canadian historian who heads St. Antony's College at Oxford, believes that historians ought to concern themselves with weightier stuff. Take, for example, the Treaty of Versailles, signed by the Allies and Germany after World War I and -- as I was led to believe in school -- significantly responsible for World War II. For decades the treaty was regarded as, in MacMillan's words "so foolish and vindictive" that it goaded Germany into a renewal of its imperial ambitions. But, MacMillan insists, the terms of Versailles were "never as severe as many Germans claimed and many British and Americans came to believe." The woes, financial and political, suffered by Germany between the wars, and the subsequent rise of Adolf Hitler on a tide of wounded nationalist pride, were really the result of the Great Depression and "a whole series of bad decisions" made by German leaders.

Yet kilts and bouquets have more common with simmering Weimar-era resentment than might initially seem. Even trivial "bad history," as MacMillan would call it, can be driven by profound desires. Trevor-Roper judged the "artificial creation of new Highland traditions, presented as ancient, original and distinctive," to be an attempt to assert a Scottish identity as a kind of protest against "Union with England." The idea of a gallant, free, Scottish tribal past appealed to the sensibility of the Victorian era as, too, did the notion of a very special white wedding dress; the first one was worn by Victoria herself when she married Prince Albert. Just as Scots thrilled to the idea of a rich native culture with deep roots, so we like to believe that the modern vision of wedlock as a union founded in true love is hallowed and eternal. Convincing ourselves that weddings have always been wrapped in sacred and sentimental rituals is like a charm against our suspicion that marriage may not be that romantic after all.
History is bunk after all

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Henry Paulson

How is he not in jail for this? He basically walked into the Capitol, admitted to bribing/threatening CEOs to commit fraud because he thought it was important, and nobody seems to care.

It's like the torture/terrorism thing. People have admitted to ordering or performing torture, and the debate is over whether the debate is bringing up the past. It's unbelievable.

15.8 kHz

was my highest. I think I can kind of hear 16.7, but not really -- it's more like I can hear something's not quite right, but I can't really say I hear a particular sound or tone.

Ultrasonic Ringtones

I will not be putting one on my phone.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

30 Rock is a rip-off of the Muppet Show?

Tina Fey's 30 ROCK is currently the most acclaimed comedy series on television. It's won numerous Emmys and Golden Globes and I think Pulitzers. Critics and audiences alike love the show and its lovable zany characters, and consider it one of the most original comedies in years.

And I guess it is original...if you've never seen THE MUPPET SHOW. Because, my "friends" (in quotes because I don't know or trust you, please don't be offended), Tina Fey's 30 ROCK is quite obviously ripping off Jim Henson's beloved TV show.

"You're crazy", you say? "Wow, now with the insults. This is why I don't trust you", I respond. And the I hit you up with so many facts you HAVE to concede I'm absolutely right.
The evidence

1:25 is my favorite part



Also

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Stupid normal people


A common bias among the smart is to overestimate how smart everyone else is. This was certainly my experience in moving from top rank universities as a student to a mid rank university as a teacher. A better intuition for common abilities can be found by browsing the US National Assesment of Adult Literacy sample questions.

For example, in 1992 out of a random sample of US adults, 7% could not do item SCOR300, which is to find the expiration date on a driver’s license. 26% could not do item AB60303, which is to check the “Please Call” box on a phone message slip when they’ve been told:
Overcoming Bias: Stupider than You Realize

3E Presents: A Top 21 Things on the Internet: #15 Auto-Tune the News



Already recognized in this space, Auto-Tune the News is the youngest entry on our list. They're all good, but I think #2 is still my favorite.



I still "shawty!" about five times a day.

Apparently Auto Tune became popular after 1998, when Cher released "Believe." I remember that song. It wasn't very good! But this is quite good, or at least better than most of the mediocre pop music we see these days. Serious question: why do these folks work part-time while people get paid to produce The Apprentice, Nancy Grace, Mind of Mencia, etc etc.?

Auto-Tune the News is created by the Gregory Brothers. If I am ever in New York, I hope I can see one of their shows.

I just wish he/she had spelled it 'goddamn'

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Football whatnot

A couple of bits of bad news have come out in the last week about the Auburn football team and, as tends to happen with these sorts of things during the offseason, fan response seems to have gone to either extreme: near-total panic or flip dismissal. Is either response right? Is this the end of the world, or just nothing to worry about? Let’s take a look!

First, there's been some discussion around the tubes lately, starting I believe with this Evan Woodbery piece, about the size of Auburn's recruiting class thus far (the very existence of which is sort of terrifying, given that it's seven months before signing day). Several schools, including SEC members Florida, LSU, and Alabama, already have 15 or more. Should having such a small class so far give Auburn fans pause?

Probably not. Even with only 8 commitments, right now Auburn has a top-25 class (according to Scout, though you can only put so much confidence in that). One four-star and a bunch of three-stars so far is nothing to panic about. The ratio isn’t quite as good as it was last year, but Auburn’s got several high-profile prospects (Lache Seastrunk, Michael Dyer, Joel Bonomolo, Wes Rea, etc) on the radar. Head coach Gene Chizik has put together quite a staff, with a lot of creative if sometimes hit-and-miss ideas, and their performance last year in salvaging what turned into a good class was very impressive. Recruiting shouldn’t be a long-term problem.

A more serious concern: Only Decent Returning Receiver Tim Hawthorne broke his foot during summer workouts. Hawthorne’s had some terrible luck at Auburn. He’s supposed to be back in time to be healthy for the season, but that’s a story we’ve heard before. This is pretty bad news, except for young receivers who might be looking to grab a chance for more playing time.

But the real problem here, which should give Auburn fans pause as the season approaches and temper their expectations just a bit, is what these problems say about the larger situation the team is in. Recruiting a small class is important for Auburn right now because of serious concerns about quality depth at every position except for running back. Linebacker and especially offensive line are such that any serious injury would be catastrophic. There are plenty of quarterbacks and wide receivers, but at their best inspire only an “Eh.”

That’s why even a best-case scenario for 2009 is going to mean a drop-off late in the season, especially on defense. Right now, the bodies just aren’t there.

oh no he didn't.

oh yes he did.

Mexican soccer

Up yours, Mexico.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

I must own this


Desert Bus is the best known minigame in the package, and was a featured part of Electronic Gaming Monthly's preview. The objective of the game is to drive a bus from Tucson, Arizona to Las Vegas, Nevada in real time at a maximum speed of 45mph, a feat that would take the player 8 hours of continuous play to complete, as the game cannot be paused.

The bus contains no passengers, and there is no scenery or other traffic on the road. The bus veers to the right slightly; as a result, it is impossible to tape down a button to go do something else and have the game end properly. If the bus veers off the road it will stall and be towed back to Tucson, also in real time. If the player makes it to Las Vegas, they will score exactly one point. The player then gets the option to make the return trip to Tucson—for another point (a decision they must make in a few seconds or the game ends). Players may continue to make trips and score points as long as their endurance holds out. Some players who have completed the trip have also noted that, although the scenery never changes, a bug splats on the windscreen about five hours through the first trip, and on the return trip the light does fade, with differences at dusk, and later a pitch black road where the player is guided only with headlights.

Penn says, "The best part of that I think was an idea that was not mine, not Teller’s, and not Barry Marx, who designed the game with us. It was an idea by Eddie Gorodetsky, one of the producers on Two and a Half Men, really funny guy. I think that Eddie G. is one of the funniest guys in the world."
- Penn & Teller's Smoke and Mirrors

Handy reference guide

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

The End of an Era

"Goodbye, old friend."
- The kid who shot Ol' Yellar


A diagram about work



From this guy.

I am nominally in the Hooray! section, so I got that going for me.

for some reason I feel like tha cap will like this

Monday, July 06, 2009

Flash Lemmings

Here.

Ah, the early 90s, when men were men and games were games.

this reminds me of t3h f0rUm

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Friday, July 03, 2009

3E Presents: A Top 21 Things on the Internet: #16 Rainbow sprinkler conspiracy lady (and the fail internet phenomenon in general I guess)



A good question. What the heck is in our oxygen supply? Metallic oxide salts? What is oozing out of our ground?

I discovered this video on FAIL Blog. Let's establish at the outset that, like most things, most of what's on there isn't very good: videos of people falling out of chairs, or signs in Engrish, or obvious fakes. That said, it can reach some impressive heights. Let's look at one item that just about pushed this one out of the lead:


Mascot Fail

The use of Daniel Powter's "Bad Day" apparently violates copyright, so a good version of this video (and it wasn't exactly HD-DVD quality to begin with) is kind of hard to find. That said: I love that bear!

I think it's the Time Cube-esque opening that pushes the rainbow sprinkler conspiracy lady to the top. That, and she touches a lot of different areas of idiocy: pseudo-science, populism, anything involving the phrase "we as a nation." I think my favorite part is how it ends: a rotation of the camera, sirens in the background, 12 seconds of silence from our narrator, and then a closing card with a demand for action.

As we say in the academic world, the real key isn't answering questions, it's asking the rights ones. Way to go, rainbow sprinkler conspiracy lady.

Arland, are you okay?



My favorite part it how it cuts out in the middle of the nonsense about a professional football team not having a kicker and having Walter Payton's son fill in. Also too, 'objectionable conduct"? Oh, Canada...

finally found that copy of my prom picture

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Bacteria and the end of life as we know it

But a billion years of bacterial evolutionary progress was soon stunted by a catastrophic global event. Geologists find no signs of a great meteor impact nor a volcanic eruption, but they have uncovered the unmistakable geologic scars of rapid worldwide climate change. Average temperatures, which were previously comparable to our present climate, plummeted to minus 50 degrees Celsius and brought the planet into its first major ice age. This environmental shift triggered a massive die-off which threatened to extinguish all life on Earth, and paleoclimatologists have good reason to believe that this world-changing event was unwittingly caused by some of the planet's own humble residents: bacteria.
The period in history is known as the Paleoproterozoic era, and prior to that time the Earth's ecology and environment were significantly different. The iron-rich waters of the oceans lent them a green tint, and the atmosphere was comprised of gasses other than oxygen. Although oxygen atoms were abundant, such as those found in water molecules, unbound oxygen was extremely rare. The sea was host to a plethora of anaerobic microorganisms, but there were also a few members of a newly evolved variety: a blue-green algae known as cyanobacteria. These adapted bacteria were the first to use water and sunlight for photosynthesis, producing oxygen as a by-product of their metabolism.

The cyanobacteria were a struggling minority at first, but scientists believe that these new microbes began to dominate with the help of meltwater from a few glaciers scattered across the young continents. These glaciers spent centuries scraping across the Earth collecting minerals, ultimately depositing their rich nutrient payloads into the oceans. The cyanobacteria flourished in the presence of the increased minerals, and the rapidly growing population was soon venting increasingly large amounts of its poisonous waste oxygen into the environment.
How Bacteria Nearly Destroyed All Life

A little scary

Ok, a lot scary: The U.S. National Debt Clock: Real Time

3E Presents: Worst Crap on the Internet #1 Part 3: Even More Drawings.










Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Rule changes

There have been a couple of those "rule changes we'd like to see" type of articles floating around in this never-ending off-season. I've been thinking about the same thing, partly inspired by Auburn's embarrassing decision to reject a game with UCLA. So I jotted down a few ideas.

You'll notice, in the list below, that several of my suggestion don't involve the actual on-the-field game. I think that part works pretty well. What we need are bigger, structural changes. Here are some changes I'd like to see the NCAA make for college football:

-Go back to the old clock rules.

-Go back to the old face mask penalty rules.

-Require color-on-color uniforms when possible, allowing white jerseys only when a team designates white as their home uniform color or when the colors match so closely as to make it impossible to easily distinguish the teams during play.

-Make defensive pass interference a spot foul.

-Either make replay work in a time limit (there's no reason it can't be done in 30 seconds) or switch to having coach's challenges. I think the challenge would work better -- give each coach three challenge time-outs, and if the challenge stands, keep the time-out. Also, if a team is out of time-outs, give a challenge on any play that scores points, but a missed challenge in that case is a 15-yard penalty and a loss of down against the offense or a 15-yard penalty on the kick-off against the defense.

-For the purposes of determining bowl eligibility, any home game that does not involve a scheduled return game to the opposing team's stadium or a neutral site cannot count as a win. If a team schedules such a game and then breaks the contract, that team receives a loss in the season said game was scheduled.

-For the purposes of determining bowl eligibility, all games against Football Championship Subdivision (formerly known as "1-AA") teams will count as a loss.

-Eliminate overtime and bring back tie games.

-Go back to the old bowl system and eliminate all conference tie-ins except for the Sugar, Rose, Orange, and Fiesta Bowls.

-Have a sixty-second TV time-out at the 8-minute mark of each quarter and a two-minute TV time-out between each quarter. Besides that, the game keeps moving (excluding, of course, stopping play as a result of injury, fights, power outages, etc).

why would you lie about anything at all?

3E Presents: Worst Crap on the Internet #1 Part 2: Some More Drawings.