Saturday, May 29, 2010

Hobbit model Saturday

This is some pretty impressive scale modeling.
My name is Maddie Chambers and this all began when I was a young child and read the Hobbit for the first time. I believe I was about 10 and I was instantly hooked. My Nanan lent me her copy of the Lord of the Rings about 1 year later and I remember thinking that the trilogy leaped into a far more complex world and one that I completely lost myself in. I have read Lord of the Rings about 20+ times now and each time it holds as much magic as the first time.
Example:

Friday, May 28, 2010

Poets in government


This formal and clever poet must find some such sense of the comic necessary, as he changes places each morning with that formal and intelligent commissioner of Social Security—since, as you’ve probably already guessed, they are one and the same person. Michael J. Astrue is the best poet ever to hold a truly major appointed position in the American government. And A.M. Juster is the best senior civil servant of whom American poetry can boast.

The question, of course, is why this double life of a public persona? Why has this former head of a major biotech firm, a lawyer, and a public servant chosen to share the same shadow as this very private poet with the sensitivity of a W.H. Auden mixed with the scathing wit of a Jonathan Swift? An even more fascinating question is why Astrue has for so long insisted on keeping these two identities separate. Years ago, when the poet X.J. Kennedy asked him why he insisted on using a pseudonym, Astrue told him that the main reason was that he didn’t want to be known as a novelty act—which, in truth, is more a dodge than an answer.
"Regard the Scuttlebutt as True"

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Spintrias



Ancient Roman coins with sex scenes:
They were used in ancient Rome to request and pay for different “services” in brothels and from prostitutes on the street. Since there were a lot of foreigners coming to the city that did not speak the language and most of the prostitutes were slaves captured from other places the coins made the transactions easy and efficient. One side of these coins showed what the buyer wanted and the other showed the amount of money to be paid for the act.

not a real disease

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A Conference Expansion Post

Everyone is treating the current round of conference expansion as if it's a given that the Big 10 will act, the SEC will respond, and the ACC/Big 12/Big East will scramble to recover.

That's probably true. But I think that it's time to strike for the little conferences. This is particularly true for the ACC, which risks losing some members should the SEC get hungry. The ACC model as it stands clearly isn't working -- their hilariously half-filled conference championship football games and dearth of legitimate national title contenders being the best examples. In football, the ACC is broken.

Basketball-wise, though, it's working pretty well. So the ACC should act with three things in mind:

1. Strengthen or at least don't further dilute your football brand.

2. Improve your conference's basketball prestige.

3. Prepare for the inevitable incursions of the SEC (and, possibly, the Big 10).

With that in mind, the ACC should consider expansion early, while it can get the drop on folks. I doubt the ACC will, because expansion was a mistake last time, and they got a bad reputation from it. But, as I said above, the conference obviously needs fixing. Further, who cares what people think?

If I were in charge of the ACC, we'd go for sixteen teams divided into two north-south divisions.

The Southern would include FSU, Miami, Clemson, Georgia Tech, and the four North Carolina schools. This would be the stronger division in both football and (especially) basketball.

The Northern Division would include current members Virginia Tech, Virginia, Maryland, and Boston College. Four additional teams would be added. I would make an offer to Penn State first, agreeing to pretty much whatever they want, but they wouldn't move. Instead, I'd have to raid the Big East for Pittsburgh, Louisville, West Virginia, and UConn.

The South is tougher either way. But I think it's a big improvement over the current conference in football, for a couple of reasons. First, while the South is a lot stronger, the North is deeper -- there's nobody that is a pit of football despair like Duke. Second, the conference championship game is almost certainly going to include one of the Florida teams, Clemson, or Georgia Tech, which should improve ratings and attendance.

As far as basketball goes, who cares how even the divisions are?

Vexillological World Cup: Knockout Stage

Don't remember what the flags look like? Fuck you!

Uruguay 2 - 1 Greece

England 3 - 3 Serbia
(England win 5 - 4 on penalties)

Denmark 2 - 0 New Zealand

Portugal 0 - 1 Switzerland

Argentina 2 - 1 France

Germany 3 - 2 Algeria

Slovakia 4 - 1 Holland

Honduras 1 - 0 North Korea



So, our quarterfinals look (if you could remember what they look like!) like this:

Uruguay
England

Denmark
Switzerland

Argentina
Germany

Slovakia
Honduras

Pretty stupid!

I can't stop watching the slow motion part

Sunday, May 23, 2010

ISIS week

Slightly less old shit:

Friday, May 21, 2010

ISIS week

ISIS have broken up. Thus, videos.

Two related zombie games

Zombie Baseball and the far superior Zombie Cricket.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Bananas

The humble banana almost seems like a miracle of nature. Colourful, nutritious, and much cherished by children, monkeys and clowns, it has a favoured position in the planet’s fruitbowls. The banana is vitally important in many regions of the tropics, where different parts of the plant are used for clothing, paper and tableware, and where the fruit itself is an essential dietary staple. People across the globe appreciate the soft, nourishing flesh, the snack-sized portions, and the easy-peel covering that conveniently changes colour to indicate ripeness. Individual fruit—or fingers—sit comfortably in the human hand, readily detached from their close-packed companions. Indeed, the banana appears almost purpose-designed for efficient human consumption and distribution. It is difficult to conceive of a more fortuitous fruit.

The banana, however, is a freakish and fragile genetic mutant; one that has survived through the centuries due to the sustained application of selective breeding by diligent humans. Indeed, the “miraculous” banana is far from being a no-strings-attached gift from nature. Its cheerful appearance hides a fatal flaw— one that threatens its proud place in the grocery basket. The banana’s problem can be summed up in a single word: sex.
The Unfortunate Sex Life of the Banana

2012 Olympics

Have you seen the new Olympic mascots for the 2012 London games?



Ye gods. You can't really tell from that picture, but the one on the right (I think he's the one for the special Olympics) is wearing a crotchless leotard. The other one has the famous "Lisa Simpson giving a blowjob" logo on the front.

You can tell in the even stupider costumes, though.



Goodness that is terrifying. I am fairly certain that blue one fought Godzilla in a special child-rape episode. This is shaping up to be the least aesthetic event ever in that orgy of nationalism, corruption, and waste.

The worst part is that the two symbols of England are the lion and the bulldog, two of the most awesome animals out there. It's even worse than when the Olympics were in Atlanta* and the mascot wasn't a failing inner-city school system.

*I still have an Izzy key chain, though I don't use it.

Vexillological World Cup: Knockout Stage

The bracket (imagine there's a bracket):

Uruguay (Gp A Winner)
Greece (Gp B Runner-Up)

England (Gp C Winner)
Serbia (Gp D Runner-Up)

Denmark(Gp E Winner)
New Zealand (Gp F Runner-Up)

Portugal (Gp G Winner)
Switzerland (Gp H Runner-Up)

Argentina (Gp B Winner)
France (Gp A Runner-Up)

Germany (Gp D Winner)
Algeria (Gp C Runner-Up)

Slovakia (Gp F Winner)
Holland (Gp E Runner-Up)

Honduras (Gp H Winner)
North Korea (Gp G Runner-Up)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Don't step on the grass, Sam

Vexillological World Cup: Group H





Chile: God bless Texas.









Spain: Would be better without the seal.








Honduras: This is a good group.











Switzerland: Make it square, man.








Runner-Up: Switzerland

Winner: Honduras

StarCraft 2 strategy

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

First person Super Mario Bros.

Vexillological World Cup: Group G





Ivory Coast: Like Ireland but Africanier.









Portugal: In actual soccer terms, this is a very tough group. In flag terms, no.







North Korea:
Looks like something GI Joe would fly.








Brazil: Gross colors, complicated image. It is vurry recognizable though. Progresso is a soup.






Runner-Up: North Korea

Winner: Portugal

Monday, May 17, 2010

Vexillological World Cup: Group F



Paraguay: I think its obverse and reverse sides are slightly different. Neither is very good.








Italy: Doesn't do much other than make me hungry.







New Zealand: Slightly worse than Australia but good enough for this group.







Slovakia: We don't just hang ANY flag on our wall.






Runner-Up: New Zealand

Winner: Slovakia

I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, Night Man

Night man!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Vexillological World Cup: Group E





Denmark: Oldest flag ever. Or something. The nordic cross would be sorely missed if it weren't for this ole girl.











Japan: And that's a period. Gross.









Cameroon: Sigh. Africa.








The Netherlands: Turn France sidways? I'm in!







Runner-Up: Holland

Winner: Denmark

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Dolphins

Or that would have been that, except word of the catch reached the ears of Colonel George Montagu, who lived in patrician seclusion on his estate some ten miles down the road. Montagu, veteran of the American Revolution (and at the time the world’s leading expert on the taxonomy of British sponges), was a corresponding member of several societies for natural history, and he set out to recover what was left of the carcass, which had been briefly exhibited at the county fair before being boiled down for oil—the bones unceremoniously dumped back in the river. A little diligent muckraking revealed the skeleton of what Montagu eventually decided was a little whale not previously seen on the English coast, so he wrote up a detailed anatomy and preserved its toothy skull.

Though Montagu stepped on a rusty nail a few months later and promptly died of tetanus, his final dissection outlived him: published posthumously, his account represents the first recognized scientific description of the bottlenose dolphin, a creature Americans generally think of as “Flipper,” but which those in the know call Tursiops truncatus. The skull of the Dart River Beast remains to this day in a drawer in London’s Natural History Museum—the eternal type specimen for the species as a whole. If, therefore, you wish to grasp the essential nature of the bottlenose, you should, technically speaking, start here, pulling item number GERM.353a, and looking down that bony beak into a pair of empty orbits. Alas, poor Yorick!

Actually, though, knowing the bottlenose is a good deal harder than that. Neither Colonel Montagu nor those rough-handed boatmen could have had any idea that the creature they dispatched to scientific apotheosis in 1814 would go on to lead such a queer and dramatic life in the collective imagination of modernity. Tursiops truncatus—a slate-gray, slick-skinned net thief, which coastal fishermen of the late nineteenth-century Atlantic sometimes called the “herring hog” in disgust—would, by the 1970s, leap in the vanguard of the Age of Aquarius, enjoying an improbable secular canonization as the superintelligent, ultrapeaceful, erotically uninhibited totem of the counterculture. And to this day, for many, the bottlenose—mainstay of aquatic ecotourism, beloved water-park performer, smiling incarnation of soulful holism—represents a cetacean version of our better selves. If, as Thoreau wrote a few years after the slaying of the Dart River dolphin, “animals . . . are all beasts of burden, in a sense, made to carry a portion of our thoughts,” then there are few creatures that have done more hauling for Homo sapiens in the twentieth century than Tursiops truncatus.
A Mind in the Water

Vexillological World Cup: Group D





Germany: Das Heillage!







Australia: I don't mind the various flags with the Union Jack in the canton. This is a tough group though.






Serbia: Deceptively busy little seal there.








Ghana: We get it, you're black people.






Runner-Up: Serbia

Winner: Germany

Friday, May 14, 2010

Theme for the weekend

Yo yo trick scam

Oh man I love this guy.

Vexillological World Cup: Group C





Algeria: Surprisingly effective.







Slovenia: 3E likes the slavic flags that follow this general template. We think this might be the weakest of the three in the tournament.







USA: Busy. We need fewer states.










England: Classy.






Runner-Up: This was a tough call, but since we're sure at least one of the other Slavic flags will make it through, we're going with Algeria.

Winner: England

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Vexillological World Cup: Group B





Argentina: You again! I can't say no to a pretty face.






Nigeria: Not as garish as most Sub-Saharan flags. Simple but uninspiring. It will soon become painfully apparent that 3E much prefers horizontal stripes to vertical ones.








Greece: Recognizable but not really for any positive reason. The blue should be darker. Might just end up being the second tallest building in this Wichita of a group.







South Korea: White background with stuff smattered about it. Usually not a success story.





Runner-Up: Greece.

Winner: Argentina.

Facebook and privacy

In three handy links.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

An obnoxious little game

Everybody Edits, which is just like the internet: some people build stuff, some people ruin stuff, some people draw swastikas.

Vexillological World Cup: Group A





Uruguay:
I usually hate the sun but this one has won me over.








France:
Simple is good, but the colors lack creativity. Still, better than...





Mexico:
Busy little birdsealthing in the middle. Would be better without it, but the colors would still look so... Mexican. <\subtle racism>







South Africa:
There's a fine line (get it?) between fimbriation and infibulation. Then again, there's really not.





Runner-Up:
France

Winner: Nothing here really stands out and it doesn't look good for the knockout rounds to come, but we're going with Uruguay.

Tri Epsilon Spring Meeting Report


Success!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Monday, May 10, 2010

Nature is weird

Zoologger is a blog about weird and unusual animals. This is my favorite one I have looked at so far:
In a grassy field on the edge of a patch of woodland, some ants are escorting a pink caterpillar to their home. Once it has been guided into the depths of their nest, the caterpillar begins feeding the ants with sweet fluids.

It may sound like a touching story of interspecies love, but it ain't. Over the following year, the caterpillar will eat its way through hundreds of ants, eggs and larvae. So voracious is the intruding caterpillar, there is a good chance that the ant colony will be wiped out.

This deceitful ant-muncher is the caterpillar of the large blue butterfly – in adult form, a strikingly beautiful creature with iridescent, spotted wings. But in order to reach adulthood, the caterpillars must infiltrate the ants' homes, and they have an arsenal of less than beautiful tricks for that purpose.
That led me to this video:

Expansion

The irregular Pete Fiutak on conference expansion:
Sooner than later, I foresee a day when the little guys are squeezed out completely and moved to another division. Eastern Michigan just can’t compete with Michigan when it comes to attendance, funding, and in every other way a you want to compare football programs. The big boys are going to realize the money to be made by creating an uber-division of elite teams and conferences, and the Big Ten is getting the ball rolling now. After all the dust settles from expansion and realignment, here’s my best guess (with the new schools in each league in bold) for how the college football world will look ten years from now …
[...]
SEC – Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisville, LSU, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, South Carolina, South Florida, Southern Miss, Tennessee, UCF, Vanderbilt
Nope. There is no conceivable way that the SEC expands to include those four teams. If the SEC does expand, Louisville is a distinct possibility, and South Florida is probably not impossible, but UCF and Southern Miss add absolutely nothing to the conference. They actively harm it. Clemson, Texas, Hawaii, Sorbonne, and Mars University are all as or more likely. (His estimates for the new Pac-10 teams (Boise State, Colorado, Fresno State, Nevada, San Diego State, UNLV) are equally far-fetched).

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Super Mario Crossover Saturday

Oh man, Super Mario Crossover is a. awesome and b. sounds like a Nintendo basketball game. That guy's name was Bill R.? Whatever, he is far and away the best.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Friday music game

BallDroppings. Very musical.

Friday music

Thursday, May 06, 2010

postin'

aw yeah. postin'

Autoantonyms

Autoantonyms are words that have two opposing meanings, so that they are effectively their own antonym. My favorites include:

bolt(verb)
• to secure in place
• to dash away suddenly

cleave (verb)
• to adhere; stick together
• to cut apart; divide

rent (verb)
• to lend; lease out
• to borrow; hire

screen (verb)
• to view; show
• to conceal; shield

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Monday, May 03, 2010

Every Calvin and Hobbes

Starting here. I am not sure if anyone who is interested in this (after all, it's been out of print for 15 years) will need it, as there are a number of great collections, but the searchability is nice.

Folk Metal Monday

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Mad Farmers

Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
This is a Philippine Tarsier
Ask the questions that have no answers.
Invest in the millenium. Plant sequoias.
From "Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front"