Friday, February 22, 2002

GONNA WIN A POETRY CONTEST IF IT KILLS ME
The Japanese love order. One of their most treasured forms of artistic expression is the haiku.

Haiku is a form of poetry that doesn't ryhme. It consists of three lines. The first line has five syllables, the second line has seven syllables, and the last line has five syllables again.
That's pretty much all of the rules, except that it also has to evoke an emotion. The stronger the emotion evoked, the better the haiku. With this in mind I've composed my own version of this ancient art.

Up yours you fat jerk!
Smelly idiotic scum!
Gonna kick your ass!

I'm thinking about submitting it to various Japanese poetry competitions. Considering the sheer emotional impact of the work I'm a shoe in. The only problem might be with translating it in to Japanese. Everyone claims that translating poetry from one language to another loses most of the nuances and beauty. Somehow I think I've created something that crosses all such boundries.
SUPPORT FOR FRANCEWORLD
Looks like this guy would be in favor of FranceWorld.
RUSSKIE CRYBABIES
It would seem that the Russians aren't going to go through with their threat to boycott the Olympics. They claim that judging isn't fair and a blood test that disqualified a skier of theirs was rigged. All this after a judging scandal that unfairly awarded the gold medal in figure skating pairs to the Russians (and we let them keep the medal, too). Russian President Vladimir Putin said that his country's atheletes will stay and compete even though "North American atheletes have a clear advantage".

Yeah, whatever. The advantage seems clear enough to me. We don't cheat with performance enhancing drugs and we leave the fragile French judges alone.

Monday, February 18, 2002

WHAT WE HAVE HERE IS A FAILURE TO COMMUNICATE
USS CLUELESS makes a pretty good point about Europe annoying the American public no end. He also points out that it's counterproductive if anyone actually wants to make any headway with U.S. policy/opinion.

All good points. But no matter how many times it's explained the European pundits just can't seem to understand that arrogance and elitism will do nothing but alienate American policy and opinion. Why is this?
I think it's due to a major difference in viewpoint. Time after time people have pointed out that the entire U.S. governement is geared towards enacting the will of the people, but the Europeans just don't seem to understand that. All the evidence seems to point to the European elite simply not caring what the average American thinks.

Instead of saying "The U.S. governement is subject to the will of the people" someone should say "The U.S. government only exists as long as the American people ALLOWS it to exist".

Maybe then the light will dawn.
IF SOMEONE HANDS YOU LEMONS, THEN MAKE SOME LEMONADE
There's been some alarming reports of growing anti-Semitism in Europe. The guys who're putting the most effort in to it seem to be the French. Heck, I seem to remember a war we fought against Germany (with the French as allies) to stop this sort of thing. If things get out of hand we can sign the Germans up as allies and invade France (and wouldn't the Germans just looove that). Considering their military record for the past 100 years it wouldn't be a problem to take the whole country over. But what do we do with it when we're done?

The biggest problem U.S. tourists have when they go on vacation overseas is the expense and trouble to get there. And what do the tourists do when they finally arrive? They go and see as many monuments as possible.
We can make things easier by dismantling the monuments and shipping them to the U.S. (there's even a historical precedence for this sort of thing). One of the first can be the Arc de Triomph since, let's face it, there's not any triumphs for the French to celebrate any more. Since the Statue of Liberty was a gift from France we can rename the island she's on FranceWorld and put the monuments there. Shops and restaurants can be built out there.
Capturing the ambiance of a French vacation would be paramount. Bathing for the staff would be strictly optional. Items sold on the island would be traditional French fare, such as 350 types of cheese, crusty day old bread, and overpriced wine that's indistinguishable from stuff shipped up from South America. The staff would be arrogant, unhelpful and rude. Every hour a polka band wearing lederhosen can march through and the French can roll over on their backs and show their bellies as a sign of surrender. So real you'd swear you were there!

Of course, FranceWorld would have to show a profit very quickly. So the first monument would have to be the most famous French landmark of them all, the Eiffel Tower. It can be set up in front of the Staue of Liberty so the shadow from the ever-thrusting tower falls on Lady Liberty's skirts. It can be phallic as well as Gallic.
THE FINAL ARMAGEDDON
Remember all of those horror movies in the 1950's that warned of genetic research that would destroy us all? The plot was always the same: a well-meaning but ultimately mad scientist would create a monster that would escape, breed in the wild and eventually overwhelm humanity's puny defenses.

Well, it finally happened! Some scientists created a genetic monster! They cloned what some people say is the most perfect predator that walks the Earth today. Just looking at the picture and you can tell that it only cares for blood, pain and string. We're doomed!

But not me! I'm digging a shelter in my basement. An armored redoubt that I can retreat to when the creatures break free and destroy our civilization in an orgy of killing! I'll wait there, secure in the dark, until they depopulate the cities to the point that they turn on one another and wipe each other out. All I have to do is stock the shelter with food and I'm all set.

But no tuna or electric can openers. That would only attract the fiends.
DOG PERSON OR CAT PERSON?
I just read an article that claims that house cats were domesticated before dogs were.

The author's arguments would be compelling if I can recreate some of the uses that he says early man put cats to. So far the jury is still out. I tried to hurl a cat at a burglar, but the feline just wrapped itself around my forearm and dug in. I had a koshed skull, a torn up arm, and an emptied house for my troubles. But I'm still working on it.

Now if I can just get the chimpanzee down from the ceiling....
I LOVE PROGRESS
I came across a real, honest to gawd U.S. patent for a real, honest to gawd invention. Since I'm looking for an investment oppurtunity I decided to buy the rights to the patent and market the device as a "Whirl-a-Birth".

As I understand it, the original prototype didn't have the basket attached to the mother's knees. I need to find any survivors of the Alpha test and buy their silence. It should be easy enough to spot them since they have two-dimensional heads.
TOTAL NUMBER OR LARGER PERCENTAGE?
I was reading an article that quotes Peter Lamptey of the Family Health International AIDS Institute. Mr. Lamptey says that AIDS has already killed 25 million people, and HIV (the disease that eventually leads to AIDS) has infected another 40 million. This means that the potential body count is 65 million people. Since the Black Death only killed 40 million people, this would mean that AIDS is a more deadly disease by far.

25 million dead is staggering, and 65 million is unimaginable. But bubonic plague killed so many people that it took almost 300 years after the first wave (1347) for the population to reach pre-plague levels (1620). It's estimated that fully 1/3 of the population died.

In today's terms this would mean that over 2 billion people would have to die before it could be considered in the same league as the Black Death.
QUESTIONS ABOUT THE KING OF POP
Michael Jackson was in New York on 9/11. He was staying at a Manhattan hotel when he was "called by friends in Saudi Arabia and told of the attacks." He ran screaming down the hall of the hotel he was staying at and assembled his entourage. They all drove like bats out of hell for New Jersey.
This raises many questions. The first is that Mikey needed a phone call to be told about the attacks. There were emergency vehicles running through the streets, people were standing around staring at the clouds of smoke, helicotors were buzzing around overhead. Mikey's "friends" would have to see the news reports on CNN and immediately think "Hey, my good buddy Mikey is in New York. I wonder if he knows what's going on?" It's more likely that Mikey was tipped off before the fact. If so, why did he and 250 of his closest friends just leave the city without calling the cops?
Mikey and Co. made a run for New Jersey. As every average American knows it's the one place in America that's so boring that they'd welcome a terrorist attack for the excitement. And every average American knows that most of the state is just landfill anyway so the terrorists wouldn't be able to find anything worthwhile to attack. But Mikey stopped being anything close to being average a long time ago. Maybe his buddies from the Land of Saud also told him where to run to be safe?

The final question I'd like to put to Mikey is: Why don't you look anything like your passport photo?
TALKING TO THIN AIR
I've always been interested in the Cold War. I read a few books about Russian defectors that ended up over here. Most of the Russians that were involved in Intelligence say that the best source of "secret" info was U.S. hobby magazines. The KGB types would wander down to the local news kiosk, buy a bunch of magazines, and then type them up as an intelligence brief.

Things haven't changed much. The best source for intel is still your local magazine outlet. The article here explains it better than I could. I'm just glad to see that we might put it to our advantage.
WHAT A DIFFERENCE A FEW YEARS MAKE
Things got ugly in Yugoslavia a few years ago. NATO forces, led by U.S. aircraft, started to bomb the crap out of the Serbs to convince them that genocide was a bad thing. Eventually it worked.
What few people in the U.S. noticed was the hullaboo in the European press. It was widely reported in military circles that the U.S. enjoyed an almost overwhelming technological edge. It was so bad that many European aircraft were only used for support purposes, such as mid-air refueling.

That was then. This is now.
The gap between U.S. and European forces has grown. I was amazed to read this article. It seems that the Europeans are so concerned that the U.S. will have to go it alone that they want the U.S. to just give them some top of the line hardware. And the technology and tooling they need so they can make all of this themselves. For free! And the author didn't even make the smiley face :-) to show he was joking!

It looks like our brothers on the other side of the pond have a serious break with reality.
MY HOROSCOPE
I was just reading my horoscope at The Onion. It says...

Telling the waitress that you can make a better cup of coffee using the sweat off of your balls isn't good enough. Show her how.

Sound wisdom. Now I'm waiting to see how many of you shove knitting needles up your nose in an effort to scrape away the part of your brain that contains the image just formed.

Happy Horoscoping!