Thursday, April 28, 2011

for no particular reason

“I think that Bigfoot is blurry- that’s the problem.”


Great Jason Linkins line:

from his article today “What's Next For The Birthers? (Basically, More Birtherism)”

Yesterday, President Barack Obama allowed the world to see his "long-form birth certificate," proving something that was already widely known, but not accepted in some dank, idiotic circles: that he was born in the United States. And so, this great controversy has finally been put to rest. Ha, just kidding! It will do nothing of the sort, actually. Did you think that Pestilence is going to pull up short on his steed to tell the other Three Horsemen of the Apocalypse, "Yo, man, I'm out. I think that penicillin makes a lot of good points."

And Colbert of course added his thoughts last night

Slight of hand?

Does anyone suspect that the long form birth certificate release was to distract people from the defense staff shuffle?

Thoughts? comments?

Location:Tyng St,Portland,United States

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Go See Hanna

Do you love the Jason Borne series?  Grimm’s Fairy tales?  Euro house music?  Can you imagine a non-stop action romp of a film incorporating all three?  What if I told you that it centered around a mysteriously powerful 16 year-old girl who was raised in the wilderness of Sweden as she journeys alone from Morocco to Berlin?

The film is fun, beautiful, scary, bloody. And bloody good.  Expert sound editing folds the Chemical Brothers’ original score in each of the fight scenes with tangible gunshots, bone cracks and face pounding wonderfulness.  And Cate Blanchett plays the evil villain with precision, delivering each line with a dripping southern accent.

Trailer below but go see the whole thing before it leaves theatres and you miss out on the sound.


The Walk to Work

This one constantly bothers me.  Somebody out there help.

I walk from the bus station to work every day.  Coffee and graffiti aside, normally I walk three blocks east and three blocks south.  Total walk: 6 blocks (3+3).


Sometimes I take “shortcuts” through the side-streets where I walk 1 block east, 1 block south, and so on until I get to work.  Total walk: 6 blocks (1+1+1+1+1+1).


Let’s say I could go through the buildings and make this even more jagged.  So now I walk 1/2 block east, 1/2 block south, and so on.  My total walk would still be 6 blocks. (1/2 + 1/2 + 1/2 + 1/2 + 1/2 + 1/2 + 1/2 + 1/2 + 1/2 + 1/2 + 1/2 + 1/2 )


And let’s say I did that to the infinite limit such that I was taking a millionth of a block walk east and a millionth of a block south.  My total theoretical walk would still be 6 blocks. (1/1,000,000 + etc.)

Here’s my conundrum.  At that point, it’d pretty much be a straight line to work.


And since it’s a 45degree angle and each leg is 3 blocks the total straight line distance is

clip_image002 - which is  4.24 blocks.

So which is it?  6 blocks or 4.24 blocks?   This plagues me every day of my life.  Someone talk me down from the cliff.


San Demos High School Football Rules.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Income Tax Receipt

Check out this cool tool that tells gives you a receipt for your taxes paid.

I ran it for GE:  :)


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Action Figure Therapy

I saw this today on the HuffPo comedy page.  I cried at my desk.  Watch a few of them but don’t miss the anger management manifesto from the “Best Buy UFC Teabagging Incident” guy at the bottom.


Thursday, April 14, 2011

Sugar Daddy

In Gummy Bear wars,  I argue it’s me against them.  Turns out, there’s some better science out there now on the effects of sugar on the body.   And sugar might be … toxic.  If you have time, read the NYTimes Magazine article, but here’s lowdown.

It all comes down to this paragraph nestled in page 3.

… [the] concept is “isocaloric but not isometabolic.” This means we can eat 100 calories of glucose (from a potato or bread or other starch) or 100 calories of sugar (half glucose and half fructose), and they will be metabolized differently and have a different effect on the body. The calories are the same, but the metabolic consequences are quite different.

What the article goes on to say is that sugar and high-fructose corn syrup get metabolized by the liver, which converts the sugar or HFCS into stored fat.  The same 100 calories from a starch goes to the whole body.  After enough time, the liver will actually reprogram itself to cause conditions like diabetes.  And all that extra fat will lead to things like heart disease.  Hence, toxic.  Not too much unlike drinking copious amounts of alcohol.  But doing it every day, all day long.

Think you need a lot of sugar to do this?  Maybe not.  There’s still more research that needs to be done but the average American consumes 90 lbs (45 lbs sugar, 4 gallons HFCS) of sugar a year.  That’s a lot of gummy bears.  Which is why I’m at war.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Some shots from Cartagena



Shopping for Better Things

Many people clip coupons.  I clip articles.  Save up enough of them and I can go to the grocery store of ideas and buy something.  So here are two clippings that when put together might feed a family of two for a couple of minutes.  Mallory, 6 seconds tops.

In the first article by Rabbi Geoffrey Mitelman,  he posits that too many people ask the question “do you believe in God?” In asking this, he says it begs a binary response.  And in a heated, polarized world a yes or no response has no where to go, or grow.  Plus, how can you really sum up thousands of years of progress across broad theological and rational spectrums with “yup” or “nope.”  Instead, the rabbi asks us to ask “How can we bring more justice and kindness into this world?”

Regardless of whatever particular worldview we hold, we have a responsibility to find ways to improve ourselves, our society and our world. … So by focusing the discussion around how people act more than on what they believe, we can now have a more productive dialogue. Yes, we may all be coming at this question from different ways, but now the arguments stop being attacks and counter-attacks about who is right, and instead, become an exploration about the ways we need to work together to create the kind of world we hope for.

imageHopefully we can agree on this point.  And if nothing else, article one leaves me with a positive future-focused attitude to bring to my next problem. 

My second coupon is my favorite kind, data. 

GlobeScan, an international opinion research consultancy, released a report asking Americans to agree or disagree with the statement “ [is the] free market economy the best system on which to base the future of the world?”  Another binary question.  But the results are worth exploring.

Americans believe less and less that the free market economy is the best.  In 2002, 80 percent answered yes.  After the Great Recession, there’s a precipitous drop.  In fact, today it’s more likely that a Brazilian or a Chinese person would agree with the statement. Since both are humming economies, this isn’t really surprising.  But that Americans no longer believe in their chief product is astonishing.

The connection is that in the rush to be conservative, we’re scraping the very layers of this country that promise that tomorrow’s a better day.  If the market economy only exists to fuel the market economy while ignoring its citizen’s lives, how have we made the World better?  If you look at the budget and only see 1s and 0s, you’re missing the opportunity to realize that civilization is either moving forward or backward with every line item.  Scrapping high speed rail lines, killing funding for health care, and reducing elderly retirement and medical help fixes A problem, but not THE problem.    

Democrats need to frame the environment as “how do we make lives better?” and restore confidence in a shattered system.  This is the rubric of a progressive; this one is pushing his cart down the aisle.

Monday, April 11, 2011

From High to Low

This morning was one of those bird singing Cinderella moments.  Later this afternoon, the bird was mortally wounded.  Another pretty typical day in supporting high speed rail in the US.

First this morning.  If you have a minute and want to see some really cool CGI, check out California’s high speed rail website.  I did this morning.  You really don’t have to imagine anything as they show really fast trains going between downtown transit hubs past growing interconnected cities.  Click Trip Visualizations and choose some fun start and end points.  Watch Fresno buildings grow or see the underground station in San Francisco come to life.  No long trips to exurban airports.  No long security lines and taxiing waiting to go somewhere.  No big taxi fees trying to get from the airport back into downtown.  Just happiness.


Then came the low, which was the news that as part of the Republican budget cutting awesomeness, $1.5B in high speed funding was cut in the 11pm negotiations between Republicans and Democrats on Friday. That’s a nearly 20% cut from the original $8B that was suppose to be spent, which itself barely scratched the surface of Chinese investment. (see earlier Moogaz post on New Jersey)

Another case of massive short sightedness.  In a race to increase short term profits for the rich and incorporated through historic low tax rates, the Republicans are willing to cut off all long term investment simply because it’s Obama’s idea.     A far cry from the days in 1956 when the Senate passed the Federal-Aid Highway Act, establishing the interstate system to be funded by a 3 cent gas tax, by a vote of 89-1.  Yes, 89-1.  Eisenhower's own words:

Our unity as a nation is sustained by free communication of thought and by easy transportation of people and goods.

And in his 1963 memoir, he added:

More than any single action by the government since the end of the war, this one would change the face of America. ... Its impact on the American economy - the jobs it would produce in manufacturing and construction, the rural areas it would open up - was beyond calculation.

The same can be said of high speed rail.  Now if people would just stop shooting the bird.

Fun with Pictures

Today’s a photo day. 

First up is a new take on the Obama photo-shopping debacle presented to us here and broadcast on Fox and Friends as “news”.  It turns out it the original picture was actually Jim with his grandparents.


Second, if you’re bored and need an outlet for your creative wizardry, try making 80’s style motivational posters with this tool.


It also makes puzzles.


Or a Facebook mosaic.  Why this stuff is free, I have no idea.


Thursday, April 7, 2011

With Conviction

I like this video sent in by a reader in South Carolina, you know?  It’s like good maybe.  So if you have, you know, a second to see an impressive mix of poetry,  graphics arts, and typography then you should, well, I would click this like if you have a second.

You’ll see the point when you watch the video.

The original poem is by Taylor Mali but his student Ronnie Bruce uses videography skills to elevate the poem to a place where the art really speaks. Makes we wonder what Ronnie could do with Longfellow. Or if Longfellow would've even been famous had he been forced to “publish” in today's multi-disciplinary world.

Typography from Ronnie Bruce on Vimeo.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


So many ways to combine deadly sins.  What do Edible Undies, Prostitution,  and Cattiness have in common?  A well done infographic from Indexed, who posts a daily back-of-the-napkin chart (and who doesn’t love sites with charts?).

Moogaz reader challenge: Identify three-way intersections and post them in the comment section.  Funniest one gets a mention.  Here’s an example: ACE = A GE employee spray painting Paris Hilton.


Tuesday, April 5, 2011


We’re headed into a showdown and the government will soon be shutting down.  Make sure you impress your neighbors and friends by wielding these 11 facts from the Moogaz.  Bold points are the elevator lines.

1. The budget bill is for 2011.  That’s right. This year.  Congress couldn’t get its act together last year because of the election and since then they haven’t been able to agree on anything.  So here we are, in the middle of the year with no budget.  Seven stopgap measures has already been passed, the last one is due to expire Friday.  On Friday, the government shuts down.

2. Budgets have to start in the House.  This one did, which is why it’s called House HR 1.  The House is run by Republicans now, split really into two factions: the Tea Partiers led by Paul Ryan and the rest led by Boehner.  Democrats are in the minority but not in the Senate.  Harry Reid still runs the Senate.  Montagues.  Capulets.  Someone’s bound to die.

3. Tea Partiers said they wanted to cut $100B from the 2011 budget.  That was last Novermber.  Now we’re in April so they’ve prorated it to $60B.  Democrats have been willing to meet in the middle at $30B but Boehner can’t be seen as leaning left or he’ll get eaten by the primary monster in the next election.  Or lose his Leader position.  Or both.  He’s the proverbial rock.  Paper beats Rock.

4. For the guy next door who bugs you about numbers, $60B versus $30B is 4% versus 2% of 2011 Discretionary spending.  Discretionary spending is 14% of all spending.  So we’re talking about a battle over 0.28% of the Federal Budget.  That’s like arguing over buying a pair of shoes when you make $60K/year.

4. Keep in mind that 50% of this Discretionary spending is Defense.  Republicans want to increase their budget by $8B; Democrats want to lower it by $1B.  The Montagues want tanks. The Capulets want middle class relief.

5. Republicans added riders to the House bill HR1.  These are amendments that don’t really have to do with the budget but ride along.   Nobody likes the riders.  They include:  The Montagues want to drive their tanks over the environment and anything remotely nice.

6. Keep in mind that earlier as part of a budget deal, tax breaks for high income earners were continued.  Rich people are cool.

7. And GE pays no income tax. Big businesses are cool too.  Jobs jobs jobs. (unless you work for a school or are doing something good for somebody; then your job is stifling job creation)

8. The economy is in a recession, people are being squeezed by higher prices and stagnant wages, and the top 1% has accumulated all of the wealth of the last 20 years.  But this budget proposes to cut:

  • Cuts the EPA budget by 1/3rd – no more environmental protection (think BP oil spill). Actually the whole list of EPA cuts is even more fun to read:
  • Cuts UN funding and international assistance  (think Libya)
  • Cuts to Americorps and community programs:
  • More cuts where I couldn’t find a damn list on the Internet to put here

Well, a lot of cuts. Even sports fisherman agree:  This all falls into point 8.  Which is that I hardly see any cuts to business or moneyed interests.  Cut taxes for the rich because they’re not rich enough [pat on back].  Now let’s cut programs for everyone else [go team].

9. Oh wait, the bill also wants to cut the new regulations that would regulate Wall Street.  Because Wall Street, with its record profits and vanishing regulation, really needs a break. That Bernie Madoff is a nice guy; what ever happened to him?

10. All of this starts over again when we debate the 2012 budget and the upcoming debt ceiling bill.  In a new look at mandatory spending, Paul Ryan would like to cut assistance to the poor and elderly and “restructure” Medicare.  Read this as slash and burn all in the effort to keep tax rates at “historic” 18 percent levels (0% if you’re GE :)).  He calls it the Path to Prosperity, unveiled today: Paul Ryan has Congressional Health Care so he’s not worried.

11. By Saturday, one side will start losing.  I feel like it will be us.