Monthly Archive for June, 2009

New York Times trolls Cancer Research, Research Partisans Call Emu Alert

Gina Kolata at the NY Times wrote a Sunday Times piece about the risk averse National Cancer Institute funding regime. I’ll just say that reading the headline and first few sentences in my still plastic-bag wrapped and folded Sunday Times I started to lost my grip on polite discourse, though I am generally well-regarded in that regard.

For the full flavor of the piece, you should just take it all in, but it is your typical collection of Just So™ brand Straw and concern-trollish question-asking. The shallowness of the piece is astounding. I however am taking it to heart. If Kolata can be given more weight for NIH funding decisions, my grant with the below aims has a good shot at being funded:

Specific Aim 1: Obtain underpants.

Specific Aim 2: ???????

Specific Aim 3: Cure cancer!!!!!!!

I note that this project is incredibly risky with a huge upside.

Orac has some thoughts here, here. Mike the Mad. Jim Hu.

Esoterica

I am a little bit fearful that liking this scene from the WWI Betty Grable film The Pin Up makes me a gigantic Fascist, and leaving aside the issues of fetishizing militarism, if we view the film from the WWII propaganda perspective as it must be, the scene is completely astounding. What starts to play out as a military-themed musical number turns into an extended and totally surreal meditation on who knows what. Note how the space becomes altered in that the exercise has limitless boundaries and the collapses again to the night club at the very end. Can you imagine anything like this, or a scene extended in such a way in a modern film, especially ending the film?

Way more scary than Crossing Over!


Positronic Intelligent Neohuman Keen on Online Peacekeeping, Ultimate Nullification and Kamikaze Observation


Get Your Cyborg Name

Click for yours.

Soccer Live Text is Awesome

From ESPN’s Gamecast of Brazil-South Africa, likely not by an American.

Exhibit A:

And another thing I’ve just noticed. The very front of Dunga’s hair hides the baldness that lies behind it. Good effort, but not good enough.

Exhibit B:

Alves, who had been eyeing the situation up as though he wanted to start a fight with it, bends a brilliant free kick around the edge of a wall that was perhaps a man short, clips the right hand post half way up, and goes in. He pulls up his shirt to reveal a tattoo of his name and is booked, hopefully for the poorness of his taste.

Exhibit C:

I know I’ve slated him tonight, but I do like Dunga’s velvet jacket, although I wouldn’t wear it.

“Tis light makes color visible”

[Title quotation by Rumi]

1) On Monday, demonstrations in Tehran were fragmented. Juan Cole notes that:

Since demonstrations are becoming so hard to stage, what with motocycle Basij forces constantly patrolling and the regime’s willingness to break heads even just for having a peaceful demonstration, the opposition is rumored to be shifting tactics.

He includes the following eyewitness account from Monday:

I cannot sleep and not write this.

Today in Haft-e Tir, there were so many members of basij that they outnumbered the demonstrators 3 or 4 to 1. They were less focused on women. This must be related to the murder of poor Neda. And this was also why whenever they got hold of a man, women would surround them and shout don’t beat him, don’t beat and they would turn and anxiously say we didn’t beat him. It was astonishing. They explained; they talked.

But they didn’t allow us to congregate; they kept telling us to walk and the crowd walked quietly for 2 hours in the circle (meydaan) and spontaneously gathered in whichever area they were not present. About 2000 of us were walking around the circle and only shouting Allah-o Akbar until they were forced to disperse us with tear and pepper gases. I thought people’s patience and persistence was great, although there were also many bad scenes and I cried.

They arrested a whole bus load of people. There were many intelligence folks in the crowd too. They would point to a person and the basijis would arrest that person. There was no one from Sepah and the police was obviously sympathetic to the crowd. I swear some of the Basijis were only 14 or 15, or at least what they looked like to me. On the other hand, women are playing an amazing role in the streets; both in terms of numbers and effectiveness..

He also links to a report that the Guardian Council, one of the main bodies on the clerical side of Iran’s government, has denied the request to annul the disputed election results and arrange a new vote.

2) While he has not been arrested, Mousavi has apparently been muzzled by the Iranian regime. According to a friend of Mousavi’s in Paris, “he has security agents, secret police with him all the time. He has to be careful what he says.” And thus can no longer speak freely to supporters. However, Mousavi’s friend also says: “The regime, arguably, is losing ground, not the protests. Ordinary Iranians are openly rejecting the legitimacy and power of Ayatollah Khamanei. That is entirely new, unheard of.”

3) Khamenei’s address from last Friday is worth reading for the full flavor of authoritarian rhetoric including nationalistic flattery, fearmongering insinuation, and veiled threats.

4) In general, Juan Cole has had a lot of good information on what’s happening in Iran — including reports from his contacts there.

Robert Fisk’s reports from on the ground in Tehran are worth a look too. He’s been ignoring the restrictions on journalists, and thus has eyewitness accounts of many of the protests.

Update:

5) Aaron Bady of zunguzungu has one of the better posts I’ve seen putting the events in Iran in perspective:

Continue reading ‘“Tis light makes color visible”’

Three B! Community Gets ahead of Mark Sanford Story

Listen gang, SC Gov Mark Sanford needs our help. I propose we dig the hole deeper than he does, so when the facts come out he’ll look relatively good.

I’ll start:

Mark Sanford went to Argentina to ____________

Examples:

“obtain a gay abortion for his imaginary plushie carrot lover, with Charlie Crist.”

Our Ombuds are Mere Amateurs

And should be proud of it.

I give you NPR.

OOOH! (Out Of Our Heads)

After hearing the heartbreaking complaint from a fellow Ombud (the Left Honorable Ombudswagon) to wit:

If Pandora tries to make me listen to Coldplay one more time, I am going to punch Pandora in the face.

We were forced to realize that our resignation from this site was in haste, if not error.  If anybody needs multiple ombuds, it is 3Bulls; not to mention the Serving Ombudspersons/pants/citrus/team/group.

So we spent the better part of our Sunday, watching the Mythbusters marathon and casting about for a solution.  A long, in-depth consultation/barbecue/drinking session with a Certain Martian and a less certain Zombie, eventually determined a knife-like solution to this Gordian Knot of a problem:

Dearest Fellow:  Set your Pandora Channel to the Mekons.  It is virtually guaranteed to avoid Coldplay, or indeed coldplay-like artists.

Thus we have decided to resume our Ombudsly duties on this oh-so-needy weblog, and patiently await your beefs, issues, gripes and general dissatisfaction.


Complaint filed

Warning: If Pandora tries to make me listen to Coldplay one more time, I am going to punch Pandora in the face.

Inside and Out

The suggestion by COBA that ombusdsbeings could ‘learn a thing or two from advice columnists’ has the ombudscommunity in an uproar.  The merest hint of a suggestion that lowly advice peddlers should serve as examples for the time honored tradition of ombuddling is farcical on its face.

For instance, we are constrained from saying “wake up and smell the coffee” by our oath.

Also, the inherent judgementalism inherent in proffering advice to people you’ve never met is antithetical to the neutral demeanor that all ombuds strive for.  This has been stressed by the COBA recently;  It is number one on the newly released Central Ombudsman’s Board of Accession Guidelines, which is currently the Law as far as we Ombudsgroupers are concerned.

We are legally unable to comment on the vision of shooting advice columnists out of a giant vagina like hole.

Further Business:  The Mandos/PP/KWB discussion of events in Iran is very very very good, and deserves chupacabra golf claps.  If you haven’t read it yet, put on your serious panties and go do so.

Moar Bizness:  New Visitor Leadership says:

“I never know what anyone on this blog is saying. I come here for the banners!

Respectfully, I suggest to that Mr/Mr/Ms/Lettuce/Zombie Ship submit banners to the Owners as soon as possible.  Fame and Fortune Await!  In fact, a new banner contest should probably be commenced.  Submitting banners with Battle Raps gains additional points.  BG videos and boxes of cash are, regrettably, not allowed.

On a side note:  dancing hitlers in tutus are in very poor taste.  But hilarious.  Leftous Bubba should consider himself chastised.  Chastised, and applauded.

Finally, it is our sad duty to  report  apparent shenanigans by the proprietors of this weblog.

It has come to our attention that there are multiple ombudstemps roaming this area.  It is obvious (and has been confirmed by an anonymous source named Deep Lettuce) that in order to compensate for the tragic, even if temporary, loss of the irreplaceable D-Mendacious, the proprietor-baggers contracted with NO LESS THAN THREE,  and possibly as many as eleventeen, replacement part-time temporary ombudsbeings.

Not only is this a violation of Internet Traditions and  the labor laws of most states but also and most importantly ancient Ombudsman Tradition, which makes it plain that no more than one ombud must perform his duties for any entity, to forestall the kind of contradiction and kerfuffle as we have seen here of late.

As one of the sad victims of this deception, I feel there is no proper choice but to resign from my temporary post of Ombudsglooob, as well as terminating my membership in COBA.  Indeed, it seems that in the light of this transgression, I must cease practicing Ombuddering.

It is with great sadness I take this step, but ombudethics demand it.  I trust my colleagues will respond appropriately.

With heavy heart, I remain, Ombudsglooob (in name only)

sigh.  I shan’t be back.

Respond to my post, Libs!!!