Amazon Deals

New at Amazon

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Beyond Sharknado - here's a trailer for Sharkansas Women’s Prison Massacre (because fracking!)

Sharknado fans, this one is coming soon to theaters (not SyFy channel!): 

When a fracking mishap accidentally rips apart the earth’s crust, the resulting hole opens up a gaping underground waterway to a vast and mysterious ocean somewhere deep below. 
Instantly, giant prehistoric sharks begin wending their way upward toward a murky bog in the heart of the Arkansas Bayou. Unfortunately for a group of female prisoners (ed. - in tight shorts and shirts) on a work detail in the swamp, the deadly sharks attack without warning – pinning a hapless group of intended victims in a small deserted cabin in the heart of the wetlands. Death may be the only means of escape!
via Dave Barry.

Because it's almost time for Father's Day (or just because you want one), here's a Sharknado Action Figure.

Related posts:

Sharknado 3 will be set in DC and have Ann Coulter as VP, Marc Cuban as Prez.

Here's a bit of Americana for you - the 1920's KKK Application Form

I wonder if someone has Robert Byrd's* KKK application somewhere - although since he was a recruiter, presumably he was one of those sending them out.

This application to join the Ku Klux Klan (wiki), printed by the Ku Klux Press, was mailed to people whose friends had identified them as good prospects for membership. The application starts with fairly anodyne questions about occupation and residence, moving on to ask whether the applicant believes in white supremacy and “the principles of a PURE Americanism.”


Larger version here
*West Virginia's Democratic United States Senator Robert C. Byrd was a recruiter for the Klan while in his 20s and 30s, rising to the title of Kleagle and Exalted Cyclops of his local chapter. After leaving the group, Byrd spoke in favor of the Klan during his early political career. Though he claimed to have left the organization in 1943, Byrd wrote a letter in 1946 to the group's Imperial Wizard stating "The Klan is needed today as never before, and I am anxious to see its rebirth here in West Virginia." Byrd defended the Klan in his 1958 U.S. Senate campaign when he was 41 years old.

He was also the only Senator to vote against both African American U.S. Supreme Court nominees (liberal Thurgood Marshall and conservative Clarence Thomas) and filibustered the Civil Rights Act of 1964,

via Slate's history blog The Vault, and Rare Americana, each of which has more information. 

Related: Writing in 2012, Slate noted that the present-day preliminary application for KKK membership omits these 1920s questions about the applicant’s national origin and religion, focusing instead on questions about race.

Video from Scott Ott (AKA Scrappleface): Vote Hillary Clinton, Because You Owe Her Big Time

Scott Ott's political parodies with a conservative bent are always well worth a read/listen. I see his posts at PJM regularly, but while putting this post together I went to Scrappleface, his old (as in pre- PJM) website for the first time in quite a while a while and found this most recent entry (go there and read the whole thing):

Boston Bomber Guilty: Obama Trades for Gitmo Inmates

On to Hillary:
Now that Hillary Clinton’s in the race, we have a chance to pay her back for all the trouble we’ve caused her, from Whitewater to Benghazi and much more.

via @Scott_Ott

Friday, April 10, 2015

Friday links


The Science of Smelling Old.

How were raisins made before seedless grapes?


ICYMI, Thursday's links are here, and include why McDonald's Chicken McNuggets come in 4 shapes, photos of old school bikinis, Turkey’s top religious body now allowing use of toilet paper, and Steve Martin (in 1980) acting out the song El Paso (used in the Breaking Bad finale) with a bunch of monkeys.

This video of a chameleon is actually two body painted women


By body painting world champion Johannes Stötter - More at the artist's website, including this (which is not a parrot):



and this:


via Twisted Sifter, which has more from the same artist.

Related: 3D Optical Illusion Body Paintings.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

If this "get your baby to sleep in 40 seconds" thing works...

I'll be really upset that I didn't figure it out when my kids (and grandkids!) were little enough to take advantage of it...

Thursday links

Remember the song El Paso from the Breaking Bad finale? Here's Steve Martin (in 1980) acting it out with a bunch of monkeys.



Turkey’s top religious body allows use of toilet paper.

Old School Bikinis: A Brief Compendium of the Itsy Bitsy.

The Duchess of Windsor Cook Book 1942: Pork Cake and Mrs. Hitler (Adolph's sister-in-law).

ICYMI, Friday's links are here, and include dogs training their humans to keep petting, what happens when you crack your knuckles (including the researcher who cracked the knuckles in one hand only for over 60 years to see if he'd get arthritis), and 19th century measles mortality maps.


Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Excellent characterization of Hillary, from @JohnBirmingham's "Weapons of Choice"

So I recently read the first two books of John Birmingham's new series (Dave vs the Monsters), and I realized that I had never read the third book of his earlier Axis of Time trilogy. It's been so long since I read the first two that I decided to start from scratch. 

All that is a longish explanation for how I ended up re-discovering the excellent bit below - it's from the first book of the trilogy, Weapons of Choice (2004). The basic plot line, as described by Amazon:
A military experiment in the year 2021 has thrust an American-led multinational armada back to 1942, right into the middle of the U.S. naval task force speeding toward Midway Atoll—and what was to be the most spectacular U.S. triumph of the entire war.

Thousands died in the chaos, but the ripples had only begun. For these veterans of Pearl Harbor—led by Admirals Nimitz, Halsey, and Spruance—have never seen a helicopter, or a satellite link, or a nuclear weapon. And they’ve never encountered an African American colonel or a British naval commander who was a woman and half-Pakistani. While they embrace the armada’s awesome firepower, they may find the twenty-first century sailors themselves far from acceptable. 
Anyway... one of the ships that went back (from 2021 to 1942) was the USS Hillary Clinton, and at some point, reflecting on how well the ship had held up, her captain referred to her this way:
like her murdered namesake, the most uncompromising wartime president in the history of the United States, she was a hard-charging, life-taking bitch who’d crush anyone or anything that got in her way.
Pretty accurate, right? 

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Do you want to watch a bear squirt his German Shepherd buddy with a hose? Of course you do.

Watch this brown bear twirl a garden hose, squirting his German Shepherd buddy.
Tima, originally from Siberia, was adopted by a Russian circus artist in 1995 when he was just five months old and the pair have since traveled the world together, performing in shows and a variety of films. He can “play the trumpet, sit in a chair [and] twist (a) hula-hoop.” 


via Telegraph.

Turkey’s top religious body allows use of toilet paper

Are there people who consider the opinion of various authorities when they decide on bathroom behavior? Apparently this is the case - recently, in the "government in your bathroom" category, there was this: German man went to court, won the right to pee standing up. Meanwhile, back in Turkey...

Turkey’s Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet) has released a fatwa stating that usage of toilet paper is permissible within Islam, though it emphasized that water should be the primary source of cleansing. 

Reminding that for a prayer to be religiously legitimate, one’s body, clothes and the place where the prayer is to be performed should be free of items defined as “unclean” by Islam, the fatwa said the cleaning should be conducted with water. 
“If water cannot be found for cleansing, other cleaning materials can be used. Even though some sources deem paper to be unsuitable as a cleaning material, as it is an apparatus for writing, there is no problem in using toilet paper,” read a part of the statement.
More at Hurriyet

Here's my favorite quote on the subject of toilet paper, from Lord Chesterfield's Letters to His Son (to his illegitimate son, that is; he (Chesterfield) was trying to raise him (the son) above his (the son's) lowly origins and inferior blood):
"I knew a gentleman, who was so good a manager of his time, that he would not even lose that small portion of it, which the calls of nature obliged him to pass in the necessary-house; but gradually went through all the Latin poets, in those moments. He bought, for example, a common edition of Horace, of which he tore off gradually a couple of pages, carried them with him to that necessary place, read them first, and then sent them down as a sacrifice to Cloacina*: this was so much time fairly gained; and I recommend you to follow his example. 
It is better than only doing what you cannot help doing at those moments; and it will made any book, which you shall read in that manner, very present in your mind. Books of science, and of a grave sort, must be read with continuity; but there are very many, and even very useful ones, which may be read with advantage by snatches, and unconnectedly; such are all the good Latin poets, except Virgil in his "AEneid": and such are most of the modern poets, in which you will find many pieces worth reading, that will not take up above seven or eight minutes.

*From Wikipedia: In Roman mythology, Cloacina (Latin, cloaca: "sewer" or "drain") was the goddess who presided over the Cloaca Maxima ("Great Drain"), the main trunk of the system of sewers in Rome.