Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Are You A Joiner: Blog Communities

Weirdness, truly. I get the weirdest email lately since I've become a member of the blogosphere. They look like spam, but they are asking me to join their "blog community", whatever that is. Does anybody else get emails like this?

After my tirade on sado-environmentalists' fixation on the sport of Ultimate Frisbee, I received an email from a website that wanted to know if I would like to join their "sports blog community." And by "community", they meant sports leagues in New Zealand that nobody heard of, or followed, even in New Zealand.

Today, I received a invitation to join "Health Bloggers" as a member of a community of people who blog about "Health Issues."...eh? I didn't know I spent an inordinate amount of blog-consciousness on health, but these guys seem to think so (or at least their web bots do). I can only assume my recent posts on stem cell research would have been the catalyst for such an RSVP.

Is this the new blogosphere version of the guy on the corner waving flyers in your face to join their bible study meeting/communist sympathy league/PETA pity party?

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Lions and Fine Arts and Bears, Oh My!

Watch the mane, willya?
AP Photo/M. Spencer Green

Maybe the Art Institute of Chicago is letting people know that the helmet is a bit much, especially when it breaks while workers were putting it on one of the bronze lions guarding the entrance.

Shouldn't the project manager be aware of the intense distaste that the Lions have for the Bears in the NFC Central Division?

Update: Oh yeah, I guess I should point out that the Chicago Bears are going to the Super Bowl in Miami. What? Some people really don't know.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Anti-Valentine's Day Season Begins

Even as men everywhere begin to fret about how they're going to impress their dates on Valentine's Day (if they're the "lucky" ones who have dates), an industry built on opposing it also begins its ramp up to V-Day.

The best point about V-Day in the article:

"People tend to 'put up' with current relationships in order to have a partner for holiday gatherings, but once the festivities are over, it's time to decide whether to fish or cut bait," said Anna Zornosa, vice president of Yahoo! Personals.

Yep, the fake holiday is a double-deadline, for those secure in their relationships, and for those who aren't.

Maybe I can get break into this business, if my own poetic efforts are any indication. You can bet I'll have another addition to my future "Collected Works" this year, too.

Old Media Companies Adjust

Not only are "old" media companies like newspapers merging just to keep afloat, but now the companies that actually make the "old" media are merging, too.

This whole online news thing must be getting big, huh?

Sunday, January 28, 2007

CGI Animation Tamed...For Now

In this new world of technology, fear of humanity's creations, like nanotechnology, computer viruses, GM crops, and hybridized embryonic stem cells, getting loose is always with us.

Are CGI characters the next thing to worry about?


"Programmer021:What level is he?"

I don't think Windows Vista's bitlocker will make much difference on this guy.

Vietnam's Past Remembered

A museum to Vietnam's soviet-style communism past offers a bleak reminder to a new generation of Vietnamese of what it meant to live under those times.

Perhaps more reminders like this are needed, like in Latin America.

Paradigm Shift, Pair of Dimes Shift

What color is the sky in YOUR world?


© Darby Conley

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Coming Soon: Official NYC Condom

I think Michael Bloomberg might be taking the whole NYC brand thing a little too far.

Yes, I know, this blog post title has a rather obvious double entendre in it.

Mars Atmosphere Hiding?

Okay, I thought the whole Total Recall plot point of a Martian atmosphere just waiting to be discovered was a little far-fetched, but this new study says that "the missing atmosphere of Mars might be locked up in hidden reservoirs on the planet."

Why do new scientific discoveries keep sounding like Arnold Schwarzenegger sci-fi flicks?

N.J. Warns Against Eating Squirrels

Duh. Double duh, because not only is it a toxic waste dump, it's a toxic waste dump in New Jersey.

Note the headline: N.J. warns: Don't eat squirrel near dump

There, fixed that.

Brazen Lawbreakers Fearful of Law Enforcement

Oh dear. Criminals who've broken the law actually afraid of getting caught? What is the world coming to:

“We used to feel secure here,” Nicaraguan electrician Manuel Salomon told Reuters as he sipped coffee in a Mexican bakery in the city. “But it looks like that honeymoon is over.”

All the usual advocacy reporting is on display in this article. Reaction from illegals (with the "undocumented worker" label, of course), check. Reaction from an advocacy group, check. No reaction from ICE, or any pro-legal immigration group, double-check.

As the offspring of a naturalized citizen who played by the rules to achieve the American Dream, I am offended to the core of my identity when I hear about the chutzpah of illegal aliens acting as if this country owes them something. It's only natural, of course, to believe you can act with impunity when enforcement of laws is lax or nonexistent:

“We hadn’t seen anything like this here before, and it came as a shock,” said Antonio Bernabe, a community worker who runs a day labor program at the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles.

“The police didn’t just take people with deportation orders, they took anybody ... guys who were just hanging out in the street and even from a Jack in the Box restaurant ... and now people are afraid to go out,” he added.

Good. I'll feel better when they're scared enough to return to their country of origin and apply for a visa, like they should have done in the first place.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Asymmetrical Weapons in the News

Cool toy. The U.S. Military put a new non-lethal weapon through its paces in front of the media today. Essentially a heat ray, with a 500 yard range, the weapon will be used as a crowd dispersal solution as well as for non-lethal disarmament. It won't go into production until 2010 or so, but all branches of the military are looking into ordering it.

The non-lethal weapons program of the military might want to talk to this kid in China. The four year-old's "sonic burst" was enough to scare dozens of chickens into a fatal stampede. The trigger mechanism seems to also be sonic in nature, the barking of a pet dog. I can think of several applications for such a system in Islamicist hotspots around the world.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Another UN "Victory" in Lebanon

Yep, UN Peace Keepers, Mission Accomplished. Or something like that. How's that non-disarming disarmament working out in Lebanon, there?

I hear there are some real troops nearby who might know a thing or two about disarming illegal islamic militias who might soon be available for some work.

Chicago Voting in the News, Again!

Geh. This time, it's potential identity theft, where more than a million social security numbers and other identity info of Chicago voters have been distributed to Aldermen and ward bosses on CD-ROMs. What's the big deal? These are elected officials and political hacks entrusted with doing the people's business, right? It's not like criminals are getting access to this privileged information, huh? Yeah, real trustworty folks, these Chicago Aldermen. Would you trust these public officials with your identity? Me, neither.

Chicago continues to be the national punchline for any joke about corrupt voting practices. Along with its recent e-voting debacle in the last election, Chicago just keeps adding to its dubious voting mystique.

Lizard Suffers Priapism, May Need Amputation

What a bizarre story, cringe-worthy and envy-producing at the same time. Poor Mozart the Iguana, should have layed off the Cialis. But if things don't go his way, at least he has a spare.

Yes, priapism AND two penises. Wow.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Easing Back Into It

After unexpected air travel to be there for a friend last week, and having a very special houseguest over the weekend, as well as reconnecting with old friends during my houseguest's stay, I should be posting regularly again.

Thanks again for the kind words and prayers

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Blog Hiatus

Due to a death within my closest circle of friends, I won't be posting anything new for a few days.

National Archives Going Digital

Cool. Watch for Sandy Berger to invest in magnets, lots and lots of magnets.

He seems to know a great deal about such things.

Embryonic Stem Cell Research in America

The way the MSM covers the debate whether U.S. Federal Tax subsidies should fund embryonic stem cell research, you'd think there's no research going on at all in this country.

You'd be wrong, of course.

Some promising news from privately funded research. The horror, people making a business out of medical discoveries. Whoever heard of such a thing?

More on stem cell research in the news here and here.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Yeesh What a Slow News Day

So, here's an East African Jumping Spider.


Cre8tive_studios / Dreamstime.co

Tiny bugger, averaging 5 mm across. It thinks mosquitoes are tasty. In fact, it finds mosquitoes with malaria-infested blood crazy delicious. The researchers behind the study hope that you don't kill this spider when you see it. "Little Aragog" here might help stop the spread of malaria.

You know what else might help against Malaria? DDT. Too bad envirobats think it's teh 5ux0r.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Spontaneous Cell Phone Combustion

Yikes! No one is saying it was the battery or even who the phone manufacturer was, but I'm guessing Sony already knows about this story.

Not to make light of this poor man's experience, but I'm sure the moral of the story lies here:

Firefighters arrived at the residential hotel Saturday night to find Picaso lying on the bathroom floor after a malfunctioning cell phone in his pants pocket set fire to his nylon and polyester clothes...(emphasis added)

Don't be a fashion victim. Your life may depend upon it.

Teach the Controversy?

Some "activists" want the NTSA to show a "documentary" with extremist views on a particular scientific theory in classrooms. The NTSA politely declined the offer of 50,000 DVDs, citing a policy enacted in 2001 against product placement in the classroom. What kind of film documentary was it? A film on Intelligent Design? Creationism? Nope.

More on this from Motl.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Gaia Thumbs Nose At Kyoto

Via Tim Blair, brushfires in Australia had their carbon emissions calculated, and it looks like Mother Nature is a scoff-law:

Victoria’s monster bushfires have generated the power of more than 100 atomic bombs and pumped out millions of tonnes of pollution, greenhouse gas and toxic clouds, scientists say.

The tens of million of tonnes of carbon dioxide pumped into the atmosphere by the 1 million hectare blaze exceed the combined emissions of the state’s power stations, industry and cars by about 30 percent, according to figures compiled for the Herald Sun online by the CSIRO ...

The fires also generated 2.5 million tonnes of carbon monoxide; 300,000 tonnes of volatile organic compounds such as benzene, formaldehyde and hydrocarbons; 85,000 tonnes of methane; 64,000 tonnes of nitrogen oxides; and 59,000 tonnes of smoke ...

The energy produced by the blazes also dwarfs that produced by humans, according to data provided by the CSIRO and energy agencies.

What arrogance! Who does this hegemonic superpower think she is, ignoring the tipping point, and just spewing carbon greenhouse gases willy-nilly any time she wants? We must stand up against "Gaia" and get her to sign the Kyoto Protocol. And, we must get her to develop a comprehensive, responsible plan for curbing her egregious emissions after 2012! The utter lack of regard for the future of this planet is stunning! Her silence in the face of wanton acts of emissions is telling.

Hyperbole aside, it makes me wonder why we see press releases like James Hansen's, where he rather laughably says,

"The amount of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere is now completely under the control of humans," he said. "Another Ice Age cannot occur unless humans become extinct."

I think Hansen forgot to forward his talking points to Mother Nature. Injecting this kind of nonsense helps no one when joining the wider debate on what humans can do about global warming.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Yoda Sings the Classics

Seems like their destiny that Yoda and Louis Armstrong would have made a good team.


"Think to myself, I do. Wonderful World it is."

Friday, January 12, 2007

"This Hassle Brought to You By..." (Bumped)

Um...Okay. Not sure I'd want my company's name associated with a really frustrating consumer experience, but hey, if airlines can subsidize their security costs through ad revenue, why not? It beats nickel and diming the passengers while inflight.

I just hope they don't go overboard, like, requiring TSA agents to say, "This cavity search brought to you by The Deep Well Explorers of Kerr-McGee."

Contest! Fill in your own ad blurb in the comments.

Update: Thanks for playing, everyone. Some truly twisted minds on display in the comments, so of course the winner is Paddy's contribution.

"Bob is ready for that backroom "screening"; are you?" Enzyte® the once a day pill for natural male enhancement.

24: Red State Vs Blue State

Slate says Red State.

Ace says, nuh uh, Blue State politics all the way.

Just going out on a limb here, but I doubt either "reviewer" is a regular visitor of Blogs4Bauer.

Oh Sandy: Ode on a Berger

H/T Tim Blair for Mark Steyn's contributions to Bill Bennet's Sandy Berger Lies Contest.

Here's my own modest effort, a la Pirates of Penzance:

I am the very model of irrational security,
I’ve information secret, pilfered, done it all quite luridly,
I know the Clintons, Mr, Mrs, and George Stephanopoulos,
From Richard Reich to Howard Dean, Ye-argh, all vox populous;
I’m very well acquainted too with matters that are archival,
I understand the protocol, including Dewey Decimal,
On waist size and my pant cuffs I’m teeming with a lot o’ news—
With many sheafs of paper that are stuffed right down my own caboose.

I’m very good at bathroom breaks and stories contradictory,
I know the ins and outs of all the staffers at the library;
When it comes to measuring my personal integrity,
I am the very model of irrational security.

Cross commented at Rant Monkey.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Procrastination in the News

I'll get around to finishing this blog post later. When is it due again?

On second thought, maybe leaving the post like this is really the best way to go.

Update: Oh wait, which procrastination story was I supposed to blog about?

Stat Geeks New Bet: Fantasy League Government

And I thought Fantasy League Hockey was boringly useless.

It's official, you CAN turn anything into a Fantasy League.

Hansen Unbowed: Global Warming!

Well, Jim Hansen, the world's leading Global Warming Cheerleader with a PhD, remains unchastened by the backlash against the backlash in a speech given at some conference. He still claims that scientists should be activists instead of just, you know, scientists:

He touched only briefly on his dealings with the Bush administration, saying that scientists have ethical responsibilities much the same as doctors have to their patients.

Lots of other anthropogenic global warming theory claims are presented uncritically throughout the article, which really reads more like the press release for the conference. See if you can't spot them. I count seven.

For a guy who claims to be muzzled by the U.S. Government, he sure gets a lot press.

Update: I think Hansen left out a couple of new theories from global warming expert Alec Baldwin.

H/T Tim Blair.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Sudan to UN Peacekeepers: "No Thanks"

No, no, we're good. Sudan's government probably feels that it doesn't need any more military types coming in to rape and exploit their refugees.

It almost looked like just the threat of sending UN Peacekeepers got Khartoum and the rebels to agree to a ceasefire.

Meanwhile, the UN Security Council, disappointed that its Peacekeeping forces didn't get the chance to play with the Sudanese refugees, is mulling sending troops to Chad and the Central African Republic to "increase insecurity" for refugees in the border region around Darfur.

What's that? Oh, sorry, I meant "increase security". My bad.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Smart Seismologists...Dumb Slogan

Dude, that's just lame.

I hope it gets their message out, but man, are they going to be on the receiving end of a lot of snark. Like here.

Gotham City's "Bat Phone" in Telemarketers' Sights

Heh. I knew it! There really is a Bat Phone, but it's not red (dang).

Shouldn't the Mayor of Gotham have signed that number up for the "Do Not Call" list, though? Just a thought.

E-Voting in Cook County Gets a Failing Grade

Cook County got their report card today on their e-voting efforts during the November elections, and it had a big fat "F" on it. Plenty of blame to go around, from ill-trained election staff, to ill-conceived user interface. Hopefully, the Cook County Board of Elections will take the findings to heart, as should Sequoia Systems, before 2008.

E-voting still has a ways to go before the notion loses its scariness.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Malibu Burning

Conditions were ripe for a brush fire, "Red flag warnings had been posted for much of Southern California because of strong north and northeast winds and low humidity."

Warning signs everywhere...anybody know of Sean Penn's whereabouts?

Global Warmening and Warm Weather

RealClimate warns against associating Anthropogenic Global Warming with the warm winter that northern latitudes have been seeing this season, but then goes ahead, anyway.

Meanwhile, Roger Pielke wants to see how those UK climate scientists came up with their prediction that 2007 will beat 1998 for warmest year on record.

Lots of contradictory views in this "consensus."

More Stem Cell Research in the News

Scientists at Wake Forest have found stem cells freely floating around in amniotic fluid. Obvious questions, like how many viable stem cell lines can be gleaned from this source, and does this finding preclude the debate on federally funding embryonic stem cell research, have already been asked just about everywhere. If amniotic stem cells can match the estimated 220 lines that embryonic stem cells can produce, the debate isn't over, but the Bush administration probably doesn't have to hear about it again.

But that's not the direction I'm heading in this post. When this story broke, what first came to mind was Frank Herbert's science-fiction Dune novels, with its Tlelaxian Axlotl tanks (if you don't know what those are, I won't give it away here). The man was disturbingly prescient in his presentation of clones, gholas, and human organ tissue replication. It would not take a large step now to get into Sci-Fi territory. I shudder to think where the science of stem cells could lead a culture that doesn't consider both genders of equal value.

For The Sake of the Children...

...Have a bad marriage? What at first seems like a positive story on a study about siblings and conflict resolution seemingly puts forth a disturbing conclusion that isn't explored with any depth:

When mothers reported warm relations with children, the siblings also reported intimacy with a sister or brother.

The researchers also found that as a father's intimacy with his wife declined, siblings were closer with one another. When a father reported positive feelings about his marriage and wife, sibling intimacy took a dive.

Rocky relations between parents could lead siblings to turn to one another for support, wrote Kim and her colleagues in the November/December issue of the journal Child Development.

So, if a woman has positive feelings toward her children, that doesn't hurt sibling intimacy, but let a man have positive feelings for his wife, and suddenly the kids need the services of Super Nanny? Is that really what this study's findings are saying, that children learn better conflict resolution skills with their siblings if Dad is not emotionally engaged in the marriage? What the heck is that about?

I wish the reporter had spent more time on that part of the study. It could lead one to surmise that this is another example of the ultra-feminist agenda to diminish men's role in the family unit. The data don't support that conclusion, but in the absence of more information, it begs the question. Seems to me like the researchers should have explored this paradoxical result a little more.

Meaningless Trivia Added

Ever wondered why woodpeckers don't get massive concussions? Now you know.

What? You want some kind of nuance or political rant about it? Can't I collect science trivia without attaching some deeper importance to it? You know, like all the names of the original Transformers™.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Tree Ring Proxy Data May Become Murky

I haven't seen much posting on this news item in the discussions on Global Warming. If trees manage their growth based on the availability of water rather than by temperature, then tree ring width may be more an indicator of water availability rather than of relative temperature. How will this affect Global Climate Models that use tree ring data? The use of tree ring proxies are already sparking debates on reliability within the Climate Change community for measuring historical CO2 levels or historical temperature levels.

When the study comes out in the April issue of the Journal of Arid Environments, I expect to see more of a discussion then.

Warm Weather Now A Guilty Pleasure

Warm weather leads some to feel guilty about enjoying it in our nation's capital.

People really are getting the message to fear warm weather, even when climate scientists say that global warming doesn't necessarily affect local weather patterns the way that people think it would, i.e. warmer weather. Note that the people quoted in the article sound like they're parroting what they've heard, regardless of how they actually feel. The reporter notices this, too:

"Days like this, I worry about global warming, and we're not doing anything about it," said Coby Dolan, an attorney basking in the sunshine on the porch of the clubhouse at the Hains Point golf course. Let the record reflect that he did not appear to be suffering.

Lots of hand-wringing without the actual, you know, hand-wringing. Blame El Niño for the warm weather, say most meteorologists.

Looks like the Washington Post is taking up the more balanced view on Anthropogenic Global Warming that The New York Times recently mentioned.

The Must-Have Product for the Blogosphere

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© Tim Rickard

Saturday, January 06, 2007

UN Sex Scandal About to Explode

I expect even more press on this snowballing scandal. Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan was able to keep a mostly tight lid on it just long enough for it not be his problem. The numbers are staggering:

According to the Department of Peacekeeping, during the first 10 months of 2006, 63 percent of all misconduct allegations involving peacekeeping personnel were related to sexual exploitation and abuse, a third of them to prostitution.

Exploiting a wartorn populace into prostitution and worse...This sounds like it's just the tip of the iceberg for UN peacekeeping sex scandals.

Global Warmongering's Message Heard

Even as the scientific debate over anthropogenic global warming heats up, to the point that some in the MSM are finally covering it, it certainly looks like the messengers of doom have succeeded when a 10 year old joins the discourse, and getting the definition of global warming wrong, too, while pointing to the breakup of an ice shelf as evidence of the "threshold" (or tipping point, as Al Gore would have it) being reached, and even of the near extinction of Polar Bears.

That kind of science reportage is breathtaking in its inaccuracy. Maybe she works for AP? Nevertheless, she's staying "on message" so it doesn't matter, right?

H/T Tim Blair

Friday, January 05, 2007

France's Complicity in Apartheid and Genocide in Rwanda.

Woah...France can't keep sweeping it's colonial dealings under the rug. And we can't keep turning a blind eye, either.

H/T Instapundit.

I think I've Played This Game Before

Yes, Ace posted on this, but it's just too funny not to share.

Best part? Using an English Textbook (is that a Textbook+1?) to take out a Science Professor. Second best part? Using Mac OS X to confuse a TI-83 graphing calculator.

It's a 4 parter (although Part 1 has all the best RPG jokes in it), check out the rest of them.


TI-83:"Error. Interface Makes No Sense."

Bro, don't the graphics and music remind you of Zelda on the NES? Okay, okay...Final Fantasy IV on Gameboy.

Gwinnett County In The News Again!

First there was Harry Potter. Now Gwinnett County has residents reading up on archives of Penthouse Magazine. Must be an interesting place to live.

"Political Debate" Rages in Palestine...

...with no end in sight. I didn't see the words "quagmire" or "civil war" in this article.

With Iraq's shadow over the region, some people still wonder why Bush or Olmert aren't more "engaged" in the peace process. Meanwhile, the other Arab states sit back and do what they've done for decades when Palestinians fight each other: let them.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

UK Chimera Ban Criticized

When this position paper came out last month, the headlines emphasized the gay rights portion of it, but mostly glossed over the proposed interim ban on chimeras, human-animal hybrid embryos that have been used in stem cell research.

Now, a group of scientists are decrying the recommended ban as short-sighted. First, what the proposal said, as it was reported at the time:

The document also proposes an interim ban on the creation for research of "chimera" embryos that are part-human and part-animal, though it suggests that Parliament may wish to reconsider this in the future.

I have my own personal, and private, beliefs about embryonic stem cell research. But in fairness, the UK currently has no ban whatsoever on it, and because of this policy is one of the leading producers of research on stem cells in the world (South Korean hoaxes notwithstanding). The proposed policy of banning hybrid emybryonic stem cell is inconsistent with existing policies on 100% human embryonic stem cell research as one sympathetic Member of Parliament notes:

Dr Evan Harris, a Liberal Democrat member of parliament, said a ban would be wrong-headed.

"What would be unethical would be for hybrid embryos to be given greater protection than human embryos, which can be created and used for up to 14 days before being destroyed, and for patients to be denied the chance to benefit from research just because some people find it distasteful," he said.

Embryonic stem cell research is already a reality in Britain. Speculation on the proposed ban has run rampant in scientific circles, but many believe it to be politicians fearing a backlash against "FrankenBunny Babies" and other such terms that raise the specter of "Island of Dr. Moreau" science unleashed on an unsuspecting public. This public fear in the UK has resulted in some of the most restrictive policies on Genetically Modified food research in the world. Perhaps the politicians, sensing the public's increasing mistrust of genetics research in that sphere, have miscalculated the public sentiment in this regard.

Even so, it seems at best inconsistent, and at worst highly irrational that GM agricultural research is to be feared more than GM human embryonic stem cell research. A consistent ethical policy on genetics research should begin with readily digestible information given to the public. There seems to be a wide gulf indeed in the UK about which line of genetics research is considered a public menace and which isn't.

Update: Instapundit has a link on the coming debate on embryonic stem cell research in America.

Halo-ization of Armed Forces

Master Chief and all his armaments may be closer to reality than the Halo movie. The article calls it the "Borg effect", which was the dominant sci-fi reference at the time this stuff began development, but we all know that our soldiers will call their exoskeletons Halo Battlesuits and Mandalorian Armor (maybe even Grand Army of the Republic Clone Armor). Cool stuff.

"Unprecedented" Ice Shelf Calving in Canada...er, Not So Much

The calving of an ice shelf in the Canadian Arctic that made the news recently may not be so "unprecedented" after all, according to Steve McIntyre of Climate Audit.

Although the event happened back in 2005, it only got into the MSM now...are not enough scientists playing ball with the Global Warmongering meme these days that they have to rehash an old event? More and more signs point to yes.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

The Death of the Viral Video

My brother and I were talking about viral videos and how there are less and less "good ones". What? You think all we ever talk about is Anime, Star Wars, Video Games, and Star Wars Video Games? Those topics take up only 95% of our time. Anyway...Where's the new Numa Numa kid? How come no crazy German kid raving in Japanese pounding on his Wii? Why not a Star Trek kid doing a kata with his Batliff made of aluminum foil?

The reason is viral video marketing. Does it work? Really, if that Star Wars Kid were wearing Dockers™ StretchFit slacks, I'm not going to rush out to the nearest department store just because they allow my shirt to stay tucked while making a reverse tumbling maneuver. And that Numa Numa kid? What's his demographic, and would I dare identify myself with that niche? The Crazy German Kid? I don't think we're ready for ADHD drug commercials just yet.

You know the trend of viral video marketing is bad when you see commercials on TV for companies that will take your money to teach you how to make a viral video of your very own to hawk your products. Don't have a product to sell? They'll even line up a customer for you. Don't we have enough really bad commercials on late night cable from local businesses? Now we have to wade through the normal drek on YouTube, and these bad commercials, just to find the next gem. How are we going to find the next Star Wars Kid now?

The next viral video will take more time to find and spread, so maybe the title will have to be downgraded to bacterial video.

Sensationalist Climate Scientists Called Out

Uh oh, the backlash against the backlash continues as scientists who feed the frenzy are called to account, by the New York Times, no less.

The folks at Real Climate have taken the "hit piece" personally, and got all huffy about being lumped in with climate science activists. And to prove that they're really really scientific, they point out where they agree with the "heretics" (after first trying to say that they were the original "heretics"). Hmmm, defensive much?

There actually is some good science discussion on their site, but when they fall into ad hominem attacks against their critics (like this post and this post), it hurts their credibility.

Sounds to me like they understood that, too.

Update: Meanwhile, the attempts by the MSM to silence debate continue, with "guilt by association" hit jobs like this one.

Update II: found a free link to the whole NYT piece.

Update III: More on this from Motl.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Study Links Masculine Features to Female Sluttitude

Two words: Chin Implants. This study sounds suspiciously similar to this one.

What do these two studies tell us? 1. Women want a He Man when they're ovulating, and 2. They expect the men they want to have a fling with to be just as promiscuous as they are at the time. I think I've heard this joke oh, about a gajillion times, but apparently these scientists hadn't.

Sounds like a lot of trouble to go through just to prove conventional, if dated, wisdom on the War of the Sexes.

Air Travel on January 2nd

Finally back in Chicago after flying out from LAX today. The only snafu was at O'Hare when it took an hour for my flight's luggage to get to the baggage carousel. From what I could overhear from snippets of conversation (and also while eyeing the line for the Baggage Service Department grow ominously), LaGuardia had issues with its luggage conveyor belt system, which likely contributed to baggage sluggishness around the country. Note, as of 6pm CST, if you click on the above link, the official notice reads, "The Baggage Facility at LaGuardia Airport is currently not operating. Please call your airline to inquire of alternate storage."

I'm just glad to be done with air travel for a while.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Japanese Celebrate the Nude Year: Telecast

What were the costumers thinking when they designed these anatomically correct skin suits?

If you really must, look here for what the fuss is about (scroll down to DJ OZMA). That's not a wardrobe malfunction, that's a wardrobe feature!

Update:You can find the YouTube Clip here. Thanks to BrendaK.