Saturday, June 30, 2007

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #6874

(Image originally uploaded by kstoerz; Random Flickr Blogging invented by Tom Hilton.)


Friday, June 29, 2007

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #8211

There's such a thing as waiting too long for the "facts of life" speech. "He's going to do WHAT with his WHAT tonight?"
In other news, I have to drive 20.3 miles if I want to see Sicko on opening day. Oh, the nearby corporate conglomomegatheaters have plenty of room for Fantastic Four and Bruce Willis and Spider-Man and Shrek and Pirates of the Caribbean and—oh my God, is that really Nancy Drew I see? Ye gods. Nope, no place nearby is opening Sicko 'til next week. Meanwhile, Michael Moore was on The Daily Show the other night and mentioned that he'd been all set to do a whole hour with Larry King—but was bumped for Paris Hilton. There's an anecdote that kind of defines the whole corporate media problem in a nutshell, huh? It looks like King is scheduled to have Moore on tonight, but hey, who knows what Lindsay Lohan or Courtney Love might get up to in the meantime?

"Can't talk. I'm off to Larry King Live for an hour of lean and leer."
Moore is also scheduled for NOW tonight. Definitely a more reliable booking.

(Images originally uploaded by timandfee and Milk & Strawberries; Random Flickr Blogging invented by Tom Hilton.)

P.S. CNN poll: "Which Michael Moore film is your favorite?" The last option, "He's too biased for me," is scoring right around 33%. One third, one third...where have I see that before?


Thursday, June 28, 2007

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #0593

And here's today's daily. Today.

(The next person who makes a joke about my elephant causing seizures gets this up his #@$.)
(Image originally uploaded by ahbaird; Random Flickr Blogging invented by Tom Hilton.)


Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #7718

Oops—I did a weekly yesterday but forgot to do a daily yesterday. So here's yesterday's daily today. For what it's worth.

I find that most food is better when it's shaped like a horseshoe crab.
(Image originally uploaded by lavendercupcaker; Random Flickr Blogging invented by Tom Hilton.)


Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Random Flickr Blogging #6327: Random X and Y Axis Flickr Blogging

As I was thinking about this week's RFBing, I couldn't get my mind off of Kevin Drum's request (h/t The Carpetbagger Report) for help with mockery of the mind-bogglingly dumb last line of this mind-bogglingly dumb anti-Gore piece by Emily Yoffe. It is indeed a head-scratcher:
But just because something can be plotted on an X and Y axis does not make it the whole truth.
What plotting something on an X and Y axis has to do with anything is not terribly clear, but then neither is the rest of Yoffe's careless, pointless screed (I think the Howler has her pegged). My best guess is that "plotting something on an X and Y axis" is meant to be a trope for nerdiness, so Yoffe is basically ending her piece in a time-honored kewl kid way by calling Gore a nerd. Ooooh, devastating put-down. Anyway, this is what happens when you fixate on a particularly idiotic piece of punditry while you randomly Flickr blog:

"But just because something can be plotted on an X and Y axis does not mean this woman will give me her phone number."
"But just because something can be plotted on an X and Y axis does not mean it can help us with our remake of Polanski's Knife in the Water."
"But just because something can be plotted on an X and Y axis does not mean—Ow! Enough with the pitchforks already."
"Plotting something on an X and Y axis makes Baby Jesus cry."
"I really go for a guy who can plot something on an X and Y axis."
"I invite you to plot my fearful symmetry on an X and Y axis."
Let's plot this on an X and Y axis and then leave it on Ann Althouse's front lawn.
"Even plotting something on an X and Y axis won't help you when the fourth Tank Engine of the Apocalypse gets here, mwa ha ha."
"What's an X and Y axis?"
(Images originally uploaded by ndswiler, Kris Fields, matthamlin99, from_the_sky, calanimephotos, Louis Lu, tobstone, sophware, and sandranahdar; Random Flickr Blogging invented by Tom Hilton.)


Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #8387

Steve Reich: adventurous theorist; groundbreaking composer; occasional party clown.
(Actually, this PASIC thing looks pretty interesting.)

(Image originally uploaded by vitalphotography; Random Flickr Blogging invented by Tom Hilton.)

Bonus: Because how often will you see THIS?

Well, that's vastly preferable to, other things of his.
(Image originally uploaded by peterpansyracuse.)

Bonus bonus: Help me out with this one:

Warning! Moray eels suffer from severe peanut allergy?

Warning! Sockeye salmon prefer tablets to gelcaps?

Warning! Do not score bennies for Kermit no matter how much he begs?

(Image originally uploaded by fionasriley.)

Add suggestions if you've got 'em.


Monday, June 25, 2007

Read That Script, Howie

So Howie "The Ho" Kurtz can't wait to flog an MSNBC report that shows that—gasp!—125 of 144 journalists gave money to Democrats, thereby giving Michael Medved a chance to wave his hanky in dismay and wail "oh, the liberal bias." Never mind Any excuse to read that "liberal media" script is a good one, huh, Howie?

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #8469

Highly magnified, even Vin Diesel's sperm are freakish and intimidating.
(Image originally uploaded by fabola; Random Flickr Blogging invented by Tom Hilton.)


Sunday, June 24, 2007

I Learned a Word Today, Oh Boy

The Merriam-Webster Word of the Day for June 24, 2007 is
roorback \ROOR-back\ noun
: a defamatory falsehood published for political effect

Example sentence: "The attacks on my character are nothing but roorbacks drummed up by my opponent," insisted the candidate.

Did you know?
If you think dirty politics are new, think again. In the midst of the 1844 presidential campaign between James K. Polk and Henry Clay, a letter was published in a newspaper in Ithaca, New York, claiming that a reputable witness (one Baron von Roorback) had, while traveling in Tennessee, come across 43 slaves owned by Polk and branded with his initials. The letter caused an uproar that threatened to derail Polk's campaign until it was discovered that the whole thing was a hoax supposedly perpetrated by the opposing party. Baron von Roorback didn't even exist. The incident proved a political boomerang; Polk won the election and the name "roorback" became a byword for political dirty tricks.

Roorback: it was the Swiftboating of its day.

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #7808

This may look like con-ga
But it's really no-ot
It is really a hom-age
To the Dance of Death Scene
From Bergman's
Seventh Se-al
A very famous art film
It stars Max von Sy-dow
He plays chess with De-eath
I found the film bor-ing
But these people liked it
So did Roger E-bert
Yadda yadda yad-da...
(Image originally uploaded by Magic Jochen; Random Flickr Blogging invented by Tom Hilton.)

Bonus: The Python fans out there will understand why I couldn't resist this one.

This is actually quite subdued for a Hazel Pethig family reunion.
(Image originally uploaded by Cholwell Hall.)

P.S. There are some wonderfully Pythonesque anecdotes in that little article about the woefully underappreciated Hazel Pethig:

"Once, the team asked for a polar bear costume for a sketch, which was very difficult to get hold of, and we couldn't hire one. So we had to use a gorilla suit instead. They were very good about it, but it was clear they'd have preferred the polar bear."


The most uncooperative of the group has, nevertheless, always been John Cleese. "Squeezing John into costume was difficult for me. He didn't like wearing costumes, and he didn't like wearing beards and moustaches. [On Python,] he used to puff himself up like a bullfrog so his costumes wouldn't fit. He'd say 'Look, I can't wear it, it doesn't fit.' I had to pummel him until he fit into the costume."


Saturday, June 23, 2007

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #7258

Upon coming closer, the disappointed tourists realized that it was not, in fact, Larry King after all. It was Alan Greenspan.
(Image originally uploaded by kristal.pritchett; Random Flickr Blogging invented by Tom Hilton.)


Friday, June 22, 2007

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #2050

Personal log, Stardate 7394.8. My part-Borg friend Alex1976 is visiting, and already he's embarrassed me at Chi-Chi's with his lame joke about "assimilating" the beef fajitas.
(Image originally uploaded by Alimacblue; Random Flickr Blogging invented by Tom Hilton.)


Thursday, June 21, 2007

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #7495

M. C. Escher Spice Rack: $24.95.
Ability to insert oregano at the bottom and have it come out the top as Cayenne pepper? Priceless.

(Just chalk it up to the relativity of space and thyme.)

(Image originally uploaded by rubymatt; Random Flickr Blogging invented by Tom Hilton.)


Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #5760

A little physics is a dangerous thing. "OK, as the train speeds away, I'll lean out and shine the flashlight back at you on the platform, and you tell me how much longer the light takes to reach you." "Gotcha."
(Image originally uploaded by alin2003; Random Flickr Blogging invented by Tom Hilton.)


Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #6769

"All right, we'll call it a draw."
(Image originally uploaded by Jerry Luk; Random Flickr Blogging invented by Tom Hilton.)


Monday, June 18, 2007

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #8850

Hello, reader. Why don't you pass the time with a game of solitaire?
(Image originally uploaded by moominmolly; Random Flickr Blogging invented by Tom Hilton.)


Sunday, June 17, 2007

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #3765

Alienated loners must wash hands before returning to manifesto.
(Image originally uploaded by Jen & Craig Walker; Random Flickr Blogging invented by Tom Hilton.)



I'm in the habit of listening to Democracy Now! pretty much every weekday—or rather, since it's not on the radio at the most convenient time here, I'm in the habit of downloading it and listening to it as I exercise. This can come in quite handy if you lift weights, let me tell you: Amy Goodman and company routinely dredge up stories that conjure up a visceral rage that can help one shatter a bench-press plateau to smithereens. I distinctly remember, for example, cursing and howling my way through extra reps as I listened to these reports on guestworker abuse, full of gems like this:
AMY GOODMAN: Can you talk about Mexican guestworkers in Louisiana labor, hired by Redd Properties in Sulphur, Louisiana, Saket Soni?

SAKET SONI [head of the New Orleans Workers' Center for Racial Justice]: Yeah. Redd Properties is a real estate group owned by a local real estate mogul named Matt Redd. Matt Redd’s case is very interesting. Matt Redd went off and started Louisiana Labor, LLC, which is a little shelter company that is the formal employer of the workers.

Matt then went to Mexico. He, himself, became a recruiter. He went to Mexico, recruited workers, promised them that for $400 they would be transported to Louisiana in airplanes -- charged them $400 for airfare. When he received the $400, he then packed the Mexican workers into vans like sardines and confiscated their passports and essentially trafficked them across the border to Louisiana.

Once they were in Louisiana, through LA Labor, they then lived in buildings owned by Redd Properties, sequestered, ten or twelve people to a little house, and Matt Redd then leased them out for a profit to businesses across the Calcasieu Parish, including car washes, restaurants, casinos and a prominent local fabrication shop. So the workers essentially had no other choice.

It is good to have heavy chunks of metal to move around when you listen to stuff like this, I can testify.

Anyway, this weekend I finally listened to last Thursday's broadcast, and I highly recommend it to anyone who needs either a dose of muscle-fueling outrage or a renewed sense of hope. There's an excellent speech by Michael Moore (transcript included), who is just beginning what promises to be an awesome round of agitation ahead of the release of Sicko, his new film about the American "health care" industry, and there's testimony from some Sicko interviewees about some of the horrible things they've witnessed—or done. Moore's speech is the hope-inducing part; the testimonies are the outrage-fueling part:

AMY GOODMAN: Dawnelle Keyes daughter died in 1993. Andy Bales of the Union Rescue Mission in Los Angeles testified on how hospitals dump patients on Skid Row.

ANDY BALES: Unlike some unfortunate souls who are dumped or dropped off on Skid Row, I worked my whole life to end up on Skid Row, and I finally made it. I want to make sure no human being is left on the streets of Skid Row. Three years ago, my predecessors found that a woman had been dropped off by a hospital. She walked in with an IV in her arm, sat down in our guest area and died 10 minutes later from pneumonia. We set up what is now called a hospital dump cam out in front of the building. And in the fall of 2005, we had a gentleman show up in a gurney, having seizures and the hospital attempted to drop him off, but the captain of the police force, Andy Smith, happened to be at our place in a meeting, he ran down, intervened, made the man – the ambulance driver - put him back in the ambulance and sent him back to the hospital. Shortly after that, in December, an undocumented day laborer showed up covered in blood. He’d just been released from a hospital in Arcadia, brought all the way to downtown Skid Row, walked in, we took him back to our guest area and shortly thereafter, he became so ill from the beating he had taken right before he went to the hospital, that we had to call the medics and haul him back to the hospital. He stayed there for several days.

That was publicized. I think eleven hospitals were documented as doing drop-offs. It was somewhat publicized. But in March of 2006, I was standing outside with the moms from the Mission, waiting for their kids to return. Their bus had been in an accident, so I was out much later than I normally would have been. I couldn't believe my eyes as the cab pulled up and did a u-turn. And a little lady in a nightgown stepped out of the back of the cab, unassisted, was given no directions to our door. She's several hundred feet from our door. She started walking northward on San Pedro to some of the meanest streets in the United States. Fortunately, I was there. I called the Captain, Andy Smith. I sent a staff person to rescue the lady that I later found out was Carol Reyes. Hospital document showed she had high blood pressure, a low-grade fever, had dementia so bad that she didn't know time or place. Yet she was brought 20 miles to be dropped off on to the meanest street of our city.

Every good thing that happened to Carol Reyes after it hit the national and world news, every good thing that happened to her could have happened had she been treated like a human being in the first place. She was given a checkup by a social worker and doctors. She was deemed not to be competent. She was given a public guardian. She was given a lawyer. She was put into a group home. Today, she's being cared for in a wonderful way. But, every one of those good steps could have been done in the first place rather than after she made the national news.

Unfortunately, there have been over 35 hospital drop-offs since Carroll Reyes made the news. One man, a paraplegic, dropped off without a wheelchair without a walker, dropped himself out of the van onto the curb with his clothes in his mouth and colostomy bag ruptured. Fortunately, one good thing that came out of this was that twelve homeless witnesses stepped forward and said enough is enough. No more of this kind of treatment for human beings.

I would like to just share a scripture from the Old Testament. As the Jewish people were heading back to set up their city, they received instruction from God through the prophet of Isaiah. It says I’ll take joy in Jerusalem, take delight in my people. No more sounds of weeping in the city, no cries of anguish, no more babies dying in the cradle or old people who don't enjoy a full lifetime. 100th birthdays will be considered normal. Anything less will seem like a cheat. I want to steal an idea from Michael: That we need to move away from the “pull yourself up from the bootstraps”, winner-take-all, me-centered society and move to a we-centered society. That is why I am here to encourage you today. Thank you.

No, thank YOU. If America finally manages to shake off the "free market," maximizing-profits-is-all-that-matters siren song that has lured it toward the civilizational rocks for the past 30 years or so and finally embraces the kind of sane, humane, single-payer healthcare system enjoyed by, oh, most other industrialized democracies in the world, it will be because of people like you—and Michael Moore, who will be dishonored in his own time (the usual suspects will remind us that he is "fat," a "propagandist," etc., never mind their own legions of tubby whores) but who, I am more and more confident, will go down in history as a kind of culture hero for our odd, media-saturated times. Moore certainly seems charged up for this battle—and now, with Bush/Cheney's poll numbers in the tank and a majority of the country disenchanted with the plutocracy's record on Iraq, Afghanistan, 9/11, Katrina, etc., might be the perfect time to wage it.

Listen, read, and/or watch. And let's pack the theaters on June 29.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #6728

Citizen Kat, Scene 1. The camera dollies in on Kat, who painfully hiss-purrs "Rrrrrr ssspttt" and coughs up a hairball, which falls to the floor and shatters into pieces. Cut to hairball's-eye view as a nurse enters the room.
(Image originally uploaded by swedotorp; Random Flickr Blogging invented by Tom Hilton.)


Friday, June 15, 2007

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #6001

The Narcissus Grebe sometimes becomes entranced by its own reflection as it swims. And hey, let's be honest—I'm a little attracted to it myself.
(Image originally uploaded by agleyzer; Random Flickr Blogging invented by Tom Hilton.)


Weekly Random Flickr Blogging, #1515: Lobbyist Fred Thompson Flickr Blogging

I was thinking about this post by RFB inventor Tom Hilton as I perused the results for this week's number. Tom is right: rather than let the media get away with painting Fred Thompson as the simple, guileless, aw-shucks, down-home good-old-boy that he pretends to be, let's hang the fact that for much of his adult life he's been a slick, well-connected big-bucks skirt-chasing Washington lobbyist around his neck like a big Glenfiddich-reeking albatross. Ah say, ah say, that's Lobbyist Fred Thompson yer talkin' about, son </leghorn>.

If elected, Lobbyist Fred Thompson promises to keep scary black cats from crossing our national path. Oooooh, scaaaaary.
Sure, in a baseball context this might mean "fastball," but trust me—you don't wanna know what it means in this context. After decades as a Washington insider, though, you can bet that Lobbyist Fred Thompson does.
Don't worry: Lobbyist Fred Thompson also knows a thing or two about putting harnesses on women.
"I bet I'd have a clearer view of that butt if Lobbyist Fred Thompson were president."
Lobbyist Fred Thompson's position on evolution is not clear—but the part about spreading genetic material around seems right up his alley.
"Hey, look: Lobbyist Fred Thompson is getting married again next door."
Yes, the nation's two-year-olds all agree: Lobbyist Fred Thompson is the best thing since strained peas.
(Images originally uploaded by Erik Bourget, kristine111, ryanandbecca, jamileslie, brex,, and angelaben28; Random Flickr Blogging invented by Tom Hilton.)


Thursday, June 14, 2007

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #7631

"When shall we three meet again
In thunder, lightning, or in rain?"
(Image originally uploaded by toybot studios; Random Flickr Blogging invented by Tom Hilton.)


Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #8807

They said you couldn't build a plane out Evel Knievel's old jumpsuits and jockstraps, but by golly, when Richard Branson wants something, he gets it.
(Image originally uploaded by shish0r; Random Flickr Blogging invented by Tom Hilton.)


Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #0434

Why do they hate us? They hate us because we go to the Acropolis, walk the ground once trod by Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Pericles, Aeschylus, Sophocles, Aristophanes, etc., and then complain that there's no Taco Bueno.
(Image originally uploaded by megano2; Random Flickr Blogging invented by Tom Hilton.)


Monday, June 11, 2007

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #5066

An NRA lobbyist talked him into buying it by calling it "Kryptonite insurance." I tell ya, those #@&$ers could sell cold to an Eskimo.
(Image originally uploaded by roboscope; Random Flickr Blogging invented by Tom Hilton.)


Sunday, June 10, 2007

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #0187

Most of the people who clicked on Coochie Cam were quickly disappointed.
(Image originally uploaded by hassan006; Random Flickr Blogging invented by Tom Hilton.)


Saturday, June 09, 2007

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #0838

Even Nelson Mandela is not immune to the lure of Schadenfreude. "Hey, everybody: one of these cops sat in some gum."
(Image originally uploaded by guimon4; Random Flickr Blogging invented by Tom Hilton.)


Friday, June 08, 2007

Weekly Random Flickr Blogging, #7154

Just because I'm doing daily installments doesn't mean I can't do weekly installments, too.

They rarely appear as far south as Alabama, but when they do, they are referred to as "The Lights of Northern Aggression."
Is there such a thing as .5 degrees of Kevin Bacon, or do they have to be whole numbers?
"You'll be surprised at how versatile and satisfying a butterfly-based cuisine can be!"
--Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Doppler Dan sought his fortune in Hollywood, but he quickly fell victim to typecasting: his IMDB oeuvre consists entirely of drug trips, hallucinatory flashbacks, and delirium tremens sequences. On the other hand, he did get to work with Mickey Rourke a lot.
He also found time to produce a son, who had his own modest career appearing in MADD PSAs.
Random Flickr Blogging explained here; photos originally uploaded by kay661212, MGoBlue, thestreetnetwork, pterjan, and edditainment.

Bonus: Once nice thing about randomly Flickring is that, as you do, you often run across some great photos. Here's a couple of bird shots from this week's Flickrings that I really, really liked.

Originally uploaded by kilinwu1.
Originally uploaded by

Shuttle launch tonight! Hopefully. I've got an elderly aunt in town from up north until tomorrow morning; I'm not sure, but I think this is her first chance to see one of these things other than on TV, so let's hope the weather and technology cooperate.


Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #5148

"Yes, and I often do in the grass as well. Now, could I have a little privacy, please?"
(Image originally uploaded by F-Dawg; Random Flickr Blogging invented by Tom Hilton.)


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