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31 August 2011

bestial animal torturer and killer gets $100,000,000 contract from Philadelphia football team

Dave Zirin is a sportswriter who writes "The Edge of Sports" website. Tuesday morning he appeared on msnbc television and waxed poetic on how wonderful it is that Michael Vick got a new $100,000,000 10-year contract from the Philadelphia Eagles (professional American football team).

Zirin believes everyone who makes a little mistake -- like torturing dogs and raising them to fight to the death for profit and sport -- deserves a second chance.


Dear Dave Zirin --

While the torturer and murderer of dogs for profit and pleasure plays NFL football, I will not spend one cent on anything which will bring profit to the NFL. I will not watch one second of its games, I will not buy its crap.

Through his own choices, Michael Vick gloried in subhuman and bestial behavior equivalent to genocidists and war criminals. The more innocent animals suffered, the happier he was.

Now, for one hundred million dollars, an industry displays him as a hero and role model for children.

I validate your passion for sports.

But I really think you need to consider the price you are willing to pay to love sports.

Have you ever seen -- and heard -- a dog hung from the ceiling by hooks? Would you praise and forgive Vick if you had spent an hour watching what he did in his dog-torturing farm?

I think it's sick to sweep Vick's perversions under the rug so you can keep enjoying the NFL. Where do you draw the line? What act would a talented athlete have to commit for you to object to his playing pro sports?

Football's just a game. Animal torture is not. Vick is a psychopath and a pervert. The NFL wants to get rich off him, and you're helping.

Robert Merkin
Massachusetts USA

29 August 2011

one of your more boring massive Atlantic coast hurricanes / do you have a Generac? / do you have 4-wheel drive? / drowned surfers

Click map to enlarge.

Big fucking deal.

After days of the cable TV weather shows screaming that we should all flee for our lives and stock up on emergency supplies (all the stores were sold out of D flashlight batteries), the damn thing finally arrived, dumped a shitload of rain, and then continued north, We never even got our feet wet.

There was an enormous amount of rain, rivers and streams overflowing, and authentic flash flood warnings, but we live near the summit of a very short mountain, so all the water flowed downward from us, none lingered at our house. I think a corner of the basement got a little wet.

Twice there were power outages just long enough to trigger the emergency electric generator, but in less than a minute the grid power returned, and the emergency generator went back to sleep.

Up and down the USA Atlantic coast, teenage surfers raced to the beach, and about six or seven of them drowned, On the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico beaches, the waves never get big, except when a hurricane hits, so all the surfers get very excited and race for the beach, and die.

S.W.M.B.O. and I were nervous and anxious and a bit worried -- the thing, after all, packs the whollop of dozens of thermonuclear bombs -- but we got through the whole thing snug and comfy. 

The film the news and weather channels showed of Irene making landfall in the southern states, the Carolinas, Virginia (the US Navy 2nd Fleet sailed out to sea to ride out the storm) -- an English guy I know calls it "weather porn." Just like young naked women, superviolent weather events get viewers all hot and excited and boost the ratings. Helicopter rescues from rooftops and the roofs of cars sinking in rivers. Storm surges. Rubber rafts filled with bummed-out refugees floating by 29 Elm Drive.

Who gets all hot and bothered watching a sunny Spring day?

On "The Weather Channel," I saw lots of Generac  ads -- ads for my emergency electric generator. I have never seen Generac advertise on TV, or anywhere, before. I suspect there's going to be a big surge of consumer orders this week.

There wasn't much wind up here -- enough to shake the treetops and make spooky noises -- but 36 hours of unusually strong winds greatly increase the likelihood that the grid electricity will fail all over the region, and it will take two or three or four days to finally get repair crews to restore the juice.

The cats were pissed off because we locked them inside during what they felt were perfectly fine hunting and gamboling days.

I got the 4-wheel drive. If you drive anything with less than 4-wheel drive -- well, you're just asking for it, like the teenage surfers.

Okay, in our neighborhood, Irene was a bit of a yawner, but from the Caribbean to Florida to New England she did indeed do tremendous damage. There were mandatory evacuations in New York City, and the mass transit systems of NYC and Philadelphia were shut down. There were mandatory evacuations from the Carolina sea islands. 

Missed us! Hahahahahaha!

22 August 2011

1st Day Issue / Postalo Vleeptron: Very Long Half-Life Ionizing Radiation Symbol / Get Used To It

Click image to enlarge.

First Day Issue
Postalö Vleeptron
Very Long Half-Life Ionizing Radiation Symbol
Symbols of the Future / Get Used To It

I'll write more about this curious new symbol later, maybe tomorrow. You probably have never seen one of these signs before.

Well -- there's always a first time.

Here's a hint: Try Finland.

You can't possibly imagine how much highly radioactive crap we've generated since oh about 1900. And we've never given much thought to what we were going to do with all the spent, wasted crap, which typically has a half-life that can be in excess of 100,000 years.

Well, okay, finally a few freakazoids and visionaries have given some thought about what to do with all this Hot Crap, and they've even begun to construct facilities to store the Hot Crap safely (they hope) and keep all biological life safe from the Hot Crap's radioactivity for oh well 100,000 years or so.

Plan A, which is in very common use in this era, is to ship the Hot Crap to dumps on impoverished Third World islands. North Korea also gladly acccepted your used highly radioactive Hot Crap for decades. But there are suspicions these naughty Communists were doing more with it than just burying it in Waste Zone 228.

The world has been managing its highly radioactive waste largely on the Honor System for a century.

And some of us seem not to have been entirely honorable about their Hot Crap.

But this new symbol is designed to have CLEAR SIMPLE MEANING to any reefer-smoking idiot teenager who should wander by in 38,000 years. No matter what he can or can't read and understand. 

Notice the familiar trefoil symbol. It actually was designed to have NO MEANING WHATEVER, by the nuke industry, so all the trefoil signs wouldn't frighten the neighbors. 

The new sign has some slightly more candid and unambiguous symbols. Like the FLEE FOR YOUR LIFE symbol and the Skull.

Postalo Vleeptron liked it so much they made it into a stamp, to begin familiarizing the populus with it. They're going to be seeing more and more of these signs as the millennia fly by, so the sooner they know what it means, the better.

14 August 2011

the Perseids meteor shower free night sky show the other night

Click image to enlarge.
A couple of times every year as we orbit the Sun (in an elliptical but nearly circular orbit), Planet Earth (an oblate spheroid) careens through a swarm of debris believed to be dragged through space by comets. 
There's a Luck Factor in the equation. If the night sky is overcast (as it was over my house, and that sucked), you don't see much of anything.
But if the night sky is clear -- as it was a few nights ago over Stonehenge -- the sky can be filled for hours with spectacular shooting stars, several or dozens every minute. The flaming show are the space rocks encountering Earth's atmosphere and growing superhot from friction. Almost all are tiny -- pebble-sized at most -- and quickly incinerated.
These yearly meteor showers are named for the constellations from which they seem to burst forth. The other night we were gifted with the Perseids, because they emerge from the constellation Perseus, named for the guy who sliced off Medusa's head (with wriggling snakes where her hair should have been). 
Oh, don't look directly at Medusa's face, because she's so hideous you'll instantly turn to stone.
Generally the Leonid meteor shower, which originates in the constellation Leo every year near 17 November, displays the richest shooting star show of all meteor showers.
If you are a parent or guardian of young children, and you did not wake the curtain-climbers around midnight and hustle them outside in their pajamas to see this fantastic free show, I am dropping a dime on you with the Child Welfare Authorities. The kids should be forcibly removed and sent to live with someone who loves children more than you do. My guess is The Dougherty Siblings were never awakened to see a meteor shower.
I've never tried to take a meteor shower photo, but my guess is you just put the camera solidly on the tripod and leave the aperture open for 5 or 10 minutes or a half-hour to collect this kind of crowd of flaming meteors. If you're just looking, you don't need any optical equipment. If you aim yourself at Perseus, the meteors seem to emerge from one single point and fly toward you. If you face in the opposite direction, the shooting stars fly over your shoulders and spread out as they pass you and head toward the far horizon.
When we've stayed up and gone to find a good place to see the show -- a school parking lot usually -- you meet a dozen or two neighbors you never met or knew during the daytime, and as you watch the shooting stars whiz by -- with OOHs and WOWs -- you chat a little. The parking lot is like a trap for Smart and Curious People, your neighbors who, with their kids, want to Take Back The Night Sky and all its mysterious and beautiful miracles. You and these other friendly strangers have joined the Meteor Shower Society. Dues are free.

13 August 2011

RamanuJohn sends Vleeptron a CannoliQ! / You can do this, you're smart!

Click image to enlarge, maybe.

This is from the occidental mystic mathematician RamanuJohn, and he got it from the University of Massachusetts Mathematics Department Alumni Newsletter.


One of the following numbers is a perfect square and the others aren't. Using only paper and pencil (no calculators, computers, etc.), determine which is the perfect square. Justify your answer.

    a)  176854927

    b)  262083721

    c)  296837263

    d)  322214835

    e)  761823600

10 August 2011

Lazy Kate, Mother of All -- PizzaQ is answered!

Click image to enlarge.

The PizzaQ asked what

Lazy Kate, Mother of All

means. Several commenters danced around the answer pretty closely, but James J. Olson a.k.a. RevJJ nailed it, and thus wins the pizza.


 James J. Olson said...

    I asked Darrick, who is learning how to spin. A lazy kate is a part of a spinning wheel, which holds the bobbins to collect the now spun yarn. The 'mother of all' is the bar that is the main support on one particular type of spinning wheel to which the main wheel and other parts are attached. One assumes that SWMBO is the prompt for this PizzaQ.
Wednesday, 10 August, 2011


Hiya Darrick!

Last week S.W.M.B.O. and I went to a spinner friend's house looking at some kittens she'd ended up with. (It seems as if we'll be adopting two of them.)

In the house I saw a kind of spinning wheel I'd never seen before, and asked. The spinner said it was a louet, and believed it was originally a Dutch design. It's not the wheel she uses for most of her spinning, but she said she likes it a lot.

Lazy Kate is indeed the component that holds the bobbins of spun yarn. And Mother of All is indeed a brace off the main brace of the wheel.

Spinners ... Weavers ...

Oh, the sardine bonus question: Sardines are packed so tightly because sardines are worth less than the olive oil they're packed in.


07 August 2011

We know it's wrong to let this fire burn between us / We've got to stop this wild desire in you and in me

"The course of true love never did run smooth."
-- Shakespeare, "A Midsummer Night's Dream"

I vote for Country & Western as Earth's most brutally emotionally manipulative genre of human music. Fans of other genres may strenuously disagree -- Zouk! Only Zouk can tear a man to shreds and destroy him this way! -- but I say Country & Western, which gives you the emotional experience of breakup, heartbreak, denial, self-pity, romantic failure, and tragedy sometimes involving firearms and the State Police, or an abandoned but once-beloved child -- but without the real people and the real cops. You just feel that way, but it's not really happening to you, which makes it barely endurable.

This isn't to say C&W isn't sincere and honest. It isn't. But then neither is professional wrestling, but that packs the stadium every show, too.

I have no opinion about the honesty and sincerity behind this poem. I don't know (or don't know that I know) any other Joyce Allsup songs, because I scrupulously try not to listen to contemporary Nashville C&W. I know that most of the time I'm going to react with nausea and anger at the industrial-strength synthetic manipulation of my heartstrings.

This, however, is a poem by a human being -- adult or perhaps younger, youth often generates spectacular lapses in the Judgment Center -- who has indeed spent two or three (or four or five) years in the chains of Absolutely Forbidden Love. At the exact same moment, you are wafted to Paradise, and you reach for the barf bag in the seat compartment in front of you; your heart and your stomach are on different airplanes for as long as the journey lasts. (The ticket just says: THIS WILL END or sometimes THIS WILL END BADLY.)

"GP" was the first solo album by the guitarist, singer and composer Gram Parsons. We have just a few dozen of his performances, but each one is a precious gem, if Gram and his singing partner Emmylou Harris have ever once got their hooks into your heart. I don't know how, exactly, one measures Beauty in harmony, but if there were a unit of measure, Emmylou and Gram would knock the needle off the scale.

Musicologists would probably trace the music to Appalachian Scots-Irish 18th century immigrants and settlers, and so backwards to Scotland and Ireland. No matter how industrial Nashville tries to mess with it, it's basically Gaelic/Celtic music (which some trace even further back to the Phoenicians, who were commercially very active in the British Isles).

Gram Parsons was from Louisiana, and as soon as the law allowed, headed for Los Angeles. The music he was making and wanted to make was not going to be in Louisiana or its surrounding states. (This was 1973. But Gram Parsons' music will never feel very comfortable in Louisiana.)

Parsons believed that the California LSD Mass Naked Reefer Sound could have Forbidden Relations with Country  & Western, and the bastard child of Timothy Leary and Tammy Wynette could be Beautiful. I think Tim and Tammy's Love Child is beautiful -- at least when Gram and Emmylou sing it. Parsons himself called this genre Cosmic American Music. It's more often called Acid Country.

It's an acquired taste. One important Acid Country star changed the spelling of his name on advice from a UFO alien he met in the hills of California one evening.

Country Music alas has to stumble through its evolution with a lot of historical, political and social baggage. The more to the right a Southern politician is, the more big-star Country & Western artists headline his, her or its campaign rallies. When not modified by someone as inventive and spiritually elevated as Gram Parsons, Country Music can be pure Flag Music -- the musical equivalent of our glorious Red, White & Blue, music to hate non-Caucasians by.

It sure would be cool to know what other songs Joyce Allsup wrote, and I hope things have straightened out in her romantic life.

~ ~ ~

speakers: ON
right-click on song title: OPEN IN NEW WINDOW

This is a studio recording, but the YouTube poster has backed it with film of a concert circa 1972.

~ ~ ~

We'll sweep out the ashes in the morning

by Joyce Allsup

we know it's wrong
to let this fire burn between us
we've got to stop this wild desire
in you and in me
so we'll let the flame burn once again
until the thrill is gone
then we'll sweep out the ashes in the morning

we're two people caught up in a flame
that has to die out soon
I didn't mean to start this fire
and neither did you
so tonight when you hold me tight
we'll let the fire burn on
and we'll sweep out the ashes in the morning

each time we meet we both agree
it's for the last time
but out of your arms 
I'm out of my mind
so we'll taste the thrill of stolen love
tonight until the dawning
and we'll sweep out the ashes in the morning

we're two people caught up in a flame
that has to die out soon
I didn't mean to start this fire
and neither did you
so tonight when you hold me tight
we'll let the fire burn on
and we'll sweep out the ashes in the morning

yes we'll taste the thrill of stolen love
tonight until the dawning
and we'll sweep out the ashes
we'll sweep out the ashes
we'll sweep out the ashes in the morning

06 August 2011

PizzaQ! Lazy Kate, Mother of All

Click on image to enlarge.

From moNGO's educational outreach:  "Beauty Within 10 Minutes of Where You Are Right Now." (For specifics, inquire by Leaving a Comment.)

PizzaQ! What on Earth, Vleeptron, Hoon, Yobbo, Mollyringwald or the recently discovered new planet, Björkguðmundsdóttir, is this gibberish talking about?

In other words, if it makes no sense whatever to you right now, it DOES make perfectly defined, clear, comprehensible sense to one specific set of Bipeds, the elements of that set numbering into the many thousands.

Who are these Bipeds, and wtf does 


Lazy Kate, Mother of All


5 slices, white pizza, shallots, shitake mushrooms, fresh spinach, anchovies if you want anchovies.

1 EXTRA SLICE: Why are sardines packed so tightly together in the can?


Pick and scrupulously swear to obey the system of rigid rules you prefer:

[ ] Absolutely no use of Internet search engines, or of the computer (except to type your answer).

[ ] Google your ass off all you want. Call Klaas in Rotterdam on Skype. Ask your Mom. Cheat all you want.

It will be interesting to see which Rule furps back the correct answer. (Yes, how'd you know?)

02 August 2011

THE PILGRIM'S PROGRESS FROM THIS WORLD, TO That which is to come: Delivered under the Similitude of a DREAM Wherein is Discovered, The manner of his setting out, His Dangerous Journey; And safe Arrival at the Desired Countrey. By John Bunyan

Sure, click the image.
e-mail to A., who is in the USA Peace Corps in Ukraine, and when he's done, wants a doctorate in English literature ...
* * *
Before I turn your Future Academic Career over to the person who actually KNOWS something ...
When I spoke to S.W.M.B.O. about your query, she guessed you were aiming at the era of the King James Bible (most of which is lifted verbatim from Tyndale/Tyndall, who was strangled and burned at the stake in 1536 in Belgium for his efforts -- truly, no good deed goes unpunished). She's eagerly awaiting your specific guidance on the targets of your studies.
Well anyway, do you like Bunyan's "The Pilgrim's Progress" (1678)?
It gives S.W.M.B.O. the creeps because it's the seminal work of the faith of her Pilgrim forebears, who were notoriously and grimly Not Happy People. But I don't have her particular Sunday School whip marks, scars and night terrors, so I was able to read TPP without shrieking or fleeing, and I could concentrate almost entirely on his writing. 
I think in the English language, it's been printed and published more than any other book except The Bible. Every American colonial family would have owned a King James Bible, but if they could afford a second book, it was "The Pilgrim's Progress." Shaw has a critical essay about it, titled simply "Better Than Shakespeare."
Bunyan's story is as compelling and astonishing as his book. He was an illiterate, unschooled and crude country man from the north of England (far from the influence of the literati of London, which he may never even have been to) of no recognized achievement or character, either good or bad. I think he was a soldier in Cromwell's Puritan Army, and married a widow whose dowry consisted of a few non-conformist religious tracts.
When (with his wife's help) he grasped the tracts, he was electrified, and from that moment lived only to spread his heart's interpretation of the Gospel. He still could have died unknown and unremembered, because England at the time was crawling with self-appointed preachers. 
But he just naturally gravitated to telling the Gospel story as an allegorical novel which I (modestly) deem as The High Point in the entire history of English prose. Certainly a tie with Shakespeare and Chaucer. I'd be happy to put Faulkner in this heady company.
Stringing English words together for power, effect and influence is what I do, and I know The Good Stuff when I see it. This is The Best, and if you haven't read it, please take your first leisure moment (I understand you don't have lots of these right now) and read it. Here's the Project Gutenberg edition, so you can trust it to be letter-perfect to the original. If you prefer (like all non-perverts) a Physical Book, it won't be hard to find when you leave Cyrilliana and return to English Lingo World.
Remember that like the KJV/Tyndale Bibles, The Whole Point was to speak or write in a way which Every Man and Woman (and most children) could immediately and fully comprehend. But beyond Bunyan's amazing achievement with universal clarity, he used our language to wrap his story in a grandeur and power, a sense of Terrible Import, which readers could not put down or ever forget.
Hawthorne's wonderful short story "The Celestial Railroad" -- well, to have the slightest clue what the crazy story is about, you must first have read and been intimate with The Pilgrim's Progress (as every 19th century Christian New Englander would have been).
I must add one story about Bunyan which I'm pretty sure is true. After his conversion, he devoted his life to non-conformist public preaching -- which was outlawed and punished by the Church-State. A preacher could seek a license, some were granted, but an unlicensed preacher was a criminal in defiance of the most serious demands of the State, and knew it.
So he spent a great deal of his adult life in jail, in chains, and, on at least one occasion, in the stocks on the town common, a sentence of several days.
Each day and night his neighbors came and fed and watered him and kept him company. 
When you get in a big-ass jam, it's nice to have lots of friends and neighbors who like you.
Your admiring long-winded gasbag,

Happy Schweizer Bundesfeier Fête nationale Suisse Festa nazionale svizzera Fiasta naziunala Svizra! / Evil toothless old man murders pretty topless young green-skinned girl

Click lurid, depraved, debauched image to enlarge.


PatFromCH said...

    Today is also the 72th birthday of my country of birth

    I like the old one much better

    if it is still August 1st in your part of the world then hit to see a Swiss Gogle Doodle

    Peace and love to all, whoever and wherever you are !

    Monday, 01 August, 2011



* Schweizer Bundesfeier!
* Fête nationale Suisse!
* Festa nazionale svizzera!
* Fiasta naziunala Svizra!

So what happened in 1939?
What was Switzerland before 1939? I thought Switzerland was Switzerland since Gessler (hiss! boo!) ordered William Tell to shoot the arrow off his kid's head.

Wow, "Rufst du mein Vaterland" is amazing -- musicians can learn the tune, and play it for the British and every Commonwealth country ("God Save the Queen/King") and Americans ("My Country 'Tis of Thee" -- not our anthem, but No. 2 on our Patriotic chart).

I assume both national hymns have lyrics in deutsches, francais, italiano and romansch.

The fancy-schmancy women's college (Smith College) a mile from my old house has a fancy-schmancy automated carillon that's always playing pretty bell music over Northampton. One Sunday somebody plugged in a lovely old hymn by Haydn, "Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken, Zion, City of Our God," to serenade the town.

Unfortunately, a few centuries after Haydn extolled Zion's virtues, the Nazis expropriated the tune for "Deutschland über Alles," a tune which American military veterans of World War II, and American Jews, do not enjoy very much on the Public Juke Box. Obviously the hymn was plugged into the carillon by some 24-year-old music academy graduate who was clueless about its subsequent identity.

The very same thing happened around that time -- maybe 12 years ago -- from the much louder and holier carillon of the Riverside Church in New York City -- America's most prestigious and high-class Protestant church. Some 20-something idiot just didn't know the lovely old hymn also had other lyrics. The church telephones melted with thousands of complaints, and it made a really swell Page 1 New York Times article.

* * *

Well, anyway, just like Ramadan snuck up on me, so did Schweizer Bundesfeier, so I am embarrassingly unprepared.

HOWEVER ... I have had this beautiful old image on my hard disk for about a year, just waiting for the proper moment to display it. Ipse Dixit, but obviously it celebrates the exact moment when CH banned Satan's apéritif. Hope you enjoy it! Make a t-shirt out of it! 

Also, the detailed symbolism in the poster must have far more meaning to you than to moi, so PLEASE educate Vleeptron on the historical background of the symbols. The weird old toothless murderer -- is he a famous iconic figure to the Suisse?

(Hmmm ... I think *I* will make a new t-shirt out of it.)

01 August 2011

If it's Monday, it's the First Day of Ramadan! Ramadan Kareem!

 Click image, gets bigger.

Okay, so I filched the calligraphy for "Ramadan Kareem," the universal greeting which means "a generous Ramadan." Look, I don't speak, read or write Arabic. So to wish my Muslim neighbors a fine Ramadan, I am forced to filch. Please forgive me. I would credit the artist, but the website I filched it from did not credit the artist. If she/he recognizes her/his work, Vleeptron owes the artist a pizza.

This is a little downer-and-dirtier than other Vleeptron Ramadan and Eid greetings, because (as happens from time to time) Ramadan snuck up on me, I just realized it was upon me a few hours ago. When I was in Quebec a couple of years ago, there also weren't a lot of screaming neon signs that it was Ramadan.

received the Holy Quran during the month of Ramadan. Muslims fast from morning to sundown each day of Ramadan. The month requires acts of charity and generosity, and services at mosques feature a reading of a thirtieth of the Quran, so a Muslim can read the entire Holy Book during Ramadan.

Tawdry and ignorant though this Vleeptron greeting is, I'd like to dedicate it to two young men in Orthodox Muslim garb who (after I had wished them Ramadan Kareem) had a very hard time getting across the US-Canadian border. I sincerely hope they managed to wriggle out of their troubles in a very brief time and continue on their journey.

This greeting -- Vleeptron hardly ever misses a year -- is part of the Vleeptron project to reduce hate, suspicion and interfaith ignorance on Planet Earth. The word "neighbor" does not specify how close a neighbor has to be. A neighbor could be just over my back fence. Or a neighbor could be in Jakarta while I am in Massachusetts. 

But we're all neighbors on Planet Earth, and being Jewish or Christian or Hindu or Muslim or  Swedenborgian or atheist does not relieve us from our bonds of neighborhood.
Ramadan Kareem!