The Critic is BACK!

This is awesome! If you've never seen the cartoon The Critic, you're missing something great. Much like The Family Guy (which was cancelled far before its time), The Critic was not appreciated because (1) it was funny and (2) you had to work at it sometimes to get the joke. It's easily the best thing that Jon Lovitz did post SNL.

Now, thanks to Atom Films, you can watch all the shows in Flash format.


Space Shuttle Challenger Crew Memorialized on Mars

From NASA:

NASA announced plans to name the landing site of the Mars Opportunity rover in honor of the Space Shuttle Challenger's final crew. The area in the vast flatland called Meridiani Planum, where Opportunity landed this weekend, will be called the Challenger Memorial Station.

The seven-member crew of Space Shuttle Challenger was lost when the orbiter suffered an in-flight breakup during launch Jan. 28, 1986, 18 years ago today.

Read entire story

Here's a shot of the site

Oil to Deep Fry a Frog

Jacques Chicrac wasn't so much better-than-thou as he was cruder-then-thou in his opposition to the Iraq invasion.

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Oldest Tech Manual!

Stolen from Slashdot:

"How old is the oldest known technical manual? About 613 years, it seems. Written in 1391 by Geoffrey Chauncer for his ten year old son Lewis (Lowys), the manual explains in great detail but very rough spelling and grammar, the intricate workings of the Astrolabe--the predecessor to the sextant. Read Chauncer's 'A Treatise on the Astrolabe here."

The Fight Club Effect

Once again, completely stolen from Boing Boing:

Unlike many nonsensical prejudices, it's roughly possible to trace the root source of all this hostility, identify a locus classicus of Ikeaphobia: in this case, the vastly-overrated Fight Club. Ever since the film hit American screens, some years ago now, it's been hip among would-be cynics of a certain cohort to reserve a stream of vituperation for the giant Swedish furnishings chain. (For those of you who didn't see the movie, it contained a very nicely-produced CG sequence that essentially laid the blame for all that is fake, mediocre and generic in contemporary life at the company's blue-and-yellow feet: the minute-long rant that launched ten thousand sneers.)

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Is it too late to go live on a anarcho-syndicalist commune?

You know, when I read things like this, it makes me just sigh deeply and wonder where all the good people have gone. I think the Python's had it right; "We don't have a lord. We're an anarcho-syndicalist commune. We take it in turns to act as a sort of executive officer for the week..."

A Brief History of the Democrats

Stick Figure Warning Signs

Totally stolen from Fark.

Stick figure warning signs

Follow-up to HP entry

I don't think HP had this in mind when they turn their CEO loose at CES. Good job HP! You finally start making products almost worth buying, then you give everyone a political reason not to buy those products. Bravo!

HP users cry foul at death of the open PC

Dennis Miller is back!

I never thought I'd have a reason to watch CNBC, but now I do. Dennis Miller is back on the air.

Stories by Cory Doctorow

Just a gratuitous link since I've read all this stuff already, but Cory Doctorow blew me away when I first read Ownz0red on Salon. See the rest of this post for links to many of his stories.

Cory operates on the Creative Commons license (thanks to a generous publisher) and his work is freely downloadable, distributable, reproducable, and performable, as long as you give him credit, don't sell it, and don't make derivitive works (and he wouldn't mind if you bought a book, I'm sure).

I already mentioned Ownz0red, my favorite story, which also earned Cory the John W. Campbell Award for best new science fiction writer at the 2000 Hugo Awards. But he has a lot of others available. You can download 6 stories here.

You can also get Down and Out at the Magic Kingdom for free as well (and I highly recommend this story, too).

Other things (commentray aside):
Truncat (requires Salon premium or sitting through the ads)
Liberation Spectrum

Cory is also an editor for Boing Boing, a great blog about pop culture.

Apparently, Manga is Porn in Japan; Who Knew?

Who knew? A judge ruled that Monotori Kishi, a Japanese manga writer, violated a 1957 law against distributing obscene literature.

The weird thing is that in Japan, a ton of the stuff on the streets is manga, and most of its borderline porn anyway. This is not something people go in the backroom for, it's all over the place.

Kishison got a one-year prison sentence, suspended for three years, for his diabolical plot to "unnecessarily sexually stimulating, (which) damages the normal sexual sense of shame of ordinary people, or is against good sexual moral principles".

The best part? The law is based on a ruling involving DH Lawrence's Lady Chatterly's Lover. Will we see a Japanese Cultural Revolution over manga?

Hello Comrade, I am from the KG... er RIAA

Of all the things that scare me, this is right up there. The RIAA, defenders of one of the last citadels of whorish consumerism cum virtual monopoly, have taken to the streets with paramilitary elements in order to enforce, uhm, the rights of their artists. *cough*

RIAA adopts paramilitary garb for parking lot bust

Excuse me while I stifle a scream, but even my conservative mind can't wrap itself around this one. No company, no matter what you produce, provide, or support has the right to go around enforcing the law. It's not even implied. If you're a corp with a problem, CALL THE POLICE. Pardon my French, but damn, what does it take for people to stand up and see that this is about more than a few people downloading 50 cent? The RIAA is setting precedent here.

What's next? Comcast can enter your home to make sure you aren't stealing cable? An MPAA representative can randomly stop a movie and make you present your ticket? The cops can pull you over just to make sure you didn't steal the car your driving? Wait, they do that already.

This is way over the line. If I wasn't already boycotting all the RIAA companies, I'd start boycotting the RIAA companies.

A while back, you could order wine from and have it shipped right to you. This is an awesome thing. Then, politics got in the way, and you couldn't ship to Michigan. But now....

... they're back! We think... we haven't actually tried to order yet, but the website states that they will, in fact, ship to Michigan., which is awesome., before their problems with the law and financial burdens of actually running the business, had a huge selection and great prices. Now that they're back, our wine storage woes will be a happy problem once again.

Actors' politics pollute 'Ring'

Saw this piece on USATODAY at lunch...

"If you want to send a message, call Western Union," said Hollywood pioneer Samuel Goldwyn to filmmakers and stars who sought to use their movie projects to advance some political agenda.

Can anyone pinpoint the moment in Hollywood (or New York, for that matter), when celebrities thought that their political views suddenly meant more simply because they were famous?


Pet adoptions

Animal shelters must deal with the same apartment complexes over and over and over. Why is it that they can't say, oh I don't know, make a LIST of the places that accepts what pets and which ones don't. I can't believe we have to wait until Monday for them to verify that our apartments allow pets. I need to rule the world and get rid of this silliness.

Where were you when they came for your computer?

If there's nothing that irks me more, it's the idiots in the music/technology/political/religious debate surrounding music and music/file sharing. After reading this, I won't buy an HP or Compaq product for a long time.



So, we've been thinking about a pet for while.

After breakfast this morning, our usual routine of tea and TV took its usual turn: to Animal Planet. Every Saturday at 9am, they show "Breed All About It". Why do I know this? You know why... every Saturday at 9am, it's on my TV.

And the debate begins again; Cat or dog? What kind of dog? Do we get one now, or wait until we get a house? Will it matter? You see the pattern.

I think we've basically come down to the decision that it's cat for this apartment. Any dog that would be small enough for this place would either a) not be a "dog", but instead some rat-related canine or b) uglier than sin (we're talking Pugs here; sorry Marc and Jackie).

So, now that we're both semi-conscious, we're off to the pound to see what they have.

Computer Programming cum Deconstructionalist - An Adventure

This is all over the place by now, but this guy really took some academics to task over how they survive in academia.. good for him.


What is that noisy IoT device on my network?

That's the first question that popped up when I installed AdGuard Home on my Raspberry Pi last night. Within minutes, hundreds of querie...