Saturday, March 31, 2007

The Neils Bohr Bean Supper

I'd like to thank all Moose, wives, and visitors for coming out tonight. All loyal and exalted Moose and friends of the atom. And before we begin tonight's program, let us stand, raise the antlers, and bellow the call of the Moose


Excellent. I just want to remind the Moose and friends that for tonight's event we have some unique drink specials available. We're got commemorative Heisenberg Haffenraffers and Isotope Rum & Coke over at the bar. Oh, I see Binky has had a few already. Slow down Binky, don't forget your wife wants you to split the atom later tonight. She wants some fusion tonight. Keep drinking like that and all she'll get is a limp neutron. Not even Viagra is going to ionize you. BUWAHAHAHA!!! Seriously loyal Moose, drink up and have a good time. Oh, lest I not forget, we have a good raffle going on tonight. Tickets are coming around to the tables for you to purchase. The winner of the raffle will take home about two thousand dollars, that's enough to jump a valence level or two in income. HARHARHAR!!

That's great Moose. Let us begin tonight's program. We'll have a short lecture from our friend and Moose colleague Earl "Scuppy" Jones. Later on we'll have entertainment from the wonderful Planck's Constant. Ladies, don't hestitate to get your husbands up there on the dance floor and get those atoms vibrating. So, with those announcements, and without further delay, let us raise the antlers once more to kick off the evening and bellow the call of the Moose.


Friday, March 30, 2007

These Are a Few of My Most Hated Things
I've identified three loathsome trends in television advertising. More to come I am sure.

1. The digitizing of pet faces in order to make them speak English and sell pet food.

2. Henpecked men acting stupid or buffoonish; waiting to be bailed out by their know-it-all wives.

3. Political or special interest ads where know-it-all children chide us about our present way of living.

The Great Question
Is the passage to maturity marked by a dividing line where one would rather sip than lick it, slam it, suck it?

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Flipping the Hourglass
Of the more than 126 million, 144 thousand seconds of real time that mark the Iraq War, our impression of its nature and reality is formulated by exposure to media clips 5 to 60 seconds in duration. How much of those millions of real-time seconds that the average American citizen has digested is anybody's guess. Exposure depends on where one has turned to to view footage and how varied are its themes. For instance, how often in media are precious informative seconds devoted to 10 second flashes of fire or smoke? Of twisted metal? Of hooded Iraqis wired to electrodes? How often are those images looped? So that as the millions of real time seconds tick by, the average viewer is treated to reruns of prior years spectacular footage? How overweighted are those media 10 seconds - compared to the millions of seconds filled with trivialities and non-events; media unfriendly footage?

And how much of prescious informative real time seconds are not shown at all? Instead the American citizen gets treated to peripheral footage. 10 seconds here and 10 seconds there of Pelosi and Mutha? Of supplemental budget debates, non-binding resolutions, sense-of-the-senate stances, and other parliamentary kabuki - all while the real important stuff ticks by unnoticed in time's slipstream? How much of our impression is influenced by the 10 second media discussions of parliamentary kabuki when we could learn far more with 1000 or 10000 second revelations on Karbala?

Unless one is motivated enough to truly study War, one isn't going to understand in any meaningful sense what is meant by a tactic such as the Surge. No 10 second soundbite by Pelosi or Reid will educate. How meaningfully encompassing is our understanding of what is fully going on in Iraq? How much do we truly know what American soldiers do on a daily basis there? Indeed, the stories of history's warriors were written by such minds as Homer, Thucydides, Virgil, Shakespeare. Today's warriors will be mythologized by heavyweights Diane Sawyer, Michael Moore, and Jon Stewart. The Epic Poem or literary Tragedy as means will be sidestepped for the current en vogue methods of storytelling: the morning show, the "documentary", and the comedy sketch, or more devistatingly, the 10 second video clip.

We as a people are ready to lavish millions to watch 7200 seconds of a cinematic CGI abs-fest spectacular having to do with 300 Spartan warriors. Yet our own real life warriors get nary more than 10 seconds exposure here or 10 seconds exposure there on the airways of hostile networks more interested in treating them as children, or boys and girls, or victims - not as soldiers, not as warriors. Forget body armor or up-armored HUMVEES. The resource most important to give to our soliders in Iraq is ample media exposure for them to tell us back here in America what they are doing daily. Our soldiers deserve far more than brief 10 second narrative bursts.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Quantum Leap
Kreblog came through for me and found the answer to my query how can I convert my old cassette tapes to MP3s?

Using the Audacity software, an old Walkman, and a wire with dual miniplugs (one I happened to have stashed away in a bag of miscellaneous wires I hang on to for odd projects) I now have ripped some of my prized bootleg tapes.

Man, today is a great day.

Support the Troops
I saw a GO ARMY car out on the roads a few days ago. It had the US Army logo on the doors and hood. Unfortunately, the car was a Dodge Stratus. I'm not sure a potential army recruit is going to be encouraged to join the military after seeing the recruiter driving around in this car. I could see a better recruitment job if the recruiter's GO ARMY vehicle was a Hummer or maybe a Charger or Corvette or something. A Status seems to me to be some kind of Defense departmental compromise. I bet someone in the congressional appropriations hearings made some stink about certain line item budget requests - recruitment cars being one of them. So the Department went with a "sensible" choice - the Stratus - rather than a more expensive, but certainly more appropriate muscle car. Forget body vests, up-armored vehicles, etc. The recruiter should not be driving a Stratus....