The Second Side

I could put something really witty here if I wanted.

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When you stop believing in coincidence, paranoia is only a heartbeat away.

Friday, January 27, 2006

"Let's Get Ready to . . . "

. . . shit your pants! He's the Beast from the East (that's him on the left, in case you don't have your glasses on).

No, he's not the antichrist. He's Nikolay Valuev, WBA Heavyweight Champion. He's 7 feet tall, weighs 323 pounds and has an 85-inch reach. He boxes, enjoys literature, writes poetry and will beat the holy hell out of you if you disrespect his wife.

You gotta problem widdat?

Diana Inquiry More Complex Than Expected

A British inquest into the death of Princess Diana is "more complex" than officials anticipated. Lord Stevens, former head of the London Metropolitan Police and head of the investigation, states that "it is right to say that some of the issues that have been raised by Mr. Fayed [father of Diana's boyfriend Dodi Fayed] have been right to be raised." This is a stunner, friends.

And just what has Mohammed al Fayed alleged? That Diana and Dodi were assassinated by British Intelligence officials carrying out a plot hatched by Prince Philip, husband of the Queen.

Lord Stevens did not reveal what parts of the Diana conspiracies he feels are worth taking serious. Watch your back, mate.

Well, Here's a Shock

A study concludes that partisan idealogues are real good at pointing out the speck in their opponent's eye, but not so good at removing the plank from their own.

Test subjects divided into Democrat and Republican were shown video of George Bush and John Kerry contradicting themselves. Both groups quickly spotted the inconsistencies of the enemy, but denied contradictions by their own man.

So says the psychologist directing the study:
Everyone from executives and judges to scientists and politicians may reason to emotionally biased judgments when they have a vested interest in how to interpret "the facts."
Well, that's comforting, eh?

The march to progress moves steadily sideways . . .

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Flying Car?

Did Google Earth find Chitty-Chitty Bang-Bang?

Sunday, January 22, 2006

The Week that Was

A little late with my week in review. Sorry.

I taught my 2-year-old twin daughters to say "dammit." Not intentionally. I've tried so hard to watch my cussin', but like typical women they just push . . . me . . . to . . . the . . . very . . . edge. I must admit, though, that I think cussing kids are hilarious, even when they're my own. How can you not laugh when the cats fight and a cute little voice says "stop it, dammit!"

A woman I know in my night class (Film History) who sits behind me reached out to flatten a "shoulder nipple" on my shirt. I turned around to thank her, and noticed (inadvertently, of course) that her own nipple was poking against her shirt a good half-inch. Is that irony?

Harry Belafonte says that the Department of Homeland Security is the new Gestapo. Now, you don't have to be a Bush lover (snicker) to point out that if we really did have a Gestapo, ol' Harry would have a bullet in his head already. Nothing wrong with bitching about the growing police state, but such ridiculous hyperbole ain't helpin'.

According to a new study, how you get undressed says a lot about your personality. I won't bother you with the link, ladies, just send me a video of yourselves undressing, and I'll tell you what it means.

Just a squirrel tryin' to get a nut . . .

Rocky Blog

Make all the Geritol jokes you want, Rocky is coming back and I'm happy. I love Rocky. God bless Rocky.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Oh, Boy. That's Weird

A 35-year-old Russian man had surgery to remove a "harmless fatty tumor" in his back that had been bothering him for years. When doctors removed the growth, they discovered it was actually the embryo of his unborn twin brother, complete with little arms and legs.

Okay, who can come up with the best one-liner? I'll lead off:

I got you . . . under my skin . . . (I didn't set the bar very high, I know).

Sunday, January 15, 2006

How I Will Die

While watching whales in an observation area of the aquarium, a suicidal maniac shoots the glass wall of the tank with a shotgun. Four million gallons of water quickly rush out of the tank and into the hallway, drowning you and everyone else around.
So says the Death Psychic. How will you die?

Thursday, January 12, 2006

I Vant Your Vote

Saying politics is a "cut-throat business," self-proclaimed vampire and satanic priest Jonathan "The Impaler" Sharkey—of the Vampyres, Witches and Pagans Party—is running for governor of Minnesota.

His platform? If elected, Sharkey will:

  • Emphasize tax breaks for farmers, education and better benefits for veterans.
  • Post "everything from the Ten Commandments to the Wicca Reed" in government buildings.
  • Personally execute convicted murderers and child molesters by impaling them on a wooden pole on the lawn of the state capitol (he just got my vote).
Sharkey drinks blood from the neck of his wife. He doesn't hate Jesus, but considers God the Father to be his mortal enemy.

I'd love to see him debate on TV.

"Your Papers, Please"

The Ohio legislature——having never read the words of Jefferson, Franklin or Paine, having never read a novel by Orwell or Huxley, having never read a history text—has quietly passed a law allowing police to demand identification without probable cause. Refusing to identify yourself to an officer could land you in jail. An additional provision in the law requires Ohio citizens applying for a driver's license to sign a form stating they haven't supported terrorist organizations (not sure what defines a "terrorist organization").

Let's see terrorists get around that one, ha!

Actually, if letting police stop us at random to demand I.D. makes us safer, then allowing them to enter our homes at will and search our underwear drawers ought to really make us safe. Hell, just put us all in detention centers with cameras watching our every move. Then we'll be safe as shit, and that's all that matters, right? Safe, safe, safe, safe, safe, safe!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006


No, it's not George Bush's sex education policy. For $5000, ladies, you can have your hymen reconstructed for the benefit of your husband or lover whose lifelong dream is to do it with a virgin. Called hymenoplasty (nice word), about 30,000 American women get their cherries replaced every year.

Honey, you don't have to do this on my account . . .

Enrollment is Down

An Egyptian cleric has issued a fatwa claiming that nudity during sex invalidates the marriage. Another member of the fatwa committee said that married couples could see each other naked but not look at each other's genitalia during sex and cover up with a blanket. The woman who argued against the fatwa said that "nothing is prohibited during marital sex, except of course sodomy."

Well, of course.

Being Catholic doesn't seem so bad now, does it??

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Skin as White as Snow . . . Lips as Red as Blood

Why are Goth chicks so hot??

Speaking of the Devil . . .

Here's an amusing site where you can listen to snippets of pop songs forward and then backwards, allowing you to hear the satanic messages hidden within. Even Weird Al is in on the conspiracy. His sinister revelation? Satan eats Cheez Whiz. I knew it!

Monday, January 09, 2006

Those Damn Demons

Finally got to see "The Exorcism of Emily Rose." I was anxious to see this film when I first heard of it, as I knew it was a dramatization of the attempted exorcism of Anneliese Michel, who died when medical attention was withheld during the ritual.
When I was a kid, one book I constantly borrowed from the library was "Mysteries of the Unexplained," a Reader's Digest book. It covers everything paranormal (up until about 1980, that is). I found a copy in a used bookstore a few years ago, and I still enjoy thumbing through it once in a while. One of the stories in the book that always haunted me was a short article about Anneliese, and I remember how tragic it seemed that this girl died in the grip of Satan.
Anyway, I told you all of that to tell you this: there was a scene in the movie——very well done and very scary, by the way——that brought back a chilling memory for me. Go lock your door and read on:
One night, about 6 or 7 years ago, I was in bed with my wife, and I woke up, unable to move. I could move my feet and hands and head, but it was as if metal cuffs restrained my legs, arms and neck. I felt a heaviness on my chest, as if someone were sitting on it. Indeed, at first I suspected that one of our cats might have been curled up there, but the cats—perceptive creatures that they are——were nowhere to be found. I struggled against my invisible bonds, but I was pinned to the bed. Oh, and no, I was not asleep. I have 34 years experience in sleeping and being awake—I know the difference. I began to panic, a state of mind I rarely experience. My hands and feet fluttered around helplessly. I tried to lift my head, and I felt something pushing against my mouth. I attempted a scream, but all I could manage was a muffled "mrrrrgh!" against the invisible hand muzzling me. It was enough noise to wake up my wife, and when she shot up awake, the spell was broken. I caught my breath, and didn't sleep so well for the next few nights.
I can't tell you what caused it, whether it was some odd brain activity or dark forces. All I know for sure is that it happened and scared me silly. One thing I did realize afterward is that what I experienced was a drop in the bucket compared to what poor Anneliese had to endure. I would guess that people under such a strange influence don't much give a shit what's causing it, they would just like it to be over.
If you have a similar story, I would love for you to share it.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Welcome to My Library

The library at Brown University has three unusual volumes in their collection. One is an anatomy book, and the other two are 19th century editions of "The Dance of Death"—all bound in human skin.
Apparently, human leather is durable, waterproof and cheap. The hides came from amputated limbs, medical cadavers, executed criminals and people who died in the poor house.
For future reference, it is ethical to have such books in your collection as long as they are "used respectfully for academic research and not displayed as objects of curiosity."
One private library even has a tome bound in the author's own skin. How cool is that?

Friday, January 06, 2006

The Week That Was

Went to see "King Kong" last night. What a spectacle that was. I've never seen anything like it. The last half-hour left me dizzy, literally. I've seen Naomi Watts in movies before, but I don't remember the last time I saw an actress look so gorgeous on screen. However, as I thought about the film this morning, I felt a little ambivalent toward it, as if I'd eaten a tasty meal yet still felt hungry an hour later. Not sure why. We all know the Kong story, and maybe a three-hour rollercoaster is just too long and rough a ride to get to the sad ending we know is coming. I don't know. Great flick, though.

I don't know why this whole NSA spying story and all the related issues aren't raising my blood pressure. Actually, I do know why—I just don't care anymore. There will be no victory for freedom. The police/nanny state will only continue to grow. They can pass all the anti-spying and anti-torture laws they want, but only the hopelessly naive will think that torture and spying will ever go away. All the things we hate about government—corruption, arrogance and greed—cut across all parties. You can hate George Bush all you want, but for every Bush sin you come up with, I will match you point for point with a sin from a Democrat president and the whole exercise will have gotten us nowhere. Nobody is going to ride to the rescue. Our only hope is a plague or a meteor strike that will destroy the whole system and let the survivors start over. That's not to say we won't go down the same path again, but a chance is a chance.

Speaking of the erosion of freedom, the other night I was at a stop light in the left turn lane. I was about three cars back, and some woman who was too important to wait her turn pulled up alongside the lead car and even activated her turn signal, brazenly announcing her intention to cut off the lead car when the light went green. Sure enough, the light turned green and this idiot cut off the lead car in one of the most astonishingly stupid and dangerous moves I've ever seen. I'm ashamed to admit it, but my first thought was "boy, a stoplight camera would've nailed that stupid bitch." So, since I still have the freedom to speak freely, to the stupid bitch and everyone else who drives like a maniac and otherwise prove themselves utterly incapable of handling freedom responsibly and forces the government to regulate every aspect of our lives, I would like to say: Fuck you and thanks for nothing.

Heard a commercial on the radio advocating an anti-smoking ordinance. A restaurant owner was praising the ordinance, saying that "business has never been better" since smoking was banned. Maybe I don't understand the law, but I'm under the impression that if you don't want smoking in your own establishment, you're free to ban it without government help . . . unless you lack the courage to ban it without having the government to blame. It's no surprise, though, with government footing more and more of the bill for medical care, it's only logical they will try to have more and more say in how we live our lives. The downward spiral continues . . .

I know that spam email is annoying, but I've noticed some interesting subject lines in the spam I've been getting. I enjoy creative wordplay, and here are some that got my attention: "flam for invidious it," "also anaglyph the isaac," "for study he disoblige," "the antisemitic and beauteous," "countersink the nautical," "on count my feudatory," and "try prophecy in duplicate."

This morning I sat on the couch with my twin daughters. They will be 2 in a couple of weeks. They were reading some new books they got for Christmas, pointing out colors and shapes and animals—not to show off for me, but for the sheer joy of doing it. Some of the pronunciations are classic, of course. Crab is "crap" and squirrel is "queer." But as they jabbered and read for me, the sun blazed through the windows and I leaned my head back, closed my eyes and felt a wave of perfect contentment crash over me. I don't get that feeling very often, so I thought I'd mark the date.

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Rock's Best Year Ever?

A BBC radio poll has voted 1967 as the best year in rock. It's hard to argue. It was the year of Sgt. Pepper's, Are You Experienced?, The Beatles performing "All You Need is Love" to a worldwide TV audience, Hendrix and The Who at Monterey, the Summer of Love, Jefferson Airplane, The Dead, The Doors, The Byrds . . . ah, I was born too late, I tell ya.

"They Really Want to Be Scared"

Self-mocking horror movies that were no more frightening than a cloudy day are out, and in-your-face, bad-ass grindcore films are back in—and it's about bloody (sorry) time.
Director Eli Roth ("Cabin Fever," "Hostel") says, "I think scary movies are back. People clearly don't want to see a horror movie to laugh." It's about damn time somebody came to their senses. We'll enjoy it while it lasts, I suppose.

In a related story, Jason Voorhees is 25. Be sure to keep your distance when he cuts the cake.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Anniversary of the Beast

An unusually high number of engaged couples in the Netherlands are setting their wedding date for June 6 of this year, which would give them a wedding date of 6-6-06. Aren't they clever? However, they may want to bump the date up to June 1, since new photographic evidence suggests the actual number of the beast may be 616, which would be too bad, since 616 isn't nearly as sinister as 666.

"With this mark, I thee wed . . . "

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Those Damn Taurids Again

Happy New Year, everyone. I have big plans for this year. I hope you do, too.

Scientists have witnessed an explosion on the Moon. According to The Man, a group of Taurids (a group of meteors that appear to originate from the Taurus constellation) slammed into the surface and caused the explosion. That's what they'd like us to think, anyway.
However, the explosion shall be a learning experience. NASA believes that "understanding lunar impacts could help protect astronauts when NASA sends humans back to the Moon."
It's nice to know that NASA has started their note-taking for a return Moon trip: Crashing into the Moon—bad.