daecabhir: (Enlightenment)

A fellow Shambhalian posted a summary of the turn of events surrounding Joshua Bell and an experiment in perception formulated by Gene Weingarten of the Washington Post (for which the Washington Post won a Pulitzer in 2007) played out by the world reknowned violinist at the L'Efant Plaza Metro station. A few years old though this story may be, it is nonetheless still a relevant study in how often we are just too busy, too wrapped up in ourselves, to insulated from the world around us to notice true beauty when it presents itself.

Which it does, in so many ways, in every moment of our lives.

The text of a representative e-mail about this story, along with corroborating evidence, is available on Snopes. Take a moment to read and reflect. Then go out and actually look, listen, feel, smell and even taste your world, if only for a moment.

daecabhir: (Gawd)

Retired U.S. General Wesley Clark speaks his mind about John McCain.

So, where is the line between someone voicing an educated opinion and a political attack? If you are a publicly acknowledged supporter of a candidate such as General Clark, are you not allowed to have a public opinion about an opposing candidate that casts doubt upon that person's qualifications? And why didn't McCain speak up for himself, instead sending his own retired military officer minion after Clark?

I really, truly despise politics.

daecabhir: (Fuckin' Pissed Off!)

Report: U.S. "preparing the battlefield" in Iran

Sabre rattling, weapon brandishing, prick waving. George Carlin called it the "Bigger Dick Theory" of foreign relations. The fact that time and again governments all over this planet return to violence as the sole method for resolving situations is just bloody depressing. That the Shrub and his band of thugs would be pushing an agenda of covert violence against Iran is unfortunately not all that surprising. If you have any interest in not seeing "more of the same" for the next four years, don't vote for McCain.

Two interesting points raised last night at the picnic:

  • There is still time for people to write, call, fax and otherwise contact their Senators about this abomination that is the latest update to the ironically named Patriot Act. For whatever reason, most likely because they don't want to lose out on campaign money and they don't want to appear soft on terrorism, this latest update grants full immunity to the telecoms for their role in the warrantless wiretaps AND makes much of what the Shrub had been doing legal for all intents and purposes. FISA was put in place specifically because a standing president had felt he was above the law, and now Congress is going to give him carte blanche. WTF?

  • Pelosi and Reid have taken impeachment off the table. Why isn't the presumptive Democratic nominee taking them aside and asking "WTF**2???". The Shrub has committed more egregious crimes against this country than Slick Willy or Tricky Dick, and impeachment is off the table? Jeebus.

It makes me ill just thinking about it. While you're writing to your elected officials about the Patriot Act, please write their counterparts in the House and explain to them that impeachment should not be off the table.

daecabhir: (Charlie Brown Sigh)

Georgia killer executed after lethal injection moratorium

I used to be a supporter of the death penalty, a rather vocal one in fact. Over the past year or so my views have changed on the subject... I am... conflicted, I guess. There is a part of me that rails against paying for the incarceration of someone for decades who has in some way... forfeited their right to live, by taking the life of another. But there is a part of me that now asks if then in effect I believe that two wrongs make a right? Does taking the life of someone because they themselves have taken the life of another human being really "fix" anything, or does it ultimately only serve to propagate more hatred, more aggression, more dissatisfaction because the execution of a killer does not bring the closure one had hoped to obtain in the process?

I have never lost someone close to me through an act of murder, so I cannot profess to fully understand what thoughts and emotions torment those who have gone through such an experience. The loss of someone close due to old age, sickness or pure accident is traumatic enough - the loss of someone close through an intentional act of violence is beyond my ability to conceive. Yet I wonder if the trauma of such a loss is ever truly salved by the taking of the life of the murderer through execution, revenge or vigilante justice?

Am I advocating that murders simply be set free? No, of course not. Do I believe that everyone who has committed a crime of violence (i.e., murder, rape, abuse) can be rehabilitated and returned to normal society? No, not really. But right now I don't believe that the "solution" (if there is such a thing) is to take a life as punishment for taking a life. I don't have much in the way of alternatives at the moment, but violence in answer to violence only seems to perpetuate negative karma, and deep down inside I want to believe that there is a better answer.

daecabhir: (Calvin's Selective Reality)

Ganked shamelessly from [livejournal.com profile] ninjacooter, I give you the rest of the story. Apparently you can make this kind of stuff up... reminds me of something an old friend wrote long ago back in the days of Memoline (don't worry if you don't get that last reference, it's obscure, to the point of being invisible... move along... nothing to see...)

And don't ask why I am up at this hour. Just don't.

daecabhir: (WTF??)

New rule restricts lithium batteries on planes. It's official: adults cannot be trusted. No film at 11.

At least we now can confirm what the DEA has been doing with confiscated crack - not only have they been passing it on to the Facist Communication Conspiracy, they've been passing it along to the Facist Aviation Apes.

daecabhir: (Religious People)
King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia has pardoned the rape victim who was sentenced to 200 lashes. 200 lashes for the victim of rape because she was in the company of a man to whom she was not married when the rape occurred. Anyone not see a problem with these draconian Islamic laws that treat women as chattel? Anyone not see why having religion involved in lawmaking (*cough* George Bush *cough* *cough* Republican Party *cough*)?

I am now awaiting for the inevitable calls for the head of King Abdullah by the radical Muslims. Can't have women be given a break, can we? Asshats...
daecabhir: (Sadness)
Sheik Abdul Sattar Abu Reesha, a Sunni who was a kay factor in forming a Sunni coalition in Anbar province to crack down on Al Qaeda activity was killed by a roadside bomb. While it is unclear as to whether Al Qaeda or a rival faction was behind the bombing, one thing seems abundantly clear - brother once again kills brother. How can we expect to bring peace to a region where inter-faction aggresion is de rigeur, and has been for centuries? How much blood must be spilled before people will see that violence and aggression do not solve anything? Isn't the fact that we've been practicing it long enough to have perfected violenace and agression, and still have a world full of strife, enough?
daecabhir: (Now I'm Pissed)
If you don't get the reference, your education is sorely lacking. Anyway, Iranian President Ahmadinejad says Iran wants "peace and friendship for all" out of one side of his mouth, while saying Israel "cannot continue its life" out of the other. This guys has definitely been studying American politics... I mean this guy is a pro, like a conservative U.S. Senator on his third or fourth term - "All people deserve equal protection under the law..." / "...can't single out gays to be protected from hate crimes". Hypocrites.
daecabhir: (Geek Out)
Good thing I didn't tear off the shrink wrap of Logic Express 7 yet. For fsck's sake, willya stop it Steve?
daecabhir: (Where's My Pony?)
To steal a term from Twitter Land, **geekgasm**

Why the fsck do things like this have to be so bloody expensive. We likes it, Precioussss... we wantssss it!

Oh, and dig my most awesome new userpic from the talented ikonwerks of [livejournal.com profile] takayla - ph34r teh l33t ik0n sk1llz!!!
daecabhir: (Sadness)

This totally bums me out: Alex, the African Grey parrot who achieved a certain amount of fame as an example of avian intelligence through the studies of Dr. Irene Pepperberg, has died at age 31. 31 is only very middle age for an African Grey, and I am reasonably certain that due to the close relationship she had with Alex, Dr. Pepperberg is probably devastated at his sudden passing.

Requiescat in pace, Alex. May you fly even higher and further in your next life.

daecabhir: (Default)
From a tweet by Evo Terra , I humbly submit Pierre Bernards Recliner of Rage - Dragon*Con Edition. Dear ghod.
daecabhir: (WTF??)

I'm not sure why, but I had even more trouble getting to sleep tonight than last night, and that is saying something. I couldn't seem to get comfortable for some reason, and it just didn't feel like my CPAP mask was on quite right. So about 2:15 I said "f*ck it", and got up. I'd been idling about, hoping that maybe I'd start to feel sleepy, but no dice. I guess my stress level with all the things left undone has reached the "and you're not getting any sleep either" stage. *sigh*

Anywhoot, since I am up, I might as well close out some tabs and post some links for y'all. No sense in me being the only one wasting time, now is there?

  • From Boing Boing, small USB speakers that don't suck. Very interesting. Anyone come across these before?

  • From the local Seattle newspaper (well, it's local if you're in Seattle, so bite me), that butter aroma might be toxic, too. No really, they found yet another thing that's bad for you. Like breathing the air and drinking the water aren't bad enough.

  • On a more serious note, another link from Boing Boing is probably worth a read regarding the militarization of our police and raids gone wrong. Aggression only begets more aggression, and our ill-founded "War on Drugs" continues to entrench itself in daily American life deeper than any of the anti-terrorism crap. Hey Sparky, you can't keep drugs out of this country, what makes you think you can keep out terrorists and the nasties they want to spring on the good old U S of A? Here's a novel idea - decriminalize drugs, treat it like a health problem, and spend the savings on protecting our borders. Like that'll do any good either.

  • From Jared Axelrod over on Twitter, comes a link to Shapeshifter, which is a very interesting little bit of animation tool-kit-ery. Web-based, using a limited number of base shapes, folks have come up with some really neat stuff.

  • From the Washington Post, D.C. Asks Supreme Court to Back Gun Ban. This could bring the two schools of thought on how to interpret the Second Amendment - personal right vs. civil/community right. Thanks for the ambiguity, almighty founders of this country. I personally believe in the individual's right to own firearms - yes, I know what I said about aggression. I think the authors of the U.S. Constitution were thinking (and I seem to remember some kind of quote attributable to one of them that bespeaks armed insurrection) that the only way to keep a tyrannical government in check is for the citizenry to be armed. It's the only language some chuckleheads understand, including you-know-who in the big white house.

  • Also from the Washington Post, Yossi Melman says cut out the hyprocrisy on terrorism. Amen brother, I couldn't have said it better myself. In many ways the various sovereign nations have created the quagmiresituation we're in with these terrorist elements. If we'd kept our noses out of other people's business and focused on our own domestic programs, I suspect that the number of people who hate the U.S> would be significantly less.

  • To end on a serious but humorous note by way of Evo Terra on Twitter, here's an "attention grabbing" approach to promoting breast cancer awareness - Save 2nd Base! Yes, it's cheesy, but you won't soon forget it, which is rather the point isn't it???

Half an hour is enough on this. Note that I am still not sleepy. S-T-R-E-S-S.

daecabhir: (WTF??)
Ok, this gets my vote for brain-damaged headline of the week: Parents Distraught After Mine Tragedy. No really? They're not jumping for joy with one less mouth to feed?? Of course, the headline in the story itself is truly creepy: " Girl, 10, spent night in mine shaft with sister's body". Oh the stories one could think up from that headline!
daecabhir: (WTF??)

I can only shake my head ruefully after reading this article from the Navy Times about how a picture of a nuclear sub in dry dock including a view of its classified design props showed up on Micro$loth's Virtual Earth. First of all, what dip-wad seaman left the prop exposed to aerial view? Sure there are "no fly zones", but we're not the only ones with birds in the sky. Secondly, who's watching the fort at Micro$loth that would allow imagery of U.S. military installations to be displayed on a globally accessible public web site? My money says the U.S. Guv'mint is gonna have a talk with Uncle Billy, and that will be the end of that little loophole... in fact, I'm pretty certain Uncle Sam will swing by the Googleplex in California for a few words with them regarding similar imagery showing up on Google Earth.


daecabhir: (Gawd)

I didn't get a chance to post this last night, so I'm sending it out of my queue while I get ready to start work in earnest on the house. Here are some links that particularly captured me interest this week, with a snippet of my thoughts on the issue each of them are addressing. No particular order, except maybe which tab was open...

  • China to Regulate Re-incarnation: We invade Iraq, we send troops to Darfur, we chastise the Israelies and Palestinians for not playing nice. Anyone heard anything from the U.S. about how China has been systematically dismantling the civil rights of a sovereign nation that China invaded for no other reason than to gain access to its natural resources, and how China has infiltrated the Buddhist monasteries with so-called monks who owe their allegiances to the Chinese Communist Party? No? Neither have I... because we'll f*ck with countries that are smaller than us, but we won't f*ck with a country that seriously put a hurt on us.

  • The Teamsters have sworn to fight allowing Mexican truckers unfettered access to U.S. highways: Despite their sabre rattling, there is more to this than the very salient points being made about environmental controls and lack of familiarity with U.S. traffic laws. We're afraid of internationalization, because of the perception that it will lower our standard of living, because we will be forced to compete. No simple answer here, really.

  • Terrorism Policy Splits Democratic Party: This truly underscores one of the biggest problems with our current political system - policy being made based on fear of not being re-elected, rather than based on what is the right thing to do for this country. I have two words for you that might just help fix this mess: term limits.

  • Immigration Fight Moves to Colleges: Ok, once again we have demagougery (sp?) and blatant pandering to conservative voters piled onto an issue that is already a hot button for many. Let me make myself perfectly clear on where I stand on this issue folks )

  • Senator Craig Announces Resignation: I can't even take pleasure in this sort of thing anymore. The sheep in this country continue to be homophobic, because people are afraid of who they are... self-denial is a horrible thing.

  • DNC Op-Ed on Flawed Primary Calendar: Sing it, sister! Just another reminder of how totally screwed up our political system has become. Admit it Florida - it isn't about choosing the best candidate, it is about focusing attention on your state for financial gain. Assholes.

  • Patent trolls go after big names for automated e-mail patent infringement: I have said it before, and I will say it again. The U.S. patent system needs to be overhauled, and the first thing that needs to be tossed are software and business process patents. The next thing that needs to happen is a "if you don't implement it in X years, your patent goes away" clause, so these bottom feeders can get stuffed.

  • SFWA Abuses the DMCA: Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] hughcasey for this link. Just another example of folks overstepping their bounds, and of how an organization one would THINK should be forward thinking (Science Fiction Writers) can display a decided lack of tech savvy.

  • And from today's CNN, two sides of the coin: North Korea agrees to dismantle nuke program, whileIran announces that it has reached its goal of 3000 centrifuges for enriching uranium. Wow. What package did we offer North Korea, and why aren't we offering it to Iran? I mean, they're two components of the Axis of Evil, right? Sheesh...

daecabhir: (Geek Out)
Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] kcs_slayve for the link to some way cool case mods. I particularly like the retro TV look and the PC-in-a-Shure-microphone. Enjoy!
daecabhir: (Default)

Today is the first day of a three day weekend dedicated to "tying up loose ends" such as taxes, general clutter and the like. As my brain adjusts to being upright, I figured I would snag some low hanging fruit by closing some browser tabs and sharing some humor that's been piling up this week in my browser. It's a mixed bag, but hey, so am I! So without any further ado, and in no particular order:

  • From my Twitter friends comes Girls Drawin Girls. Probably NSFW, this is a cartoon/manga pin-up project of women through the ages drawn by women. Some very nice artwork there, along with the obligatory fan service.

  • From [livejournal.com profile] pafischer via his Twitter feed, we give you this sign that should be hanging up over every self-respecting tech's desk.

  • Also from Duck Boy, this video he took along the road to the 2007 Worldcon that he prefaced with "Mini G's new girlfriend?". Can you say "stereo" boys and girls?

  • From the Twitter feed of Evo Terra for all you WordPress junkies, I give you the Douche Bag plug-in.

  • The LJ-less Sherri ([livejournal.com profile] boozeandmixer, you need to do something about that) sent us along a link to Wii Damage after we spent a nice chunk of time burning in the new Wii here in Fredneck. Tales of woe they are... no wonder we'll be re-arranging the rec room on Monday!

  • Also from the Short One, a NSFW parody of the Apple "I'm a Mac, I'm a PC" commercials - I'm a Wii, I'm a PS3. I highly recommend not drinking anything while watching this folks... in fact, you probably want to empty your bladder beforehand while you're at it.

  • After watching the video from Sherri, I clicked on one of the other links and saw this gem. Wait for it - the punchline is worth it. Not right.

  • And finally I must say damn you Activision!!! I'm not even finished with the original Guitar Hero!

More links later... some items of a more serious nature, because there were quite a few things in the news to put a twist in my knickers this week, along with a few things that made me feel better.


daecabhir: (Default)
Daecabhir, Lord of the Leaping Shadows

August 2017

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