Monday, June 29, 2009

Chicago Cubs Cemetery?

As a Cub fan, I couldn't let this one go without some commentary:

This is a HORRIBLE idea. We're almost at 101 years straight without a championship. "I know! Let's go to the Cub cemetery, and see the graves and ashes of a bunch of people who didn't get to live to see them win a World Series!"

Sweet Lou was a sweet two years old the last time this team even participated in a World Series. And with the injuries they've had this season, and with the free-swingers like Soriano and Bradley whiffing like they're trying to cool off the fans in the bleachers ... ugh. Unless something changes quickly, I'm already saying 'Wait 'Til Next Year'. Or rather, 'Wait 'Til Who Knows When?'

Props to warm_machine for sending this article.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Why home schooling doesn't always work out

Maybe #3 should have been a little higher?

I also like the other sign "Be the hammer, not the nail!". I think that's the rapist's creed.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

VotW -- Summer Slaughter 2009

I shot some video from the Summer Slaughter festival in Dallas (at the House of Blues) last Sunday. Here is one of them, a solo from a Necrophagist song:

Sweep-picking FTW.

I also shot an entire song from Dying Fetus. This style of music may not be your thing, but it's hard to deny the talent and stamina it takes to play it.

Finally, here's part of a song from Suffocation. I liked the intro speech (about old-school pit etiquette):

And I took a few pictures and made them wallpapers. This first one is the vocalist from Suffocation, in the middle of a headbang. The unintended motion blur actually worked really well in this picture. My dad said it looks like it's from a horror movie. Considering their lyrical content, I thought it was fitting.

Here's a wide shot of Necrophagist on stage:

Lastly, here's a mosh pit during the Dying Fetus set. Again, I didn't intend for the motion blur, but it works.

Eight hours of death metal. Yeah, it ruled.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

VotW -- Siskel and Ebert's review of 'Billy Madison'

Who looks for things like character motivations in a film like 'Billy Madison'? Apparently, these two did:

So, Adam Sandler can't carry a movie? Roger, I think the public proved you wrong on that one, just like they did on The Usual Suspects and Fight Club.

Now, let me qualify this post by saying that I owe Roger Ebert a huge debt of gratitude. When I was in college and looking to feed my expanding love for cinema, his annual review books were a great tool. I found that I agreed with his opinions a large majority of the time. He wrote his reviews with a passion that most other film critics didn't possess, and it earned him a Pulitzer (still the only film critic to have received this award). And without him, I may have never tracked down masterpieces like Fellini's 8 1/2 or Ali: Fear Eats the Soul. But one place where I know not to trust his opinion is with stupid comedies. He, and most other film critics, fail to recognize that sometimes we just want to see people get hit in the balls for no reason. 'Billy Madison' is exactly that.

Stop looking at me swan!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Like Bill Frist with Terry Schaivo, I ain't letting this bitch die without a fight

I realize it's been a long time since I posted anything here, and for that I apologize. Thankfully, Lord Bling has managed to keep something novel up here during the past few months, while I spin further and further into the downward spiral that is my career and PhD program. One particular topic has pissed me off enough that I figured it was time to post again.

We all know Oprah, and the power that she wields over the opinions of soccer moms across the nation. Newsweek recently published one of the first major pieces of criticism about Oprah that's been made by a major media outlet. Oprah gets plenty of criticism, but hardly ever from mainstream media sources. In particular, the Newsweek article criticized Oprah for giving air-time to ideas that have seriously questionable scientific validity and promoting them as though they were viable medical treatments.

Oprah responded in the way that she always does, stating that she tries to give equal time to competing ideas, and has featured the opinions of doctors and researchers on health issues in addition to quacks and celebrities. Katie Wright, who has appeared on Oprah to discuss her experiences as a parent of a child with autism, defended Oprah on Age of Autism using the same "equal time for both sides" rationale and that Oprah doesn't endorse one side or the other, and lets viewers make up their own minds based on the "evidence".

The problem with the idea of "presenting two sides and letting people decide" is that it starts with the faulty premise that different viewpoints are equal in terms of their validity. Using the do routine vaccinations cause autism in children example that Oprah has presented both sides of on her program as an example, the two competing viewpoints are:

1) There has been no established link between autism and vaccines in any of the numerous scientific studies that have looked at this issue. Nearly 20 studies looking at thousands of children have concluded that there is no link between these two things.

2) My child manifested the symptoms of autism within hours of receiving routine vaccinations. Therefore, all of the previous research on thousands of children must be invalid.

The problem with presenting competing viewpoints here is that one of these viewpoints is substantially inferior to the other. Not because one belongs to a parent and the other to a physician or scientist. Rather, the idea that the opinion of a small but very vocal group of parents is anywhere close to on par with blinded, multiple randomized controlled trials is asinine. On Oprah, both viewpoints are presented as though they are equally likely to be true in the interest of fairness, even though there's way more evidence to support one versus the other.

If you're having a political debate, opinions from both sides can be informative when reasonable people disagree on issues. That doesn't also mean that unreasonable and illogical opinions deserve the same amount of attention as those with more data behind them. You'll notice that not even Fox News invites the KKK Grand Wizard to share the stage with Ann Coulter when discussing Obama's job performance, although lately it's not been clear that their opinions would be all that different.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

I refuse to let this site die

With Cowboylaw working 90 hours a week, and the Midge trying to get his PhD, the responsibility of keeping this site alive has fallen squarely upon my shoulders. But rest easy, blog fans! I will answer the call, by posting random thoughts and stupid Videos of the Week, like this one!

If there was ever any doubt about Bo Jackson's abilities in Tecmo Super Bowl, let them be forever squashed by this video:

I will return soon with more random brain diarrhea. Until then, keep one foot in the gutter, and one fist in the gold.