This one's by Ross.
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While poverty goes up:
Along with the (health) uninsured:
The corps, well.. they just get richer (Note the worker productivity gains compared to worker wage gains).
source: new york times
for a graph of historic home prices in the United States. It's adjusted to discount inflation, so it's quite interesting to note that the largest ever ramp up in prices, without a doubt, has been 1997-Present (83% market rise in less than 10 years) which, when you look at the graph, looks pretty damn ludicrous. In contrast, World War II gave us only a 61% rise.
The ex-roommate came over and we made biscuits, potatoes, peas, and carrots before stealing some chicken legs from off the grill, which is a good thing since I've been stuck in the order-out mode that is graduate school on an off schedule; a diet of pad thai, shish-taouk, and apples isn't completely horrible but it's not completely complete either.
Played texas hold-em for five hours after that and, though it was getting difficult to remember who had dealt and whose turn it was to bet by the end of it, we managed and I came out on top, the first win of an entirely winner-takes-all in quite awhile. Usually we throw a bone to the second place for running up.
Truth be told I was near death on three separate occasions but somehow managed to climb back out of the hole. We were probably slow-playing the blind raises, or I'd have dropped out early for sure. Nevertheless, the chip leader switched no less than seven times with nobody willing to put them chips where their mouth was. I can't blame anyone, since it was a game of tight hands and, ultimately, pairs so close it came to high-card decisions.
Still, I pulled the straight I'd been chasing all night and that spelled the end of it. Wrapped up, cleaned up, and went to bed at 5am.
Bond as an early feminist outlet? My crazy friend thinks maybe, but then she's probably been eating too much sushi. Below are her ongoing ramblings:
Becoming mrs bond means you die. could be a commentary on love in the 20th century, but i think it's more like you can't run from who you are (a point nicely driven home with better graphics by spiderman). both bond, secret service agent, live alone, die alone type, and bond-can't be tied to one woman.
It doesn't pay to aggrevate your aggresors with snappy oneliners, but it DOES pay to stay relaxed and keep your cool, and if you have to crack a joke to stay calm, so be it...provided, of course, that you can also take the resulting punch in the face like a man.
Be careful of who you choose to spend your time with...there are consequences for both parties...i.e. choosing the most obvious, sore thumb of a man for a partner leads to tears and 'climbing accidents'. be yourself.
silly disguises NEVER work.
Okay...that's it for now. well, and of course, a 20 minute gun fight while going down hill on skis is nothing but cinematic magic.
(interesting...again with the powerful female figure who actually saves the day a number of times, and can keep up with bond when she needs to...an icon for the sixties feminist, i'm convinced, cleverly paired with the slutty stereotype...the classic madonna and the whore complex.)
i haven't made it a good theory yet, in goldfinger bond only manages to save the day because he bones pussy galore (which is the best name i've ever heard). what is the significance? is this early pro-feminist type stuff? i mean, he manages to turn her from evil because he's so great in bed (and makes a joke about knocking her up), but, regardless, she is an ass-kicking, gun-wielding, judo-chopping lady pilot who indirectly stops an atomic bomb from going off, which is all pretty empowering for the early 60s. anyway, apparently the take home lesson here is that you can force people to do things with sex. it COULD be an interesting theory.
just wait! i haven't got into my analysis about the bad guys (really early, all asians) and the threats (creative uses of atomic bombs, moving into biological warfare) and how it reflects the contemporaneous atmosphere of society...
Anyhow, she's not the only one to come up with the idea
Went to sleep at 6:30am today. Wanted to sleep till the end of the world, or maybe a little longer what with all the drizzle and the cold weather. Had the ac on anyway, though, so I could feel that warmness that only comes under a big down comforter. "A big old American glutton, that one," they'll say when I'm dead and gone. In the meantime I'll worry about using three squares of toilet paper when two will do, agonize over the choice to waste water and use a dish cloth or opt instead to kill a tree with a piece of paper towel. Oh well.
Up at 10am instead of sleeping as late as I wanted (figured I'd have to eat before the end of the earth anyway) but there wasn't any food in the house. Walked in the rain instead and argued with a hertz agent. Happy enough to cancel my Toronto trip on such a miserable day.. wasn't looking forward to it anyway.
No use going back to bed since it's light out and, I'm no vampire but, I can't fall asleep once it's light out so played a money-less pot of texas hold 'em and guzzled english breakfast tea by the gallon. Still don't feel any drugs in it, though - can caffeine dry up? Drift away? Disappear?
- perhaps taking a page out of a previous pablo's book - makes some nifty art
Don't care for that? How about art drawn in the dust of dirty cars
1 Generic brand rasberry breakfast bar
1 Plate spaghetti with non-meat sauce
2 Pitchers Boreale Blonde beer
1 Shot Jagermeister
1 Shot Jagermeister & Goldschläger
1 Shot Seagram's Five Star Whisky
1 Shot Smirnoff Vodka
1 Bottle Tremblay beer
For months now, the elevators have hated me with a certain algorithmic disdain that would be chilling coming from a human, but from a cold, hard machine.. Well, it's belittling, really.
Each day when I would walk up to the bank of lifts, two on one side of the large foyer and three on the other, they would be uninvitingly shut. If there was a single one open it would, of course, be the service elevator whose entire life, revolving around a single key hanging from the janitor's belt, was meant for shuffling vacuums and floor-buffing machines to and fro and certainly not me, a lowly human
. Of the remaining four, always: little numbers in digital-red above each set of doors silently announcing annoyingly far-off floors such as "4" and "6". Undoubtably, two elevators would be engaged in some electronic tete-a-tete far above, sitting at the same height for no apparent reason. Another would be routing about in the basement. The single one embarked in actual movement, rising to the seventh, would surely be the single one to finally come to rest at the main floor
, the first floor, the only one to arrive in a number of minutes. And still the two scheming lifts above staunchly remain: unmoved.
Thus, it is with great surprise that, in this week of late August, I find the spirit of these beasts has spun about, a mechanical mood-swing as it were like a lake turning over or a violent storm suddenly changing the season. Today, in this iota (for I won't call it anything more, the fickle hearts of machines can flip in a flash, a blink of a second) they serve me with the comfortingly regular rythmics of a grandfather clock, as if they knew my rhyme and metre, the very schedule of each and every entry and departure. Through some sort of delegation one has been assigned directly to me and each and every time I step into the building, as I round the corner to the bank of elevators, it's doors (as if it was waiting for me) yawn open like an inviting set of arms. Into the womb I step and ascend with ease by the push of a button. Here, within this enclave, are the amenities of kings. I can effortlessly command motion, call in minions (or a pizza) with the miracle of the telephone. It's as simple as speaking a command and, open-seaseme
, my kingdom is presented to me for my viewing pleasure. But ahh, here comes that tedious aide rushing for the doors and - *snap* - the doors slam shut; ruling over such a large dominion is hard and I need my privacy.
When you don't say something outloud it doesn't mean you don't believe it. Non-verbalization does not refute cognition. What's in there, it's not a choice per se. Only what's put out there.
When I make mac&cheese I swirl my tongue inside my mouth along with the motion of the stirring spoon as the butter and milk and cheesy bits mix together. This never happened before.
The linoleum at my friend's new (old) house is the same as the linoleum in my old house and does that mean anything. Anything?
My roommate is having sex right now, at this very instant. By recording that, do I freeze them in time in some alternate universe? Wax figures in a museum display? Are they smiling?
I spelled linoleum right the first time around. I'm not a great speller which, at this point, seems like as good an epitaph for me as any.
lists Tim McGraw and Faith Hill @ Staples on the list Tonight in Rock in LA
.. I drop by LAist on occasion now because Tony's an editor and I used to read his blog a lot.
I'm not sure where he's going.
Other than Florida, it would seem that the midwest has the largest percentage of ye old elderly folk.
Elderly Population %
Yet the southeast is the most dense with disabled elderly.
Disabled Elderly %
Not surprisingly, the midwest is full of poverty-stricken elderly living in group homes and the southeast, well.. not so much.
Elderly Living in Poverty %
Elderly in Group Quarters %
So, what's the deal? Is it that southerns don't got the religion, they don't believe
? Is god punishing them? Or do they just have bad morals and lie about disability?
Religious Adherents (Total Population) %
Or are Germans just more healthy and able than the Africans and English?
Who knows. Maybe High School Keeps you healthy.
Adults 25 and Older Lacking a High School Diploma %
We usually don't get too many interesting news bits coming out of Maine so, while this is pretty silly, I'm going to post it anyway:'Hybrid Mutant' Found Dead in Maine
Residents are wondering if an animal found dead over the weekend may be the mysterious creature that has mauled dogs, frightened residents and been the subject of local legend for half a generation.
The animal was found near power lines along Route 4 on Saturday, apparently struck by a car while chasing a cat. The carcass was photographed and inspected by several people who live in the area, but nobody is sure exactly what it is.
Michelle O'Donnell of Turner spotted the animal near her yard about a week before it was killed. She called it a "hybrid mutant of something."
"It was evil, evil looking. And it had a horrible stench I will never forget," she told the Sun Journal of Lewiston. "We locked eyes for a few seconds and then it took off. I've lived in Maine my whole life and I've never seen anything like it."
For the past 15 years, residents across Androscoggin County have reported seeing and hearing a mysterious animal with chilling monstrous cries and eyes that glow in the night. The animal has been blamed for attacking and killing a Doberman pinscher and a Rottweiler the past couple of years.
People from Litchfield, Sabattus, Greene, Turner, Lewiston and Auburn have come forward to speak of a mystery monster that roams the woods. Nobody knows for sure what it is, and theories have ranged from a hyena or dingo to a fisher or coydog, an offspring of a coyote and a wild dog.
Now, people are asking if the mystery beast and the animal killed over the weekend are one and the same.
It's clearly people making something out of nothing but, hey, people gots to have them some drama, right? I just thought it was funny that it's made the rounds on all the news aggregation sites - digg, metafilter, boingboing, etc, and has even gotten it's own illustration from artist Mike Lemos
(get your t-shirts here
, a site devoted to cryptozoology:
[Veteran Cryptozoologist] Coleman was the only expert on the scene Wednesday as the controversy over the unidentified animal reached levels bordering on hysteria.
His early opinion: That the beast was possibly a chow, a breed of dog, that had turned feral.
Exxon-Mobil's second quarter earnings might have come out to a cool $1,318 a second, but then they have 123,000 employees.. That's about 1 cent per employee per second.
Steven Spielberg, on the other hand, raked in something on the order of US$10.80 per second
in ought 5:
Film director Steven Spielberg was the world's highest-earning celebrity last year, according to Forbes magazine.
The man behind ET and Jurassic Park had an estimated income of £180 million in 2005, or £342 per minute.
This is what happens when you go overboard with lots (and I mean lots) of grimy goupy hair pomade.
The first, last, and only movie I can ever recall watching on laser disc was Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. It was at my neighbours, a nice Italian family whose vegetable garden filled their entire yard with large corn stalks and running cucumber vines and eggplant. This was in Bangor, Maine and at the time I was probably about 8 years old, give or take. This rust bucket of a brain doesn't seem to distinguish those older years quite like it used to. Something about time moving faster the more you live it, so I'm told.
What I do remember, however, is the first opening scenes where Han Solo slices open the gut of a taun-taun and stuffs Luke inside in order to keep him from freezing to death. I guess that's why it got a PG rating "for sci-fi action violence
". To me, as a little kid, it wasn't exactly scary or nightmare-enducing or otherwise creepy-crawly but the stunt nevertheless left an impression on me. The first ernest thoughts about special effects I ever had, perhaps, and definitely something that got me thinking about perspective and the reach of knowledge - in many ways it only reaches as far as your perspective can see.
Further on, the Stay Puft duder from Ghostbusters made for another round of thinking and mulling over of ideas. Presenting an entire city scared to riotous panic because of a giant doll.. Um, righttt. But it wasn't the cheesy effects are bad gag jokes that did it. It was the possibility that groups of people act, in many ways, as a collective. A giant brain with many neurons that are, while disconnected, still somehow in touch with eachother. Sit on a plane with 100 other people in turbulence and the collective wincing is almost palpable.
So really, is it any wonder that in a day and age of increasing technology, ever-widening economic gaps, slowly dwindling resources, and extreme political activism that we get these things that we cringe at on tv ever day: Iraq, North Korea, Venezuela, Iran, Lebanon, Isreal, Afghanistan..
Technology is increasing people's ability to connect in increasingly simpler and cheaper ways (through mobile phones, internet email, social forums, etc) and in more directed ways - with the people they specifically want to connect with. Perspective becomes inwardly directed and no wonder we can't all just get along
So is this the fourth generation war
as some would have us believe? It may be far more simpler than that. Speaking from my own limited historical knowledge and to present a simple counter-point, in the 1700's the minutemen resorted to untraditional attack methods, being far outnumbered by the british. Are we to believe the American revolutionists were more or better organized than the Hezbollah (with rumored Iranian-backing)? Probably not. What of the Palestinians attempts to reaquire a nation-state for the last 57 years? What of the Free Papua Movement, sick of Indonesian government control since the 1960's?
I suspect that different groups of peoples have, do, and always will disagree on trivialities such as human rights, regional borders, and other sundries. I jest, but my point is made. Labels, hilosophies, and paradigm shifts
be as they may, we are as barbaric now as we ever have been and probably ever will be. Other than some sci-fi cataclysm of soylent green proportions, we have probably reached, breached, re-established, and come to reign atop our mountain of barbarity - kings, we are, all of us - as sick and twisted as the praying mantis or any other natural being which suffers it's self against others.
Utopia, we hardly knew ye.
It's something about August, something about the hot bright swelter I guess, that sends me into a weird mentally-unstable reverie. The quiet of a summer day, the woosh of leaves dancing in the breeze, the BUZZzzzzzz
of cicadas sitting amid the shade trees as if to say "how about this heat?".
It's within these days of August that the mental stew begins to boil and weird thoughts crop up out of nowhere like bad daydreams, swimming around in the humidity and making ugly faces at you. It's uncontrollable in the way the weather is uncontrollable and the only real escape is - BANG
- an intense shaft of broken and crooked light piercing through the magmatic soup of the mind.
In one instant it is thick, slow, and pasty; the neurons firing in spiritual vapidity, each impulse like a letter carried by a wayward postman, a drinker perhaps whose second chance on the job has come and gone and only the day's deliveries remain between him and his government checks. He tosses the envelopes helter-skelter, haphazardly into front yards and onto porches. He's stumbling and trying to remember his name, his place, where he belongs and why he's carrying a bag full of other people's bad news.
A split second later, after the BANG
of coruscating brightness but before the BOOM
of rumbling thunder knocks the old lady off her rocker and sends her darning needles flying, there is a quiet calmness - as if all of the stew, that quagmire of gumbo-brewing jambalaya mental mud, has been zapped out of existence by the pure electricity of the moment, as if the heat and the humidity came together to scheme against the people and uncover the truth - that everything was a farce, a fake facet of the imagination. In that brief moment shams are confessed. Conspiracies are revealed. The mind becomes - if only for that infintesimal instant - like a celestial cloud of mini-matter, strands of silkish platonic plasma, a webbish gossamer floating on a boundless sea. Everywhere there is silence, to the ends of the oceans of time and back again; not a single sound wave ripples.
Then from nothing comes something; a giant invisible rubberband, having been stretched so far to it's limits that it literally doesn't exist anymore, is released and emancipated from it's rack-like torture. It comes rushing back to itself, a tsunami of realization. Self, and thus it's everlasting bedfellow self-loathing, return to the center, forced into heavy embrace by the shear power of a giant mental thunderclap crackling through the night sky (it's not night, but the lightening blinds the eye to the relative dimness of the little star we call the sun).
Beneath the old uneven boards of the front porch, underneath a ball of yarn partly unravelled and a spinster stretched out in repose, sits a nettlish old dog named Days
blinking out through cataracts into the now pouring rain. Torrents of water rush down the roof and into the gutters, storming out the ends, through the air in perfectly mathematical arches, into deep grass-lined puddles - ethereal things that only August sees. His paws are crossed and his snout, damp with the thickness of the air, twitches back and forth. In his giant sagging maw he slowly chews a long thick envelope on front of which is printed: Congratulations, you may have just win $1 Million Dollars