Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Great TV Shows

Is there any other series that is mourned as much as Firefly? I caught it on Netflix long after it's time and I truly fell in love.

Seriously, what other series has such a great following from a series that was cut so short?

Anyway, I just watched Dollhouse. I thought it was pretty good. Now I'm looking for some other suggestions.

I'd like to hear from you. What TV shows are worth watching?

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Don't Ask Don't Tell Repealed

Senate Repeals ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’
WASHINGTON — The Senate on Saturday struck down the ban on gay men and lesbians serving openly in the military, bringing to a close a 17-year struggle over a policy that forced thousands of Americans from the ranks and caused others to keep secret their sexual orientation.

By a vote of 65 to 31, with eight Republicans joining Democrats, the Senate approved and sent to President Obama a repeal of the Clinton-era law, known as “don’t ask, don’t tell,” a policy critics said amounted to government-sanctioned discrimination that treated gay and lesbian troops as second-class citizens.

Mr. Obama hailed the action, which fulfills his pledge to reverse the ban. “As commander in chief, I am also absolutely convinced that making this change will only underscore the professionalism of our troops as the best led and best trained fighting force the world has ever known,” Mr. Obama said in a statement after the Senate, on a 63-33 vote, beat back Republican efforts to block a final vote on the repeal bill.

The vote marked a historic moment that some equated with the end of racial segregation in the military.

It followed a comprehensive review by the Pentagon that found a low risk to military effectiveness despite greater concerns among some combat units and the Marine Corps. The review also found that Pentagon officials supported Congressional repeal as a better alternative than an court-ordered end.

Supporters of the repeal said it was long past time to end what they saw as an ill-advised practice that cost valuable personnel and forced troops to lie to serve their country.

“We righted a wrong,” said Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, the independent from Connecticut who led the effort to end the ban. “Today we’ve done justice.”

Before voting on the repeal, the Senate blocked a bill that would have created a path to citizenship for certain illegal immigrants who came to the United States at a young age, completed two years of college or military service and met other requirements including passing a criminal background check.

The 55-41 vote in favor of the citizenship bill was five votes short of the number needed to clear the way for final passage of what is known as the Dream Act. The outcome effectively kills it for this year, and its fate beyond that is uncertain since Republicans who will assume control of the House in January oppose the measure and are unlikely to bring it to a vote.

The Senate then moved on to the military legislation, engaging in an emotional back and forth over the merits of the measure as advocates for repeal watched from galleries crowded with people interested in the fate of both the military and immigration measures. “I don’t care who you love,” Senator Ron Wyden, Democrat of Oregon, said as the debate opened. “If you love this country enough to risk your life for it, you shouldn’t have to hide who you are.”

Mr. Wyden showed up for the Senate vote despite saying earlier that he would be unable to do so because he would be undergoing final tests before his scheduled surgery for prostate cancer on Monday.

The vote came in the final days of the 111th Congress as Democrats sought to force through a final few priorities before they turn over control of the House of Representatives to the Republicans in January and see their clout in the Senate diminished.

It represented a significant victory for the White House, Congressional advocates of lifting the ban and activists who have pushed for years to end the Pentagon policy created in 1993 under the Clinton administration as a compromise effort to end the practice of banning gay men and lesbians entirely from military service. Saying it represented an emotional moment for members of the gay community nationwide, activists who supported repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” exchanged hugs outside the Senate chamber after the vote.

“Today’s vote means gay and lesbian service members posted all around the world can stand taller knowing that ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ will soon be coming to an end,” said Aubrey Sarvis, an Army veteran and executive director for Servicemembers Legal Defense Network.

Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona and his party’s presidential candidate in 2008, led the opposition to the repeal and said the vote was a sad day in history. “I hope that when we pass this legislation that we will understand that we are doing great damage,” Mr. McCain said. “And we could possibly and probably, as the commandant of the Marine Corps said, and as I have been told by literally thousands of members of the military, harm the battle effectiveness vital to the survival of our young men and women in the military.”

He and other opponents of lifting the ban said the change could harm the unit cohesion that is essential to effective military operations, particularly in combat, and deter some Americans from enlisting or pursuing a career in the military. They noted that despite support for repealing the ban from Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, other military commanders have warned that changing the practice would prove disruptive.

“This isn’t broke,” Senator James M. Inhofe, Republican of Oklahoma, said about the policy. “It is working very well.”

Other Republicans said that while the policy might need to be changed at some point, Congress should not do so when American troops are fighting overseas.

“In the middle of a military conflict, is not the time to do it,” said Senator Saxby Chambliss, Republican of Georgia.

Only a week ago, the effort to repeal the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy seemed to be dead and in danger of fading for at least two years with Republicans about to take control of the House. The provision eliminating the ban was initially included in a broader Pentagon policy bill, and Republican backers of repeal had refused to join in cutting off a filibuster against the underlying bill because of objections over the ability to debate the measure.

In a last-ditch effort, Mr. Lieberman and Senator Susan Collins of Maine, a key Republican opponent of the ban, encouraged Democratic Congressional leaders to instead pursue a vote on simply repealing it. The House passed the measure earlier in the week.

The repeal will not take effect for at least 60 days while some other procedural steps are taken. In addition, the bill requires the defense secretary to determine that policies are in place to carry out the repeal “consistent with military standards for readiness, effectiveness, unit cohesion, and recruiting and retention.”

Because of the uncertainty, Mr. Sarvis appealed to Mr. Gates to suspend any investigations into military personnel or discharge proceedings under the policy to be overturned in the coming months.

Mr. Lieberman said the ban undermined the integrity of the military by forcing troops to lie. He said 14,000 members of the armed forces had been forced to leave the ranks under the policy.

“What a waste,” he said.

The fight erupted in the early days of President Bill Clinton’s administration and has been a roiling political issue ever since. Mr. Obama endorsed repeal in his own campaign and advocates saw the current Congress as their best opportunity for ending the ban. Dozens of advocates of ending the ban — including one wounded in combat before being forced from the military — watched from the Senate gallery as the debate took place.

Senator Carl Levin, the Michigan Democrat who is chairman of the Armed Services Committee, dismissed Republican complaints that Democrats were trying to race through the repeal to satisfy their political supporters.

“I’m not here for partisan reasons,” Mr. Levin said. “I’m here because men and women wearing the uniform of the United States who are gay and lesbian have died for this country, because gay and lesbian men and women wearing the uniform of this country have their lives on the line right now.”


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Celebrities Are People Too?

I like this kid. Usually the persona of celebrities just seems so fake, but this struck me as honest. He probably accepted his only good work was in Malcolm in the Middle anyway.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Alive Once Again

I am here to make my glorious return to blogging. It wasn't really much of a break from posting, as much as it was a break from checking back to you guys. I'm back for sure, finals are over and life is awesome. I appreciate all the support while I sucked at commenting back you sexy sexy followers you.

It feels great to be back.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Hello, Internet.

I'm still trying to survive finals and work. Here's some offensive content to keep you happy until I'm back full-time.

I'll still be keeping up with you guys. I appreciate all the support, my loyal followers.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Lifesaving Information

Ever wondered what to do in case you:

a) Are sucked backward through time to a simpler time in human history  

b) Happened to be the first human ever to have access to aliens

Well, I'm here to help you out.

Monday, December 6, 2010

It's Crunch Time

I'm going to be slow on posting for a few days here. I've got a final today, a presentation for a research project tomorrow, and just a lot of random work to do.

I'll be out in the world instead of on the internets. Watch out, ladies.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Advertisements of the Glorious Unregulated Past

In my travels across the internet, I have found treasure. That is all. I'll let the pictures do the talking.

These last two just showed how very much they hated babies.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Infographic of the Day

Humans are visual creatures and information is sometimes too hard to process if it isn't in a visual form. We have such limited minds for these sort of things. Luckily, we have some creative ways around this limitation. We take data and find a way to represent it visually. You can use this concept to create an understandable format for complex scientific findings, maybe make your company's finances more concrete, or maybe you can just say 'fuck it imma graph every monster from Chucky to Cloverfield'.

And that is exactly what someone did.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Leslie Neilsen dead?!?!!

Postmedia News, National Post
Sunday, Nov. 28, 2010

Iconic Canadian actor Leslie Nielsen has died.

Nielsen appeared in more than 100 movies, with the star shining perhaps most brightly in comedies including Airplane! The Naked Gun.

He died Sunday afternoon in a hospital near his home in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, from complications of pneumonia. He was 84.

Nielsen’s nephew, Doug Nielsen, who lives in Richmond, B.C., said his uncle had been in the hospital with pneumonia for 12 days, and in the last 48 hours it got worse.

“This afternoon, surrounded by family, his wife and friends, he basically just fell asleep. It was very peaceful,” he said.

“He was truly a nice man. A very caring, naturally funny guy in day-to-day life, not just because someone wrote something on paper for him. He was a very tender-hearted man. He was one of my best friends and I loved him dearly. I’ll miss him greatly.”

His family also released a statement Sunday night.

“We are saddened by the passing of beloved actor Leslie Nielsen, probably best remembered as Lt. Frank Drebin in The Naked Gun series of pictures, but who enjoyed a more than 60 year career in motion pictures and television,” said the statement.

Nielsen’s father was a Mountie and the actor moved around as child, growing up in Regina, Edmonton and towns in northern Canada.

Nielsen once said he was never the class clown. “In those days, I was too busy trying to be Mr. Perfect. You try to be Mr. Perfect so that your parents can find nothing wrong with you. They have a lot of other things to think about like putting food on the table, so you just don’t want to rock the boat.”

However, he began to suspect comedy was in his genes after he discovered some details of his father’s life.

“I remember seeing pictures of my father at RCMP Sports Days, and he was in a clown outfit. He was the regiment clown.”

Nielsen got his foot into the showbiz door through radio, as an engineer, disc jockey and announcer at a Calgary station.

In December 1949, Nielsen broke into the fresh medium of live television. During the ‘60s and ‘70s, Nielsen constantly worked in TV action series, such as Wagon Train, The Fugitive, The Virginian, Cannon Kojak Gunsmoke’s Matt Dillon.

Throughout his career, he appeared in some of the best-known television programs, including M*A*S*H, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Hawaii Five-O, Columbo Murder, She Wrote.

However, he may be most recognizable for his comedic big-screen roles. In Airplane! Nielsen uttered an often-quoted retort to the question: “Surely, you can’t be serious?”

“I am serious . . . and don’t call me Shirley,” he said.

In 2003, Nielsen received both a lifetime achievement award from the Alberta Motion Pictures Industries Association and was presented with an Award of Excellence from the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists.

He received the Order of Canada in December 2003.

With files from the Edmonton Journal and the Vancouver Sun


Thursday, December 2, 2010

NASA Discovers a New Form of Life


I found this little tidbit about a new arsenic based life form that was discovered by NASA. This is actually a pretty big deal. If you know a little about basic biology, you know that all lifeforms that we previously knew about, from bacteria to humans, was carbon based. This was theoretically possible but scientists were unable to do much other than speculate.

As Gizmodo put it:

At their conference today, NASA scientist Felisa Wolfe Simon will announce that they have found a bacteria whose DNA is completely alien to what we know today. Instead of using phosphorus, the bacteria uses arsenic. All life on Earth is made of six components: carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus and sulfur. Every being, from the smallest amoeba to the largest whale, share the same life stream. Our DNA blocks are all the same.

But not this one. This one is completely different. We knew that there were bacteria that processed arsenic, but this bacteria—discovered in the poisonous Mono Lake, California—is actually made of arsenic. The phosphorus is absent from its DNA. The implications of this discovery are enormous to our understanding of life itself and the possibility of finding beings in other planets that don't have to be like planet Earth.

This opens a lot of possibilities in my opinion. This makes the likelihood of finding life in planets that we would find inhospitable a lot higher.

What do you think?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Ahhh, I love these stories from the Middle East

"Dubai 'bearded lady' marriage off

An Arab country's ambassador to Dubai has had his marriage contract annulled after discovering the bride was cross-eyed and had facial hair.

The woman had worn an Islamic veil, known as the niqab, on the few occasions the couple had met.

The envoy, who has not been identified, told a Sharia court her mother had tricked him by showing him pictures of the bride's sister, Gulf News reported.

He only discovered the deception when he lifted the woman's veil to kiss her.

The court had annulled the marriage contract but rejected a $130,000 (£83,000) compensation claim for gifts he had bought his intended, the report said."

This is the kind of thing that happens when you get married without ever even seeing a girls face. I'm more of a 'try before I buy' sort of guy myself.

Sometimes the title is all you need to know about a story

Boy gang-raped by 10 women at knifepoint in Papua New Guinea

There is nothing I can possibly add to make this any better.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Do you miss the 90s as much as I do?

They just don't make movies like they did in the 90s. Incredibly awkward fight scenes, retarded choice of weaponry, and stereotypical villains were rampant. It was a sort of alright time to watch movies. Not really great but they didn't all suck either.

I guess they might have learned a little something about realism since then. But it didn't matter in the 90s.

Anyway check out this fight scene. It was either the greatest or worst thing I have ever seen. I'm not really sure which.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Intellectually Stimulating Music for Intellectuals

Bloodhound Gang - Pretty When I'm Drunk

Everyone goes through this. Maybe you had a dry spell in college? Or since we're on the internet maybe your whole life. Sometimes you gotta lower your standards to up the success rate.

Friday, November 26, 2010

So... North Korea shells South Korea


This is certainly an interesting turn of events. The internal politics of North Koreans have never been too clear... but this reaction to a military exercise is a bit excessive even for the excitable leadership of North Korea. This might mean that the Dear Leader must have some serious worries about his place in power or the transfer of power to his son. It might be a move toward appeasing the hardliners in the North Korean military.

Anyway, here's a link to the story.


Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Source of My Inspiration

Look at this guy. He is the fucking man. Seriously. If you don't know who he is...you are everything that is wrong with the world today. Carl Motherfucking Sagan. I'm pretty sure that's his actual middle name.