Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Episode 13: Just in Time for Halloween




The newest episode of LibertyWeek is now up and ready for everyone's listening pleasure. You know, the podcast that I co-host yet haven't mentioned on my own blog until this week. That's the one: LibertyWeek!

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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Thank You, Orbitz


My work trip to fantastic Roanoke, Virginia is coming up, and I'm counting on one of the best-known airline reservation websites to help me out. Luckily, it only returns the best, most practical results (click image to enlarge).



Seriously, Orbitz, why is this even displayed? Couldn't your system find anything that routed me through Narita?

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Sunday, August 10, 2008

Annoying Commercial Revenge




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Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Loves It: Paris Hilton '08


See more Paris Hilton videos at Funny or Die


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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Reason TV on Congressional Earmarks


Watch as Dr. Nick hosts Episode 17, featuring an interview with Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma. He hates pork so much he's practically a Muslim.



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Friday, July 25, 2008

The Government's 10,000 Commandments


Do you know how much government regulations cost us every year? You might be surprised. Featuring my voice and directorial flair.



Cited on National Review Online here.

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Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Our Long National Nightmare...


According to Beth Fouhy of the Associated Press, "Clinton set to concede delegate race to Obama." Take it away, You Tube.



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Monday, May 05, 2008

Hand Me That Hammer, Will You, Princess?


I noticed a new headline today having to do with the infamous incest slavery case going on in Austria: "Fritzl kept sex slave daughter chained up with a dog lead in the dungeon that SHE helped to build." Talk about adding insult to injury. Thankfully my uncle and I never finished building that tree fort when I was 9. God knows what could have happened.

Naturally this also reminded me of something from YouTube, in this case Barats and Bereta in "So Smooth." Key line: "I'm so deck, my father should hire me in the summer of 1993 for $5 an hour to build myself." The Slugworth reference was also pretty fine.



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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Simpleton's Guide to the Unintended Consequences of Environmental Policy


Inspired by my colleague Iain Murray's new book, The Really Inconvenient Truths: Seven Environmental Catastrophes Liberals Don't Want You to Know About - Because They Helped Cause Them, the current Simpleton's Guide is about misguided environmental laws and regulations.



By the way, you can buy Iain's book at Amazon for only $18.45 - that's 34% off the retail hardcover price!

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New Video Series: Skeptics Speak Out


I interviewed several scientists and researchers about global warming recently, and the first five edited video segments are now finished. The series is called "Skeptics Speak Out," and the press release is here. Dr. Marlo Lewis hosts and Erin Wildermuth did the videography and editing.

Dr. Cal Beisner:



Dr. Joe D'Aleo:



Dr. Jim O'Brien:



Dr. Kesten Green:



Dr. Howard Hayden:



You can read the first news story on the video series, "Scientists Plead For Better Climate Research And Less Alarmism," here.

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Monday, March 17, 2008

The Simpleton's Guide to the DEA and Pain Relief




Find out more at The Pain Relief Network and The Abigail Alliance.

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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

New Ad Campaign on Global Warming


The National Press Club press conference this morning which announced this ad went pretty well. Now we just have to sit back and wait to see how the viewers of CNN, CNBC and Fox News respond to it.



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Monday, March 10, 2008

Today Was a Good Day


And Eliot Spitzer fell, in a way I couldn't possibly have imagined. I would prefer if had been taken to account for his evil ways as attorney general of New York, but I'll take what I can get.

Many moons ago, my friends and I filmed a parody of the opening scene from The Godfather, with a Spitzer character as the Don. Little did we know it would eventually pay off so well. It starred Mr. O and was filmed and edited brilliantly by Mr. S. Since I love fancy-pants Hollywood titles, I'll even say that I was, in effect "co-producer." Hooray for me.

Watch it and love it:



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Sunday, March 09, 2008

Philosophy + Metal


My favorite philosopher has many YouTube encomia; here is a fine one, featuring some of Eric Hoffer's best aphorisms.



Courtesy of XOmniverse.

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Thursday, February 28, 2008

WFB, RIP


I hear a lot these days about the dumbing down of public discourse, and a general decline in civic involvement. I generally chalk these up to oldsters giving vent to their frustrations over their own lost youth. But the recent death of William F. Buckley, Jr. reminds me that perhaps there is something to those complaints. Buckley's long lived interview program Firing Line was the very model of restrained, intelligent debate. And sadly, I suspect that its like will never be seen again. Watching a FL episode and then viewing the evening's offering of Bill O'Reilley is enough to cause any thinking person to cry tears of blood. Firing Line makes Hannity & Colmes look like The Jerry Springer Show. Or worse.

So take a moment to view this classic debate from 1969 between WFB and Noam Chomsky. Spirited, but never uncivil. May your God love you and keep you, Bill.



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Sunday, February 03, 2008

What Madness Is This?


The world has turned upside down, and suddenly nothing makes sense. Only the bitter taste of ashes remains.


All Is Destroyed


Tom Brady, you broke my heart. It lies in pieces, and I fear it may never heal.

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Super Bowl Ad in Engrish


How many minutes do you think it'll be before someone posts a protest about the Sales Genie commercial about the pandas who run the furniture store and talk like Charlie Chan? I assume the first one is being written even now (8:34pm ET). Remember when the same thing happened to Abercrombie?



By the way, Giants, you had too many men on the field. Way to use that challenge flag, Coach.

UPDATE: Well, it took until this morning, but someone has registered their (qualified) displeasure here.


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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

New Year's Resolutions: Never Say Diet!


Just kidding. The title of this post is an idiotic catch phrase dreamed up by a publishing executive who wanted obese housewives to think he was clever and understood their troubles. Forget that. Nevertheless, trendy diet regimens that one finds detailed in popular self help books are generally equaled in their frustrating uselessness only by their obnoxious ubiquity. With that in mind, please enjoy the following video.



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Doesn't Live Here Anymore


Right now I'm watching a vintage episode of the late 70s/early 80s sitcom Alice, which you'll remember was set in a diner wherein the eponymous main character pursued the vocation of waitress. In this installment ("The Wild One," originally aired on December 11, 1981) Alice has an aggressive new suitor, a hard-edged biker names "Bones," played by none other than late night TV kingpin Jay Leno.


Yes, kids, that really is Jay Leno. No one is born on the A-list.


In a way the role is fitting given Leno's well known love for motorcycles, though I must say he comes across as the least believable head of an outlaw biker gang this side of The Village People. That said, God bless you, ION network, for keeping this gem in syndication.

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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

"Nature is fucking hardcore"


It seems I've become painfully parochial when it comes to the offerings of humor-related websites, because I've just become aware of the profanity-infused weirdness to be had at Cracked.com. This might be because, when I was a kid, Cracked magazine was a painfully unfunny also-ran to Mad, which, to be honest, itself loses a lot of its edge once one approaches traditional Bar Mitzvah age.

So I was especially interested to read the "5 Most Horrifying Bugs in the World" entry. Here is a taste of just their #5, complete with a scary background music clip from some nature documenting TV show. This one is about the Japanese hornet, known to scienticians as "Vespa japonica". When I first saw the name I assumed that Vespa Japonica was the title of a sequel to The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, wherein yakuza types travel to the streets of Rome to mix it up La Dolce Vita style, but I was terrifyingly wrong. Read on:

Here's how the Japanese hornet treats other insects (and would presumably treat us, if we were small enough). An adult hornet will fly miles to find some squishy shit to feed to its children. Often times, it finds its food in, say, a hive inhabited by thousands of bees.

What to do? Well, Vespa japonica sprays the nest with some of the acid/pheromone and brings in reinforcements, usually consisting of 30 or so fellow hornets. They then descend upon the beehive like an unholy plague of hell-born death engines and proceed to make this world a scary goddamned place. This is maybe 30 wasps against 30,000 bees and the 30,000 bees do not stand a chance.




Behold the hornets systematically seize them with huge, wicked jaws and literally fucking cut them apart, one by one by one by fucking one. In three hours, there are piles of limbs and heads and just fucking bits of things that could possibly have been alive at one point, and the hornets have stormed the hive and flown away with all the bee's children. Who will then be eaten.

Nature is fucking hardcore.


Note to self: avoid Japan. Forever.

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One Last Heath Ledger Link


Alonso Duralde's 2006 interview for The Advocate.

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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Three Delicious Degrees of Separation


So I'm sitting here watching Ace of Cakes, my favorite Baltimore-based cake-themed show currently on cable television.



And suddenly I remember how excited I should be: I just found out that someone I know knows Duff's dad, who (presumably) knows Duff himself pretty well. We're practically bros. I hope I can get him to introduce me to Geof someday.

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Forget the Tweak


Don't even try to jinx this thing, ESPN.com. Tom Brady's ankle is made of pure fucking adamantium and you know it.

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Monday, January 21, 2008

Cold and Victorious


It was a chilly day in Foxborough, but the Patriots were able the keep the Chargers to field goals while themselves completing three touchdowns. And so went game 18 - another one in the win column.



With the Giants' somewhat unexpected victory against Green Bay, Superbowl XLII is set. There will be a lot of preperation to do before the big day, though. I wonder if there's anyplace in DC that can do one of these:



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Sunday, January 13, 2008

Destiny Awaits


The Patriots have entered the post-season, and all doubts about them going all the way should now be set aside. They played a strong game against the Jaguars and came out on top, 31-20, to advance to 17-0-0.



The best play of the game came, of course, from my boy Tom Brady, who knows how to fake out the defense like nobody's business. Let's let Judy Battista of the New York Times explain:

When the Patriots got near the goal line, they opted for subterfuge. With Faulk lined up in the backfield, the Patriots faked a direct snap to him. Instead, the ball was in Brady’s hand. Evoking the Statue of Liberty play, he turned his back to the defense, keeping the ball hidden on his hip. By the time he spun around, Welker was so open in the back of the end zone that he was waving as if for a fair catch. The touchdown pass gave the Patriots a 21-14 lead and made the rest of the game seem inevitable.

“I’m looking for my Academy Award on that play,” Brady said.

You've got my vote. You can put in on the shelf next to your Super Bowl XLII ring.

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Saturday, January 12, 2008

The Great Movie Countdown


YouTube user AlonzoMosleyFBI has created a very entertaining parody of the AFI centennial "Top 100" lists of movies. It's a countdown of movie quotes that include numbers, from 100 down to 1. See how many you can identify.



And if you didn't recognize them all and are just dying to know, the list is explained here.

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Sunday, January 06, 2008

The Good Old Days?


The current issue of the Economist has an excellent article which evaluates the competing arguments about the origin of human civilization: to wit, were we better off as hunter gatherers? Did organized agriculture ruin a prelapsarian idyll? The story starts with one of the only remaining hunter gatherer societies on earth, the residents of the Sentinel Islands, in the Bay of Bengal:

In 2006 two Indian fishermen, in a drunken sleep aboard their little boat, drifted over the reef and fetched up on the shore of North Sentinel Island. They were promptly killed by the inhabitants. Their bodies are still there: the helicopter that went to collect them was driven away by a hail of arrows and spears. The Sentinelese do not welcome trespassers. Only very occasionally have they been lured down to the beach of their tiny island home by gifts of coconuts and only once or twice have they taken these gifts without sending a shower of arrows in return.

Several archaeologists and anthropologists now argue that violence was much more pervasive in hunter-gatherer society than in more recent eras. From the !Kung in the Kalahari to the Inuit in the Arctic and the aborigines in Australia, two-thirds of modern hunter-gatherers are in a state of almost constant tribal warfare, and nearly 90% go to war at least once a year. War is a big word for dawn raids, skirmishes and lots of posturing, but death rates are high—usually around 25-30% of adult males die from homicide. The warfare death rate of 0.5% of the population per year that Lawrence Keeley of the University of Illinois calculates as typical of hunter-gatherer societies would equate to 2 billion people dying during the 20th century.

At first, anthropologists were inclined to think this a modern pathology. But it is increasingly looking as if it is the natural state. Richard Wrangham of Harvard University says that chimpanzees and human beings are the only animals in which males engage in co-operative and systematic homicidal raids. The death rate is similar in the two species. Steven LeBlanc, also of Harvard, says Rousseauian wishful thinking has led academics to overlook evidence of constant violence.

Read the whole facinating thing here.

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Saturday, January 05, 2008

Paging Willard Scott


The British literary quaterly Granta is about to celebrate its 100th issue, and Simon Garfield tells the story of where the magazine came from and, just possibly where it might be going.

[Former editor Bill] Buford, who is 53, is now a staff writer on the New Yorker, where he must conform to house-styles and age-old constrictions, but at Granta in 1979 it was like a playground. The first issues took over Buford's Cambridge rooms, where he was studying for a second degree in English (he soon established himself as the dominant and bullish force in the editorial partnership). He remembers sheets of film on every surface, and a final editing process that involved scissors and tape. The design - not as clean or well-spaced as it is now but nonetheless sturdy and readable - was based on an American academic quarterly. Buford intended to return to America after the first issue but when it sold out its run of 800 copies and a subsequent reprint, he thought, 'Maybe there's something here...'

The cost of a subscription was set at £3.50, although it wasn't specified how many issues a reader would receive for this investment (which was, it turned out, one of the best omissions Buford ever made). The magazine moved to premises above an art gallery, and then above a hairdresser. 'For the third issue,' Buford says, 'I got a manuscript sent to me by Tom Maschler from this new guy that everyone was excited about called Salman Rushdie.' This issue, Granta proclaimed in its portentous and painful way, 'collects work from writers and critics which suggests it might be the end of the English novel, but also the beginning of British fiction'. Clearly something was changing. Martin Amis and Ian McEwan came to Cambridge to read work in progress, and admission fees helped pay the rent. Buford recalls a later conversation with Amis in which the novelist said: 'If you were a literary fiction writer and you were a kid, your horizon was empty, there was really nothing else going on. People weren't writing fiction or talking about it - everyone wanted to work for the BBC.'

When the Rushdie manuscript came in, later to be published as Midnight's Children, Buford says: 'It was everything you wanted a British writer to be doing - it had narrative flair and culture and history, and it was very aware. Everything then broke open.'

Buford is also the author of a memoir of football hooliganism, Among the Thugs, and the very entertaining chronicle of his culinary adventures in America and abroad, Heat.



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Wednesday, January 02, 2008

What if I'm Wrong?


These days I'm reading The God Delusion by my personal jesus, Richard Dawkins. I've watched a lot of video clips of RD on the lecture/book tour circuit, and this very short clip has become my personal favorite. Watch and enjoy.



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