Pimpin' Ayn Rand

Give a school some money, and maybe they'll teach stuff you believe in. Kinda funky, if you ask me.
... because there are no lions, according to six Massai warriors running in the London Marathon. Here's a run through history from the Guardian - an interactive tour of the 1968 Paris riots.

The Icelandic Saga, continued

This is from a few days ago, but it's worth reading.
The Far Right and Obama.

The hate-filled propaganda machine is revving-up. How dreadful will this actually become? I'd imagine the worst-case-scenario, just to be on the safe side.
The Daily Show at its best.
One out of five. Consumers aren't cheerful. Fly the friendly skies... um, maybe not. Better look again. Banning free speech in Zimbabwe (again). Berlusconi reprises his role as The Godfather. Hats-off to the mob. Crashing the party. Will Asians catch the Western Flu? Secret trials in Afghanistan. It's not all about Yoo. What about War Crimes prosecutions? Dream on. An alternative, perhaps?

Local band gains international interest. Mess with the boreal forrest at your own risk. What a lot of organic... rubbish!

What do powerful politicians really need? Why, a place to relax and get a pedicure at weekends, of course! Somehow, I'd hoped for a better result at the crossroads of politics and architecture... (sigh!)


This is not a test. Start making sense. A "third way" in Iraq. Randi hits the road. Art for art's sake? It's money, for God's sake! Neither confirmed nor denied. Yay or nay?

And... via Kottke.org, The 50 Greatest Comedy Sketches of All Time.
'History will not judge us kindly' - by now you've heard that senior administration officials were involved with deciding who would be tortured when and how they would be tortured. Great group of folks, really. You can always trust them to do the right thing.

Farm bill problems? We'll reap what we sow - something John Yoo might find out about soon.

What have we become? Patience is not a policy, especially when you're dealing with a trillion dollar war (+/- $2-4 trillion). As if that wasn't bad enough, the true horror is that we'll never be able to count the human cost of all this folly. But not to worry... it's the next presidents problem.

The results of species-centric chauvinism, which is a bit of a dick move.


The color of light. Through a bong, darkly. Iceland has power to burn. "Largest shock since the Depression". Do the Hand Jive.
Let's hope so. Bilal Hussein Exonerated.
Not content to go quietly into that good night, Robert Kagan stretches credulity and rewrites history - Neoconservatism c. 1776. When one reads such bunkum, wherein a reactionary pseudo-intellectual attempts to obfuscate and dissemble in order to cover his own ass, all one can ask is when will the neocon nightmare end?
Iraq is frozen. Wasted oxygen. New mapping abilities will allow closer study of CO2 emissions. New study finds that the ozone layer would be largely destroyed in a nuclear conflict. As oil peaks, expect chaos and wars. Tortured explanations. Yoo'll be hearing more of them. A hundred years' war? A certain type of elephant is about to go extinct. A one-in-four chance. A great new management handbook. Got a white collar? No worries then. A dangerous liason. Reversal of fortune. Credit squeeze hits Japan, and real estate retreats. The key to Mecca's Kabba sold.

Forecast: Cloudy

The new Google App Engine - will everything run on Google?

The two or three people who read this blog may have noticed that I posted about the famous British author, J.G. Ballard yesterday. Ballard became infamous for exposing a very uncomfortable truth about humans - that violence and sex are closely bound in our psyches - in his 1973 book Crash, which explored the relationship of automobile accidents and sex. Here's Ballard recounting how he ended up writing Crash.

As if to prove Ballard's thesis, albeit in a different fashion, today the New York Times reports about the scandal surrounding the president of the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile, the governing body of international motor sports such as the Formula 1 circuit. Read about Max Mosley's Nazi-themed orgy, if you can stomach it. Many thanks to Dave D'Alessandro for passing on the story!
Check out this great site eTrueSports, and have a laugh watching the new Elvis video "In The Bunker"! Thanks, D'Alessandrius the Wise!
So, it turns out that in the wake of the sub-prime disaster that the proposed overhaul of regulatory agencies by the Bush Administration will do more harm than good. It's like deja vu all over again... maybe it's time to buy gold bars? Stiglitz writes of economies in crisis. The IMF warns of a serious crisis, as the housing market collapse settles in across the pond.

Condi busts a move, while a hero of sorts emerges from the slime. Back in the late 60s, my brother had a button that said "J. Edgar Hoover Sleeps With a Night Light". The latest revelations about our surveillance state make that seem so... quaint. A Ballardian Primer on surveillance cameras. Cost of the Secret Service to protect Dick Cheney six months after he leaves the White House? $4 million. 2008 Olympics torched in Europe, but beware the Olympian Ideal. Welcome to the world of McMafia.

BLDG BLOG just keeps posting interesting stuff.

Hmmm... let's see here... Christopher Hitchens doesn't like Hillary, and he doesn't like Obama. So, if he doesn't like either of them, umm... then that means he does like John McCain? Maybe he digs that whole "bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb-bomb Iran" thing?... You see, with Hissy Fitchens it's always a matter of a process of elimination. If he's not writing about you, then you can rest assured that you remain in his good graces.

J.G. Ballard

I've been a big fan of Ballard since I was introduced to his dystopian visions by Neil Denari some years ago. Did you ever see that Spielberg movie "Empire of the Sun"? Well, that's a semi-autobiographical/semi-fictional account of Ballard's childhood in Shanghai during WW2, adapted from his book of the same name. If you're not familiar with his work here's a link dedicated to his works and influence: Ballardian. [His books are readily available at Amazon.com as well as Powells.com.]

Also, here are two articles from Ballardian that are of great interest - one is about Ballard's relationship to the built environment, and the other is about Ballard's forthcoming autobiography, Miracles of Life. According to the latter, Ballard is not well, and I wish him all the best.
The Republicans ran swiftly to their boats. Shhh! We're planning on staying in Iraq forever. Anybody remember a Wim Wenders film entitled "The End of Violence"? Well, looks like the Dept. of Homeland Security has decided to buy the script. Unjust contract extension, and Camp in-Justice. A military conflict. Some advice for wingnuts (what always seems to be missed by conspiracy theorists is that incompetence explains more than any convoluted theory - see: Occam's Razor). Some advice for journalists. BushCo., masters of Doublespeak... but, you knew that already. David Addington, Jim Haynes and John Yoo in the crosshairs. Just a reminder; your grandchildren will be paying for the mess Bush created. Here's an idea - Neuro-Tourism. I spend less time chatting than you do? I have one question for the University of Oregon - what took so f*cking long?!?!

Finally, the Red Sox have decided to go to any lengths necessary to defeat the Yankees.

One of my favorites of all time, the Heidi Weber Museum in Zurich, by Le Corbusier
please visit: http://www.centerlecrobusier.com
A torch extinguished (several times). Hope delayed. Thou shalt not do irony. Another winter of discontent. If the system made sense, Clinton would be far ahead - this assumes that the campaigns would have been run in exactly the same way as they have been so far; that is illogical. If the system were different, so would the campaigns be in reaction to it. Tossed under the bus or just gelded? Whatever... won't do much good. Avoiding criticism by tithing. Cokie Roberts knows all. Wait a second... not so fast! Trickle up. By Rove! I think he's got it! Harry Phibbs (great name!) on Prince Charles' conservative architectural thinking: Intelligent Design. Obama? - it's for you; Democracy Calling.

Grossly Underestimated

Catastrophe in the making. Military spending at historical highs. Greased pig cornered. Don't fret bloggers. Crisis breeds opportunity.
Starting with the Bends... Icelandic saga... small black holes. Blog 'til you drop! Say it ain't so. The Web is dead; long live the Grid. Murakami in Brooklyn... and take a look at this (found at the Daily Dish).
Unless it's not enough. What if Texas were Iraq? Wars Cost. Ah-ha! - that explains it. Torch-erous.