Friday, May 31, 2019

memes via Bill

Some more images thanks to Bill Keezer:

recycling: not as "green" as you think

Millions of tons of plastic waste do not make it to recycling facilities. See here. An excerpt:

In 2015, the problem of marine litter climbed to the very top of the list of global environmental problems after a landmark study suggested that there are 100 million tonnes of plastic in the oceans. Regrettably, the study overlooked the share of the blame that can be put on the recycling industry, which has exported 106 million tonnes of plastic waste to China over the past 20 years or more. A significant proportion of this is thought to have ended up in the oceans.

Last June, I sounded the alarm about the impact of recycling on marine pollution and revealed how unscrupulous operators were making the situation worse. Soon afterward, the UK audit office came to similar conclusions and the media started to give the issue some attention.

There is now a global congestion in waste management systems, because China’s decided to close its doors to imported plastic waste. There has also been a rapid increase of piles of plastic scrap in rich countries, as recyclers have found it increasingly difficult to find anyone who will accept it in China’s place. Even poor countries have been starting to refuse to take it because, with their poor waste management system, they are unable to cope with what they have taken already, let alone the increased volumes that western exporters would like them to take. Much of this material is ending up in the oceans.

Earlier this month, however, an obscure United Nations conference surprised the world by agreeing a global deal to curb the dumping of dirty plastic waste, often camouflaged as ‘recycling’, from rich countries to the developing nations, such as Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam, who have become the chief importers of plastic waste now that China has closed its doors. The huge volumes of waste that have previously gone to Asia will now have to be dealt with at home, by a waste management industry that is already struggling to keep its head above the rising tide of rubbish.

Remarkably, there has been virtually no attention given to this important decision. Green NGOs and politicians are keeping quiet because they fear that their role promoting bad policies in the past will come under scrutiny. The media, however, which has parroted green dogma about recycling for years will struggle to avoid mentioning the problems that the industry is facing in the wake of this UN decision. The plastic situation is now deteriorating rapidly, especially in rich countries.

Read the rest. I don't consider myself particularly "green," but if environmentalism is predicated on the notion that it's better to live clean than to live dirty, then I'm all for that notion, and I'm happy to see what economically viable methods we can develop to live in a cleaner world. Far more than the vague concept of climate change, actual pollution output is a real and pressing concern to me, and the proof that there's a problem in that arena is incontrovertible. Also, like many Americans, when I can't sort and throw my trash into the proper recycling bins, I feel a pang of conscience—as I felt during my entire time living in Front Royal, Virginia, where there is no recycling service at all (all trash in our apartment complex went into the dumpsters that stood close to the buildings we lived in). I'm of the opinion that recycling is a very good idea—as long as the system works.

Seeing mountains of trash with foul streams of toxic goo running between them (and third-world children playing and scavenging in those streams) is profoundly disturbing. Seeing large Asian rivers positively clogged with millions of plastic containers is equally disturbing. And that's why reading the above article is so infuriating: even those of us who are actually trying to be of help, in our own small way, by recycling are being betrayed by the larger system.

Here's the puzzle: find a way to develop an energy-generation system, like the fictitious "Mr. Fusion" from Back to the Future, that can consume anything and everything, turning it into clean energy. Along the way, design the garbage-collection system in such a way as to incentivize the populace to actively collect garbage and receive some kind of reward for its efforts—money, tax credits, a grocery-store e-card with which you can shop by obtaining "garbage points" that act as cash when you're at the store.

I'll be told that the above system isn't economically viable because that's not how economics works. Fine, maybe that criticism is correct. But as I said, it's a puzzle, i.e., something to be solved. Surely we're clever enough to find a way to make the system work. Aren't we?

leave Twitter NOW

Tim Pool on "woke" journalism and how Twitter actually, provably makes you stupider:

Thursday, May 30, 2019

a science-fiction story idea just popped into my head

Partly inspired by the movie "Brainstorm," in which scientists develop a machine that can record first-person experiences that can be played back—as experiences—by other people, I've thought of a story idea in which a team of people with backgrounds in AI, virtual reality, neuroscience, and other fields design a machine that allows you to experience the act of being beheaded... but without your actually being decapitated. What to call this machine? For public-branding purposes, maybe it could be called The Noggin Slicer, and going through the experience of decapitation could be called getting nogged.

Of course, it makes little sense for such a machine to provide so specific a virtual-reality experience (where, in this case, "virtual reality" includes internal sensations as much as externally originating "deliverances" of the senses), so the tech would have to evolve to provide all sorts of other bleeding-edge experiences. In terms of death and dying, those experiences could be terrifying things like being eaten by a shark or a tiger, being crushed by a steamroller, falling from the hundredth floor of a tall building, being dissolved in a tank of acid, being cruelly tortured, being forced to eat until one's stomach bursts, etc. But there would have to be more than death-related experiences for true thrill-seekers. Obvious ones would be experiencing the power and grandeur of flight, sampling a whole smorgasbord of peak/extreme sexual experiences, and so on.

There would be social implications. As with all cutting-edge tech, the rich would get first dibs before the tech democratized and filtered out into the regular populace, to the hoi polloi. Other social implications would be how people sorted themselves into thrill-seeking categories: the deathmongers, the sexmongers, the painmongers, the psychedelic weirdmongers, maybe even nerdmongers who enter the machine to force their brains to experience what it means to exist in mathematically higher dimensions than the unassisted brain can normally contemplate. Cliques, fan bases, and rugged individuals could all participate in whatever realities the machine can conjure.

And there's also the chance the machine can break down, maybe even in medias res. What would it be like to be blissfully flying through the heavens above the Rockies, when suddenly the machine glitches and smacks you back into reality? How would your mind and body respond to the jarring change? Would the change be as harmless as waking up from a dream, or something more severe and sinister?

And while we're on the topic of reactions, how would different people react to the same stimuli, e.g., to being beheaded? For some, it might be an amazing experience. For others, it might evoke horror and disgust. For still others, more fragile, it might be the final step off the cliff of psychosis. For my story, there would have to be legal implications.

Come to think of it, certain SF books have depicted something like the device I'm writing about. The pain box from Dune is a good example: young Paul Atreides is told to place his hand inside a mysterious box that begins to deliver a series of extremely dolorous sensations; the Reverend Mother administering the test of agony reminds Paul that he removes his hand on pain of death, so Paul has no choice but to keep his hand in the box and suffer the gauntlet of horrible sensations until the test is done. The pain box delivers experiences—qualia—directly to the mind. Meanwhile, the setup in "Brainstorm," starring Christopher Walken, is immersive, but the experiences come from real-life individuals (and, early in the film, from a chimp). There's never any mention made as to whether the device can be used to create experiences with no grounding in reality. My machine would be a fusion of the Dune pain box and the "Brainstorm" qualia device: all your senses would be fully engaged in a totally immersive-yet-fictive experience, even unto the point of death (although not beyond: in "Brainstorm," a character dies while recording her heart attack, and the recording of her death—which includes the voyage of her mind or soul to the afterlife—becomes a much-sought-after item for the rest of the film).

Anyway, it's just an idea. It needs refinement. Maybe I'll come back to it soon.

climb into my mind

I've watched several videos by Avantgarde Vegan [sic—that's how he spells it] now, and in general, I like his recipes and would like to try making some of them. His style is super-relaxed and amiable... but there's one aspect of his presentation that I find utterly insufferable. Can you guess what it is? I don't think you'll need to watch more than one video to guess correctly. So watch the vid below, do some introspection as to what aspect of the video gets under your skin, then take your best guess as to whether that same thing gets under my skin.

Good luck.

your dose of musical weirdness for the day

By the way: the "ya-zha kei-o" part at the beginning is Klingon.

austerity doesn't mean unnecessary suffering

Yesterday's meal was two bacon-bleu double burgers topped with sun-dried tomatoes and thinly sliced cornichons (them's pickles to you hillfolk). I can't rely on fresh vegetables unless I were to buy them regularly throughout the month, which would nullify the whole point of undergoing this budgetary austerity. As a result, I have to rely on dried-and-reconstituted vegetables, as well as on pickled vegetables.

We start with a wide shot of the burgers:

We move in for the food-porn shot:

And here's the burger with its toppings on. Click to enlarge:

I actually kept track of my front-loaded shopping expenses for this pay period. We're gonna have to talk about that. It may be that, for future pay periods, austerity might actually mean a measure of suffering. I'm not looking forward to that.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

problems by the foot

Well, it looks as though I won't be hiking out to Yangpyeong. Something's going on with my right foot, which doesn't hurt too much once I get walking, but which hurts whenever I'm resting. This could be a problem with my shoes which, although I feel as if I'd just bought them, are about nine months old, now, and—as I just discovered tonight—pretty worn down:

That's the result of hundreds and hundreds of kilometers walked since last August (including quite a few km racked up in France last October). Look more closely at one of the soles, and you'll see I've begun wearing through the outer rubber layer to the inner layer:

So as unbelievable as it seems, I think I'm going to have to order another pair of shoes. Meanwhile, I'll walk shorter distances to try to minimize the foot pain.

oh, that liberal bias

Left-liberal media bias is obvious to anyone who's sane, but here's Tim Pool, who is increasingly one of my trusted alt-media sources, to drive the point home:

Styx has been predicting the fall of the mainstream media for years. It's happening—slowly but surely, but it's definitely happening. CNN just had a second round of layoffs, and outlets like Vox continue to contract and fray. Part of the problem is how out-of-touch the media are these days. Tim Pool notes that the mainstream media couldn't predict Trump's 2016 victory because they haven't been part of the mainstream for a while.

the wall is being built... through private efforts

Chandler Crump has the story:

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

an informative vid on the EU Parliament elections and Brexit

This video seems rather fair-minded, at least for most of its length. Fair-minded or not, it provides the viewer with a way of thinking more clearly about the implications of the recent EU Parliament elections, and the further implications for Brexit. As the video points out, the Brexiteers aren't out of the woods yet: the Brexit party might have cleaned up at the polls, but arguably, more voters in Britain showed sympathy for the Remain side overall (personally, I think that's up to interpretation). Anyway, give it a watch, read around, see more videos, then come to your own conclusions.

I was grimly satisfied to learn that both Labor and the Tories had had their noses bloodied. I hope this teaches both parties the value of not being indecisive and weaselly.

carbon "sequestration" in your windows

Can you imagine windows that take CO2 out of the air via photosynthesis? Well, imagine no longer! Microalgae to the rescue!

Legal Eagle does "The Measure of a Man"

One of the more popular episodes from Star Trek: The Next Generation was "The Measure of a Man," an episode that unfolded much like a stage play. It was essentially a philosophy-heavy courtroom drama about whether Lieutenant Commander Data was a sentient being imbued with the rights of all living beings, or merely chattel, i.e., property with no inherent rights, to be owned and used as people saw fit.

The YouTube channel LegalEagle is one of many "Ask the Expert"-style channels to have proliferated on YouTube. On this channel, a cheerful lawyer examines court cases shown in movies and on TV. He shows clips from the relevant production, throwing out commentary and analysis, and he eventually gives the production a letter grade based on his opinion of the show's legal realism. Below is the lawyer's examination of "The Measure of a Man," and below that is his analysis of the movie My Cousin Vinny which, from what I understand, many lawyers actually recommend as required viewing for students learning legal procedure, given the movie's scrupulous accuracy in depicting how things work in an actual courtroom. (The movie's not 100% accurate, but it gets most things right.)

Trek first:

Vinny next:

Monday, May 27, 2019

another crazy walk?

There's a better-than-70% chance that I'll be walking out to Yangpyeong this coming weekend—starting late Friday night, walking through the night, and walking much of the day on Saturday. If I again start my walk around 10:30 p.m., my ETA will be about 3 p.m. the following day, give for take, oh, thirty minutes.

As before, I'll be breaking my austerity (which I rescheduled to start today) so I can pay for a motel for two nights, not to mention meals and drinks. It'll be a different motel this time, given what happened last time. I'll train straight to work on Monday morning.

My feet didn't hurt that badly on Sunday last time around, so I'll once again take the opportunity to stroll around Yangpyeong and see the sights. Maybe I'll walk the riverside trail farther east for a while. Or not: there's a small chance I might not do the walk at all. Much will depend on factors like the weather and how my feet feel, not to mention the rest of me.

the logical humor of Dr. John Pepple

Found here:

This link is about the claim by leftists that believing in objectivity is a sign that one is a white supremacist. So, if one believes that global warming is an objective fact, then one may be a white supremacist.

I love it.

Postmodernists have engaged in a species of this stupidity for years. Rationality has been demonized by the PoMo crowd as an instrument of Western oppression. This of course explains why so many Asians pursue science-related careers: because they feel oppressed by rationality and the West. This also explains why anti-rationality postmodernists continue to write (more or less) rationally structured academic papers. It's hard to make a rational argument when you make rationality your enemy. But that's what postmodernism does: it's clumsily self-subverting, always striking at truth but lopping off its own dick.


Just for a second, it may seem as if our president has three hands:

"things fall apart; the centre cannot hold"

Over at Drudge, the EU Parliament election results are being conveyed via the following metaphor, straight out of WB Yeats:

Big wins for the Brexit Party, Marine Le Pen's National Rally, and the Greens from Germany.

Article: Brexit is now the largest single party in the EU Parliament.

Article: Centrist bloc to lose majority in EU vote as Greens and euroskeptics gain

The people have spoken. Will they again be ignored? I hear the EU is already gearing up to investigate Nigel Farage for fraud. This certainly smells familiar to us Americans.

a mindful Memorial Day to my US peeps

their opinions before my opinion

Before I publish my own insights on "Game of Thrones," here are some YouTube videos I've watched—I've actually watched many more than those shown here—that offer reviews, commentary, parodies, and—of course—complaints about Season 8 of "Game of Thrones" and the series as a whole. My own thoughts will be coming soon.

Captain Midnight comments on all of Season 8:

The Cosmonaut Variety Hour: this was a good commentary... if you have 36 minutes to spare:

Charlie at Emergency Awesome: Top 20 WTF moments:

Jeremy Jahns compares Daenerys Targaryen to Anakin Skywalker:

Jeremy Jahns with a very good season/series-finale review:

Chris Stuckmann reviews all of Season 8:

Ryan George of Pitch Meeting skewers all of Season 8:

There's a ton of agitated commentary out there, but the above selections were my favorites.

ADDENDUM: some expressions that keep popping up in these and other reviews:

subverting expectations
lazy writing
bad writing
stick the landing
too hasty
out of character
makes no sense

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Ave, John Lee!

John Lee, a.k.a. The Korean Foreigner, doesn't seem to blog all that much these days, but when he does blog, his material is always worth a read. In this post, Lee takes on President Moon Jae-in's abysmal economic policy, which basically follows a blue-state, centralized, redistributionist model (and where have we heard about all that before?) which, to no one's surprise, leads to economic downturns in all leading indicators. But people never learn because people are stupid. Sad but true.

South Korea's economy is based on the Japanese economic model, in which the largest engines are conglomerates, called chaebol (more properly, jaebeol/재벌) in Korean. This is itself a problem because it concentrates wealth in too few hands and doesn't allow the economy to breathe freely through the natural chaos of competition between and among smaller entities. Lee points out that President Moon is also pursuing the folly of forcibly increasing wages, which has unsurprisingly resulted in heavy job loss as bosses cut employees to be able to keep to their bottom line. Under Moon, over-regulation continues to be a problem, and we in the States can see how that policy is working in California, where all but the most robust businesses are being strangled, and smaller businesses are moving to places like Texas (which may end up becoming a blue state because the idiots moving there bring their unenlightened voting habits with them).

In all, it's a bleak picture, and since Koreans love creating and blaming an Emmanuel Goldstein for their troubles, one can only assume they will again create a strawman/scapegoat as times get tougher.

Ave, Mike!

My buddy Mike writes a thoughtful, heartfelt post on abortion in the midst of all these Southern states that are now enacting laws to restrict abortion. Read Mike's post here.

Star Trek cuteness

A shot from the set of "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan," showing a young Kirstie Alley (Saavik) making a kissy-face at Leonard Nimoy (Spock):

"Game of Thrones"... hoo, boy

I'm going to have a lot to say, now that I've binged the rest of Season 8 of "Game of Thrones." Stay tuned for my thoughts on the final season, and on the series as a whole.

(I knew the writers couldn't keep away from the Frodo imagery when it came to Jon Snow. Like Frodo, Jon had his faithful companion Sam, and at the end of the story, Jon says goodbye to tearful loved ones before stepping onto a boat.)

Saturday, May 25, 2019

more via Bill

I don't agree with the implications of the "I attacked Mike Pence..." line, but like it or not, it's the setup for what comes next at the bottom of the meme:

This is a problem for more than just Pete Buttigieg: it's a problem for most liberals, who seem fine with cozying up to Muslims who openly hate Western culture and would be willing to kill the most liberal members of that culture. I refer you to Dr. John Pepple's blog I Want a New Left on this point; Pepple has been all over this issue. See here and especially here.

My suspicion is that, when Trump seemed to get upset at Fox News for allowing Buttigieg to have a platform (to the point where the studio audience actually gave Buttigieg a standing ovation), this was more 4-D chess. I think Trump would actually prefer to run against Buttigieg because Trump knows he'd easily win against him. Not because the country is full of homophobic bigots, mind you, but because Mayor Pete really doesn't have much of a platform at this point, and the things we do know about him will not play well with the moderate and right-leaning crowd, to wit: slowly deconstructing Thomas Jefferson.

So where've you been all this time, Joe? Out massaging women, I guess...

Friday, May 24, 2019

a sad end(?) to my antacid saga

I wrote a while back about how a product I had ordered—Kirkland antacid tablets—had gotten stuck at Korean Customs. I dithered for a month before doing anything about the problem, but when I finally did call Customs and give them my alien-registration card number to release the bottles for home delivery, the process went smoothly, and I was told I'd get the tabs the following week (I had called Customs on a Thursday or Friday).

Two weeks went by, and nothing. I was about to call Customs again to ask what was going on when I received an email, just yesterday, saying that "the item has been discontinued by the manufacturer" (which sounds like bullshit to me). Bizarrely, the message then says, "If you have received the item, then go to the GMarket website to confirm package arrival. If we receive no notification within three days, the package will be marked as delivered." Dafuq? How can I receive an item that's been discontinued? Anyway, the message then says, "If you have not received the item and we have no notification from you, you may receive a refund via 'US return notification.'"

So what's the action item, here? I assume it's just to wait three days, do nothing, have my package automatically marked "delivered," then await further instructions on how to get a refund. I don't understand what's going on at all; the message doesn't follow any logic known to this planet.

Whatever. I guess I'll wait and see what happens, but I think I may be out twenty bucks.

we've found the aliens

This article talks about a "Theia water" theory to explain the existence of water on our planet. Scientists have for years surmised that Terra was naturally dry, and that water came from elsewhere, but the original guess was that it came via many strikes from "carbonaceous" meteorites. The new hypothesis is that "Theia" (Gk., goddess)—a planetoid that may have smashed into Terra and formed the moon, as well as adding bulk to our world—may have brought along the earth's water. Fascinating if true.

And the theory has implications: if we humans are composed mostly of water (60% is one common figure), and if all water is extraterrestrial in origin, then that makes us mostly extraterrestrial. We've found the aliens, and they are us.

why taxing the rich is a stupid idea

God, I love this kid. I hope he one day becomes the first real black president, instead of the substanceless, incompetent Johnny Paper we had for eight years.

Deepfakery using very few images as a model

This get eerier by the day:

Article here.

Pretty soon, it's going to be a prankster's paradise as people create Deepfake politicians who lead us into war, then go have sex with puppies while we watch in horror.

da binge

Whoa! "Game of Thrones," Season 8, is already out on home video! I just barely managed to purchase the season before midnight, i.e., before my austerity for this pay period begins. (Actually, I'm breaking the discipline this weekend and next: this weekend, I'm visiting a friend I haven't seen in a few years; the following weekend, I think I'm going to do another nutty 60-kilometer walk out to Yangpyeong, so I'll once again have to spend money on meals and two nights at a motel.) This means I'll be bingeing the final season of "Game of Thrones" this weekend, and I'll have a review for you sometime next week. I also saw "Glass" last weekend, and I need to write up that review as well.

I already know that most people have been disappointed by Season 8. "Mixed bag" is the term I'm hearing the most frequently, along with variations of "bad writing" and "badly written." Despite my best efforts to keep away from spoilers, (1) I know how the Night King perishes,* (2) I know some of the main characters who will die, and (3) I know Arya and Gendry get back together (and possibly get together, if you know what I mean). I still have no idea how the finale actually ends, so there's that.

Anyway, on with the show. One YouTube commentator fervently hoped that Season 8 would show us Ghost, Jon Snow's giant direwolf, riding a dragon. I doubt that's going to happen.

*The fact that the Night King perishes isn't really a spoiler. The previous seasons have made it obvious that the Night King represents only a secondary threat while Cersei Lannister has been built up as the primary threat. I have to wonder whether George RR Martin will take that same tack in his books: thus far, his version of Cersei is little more than power-hungry; she comes off as petulant and not much of a strategist, unlike her shrewd brother Tyrion. I don't think she'll have the same stature, in future novels, as she has on the TV show.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

mini-rant about culture

Watch this preview for "The Farewell" starring a startlingly un-made-up Awkwafina* (ethnically Chinese and Korean):

I've lived this. I had a great aunt in Korea who was dying of stomach cancer back in the mid-1980s, but none of her damn relatives told her what was wrong with her. This brought up all sorts of questions to my mind, such as why the hell didn't the docs speak directly to the patient about her condition? How is it Hippocratically ethical to leave a patient in the dark, bypassing the patient to speak to the family? And when the focus shifted to the family situation, the question that arose in my mind was why the hell did the family think it was fine to leave their dying relative in the dark, scared and confused about what was happening to her? The last time I saw my great aunt, she was sobbing as we left her home.

My contention, often voiced on this blog, has been that East Asians love to blah-blah-blah when they get the chance to do so... except when it comes to the most important things in life. I have a friend in the Philippines whose Korean wife left him with no explanation aside from a vague statement about general unhappiness. No attempt to work things out, nothing. This struck me as lazy, cruel, and borderline evil. But it's just Asians acting Asian, ja? My great aunt died without knowing what was wrong with her, although I imagine she intuited something long before the end. Women aren't stupid. The above movie preview depicts a dying grandmother who's been kept in the dark about her own illness. She's to attend a wedding, where she'll have the chance to see a large section of her family one last time. Awkwafina plays the Americanized Asian granddaughter who, like me, can't understand this bizarre omertà that shields the grandmother from the reality of her own condition. Feels before facts, ja? Maybe it all comes down to Ernest Becker's notion of the "denial of death," a haunting fact that guides most human endeavors.

Western society has plenty that's wrong with it, but I think Asian society could be a lot less stressful if people here got into a correct relationship with the truth. My sociological theory is that the religions that flourish in a given area of the world do so because they respond to the local needs of the people. If the West is full of liars, thieves, and the selfish, then Christianity responds by preaching honesty, non-coveting, and altruism. If Asia is full of agitated, jabbering people who lie and constantly fail to listen to each other, then Buddhism preaches quietude, humility, attentiveness, and pragmatic adherence to truth by seeing reality's true nature. Religions are responses to our assholery... although they do become infected by and infested with that same assholery, which is why there are predatory priests, money-bilking preachers, and monks who get drunk and sleep with women in the laity. It's a shame when religion gets corrupted that way; uncorrupted, it provides avenues for the practicing of better thoughts and behaviors.

Feels before facts is definitely an operant principle in East Asian society, which is more about shame (which is public) than guilt (which is private), and more about talking than listening, all in avoidance of the truth. I've probably been guilty of following that principle myself on more than one occasion, but that doesn't make me hate the principle any less.

*There's something unsettling about her expression in the video's thumbnail. I can't quite put my finger on it, but it creeps me out. From any other angle, and with any other facial expression, Awkwafina looks perfectly normal. She's old enough to have developed a nice, ripe ajumma face, so aside from this thumbnail, there's nothing creepy about her.

surprise, surprise: celebrities are hypocrites

The indispensable Tim Pool:

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Fortuna Wu rides a tiger

I'm writing a textbook chapter on private transportation (having just written a chapter on public transportation), and on a whim, I typed "riding a tiger" into Google because I was in a silly mood and thinking about unconventional/implausible modes of private transportation. The search somehow led me to photos of several versions of the statue you see below, called by various names, "Fortuna Wu Riding a Tiger" being one of them. I love the god's war face. In some versions of the statue, the tiger also seems to be putting on its war face, but in the photo below, the tiger looks more cheerfully high than actually scary. This sucks out most of the statue's dignity, which is why I love this particular pic:

I'd buy this statue—exactly this one—if I could.


Austrian Racer Andreas Nikolaus "Niki" Lauda, whose life was dramatized in the movie "Rush" (reviewed here), has died at the age of 70. I saw the news a couple days ago on my Gab feed, but it didn't sink in until a day or so later. I know little about the real-life Lauda, except that he was a burn victim from a 1976 crash during a race (depicted in the movie), and that he suffered kidney problems for years. Those problems may have contributed to his death at 70, which is now a comparatively young age to die.

RIP, Herr Lauda.

meme via Bill

The image below has special meaning for me because I've thought this for a while, now, especially when I was in France last year and rediscovered that France had banned plastic grocery bags back in 2016 (I knew this but had forgotten). They've just been banned here in Korea, as well, but you can still get plastic garbage bags for your groceries. I always reuse mine as trash-can liners for my recycling. I have six wastebaskets in my apartment.

People need to get their story straight. And this is another example of how "scientific" thinking, translated into policy, leads to stupid, unanticipated outcomes.

Vietnamese(?) shrimp

Tuesday evening, I got dinner at the Vietnamese resto in my new office building's basement. This time around, I ordered the spring rolls (no pics—sorry; ate 'em fast) and something called "cream shrimp," which turned out to be a texturally and aesthetically crazy dish, as you'll see in the following photos:

What you see above is a pile of shrimp wrapped in either super-thin pasta or super-thin shoestring potatoes, then deep-fried and tossed onto a pile before finally being sprinkled with canned berries in sugar syrup and drizzled with a balsamic reduction (the black syrup) that made me wonder just how Vietnamese this dish was. The cream—for this was "cream shrimp"—was put into a tiny cup off to the side of the chaotic mess. I guess the chef was going for a bird's-nest aesthetic. It worked, and it made the meal into an interesting puzzle as I tried to figure out how best to approach it.

I could tell that the pile of bird's-nest-fried shrimp wasn't entirely made of shrimp: no Korean restaurant is ever that generous with shrimp. As I guessed—and I was right—the center of the pile was composed of vegetables—baby greens of some kind or other, in this case. I started off by trying to minimize the chaos by eating my way around each shrimp's fried "beard," trimming the tangle down with my teeth, going along each shrimp's perimeter until I had a roughly shrimp-like shape in my chopsticks. Crunchy carbs flew everywhere as I nibbled. I then dipped the pared-down shrimp in the cream sauce, which was actually very light and tasty, and flavored with fresh mango.

Below, you see the moment when I confirmed my theory and unearthed the veggies:

The greens weren't tossed in any sort of sauce, which made them kind of boring, and which made me belatedly realize that I was probably supposed to drizzle the cream sauce all over both the shrimp and the greens. As I said, the meal was a puzzle that I had to figure out. I don't think I fully understood it until I was two-thirds of the way through it. All in all, I enjoyed the experience of eating this delightfully confusing dish, but the cost was fairly steep at W20,000. Can't wait to get back on my austerity program. The austerity has made me realize how casually I spend right and left, and even though I've considered myself fairly fiscally disciplined—which is why I've been able to chop my debt down to its current point—I now know I have a long way to go when it comes to thrift.

Monday night lights

Saw the following phenomenon while on my nocturnal walk Monday night:

Confirmed with Google's Sky Map app on my phone:

So yes, that's the moon, very out of focus, and Jupiter beneath it, shining brightly. Jupiter is called Mok-seong in Korean, the Tree Star or the Wood Star. I haven't checked an etymological dictionary to find out why. It probably has to do with the five elements found in pre-Taoist Chinese cosmology, which also mark the days of the week in Korea and Japan (but, strangely, not in China, where the terms and concepts come from): fire (hwa/火/화, Tuesday), water (su/水/수, Wednesday), wood (mok/木/목, Thursday), metal (geum/金/금, Friday), and earth (to/土/토, Saturday). Rounding out the week: Sunday is il/日/일, i.e., the sun (or "day"); Monday is weol/月/월, i.e., the moon. The Korean calendar week begins on Monday, as in most Western European countries.

So what does it mean when Monday sits above Thursday? Is Luna straddling Thor? Am I mixing my mythologies too much? I should lay off the shrooms.


The Korean in the pic below (chorok yojeong) says "Green Fairy."

I don't think the graphic designer knows what a green fairy is in the West.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

PJW on Brexit and European elections

Years have passed since the British people voted in 2016 to leave the EU. UK politicians, fearful of change but not fearful enough of the will of their own people, have dithered all this time. Prime Minister Theresa May, herself a Remainer who was somehow placed in charge of brokering a Brexit deal with the EU, stands on the political cliff's edge. Neither Brexiteers nor Remainers are happy with her limp-wristed attempts at deal-making. Can't say I blame either side for being angry. And now, with the latest round of elections about to happen, Nigel Farage's Brexit party looks to be cleaning house. This is karma, folks, and I'm glad to witness it coming home to roost. Some Kevins just want to watch the world burn.

Here's Paul Joseph Watson's latest on the current British madness. Take special note of the video footage of the stand-up comic who uses a Burger King metaphor to explain what the hell is currently going on. Best Brexit metaphor I've heard so far.

As an American who recognizes and loves Great Britain as the cultural and political parent of the United States, I very much want to see a free and independent UK, liberated from EU tyranny. The British people deserve nothing less than their own sovereignty, whatever those cringe-y, clingy, shamefully diminished, EU-teat-sucking Scots might say.

Tim Pool on the dystopia that has already arrived

Styxhexenhammer666 was ranting about this months ago, but Tim Pool has now taken up the flag: the Orwellian Chinese social-credit system is here in the West and already at work, dividing society and determining status and privilege.

Deepfake audio

This sure as hell sounds like Joe Rogan, even if the rhythm is a bit unnatural:

As this tech gets better and better, Baudrillard smiles ever wider from his grave. If we aren't living in a simulation now, we'll be living in one soon enough.

Jocko Willink will change you

Think what you will about Prager U, the video channel that calls itself a university, but the channel does get some interesting speakers on occasion. I liked the message in the video below, given by Jocko Willink, a former Navy SEAL and current author/podcaster who focuses on a tough-love form of self-improvement. Watch the video (which, to my mind, preaches only commonsense values), then read on to see some of the comments I thought were funny. I normally can't stand wading through YouTube comments, but in this case, the humor followed a singular theme, albeit in many variations, as you'll see below.

Some of the funnier comments, reprinted errors and all:

I just tore off my shirt and roared.

This video just boosted my testosterone levels.

after watching this video 456 millienial snowflakes needed medical attention

I watched this on a cheap laptop, now it's a quantum computer

I just show this to my labrador, it became a wolf at the end

Jocko looks more dangerous in a suit.

I started doing pushups as soon as he started talking.

My phone battery has a full charge. It was 30% when the video started

Weakness has nightmares about Jocko

I showed this video to my fish for an hour, now it becomes a shark

I just showed this to my pet gecko, and it turned into a DRAGON

Im canadian, I didnt know who jocko was. I came here, saw him, was scared, listened to him. Agreed.

I showed this to my cat. She's a tiger now and killing my family. Thanks.

46 Soy Boy Gammas disliked, so far.

I grew a six pack on my ball sack after listening to this dude.

They should put this man in every college safe space.

Monday, May 20, 2019


Donald Trump thinks Mayor Pete Buttigieg ("Buddha-jedge" or "boot-edge-edge") looks like Alfred E. Neuman of Mad Magazine's "What, Me Worry?" fame.

Buttigieg, in his blandly Midwestern way, cheerfully responded to Trump's attempted insult by replying, "I'll be honest: I had to Google that. I guess it's just a generational thing. I didn't get the reference. It's kind of funny, I guess." I think we'll be seeing a lot more such verbal judo from Buttigieg. Personally, though, I think Trump should have gone for a more recent, more culturally relevant reference:

Lots of luck, Sheldon.

You can read a summary of Pete Buttigieg's positions at I've also been reading up on Andrew Yang—mainly for shits and giggles, not because I consider either of these guys to be serious contenders. Yet.

GOT reactions

Viewers have been up in arms about Season 8 of "Game of Thrones" (GOT). I've done my best to avoid spoilers about what actually happens, but because I'm an inveterate YouTube-watcher, I can't help but see the tenor of certain video titles. Season 8 is being trashed as poorly written, lazily thought out, and simply unjust toward the characters that had been developed over seven previous seasons. Here's one funny take on GOT:

the most disturbing thing you'll see today

Elon Musk's face mapped onto babies via Deepfake software:

Ahnold gets kicked in the back

Arnold Schwarzenegger is over 70, but he's still what the French would call costaud, i.e., bulky. While in South Africa to promote his @Arnoldsports program, Schwarzenegger was drop-kicked by some angry nutball. Arnold apparently got back up and kept doing what he was doing for the rest of his scheduled agenda. My buddy Mike reported that the kicker hurt his leg in striking Arnold; the attacker, shouting incoherently, was tackled by security and taken to police. Schwarzenegger got on Twitter to say he didn't initially realize he'd been kicked because crowds jostle him all the time. He added that he would not be pressing charges. He hoped the attacker would get his life together, and finally, Arnold urged his fans to focus on the athletes at the event, not on the attack.

Arnold's a classy guy. Lesser men would scream and roll around like drama-queen soccer players, then shriek about bringing the full force of the law down on their attackers.

When I saw the video, my first reaction was, "That's not a drop kick: that's one of those funky, WWE-style flying double kicks." Well, it turns out that, in the WWE, the attacker's kick is indeed called a drop kick (or "dropkick"), even though it involves nothing that drops. A typical drop kick involves lifting one knee very high, then swiftly dropping that knee while doing a front kick with the opposite leg. In sports that use balls, a drop kick involves literally dropping the ball into the path of your already-moving kicking leg, as in rugby. Either way, a drop kick normally involves something dropping. The kick executed against Arnold, despite being termed a drop kick, didn't follow those patterns. It looked a lot like this:


Sunday, May 19, 2019

who's more in touch with reality?

Tim Pool cites Jonathan Haidt's The Righteous Mind (which I'm currently reading) to submit that moderates and conservatives generally have a better grip on reality than leftists/liberals do. You've probably already heard of the psych study in which people of differing political alignments were asked to think, for a moment, like someone on the opposite side of the aisle to predict how that opposite would react to certain hypothetical situations. Moderates and conservatives turned out to be significantly better at predicting left/liberal reactions than vice versa. That indicates something about one's groundedness in reality. Let me emphasize that this finding says something about general tendencies, but nothing about exceptions to those tendencies. As I've noted before, the left-leaning people in orbit around my blog tend not to be the irrational, unmoored-from-reality types highlighted in this study. I may have deep disagreements with some of these good folks, but we're capable of having reasonable discussions about our differences. One or two leftie commenters here are not like that—they prefer confrontational trolling–but they're very much the minority in terms of my own experience with leftists. The lefties I know are more or less like Tim Pool himself.

Anyway, enjoy Pool's take on this topic:

Saturday, May 18, 2019

a trip out to Yangpyeong

As I'd threatened to do, I trained out to Yangpyeong, a town I'm growing to like a lot for its relative quiet and simplicity. I'm actually thinking of doing another 58-kilometer walk out to Yangpyeong in early June. Much of that walk will occur at night, so I'll suffer under the sun for only, oh, six or seven hours. Korean summer will be well under way in two weeks, so I'll have to wear the toshi sleevelets and my trusty hat to keep from burning myself. Unfortunately, I'll also have to carry substantially more water: with the heat comes sweat, and with sweat comes dehydration. Early June isn't full-on summer, but we're already hitting 80℉ (26.7℃) by early afternoon, which is past the optimal hiking time of year for yours truly. Hiking at night alleviates (well, eliminates) the problem for a bit less than half the total walk, but I'll still be suffering Mother Nature's wrath for more than half of the trek.

That is neither here nor there for the moment, though: let's return to our muttons, as the French say, and talk about today's trip out to Yangpyeong. As mentioned, I trained out via Seoul's Line 3 subway, transferring to the Gyeongeui Central Line, which stretches out beyond Seoul, going all the way east to Jipyeong, which sits almost exactly between the east and west coasts of South Korea. (Yangpyeong actually isn't too far away from Jipyeong.)

I went for my tangsuyuk meal first, as you'll see below. The meal was almost as crunchy as last time, but if I order this again, I'm going to ask to have the sauce put off to the side so I can experience maximum crunchiness. I then marched across town and finally—finally!—got that goddamn certification stamp, which had eluded me since 2017. That was a moment of grim victory for me. You'll see those photos below as well.

There wasn't much left to do except to hop back on the subway and head for Seoul. When I reached the Line 3 transfer point, though, I headed north to Jongno 3-ga to visit the electric/electronic market of Saeun Sangga to pick up a "down" transformer. The old guy running one of the few shops still open at 8 p.m. was happy that I could speak Korean with him; I checked to make sure the transformer had three-hole sockets before I bought it. The device set me back W18,000, which is a rise from its 2005-era price of about W15,000. Very few prices are immune to inflation, except maybe for contact lenses: I've always paid W70,000 for lenses that last a year. Strange how that works.

Anyway, enjoy the pics that follow. Sorry for the rambling.

Tangsuyuk (sweet-sour pork), with onions all plucked out:

Once more at the certification center:

The pad on which to test your stamp before you do your stamping:

The page on which I'd written "NOT FOUND!" in 2017, about to get a triumphant makeover:

FOUND! (Again, with thanks to Paul Carver.)

I also stamped a blank page in my Moleskine, just to have a clean image:



two more paintings from Ajumma

I'm always proud to slap these up. I think my #3 Ajumma could give my great-uncle Trav a run for his money. She's got talent, and not just with Western painting: she does Korean brush art as well. One of her huge Korean pieces hangs in the stairwell of the apartment building she owns and manages. Landlording used to be a two-person job, but as you know, her husband, my #3 Ajeossi, passed away from liver cancer on January 17.

Click on this first image to enlarge (click, then right-click to see full-size):

No need to click this next one:

more than meets the eye

Look at the text on the front of the device. Am I now a trans person?

Styx gets angry and defends little Soph

Awesome First Amendment rant by Styx regarding Soph, the 14-year-old potty-mouthed-but-hilarious kid about whom I'd blogged earlier.

"worst bigot ever"

On Instapundit and other right-leaning sites, there's a joking meme—"Worst Bigot Ever!"—that goes around whenever President Trump does something that flies in the face of the leftie narrative—a narrative that repeatedly claims, without actual evidence, that Trump is the worst of the worst bigots out there. You can see photos of Trump from years ago, pressing the flesh with the likes of Al Sharpton and Jessie Jackson, but nope—Trump hates black people. You can see how Trump used to hang with racial and sexual minorities back when he was an openly liberal Democrat, but nope—Trump is a racist, a homophobe, a xenophobe, first cousin of Hitler, etc. Whenever Trump achieves something that leftists ought to applaud, they ignore the achievement because it doesn't fit the pre-set narrative.

And, for the latest edition of "worst homophobe ever," we have this:

Historic Fact: Donald Trump Will Be The First President To Support Gay Marriage From The Beginning*

by Bruce Carroll

At the start, I should note that I was an original “Never Trump” conservative. I opposed the candidacy of Donald Trump from the day he came down the Trump Tower escalator.

In November, I didn’t vote for President Trump, nor Hillary Clinton. In fact, I was a Presidential Elector from South Carolina for Evan McMullin – should he have won.

With those personal caveats behind me, I must admit that this Administration will be historic for gay and lesbian Americans. Donald Trump is the first President of the United States who was elected as an open supporter of the gay community at large and gay marriage specifically.

Let us not forget that until it was politically expedient, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton both opposed gay marriage for the overwhelming majority of the time taxpayers paid for their lifestyles.

It took Dick Cheney in 2004 and Joe Biden in 2008 for President Obama to voice support of gay marriage. Even then, it took a conservative Supreme Court to make national gay marriage the law of the land.

I know, inconvenient truths are hard to digest for the left-wing gay activists. Donald Trump has been far ahead of the crowd on several issues, including gay rights.

Take your narrative and suck it. And if you're a gay leftie unaware you're being used, well, maybe it's time to wake up and smell the KY.

*NB: the article is two months old, but it's only gained national traction as of today, making it "news" for the rest of us proles.

today's agenda

Woke up with a sore throat from having the A/C on all night while I slept. I think the A/C's filter needs a good cleaning so it's not blowing pathogens all over my apartment. My company says it's possible to arrange a deep cleaning of the A/C, but it'll cost around $60, US. I wonder what the point is, though, because these A/Cs get stinky after only a few weeks' use.

Anyway, a quick gargle with some hydrogen peroxide, and I'm better. Ready to face the day. It's a three-pronged mission today: (1) train out to Yangpyeong and eat that glorious tangsuyuk, (2) get my Yangpyeong certification stamp while I'm there, and (3) start doing some crucial shopping for the upcoming return to austerity. I also need to buy a second "down" transformer for my Cuisinart food processor. I don't think this agenda is all that difficult to accomplish, so I anticipate having a fulfilling, productive Saturday.

Rock on.

Friday, May 17, 2019

"Cold Pursuit": two-paragraph review

2019's "Cold Pursuit" stars Liam Neeson and is directed by Hans Petter Moland, who directed the 2014 "Kraftidioten," a.k.a. "In Order of Disappearance," of which the current film is a nearly shot-for-shot remake (the Norwegian original starred Stellan Skarsgård in the Neeson role). Neeson plays the role of Nels Coxman,* a taciturn snowplow driver in Colorado whose primary job is to keep a crucial road open between the small resort town of Kehoe and the larger city of Denver. Laura Dern plays Coxman's wife Grace, and Micheál Richardson stars as Kyle Coxman, Nels's son. It's no spoiler to say that Kyle is killed at the beginning of the film; it's his death that sets events in motion. When the authorities find Kyle's body, they tell the distraught parents that Kyle—who had been working air cargo at a local airport—died of a heroin overdose. Grace sinks into despair, feeling that she never knew her son; Nels, for his part, refuses to believe his son was ever a druggie, and it becomes his mission in life to find out what happened to Kyle, and to exact revenge on the boy's killers. The rest of the story recounts Nels's campaign to take down a drug cartel as he fights his way up the ladder to the big boss, a smug son of a bitch nicknamed Viking (Tom Bateman, who has an awesome radio voice).

"Cold Pursuit" was apparently billed as a black comedy. It's based so closely on the 2014 Norwegian "Kraftidioten" as to be practically the same film, which makes me wonder—as I often wonder whenever I see an American remake—why the fuck this film was even made. It's not horrible, as remakes go: "Cold Pursuit" has a lot of heavy hitters in it, including powerhouse character-actor William Forsythe and chiseled/grizzled Raoul Trujillo, whom you might remember from his muscular performance in "Apocalypto." That said, I saw enough clips of the 2014 film to realize that little imagination had been spent on making the American version of the story. The main difference is that the drug cartel that rivals Viking's cartel is run by Native Americans. Director Moland doesn't seem to know what to do with the Native Americans, either: he sometimes plays them for comedy, and sometimes for pathos, occasionally evoking the not-so-ancient history of the arrival of the white man in North America, and the disaster that befell American Indians as a result. I was bitterly reminded that I wasn't watching "Wind River," a powerful story that actually takes Native Americans and their plight seriously. The way I see it, "Cold Pursuit" did have its darkly funny moments, but it was full of implausibilities that put it in the same ballpark as "Braven," and the script missed a whole raft of opportunities for character development: Grace Coxman comes off as little more than a quietly hateful bitch, and the rapport between Viking's son and Nels, while cute, hints tantalizingly at something deeper. All in all, "Cold Pursuit" felt more like a half-assed reminder of superior films than a complete film in and of itself.

*The dick jokes regarding Coxman's surname are obvious and plentiful. In the 2014 "Kraftidioten," the protag's surname, just as subtle, is Dickman.

leftist tolerance (seen on Gab)

I'm going to have to lay out my thoughts on abortion at some point (I've done so in the past, but only in a half-assed manner), but for the moment, here's an example of leftist tolerance as seen on Gab—an angry tweet by a pro-choice woman who is upset by the recent Alabama decision restricting abortion to a very narrow set of circumstances:

You can't cry "Tolerance! Civility!" and "We need to have a conversation!" out of one side of your mouth while spewing violent, rape-y rhetoric out of the other side.

While I'm on the subject of intolerant leftism, let me embed a video that I saw at a link provided by Bill Keezer:

Real geniuses, these people.

garbage people

Am I a racist for thinking that the assholes in the following video all deserve to be locked up? I just wrote about emotional incontinence among Koreans, but it's a (far worse) problem for more than just my peninsular peeps, as you'll see below.

Unfortunately, as you'll also see if you read the comments below the video, actual racism still exists, and those folks will use videos like this to justify their racism. The whole thing leaves a bad taste in one's mouth.

(Those sorts of comments are, by the way, a daily occurrence on Gab.)

a soul-draining experience

Our company's Foundation Day event turned out to be almost six hours long. Intermission occurred about two-thirds of the way through that hellish experience. One of the slogans to come out of the event was "We Comes Before Me": an invitation to succumb to the seduction of the collectivist Korean hive mind. Westerners—who should have known better—were among the sirens on stage, singing the collectivist tune. Awards were given, and 95% of the awardees who spoke ended up crying. It was touching the first couple of times, but after the tenth or eleventh person started choking up, all I could do was roll my eyes. And every time a speaker began to sob, the audience would obligingly go, "Awwww..." Good Christ. Korean society has an infinite capacity for emotional incontinence (I've stolen that term from Paul Joseph Watson), which is why K-dramas are chock-full of screamers and weepers. Emotional self-control is apparently unknown here, although I'm sure Koreans would spin the matter positively by describing themselves as "passionate." Ha!

Anyway, my ass hurt from sitting on a hard chair, so I got up and stood at the back of the auditorium until intermission, after which I simply sank down onto the floor and sat cross-legged for the rest of the event. A former coworker saw what I was doing and quietly joined me. We said nothing to each other; there was simply nothing to say. It's funny... I can walk for hours and hours in silence, but sitting for five hours in an auditorium, feeling my soul drain away, is a hellish experience. And in a signal irony, our CEO, who had the floor several times throughout the event, said at one point that time is far more precious than money. Oh, I agree! It's a shame the CEO didn't think the event was a waste of our precious time.

After the long, grinding program was over, I cabbed back to the office (Thursday was payday, so I'm off my austerity for a week while I shop and prep for the next month's discipline; taking a cab didn't involve breaking any oaths) and hung around in order to be able to walk to the bank and do my monthly international wire transfer of money to my US account. But perhaps because all the company staffers—including the finance department—were at that damn event, my direct deposit didn't happen until a bit after 4 p.m., and 4 p.m. is when my bank closes. It pissed me off that I had stayed an extra hour at the office specifically to hit the bank, only to discover my direct deposit hadn't come through in time, thus leaving me with nothing to send to the US. More time-wastage. So I'll hit the bank on Friday.

When we R&Ders all got back to the office, my coworkers professed varying degrees of pain (from those horrible chairs) and un-motivation. I'm pretty sure everyone else ended up leaving the office early, too. Can't say I blame them.

Because I went straight to my apartment after realizing I couldn't go to the bank, I got back pretty early. I told myself I'd take a long, 30K-step walk around 7:30 p.m. after taking a nap. I turned out to be too tired to do any walking, though, so I simply lazed around and visited my basement grocery, where I spent money on soda and junk food, thereby doing nothing for my health. Not to worry: I'll be back on my program soon enough.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

the awesome Imam Tawhidi speaks out again

And he takes on toxic personalities Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib:

The imam also offers a hilarious observation about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, obliquely referencing her dull intellect.

Reminder: I've written about Imam Tawhidi before. I admit I fear for his safety.

surprise, surprise

I reported, a while back, that "Bohemian Rhapsody" remained at #1 on the Korean box-office charts for a full calendar month. I was curious to see whether "Avengers: Endgame" could best that feat. I checked the Naver Movie chart today, and... nope. "Endgame," released in Korea on April 24, is already down to #2, dethroned by a Japanese movie with the Japanglish title of "My Hero Academia The Movie," directed by Kenji Nagasaki. What a way to be taken down.

more via Bill

Maybe someone would care to explain this bit of leftie hypocrisy:

The left does seem obsessed with election jiggering by Republicans, all while downplaying the way in which it wishes to jigger elections: via forced demographic shift and various forms of fraud. The left doesn't like voter ID because that would mean the frauds couldn't vote. So the left tries to turn the tables and claim the current conservative push for voter ID is all about racist disenfranchisement.

I'm happy to grant that there may actually have been a couple isolated cases of smirking Republicans who told certain groups of Democrat voters that the polls would be opening on Day X when it was actually Day Y.* Even if that malfeasance were the case, though, you'd think the people who got suckered would be suspicious enough (especially if it's untrustworthy Whitey who's bringing the news) to do a bit of verification before voting took place. You know the old saying: Fool me once, shame on you...

I haven't commented on Alyssa Milano's hilarious declaration of a "sex strike" against what she sees as ridiculous abortion laws, and I view her declaration as a separate issue from the merit of those laws. The above meme, though, makes clear how useless and substance-free Milano's gesture is. Abortion is an important issue to discuss, and people on both sides get heated because they're passionately committed to certain deep ideas. Empty gestures add nothing to the discussion, and Milano succeeds only in making herself look stupid.

*Interestingly, when you research the claim that left/Dem voters are being misled by right/Rep parties, your search results will show that these claims almost all come from leftie sources. Fascinating.

a series of wise life-choices leads to this

As you might guess, I'm uploading this because I'm bored out of my fucking mind. We're at the four-hour mark, and only now are we having an intermission.

On the bright side, I seem to have found my spirit animal.