Monday, May 26, 2008

Check out ERV.

The LOL-speak gets a bit annoying sometimes, but Abbie Smith is an up-and-coming doctoral student in virology who writes a hell of a good blog (and she hates Creationist 'tards every bit as much as I do, which doesn't hurt her cause). This might be her finest post.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Cycling: Bennati's Custom Race Bike

For ordinary readers, this might not be very interesting, but for hard-core bike nerds, I hope you find it fascinating.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The other convention

The hell with the Rs and Ds, here's a party I can support.

Catholic "sex"

If you can call it that.

The handbooks listed recommended penance of bread, water, and abstinence for exotic congress....By the 1400s, it seems, the Church had to give up on such detailed analyses, possibly because the congregation was beginning to get ideas.
What I wanna know is, what's so different about today? The Church still condemns a lot of things that give you pleasure and don't lead to having babies, because they need to breed more collection plate contributors. And the Church is hemorrhaging parishioners in their 20s and 30s because they know Rome is completely out of touch with the modern world, and they don't have to put up with the BS anymore.

The problem is, not everyone gets the fact that everyone should be treated equally, and by that I mean gays and lesbians. Dan Savage, speaking on the occasion of the death of Pope John Paul II:
When the pope--the dead one, the next one, the one after that--says something stupid about homosexuality, straight Americans listen. The church's efforts have helped defeat gay rights bills, lead to the omission of gays from hate-crime statutes, and helped to pass anti-gay-marriage amendments. But when a pope says something stupid about heterosexuality, straight Americans go deaf....John Paul II had a longer list of "no's" for straights than he did for gays. But when he tried to meddle in the private lives of straights, the same people who deferred to his delicate sensibilities where my rights were concerned suddenly blew the old asshole off. Gay blowjobs are expendable, it seems; straight ones are sacred.
I may have mentioned this a time or two, but the Church is in no position (har) to comment about sexuality or perversions. What's really perverse is how many lives these people continue to screw up.

(HT: Sullivan)

Humor as Truth

If only it weren't true...

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Cycling log: 5/21/2008

24 miles
13.1 mph
I needed some stress relief.
My shoulders hurt.
My brain is fried.
Subject verb predicate.
I suck as a cyclist.
I fear I'm worse as a human being.

I hurt myself today
To see if I still feel
I focus on the pain
The only thing that's real

Former Gitmo detainee becomes Obama delegate.

Great symbolism.

Quote of the day.

"Boy band creator sentenced to 25 years in prison"

Unfortunately, the offense for which he was sentenced was NOT the creation of N'Sync, but still...

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Voting for Hillary would kill me

But this editorial from the New York Times explains why I'd have to:

"Mr. McCain predictably criticized liberal judges, vowed strict adherence to the founders’ views and promised to appoint more judges in the mold of Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito. That is just what the country does not need."

Obama: Who are you calling an appeaser?

Taken straight from Sullivan:

"Here's the truth: the Soviet Union had thousands of nuclear weapons, and Iran doesn't have a single one. But when the world was on the brink of nuclear holocaust, Kennedy talked to Khrushchev and he got those missiles out of Cuba. Why shouldn't we have the same courage and the confidence to talk to our enemies? That's what strong countries do, that's what strong presidents do, that's what I'll do when I'm president of the United States of America." - Barack Obama.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Paul Krugman on transportation problems

An excellent analysis. Money quote:

"If Europe’s example is any guide, here are the two secrets of coping with expensive oil: own fuel-efficient cars, and don’t drive them too much."

Or, you can do what I do: ride a bike and hope you don't get hit.

Seriously, we've backed ourselves into a corner when it comes to living in neighborhoods so far away from our workplaces, and I'm fortunate in the respect that I can ride the mere 5 miles to work on good pathways and streets. Lots and lots of people aren't so fortunate.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Cycling: David Millar plays disc golf with his bike.

Joe Lindsey:

"I have to say I'd probably be pretty pissed if I just about nutted myself on my top tube in a full sprint."

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Quote of the day.

"I'll tell you what, I'm getting sick and tired of riding the bike."
Tiger Woods, rehabbing from an April 15 left knee arthroscopy.

From RBR Online.

Woody, you're not riding a bike, you're riding a vaguely bike-like exercise device. Get a real bike, you'll discover the difference. Call me sometime, I'll be glad to show you the ropes.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Olbermann: Special comment on Bush

Richard Dawkins and Jaron Lanier

Fascinating conversation. Hat tip,

Keith Olbermann and Bill Moyers

Moyers still has it:

Cycling Sidekick

My faithful companion, Sancho Vuelta...

Yes, Kim, it's Fat Tire.

Cycling--Make up your own joke.

Yes, it's mine.

Catholic Church forced to pay

And high time, I might add. Pharyngula has an excellent analysis here, and I agree with every word.

"These evil clowns in their funny suits are clearly out of touch. When you've defined yourself as a moral authority (often, the sole moral authority) you don't get to back away from the consequences of your actions because time has passed or because the consequences are severe. Perhaps they ought to look at this expression of tangible outrage by a community as a not-so-subtle signal that they have not and are not supporting the actual behaviors that community considers important, and regards as part of the church's trust."
A year or so ago, I received a letter from the Diocese of Dubuque, IA, under whose large shadow I grew up. I expected it to be some BS fund-raiser, but no. It was a letter basically saying, "If you were ever abused by a priest or church official, and you wanna piece of the class-action lawsuit, you have to file your claim by this date. Oh, and it's part of bankruptcy litigation."

I was never abused by any such creepy clergy, but I would have filed if I'd thought I could get away with it. The church stole enough of my family's money over the years with its false promises and outright lies about doing god's work, and it took an awfully impressionable kid like me and scared him for too many years. And now that my mother is in a Catholic nursing home, it grates on me that they're still getting money from us. I hate the Catholic Church.

Quote of the day.

I'm stealing this straight from Sullivan:

"Islam does not consider Barack Obama ever to have been part of the Muslim community. Apostasy has no relevance here," - Ingrid Mattson, president of the Islamic Society of North America, the largest umbrella Muslim group in the country.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Annika Retires

No surprise here:

"The time is right....I have seven more months and there is a lot of golf left to play, and I look forward to that. But it takes a lot of effort to be at the top, and there is a part of me that doesn't have that desire anymore....I proved today I am back, and I am leaving on my terms."
Good for you.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Quote of the day.

"The world needs another comic book movie like it needs another Bush administration..."

--Jim Emerson, Editor,, reviewing Iron Man. PS: He liked the movie.

Why I bicycle.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Pentacostal kids say the darndest things

Hat tip to PZ Myers of Pharyngula for this gem.

The Holy Ghost was so fucking cool. It made the adults look like idiots!
I nearly wet myself reading this.

It got me thinking about all those dreadful Sunday mornings growing up Catholic. And then I realized that in a weird way, my cycling has replaced Mass as my ritual, and that (even weirder) they have some things in common. Like the fact that they're both stupefyingly boring at times, and also that they absolutely CRY OUT for your mind to wander and to go searching for some type of stimulation that the activity just doesn't provide.

It's true kids--a mind is a terrible thing to waste. On religion.

Scientology uses...a cross?

I'm with Dan Savage:

"...was your crack team of imagineers pooped after making up a whole bunch of new horseshit to get your religion off the ground—which you had to do in order to compete with older, more established religions that made up their horseshit centuries ago..."
First, when did this happen? Second, who do they think they're trying to fool? And third, where's the outrage from the professionally outraged in the Christian community?

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Cycling: Would YOU Trust It?

How about a one-wheeled motorcycle?

Via Slog.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Open Letter to Michael Behe

I love good science...

And for more good science, check out Expelled

Stein on Expelled: Sinking to a new low.

Ben Stein was awarded a silver medal in Keith Olbermann's Worst Person in the World a few nights ago for his continued whoring of his new "movie" Expelled. And this one should get him the gold. Stein was recently interviewed for Christianity Today and makes a complete sleeze of himself. Here's his "aw, shucks" opener:

How familiar were you with the subject of Intelligent Design prior to this?

Stein: Not at all. I'm still not that familiar with it. I'm more familiar with it than most people, but nowhere near as familiar with it as a genuine expert in the subject. I don't pretend to be a scientist. I'm the person who moderates the discussion between and among the scientists.

You know, if you're not a professional journalist/reporter, and you're not an expert on the subject matter, you'd better work twice as hard to convince me you've done your research. Oh, wait:

Did you do a lot of reading to prep for the role?

Stein: Some. I read one book cover to cover, From Darwin to Hitler...

Not exactly balancing the ol' scales by reading On the Origin of Species, is he?

And then he follows up with this nice piece of reportorial neutrality:

Scientists were the people in Germany telling Hitler that it was a good idea to kill all the Jews. Scientists were telling Stalin it was a good idea to wipe out the middle-class peasants. Scientists were telling Mao Tse-Tung it was fine to kill 50 million people in order to further the revolution.
And it's the Jewish Anti-Defamation League that is telling Ben Stein to shut up, already:
Using the Holocaust in order to tarnish those who promote the theory of evolution is outrageous and trivializes the complex factors that led to the mass extermination of European Jewry.
Can't really argue that, can you? But then, the creationist scum for whom Stein is the official pitch man aren't interested in facts, now, are they? They're interested in the same thing in which they've always been interested: power over people's thought and keeping the pews (and collection plates) full.


Thursday, May 8, 2008

Tom Brokaw: The Disillusioned Generation

Short, but sweet. Money quote:

"I want leaders who when they fail to meet those tests are honest enough to acknowledge their errant ways."
Which we haven't gotten from Bush/Cheney. Which is why Obama is such a popular choice with people right now. And which is why McCain is trying to cover his tracks.

"Today" Sucks

Why I'm glad I'm not a news reporter, anymore.

Greatest cyclist of all time?

From Road Bike Rider Online:

Ageless (could any adjective fit better?) Jeannie Longo won France's Trophee des Grimpeurs (Climbers' Trophy) for the fourth time on Sunday. She covered the 62-km (38.4-mile) course in 1:40 to finish more than 3 minutes up. It was reported to be the 1,020th win of Longo's unending career. Next she hopes to make the French team for Beijing. She has won 4 Olympic medals since women's cycling became part of the Games in 1984. Longo turns 50 in October.

Playing Taps for Clinton

Time has an excellent analysis. It reminds me of an expression I recall that said armies are always prepared for the last war, but never the next one.

Truer than I like to admit

Gotta love Frazz:

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

McGovern deserts Clinton for Obama

Rats, sinking ships...

George McGovern (looking quite well for a man of 214) tells Hillary to beat it for the sake of party loyalty:

"I hope that she reaches that decision soon so that we can concentrate on a unified party capable of winning the White House next November."
A more succinct analysis you won't find.

And someone needs to remind everyone that the Clintons have no loyalty, except where it serves others to be loyal to them. Kick those twits out of the Democratic Party, already. And have the disinfectant on hand when you do.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Cheney Chief of Staff Subpoenaed

Better late than never, I guess.

David Addington was served with the subpoena shortly after the House Judiciary Committee approved it Tuesday morning, White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said.

Cheney's office told the committee last week Addington would appear before a Judiciary subcommittee if subpoenaed, but only if the panel limited its questions.

How's this for an opening question: are you as afraid of US as you are of Cheney? Answer: probably not.

Altogether, now: sing like a canary. Sing like a canary...

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Scientology spoof

The original:

The spoof

All hail the Flying Spaghetti Monster!

More on Scientology.

Cycling: Feherty recovering from bike crash

I'm ashamed of myself that I missed this. I'm so out of touch with the world of sports, I didn't know my favorite golf announcer nearly bought the farm being hit by a truck:

I felt a violent blow to my back, and I went flying through the air. I landed on my left side, on my left shoulder. I took a good crack to my helmet. It could have been much worse — the truck sort of pushed me off to the right, instead of sucking me underneath. Otherwise, I'd be roadkill.
This guy needs to get ahold of Dave Zabriske. The Yield to Life campaign should have a new spokesman, and they'd have a great one, as funny as Feherty is.

Ben Stein makes Olbermann's Worst

Friday, May 2, 2008

National day of prayer redux

What she said...

Quote of the day.

A classic:

“There is a theory which states that if ever anybody discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another theory which states that this has already happened.”
Douglas Adams, The Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Thursday, May 1, 2008

My new favorite band

OK, so the singer's a total hottie. I'm a guy--sue me. The song's still pretty funny.

National day of prayer

Let's just say I agree with everything PZ Myers says here.

Fuck the National Day of Prayer.