Friday, July 6, 2012

Last Call

Nature brings us the delicious meat loaf of the sea.  Now with vanadium!

The fact that this sea creature looks exactly like a rock with guts is not even the weirdest thing about it. It’s also completely immobile like a rock — it eats by sucking in water and filtering out microorganisms — and its clear blood mysteriously secretes a rare mineral called vanadium. Also, it’s born male, becomes hermaphroditic at puberty, and reproduces by tossing clouds of sperm and eggs into the surrounding water and hoping they knock together. Nature, you are CRAZY.

Self-sexing vanadium-secreting intestine-rock thing is actually called Pyura chilensis (terser, though less descriptive), and it’s found off the coast of Chile and Peru. Locals eat it raw or in stews, and non-locals describe the taste as “bitter” and “soapy” with a “weird iodine flavor.” Sort of what you’d expect from a meat-rock, I guess? Maybe that’s the vanadium, a mineral also found in crude oil and tar sands — creatures like P. chilensis can have up to 10 million times more vanadium in their bodies than is found in the surrounding water, for no obvious reason.

And this evolved.  It evolved FOR REASONS.  Personally, I think it evolved just to piss the rest of the world off with its complete disregard for your narrow human notions of existence.  Pyura chilensis is tired of your crap, man.  Come at him.  Sure he looks like savory meat loaf.  Sure his defense mechanism is looking like savory meat loaf.  But even the locals say he tastes like soap.  Just to piss you off.

Nature is awesome.

Ain't That The Pitts

Brad Pitt's mother wrote a letter to the News-Leader, Springfield's local paper, saying the exact opposite of what her son believes.

Any Christian who does not vote or writes in a name is casting a vote for Romney’s opponent, Barack Hussein Obama — a man who sat in Jeremiah Wright’s church for years, did not hold a public ceremony to mark the National Day of Prayer, and is a liberal who supports the killing of unborn babies and same-sex marriage.
Well, while she is praying, perhaps she should try using her brain as well.  The full letter is short and completely not-exciting.  It's nothing you haven't read before, what's surprising is that the News-Leader apparently wasn't forthcoming about who she was, and later amended the page to acknowledge she is Brad and Doug's mother.  C'mon, folks.  My teenage niece knows the name Jane Pitt.  If you're from Springfield, you know these things.

The Huffington Post had a nice bit on it as well.

In a letter to Missouri's Springfield News-Leader, Jane Pitt expresses her support for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, noting that "any Christian should spend much time in prayer before refusing to vote for a family man with high morals, business experience, who is against abortion, and shares Christian conviction concerning homosexuality just because he is a Mormon."
So, if you're not an uptight, bossy, holier-than-everyone person who feels entitled to force people to live by a code they may not believe in, you're a baby murdering liberal who couldn't possibly know a thing about anything.  

I don't know Jane Pitt.  I have met Doug on a few occasions, from Art Walk to business functions.  He probably doesn't remember me from beans, but I have enjoyed a few stories (none of them about his famous brother, strange enough).  He never made polarizing political statements, but I got the feeling he was liberal-ish just from tidbits and overhearing him discuss his travels and experiences.  Brad Pitt has been an outspoken supporter of gay marriage and gay rights, as has Angelina Jolie.  Though our area overflows with bigots and religious know-it-alls, I expected better from the mother of two intelligent and talented men.

 It's okay to be Mormon.  But you better not be queer or black, because then you're in for it.  Thanks for setting us straight.

Re-Birther Of The Uncool, Part 4

The racist, jackass Birthers are back, this time trying to get President Obama thrown off the ballot in Ohio over his Social Security number.

If Barack Obama has an immediate eligibility problem, it is more likely to derive from the Social Security Number he has been using for the last 35 years than from his birth certificate. Ohio private investigator Susan Daniels has seen to that. On Monday, July 2, she filed suit in Geauga County (Ohio) Common Pleas Court demanding that Jon Husted, Ohio secretary of state, remove Obama’s name from the ballot until Obama can prove the validity of his Social Security Number.
Daniels, who has vetted thousands of Social Security Numbers for numerous other clients, has done her homework. In her filing, she thoroughly documents her contention “that Barack Obama has repeatedly, consistently, and with intent misrepresented himself by using a fraudulently obtained Social Security Number.” To acquire appropriate standing in court, Daniels has gone to the trouble of establishing herself as a valid write-in candidate for president. Before she is through, this 70-something mother of seven, who has been a licensed Ohio PI since 1995, may cause Obama more trouble than the Romney campaign.

Only one problem.  Like everything else that Drudge pushes, it's not true.

Prior to 1972, cards were issued in local Social Security offices around the country and the Area Number represented the State in which the card was issued. This did not necessarily have to be the State where the applicant lived, since a person could apply for their card in any Social Security office. Since 1972, when SSA began assigning SSNs and issuing cards centrally from Baltimore, the area number assigned has been based on the ZIP code in the mailing address provided on the application for the original Social Security card. The applicant's mailing address does not have to be the same as their place of residence. Thus, the Area Number does not necessarily represent the State of residence of the applicant, either prior to 1972 or since.

This nonsense was shot down years ago.  But racist assholes who will never accept a black President will do anything to keep him off the ballot in states, including clogging up the courts with frivolous lawsuits again and again and again.   It's embarrassing, and the number one source of news for the right pushes it as if it's fact.

So of course ignorant Republicans believe what they are force-fed.  That's why we have to counter with the truth.

Man Draws Attention For Impersonating Meat Loaf

A man has bought the web address and has been impersonating the singer.  Michael Aday, the man most of us know would do anything for love, has been trying to free up the name or at least stop the man from taking advantage of fans.

Meat Loaf claims Torkington -- who's based in the UK -- has no right to own or use the domain name, and is currently breaking the law by cybersquatting ... in violation of the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act.

Meat Loaf wants Torkington to shut down his website and hand over the domain. He also wants $100,000 in damages.

Calls to Torkington were not returned.
There's a law on his side, but I don't know what it allows for damages or the boundaries it sets for wording and disclosure, but taking advantage of people is a no-no regardless.

Whew! Pilot Wasn't Criminal, Just Crazy

I feel relieved, how about you?

(Reuters) - A Texas judge on Tuesday found a JetBlue pilot insane and not guilty of interfering with a flight after his bizarre behavior forced an emergency landing in March.
Clayton Osbon, 49, had been charged with interference with a flight crew and could have faced up to 20 years in prison.
Court documents show U.S. District Judge Mary Lou Robinson in Amarillo, Texas, received a report from a psychological examination that concluded, "at the time of the commission of the offense, the defendant appeared to suffer from a severe mental disease or defect that impaired his ability to appreciate the nature, quality, or wrongfulness of his behavior."
All parties, including the prosecutors, agreed to the report.
Last month, Judge Robinson declared Osbon fit to stand trial, saying he was "not now suffering from a mental disease or defect" that would make it impossible for him to assist in his own defense.

Well, isn't that bloody convenient.  It's amazing how dodging a 20 year prison sentence can make one feel better about themselves.

I'm calling bullshit.  You don't flip crazy to sane like a switch.  He's either guilty or still insane.  I find it hard to believe he could try to have it both ways, but here you see it.

And The Wind Cried Ashleigh

Apparently Joe Walsh likes addressing media figures by their first name.  A lot.

Tea Party favorite freshman Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL) took to CNN today to do damage control over his critical remarks about his congressional challenger’s military record. But the appearance quickly went awry, with a frustrated Walsh repeating host Ashleigh Banfield’s name dozens of times as he tried to cut in and speak his mind.

When Banfield asked Walsh if he’d verbally slipped up in saying that opponent Tammy Duckworth—who lost both legs as a result of injuries sustained when an RPG struck her helicopter in Iraq—is not a “true hero” because she talks too much about her military service, Walsh offered no apology but a slight clarification.

“No, Ashleigh, this wasn’t a slip-up. I don’t regret anything I said,” Walsh said. “Understand me. Every man and woman who’s worn the uniform is a hero in my book.”

Walsh blamed the Duckworth campaign for “manufacturing” the story because they’d caught it on tape, though Banfield wouldn’t bite, saying that the comment would have been equally controversial no matter who caught it. As the conversation wound aimlessly around this back and forth, Walsh began repeating, “Ashleigh,” over and over in an attempt to silence the host and return to his talking points in an instance reminiscent of when Michele Bachmann raised her hand and repeatedly called CNN Host Anderson Cooper’s name during a presidential debate last year.

A Huffington Post supercut of the interview shows Walsh saying, “Ashleigh” around 90 times.

By the way, if you think Joe Walsh is kind of a dirtbag for going after double amputee and war heroine Tammy Duckworth like that, clearly you forget how Republicans called Georgia triple amputee and war hero Max Cleland a terrorist sympathizer and Saxby Chambliss won Cleland's Senate seat in 2002.

Joe Walsh is still a deadbeat dad, by the way.  But he's betting he can play the race, gender, and amputee card to win in Congress.

Another Milepost On The Road To Oblivion

Post-racial America in 2012 is awesome, is it not?

All loving Christians are invited to celebrate the word of God at Rev. William Collier’s annual conference — that is, as long and they are white. Collier’s Alabama town is outraged over the flyer for his pastors’ conference, which specifies “All White Christians Invited.”

The town’s mayor is renouncing the Reverend, saying that such hate speech is unwelcome in the town. But Collier defended the flyer this week, saying that he isn’t a racist — just that “the white race is God’s chosen people”.

Sure, that's okay.  If you think the NAACP or Jewish groups are racist, but White Christians need their own conference that isn't racist because you think it's a fact they are God's chosen, then it's okay.

So, is he voting for the Mormon or the black guy for President, one has to wonder.


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