Shut Up and Let me Eat my Fish!

by Robert Nagle on 11/27/2009

in Minivideos,Offbeat/Humor

I woke up at 4:00 AM in the morning determined to write a storm of fiction. Instead I end up catching on some random blogs! Time is a-wastin.

Ok, let me get it out of the way. (Hey, it’s my birthday now).

I really enjoy satirical blogs and don’t hype them enough.

IOZ Interviews Malcolm Gladwell:

IOZ: Malcolm, what is your new book about?
MG: Well, IOZ, it’s about how when you call across a room, street, or open outdoor area to someone who hasn’t previously noticed you, they will hear you and become aware of your presence. This is really a remarkable phenomenon, but much of the newest research has yet to be written about for a general audience. I got the idea one day when I was in Manhattan. I was on Bleeker, and suddenly someone called, "Hey!" Before that, I hadn’t known he was there. Afterward, I did. So I started to ask myself, what goes on in that moment. What is the real story there? In a broader sense, it is a book about what it means to be human.
IOZ: Heady stuff, no doubt. But Malcolm, won’t some people say, oh, that is just glib repackaging of a totally banal and widely appreciated fundamental of everyday, lived experience?
MG: They might, but they would be misunderstanding the central idea of the book. You see, this isn’t a story that’s been told before. It isn’t about hearing, or voice recognition, or the habits of human public interaction. Those stories have been told before. This is really a story about an idea.

Fafblog on the Iranian threat:

Q: Is Iran a threat?
A: Oh yes. Even as we speak Iran is potentially starting the beginnings of a very possibly quite almost-real hypothetically nuclear weapons program!
Q: Oh no! How many nuclear weapons does Iran already have?
A: Counting warheads, ICBMs, mid- and long-range missiles, ABMs, tactical nukes, bunker-busters and submarine-based weaponry, the full nuclear arsenal of Iran at this moment is very rapidly just beginning to quite possibly approach a number just short of one!
Q: That makes them almost as deadly as the rogue nation of Whoville or the Islamic Republic of Candyland!
A: And they could be just months away from an actual bomb!
Q: But they’ve been just months away from a bomb for years now.
A: I know! Which means in terror years, Iran already has a bomb… in your child’s precious brain!
Q: But that’s where she keeps her sugarplum dreams!
A: That’s why it’s up to us to already have being stopped them!
Q: What will Iran do with nuclear weapons?
A: Terrible things. For a start, it will have them.
Q: Oh no!
A: And once it has them, it can threaten to use them, if anyone else tries to use them on them.
Q: There would be no defense against their self-defense.
A: They pose an existential threat to our ability to existentially threaten them.

A more caustic critique of Israeli’s military adventurism:

Israel’s critics will forever bicker over the spilled milk of Israeli policy – a few thousand homes demolished here, a few thousand corpses over there – but we must allow that Israel has a right to defend itself, and we must also allow that defending itself necessarily entails the indiscriminate bombing of thousands of screaming refugees. After all, if an implacable terrorist enemy had been launching rockets at one of your villages, wouldn’t you do everything in your power to stop them? And once those same implacable terrorist enemies agreed to a cease-fire, wouldn’t you break that cease-fire by bombing them and their families, reasoning that they are, after all, implacable terrorist enemies, and not to be trusted? And when you went to bomb those terrorists and their families, wouldn’t you also bomb everyone and everything around them, reasoning that only a terrorist would live near, go to school with, or be hospitalized in the same vicinity as a terrorist? And when you went to bomb everything around them, wouldn’t you be sure to plan that bombing months before the event that nominally precipitated it? And before planning that massive bombing campaign, wouldn’t you be sure to cut the entire population off from terrorist food, militant medicine, and jihadist electricity for months in advance? And when that population retaliated against your pre-retaliation retaliation by launching rockets at one of your villages, wouldn’t that merely confirm their nature as implacable terrorist enemies who must be destroyed at any cost?

This satire might require an explanation. Some wingnuts were gloating  over some emails which “prove” that climate scientists have been lying to us all the time. Never mind the fact that stealing emails is illegal and desperate. Carbonfixated has the dirt on the damning correspondence between Newton and Leibniz!

If you own any shares in companies that produce reflecting telescopes, use differential and integral calculus, or rely on the laws of motion, I should start dumping them NOW. The conspiracy behind the calculus myth has been suddenly, brutally and quite deliciously exposed after volumes of Newton’s private correspondence were compiled and published.

When you read some of these letters, you realise just why Newton and his collaborators might have preferred to keep them confidential. This scandal could well be the biggest in Renaissance science. These alleged letters – supposedly exchanged by some of the most prominent scientists behind really hard math lessons – suggest:

Conspiracy, collusion in covering up the truth, manipulation of data, private admissions of flaws in their public claims and much more.

But perhaps the most damaging revelations are those concerning the way these math nerd scientists may variously have manipulated or suppressed evidence to support their cause.

Facebook humor:

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Jared Spool on Revealing Design Treasures on Amazon.com. If you want, you can just click through the slides to get an idea what is going on, but Spool is a dynamite speaker. I attended a conference he put on in 2000 where he talked about the number of people who mistakenly bought tickets online for Disneyland when they actually had intended to go to Disneyworld.

Ok, a quiz. Can you guess who made this statement?

I am not going to discuss now whether we did the right thing by going there. But it is a fact that we went there absolutely not knowing the psychology of the people, or the real situation in the country. And everything that we were and are doing in Afghanistan is inconsistent with the moral face of our country.

(The answer is here).

Comic Jon Hodgeman asks in a 14 minute video if  Obama is really a nerd.  Entertaining.

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Christopher Beam compiles an index of Sarah Palin’s new book. I’m no fan of Palin, but at the supermarket I found myself salivating over Palin’s Runner’s World cover picture – which also went on the cover of Newsweek.

David Pogue on deliberately comical Amazon reviews. See the UFO-02 Detector, the Mountain Men 3 Wolf T-shirt, Tuscan Whole Milk.

Oh, f—-. My browser just crashed. (I was just thinking to myself, it’s a good thing my Firefox browser hasn’t crashed; I have a lot of windows open which I need to get to). Thanks, firefox.

Egad, there’s no need to cuss. It’s just a browser; it’s not as if anyone has died or a comet is about to hit the earth.  I’ve started to take pride in avoiding profanity. I’m not a prude about profanity; but it becomes dull very quickly. 

Meanwhile, let’s consult Samuel Beckett:

(Here’s something similar, mercifully shorter).

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