Farside Re-enactments

Here is a Flickr pool of Farside cartoons brought to life.


Quote of the Day

"The latest twist in this ancient and hopeless struggle is hard to address without equal measure of distaste for Hamas's religious barbarism and dismay at Israel's apparent determination to commit slow suicide." - Andrew Sullivan


Map of Serenity's 'Verse

Oh this show had too much potential to have it end so soon.

Sorry I can't blow up the pics bigger but the link has larger versions.


Intel Dump

It's that time again, here is the flotsam and jetsam that has built up in my files the last few months;

- In the spirit of Kamandi, here's a collection of images from sci-fi where the Statue of Liberty is featured prominently.

- Popular Mechanics investigates that most pressing of questions; 'which Terminator is the toughest'?

- So long as we are immersed in apocalyptic imagery, here is a series of haunting photos of an entire town in Namibia consumed by sand.

- In the category of cool things science can do that God can't, we have 'regrowing a human jaw bone'.

"Scientists say they have replaced a 65-year-old patient's upper jaw with a bone transplant cultivated from stem cells isolated from his own fatty tissue and grown inside his abdomen."


- There are those who think that 2010 is a better movie than 2001. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Fortunately the articles is mostly a smorgasbord of trivia about both films that will satisfy the nerdy to the nth degree.

"My God, its full of stars" - indeed.

- Here are the 8 simple rules for women to survive in science fiction.

Rule #1 is 'Keep your panties on'. Seriously. Killjoys.

- In an attempt to recalibrate our notions of good and evil, the boys at Ruthless Reviews have written a defense of Ivan Drago (the Russian boxer in Rocky IV). Is he really the misunderstood hero of the film?

- Here's a list of 20 Things Nerdier than Monty Python. Star Trek is #1. Duh.

- Guaranteed to make you chuckle, the unintentional poetry of Roger Clemons.

- More seriously, here is an article on the future of robot warfare. Sweet ride.

- This exercise video unintentionally caters to those of us who like housewives who wear high heels and crawl on the floor. So. Good.

- From the annals of trivia so remote and obscure you simply must salute, a comprehensive list of what made David Banner 'Hulk out' on the 70's TV show. My favourites;

#3: Thinking of either of his wives

#16: Being hit by a blast of steam while trying to turn off the nuclear reactor that is melting down

#19: Being pushed down a mountainside by a Big Foot impersonator.

#20: Dealing with a pesky operator in a phone booth (I DON'T HAVE TWENTY-FIVE CENTS!!!!)

#24 Being tied up and fed soup by an elderly Japanese woman who doesn't understand ' You have got to cut me loose'!

#52: Locked in a drunk tank with a crazy person who thinks they are Ernest Hemingway who then beats the stuffing out of David.

#71: Wandering into an Army Dump to get the canister of deadly nerve gas that has blinded his friend, only to be caught by a mean MP who knocks off his gas mask and throws him back down the hill, knocking the canister open so David can frantically try to put the gas mask back on before looking up to see that the MP has somehow brought in a crane and is dumping two tonnes of garbage on him.

#106: Being fed poisonous sushi

I could go on, but the ongoing laughter made my brain hurt. Obviously they ran out of even decent plot devices relatively early on in the series.

- I so very badly wanted to go to this.

- Here is the best explanation for the sub-prime meltdown I've yet to encounter.

- Here's a wicked episode of Buckley's 'Firing Line' where he debated the 'evolutionists'. Ah Buckley, always so entertaining.

- Something everyone should know; 'How to kill someone with a Girl Scout Sash'

- An excellent article on the art of film suspense, and another on the film as cognitive theory.

- Here's a combination of two of my most nerdly pleasures; politics played out with 3d6

- How one lone loser gave masturbation a bad name for 300 years. What a jerk-off.

- How medicine is redefining 'Death'.

- As if I didn't have enough stress. This guy wonders aloud about whether or not I deserve my salary. Killjoy.

- The Dutch wrestle with another thorny freedom of speech problem reminiscent of the one that got Theo Van Gogh killed.

- How is Shaq working out in Phoenix? Not bad. Here's a pic of Shaq decaptitating a Trailblazer.

- This is SO. SWEET. A 'Tree of Life' tattoo.

- When you need to have your daiily pulp fiction fix, go here.

- In the Black Sabbath song 'Iron Man', is the titular character Tony Stark?

- More evidence that you should drink more coffee.

- Here are the 50 best comedy sketches of all time.

- Jared Diamond (Guns Germs + Steel) talks about vengeance and human nature.

- The End of the Universe is Coming. Or not.

- 5 Scientists and the laws they created/discovered. Geek trivia.

- Who are the toughest film characters? Amazingly, Roy Batty somehow did not make the list.

- In virtual reality, the Green Lantern Corps has been assigned to guard Darfur. Seriously.

- Why does home court advantage work? Your opponents are tired.

- In the same spirit as Ivan Drago - hero of Rocky 4, I give you; 'In defense of the Empire in Star Wars'. I guess its no surprise that the same people who invade Iraq and defend the use of torture also take the side of the Emperor....

- Odssmakes have Dualla as the most likely final Cylon.

- If Sigmund Freud had built bicycles....

- Philosopher Peter Singer writes on how the religious still haven't come up with a good reason for God to allow suffering.

- Here's an article that ponders one of my favourite subjects, our coming date with immortality.

- Another spiffy David Cronenberg interview.

- William Gibson on; Godzilla, Vancouver and being Canadian.

- From Henry Fonda to Jason Bourne, Slate magazine does a nice breakdown on the history of fight scenes in the movies.

- How is science a religion? Mostly, it isn't.

- More interestingly, does religion lead to disease?

- You know you want it, a dose of 'Daily Spock'. Today mine is;

"Change is the essential process of all existence."

from 'Let That Be Your Last Battlefield', stardate 5730.2.


- From the Libertarian boys at 'Positive Liberty' who are no doubt concerned about Obama's sweeping victory; a defense for political gridlock. Maybe they should pay more attention to what is going in on Canada, where gridlock has sinply left us...gridlocked.

- Last but not least; Caveman Economics. When in doubt, move to the lowest common denominator.


Macleans Article - Inside a crisis that shook the nation

A couple of weeks ago we here in Canada and a nice little political dust-up. If you are interested in a great summary of the events, Macleans has a fantastic piece, linked to the title, detailing the timeline and the people pulling the strings.

What's missing is a detailed account of what was said in the 2 and 1/2 hours that Prime Minister Steven Harper met with Governor General Michelle Jean. Fortunately, I was able to get a transcript of their conversation and have, gentle readers, included it here. (For purposes of full disclosure, I submitted it to the Edmonton Journal but they have - thus far - declined to publish it :-))


When Steven met Michelle – by Douglas McLachlan

Governor-General Michelle Jean: Prime Minister Harper, please come in. I was asked to cut my European trip short, you wouldn’t happen to know why?

Prime Minister Harper: Yes your Excellency, I need to you to prorogue Parliament.

GG: Really, didn’t I just deliver a Throne Speech two weeks ago?

PM: Well, yes, but…

GG: All that stuff about working together must have really struck a chord. I misjudged you Mr. Harper. I always took you as a partisan and inflexible man. I was wrong. To get so much done so quickly must have taken real statesmanship, I’m impressed.

PM: Actually, there’s been a bit of a crisis brewing while you have been away.

GG: I know, I know. This economic situation is a global concern. My trip took me to four former Soviet dictatorships with no history of political compromise all governed by multi-party coalitions that, in spite of all their differences and disputes, are stable, effective, focused on the economic... Oh, just listen to me. What do they know? You were able to get our economic response ready in two weeks! That sort of effort puts their messy new democracies to shame. So tell me what is the plan to stimulate the economy that you and your colleagues settled on?

PM: Well, actually, we haven’t got that worked out yet. I sort of provoked the Opposition by threatening to take their funding away. You see I acted like they wouldn’t mind so much if I included a plan to strip civil servants of their right to strike; deny women on the federal payroll pay equity; and change the name of Calgary to the City of Champions. I mean I did say that we would have a government surplus this year – even though we most certainly won’t – so it’s not like I didn’t mention the economy.

GG: Your government actually said all that? In Parliament?

PM: Well everything except the City of Champions stuff, I was talked out of that by Day. That man won’t stand up for anything.

GG: How did the Opposition react?

PM: They threatened to vote it down, which was sort of the plan, but they tricked me. I figured that they would bluff me. I would bluff back. Tensions build. Tempers fly. In feigned exasperation at the brinksmanship I come to you and get you to call another election.

GG: Like this fall when you told me we needed an election because Parliament wasn’t working even though nobody would vote against your government no matter what you did?

PM: Exactly. So I could get a majority.

GG: I can’t say I’m pleased to hear this but…

PM: Oh, it gets better. The Opposition actually got together and agreed on an alternative Government, a Coalition. The Liberals and the NDP put aside their differences and said they would work together for 30 months! I can’t work with my own staff for that long – its nonsense! They had a signing ceremony and everything.

GG: So why am I still talking to you again?

PM: Here’s the kicker. They even get the Bloc to say that they won’t defeat this Coalition!

GG: Come to think of it I thought I saw a letter amongst all these Canadian Tire flyers…

PM: Working with the Bloc?!? That’s my thing! Dion and Layton, they took my thing! I’ve spent years being nice to them and this is how they treat me. I’ve changed my tune now. As of last week the Bloc are a bunch of separatist traitors hell-bent on destroying the country. Well at least in English. In French I’ve been calling them sellouts to the nationalist cause. National Unity politics is a hobby of mine, it’s all about putting the right accent on the firewall…

GG: So you didn’t see this coalition plan coming?

PM: No. Which surprises me a little, given that I’m always taping their meetings, but that Dion is a tricky one. Have you ever looked at him, I mean really looked at him?

GG: Umm. No.

PM: He’s blurry. Strangest thing I’ve ever seen.

GG: When did you last get any sleep?

PM: Anyhow, they are threatening to vote non-confidence in my government and ask you to give their Coalition a chance. The vote has been put off once already but they really seem intent on defeating me. It’s right before Christmas and we just put up the tree. So, as I said in the beginning, I really would appreciate it if you could prorogue Parliament.

GG: Let me see if I have this straight. In the midst of a historic global economic crisis you intentionally created a political crisis and now are coming to me so we can have a constitutional crisis. Do you have any friends?

PM: Not really, they get in the way of the scheming. If I get through this I might want to get to know that Layton better. I think this was all his idea. You hardly notice him down there with the moustache. He’s shorter than he looks on television, you know.

GG: People will say I am giving you a free pass.

PM: Call it a cooling off period. A time-out, like in a hockey game, Canadians will understand that.

GG: Ok, I’ll give you your time-out. Think of it as an early Christmas Present.

PM: Thanks. You really are the best. I hope you can forget all the things I said and had others say about your French citizenship and your husband’s separatist dinner parties.

GG: Sure. There is one thing you should remember.

PM: What’s that?

GG: When they call a time-out in hockey, the clock stops running but it doesn’t reset. You are still down a goal. Your caucus colleagues might want to think about pulling the goalie.

Douglas McLachlan is an Edmonton lawyer, former Federal Candidate and father of a three and a half year-old girl who gets a time-out when she acts like she’s in Question Period.

Canada is NOT a Republic

A survey of over 1000 Canadians reveals a striking lack of basic knowledge about the democracy they live in.


I seem to recall something about false idols...

This story just made me laugh out loud.

Because, you know, prayers work better when you anoint the vehicles first. Or some such thing. I never really got the whole prayer business to be honest.


Quote of the Day

“Crito, we ought to offer a cock to Asclepius. See to it, and don’t forget.” - Socrates

The journal Arion poses the question of what to make of Socrates famous last words and as is often the case in philosophical discourse, the meaning we attach to them depends in large part on which philosopher is doing the interpretation.

Post Thanksgiving Cheer