Monthly Archives: May 2006

Senate Wants English to be the “National Language”

The Senate first voted 63-34 Thursday to designate English as the “national language” after lawmakers who led the effort said it would promote national unity.

I wonder if these guys have ever been to America. Do they know what it’s like? What kind of national unity are they trying to promote? Does it promote unity to tell recent immigrants that we’re not so much interested in the ways they’re different from the majority of Americans? To to tell them that: ok all of us here in the Senate talked it over, and we really just like our language better than yours.

I just don’t understand what the problem is that they’re trying to fix with this. Is English endangered? Does it need the government’s help?

Or is our unity in trouble? Maybe the pro-immigrant protests are a sign of that? In which case, I’m sure this measure will do wonders to repair the split. Hey all you immigrants! I’m sorry you feel under-valued, but you should really just learn English!

“We are trying to make an assimilation statement,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham.

Yeah no shit, Lindsey. Assimilation is such an important American principle, after all.

Leave a comment

Relative Sizes of Planets

 Relative Sizes of Planets

Leave a comment

They Call It Pollution, We Call It Life

The Competitive Enterprise Institute plays us for suckers and releases ads about how global warming is totally not happening.

Leave a comment

I Got Shit On by a Bird

It was sucky.

Leave a comment

Eugenics, Evolution, and Enron

According to this rumination, the vicious traders seen in Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room are a perfect metaphor for why trying to direct evolution is a bad idea. He relates cutting low performing employees to removing chickens from a group who don’t produce as many eggs:

In short, selecting individual chickens for increased productivity in a group environment didn’t select for increased productivity. Instead, it selected for mean chickens. The result was an overall reduction in productivity. Only by selecting at the group level was productivity increased.

Leave a comment

Game Console Prices through the Years

Perspective is nice: prices of various game consoles:
 Game Console Prices through the Years

Of interest to me: all of Nintendo’s consoles started at $200, which is of course within the rumored range for the Wii. Also of moderate interest is that the supposedly super-powered PS3 is closer in relative price to the super-powered failures of the past – machines that were just too pricey for their own good. Bad omen for Sony? On the other hand, none of those failures were successors to the reigning market champ.

Leave a comment

An Aussie Who Paints with His Wang

This dude paints portraits with his penis.

Leave a comment

Monkeys Booze Too

A bit about how monkeys booze.

Leave a comment

Shots with Mary

 Shots with Mary

Leave a comment

Masterpieces of Willful Stupidity

Ok, so I stumbled into frustrating myself with the ignorance of others today. This site is a treasure trove of examples of how to actively thwart logic and make yourself dumber: It is called Answers in Genesis, and it’s full of articles written by a fellow named Ken Ham. Included is a feat of tortured logic that explains how all the animals (including dinosaurs!) could have fit on Noah’s ark, which is notable in that it’s a creationist argument that actually seems to assume some validity of evolution (see the section about ‘kinds’ vs. ‘species’ vs. ‘genera’). As good an indication as any that creationist intellectuals are clueless about the science behind evolution.

Oh and I stumbled on this from Kottke, who linked to this story about why the Bible talks about unicorns. Apparently, the explanation is that the ancient Assyrians couldn’t draw.

Leave a comment