Snarky (Ethereal for In Nomine)

Happy birthday, Eric Burns-White. Next time, remind us ahead of time, huh? I only really noticed an hour or so ago. Snarky Corporeal Forces: 2 Strength: 4 Agility: 4 Ethereal Forces: 3 Intelligence: 8 Precision: 4 Celestial Forces: 4 Will:...

Snarky (Ethereal for In Nomine)

Happy birthday, Eric Burns-White. Next time, remind us ahead of time, huh? I only really noticed an hour or so ago. Snarky Corporeal Forces: 2 Strength: 4 Agility: 4 Ethereal Forces: 3 Intelligence: 8 Precision: 4 Celestial Forces: 4 Will:...

These are good sports rules.

Twenty sports fans rules. Especially #20:

20. If you hail from New York, you can’t root for the Yankees and the Mets. You have to choose between them. Repeat: You have to choose between them. Don’t give me this “As long as one of them is doing well, at least New York is winning” spiels. What is this, the sports fan’s version of bisexuality? How about making a choice? Any New Yorker who said the words “It’s the Yankees versus the Mets … I can’t lose!” during the 2000 World Series deserves to be tortured with a cattle prod.

For the record?  Mets.  That was my father’s team… and that’s pretty much that, damn your eyes.

Our Neural Chernobyl, Revisited.

I was reminded of this story (found in Bruce Sterling’s short story collection Globalhead) while reading this article (via Glenn Reynolds) on DIY genengineering.  The author assumes increased ease of home genetics lab work, considers malicious intent, and concludes:

Big species are not the problem. Sure, in popular science fiction movies T.Rex or a Raptor rips apart a bunch of people. But big species make big targets for rifles and fishing harpoons. Plus, lots of guys would love to hunt down the genetically engineered dino that is terrorizing suburbs. It is the littler ones that are too numerous to easily control that pose the bigger threat. Genetically engineered species could really upend whole ecosystems by being very effective at outcompeting other species.

Scientists have discovered some of the genetic variations that make influenza strains more lethal and will in time identify genetic variations that make other pathogens more or less dangerous. Therefore another future threat comes in the form of a genetically engineered massive killer pandemic for humans. The same sort of threat exists for other species. Imagine a flu that would kill most sheep or cows or pigs. Or imagine some genetically engineered pathogen that would wipe out assorted wild species. This will probably become technically doable.

Probably, but it’s not what I worry about. Continue reading Our Neural Chernobyl, Revisited.

I’ll avoid the Star Trek jokes about the Roddenberry burial.

This is an appropriate final resting place, I think:

Star Trek Creator’s Ashes Headed for Space

The ashes of Gene Roddenberry, creator of “Star Trek,” and his late wife Majel Barrett Roddenberry are scheduled to be shot into space on a Celestis Memorial Spaceflight in about a year and a half. Part of Mr. Roddenberry’s remains were already shot into space, though they were only given the “Earth Orbit Service,” which starts at $2,495 according to the Celestis website. The other portion of his remains along with his wife’s will be upgrading to the very fitting “Voyager Service,” which starts at $12,500 and can run up to $37,500. This will launch their remains into deep space, never to return to Earth.

For my part, I pretty much assume that they’ll just go through my organs for anything useful and just bury the rest. Given the general lack of communication between this life and the next one, I doubt that I’m going to be able to make any complaints known to the corporeal authorities anyway.

Moe Lane

PS: The thought of having my body cremated and the ashes thrown into someone’s face is amusing, but it’s also kind of lame.

$750 million lawsuit filed against Marvel Entertainment.

Guess it’s settled whether there’s money in that franchise, huh?

According to the Associated Press, a lawsuit was filed yesterday in a Manhattan federal court on behalf of four shareholders of Stan Lee Media, Inc. against Stan Lee, his partner Arthur Lieberman, his wife Joan Clayton, Marvel Entertainment, Inc. and producer Avi Arad. The four unnamed shareholders are seeking more then $750 million in profits from films based on Marvel characters, including “Spider-Man,” “X-Men” and “Iron Man.”

While details are still trickling in regarding specifics to the case, the AP reports that the lawsuit claims profits from Lee’s comic creations belong to the company after emerging from bankruptcy in 2006. The suit claims Lee and the others named in the proceedings ignored the company and shareholder’s interests.

I came across this while looking up Watchmen info – see Moe succumb to the Fanboy side of the Force! Succumb, Moe, succumb! – and while I figure that this will probably get settled it’s still a little interesting. I mean, sure, between the Spiderman movies and the X-Men films and the entire Iron Manmy-God-it’s-full-of-Tony-Starks” thing Marvel must be a hot commodity right now. Still, 750 million’s nothing to sneeze at – even if they’re hoping to “only” score a 100 million or so.

Moe Lane

PS: Watchmen comes out in March; Star Trek’s still up for May.  And I don’t know what’s going to be the big summer must-see movies, yet.

[BREAKING] Boehner to House GOP: Vote against the stimulus.

But, hey, remember: “I won.”

Or, as Heritage put it, “The Pelosi-Reid-Obama Debt Plan”. Anyway, Politico reports:

President Barack Obama is coming to the Capitol this afternoon to curry favor with congressional Republicans. But it appears GOP leaders have already made up their minds to oppose his $825 billion stimulus plan.

House Republican Leader John A. Boehner and his No. 2, Whip Eric Cantor, told their rank-and-file members Tuesday morning during a closed-door meeting to oppose the bill when it comes to the floor Wednesday, according to an aide familiar with the discussion. Boehner told members that he’s voting against the stimulus, and Cantor told the assembled Republicans that there wasn’t any reason for them to support the measure, according to another person in the room. Cantor and his whip team are going to urge GOP members to oppose it.

In a nod to the president, Boehner did point out that this is the third time that Obama has met with Republican leaders, compared with the zero meetings they’ve held with Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) — a now-familiar refrain from Republicans in the House. But Obama’s diplomacy clearly isn’t buying any votes yet.

(H/T: Instapundit) Apparently, “I won.” counts as diplomacy these days. Continue reading [BREAKING] Boehner to House GOP: Vote against the stimulus.

“Remember, drinking buddies don’t let drinking buddies get marched off for mandatory sensitivity training.”

It’s the last line of a good article on the decline of academic relationships inside the academy itself (via Ann Althouse, via Glenn Reynolds). The very short version? Professors and teachers in the same college don’t hang out any more, which makes them easy meat every time somebody with a chip on their shoulder decides to offer one of them up on the altar of insensitivity.  And the people running the colleges don’t actually mind, because this works out for them in the long run: makes it easier for them to do the diversity hiring that keeps the chip-on-their-shoulder people quiet.  Of course, hiring primarily for diversity makes it harder to develop personal academic relationships (which leads to hanging out), so…

This would all be Nasty Fun hysterical, with a double helping of schadenfreude, except for one thing: in about sixteen years I have to send my kid to one of these places for an education.  Having them collectively remove their craniums from their rectums before then would be optimal.

Moe Lane

PS: It’s been years since high school Latin, sorry.  I don’t even feel like looking up what those two plurals would be.

Crossposted at RedState.

Geez, the new Whitehouse.gov site is just plain *bad*.

Don’t they have people for this?

It was Mary Katherine Ham’s article that tipped me to the problem:

Barack Obama’s administration may be promising the “greatest ethical standard ever administered to an executive branch,” and increased transparency over his predecessor, but it seems to be forgoing at least one transparency practice that was routine in the Bush White House— transcripts of the daily press briefing.

It’s been four days since Press Secretary Robert Gibbs’ first (and widely panned) appearance before the White House press corps, but no transcript, summary, or video of the event has shown up on WhiteHouse.gov. The delay could be forgiven in a less tech-savvy bunch, but given the Obama team’s considerable online skill, the omission of the the transcript is clearly intentional.

The decision to withhold transcripts is not a departure from the Obama Team’s online posture during the campaign, and signals that’s exactly the posture they intend to take for the next four years. Team Obama got a lot of credit for being an active online presence, which indeed it was, but that presence was built for message control, not openness. (My.BarackObama, the campaign’s social networking platform, is a different story, but it was cordoned off from the official campaign material, which was pretty tightly controlled.)

Continue reading Geez, the new Whitehouse.gov site is just plain *bad*.