how much brush is on that ranch, anyway?

From three recent White Houlse press briefings:

December 27
Good morning. Let me update you on the President’s schedule. Yesterday, after arriving, he went out and did some cutting and clearing brush, and then was at his home on the ranch.
December 28
The President had his normal intelligence and daily briefings this morning, and was out clearing brush. And that’s what I have on his schedule.
December 30
He then did some brush clearing and just completed a bike ride before I came out. This afternoon he’s scheduled to sign several pieces of legislation…

Seriously, is there really that much brush? He’s been clearing it for five years now, shouldn’t it be done? How can Trent Duffy go out and say this every day with a straight face?

Continue Readinghow much brush is on that ranch, anyway?

100 things we (the BBC) didn’t know this time last year

According to the BBC. Here are a few of them….

7. Baboons can tell the difference between English and French. Zoo keepers at Port Lympne wild animal park in Kent are having to learn French to communicate with the baboons which had been transferred from Paris zoo.
17. Bosses at Madame Tussauds spent £10,000 separating the models of Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston when they separated. It was the first time the museum had two people’s waxworks joined together.
20. The Queen has never been on a computer, she told Bill Gates as she awarded him an honorary knighthood.

Hmmm. If the Queen has never been on a computer, who’ve I been e-mailing then?

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Nature’s Harmonious Money Cycle

Fafblog explains how trickle-down economics work for you:

That’s right! You’re the tiny microscopic planktony thing about to get eaten by the octopus! You’re right next to the leprechaun with the magical pot of pixie gold who’s gonna pay down the national debt.
So if you’re feelin cold, sick and hungry this winter while Larry Ellison buys an extra boat, don’t feel sad! We’re all part of Nature’s Money Cycle, and someday some a that boat’s gonna trickle down to you! Maybe a piece of the bowsprit, after Larry throws it out to buy a better boat. I hear that’s delicious in a lemon marinade.

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DIY Chess Figures

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Site that tells how to build your own chess figures out of Nuts and Bolts.
Quite a while back I saw a chess set in the background of a TV show that was a chess set made of different sizes and styles of salt and pepper shakers, and I wanted to create that. But when I started looking at buying the shakers, I realized it would be much cheaper to just buy a plastic chess set.

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The NonSequitur

My new favorite political blog is The NonSequitur — a blog run by Logic professors that analyze failure of reasoning and logical fallacies of right-wing pundits. Found via one of my other favorite blogs,

I also discovered that Overheard in New York, a site the recounts funny conversations that people overhear, is now a blog. It used to be a yahoo group that I linked to long ago, but I lost track of it. Now it has an RSS feed, so I can read it regularly.

Chick #1: My underwear’s so cute! Its got a bulldog on it.
Chick #2: Why’s it got a bulldog on it?
Chick #1: It’s so cute, it’s protecting my vagina from intruders.

I also added The Big Gay Picture to my RSS feeds. It’s a gay political blog that looks like it might be funny. I’ll give it a shot.

Another great Gay Blog/News site that I’d heard of once before but lost track of: Good As You. I added them to my newsreader also.
And last but not least: now has a RSS feed: last time I checked, they didn’t. So they’re in my newsreader also. Too bad GLAAD hasn’t gone that direction yet.

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A Feast for Crows: starting the book

I started reading one of the books I bought with my Barnes and Noble gift cards, A Feast for Crows this week. It’s the fourth book in the fantasy series “A Song of Ice and Fire” by George R. R. Martin. I really enjoy this series because it turns many of the tired fantasy cliches upside down, or simply ignores them. There’s very little magic in the series, and what there is is subtle and in the background. There’s no “farmboy with royal lineage who discovers his personal journey to find the throne while battling a wicked magician who lives in far off mountains,” thank god. Wikipedia gives a better explanation than I could:

A Song of Ice and Fire is set in a fictitious world reminiscent of Europe in the Middle Ages, except for the fact that in this world, seasons can last as long as a decade. Driven by members of the Houses, great and small, the plot is recounted from the perspectives of more than ten main characters and takes place on the continents of Westeros and the eastern continent, the former being the locale of fierce power struggles between several aristocratic families after the death of king Robert Baratheon, who by lineage, marriage and personal relationships had united them all.

The model for the series was England’s Wars of the Roses, and the story follows several different richly-drawn characters on different sides of the struggle. The thing I found compelling was that I sympathized with characters on both sides of the war who would have been allies in other circumstances but who found themselves at odds due to family loyalties and conflicting religious beliefs.

A Feast for Crows is starting pretty slowly for me, because it begins by following some minor characters that I can’t quite remember from the previous books. The gap between the publication of the last novel and this one was large; I read A Storm of Swords in 2002 and am struggling to remember where the series left off. I read over Wikipedia’s summaries, though, and was able to get my bearings, so I have an idea of who and where everyone is.

Continue ReadingA Feast for Crows: starting the book

Outrageous Firsts in TV History

YesButNoButYes lists controversial first in TV broadcast history.

1947: First Couple to Share a Bed – Mary Kay and Johnny, on…Mary Kay and Johnny
1957: First Toilet on Television. – Leave it to Beaver
1957: First Exposed Rack on Television – Jayne Mansfield, 1957 Academy Awards
1967: First Time the Word Hell was Used on Television – Star Trek
1971: First time the phrase God Damn It was used on Television – All in the Family (also one of the first gay characters: A closeted football-playng friend of Mike’s came out on the show)
1972: First Abortion on Television – Maude
1974: First Rape Scene on Television – TV movie Born Innocent (I remember hearing about this in school.)
1977: First Recurring Gay Character on Television – Soap (although “The Corner Bar” had one in 1972)

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mental notes

I need to remember to set the DVR in January for:
Fox’s “Skating With Celebrities” – Wednesday, January 18th
Showtime’s “The L Word” – Sunday, Jan. 8th
“My Name is Earl” – Thursday, Jan 5th
NBC’s “The Office” – Thursday, Jan 5th
CBS’s “Love Monkey” – Tuesday, Jan 17th
CBS’s “The New Adventures of Old Christine” – March?
Sci Fi’s “Battlestar Galactica” – Friday, Jan 6th
FX “The Shield” – Tuesday, January 10th, 10 pm

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