Thursday, February 10, 2005

Stupid parrot tricks

We've all heard parrot jokes by now. Wife buys parrot that used to belong to a cathouse and when hubby gets home it greets him by name. Husband buys parrot that speaks 12 languages and has it shipped home, wife cooks it, hubby laments about the bird's talent, wife asks "then why didn't he speak up?" And lately there's been a beer commercial with one ("She's irritating, but I'm desperate")

So I wondered what parrots would say if they hung around with various celebrities or TV shows. Say, Bill Clinton. Jerry Seinfeld. Jay Leno. Conan O'Brien. John Kerry. The Bushes. Ted Kennedy. Al Sharpton. Dan Rather.

Or maybe bloggers. If you heard a parrot saying "Heh. Indeed" would you know whose it was? How about "Screw them"? I'm sure Wonkette's would have a theme.

Or then what would you teach a celebrity's parrot to say? Like "no thanks, I'll fly" for Ted Kennedy's. Or "Arrgghh" for Howard Dean's. Or you could teach Ashlee Simpson's how to sing...

Quick - help rescue this post and make suggestions in the comments!


You can argue about whether it's a good idea to try to keep track of grade school kids with RFID badges if you want, and I'm not convinced that the technology would perform well in such an app. And just how are you going to make the kids comply well enough to keep the system from driving you nuts? - it's hard enough with adults working under pain of dismissal.

But let's not get hung up about "privacy". What privacy rights does a grade school kid have that a tracking device worn during school hours would violate?

"Sorry folks, we haven't found your child yet. But in the meantime we thought we'd introduce you to the person whose lawsuit prevented us from implementing the technology that could have helped us track your child. This room is soundproof, the tire irons are over there, we'll lock the doors behind us and we'll be back in 15 minutes."

A new dawn

Congratulations in advance to Dawn Eden for the terrific new job she'll have shortly, as well as for any settlement she'll be receiving.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Better role models

Feminists gave up all pretense of political evenhandedness when the defended Bill Clinton against Paula Jones et al. But people paying attention would have noticed the bias long before.

For instance, who do they pick as heroes? Susan B. Anthony? Margaret Sanger? Sacagawea?

Why not these three?

Did we have to know?

Marcia Cross of "Desperate Housewives" was asked by Barbara Walters if she were gay.

What he said

Glenn Reynolds explains the world with a couple of choice Mark Steyn and Nelson Ascher quotes here.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

What he said

There is this group of people who call themselves the "reality-based" community. Varifrank has more reality than they can handle right here.

The truth about the Social Security "trust fund" - and the Democrats

I can understand differences of opinion - I can even have them with myself.

But some things are determinate - there's a correct and knowable answer. Something like, say, the status of the Social Security system.

For Congressmen not to be aware of, or to actively misrepresent the situation, is a breach of duty that cannot be explained by mere ignorance or misunderstanding.

They can disagree about what is to be done about Social Security, but not about the fact that there is no "trust fund" - benefits are paid out of federal cash flow. They can disagree about when the net cash flow reverses direction, but not that it will.

David Frum explains the true situation very well here.

The bottom line is that by obstructing repair of Social Security (as FDR himself noted would be necessary), the Dems are engaged in active malfeasance worthy of recall elections or worse.

Did it cover her voice?

Major performers often take out insurance to cover the risk of being unable to perform. Britney Spears did so before a tour which she had to end early because of a knee injury, and her underwriters are resisting paying up.

FDR knew

Yesterday's OpinionJournal quoted a subscription-only WSJ publication which contained the following:
"In an address to Congress on January 17, 1935, President Roosevelt foresaw the need to move beyond the pay-as-you-go financing of the current Social Security system. 'For perhaps 30 years to come funds will have to be provided by the States and the Federal Government to meet these pensions,' the president allowed. But after that, he explained, it would be necessary to move to what he called 'voluntary contributory annuities by which individual initiative can increase the annual amounts received in old age.' In other words, his call for the establishment of Social Security directly anticipated today's reform agenda: 'It is proposed that the Federal Government assume one-half of the cost of the old-age pension plan, which ought ultimately to be supplanted by self-supporting annuity plans,' FDR explained.
'What Roosevelt was talking about is the need to update Social Security sometime around 1965 with what today we would call personal accounts,' says one top GOP member of the Ways and Means Committee. 'By my reckoning we are only about 40 years late in addressing his concerns on how [to] make Social Security solvent.'"
This makes perfect sense. Obviously the program would have to be bootstrapped to provide the money for pensions for those who were old enough to collect without paying their shares into the system. So rates would have to be sky-high in the beginning to catch up. But for long-term viability, and to avoid de facto socialism the retirement funds would have to go into individually managed investment accounts.

Hmm - which party held the Presidency about the time FDR said it would need attention? Uh huh. But the Dems wanted that money to spend, so they gave us the mess we have today.

Note - this post was edited for clarity.


Maybe I'm missing something, but whatever else you might say about the Harry Potter books, you wouldn't call them erotic. (as of book 5, anyway)

Hermione and some of the girls might get there soon, but who else? And I'm guessing it's not any better for the other team - Dudley? Hagrid? Dumbledore? Crabb and Goyle? Perhaps least of all, Snape?

The site says it's for 18 and older, and I'm taking their word for it - I just looked at the front page to convince myself it was really there. With no more fuss, I present Sexy Severus Snape

Any time is party time

Birthday? Check.

Super Bowl? Check.

Graduation? Check.

Chicken pox....

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Mortality TV

If you looked at all the pictures in the previous post you might think that the model's career options in show business were limited except perhaps as an understudy for the CryptKeeper. Not so fast:
Which is more entertaining: watching paint dry or watching a human body decompose? Thanks to Channel 4, British audiences may soon get to decide for themselves. The tentatively titled documentary “Dust to Dust” will tackle the taboo of rotting human flesh and bring those images into British homes.

According to the Guardian newspaper, producers on the show are currently searching for a terminally ill patient whose family is willing to sign off on letting a national television audience watch him rot. After the patient’s death, the body will be placed in a private area of London’s Science Museum and a number of cameras and scientists will get to watch the body decompose.
If this kind of thing appeals to you, you should check out the volunteers in the University of Tennessee "Body Farm".

Another ripoff from The Eyes Have It.

This is your face on drugs

IMO self-destructive people will always find a way to do themselves in, so warnings about the dangers of drug abuse can only do so much good.

Can vanity work when nothing else will? Unless you've known a junkie for a long time there's no way to know what has happened to their appearance. Maybe they always looked like that...

No, not always. Meet Roseanne Holland, via a succession of 5 mugshots taken between her 29th and 38th years.

(Did she recover? We don't know. Police assume she is dead.)

Here's more.

Via The Eyes Have It.


This blog started during the 2002 Super Bowl. So I'll arbitrarily call today the beginning of the 4th year. (Who says blogs don't do original reporting? - where else could you have heard that?)

Believe it or not, the remarkable coincidence between this blog's beginnings and the Super Bowl goes unmentioned on the official Super Bowl site. We'll see if I ever give *them* any more free publicity, eh?

A taste of innovation

I've finally mustered a post to catch up with Hanah Metchis Volokh, who linked to this last fall.

In character

Would Ted Kennedy ever abandon anyone in their time of need? Unfortunately the best witness can't speak.

But Kennedy himself is alive and asinine as ever. I'll letGlenn Reynolds tell the story.


The Diplomad blog will be no longer. Bummers.

That should free up enough interesting information, wit and insight for a few thousand other blogs. If only it worked that way.