Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

School is Rad

Where I'm From

Of course we know it can happen anywhere, but there is something special about Northwest Florida crazy. I guess the Fox News crowd will continue to see nothing wrong with inciting violence towards our government and its representatives. If you were to write a song called "Cop Killer" and explore the idea of being persecuted by the police eventually leading to hatred of police you would be vilified as anti-American. If you tell people that they are coming for your guns and we have to do something, you are 100% American. I know that somewhere at a Waffle House in the area guys are talking about how the cops didn't know what they were doing, and how they would have done the whole thing better.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Stupid Burns!!

There is this strange undercurrent in conservative (read: anti-science) circles that relies on the technique of asking a ridiculous question and yelling "gotcha!" when the person being questioned hesitates at being asked something seemingly so silly. The following exchange occurred this week between Noble Prize winning Secretary of Energy Steven Chu and ranking House Energy and Commerce Member (and possible lobotomy enthusiast) Joe Barton.

Later, Rep Barton gloated on his Twitter page "I seemed [sic] to have baffled the Energy Sec with basic question - Where does oil come from?"
Well, to the extent that the word "Baffle" comes from the Scottish "Bauchle" meaning, "To treat with contempt." Then sure, yes you did.

The worst thing about this scene, as it is true of all of these created, farce bafflements, even if they are only metaphorical, is the smirk and sense of pride on Rep. Barton's face. He believes that because he doesn't understand how something works, how he can't even fathom the completely reasonable explanation given to him, that he was too busy eating paste in elementary school to absorb plate tectonics, that he is somehow the victor in the exchange. One gets the feeling that at the local carnival, Rep. Barton would find "Heads I win, tails you lose." A winning proposition. That he would turn to his small, round, drooling family, candy apple syrup holding the scraps of caramel corn to his stained lips, and declare, "I like them odds!"

Of course the grandpappy of these self-content performances is the supposed "stumping" of Richard Dawkins by Australian creationists who ask the awkwardly phrased challenge, "Give an example of a genetic mutation or an evolutionary process which can be seen to increase the information in the genome."

Do you have an answer? Probably not. Nor should you. You are not a geneticist. Neither is Richard Dawkins. He is a biologist. More importantly, does the challenge seem to make sense? Does it seem to be part of a discussion? To me it reads like a childish dare that people of lesser intelligence than Dawkins huddled for weeks in a rented backroom over a cheap card table with uneven legs formulating. Dawkins felt this way too and realized he had let a creationist film crew into his house under false pretenses. He was upset. The film crew taped this reaction, looped it and now post it everywhere as "Dawkins Stumped." Of course the people who take pleasure in this only indicate their respect for Dawkins in a backwards way by indicating that stumping him is such a giant triumph. To cause a biologist to pause with an oddly formulated hyper specific question about genetics, what a defeat. Those who prostrate themselves with joy at this victory, it goes without saying, also don't understand the question. Here is Dawkin's actual response to the challenge. It is of a length and breadth that would have not served the creationists at all, so they just shake their heads and tuck the joy right down into their little hearts.

All of this ridiculousness reminds of a friend of mine. He considers himself a tough guy and likes to joke around like we are sparring. The problem is, if you move your head like a boxer, he laughs at you for "flinching." If you move in and clinch he says, "I don't go for that wrestling shit." And then he walks around all day gloating over the beating he gave you. Of course, if you were to follow him around trying to explain the absurdity of his thinking you look like an insecure school marm so you just have to let him go on crowing.

Cock-a-doodle-do Rep. Barton.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Economy: Seth

Hey look it's my step-cousin Seth on the Today show. Thanks for the link Mom.

Monday, April 20, 2009


In case you missed it Mayhem Miller, one of my top 5 favorite fighters, won yesterday in style.

Service Academies

Interesting argument that will never be implemented. Not that I am arguing for it.


My new favorite: Aptonyms!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

UFC: 97- The Empire Strikes Black

So I haven't been writing anything. Blame it on my 3 hour commute to a job I didn't ask for. I wasn't even going to do a write up but then our patron saint dropped by and told me:

So you see I had no choice really.

Stout vs. Wiman: Wiman is better than I thought but not as good as he should be. Stout is exactly what he is, a pretty good kickboxer. If Wiman doesn't feel like trying his stand-up, he should win a boring decision on the ground. Stout can always win with one punch though.

Chonan vs. Grant: Poor Ryo, having his name mangled time and again. His face was mangled in the DNA cesspool known as the Chonan family. Grant is supposed to be the hottest shit in Eastern Canada, which means lukewarm shit to the rest of the world. Chonan is a survivor so he lasts out another boring decision in this one.

Bocek vs. Bielkheden: Everytime I bet against Bocek he surprises me with his excellent grappling and I swear to never underestimate him again. Then a few hours pass, and I forget him. Such is the power of being Canadian. I also like Bielkheden for being a Scandinavian living in the southern hemisphere. I think Bocek will be a bit much for him and win a TKO from the top in the 3rd.

Loiseau vs. Herman: I admit that I am one of them; the throngs crying for Loiseau's reinstatement. He is one of my favorite fighters from my re0interest in MMA. He is a rather odd fighter for a very talented guy. The way he is content to win in someone else's guard and to routinely give up his back on the ground. Herman is a decent fighter too and could make this a dull ground encounter but my heart tells me that Loiseau has been away sharpening his 'bows for a TKO in the 2nd.

MacDonald vs. Quarry: I have often said that Quarry was my favorite on the first TUF season because he seemed to be a grownup who asked the right questions in training. He has done little to impress me since. I enjoy very much watching MacDonald fight. Even though his nickname is "The Athlete" he seems like a throwback to a time when the guys in this sport were less that and more dudes who knew how to fight (in one style.) MacDonald gets a sub in the 2nd.

Kang vs. Foupa-Pokam: Despite his recent slide Kang remains one of my favorite fighters. He is a big ball of talent. The guy is a sick sick fighter and he hope he gets to show that against Professor X. Kang by sub in the 2nd.

Marshall vs. Magalhaes: I don't know, for as good as Magalhaes is at BJJ I just get the feeling that he doesn't really like to fight. Maybe I am wrong. These are two BJJ guys going at it and Marshall is the least good at his chosen trade. However I think he is more game and gets an unforseen KO in the 1st.

Soszynski vs Stann: Soszynski has the reach, the anger and the bread and butter subs to put this one way. Soszynski works the stand-up and hurts Stann. He will get on top of him and close it out for the KO in the 2nd.

Cantwell vs. Cane: Cane has done very littel other than impress me. I here good things about Cantwell but I think Cane lets his hands go, backs Cantwell up against the cage and hurst himwith a big combo, dropping him for the KO in the 2nd.

Kongo vs Hardonk: Try to calm Joe Rogan down for this one. Yes, they are both great strikers. Kongo is the more technically sound boxer. I anticipate Kongo, muscling Hardonk around and beating him up. This weird little bird in the back of my mind is telling me that Hardonk drops for a leg lock, but I doubt it. Kongo by TKO in the 3rd. I think it should be a fun bout.

Liddell vs. Rua: Setting time machine for a date when I still cared. Ok, I still care a little bit, but Rua looked god-awful in his last match against Coleman. Liddell hasn't been great, but he has been in against some hard match-ups. Things that aren't going to happen in this fight-Rua taking Chuck down. Chuck gassing before Rua. Can Rua leg-lock Chuck? How do they get there. Can Rua out kick Chuck? I can't see these things happening. Chuck will always have Thor's hammer in his right hand. He uses it getting a KO in the 3rd. Highlight reel stuff.
(in case anyone has forgotten what a badass Shogun was not so long ago)

((by the way, that is one of the legendary clips in the annals of MMA highlights. It was made by Genghis Con who is a rad highlight artist.))

Silva vs. Leites: I am a Leites fan, but I am also a Dan Henderson fan and was sure he had the stuff to beat Silva. He didn't. Know one seems to. If Leites works for the takedown, Silva can hang on. But one has to fight a perfect match against Silva. Does Leites seem like the perfect fight kind of guy? No? He doesn't to me either. He keeps it competitive and passes guard a few times but eventually gets hurt and gets dropped in the 3rd. KO.

There it is. Not much to it. Just the straight dope from a guy with a shitty commute who drinks liquor with dead snakes in it. Take that Arash.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Friday, April 10, 2009


The thing about Christopher Hitchens is that he is a complete asshole and incredibly full of himself. Himself is full of scotch, so, in fact, he is incredibly full of scotch. But he is, at times, especially when you agree with him, a very effective debater. He is undeniably smart. Smart in the sense that he has a strong memory and knows his way around an argument. I also enjoy pomposity in a debate. It is an well chosen technique, particularly if you sport a British accent. The main thing that I am surprised/completely not surprised about in this conversation is his opponent, Mr. Blackwell's (not to be confused with the deceased fashion queen) stunning ignorance. Do you think he really doesn't understand that the Pilgrims and the Founding Fathers are two completely separate groups of people? Separated by a century? I applaud Hitchens for making the reference tot he Spanish in America as well to combat the Pilgrim argument, all though it probably sailed over Mr. Balckwell's head like a disinterested hawk over a man not waving a piece of bread. It was an embarrassing performance. A drubbing. But the thing about Mr. Blackwell and his hardy crew is that their strength is in not noticing and not caring when they lose. Surely we must all know that the founding fathers, the Pilgrims, loved Jesus down in their heart and have the joy, joy, joy, deep down to stay? Kudos to Hitchens for also bringing up Thomas Jefferson's translation of The Bible which removed all claims to the supernatural. Can the Founding Father's argument really hold up in the face of that? Maybe Jefferson was a rouge? Well, he was a bit of a rouge. What a hapless pantomime of an argument you have put on for us Mr. Blackwell.

Fuck You, Fuck You and Fuck You

Sorry for the profanity, but here is another article saying that the government won't forgive student debts because we are "too small to help." You know why I am too small to help? Because I am locked into student debt. You don't think I could do more useful things if I wasn't strapped into that yoke? I could go on and on, but don't you think it would be a large stimulus to the economy to suddenly have people who actually spend money free to spend money? People who's only wrong was trying to get an education while the prices of that education were skyrocketing? Errr. I am having a bad week.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Ancient Japan

I recently came across this blog on ancient Japan. It is pretty rad. Good job whoever.

Which led me to this history blog. Also good.

President Obama in Iraq

Remember now, the military hates Democrats. Repeat it enough and maybe someone will believe it.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Monsula, on the other hand, were a band I loved. Someone has been posting their videos to Youtube lately making me both happy and pained. This song was called "Down Inside" and, in my opinion, is better than anything Nirvana ever put out. Sorry.


Whne Nirvana comes up in conversation I usually say that this is my favorite of their songs, bearing in mind that I am not that crazy about them. I decided to check it out again to see if I still felt that way. ...I do.

Terrifying Worm

I don't know if you saw this, but I find it strangely terrifying.

Ridiculous Kyoto Loveliness

This week of spring and sakura in Kyoto, especialy Kiyamachi between Shijo and Gojo, is so ridiculously beautiful that I want to photograph all of it, but I know it wouldn't translate.

Right now Kyoto makes the most anorexic girl's piddling knees plump and comforting. The swarm of bugs pestering your eyes and mouth are just the foreground; loveliness is thick. The breaks on old ladies bicycles sound like Van Morrison laying it down. It is a well staged opera.


Old Houses

Pretty much this. Yes. Exactly.

Gosho Hanami

I can't believe how well the photos from Sunday's hanami at Kyoto Gosho turned out. I think it must have been the excellent weather and the light.


It wasn't my favorite hanami ever, but it was good enough. How beautiful is this???

I recommend hanmi at Gosho. There are a lot of people, but it isn't really crowded.




Teacher Crisis

For once there is a teaching crisis that doesn't involve me. America is expecting a shortage of educators over the next decade. Maybe that means they will start seeking us out. Hmmm...

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Kagoshima Sakura

Sakura in Kagoshima.


Natsuki and her mom.





Friday, April 3, 2009


English practice for Natsuki.

attempting to silence the voices in my head.