Friday, August 31, 2012

Post-RNC Hangover

Not an actual hangover, mind you, but a mental one.  On top of it all, I was up wayyyyyy too late last night because I wanted to hear Romney's speech, and I'm up early this morning because I have a ton of work to do.  so this is going to have to be short, but ...

  • Clint Eastwood is still Da Man.  At 82, he shows us that you're never too old to kick butt.  I heard from the Cine-Sib who was also watching Eastwood's speech live: "Still badass!"  Eastwood made our day with a speech that was humorous yet pointed, genial yet direct.  Instead of being barnstorming, it was gently reflective, and that made it more awesome than ever. *blows a kiss to Clint*  UPDATE:  The day's stream of often-unhinged criticisms of Eastwood from the left side of media convinces me that his speech hit the target.  It reminds me a bit of the leftist frothing against another towering American icon, Charlton Heston.  As I had said for those critics, I'll say for these: they're like yippy lap dogs nipping at the heels of a Great Dane.  Besides, if Michael Moore is trashing you, then I shall have to congratulate you for having done something worthwhile.  Another thought: all you media types trashing Eastwood for being a crazy old geezer?  Has it ever occurred to you that indirectly demeaning the entire senior voting population of the country is a really bad idea right before a major election?  When your candidate has dipped into Medicare in order to funnel funds into Obamacare?  Besides, ageism is ugly, you haters.  Didn't your mamas teach you to respect your elders?
  • Marco Rubio killed it with his personal story of his Cuban roots, his shoutouts to other minority Republicans, and his meditation on the American Dream.  Good Lord, I'm cynical as all hell, but he made me think again of that American Dream that I'm living too. *blows a kiss to Marco*  I will expect great things from you in the future, Marco!  And he is one of the young hotshots of the party, and along with folks like Susana Martinez, Bobby Jindal, Nikki Haley, Mia Love, and Allen West, he just by existing bursts the cherished leftist meme that the GOP is more white bread than a bakery.  Seriously, I don't know why there's not better outreach to minorities.  The whole idea of succeeding through hard work and self-reliance is at the core of the immigrant experience, certainly from the Asian perspective.
  • Romney's speech. I'm not blowing kisses to Mitt, but I do have to say: he needed to give the speech of his life, and I think he did. I had been hoping that he would pin the whole thing on jobs and the economy while mostly ignoring the social cons, and he did.

MTV Cancels "Jersey Shore"

Right on the heels of this comes this glorious news.  "Jersey Shore" among my students has become a kind of  symbol for modern trash culture.  I for one won't mourn the passing of this total train wreck and its awful "stars."

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Quote of the Day from the RNC

From Condi Rice (my emphasis in bold):
“America has a way of making the impossible seem inevitable in retrospect, but we know it was never inevitable. It took leadership. And it took courage.”

Book Review: "Stylish Academic Writing"

The effort to make the phrase "stylish academic writing" not an oxymoron!

What Do Real Swedes Think of the Muppets' Swedish Chef?

Slate is busy asking the important questions of our age.

A Thought on the RNC

What sorts of people would I rather have any kind of influence whatsoever in public life?  The folks speaking about work ethics, no-nonsense immigrant parents seeking the American Dream, reform and responsibility ... or the folks outside screaming about war crimes and dressed as ... er ... female naughty bits?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

My Only Comment Tonight About the RNC

UPDATE: OK, Artur Davis is killing it!  I'm loving the appearances by Mia Love, Artur Davis, and Nikki Haley - it's making a statement about diversity without bashing it into your head.  Turning off the TV now - Mama's got schoolwork to do.

Nerd News: Idiocy, Preschool Edition

Stupid school policy is stupid.  Do these people really have nothing better to do than harass a 3-year-old deaf boy about his name?  SUE THESE MORONS, STAT.

Thoughts on Livestrong

Read this, please.  If you are interested, Livestrong's website is here.  You know, you can slam Lance himself all you want, but his founding Livestrong was a big and big-hearted act of philanthropy, and that remains true.

20 Classrooms From Around the World

As school is about to start all over the country, do take a look at these classrooms from 20 different nations.

Monday, August 27, 2012

The Evolution of the Business Card

Here's a bit of quirky history.  La Parisienne and I also recommend that you watch the business card scene from American Psycho.  Still, this remains my favorite business card of all time, along with this.

Don't Be a Crazy Moon Landing Conspiracy Theorist, Or Buzz Aldrin Will Feed You a Knuckle Sandwich

You know, I really wish I didn't have to post things like this, but in the wake of Neil Armstrong's passing, a bunch of idiots are rehashing the moon landing conspiracy theory.  This is a huge collection of debunking, including the guys from Mythbusters and Buzz Aldrin himself, who proves himself an even bigger glorious badass than I had previously thought - a feat I had not thought was possible.  Note also: that conspiracy nut absolutely got what he deserved.  What, you go up to an American hero who trained like mad and put his life in jeopardy on Apollo 11 and proceed to accuse him of being a liar and a coward?  Idjit.  We love you, Buzz!

Monday Therapy: How "TDKR" Should Have Ended

Here's a bit of movie fun!  You'll recall that I reviewed The Dark Knight Rises here.  Oh, and don't miss this either.  Now on to the video, my lovelies:

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

LOL: Hey Girl, It's Paul Ryan

The Hey Girl Ryan Gosling meme meets Paul Ryan, and the result is swoony right-leaning hilarity.  There's also a lefty version that's more critical, but I'll just leave you with a LOL-worthy image from Hey Girl, It's Paul Ryan, shall I?

Nerd News: Iran Bans Women From College Courses


The "You Didn't Build That" Meme Achieves Apogee

Well, Obama's now-infamous "you didn't build that; somebody else made that happen" statement has produced a lot of jokes, pranks, and zingers, but this has got to be the best one yet. Oh, snap!

Tempers Flaring in the August Asian Heat

Professor Drezner has some advice: "Could everyone in Asia chill out just a wee bit?"  That's always good advice, but unfortunately nobody's going to take it.

Monday, August 20, 2012

I'm Sick of Real Politics, So I'm Going to Watch Fake Politics

That is, I think I'll finally get around to reviewing last fall's The Ides of March in the next few days.  Yeah, I know it's about politics, campaigning, corruption, influence peddling, manipulation, betrayal, ambition, cynicism, disillusionment, and general sleaze and skulduggery, so maybe it won't be that much a distraction from the latest idiocy in the media about real politics.  Still, I just know that (a) I'm sick of the actual campaign nonsense, and (b)the movie has BOTH George Clooney AND Ryan Gosling running around in suits and ties, so if nothing else I get something pretty to look at for an hour and a half.  Besides, no matter how bad the dialogue might get, it'll look like Oscar-winning writing compared to the actual words uttered by Joe Biden.  I can't lose, right?

The USS Constitution Sails Again

The world's oldest commissioned warship, "Old Ironsides" is a rare beauty.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Niall Ferguson on Romney vs. Obama

The Oxford/Harvard professor and analyst has something to say.  I give you a blurb because he says a lot of the things that I would say if I ever had the time to sit down and blog them all out for you:
The voters now face a stark choice. They can let Barack Obama’s rambling, solipsistic narrative continue until they find themselves living in some American version of Europe, with low growth, high unemployment, even higher debt—and real geopolitical decline. 
Or they can opt for real change: the kind of change that will end four years of economic underperformance, stop the terrifying accumulation of debt, and reestablish a secure fiscal foundation for American national security.
Well, I suppose we can sort of append him to the list of 400 economists who have declared publicly for Romney.  You know, you can boil down the entire presidential campaign, I think, to one idea: Romney with Ryan has a plan.  Obama has a narrative.  (The less said about Biden the better, aside from the snarky observation of who chose him for the VP slot in the first place, hm?)

UPDATE 1: Mark Steyn on who has a plan and who doesn't.  Hmmm.  This too.

UPDATE 2: In the interest of fairness, an opposing response to Ferguson.

UPDATE 3: Ferguson responds to his critics.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Whitewashing Afghan History Textbooks

Teaching history?  YOU'RE DOING IT WRONG.  Just look at this plaintive lament by one Afghan teacher:
"One of the primary objectives of studying history is not to repeat past mistakes. If students will not learn about past violence, how will they avoid it in future?"

Movie Mini-Review: "The Bourne Legacy" by Alessandra

Uh-oh!  I was planning to go see The Bourne Legacy, but Alessandra beat me to the theater.  She just got back and not 15 minutes ago told me in no uncertain terms, "The Bourne Legacy sucked!  Don't waste your money."  

RottenTomatoes gave the flick 55% (barely rotten), but Alessandra was disappointed with the plot and pacing.  She and I have pretty similar tastes in movies, so I'm thinking I'll skip this flick, even though I do like Jeremy Renner and the previous Bourne films.  Maybe I'll go get the Hunger Games Blu-ray that just came out this weekend. (Hunger Games mini-review here.  Maybe I'll actually get around to writing a substantive review of it now.)

My Idea Of "The Boss from Hell"

The kind of boss who pesters you about your personal life.  That's horrible, unacceptable behavior.  Then again, I'm a childless unmarried monster.

"A Special Kind of Blinkered Partisan"

Yup, this gets the "dipstick du jour" tag.  I like this summation from the article: "fundamentally unserious."  You don't say!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Friday Fun Video: "We're NASA and We Know It"

This delightfully goofy video parody of the LMFAO song and shoutout to NASA's Mars Curiosity mission has been making the rounds on the Internet this week, so here it is for your viewing/listening pleasure. Bonus: includes a tribute to Bobak.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Thoughts on Paul Ryan

The choice of Generation X?  (Well, we're "the Screwed Generation," after all, though that's a rant for another post - and, believe you me, I will rant if given half a chance, since plenty of Boomers seem perfectly happy to eat their young, metaphorically.)  Interestingly, this article was written by a center-left member of Gen X.  

In the New York Times editorials, of all places, comes this argument why moderates should like Ryan.

Remember that Ryan's budget plan was praised by none other than Erskine Bowles, the Democrat who co-chaired Obama’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform.  Here's the video.

Finally, look at this list:
Now think about this.  As Alessandra and I were saying earlier tonight, WOW, you know the economy's shot to hell if you find so many economists - including Nobel laureates and Ivy League econ professors - willing to publicize their support for Romney.  Come on, campus culture is heavily tilted to the Left.  It takes some nerve to declare in public, as these professors have, one's support for the anything else.  Now take a look at the list of economists.  Look at their institutions.  These aren't cranks.  These are established authorities and serious academics.  (And I'm pleased to see Greg Mankiw of Hahvahd on the list too, and he's also got this note.)  I counted 5 Nobel laureates and as for the others I quit counting at 200 and I was only at the letter H.

On a somewhat related note: I still wish we could require that every single member of government, beginning with Congress and the executive branch, take Econ 101 and pass it with a B or better before being allowed anywhere near policymaking.

Anyway, sci fi author Larry Correia's opinion is worth a look too because he's got a flair for words.  I repeat my now-uncontrollable desire to see Paul Ryan beat Joe Biden like a drum during the VP debates.

Oh, and I debated with myself whether to link to this uproarious Onion satire since it's so pottymouthed, but it's late, I'm tired, and I revert to my old mantra of discourse (i.e, "Screw 'em if they can't take a joke").  I had previously stated that I'm pretty sure the Obama camp is terrified of Paul Ryan, and apparently the Onion thinks so too.  Satire Alert: Take a look at this hilarity written in the guise of Ryan: "Admit It, I Scare the Ever-Loving Sh*t Out Of You, Don't I?"  Here's a blurb:
"I’m young, I’m handsome, I’m smart, and I’m articulate. And that scares the ever-loving sh*t out of you. You can pretend like you have this thing in the bag, but you know good g*dd*mn well that this race just got real interesting, real fast."

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

DVD Reviews: "The Tree of Life" and "Melancholia" (2011)

I watched these two because both of these artsy-fartsy films got really good reviews, and I wanted to see what the big deal was.  Famous last words.  In the end, it didn't matter much to me that Terrence Malick's The Tree of Life got 84% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes or that Lars von Trier's Melancholia rated 78% positive.  I hated them both, or, perhaps it's more diplomatic to say that I couldn't get into these movies.  Viscerally they utterly failed to move me.  This isn't to say that they aren't well-crafted projects. In a number of scenes, they are striking to see.  Both of these movies were pushing the envelope of film as abstract art, and in both huge orchestral soundtracks paired with eye-popping visuals make me wonder if the directors thought them all up while under the influence of - ah, shall we say - potent recreational substances of doubtful legality.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Quote of the Day: Thomas Sowell on Choices

This is a long-ish quotation, but it's worth a read as it delineates the difference between what people want to hear and what they need to hear:
This election is a test, not just of the opposing candidates but of the voting public. If what they want are the hard facts about where the country is, and where it is heading, they cannot vote for more of the same for the next four years. 
But, if what they want is emotionally satisfying rhetoric and a promise to give them something for nothing, to be paid for by taxing somebody else, then Obama is their man. This is not to say that the public will in fact get something for nothing or that rich people will just pay higher taxes, when it is easy for them to escape taxation by investing overseas -- creating jobs overseas. 
Even if most Americans do not have their own taxes raised, that means little, if they end up paying other people's taxes in the higher prices of goods and services that pass along the higher taxes imposed on businesses. 
There are no doubt voters who will vote on the basis of believing that Obama "cares" more about them. But that is a faith which passeth all understanding. The political mirage of something for nothing, from leaders who "care," has ruined many a nation.
Here's a related note.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Batten Down the Hatches, People

The Olympics are over, and the political campaign season is really upon us.  It's going to be one wild ride until November.  It's already ugly.  It's probably going to be one of the dirtiest re-election campaigns in recent memory.  I'm already hearing it.  A lefty friend just basically announced to everybody, "If you vote for Romney and Ryan, you're a homophobe!"   Thanks a lot.  I guess I should get used to being considered all sorts of nasty things before all is said and done.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Kissing the London Games Goodbye

It's all over but the partying at the Closing Ceremonies. What great Games!  There really is something special about the Olympics despite all their problems and issues and the fact that colorful kinesio tape seems to be the current athletic equivalent of duct tape (put that stuff on everything!). So what is MM is going to remember?  Oh, there's so much!  

Steyn and Romney

Pretty much, yeah?

Whole Foods CEO John Mackey on the Moral Case for Capitalism

Take a look.  I love how Mackey starts off by noting the nannyish desires of those meddling busybodies who think they "know best."  Don't you also find the politicization of food to be terribly tiresome?  I know I do.

Olympic Architecture


Quote of the Day: Olympics and Achievement

The Olympics were an unapologetic festival of competitiveness, pursuit of individual excellence, almost superhuman self-discipline, and uncompromising reward for merit. They were, in other words, a celebration of all those aspects of the human condition which the political fashion and educational ideology of the past 40 years has attempted to denigrate. And the country loved it. Indeed, it was ecstatically untroubled by the fact that some people – who were exceptionally talented and phenomenally dedicated – won, and some other people, with considerable courage and no dishonour, lost.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

It's Romney and Ryan

It's Paul Ryan.  Good pick.  The Insta-Prof is all over this.  Iowahawk is hilariously and pithily brilliant as usual.  Now hammer home the message that it's the economy.  I expect the response from the opposition to be not only unserious but disgraceful.  I also think the Obama camp might be secretly terrified.

On a related note, I now might actually be motivated to watch the VP debates so I can watch Ryan wipe the floor with Biden - not that this would be much of a feat, admittedly, but still.  The Olympics will be over, but I'm still going to want to watch a colossal beatdown because ... well, I'm a bloodthirsty sports fan, and politics is basically a full-contact sport.

UPDATE: A few thoughts.  Also this.  From the way that some of my lefty friends are flipping out, the Ryan pick has clearly hit a nerve.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Thoughts on the HHS Mandate

I meant to post this when the mandate went into effect last week, but I was a bit distracted.  The issues are as relevant as ever, though.  This isn't about contraception.  This is about the state coercion of religious institutions, and this is not okay.  Hey, Sebelius et al - religious freedom?  You're doing it wrong.  (And as I think I've said before, we're all Catholics now.)

Sunday, August 05, 2012

The Michael Phelps Photographic Medal Timeline

Look at medal by medal through his incredible career as the great Michael Phelps retires on a golden note.  I'm going to miss him in Rio.

A Thought on the London Games

My opinion hasn't changed in the slightest.

Ave atque Vale: Sir John Keegan

Sir John Keegan, the influential military historian who wrote The Face of War, has died at the age of 78.  If you've never read his books, do remedy that lapse.

LOL: Camo Cupcakes

This post is dedicated to Dignified Rant!  Go there for military analyses and foreign affairs.  Come here for recipes, movie reviews, and snarky commentary on news and culture.  Today I'm amused by these camo cupcakes and the perfect way to serve them; it all seems to be the perfect fusion of our disparate interests.

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Disgustingly Cute: Candid Photos from the Games

Adorable couple is adorable.  This is just too cute, especially at the end.  Awwww.

Awesome: Oscar Pistorius Makes History in London

Alessandra and I have been following the South African athlete's career with great interest.  What a story!  I watched him run  the 400 meters this morning and qualify for semifinals, and it was awesome.  In case you've been living under a rock for a while and don't know who Oscar Pistorius is, here's the scoop.  

UPDATE: Pistorius didn't make it out of semis, but it doesn't matter.  He is still victorious as far as everyone is concerned.  The crowd roared, my buddies and I cheered, and the defending 400 meter Olympic champion exchanged bibs with him in a charming gesture. Pistorius gets the heroes tag.

Awesome: Olympic Moon and Tower Bridge

Playing Punk Rock to Power? Dissident Musicians

A few thoughts on the heels of the goings-on in Russia.

LOL: A Politically Humorous Birthday Cake

Remember "you didn't build that"?  The RNC does.  I often think that outfit is run by morons, but I must point out that every once in while it does something fabulous ... like this. Sometimes humor is the best option!

Friday, August 03, 2012

Friday Fun Video: If Kite-Flying Were An Olympic Sport

These guys would be taking home a medal:


One Chick-fil-A Rant Worth a Look

Pretty much, yeah. Remember this too. FOCUS. Both sides are flailing around in their divisive, overheated, media-enabled moral outrage that's as much about display as anything else. Everybody just calm the heck down and have an ice cream.  Good grief, people. There's one more thing I want to add for the most histrionic on both sides: the fact that somebody does not agree with you does not automatically mean that s/he (a) is evil or stupid or morally degenerate, (b) hates you and wants to destroy you, or (c) must be suppressed in the name of some faux idea of whatever.  A person who disagrees with you is still a person.  Special note to the dipstick politicians: SHAME ON YOU.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

LOL: the World's Cutest Police Chase

Awwwww.  You should absolutely watch the video while playing the Benny Hill theme song in your head or for reals.

Awesome: Fire Rainbows

All together now: "Oooooooooooooooo!"

Robot Apocalypse Update: the Kuratas

A giant robot with guns ... and it can be controlled by smartphone.  (Don't even bother asking where this thing is from. You know.)  Hey, am I living in a Michael Bay movie?  Either way, we're totally doomed, so I might have well have two scoops of ice cream instead of one, right?  Right!

Apparently I'm Not the Only One Enjoying the Olympics

Heh.  By the way, ladies, I think our equivalent is men's water polo.  Or swimming.  Definitely swimming.  UPDATE: Um, yeah!  While we're talking, note this caveat, girls.


Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Congrats on Winning a Medal. Now Pay Tax On It.

Oh, come on!  UPDATE: Someone's doing something about it.  Well, good.

Olympic Overload

Blogging will be light until the Games are over, because your humble hostess is too busy obsessing about them and trying to do nerd work at the same time!  (Get your London 2012 app yet?)  The NBC coverage during primetime has been mostly - let's be honest - bad when it's not silly and crammed with some of the most idiotic "commentary" I've heard.  How bad is it?  Sometimes even the logo placement elicits guffaws from the audience, and this unfortunate placement of the graphic makes the entire scene seems a lot naughtier than it really is.  The daytime live coverage is less awful, at least - I suspect because of the conspicuous absence of annoying people like Ryan Seacrest.  Really, NBC, the snarky satirists at the Onion are doing a better job of "covering" the Games.  I mostly watch NBC with the sound turned off.  I'm not kidding.

If you're watching the primetime coverage, do have actor Samuel L. Jackson's Twitter feed available too, because he's a sports addict who is utterly laugh-out-loud funny in his no-holds-barred running real-time commentary.  (Language warning, obviously.)

For other awesome perspectives on the Games, you can always follow some of the athletes' Twitter feeds (like Michael Phelps' or Lolo Jones's ... and Lolo is hilarious) or maybe watch the BBC's streaming coverage.

As for the Games, they're full of stories of all types, which brings me to the dirtbag du jour, Olympic edition.  Nope, that's too depressing.  Let's focus instead on Phelps making glorious history by winning his 19th medal, shall we?  Congratulations, sir!