Friday, June 30, 2006

Louis Vuitton

This is an angry letter from a Chihuahua named Louis Vuitton to his owner. It’s one of the funniest things I’ve read in a long time. It was written by Justin Wood back in 2005.

I mean it, I feel ridiculous. Get it off.

Lady, just because your boyfriend doesn’t want to settle down, doesn’t mean you should pretend that I’m a real baby in hopes that he’ll play along in your twisted game of “house”. I promise you’re scaring him off, and it makes you look insane. Think about it, you dress me like a Gap employee and tote me around like a damned fashion accessory. It’s disgusting, and you need to get your shit straight. Meantime, you can stop force-feeding me Altoids, you bitch.

While I’m on the record, there are some other things I could do without, you psycho. Yeah, as it turns out, I don’t really care for the ylang-ylang oil massage. It’s not relaxing, it actually hurts and generally creeps me out. In fact, it’s damn close to rape.

Oh, this just in, I’m not actually a fucking vegetarian. Do you honestly think that I prefer couscous and tofu over my lamb and beef nuggets?Lettuce wraps? Are you fucking serious… what is your damage? I would rather eat my own shit, and guess what, when you’re asleep, I do. Then I lick your whore face and laugh about it.

Don’t even get me started on my name. Louis Vuitton? You superficial bitch. Do you have any idea how embarrassing that is? I’m already wearing the gayest sweater since the "Cosby Show", but you insist on naming me after an expensive line of European handbags. Seriously, fuck you. You make me look like a complete pussy and I hate you for it. For real, the next time you try to gel my hair, I will tear a hole in your windpipe. I swear to God I will.

Not that you’d ever fucking notice, but you continue to place me in dangerous situations. Just yesterday at the dog park, I could feel the cold hard stare from a Doberman through my Kenneth Cole double-breasted pea coat. Shit, even the French poodle called me a fag, and he was wearing a beret.

Do you have any idea what would happen to a dog like me at the pound? You don’t even WANT to know. I step in there with even a whiff of CK One on me, and it’s all over.

It pisses me off that you don’t pull this shit on the cat (Although it’s probably because she’s a lesbo). I am really tired of the smug looks I get from that butch-ass feline. Just once I’d like to see you put an ascot around her neck and let her feel what this shit is like. Then she’ll realize it’s not funny, and I’m in real pain here. At the very least you could throw a flannel shirt on that dyike and even it up here, you owe it to me. I promise I will end all nine of her lives if I ever get a chance to chase her without these miniature Steve Madden patent leather urban utility boots strapped on my paws. Not that I’d get far; even without the shoes I still have to battle these Italian micro suede chinos.

Listen lady, I’m at the end of my rope and I’ve been doing a lot of thinking (Yes, there’s a lot of time for that while you watch E!, thumb through your copy of People magazine, stopping occasionally to read the text message on your jewel-encrusted Sidekick). I have decided that I’m running away. I’m going to take my chances on the outside. Tomorrow morning, during doggy yoga, I am fucking gone, baby – and there is nothing you can do to stop me.

The last thing you’ll see is my puckered little asshole as I’m out the door, but not before I leave a hot, soft and juicy turd pile right on my miniature doggy yoga mat – and I’ve got a half a pound of espresso beans and 3 bran muffins for breakfast to make sure it’s a good one.

See you in hell, bitch.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Ugliest World Cup Player Ever

As I understand it, Franck Ribery was in a car accident as a kid, which caused his horrific scarring. A fantastic player he may be, but he wouldn't look out of place if he rang the bells in a French church.

Scamming the Nigerian Spammer

Genius. Couldn't have been bettter played. Derek Trotter at dedicates his life to tricking the guys who send out the infamous "Nigerian Businessman" emails a lesson, by baiting them into a scam of his own. He records it in hilarious detail here.

My only problem is that the guy who got in touch with Trotter, John Boko, is probably some poor West African kid who works for the 419 spammer, happens to be into sculpture and figured this "scholarship" could mean a world of opportunity for him and his family. In short, I think the wrong guy got taken for a ride.

As usual, the little guys gets screwed while the big guys get off scot free. Here's an article on the whole affair, as reported by The Age.

Swedish insurance pays your fine if RIAA sues

Apparently, a company in Sweden is offering file-sharing insurance - they'll pay your fines if you're sued by the RIAA. The /. submitter translates the link as follows: 'For a mere 140 SEK ($19 USD) per year, they will pay all your fines and give you a t-shirt if you get convicted for file sharing.'

No idea if these insurers can be trusted with $19/year, but it actually sounds like a pretty plausible business model. If you count up all the file-sharers on the net, and divide it by the all the fines and settlements ever paid to the RIAA, it'sprobably way less than $19/year, which suggests that a buck (or Kronor) can be made at this.

Fuck the RIAA Bullies

The RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) began their lawsuit campaign against alleged music pirates in June of 2003. When the first RIAA lawsuits began rolling off the assembly line, an enormous media frenzy accompanied this event. Since that time the lawsuits have become second-rate news, as the chances of becoming another RIAA statistic is relatively low – very low.

So what exactly are your chances of being sued by the RIAA? In our news story last Wednesday, Slyck reported the number of online file-sharers was approximately 9 million users. Among other networks, this number did not account for the BitTorrent, WinMX, Manolito, Warez/Ares, Gnutella2 or SoulSeek populations. If we did include those users, we would be looking at a much larger population – perhaps as many as 15 million users. For the purposes of this article, we will split the difference and approximate there are 12 million P2P users online at any given moment.

With this number in mind, there have been 10,037 people sued by the RIAA since June of 2003. According to the web log “ RIAA Watch”, 6,523 people were sued by the RIAA in 2004. What exactly does this mean?

If we divide the total population of the P2P community (~12 million individuals), by the total number of lawsuits in 2004 (6,523), we get 1,840. In other words, your chances of being sued are 1 in 1,840 for all users (regardless of network) per year. How does that stack against all other odds of dying from an intentional or non-intentional injury? According to the National Safety Council, one’s yearly chances of dying from all external causes were 1 in 1,755 in 2002.

Basically, your chances of dying from all causes of external injuries, whether from a car accident, motorcycle accident, plane crash, murder, etc was 1 in 1,755 – fairly remote odds. Although the odds were remote, they still were not as remote as specific causes of death – such as lightening strikes, suicide, “fall on and from stairs and steps” or being electrocuted. In some cases, your chances of dying from contact with a sharp object were 1 in 2.8 million.

So let us examine the chances of being sued by the RIAA a bit further. The main focus of the RIAA lawsuits have been against the FastTrack network. The effects of this campaign has crippled FastTrack, dropping its population from ~4.5 million to ~2.5 million users. From the last capture of the proportion of networks under the RIAA’s gun in November of 2003, 150 users of FastTrack were sued, compared to 5 Blubster users. Since the RIAA cannot subpoena individuals anymore, we unfortunately cannot provide a more current proportion. However, common knowledge dictates that FastTrack remains a priority, and on November 13 of 2003 it represented ~96% of those being sued.

If we were to eliminate 96% (proportion of FastTrack users) of the 6,523 sued in 2004, the odds of being sued changes dramatically. If we consider only those using a non-FastTrack P2P network, the total number of lawsuits drops to only ~261. In other words, you then have a 1 in 45,977 chance of being sued if you do not use FastTrack. Comparatively, according to the National Safety Council, you have a better chance of being killed in a transportation or non-transportational accident, death from suicide, death from assault or death by legal intervention (such as execution or being shot by a police officer.)

However this assumes the RIAA has remained consistent in which network users are being sued from. Let's say the RIAA was more diverse in which networks they pursue. If we assume half of those sued in 2004 were using FastTrack, that leaves us with 3,261 non-FastTrack related lawsuits. You would then have a 1 in 3,679 chance of being sued. That still places you above all external cases of mortality (1 in 1,755), but below all transportational accidents (1 in 5,953.) However, you would still have a better chance of being killed in an unintentional accident (1 in 2,698), then being sued by the RIAA.

Although these numbers are hardly an exact science, they do reflect the odds of being sued are little different than the risks one takes by simply living day-to-day life. But if we were to get real specific, the odds of being sued by the RIAA for non-FastTrack users (1 in 3,679) is still much greater than death by contact with a venomous snake or lizard (1 in 95 million.) So just watch yourself.

My all-time favorite ad

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Fake eyes boost honesty

A research team from Newcastle University recently showed that people are more honest when they're being watched even if the eyes aren't real. The scientists compared how much money people dropped in an "honesty box" when retrieving a drink. Turns out, they deposited three times more cash if there was a poster of a pair of eyes staring them down than an image of flowers.

"They peed on MY fucking rug!"

Fun mash-up of He-Man and The Big Lebowski, with Skeletor as the Dude. Check it right here.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Pigless Latin

A man who does not understand Latin is like one who walks through a beautiful region in a fog; his horizon is very close to him; he sees only the nearest things clearly, and a few steps away from him, the outlines of everything become indistinct or wholly lost. But the horizon of the Latin scholar extends far and wide through the centuries of modern history, Middle Ages and antiquity.

-Arthur Schopenhauer

Ghana vs. Brazil

Ok, I got it wrong. Brazil 3-Ghana 0. I'm human.

In my own way.

Star Trek Cribs

Star Trek Cribs is what mash-ups is all about: two polar opposite genres irreverently fused together with utter disregard for taste and common decency. I love it.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Maury tortures 'Girl with pickle phobia'.

Already the winner of my favorite blog post title of the year. Also, and this may surprise you, "Girl with Pickle Phobia" also happens to be the name of an unfinished painting by Vermeer. Or not.

Good ol' Maury. Always finds a way to the really important issues. You can't make shit like this up. Watch it and weep here.

Winner of advertising gold at Cannes

Is It Any Wonder?

Download this song immediately and listen to it 3 times in a row.

I, I always thought that I knew
I'd always have the right to
Be living in the kingdom of the good and true
And so on, but now I think I was wrong
And you were laughing along
And now I look a fool for thinking you were on my side

Is it any wonder I'm tired?
Is it any wonder that I feel uptight?
Is it any wonder I don't know what's right?

Sometimes, it's hard to know where I stand
It's hard to know what I am
Well maybe it's a puzzle I don't understand
Sometimes I get the feeling that I'm
Stranded in the wrong time
Where love is just a lyric in a children’s rhyme

Is it any wonder I'm tired?
Is it any wonder that I feel uptight?
Is it any wonder I don't know what's right?
Oh these days
After all the misery made
Is it any wonder that I feel afraid?
Is it any wonder that I feel betrayed?

Nothing left inside this old cathedral
Just the sad lonely spires
How do you make it right?
Oh, but you try

Is it any wonder I'm tired?
Is it any wonder that I feel uptight?
Is it any wonder I don't know what's right?
Oh these days
After all the misery made
Is it any wonder that I feel afraid?
Is it any wonder that I feel betrayed?

Kiddie Wear

Candy Girl: Diary of an Unlikely Stripper

I read this book over the weekend and it was bite-your-lip hysterical. It's also essential reading for anyone who's harbored a secret ambition to try stripping (I'm looking at you Carmen, not you Forsooth). My only question mark, which was never satisfactorily answered, is why she agonized over what her stage name should be. She settled on "Cherish", which is a perfectly respectable stripper name except..

..your name is already Diablo!!

Check out Diablo Cody's interview with Letterman here.

USCIS Violating Citizenship Regulations

My 120 days is coming up this Wednesday, June 28th. I'm going to file a mandamus on June 29th.

Washington, DC | April 20, 2006 | California's San Bernardino County Sun newspaper reported yesterday that US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) adjudicators are violating their own regulations in failing to process naturalizations within the mandated 120-day time frame. The article cites an internal USCIS memo, issued on March 13, 2006, which outlines concerns the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Office of Immigration and Litigation (OIL) have with USCIS adjudications noting that some individuals seeking citizenship have experienced delays often ten months to 4 years in length.

The memo states, "The Department of Justice is greatly concerned with the number of these actions that are pending. A concerted effort to file such cases in district court . . . is being championed by the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee. DOJ/OIL [Department of Justice and Office of Immigration Litigation] believes that USCIS violates its own regulations . . . in holding interviews before checks are done, and that DOJ is left without a good argument to make when advocating these cases before district courts." The memo indicates that the DOJ/OIL support ADC's position on this issue.

ADC is working with immigration attorneys across the country to address the problem highlighted in the memo. Specifically, immigrants are experiencing significant delays in the processing of their naturalization petitions by USCIS. ADC corroborates, via cases directly reported to ADC, that delays can span ten months to 4 years. Because of the 120-day processing time requirement, numerous immigration attorneys who have filed writs of mandamus to compel the processing of their significantly delayed petitions were granted their naturalizations immediately after filing the writs. However, the added writ-filing step that many naturalization petitioners must now take is creating significant delays, and is not financially feasible for all petitioners.

ADC will call attention to this problem through a nationwide legal and media campaign, to take place this upcoming week, when attorneys across the nation will file writs of mandamus for their naturalization clients experiencing delays. ADC will coordinate the effort set to take place in multiple jurisdictions, with press conferences following the filings (details to follow soon.) Based on past experiences, ADC believes that the writs will be granted and the resulting information will show that these delays have been a nationwide problem for immigrants seeking naturalization.

Naturalization loophole is hit

Immigrants can sue for citizenship
Sara A. Carter, Staff Writer

A loophole in the U.S. immigration system is allowing some citizenship applicants to go forward in the naturalization process and receive immigration benefits without complete FBI criminal background checks, according to government documents obtained by the The Sun's sister newspaper, the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin in Ontario.

Applicants for citizenship through the California Service Processing Center in Laguna Niguel frequently are being interviewed for citizenship prior to immigration officials receiving the FBI checks, according to an internal document issued last month by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, or USCIS. Under federal immigration law, USCIS must receive the FBI check before the interview.

If the interview happens first, applicants can sue for immigration benefits if 120 days pass and the agency has not made a decision on their application. Immigration benefits include citizenship, asylum, lawful permanent residency, employment authorization, refugee status, family and employment-related immigration, and foreign student authorization.

Nearly 1.5 million people last year could have sued for immigrant benefits via the loophole, according to information provided by the agency. USCIS processed 7.5 million applications for benefits in 2005 and granted them to about 6.5 million people. The number of applicants who actually sued for benefits was not available through USCIS, its parent agency, the Department of Homeland Security, or through the Department of Justice.

The number of those granted benefits who might also be public safety threats is anyone's guess, said Rosemary Jenks, the attorney representing Michael Maxwell, former director of the Office of Security and Investigations, a branch of USCIS.

If an FBI background check is not available by the time a citizenship lawsuit comes before immigration court, benefits are granted because the government didn't follow its own rules, Jenks said.

"It means the wrong people are getting the wrong benefits at the wrong time," said Maxwell, who testified in Congress recently about immigration procedures. "U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is violating their own laws and opening a doorway for potential terrorists and criminals to enter the country."

Lawsuits pending

The loophole now is being used by immigrant-advocacy groups.

Next week, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee will announce plans to make public the hundreds of lawsuits across the nation that the group helped coordinate against U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, a committee attorney said.

The organization, along with 40 attorneys representing approximately 20 clients each, will announce its plans to sue USCIS under the 120-day clause, said Lema Bashir, an attorney for the committee.

"Most of the delays we're seeing are looking at 10 months to four years," Bashir said. "Interestingly enough, some of the participants in our project are not Middle Eastern. If it is a national security reason (for the delays), then those reasons should be given. Since those reasons are not being given, we're assuming that that is not the reason, and these delays in citizenship are just backlogged delays."

An internal USCIS memo issued in March also outlines concerns the Department of Justice and the Office of Immigration and Litigation have with USCIS adjudicators violating regulations, and addresses the upcoming lawsuits and immigrants using the judicial system as a way of possibly circumventing FBI background checks.

"The Department of Justice is greatly concerned with the number of these actions that are pending," the memorandum states. "A concerted effort to file such cases in district court . . . is being championed by the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee.

"(Department of Justice and Office of Immigration Litigation) believes that (Citizenship and Immigration Services) violates its own regulations . . . in holding interviews before checks are done, and that (Department of Justice) is left without a good argument to make when advocating these cases before district courts."

If the lawsuits are successful, hundreds of applicants would be granted immigrant benefits, and ultimately citizenship, without any knowledge of their backgrounds, Maxwell said.

Cynthia Magnuson, a spokeswoman for the Justice Department, said it had no comment on the memorandum or the pending litigation.

Procedures questioned

A 2003 internal audit conducted by the Justice Department and the then-Immigration and Naturalization Service noted that a known Middle Eastern terrorist associate was granted citizenship.

An audit document obtained by the Daily Bulletin stated that the man's background wasn't fully checked but that adjudicators at the Newark, N.J., naturalization office still granted him citizenship.

The Immigration and Naturalization Service which at the time was part of the Department of Homeland Security but yet to be renamed Citizenship and Immigration Services did not follow appropriate procedures in processing immigrants.

"The INS procedures should have detected and prevented the naturalization of an alien having known terrorist affiliations," the audit stated. "However, close scrutiny of these procedures disclosed several system deficiencies and weak controls that contributed to the inappropriate naturalization."

The investigation found that initial name checks performed by the FBI failed to disclose the immigrant's terrorist affiliations and that the district adjudication officer ignored a second database system for checking the applicant.

The audit further disclosed that "unresolved FBI name checks are routinely overridden by Newark District Adjudication Officers during the naturalization process."

Concerns in California

Documents obtained by the Daily Bulletin accuse the largest processing center for citizenship and immigration on the West Coast of the same types of violations.

The California Service Processing Center in Laguna Niguel, one of the four immigration service centers in the United States, is failing to meet the majority of its requirements, according to a USCIS letter. The service center covers a region including Arizona, Hawaii, Nevada and Guam.

The center does not conduct appropriate background checks and is accused of having a 100 percent failure rate in not recording the results of FBI name checks and fingerprints, said a San Francisco district office adjudicator whose name was redacted from the letter for fear of reprisal.

The San Francisco adjudicator aired his concerns in a letter to Lloyd Miner of the special investigations office of USCIS. Miner brought the letter to Maxwell, his director at the time. "Basically, the California Service Center employees ignore the FBI name check as being legally required before scheduling examinations by field officers," the letter states.

An FBI check for citizenship must confirm that the applicant does not have a criminal record, or confirm the opposite that the applicant does have a record.

Applicants also must also have two fingerprint cards for the purpose of conducting background checks.

Shawn Saucier, spokesman for Citizenship and Immigration Services, would not comment on Maxwell's allegations or the letter but said the allegations are being investigated by the U.S. Attorney General's Office.

"In the end, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will not put the security of the United States at risk by approving an application for U.S. citizenship without the proper security and background checks being completed," Saucier said.

`Acceptable risk'

After learning of the San Francisco adjudicator's allegations, Maxwell said he immediately disclosed the loophole to Robert Divine, the acting deputy director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

"When I warned senior leadership about this risk, they stated they were aware of the risk and deemed it acceptable," Maxwell said. "U.S. Citizenship and Immigration officials know that this vulnerability exists and that the immigration courts are granting benefits to applicants who have not been checked. I told my superiors that I don't think the American public is willing to accept this risk."

Angelica Alfonso-Royals, assistant director of communication for Citizenship and Immigration Services, said Divine could not comment on his conversation with Maxwell. She added that any allegations are being handled by the U.S. Attorney General's Office.

"A lot of these name checks come back clear," Alfonso-Royals said. "It wouldn't be fair to the applicant to not keep the applications moving. Again, we don't make the final decision on the case until we get the FBI name check."

But the courts do, Maxwell said.

Saucier, the USCIS spokesman, said the number of persons going through the court system is relatively small.

The department and the FBI are working to rectify any problem with delayed background checks, and Saucier insisted that decisions to legalize applicants lie solely with the courts, not with his agency.

This is where the system slips, Maxwell said.

"(USCIS) knows what they're doing is wrong," Maxwell added. "But they continue to do it because in the end they can always blame the courts.

"The system itself is so flawed, so skewed on behalf of the applicant, that it builds on its flaws," Maxwell said.

Prediction: Ghana Upsets Brazil

No, they didn't make them cry (at least, not yet) but they will: I predict a Ghana win over Brazil in the round of 16, tomorrow, which would be a MAJOR upset. The bookmakers put the odds at 12-1, which means this would be a sweet score for anyone willing to put money down. Like me. Anyone care to put faith in my Nostradamus-like ability to predict soccer outcomes? Come on, cheeky ferrets, it's easy money!

I wonder if the OTB takes soccer bets? I'm a little leery of using online gambling sites..

Remember, you read it here first.
This World Cup has been lacking one essential ingredient: drama. That moment of magic. On the other hand, I heard the best nickname for a player ever: Germany left-back, Philip Lahm, was dubbed "The Magic Dwarf", by the best-selling Bild daily. I wish I could be dubbed that!

Last night's WWE clash between Portugal and a Holland Divers XI was outrageous for many reasons. Firstly, there was the referee, who was so at sea he should have had an anchor tattooed on his forearm and a parrot perched on his shoulder. Secondly, there was the disgusting performance of Arjen Robben, the worst Dutch actor since the firewall-unfriendly Dick van Dyke. Then there was Marco van Basten, who stubbornly persisted with the laughably inept 'striker' Dirk Kuyt as Ruud van Nistelrooy stood stewing in his own bile on the sidelines.

On the plus side for England fans, all those cards waved at Portugueezers means their team gets to continue the flukiest run of fixtures since Ronald Reagan was ordered by his CIA bosses to pick only on the likes of mighty Granada and Nicaragua. After qualifying from the worst group in Europe, Sven's spawny gits were drawn in the worst group in the World Cup, then met the worst team in the last 16 and are now set to face a Portugal outfit handicapped by the loss of no less than 47 players through suspension.

Happily for all those who believe a team should face at least one half-decent opponent before being eliminated in the World Cup semi-final, news broke today that Luis Figo will be free to dribble past David Beckham's vomit next Saturday. It seems Fifa, like Big Phil, believes the midfielder's headbutt on Mark van Bommel was righteous revenge for constant Dutch playacting.

"Jesus Christ says 'turn the other cheek', but Figo is not Jesus Christ," revealed Scolari. Fifa's explanation was more mundane: "The referee's [five-volume] report is being analysed but it's very unlikely anything will happen as he got a yellow card at the time," droned a suit, between bites. "It's only where there is a clear disciplinary issue which has not been acted upon by the referee that the [disciplinary] committee can look at it." Never mind; given that even John Terry took a couple of dives yesterday, Figo will probably see red early on against England.

Sunday, June 25, 2006


I got this email, out of the blue. It was unexpected, to say the least.


Its been a while and figured one of us has to make the effort otherwise time would pass and losing one of my closest friends would just be a sad loss.

Ofcourse I wish we had connected before I left - however I was upset and I guess you were, however you never considered that my situation was in the middle and I wanted to avoid any conflict given that 'they' had organised something rather then me hence I was not favouring anyone. Ofcourse I was anxious and nervous given the big change I was making and it just happned.

Anyways, how are you? Hope you are good. Its been too long and really I miss our friendship a gr8 deal.

I know you too well- dont stay upset, our friendship should be worth much more.


I responded by saying I guess I could put things behind us. You can't spend your life fighting, regardless of who's at fault.

Friday, June 23, 2006

"I'm taking away your Bill of Rights"

Penn Jillette's friend, Dino Cameron, is a genius. He makes playing card size copies of the Bill of Rights printed on metal, with the 4th Amendment in red. It's called "Bill of Rights, Security Edition," and it's made just for flying. It sets off the metal detectors and it gives you the opportunity to look the security officer square in the face and say "So you're going to take away my Bill of Rights?".

Nerdy t-shirt: "broken image"

$15 at

Premier League Manager

A jokester who plays the game Football Manager on his PC, wrote in to Middlesborough Football Club to apply for the vacant managerial position, after Steve Gibson's departure. His letter, as well as subsequent response from MFC, are shown below.

You have to hand it to the infidels, they can be really, really funny.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Is Annelise Hesme really all that? I fluctuate..

Somebody said this me today: "One thing I admire about your culture is the sense of the group. Cultures based on groups rely on community to heal themselves. Cultures based on the individual rely on therapy. You guys have it right."

I agree with the thinking behind this, to a point. What it fails to take into account, is some individuals have a problem integrating with the collective. Regardless of which culture they're from. Thoughts?

Both agnostics and atheists are regularly criticized as illogical by people who don’t understand the meaning of these terms. An agnostic is a person who believes that the existence of a god or gods cannot be proven or known. Agnosticism is a statement about the limits of human knowledge. It is an error to suppose that agnostics perpetually hesitate between faith and doubt: they are confident they cannot know the ultimate truth. Similarly, atheists believe there are no gods. Atheists need not be able to disprove the existence of gods to be consistent just as believers do not need to be able prove that gods do exist in order to be regarded as religious. Both attitudes have to do with beliefs, not knowledge.

“Agnostic” is often used metaphorically of any refusal to make a judgment, usually on the basis of a lack of evidence; people can be agnostic about acupuncture, for instance, if they believe there is not enough evidence one way or another to decide its effectiveness.

I love shit like this and a lot of my friends do, as well. This site is a useful reference but I'd be remiss if I didn't mention my two favorite grammar books: Lynne Truss' Eats, Shoots and Leaves and Karen Elizabeth Gordon's The Deluxe Transitive Vampire: A Handbook of Grammar for the Innocent, the Eager and the Doomed. Both are superb and handle their subjects with plenty of wit.

Emo Philips

"A computer once beat me at chess, but it was no match for me at kick boxing."

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

"Most people whom are considered by others to be highly intelligent, are merely highly outspoken"

Well, my friends are gone
and my hair is gray
I ache in places
Where I used to play
While I'm still for love
Despite never getting enough
But I can't get myself to join
A game that's this rough

(with apologies to Leonard Cohen)

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood
and sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveller, long I stood
and looked down one as far as I could
to where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
and having perhaps the better claim
because it was grassy and wanted wear;
though as for that, the passing there
had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
in leaves no feet had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I --
I took the one less travelled by,
and that has made all the difference

Wear sunscreen.

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they've faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine.

Don't worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing every day that scares you.


Don't be reckless with other people's hearts. Don't put up with people who are reckless with yours.


Don't waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. The race is long and, in the end, it's only with yourself.

Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements.


Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don't.

Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees. You'll miss them when they're gone.

Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll have children, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll divorce at 40, maybe you'll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else's.

Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don't be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It's the greatest instrument you'll ever own.

Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.

Read the directions, even if you don't follow them.

Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents. You never know when they'll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings. They're your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft. Travel.

Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you'll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don't expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you'll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out.

Don't mess too much with your hair or by the time you're 40 it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen.

-Mary Schmich

Monday, June 19, 2006

"Life has no easy transitions...some things, you're not ready to do until after you do them."

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Friday, June 16, 2006

Jay-Z: Boycott "racist" Cristal Champagne

Somebody please explain to Jay-Z that rappers aren't a race and if you question whether you should forbid rappers from drinking Cristal, you're not being a racist (maybe a rapist?). More critically, attacking rap isn't attacking black people, despite the industry's best efforts to encourage that ludicrous point of view.

Jay-Z is calling for a rapper boycott of premium Champagne maker Cristal after an executive for the company implied discomfort with his firm's product being a status symbol for rappers and wondered "what can we do? We can't forbid people from buying it." Jay-Z has pulled the brand from his clubs, and is calling on rappers and their fans to stay away from the drink.

In a special summer issue of The Economist magazine, Frederic Rouzaud, managing director of Louis Roederer, said the company viewed the affection for his company's champagne from rappers and their fans with "curiosity and serenity."

Asked by the magazine if the association between Cristal and the "bling lifestyle" could be detrimental, Rouzaud replied:

"That's a good question, but what can we do? We can't forbid people from buying it. I'm sure Dom Perignon or Krug would be delighted to have their business."

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Why dogs attack humans

From Chris Di Clerico (who's back in New York, by the way)