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Delta 4-Heavy Rocket Launch Seen from Close Range
10.01.2009
09:57 pm
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Crazy! Launch photographer Ben Cooper used a sound-triggered camera to capture this intense shot of the launch of a Delta 4-Heavy rocket from close range. His lens was destroyed!

Via Gizmodo

Posted by Richard Metzger
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10.01.2009
09:57 pm
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How Damaged is The Republican Party?
10.01.2009
07:20 pm
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Apparently plenty damaged! This gorgeous graph shows a public largely deaf to the Republican message, except for the crazies, the birthers, the religious fanatics and the tea baggers. How do you recover from numbers like these? By next year? No way! I mean, not even a guy as oblivious to FACTS as Sean Hannity could spin this one positively! The Republican party has all but been abandoned except for the lunatic fringe!

There were many, many times during this, our Summer of Discontent when I despaired of seeing any substantive change in this country because of the loud-mouthed turnips at the town hall meetings egged on by the likes of Glenn Beck and his FOX News buddies, waving teabags and clogging up the television airways with stupidity on a nightly basis. But I kept my sanity by coming back to the incontrovertible fact that the Republicans have been basically out-flanked by population trends and the demographic zeitgeist is decidedly not with them moving forward.

It’s a toxic brand and it’s burning itself out with the hate and ignorance. Smart people do not want to hang around with idiots. And minorities are not welcome and never have been (as if).  Forty-somethings who cast their first vote for Reagan don’t want to be associated with these fools they have nothing in common with. It’s embarrassing to be Republican! The GOP’s adherents with brains mutinied a long time ago to the Libertarian Party, or became independents or even Democrats. The only ones sticking around are the low IQ buffoons with misspelled signs we see on FOX News shouting “ACORN!” and other nonsense.  Most of them are old and when they die off, they’re gone. Keep that in mind when you see these sad, nutty, angry idiots on TV next time. These people won’t be around forever. And when they’re gone, they will not be replaced.

And that is just the way it is. Nature is quite kind in that regard.

There is a light at the end of the tunnel, progressive friends: No political party is immune from having a life-cycle and we’re about to see the end of the GOP’s. Good riddance, I say, I will piss on its grave.

Here’s an excerpt from a slightly less heated discussion about the above graph from Pollster:

The overall finding is simple—the GOP’s standing relative to the Democrats on both measures is worse than any opposition party in the sample. For instance, the Pew data show that the Republicans are currently viewed more negatively than any minority party in the previous four midterms in terms of both net favorables and the difference in net favorables between parties

The CBS results (not shown) are even more dramatic. In June, when the question was most recently asked, Republican net favorables were -30% and Democratic net favorables were 25%, which swamps the comparable results from the previous cycles.

In short, there’s no question that the GOP party brand is in worse shape than any opposition party in recent memory.

Assessing the GOP brand

Posted by Richard Metzger
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10.01.2009
07:20 pm
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Hitler Learns About Sarah Palin’s “Going Rogue”
10.01.2009
06:13 pm
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I’m an admitted sucker for the “Hitler responds” meme culled from Downfall.  Jump on this one while it’s still fresh.  Hitler’s not gonna be blurbing Rogue, that’s for sure!

Posted by Bradley Novicoff
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10.01.2009
06:13 pm
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Extreme Grief And The Single Tear Catcher
10.01.2009
04:39 pm
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Fascinating article this week in the NYT that suggests it’s time for a more nuanced definition of extreme grieving, what Columbia University’s Dr. M. Katherine Shear calls a “loop of suffering.”  Unlike “normal” grief, or even depression, extreme grieving persists for six months or more and strips away from life any sense of meaning or purpose.  Grieving of this sort has been linked to higher frequencies of drinking, suicide, even cancer. 

But a recent study involving MRIs arrived at an even more provocative conclusion: when an extreme griever was shown photos of a loved one, their brain received a jolt of dopamine, indicating the possible addictive qualities of memories themselves.

When your grief, though, is of the more manageable variety, you no longer have to rely exclusively on head-to-toe black.  Artist Matthew Coombes has just come out with a grief-chic line that includes everything from a single tear catcher (see above) to special finger protectors designed to preserve your cuticles in times of stress and sorrow.

In the NYT:

Cuddling Up With The Placenta Teddy Bear
10.01.2009
03:31 pm
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Are placenta teddy bears the next new toy?  I hope not, but the Placenta Teddy Bear by Alex Green was one of the toy designs showcased at the ?

Posted by Bradley Novicoff
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10.01.2009
03:31 pm
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Los Angeles City and County Attorneys Challenge Legality of Over-the-Counter Medical Marijuana Sales
10.01.2009
12:09 pm
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In what has to be one of the most short-sighted (and cravenly politically opportunistic) moves in some time, L.A. County Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley and City Atty. Carmen Trutanich have decided that the way medical marijuana dispensaries distribute cannabis to their patients is illegal and violates state laws.

But what no one is pointing out is how this is simply a bid for Cooley and Trutanich to cynically further their political ambitions. You can’t expect to run for, let’s say, State Attorney General without the support of the police and correctional officers unions, both which are—no surprise here—extremely opposed to legal marijuana sales DESPITE WHAT THE VOTERS OF CALIFORNIA WANT, for the simple reason that it would increase law enforcement budgets if marijuana sales are prohibited.

Furthermore, since medical cannabis sales are taxed—and there is, of course, discussion in the California Legislature to further raise those taxes with special levies—why in the world, in the middle of the Great Recession, would anyone think it’s SMART to leave the tax receipts from California’s biggest cash crop on the table??

Trutanich and Cooley know fully well that the vast majority of the over 800 medical marijuana dispensaries in Los Angeles county are reputable businesses who go out of their way to get along with and respect their neighbors. These establishments don’t harm anyone and they help a lot of people. The attorneys say they’re going after the “greedy” dispensaries, but why?

Just tax them you idiots!

From the Los Angeles Times:

At hundreds of medical marijuana dispensaries in Los Angeles, cash is changing hands, typically about $45 for an eighth of an ounce.

The dispensary owners call it a donation because state law requires their stores to operate as nonprofit collectives. But their critics—police, the district attorney and the newly elected city attorney—insist that it’s a sale and that marijuana sales remain illegal under state law.

The debate turns largely on the interpretation of one sentence in the law, but it touches on one of the biggest concerns about dispensaries in Los Angeles: that the rapid proliferation of stores is being driven by people who are hoping to profit from the so-called Green Rush and who are buying rather than growing much of their cannabis.

“The people who are simply trying to make a profit are the ones messing it up for those people that need it and those legitimate distributors who are trying to help people,” said L.A. City Councilman Dennis Zine.


Some officials challenge legality of over-the-counter medical marijuana sales

Grow Room photograph by Taryn Simon

 

Posted by Richard Metzger
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10.01.2009
12:09 pm
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What Really Happens When You Die?
10.01.2009
10:45 am
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Interesting report from The Today Show’s website featuring Dr. Sam Parnia of Weill Cornell Medical Center, author of What Happens When We Die?: A Groundbreaking Study into the Nature of Life and Death:/p>

?

Posted by Richard Metzger
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10.01.2009
10:45 am
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Hitler: The Missing Years
09.30.2009
09:48 pm
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As of today, there is no longer any proof that Hitler died at the end of World War II.

In exchange, I propose the following potential (not mutually exclusive) theories about where he ended up after the war. Feel free to add your own.

?

Posted by Jason Louv
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09.30.2009
09:48 pm
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The Crumb Bible
09.30.2009
09:34 pm
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Posted by Jason Louv
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09.30.2009
09:34 pm
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Anne Hardy’s Photographic Art of Unusual Interior Spaces
09.30.2009
09:29 pm
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About artist Anne Hardy: “Hardy’s images appear to be photographs of existing places but they are quite the opposite. They are actually carefully constructed sets, created by the artist in her studio, which she then photographs. The subjects of Hardy’s artworks are usually objects or junk which she has found in markets, DIY shops, urban skips or jumble sales. The type of objects she chooses have ranged from large antlers, brightly coloured cables, old Christmas trees, light bulbs, American basketballs, orange balloons, scientific test tubes and even butterflies. Hardy puts these everyday objects together and transforms them into unusual, almost dreamlike, environments which can be unnerving with their themes of abandonment and desolation. The fabricated scenes of Hardy’s work reflect and comment on modern life in the western world, how people try to manipulate the space around them and how objects bought can too frequently be taken for granted or thrown away.”

Anne Hardy

(via Design Crisis)

Posted by Tara McGinley
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09.30.2009
09:29 pm
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