Monthly Archives: April 2011

Friday Literal Video

Anyone who knows me well, knows that I love "literal videos" — music videos with altered lyrics to reflect on the video itself.

Here's a pretty good new one, and being Friday… well…. here it is:

 

And, Right On Cue, The Birthers Are Claiming It’s A Fake

 

By the way, if you watch the video and get sucked in by what they are saying, there's a perfectly good reason for the phenomenon they show.  If you scan a doc with Optical Character Recognition (OCR) turned on, Adobe Acrobat is capable of taking a scanned doc and breaking it out into layers automatically. That’s what seems to have happened here. There are still one or two funky anomalies, like the text in box 17a getting split into two separate layers and the date in 20 getting its own, but OCR is an imperfect beast and stuff like that happens.

Not that facts like this matter.

How A Birther Views Obama’s Birth Certificate

OBAMAS-BIRTH-CERTIFICATE

By the way, David Frum, who writes "as an opponent of virtually every major and minor action of this administration", has a nice little coda to the birther controversy, wherein he chastises his own party:

Even for the small band that sustained the phony controversy until now, the birth certificate so-called issue ends today.

Any last lingering doubts that maybe, perhaps, a pregnant Stanley Ann Dunham in the summer of 1961 boarded a propeller plane from Honolulu to Los Angeles, then from Los Angeles to New York City, then from New York City to Gander, then from Gander to London, then from London to Nairobi – and then repeated the trip backward a few weeks later – all so that her baby could acquire Kenyan nationality – those doubts are definitively squelched, as they should have been three years ago.

Now the more haunting question: How did this poisonous and not very subtly racist allegation get such a grip on our conservative movement and our Republican party?

I know there will be Republican writers and conservative publicists who will now deny that birtherism ever did get a grip. Sorry, that’s just wrong. Not only did Trump surge ahead in Republican polls by flaming racial fires – not only did conservative media outlets from Fox to Drudge to the Breitbart sites indulge the birthers – but so also did every Republican candidate who said, “I take the president at his word.” Birthers did not doubt the president’s “word.” They were doubting the official records of the state of Hawaii. It’s like answering a 9/11 conspiracist by saying, “I take the 9/11 families at their word that they lost their loved ones.”

Yet even now, the racialist aspect of the anti-Obama movement has not subsided. Trump has moved from the birth certificate to questioning the president’s academic qualifications for the Harvard Law School. Trump himself was a troubled student (at one point he attended a military school) who nonetheless gained admission to Wharton. His father’s wealth and business success cannot have hurt with that application. Yet he feels himself qualified to pronounce on who is and who is not smart enough to attend Harvard Law. Barack Obama graduated magna cum laude. (And to anticipate a new line of attack – yes, Harvard Law School exams were blind-graded.) He was elected editor of the law review. And his classmates, left and right, universally admired his abilities.

I wish it were otherwise, but it does seem that these racialized attacks on Obama have exacted a toll on him. But they also have exacted a toll on the opposition to Obama. The too-faint repudiation of birtherism by regular Republicans has shaped not only the Obama brand, but also the Republican brand. It was not only white people who heard the implied message about who counts and who does not count as a “real American.”

***

And those who imagine that they somehow enhance the value of that citizenship by belittling the American-ness of their president – they not only disgrace the politics they uphold, but they do damage that will not soon be forgotten by the voters a revived Republicanism must win.

Yup.  Birtherism was racism thinly disguised.

UPDATE —  Stories we stopped reading.….

In a development that will surprise no one, it turns out that President Barack Obama's decision to release his long-form birth certificate hasn't quieted members of the "birther" movement who promote the conspiracy theory that he wasn't born in the United States.

"Look, I applaud this release. I think it's a step in the right direction," so-called "birther queen" Orly Taitz told me in one of her many media interviews this morning. "I credit Donald Trump in pushing this issue."

But she still has her suspicions. Specifically, Taitz thinks that the birth certificate should peg Obama's race as "Negro" and not "African."

Oy.

Insult To Injury

Jon Stewart may be a comedian, but when he barely masks his outrage behind the comedy, he's most effective.

Tuesday night he took on Congress.  It finally passed a bill to help pay for the medical bills for the 9/11 first responders.  That's right — those that survived 9/11 and went on to dig body parts out of the rubble have been having substantial medical problems these past nine years — mostly respiratory illness.  And it only took Congress nine years to do something about it.

And even then, as Stewart notes, that just HAD to stick on a little amendment to the law: i.e., before first responders can get money to cover their injuries, they have to show that they are not terrorists.

Seriously.

Watch Stewart's righteous (yet comedic) indignation – it's a classic:

 

 

Like This Will Stop It

In an amazing concession to the lunatic fringe in America, President Barack Obama has released his “long form” birth certificate from Hawaii.

Actually, check that, using the word “released” adopts the narrative of the crazies. It’s more accurate to say that the President of the United States successfully begged Hawaii for a document it doesn’t normally issue in an effort to appease the dumbest of his political rivals.

Here it is in biggie PDF format.

Obama-long-form-birth-certificate1

Move on, country?  I think if you're a birther whose been raging for the past two years that Obama is a secret Kenyan, this changes nothing.  You'll start talking about how this isn't the right document, how it's a forgery…..

UPDATE:  Gotta laugh at the Fox News headline and the words "what it says"

What-it-says-fox

A Worthy Benchslap

A trial was scheduled for June 14, 2011. Defendants requested a short continuance because “one of their counsel, Bryan Erman, along with his wife, is expecting their first child due on July 3.”

Plaintiffs’ counsel objected — strenuously. This took Judge Eric Melgren (D. Kansas) by surprise.

Judge Melgren granted the continuance — and took the opportunity to benchslap the lawyers who refused to consent….

Check out the order here. Ouch. Here’s the conclusion:

Certainly this judge is convinced of the importance of federal court, but he has always tried not to confuse what he does with who he is, nor to distort the priorities of his day job with his life’s role. Counsel are encouraged to order their priorities similarly.

Defendants’ Motion is GRANTED. The Ermans are CONGRATULATED.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

Dated this 12th day of April, 2011.

Yay.

And 150 Years Ago Today

Photo: Illustration of Sumter under heavy bombardment.

On April 12th, 1861, 150 years ago today, the first battle of the US Civil War was fought at Ft. Sumter, in Charleston, South Carolina. Southern states had been seceding from the union for months, but the US still maintained coastal forts.

During the four months leading up to Lincoln’s Inauguration, the seceding states, one after another, seized federal forts, arsenals, and customs houses within their borders.

 

There was little to oppose the breakaway forces, a caretaker and a guard or two comprising many of the garrisons. Most of the 16,000 or so regular Army soldiers had been posted to the western frontier to protect settlers against the perceived threat from American Indians.

 

On March 4, 1861, Lincoln was inaugurated, promising the seceding states that he would use force only “to hold, occupy, and possess the property and places” belonging to the federal government.

 

The stage was set for the inevitable showdown.

National Geographic takes a look back with a rundown of what actually happened on April 12th at Ft. Sumter, and how those actions sent the nation into four years of war and cost more than 600,000 men their lives. Link

 

50 Years Ago Today

Yuri Gagarin became the first human being to orbit the Earth.

And here is a film called First Orbit.  At one hour and 40 minutes long, it is a real time recreation of Yuri Gagarin's pioneering first orbit, shot entirely in space from on board the International Space Station. The film combines this new footage with Gagarin's original mission audio and a new musical score by composer Philip Sheppard. 

 

Kyl’s Big Lie

I was going to make fun of Senator Kyl last week during the budget debate, when he said on the Senate floor that 90% of Planned Parenthood's business was performing abortions.  In truth, it is only 3% of their business.  And after the error was pointed out, Kyl's office released a statement saying "I apologize for being wrong" that the claim was "not intended to be a factual statement".

In other words, "I didn't intend to tell the truth, so it's no biggie if I told a huge whopping lie."

I was going to make fun of it, but Colbert did a better job of it.

 

They Blinked

What happened at the budget negotiations?

It seems Obama et al grew a pair:

At one crucial moment in the game of chicken over a looming shutdown of the United States government, President Obama and the House speaker, John A. Boehner, faced off in the Oval Office. Mr. Boehner, a Republican heavily outnumbered in the room by Democrats, was demanding a provision to restrict financing to Planned Parenthood and other groups that provide abortions. Mr. Obama would not budge.

"Nope. Zero," the president said to the speaker. Mr. Boehner tried again. "Nope. Zero," Mr. Obama repeated. "John, this is it." A long silence followed, said one participant in the meeting. "It was just like an awkward, 'O.K., well, what do you do now?' "  That meeting broke without an agreement.

The sane senior Democratic aide relayed the story to ABC News, and added, "There were a good 10 minutes of just sitting there of everybody looking at each other…. [Republicans] realized that kind of the gig was up. They weren't going to get [defunding for family planning] included. It wasn't going to happen. The president and Sen. Reid were prepared to say, 'This bill will go down if you make this about social policy.' That was the line in the sand."

Awesome.

Stupid Government Shutdown Is Stupid

Tomorrow is, of course, Passport Day — perhaps my favorite holiday except for Christmas.

No, it's not really a holiday, but tomorrow is Passport Day, where people like me with an old obsolete and therefore unusable passport can get a new one.

EXCEPT for the stupid government shutdown.  That's right.  Just like when it was too cold for Santa to deliver toys on Christmas, the evil stupid Republicans in D.C. are going to close down government today (and why are they doing that? Because abortions are baaaaad), so it looks like NO PASSPORT DAY tomorrow, kids!

Crying-baby-7262641

Who Will Be Blamed For The Government Shutdown?

Well, it's quite simple.  Look who WANTED the government shutdown.

(1)  The Tea Partiers say the Dems will be blamed, but LISTEN to them in this video.  They have no problem with a shutdown (one guy even has a sign urging shutdown):

 

(2)  From the Washington Post:

House Republicans huddled late Monday and, according to a GOP aide, gave the speaker an ovation when he informed them that he was advising the House Administration Committee to begin preparing for a possible shutdown.

Yaaaay!

UPDATE: And the new WSJ/NBC poll tells the tale: a majority of Republicans prefer a government shutdown to a budget compromise.

White House To Hold Second Auditions This Week For Nationwide Production Of ‘Guys And Dolls’ ‘We’re Still Looking For A Really Good Nathan Detroit,’ Obama Says

'We're Still Looking For A Really Good Nathan Detroit,' Obama Says

WASHINGTON—Saying they are very close to casting all the principal parts for the nationwide stage production of Guys And Dolls, White House officials announced Monday that a second round of auditions will be held this Thursday, and that the show's director, President Barack Obama, is still looking for the perfect person to fill the lead role of Nathan Detroit.

An early cast list posted on the front door of the Capitol Building Sunday revealed that while Obama left the space next to Detroit's name blank, the part of Sister Sarah Brown has gone to 40-year-old claims adjuster Erin Daniels of Birmingham, AL, and that Benny Southstreet will be played by Canton, OH retiree Paul Burnsworth.

The role of Nicely Nicely Johnson will be portrayed by Chief Justice John Roberts, who reportedly turned out to be "quite the little tap dancer" and wowed Obama with his rendition of "Sit Down, You're Rockin' The Boat."

"I would like to thank the 110 million Americans who came out for the first round of auditions, and urge them to remember that, if they were not called back, there's still plenty of room in the chorus for anyone who wants to get involved, and I'm casting extra gamblers and Hot Box Dolls, too" said the president, who is staging the two-act musical with assistant director Gen. David Petraeus, stage manager Austan Goolsbee, and pit conductor and attorney general Eric Holder. "Also, the role of Nathan Detroit is still wide open. We need a really strong Nathan. He pretty much carries the show."

A Des Moines-area woman and rehearsal pianist Steven Chu run down "Sue Me."

"For those of you who are interested, please bring 16 bars of music, preferably from Nathan's first big number, 'The Oldest Established,'" added Obama, saying he wants to see how well the actors sell the songs. "[Show choreographer] Hillary Clinton will be doing her own callback for 'The Crapshooters' Dance,' so if you are on her list, wear something comfortable and be prepared to move. Okay?"

Though Obama reportedly told his creative team that he knew he had his Miss Adelaide the moment Iowa resident Amy Williams opened her mouth to sing "A Bushel And A Peck," and that 45-year-old real estate agent Dale Evans was "born to play Sky [Masterson]," casting Nathan has been much more challenging.

Obama, who has heard more than 8 million Americans sing for the part, stressed to reporters that his Nathan should be feckless as well as charming, within driving distance of Washington, able to hit a high F, and available to rehearse five nights a week.

"I'm not going to settle for to my lead role," Obama was overheard saying after being urged to cast Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) in the part. "Max [Harrison] didn't have any chemistry with Adelaide, and Nathan [Lane] was okay, but nothing special."

"Look, I'm confident that 'Adelaide's Lament' and 'Take Back Your Mink' will be showstoppers, but the second-act duet won't carry the same emotional or comedic heft without a standout Nathan." Obama added. "The audience needs to connect with him immediately."

The production—which runs May 26 to 29, with a preview performance for the Hagerstown, MD Rotary Club—marks the revival of a tradition started in 1935 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who not only directed Anything Goes, but starred as America's No. 13 most-wanted gangster, Moonface Martin. Past highlights include teacher Linda Miller's portrayal of Julie Jordan in the 1945 production of Carousel, and Defense Secretary Robert McNamara leaving audiences in stitches as J. Pierrepont Finch in Lyndon Johnson's How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying.

The tradition stopped abruptly in 1991 when President George H.W. Bush directed a shockingly graphic revival of the musical Hair.

If Obama is to breathe new life into the institution—and private comments about his desire to put up A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum next year indicate that he does—sources said the president needs to find his leading man by Thursday.

"We'll probably have auditioners read the scene where Nathan tries to convince the owner of the Biltmore Garage to let him have his craps game there," props master and set builder Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf told reporters. "The president says that scene really encapsulates Nathan, but if he doesn't find what he's looking for, it could be a long night."

At press time, Obama was reportedly in the White House figuring how he was going to block the large ensemble number "Havana" when he overheard Vice President Joe Biden singing "Luck Be A Lady" with perfect pitch.

Parting Is Such Sweet Sorrow

Glenn Beck to leave Fox News.  Well, "transition off" it… some time this year.

Next stop…. oblivion.

It's not terribly surprising.  His ratings have plummeted in the past few months.  He was a victim to his own success.  The problem for Beck was, he had to constatntly top himself.  And to do that, he had to get crazier and crazier, so much so that even his loyal followers were going "Really?  Seriously?"

Bristol Palin’s Not-For-Profit Has Questionable Finances

In 2009, Sarah Palin’s daughter Bristol joined a teen pregnancy prevention nonprofit group called the Candie’s Foundation.  It made perfect sense to some — the group sought to prevent teen pregnancy and Bristol was a noted pregnant teen.

Candie's Foundation just filed its taxes and guess what:

SALARY PAID TO BRISTOL PALIN:  $262,500

And how much given in charitable disbursements?  $25,000 to the Mt. Sinai Adolescent Health Center and $10,000 to the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy.  That's it.

And they paid $165,000 to ABC for an anti-teen pregnancy ad with Bristol and "The Situation".

But basically, the nonprofit paid Bristol Palin seven times what it spent on actual teen pregnancy prvention.

Nice work if you can get it.

Why We Must Raise Taxes On The Rich

Robert Reich:

It's tax time. It's also a time when right-wing Republicans are setting the agenda for massive spending cuts that will hurt most Americans.

Here's the truth: The only way America can reduce the long-term budget deficit, maintain vital services, protect Social Security and Medicare, invest more in education and infrastructure, and not raise taxes on the working middle class is by raising taxes on the super rich.

Even if we got rid of corporate welfare subsidies for big oil, big agriculture, and big Pharma — even if we cut back on our bloated defense budget — it wouldn't be nearly enough.

The vast majority of Americans can't afford to pay more. Despite an economy that's twice as large as it was thirty years ago, the bottom 90 percent are still stuck in the mud. If they're employed they're earning on average only about $280 more a year than thirty years ago, adjusted for inflation. That's less than a 1 percent gain over more than a third of a century. (Families are doing somewhat better but that's only because so many families now have to rely on two incomes.)

Yet even as their share of the nation's total income has withered, the tax burden on the middle has grown. Today's working and middle-class taxpayers are shelling out a bigger chunk of income in payroll taxes, sales taxes, and property taxes than thirty years ago.

It's just the opposite for super rich.

The top 1 percent's share of national income has doubled over the past three decades (from 10 percent in 1981 to well over 20 percent now). The richest one-tenth of 1 percent's share has tripled. And they're doing better than ever. According to a new analysis by theWall Street Journal, total compensation and benefits at publicly-traded Wall Street banks and securities firms hit a record in 2010 — $135 billion. That's up 5.7 percent from 2009.

Yet, remarkably, taxes on the top have plummeted. From the 1940s until 1980, the top tax income tax rate on the highest earners in America was at least 70 percent. In the 1950s, it was 91 percent. Now it's 35 percent. Even if you include deductions and credits, the rich are now paying a far lower share of their incomes in taxes than at any time since World War II.

The estate tax (which only hits the top 2 percent) has also been slashed. In 2000 it was 55 percent and kicked in after $1 million. Today it's 35 percent and kicks in at $5 million. Capital gains — comprising most of the income of the super-rich — were taxed at 35 percent in the late 1980s. They're now taxed at 15 percent.

If the rich were taxed at the same rates they were half a century ago, they'd be paying in over $350 billion more this year alone, which translates into trillions over the next decade. That's enough to accomplish everything the nation needs while also reducing future deficits.

If we also cut what we don't need (corporate welfare and bloated defense), taxes could be reduced for everyone earning under $80,000, too. And with a single payer health-care system — Medicare for all — instead of a gaggle of for-profit providers, the nation could save billions more.

Yes, the rich will find ways to avoid paying more taxes courtesy of clever accountants and tax attorneys. But this has always been the case regardless of where the tax rate is set. That's why the government should aim high. (During the 1950s, when the top rate was 91 percent, the rich exploited loopholes and deductions that as a practical matter reduced the effective top rate 50 to 60 percent — still substantial by today's standards.)

And yes, some of the super rich will move their money to the Cayman Islands and other tax shelters. But paying taxes is a central obligation of citizenship, and those who take their money abroad in an effort to avoid paying American taxes should lose their American citizenship.

But don't the super-rich have enough political power to kill any attempt to get them to pay their fair share? Only if we let them. Here's the issue around which Progressives, populists on the right and left, unionized workers, and all other working people who are just plain fed up ought to be able to unite.

Besides, the reason we have a Democrat in the White House — indeed, the reason we have a Democratic Party at all — is to try to rebalance the economy exactly this way.

All the president has to do is connect the dots — the explosion of income and wealth among America's super-rich, the dramatic drop in their tax rates, the consequential devastating budget squeezes in Washington and in state capitals, and the slashing of vital public services for the middle class and the poor.

This shouldn't be difficult. Most Americans are on the receiving end. By now they know trickle-down economics is a lie. And they sense the dice are loaded in favor of the multimillionaires and billionaires, and their corporations, now paying a relative pittance in taxes.

Besides, the president has the bully pulpit. But will he use it?

 

Our Prude Nation

They're breasts.  Deal with it:

Gauguin A painting at the Gauguin exhibit at the National Gallery was attacked last week by a gallery visitor, provoking considerable commotion, according to other museum visitors and gallery officials.

Screaming “This is evil,” a woman tried to pull Gauguin’s “Two Tahitian Women” from a gallery wall Friday and banged on the picture’s clear plastic covering, said Pamela Degotardi of New York, who was there.

“She was really pounding it with her fists,” Degotardi said. “It was like this weird surreal scene that one doesn’t expect at the National Gallery.”

Gallery spokeswoman Deborah Ziska said no damage to the 1899 painting was immediately apparent after the 4:45 p.m. incident. But she said a more thorough examination will be conducted Monday.

In the painting, both breasts of one woman are exposed, as is one of the second woman’s breasts.

The woman who allegedly attacked the painting was “immediately restrained and detained” by the museum’s federal protection ser­vices officers, who charged her with destruction of property and attempted theft, Ziska said in a statement.

The painting’s alleged attacker was “tackled by a guy who was visiting the gallery,” Degotardi said. She described him as a social worker from the Bronx.

UPDATE:  The Daily Mail fills in a few more details, including the fact that the woman was upset by the "homosexuality" of the painting.  The woman also said, when in arraigned in court, "I think it should be burned … I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.'"

Ryan’s Budget

Yeah.  This is class warfare, plain and simple.

The good numbers: Paul Ryan’s budget will reduce spending by $6.2 trillion over the next decade and reduce the deficit by $4.4 trillion.

But it also cuts the top income tax rate by nearly a third, from 35 percent to 25 percent, which will add to the deficit.

So how will that be made up?  By cutting spending associated with the middle and lower clases.

A big part of the House Budget Chairman's plan rests on the assumption that President Barack Obama’s health care law will be repealed. Over the next decade, that would cut $1.4 trillion in spending alone, according to Ryan's budget. Those savings, however, wouldn't go directly to deficit reduction, because Ryan would also repeal the elements of health care reform that are aimed at raising revenue or reducing costs.

Ryan's budget spends less on nearly every major category of the budget. Over the next decade, Ryan (R-Wis.) wants to cut $389 billion from Medicare, the public health insurance program for seniors. Over the same period, Ryan's budget puts $735 billion less toward Medicaid, which benefits Americans too poor to afford private insurance. Discretionary spending on domestic programs is also reduced by $923 billion.

Two exceptions are security and defense spending and spending on Social Security, the public pension program for the elderly. Both are kept steady and relatively unchanged from Obama’s proposed budget.

So Medicare basically gets gutted.  Not for people who have it, and not for people who will get it before 2022.  But for people like me (and younger).

And while you sit there sorting this out and wondering if there's a better way, let me remind you that General Electric paid zero dollars in taxes this year.

As CGI Gets Better, We Get Creeped Out

Hmmmm:

A theory called the "uncanny valley" says we tend to feel attracted to inanimate objects with human traits, the way a teddy bear or a rag doll seems cute.

Our affection grows as an object looks more human. But if it looks too human, we suddenly become repulsed.

Instead of seeing what's similar, we notice the flaws — and the motionless eyes or awkward movements suddenly make us uncomfortable.

This explains The Polar Express and, more recently, the failure of Mars Needs Moms.

Judge for yourself:

 

Yeah, that's kind of creepy.

Opening Day

The Line-up:

1. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF

2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B

3. Carl Crawford, LF

4. Kevin Youkilis, 3B

5. Adrian Gonzalez, 1B

6. David Ortiz, DH

7. Mike Cameron, RF

8. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C

9. Marco Scutaro, SS

How does this season look?  Gooooood:

As the Major League Baseball season hits full swing this weekend, a Massachusetts professor predicts the Boston Red Sox will easily outflank divisional rival the New York Yankees in 2011.

Dimitris Bertsimas of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology used quantitative models based on player analytics to predict the Red Sox will win 101 games this season, eight more than the Yankees.

New York won 95 games last season to finish second in the American League East and Boston was third with 89 wins.

"A player is a vector of numbers and from that, we can forecast overall team statistics," said Bertsimas, co-director of MIT's Operations Research Center and admitted Red Sox fan.

In a new paper "The Analytics Edge in Baseball," Bertsimas and doctoral student Allison O'Hair developed three models to determine the outcome of teams' 162-game seasons.

The Tampa Bay Rays, last year's AL East champs, are forecast to have another great year with 100 wins. Divisional also-rans are forecast to be the Baltimore Orioles with 83 wins and the Toronto Blue Jays, with 80.

Now if we can stay injury-free…..

Other April Fools Pranks This Year

NOTE:  These links won't work tomorrow.  Or rather, the links will work, but the gags won't be there.

(1)  Funny or Die website is all Rebecca Black.

(2)  YouTube takes a look at YouTube back in 1911.

(3)  Hulu.com goes back to the 1990's (90's web look, 90's TV shows….)

(4)  Kodak is offering photo tattoos.

(5)  Wikipedia's featured article is about fanny scratching (and the "Did you know…?" section is a bit dubious, even for Wikipedia)

NOT AN APRIL FOOLS DAY JOKE:

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Google’s April Fools Day Pranks

What?  You thought the announcement of Google Motion was the prank?

 

Yeah, that was kinda funny.  But it isn't all Google has in its fun bag for today:

(1) Searching 'Helvetic' on Google changes the font on the search page to everyone's favorite font: Comic Sans.

(2) Google has added various wild animals to its maps on Google Earth. For example, a narwhal in England, a dragon in Germany, and The Loch Ness Monster.

(3)  Google blimp ads

(4)  Job openings for autocompleters

 

(5) Much more

Dear Netflix

It is so COOL that I can get videos streaming to my TV, for a flat fee per month.

And I get your RSS feed which tells me all the news things you have on "Instant Queue", like Glee (Season 1), Ken Burns' Baseball and The Graduate

I was especially glad to see Spaulding Gray's Swimming to Cambodia on the Instant Queue list, as I hadn't seen it in a while.

But when I tried to view it, the video I got was Sweethearts of the U.S.A., a 1944 film starring Una Merkel.  She was a B-actress at the time — this was one of her rare lead roles.  Una is a defense plant worker who accidentally knocks herself out with a heavy wrench and while out dreams she is blackballed out of the industry by her mean boss, leading her to seek a new career, opening a nightclub for servicemen and plant workers with the aid of her boyfriend — radio comedian Parkyakarkus, a rather incompetent detective.

It was most assuredly NOT Swimming to Cambodia.

Just saying.