Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Brother Gets Bigger

Slashdot, via the Washington Post, has on its site a report that Obama is going to name an "Internet Czar". From the WP article: "Obama was briefed a week ago and signed off on the creation of the position". That's it? A week? Given the myriad other responsibilities a 21st-century American president has, plus the additional burdens Obama has taken on himself (like running the U.S. auto industry), it is hard to imagine that the chief executive and his senior staff spent all that much time working the various pros and cons of creating such a position.

By the way, Mr. President, how's that Drug Czar thing working out?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Great Debates of Man

In the 40,000 or so years of human history, 99 per cent of instances of sexual intercourse, both homo- and hetero-, would meet contemporary definitions of rape. True or false?

Friday, May 15, 2009

Greatest. Article. Title. Ever

Scientific American proudly presents "Secrets of the Phallus". It's a good read in its own way, but is disappointingly informative (see below). Not nearly the kind of smut Americans have come to expect from the hallowed pages of Scientific American. Or would expect, if the universe were just. Anyhoo, it's a good article, though the part about the penis's being shaped so the male can, in effect, scoop out/away the semen left by the female's immediately-previous suitors is something that I've read a few times before, although I can't for the life of me remember where.

And in case you prefer doing these kinds of things in your own home, the article also goes out its way to post a recipe for creating simulated semen, brought to us by Florida Atlantic University evolutionary psychologist Todd Shackleford (heaven knows how much time he spent coming up with just the right mix). The recipe:

  • 0.08 cups of "sifted, white, unbleached flour"
  • mix with 1.06 cups of water
  • simmer for 15 minutes while stirring
  • allow to cool

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Day in Web

Greg Wyshinski's line, "... like a Weeble dropped on a trampoline ..." wins the line-of-the-day award, and possibly for the week. I wasn't thinking about Weebles or trampolines until I read his Puck Daddy column this morning, and now dropping Weebles on a trampoline is all I wanna do. Now if only I had the Weebles. Or the trampoline ...

Last month I wrote about sports storylines I was following. Among them was the growing hockey rivalry between Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin. Well, they are meeting head-to-head in the Eastern Conference semifinals and Igloo Dreams has a writeup of tonight's winner-take-all Game 7.

As the (apparent) worst of our little financial correction recedes into the rear-view mirror, the Wall Street Journal reports($) that Congress is thinking of getting involved in how banks compensate their executives. The problems with this are too long to list in depth here, but the most important one is the same as with all government involvement: The government is rarely both objective and competent. People often think of government as an unbiased arbiter, but, at least in a democracy, government officials respond to their own incentives and pressures and "objectivity" gets left by the door in the rush to reward political friends and punish political enemies. And even when they are being unbiased and are sincerely looking for the best courses of action available, they too often lack the expertise to know what they're doing. Would you want Congress setting your pay?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Libertarian Alert!

OK, so it's not millions of people massing in the streets, but each time we get articles like this, America gets a little bit closer to ending the lunacy that is the War on Drugs and becoming a freer, more moral society in the process.

I'm lukewarm, for what it's worth, about the good-for-the-economy argument. It is valid and makes a lot of sense, but I would prefer if more people took heed of the immoral nature of denying reasonable, consenting adults their right to feel pleasure however they see fit as long as they aren't tangibly and directly hurting other people.