August 19, 2008
Check your RSS feed and Bookmarks
I've moved thorg.com to my own hosting servers, and am working on getting the blog moved over as well. In the meantime, you may or may not need to update your bookmarks and/or rss feeds. The new (same old) blog URL is http://blog.thorg.com/ and if that's what you've been using all along you should be OK. But if your bookmark or rss feed includes any kind of reference to chattablogs.com, it's going to stop working soon (the blog at http://chattablogs.com/thorg/ won't be updated anymore and will disappear at some point).
Posted by alice at 2:34 PM
I'm going to work on some server issues in the next day or three, so please bear with me. The blog might look a little funny for a while, or even disappear altogether, briefly. It'll be back soon, though...
Posted by alice at 9:02 AM
August 18, 2008
photo by Christophe Ena
photo source unknown
photo by Clive Brunskill
Posted by alice at 10:07 AM
August 17, 2008
Dictionary Definition of Pandering
This story cracked me up so much I decided to give it its own post. It's a great illustration of how John McCain has become a pandering blockhead -- a maverick no more (unless you consider a maverick to be someone who will do or say anything to get elected). The really silly (scary?) thing here is the way he once again demonstrates that he has no memory of the past. But just because he can't find an on-ramp to the Internet doesn't mean the rest of us can't check on his record.
One of the questions in the Saddleback forum last night was which current Supreme Court Justice would not have nominated. McCain, predictably, in an effort to prove how conservative he really is, listed these four:
Justice Ginsburg, Justice Breyer, Justice Souter, Justice Stevens.But here is the funny part.
McCain voted to confirm three of them: Ginsburg, Breyer, and Souter.
And the only reason Stevens did not receive his vote was because Stevens was a Justice before McCain became a Senator.
It's too bad we don't have an intelligent, independent media to report on these kinds of things (well, when McCain does them, anyway -- the compliant press is all over every stupid little talking point the GOP puts out there about Obama).
Posted by alice at 5:13 PM
• A team of paleontologists have discovered a huge Stone Age cemetery in the Sahara desert. Here is a woman and two children who were found holding hands, arms outstretched toward each other, with evidence to suggest they were laid to rest on a bed of flowers (follow the link for more photos and a video about the find from National Geographic).
• American team members to watch now that the Olympic games have moved on from swimming to track & field.
• This is just the kind of thing that long ago made me resolve to never do business with AT&T again. I found myself on more than one occasion trying to get my money back from AT&T after they over-charged me for lame or inept reasons. For them, screwing customers while hoping they're not paying attention is the #1 item in their business practices manual. And in this case, someone turned their frustration into to a bit of silliness.
• Everyone's favorite East Tennessee politician is back once again! This time, she's talking about Jesse Helms, who she says is a great American. (Of course, as much as I loves me some Griffiny Juneness, I gotta wonder what sort of crack heads are running the KNS these days!)
Posted by alice at 10:33 AM
August 16, 2008
On the night when Michael Phelps won his eighth gold medal of this Olympic games, let's give him his due, but not forget about some other events of the day...
To start with, it was Old Woman Day in Beijing, with 41-year-old American Dara Torres capturing two silvers in swimming and an incredible gold for 38-year-old Romanian Constantina Diță-Tomescu in the marathon.
And then there was an absolutely jaw-dropping performance from Jamaica's Usain Bolt in the men's 100 metre. Who knows how fast he would have been if he didn't slow down as he approached the ribbon?!?
The whole evening gives me chills!
I don't know if I'll be able to stay up late enough to see Rafa Nadal and Fernando Gonzalez's gold medal match (the live coverage starts at 2am eastern), but it'll be some great tennis! Perhaps it will be rerun tomorrow...
Posted by alice at 11:54 PM
August 15, 2008
Running on Stolen Property
John McCain is not a well-liked candidate, even within his own party, but there's one group among whom he is apparently particularly unpopular: the creative minds who set our toes a-tappin'. But perhaps part of the reason they don't like him (you know, besides his dishonesty, greed, corruption and cruel politics) is the fact that he and his colleagues don't have any respect for intellectual property. Either that, or they're too stupid to learn from previous missteps, since they keep repeating the same blunder: using the property of others without getting permission first. Jackson Browne is their latest victim, but there have been others, including John Mellencamp, Tom Petty, ABBA, and Frankie Valli.
Even though these hapless campaigners didn't ask for my assistance, my generosity of spirit compels me to try to help...
Here's free clue #1, Republicans: if the song wasn't written by a redneck, the author probably isn't going to let you use it, and no matter what, you should definitely ask first.
And here's free clue #2: if the artist in question has spent the last 30 years working against the very policies you've supported, he's undoubtedly not going to take kindly to your ripping him off.
UPDATE: it turns out, last week was a big one for the intellectual-property-pillaging McCainites. They also stole from Wayne's World!
Posted by alice at 4:51 PM
This neighborhood mockingbird not only mocked the dog and I when we were out on a walk, but it repeatedly dive bombed us -- I suspect we might have been uncomfortably close to its nest.
Have a good weekend, everyone! The creatures on the ark are ready to wish you well if you stop by. Be safe and happy, and enjoy the Olympics!
Posted by alice at 12:56 PM
August 14, 2008
McCain: "in the 21st Century, nations don't invade other nations."
Posted by alice at 11:45 PM
Turkey Travelogue: Basilica Cistern
When I was a kid, there was a cistern room in the basement of my turn-of-the-century home. At one time, it was used to hold rainwater, but someone had long ago knocked a hole through the cistern wall to make a door, so that the space could be used as a room. I always thought it was a pretty cool feature of the house, and I don't think I've encountered another underground cistern since then -- until this summer, when I got to visit a most breathtaking water storage system: the Basilica Cistern (later known as Yerebatan Sarayı to the Ottomans), which was originally built under Constantinople by Emperor Justinian. He added the Cistern after the Nika riots because at the time, the city sometimes suffered from droughts during the summer.
Posted by alice at 10:33 PM
August 13, 2008
An International, First-Hand Perspective
Global Voices Online "is an international, volunteer-led project that collects, summarizes, and gives context to some of the best self-published content found on blogs, podcasts, photo sharing sites, and videoblogs from around the world, with a particular emphasis on countries outside of Europe and North America." Want to find out what bloggers who write in a language you can't read are saying? This is a great place to start. For example, here's an entry on pepsikolka's livejournal in which she talks about the bombing of Poti. And here's the translation.
Around midnight I heard some roaring, ran up to the window and saw shaft of fire, explosions at the port and heard a deafening noise. I didn't even have the time to get scared, I just knew that if a cistern with oil at the terminal gets hit, there'll be fire and an explosion, so I grabbed the phone, called Tengo, Vika answered, screaming - Samira, the port is being bombed. Mama with Alina and our niece were running aimlessly around the apartment, the explosions continued, and we ran downstairs. There were people in the street, they were crying and everyone looked terribly alarmed.
It's a confusing conflict (there's been a lot of he said-she said), and in seeking some perspective, I've found it helpful and/or interesting to browse entries by country, and check out not only the first-hand accounts, but also the comments in various threads -- there are some lively discussions taking place (at the same time, though, some of the comments can be just heartbreaking).
Posted by alice at 3:08 PM
Posted by alice at 12:17 AM
August 12, 2008
Link Catch Up
- Have the Republicans become the party of instant satisfaction and gratification? This illustration offers some numbers in support of the suggestion:
- Do you have any idea why McCain won't comment on matters of marital infidelity? It's not like him to give up a chance to be high and mighty...
- A lot of locals have been excited to discover that Google Street View has come to Chattanooga, and they are pouring over the maps to find all the easter eggs caught in the images. But will they find anything as quite as spooky as a house on fire?
- Tennessee's progressive blogosphere Sunday roundup.
- Quote of the week, from Ian McKellan, regarding an (yet another) intolerant religious leader: "From the pulpit, homophobia is preached by some arrogant religious leaders who think their beliefs are superior to our inborn and, some would say, God-given nature." Ha!
- Here's a puzzler:
So John McCain apparently lifted huge portions of his statement on the unfolding crisis in Georgia from Wikipedia. Here's a 3 AM question for you: do you want a President with a real strategy for containing such a crisis, or do you want someone who's stumbling over wikipedia entries after getting internet lessons from his wife? I guess when it comes to McCain and foreign policy, it's a google! I don't think he's up for the job, but we'll see. (UPDATE: more here and here!)
- Mind-boggling quote of the day, from George W. Bush on Russia's activities in Georgia: "Russia has invaded a sovereign neighbouring state.... Such an action is unacceptable in the 21st century.... We have no doubts about it. This is a deliberate attempt to destroy an entire country and change the regime." I am speechless. (UPDATE: more here!)
- Will a Southern community serve as a nuclear waste dump?
Posted by alice at 3:33 PM
August 11, 2008
Focus on Being a Jerk
A video producer for Focus on the Family is asking people to pray for rain when Sen. Barack Obama (D-Illinois) makes his speech at the end of the Democratic National Convention in Denver.
Obama is giving his acceptance speech outdoor at Invesco Field at Mile High on Thursday, Aug. 28.
What?!? Praying for the event to go poorly? What is Christian about that?!? What's next? Praying for Obama to stub his toe? Have a car accident?
What if they pray for rain, and it does rain -- and someone is struck by lightning and dies? Will they be proud of themselves for properly disrupting the event?
I've always known that James Dobson, who encourages people to beat their children, is a mean, petty man, and the fact that he hasn't condemned this suggestion just confirms my opinion. He should focus on his own problems before he turns his beady little eyes on others.
UPDATE: if they're ashamed enough to pull the video, why don't they condemn the suggeston?
UPDATE: Christianity's greatest patriot is on it (or is that patriotism's greatest christian?).
UPDATE: And the drama continues!
Posted by alice at 10:35 PM
August 10, 2008
I'm home again, after an awesome whirlwind weekend with family, lots of time behind the wheel, and a wedding. I'll see if I can get caught up this evening...
Posted by alice at 8:02 PM
What a rough weekend. Isaac Hayes died in his home in Tennessee today. The cause of death is not yet known.
Posted by alice at 7:59 PM
August 9, 2008
I'm profoundly disappointed. But I'd like mention something, and maybe if there's a politician out there, I might get him or her to think about it for a moment.
Yeah, I'm disappointed in John Edwards because he cheated on his wife, but really that's his wife's problem and not mine. And I'm disappointed again to see the uneven press coverage, holding some people more accountable than others (someone during the commentary last night asked how John Edwards could even consider running for president after doing something like that -- but I've never heard anyone question how John McCain could run for president after all his philandering and bigamy).
But here's something I've never heard people mention: there are a lot of people out here in the trenches who put our hearts, souls, money, blood, sweat and tears into these campaigns, and to betray the work that we do is a hurtful insult. I took a day out of my life to shuttle John Edwards around town and spent a weekend putting up his campaign workers (all of which was fun, but that's beside the point). I have a friend who traveled -- at his own expense -- to Iowa to work for the Edwards campaign before the first primaries. Was Edwards really all that aware of our contributions? Apparently not.
John Edwards said with regard to his infidelity, "... becoming a national public figure, all of which fed a self-focus, an egotism, a narcissism that leads you to believe you can do whatever you want, you're invincible and there will be no consequences."
Perhaps if he had taken a look around once in a while, at all the good people who were helping him up, he might have realized that he didn't get where he was all alone. Then perhaps he wouldn't have felt so much like superman.
Posted by alice at 12:29 PM
Damn. The guy was only 50 years old.
Posted by alice at 10:32 AM