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Tuesday
Nov302010

Let the Wild Speculation Begin....

Just in case you haven't heard,  NASA has offered up a press release  saying that Thursday December 2 at 2:00 pm EST, they will have a discussion of "an astrobiology finding that will impact the search for evidence of extraterrestrial life."

It will be broadcast live on NASA Television and streamed on the agency's website at http://www.nasa.gov.

Sure, everybody has a hunch. Mine is an announcement of microbial life confirmed on Mars.Remember these guys ? Well the jury is still out, some what.

 

Other speculations,   Saturn's moon Rhea has a thin atmosphere of oxygen and carbon dioxide. That means it could support life.

 

Look, in all honesty, one of the first things you learn in science is to follow the evidence, rather than drag it to where you want to go. But still, its fun to speculate.

 

Update: Nothing new to add, but Phil Plait over at Bad Astonomy has a lot to say about half cocked speculations. As always, his stuff is the standard by which we measure ourselves. Or sometning....

Monday
Nov292010

Its That Time Again, Lets All Sing Along

I've listened to Christmas songs all my life. Well, let rephrase that. I've listened to them every Christmas that I can remember. But have you ever REALY listened?

 

Snow as we like to think of itThe first thing you might notice is that some of them have nothing at all to do with any Christian holiday. A lot of them seem to be about snow. Uh... don't ask.Frosty the Snowman runs around a village, barely noticing the local constabulary.

Even less said the better

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We Let It Snow, so we can go dashing through it with our Jingle Bells. Those Jingle Bells Rock. And Baby Its Cold Outside, so lets not go Walking In A Winter Wonderland.Snow as it really is.

 

And then there's my favorite, or should I say, My Favorite Things. How did this become a Yuletide song. Its from The Sound of Music. It has nothing at all do with the season. Even the the reference to presents talks about them being brown papered and tied up with string. Not a colored wrapping or piece of gay ribbon to be had anywhere in the lyrics. Okay, one mention of snowflakes and another about sleigh bells but these are overshadowed by girls in white dresses and geese flying about.Look, next time we should call each other, so we dont end up wearing the same thing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Of course Broadway and Hollywood have done other things to add to the confusion. When Auntie Mane declares that We Need A Little Christmas, nobody seems to remember that she's singing this in mid July. All part of her non conformist character.

 

 

 

 

In high school, one of my friends thought she was hot. He's gay now.

And while it may not have been July as she sang it, Judy Garland is consoling her sister in Meet Me In St. Louis when she sings Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas. And theres not a holly wreath or mistletoe anywhere in the shot.

 

 

 

All kidding aside. This is a very sad song.

 

All right, I'll admit that ones a stretch, since it is really about Christmas and all, but for a real creepy use of the song, check out the movie, The Victors. It uses Frank Sinatra's version of the song as musical background to an American Infantryman being shot by a firing squad. Hold my eggnog please.

Hope these are good seats. 

Then there's the other sub gene of seasonal songs. The ones that get the whole Christmas experience wrong to begin with. When I sat on Jolly Old Saint Nicolis lap I never asked him to “whisper what you'll bring to me.” Every kid knows better than that. Did the writers of this song miss the whole dynamic of the Santa thing?

 

I'm always forgetting. Is the story of The Little Drummer Boy in Mathew or Luke?Later, he was fanous for trashing hotel rooms

 

And while we're on the subject of Gospel accuracy, Lets do a short deconstruction of Do You Here What I Hear. Lets see, night wind talks to lamb, okay, not in any Bible but it doesn't alter the story any. Neither does the conversation between the lamb and the sheepherder. But when we get to the part about the boy talking to the king, we head down a slippery slope. What happened to the Wise Men? And the king, who I assume must be Herod goes way off script and tells everybody to to “pray for peace”. Quite a far cry from the accepted version. Its like the composers were embarrassed over that killing the first born male child business.

 

Alright, in the spirit of full discloser, there's nothing in this song to suggest the action is taking place in Judea. It could be Devonshire England for all we know.

 

And here's a question of Three Kings, are they moving east or west? The Bible has them telling Herod that they saw his star in the east. That seems to mean the star was in the eastern sky. But the song says the star is westward leading.

 

I'm just asking.Is all Christmas imagery .... sexual?

 

And finally, my own personal nightmare, Old Red Nose Himself. Its obvious that the writer of these lyrics was not paid by the word. The WHOLE BLASTED STORY is told in one verse. One verse. No charterer development. No second act twist. Its so short in fact that every recording you've ever heard made up of that single anecdote, followed by a musical interlude. More often than not, that musical bridge is note for note the same as the first (and only) verse, and then the singer comes in and does it all over again.

 

I read somewhere that the song was commissioned by the Montgomery Ward people as a sales campaign. My personal theory is that the ad department had no typing paper and could only write their ideas on matchbook covers.

 

So what can I say, other than I'm just a guy with way too much time on his hands each Christmas.

 

And I'll leave you on that rant.



Monday
Oct042010

Donald Duck Meets Glenn Beck

The title says it all right. Its a brillant piece of editing and im saving it before someone makes it go away from Youtube.

 

 

Sunday
Aug292010

All I Have To Do Is Dream

Now some people will say that I'm blowing the story by telling you up front that its a dream.

Lets get something straight right now. I hate stories that end with “And it was all a dream.” I stopped watching the TV show “Dallas” for that very reason.

I will also point out that I live in the state of Utah, in the USA, and as such, I know a lot of Mormons, more correctly know as Latter Day Saints, or LDS.

LDS is a mystery to many people outside the church. I myself have tried to understand some of their ways, but I'll admit that there are some things that absolutely escape me. Especially thier conserns about underware and deserts.

Now, with that exposition out of the way, lets talk about the dream.

I was with some non Mormon friends at an LDS Mall. Dream remember? I get separated from my friends and realize that I'm in a line to get baptized into the church. I try to point out that this is a mistake but no one is paying any attention to what i say.

Suddenly I'm on a big pedestal like stage, with a rather attractive woman, who tells me to loosen my pants.

Before I can say “excuse me” an older lady pours a large glass of cold water on my head. Before I can react to this the younger woman yanks at the small of my back, thus opening my trousers at the rear.

She then takes a large bowl of lime green jello, and pours the contents down the backside of my pants.

The next thing I know I'm lead out into the hallway with a a pant load of sticky desert on my backside., walking around the mall, looking for a men's room, and wondering “Is that fruit slices I feel?”

Then the dream logic kicks in. I understand three things about Mormons that always alluded me. First, why they are so secretive about their rituals ? Well, would you tell anybody that your church does this. Hell no! And now the hole underwear thing makes sense. If you don't know what I'm talking about, Google “Mormon Underwear.”

And finally, I now know why, at every funeral, every wedding, every birthday party, every function where two or more Latter Day Saints meet, they serve Jello. Lime green, with little bits of fruit. 

Wednesday
Aug252010

Tom Tomorow's Take on Ground Zero Mosque

Most likely NOT a photo of Tom, But his Avitar on TweeterThis Modern World is a cartoon strip that I love to hold back reading for a few weeks, just so I can have the pleasure of a marathon.

 

Tom's slant is liberal, and logical. What he loves to do is take someone's idea and extrapolate the logical conclusion.

 

Here, he walks us through the "Ground Zero Mosque." Click the link for a better look.

 

Yes I know, its not at ground zero and its not a mosque.