Monthly archive for August2014 - page 3

I’m not sure they understand what the Freedom of Information Act Is

I’m not sure they understand what the Freedom of Information Act Is

I suppose I could make this a “real life irony” post.  When the ACLU requested information from the Justice Department regarding the Government’s monitoring of citizen’s text messages without a warrant, they received in response a document that was completely redacted:


Totally Redacted FOIA response


Related:  The Department of Education employs a FOIA Denial Officer.  Perfect.

Cross posted at Men Out of Work Blog

Another day, another monkey selfie story

Another day, another monkey selfie story

Via The Volohk Conspiracy and other sundry sources I have forgotten, we  have this story about a photographer, a macauqe monkey, a camera purloined by said monkey, a selfie taken by said monkey with the purloined camera and back to the photographer who wishes to assert copyright of the photo.

Since I have it on good authority that I can reproduce the photo without violation of any copyright:

Cowabunga, dude.  Oh wait.  That was a turtle.  Never mind.

Cowabunga, dude. Oh wait. That was a turtle. Never mind.


Seems like a pretty happy monkey.  Anyhoo…the photographer himself is the source of the story that the photo was not taken by him, but by the monkey.  Since the photo is not the photographer’s work, he cannot claim copyright over it.  Since the monkey is non-human, he (it?) cannot claim copyright either.  Therefore according to copyright law, the copyright belongs to no one.  So…..monkey selfies for everyone!

Legos Lost at Sea…

Legos Lost at Sea…

…is not the title of one of the Lego Movie sequels.  This is for real.  Seventeen years ago in a storm off the coast of Cornwall, U.K. a huge wave knocked several containers off a ship.  One of those containers held something like 4,800,000 pieces of Lego, and they have been washing up on the beaches of Cornwall ever since.  The pieces that are washing up on shore are not the block type pieces but rather the small accessories , ironically many of them with maritime themes, such as life preservers, octopi, diver flippers and scuba apparatus.  According to Tracey Williams who operates the Lego lost at Sea Facebook page, dragons and octopi are the rarest of finds in what has become the quite competitive pastime of Cornish beachcombing.

“These days the holy grail is an octopus or a dragon. I only know of three octopuses being found, and one was by me, in a cave in Challaborough, Devon. It’s quite competitive. If you heard that your neighbour had found a green dragon, you’d want to go out and find one yourself.”

lego tracey_bbc

Theoretically, the Lego pieces could end up anywhere in the world, however the only “verified” finds are on the north and south shores of the Cornwall Peninsula.  Other Lego finds on beaches across the globe are attributed to children leaving their Lego behind after a day at the beach.

Feel Good Story of the Day

Feel Good Story of the Day

Here is your feel good story of the day: Entire ISIS Bomb Making Class Blown up by Instructor’s Mistake.  Apparently the Bomb-Teacher had a class of 21 students who suddenly found themselves burning in hell when their instruction took a wrong turn.

Instructor: “So you see our bomb is complete.  To detonate simply turn this swi…BOOM!

Students: “……..”

That’s some Instant Karma right there.

Hat Tip: Ace of Spades HQ

Cross Posted at Men Out of Work Blog

Yellowstone Supervolcano Eruption Imminent – NOT!

Yellowstone Supervolcano Eruption Imminent – NOT!

Some rumors were started on the internet that an eruption of the Yellowstone Supervolcano was imminent;   Alternative new sites had reported earthquakes, road closures, and that the park was being evacuated in advance of an eruption, and so the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory felt obligated to release a statement denying the “reports”. The YVO released an official statement  denying the rumors and “reports”:  Yellowstone Park Adresses Rumors of Earthquakes, Eruptions and Evacuations.  

This immediately fueled internet rumors and alternative news source reports that a Large Asteroid Impact on the Continental United States is imminent.

smiling asteroid


Music Friday – Pretender Side Note Edition

Music Friday – Pretender Side Note Edition

From 1955, “The Great Pretender” by The Platters.  According to wikipedia this song was the namesake for The Pretenders.  Now you know.

Music Friday – Pretender Edition

Music Friday – Pretender Edition

In keeping with today’s pretend theme, I will pretend that you would like to know about and hear a few songs from The Pretenders.  The group was formed in London during the late 1970s, though Chrissie Hynde was from Akron, Ohio.  The band has gone through several personnel changes but Hynde has been the constant.  They enjoyed a fair amount of success through the 70s and 80s, into the 90s.  They are still together as of 2012.

The first song in our lineup still receives a ton of airplay on classic rock stations today.  It’s from the very beginning of the 1980s, January 1980 to be exact.  Title:  “Brass in Pocket”

Gonna use my my my ‘magination alright.  OK, next song was their biggest hit in the US, staying at #5 on the charts for three weeks in 1982: “Back on the Chain Gang”

Alrighty then.  The next song is the “B” side to the previous song.  Most people probably couldn’t tell you the title, they just know it as “The Rush Limbaugh Song”.  The actual title is “My City Was Gone”:

I’ll forego the usual three song format so I can add a fourth, their final song to chart in the US.  This song reached #16 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1990.  The ballad: “I’ll Stand By You”

I’ll will stand by you.  Indeed.  Hope you enjoyed The Pretenders.  Have a great Friday!


Are you there? Say a prayer for the Pretender

Are you there?  Say a prayer for the Pretender

The Jackson Browne lyric came to mind when I was thinking of a title for this post.  An alternate title might be why “we should pretend not to be afraid”.  Because every day there is fear of one kind or another, to one degree or another.  To live is to exist in a state of fear.

On occasion we find ways to soothe our fear, but to acknowledge fear is to empower it.  And so should we pretend it does not exist? Well, pretending is bad, isn’t it?  Isn’t pretending a form of dishonesty?  Not neccessarily.  If your intent is deception, then yes, it is an act of dishonety.  But pretense needn’t be a foundation for deception.  Let it be a foundation for transformation.  For example:

“Don’t pretend to be what you’re not, instead, pretend to what you want to be, it is not pretence, it is a journey to self realization.” ― Michael Bassey Johnson

Perhaps you’ve never heard of Micahel Bassey Johnson.  Fair enough.  You’ve heard of Ralph Waldo Emerson?  Try this on for size:

“Dare to live the life you have dreamed for yourself.  Go forward and make your dreams come true”Ralph Waldo Emerson

Dreaming, self-realization, transformation….pretending.  I’m pretending right now.  I’m pretending I’m wearing pants.  Just Kidding!  Seriously though, I’m pretending that I’m not afraid of someone reading this and thinking that I am stupid.  I’m pretending that someone might care at all, or that someone might read this and have an epiphany.  Without those pretenses, I probably wouldn’t bother with this at all.  In that way pretending becomes intending.  Intending becomes…???

We live in two worlds, the  spiritual and the physical.  Apparently we are more suited to the spiritual since humankind seems to have no shortage of dreams, theories, ideas and imagination, but when we try to bring these things into physical reality we stumble.  The two worlds don’t interface seamlessly; it appears to us that some “things” can only exist in one or the other.  But is that really true?  If it is possible to dream a dream, why can’t a dream be lived?  One thing I know – you can’t live your dream without pretending.

Why We So Stupid, Eh?

Why We So Stupid, Eh?

“Pope Francis tells young people ‘chatting on the Internet or with smartphones (and) watching TV soap operas’ are futile and a waste of time”

Pope Francis made some remarks yesterday urging young people not to waste time on trivial or “futile” things.  His remarks encompassed things like the internet and smartphones, and so some of the coverage I have read has portrayed this as a critcism of the technology.  That misses the point.

Technological advances usually come about when a need for increased efficiency or production exists.  Something is invented that satisfies that need, yielding the desired increase.  Then other uses are found for the technology and eventually the technology finds leisure uses.  What I’m getting at is that technology has the potential to make us either very productive and efficient, or it can also make us the opposite.  It’s all in how we use it.  It would be virtually impossible for me to practice mass communication if all I had was a pencil and pad of paper, or even a typrewriter.  With a computer, the proper software and the internet, I can write these words and they can be seen by potentially millions of people without me ever leaving my chair.  OR…conversely, I could sit in the same chair at the same screen and keyboard and do absolutely nothing but YouTube, Facebook, Instagram etc etc. etc.

The same thing is true with smartphones…time saver, or time waster…YOU DECIDE.

So to my point – Why We So Stupid, Eh?  You have to say it with an Italian accent.  When I read about Pope Francis’ remarks I heard that in my head, so maybe one of my ancestors was in there.  Whoever it was – thanks!  Why are we so prone to wasting our time on trivial pursuits?  It’s like that’s the default setting for Human Nature.  We have to be motivated to be productive, but  absent that motivation it’s solitaire or Angry Birds all day long.  All while we know that if there is one thing for sure about life, it is the fact that it will end one day.

“Our life is made up of time, and time is a gift from God, so it is important that it be used in good and fruitful actions.” – Pope Francis

“Good and Fruitful Actions” can be interpreted broadly, but I would say at a minimum that those actions would in some way serve a purpose or person outside of or greater than ourselves and be generally positive or uplifting in nature.  God has given us only so much time here – we should be mindful that our actions are good and fruitful and that in some way, no matter how small, they contribute to the greater glory of God.  Give Love!  For when our time comes to an end there is only one thing we can take with us…and that is love.

Apparently Every Time You Get Dizzy…

Apparently Every Time You Get Dizzy…

But we still go back for more.

As a fellow afficionado of the word “apparently”, I have to say I love this kid.  He does say that apparently he’s a kid.  I guess the fair is a lot like life.  Apparently we go around and around, apparently every time we get dizzy.  Yet we persist.  Then we go down the super slide and are apparently scared half to death.  We just freak out.

Hat tip: Althouse

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