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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Video: Have You Heard Of This "Manly" Christianity Movement?

Fellowship Church, a megachurch in the Dallas, Texas, area, is holding a "Men's Conference" at the end of September.  According to their website, it promises "2 days of testosterone fueled MAN STUFF(Their capitalization, not mine). Combining intensity, entertainment, teaching and worship; it’s the kind of weekend that will make you high five a total stranger!"  This is their ad:

Yes, for only $35 in advance, (ticket prices go up September 5th) you and your slack-jawed Christian Neanderthal friends can arm wrestle, participate in strong man competitions and play basketball...all while being saved by Christ!

This off shoot of modern Christianity has its roots in something called Muscular Christianity.  It started in the late 19th century as a way to recruit men, by using sports as a way to express moral values, such as discipline and manliness.  Interestingly enough, the movement has some of it's roots in Nazi Germany.  Go figure.

I guess their interpretation of the Bible is that Jesus and the 12 disciples played some Texas Hold'em, and healed the sick between practicing their Brazilian Jiu Jitsu moves.  The compassion, mercy and love stuff?  Who do you think Jesus was...some kind of queer

Video: Walt Disney Presents: 'The Story Of Menstruation'

Yes, the same Disney that makes 'The Little Mermaid' and 'Tangled' today.  In 1946, they produced a 10 minute animated short, that explained what happened to a young woman's body, every 28 days or so.  For 65 years old, the information is surprisingly practical and informative.

Who would have thought that our grandmothers were given more of a comprehensive education about puberty than our own daughters, 65 years later.  Today, schools focus so much attention on "abstinence only education", that menstruation is rarely, if at all, discussed.

As a result, young women are often wondering why they're bleeding "down there", while, at the same time doing anal, so that they don't violate the terms of their "purity rings".

Video: This Grey Cat Is Kind Of A Dick

Notice how the clip was edited?  How long was the cat sitting on the box?

I love the way it patted the white cat on the back at the end, as to say, "Sorry bro.  Totally didn't know you were in there."

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Video: Platoon Of Guard Troops Nearly Drown In Flood Waters

Due to the rising flood waters brought on by Irene over the weekend, the levee in Manville, NJ, broke.  The water level Sunday afternoon eventually got as high as 7 or 8 feet.  It was so high, that two National Guard trucks, specially equipped to drive in such conditions, stalled and floated down the city streets.

The best part of the video...some of the soldiers couldn't swim.  Why would you send people that can't swim into a flooded city?

Your tax dollars at work, people.

Graph: What The 400 Richest Americans Can Buy

In March, filmmaker Michael Moore publicly claimed that the 400 richest Americans "have more wealth than half of all Americans combined".  The statement seemed so outrageous, that decided to investigate it.  What they found was astonishing.

Michael Moore's statement was actually false.  The 400 richest Americans had more wealth than the poorest 60% of Americans.  They determined that in 2010, the top 400 money earners had $1.37 trillion in property.  The wealth of the poorest 60% of Americans, everything that they own, has a value of $1.26 trillion, according to economists.

What can $1.37 trillion buy?  Take a look.

Still, there are people in this country, primarily Republicans, that complain that the poor aren't chipping in their "fair share".  Numerous articles have been published stating how 51% of Americans pay no income tax.  This may just be a theory, but it may be because they're fucking poor.

There also seems to be quite a bit of inherent skepticism as to whether poor people are actually poor:

The audacity of someone in poverty to have a refrigerator or a television.  The nerve of some people!

Cartoon: Impeach President God

Video: A One Of A Kind Stop Motion Film

Eran Amir made a stop motion film, that includes 500 people from all over Israel, holding more than 1500 photographs.  It's quite impressive.  I like to describe it as a "stop motion Inception".

There's a movie, within a movie, within a movie, within a movie, within a movie.......all within another movie.  Confused?  You should be.  You just have to watch it.

The video looks best if you DO NOT view it full screen.

Where is Leonardo DiCaprio when you need him?

Que spinning top...

Video: Preacher Forces Teens To Out Themselves During Sermon

Another video featuring the same despicable individuals that ripped off the crowd of teenagers in another video I posted last week.   This time around, they're forcing gay and lesbian kids to out themselves in front of the audience.  I apologize in advance for the few seconds of chipmunk voice mid-way through the clip.

Didn't you get that warm fuzzy feeling inside when he said that "people don't love you because you're gay, they love you because you're perverts"?  I know I did.

I had to do quite a bit of Googling, but it appears that our "douchebag for the lord" is Pastor Damon Thompson.  He runs a highly successful ministry called The Ramp out of Hamilton, Alabama.  Considering that Hamilton is a podunk town with only 6,800 residents, Jethro Thompson must be making quite a living, considering hundreds of teens show up at each of their services.

Reportedly, Thompson also uses anti-gay slurs regularly during his services.  Talk about setting an example as a Christian.

The First Lollapalooza Was 20 Years Ago, Sunday

Feel Old?

Damn good line up that year.  Violent Femmes and Fishbone were also on the main stage, depending on what city you were in.

Video: Irene Destroys 141 Year Old Vermont Bridge

Of all the states in the North Atlantic, Vermont appears to have received the worst of Hurricane Tropical Storm Irene.  Most of the state is under feet of water.

Sunday afternoon, the Lower Bartonsville Covered Bridge, built by Sanford Grangers in 1870, succumbed to the rising flood waters of the Williams River.

It's a sad day for the people of the Rockingham area, as well as the State of Vermont, to lose such a beautiful and historical structure.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Video: Technology Makes Wedding Extremely Tacky

Included in all IPhone 4 and IPad 2 models is a program called Facetime.  It lets you do video chat with other Apple products that have the program, connected to either a Wi-Fi, 3G or 4G signal.  Generally, it works much better with Wi-Fi.  Otherwise, it gets really choppy.  But I digress.

Isn't it sort of an unwritten written rule that if you're a bridesmaid at a wedding, one of the requirements of being a bridesmaid is showing up at the fucking wedding?

I could understand if she had cancer or something, or if she was dying of E-bola.  In that case, wouldn't moving the wedding to her hospital room be the right thing to do?

You know the other bridesmaids were standing there thinking, "I had to spend $600 on this ugly dress.  I couldn't find anyone else to bring with me, so I had to bring my dick of an ex boyfriend.  All Heather had to do was borrow her sister's IPhone".

And the poor groomsman that lost "Rock Paper Scissors" to have to walk the IPad down the aisle.  His day is ruined.

Needless to say, this is a wedding that no one will soon forget.  

Mashup Monday - 'Warwick Ghetto'

I've never been a fan of Elvis.  I know. I know.  I just never liked the guy.  However, in my opinion 'In The Ghetto' is one of my favorite songs.  It has been since my childhood.

Phil RetroSpector has put together a brilliant mashup of The King, with Duffy's 'Warwick Avenue'.  With the video he has put together for the song, it becomes quite emotional.  Take a look.

Video: New Yorkers Knew Of Earthquake Via Twitter Before Ground Shook

For a seismic wave to travel the 230 miles from Washington D.C. to New York City, it takes approximately 30 seconds.  That's roughly 27,600 miles per hour.

It only takes 25 seconds for someone to feel the ground shake, and post a tweet that says "I think we just had an earthquake", that can be read by someone in New York.

That is exactly what happened last Tuesday when a 5.9 earthquake struck near Richmond, Virginia.  When buildings shook near Washington Tuesday afternoon, the internet exploded, primarily on Twitter and Facebook. Twitter claims that readers in other areas were aware of the coming quake via their site before local seismographs registered any readings.  They're so proud of it, in fact, check out their new promotional video:

Twitter announced Wednesday that the D.C. earthquake created more site traffic for them than the death of Osama Bin Laden, and tied the level of traffic that they saw at the time of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami in March.  This tells me one of two things.  Either Twitter has quickly gained a large number of users, or Americans seriously have their priorities fucked up.

As an interesting side note, Eric Fischer created an animated map of the earthquake related tweets that afternoon.  The green dots represent earthquake related tweets.  Gray dots are tweets about other topics.  During the 28 second piece, each frame is one second.  The entire piece represents 12 minutes of elapsed time.

A Message To All Of My Feed Subscribers

Every now and then, I like to try out different feed readers to see how my blog appears.  Some look better than others.  Some give you more options than other ones do.

Anyway, I was experimenting with an RSS feed reading service the other day, and while testing it out, the top of the feed read:

"The Daily Twitch: How Balloon Animals Taught Me To Have Sex" 

Please...Please...PLEASE tell me that it hasn't been showing up this way for everyone for the last three years!!!  I can somewhat understand "The Daily Twitch" thing.  I have recently switched the name of my site, and it is possible that somehow the RSS settings are still linked to the old site and not the new one.  I may need to do some research there.

When it comes to the "balloon animal bestiality" thing, I'm at a loss.  The only thing I can think of is that I had a post of the same name, back in January of this year.  It was this funny little video of these condoms, blown up into balloon animals, doing it in different positions.  How it could of possibly become the TITLE OF MY FUCKING BLOG, I have no idea.

If this is showing up on the feed for any of  you, could you please shoot me an email?  My email is  Thank you.

Photos: Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial

The MLK memorial in Washington D.C., was scheduled to be dedicated yesterday, on the 48th anniversary of King's "I Have a Dream" speech.  With landfall of Hurricane Irene this previous weekend on the East coast, the dedication has been rescheduled to a date "yet to be determined in September or October".  In the meantime, take a look a number of photos of this awe inspiring memorial.

At 29 feet tall, the Stone of Hope is the centerpiece of the memorial.
The Stone of Hope is made to appear as if it is coming out of the Mountain of Despair.

The entire memorial complex sits on four acres.  It is surrounded by numerous paths, lined by cherry trees.
The walls lining the paths are inscribed with quotes from King's life.  They are illuminated at night.
The memorial had a "soft opening" on Thursday of last week, meaning it was open to became open to the public.  The dedication is just a formality, in which the President, civil rights leaders and dignitaries make speeches and pose for the cameras.  It is quite a memorial.  Makes a beautiful addition to Washington D.C.

Video: Bruno Mars Performs 'Valerie' (Amy Winehouse Tribute)

I have avoided MTV's Video Music Awards for the last few years.  Between Bieber, Lil' Wayne and the cast of 'The Jersey Shore', I thought it would be best if I just watched something else.  Based upon the clips I've seen this morning, however, I think I may tune in next year.

Bruno Mars did a wonderful rendition of Amy Winehouse's 'Valerie'.  I've never thought about it before, but he is perfectly suited to sing her music.  It would have been nice to hear the two of them sing a duet.

There were some in the crowd singing right along.  You could tell that most had never heard the song before.  What a shame.  Adele appeared visibly moved by the performance.

Video: Adele Performs 'Someone Like You' At Last Night's VMAs

A rare moment of class from last night's MTV Video Music Awards:

Get More: 2011 VMA, Music, Adele

Sunday Confessional: I Need A Financial Bailout

I was sitting at dinner and thought that it might be interesting to try a regular weekly post on The Twitch.  I wanted to write something that had a little depth to it.  I realized that it has been a while since I have talked about the things that have really been bothering me.  I started this site to discuss my Tourette's and PTSD, among other things, and have found it very therapeutic to let things out.

That being said, I have decided that every Sunday, I am going to have a post called 'Sunday Confessional'.  Each week, I'll write about my medical conditions, or childhood memories or what has been troubling me from the previous week.  I promise to be extremely honest and open.  I won't hold anything back, although, I'm sure on some subjects I probably should.  I know that by the time I have figured all of this out for this week, I probably won't technically post this piece until Monday AM.  But, as long as I started it on Sunday, it still theoretically counts as a Sunday post, right?

This week, I have decided to write about the one thing that keeps me up most  Or, should I say, the lack of it.

Three years ago, when Lennon was born, my wife and I both worked as trainers for a major cell phone company.  We were living very comfortably, making roughly $125,000 a year between the two of us.  We were able to buy all of the babies furniture and clothing in advance and pay cash.  We had a very nice three bedroom apartment.  Right after she was born, we purchased a brand new Dodge Grand Caravan minivan with all the options.  With our income, it was no sweat to take care of two car payments, along with our other bills.  We were doing so well financially, that we would regularly max out our credit cards, then pay them all off in a matter of 60 days.  We would do that repeatedly.  My credit score was amazing.

In September of 2008, we moved from Albuquerque to Phoenix, to be closer to family.  Both of us were able to transfer with work into technical support positions at the same pay.  We moved into a beautiful three bedroom house with a garage.  It was the perfect house for us.  My wife cried the day we moved out, in fact. Things were good.  We were home.  We had our first Christmas as a family of three, tree and all.

By February of '09, things had taken a decidedly downward turn for me, medically.  Wait.  Let me back up a minute.

I had my first tic in August of 2006.  I had no idea what it was.  It was so violent, I thought I was having a seizure.  That first night, I didn't know what to do.  Jessi (my wife) and I were panicking.  She drew a hot bath, and I sat in the bathtub for nearly an hour...shaking.  I remember just repeatedly asking her, "What's going on?  Should we go to the hospital?" Over the next two and a half years, the tics came more frequently and got progressively worse.

OK.  Back to February 2009.  My job required me to speak on the phone for 8 hours a day.  I worked in a call center.  Not only were my tics getting so bad that I was essentially "barking" during my calls, but I was getting so loud, that my coworker's customers could hear me.  Here is a video that I shot on webcam in early June of 2009.  It should give you an idea of the types of tics that I had at that time.

Add to that my increasing mental distress.  People don't call technical support to say that "everything's OK, and you folks are doing a great job".  Something is broken and needs to be fixed.  Often, the customer on the other end of the line is pissed off.  They're pressed for time.  They don't want to go through the troubleshooting steps with you.  They just want their phone to work NOW.  The stress of the situation effected me.  Out of an 8 hour work day, I was locking myself in a restroom stall up to 6 hours, on some days.  Other days, just the sound of the customer's voice on the other end of the line, would cause me to vomit in my waste basket, often during the first call of the day.  That's if I had the courage to make it up the stairs to my desk.  On two occasions, the thought of going into work caused me to "soil myself" in the parking lot.

I went out on Short Term Disability in April of 2009.  Short Term is a great option, but like Long Term, which kicked in that October, you're paid only 60% of your base pay.  You no longer get any shit differential, incentives, bonuses or commissions like you did as a full time employee of the company.  So, my pay actually took a cut from about $4800.00, to $1983.00 a month.  40% of what I was taking home.

In June of that year, my wife went out on disability, due to complications that occurred during Lennon's delivery.  So, both of us were making about 40% of what we were accustomed to at that point.  On June 25th, I was diagnosed with Tourette's Syndrome.  The following month, I was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD, as a result of years of emotional and physical abuse from my parents and scores of childhood bullies.  I immediately was placed on Long Term Disability (which is set to expire this October), and was told to fill out paperwork for Social Security Disability.

Somehow, we managed to keep up most of our bills for the next year.  The first thing to get set aside were the credit cards.  Then we got behind on the van.  We had to voluntarily surrender it last June.  Interesting fact:  once a vehicle is repossessed and sold at auction, you still owe the difference between the loan amount and sale price.  Nice, huh?  We moved out of our three bedroom/2000 square ft. house, and into a 600 square ft./1 bedroom apartment to save money.  We put Lennon in the bedroom.  Jessi and I put our bed in the living room.  Very cumbersome, to say the least.

It got to the point were we had no room for our dog, Ollie.  Our little apartment was so cramped, he couldn't walk anywhere.  Our friends, Lori and Zach, offered to watch him for a while, so that he would have space to play and run in their yard.  We didn't want to see him go, but it was necessary.  Lennon really missed him.

Around the first of February, we received a letter in the mail, stating that Jessi's disability payments had been terminated.  One of her doctors had not submitted supporting documentation as requested, and they had determined that she was ready to go back to work.  She wasn't.  Suddenly, our income was cut in half.  In a matter of two and a half years, our yearly household income had gone from $125,000 to just under $24,000. It has been there ever since.

Let me tell you, a family of three cannot realistically live on $24,000 a year.  You don't make enough to make ends meet, but you make too much to qualify for most government programs.  At $1999.00 a month, my family brings in almost $400 a month too much to qualify for food stamps or Section 8 housing.  Currently, since my daughter is still 3 years old, we qualify for WIC, which gives us 2 boxes of cereal, a jar of peanut butter, a pound of cheese, one dozen eggs, 3 gallons of 1% milk and about $6.00 of fresh fruit per month.

In may, I received my acceptance letter from Social Security.  With it, we received a direct deposit for the "retro pay" for the 25 months of payments that were due to me during my official disability period.  Here's what sucks about the retro pay:  it all goes back to my Long Term Disability provider, since they have sent me a monthly check for the last two years.  I had no choice but to spend some of it.  At the time that it came in, our checking account was in the negative.  We were three months behind on our car payment, two months past due on our electric bill and a month past due on our car insurance.  I also needed to replace my broken cell phone.

Every so often we get lucky.  This month is a different story.

In July, I got a letter from the IRS saying that since I was now receiving Social Security benefits, they could levy my disability check to pay for back taxes owed in 2004, when I worked for my parent's business.  I called them to explain our financial situation.  They agreed to put me in an "indefinite noncollectable status".  The status wasn't approved until three days before my direct deposit went through, not enough time for the levy to be stopped for August.

Between the automatic payments that came out of our checking account, the negative balance at the time the deposit came in and the IRS levy, our checking account balance after our monthly deposit came through was $28.00.  It's the 29th of the month, and I have no idea where our rent or car payment or electric bill are going to come from.

Being poor sucks.  You never get used to it.  You can only adjust, and it's one major fucking adjustment.

Lennon is too young to know any better, which is good.  I grew up not having anything, and knowing it was because we didn't have any money.  We still do what we can to spoil the hell out of her.

In more positive news, we got Ollie back, or as Lennon calls him "Stinky Mr. Pooperton"

Jessi is supposed to start a new job a week from today.  There have been a number of delays (She was originally scheduled to start three weeks ago), so hopefully this will work out.  I go into surgery on the 19th.  I will be lying in bed, recovering, until approximately late January.  As such, Lennon will have to be in preschool during the day.  That's another $750-800 a month on top of the bills we already can't pay.  I'm sure once Jessi goes to work, we'll be able to get back on our feet.  It will just take a couple of months.  Hopefully everyone can wait that long.

Where's my stimulus package?

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Video: 'Goodnight Irene'

To close out the weekend, I thought it would be nice to play one of my all time favorite tunes.

This was recorded Saturday night at O'Flaherty's, in NYC's Restaurant Row.  As Hurricane Irene was approaching, a group of Broadway performers had gathered to sing...and drink the night away.

The video's performers are Alex Harvey on guitar, and Chris "Mr. Sullyphane" Sullivan on ukulele and vocals.  Sullivan is currently on featured in 'Chicago' as Amos Hart.

Pay close attention to the improvised lyrics in verses three and four.  Very nice.  Enjoy.

Video: Hurricane Reporter Covered In "Organic Material"

Speaking of Ocean City, Maryland, Tucker Barnes, from D.C. station WTTG-TV was doing a live spot from the boardwalk last night, when the waves started washing him over, with what he described with as an "organic foam".  He said that, "I can tell you first hand, it doesn't smell great", and, "it doesn't taste great".  I imagine not:

Turns out, that "organic foam" was probably the effects of raw sewage that had seeped into the ocean.  Congratulations Tucker, you were swallowing shit on live television.

Something tells me that Tucker Barnes won't go on location for so much as even a drizzle from now on.

Photo Of The Day

As a way to keep their pool furniture from blowing away, employees of the Hilton in Ocean City, Maryland, were told to shove it all into the hotel's pool.  On Thursday, the city's mayor, Rick Meehan, ordered a mandatory evacuation in advance of Hurricane Irene.

Video: Grandma/Samuel L. Jackson Read 'Go The Fuck To Sleep'

Go the F**k to Sleep is easily my favorite book of the year.  For those of you that haven't heard of it or read it, I won't spoil it just yet.  Let's just say, when I first heard about it, I was counting the days till it's release.  Let me tell you, the wait has been worth it!  Best children's book EVER!  But, for the love of god, don't read it to your children.

Check out this concerned grandmother reading the book to her grandson, without warning of what is inside:

The book sounds like something that should be read by Samuel L. Jackson.  This story is perfectly suited for him.  So suited, in fact, he reads the audiobook.  Below is the audio presentation that you can download for free on's website.  You can then play the file on you computer, MP3 player or mobile device.

The author, Adam Mansbach, is currently writing a trilogy of children's books to follow 'Go the Fuck to Sleep'.  The tentative titles are:  'Stop Shitting Yourself and Use the Fucking Toilet', 'Tie Your Own Damn Shoes' and 'Say "Are We There Yet", I Dare You.  I Double Dare You Motherfucker.  Say "Are We There Yet One More Time, Goddamn It'.  (Kidding)

Fear And Loathing In...Puerto Rico?

From the twisted mind of Hunter S. Thompson...

This October, Johnny Depp answers the age old question, "What is the meaning of life?" "Does 470 proof alcohol actually exist?"

'The Rum Diary' opens on October 28th.

Update On My Spinal Issues: Surgery, Long Recovery Ahead (Photos)

As many of you know, I had surgery on June 20th, to remove to the disc between my L5 and S1 vertebrae. After the procedure, I felt amazing.  Sadly, the joy was short lived.

By June 30th, I had to have my first epidural to help ease the pain.  The pain was so bad, they completed a series of MRIs to verify that I didn't a hematoma in my spine.  I didn't.  The epidural had no effect.  I had two additional epidurals on July 14th, and again on August 4th.  Again, no results.

I had a chance to see my surgeon last Friday, the 19th.  Normally when an MRI is completed so soon following a discectomy, the films are typically very difficult to read.  There are numerous air pockets, shadows and open spaces that can be misinterpreted by the radiologist.  When it came to my images, however, the radiologist made it very clear:  The partial disc remaining in L5/S1 had re-herniated in the space left open by the removed disc.  It was now pressing up against my spinal cord.

My doctor said he always go in and remove the rest of disc, and end it at that.  The problem with that option, is that there is the likelihood that in three months I would be back in surgery.  Also, the two discs above my L5/S1 are having problems.  Considering my weight and frame, my spine could eventually tumble like dominoes.

The route we decided to go was a two-part surgery.  I am having a graft implanted, and then a fusion between my L5 and S1.  I am scheduled for the implant on the morning of September 19th.  The fusion is scheduled for scheduled for September 20th.

In case you were wondering about the process involved, I brought pictured and diagrams.  Pour yourself a drink.  Take a seat.  This may take a moment.

Everything takes place over the course of two surgeries.  During the first one, an incision is made along my "bikini area", (I look amazing in a bikini, BTW) and my intestines are gently set aside.  My surgeon will make an incision at what would be the front of my spine, and scoop out the remaining pieces of disc that are currently in there.  He will then insert a plastic graft, sort of like a fake disc.  It looks like this:

Model of graft in L4/L5 disc
The photo above is one that I took of a model at my surgeon's office.  The graft that you see is much like the one that will be implanted in my spine.  It's hollow and will be filled with bone fragments, that, from what I think I understand, will eventually turn into bone?  There are a couple of major differences between the one in the pic and the type that they'll use on me.  In the model, the graft is in the L4/L5 slot.  My herniation is in L5/S1, so imagine the graft one place lower.  Also, since L5/S1 is the lowest disc on the spine, and the one closest to the hip bone, the long/rectangular graft that you see would bump into the hip bone if inserted.  I will need a thicker graft, with more of a square shape.

Since my surgery isn't scheduled until 11:30AM, they won't have enough time to complete both procedures on the same day.  The next morning is when the magic happens.

An incision is made - this time on my back (cue suspenseful music).  A set of four screws are set into my vertebrae, two on each side to secure, what is essentially a titanium brace, to my spine.  My first two questions, as I'm sure are yours:  Will I set off airport metal detectors? And, Is the fusion magnetic? Can I still get an MRI?  Fortunately, the answer to both are No.  I can still get an MRI.  Titanium is not magnetic.  From what I have been told the placement of the "anchors" should not be painful since bone does not have any nerve.

Keep in mind, the placement of my fusion will be one slot lower than that of the picture, since the model has a fusion of L4/L5, and I need a fusion of L5/S1.

So, what's in store after that?  A lot of lying down.  I'm required to wear a back brace for the next four months, as well as those really tight thigh highs that keep you from getting blood clots (I forget what they're called).

For the first four months after surgery, I'm not allowed to bend over, lift anything over 5 pounds or sit for more than ten minutes at a time.  To put it simply....
  • Sleeping
  • Netflix
  • Video Games
  • ...and a metric shitload of blogging.
My wife will be working full time, and Lennon will be in preschool (since there's no way in Hell I'll have the ability to care for her).  So, I apologize in advance for the posts on "this commercial I saw", or "Have you ever noticed how Coke makes you burp more than other sodas?"

I'm not going to enjoy it anymore than you will, believe me.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Introducing...The NASCAR Bible

I know.  First time I heard those two words together, I threw up a little in my mouth, too.  Yeah, it exists.  And, as much as it sounds like a gag from 'Talladega Nights', it's not a joke.  Since NASCAR doesn't officially endorse it, it's called the 'Holy Bible: Stock Car Racing Edition'.

I'm surprised I am just now hearing about this.  It has been on the shelves since September of 2009.  You would think that with it being the "Stock Car Bible", a number of things would have changed in the translation.  Dale and Junior would show up listed in Jesus' lineage.  Christ would have changed water to Bud Light.  The account in the Gospels of Jesus cleansing the Temple of the money changers would have read, "And Jesus walked in to the Temple, like Patrick Swayze in that one scene from 'Roadhouse', right?  Hell yeah!"

Instead, it's the NIV (New International Version) translation.  The Amazon link above is full of humor.  The product description:
"Featuring exciting and inspiring full-color inserts with photos of and insights from stock car racing's finest personalities, the NIV Thinline Bible: Stock Car Edition is sure to be a motorsports fan's favorite Bible. Motor Racing Outreach, a ministry to the world of motorsports, has partnered with Zondervan to create this Bible designed to delight race fans. MRO brings testimonies and photographs of the popular race personalities with whom they work on a daily basis---the drivers, the pit crews, the media spokespeople, and others associated with the world of racing. Combined with the complete text of the New International Version and offered in two innovative and cost-effective bindings, this title will make a wonderful gift for the true racing fan."
Even better are some of the reviews:
"5.0 out of 5 Stars "This Bible is just what I've been looking for" by Cal Noughton, Jr.
This Bible is awesome, cause I like to picture Jesus in a tuxedo t-shirt which says "I want to be formal, but I'm here to party, too." 'Cause I like to party, so I like my Jesus to party. I like to think of Jesus with giant eagle's wings, singing lead vocals for Lynyrd Skynyrd, with an angel band, and I'm in the front row, and I'm hammered drunk."      
 Clearly making fun of the book.  Then again, I can't tell which reviews aren't making fun of the book.

"Boogity, boogity, boogity, Amen."

Video: As Seen On TV - A Tribute To Doing It Wrong

My favorites:  The guy that can't put on his shoes, and the lady that doesn't know how to pour soda.  And seriously?  How do you fuck up sitting down on the couch?

Scientists Discover Planet Composed Of Diamond

The planet, which is known as "PSR J1719-1438", is believed to be the remnants of a "companion" pulsar that burned out.  It's only the second documented instance of such an occurrence. In all other cases, the dying star gets absorbed by the remaining star in the system.  

Scientists theorize that the ultra high pressures caused by the rapidly pulsing neutron star it orbits, have caused it to condense and crystallize to the point that it is only 12 miles across. The solar system is 4,000 light years away.

In related news, Congressional Republicans have demanded the immediate reinstatement of the Shuttle program, as well as unlimited funding for a manned mission to PSR J1719-1438.  I'm being sarcastic, people.

Video: Live On Weather Channel...It's Raining Men! (NSFW)

According to a live feed from Virginia Beach this afternoon, it's raining cats, dogs and naked college guys.  Check out the guy in the red shorts about thirty seconds in.


Hurricane Irene Could Threaten 9/11 Memorial

In the event that a hurricane should ever hit New York City, the city is set up in "Zones", depending on how close they are to the water, and the topography of the city.  "Zone A" are areas that would be in danger in the event of a Category 1 hurricane.  "Zone B" is for Category 2, "Zone C" is for Category 3, and so on.

With Hurricane Irene expected to make landfall in New York City tomorrow morning, mayor Michael Bloomberg has ordered mandatory evacuations for those living in "Zone A".  That comes to roughly 370,000 people that have been asked to leave their homes by 5PM today.  To make things worse, all public transportation (subways, buses) were stopped as of noon, in advance of the storm.  They will not be back online until Tuesday.

At the bottom left hand corner of Manhattan (Manhattan is the area that is entirely wrapped in "Zone A"), you'll see an area that looks like a notch is cut out of the island.  Between the spots on the map that say "Battery Park City" and "Bowling Green".  This is the location of Ground Zero.

Next month, on the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks, the 9/11 Memorial is being dedicated at the site of the former World Trade Center location.  The memorial was designed to have water gently falling, from ground level, into the imprints of the towers.  Here are a couple of photos taken during construction showing how massive this project is.  Since completion, developers have tried to keep a lid on photography of the memorial until it's official unveiling on September 11th.

With only two weeks to assess and repair any damage made to the memorial, the city is going to be on a tight schedule.  As is, the site has been embroiled in a mass of controversy concerning designs and countless delays.  It has been a struggle for crews to meet their ten anniversary deadline for the memorial.

I will keep you posted.

Album Of The Week - Muppets: 'The Green Album'

When I was a kid, one of my favorite movies was 'The Muppet Movie'.  I have seen it dozens of times.  I think everyone my age has.

As 'The Great Muppet Caper' and 'The Muppets Take Manhattan' came out, I started to lose interest.  Once the "Muppet Babies" came into the picture, I called it quits.

I was 24 when 'Muppets From Space' was released.  Regardless, I have still seen it 30 times or more.  There is something unique about Muppet humor that makes you want to watch it over and over again.  That is why I was delightfully surprised when I saw this trailer while on IMDB a few weeks ago:

The movie even has Jason Segel and Amy Adams in it.  Has anything negative EVER been said about those two?

Well, on Tuesday, the soundtrack for the movie was released.  It's called Muppets: The Green Album.  Let me tell you, don't pirate it.   It will be the best $12.99 spent on a music purchase in a long time.

The album is a compilation of various covers of famous Muppet songs by modern artists.  The artist selection practically comprises of the "hipster elite",  only lacking Arcade Fire.  With Weezer featuring Hayley Williams, OK Go, My Morning Jacket, The Airborne Toxic Event and Sondre Lerche, the album isn't nearly as pretentious as it may seem.  In fact, it's actually quite pleasant.  It's very nice to be able to hear a song that brings you back to your childhood, without feeling like a child.  At 36, I prefer not to be sung to by a puppet, thank you.

Youtube sensations OK Go open the disc with the 'Muppet Show Theme Song'.  It's a decidedly different, and more modern take on the song, and I think it works.  The video is quite funny.  You have to watch it all the way to the end.  Many of the jokes are parodies of gags from previous OK Go videos.  So, if you haven't seen any of their other videos, odds are, you won't get some of the gags.

There are two songs that stand out above the rest on the album.  The first is the cover of 'The Rainbow Connection' by Weezer and Paramore's Hayley Williams.  Weezer's Rivers Cuomo was born to sing this song.  It is if Jim Henson wrote it with him in mind.  Cuomo embodies the hippie mentality and the wild-eyed innocence of Kermit the Frog, better than any musician that has ever attempted to sing the tune.  In all honesty, as soon as his voice came through the speaker, tears filled my eyes.

Williams on the other hand....not so much.  On her solo portion of the song, her voice is dull and blank.  It's almost like hitting the key on an old piano.  Fortunately, she only sings a couple of bars by herself.  The harmonies between Rivers and Hayley are very nice.  All in all, it makes for a very nice song.  One of the best covers of the tune I've heard yet.

Take a listen for yourself:

Singer and violinist Andrew Bird does a lovely version of 'Bein' Green'.  The violin adds a very nice touch to an already meaningful song.

If you would like to preview the album before you buy it, NPR has a webpage available that is currently streaming the entire album for a limited time.  Or, you can buy it at the link below.

Photo Of The Day

If you live in New York City, rats are part of the territory.  Sadly, there is no way to avoid them.  But, this is ridiculous.

The rat, killed Wednesday in a housing project in Brooklyn, is approximately three feet long.  Experts believe that it is a pet rat that was at one time imported from Gambia.  They're unable to reproduce.  The worst part of the story:  the Housing Authority worker that killed it said there were two more just as big that got away.


In related news, there are tens of millions of rats that call the New York City subway system their home.  As Hurricane Irene approaches within the next 24 hours, many city officials realize that there is a distinct possibility that part of the subway network may be flooded after she passes overhead.  With that in mind, an MTA official announced yesterday to expect the possibility of millions of subway rats "seeking higher ground".  Lovely.

Maybe New York City should just change it's name to the Fire Swamp.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Still At Your Mercy, Technorati


Photos: Steve Jobs Resigns As Apple CEO, Appears In Grave Health

On Wednesday, Steve Jobs, Apple's founder and CEO sent a letter addressed to "To the Apple Board of Directors and the Apple Community", he resigned.  The letter said:
"I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come.
I hereby resign as CEO of Apple. I would like to serve, if the Board sees fit, as Chairman of the Board, director and Apple employee.
As far as my successor goes, I strongly recommend that we execute our succession plan and name Tim Cook as CEO of Apple.
I believe Apple’s brightest and most innovative days are ahead of it. And I look forward to watching and contributing to its success in a new role.
I have made some of the best friends of my life at Apple, and I thank you all for the many years of being able to work alongside you.
 Jobs is one of the most innovative and one of the most business savvy individuals of the modern era.  With rumors of both an IPad 3 and numerous IPhone models debuting for multiple carriers within the next few months, many industry insiders were speculating what it was that is causing Jobs to walk away from his baby. Had his pancreatic cancer come back?  Was it something else?  Well,  TMZ got a picture of Mr Jobs this afternoon today, and it isn't pretty.  In fact, it's quite shocking.

As you can see, he's so weak and frail he is having to be assisted with standing at the street corner.  His ankles are wider than the middle of his legs.  He appears to be terminally ill.

When he resigned on Wednesday, I read a lot of articles that essentially talked shit about him.  They talked about how stubborn he was, or about how he was a "my way or the highway" type of guy.  One article reiterated the number of products Apple was responsible for killing (the Walkman, floppy disks, CDs, CD roms).  There was one article though that stood out.  It was actually a post on Google+ by Google Vice President for Social Business Vic Gundotra:
"One Sunday morning, January 6th, 2008 I was attending religious services when my cell phone vibrated. As discreetly as possible, I checked the phone and noticed that my phone said "Caller ID unknown". I choose to ignore.
After services, as I was walking to my car with my family, I checked my cell phone messages. The message left was from Steve Jobs. "Vic, can you call me at home? I have something urgent to discuss" it said. 
Before I even reached my car, I called Steve Jobs back. I was responsible for all mobile applications at Google, and in that role, had regular dealings with Steve. It was one of the perks of the job. 
"Hey Steve - this is Vic", I said. "I'm sorry I didn't answer your call earlier. I was in religious services, and the caller ID said unknown, so I didn't pick up". 
Steve laughed. He said, "Vic, unless the Caller ID said 'GOD', you should never pick up during services". 
I laughed nervously. After all, while it was customary for Steve to call during the week upset about something, it was unusual for him to call me on Sunday and ask me to call his home. I wondered what was so important?
"So Vic, we have an urgent issue, one that I need addressed right away. I've already assigned someone from my team to help you, and I hope you can fix this tomorrow" said Steve. 
"I've been looking at the Google logo on the iPhone and I'm not happy with the icon. The second O in Google doesn't have the right yellow gradient. It's just wrong and I'm going to have Greg fix it tomorrow. Is that okay with you?"
Of course this was okay with me. A few minutes later on that Sunday I received an email from Steve with the subject "Icon Ambulance". The email directed me to work with Greg Christie to fix the icon. 
Since I was 11 years old and fell in love with an Apple II, I have dozens of stories to tell about Apple products. They have been a part of my life for decades. Even when I worked for 15 years for Bill Gates at Microsoft, I had a huge admiration for Steve and what Apple had produced. 
But in the end, when I think about leadership, passion and attention to detail, I think back to the call I received from Steve Jobs on a Sunday morning in January. It was a lesson I'll never forget. CEOs should care about details. Even shades of yellow. On a Sunday.
To one of the greatest leaders I've ever met, my prayers and hopes are with you Steve.
Being a visionary isn't about cutting corners to make an extra 3% profit on a particular product.  People take notice.  That's why they're willing to pay a little bit extra for the merchandise.  Our hopes and thoughts are with you as well, Steve.

Wanna Play The "Guess What Game"?

I'm a fan of body piercings.  But sometimes, people can take them too far.  See if you can guess what this is.

Click on this link at BME to reveal the entire photo.  Don't worry.  Nothing gross.  It's completely safe for work.

I don't get it.

THE Coolest Thing On Earth You Can Buy For $350

Fuck the IPhone.  To Hell with a year pass to Disneyland.  (Depending on the terms at which you buy them, you can't those things for $350, anyway.)  Check this out:

When I go to an aquarium, my favorite exhibit is always the jellyfish.  They're spellbinding.  I have always wanted to have jellyfish in a home aquarium, but have never seen them available in a store.  Turns out, jellyfish cannot go into normal rectangular aquariums, because they'll get stuck in the corners.  If you think about it, every jelly exhibit you've ever seen has been in a cylindrical tank.

On August 10, Alex Andon of Jellyfish Art posted a project on, as a way to gauge interest for his design and possibly get pre-orders.  His initial goal was to raise $3000 by September 12th.  The very next day, they reached their goal.

The day after that, their project received some unexpected advertisement in the form of a Tweet from record producer Jermaine Dupri:

Soon, every aspiring rapper and music producer in the nation was jockeying to get a jellyfish tank.  News of the Kickstarter project went viral.  The blogoshpere came alive with the story of how the internet could instantly take someone's idea, and make it a reality.  I have to admit, it's a pretty powerful thing.

As of the time of this posting, Jellyfish Art's Kickstarter project is currently at $96,055, with 260 people in line to get a tank when they're completed.  Keep in mind, the project is not set to expire until September 12th,  some 17 days away.

If you would like to contribute to the project, or would like to purchase a tank of your own, you can either click the link above or click on the widget below.

Get A Free Barack Obama 2012 Bumper Sticker

Hey everyone.  Yesterday, I received an email from Barack Obama's campaign offices offering me a free "Barack Obama 2012" bumper sticker.

Normally, the sticker costs $2.99 plus shipping online, or would come free with a campaign donation.  For the rest of this week, however, the Obama campaign is sending them out free of charge to anyone that would like one.

Just go to, and tell them where to send it.  Shipping takes approximately four to six weeks.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Video: Candid Video Of Teenage Girl With Tourette's

The video was taken by Meggan.  She's 14.  She has Tourette's Syndrome.  I can't imagine how difficult high school is for a kid with TS.  Her video made me smile...and cry a bit.  Take a look:

For clarification, Meggan's mom says that the jokes that her friends make are not mean spirited.  She has a particular tic in which she barks, somewhat like a dog.  When she does, one of her friends "ribbits" like a frog, to divert attention from Meggan.  There's another tic, where Meggan makes a noise like "Wheeeeeeeeeee!".  When she does that, her friend smiles and says, "Wow.  You're so happy to see me!".

I know from experience that it helps to have someone available to draw attention off of you.  The last thing you need is to have a "friend" staring at you, or worse, looking uncomfortable, when everyone in the room is looking at you when you tic.

It takes a lot of courage to talk about this openly to your inner circle, let alone the world.  Meggan is a brave young lady.  

Quote Of The Day

"I really hate vaginas. I'm allergic to vagina."

- Robert Pattinson, who plays Edward, the vampire, in the Twilight series.  He is currently involved with Kristen Stewart, who plays Bella. 

Further proof that vampires don't fucking "sparkle".  They don't wear purity rings.  And middle aged Mormon women have no business writing vampire novels.

Photo: We Will Never Forget

Video: Evangelist Swindles Teenagers Out Of Thousands

"Once you drink of his presence and his word, it is your duty to turn back around and give back to that which has offered you the drink."

Unbelievable.  By the way...that may sound like a Bible verse.  It's not.  But to the gullible, largely teen congregation in the video below, it sounds just as "true" as the rest of the "gospel" that has been preached to them.

I guess the Bible is no longer printed with Matthew chapter ten.  It was when I was a kid.  In it, Jesus said,
8“Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. Freely you received, freely give. 9“Do not acquire gold, or silver, or copper for your money belts, 10or a bag for your journey, or even two coats, or sandals, or a staff; for the worker is worthy of his support."
Then again, Evangelicals today believe in a literal translation of the Bible.  Since Jesus didn't specifically mention a million dollar home or a Mercedes Benz they can technically justify their actions before god, right?

And American feel threatened by radical Islam?  Please. 

"I'll Take 'Things Billy Ray Cyrus Should Never Try To Do, For 400' Alex"

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Study: Bi Men Exist. Savage Offers Mea Culpa, Sort Of

Dr. Michael Bailey

In a 2005 paper, Northwestern University professor Dr. Michael Bailey, essentially stated that bisexual men were, in fact, gay, but fooling themselves.  The research at the time entailed measuring the "level of sexual arousal" a participant was at while watching both gay and straight porn.  At the time of the 2005 study, the subjects only "responded" to the gay porn.

The study thereby concluded that male bisexuality did not exist.  Bailey reported:
"In men there's no hint that true bisexual arousal exists, and that for men arousal is orientation."
The New York Times went so far as to say that men are "Straight, Gay or Lying".  As you could imagine, the bi community was furious, but they had no scientific ammunition to counter Bailey's argument.

Fast forward six years.  A landmark study published Tuesday, confirms that bisexual men do indeed exist.  One of the study's authors is the very same Dr. Michael Bailey from the '05 paper.    And, it unequivocally nullifies the findings of research done in 2005.  Why the about face?

In a word:  science.  Or more precisely, the scientific method.

For the '05 study, men were sought out via ads in gay-themed, and alternative lifestyle magazines.  There was no real selection process.  They accepted all comers (no pun intended).  If a guy wanted to participate and said he was bisexual, regardless of their sexual history, he was accepted.

This time around, the application process was a little more stringent.  Not only did they advertise specifically on websites that catered to bisexual clientele, but the men that took part in the study were also required to have a history with both men and women.  Men had to have had two sexual experiences with members of each sex, and a relationship lasting at least three months with a member of each sex.  (So, that time that you made out with that chick at the frat party in college didn't count.)  I wouldn't have even been considered "bisexual enough" to be part of this study.

So to make the study scientifically sound, the tests were conducted in the same fashion as they were in 2005.  Electrodes were placed around the subject's penises.  They were shown pornographic videos with only men, then only women.  As the videos were being shown, the electrodes measured the "level of sexual arousal" the subject was feeling at the time.  Turns out, the results were exactly the opposite of what they found in 2005.  The results of the study showed that while bisexual men responded to both the male and female videos, gay and straight men did not.  Quoting the study:
"On average, the bisexual men in our sample had distinctly bisexual patterns of both genital and subjective arousal.... It appears that some men may identify as bisexual because they are sexually aroused by both sexes, even if they experience considerably more arousal to one sex than the other. Alternatively, men with bisexual arousal patterns may experience temporal fluctuations in their attractions and arousal to men and to women. Thus, a bisexual man may be more aroused by male stimuli at one time point but by female stimuli at another time point. Further, his arousal to his less arousing sex may vary in magnitude depending on fluctuations in his attractions to that sex at any given time.
The current study establishes that some bisexual men have bisexual arousal patterns. Accepting the centrality of sexual arousal patterns in understanding male sexual orientation (Bailey, 2009), this suggests that indeed, some men have a bisexual orientation."

 The study even received the attention of notorious biphobe Dan Savage, who wrote about it last week before the paper was published.(I didn't catch the article until today, since I try to intentionally avoid anything related to him.)  While it was refreshing to finally see a blog post from Savage titled "Case Closed: Bisexuals Exist", it is disappointing to not see an apology for years of disparaging comments aimed at the bisexual community.  While in a round about way, he did admit that he was wrong about bisexuals.  Though, he said:
"How's this for irony: once researchers controlled for the young-and-temporarily-bi-identified and the gay-and-kidding-themselves-about-being-bi—once researchers refused to accept without question the professed sexual identities of the bi-identified men they recruited, once researchers acted like biphobes and bigots—they were able to demonstrate that "bisexual arousal patterns" actually exist"
Lovely, isn't he?  Justifying his bigotry?  Ladies and gentlemen, may I present, everything that's wrong with the gay community.   Yes, Dan Savage is a despicable human being in my opinion.  But, he is a little less despicable today than what he was the day before.  As arrogant as he is, he can at least be humble; or be as humble as Dan Savage is capable of being.  He said this regarding the study.  I would like to think applies to Savage as well:
"But here's the lovely thing about science: what science gets wrong, more science sets right."
 You would think that bisexual advocacy organizations across the country would be ecstatic that this study was revisited, let alone the results.  They're not.  In fact, most groups, particularly the Bisexual Resource Center, Bi Social Network and the Bisexual Organizing Project are skeptical of the science that actually validates their existence.

They are disconcerted, most notably for two reasons: that women were not included in the study, and that the "least common denominators (porn and erections) were used as indicators to measure sexual attraction.

What many fail to understand is that Tuesday's study is a revisit of the 2005 research.  As such, the scientific method dictates that test subjects must come from a similar demographic, but the conditions of the research must be identical as they were in 2005.  Otherwise, if research conditions had changed in any way, and the outcome was different than what it was in '05, skeptics could reasonably say that the research was flawed.

Also, when you think about it, measuring erectile response is the most practical way to gauge sexual attraction   in males.  They say that when you see someone that you're attracted to, your pupils dilate, but I'm sure this is much more reliable.  Any other way would be subjective.  They can't show someone a picture of a man and say, "Do you find this person attractive", and take the subject's word for it.  That isn't scientific.  Sometimes science isn't pretty, or prude for that matter.

A study like this is much better suited toward males than females.  Physically, it is much easier to measure sexual stimulation/arousal in men than woman.  I imagine it's also much less intrusive and awkward.  Sex is much different for men than women.  To put it bluntly, if a guy gets turned on, he gets hard.  End of story.  There are many more processes involved when it comes to female sexuality.  And yes, I intentionally used the word process.  That's what it is.  It's a science in itself.  A man can go from flaccid, to hard, to finished in thirty seconds.  We're apes.  We make the perfect test subjects.

The bi community should stop whining and take this for what it is, a victory.  For once we have scientific proof of something we have known our entire lives.  We're real.  We exist.  We are no longer the mythical unicorns of legend.  If Dan Savage says so, it has to be true, right?

Earthquake Tilts Washington Monument?

At 1:51PM, 45 minutes after the 5.9 magnitude earthquake hit the Eastern seaboard, Fox News reported:
"Megyn Kelly just shared word that a D.C. police officer told a Fox News producer that there is concern that the Washington Monument may be tilting following a 5.9 magnitude earthquake."  
You know, Fox News:  The bastion of misinformation.  Well, despite the source, the news went viral.  Twitter was aflutter with the news that Washington had inherited it's very own Leaning Tower of Pisa.  According to USA Today, however, this is a picture of the Washington Monument, moments after the quake hit:

Um....not leaning.  Still phallic.  Still perfectly erect.  Quoting Park Service spokesman Jeffrey Olson, there was "absolutely no damage" to the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial or other memorials along the National Mall.

Fox News has yet to recant or remove their story from their website.  In fact, it's still highlighted as one of the stories in their "Fox News Spotlight".

Now that's journalism.

UPDATE:  NBC Washington is reporting that upon a secondary inspection, cracks have been discovered in the stones at the top of the Washington Monument.

"The NPS said it is evaluating the structures to ensure that they are structurally sound and safe for all visitors. Agency spokesman Jeffrey Olson had told the AP that there was "absolutely no damage" to the Washington Monument, contrary to media reports elsewhere that it was leaning.
"Absolutely incorrect," U.S. Park Police Sgt. David Schlosser said of media reports that the Washington Monument was leaning.  "It stands tall and proud."
The NPS said said a preliminary inspection of the Washington Monument and found it to be structurally sound. The NPS will continue to inspect the interior of the Monument before any decisions are made about reopening it to the public."