Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Behold the place where they laid him

Ann Althouse discusses new "green" corpse-disposal technologies that are either fascinating or creepy or both, depending on how you're wired. And she asks the laconic question:

Isn't old-fashioned burial greener? It's carbon sequestration, right?

Sure. Assuming you have the space for it.

It's a problem all civilized societies have had to deal with: when half your population lives in and around cities (or more than three quarters, in the case of the US), what do you do with all the corpses? Vast necropoli extending along the main roads into town went out with the Romans*. And people today expect their graves to be eternal resting places, so you can't do the old trick of burying people until their soft tissues decay, then rotating graves and efficiently stacking the bones in catacombs.

If you want a permanent receptacle for the dead, close to home, immediately after the time of death, you have to resort to mechanical corpse-ensmallening. If your tribe has developed a fire-taboo that rules out cremation, well, then... Your options are basically to ship the body to a cemetery outside your usual range, pay a fortune for the vanishingly limited urban burial space, or resort to weird high-tech methods involving caustic chemicals or liquid nitrogen.

[* - ETA: I am shamed. It turns out the correct plural of necropolis is necropoles or necropoleis, depending on whether you're following Latin or Greek. "Necropoli" is faux Latin, like "octopi".]

Odd search terms

I'm gratified that people are searching for 3d printers gun control, and more gratified that they find my post on the subject when they do.

I'm equally gratified that people are still finding my intimate review of the LCP when they search for elsie pea, and my undereducated post on the .327 Magnum when they search for said cartridge or for Jim Croce lyrics.

Lovecraft Action Shooting and Colonial Cthulhu are big crowd pleasers, as is kabuli palow. And I've gotten used to seeing efficient German sex pop up regularly.

But "am i on peyote" "batman returns"...

That's a story I half want to hear.

Kitchen Warfare

Woot's yesterday-shirt has been pretty popular:

From General interwebs

Considering how many of y'all are gunnies or foodies or both, it ought to be a crowd pleaser.

For those of you who don't know how Woot works (and don't worry; I'll fetch you your brain-medicine and Stuckler's Tincture before sending you out onto the Inter Net Telegraphy Plexus), they offer one shirt per day at ten bucks, including shipping. From then on, a shirt is fifteen dollars shipped, but each design is only available as long as it stays popular.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

On principles

A time-honored strategy for bullying people you hold in contempt is to assault them in a way that's humiliating, but does little or no injury. You laugh it off as "just a prank", so that the victim will expect to lose face and be further mocked and belittled if he tries to get restitution through the legal system. It's been a standard way of tormenting racial and sexual minorities for as long as we've cared about racial and sexual identity, and this is why the gay rights movement, for one example, is so concerned with anti-bullying campaigns in schools and "diversity training" in workplaces.

Of course, when the victim is a member of a tribe you hold in contempt...

"I think the whole thing is a wonderfully fabulous way to protest," said Diane Anderson-Minshall, executive editor of The Advocate, the gay news magazine. "It’s peaceful and it doesn’t hurt anybody. But it does get a really important point across in a fun way."

It's good to know the cause of equal rights is in the hands of such consistent, intellectually principled people, innit?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

While we're on the subject

Being male traditionally means physically having male sexual characteristics.

Being masculine means having behavioral traits or an appearance traditionally associated with maleness.

Being manly means having the virtuous subset of behavioral traits or an appearance traditionally associated with maleness.


Being female traditionally means physically having female sexual characteristics.

Being feminine means having behavioral traits or an appearance traditionally associated with femaleness.

Is there a word for the feminine equivalent of manliness, or is femininity made to do double duty, with the element of approval implied by context?
"We assert the province of government to be to secure the people in the enjoyment of their unalienable rights. We throw to the winds the old dogma that governments can give rights."

-- Susan B. Anthony, during her trial for illegal voting.

Hell of a woman, she.

Is it the power in his hands?

While the media gropes with Rick Perry's manliness,* the corner of the blogosphere that concerns itself with sex and gender issues has been asking what the heck we mean by manliness, anyway:

Leaving aside the insane notion that there should be anything more to "manliness" than either a) being able to produce human-ovum-fertilizing substances or else b) deciding that your genitals either are or ought to be male, what is there, exactly, that makes Rick Perry more "manly" than Bruce Springsteen, or Conan O'Brien, or the late Fred Rogers, or for that matter the female-bodied but impeccably masculine Sinclair Sexsmith?

Well... I don't think that's right.

Understand, I'm a pretty laissez-faire dude when it comes to gender identity. I've known more than my statistically fair share of trans folks, and as far as I'm concerned, they are the sex they want to be for any practical social purpose. I have no problem using the pronouns they prefer, and generally think that if a biological female wants to be socially male, I don't have-- ...Well, actually, it isn't quite right to say "I don't have a problem with it". I think it's a good thing, and the idea of objecting to it confuses the hell out of me. The only step I'm uncomfortable with is constructed gender-neutral pronouns, and that's just because they're so unbearably silly; this has fortunately not yet come up.

But "manly" isn't synonymous with "socially male", or even with a narrower definition of "male". To be manly means to have positive traits traditionally regarded as masculine. Not for nothing does the word "virtue" come from the Latin word for manliness.

Are there are plenty of examples of traditional "positive" male behaviors that we don't want to emulate today? Of course there are. A lot of the traditional gender dynamic that we've left behind deserves leaving behind. But most of the classical Western virtues tied up in manliness, while they frequently have to be finessed into a modern egalitarian society, are still essential to a good and responsible life,** and shouldn't be undermined in the interest of gender-neutral language. As Eric S. Raymond recently put it, we prosper when we use our past without being limited by it. Manliness is the intersection of traits traditionally regarded as masculine with those currently regarded as positive.

I'd say the quoted blogger gets the matter exactly backward. What we need isn't a relativist redefinition that says you're "manly" if you have a penis or want one.*** What we need is more manly people, and a more universal understanding that the name doesn't mean the virtues are still confined to one sex. Getting hung up on whether the language could be construed as exclusionary is the sign of somebody who's missing the forest for the trees.

If you're temperate, prudent, courageous, and just? If you would stand or fall by your own individual wisdom and strength? Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it, and--which is more--you’ll be a Man, my daughter!

Update: And for what it's worth, I think Mr. Rogers was the exemplar of several manly virtues.

[* - See what I did there?]
[** - Whether these virtues are, in fact, well represented in Governor Perry is not the subject of this post.]
[*** - And hey, wouldn't that be exclusionary of transmen who consider themselves psychologically male but are perfectly happy with their female plumbing? Are "nonoperative transsexuals" no longer on the in-group scorecard? Won't somebody please think of Poppy Z. Brite?]



A wooden FN P90 that shoots rubber bands.

From General interwebs

By way of Make.

The thing even has a select fire switch.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

According to Rasmussen...

The Democratic Presidential incumbent is polling one point ahead of Ron Paul.

Interesting times.


Let's take a moment to talk about abortion and Nazis. Kindly turn down your Godwin sensors for the duration of the discussion.

Today is the 70th anniversary of the end of the Action T4 euthanasia program, one part (along with the Holocaust and the Lebensborn program) of the Nazis' overall program of social Darwinism. By the end of the war, they'd murdered over a quarter of a million people judged detrimental to the race, from epileptics to chronic alcoholics. But it began with a much smaller test. From the Wikipedia* article:

Although officially started in September 1939, Action T4 might have been initiated with a sort of trial balloon; in late 1938, Adolf Hitler instructed his personal physician Karl Brandt to evaluate a family's petition for the "mercy killing" of their blind, retarded and disabled infant boy. The boy was eventually killed in July 1939...

Hitler was in favour of killing those whom he judged to be "unworthy of life". In a 1939 conference with health minister Leonardo Conti and the head of the Reich Chancellery, Hans Lammers, a few months before the euthanasia decree, Hitler gave as examples of "life unworthy of life" severely mentally ill people who he believed could only be bedded on sawdust or sand because they "perpetually dirtied themselves", or who "put their own excrement into their mouths, eating it and so on".

Now. Abortion.

After long and difficult consideration of the balance of a mother's rights against the rights of the fetus, I've come to the painful conclusion that I can't support any restrictions on abortion. Not weighed based on the medical threat to the mother; not based on the the state of the child's development; not except-in-cases-of-rape-or-incest... No free person should ever be told that she may not control her own body, period. No matter how much I may hate abortion and care for the human rights of the fetus, one person's human rights can never include the right to use another person's body.

So abortion-rights advocates and me, we're on the same side of that particular binary issue. What's repulsive, though, and what fundamentally undermines the modern abortion-rights movement, is that subset of the movement that glibly handwaves away the extremely difficult moral question by simply insisting that the fetus has no human rights because it isn't a person. Suggesting that one person's bodily sovereignty (or even moreso, her right to privacy) is so important that she has the right to deliberately kill an innocent person rather than let that person affect her life against her will... That's a statement of principle with huge implications. And frankly, I can see why some abortion-rights advocates don't want to make it; some of the implications are a poor fit with the policies of the contemporary American left.

But this alternative--that we can say some humans are unpersons without even the most basic right to live... Thoughtful conservatives are not stupid or sexist for being horrified by that suggestion**. People like to roll their eyes at slippery slope arguments, but it's been less than a century since we've seen an industrialized western nation slide down just this slope. When we reject the principle that being human by itself makes you a person with all the attendant fundamental rights, we open up a vast analog spectrum of capacities from the vegetative to the excellent, with no concrete point between them. If a fetal human can be killed without any consideration for its rights because it's "just a lump of tissue"? Why not that blind, retarded, disabled infant, whose capacity is arguably no better? I don't honestly think that we'll see American alcoholics frogmarched into gas chambers because of our abortion policy. But there's a great deal of room short of that extreme for unacceptable consequences if we accept that people can be unpersoned based on judgments about their capacity or "viability".

In the real world, people are dealing with difficult, judgment-based issues regarding incurable illness, mental incapacity, and conflicts of rights every minute of every day. They're arguably the primary reason legal systems exist. There's no reason we can't apply the same standards to the discussion of abortion. Acknowledging my right to travel doesn't mean you have to let me into your living room. It's time the left moved past the fear that acknowledging a fetal human's right to life will mean a woman will have no right to evict it from her uterus.

In short, the correct answer to "abortion is murder" is not "abortion isn't murder because the victim isn't a person". It's "abortion isn't murder because it's justifiable homicide."

I bring this up (and risk drawing the fell gaze of the Drama Llama) not just because I'm horrified by the unperson argument, but also because I want a strong, intellectually robust abortion-rights movement that doesn't rely on simplistic dismissals of the fetus's personhood, a legally shaky Supreme Court decision, and stereotyping their opposition as tyrannical misogynists obsessed with controlling women's bodies. 'Cause let me tell you, it ain't working. It's been nearly forty years since Roe, and the country is still split down the middle on "pro-choice" versus "pro-life"--for that matter, more specific polls tend to show that only a small minority of Americans think abortion should be truly elective, with a clear majority open to restrictions short of a total ban. People haven't embraced the simplistic argument, and the stereotyping will only get weaker with time, since outside the most liberal enclaves, everybody knows people who don't buy the argument and don't hate women. And on a gut level, I think most Americans do in fact think a fetus is a person with rights, and are already intuitively doing the right-balancing dance. Without commitment to a stronger position, no cultural consensus for strong abortion rights can be reached, and we'll always be at risk of a new patchwork of bans or onerous restrictions.

[* - Yes, I know. But this excerpt has little blue numbers in it, so it's true.]

[** - And I mean thoughtful conservatives. You obviously can't get far with the conservatives who insist on a fundamental right to life that trumps all other rights but only for fetuses, any more than with the liberals who propose an all-trumping right to choose, but only as far as abortion and sex are concerned.]

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Dear Hollywood,

So you've decided to make a Conan movie. This is a very good idea, as he's an iconic character with a strong cultural acceptance, a catalog of successful material to draw from, and a good record for translation into visual media.

You've also decided to make it a hard R rating, which is excellent, too. Conan without bloody fighting and bejeweled half-naked women lounging on silks isn't Conan, and trying to sell more tickets by making him all-ages misses the point.

Regardless, your film will fail unless you commit to at least two more principles:

1 - You're telling a Conan story, not the Conan story. This is a character who became part of our cultural vocabulary through novellas serialized in monthly pulps, and cemented his importance in monthly comic books. The formats that have worked for him are ones that implicitly lead the audience to feel like they're seeing one adventure in a lifetime of adventures. It's tempting, when moving the character to film, to try to write a new story that will show us his arc from childhood to adulthood and the resolution of his lifelong quest yadda-yadda-- Resist this temptation. There are established Conan stories that have been successful on their own, and have been repeatedly and successfully translated to visual in comics. Use one of those and don't look back.

2 - Conan is not a culture-hero because he's really good at stabbing people. One of the strongest themes of Robert E. Howard's original stories is the juxtaposition of the free-willed barbarian who goes where he will and refuses to be hemmed in by the will of others, making his own way through his own strength, with the people of the cities who have succumbed to bureaucracy and order, becoming weak and corrupt in their narrow lives of dominance and being dominated. The philosophy of Conan goes beyond libertarianism and arguably beyond anarchism; it's actively anti-civilization and anti-order. It's not a coincidence that the original stories caught the public imagination during the exact same years when FDR was pushing through the New Deal. Your writer and director don't need to share Conan's philosophy any more than the director of a thriller needs to be a serial killer to properly present the antagonist. But Conan has deep cultural appeal because he expresses that part of most humans, regardless of their place on any political spectrum, that chafes at being told how to live. If you're going to tell a story about a superhuman warrior fighting an insane necromancer who lives in an isolated fortress, and your only nod to the theme of the barbarian's wild spirit against the creeping control of civilization is a starkly disconnected line by a co star at the hour-fifteen mark, you are not telling a Conan story.

Friday, August 19, 2011

h/t to Borepatch

From Cartoons

While I agree with the sentiment, the language of that passage from the Declaration hasn't aged well. I can hear my inner Beavis giggling maniacally every time I read it.


Let's take a break from big deals to complain about something trivial for a moment:

Penny opponents look to save dollars and cents

In 2008, President Barack Obama tacitly endorsed its elimination, saying, "I will seriously consider eliminating the penny as long as we find another place for Lincoln to land."

Our President is willing to support an obvious reform of the monetary system, but only if it doesn't undermine the hagiography of a past President whose cult of personality has many devotees in his constituency.

Oy. We should never have allowed the Apotheosis of Lincoln to dislodge Liberty from US coins in the first place. It's all too imperial for a nation that still wants to pretend it's a classical liberal republic.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Tam vividly illustrates why we gun nuts are so obsessive about verifying that guns are unloaded:

That's right, Arthur had loaded the PPK back up in his car, and then brought it back in to add to the trade, and not one person who handled it from the time I picked it up and put the trigger tag on it to the time the customer made the loud noise had bothered to inspect the chamber because, hey, we had already done that when he brought it in the first time, right?

When I run people through the basics of gun safety, I like to add Rule 6: "You are shadowed at all times by a quartet of elite ninjas whose only job is to load your gun while you aren't looking."

Friday, August 12, 2011

This Just In (three days ago)

Warren Jeffs sentenced to life in prison.

Couldn't have happened to a nicer guy. If only all child molesters were so idiotically thorough in documenting their crimes.

This Just In

Woman tries to sell chocolate coins to coin dealer.

Coming in Spring 2012:


Buckaroo Banzai RPG.

The police are the public and the public are the police.

Outside a bank in Seattle, two men get in a fight. Both draw guns. One is seriously injured; the other tries to flee...

And runs into an IT nerd who works for a game design company. And legally carries a concealed gun. And handcuffs. And uses both to make a citizen's arrest.

"When we got here, the shooter was searched, in handcuffs and sitting down on the curb," said Sergeant John Urquhart that night.

Republican political ad for...

Well, it's impossible to tell until the last second and a half:

Remember back in 2008 when Barack Obama ran as not-Bush? I don't think we need another empty suit to project our hopes for change into.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Slow blogging to come

I know the internet hangs on my every word, but you'll all just have to muddle through without me for a little bit. I know it's hard, but cake and grief counselling et cetera.

Next week is the anniversary of the day dad passed away, and it's messing me up pretty badly. Posts here will be of the all-linkey, no thinkey variety for the immediate future.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


New app simulates the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

It may have Don't Panic in large, friend;y letters on the cover. But if it isn't slightly cheaper then Wikipedia, I don't give a rat's ass.

A proposition:

If you own a device which you can fit in your pocket, which can connect you at will to human beings on every continent and provide you with instant access to an unprecedented amount of knowledge on a scale that would have made people through out human history think you were a god, you automatically forfeit any claim to being so destitute that others owe you their property and you may take it by force if they won't give willingly.


Gratuitous Darwin Joke

Let's say for a moment that you want to carry a gun. So far, so good.

Now let's say that you think carrying a gun stuck in your pants is really badass. Slap yourself, and get a damned holster.

Whatever else you do in life, I guarantee nobody will ever think you're badass again after you shoot yourself in the cock with your fiancee's pink handgun.

[h/t to The Firearms Blog.]

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

At the zombie jamboree

There are some teaser shots up of the upcoming Walking Dead game.

A zombie survival game with no fast zombies or exploding zombies or projectile-vomiting archer-zombies or giant supernatural boss zombies. Hell, it looks like it's not even primarily combat based:

"The Walking Dead" won’t be a traditional zombie-killing action game, a la "Resident Evil" or "Dead Rising," instead relying on solving puzzles and making a number of choices. You'll have to make some rough decisions, particularly with who you save and who you leave behind. As Telltale introduces new episodes to the "Walking Dead" game series (five are planned at the moment, only two are in production), new characters will enter the fray. Some will help, like a citizen who patches up Lee's wounds upon running into him, but not everyone can be trusted in this world of zombies. The freedom of choice will help expand "Walking Dead's" replay value, enabling you to make new decisions and see what happens to the main characters as a result.

As for the puzzles, Telltale Games isn't looking to go all out with real mind-benders. Instead, it wants to deal with realistic situations. The game's opening scenario, for instance, requires Lee to find a way out of the locked squad car.

So it's more of a survival puzzle game plus L.A. Noire-like social decisionmaking. With zombies.


History ain't what it used to be

The city of Ezion-Geber, at the northernmost extent of the Red Sea grew to early prominence in the region; for its strategically and economically important location, it's mentioned repeatedly in the early mytho-historical books of the Bible.

Under the names Berenice and Aelana, it was an important trade hub for the Greeks and Romans, respectively. In Roman times, it grew to spectacular wealth as a crucial link in the Roman/Indian luxury trade route. While Indian trade ships gradually made longer-haul trips that skipped over the other ports on the route, they inevitably had to stop when they reached Aelana to unload their goods for overland transport to the Mediterranean port at Alexandria. When fashion dictated that every wealthy Roman matron have a silk dress for special occasions, each yard of silk moved through Aelana to get to her.

After the fall of the Empire and the rise of Islam, the city, now called Ayla, remained wealthy and storied, the home port of Sinbad the Sailor in the Arabian Nights. It was held by Crusaders, recaptured by Saladin, ruled by Mamluk sultans and the Ottoman Empire. It was taken from the Ottomans by an Arab force lead by Lawrence of Arabia, eventually ceded to a British protectorate, and is today part of the Kingdom of Jordan.

And by 2014, it will be home to the world's first Star Trek themed amusement park.

I'd give quite a bit to read the conclusions future archaeologists make about us from excavating our cities.

Burnin' down the house

Inspired by London's recent unpleasantness, Gizmodo recommends six tools to help you survive a riot mob.

They ignore the two most helpful: a large-capacity semiautomatic pistol with a couple extra magazines, and a pair of really good running shoes. Run, run, run, shoot only when continuing to run would be fatal, and then resume running.

A handgun against a dangerous mob is a terrible wager to make, but it's certainly a better mob-preparedness tool than a freakin' Camelbak.

Now, I'll cut them a bit of slack, in that these kinds of spontaneous and sustained episodes of mob violence tend to happen in places that don't allow ordinary subjects to have arms for their defense. I'm sure this is a coincidence.

Mmm... Tacos...

Ann Althouse blogs about theft from urban "community gardens". In the comments, readers opine about urban versus rural gardening, and two-legged versus four-legged produce thieves:

I stopped gardening in my yard the day I saw a squirrel carrying away a fully ripe tomato in its mouth. That was after I saw a ground hog eating my tomatoes.

I'd rather see the wildlife than have fresh tomatoes. At least it wasn't people stealing them.

I don't understand this mindset. If you see squirrels making off with your vegetables, that just means you've stumbled on a way to grow meat.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Show me your teeth

I'm sure it's a metaphor for the oppression of privilege of patriarchy et cetera, et cetera.

But dude, a 19th century corset lined with rows of shark teeth sounds both sexy and awesome. I'll bet it feels amazing to wear. The bed-of-nails effect probably distributes the pressure and prevents the teeth from doing damage.

On the VT "gunman" that wasn't

The Brady Campaign on the non-incident:

The Campaign said that if dozens of students and faculty had been armed on Virginia Tech’s campus, law enforcement’s ability to investigate the campers’ claims "would have been complicated and innocent people might have been harmed."

Most arguments for gun control are weak under examination. But this one--the "but if carrying guns is illegal, police will know anybody with a gun is a criminal" argument--is so far beyond stupid that it's hard to believe anybody can make it with a straight face. It's arguing that we should outlaw driving to make it easier to catch people driving without a license. It's arguing that we should outlaw speech to make it easier to detect defamation.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Printer's Devil

Note to the four remaining people in the US--and the vast majority in the rest of the developed world--who still think gun control has a chance in hell of ever working as advertised:

Man Uses 3D Printer To Make Repair Part For $25, Instead Of Paying $250

A man had a part break on his Bugaboo, a really nice and pricey stroller. The official repair center said it would cost $250 to replace the part. So the man said, forget that, and used a 3D printing service, which creates three-dimensional objects by laying down successive layers of material, to get it fabricated in stainless steel for $25 instead. Schweet!

At this very moment, you can outsource 3D printing in stainless steel. In five years, it will be possible to print steel parts in your garage for under ten thousand dollars. In ten? It'll probably be a ubiquitous consumer technology. This will allow every criminal so inclined to print endless supplies of every part of a submachine gun except the springs. How are you going to justify the fiction of gun control as criminal-access-control when everybody knows intuitively that you can't begin to control access to anything?

We're rapidly entering a time when people will pirate objects as easily as they currently pirate music. Adapt or die.

Over there...

Commander Zero points out how much preparedness-types love military gear:

Where do we get most of our cool toys from? If you think about it, many of the things we need in our quest for preparedness have a certain military quality to them. Not necessarily because we’re militaristic or gun-centric, but simply because most military gear is built to be rugged, reliable, mass produced, durable and tough enough to withstand the abuses of a buncha tired and careless troops.

Me, I'm not a hardcore disaster-preparedness dude. But I still love mil-spec gear. Not because it's cool, and definitely not because it's the best available; civilian guns and gear are almost always better fit and finished than military hardware. I love military gear because it's explicitly designed and selected to be the cheapest option that reliably does the job. Buy a mil-spec canteen, and it'll be an ugly piece of injection molded plastic, but it'll work perfectly for under five bucks. When you're on a budget--and most of us are--fit and finish are a luxury you don't necessarily want to hold out for in every purchase.

Songs that the Hyades will sing...

Germany Declares Facebook’s Facial Recognition Illegal

Because the Ministry of Love hates competition.

The German government—which possesses perhaps the world's most adamant privacy laws as a result of Nazi and subsequent postwar abuse—considers The Book's facial recognition a violation of "the right to anonymity," The Atlantic Wire reports. Hard to imagine anyone saying that over here, isn't it?

There's a point to be made about a supposedly tyrant-wary people who allow their government to put up CCTV cameras everywhere but throw tantrums over Google Earth and Facebook. But set that aside.

Facial recognition software exists, and it isn't going away. Reverse image search exists, and it isn't going away. Constant internet access exists, and it isn't going away. No matter how loudly we complain, these technologies will eventually be combined with an eyeglass HUD for effortless augmented-reality viewing, and I'll be adding "remembering people's names" to the long list of things I'm bad at and don't feel the need to work on because a computer does it for me.

If you don't like it, start a street-fashion revival of the Venetian mask, which would also be awesome. You could build HUD lenses into the eye holes, to help with remembering people's masks.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Bring the earworms

Wikipedia's featured article today is Kenesaw Mountain Landis.

Which, of course, means I'll have this insane song stuck in my head all day:

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Emailed to the ladies:

[Dear G&D,]

I'd recommend against eating the latest batch of oranges. The one I opened today had flesh that barely held together through the peeling, was dull--almost greyish--in color, and it had a mold spot _under_ the peel, which is just terrifying. I think they may be zombie oranges.

I suggest we call this batch a loss, shoot them all before they can infect others, and burn their corpses just to make sure.

Chris Sims on Batman Returns:

Then Batman fights the Penguin, which is actually pretty thrilling since Michael Keaton is only two or three inches taller than Danny DeVito, and even though Batman suddenly has a remote control for the mind-controlled penguins that he got from God knows where, the Penguin disarms him, and then some bats show up for some reason and the penguins shoot their rockets and blow up the abandoned zoo and the Penguin falls through a skylight into an aquarium that's actually underground now and holy s*** am I on peyote or is this movie actually happening?

I remember loving Batman Returns, but I expect it's one of the many movies that have been covertly reshot since my childhood to make them awful.