General musing and wasting time

It’s interesting how many Republican and Tea Party groups have to insert the word “patriot” into their title or feature it prominently in their literature. I guess they want to make sure that everyone knows that they really don’t hate the country, despite their saying they want leave it or overthrow the government.

Irony: The music labels who constitute the RIAA, staunch defenders of copyright and promoters of anti-piracy, just had to settle a lawsuit for … pirating artists tracks.

Warner Music, Sony BMG Music, EMI Music and Universal Music were sued for the illegal use of thousands of tracks and risked paying damages of up to $6 billion. Today the news broke that the two parties have agreed upon a settlement, where the record labels are required to pay $45 million to settle the copyright infringement claims.

Jon Stewart skewers the media pundits again.

Fox’s Brit Hume said the Native American blessing offered at the memorial was “most peculiar.” And Brian Kilmeade proposed that a different seating arrangement — with those who tackled alleged shooter Jared Loughner sitting in front — would have made for a better “show.”

“Yeah, that would have made it a better show,” Stewart mocked. “But you know, its a memorial service, not the Emmys.

If you’re a Star Trek fan, you might check out Star Trek Phase II.  It’s a web series that is doing Seasons 4 and 5 of Star Trek – the original series.  Which ended after Season 3.  Very interesting, well-done, and features episodes written by some of the original writers and starring some of the original actors.

In “real stars,” check out the story of Hanny’s Voorwerp (Hanny’s Thing).   It’s one of those stories that prove that science doesn’t necessarily entail lots of degrees.  The news story is:

The blob was discovered by elementary school teacher Hanny van Arkel, who was 24 at the time, as part of a worldwide Galaxy Zoo project where everyday people can look at archived star photographs to catalog new objects

The reason she decided to get involved in this was she read a blog posting about it by the astronomer Brian May.    She read it not because she was interested in astronomy, but because of his other job – lead guitarist for Queen.  It turns out that what she found is extremely unusual – an extra-galactic gas cloud that is forming stars.  Oh, and it’s green!

Lots of states have vanity or theme license plates.  One of the “themes” available in Virginia is “Kid’s First.”    Which is a rather noble one, but of course, there are always people who have to play with it.  In this case, plate owner had the phrase “EATTHE” on it.  So the plate read “Virginia Eat The Kids First.”   Which got complaints, so the state revoked the plate.   Alright, probably offensive, but they let this one go:  SLAPS.

Did you know that Arianna Huffington is being sued over about the creation of Huffington Post?

The lawsuit has all the makings of the kind of gossipy soap opera among onetime friends that often lands on the digital pages of Web sites like the Huffington Post. There is a delicious Schadenfreude about the dispute, and the questions raised are profound: Did Huffington and Huffington Post co-founder Kenneth Lerer take ideas from Daou and Boyce—ideas the two men call “groundbreaking”—without properly compensating or acknowledging them? Or is this just a case of sour grapes, with Daou and Boyce looking to cash in on the hard work of Huffington and Lerer now that the site is successful and valuable?

Popcorn, anyone?

Robert Reich weighs in on the war on public employees.  One key point he makes is that there’s often “apples and oranges” comparisons that’s being made to justify it.   I saw a lot of that in this state when Governor Paterson claimed that state employees averaged a certain pay rate.  Which was news to most state employees, since they knew they they didn’t make anywhere near that amount.

If you don’t have Astronomy Picture of the Day bookmarked, you should.

Best answer:

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11 Comments

Filed under Politics, Uncategorized

11 responses to “General musing and wasting time

  1. Butter on my popcorn please and thank you.

    Mmmmmmmm, cheese cake – a delicious good lie! 🙂

    I never understood vanity plates. I knew one – er, ummm – person years ago who had COP 1 on his car. He changed it after the first brick through his back window.

    Did I already say that cheese cake was a delicious good lie? mmmmmmmmm!

    • Yes, cheesecake is a terrific good lie!

      I have a … weird … sense of humor, so I sometimes find the vanity plates funny, depending on how creative they are. Then again, I and a few friends used to try to come up with AKC registered names that we could sneak past the filters they have. Never did use them, but it was fun. The best real name I saw was “Sir Tang Lee’s I Noe Mi Schitt.” Considering the effort I had to go through when naming one of my dogs “Damn The Torpedoes,” it was hysterical.

  2. Op-Ed, AZ republic, co-written by Grant Wood, a Republican and former Arizona attorney general and Fred DuVal, a Democrat who served in the Clinton White House and is vice chairman of the Arizona Board of Regents.
    Read more: http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/opinions/articles/2011/01/15/20110115woods15.html

    “Above all else, political speech crosses the line when we confuse ideology with patriotism. There is a debate over what is appropriate speech in politics, but there is one simple demarcation – no one owns the flag. The allegation that another person’s views are un-American is an invitation for trouble. Painting patriotism as being inclusive of only one true ideology is fundamentalism. It is a contaminant on democracy, and we can’t morally oppose it in other regions of the world and be ambivalent about it here at home.

    The framers were intentionally ambiguous in their language in this regard.
    Read more: http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/opinions/articles/2011/01/15/20110115woods15.html#ixzz1B8jG8rD4

    • Excellent op-ed, thanks. 🙂 I know it’s been one of my irritants about various groups on the Right. There’s more than a little cognitive dissonance when they call themselves “patriots,” while at the same time making statements in support of secession or sedition. Here’s a fun little fact:
      Do you know one of the non-political differences between Karl Rove, Dick Cheney, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and Ted Kennedy, Al Gore, John Kerry? The three liberals actually served in the military. The conservatives didn’t.

      • Aquagranny911

        I knew that. Coming from a family where members of each generation have served in the military, I think that this service usually gives a person a very different perspective about life and the concept of patriotism.

    • Aqugranny911

      revgerry, did you see the lovely article by Laurie Roberts about the 1400 handmade bells and wind chimes hung all over Tucson in celebration of the lives of those lost to us and for healing grieving hearts? I’m no good at links but it was in today’s AZ Republic.

  3. Aquagranny911

    Happy Saturday, Norbrook.

    Thanks for the link about Star Trek. I am a crazed Trekkie and SciFi freak. It will be a nice diversion from all the emotional trauma we have suffered here in the last 7 days.

    Musings from me:
    I may have to return to the “pootie diaries” for some comfort. My allergies have gotten so bad that my Doc has ordered: “Get those cats out of your house.” We are searching out homes for the three boy cats, all very furry part Maine Coon cats but I am hoping I can keep Jody. She’s Siamese. I’ve got a really big sad.

    • I’m sorry to hear that you may have to give up the pooties. 😦

      I’ve known about that Star Trek project for a couple of years now. They film it in a studio about an hour away from me. They’ve actually provided sets and props to Paramount for filming on occasion. 😀

  4. ((((((((Aquagranny))))))), so sorry.
    Am preparing some Tucson pieces for BPI, and have been busy here in Tucson.

    • Aquagranny911

      I left a reply to you up thread and didn’t even spell my call sign correctly because my eyes are so irritated and swollen. I can’t remember a time in my life that my house wasn’t full of critters. I did foster care for cats and dogs until last year. I am hoping we can keep our Jody but I may just have to content with fish and turtles.

      Anyway did you see the article Laurie Roberts wrote about the bells and windchimes people made to hang in remembrance?

      I will be looking forward to your diaries at BPI.

  5. http://www.bensbells.org/
    Welcome To Ben’s Bells (since 2002)
    Our mission is to inspire, educate and motivate each other to realize the impact of intentional kindness and to empower individuals to act according to that awareness, thereby changing our world.

    It is just one of the many expressions of Tucson as an Oasis of Love.