posted without comment

(David Weigel, Washington Independent)

(Jeff Malet, maletphoto.com)

(Blair Wingo, Passion for Christ Movement)


"oops, did i say that out loud?"

Via Lindsay Beyerstein, comes this uncharacteristic bit of honesty from the land of woo:
Sen. Tom Harkin, the proud father of the National Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine, told a Senate hearing on Thursday that NCCAM had disappointed him by disproving too many alternative therapies.

"One of the purposes of this center was to investigate and validate alternative approaches. Quite frankly, I must say publicly that it has fallen short," Harkin said.

The senator went on to lament that, since its inception in 1998, the focus of NCCAM has been "disproving things rather than seeking out and approving things."
If only he'd realized that they were going to be using that pesky science...



I don't drink vodka. But if I did, it would be this one. And I wouldn't even care what it tasted like.


(the real) persona

One of the great film images of all time (in my not-so-humble opinion).



Over at Firedoglake, TBogg reports:
Socks, the cat who won international fame during his years in the Clinton White House, was euthanized Friday after months of treatment for cancer. Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA) the ranking Republican on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, has vowed an investigation into the death.


war photography today

The photo below, by US photographer Anthony Suau for Time, has been named the World Press Photo of the Year 2008. The award was announced on 13 February 2009 in Amsterdam.

US Economy in Crisis: Following eviction, Detective Robert Kole must ensure residents have moved out of their home in Cleveland, Ohio, 26 March 2008.


how film works (or should)

Steven Boone of Big Media Vandalism presents an insightfully annotated analysis of a sequence from George Lucas's first feature, THX 1138. The 1971 film was based on his 1967 student film, THX 1138 4EB, the inclusion of which in some sort of student film festival that played at UC Berkeley that year was largely responsible for my decision to abandon my music major there and transfer to UCLA to major in film.

What might have been.


executive order

(Click for larger, easier to read version.)



happy birthday charles darwin

Charles Darwin, the father of the theory of evolution, was born 200 years ago today, February 12, 1809.

Oh, and by the way, we're fucking doomed:
(And I guess we're not so swell at addition, either.)


i'm sorry, but this is just sad

If you happen to know anything about guitars, you might recognize this as a classic 50s era Fender Telecaster.

And from the beat-up finish, the oxidized hardware, the varnish worn off the high notes on the neck, you might imagine that this particular guitar has seen more than a few years of use. That it might be some musician's trusty axe, lugged from club to club, down one dusty country highway after another, over a long career of achingly bent blues notes (that missing varnish on the high notes again).

As further confirmation, this close-up shows an accumulation of the sorts of scrapes and dings a guitar collects over years of that kind of use.

Except for one thing.

This is a brand new guitar. Exactly as it comes from the factory.

This is, in fact, one of Fender's new Road Worn series of guitars. Replicas of vintage Teles and Strats and P-Basses and J-Basses, all pre-distressed to look like they've been played for years. So even if the only thing you can pick out is that lick from Smoke On The Water, and you've never been farther from home than your local Guitar Center, you can at least have an instrument with a genuine aura of artificial authenticity.

I imagine there's material for an entire anthropological dissertation here somewhere, but I'll leave that to some anthropologist.

Me, I'm just sad.


almost back

In the meantime, a very interesting perspective on the Shepard Fairey arrest.