October 22nd, 2009


When the News Is Nonsense

Here is a brilliant, if ruthless, article about how the news has gone largely to nonsense.

Didn't the whole "balloon - spaceship --Wife Swap" faflooey set off any warning bells? As soon as you heard any of these concepts, didn't you think, "Hmm, this sounds screwy"?

Actually, no. It sounded like the rest of the inane gibberish on the news. I take very little of that news seriously these days, unless it comes from a reliable source somewhere sensible like Great Britain or Canada. But there is so much idiocy in actual practice, most of it by adults who had ought to know better, that it's getting very hard to identify what is merely a joke or a hoax.

*sigh* I would very much like to have the real news back. I miss when smart people talked about one topic, with actual facts in it, for more than 10 seconds at a time. Today's alleged "journalists" mostly make me want to point their nose in a corner and say "Let's play Who Can Be Quiet the Longest."
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New Verses in "The Transformations of Terror"

A donation has revealed two new verses in "The Transformations of Terror," a science fiction horror poem about starships who are afraid of monsters. You can read the new verses on the original page.

This microfunded poem is being posted one verse at a time, as donations come in to cover them. The rate is $.50 per line, so $5 will reveal 10 new lines, and so forth. There is a permanent donation button on my profile page, or you can contact me for other arrangements. Cosponsors so far: janetmiles, stonetalker, wolfbrotherjoe

84 lines, Buy It Now = $42
Amount donated = $27.50
Amount remaining to fund fully = $14.50
Amount needed to fund next verse = $.50

Privacy Win!

I have long disapproved of paparazzi. They're not just rude; they can kill people. And harassing famous people is not news. I'm very pleased by this new law.

Schwarzenegger signs new anti-paparazzi law
California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a new bill into law Sunday that will fine paparazzi for taking photos that invade a celebrity's right to privacy. The law also targets media outlets who purchase the photos. Throngs of photographers often jockey to get the perfect shot of a celebrity, but that doesn't mean it's welcomed. Britney Spears famously had enough one night, taking an umbrella to a photographer's SUV.

Conservation News: 350 Reasons

This looks like a terrific new resource for wildlife conservation:

New Web Site Details 350 Species Threatened by Global Warming

The Center for Biological Diversity launched a massive new interactive Web
site today providing accounts of 350 plants and animals threatened by
global warming. If we don't strengthen the U.S. climate change bill to
require deeper, faster cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, we won't succeed
in reducing atmospheric carbon dioxide to 350 parts per million, dooming
these 350 species and many, many more to extinction.

From tiny ocean pteropods to grizzly bears, wetland plants, noble jaguars
. . . and humans, the planet's plants and animals need your help to stop
global warming. Saturday is the International Day of Climate Action, so
it's a good time to speak out.

Go to 350 Reasons We Need to Get to 350 today. Check out the species via
our interactive regional map and learn how you can take action to save
them. People all over the country have already joined our 350 campaign by
sending in photos of themselves (or their kids) with a species that needs
saving from climate change. We're posting your photos on the site, and
when they're all compiled, they'll help us spread the 350 message all the
way to Copenhagen, the site of the upcoming December climate talks.

You can also take action today by telling the White House why we need to
get to 350 -- soon -- and how we need to do it.

Check out our new 350 Reasons Web site and take action:


Why should you care about endangered species? Imagine the Earth as a vast, intricate machine with lots of moving parts and no user's manual. We barely know enough about it to fix little things when they go wrong. Meanwhile, we are ripping out parts by the handful and throwing them away because we don't think they're important or think we can do something better with them than whatever they're already doing. The more parts we lose, the closer we get to total breakdown. And if that happens, we won't be able to fix it. So let's try to keep the parts where they belong and in good working order, because this is all we have to live on.