Fistful of Awesome: Guy on a Buffalo edition

What do you get when you take one part Grizzly Adams, one part Flight of the Conchords, one part Mystery Science Theater and one part Buffalo? Four parts of awesome! Watch all 4 parts of this incredibly quirky series starting with part one and get some links below.


You can hear more from The Possum Posse on their website and – if you are so inclined and in which case I’m a bit concerned about you – watch the entire hour-and-a-half saga of Buffalo Jones on YouTube.

Minnie Quay

The last Wednesday of every month is a Weird Wednesday on Absolute Michigan – a day when we’re fortunate enough to have Weird Michigan author Linda Godfrey lay down a tale of the strange and wonderful from the Great Lakes State. This month was The Ghost of Minnie Quay, one of best!

Jory Brown has a very cool song & video about the love, loss and the voice from the Blue Water of Lake Huron.

Ch-ch-ch-chia & Challenge

obamadelic

It’s been a while since my last post of any great substance, and why stop now. In addition to this rather bizarre Photoshop manifestation, here, in list form and as fast as possible, are my thoughts on the President in Chia Chief:

  1. Yes we can … grow herbs and sprouts from our President’s HEAD! It’s ChiaObama – $19.99 worth of crunchy and nutritious fun!
  2. Someone told me yesterday that it was nice to be a nation under adult supervision again, and I think it’s interesting that the Republican Party chose to respond to Obama’s speech with the almost cartoonish response of Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal telling us that Katrina says that government can’t help you. Maybe the real message is that a directionless and antiquated government from the 1930s can’t help you. I was shouting at the TV that Gov. Jindal just needed a button-down sweater to get the role of Mr. Rogers. Jon Stewart saw some similarity as well, which you can see in this Daily Show excerpt (warning: graphic baconnaise)
  3. That Daily Show excerpt and the Word Cloud of Obama’s speech to Congress both come courtesy Jason Morrison, who generated a great Obama v Jondal Word Cloud face-off. He made the cloud at wordle.net and has written about the utility of tag clouds. It’s interesting to look at these small to see the major themes: “Plan now, health economy every time new America” and “Republican need government Washington anything strengthen Congress” jump out at me from 10,000 feet.
  4. I have been full of hope that the massive waves of crisis that are buffeting the world will allow the Obama Administration and people at all levels of society and government to make the really profound changes that are necessary for our growth and survival. I think that’s what Maureen Dowd was getting at in her latest column.
  5. Obama’s radio address seems to show that he is indeed ready for a fight along those lines: The system we have now might work for the powerful and well-connected interests that have run Washington for far too long, but I don’t. I work for the American people. I didn’t come here to do the same thing we’ve been doing or to take small steps forward, I came to provide the sweeping change that this country demanded when it went to the polls in November.
  6. I found the images for this post on a Flickr search for “obama” licensed under the Creative Commons for commercial work. I thought it was interesting that the first five results had the theme or subtheme of buying something Obama-related. The person who posted the framed picture of Obama also has a food blog featuring all kinds of Pacific food including Hawaiian, something I’ve never tried. Can we expect to see chains of Hawaiian eateries springing up?
  7. I also thought it cool that one of the “Nerds for Obama” was wearing the cool astronaut boombox shirt that one of the girls at the Merc was wearing yesterday. Viviene (pictured above)  has started a company called Polka Dot Robot. While PDR doesn’t sell Obama gear, it does offer these Monster Hoodies.
  8. I made this post into a cloud.
  9. In conclusion, I’d like to ask what you will grow in your ChiaObama. I think mine will be basil … or hope & change.

A tall order

Bob Herbert says Stop Being Stupid:

….(Bernie) Madoff summed up his activities with devastating simplicity. He is said to have told the F.B.I. that he “paid investors with money that wasn’t there.”

Somehow, over the past few decades, that has become the American way: to pay for things — from wars to Wall Street bonuses to flat-screen TVs to video games — with money that wasn’t there.

Something for nothing became the order of the day. You want to invade Iraq? Convince yourself that oil revenues out of Baghdad will pay for it. (Meanwhile, carve out another deficit channel in the federal budget.) You want to pump up profits in the financial sector? End the oversight and let the lunatics in the asylum run wild.

For those who wanted a bigger house in a nicer neighborhood, there were mortgages with absurdly easy terms. Credit-card offers came in the mail like confetti, and we used them like there was no tomorrow. For students stunned by the skyrocketing cost of tuition, there were college loans that could last a lifetime.

Money that wasn’t there.

The other day upon the stair, I spent some money that wasn’t there … then I woke up to find it really wasn’t there. Of course it wasn’t. Now all of us – even the ones who managed their money well – have to spend even more money that isn’t there. Herbert says we have tremendous choices as to how we use that debt and thinks:

We should use it to invest in the U.S. — in a world-class infrastructure (in its broadest sense) to serve as the platform for a world-class, 21st-century economy, and in a system of education that actually prepares American youngsters to deal successfully with the real world they will be encountering.

I think he’s right.

The photo is Leonard and Ova years later by anyjazz65, whose immensely entertaining account begins:

Leonard had emptied that case of Michelob he’d carefully hidden in the lawnmower shack at the corner of the back garden. Now while lying in his driveway counting stars and got fascinated by the light bulb at the top of the flag pole in his front yard. He became convinced it was an alien space ship and that he was about to be abducted and experimented on in ways he mostly wouldn’t like.

Leonard jumped up (always a mistake) and ran for his life. In just three strides he ran full face into the steel garage door which he’d left rolled half open. (Or half closed, depending on your point of view.) Leonard’s face stopped running while the rest of Leonard continued on toward the Studebaker.

When Leonard came around again, he stood up catching the top of his head on the garage door, which understandably was still there. He reeled and tumbled again this time striking the back of his head on the Studebaker’s back bumper.

I think you need your head examined if you don’t read the the rest, check out other pics & stories in the Talking Pictures set (slideshow) and (most important) over at Lost Gallery.

Shadows in the night

Through Wired I learned of Trevor Paglen and his photography of “black satellites”. Paglen has an exhibit at UC-Berkley, where they explain something about him:

Paglen’s nearly constant subject is the “black world” of the United States government, and through research and visualization he attempts to outline the edges and folds of this hidden world of military and intelligence activities. Whether photographing secret military bases from fifty miles away, or imaging spy satellites in the heavens from earth, Paglen’s photographs embody the limits of visibility, imposed both by the realities of physical distance and by informational obfuscation, that keep us as citizens from seeing and knowing these subjects on our own.

If you head over to paglen.com you can see all kinds of Things That Maybe Should Not Be Seen including code names, limit telephotography and his book I Could Tell You But Then You Would Have to be Destroyed by Me: Emblems from the Black World and an interview with Paglen from The Colbert Report. There’s also a link to a New York Times review of his book that includes a slideshow of the patches. Here’s a couple excerpts:

…The classified budget of the Defense Department, concealed from the public in all but outline, has nearly doubled in the Bush years, to $32 billion. That is more than the combined budgets of the Food and Drug Administration, the National Science Foundation and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

…“Oderint Dum Metuant,” reads a patch for an Air Force program that mines spy satellite images for battlefield intelligence, according to Mr. Paglen, who identifies the saying as from Caligula, the first-century Roman emperor famed for his depravity. It translates “Let them hate so long as they fear.”

…What sparked his interest, Mr. Paglen recalled, were Vice President Dick Cheney’s remarks as the Pentagon and World Trade Center smoldered. On “Meet the Press,” he said the nation would engage its “dark side” to find the attackers and justice. “We’ve got to spend time in the shadows,” Mr. Cheney said. “It’s going to be vital for us to use any means at our disposal, basically, to achieve our objective.”

Huge black budgets, US military units taking their mottos from one of the most terrifying figures in history and a growing shadow government … not the cheeriest things to contemplate.