Instapun*** Archive Listing

Archive Listing
December 10, 2006 - December 3, 2006

Friday, September 23, 2005

Rita Arrested!

Hurricane Rita as she prepared to rip into Texas.

PSAYINGS.5Q.11. While thousands of civilians fled Houston, members of the police department's elite Traffic Division studied the radar maps and conceived a plan to prevent impending disaster.

"Even the early gusts were being clocked well in excess of 55 miles per hour," said Sergeant Fred Neck of HPD's traffic unit. "Ordinarily, we might have let it go, but we're getting on toward the end of the month and what with thousands of motorists evacuating the city at a dead crawl, we're way behind on our September quota for moving violations. So one of the boys suggested we collar the bitch -- excuse my French -- for speeding."

"There's no doubt she was exceeding the speed limit."

The plan was simple. Dozens of Traffic Division patrol cars took up positions outside the city with their radar and laser guns aimed at the sky. Then, according to Sergeant Neck, "When she made an early flyover, we we were able to ascertain that the suspect was proceeding at a velocity in violation of both state and municipal ordinances, so we pulled her over."

A member of HPD's communication's division said the suspect offered little resistance and had been cooperative during police interviews. "At this point we're inclined to believe she was suffering from a kind of emotional breakdown. She'd recently lost a very high-visibility job in television, and on her new network her only viewers are the cameramen and the technicians in the production booth. She missed the attention. So she made a poor choice about how to regain the public eye."

Safely in the custody of Sergeant Neck outside Houston.

No charges have been filed, pending review by the Houston district attorney's office, but city officials were confident that Rita won't be able to pose any threat "in the foreseeable future."

That's what they think.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Porkbusting in NJ

Where to start.

TRUST. Glenn Reynolds has finally figured out how the blogosphere can help the victims of Katrina and Rita. He thinks we can help our local elected representatives identify pork barrel spending targeted for our own states. He calls his plan Porkbusters. Gosh, how I'd like to help Glenn out. That would be so cool for an unimportant little blogger like myself.

My own state is NJ, shown above. I live somewhere between the snout and the eye. It's real easy to see where one swift deep cut with the right kind of knife would do the most damage -- start at Camden and proceed due southeast. The effect would be to immediately empty the troughs that feed local and state governments, as well as the enormous stomachful of federal monies that are excreted year after year in bottomless latrines like Newark and Jersey City. Down where I live, everything would be better if the bloated porcine budgets went away -- the schools haven't educated anyone in my county in a generation, and the only growth industry we have is the construction of more and more ugly government buildings to house the unfireable do-nothings we pay those ridiculous salaries to.

But there's a problem, which I think you can see on the map. If you cut the throat of the beast, the gush of arterial blood would likely drain south, burying Salem, Burlington, and Cumberland counties under more fluid than Katrina produced. And other states wouldn't be safe, either. The thrashing of the hooves would savage much of eastern Pennsylvania, while the inevitable intestinal spasms would probably blow New York City apart.

I just don't think it's safe, Glenn. Why do you think we've put up for decades with the most corrupt slate of U.S. senators, governors, and legislators of any state in the union but Louisiana? If we voted them out of office and reclaimed control of our lives from Trenton and dumbasses like Corzine and Lautenberg, there'd be hell to pay. We'd practically have to start over from scratch.

And I'm also confused about something else, Glenn. Why do you think local politicians need our help in identifying the pork that's wasting the money of federal taxpayers? You think they don't already know where the pork is? Who thought it up in the first place, who fought for it and made dirty deals to pass it, and who stands to benefit by keeping the budgets as fat and happy as they are today?

I'm sure the ten percent of educated people who read and write blogs can dream up a big noise, but how do you turn a silent explosion on a computer into honest-to-God  legislation when there's no political majority on earth that would ever pass it without first engineering foolproof escape hatches? I don't see it.

I guess I'm not going to be much help. Again.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Predicting the Weather

The latest computer models of Rita's path.

BRILLIANT. It seems like a good time to remind one and all that the predictions about where Hurricane Rita will make landfall, at what force, are based on the same kind of computer modelling technology that "proves" global warming. Except, of course, that the data entered for Hurricane Rita are likely to be much more accurate and reliable than global temperature data which is, at best, a mere sample of a sample. Yet, today, all the meteorologists who are certain that the planet is getting hotter are at pains to tell us no one knows exactly what Rita will do in the next two or three days.

They can (and would) nitpick this argument to death, but they can't explain away the bald fact that they expect us to believe they can predict the temperature for the next century when they can't speak with certainty about a huge weather event that is unfolding right under their noses in the present.

I know that makes us much more devoted to the Kyoto protocols. How about you?

UPDATE. La Malkin is keeping track of all the newest predictions, as well as the political grandstanding that makes the whole situation so much fun.

Hooray for CSIs

Yes, the CD we've all been waiting for is on sale now.

UNTOUCHABLE. The best thing about fall is that the new prime time season begins on network TV, which means we can finally get some relief from the disturbing news images of violence in Iraq and drowned and murdered people in New Orleans. This week should be one of the greatest in the whole history of television because not only can we feast on the returning entrails of CSI, CSI Miami, CSI New York, and NCIS, but we can also plunge our hands wrist deep into the brand new gore of shows like Bones, Killer Instinct, and (for all we know) CSI Alamagordo, CSI Bangor, and CSI Cleveland.

There's talk that the reality show craze is fading and that the up-and-coming genre is science fiction, but when the dust settles it's our bet that the forensic procedurals will still be the bedrock on which network ratings stand or fall. When you think about it, what could ever be better than the blue late-night light of a morgue and the fascinating interactions of the Cast* with their laboratory equipment? Those fibers! That blood spatter! Bug larvae! Pollen grains! Partial fingerprints lifted from used Kleenex! Security cameras that catch the action in 1024x768 screen resolution! Desktop forensic computers with more graphic FX than Grand Theft Auto and more processing power than a Cray supercomputer! Twenty minute DNA tests! Luminol glowing on the seats of dissected SUVs! Severed body parts! Y-incisions on large-breasted dead women so nude you could see EVERYTHING if that damned old fart of a medical examiner would just move a hair to the left! And always ALWAYS a constant stream of new dead bodies shot, poisoned, burned, strangled, beaten, mangled, violated, disembowelled, crushed, melted, and turned inside out for our viewing pleasure.

*You know, the unsmiling middle-aged white boss, his beautiful, brilliant, busty girl(s) Friday, and all their tall, short, thin, young, gorgeous, spiky haired, and occasionally ethnic technical weenies, not to mention the the dumb-as-rocks detective and the world weary old medical examiner with a half-empty whiskey bottle in his autopsy cart.

That's why we figure it's about time to make some money from our own favorite part of the CSI circus -- the riveting segments when the key pieces of evidence are analyzed in the lab against the driving beat of some nameless track of electronic Muzak. We've done what nobody else has dared to; we've compiled the very best of forensic lab music into a fabulous CD called The Very Best of Forensic Lab Music. Now you can enjoy the shows even when they're not on (a remote eventuality, we admit, owing to the round-the-clock CSI schedule of Spike TV, but hey, we're just trying to turn a buck here). Just fire up the CD, kick back, close your eyes, and imagine your own glorious kaleidoscope of guts, tweezers, fingernail scrapings, semen stains, post-mortem bruises, corpse eyes, churning computers, and lab coats tailored like bustiers.

All you have to do is send us $19.95 (plus $8.95 for  shipping & handling), and we'll send you The Very Best of Forensic Lab Music. In fact, if you order right now, we'll sweeten the deal with two half-sized copies of the CD and a three-month supply of genuine white plastic forensic gloves.

Our guarantee: You won't experience a single moment of nausea induced by footage from the sickening war in Iraq or the needless carnage in Louisiana for THREE FULL MONTHS or your money back (except S&H fees, natch). How's that for a deal?

We thought so too.

Friday, September 16, 2005

A Smarter 8-Ball
It's Friday here at the plantation and we thought we pass along a little something to do at work -- HERE. We learned about this AI project from a little orange ball that has a chip set and a digital display to ask you 20-questions. Very strange. It works on the stand-alone ball and you can do it on the internet. Give it a try.

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