Trivia (8 Biomes points): What zoo did this window ledge-sitting peacock escape from recently?
One of the most admirable things about Jon Stewart is that he seems utterly incapable of reaching across his desk and throttling his guests. But this three-part interview with Christian extremist David Barton is fascinating.
That will be the most overused post title of the day, I think. I'm camping out at Biomes to save whatever animals I can if the power goes out, but it looks like Irene won't be all that big a deal. Just in case, I have a freezer full of microwavable dinners, so I should be all set.
The Tea Party is the Christian extremist, and full-bore racist, wing of the Republican Party. Except for the 27 percenters, normal people now hate them.
For the guys out there like me who don’t like beards, but also hate to shave, I highly recommend the iStubble. I picked one up from Amazon, and I love it. It can be set electronically to trim down to as little as .4 mm, which means you only have to use it every three or four days, and even then I can finish up in less than a minute.
The world’s oldest fossil, 3.4 billion-year-old microorganisms, have been found in an ancient Australian beach.
NPR has a list of the top 100 science fiction/fantasy books, and I barely scrolled an inch before pronouncing a “hell, yeah” at the first two spots. I really don’t consider myself much of a fiction reader at all, but it turns out I’ve read 21 of the top 50 books, which surprised me quite a bit (although I’ve also read 21 out of the entire 100 books, so I didn’t do so well at the last half of the list). Via Kevin Drum.
“Back in the 1980s and 1990s, tax rates for the rich were far higher, and my percentage rate was in the middle of the pack. According to a theory I sometimes hear, I should have thrown a fit and refused to invest because of the elevated tax rates on capital gains and dividends. “I didn’t refuse, nor did others. I have worked with investors for 60 years and I have yet to see anyone — not even when capital gains rates were 39.9 percent in 1976-77 — shy away from a sensible investment because of the tax rate on the potential gain. People invest to make money, and potential taxes have never scared them off. And to those who argue that higher rates hurt job creation, I would note that a net of nearly 40 million jobs were added between 1980 and 2000. You know what’s happened since then: lower tax rates and far lower job creation.”
Jon Stewart has a good take on the subject (in two parts), with a well deserved bit of bashing of the idiots over at Fox.
If you want to know how crazy Michele Bachman really is, you could do worse than this Democracy Now interview with Frank Schaeffer, a reformed evangelist who’s father was a major influence of Bachman’s world view. He gets on an awesome roll at about the ten-minute mark.
I Don't Want to go to Chelsea (Elvis Costello & The Attractions)
Click to embiggen. Here we have a photo of the guy who broke down presidential barriers, the most effective chief executive since FDR, the best ex-president in our nation’s history, an inconsequential leader who didn’t do a lot of damage, and an unmitigated disaster who should be the shame of every American who cast a vote for him. (Notice who looks most proud of his accomplishments.)
Trivia (5 Biomes points): Which fairy tale does this minimalist image represent?
When I first got the Prius in 2005, other drivers would do the ridiculous “prius wave”, which consisted of slapping the outside of the door as they passed. Colbert makes fun of Nissan’s attempt to get its Leaf drivers to do something equally annoying.
Honeyfuggle, it’s sort of like getting bamfoozled. Via DARE, the dictionary of American regional english.
Watch Hollywood Steps Out, a Tex Avery short from 1941 that features caricatures of the stars of that era. The plot and character guide is here. It took me forever to watch this, because I clicked on each wiki link as the characters came on screen.
A new study of homicide and suicide rates over a 107-year period shows that murders and suicides shoot up under Republican administrations, and drop significantly during Democratic presidencies. It’s an interesting read, and the conclusion seems to lie in the disparate policies the two parties put into place. In other words, the socio-economic stress caused by conservatism is very bad for you.