Stand By for Space Available

Earlier this year my Mom was asked to write down a story of a memorable road trip that our family went on. She immediately delegated the task to my Dad, proving that she’s the one I got my brains from. So, here is the story of how we went from Okinawa to Idaho and back for summer vacation, way back in 1986, in my Dad’s words. Oh, and The Commandant is what my Dad calls my Mom, for obvious reasons.

Extreme Schooling

In Russia. Growing up, I wanted to do something like this with my kids, and Brenda and I have talked about living abroad for a year or two. But it’s a hard thing, and it took a lot of courage for Clifford Levy and his wife to actually do. Watch the video, too.

Religion is Awesome!

I love the sense of morality it brings to our every day lives. Actually, this reminds me of a long-running argument I’ve had with my father. Apparently, if someone does something wrong, but they profess to be a Christian, that’s because they aren’t actually Christian and their actions shouldn’t reflect poorly on Christianity. Fair enough. However, it turns out Islam can’t be a religion of peace, because look at those Muslim’s that aren’t peaceful!

Illegal Aliens

They’re everywhere! Alternate title: “Illegal Aliens: Not just for moving pipe anymore”.

Larger than Life

I was taller than average while growing up, and it made a few things awkward or uncomfortable. But I had nothing on these guys. An article that answers the question, “What happens to former 7’-plus NBA players?”

Love Wins

Hell yes, I’m a New Yorker. Although, my other reaction is ‘finally’.

One in Twenty

That’s the number of people that got a job from McDonald’s at their recent “Hiring Day”. But surely, if you’re unemployed right now, that’s just because you’re lazy and won’t even take a burger-flipping job.

Spider vs. Ant

Just watch it. Make sure to watch all the way to the end - it’s only 90 seconds long.

So Sad

I link to a lot of “Justice System Gone Wrong” sort of stuff (because there’s a lot to link to), but this isn’t that. A harrowing look at a bad situation all around.

Ten Sexy Ladies

Reviews the Dressing Room at Old Navy. I think Joshua Allen might be my favorite new writer.

Defense of Marriage Act and the US Justice Dept.

Slacktivist’s take on the latest news. And yes, I’m linking to Slacktivist again. He’s my token Christian blogger - I link to him to show that I’m open-minded, even though he believes in stuff that I think is nonsense. That he writes clearly and convincingly about politics, religion, and morality is a nice bonus.

Never talk to the police

Ever, ever, ever. Not when you’re in the right. Not when you’re sure that being cooperative and reasonable will clear things up. Don’t let your kid talk to them. Just don’t do it. And yes, that story is obviously police overreacting. But that’s the point. Unless your lawyer is present, pretend you’re a prisoner of war. Except you’re a POW that doesn’t even have to give name, rank, and serial number.

Crazies and religion roundup

Not that I’m saying they are the same thing (Hi, almost my entire family of true believers!). Let’s see… Scientology is still a dangerous cult. Christian Reconstructionists are scary. The Huffington Post is the worst place to go for medical news and advice. Weathermen are curiously prone to mistaking weather for climate. That oughta hold you for a little while.

Never trust the justice system

Repeat after me: never trust that the justice system works. Never talk to a cop. Never sign anything presented to you by a cop unless your lawyer has told you to. Never, ever, think that things will work themselves out because you’re a good person and surely this is all just a big mistake.

God of Cake

Another story from Hyperbole and a Half. I adore the illustrations. They make the stories complete.

Halloween and Stranger Danger

Why yes, I am cleaning out my old list of links to post. This is an article that should be required reading for all parents that worry about their kids on Halloween.

Good Samaritans

A heartwarming story of a Good Samaritan. Would almost work as a ‘Chicken Soup’ story, if not for the cussing.

Giant map of American dialects

You can spend a lot of time on this, let me tell you. And of course, the way I pronounce “cot” (to rhyme with “caught”) is the correct one. I mean, sheesh. How could it not?

More Christmas postings

Why Ricky Gervais is an atheist and a follow-up Q&A. Yes, it’s Christmas related. And no, probably not in the way you’re thinking.

Stuxnet and James Bond

Real-life hackers, espionage, and nuclear weapons in Iran. Oh, and yeah - I’m back. Long vacation in South Dakota, shooting Bambi in the face.


Fascinating glimpse behind the scenes. Also, a man gets trapped in an elevator for 41 hours. Loses his mind and his job.

A piece of their mind

I know I’m old because I teared up reading this. Of course, nothing is assured. The state of their health can turn on a dime. Every day they defy the odds. So many odds. How many mothers would have done what Felicia Simms did, not terminating the pregnancy, knowing what she knew? How many families would have banded together, and stayed together, and grown stronger in a bond almost as fierce as that of the twins—ignoring, or at least absorbing, the financial hardships, judgmental stares and whispered disapprovals?

I'm Here

I loved this. It’s a half hour long, budget your time accordingly.

Mauling live oak

It’s time for great moments in now-obscure American military history; the foundation of the US Navy, and our war against France. Go read it.

The Falling Man

I meant to post this around 9⁄11, but, well, I didn’t. So here you go, a bit late.

Death by fame

I apologize for the horrific page splitting, but the NYTimes is awful. If anyone has seen the show “The Good Guys” (a decently smart-dumb parody of 70s and 80s cop shows), this is what happens in real life. Death by CNN.

Medical Supplies

I probably shouldn’t read articles like this. They make me so mad, they probably shorten my lifespan (and spend more time in hospitals! Irony, I am your slave).

Golden Gate Suicides

I think the pull quote from this article is this: On the bridge, Baldwin counted to ten and stayed frozen. He counted to ten again, then vaulted over. “I still see my hands coming off the railing,” he said. As he crossed the chord in flight, Baldwin recalls, “I instantly realized that everything in my life that I’d thought was unfixable was totally fixable—except for having just jumped.”

Another death-row inmate exonerated

Shockingly un-shocking. But remember, according to Scalia, no innocent man has ever been executed! Another tick in the list of reasons why I’m against the death penalty.

Balloon in Space!

Videos like these make me realize that I’m a failure as a father. Why don’t I do something super-awesome-cool like this with my kids? Cuz I’m lazy, I guess.

Going Under

My wife has an uncle who is an anesthesiologist. I keep meaning to ask him about this article, and if it rings true to him.

The million dollar repo man

Tales of derring-do, of a guy that steals (back) from the rich, to give… well, to the rich corporation that pays him. But still! Hot wiring lear jets! Falsified flight plans! Hostages! It has it all.

A true Muslim hero

An antidote for those who think that merely being muslim somehow makes you a bad person. You know who I’m talking about.

Toughing it out

An interview with Vanilla Ice, mere seconds before his 15 minutes of fame was up. Filled with both schadenfreude and sympathy for the guy born Robby Van Winkle.

Girls Gone Wild

The guy behind the formerly popular “Girls Gone Wild” videos is just as sleazy as you imagined he’d be.

Real-life disaster movie

Horrifying, as you realize that this actually happened to real people. And I have a real fear of drowning in deep water. I hated the opening scenes of “Castaway”, where the plane was sinking into the ocean. That squicked me out more than most horror movies.

Jon Stewart

A good summary of why the Daily Show is my go-to source for fair and balanced news.

Sex and money

Fred Clark, a.k.a. Slacktivist, showing in a three part series why he’s my favorite Christian blogger, and probably my favorite philosophy inclined blogger around. Also, I will be pointing anyone with a religious-based “reason” for anti-gay bigotry to these articles in the future. Either they’ll get it or they won’t - but if they can read that and still be clueless, nothing I say will get through. So - time saver!

The Death Penalty

Why I no longer support the death penalty, in a nutshell. Also, almost every public official, lawyer and judge connected to this case should be thrown out of office or barred for life from practicing law.

A one-man drug company

These sorts of articles, when I come across them four years later, make me insatiably curious as to “how it turned out”. Did he ever get out of the business? Is he in jail now? Dead? That’s something that I like about This American Life - when they rerun an article, if it’s applicable they’ll update you as to how everyone is now. Satisfying.


Speaking of cold-war relics, here is an article about traveling across Siberia. Note that it was written in ‘97, and yet the communist aparatchiks were still in power.

Harvard's Homosexual Purge

A quick shock to the system to anyone that thinks homosexuality was “discovered” in the ‘60s. That is, the same type of person that thinks premarital sex never happened until 1969.

Justice, Dominique Dunne, and television

A first-person account of a murder trial, by the father of the victim. By coincidence, I was reading this article when I learned of this other murder. Juri Kibuishi, the lady mentioned in the second paragraph, is the sister of the fantastic artist Kazu Kibuishi, author of Amulet, Copper, the Flight anthologies, and Daisy Cutter. When I was reading the article about Juri and Samuel Herr’s death, all I could think about is how much it sounded like a plot right from NCIS, Monk, or the Mentalist.

Freeganism and Buffalo

I’ve been somewhat fascinated by the Freegan culture ever since I heard about it a couple of years ago, and this article talks about an enclave here in Buffalo, NY. Very interesting - and make sure to read all the way to the end.

The Marriage Cure

Anyone that wants to understand why there is a problem of unwed mothers on welfare, crime, and unemployment in the poor black community, please read this article. And anyone that thinks all you need to do is work hard to escape that life, needs to read this article. And anyone who has an ounce of human compassion in their body should probably not read this article, because you will be seriously depressed by the end.

A junkie's life

Every time I read about someone’s experiences using crack or heroin, I wonder what they were thinking. Nice article, but I still don’t understand.

When engineering sky scrapers goes wrong

Now this is a tale of derring-do, in a subdued Heinlein-esque “competent man” sort of way. I bet Josh read about this, when he went to engineering school, so feel free to chime in.

The World's Greatest Con Man

Reading this article, about a con man that stole millions from billionaire heiresses, I felt more sad than anything. You’d like to think that the World’s Greatest Con Man would be a dashing rapscallion, flirting with danger, wooing hearts, and making daring getaways. No, he’s just a little man that got greedy. Living out of crappy hotels and constantly fearing that you’ll get caught and have everything crash down around you would be immensely draining.

Azzam the American

Speaking of home-grown terrorists, and death cults, and other creepy stuff. Anyone else think that some people, reading that article, will come away with the idea that we must ban death metal, as it’s obviously corrupting our youth?

Red Family / Blue Family

A very interesting article to start your week. Do traditional “family values” create stronger or weaker families?

Eating alone

As someone who often ate alone growing up, I never had the experience this lady did. But it’s still a nice article.

Mother's Day

There are women who birth children, and then there are Mothers (via Kelly Oxford).


A disturbing article about people that sue their creditors rather than pay their debts. As someone who has spent the last two years paying off a house I no longer even own, I had a hard time reading this.

The Lord's Resistance Army

Yet another horrifying article about horrible things going on the world. I need to start reading things that end up with unicorns and puppydogs.

Myths over Miami

A fascinating, horrible, and beautiful story about the myths that spring up in the homeless children population of Miami.

xkcd and color

The results from the color survey that xkcd ran. As a red/green color-blind person, it made me laugh. Warning, a little salty language in there.

Ancient history by internet standards

In the same way that going back to read science fiction from the thirties and forties is both hilarious and sad (flying cars! moon base! world peace!), this article about a 15-year old stock trader/manipulator from early 2001 is bizarre. I mean, we know how the story ends…

Kids these days!

Would you believe that the upcoming generation of kids is spoiled and bratty and feel entitled to things that they haven’t earned? I know! This has never happened before in the history of the world! I’m pretty sure that this is the first time old people feel that way about Kids These Days. Of course, the icing on the cake is that this is Fox and Friends accusing Mr. Rogers of being an evil man, who is (solely?) responsible for corrupting the youth.

A heart a day

What a fantastic world we live in, where I can stumble across something like this. Thanks to Irene Gallo, art director of, for the link.

Health insurance reform

An interesting article on an option to actually help cut health care costs. I mean, apart from just culling the herd with death panels, obviously.

Conspiracy theorists are crazy

And I mean that in a clinical way. Which is why it is almost never any use arguing with a creationist, a truther, a birther, a global-warming denialist, moon landing hoaxer, or an anti-stratfordian. That last link is the one I want to direct your attention to. You’ve probably heard, vaguely, that there are theories that William Shakespeare didn’t write “Shakespeare’s” plays and poems. You’ve probably not read or thought much about it.

ze frank's chillout

Ze Frank is probably best known for The Show, a very funny short video program posted Monday through Friday for an entire year, ending in March of 2007. However, he’s been doing other stuff since then, including writing a “chillout” song (i.e., a song to listen to when you need to just chill out and stop stressing). Here’s the story and the song. Tip o’ the hat to Daring Fireball for the link.

Dressing Like a Grownup

I’m rarely accused of being a sartorial masterpiece. In fact, 90% of my wardrobe consists of witty t-shirts from various webcomics that I read. However, I do, very occasionally, wear something other than jean shorts, a t-shirt, and sandals. If you, too, would like to learn how to Dress Like a Grownup ™, go here.

The dreaded Job Interview

No, I’m not looking. I’m just glad that when I got the job I have now, they didn’t use any of the questions from this list.

The Soiling of Old Glory

In an article on Boston and the Tea Party, there was a reference to a shocking photograph in the 70’s during the protests about busing and integration. A little bit of googling led me to this article about the picture, The Soiling of Old Glory, and the man in it. Both articles are probably worth reading, but if you have to pick one, read the second (even though it’s written in the style of Reader’s Digest True Stories!).

IT Gospel vs. the facts (also, human nature)

In an article titled “Please do not change your password”, the Boston Globe talks about all the various things that IT departments force you to do that is a complete waste of time, like constantly changing your password. It’s an interesting read, but I wanted to just mention that not only are those policies a waste of time, but even the IT department knows it. If you think the guys that are enforcing those rules are, in fact, following themselves, well, you’re wrong.

So sad