publication of this definition in the urban dictionary was confirmed.
an adventurous person who will travel for fine food and drink.
etymology: from the greek gaster meaning stomach and nautes, sailor.
earliest citation found: «gastronaut. astronaut patrick baudry, the first frenchman to ride aboard a US spacecraft, was disappointed in nasa's menu for space, so his space meals included crab mousse, rabbit stew and lobster in cream sauce-prepared in france, tinned and shipped to johnson space centre. baudry also tried unsuccessfully to bring wine on the mission.» ~michael hirsley, «let's ring out the old year on a dubious note» - chicago tribune, 29 december 1985 (edited by arcana imperii)
«discovering the pleasures of cooking and entertaining at home became even more of an incentive for the gatronaut in me to venture farther than before in both distance and experience in search of new tastes i could bring back with me and share with fellow gourmands.» ~arcana imperii
source: arcana imperii, 30 aug 2004
bea arthur and the absurdities of current air passenger screening
americans can't bear public demonstrations of privilege or anything resembling it unless it's featured on a television reality series. yet we actually seem to only pay lip service to the venerated principle of equality. even the thought of uniformed students in public schools sends chills through our spines for no reason whatsoever (as if the uniform-wearing kids from private schools as a rule grow up to be less individualistic than public school graduates).
america is indeed a rich land of opportunity. it rewards the motivated, the visionary, the self-starter, the risk-taker. but not all enjoy equal access to capital. nor to good education. nor healthcare. nor justice. women in this country don't even enjoy equal pay and i don't see anybody marching on the national mall protesting it. the work ethic and machismo of americans allow the private sector to exploit them by accepting to do the work of several employees without appripriate compensation. if you need to stay at the office longer than the official working day then there's not enough people for the job. period. we allow government to permit corporations to rape the tax-payer while the beneficiaries of said arrangement receive compensation which in no way reflects their value to the firm along with further relief in their tax «burden» while the rest of the nation and especially the lower middle-class and the poor are forced to live with the reduction in services which pays for the tax cuts to the wealthy. even in diplomacy we demonstrate devastating expertise at securing advantages at great expense...
yet most seem to find necessary and just for the sake of equality to force crown princes, vice-presidents, eighty-one-year-old female celebrities and even me to subject to tedious, unnecessary security screenings prior to travelling. precious time and limited resources ought not be wasted with such nonsense. this is not a matter of offering a courtesy to someone because of their position, celebrity, wealth, or beauty that would result in the unacceptable inconvenience of lesser mortals, but because they do not present a threat
. nor do i. it's that simple.
in order to provide security, threats must be identified. then the severity and likelihood of an event must be assessed along with identifying who would be most likely to bring it to fruition. while in northern ireland it could be a rosey-cheeked granny with knitting needles, in oklahoma city a skinny white boy with a gripe against the government of the republic, at boston logan it may be determined that it'd be most likely a well-dressed, well-educated, wealthy, good-looking young saudi (or variations thereof) and certainly not dorothy from the golden girls even if she is indeed carrying a knife in her pocketbook. even if terrorists intent on hijacking the aeroplane did board you can bet you life that their plan would not rely on the possibility of enlisting the knife-wielding co-operation of a senior citizen they don't know and whose luggage they didn't inspect! this is not about political correctness. it is not akin to racial profiling by your local police constabulary.
have a look at the passions stirred by the issue.
bea arthur sparked a security scare at logan airport in boston this week when she tried to board a cape air flight with a pocketknife in her handbag.
kuro5hin offers a novel proposition: bea for president!
posted by vidiot at 12:12 pt (48 comments total)
the "golden girls" star, now 81, was flagged by a transportation security administration agent, who discovered the knife - a strict no-no following 9/11.
using her characteristic style in order to point out the absurdity of the current system, a fellow passenger said that ms arthur started yelling that the knife wasn't hers and that the terrorists must have put it there. "she kept yelling about the 'terrorists, the terrorists, the terrorists.' "
after the blade was confiscated, arthur took a keyring from her bag and told the agent it belonged to the "terrorists," before throwing it at them.
as she boarded the plane, she said to the tsa employees: "we're all doomed."
so, old people (or white people or celebs) should't be searched? or they should be allowed to carry knives on planes? i guess i don't get the point of all this. why should bea arthur be president? because she is standing up for celebrity rights?
posted by found missing at 13:17 pst on 28 august
found missing, you humourless twit, i hope the next time you fly you are pulled over and strip searched by the foul smelling neanderthals that make up this nation's "airport security" as karmic payback for your utter lack of common sense.
this "all or nothing" mentality is just laughable, since it treats everyone
like a suspect, which so far hasn't turned up a lot of "thwarted hijackings" or "terrorist events." let's see, how many of the perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks were something other
than males of middle eastern descent between the ages of 25 and 40? how about we start looking for them
, and let passengers who are female americans with pretty much universal face recognition and who happen to be twice that age
just get on their plane and be on their way?
posted by jollywanker at 15:34 pst on 28 august
i just want to hear bea say "step the fuck off or i'll cut you!".
posted by kevinskomsvold at 16:55 pst on 28 august
simple solution: everyone flies naked. now there's an opportunity! all-nude airlines - we love to fly, and it shows
posted by bwg at 05:28 pst on 29 august
quotations of the week
«oh what a tangled web we weave,absolvi meam animam. cepe indicum. mihi ignosce. cum homine de cane debeo congredi.
when first we practise to deceive!»
~sir walter scott, marmion. canto vi. stanza 17.
«to rationalise their lies, people -- and the governments, churches, or terrorist cells they compose -- are apt to regard their private interests and desires as just.»
«lying is done with words and also with silence.»
«i shall be the sunlight to your frost.»
friday's five attributable insults
it's a special day so i shall list five unattributed
insults followed by a bonus attributed
two or three.
- «a half-wit gave you a piece of his mind, and you held on to it.»
- «i can tell you are lying. your lips are moving.»
- «you're the best at all you do - and all you do is make people hate you.»
- «he has depth, but only on the surface. down deep inside, he is shallow.»
- «you should do some soul-searching. maybe you'll find one.»
- «he is mad, bad and dangerous to know.» ~lady caroline lamb
- «you're a mouse studying to be a rat.» ~wilson mizner
- «he's the type of man who will end up dying in his own arms.» ~mamie van doren
Labels: Five Insults
amendment xix / women's equality day
note: this is my 500th blog entry
today the US marks the eighty-fourth anniversary of the ratification of the 19th amendment to the US constitution. this amendment guarantees all american women the right to vote. achieving this milestone required a lengthy and difficult struggle; victory took decades of agitation and protest. beginning in the mid-19th century, several generations of woman-suffrage supporters lectured, wrote, marched, lobbied, practised civil disobedience, were incarcerated, abused, force-fed and lost their lives to achieve what many americans considered too radical a change of the constitution. few early supporters lived to see final victory in 1920.
«on women's equality day
, the league of women voters
empowers all voters to protect their right to vote»
. view a photo of house joint resolution 1 proposing the 19th amendment to the states here. visit the brilliant site of the US national archives to learn more about our charters of freedom.
email blog entries!
dear readers. i have just enabled a new feature which allows you to quickly and simply email a link to any entry in this blog
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remember also that you can automatically add this blog to your browser's list of favourites
by clicking on the "bookmark this blog"
sidebar link. cheers!
[image here]via abraxias. cheers!
seemingly strange things do occur. fortunately, most can be explained reasonably, factually, scientifically and even by the application of common sense. personal experience is seldom proof of anything and its understanding is almost exclusively tainted by personal interpretation based on everything but reason or the result of the proper application of the scientific method or even the "baloney-detection kit". if only we all chose to accept that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence we'd realise that our world isn't actually "haunted by demons". lighting a candle is better than cursing darkness...
just a few hours ago, the beeb
reported the burial of a south african man's body his widow had preserved for eight weeks because a «prophet»
predicted he would come back to life. paul meintjes
' body had been kept "on ice" by the owner of a funeral parlour before returning it to the family home where his widow kept it in a coffin by her bed for three days - apparently awaiting his return to life. see, «local prophet» david francis
had predicted that mr meintjes would rise from the dead. this divided the family with his widow and two of her three children refusing to allow his body to be buried. i can't just blame the grieving family for this folly. i can't absolve the charlatan francis of responsibility. he should have been buried along with mr meintjes for a little while... see if he'd ever go round again spewing such cruel rubbish.
and along the same bizarre and rather sad sad lines, we find reuter's report
about the dead vietnamese teenager kept at home for thirty-six years after a fortune teller told relatives they had buried the boy alive by mistake. the ho chi minh city police newspaper
said yesterday that the teenager's family thought he had died in 1968 of illness, but a herbal medicine man had told the father his son was still alive after the burial. stricken with remorse, the father dug up the body and kept it at home, displayed in a glass-covered coffin, perhaps awaiting the son's awakening. interestingly, the police newspaper reported that the body of the boy had not decomposed.
i certainly hope somebody makes it possible for science to perhaps grant this family some peace of mind. examination and study of the corpse would certainly establish cause of death and determine beyond all shadow of doubt whether the boy had been alive at burial, which is indeed extremely unlikely.
it amazes me how religion's ridiculous promises of after-life and even culture in general seems to actually keep us forever mourning and grieving horrid loss rather than remembering, celebrating and honouring life!ngiyabonga ka khulu, seanw.
spanish obscenity i'd never heard before: «¡me cago en los veinticuatro cojones de los apóstoles de jesús!»
. it means goddamn it all to hell!
(literally, i shit on the twenty-four testicles of the apostles of jesus
ha ha! brilliant.
note: there is an «arcana imperii» at kustomkettleDOTcom (game: day of defeat). ce n'est pas moi.
«poetry to the people»
, has published an article by jo tatchell
about the remarkable story of a poem
that defied a dictator... a tragic epic by an iraqi exile, only one thousand copies ever printed. yet, secretly and by word of mouth, the poem brother yasin
became a symbol of resistance to saddam.
«the penalty for both this and any distribution of such works was savage, ranging from imprisonment, the loss of a tongue or hand, to death with retribution against family and friends thrown in for good measure
. there were, however, brave individuals who routinely risked their liberty and lives to ensure literature and culture were kept alive within iraq.»
did you feel that?!
details are only now being released: astronomers reported sunday, 02 august that the closest observed asteroid yet to skim past the earth without hitting the atmosphere came within 6500 kilometres (4000 miles) of the planet's surface 31 march! the asteroid is five to ten metres across, and was named 2004 fu162
MIT lincoln laboratory
's asteroid-hunting LINEAR telescope in socorro, new mexico
,usa, observed the new object four times over a 44-minute period, several hours before its closest approach.
read more @ newscientist
shame, Sir Mark!
south african police have arrested Sir Mark Thatcher
over allegations that he was involved in a planned coup in equatorial guinea, according to media reports in south africa. the south african press association reported that the son of the former british prime minister, Baroness Thatcher
, was arrested at his cape town home and was expected to appear in court later today.
flashmob (the opera)
as if british trains needed additional excuses for their usual delays, this autumn the beeb will mount a live opera broadcast
of a new work aimed at a young audience set inside a mainline station and performed as commuters are making their way home from work.
«the project uses familiar arias from operas such as madame butterfly and la traviata, set to a new story by stephen powell and with new english words.
based loosely on the myth of orpheus and eurydice, it follows an engaged couple, mike and sally, whose relationship runs into trouble because of mike's obsession with football. after an argument, mike goes to the railway station to catch a train to a football match. sally pursues him, but encounters a handsome stranger at the station. in addition to the bemused travellers, the producers have arranged to "flashmob" the event - 100 or so people will be sent a text message on the day, asking them to turn up at the designated station and sing along with the professional performers.»
the event will require an hour's suspension of station announcements (except in the event of a security alert)...
do have a look at the linked story for more; this sounds like a hilarious project indeed!
-«[...] isn't p your boyfriend?»
-«essentially... but not technically.»
bob dole in his campaign autobiography:
«as we approached the enemy, there was a brief exchange of gunfire. i took a grenade in hand, pulled the pin, and tossed it in the direction of the farmhouse. it wasn't a very good pitch (remember, i was used to catching passes, not throwing them). in the darkness, the grenade must have struck a tree and bounced off. it exploded nearby, sending a sliver of metal into my leg--the sort of injury the army patched up with mercurochrome and a purple heart.»
bob dole now:
«as far as i know, he never spent one day in the hospital, i don't think he draws any disability pay. he doesn't have any disability. and he's boasting about three purple hearts, when you think of some of the people who really got shot up in vietnam.»
from [pol] viagra and the brain.
the beginning... of the end?
the prequel to horror film classic the exorcist
was the most popular film at US and canadian cinemas at the weekend, taking £10m ($18.2m) in three days.
yet critics, who were not given advance screenings, have not been kind. «satan save us from any more exorcist sequels» was the toronto star
's headline. the boston globe
wrote: «if you're looking for groundbreaking badness, you needn't look much further than the new exorcist prequel, which is one interminably grisly waste». «after a well-paced first two acts, exorcist: the beginning
eventually collapses under its enormous weight» wrote the san francisco chronicle
. the hollywood reporter
said: «the scariest thing about this film is how desperate the makers are to earn a scream».
i shall wait for the dvd release which will include both paul schrader
's original prequel alongside renny harlin
's cinema version.source: the beeb.
faster than a speeding bullet
well, not quite! that'd be superman
... i'm referring to 22-year-old american justin gatlin
, winner of the 100 metres at the olympic games... the one classical, definitive stretch of time and distance that determine the world's fastest human. his time: 9.85 seconds
(one-hundredth off the olympic record set by canada's donovan bailey
at atlanta in 1996).
portugal's francis obikwelu
, who until 2001 ran for his native nigeria, won the silver medal. obikwelu
ran 9.86. maurice greene
, the defending champion, ran 9.87 to get the bronze, and shawn crawford
ran 9.89 to simply be part of a race where for the first time
four runners ran under 9.90 (no more than two had done so before).
quotation of the week
«nitimur in vetitum semper, cupimusque negata.»
~publius ovidius naso, amorum (iii, 4, 17)
«we are always striving for things forbidden, and coveting those denied us.»
~ovid, amorum (iii, 4, 17)
madonna & the scream: two expressionist masterpieces stolen
's iconic painting «skrik»
(scream), one of the best known in the world, was stolen today along with his «madonna»
from the munch museet
in oslo. two masked raiders, one of which spoke in norwegian during the heist, barged into the museum late this morning. one threatened guards and patrons with a pistol and the other used wire cutters and ripped the paintings from the wall. they escaped in a stolen black audi getaway car driven by a third gang member.
these masterpieces are certainly too famous to be sold in the black market and so experts speculate they may be held for ransom. in 1994, as the winter olympics got underway in norway, thieves stole another version of «scream» from norway's national gallery. a ransom demand for a million dollars followed, the gang arrested three months later and the work was recovered undamaged from a hotel.
the munch museum
also possesses a second «scream»
while a third is at norway's national gallery
and a fourth in private hands.
so... what happens to stolen art?
and what about the greatest heists in art history
seanw thank you for the alert! wish it'd been a hoax indeed!
help counter GOP smear campaign on telly
president bush still won't condemn his supporters' outrageous «swift boat» advert despite calls from republican leaders, vietnam veterans and over 175,000 signatories to yesterday's petition -- including 6,000 current military service members and their families. we must make certain bush pays a political price for green-lighting the spreading of outright lies about john kerry
's leadership and service in vietnam.
we've put together our own ad that sets the facts straight on john kerry
's time in the military. it also points out bush's hypocrisy in condoning an attack on a combat veteran, after he himself failed to show up for service in the national guard. US$200,000 are needed to start airing this advert today. we can put it on telly in precisely the markets where the «swift boat» spot ran, making sure that no swing voters are misled by this vile smear campaign.
view the new advert and contribute to get it on the air here
friday's five attributable insults
- «s[he]'s been on more laps than a napkin.» ~walter winchell
- «stay with me; i want to be alone.» ~joey adams
- «there goes the famous good time that was had by all.» ~bette davis
- «when you go to the mind reader, do you get half price?» ~david letterman
«i've just learned about his illness. let's hope it's nothing trivial.» ~irvin s cobb
Labels: Five Insults
condemn bush's ad slandering kerry
last week a group of far-right bush allies released an outrageous advert claiming that john kerry faked his injuries, betrayed his troops, and «dishonoured his country» in vietnam. the ad features people who say «i served with john kerry» (although they didn't)
and who make numerous likely false accusations about kerry's war record.1
it's one of the most vile tactics yet seen in bush's ferociously negative campaign.
the «swift boat» advert is so far beyond the pale that even senator john mcCain, a bush supporter, spoke against it, calling it «dishonest and dishonorable»."2
yet despite senator mcCain's request that bush «specifically condemn»
the advert, bush continues to refuse refuses to comment.
you could join and send bush a clear message along with hundreds of thousands of americans that we won't stand for these smear tactics, and we expect him to repudiate and reject them. the petition will be delivered by moveOn to bush on the campaign trail. you may sign the petition to bush here
clearly the advert continues the dirty tricks tradition of bush campaigning . in a recent interview, senator mcCain noted that the spot «was the same kind of deal that was pulled on» him in 2000. mcCain was referring to a vicious smear campaign -- which included race-baiting allegations that he had a black child our of wedlock -- run by close bush allies in 2000. in fact, the same firm that ran some of the anti-mcCain adverts in 2000 produced «swift boat».3
although the group claims independence from the republican party, the group's funding mostly comes from a longtime bush supporter who gave over US$20,000 to his campaigns for texas governor.4
note that even before the advert went on air, the washington post
discussed how bush is running the most negative presidential campaign in US history (while falsely accusing kerry of same). in the article «from bush, unprecedented negativity»
the post quotes an expert who says that «there is more attack now on the bush side against kerry than you've historically had in the general-election period against either candidate».5
1fact check: swift boat veterans for bush
2mcCain condemns anti-kerry ad
4republican-funded group attacks verry's war record
5from bush, unprecedented negativity
quotation of the week
«i cannot forget, but i can forgive.»
which «dictator» am i?
as dictators go, you're rather pathetic! instead of military coup or systematic persecution to get power, you just happen to be the head of the only party in the uk that isn't totally worthless! while not very impressive it is none the less effective! you can do whatever the hell you like without any chance of getting voted out of office! people know that the only alternative would have them eating their children if they ever got back into power! however, you still think that you are as loved as you were when you were first elected into power… news flash, mate: you're perhaps not!
what tin-pot dictator are you? take the «what dictator am i?» test at poisonedminds.com
friday's five attributable insults
- «a cherub's face, a reptile all the rest.» ~alexander pope
- «he's so small, he's a waste of skin.» ~fred allen
- «i worship the quicksand he walks in.» ~art buchwald
- «i can't believe that out of 100,000 sperm, you were the quickest.» ~steven pearl
- «your idea of fidelity is not having more than one man in bed at the same time.» ~frederic raphael
Labels: Five Insults
falsehood - has fooled
enough political game-playing with national security
everybody seems to have forgotten exactly how it was that the current administration subverted the intelligence gathering and vetting process, effectively hijacking it through the us department of state and the us department of defence. no surprise the resulting intelligence
(believe how it pains me to use that word in association with dubya's administration) was inadequate, inaccurate, if not outright false yet obviously construed to fit the political purpose of this blind president, leader of deaf cohorts and hawks.
he has presented us this week with a most political of political appointments, just months before he is hopefully given a pink slip by the american people (except those shameful and reprehensible voters who will inevitably cast a vote against democracy and for bush & co), and expects confirmation and smooth sailing. how offensive can this man still be? he dares show that buffon's grin, vapid expression and attempts a few cohesive sentences to defend an indefensible appointment i hope america will reject loudly and clearly. porter goss
can claim more cloak-and-dagger experience than most cia
chiefs, having spent time in army intelligence as well as running spies for the cia
in central america and, later, western europe and so the administration will attempt to steamroll his nomination and neutralise an already vocal opposition. goss
must not be confirmed for there should be no more political game-playing with national security.jay rockefeller
, senior democrat on the senate intelligence committee said that the selection of a politician -- any politician from either party -- is a mistake, adding that having independent, objective intelligence going to the president and congress is fundamental to america's national security.
director stansfield turner
claimed it was «the worst appointment ever made»
to the position and an attempt to win votes in the key battleground state of florida.
bush's decision to nominate mr goss is nothing but an attempt to get back on the front foot on intelligence, amid fresh reports of terrorist plots and the 11 september commission's claims that the president did not take the al-qaeda threat seriously enough.sources: google news and the australian.
prozac found in britain's drinking water
the observer said today that a report by the government's environment watchdog found prozac
was building up in river systems and groundwater used for drinking supplies. experts say that prozac finds its way into rivers and water systems from treated sewage water, and some believe the drugs could affect reproductive ability.
a spokesman for britain's drinking water inspectorate
was likely to be found in a considerably watered down form that was unlikely to pose a health risk.
norman baker, environment spokesman for the liberal democrats, said it looked «like a case of hidden mass medication upon the unsuspecting public.»
well, it's about time... something had to be done, don't you think? and would someone please increase the dose of the environmentalists?
must-read: «why wall street wants google to fail»
«the most anticipated initial public offering in years threatens to derail a cherished gravy train, where underpriced shares are handed out to favored investors and grateful CEOs.»
related news and commentary
jubak's journal @ msn money
quotation of the week
«when they discover the center of the universe, a lot of people will be disappointed to discover they are not it.»
"cutting off the nose..."
if arabic didn't have an equivalent to «cutting off your nose to spite your face» i reckon it certainly has one now...
according to sources at the the ibn toufail
hospital in marrakesh, morocco, an unidentified, seventy-year-old moroccan man has cut off his penis... to protest his wife's long refusal to have sex.
source: yahoo! news.
: noun. from middle english, cloak, mantle, from old english pæll
, from latin pallium
: a square of linen usually stiffened with cardboard that is used to cover the chalice. a heavy cloth draped over a coffin. a coffin, especially when holding a body. something that covers or conceals; especially, an overspreading element that produces an effect of gloom (as in: a pall of thick black smoke).
«i'm dead, bitch!»
an LAPD spokesman said that fifty-six-year-old «super freak»
-singer rick james
, a musical icon of the 1980s who helped define the «punk funk» style of that decade, was found dead of in his home this morning by his caretaker. according to james' personal physician, the singer's death was the result of «existing medical conditions»
«i'm trying to change the root of funk, trying to make it more progressive, more melodic and more lyrically structured.» ~rick james, né james johnson jr.
friday's five attributable insults
- «i want to reach your mind - where is it currently located?» ~ashleigh brilliant.
- «some men are born mediocre, some men achieve mediocrity, and some men have mediocrity thrust upon them.» ~joseph heller
- «he higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of its behind.» ~joseph stilwell
- «his face was filled with broken commandments.» ~john masefield
- «he is simply a shiver looking for a spine to run up.» ~paul keating
Labels: Five Insults
dear readers, the server holding some of the graphics/photographs in the blog is currently offline. i apologise for any inconvenience this may cause and beg your indulgence for a few more
days. thank you for stopping by. i greatly appreciate every second you spend here. cheers!
quotation of the week
«how does a project get to be a year behind schedule? one day at a time.»
DEMAND voter-verified paper ballots
most of us remember the election of 2000. as a result of faulty and mismanaged election systems, among other deficiencies and actions taken, george w was given florida's electoral votes and the presidency. and now look at the mess we're in.
people demanded improvements, and now states are spending millions to buy new voting machines. so far, so good. but many key states, including florida, ohio and other battlegrounds, are installing black box
voting machines -- computer voting terminals that don't produce a paper ballot, without which there's no way to know if our votes are counted correctly. not to mention the vulnerability of computers to hacking and sundry malfunctions. how often did yours freeze up this week?
you can indeed take action to protect your vote. you may join moveOn.org
's call for voter-verified paper ballots here
if cash dispensers and gas pumps can print receipts, then voting terminals can print paper ballots. every voter should be able to make sure that his vote will count as it was cast, by verifying a paper ballot that can be audited and re-counted. wherever electronic voting terminals are used, backup paper ballots must also be available, so no voter will be turned away from the polling place if the terminals malfunction. moveOn
members have been calling legislators and officials in many states to demand voter-verified paper ballots
and along with other citizen's groups important victories have been won. for instance, california secretary of state kevin shelley
decertified 14,000 black box voting terminals made by diebold inc, and said that this november, every california voter will be able to vote using a paper ballot.
every voter in every state should have the same right -- to verify that his or her vote was recorded correctly, with full confidence that it will be counted correctly. we shouldn't have to hand our elections over to manufacturers like diebold and blindly trust them with the results.
this is about the foundation of our democracy: the votes
of americans. there's no reason we americans should have anything less than the most accessible, secure and reliable voting system possible.