Sad Kermit

Soon after the death of Jim Henson, Kermit the Frog turned to a life full of drugs, alcohol and sex. His fall to rock-bottom was quick and unrelenting. These songs document Kermit's pain during these years...and years to come.

Sad Kermit covers NIN's Hurt (recently covered by Johnny Cash)

Video for Hurt and audio for Hurt, Creep (Radiohead), Twilight (Elliot Smith), Something I can Never Have (NIN) and Rainbow Disconnection available for download from Sadkermit.com



In case you didn't watch Saturday Night Live last week (and I wouldn't blame you if you didn't, the show hasn't been worth watching for a while now), there was a good sketch with host Peyton Manning.

The YouTube Awards have been announced. All winners are shown here. Of particular note is the best series award which went to 'Ask a Ninja,' beating out Madison made 'Chad Vader'. I'd like to note that 'Ask a Pirate' was not anywhere near being considered.

Astronomers have spotted a hexagonal cloud formation on Saturn. If they really wanted to photograph something strange, they should aim a camera at Myanus. Wait, I think I said that joke wrong.

In an update from last week's Hodgepodge Tuesday, the death of the Pakistan cricket team's coach has been ruled a murder. "Speculation within cricket over the killing has focused on everyone from crazed fans to a gambling mafia and disgruntled Pakistani team members."

In another update from another post from last week, a person has now gotten sick from eating tainted pet food. "in Canada, a woman tried to coax her dog who wasn't eating by eating a bit of its pet food herself. She became violently ill and is now awaiting tests to see if it was related to the food." Ordinarily I would make some comment about Canadians, but I really hope that this is just an isolated incident.


I Pronounce thee Man and Wife

Last fall, Wisconsin voters chose to pass an amendment to the state constitution solidifying state law restricting marriage to only one man and one woman. If you thought that would be the end of it, you were very mistaken.
(Althouse gets credit for catching this story before me.)

On March 16, the marriage of Barbara Lynn Terry and Nicole Winstanley was denied, because two women can not be married in Wisconsin. However, Barbara Lynn Terry was born Ronald Francis Terry. Terry was able to produce a birth certificate listing the name of Ronald and the gender as male, but staff still thought Terry was a woman. Because [S]he(?) was legally a man (and apparently has not [yet] undergone gender reassignment surgery), the marriage was allowed and the two were married yesterday in Milwaukee.
-Those of you who voted for the "defense of marriage" amendment last fall, this is what you voted to defend:

"The wedding - between a 58-year-old transgendered convicted rapist and a 22-year-old Australian lesbian who came to the United States last month to marry a person she'd never met - is the first in recent Wisconsin memory to be accompanied by a written statement of the judge's legal rationale for performing it."

Yes, Terry is twice his [her] wife's age and was previously convicted twice of raping a woman, although [s]he claims [s]he was framed, and was a homosexual attracted to men, " marriage notwithstanding - that she has never felt any attraction to women, let alone the impulse to rape one." And of course, immigration officials will want to know the marriage wasn't just to get a visa. So there are more than a few reasons that I might question the validity of this marriage. But, it was technically between a man and a woman, and that's all that matters, right?

While this specific marriage was valid, I have a few questions concerning what sort of policy will need to be implemented to ensure the man-woman requirement is met in every case. Will everyone need to offer proof of their gender to get a marriage license? I think it would be a bit unfair to only ask the men who look like they are women. Will you need a note from your doctor, or can you simply de-pant in front of a judge? Shouldn't a DNA test be the standard for determining sex? Penises can sometimes get lost. Do people who have undergone gender reassignment surgery get to chose what gender they are? The article seemed to imply that the marriage would not have been allowed if Terry had gotten his winky whacked. I suppose that would have been considered a win for the trans-gender legal rights movement, legally affirming their desire to have their gender reclassified. Does this mean that two lesbians can get married if one of them has a dildo sewn on? Does it mean that a man who has had his testicles removed because of cancer is no longer legally a man?

I have previously stated that I opposed the one man-one woman requirement for marriage. I don't think the government should withhold privileges based on someone's gender. But even if you think think that God disapproves of homosexuality, or that anal sex is icky, I hope you can at least see that our state's marriage laws have some serious practical flaws. I've had a heck of a time just deciding what pronouns to use to write this post (by the way, should it be he or she, depant or depants, penises or peni?); I don't think judges should have to try to make legal decisions based on these issues.


Pet Chow

I think we may have found the answer to why all those dogs and cats have been dying after eating certain pet foods.

Here is the full list of recalled cat and dog foods.
Special message to my brother: if you're going to eat dog food, at least check and make sure it isn't on the recall list.



You may or may not be able to balance an egg today, but you can observe the near equal amounts of night and day. It is symbolically important to the Neutral party, which emphasizes balance. A reminder that though the amount of daylight may rise or fall, it will always peak and return back to the median.

As the Neutral party is a strong proponent of the sciences, it is only fitting that the equinox would be the day before the first day of the new decimal calendar. The metric calendar has 360 official days (with 5 intercalary days), the same number of degrees in a circle. Of course, this is no surprise since the adoption of 360 degrees in a circle was based on the approximation of 360 days in the year. A graph of daylight hours over the year gives an interesting result: a median at 0, the spring equinox, a maximum at 90 days, the summer solstice, a median at 180 days, the autumnal equinox, a minimum at 270 days, the winter solstice, and back to a median at 360 days. You may recognize this as a sine curve. This would allow us to convert time from days to radians, with a year being 2 pi long.

I realize that I am probably the only person in the world that is fascinated by the idea of measuring time in radians.

Hodgepodge Tuesday

Tuesday as the universal day of random and disjointed blogging is catching on. (Kudos to Brad, but I will pass on eating my heart.)

Congratulations are due to the UW Women's Hockey team. They followed up last year's National Championship by winning another this year. After beating Notre Dame in 4th Overtimes in the quarterfinals, the Badgers won the next two games 4-0 and 4-1 to take their second straight championship. Admittedly, the female hockey players are nowhere near as good as the men, and women's hockey doesn't have much competition. Still, a championship is a championship.

Under Title IX, I believe I also have to give congratulations to the UW Men's Hockey team. They followed up last year's National Championship by not making the NCAA playoffs this year.

In case anyone was interested, this is what dog food is made of. And if you've never tried eating any, it tastes just like it smells. Delicious!

In a stunning upset, Pakistan was ousted from the Cricket World Cup by Ireland on Saturday. I guess St. Patrick's day was a lucky day for the Irish. Not so for the Pakistanis. The Pakistani coach died the next day.

I continue to hear critics of Wisconsin Supreme Court candidate Annette Ziegler's ethics, or lack thereof. Why is no one talking about the other candidate, Linda Clifford, and the allegations that she is a werewolf? Perhaps I have misinterpreted Ziegler's latest campaign TV spot. I couldn't find a link to the commercial, so I'll post this link of Linda Clifford instead.

*The mentioned TV spot can be found here (Hat Tip to Hippie Perspective). Watch the Ziegler: "The Judge" Ad. I am going to leave the original Linda Clifford video link because it is so much better.

Watch this if you've got 12 minutes to waste and hate yourself.


Happy St. Patrick's

Green beer is fine for those who are "Irish for a day," but for those of you with any true Irish blood in you, celebrate today the way the Irish celebrate every day.


1st Round Recap

Congratulations to everyone who made it to the second round. Really. Even to to the teams that won even though I had picked them to lose. I have no problem with a team winning it's game. The teams that lost, on the other hand (Villanova, George Washington, Texas Tech, Georgia Tech), have a bit of explaining to do. I leave Old Dominion out of my ire because apparently I had confused Butler with the Bucknell Bison. Still, no 12-5 upsets? And only two upsets overall (Winthrop over Notre Dame and VCU over Duke [not even a surprise])? That's the funny thing about odds. Everyone expects the higher seeded team to win in every game, but no one expects the higher seeded teams to win every game.

There were still enough almost-upsets. I'm talking about you, Wisconsin. 18 down to 15 seed Texas A&M Corpus Christy? While I never doubted you, knowing you always play better second halfs, and that your "plodding" style of play wears down opponents, you may not want to spot your future opponents that many points before you decide to start playing.

Triple Jeopardy

Let's forget all the Tourney competition for just a moment. A three-way tie in Jeopardy today? How does that happen? If you have the lead, why would you only bet enough to tie, and not to win? I hope none of them won the prize money, or at least had to split it. Come on Trebeck, don't let Jeopardy become the soccer of game shows.


Onset of March Madness

With the Niagara victory over FAMU (which I did pick right), the 2007 NCAA Men's D-I Basketball Tournament has begun.

There is still some time left if you haven't finished filling our your brackets. Some advice: there will only be one 12-5 upset (I've got ODU), but there should be plenty of 10's and 11's making runs. And don't try to pick the next George Mason.

I'll try to post a link to the bracket entries I filled out for ESPN's Tourney Challange, so I have proof later when I say I picked Florida, Kansas, Georgetown, and Ohio State, with Ohio St beating Kansas. I know that's almost a chalk Final Four, but I really don't think that there is any school that's seeded lower than a 2 and isn't from Texas that has a chance.

Think you've got better picks? Comment now for bragging rights later.

Saving Daylight Savings

This Sunday, we all set our clocks ahead an hour. If you didn't, that's the reason why you've been an hour late all week. Unfortunately, my body still seems to be an hour off. I know why we have Daylight Savings, but is there any reason it has to be like it is? Since Bush got to change when we start DST, I figure when I'm President, I'll give it another overhaul.

Instead of losing an entire hour in one night, which no one likes, let's break up the change and spread it out over a number of days. Why can't we move ahead 5 minutes a night for 12 days? Or 1 minute a night for 60 days? I do realize that having to change all your clocks every night for 60 days might be a pain, but I guarantee you wouldn't notice missing a minute out of a day.

And why does the change have happen so suddenly. The sun doesn't just one day rise an hour earlier. Doesn't it make more sense to adjust our time to maximize daylight throughout the year?

My proposal: On the first of every month, from January through June, at midnight (or perhaps 1 am like we do now) we will move our clocks 10 minutes forward. By June, we will be a full hour ahead. The median date, March 1, ends up being ahead of the current date we change our clocks, so theoretically we would actually conserve more energy with the new system. We could do the reverse for the next 6 months, but I actually like getting a whole extra hour all at once in the fall, so I would leave that how it is.


2007 Iditarod Finish

Congratulations to Lance Mackey. Mackey pulled into Nome, crossing the Burled Arch 8:08:41 pm with a time of 9 days, 5 hours, 8 minutes, and 41 seconds. If anyone was going to beat Buser, my favorite, I'm okay with it being Mackey. From his bio: Both my father and brother won wearing bib #13 in their sixth Iditarod. This year will be my sixth Iditarod and I will pick bib #13 when I select my starting position. So it's a nice story.

Paul Gebhardt, Martin Buser, Zach Steer, and Jeff King look to finish next in that order.
So it's not like I picked the red lantern winner.

Final results posted here.

And Buser finishes at 4:07 AKDT in 4th place. 17 top ten finishes in 21 races. Not bad.

The Struggle Within

Mike over at Letters in Bottles recently gave his opinion on anti-war activists (apparently Mike doesn't want to link to them) and soldiers who refuse to serve in Iraq. I have posted on this subject before, so I wanted to respond here with my opinion.

First, could you please stop saying that only soldiers who have served in Iraq have a right to talk about it? "They have served and have the moral authority to speak on the war they fought." I don't have to have committed murder first to have an opinion on its morality. I don't have to have played college basketball to fill out a tournament bracket. You might have a more informed opinion, but everyone is allowed to have their own. Stop being so full of yourself, Mike.

You are right on one point. Soldiers who refuse to go to war are not heroes. But they aren’t “cowards” or a “disgrace to the uniform.” I believe that everyone has a basic right to choose to do what they believe is right, as long as they are not harming anyone else, and especially if it involves choosing not to harm someone else. These soldiers are simply refusing to participate in something that they think is wrong.

If a doctor thinks abortion is murder, he doesn’t have to perform them. If a construction worker thinks that a building’s plans are unsafe, he doesn’t have to work on it. If a baker has a problem with a customer’s request for a cake shaped like a penis, he doesn’t have to make it. If a pharmacist doesn’t want to stock the morning after pill, well, perhaps they do have to. But if a soldier believes that the invasion of Iraq was unjustified, and is being continued for the wrong reasons at a detriment to the Iraqi people, then he shouldn’t be required to go.

If any of these people’s choices breach the terms of their contract, then their employer is entitled to sue for financial reimbursement. Sometimes, the employer finds other work that they can do. Often they are just fired. If they had a valid enough reason for objecting, such as ‘I didn’t think it was right to serve the tacos after the rats peed on them,’ they may want to sue the employer. Very rarely are they put in jail.

Back in the late 1930’s, over in Germany, there were a lot of Germans who, being patriotic, decided to sign up to serve their country. They were good soldiers according to your reasoning; they did what they were told to do, never questioning whether their orders were morally right. After the war was over, some of them found themselves on trial for war crimes. And their defense of “I was just following orders” didn’t quite hold up. After World War II, the United States military adjusted the Uniform Code of Military Justice, including a rule nullifying this defense, essentially stating that American military personnel are allowed to refuse unlawful orders.

I’m not trying to equate going to Iraq with performing the Holocaust. I even agreed with you earlier that our forces should be in Iraq. It’s just that I think everyone is morally responsible for all of their actions. As such, I think they should do what they think is morally right, and not do what they think is immoral. Offering to serve your country should not mean completely abandoning your moral compass. That is what leads to Abu Ghraib and Haditha. Mike, I don’t know if I’ve ever seen you use your own judgment in the posts I’ve read, but I really hope you haven’t given it up altogether.


Death of an American Hero

R.I.P. Steve Rogers
a.k.a. Captain America
July 4, 1917-March 7, 2007

There may have been several who donned the familiar red, white, and blue uniform (William Naslund, Jeffrey Mace, The Grand Director, John Walker), but there was only one true Captain America.

Rogers was born in 1917, a much different time. Patriotism and doing what was right were much simpler. Disgusted by the rise of Hitler and the Third Reich, which he saw as a clear threat to freedom and liberty, Rogers attempted to enlist in the US Army, but was rejected because of his poor health. Willing to do whatever he could, Rogers volunteered for a top-secret defense project named Operation Rebirth. After an arduous series of training, injections of a still unknown "Super Soldier Serum", and exposure to "Vita-Rays", he was changed into a physically perfect man, "the peak of human potential", ready to serve his country in World War II. Armed with only his martial arts training and an indestructible shield, Rogers and his sidekick James "Bucky" Barnes fought Nazi forces until 1945, when Rogers was thrown into the North Atlantic and was frozen in a block of ice for 20 years.

Since then, Rogers has continued to defend the country he loved and its citizens from those who would harm them. In 1974, after becoming disillusioned with the US government, Rogers decided to abandon his patriotic Captain America identity in favor of the Nomad name (as it means "man without a country"). Rogers soon returnd to the role of Captain America when he realized that he could champion America's ideals without blindly supporting its government.

In 2006, Rogers was perhaps the most well known critic of the Superhuman Registration Act, opposing the law on the grounds that it violated civil rights and the protection that secret identities provide. Rogers became a fugitive, leading similar minded superhumans in a fight against those who supported the Act, lead by Rogers's former friend, Tony Stark. As the war continued, Rogers become more and more extreme in his desire to win, but eventually realized that his fight against the Registration Act was endangering civilians, so Rogers removed his mask and surrendered, giving the anti-Registration side the order to stand down.

While entering a Federal Courthouse, Steve Rogers was shot in the shoulder, chest, and stomach by a sniper on his way up the steps to Federal Court. In the ensuing crowd chaos, he was shot three times with a shotgun, and later died of his injuries. It is suspected that the Red Skull, Roger's arch nemesis, is behind the assassination.

The character's death came as a blow to co-creator Simon, the Associated Press reported. "We really need him now," Simon, 93, told The AP.

Rogers was survived by his original sidekick, Bucky, now a Soviet assassin named Winter Soldier.



Can someone please explain to me what the big deal is about the Ann Coulter fuss, and why I should care? Is it that she said the word "faggot," and she is [presumably] not homosexual? Would it be less offensive if she had merely called Edwards a blatant homosexual? It seems the outrage over using a word that should not be used was the main part of the joke.

I have heard far worse things said about George W. Bush, our actual President. Yet I have not seen anyone calling for everyone on the left to denounce Bill Maher. or Jon Stewart, or Jay Leno, or Rosanne Barr, or... Or am I wrong to think that implying that someone is mentally retarded, or Satan, or a chimp... (assuming that Bush is none of these) is more of an insult than suggesting that they are gay?

Appropriate or not, Coulter was clearly joking. Even if she herself was running for President, I wouldn't consider this important.

I do think the target of the joke, Sen. Edwards, was not chosen well. If I were to suggest that anyone was gay, it would have to be Sen Kucinich. But I'll bet Edwards is very happy he got mentioned. All I've heard for the last month has been Obama-Clinton.

*I find this article to be especially funny now.


Let's start with a video.

Your Iditarod update: Lance Mackey is the first musher to Nikolai. My pick, Buser, is currently in 5th.
Relax, the race will be over before the NCAA tourney starts.

Kenneth Eng, a writer for AsianWeekly, a small newspaper, was fired for his last column, titled "Why I hate Blacks." I understand firing someone for saying that blacks must be a weak-willed race because they allowed themselves to be slaves for hundreds of years. I don't understand why Eng wasn't fired earlier for his previous article in AsianWeekly, "Why I hate Asians."

Chuck Norris, Man of Action!


Scooter is likely going to prison.

One juror, Denis Collins, said, "There was a tremendous amount of sympathy for Mr. Libby on the jury.
"It was said, 'Where's Rove, where are these other guys?'
"We're not saying that we didn't think Mr. Libby was guilty of the things we found him guilty of. It seemed like he was the fall guy," Collins said.



Earlier today, 83 mushers and their teams of sled dogs completed the 11 miles from Anchorage to Eagle River, the ceremonial start to the 2007 Iditarod. The actual start of the race is set for 2 pm Sunday. You probably won't be seeing any mentions on Sportscenter, but standings and news are updated on the official website. This is an odd year, so, as I'm sure you know, the southern trail will be taken.

I'll be rooting for Martin Buser, one of five mushers to win 4 times, and the holder of the record for the fastest winning time. In 6th grade, we had a unit on the Iditarod, and each of us was given a musher to follow. I wound up with Buser (who finished 2nd that year). We had to write letters to our mushers and I got a signed musher collector card back.



Like most of you, one of the handful of things I still remember doing in elementary school was Book It. Reading the books, getting the certificate, and going to Pizza Hut to get a star to put on my button, and my free personal pan pizza. I was bit surprised today to read that some people are trying to convince schools to end Book It.

Their first argument is that the program contributes to childhood obesity. I don't really think one 6" single topping personal pan pizza a month is going to have a significant impact on anyone. I also object to their characterization of pizza as "junk food." It can be a bit high in fat and sodium, but I wouldn't put it on the same level as a McDonald's cheeseburger or a Hostess cupcake.

Their second reason makes less sense. "The more kids see books as a way to get pizza or some other prize, the less interest they'll have in reading itself," argued Alfie Kohn, an author whose 11 books on education and parenting include "Punished By Rewards, which questions the value of incentive programs. Now I'm no expert in education, but I've always thought that if a kid didn't like reading, he's not going to read on his own, and if you give him some incentive to read, like pizza, he still may not like it, but he'll do it, and there's a chance he'll learn to like it.

I suspect a third reason they oppose Book It is an opposition to any sort of program that rewards achievement. I did not see any mention of this, but the idea has surfaced in so many educational debates lately that I would not doubt it is a contributing factor. I hope I don't have to explain how this is a bad idea.

Growing up, I loved Book It. My family did not eat out a lot, so that monthly visit to Pizza Hut was a special treat. I already enjoyed reading, but it was nice to get some positive reinforcement. So I hope this protest of the week blows over.


I guess I'll have to disable the word verification for commenting until Blogger gets its act together. This is not a request for links to online pharmacies or anything else.

An Inconvenient Truth

Al Gore's Powerpoint slideshow on global warming won the Oscar for Best Documentary over the weekend. I sure hope he got the most out of celebrating the win.

Al been taking some heat over his energy usage. Read either article if you want the details. In short, Gore's Nashville home uses roughly 18 times the electricity of the average American home. Now I know that residential use is a small part of the overall amount of electricity used, and that it gets much smaller when natural gas and petroleum are added in. And Gore's spokesman said his energy usage was okay because he invests in enough renewable energy to make up for the home's power consumption. So practically speaking, it really doesn't matter.

But the environmental movement has never been about practicality. It's an ideology that has always stressed the significance of small changes, and how they can add up to make a huge difference. Why else would a California lawmaker consider outlawing incandescent light bulbs? So it is fair to call Al Gore a hypocrite. I don't expect him to live like Ed Begley Jr, but I'm sure Al can stand to inconvenience himself just a little.

"He looks hurt..."

In case any of you haven't gotten enough of seeing Shaun Livingston dislocate his knee, Brian Butch dislocate his elbow, or John Terry get kicked unconscious, Sports Illustrated compiled a list of the 10 most gruesome/bizarre sports injuries. And conveniently, they include links to YouTube videos for all of them. Links to other injuries, some even more gruesome, are given in the comment section there.

I have to emphasize their warning: Most of these are nasty. They will make your stomach turn. So if you're eating a meal, be careful. But I am putting the link up here because I watched them all and now I want others to share in my discomfort. I can not recommend watching the clips. But I know you are curious and you are going to.

*Then read this article to find out why you just watched those clips.