He liked it.

Animal lovers hit the roof after it was revealed that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney strapped his Irish setter to the top of his car during a 12-hour drive from Boston to Ontario, terrifying the dog and causing a health hazard to other road users.

According to the Boston Globe, the former Massachusetts governor placed the dog, called Seamus, in a kennel attached to the roof of his station wagon. He and his family then set off on holiday.

After a few miles, Mr Romney's son, Tagg, raised the alarm. A brown liquid was dripping down the rear windscreen. Seamus had suffered a diarrhoea attack. The results made driving difficult.
Mr Romney pulled over, borrowed a hosepipe and washed down Seamus, the car, and the kennel - then set off again with the dog still on the roof.

The Massachusetts Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said the 1983 incident, which came to light this week, could be investigated. Mr Romney said the row was a fuss about nothing. Seamus enjoyed being on the roof, he said.

WikiVandal Scries Future, Apologizes

Apparently, the wiki entry for wrestler Chris Benoit was edited to include information about his wife's death, hours before the police were aware. Sounded to E.C. not to be true. But the poster has come forward confessing it was a joke that just happened to be real.

This is not the last time that Wikipedia will historicize something before it happens. It's power and scope will set it loose from the timestream.

A million vandals at a million keyboards can write tomorrow's headlines.


Smooth teeth

The hole in my upper second molar is now filled, as well as two other cavities I didn't know I had. Apparently, flossing can prevent more cavities real good. I'll try. It didn't really hurt. But no amount of first hand experiences will dissolve the edginess that surrounds dentistry and teeth, in my mind's eye.

Of course things like these two don't help much either:

Dental Antiques

Phisick - Dental Antiques


Brian Eno on Music for Airports

via Bruce Sterling's blog:


If Ever a Wiz There Was

So Mr. Wizard died... yesterday... I guess - summer days are futzing me up. I used to watch his show when I was younger. If you havn't seen the show, he'd do an often-impressive demonstration of some basic science, then explain it, while doing a pretty good job of engaging his audience - to my knowledge, this was the first show of its kind (wikipedia tells me his first version of the show started in the 50s).

As someone effectively fed and raised by television, this was a formative morning staple, and deserves a degree of credit for injecting a sense of curiosity into my squishy child-brain.

his website
l.a. times obituary

Iron Man

My friend Mark sent me these awesome photos from the new Iron Man movie. Looks great.

And since this is another comic book post, I should mention that today was the start of World War Hulk, and it was great.

Peter Sellers interview 1974 PART 4

The end of a pretty good interview with Peter Sellers. And the reason I want this:


World War Hulk #1 On Sale This Wednesday

In honor of King Hulk, and to my amazement at having only recently discovered these databanks of prodigious effort, I give you Marvel time,

Timeline of the Marvel Universe

Major Events of the Marvel Universe

Unofficial Chronology of the Marvel Universe

Wouldn't it be great to be able to overlay these timelines over historical ones. What were the great albums that came out when the Hulk first appeared? We need to map time and make all the maps mutable and mergable. I know it sounds silly. But just looking up dates in wikipedia is not a good use of that information.

However, some interesting information I found out that way,

The Fantastic Four conducted there first space flight the same month that President Kennedy sent 18,000 military advisors to South Vietnam.


Vote Like Your Whole World Depended on It

I've been taking some more time to explore the Living Room Candidate. And it is really great. A treasure trove of presidential campaign commercials. The site seems a little buggy, but selecting "Play in External Player" seems to fix that. Here's the text which accompanies the first Nixon advertisement of 1968.

The centerpiece of the Nixon advertising campaign was a superbly crafted series of spots by filmmaker Eugene Jones. With carefully orchestrated montages of still photographs accompanied by jarring, dissonant music, his ads created an image of a country out of control, with crime on the rise, violence in the streets, and an unwinnable war raging overseas. The ads implicitly linked these problems to the Democratic administration, of which Humphrey was a part.

The most controversial of Jones’s ads, "Convention", juxtaposed unflattering still photographs of a smiling Humphrey with images of Vietnam and the chaos of the Democratic convention, all to the ironic accompaniment of the Dixieland song "Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight." The ad implied that Humphrey either had caused these problems or didn’t care about them. NBC considered it unfair, but federal regulations prohibited the censorship of any political commercial and the ad ran during a broadcast of Laugh-In. However, Democratic protest led the Republicans to pull it after a single showing.

Nixon’s ad campaign was part of a carefully managed television effort that was detailed in Joe McGinnis’s The Selling of the President 1968. The book made the public aware for the first time of the critical role of consultants and advertising executives in creating a candidate’s image. The campaign designed a strategy by which Nixon appeared only in controlled situations. He limited his public appearances and press conferences, and refused to debate Humphrey. Instead, he appeared in a series of hour-long programs, produced by Roger Ailes, in which he was interviewed live by panels of carefully selected citizens. Nixon occasionally faced tough questions, but the discussions took place in front of partisan audiences from which the press was barred.

Always give your best. Never get discouraged. Never be petty.

Nixon's lies are revealing, intense, and painful.

"I never think in those terms, suicide terms -death wish and all that, that's all just bunk. But on the other hand, I feel myself, that life without purpose, I feel that life in which an individual is forced to go against his intuitions about what he thinks he ought to do, then life then becomes almost unbearable. And so resignation meant life without purpose."
And it gets better.

More great Nixon tube:

1960 election - Nixon talks to supporters

Richard Nixon plays his Piano Concerto #1

Nixon plays piano for Duke Ellington

from The Living Room Candidate -an amazing resource



Besides the oft posted colony collapse disorder
mysteriously spiriting away our nations bees, there is an older, more concrete threat to the domesticated bee population.

What the World Eats

A photo essay from TIME.


Soviet Arcade

Last month, the four officially opened the Museum of Soviet Arcade Machines in a Stalin-era bomb shelter under a university dormitory. Packed into two rooms are dozens of Soviet-made video game carcasses in various states of repair. Some work perfectly; others last for a few minutes, then fade. One common feature among them all is a lack of a high-score list.

"That kind of competition wasn't encouraged," explains Alexander Stakhanov, one of the museum's founders and engineers. "If you got enough points you won a free game, but there was no 'high score' culture as in the West."
[from Wired]


Bob Dylan - Like A Rolling Stone 1966



Pure Horserace: Gingrich Gets Going
CBS News - 1 hour ago
(CBS) While former House Speaker Newt Gingrich remains steadfast in putting off a decision on running for president until late September, he appears to be working to insure a continued presence in political circles until he does so.
Everyone seems to want to wait until September. Iraqi's government wanted to take a two month summer vacation, and the American politicians give themselves an Iraqi policy vacation with the SURGE. Can't think about pulling out in the middle of a surge. Hey, it could work, but we won't know until September.

Of course, the success of any normal thing which surges can be determined early on. In other words, what's so different about in August? Well, the only thing which changes is politics. Situations stay the same, but just a little time can be politically seismic. So Gore and Gingrich will wait to sweep their parties until late. And both with a message of moral certitude against the evils of the media circus which the rest of their parties had brutalized themselves to impress.

To brutal to enter, to brutal to leave.
And so Edwards unfurled a zinger that navigated around the fact that senators Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., and Barack Obama, D-Ill., shared his position by both voting against Iraq war funding 10 days ago: "There is a difference between leadership and legislating."
But where does Edwards go with this campaign message? On his left stands Obama, who shut down Edwards' attack with an icy response that reminded viewers that both Edwards and Clinton voted for the Iraq war: "You're about 4 1/2 years late on leadership on this issue."
[The Note]


"I am not a warmonger!"

Thompson is just one more republican candidate who won't be able to convince Americans that he isn't a part of the Imperial Evil. No republican will be able to shake Bush off; not Thompson, not Gingrich, and not Thompson/Gingrich.

For posterity, here is what David Brooks is saying as Thompson takes his first steps towards the White House:

Copyright 2007 The New York Times Company
The New York Times
June 1, 2007 Friday
Late Edition - Final
SECTION: Section A; Column 6; Editorial Desk; Pg. 25

LENGTH: 760 words

HEADLINE: Back To Basics



This week Fred Thompson gave a speech in Connecticut during which two words did not cross his lips: George Bush. But that's all right. Thompson recently gave speeches in Virginia and California during which he scarcely mentioned Bush either. In the world Thompson described, the current Washington players are most notable for being trapped in that undifferentiated swamp we call Washington politics.

That's because the divide that engages Thompson most is not the ideological one between liberals and conservatives or between this or that brand of conservatism. It's the divide between concentrated power and decentralized power.

Thompson's core theme is that there is a disconnect between the American people and their rulers. He campaigns against concentrated Republican power almost as much as he does against concentrated Democratic power. Though a Republican, he's able to launch a reasonably nonpartisan attack on the way government has worked over the last 19 years.

This suspicion of concentrated power in general and Washington in particular is not some election-year conversion for Thompson. It stretches back his whole life. He began his career, remember, investigating the Nixon White House. As Stephen Hayes reminded us in The Weekly Standard, as a young staffer on the Senate Watergate committee, Thompson asked the question that revealed the existence of the White House tapes.

He went home to Tennessee and became a protege of Howard Baker, whose party apparatus has always had a folksy, country vs. capital ethos.

As a senator, Thompson investigated the Clinton campaign finance scandals (poorly), and established a reputation on one issue above all others: federalism. He was the only senator who voted against something called the Good Samaritan law because he thought it centralized power in the national government. He was that rarest of creatures -- someone who not only preached federalism to get to Washington, but practiced it after he arrived.

Today on the stump he talks about discovering Barry Goldwater's ''Conscience of a Conservative'' while in law school. He campaigns against the immigration bill because he doesn't think Washington can be counted on to keep its promises. His main complaint with the war on terror is that Al Qaeda has a 100-year plan while most Washington politicians ''have a plan until the next election.''

He tells party strategists that there is a tide in the country against the way Washington does business, which he is best positioned to ride. He says the 2006 election was not primarily about Iraq, it was about corruption and pork-barrel spending.

What Thompson's campaign represents, then, is a return to basics. It's not primarily engaged in the issues that have dominated recent G.O.P. politics. Thompson is campaigning to restore America's constitutional soul. He's going back to Madison and Jefferson and the decentralized federalism of the founders, at least as channeled through Goldwater. As Thompson himself said while running for Senate, ''America's government is bringing America down, and the only thing that can change that is a return to the basics.''

Thompson thus becomes one pole in the debate now roiling the G.O.P. Nobody is running as the continuation of Bush. The big question now is: should the party go back to the basics or should it jump forward and transform itself into something new? Thompson articulates the back-to-basics view in its purest form. Newt Gingrich articulates the transformational view in its purest form. The other candidates are a mishmash in between.

If I were a political consultant I would tell my candidate to play up Thompson's back-to-basics theme. This is a traumatized party, not in the mood for anything risky and new. But over the long run, back to basics is no solution because it doesn't produce a positive agenda for today's problems.

Fred Thompson's political skills are as good as anybody now running, but his challenge is going to be building a concrete agenda on his anti-Washington message. It will be translating his Goldwater risorgimento philosophy into policies on energy, health care reform, Islamic extremism and education. For if there is one thing the last 30 years have taught us, it is that campaigns that are strictly anti-Washington do not command 50 percent of the vote because they don't address the decentralized global challenges that now face us.

Perhaps, as my friend Daniel Casse notes, what the G.O.P. needs is Newt Gingrich's brain lodged in Fred Thompson's temperament. Paul Krugman is on vacation.

URL: http://www.nytimes.com

LOAD-DATE: June 1, 2007