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Diversions, distractions and other entertainments for our passengers as they ride on the NRR. Looking beyond the track ahead and/or outside our core routes.

Unintended Confession

Only you can shut the fuck up.

Quoted from: A training session with Quorum Security.

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Battered President Syndrome

Mr Obama Soetoro seems trapped in an abusive relationship:

Speaking on conditions of anonymity, a senior White House official indicated that while President Barack Obama realizes there are problems in his relationship with us, the American people, he intends to hang in and work to make it succeed. The spokesman went on to indicate Obama feels particularly disappointed that we have not appreciated all his efforts to bring us free universal health care. … The spokesman conceded that while Obama has run up considerable debts, it was all spent on necessities, and if we had been contributing as we should have, he could have paid for it all in cash. The spokesman went on to say that Obama was willing to give this relationship another two years, and then see where we stand. The spokesman indicated Obama was sorry to take such a hard line, but things must change.

Other White House officials, who asked not to be named, said that Obama could do much better, and did not have to settle for the people of the United States. …


Honoring Excellence in the SponsorDome

If you like football, read this piece by Gregg Easterbrook. It’s long, but it is worth your time. It’s called Tuesday Morning Quarterback. He writes one these every week…wow.

If football isn’t your thing, he tucks in some other commentary. Like this:

Ships, bridges, spacecraft -- they should bear inspirational names of great men and women, leaders and artists, or of important historical moments. Instead, increasingly they bear the names of insiders and political hacks.

How Economics Saved Christmas

Art Carden adapts Theodor Geisel:

Every Who down in Whoville liked Christmas a lot.

But the Grinch, who lived just north of Whoville, DID NOT.

He stood and he hated the Whos and their noise

He hated the shrieks of the Who girls and boys

For fifty-three years he’d put up with it now—

He had to stop Christmas from coming, somehow.

He asked and he questioned the whole thing’s legality

Then his eyes brightened: he screamed “externality!

To the Grinch, the Whos were polluters, spewing their joyful noise into his cave.

A tax that was equal to external cost

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Here’s how Google Maps instructs you to get from Japan to China:

Google map showing direction from Japan to China

Of particular note is Direction #43.

Similarly, getting from Seattle to Honolulu will require unconventional means.

Pack a lunch, for sure.

H/T: My Bar Night pallys and Theo Spark.


Just What I See

Technology allows our culture to document itself. Some elevate that opportunity to the level of art:

Just What I See features the iPhone Street Photography of Greg Schmigel.

Why the iPhone?

I believe that about 90% of photography is about what the photographer sees. The choice of camera makes up for the rest. My iPhone just happens to be the camera that's always with me.

Woman standing in front of shop window mannequins

Nexus of Yuk

The 2010 edition of the Minnesota Vikings have failed. Today’s debacle was pathetic. The defensive secondary might as well have been waving checkered flags at the Packer receivers.

Favre might still have enough ability to play in the NFL, but he would have to work for the full season. Coming in late meant he was never in sync with the team. The defensive line did not live up to the hype. I didn’t share the faith in the promise of Sidney Rice as a savior for the receiving corps. He had one good year, which proves nothing much. And don’t get me started on the lousy decisions of the head coach…

At least Adrian Peterson has cured his fumble problem. Watching him play is still a treat.


It’s Not the Train’s Fault

As a rail fan, I was pleased that Hollywood was made a movie about a train: Unstoppable. The trailers make it look like an action picture, and that curbed my enthusiasm. I prefer actual acting and cinematography to special effects. But every so often I can look past the explosions and enjoy the rest of it. So I planned on making one of my rare ventures into the world of first-run film for Unstoppable.

Not anymore:

True to the title, the train is unstoppable. It defies its brakes, it blasts through an RV, it flips over several police cars, it flips a train in front of it which then explodes with the blast of the Manhattan Project, ignores a SWAT team shooting assault rifles at it (really) and not only rides right over the Automatic Derailers, it shoots them off the tracks where they take out some more police cars.


I’m Not the Only One

Dr. Sanity writes new lyrics for John Lennon’s hippie anthem:

Imagine no Progressives
It's easy if you try
No victimhood or nannies
No truth you can deny
Imagine people taking

Imagine no Obama
It isn't hard to do
No Harry or Pelosi
Just people with a clue
Imagine life without them
To tell us what to do

You may say that I'm a "racist"
'Cause I disagree with you;
But there's this thing they call projection
And it sticks to you like glue


And It Still Sounds Like Crap

Back in the 70s before surround sound and iPods, Steve Martin had a comedy routine about a stereo system. It was more than quadrophonic, it was googlephonic. But the sound was still lacking. So he replaced the diamond needle on his turntable with a moon rock needle.

Uncompromising audiophiles like Martin now have the ultimate cable to connect their components, the Denon AKDL1 Dedicated Link Cable. It’s five feet of copper wire for $2,500.

But how does it sound?

Amazon has 400 reviews posted. They’re pretty funny.

H/T: Borepatch

The Economics of Seinfeld

I think I will never tire of Seinfeld reruns. So I am delighted to discover a collection of Seinfeld clips which illustrate concepts in economics:

There are seven pages of clips. It’s hard to pick favorites, but here’s a few to give you a taste.

The Soup Nazi shows monopoly power and barriers to entry.

The Soup Nazi makes delicious soup—so good there's always a line outside his shop. He refuses service to Elaine, and by a stroke of luck she comes across his stash of soup recipes. She visits his shop and informs him that his soup monopoly is broken, while waving his recipes in his face. Also in this clip, George gets charged $2 for a roll that everyone else gets for free. This example of price discrimination shows that in order to charge different customers different prices, you must have market power.

Not for Enormous Destruction — But for Enormous Pleasure

It’s 1946, the Krauts and the Nips have surrendered, and you’re out enjoying civilian life with your best gal. You stop into the arcade to play a few games. First a little pinball, and then maybe nuke a few cities:

Player view of Atomic Bomber arcade game


Tokyo Super Ambient Discotheque

Only the dead stand still. Where are you headed?

No tool chest is complete without a Notch Remover and a Kink Wrench

Over at Sippican Cottage, they know about labor. The kind that makes your body sore. The kind of labor that the workers we’ve forgotten used to do. Due to that work experience, Sipp knows about tools, too. And he can spot it when someone knows little about either one:

Popular Mechanics doesn't disappoint with their: Tools Everyone Should Own. It's a terrific, haphazard mess of twenty arbitrary thingamabobs, written in the breathless prose usually reserved for paperbacks with pictures of Fabio on their cover and the tears of countless overweight data entry clerks dappling the pages.

An Open Question


It’s Frightfully Realistic

Thanks to the latest technological advance, you can enjoy the interactive satisfaction found at community meetings and legislative sessions right from your keyboard.

Try it!

Above the People

Commenter “The Den Mother” at Neo-neocon pens my next T-shirt idea:

When you lie to Congress, it’s perjury.

When Congress lies to you, it’s campaigning.



Fujichrome? F*ck that sh!t. Tri-X 400!

Dennis Hopper was a photographer:

James Dean first introduced Hopper to the Los Angeles art world after the two met on the set of Rebel Without a Cause. He went on to produce a wide body of visual art while working as an actor and director on classic movies like Easy Rider. As an artist, Hopper’s talent was most obvious in his photography, which documented his creatively charged milieu and reflected his uncanny ability to be in the right place at the right time.

He was good:


Another Example of the Miracle that is Duct Tape


During a private “fly-in” fishing excursion in the [Alaskan] wilderness, a chartered pilot and fishermen left a cooler and bait in the plane. A bear smelled it and destroyed the plane.

Airplane torn apart by a bear


College Marxists Are Just Adorable

At a campus coffee shop, sitting near a PoliSci major and a Planning major. There is so much nonsense, I wish I could just record the whole dialog. It has been a perfect stereotype of what Big Ed does to mushy young minds.

Individualism creates an environment where, if everyone can succeed and you don't, it is your fault. People need to recognize the system is at fault.

Yup, Jenny, in a Utopia without personal responsbility, nothing bad would ever happen.

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