Extraterrestrial Fireworks

Reminiscent of a fireworks celebration, this Hubble Space Telescope image of a cosmic explosion that is quite similar to fireworks on Earth. In the upper right corner of the image, the Small Magellanic Cloud is a delicate glowing structure ablaze in a multitude of lavenders and peach. Nearby, a massive star has exploded as a supernova and begun to dissipate its interior into a spectacular display of colorful filaments.

return of the scribald piano!

It's at the bottom of the page, right where it used to be.

Single Ladies: put a glove on it.

Beyonce remains the coolest. Did you see that SNL performance a couple of weeks ago??


Good luck boys!

Everyone's favorite Madison Underground Recordings export, Tit Patrol, is making their way, as we speak, to the great state of New Hampshire, for a couple of days recording with the great Joe Queer @ the Electric Cave Recording Studio, which he runs.  They're planning on doing a bunch of songs so look for new GREAT Tit Patrol material SOON.

Get all of your great music from Madison Underground Press in the MADDY SHOP.

Have fun, Tit Patrol!

take a deep breath. things aren't "worse than they've ever been/"

Maybe I'll make my "12 things to be thankful for" list sometime this weekend.  But for now, enjoy Miles O'Brien & his crew's, over at the scitechblog on CNN.

Happy Shoppings

A Walmart employee today was trampled to death by excited shoppers.  This puts an ironic new twist on Walmart's new slogan: "Our employee's will sacrifice their lives for you."
It's so nice to see these people people mixing the metaphors of Christmas and Easter.  


The Retrospective Continues

no animals were frustrated or confused in the making of this video.


3D shot of VENUS, from NASA.

good stuff

Photo courtesy of 
Timmy Toner via the
Danthology blog, from Timmy's staff only "intimate evening" with the WORLD SERIES TROPHY.  

Timmy, do you get a ring???


on December 12, 2008.   Gonna be a good time.


(I found this picture online, and don't particularly have "permission" to use it.  

However, I will direct you towards Mr. Eldon Baldwin's website in order to even the score.)

Tony Travalini & the Still Lifes


The Tressels


I tend to try not to "toot my own horn" when it comes to my prescience, in part b/c I couldn't help but come across as blithe, arrogant, and obnoxious, and in part because when I am wrong, I am WRONG.

You may remember my "expose" on gas prices, where I essentially predicted we would see an unprecedented drop in prices in the weeks before the election. The continued decline in prices beyond the election indicates that the drop had less to do with the election and more to do with the financial crisis and declines in demand. It can also be seen as a SCARY indicator of things to come, as drastic fluctuations in prices, or fluctflation, and other financial boogeymen threaten to undermine the foundations of the entire global economy.  

Or, you might remember me harping (though perhaps not in print), months ago, that in this modern age we cannot afford to allow such a wide gap between elections & inaugurations.  At the time, I argued that whether the winner was Obama or McCain, they would face difficulty in the long transition.  Things just move to quickly.  Now, we see Mr. Tom Friedman calling for just that very thing in his column today.  

Remember back in the summer when everyone dismissed McCain's chances completely?  I was all like "it's gonna be closer than you think" and sure enough it was (the electoral landslide belies this fact, though in reality the impressive popular vote # was by no means a landslide.....see: North Carolina, in which Obama receives less than 14,000 votes more than McCain and walks away with all 15 electoral votes.... this is just the way of the system, but it's nice when it works in your favor...or, see: the 22 states that stayed red, some voting for McCain by more than 60%.)

One thing that I have been vocal about through the summer and beyond is the situation at Lincoln Financial Field.  Back last year, when rumors were swirling that Donovan McNabb might be traded, I loudly assured all of you (again, perhaps not in print) that wherever Donovan did play, be it Chicago or Philadelphia or elsewhere, he would have a CAREER Year. He'd be fully recovered from that pesky injury from two years ago, well prepared and ready to roll.  

In no such way has this been the case.  McNabb's subpar season performance was capped off today with a benching and a HARD loss.  They are terrible.  

I have to be honest, I didn't even watch the game.  I just can't right now.  They're on their own.  I've been with the team for years, cheering Dr. Cunningham and even screaming at the top of my lungs and throwing pillows @ the TV screen on Madison Dr. during the Doug Peterson year.  And I am still with them, at heart.  I just need some time.  

So when I heard they had lost, and that Donovan had been benched, I expected to see the score at the half @ 24-0 or something, with Donovan having shit the bed six or eight times.  Sure, he has done so that many times, at least, in the past two games.  But with the score @ 10-7 at the half, I don't see how you bench him, despite his three turnovers.  Unfair, I say, Mr. Reid!  

Donovan's year may be in the stinker, but Professor Reid is putting the ice on his own career, having shown himself to be a poor, poor leader.  His calls have always been 25/50/25, with 25% being brilliant, 50% being perhaps effective but not necessarily inspired, and 25% just TERRIBLE.  His clock management has been consistently, for ten years, god-awful.  I've always been a fan and supporter of him, despite these things, but he is pushing it.  Is it possible that both Donovan & Andy will be gone @ year's end?  I don't really think so, but Andy is not helping his case, and Donovan isn't either.  

But in my view, one of the benefits of having Donovan McNabb at QB is that, despite how terribly he may play, there is always like a 50/50 chance that he will pull it out in the end, with a big 4th Quarter comeback.   Sadly, this has not been the case this season.  

They are tough to watch, to say the least.  Where do you go from here????


on Proposition 8

Much has been made about the state of California's recent decision to overturn their Supreme Court's ruling that barring homosexuals from marriage is in fact discrimination, and therefore must end.  Much has been made, on both sides, indeed.  

I, for one, am shocked, from a constitutional standpoint, that such an electoral veto is even legally possible.  What then, of the Supreme Court?  Now, I assume that California's state laws allow this particular situation, and it is not legal on a national scale.  Of course, we don't have national ballot referenda (referndai?) on specific isues (thank goodness), but the point remains:  if the Court exist to determine legal matters and procedures, than how can the electorate simply overturn its authority?  

Christian and Mormon groups and individuals lobbied the electorate hard, while the GLBT community lobbied equally intensely against the "proposition."  Everyone took a side, and those lines remain drawn.  The issue has seeped well beyond the borders of that chaotic liberal mecca and seeped into the collective conscious and conscience of the country.  Nowhere has this been more clear than on Saturday 11/15 when tens of thousands of Americans, nationwide, loudly protested their anger at the decision, and just as many, if not more, stood against them.

While I really do DO ALL OF MY BEST to support ALL people, and thus try at times to avoid making statements in print that may offend anyone that I know personally.  While i do express my opinion, I also OFTEN do a good deal of self editing, in the interest of avoiding frightening or saddening my friends and family.  Nonetheless, I am compelled to speak on the issue of Proposition 8 and homosexuality in general.

On, Prop 8:  

I agree with the Christians.....IN THAT....
Homosexuals should NOT be allowed to marry IN CHRISTIAN CHURCHES which do not support homosexual marriage.  Church's should in no way be forced to celebrate marriages they do not recognize or feel are sinful.  The Supreme Court (of America) recently ruled that homosexuals can't serve as boy scout leaders, and while I personally disagree, I do agree legally.  The (Christian) Boy Scout organization (sorta?) has the right to discriminate in hiring leaders for their special club.  The same goes for churches and gay marriage.  They should not have to play host to such 'sinfulness.'


the thought, the utter thought that GOVERNMENT in any way would act to restrict the rights of ANY part of the citizenry, is an abomination.  Of course, we reserve the right to restrict all sorts of 'negative' behaviors, like robbery, murder, rape, etc.  But in no way (other than perhaps, an individual's or groups' views of morality) does being a homosexual fall within these ranges, whatsoever.  One may believe that from one's own religious perspective, but to allow such abject discrimination to permeate the great civic divide of Church/State is unacceptable.


[picture courtesy Tegan & Sara w/out permission...sorry girls]

In fact, there you go.  There is your new buzzword, world!  No more "civil unions" call 'em "civic marriages."  This differentiates CLEARLY religious marriage v. civic marriage.  To that end, and in many ways due to this issue, my wife and I have a "civic marriage."  Would you claim it to be any less legitimate or real?  I would hope you wouldn't.  In the same way, what right does anyone have to impose religious views on ours or anyone else's expressions of love, in the context of a civic arrangement?  Should you have been able to FORCE me to have a religious heterosexual marriage?

In the same way, committed homosexual couples have every right, as Americans, to declare their permanent love in a legal manner, consisting of all legal rights held therein.  There is no religious argument that could hold up against the concept of individuals' having equal civil rights.  There just isn't.  And there certainly isn't a valid political argument.  

Homosexuals have it rough.  Every minority suffers, but homosexuality is a special cross to bear (heh! that works on like, two levels).  This is not because of any deficiencies of self, but rather society's deficiencies.  Even today, "gay, faggot, queer, et al" are used freely in the culture as words of derision.  This is no longer the case with race (generally) or gender, but us straights still get a kick out of calling our loser friend a "faggot."  

I certainly am guilty.  I don't know where it came from, but mixed in with my generally abhorrent language was a particularly nasty strain of that kind of talk.  I never had any hatred behind it, to the extent that I at times in the past have embarrassedly caught myself calling something or someone "gay" or "fagged" while speaking with gay friends.  When I say caught, I don't mean I stopped myself.  I mean I was like "Yo, that shit is fagged." and then thinking "smooth....asshole."  Such incidents helped me to work towards getting that stuff out of my vocab.  I still find myself doing it once in a while, but I am much better.  

But can you imagine living in a secret world where the negativity directed towards your secret truth is so irrationally ingrained in the society as to drive people to do and say all manner of NASTY things?

I have so much respect for homosexuals because I sympathize with their struggle.  It has to be so hard, in so many ways.  And I imagine that once they've relieved themselves of the yolk of the closet, it gets easier, and they feel able to live more freely, honestly, and openly, as themselves.  That is fucking awesome.   Why would we, as a society, through official government edict,  want to make it any more difficult for them to go about their lives? 

As the world grows more enlightened and continues to work past its opacity I hope such "issues" will fade into an absurd oblivion. 

Related issues:

Many of my friends and facebook acquaintances feel strongly about these issues, and I seek not to disparage either side.  People have a right to their opinions and expression, and I for one would certainly not seek to take this away.  I don't classify those who oppose gay marriage as "hateful" in that I don't think they are approaching their views in a spirit of hatred.  I may disagree with those views, and I may even claim that said views are discriminatory in nature.  But I seek in no way to de-elevate the level of conversation by firing accusations or by name calling.  

The tents big enough for all of us, but EVERYONE has to remember that.  

Please comment.

Chinese Democracy

New GnR album is AWESOME, by the way.  Give it a few listens.  

OK, maybe it's not AWESOME, but it is pretty damn good.  Perhaps this is just a reaction to the fact that I was not expecting it to be good at all, but I have to say that Axl lays it down.  Good job!


:::Acoustic FRIDAY Action:::

The Groove is in the Heart, baby!

This Friday we have opposite sides of that sweet coin we call Irish inspired musical endeavorings, and you should make your way to Pastabilities to see this excitement. Arrive a bit earlier than normal (~9:30pm) to catch the soft stylings of MYTHICA's MELISSA COX.

Stick around for the rowdy, rambunctious antics of Irish inspired rockers PADDY & THE HOSTAGES

New Malcolm Gladwell Book!



Acoustica Humorosa

LIVE Acoustic ACTION @ Pastabilities TONIGHT & EVERY FRIDAY @ 10pm

TONIGHT we have:


Come on Out!


Amsterdam gets less fresh, and less cool. Should have taken advantage while I was there!

As an advocate of free enterprise, I find this troubling, as there are nearly as many "smart" shops in Amsterdam selling fresh magic mushrooms as there are "coffee" shops selling fresh magic marijuana. Will all of these stores be forced to close now, b/c one girl jumps off a bridge??

Ya gotta learn you can't fly somehow, baby.


Anthems for a Doomed Youth 1917 (two different wars, i know...)

What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?
- Only the monstruous anger of the guns.
Only the stuttering rifles' rapid rattle
Can patter out their hasty orisons.
No mockeries now for them; no prayers nor bells;
Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs, -
The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells;
And bugles calling for them from sad shires.

What candles may be held to speed them all?
Not in the hands of boys, but in their eyes
Shall shine the holy glimmers of good-byes.
The pallor of girls' brows shall be their pall;
Their flowers the tenderness of patient minds, Wilfred Owen
And each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds.

Stupid 9/11

It ruined what just might have become the greatest show ever, of all time.

Don't you just love the adorable Zach De La Rocha impersonation from the young gentleman in that Scion car commercial???  

Mass graves for the poor and the price is set!


Best Friends

They look so good together.... don't you just want to see Barack ask George to stick around as a special envoy to the depressed conservatives, or something like that???


If I were to tell you that THE HALFLINGS were doing a reunion show @ Mojo 13 TONIGHT as the showcase act for Open Mic Night, would that make you come out???

They aren't, but I think you should come out anyway. In fact, ANYONE who comes in to Mojo 13 TONIGHT, November 10, 2008 and mentions this blog post will receive, from me, Billy D, the FREE drink of their choice.

Dig it.


Comedian in Chief

Love it!

Acoustica TONIGHT

@ Pastabilities:


As well as round robin style acoustic action from the likes of:

Jason, Rich, Patrick, Tom, John, Billy D and others!


Just when you thought we had a shred of hope...


This kind of dark, pessimistic, greedy opportunistic brainwashing bullshit really gets my goat.

I originally had the video directly here on the site, but took it down because I couldn't stomach it.  Watch at your own risk.

Listen to my Heart

George Tabb got me thinkin of Joey Ramone, in his most recent MRR article, which you prolly have to buy to read, as well as HERE.

In all of your celebrating... Please, PLEASE...


Todd says it's a new day.

I am in agreement.
Tom Friedman, as always, lays it all out nicely.

What a difference a day makes



from James

And one last hit on M. Palin (hopefully), that is, until our obligatory retrospective sometime in the near future....

Here she is being 'pranked' by someone pretending to be French President Nicolas Sarkozy, showing that, if you did not already know it, her handlers are as stupid as she is.  I love when she says "I always do that!" after she mistakes the handler for Sarkozy...  And how about the stuff she says about Carla Bruni.... and how's about that evil sounding chuckle when he suggests she should run for President?  Funny shit.
If anyone wants to join me @ 1pm for some "get out the vote" volunteering in Pennsylvania, give me a call.  I am lined up already and I'm sure they'll take all the help they can get.