Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Morning Blog

The situation in Brazil continues to be awful. The death toll due to flooding and mudslides has now reached 800 with a further 400 people missing.

Strange things are going on in the world of Chicago politics. Also, the sun rose this morning. With a commanding lead in the polls and a sizeable war chest, Rahm Emanuel has been kicked out of the mayoral race due to residency restrictions. I personally have no feelings either for or against Emanuel and Chicago is it's own problem as far as I'm concerned. But I wonder why residency restrictions are such a big issue. I understand that there are personal reasons to want a mayor to be a local, but are there any compelling practical ones? Are there real problems inherent in opening the field wider?

The New York Times takes a rather snitty tone when describing the upcoming Steelers / Packers Super Bowl:

The Packers and the Steelers did not so much roar as scratch their way to the Super Bowl. If this were college football, these two teams might not be meeting for the championship at all.

Sour grapes much? Sorry about the Jets, guys. Live with it.

In addition to a big game, there's also going to be a big speech. I think it's regrettable that three of the nine things we can expect to look forward to are pretty lightweight: tone, seating arrangements and the possibility of a "big line"? Those don't strike me as matters of particular import.

Happy Birthday, Robert Burns! Not only is it his birthday, but they just discovered a letter from him, containing a draft of his poem "On Seeing a Wounded Hare":

INHUMAN man! curse on thy barb'rous art,
And blasted be thy murder-aiming eye;
May never pity soothe thee with a sigh,
Nor ever pleasure glad thy cruel heart!

Go live, poor wand'rer of the wood and field!
The bitter little that of life remains:
No more the thickening brakes and verdant plains
To thee shall home, or food, or pastime yield.

Seek, mangled wretch, some place of wonted rest,
No more of rest, but now thy dying bed!
The sheltering rushes whistling o'er thy head,
The cold earth with thy bloody bosom prest.

Oft as by winding Nith I, musing, wait
The sober eve, or hail the cheerful dawn,
I'll miss thee sporting o'er the dewy lawn,
And curse the ruffian's aim, and mourn thy hapless fate
Speaking of Burns Night...

These people are described as "misunderstood" and "waging an uphill battle against stereotypes". Um...Good.

"Armageddon" was a terrible, terrible movie about an asteroid heading towards Earth. Here's an idea for a sequel. I think it's safe to say that it would up the ante a bit.

Ivory Coast weirdness has spread to Paris. The envoy appointed by the presidential claimant recognized as legitimate by everyone (well, except for the former president who refuses to give up power), had to break into his own embassy. Pretty rude of the former ambassador who vacated the premises in December. He could have at least hid the key under the doormat or something.

Oh my...It appears as though Hobbits may have had more to worry about than just orcs.

Upset about the procedural farce that is the filibuster, Senate Democrats have utilized a procedural farce to freeze time and fix the sun in its place. Who knew the Constitution granted them the awesome powers of the Time Lords?

Today marks the birth of our coming mechanical overlords. Intriguingly enough, it also marks the 32nd anniversary of the first human death caused by a robot.

Oh well. If the rule of man must fall, I'd rather see us usurped by robots than damn, dirty apes. My cousin actually cared for a baby monkey as it was going through training to become a 'helper animal'. By all accounts, it was a total bastard.

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