Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Let's talk about the odor that was wafting through New York City yesterday. Headlines from NYT: "A Rotten Smell Raises Alarms and Questions" and "Gas-like Odor Permeates Parts of New York City." We are left wondering what the hell.

The official story is, well, they don't seem to have an official story yet. The prevailing idea is that it was somehow caused by the release of mercaptan, a compound that smells like rotting eggs and is added to natural gas so people can detect and report leaks. uh huh. And then "the strength and duration ... may have been caused by a weather phenomenon known as temperature inversion" Riiiiiight. David Wally, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service said that it was "very possible" that an inversion trapped the pollutants and gaseous odor closer to the ground.

Doesn't this all sound a little like Men In Black - when they zap your memory and just make up some shit to explain away what happened? How could officials not know the source, but be positive that it wasn't dangerous? Does it have anything to do with the odd maple syrup smell reported on several days in late 2005 - as the NYT mentions - the source or which is still not known? What about the 60 birds that were found dead in Austin, along on road - no cause of death determined. Don't you just feel like all those new yorkers are going to develop cancer in 10 years? Isn't it possible that the government was testing something? I know it's all very Conspiracy Theory but after all the things they don't tell us, and all the things we find out later, after there's a strange smell in a major US city and officials don't know what it is, it just makes you wonder.
(UPDATE: Officials in Austin don't know why the birds died, but are sure that it is not a threat to humans. uh huh. sure.)

Well holy shit. Tunde got her picture taken with Emily Haines. I will be dipped in shit. Hopefully, on Friday night when we will be attending Ms Haines' concert in Chicago, we will also be able to obtain a similar picture - and Jen E will shit herself. The lovely Ms. Haines has her debut album out - Knives don't have your back. I strongly encourage you to get it.

Meanwhile, taking pressure off of the President and his evil scheme to read your mail (which he authorized with what else? a signing statement, of course), the US bombs Somalia! See, we can bomb wherever we want, and as long as there is the war on terra - and there are terra-ists. One wonders why we don't wipe out the conditions that create terrorism and the conditions that encourage populations to support and rally around terrorism. Here's a couple: poverty, hunger, ignorance. As the great Bill Hicks once said, he doesn't need a scud missile, he needs a banana, "stealth banana, smart fruit."

CNN pissed me off today so much that I sent an email to them:
( )

Re: Kennedy fights 'Immense New Mistake' of troop surge

To whom it may concern,
In the above article the author makes the assertion that:

"But Kennedy's vehement opposition to a troop surge is not shared by all of his fellow Democrats."

This assertion is not backed up by any names or quotes from "his fellow Democrats." It is completely unsubstantiated. I could have said "his opposition is not shared by the Flying Spaghetti Monster" and would have used the same amount of journalistic integrity.

To make matters worse, the following sentence was:

"Sens. Lindsay Graham, R-South Carolina, and Joe Lieberman, a Connecticut independent who caucuses with Democrats, have predicted most Democrats won't deny funding for a troop surge."

Written this way, it appears that the author offers these two as Democrats that are not supporting Senator Kennedy's position. I don't think I have to point out that Sen. Graham is Republican and Sen. Lieberman is no longer part of the Democratic party.

I would appreciate it if your reporters would report the news and not offer unsubstantiated drivel as part of their reporting.

Thank you,

Speaking of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, here's the letter they sent to the Kansas School Board when Kansas decided to go ahead and teach Intelligent Design:

Open Letter to the Kansas School Board

I am writing you with much concern after having read of your hearing to decide whether the alternative theory of Intelligent Design should be taught along with the theory of Evolution. I think we can all agree that it is important for students to hear multiple viewpoints so they can choose for themselves the theory that makes the most sense to them. I am concerned, however, that students will only hear one theory of Intelligent Design.

Let us remember that there are multiple theories of Intelligent Design. I and many others around the world are of the strong belief that the universe was created by a Flying Spaghetti Monster. It was He who created all that we see and all that we feel. We feel strongly that the overwhelming scientific evidence pointing towards evolutionary processes is nothing but a coincidence, put in place by Him.

It is for this reason that I'm writing you today, to formally request that this alternative theory be taught in your schools, along with the other two theories. In fact, I will go so far as to say, if you do not agree to do this, we will be forced to proceed with legal action. I'm sure you see where we are coming from. If the Intelligent Design theory is not based on faith, but instead another scientific theory, as is claimed, then you must also allow our theory to be taught, as it is also based on science, not on faith.

Some find that hard to believe, so it may be helpful to tell you a little more about our beliefs. We have evidence that a Flying Spaghetti Monster created the universe. None of us, of course, were around to see it, but we have written accounts of it. We have several lengthy volumes explaining all details of His power. Also, you may be surprised to hear that there are over 10 million of us, and growing. We tend to be very secretive, as many people claim our beliefs are not substantiated by observable evidence. What these people don't understand is that He built the world to make us think the earth is older than it really is. For example, a scientist may perform a carbon-dating process on an artifact. He finds that approximately 75% of the Carbon-14 has decayed by electron emission to Nitrogen-14, and infers that this artifact is approximately 10,000 years old, as the half-life of Carbon-14 appears to be 5,730 years. But what our scientist does not realize is that every time he makes a measurement, the Flying Spaghetti Monster is there changing the results with His Noodly Appendage. We have numerous texts that describe in detail how this can be possible and the reasons why He does this. He is of course invisible and can pass through normal matter with ease.

I'm sure you now realize how important it is that your students are taught this alternate theory. It is absolutely imperative that they realize that observable evidence is at the discretion of a Flying Spaghetti Monster. Furthermore, it is disrespectful to teach our beliefs without wearing His chosen outfit, which of course is full pirate regalia. I cannot stress the importance of this enough, and unfortunately cannot describe in detail why this must be done as I fear this letter is already becoming too long. The concise explanation is that He becomes angry if we don't.

You may be interested to know that global warming, earthquakes, hurricanes, and other natural disasters are a direct effect of the shrinking numbers of Pirates since the 1800s. For your interest, I have included a graph of the approximate number of pirates versus the average global temperature over the last 200 years. As you can see, there is a statistically significant inverse relationship between pirates and global temperature.

n conclusion, thank you for taking the time to hear our views and beliefs. I hope I was able to convey the importance of teaching this theory to your students. We will of course be able to train the teachers in this alternate theory. I am eagerly awaiting your response, and hope dearly that no legal action will need to be taken. I think we can all look forward to the time when these three theories are given equal time in our science classrooms across the country, and eventually the world; One third time for Intelligent Design, one third time for Flying Spaghetti Monsterism, and one third time for logical conjecture based on overwhelming observable evidence.

Sincerely Yours,

Bobby Henderson, concerned citizen.

P.S. I have included an artistic drawing of Him creating a mountain, trees, and a midget. Remember, we are all His creatures.

Also, I love reading their hate mail section. I especially love when commentors completely miss the point. They use the same logic to debunk FSM that we use to debunk creationism - and don't realize that's the point that they are trying to make. ha!

Meanwhile, Tony Snow decides that "The President has the ability to exercise his own authority if he thinks Congress has voted the wrong way." (1/08/2007 courtesy Dkos) What exactly is that supposed to mean "he thinks Congress has voted the wrong way"? What exactly is the "wrong way"? Anything that he doesn't like? Here's a thought experiment, insert one word, "President Clinton has the ability to exercise his own authority if he thinks Congress has voted the wrong way."

Now, tell me how that would have gone over. Now sure, Mr. Snow could have been simply asserting that the President retains the right to veto...sure sure, but with all the signing statements that Mr. Bush has been signing lately, does anyone really believe he was talking about the veto? Why would he need to veto? That would make him accountable to Congress (ie. they could override), but with a signing statement, he gets to do whatever he wants.... and we have no redress. Further thought experiment: (fleshed out more at Dkos, but I've been thinking about this since 2003 pertaining to gay rights - just ask dan) suppose congress says no troop escalation. A couple of things could happen, but in the end Bush ignores congress outright, or with a signing statement and sends troops anyway. What exactly does Congress do now? Take him to court? What if Congress wins and the President says "shrug" and proceeds anyway? What then?

Oh, and also, there's this picture of Bush and Abramoff - is it becoming a little clearer as to why visitor logs to the White House just became off-limits? Didn't hear about that story? The visitor logs used to be part of the Secret Services' records, now they are part of the White House's, which means that they are not subject to Freedom of Information Act suits. Nice.

11 mm thin, 3.5 inch screen, 4GB, $499
phone, ipod, video player, internet, camera etc etc etc!
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Just to give you a gauge, the website of the Flying Spaghetti Monster is about half as popular as based on "How Much is My Blog Worth" ( )

My blog is worth $2,258.16.
How much is your blog worth?

And then there's this: " US Nuclear Sub Collides with Japanese Ship".
That's right the most powerful military in the world can't keep their nuclear reactors on rafts from ramming into another ship. Awesome. Just what I want to hear. And we're going to invade Iran? Right.

And this is frighteningly Big Brother/1984esque:


Blogger Roko said...

I've never worked with methyl mercaptan, but I have used mercaptoethanol, and let me tell you, it's one of the foulest smelling substances I've ever dealt with at concentrations you wouldn't believe. A few hundred microliters will stink up a lab, so it's not so far fetched that an industrial quantity of a significantly more volatile chemical would stink up Manhattan. Alternate theory is that the smell was "New Jersey".

7:01 PM  

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