Archive for March 28th, 2008

Wedding Announcement Of The Year

AP/Kyodo News

The pencil sketch is what makes this brilliant.

Hideki Matsui, whose every move is watched closely by the Japanese media, managed to escape the spotlight and get married without anybody knowing about it.

Matsui was scheduled to be off Wednesday, and two days prior to that, he let manager Joe Girardi know that he planned to fly to New York and get married in a chapel there on his off-day. He told almost nobody, just his immediate family, his Japanese bride’s immediate family and a couple of Yankees officials.

“I met somebody who felt right,” Matsui said through an interpreter, “and that was it.”

A statement Matsui released through the Yankees, said: “The bride is a 25-year-old civilian and had been formerly working in a reputable position at a highly respected company.”

Well, I’m glad he cleared that up. I understand that he presumably wants to protect his new wife’s privacy from the ravening media mob, but that certainly is a… unique way of handling it. And he’s going to have to go out in public with her eventually, right? …Right?

March 28th, 2008 at 10:09pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Coolness,Sports,Weirdness

Nouri Al-Maliki = Leeroy Jenkins


You’d think installing the guy and having 150,000 troops there to underwrite his government would at least buy American forces a heads up. You’d be wrong.

Maliki decided to launch the offensive without consulting his U.S. allies, according to administration officials.

Well, then at the very least, you’d think that with 150,000 troops stationed in Iraq, the Administration would have some idea of what is going on. You’d be wrong.

With little U.S. presence in the south, and British forces in Basra confined to an air base outside the city, one administration official said that “we can’t quite decipher” what is going on. It’s a question, he said, of “who’s got the best conspiracy” theory about why Maliki decided to act now.

Well, then you’d assume that if Maliki decided to do this without giving any real indication to the U.S. government, we aren’t actually going to get our troops involved in the fray. Wrong again.

U.S. forces in armored vehicles battled Mahdi Army fighters Thursday in Sadr City, the vast Shiite stronghold in eastern Baghdad, as an offensive to quell party-backed militias entered its third day. Iraqi army and police units appeared to be largely holding to the outskirts of the area as American troops took the lead in the fighting.


“Culture of dependency” isn’t just a talking point invented by opponents of the war. It’s a way of life for the Iraqi government. They do stupid things that put our troops at risk for their own political benefit because they know that American troops will step into the breech and cover their asses.

So al-Maliki goes off half-cocked and our troops have to go chasing after him without any warning or preparation? Faaantastic. Good thing al-Sadr doesn’t have any dragons.

(Note: We should probably not infer that Dubya = The Warcraft Geek Who Meticulously Plans The Operation That Leeroy Screws Up)

March 28th, 2008 at 06:53pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Iraq,Wankers,War

Large Hadron Collider… Of DOOM!



The builders of the world’s biggest particle collider are being sued in federal court over fears that the experiment might create globe-gobbling black holes or never-before-seen strains of matter that would destroy the planet.

Representatives at Fermilab in Illinois and at Europe’s CERN laboratory, two of the defendants in the case, say there’s no chance that the Large Hadron Collider would cause such cosmic catastrophes. Nevertheless, they’re bracing to defend themselves in the courtroom as well as the court of public opinion.


Some folks outside the scientific mainstream have asked…: Could the collider create mini-black holes that last long enough and get big enough to turn into a matter-sucking maelstrom? Could exotic particles known as magnetic monopoles throw atomic nuclei out of whack? Could quarks recombine into “strangelets” that would turn the whole Earth into one big lump of exotic matter?

Former nuclear safety officer Walter Wagner has been raising such questions for years – first about an earlier-generation “big bang machine” known as the Relativistic Heavy-Ion Collider, and more recently about the LHC.

Last Friday, Wagner and another critic of the LHC’s safety measures, Luis Sancho, filed a lawsuit in Hawaii’s U.S. District Court. The suit calls on the U.S. Department of Energy, Fermilab, the National Science Foundation and CERN to ease up on their LHC preparations for several months while the collider’s safety was reassessed.


The defense attorneys would likely dwell on the regulatory and procedural questions rather than the worries over a cosmic catastrophe. Those worries have been around for years, and most physicists have scoffed at them for almost as long. The doomsday scenarios raised by Sancho and Wagner include:

o Runaway black holes: Some physicists say the LHC could create microscopic black holes that would hang around for just a tiny fraction of a second and then decay. Sancho and Wagner worry that millions of black holes might somehow persist and coalesce into a compact gravitational mass that would draw in other matter and grow bigger. That’s pure science fiction, said Michio Kaku, a theoretical physicist at the City College of New York. “These black holes don’t live very long, and they have microscopic energy, and so they are harmless,” he told me.

o Strangelets: Smashing protons together at high enough energies could create new combinations of quarks, the particles that protons are made of. Sancho and Wagner worry that a nasty combination known as a stable, negatively charged strangelet could theoretically turn everything it touches into strangelets as well. Kaku compared this to the ancient myth of the Midas touch. “We see no evidence of this bizarre theory,” he said. “Once in a while, we trot it out to scare the pants off people. But it’s not serious.”

o Magnetic monopoles: One theory suggests that high-energy particle collisions might give rise to massive particles that have only one magnetic pole – only north, or only south, but not the north-south magnetism that dominates nature. Sancho and Wagner worry that such particles could be created in the LHC and start a runaway reaction that converts atoms into other forms of matter. But physicists have seen no evidence of such reactions, which should have occurred already as the result of more energetic cosmic-ray collisions in Earth’s upper atmosphere.

This all sounds alarmingly like one of those cheesy Saturday movies on the Sci-Fi Channel. The Collider even looks a little bit like the doomsday machine in that old Star Trek episode.

Ah well, the universe is probably better off without us anyway…

2 comments March 28th, 2008 at 11:51am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Science,Weirdness

Another Endorsement


Flying Apocalypse Fish weighs in. Not exactly a surprising choice.

(Picture from Married To The Sea)

March 28th, 2008 at 11:29am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Cheney,Comics,Elections

Friday Quote & Cat Blogging

This week’s quote is from a very bizarre movie called The Item, about a small gang of crooks hired to transport – but not open – a mysterious package. Needless to say, they open it, and it turns out to contain a weird-looking telepathic alien who then proceeds to mess with all their heads.

I like liars. I like being lied to. Knowing that a liar is lying is almost like being told the truth. C’mon – lie to me.

And, of course, there’ll be other people’s cats…


J’s parents’ kitty, the provisionally named Sweetie.

March 28th, 2008 at 07:29am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Friday Quote & Cat Blogging

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