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George Carlin has died

Comedian George Carlin dies in Los Angeles at 71 - Yahoo! News

George Carlin's "Carlin on Campus" was the first comedy tape I ever owned. My arents bought it for me when I was eleven. I found his humor intoxicating and his subversion seductive. I memorized his "incomplete list of impolite words" and spent hours pondering what some of the more esoteric phrases meant. "Having the painters in?" I wondered, "What the hell could that possibly mean?"

The world is far less funny without him in it. He will be missed.

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Comedian George Carlin, a counter-culture hero famed for his routines about drugs and dirty words, died of heart failure at a Los Angeles-area hospital on Sunday, a spokesman said. He was 71.

Carlin, who had a history of heart and drug-dependency problems, died at Saint John's Health Center in Santa Monica about 6 p.m. PDT (9 p.m. EDT) after being admitted earlier in the afternoon for chest pains, spokesman Jeff Abraham told Reuters.

Known for his edgy, provocative material, Carlin achieved status as an anti-Establishment icon in the 1970s with stand-up bits full of drug references and a routine called "Seven Words You Can Never Say On Television." A regulatory battle over a radio broadcast of the routine ultimately reached the U.S. Supreme Court.

Hope springs eternal

msright.jpg The Girls of Dragon-Con 2006

June 22, 2008

The AP is giving up

Everything seemingly is spinning out of control

Look at that headline!

The can-do, bootstrap approach embedded in the American psyche is under assault. Eroding it is a dour powerlessness that is chipping away at the country's sturdy conviction that destiny can be commanded with sheer courage and perseverance.

The sense of helplessness is even reflected in this year's presidential election. Each contender offers a sense of order — and hope. Republican John McCain promises an experienced hand in a frightening time. Democrat Barack Obama promises bright and shiny change, and his large crowds believe his exhortation, "Yes, we can."

Even so, a battered public seems discouraged by the onslaught of dispiriting things. An Associated Press-Ipsos poll says a barrel-scraping 17 percent of people surveyed believe the country is moving in the right direction. That is the lowest reading since the survey began in 2003.

June 20, 2008

Japan, Japan, Japan.

Record number of Japanese elderly kill themselves over poor health, money woes Time: Japan's Booming Sex Niche: Elder Porn

June 19, 2008

Foreign correspondent: “If I were to watch the news that you hear in the United States, I’d just blow my brains out."

Somehow, this one escaped from MiniTru. Raw Story | CBS foreign correspondent: Watching US news would ‘drive me nuts’
Chief CBS News foreign correspondent Lara Logan, who recently returned from Iraq, appeared on Tuesday’s Daily Show. The outspoken Logan — who has stated in the past that Americans have no idea how badly the war is going because of the suppression of pictures of American casualties — made no attempt to hide her contempt for American coverage of the Iraq and Afghan Wars. “Do you watch the news that we’re watching in the United States?” Stewart asked. “Do you see what we’re hearing about the war?” “No,” replied Logan. “If I were to watch the news that you hear in the United States, I’d just blow my brains out, because it would drive me nuts.” Logan explained how difficult it is to get the network interested in her stories. “I’m on high-value target raids, taking down some of the most wanted Taliban fighters and al Qaeda fighters in Afghanistan, and I’m told … ‘Unless it’s Osama bin Laden, who cares about — you know, Mullah bin Shagged, whatever?’” “Are we just numb?” Stewart asked. “Have we lost our humanity with this entire situation?” “Yeah, we have,” agreed Logan. “Nobody really understands. And the soldiers do feel forgotten. … We may be tired of hearing about this five years later. They still have to go out and do the same job. … More soldiers died in Afghanistan last month than Iraq. Who’s paying attention to that?”

June 18, 2008

Brit teens using Google Earth to pool-hop

Brit Teens 'Pool Crash' Using Google Earth | The Underwire from Wired.com

Tech savvy British teens have found an innovative -- and illegal -- way to beat summer heat using Google Earth.

Teens scour through the aerial photographs available in the satellite imaging program to locate houses with pools. Once a target has been identified, the revelers use social networking sites like Bebo and Facebook to coordinate illicit pool parties when homeowners are away, according to U.K tech publication The Register.

Local law enforcement told a London entertainment guide that that the "pool-crashing" craze was discovered after multiple pool owners awoke up to find pools full of teens partying or came home from work to a backyard full of beer cans.

Owners of poolside property worry that the craze could spread as the weather gets hotter and homeowners prepare to leave for vacation.