Archive for November, 2010

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It Doesn’t Matter How Hard They Nail “The Hammer”, The Wood Is Still Rotten

[ 2 Comments ]Posted on November 25, 2010 by admin in Politics

Thursday, November 25th, 2010

Tom DeLay’s recent conviction is probably meaningless, but emblematic of the ongoing deceit and corruption in American politics.

In light of Texas Republican and former house leader Tom DeLay’s conviction on money-laundering charges, I guess our recent look at political corruption in America was more timely than I had thought. I’ve shared some of my thoughts on Tom DeLay before (Warning, F-Bombs!), but I didn’t get very specific about why I find him as utterly detestable as I do. His own words sum much of it up. Making a statement outside the courtroom after his conviction, he said “This is an abuse of power. It’s a miscarriage of justice, and I still maintain that I am innocent. The criminalization of politics undermines our very system and I’m very disappointed in the outcome” (extra emphasis mine). The Napoleonic narcissism and contempt for his role as a public servant inherent in those words is reflected in his career as a political figure who has been central to the destruction of America as a model democracy over the last two decades. The visible face of his idea of serving the public is evident in activities like his involvement with the K Street Project, which facilitated the unrelenting corporatization of American politics that has led to corporations now having the same rights as you or I do. His aggressive role in the Gerrymandering of Texas displays his contempt for voter rights. Most of his real accomplishments were behind-the-scenes power plays that skirted legislative rules, making a mockery of the public trust. His smirky stance as a birther displays either delusional thinking or delight in sowing untruth, neither of which are qualities I look for in a leader. His reputation speaks for itself; I’m not going to try to list all the things he HASN’T been indicted for, or further describe the utter failure of his moral compass and delusional misrepresentation of himself as some kind of “good Christian”. I’m probably more disappointed with the American people themselves for not caring more (or being more enlightened) about the corruption amongst the leaders they factionalize themselves with by arguing about incessantly. It’s not about red vs. blue these days, it’s about struggling working class people vs. entitled, lying politicians. And DeLay’s conviction? It’s probably meaningless. He’ll either appeal and win, or get probation, and in the interim make more smug appearances on dance shows. And even if he does do time, he’ll probably end up later as a talking head on cable news like other convicted GOP felons. In the meantime, I hear he’s been working on new dance moves with his cellmate. See below. Read the rest of this entry »

Black Friday, And Ten Other Things I’m Thankful For

[ 1 Comment ]Posted on November 24, 2010 by admin in Holidays

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

Let’s try to remember that there’s more to life than shopping. But first, let’s do some shopping.

So, it’s Thanksgiving. For many of us, a time to give thanks for what we have, and experience the joy of copious amounts of meat and side dishes with loved ones. But for probably just as many of us, a day to avoid the psychodrama of family gatherings by playing dumb turkey and Santa themed Flash games, or more importantly, to SHOP. Yes, probably the most important thing about Thanksgiving is that it’s a reminder that it’s one day before Black Friday and three days ’til Cyber Monday on Amazon, or that there are still over 13 million songs you haven’t bought on iTunes,and that Christmas is only 30 days away. This year, I’m thankful for many things, a few of which I’ll share below. But on behalf of Dissociated Press, I want to thank YOU for visiting, and supporting our advertisers. Although the site is far from profitable, it’s finally making money, and maybe next year I can be giving thanks for an actual salary! Until then, I’ll keep trying to serve up amusing turkey recipes, offbeat Christmas shopping ideas, and the general hokum, hooey, and horsefeathers that we call “content” around here. Below are a few of the things I’m most thankful for. What about you? What are YOU thankful for? Read the rest of this entry »

Cool Cutting Edge Bikes

[ Comments Off ]Posted on November 24, 2010 by admin in Technology

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

There’s an amazing world of new hybrid-tech bikes to choose from. Let’s just hope the bikes don’t crash as often as their flash-driven websites.

Bike 2.0 Proves Less Is More

With winter descending on the godforsaken part of the US I live in, I thought this might be a good time to ponder replacing my now nearly antique Specialized Rockhopper before next spring. Although I love the fact that it’s as indestructible as a Russian tank, it also happens to weigh about as much as one, and is just as stylish. On top of its ancientness, I do almost entirely urban and light trail riding, so I always feel like I’m riding a small armored personnel carrier when I ride it through town. As I started doing research, I was open to the idea of an electric hybrid or something, partly because I was intrigued after riding a friend’s A2B Velociti last summer, but mostly because I’m buying a bike for transportation, not pure cycling. And that open-mindedness is where the trouble began. There are so many new and amazing approaches to the design and engineering of a bike these days that you almost need a team of researchers and consultants to fully explore the possibilities. DesignBoom, who also sponsored the competition, did a nice roundup from the Seoul Cycle Design Competition 2010, which is where I ran across the brilliant and elegant simplicity of the Bike 2.0, by Milan-based Danish designer Nils Sveje. It’s hybrid, chainless, has a continuously-variable transmission, a regenerative coaster brake, and instead of shifters, two wireless rings on the handlebar. The frame is also self-illuminating. If this bike ever goes into production, I want the first one off the line. Beautiful. Also pretty remarkable is the Audi BEIK, which possesses perhaps even more elegantly simple lines. What you may not notice right away is that as well as being foldable, the bike utilizes “frame steering”. I’d like to see that in action; there are no videos available, and you’ll notice none of the stills show the bike turning. On a slightly humorous note, the ECO FUV not only makes a nice play on the urban slang term, but if we could make these things mandatory transport in America, we’d solve the energy, pollution, parking, and obesity problems all in one shot. More bikes, images, and vids below. Read the rest of this entry »

Get Up Offa That Thing With A Stand Up Desk

[ 1 Comment ]Posted on November 22, 2010 by admin in Health & Wellness

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

What do James Brown, Leonardo Da Vinci, and Donald Rumsfeld have in common? They don’t believe in sitting down on the job

James Brown actually seemed to
prefer working above the desk.

I consider myself something of an expert in workplace ergonomics. Years ago – before I personally spent much time at a computer – I remember chuckling at the sight of people who had plunked down a bunch of extra dough for those weird ergonomic computer chairs with the shin rests. Much later, when I finally learned how to use a computer and set up a home office, I had been happily clacking away on the keyboard for months, often working fourteen hour days, before a friend sat in my chair and said “Oh. My. God! How can you WORK sitting this low?!?” It had never occurred to me that I sat – as my friend put it – like “a pimp cruising in his Cadillac”. The fact is, my low-slung, reclining posture let me work with my arm extended comfortably, and I never experienced the kind of elbow/shoulder repetitive motion discomfort many people complain about. Not long after that, while nonchalantly pacing the entire length of my house while on a business call, another friend who was visiting practically screamed “Jesus! Do you EVER sit down while you’re working???” While he had a point – I do seem to have some sort of restlessness disorder – I pointed out that I must be able to sit down to work once in a while, because I had learned long ago to blink intentionally while working, because I was routinely working for such long stretches that I would get vivid red stripes on my eyes from not moving my lids. All of which is why it doesn’t surprise me that stand up desks are suddenly all the rage. Amongst their many benefits, they seem to offer a solution for the eternal fidgety student problem, and the American Cancer Society says they may actually save your life. It’s not like the idea of a standing desk is anything new though; more recently Donald Rumsfeld was held up as an example of a sprightly old geezer who “thinks on his feet”. And in spite of the fact that maybe some of that thinking was flawed, we can hardly blame it on the desk. According to this 43 Folders Wiki entry, other notables who worked at a stand up desk include Vladimir Nabokov, Winston Churchill, Leonardo Da Vinci, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and Napoleon. Of course, it’s possible we’re all just being conditioned by the oligarchic media power elite to get used to not having a cushy desk job any more as we plunge into a Dickensian era of servitude in which the only job you can get in spite of your grad degree is as a cashier at Wal-Mart, but when I scan the herd in the average cube farm, I think maybe that wouldn’t be such a bad thing. Which is why we’re going to leave you with some James Brown. Read the rest of this entry »

10 Insanely Expensive Christmas Gifts For Rich Spoiled Brats

[ 3 Comments ]Posted on November 21, 2010 by admin in Holidays

Sunday, November 21st, 2010

Ever wonder where people like Paris Hilton got their overblown sense of entitlement? Their parents bought it at FAO Schwarz and Neiman Marcus when they were five.

The only Ferrari you’ll ever
be able to afford: $2,564

As you struggle with the rude and poverty-stricken masses at Wal-Mart, using the new credit card you won’t be able to pay off to buy your kids enough presents that they won’t confuse your life with the one the Cratchits are living in the Disney 3D movie they’re watching (in 2D) with no sitter while you shop, you’ll be glad to know that Wall Street bankers and DC politicians will have their own struggles. Like the annoying peon staff they have to endure when they buy their kids $15,000 gingerbread houses at Neiman Marcus or life-size stuffed ponies at FAO Schwarz. Below are just a few of the gifts bailed out bankers will be buying their kids with your tax dollars. (By the way, if you think we’re rushing this whole Christmas thing, maybe you should check out our weird and alternative thanksgiving ideas.
Read the rest of this entry »

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