Cognitive Dissonance

I saw a car today with a few bumper stickers. Two of them stood out in my mind: an Obama/Biden ’08 sticker and a “????? ????” one.
Now, I don’t really care about other people’s political beliefs, so long as they don’t infringe on my rights, but it seems rather contradictory to have a sticker proclaiming that one would only give up one’s weapons “over [my] dead body” (either literally or metaphorically) and a sticker advocating the election of a candidate who has a well-known history of voting against the rights of gun owners.
Go figure.

Kooks

One of the great things about the internet is that it allows for fast, easy exchange of information with little regard for borders, censors, or other restrictions. Things like YouTube, blogging software, and effective search engines have allowed for some incredible content to be created and shared with others.
Unfortunately, it’s also resulted in kooks, who generally were shunned by real-world society (though there are a few real-life kooks, including a few “END IS NIGH”-type crazies wandering around the university with their signs), coming out of the woodwork. Take, for example, the crazy sprinkler lady — a look at her profile and the other videos seems to indicate she’s a bit of kook. Anyone with a rudimentary understanding of science can easily see her various claims are utter bunk, yet she persists against all odds: clearly anyone trying to present an alternate opinion or use science is part of whatever conspiracy she wants to uncover.
In general, YouTube commenters are dumber than a bag of rocks and seriously make me weep for the future of humanity, but some just take the cake. For example, today I received a comment on one of my YouTube videos that (a) asked what aftermarket magazines I recommend for the Ruger 10/22 rifle, and (b) mentioned that the individual had found the “fastest” 10/22 full-auto conversion kit and to see the commenter’s profile for the video. Curious, I looked at the commenter’s profile, viewed the video, and was impressed by the cyclic rate of the rifle. Nothing terribly out of the ordinary, so I replied to the comment and recommended a brand or two of magazines. The user replied via private message and then offered to sell me 10/22 full-auto conversion kits, to which I replied that since the machine gun registry is closed and I’m not a Class II manufacturer, I have no desire or legal ability to make such guns.
The user then replied via private message on YouTube with a multi-page message (see below the cut) that said that AIDS is a real-life “zombie virus”, claims to have been given “military intelligence” on the topics, quotes scripture to me, and recommends a variety of different firearms for anti-zombie purposes. It was incoherent enough to suggest that the user believes it and is also a total kook, rather than someone posting it for humorous or satirical purposes. I replied, politely expressed my disinterest and asked that they not email me. They then started posting comments on my other videos calling me a kook. Go figure.
Some days, I wonder how people like this can actually figure out how to get dressed in the morning, let alone work at a productive job to afford various living expenses. The message was so rambling and incoherent, I seriously wonder how they can function in normal society. Even more frightening is the fact that they likely vote with more fervor and regularity than your average person.
I’ve posted the kook’s message below the cut, but have “encoded” it using rot13 to prevent search engines from picking up on it, associating me with such content, and driving more kooks here. Just go to the rot13 website and copy-paste the text below into the field to “decode” it.
Continue reading “Kooks”

Dr. Manhattan’s Amazing Technicolor Penis

I just saw Watchmen with a group of friends this evening. While I had never read the graphic novel, my friend says the movie is remarkably true to it. That’s always good. I honestly knew nothing about it, and so I went in thinking it’d be a sort of Batman knockoff. I’m pleased to report that I was wrong.
The movie was quite good. It had a deep, twisted, but not difficult-to-follow plot, some great fight scenes, a hell of a lot of character development, good special effects, a few highly-sensual but not overly-erotic sex scenes, and a decided lack of pants, most notably by Dr. Manhattan.
At first, he’s clad either in a tasteful suit or a weird crotch-bat-thing reminiscent of the garment that Sting wore in the 1984 film version of Dune…but later he goes full-frontal on numerous occasions, being pantsless more often than not. Manhattan certainly has the whole “chiseled body” thing down and looks? remarkably like a Greek sculpture, but I don’t recall Greek sculptures having wibbly bits quite like that. I suspect a few of the females in our party may have gotten a bit excited by said dangling azure wang. Honestly, out of all the movies I’ve seen with nudity in them, this is the first one with more full-frontal male nudity than female. While it I certainly prefer female nudity to male, I must admit it was interesting to see a movie that isn’t afraid to show such things in order to remain loyal to the original text, even in the face of an oft-too-puritanical-for-their-own-good American public.
The only thing longer than Dr. Manhattan’s penis would be the movie itself: it went on for about two and a half hours, but I never felt bored. There were several parts that I thought that the producers would simply put a “To be continued…” and continue with a sequel, but they blazed right through and continued with the movie. Most impressive.
Conclusion: If you’re not bothered by highly-muscled, large-penised men who glow with an eerie blue aura, nor by the occasional boob, nor by a few scenes of impressive violence and gore (hint: it involves an angle grinder), I strongly recommend that you see the movie. As I mentioned before, I haven’t read the graphic novel, but I’ve been told that the novel really brings out a lot of details that the movie simply didn’t have time to fully explore. I should go read it sometime.
Many characters from comic books make for some great Halloween costumes (Batman, Spider Man, etc.). Characters like Nite Owl in Watchmen would lend themselves well to such costumes. A Dr. Manhattan costume…not so much. Sure, stripping naked and painting oneself blue might sound like fun, it’s likely to result in the police getting involved (though I suppose the mugshot would be quite epic). Unless you have a remarkably prodigious member and a physique that would qualify you to be a character in the movie 300, do something else this October. Hell, even if you do possess those atributes, it’s probably a better idea to just go as one of the Spartan warriors rather than Dr. Manhattan. My eyes will thank you.

Deadly Hands

One of my cow-orkers (sounds so much worse than co-worker, right?) studies Mixed Martial Arts. He claims — to my hearty laughter — that if he were involved in some sort of fight, and came before a court due to said fight, he might receive a harsher sentence due to his hands being “deadly weapons”.
Now, I’ve heard the age-old myth that the hands of professional boxers, trained martial artists, etc. need to be “registered as deadly weapons”. Of course, this is bunk. A brick could be a deadly weapon, yet one is not asked to register it. Indeed, I own numerous firearms and I am not asked to register them. Would the TSA require the removal and checking in the cargo compartment of one’s hands prior to flying? As I said, an absurd myth.
He claims that laws in several states allow for hands to be classified as deadly weapons, and the owner of said hands can be penalized for using them in violent acts. In the age old tradition of science, I told him “cite or GTFO” (also known as “prove it”). He has yet to come up with any sort of facts on the matter. Would any of my readers have any information readily at hand (no pun intended) that would indicate the facts either way?
I could believe that someone might be charged with “assault with a deadly weapon” if they used their fists and had some disproprortionate advantage, such as great size or strength, compared to their victim, but I doubt that your average person, even a martial artist, would be charged as such if they were caught fighting by the police.

Front Sight on Fark

As is my habit, I was perusing Fark.com this morning. For some reason, I had Adblock Plus turned off and so ads were visible.
Imagine my surprise when I saw an ad for Front Sight appear on Fark:

(No, I didn’t have a stroke while drawing the red circle. Do you have any idea how difficult it is to draw a consistent, mostly-circular line using a laptop touchpad?)
Fark is known for its snarky headlines and goofy comment threads (if you don’t get your newsNot News from Fark, you’re missing out), so I was a bit surprised to see Front Sight ads running in the Google Ad panel there. Very cool.
I think that such ads going out to the general public is a good thing: if it helps get one person trained, and saves one life (astute readers will see what I did there), then it’s worth it. I’ve been to Front Sight, and while their “Front Sight Family” stuff was a bit odd and there’s accusations about various financial-related issues, the training was solid.
I’d like to see more gunny companies advertising to the general public. I see ads for “$NAME Ford Dealership” on TV at my girlfriend’s (I don’t own a TV, nor have time for it), why can’t I see ads for “$NAME Gun Shop” or ads for Bushmaster and Remington firearms? I wonder what Glock could do in a TV ad. 🙂

Thought of the Day

Does anyone know what happened to this gun?

I wonder if it was destroyed or somehow escaped back into the market.
If the latter, I’d find it amusing to buy it, pose like that (only with my finger off the trigger), and send a photo to Dianne Feinstein. Preferably with a few dozen other people standing around me with similar guns, in similar poses.

A Minor Detail

If we have the determination to reduce the roughly 30,000 people in this country who are shot each year by firearms, to reduce that to zero, we can do it…it is within our ability to do that. We just have to adopt the registration requirement that has been so successful in Canada.
Buford Scott.

I’m not going to address the ludicrous claim that we can reduce gun violence by any significant amount (let alone to zero) by registration. That’s just absurd.
Rather, I’m going to focus on part of his first sentence:

…people in this country who are shot by firearms…

Maybe I’m just being pedantic, but I’ve never heard of anyone being shot by a firearm. Rather, I’ve heard of people being shot by other people with firearms.
The Brady Campaign has a flyer along these lines where they state that “In 2004, guns murdered…11,344 [people] in the United States.” For the sake of the exercise, I’m not going to dispute the numbers, but I suspect that the guns alone didn’t do the murdering…rather, a person used a gun as a means of murdering someone else.
Last time I checked, guns are inanimate objects without any will of their own.
Indeed, Assault Weapon Watch has been closely monitoring an AR-15 for over four years, and it has yet to move, speak, dance, or commit acts of violent crime. It’s just quietly sat there for four years in the corner.
Perhaps it’s a clever ruse on the rifle’s part? Is it behaving as such simply to serve as a decoy, so we won’t pay attention to other guns going out and committing crimes on their own? Who knows?