December 16, 2017

Saturday Ramblings, August 22, 2015

Hello, friends, and welcome to the weekend. The noose on the Prayer Tower, Ronald McDonald’s decapitated head, and Jewish spy dolphins: Ready to Ramble?

1965 Rambler Marlin

1965 Rambler Marlin

Oral Roberts University is known for many things. Mainly its unfortunate name. I mean, really, who names a kid, “Oral”? Was “Nasal” already taken by a cousin? But they are also known for their Prayer Tower, a 200 foot high tower that people pray to. Or go up into to pray. Or pray around. I really have no idea how prayer towers work. Anyway, the campus was a little surprised this week when they woke up Monday morning to find this hanging from it:

0000001

The pic made its way to Reddit where close to a million people viewed it. An “knot expert” was consulted who said, “yep, that’s a noose.” However, school officials explain it was just a leftover rope knot a painting crew was using, which the wind knocked off their scaffolding.

California lawmakers on Tuesday reintroduced a bill to legalize physician-assisted dying. Previous attempts to pass such a bill have failed, with organized opposition from Catholic groups. This time backers of the bill showcased support from top Latino politicians at a news conference on Tuesday, some of whom spoke dramatically in Spanish of the pain and suffering experienced by people with terminal cancer and other illnesses. Most of these Latino politicians are Catholic. Assisted suicide is legal in Oregon, Washington, Montana and Vermont. What are your thoughts, friends? Really, there are two questions here. First, is physician assisted death for those with terminal decease a moral wrong? Second, if we answer “yes” to that question, is it a moral wrong that should be illegal, or is it, like adultery, something we take a moral stance on but do not seek to criminalize?

Franklin Graham is in the news again. This time not for something he said, but for what he makes: $880,000, with $622,000 coming from Samaritan’s purse,and $258,000 as CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Granted, this is less than the CEO of many large companies make, but still…

So what happens when your backyard kiddie-swimming pool is taken over by a momma bear and her FIVE cubs? If you’re as cool as this mom, you just enjoy the show:

The U.S. Department of Agriculture revised their raisin classification system on Thursday. The smallest grade will no longer be called “midget raisins” after an activist group called the term offensive. The raisins had no comment.

Have you heard about the Chinese government’s war against the Cross? This is a both figurative and literal battle. Over 1,200 churches have had their crosses removed from their roofs, and some churches have been demolished. Apparently, some officials really dislike seeing their pristine [*cough*] skyline polluted by a church cross. This is part of a larger concern for Communist party officials: By some estimates, China is now home to 100 million Christians, compared with the Communist party’s 88 million members. Government officials have claimed this is a safety issue [yes, because you know, thousands of people die each year from falling crosses]. They also claim the crosses are just being “relocated”, which shows communism’s knack for creative euphemisms is still going strong [“That’s not a pile of rubble, comrade; it’s your church cross relocated to a more accessible spot. You’re welcome.”] One bright spot: protestant pastors and Roman Catholic priests have been working together to protest the cross demolitions. But this week China arrested seven people for such protests.

Pictured: "Relocation"

Pictured: “Relocation”

Can we all just agree that wax museums are terrible? Maybe that’s putting it too strongly. . . Can we all just agree that wax museums represent the absolute worst way that the human artistic endeavor careened off a cliff into grotesque shtick, and, if their were any justice in the world, global warming will at least have the benefit of liquefying these monstrosities?

Exhibit A: Madame Tussauds, the “greatest wax museum in the world” [like syphillis is the greatest STD in the world] has recently unveiled a new figure. It is of Nicki Minaj, who, as far as I can tell, has no other claim to human achievement than a really odd origin story:

ooooiAnd how did the museum choose to pose Ms. Minaj? The way she appeared in her latest video, as a mostly naked sex object on her knees. Minaj loved it, and called it “iconic” [the sound you hear is all our Eastern Orthodox friends gouging their eyes out].  I won’t put the pic up, because some of you have had a nice breakfast, and don’t want to lose it. Suffice it to say that the museum has had to beef up security [nausea warning: pic in the link] after a LOT of people have taken pictures of themselves in sexual poses with the figure [shocker!]. Kinda makes me hope for this.

Exhibit B: A study in good intentions (and terrible execution). A church in Ohio has been working for many years to create a biblical wax museum, and it’s just as high quality as you would expect from a church in Ohio. The real treat: to save money, the Bible Walk museum buys discarded celebrity figures on the cheap, changes the hairstyle, adds some biblical clothes, and voila, you have Tom Cruise turned into Jesus [which may be the most frightening sentence I have ever typed]:

WRONG on sooo many levels…

And John Travolta as a confused King Solomon:

biblewalk-ohio-4[2]

“Crap, where did I leave my copy of Dianetics?”

Prince Charles as Abel, with a sweet antediluvian haircut:

bib

“It’s not my fault; mirrors aren’t invented yet.”

And Elizabeth Taylor, straight off the Cleopatra set, looking a little shocked to be included in the whole thing:

biblewalk-ohio-3[9]

“George Harrison is God? Who knew?”

Uggh.  And by the way, isn’t a well-intention group of Christians putting up terrible art by using cast-off celebrities really just a parable of the whole Christian entertainment industry?

Odd headline of the week: Animal rights activist beaten with duck in Spain.

Bad Lip Reading has released their version of the recent Republican Presidential debate. Enjoy:

Andrea Davidson found a teal Geo-tracker at an auto auction this week. She wasn’t allowed to go through all the junk inside, but bought it anyway, for $700. Amidst all the overdue library books and Taco Bell trash, she discovered something else: Four urns. All with ashes inside. “It was shocking. It was something you don’t expect to find in a car.” She has not been able to find who these belong to, but has been enjoying getting to ride in the car pool lane.

Weekly “tweeking Chaplain Mike picture”: 

download (5)

Warren, Michigan, near Detroit, has two problems. One is that it is near Detroit. The other is the flame-thrower controversy. You see, in Michigan, like most states, flamethrowers are completely legal [cuz ‘Murica!, baby!].  The companies that make them claim their devices can be used for recreation or to control weeds and insect hives, clear snow and ice, and clear brush. Because those are all great ideas. Snowblowers are for sissies. Warren Mayor Jim Fouts calls the proposed uses “pretty specious” and “silly”, and wants to ban the storage, use and possession of flamethrowers in Warren. The flamethrower companies insist that misuse can happen with any product. “It’s how a product is used that determines punishment for the operator,” said Chris Byars, CEO or one of the companies. “Simply owning a particular product should not be a punishable offense. It’s a matter of education and respect for safety.” He then showed off the “mustard gas cannon” he uses for mosquito control.

Several Michigan school districts are interested

Several Michigan school districts are reportedly interested

Ronald McDonald is dead. At least one of him. Vandals decapitated a statue of Ronald McDonald outside the Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago. Neighbors found the head nearby.The statue of the smiling McDonald’s mascot had been sitting on a bench outside the museum’s entrance for many years. At this time police have no suspects.

"Gee, that's really too bad..."

“Gee, that’s really too bad…”

Is science broken? Seems like an odd question, but it’s being asked a lot these days. Publications like Vox, the New York Times or the Economist, are abuzz with stories about how the research process is far from perfect — from the made-up data to the inadequacies of peer review to the fact that many published results simply can’t be replicated. The crisis has gotten so bad that the editor of The Lancet medical journal Richard Horton recently lamented, “Much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue.” This week Nature joined the party:

The launch of the clinicaltrials.gov registry in 2000 seems to have had a striking impact on reported trial results. . . A 1997 US law mandated the registry’s creation, requiring researchers from 2000 to record their trial methods and outcome measures before collecting data. The study found that in a sample of 55 large trials testing heart-disease treatments, 57% of those published before 2000 reported positive effects from the treatments. But that figure plunged to just 8% in studies that were conducted after 2000. . .. Writing on his NeuroLogica Blog, neurologist Steven Novella of Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, called the study “encouraging” but also “a bit frightening” because it casts doubt on previous positive results. He says this means that at least half of older, published clinical trials could be false positives. “Loose scientific methods are leading to a massive false positive bias in the literature,” he writes.

Christie Aschwanden gives a very good review and examples of how scientist unintentionally insert their bias into their studies. The title of the piece is “Science isn’t Broken”, but I’m not sure her analysis fits the title. In any case, it’s a very good read.

You know what we need? We need a bunch of pictures of pets who really, really want to come inside:

*sniff* can I please come in?

*sniff* can I please come in?

 

Okay, you were right...I'm not the great hunter I thought I was...now open the stupid door, man

Okay, you were right…I’m not the great hunter I thought I was…now please open the door

Please let me in. Liquid torture is falling from the sky.

Please let me in. Liquid torture is falling from the sky.

If you want to see another sunrise you will open this door right now

If you want to see another sunrise you will open this door right now

Look, Marge, we both said things we didn't mean. Now can I please come in so we can talk about this?

Look, Marge, we both said things we didn’t mean. Now can I please come in so we can talk about this?

HELP! something big and weird is out here!

HELP! something big and weird is out here!

I am NOT being over-dramatic

I am NOT being over-dramatic

 

cat

Hamas claims to have captured a dolphin that was spying for the Israelis. Yes, really. Jewish bloggers had fun with this:

  • After several hours of torture, the Zionist animal had only this to say:”AAAK EEEK SQUEAK!!!!”
  • Hamas was water boarding the dolphin trying to make him confess, until they realized he actually liked it….
  • SeaWorld’s traveling water show has canceled the Zionist spy dolphin’s performance in Spain until it clarifies its position on Palestinian statehood.
  • After the capture of the Zionist spy dolphin, the International Red Cross has pressured the Hamas leadership into allowing the animal a phone call to Dr. Doolittle.
  • Following the breaking news of Hamas’s newest hostage, the National Football League is denying reports that a team has changed its name to the Miami Zionist Flipper Spies.
  • IDF Signal Corps officials, speaking off the record, said the mammal’s last radio message before the transmitter went dead was “…and thanks for all the fish,” accompanied by two tweeted hashtags: “‪#‎freewilly‬!” and “‪#‎SorryCharlie‬.” StarKist could not be reached for comment.

But really, who can blame Hamas when you have pictures like this floating around, showing a dolphin wearing a jellyfish Yarmulke?

"Up yours, Hamas!"

“Up yours, Hamas!”

Well, that’s it for this week. Sorry the “religion news” aspect was a little light (slow news week). But hopefully the “human carnival” aspect made up for it. Let’s end with a video that restores a little of the balance:

Comments

  1. You jut can’t go wrong with a Bach cello sonata…

    • Oscar, it’s SUITE, not a sonata….

      There are 6 SUITES in the collection each with 6 movements and each suite gets progressively more technically difficult. Pablo Casals was the first to record all 6. It is thought that they were originally written as exercises. The prelude of the first suite is the most well known and commonly recognizable. I still play it in my sleep….

      • Cellist are such Nazis….

        • Yes, you are correct! When I posted my comment I KNEW that I was wrong, but I just didn’t feel like exercising my brain right before bed. Just call me ”lazy”.

      • Pablo Casals? Didn’t he play with the Dead for a while, Tom?

      • And somewhere out there, some poor doctoral student is trying to prove that it WASN’T written by Bach.

        • I assume such a “poor” doctoral student is majoring in Music History, not exactly something you often see listed in the want ads @ The Chronicle of Higher Education. Even if s/he were to successfully defends his/her dissertation, good luck finding a job. I mean, think of all the hiring committee members you will p*** off by telling them that Back didn’t write the Cello Suites.

          • “Bach,” not “Back” (although this may be on the them “Freudian slips” you read about).

          • I think musical academia is actually rather open to overturning things like that. Many pieces, formerly attributed to Handel, Mozart, etc… have recently been discovered to belong to other composers. From what I hear, Bach’s authorship of his eight little preludes and fugues for organ is even highly contested (as I finish learning the book, but meh, the pieces stand on their own merit). I don’t think these people have too tough a time finding work, as music professorships go. They’re at least very conversant with methods for deep digging, if they managed to pick on on clues everyone else missed for a couple hundred years. Plus, a doctorate in music history will require you to be very well trained in graduate level theory and analysis, so these guys could presumably teach most non-performance courses to undergrads. And I wager many of them have a performance background anyways, since performance practices is a common field of historical research in music.

          • Traditionalists prefer to believe in the traditional genesis myths about renowned musical compositions, rather than what truth the critical scholars have discovered about authorship. Uncannily similar to other modern arguments about origins, isn’t it?

          • Did you hear about the T-800 modeled after Mendelssohn? His signature line is, “I’ll be bach.”

          • “Where It’s At” is one my favorite songs…wait, that Beck.

          • I’ve always enjoyed the folk songs of Gordon Bok.

      • I remember getting a box set of Pablo Casals vinyl on Columbia Records which upon opening contained a lovely poster of the Jimi Hendrix Experience.

    • Clay Crouch says:

      Oscar, that’s the most egregious, inflammatory comment you have made on IM. How dare you!

  2. Ya know… I seem to remember some great B rate Vincent Price, Christopher Lee/Peter Cushing, Chuck Conners horror flicks that revolved around wax museums… so they’re not all bad (especially when there’s a fire at the end of the movie and all the wax figures melt)…..

  3. The Rambler/AMC Marlins were beautiful cars, as where the Dodge Barracudas. However, for style I think the ’65 Buick Rivera was superlative.

  4. An “knot expert” was consulted who said, “yep, that’s a noose.” However, school officials explain it was just a leftover rope knot a painting crew was using, which the wind knocked off their scaffolding.

    There is only one use for a noose knot. A paint or construction or window washing crew would have absolutely NO use for that knot–except as a joke.

    • Christiane says:

      well, hanging from a great height IS biblical
      ” “A gallows 50 feet high stands by Haman’s house. He had it made for Mordecai, who spoke up to help the king.” The king said, “Hang him on it!” So they hanged Haman on the gallows he had prepared for Mordecai. Then the king’s fury subsided.” (Esther, 7:6-10)

      BTW, who is the king these days over at ORU? 🙂 As I recall the OR people are something of a strange lot.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

      When I was in grade school in the Sixties, if you left any rope with one end dangling, sooner or later some wag would tie a noose in the end of it. When you’re ten years old and male and suffering from Bart Simpson Syndrome, anything like that is hilarious. And you can get a real rise out of the grownups.

  5. I’ve been told that I bear a resemblance to that raccoon standing on the porch looking in.

  6. Vega Magnus says:

    The Cubs are probably making the playoffs, so don’t go about tweaking CM about them just yet.

    Today is gonna be a great day. You know why? Because WWE’s developmental branch NXT is having their biggest show thus far in a sold out Barclays Center in Brooklyn. It will be fantastic because NXT is run by competent people instead of Vince McMahon, who is super out of touch these days. NXT itself is in something of a transitional state given that many of its stars have been called up to the main roster or knocked out for a long time due to injury, but the talent remaining is still top notch. Should be quite an event.

  7. Really good Ramblings this week, Daniel. Really good.

  8. The pic of the raccoon at the patio door reminded me of Kevin Hart’s SNL monologue. If you haven’t seen it, this is one of the funniest monologues I’ve ever seen.

    https://screen.yahoo.com/kevin-hart-monologue-000000719.html

  9. If only wax museums would wane….

    • See that over there? That nice corner?

      GO.

      SIT.

      NOW.

      😛

    • Brianthedad says:

      That’s good. Real good. You win the Internet.

    • Not bad, Robert…not bad…

    • Dana Ames says:

      Well, wax museums got started so that ordinary folks could see what the glitterati of the day “really” looked like, before newspaper photography was common. They never really appealed to me, and with the Internet I don’t know why they attract anyone nowadays, except for the chance to have a photo of oneself with “celebrities.” There was actually a long line at the one on Fisherman’s Wharf in SF, when we were showing our future daughter-in-law around said city, for a chance to be photographed with “President Obama.”

      Dana

  10. Love the Bach. Here’s cellist Laurie Reese, a friend of my wife and myself, doing some Bach with improv:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3QGT9ZpDyB8

    Laurie and her husband Tom, a fine flutist and master of the penny whistle, have an ensemble, the Reese Project, that play an eclectic mix of music: jazz, classical, rock, world, etc.

  11. It’s one thing to say that there is a lot of bad science (which is really not science) being practiced out there; it’s another to say that science itself is broken. The scientific method is not broken, however imperfectly it’s practiced by some (however few or many) scientists and scientific institutions.

  12. Here’s a walk down Memory Lane (well, for me anyway) song pick of the week:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rjeMWCa716E

  13. Physician assisted suicide? I personally have a moral bias against it, probably the result of having received years of Roman Catholic moral teaching. I would need to know more about how it’s going in nations that have already adopted it (whether it’s really being utilized only where there is carefully documented informed personal consent) before I can go along with the idea that it’s okay for our society to legalize despite my personal moral opposition.

    • I thinks what constitutes physician assisted suicide is a thing you have to have a basis for agreement on before you can take the next step in talking about it. Anyone who has faced end of life decisions can tell you that where the line between life-shortening palliative care and physican assisted death looks awfully murky.

      If you want to get messier, tread into the waters of what it would mean to let “nature take its course”, since you brain’s last ditch help for you is to turn off your hunger and thirst.

      How we deal with the last years of our lives and in what setting is the big societal question. It very much is tangled up with what constitutes help to live and help to die.

      • My father died at home in the early 1990s, in home hospice, as the result of complications from prostate cancer. I was his primary care-taker. Part of my duties included administering extra doses of synthesized morphine through his infusion pump as he needed due to extreme pain. While he needed the pain relief this medication could offer, it also tended to make respiration more and more difficult.

        It is probably true to say that he died from the side-effects of the pain medication I was helping to administer to him, rather than directly from the metastasized cancer. There is a sense in which my actions killed my father, even though they were intended only to relieve his pain. I’m very aware of this gray area between palliative care and assisted suicide/euthanasia. What divides them is intent, and intent can often only be ambiguously discerned.

        • A lady in my church passed away this week after battling cancer on and off for 18 years; she was only 48. In spite of her pain and enduring surgeries and chemo her faith in Christ and her desire to be with her husband and four children as long as God would allow made it possible for her to endure her sufferings until the end.

          It is people like her who should be held up as examples of “dying with dignity,” as they say, and also as a life illustration of “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” Philippians 1.21

        • Same thing with my mom. I’m firmly convinced that the morphine we were giving her at the end forced the end.

          But before we started that she was sleeping maybe 15 to 20 minutes at a time then waking up disoriented and in pain. Lack of REM sleep can drive someone insane so ….

          Rocks and hard places.

      • Bingo.

        That’s why I would never tell a person what to do toward the end of a terminal case. Unless you’re the one living with the specifics of an end-of-life mess, shut up and let the folks involved figure it out.

        I guess, then, I’m “pro” having something in place that says it’s okay.

        • Klasie Kraalogies says:

          I would agree with that.

        • Unless you’re the one living with the specifics of an end-of-life mess, shut up and let the folks involved figure it out.

          What???? No simplistic Christian answer for every hard question????

          [snark off]

          • You mean, like “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

            (snark off)

        • I think there is room for abuse here, and it’s necessary before allowing assisted suicide/euthanasia to become law of the land to 1) make sure there is procedure in place for documenting informed consent of the one on the receiving end of the assisted suicide/euthanasia and 2) make sure that in nations where this has been tried there haven’t been systemic abuses leading to the deaths of people who were actually not willing.

          • Understand, my concern is not with interfering in how other people conduct their lives and deaths, but with protecting individuals from being forced by others, including even members of their own families and societal institutions, into undergoing assisted suicide/euthanasia though they are actually unwilling. Such things have happened to inconvenient people, including the ill and suffering, in the past, and may happen again now and in the future.

          • Dana Ames says:

            See these:

            Article from The Atlantic, 1997: http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1997/03/whose-right-to-die/304641/

            Recent article from The New Yorker: http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/06/22/the-death-treatment

            Lots of info here: http://www.notdeadyet.org/

            Quote from the first article:
            “What does motivate requests? According to studies, depression and general psychological distress. The Remmelink Report found that among Dutch patients the leading reason for requesting euthanasia was a perceived loss of dignity. The study of Washington State physicians found that the leading factors driving requests were fear of a loss of control or of dignity, of being a burden, and of being dependent….[P]atients with depression and psychological distress are most likely to request death; patients in pain are less likely to request it.”

            The bottom line is that if we as a society really cared about people and served them well with good mental health and hospice care, this would not be an issue. This is a significant area where the care of Christians for their neighbors – the ones right next door to us! – would be of the greatest help to people, and is not touched by legislation – against this there is no law.

            Dana

          • Exactly. This is what I fear most. I don’t judge people who are ready to throw in the towel. I do think dying with dignity is the higher path, but that is a decision that comes when we’re at our weakest. I don’t blame anyone for choosing to face the inevitable with less pain, though I certainly pray that I would have the strength to finish strong. At some point, death is a mercy, hence the term “coup de grace.” But I am very leery of the supposed certainty of inevitability under which many might want to jump the gun. There is such a thing as at least seemingly miraculous recoveries, and those who are ready to quit before they happen. I don’t know how to navigate these waters, nor if I would pass my own test, but I am fairly certain that “doing the right thing” is seldom a comfortable path, in any area of life. I’m also hesitant to enter the realm of moral reasoning where less than objective motives are driving the deliberation. So I don’t think I would ever tell someone it’s ok to end their life under such circumstances, but if they truly wanted to, I would trust that it is certainly understandable and forgivable.

            But this could be partially because of how my understanding of sin is developing some as a result of fatherhood. Sin is bad and as black as sin, no doubt, but in our brokenness I kind of feel like God is willing to “cut us some slack.” In the sense that having withstood the temptation, he understands how in our weakness we can never do as well as we mean, and never mean as well as we believe, and then even never believe as we ought. I believe there is grace for those who have not the strength to carry on.

          • Dana and Miguel,
            I agree the comments and observations you both have made.

          • Some people in the medical fields have told me that many of the elderly die from starvation. Basically while the medical folks keep treating them and they CAN eat but they eat so little that their body starts shutting down.

  14. What on earth does the Chinese government think it’s doing? For the first several hundred years of the Church, the cross was not depicted or utilized in Christian religious art. It’s a theological certainty that the Church cannot be destroyed by the demolition of its symbols; but also, as a practical matter, in this case the attack against its public symbols is likely to spur even more growth of Christianity in China.

    • flatrocker says:

      Remove the symbol – problem goes away.
      Kind of like solving racism by removing the confederate flag.
      Don’t we all feel so much better?

      • The Chinese Christians are not asking for crosses to be planted atop government buildings.

        Oh, I forgot: many Chinese churches are run by the government!

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

      Chinese society has always had a HUGE “Not Invented Here” complex.

      Look how long it took them to accept Buddhism (an import from India).

      • On the other hand, Chinese society accepted Communism pretty quickly, even though it was invented in central Europe (granted, there was much blood spilled in the cause of that acceptance).

  15. Richard Hershberger says:

    “…adds some biblical clothes, and viola, you have Tom Cruise turned into Jesus…”

    I don’t understand. Is Tom Cruise playing the viola? That would be pretty scary. We get the cello later on. Throw in a couple of fiddles and we got ourselves a quartet.

  16. I wonder how far that biblical wax museum is from the Creation Museum. I think they have a cave man riding a T-rex. We could put together a tour group and hit the both in one day.

    • I would really like to visit the Creation Museum.

      But there’s no way I’d put any money into KH’s hands.

  17. If I had been shown the photo of the Nicki Minaj wax figure unannounced I would have assumed it was Kim Kardashian, tho no doubt those who get out more often than I would have made the identification from the tattoo. In any case it is probably the most respectable and classy representation of Ms. Menaj I have yet seen. Granted that it might have been characterized as mostly naked back in 1952 when I was 13 and would likely have appreciated it even more than today..

  18. “Minaj loved it, and called it ‘iconic’ [the sound you hear is all our Eastern Orthodox friends gouging their eyes out].”

    Of the times it came up while reading the Ramblings, I was actually more bothered by this use of the word:

    ” ‘The truth of the matter is that every couple of years we paint the Prayer Tower. It’s an icon recognized around the world. Because of its intricacies it’s hard to paint. We’ve had guys, a painting crew that has been working for weeks going and getting all the little pieces painted and that takes a lot of scaffolding,’ Burton told CP over the phone earlier Tuesday, before he was aware of Pawson’s claim about the knot.”

    The closer something is to your personal context, yet different, the more it piques your ears. Minaj and I would not be talking about anything like the same thing, Burton I’m not so sure about.

  19. Flamethrowers aren’t that great a snow removal system. If you wanted to use a gasoline fueled flamethrower to clear a foot of snow from a single lane of a road, you’d get about 17 feet to the gallon. https://what-if.xkcd.com/130/

  20. http://angryarab.blogspot.com/2015/08/hamas-and-dolphin-spy.html

    I don’t read Arabic so I can’t track this story down for myself, but the blogger I link claims that the story that Hamas blamed Israel for using dolphin spies is based on private sources and not Hamas. It wouldn’t surprise me either way– either that Hamas believed something stupid or that Westerners believe something stupid about Hamas.

  21. Randy Thompson says:

    Wax museums and flamethrowers.

    A match made in heaven.

    So, maybe Warren, MI should ease up on flamethrowers.

    Besides, which would you prefer: An enemy chasing with a flamethrower, or a duck?

  22. Daniel, what a wonderful collection of insanity today! And the animal pics were sublime! This column is always my Saturday treat.

  23. Daniel,

    Superlative Ramble !

  24. Thanks…
    Enjoyed the bears.. Was in tears by then end of the Debate.