invasion of the zentai, sarah’s regulations secret, hand-drawn connections

Men Who Love Lycra

A growing number of people are living their lives encased head-to-toe in Lycra. Will Doig goes inside the fad that began in Japan and is coming to an American suburb near you.

[  ]…“We were online, and I saw this link and it intrigued me: a person encased in a suit,” says Ben, a 25-year-old computer programmer from Irvine, California. “My girlfriend thought it was the weirdest thing she had ever seen.”

But Ben saw something else—something he didn’t even know his life was missing. “I couldn’t stop thinking about it. After a couple of weeks of bringing it up, I convinced my girlfriend to let me buy one. Finally it came in, I put it on… and I felt free.”

I’ not sure what or if there is an official name for it, but I hate the idea of being bound up in anything confining. Add in a strong preference for cotton and linen and if I’m ever in a latex suit it will be because I have been tortured by my kidnappers. That said, different strokes for different folks. Clothing fetishes or strong preferences for certain types of clothing have been around for a while,

“With a kind of mulishness his father persisted in keeping his uniform on even in the house; his dressing gown hung uselessly on its peg and he slept fully dressed where he sat, as if he were ready for service at any moment and even here only at the beck and call of his superior. As a result, his uniform, which was not brand-new to start with, began to look dirty, despite all the loving care of the mother and sister to keep it clean, and Gregor often spent whole evenings gazing at the many greasy spots on the garment, gleaming with gold buttons always in a high state of polish, in which the old man sat sleeping in extreme discomfort and yet quite peacefully.” from The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka

come what will. inspired by a cd cover.

Sarah Palin outs herself from the regulatory closet,

In the coming days, there will be hearings to discover the cause of the explosion and the subsequent leak. Actions will be taken to increase oversight to prevent future accidents. Government can and must play an appropriate role here. If a company was lax in its prevention practices, it must be held accountable. It is inexcusable for any oil company to not invest in preventative measures. They must be held accountable or the public will forever distrust the industry.

Hypocrisy rests on a bed of lies. In the future she might be able to claim what she told her ghost writers to post on FaceBook  was misinterpreted. We all can’t be literary geniuses and there are many American that appreciate a down to earth folksy tone, even if devoid of real folksiness, but the least she could could do is write her own FaceBook entries.

Avril Lavigne’s Alice video. Not her best song lyrics, but the video makes up for it.

“She Does a Better Job Than Map Quest! “Wonderful hand-drawn maps from firefighters, club-hoppers, Boy Scout dads, grandmothers, and Alexander Calder.

Alexander Calder used the same trick in 1949 when directing his friend Ben Shahn from New York City to the artist’s home in Roxbury, Conn. Calder omits much of the journey, assuming that Shahn can find his way to the Merritt Parkway, where the map below begins. And Calder devotes almost one-third of this map to the final five miles of the trip, the part where Shahn must navigate unfamiliar local roads. The map, submitted to Slate by an archivist at the Smithsonian, is striking in part because it uses Calder’s familiar bold lines and primary hues. But it also conveys information with elegant simplicity. Note how Calder uses arrows from the address stamp in the upper right-hand corner of the page: A blue one runs from the name of his road to his drawing of the road on the map; a yellow one runs from his own name to his home. The arrows eliminate additional labeling, Stiff notes, making the map more legible.

Just as social media is supposedly helping people connect, hand drawings and hand written notes do the same for me. I feel as though I have gained, especially in light of tech driven communication, some insight and connection to the person via their work.


marc thiessen a court stenographer for war criminals, burned blue skies wallpaper, day we took to the skies in jets

Former Bush speech writer and torture affectionado Marc Thiessen has been issued a challenge by someone that knows what they’re talking about. “I Challenge Marc Thiessen”–Six Questions for Malcolm Nance

5. You previously served as a master instructor in the SERE program, in which pilots were prepared, among other things, to endure waterboarding. The SERE training program, we later learned, was reverse engineered to produce “enhanced interrogation techniques” for the CIA. Recently a White House speechwriter named Marc Thiessen has played a vocal role in the campaign that the Cheneys have launched to justify the use of waterboarding. He insists that it absolutely is not torture, and he insists that it’s different from the technique used by the Khmer Rouge. Does Thiessen know what he’s talking about?

I spent twenty years in intelligence and four years in the SERE program waterboarding people before I ever opened my mouth on the subject. Marc Thiessen is a fool of the highest magnitude if he thinks he knows anything about waterboarding. His claims are based not on first-hand experience but on a classified briefing from people with an agenda of justifying what was done. That makes Thiessen into a court stenographer for war criminals rather than a person with any real claim of expertise. As for his claim about the relationship between Pol Pot–era waterboarding and what we have done derived from the SERE program, he’s wrong. Before I arrived at SERE, I went to S21 prison in Cambodia. Right next to the Wall of Skulls sits the exact waterboard platform that the SERE program copied for our own use in the training program. Remember, our goal was to prepare pilots for the techniques they might face if they fell into the hands of our enemies. I was waterboarded on arrival at SERE, and then as a senior staffer, I performed the technique or supervised it through hundreds of evolutions.

Thiessen’s central purpose is apparently to glorify the most extreme practices used by the CIA in the Bush era and to argue that each of these practices, including waterboarding, is vitally necessary to our national security–even though no president used them before, and it seems that President Bush himself halted many of these practices over Cheney’s objection. We have prosecuted and convicted men for using these techniques in the past, and we were right to do so.

This suggests to me that, while he may cite Thomas Aquinas, Thiessen has no sense of honor and no moral compass. I give him credit for his loyalty to the Cheneys, but he’s blind to their errors in judgment. The use of waterboarding and other torture techniques was a powerful recruitment tool for Al Qaeda; it spawned thousands of would-be suicide bombers. Thiessen claims that we gained “intelligence” by using these torture techniques. But this shows that he knows nothing about the intelligence process or how our enemy grows and sustains itself.

Thousands of American POWs died and suffered resisting torture practices that we have always called the tools of the enemy. The SERE program was designed to help them grapple with this inhumanity and retain their dignity in the face of it. Now Thiessen and his boss want us to embrace the tactics we used in that program–taken from the Russians, the Communist Chinese, the North Koreans, the North Vietnamese, the Khmer Rouge–as our own. He claims that these techniques are unpleasant but have no long-term physical or mental impact. Really? I challenge him to put up or shut up. I offer to put him through just one hour of the CIA enhanced interrogation techniques that were authorized in the Bush Administration’s OLC memos–including the CIA-approved variant of waterboarding. If at the end he still believes this is not torture, I’ll respect his viewpoint. But not until then. By the way, I can assure you that, within that hour, I’ll secure Thiessen’s written admission that waterboarding is torture and that his book is a pack of falsehoods. He’ll give me any statement I want in order to end the torture.

The argument itself is so cynical that it is difficult not to sound cynical while explaining it. All the arguments for torture – the fact based and moral ones – have been made. The last refuge of the torture advocate: torture is not meant to produce reliable intel. It is intended to  scare the enemy. The facts are clear. Torture is illegal. The U.S. and our allies have prosecuted practitioners of torture since WW II. It has not scared al-Qaeda. On the contrary, torture has made its victims martyrs for terror recruiters.

Those that feel they are walking in on the middle of a conversation about torture and are asking who the hell is  Marc Thiessen might find this and this link useful.

burned blue skies wallpaper

On This Day: First Commercial Jet Flight Takes Off

On May 2, 1952, British Overseas Airways Corporation launched commercial air travel by jet, sending 36 passengers from London to Johannesburg on the de Havilland Comet, a four-engine aircraft.

Eons in internet time but anyone born in 1952 would still be under 60 and remember the growth of commercial jet aviation. Commercial flights took place before 1952. They were manly by flying boats in the 1930s. Airports that were long enough to support landings were rare. Pan American made its first experimental commercial transatlantic flight with an air boat on 26 March 1939.

BP warned of rig fault ten years ago

In June 2000, the oil giant issued a “notice of default” to Transocean, the operator of the rig that blew up last month. The dispute was over problems with a blowout preventer, a set of iron slabs that should close out-of-control wells. It failed on the Gulf of Mexico rig, triggering the explosion and oil spill.