September 29, 2003

To The Emperor

Emperor Misha has made a terrible mistake and acidentally deleted all comments..I, I said Awwwl comments, y'hear?

The one you left this morning, the one you left last night; last month; last year. They're all gone.

My message to Emperor Misha the 1st & Only:

And I mean: wow.
I can't even muster the energy to capitalize or type an exclamation point.

This is a tragic loss. So much wisdom and salty snark that'll just have to be re-lived the old fashioned way.

Oh well, folks, looks like we'll just hafta sssssssssssay it again!!!!

I'll miss every MUMIA post, and the posts of Lord Spatula. But, honestly, I think I'll miss our recent LC Natasha's posts the most.

And I'll miss all of the considered arguments presented by George Turner, Da Goddess and Lady Two Dragons.
All of the wonderful scribblings of Serenity and Ripper, and Kim and the Mrs.
The beautiful prose of Michelle, and especially the non-idiotarian Mats.

We'll survive. Here's the trick:

Imagine that g-d Himself came to you two years ago and said:
"Mike, I'm gonna let you have a blog -- a really successful blog -- that attracts several hundred visitors a frickin' day:"
(okay, g-d wouldn't say "frickin'" but you get the pitcher.....)

He adds; "You'll be able to read the most amazing, enlightening and fullfilling feedback...comments beyond your wildest dreams; from dissenters and kindred spirits alike. A splendid (and sometimes savagely stimulating) time is guaranteed for all!!
But there's a condition:
On September 29th, 2003, I'm gonna take those comments away, never to be read again.
Whadda ya say?"


"Give 'em to me, Lord." I think I hear. "That's a win-win offer if I've ever heard one! Until September 29th I want. that. blog. And then, uh, I'll take it from there...and promise never again to fuck it up!!"

So many moons and so many memories. It was not for naught: you've made a difference that can't be erased by a slip of the thumb.
Be proud, Emperor; the past is still carried within us. Nothing is lost so long as it's remembered, and so much is memorable!

Yet, for our fallen scribblings, let us bow our heads in a moment of silence.


Aw crap, let's just party!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Tuning Spork at 11:59 PM | Comments (5)

Breaking News:

Michael Richards a.k.a Cosmo Peres?

Posted by Tuning Spork at 06:48 PM | Comments (0)

September 28, 2003

Quote of the Day

"It used to be that being crazy meant something. Nowadays everybody's crazy."
--Charles Manson

Posted by Tuning Spork at 08:37 PM | Comments (1)

September 26, 2003

Spork's Gravity, part 4 (unification?)

g = c*s / r^2

As I've been sitting here and getting a bit hung up on the F=G(M+m)/r^2-Kepler-Centripetal-angular momentum stuff, I've decided to just get right to the meat of my theory that gravity is not an applied external force.

This is my theory (and put on your Relativity thinking caps and hold them down tightly!):

If bodies in free-fall in gravitational field are in a state of inertial rest, then gravity is not an applied external force. And, if gravity is not an external force then what the heck is it?

Electromagnetic radiation (light) that has been released as pure energy expands as a light sphere in all accessible directions. Sometimes the photon-wave is reflected, other times it's absorbed by matter and becomes a part of that matter.
Light expands at a constant speed (c) of 299,792,458 m/s in a vacuum.

When light is absorbed by matter it does not expand at c anymore. It's previous latent energy now contributes to the structure and mass of whatever particle absorbed it; it becomes matter.
Electromagnet energy and matter have already been theoretically united as matter-energy by E=mc^2 (much as space and time have been united as space-time).
But unifying gravity with the other elements and forces of physics has been a tough go. But, I have an idea.

If motion is relative, then the speed of light is, too. Now, I hear you say "c is a constant." Yes, in any frame of reference, c is a constant. And so is mass, time, and all of the fundamental principles of classical mechanics.
But light (energy) that has been absorbed and is now a part of a particle (matter), has entered a very different frame of reference for itself. It now has mass, it's staying reasonably can be pushed around.

So, what happened to it's unstoppable urge to expand at the speed of light?
My answer: It never lost it.

Just as a photon-wave can't do anything but expand at c, so can't a particle of matter. The difference is the frame of reference. Rather than the energy expanding through space at c, the particle is *ahem* expanding through space at c.

Gravity obeys an inverse-square law. If one planet is twice as far away from the sun as another, then the gravitational effect of the sun on that planet is 1/4 of that planet that's twice as close. If it's 3 times further away then the effect is 1/9. 4 times? 1/16, etc.
This is due to the simple Euclidian law of geometry; that the surface of a sphere grows as the square of the radius.
Let's assume a standard sphere where we call the radius 1 and the surface area 1. If the radius of another sphere is 2, then the surface area of that sphere is 4. If the radius = 3, then surface area = 9, etc.
If the force g = 1 at a radius r = 1, then the same progression applies.

Imagine a sphere at any given radius from a mass (body) as a shell.
The force of gravity at any given spherical shell at a given radius from the center of the source mass is the same as it is at any other shell at any given radius from that body,.but it's effect is dispersed -- by an inverse square law -- as the shells become larger at greater distances.
(Expanding light spheres do the same thing. Let's say there are two stars of equal mass and brightness, but one is twice as far away as the other. The star that is twice as far away is four times as dim as the one that is twice as close.)

That matter is "expanding through space at c" -- causing the effect we call gravity -- is perfectly sensical if we can just picture in our minds a light sphere expanding through space at c; then picture the light sphere frozen; then (since that can't happen, can it?) the relative velocity of that "frozen" sphere through space.
Or, let me try it this way: Imagine that we have a really expensive camera that can zoom back to follow the light sphere as it expands, so it's always the same size on the screen. The sphere will look to be at rest (like a particle mass), while the space around it would seem to be getting sucked in.

Here's the cool part: If we were to pan back fast enough to keep the expanding light sphere at a constant size in the center of our screen, we would have to retreat at the speed of light. This would mean that the sphere would always be frozen in time as far as we could tell. The nearest matter around it that's being "sucked in" would seem to just sit there; time has stopped. But there would be new stars buzzing by us at the speed of light, seemingly rushing at c to get to that light sphere; and it would appear to us to be progressing as some kind of crazy backward inverse law.

As you get closer to a mass it's gravity effect increases according to the inverse-square law. I decided, one day, to assume that a particle's radius was determined by (or, in proportion to) it's mass and gravity effect. I further assumed that, at it's "surface radius," it's g-force would produce an acceleration of c*s. Then I wondered; what size would a particle of 1 Earth-mass be when it's surface g was equal to c*s?

First; here are some basic facts:

c*s = 299,792,458 m/s^2
g = 9.78 m/s^2
c*s/g = 30,653,625.56
1 / (c*s/g) = 0.000000032

surface area of a sphere = 4*pi*r^2
radius of Earth = 6,378,000 meters
surface area of Earth = 511,185,500,700 meters^2

So, let's take the actual measurements for the Earth's surface:
r = 6,378,000 meters
g = 9,78 m/s^2
surface area is 511,185,500,700 meters^2

and reduced them to the point where g=c*s:
r = 1,151.976424 meters
g = c*s
surface area is 16,676,184.03 meters^2

As expected:
If you divide the surface area of the Earth by the reduced surface area you get:
Dividing the radius of the Earth by the reduced radius:
5,536.571641 (the sq.rt. of 30,653,625.54)
and dividing actual sea-level g by c*s:

There are several ways of playing with the numbers, but there's a kicker.
Looking through the results, here's how gravity finally gets to be in an equation with c:

r^2 = c*s / g

c*s = g*r^2

g = c*s / r^2

(c*s is how I write the speed of light as an acceleration; it means 186,000 m/s^2.)

These equations are only for supra-atomic bodies like the Earth, and G(m) for other bodies would have to be factered in to get a concrete answer; and it may not tranlate to subatomic particles. Also, relativistic time dialations might skew the effects (i.e. the reduction represents a "Black Hole").
It's a hypothesis in progress that may lead to nowhere else, but I'll crunch some numbers (for electrons and protons) and see what happens.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 10:38 PM | Comments (2)

Spork's Gravity part 3 (just to clarify some stuff)

Daniel has a critique of the gravity posts so far here, and I responded in the comments. I want to explain more precisely what I'm trying to prove, as it might be a bit unclear so far.

I'm attempting to show that Isaac Newton's equation
F = G(Mm) / r^2
should be replaced with
a = G(M+m) / r^2.
Also, since Newton's Principle of Equivalence was first theorized only because Galileo's Law of Falling Bodies seemed irrefutable (and I refute it!), the Principle of Equivalence is unneccessary.

But let me explain exactly what I mean by a=G(M+m)/r^2.
(And I like to use visual examples rather than just deal with cold abstract point particles. I'm like that.)

Imagine that we are in a space ship that is at rest relative to a distant planet called M1. We have a very powerful spy-telescope than not only see the planet clearly, but also any incoming meteors that are only the size of bowling ball.

The planet is just sitting out there in the void of space and doesn't even seem to be moving against the background stars.
We then notice a small meteor heading straight for M1 on a collision course. We know how far away these bodies are from us, and from each other. Observing m2's motion against the background stars, we quickly calculate that the meteor is "falling" toward M1 acording to F=G(M1)/r^2.
We don't notice M1 moving at all.

We call our fellow astronaut, who's camping on M1's surface, and tell him to look up through his telescope at the incoming meteor. "Yep," he says, "Here it comes, and with the exact same rate of acceleration we expect all falling bodies to have here.
Eventually the meteor hits the planet, but misses the astronaut, and M1 seems to still be in the exact same place it was before the meteor ever showed up.

The next day we look out again from our spaceship and... holy cow, look what's coming in now! It's another planet with exactly the same mass as M1 (we're physic, too btw) heading on the same path that the meteor followed! We call this planet: M2.

Observing M2's motion against the background stars we calculate that M2 is falling with an acceleration toward M1 according to F=G(M1)/r^2, as expected.

Now we turn our telescope to M1 an notice that it's moving across the background stars, in a straight line toward M2, with an acceleration in accordance with F=G(M2)/r^2.
We call our astronaut who's camping on M1 and tell him to look up. "What the..." he says. That thing is heading toward me with an acceleration rate that's TWICE what it should be! I mean, all bodies are supposed to fall at the same rate!"

"Uh, Dave?" we say, "M1 -- where you are -- is accelerating toward M2 at the same rate that M2 is accelerating toward M1."
"But, I don't feel any differant. How can you tell me I'm accelerating?"
"Because we can see it happening!"

To Dave the Astronaut, in his frame of reference he is still where we was along along, in a state of rest; and the incoming bodies were all in a state of acceleration. He has no idea why that falling planet is coming in at twice the rate of acceleration that's twice the rate with which he's seen every other falling body fall.

The two forces at work are defined by F=G(M1)/r^2 and F=G(M2)/r^2. The total acceleration due to those "forces" involved in the M1-M2 system is a=G(M1+M2)/r^2. The accelerations due to the masses of the two components of the system are additive; and the relative acceleration of M2 toward M1 is twice the rate than that of the insignificant meteor toward M1.

Newton's F=G(Mm)/r^2 (along with the corresponding Principle of Equivalence that negates the accelerating effects resulting from the large product: F) assumes that two bodies are "action-reaction pairs," and that the force exerted on M1 by a meteor is "equal and opposite" to that exerted on the meteor by M1.
This comes from Newton's hypothesis that gravity is essentially an "action-at-a-distance" where the bodies somehow detect each other's mass, and then act accordingly.
All of this is based on the idea that gravity is an applied external force.

Einstein demonstrated via the elevator experiment that, without a frame of reference, a body falling in a gravitational field is indistiguishable from a body at rest outside of a gravitational field. Therefore; bodies fall (accelerate toward other bodies) not because they are being acted upon by an external force, but because they are at rest in a gravitational field.

Stephen Hawking, in his book A Brief History of Time, attempted to explain the Principle of Equivalence (between Gravitational and Inertial mass) with an analogy invoking the different sized engines required to move a light car versus a heavy car; that the inertia mass of the heavier car needs a stronger engine to move it.

Hawking wrote, as Newton had, that greater energy is needed to move the heavier car and thus, it followed that the greater gravitational mass of a heavier body is needed to overcome the body's greater resistance to a change in it's inertia.
Why the analogy fails -- I contend -- is that the car needs a force applied to it in order to accelerate it (F=ma), but a body in free-fall does not; it is in an inertial state of rest even as it appears to be accelerating.
As I wrote before: Even though a falling body appears to be accelerating, it is not. It is WE, standing on the ground in the gravitational field, that are undergoing an acceleration.
Just to belabor the point one more time (egad!): The presumption that gravity is an applied external force is the entire premise behind Newton's "action-reaction pairs" idea that led to F=G(Mm)/r^2 and the Principle of Equivalence.

Next post will be in a little while! Yay!

Posted by Tuning Spork at 06:01 PM | Comments (0)

September 25, 2003


Okay, I said I was gonna put part three up tonight, but I had a long day at work and right now I just feel like kickin' back and surfin' the blogosphere which I haven't been able to do in a couple o' days.

Writing is hard when it's important (at least to the writer). So many phrases and clauses ("conjuction junction...what's your function?...") running through my head. But how to get to them, and in what order; aye, there's the rub. Building an argument for a clique of newbies and wonks is problematic. You don't want to get too bogged down in obscurity that you alienate some, but you also don't want to get so vague and general that you insult/bore/leave-unfullfilled others.

Maybe, when I write about all this physics stuff, I sometimes assume a level of familiarity on the part of the reader that isn't neccessarily there; and the thread of logic can seem presumptuous and inapproachable.

If any holes need filling just let me know.
(No, that's not a come-on!)

I'll continue tomorrow...or, at least, over the weekend.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 10:59 PM | Comments (0)

September 24, 2003

Spork's Gravity, part 2 (foundation)

One fine day in school my sixth grade teacher taught the class that two objects of different weights fell at exactly the same rate of acceleration. I clearly remember Mr. Weatherby standing atop his desk and simultaneously dropping a text book and a #2 pencil, and we all watched very closely to make absolutely certain that they hit the floor at the same time. I couldn't be sure that they had, although they did seem to. But, with the assurance from Mr. Weatherby, I accepted that they had.
He then explained that this enchanted reality was known as Galileo's Law of Falling Bodies. Maybe it struck me at the time that if it was good enough for Galileo then it was good enough for me.

But I've always felt a nagging uneasiness whenever I thought about it. As I grew older and more interested in the finer points of physics, my curiosity about this basic law increased.
"This can not be!" I kept muttering to myself when I was sure I was alone. "More mass means more gravity. And more gravity means more acceleration, dag nab it!"

F = G(M+m) / r^2
One mass does not unilaterally attract another, the other mass is also attracting the first, even if it's one particle at a time. (Specifically; two bodies are attracted to their common center of mass.)

The Earth attracts a 1kg body with the same gravity effect as it attracts a .25kg body. But the 1kg and .25kg bodies each attract the Earth proportional to their mass. They have different masses and must attract the Earth to different degree as surely as the Moon would attract the bodies to a differing degree.
(I keep using the word "attract". It's completely inaccurate, but it's an old habit.)

If Newton's Principle of Equivalence is correct then it's a body's resistance to the applied force of gravity that counter-balances it's gravitational attraction, and each body's mass -- no matter what it is -- counters in the same way, and so they fall at the same rate of acceleration.
Assuming that's true, I wondered, then why wouldn't g on a planet of similar size but twice the mass (we'll call it Planet X) be identical to Earth's? On Planet X, a bowling ball would fall twice as fast, right?
Let's crunch some numbers, not quite planetary-sized, but varied enough to vividly make the point.

UPDATE: Daniel has pointed out to me that the following example does not make the point I was trying to make. F2 and F3 are equal, but it's because the mass and acceleration are just reversed in the two instances. That's what I get for posting an idea that struck me as I stared at the monitor, and before I thought it through.
I'll try and come up with an appropriate example (if it's even neccessary).

In this example M1=1,000,000; m1=1; M2=2,000,000; and m2=2.

There are four combinations:
F1 = G(M1m1) / r^2......F1 = G(1,000,000) / r^2
F2 = G(M1m2) / r^2......F2 = G(2,000,000) / r^2
F3 = G(M2m1) / r^2......F3 = G(2,000,000) / r^2
F4 = G(M2m2) / r^2......F4 = G(4,000,000) / r^2

F2 and F3 resolve identically, even though the two massive bodies, M1 and M2, should give very different results for the lesser bodies, m1 and m2. Substituting Earth-mass and Planet X-mass for the M1 and M2, two rocks (one twice as heavy as the other) for m1 and m2, would give the same result: F2 = F3, even though observation tells us they don't.

But, I can hear you saying "But, Spork, the Principle of Equivalence takes care of this. It's M1 and M2's resistance to moving toward m1 and m2. The inertia is almost entirely put on the lesser masses."
Okay. Then the next question is: What evidence is there that a body in free-fall in a gravitational field is, in fact, resisting?

Albert Einstein, while developing his own theories of gravity, had tried many ideas before focusing on Newton's old Principle of Equivalence. He did not accept, at the time, that gravity could propogate across the void of space without any real, and hopefully discoverable communication between masses.
The "action-at-distance" that Newton had resigned himself to was illogical and inadequate. He sought for years to expand Relativity into a working theory of gravity.

Then Einstein was intriqued by a newspaper item about a man who had fallen some distance and survived to tell about it. The man, describing his descent to the reporter, mentioned that while he was falling he could feel no effects of gravity. He described what it was like to be weightless.
Einstein made the connection that a free-fall in gravitational field and weightlessness are indistinguishable without a frame of reference.

That Newton's Principle of Equivalence was the way to explain the Law of Falling Bodies was accepted for hundreds of years before Einstein, but it offered no real understanding of why this was so. Using his General Theory of Relativity, Einstein tried to settle the matter.

The elevator experiment is the most famous of Einstein's "thought experiments" that he used to explain Relativity, as well as explore it's implications.
It's important to note that it is not merely an analogy or metaphor. It's a real working example of how the world works.

An elevator carrying a few scientists is suspended at some altitude above the Earth's surface. There are no windows.
The scientists know that they are at rest in the Earth's gravitational field. They can sense up from down, and their pencils fall to the floor when dropped.

Suddenly the cables are released and they begin a free-fall toward the ground. Now they float weightlessly. One scientist takes a pencil from his pocket-protector and releases it. It floats in mid-air; an object at rest and remaining at rest. He gives it a nudge, and it moves at a constant speed -- an object in motion and remaing in motion -- until acted upon by an external force: the wall of the elevator.
The scientists conclude that they have either a) been magically transported to a zero-gravity system, obeying all of Newton's laws of motion, or b) are about to crash.

Now imagine that they have indeed been transported, still floating around, into a vast region of empty space. Suddenly the cables begin to reel in the car at a constant rate of acceleration.
Once again their feet can plant firmly on the floor, and pencil accelerate at a constant rate when dropped.
The scientists could then conclude that they are, once again, at rest in Earth's gravitational field.

The elevator thought experiment illustrates the central premise of the General Theory of Relativity; that rest within a gravitational field in indistiguishable from a constant acceleration without a frame of reference. They are relative states of inertia. This is Einstein's Principle of Equivalence.

F = G(M+m) / r^2 RETURNS
One important element of the elevator experiment is that Einstein used it to confirm the Law of Falling Bodies. When the elevator was accelerated by the cables in the void of space, all the objects met the floor with the same urgency regardless of each one's individual mass.

But, as I wrote earlier, the experiment isn't just an analogy but an example of how the world works. The gravitational effects between the walls of the elevator and the pencils is so negligible that they are, for all practical observational purposes, meaningless. (And, if the elevator were a uniform sphere, the effects would be zero.)
To say that the elevator experiment proves the Law of Falling Bodies is no different than saying that dropping two unequal masses from the Leaning Tower of Piza proves it. The difference would be too irrelevant to matter.

In an effort to test Newton's principle of equivalence (which Einstein claimed to validate) a man named Baron von Eotvos came up with an experiment in which he attempted to observe any discrepancy between the velocity of falling unequal masses. He devised an apparatus -- known as a tension fiber balance -- and an experiment whose results seemed to indicate that the Law of Falling Bodies is valid to at least 5 parts per billion.
In the mid-60's the experiment was refined by Robert Dicke by a factor of several hundred. It was regarded as rock solid evidence that Galileo's Law, and Newton's Principle of Equivalence, were scientifically canonical.

However, if we invoke the principle that all forces are additive and look at the example of two bodies -- one 1kg, the other .25kg -- falling toward the surface of the Earth (with a mass of approximately 6 x 10^24kg, we can calculate the difference between the two rates of acceleration in free-fall.

The mass of the Earth-1kg body system:
The mass of the Earth-.25kg body system:

The difference, being a mere .75kg -- or, one part per 8 trillion trillion -- is a smaller difference than the Eotvos/Dicke experiments could measure by a factor of about 40 thousand trillion. No wonder they didn't notice it.

Q: If F=G(Mm)/r^2 is wrong, then why is a 1kg body 4 times as heavy as a .25kg body?
A: The weight of the body is what it is because of the force needed to keep it from falling. But what's at work here is F=ma.
When you hold out a hammer and release it, it wall fall until it hits the ground. This event is not due to a force (gravity) acting on the hammer; it's due to the sudden absence of force (you, holding it) and the sudden reappearance of force (the ground) that are the only forces at work.

Einstein showed that a body in free-fall is in an inertial state of rest. It's the act of holding it that creates an acceleration.
Even though a falling body appears to be accelerating, it is actually WE, standing still on the ground, who are experiencing an acceleration.
("a" is the acceleration cause by "g", and varies at different altitudes. So the force needed to hold up a body -- while "at rest" in a gravitational field (it's "weight")-- is specifically described by F=mg.)

But, I hear you thinking, this is all academic. All of the discrepancies so far are debatable, and the "evidence" is on a scale too small to allow any confirmation. Where is some real observable evidence? Surely there are macrocosmic examples that could justify a radical change in such long-held physical laws.

Yep, there are! Coming tomorrow!!
(Kepler, Cavendish, Jupiter, light spheres, Hawking, and the fact that gravity is not an applied external force. And maybe, just maybe, some of my working hypothesis of what gravity actually is!)
Hey, c'mon, I love this stuff, but I'm not about to give myself carpal-tunnel syndrome for it!!! ;)

Posted by Tuning Spork at 11:06 PM | Comments (4)

September 23, 2003

Spork's Gravity, part 1 (a primer)

This is mainly a primer to the classical theories of gravity that I intend to refute. For anyone well-versed in such things, you wont learn anything here. :(
But it'll be handy info for everybody else!

Among the many cornerstones of the classical and modern theories of physics lay Galileo's Law of Falling Bodies and Isaac Newton's Principle of Equivalence. For centuries they have both been tested, re-tested, built upon and held to be irrefutably confirmed.
My mission is to present an argument, through reason and observation, that these two gravitational laws are fallacies.
I invite any and all challenges and input! I'm not proud, just curious. ;)

Prior to Galileo's experiments with falling bodies at about the year 1590, the predominant wisdom was that heavier bodies fell faster than lighter ones. Aristotle, some twenty centuries earlier, decreed that this was the case based on the obvious fact that rocks fell faster than feathers.
He failed, of course, to consider the effect of air resistence. He also failed to test his theory (assumption, really) by experimenting, i.e.: dropping rocks of different weights from significant heights.

What seemed completely sensical and obvious to Aristotle in the 4th Century B.C. was rejected by Galileo on the strength of observation. By dropping two unequal masses from a great height he could demonstrate that, all common sense and expectation aside, these two unequal masses would fall at precisely the same rate of acceleration. This he defined as the Law of Falling Bodies, and it is probably the oldest classical theory left standing to date.

Well, 'til now anyway. ;)

Even as he championed this new and exciting discovery Galileo was at a loss to explain how it could be so, and he attempted to disprove it through thought experiments.
One of his experiments was to imagine two bodies of unequal mass dropping from a great height while tethored loosely by a piece of string. Assuming that these two masses would fall at different rates he posed to himself some questions:

Would the lighter, slower-falling object slow the descent of the heavier?
Would the heavier, faster-falling object speed up the lighter one?
Or, would the two -- being connected by the string -- make yet a heavier object and fall faster than either of the two would seperately?

Since Galileo could find no way to justify choosing one over the others, he decided that the assumption that unequal masses fell at different rates presented a paradox which the Law of Falling Bodies took care of nicely.

He then reached the further conclusion that gravity attracts each individual particle in each body seperately, thus the bodies, as a whole, fall at the same rate.
This assertion was echoes by both Newton and Einstein, and is held to be one of the most irrefutable facts of the laws of gravity.

A century after Galileo, Isaac Newton assured us that the Law of Falling Bodies was valid.
It was during Sir Isaac's efforts to understand and describe the Moon's orbital characteristics that he applied the equation

F = G(Mm) / r^2

which states that multiplying the mass (M) of one body by the mass (m) of another body, then multiply that quotient by a gravitational constant (G), and then dividing that by the square of the radius (r) will resolve at the force (F) of the gravitational attraction between them.

On an Eartbound horizontal plane the force neccessary to roll a 5kg rock a certain distance is less than the force needed to roll a 20kg rock the same distance. Newton's Second Law of Motion describes this as F=ma (force = mass times accelleration).
In an Earthbound vertical plane, however, objects in a free-fall seem to accelerate at only one possible speed; approximately 32fps^2 at sea level.
Newton wondered that, curiously, it could be argued that the force of the Earth's gravity on two unequal masses in free-fall could actually make the lighter object fall faster due to it's lesser resistance to a change in it's inertial state than the heavier body. While applying the Law of Falling Bodies to this, he attempted to explain it by defining two kinds of mass; Gravitational mass, and Inertial mass.

Gravitational mass (due to the amount of matter) determines the body's gravitational attractiveness. A more massive (heavier) body has a stronger gravitational effect.
Inertial mass (due to the amount of matter) determines a body's resistance to a change in it's inertial state. A more massive (heavier) body is more resistant to moving it if it's a rest, and stopping it if it's in motion. (Of course, motion is relative and these two phrases are really saying the same thing.)

Newton then theorized that the Gravitational mass and the Inertial mass of any body, and in any system of bodies, are equivalent.
While his equation

F = G(Mm) / r^2

implies that a 20kg rock might fall 4 times as fast as a 5kg rock (since it's gravitational attraction is 4 times as great) the equivalence of Gravitational and Inertial mass counters: although the attraction is 4 times as great, the 20kg rock's greater resisitance to change is also 4 times as great. The effects cancel each other out, and the rocks will fall side-by-side.

This concludes the introduction to the classical theory of gravity. Einstein's Principle of Equivalence (the "elevator experiment") will be next.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 08:39 PM | Comments (2)

September 22, 2003

The Persistent Illusion of Equivalence

Okay, I've made up my mind. Now's the time to sink or swim.

Beginning tomorrow evening I'm going to begin posting -- in installments -- my working theory of Gravity.
It may be sleepy for some, creepy for others. But, I promise it'll be food for thought.

And I invite, nay, DEMAND critique!!

heh, this is gonna be fun. :D

Posted by Tuning Spork at 09:50 PM | Comments (12)

Quote of the day

"Stare not for too long a time into the fire
lest, soon, fire be all ye see."
-Herman Melville, Moby Dick.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 09:10 PM | Comments (0)

September 21, 2003

Quote of the day

"In Detroit, under a new prison rehabilitation program called Fresh Start, employers will get a tax break if they hire an ex-convict. Employers who hire more that one ex-convict will get robbed and killed."
-Norm MacDonald

Posted by Tuning Spork at 04:14 PM | Comments (0)

Link Love

Jennifer has an idea about getting more links. Let's see if it works. ;)

Posted by Tuning Spork at 12:54 PM | Comments (1)

New Blog Showcase

Okay, I'm not sure how this is supposed to work, but, if I understood the instructions, this oughtta be my vote:

From The Truth Laid Bear's New Webblog Showcase:

> DFMoore: Your Daily Dose of Pizzazz!: More on Moral Relativism

Posted by Tuning Spork at 12:10 PM | Comments (2)

September 20, 2003

the law of unintended eco/nsequences

I never thought I'd link to, but here it is.

I don't link to them because a) they tend to inflect silly partisan invection that only hurts the message (I guess they assume they're preaching to the choir and thus don't care how over the top they sound); and b) they never link their sources.

But, take it from me (ROFLMAO!!!), this is legit.
The insulation of the thin steel webbing of the WTC, and the eco-safe insulation of Columbia's external tanks, are what caused their untimely destructions.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 07:35 PM | Comments (1)

Front Page For the Blogless

Well, I got nothin' today. All my ideas would require hours of typing and I'm kinda..oh, I dunno...feeling kinda listless. (Hmm, maybe I could make a list of some kind...)

But I found an excellent comment over at the Emporer's palace by a regular LC who calls himself "Ripper".
And, since he doesn't have his own blog, I thought I might presume to get him out of the Comments boxes and onto the front page... right here.

Responding to the notion that we ought to get over 9/11 and just move on awready, Ripper wrote:

"I was thinking about this very subject this morning, for some reason.
Would any of those who urge we "move on" from 9/11 dare to tell professional widow Coretta Scott King to "get over" her husband's death?
And shouldn't blacks just get over slavery - it's been 138 years since the Civil War, after all!
And my gosh, when will those whiny Yids get over the Holocaust?
Besides, what about my Holocaust? What about the murder of the (Armenians / Native Americans / Irish / insert your grievance group here)? Why is it that where the fault can be laid to America's door, we are encouraged - nay, even commanded - to pick at the festering wound again and again, never to forget and never to "move on". . .but somehow the destruction of the Twin Towers and the wanton murder of thousands of people in the heart of New York is something we should simply have had enough of in two short years."

Amen. Those who were cut the deepest by the atrocities mentioned above have no desire to "move on" to the point that they forget what happened and, thus, forget to work to make sure it doesn't happen again.

Those who would have us "get over" 9/11 show the level to which they were (un)angered by the murder of 3,000+ innocent bystanders in the jihadist war against individual Liberty.
I suppose, also, that we should have called it quits in December 1943 since it had been two years since the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor?
The motivation of the self-loathing move-oners is simple: If it's in Americans' interests it's wrong.
Ripper concluded:

"Screw them. Continue "offending daily," Glorious One - that's why I come here."
Posted by Ripper at September 18, 2003 01:31 PM

Can I get an AMEN?!!!

Posted by Tuning Spork at 07:03 PM | Comments (3)

September 18, 2003

50 more dumb things about me

51. My three favorite songwriters are Elvis Costello, Bob Dylan and Patti Smith.
52. After I left the Air Force I lived with my mother for a year. It was pure hell.
53. It was my fault.
54. Every sport is boring and tedious except for baseball.
55. I'm a Mets fan.
56. Tom Seaver sat five feet away from me in our living room in 1976 because my mother was dating Gene; a guy who worked in the Mets' front office.
57. I've met two other Hall of Famers: Ralph Kiner and Bob Feller.
58. I worked for Jerry Brown in 1992.
59. That's when I first learned that Bill Clinton was sleaze incarnate.
60. I think "Parker Lewis Can't Lose" was the best show ever broadcast.
61. Well, except for the Simpsons.
62. My first dates usually consist of hiking up Sleeping Giant Mountain.
63. Slow-dance to "Beast of Burden"'s magic.
64. Everyone I know has had medical care (be it carpal-tunnel; hepititis; gall-stones...).
65. I haven't even had so much as a common cold in 7 years.
66. What storm is brewing beneath the calm? Hopefully none.
67. My favorite place is the Metropolitan Museum of Natural History.
68. I've had the same job for nine years.
67. Fugi apples are the best to munch on, but Cortlands are the best to bake.
68. My friend Laura likes to date strange men.
69. I share a house with Chris. He makes his living on eBay and trust-fund installments.
70. If you have any antiques laying around that you wanna sell; Chris is the guy to talk to.
71. When my nephew was born I just stared at him, as he slept, for an hour straight.
72. My sister is super-mom.
73. He's 10 years old now and doesn't seem to worship me as much as he used to.
74. It's my fault.
75. I believe that love is the meaning of life because it's the only reason we have to even bother with it.
76. I believe that patience is an expression of love.
77. I love stormy weather.
78. The secret to awesome deviled eggs is horseradish.
79. I never studied but always tested well.
80. That caught up with me in college.
81. Weird Al Yankovic is a musical genius.
82. I own one suit.
83. I'm lucky if I get to wear it once a year.
84. I only wear boots... I don't own a pair of sneakers.
85. My hair has receded in the corners.
86. Sort of a Vincent Price thang.
87. I lucked out better than my dad.
88. I sell records on, from New Haven to Hong Kong.
89. Business is slow lately.
90. My cats' names are Stinky and BatCat.
91. BatCat catches bats in mid-flight outside.
92. Stinky just stinks.
93. They were both strays that we took in.
94. As for the dog, Tuko, you'll have to ask Chris. It's the brand name of a Japanese version of Multigraphics presses, but I doubt that that's where the name comes from.
95. Garden tomatoes are delicious.
96. And cucumbers, too.
97. I still sing Mac Davis songs in my head.
98. I'm an atheist who loves religeon.
99. I was a Nicheren Shosu Buddhist for a few years.
100. Well, at least they thought I was... ;)

Posted by Tuning Spork at 11:44 PM | Comments (2)

September 17, 2003

50 Dumb things about me

Well, since it's all the rage to make a list of 50 things about us, and I have nothing to post, I'll just imitate/flatter Annika/Jennifer/Susie.

1. I was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut on June 18th, 1963.
2. I was named after my father (which is a stupid way to name your kid. Let him have his own name!!!)
3. I run offset printing presses for a living (it's interesting and stimulating, but it ain't made me rich yet).
4. I have two sisters; one older, one younger.
5. My older sister was a grumpy bossy b#%ch when we were kids; but has mellowed out since, and we're very close now.
6. My younger sister and I were so close that we had the exact same friends when we were kids, and we're still close.
7. My parents seperated when we were all toddlers.
8. My father remarried and moved to Vermont. I have a half-brother and a former step-brother.
9. My half-brother, Brian, has been missing for 15 years.
10. My father re-remarried to an angel on Earth. I hope to find a woman like her.
11. My mother never remarried.
12. When I was in third grade I became obsessed with Gigantor.
13. Then the Jackson 5. Michael Jackson was my 1st idol.
14. Mom took us camping alot. She loved to rough it.
15. She recently gave up competitive rollerskating for recreational kayaking.
16. She's 60 years old.
17. I've been in the presence of my father four times since 1974.
18. Neither of us seems to mind.
19. I was a Cub Scout. Cool uniform.
20. My older sister's friends thought I was "cute" in it.
21. I hated being called "cute."
22. I was an easy target for bullies, being thin and mild-mannered.
23. I was always the tallest kid in my class.
24. My younger sister was always the shortest in hers.
25. No one believed we were brother and sister.
26. In freshman year in highschool I had long hair and looked like Peter Frampton.
27. I had the hots for a foxy girl named Louisa.
28. She had the hots for me.
29. I was eventually turned off because she wouldn't stop calling me "Peter."
30. I began writing songs in 1972 at the age of 8.
31. My first song was called "Hey Guys!"
32. I'm amazed at how romance-centered it was (being written by an 8-year old and all..)
33. That's what you get when you listen to pop songs, I guess.
34. The first girl I was in love with was named Donna.
35. It was at nursery school...we were 4 years old.
36. I have a screaming metabolism that keeps me thin even when I eat like a hog.
37. In high school I was the lead screamer in a punk band.
38. Our goal was to release a record before we graduated.
39. We never released a record.
40. My best friend, Dave, played a mean guitar. I hope he still does.
41. When Dave and I were seperated by college I taught myself to play guitar.
42. In college I majored in Drama, and minored in Physics (though bio-chemistry almost had me).
43. The only college professor I ever had whose name I remember is Professor Fryor; Political Science. Go figure.
44. I dropped out after three semesters. I wanted to, full-time, make money, not spend it.
45. I joined the Air Force because it seemed better than my other options.
46. My drill seargant fell in love with me.
47. "Don't ask don't tell" wasn't policy then. I let it go.
48. I was sent to Nellis AFB, Nevada as a combat arms instructor; specializing in the M-60 Machine-gun.
49. Being a teacher of firearms is cool.
50. Winter in the desert sucks.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 10:37 PM | Comments (6)

September 16, 2003

The Kitty

Once upon a twilight stormy,
while I found a beer to pour me,
I tried to read a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore.
Suddenly there came a yapping
as if some dog just finished crapping
and wanted to escape the storm that's just beyond my kitchen door.
crying out for drying out
just beyond my kitchen door.
Quoth the kitty; "Nevermore."

O, how distinctly I remember
it was in the morning tender
as I ate my bagel with cream cheese and Red Rose tea;
how the canine bit the feline
for no reason I could devine
other than: that dog is bored and jumpy as a flea.
still adored but really bored,
and jumpy as a flea.
Quothed the kitty: "This is war!"

Try, I dare ya, try explaining
to a kitty that it's raining
and the doggie must come in and out of the evening downpour.
Claws a-clamping on the curtains
as I move, with motive certain,
stumble, wrestle, toward the threshold of that noisy kitchen door
frightened meowing my allowing
entry through the kitchen door.
Quoth the kitty: "Singapore."

What the hell was that cat saying
as I let the dog in, baying,
uttering such strange a name as West Malasia's Singapore?
Has she gone completely bonkers?
Maybe I should move to Yonkers.
Maybe there I wouldn't be allowed to have a pet no more;
to have a spot of tea, but not
allowed to have a pet no more.
Quoth the kitty: "Feed me more."

Okay, I know, I fizzled out pretty bad there. Hey, I'm out of pr@ctice. ;D

Posted by Tuning Spork at 10:39 PM | Comments (7)

new keyboard!!

Yee haw! I can type with real letters @g@i^!!
(ooops...force of habit.)

Posted by Tuning Spork at 06:12 PM | Comments (4)

September 15, 2003



Posted by Tuning Spork at 06:56 PM | Comments (5)

September 13, 2003













Posted by Tuning Spork at 04:11 PM | Comments (9)

Trivia Contest

The first to correctly answer this question wins a super-secret prize of no monetary value!

What makes the ink in a pen flow?

I, alone, will decide if your answer is correct enough to win. mwuhuhuhuhuh...

And no fair searching on the web!!!! Figure it out in you head, it's funner!UPDATE: Okay, I did some research, and the answer I had in mind turns out to be wrong. That settles it: Everything I was ever told by a high school teacher -- that was on a subject other than his/her specialty -- was bull.

The answer I had in mind was surface tension. Gravity couldn't be the answer since a ball-point can write upside-down, right?
Well, thanks to a post by Stevie, I took a trip over to and clicked on the HowStuffWorks link and read:

As the pen moves across the paper, the ball turns and gravity forces the ink down the reservoir and onto the ball, where it is transferred onto the paper.

In the case of ballpoint pen ink, the ink is very thick and quick-drying. It is thick so that it doesn't spill out of the reservoir, but thin enough that it responds to gravity. That is why a normal ballpoint pen cannot write upside-down -- it needs gravity to pull the ink onto the ball.

What?! So I grabbed a pen and an envelope I have sitting here, held it above my head so I would be writing with the pen upside-down.
This is how far I got:
how long will this pen write upside-down before the ink

The next 2 1/2 words, "wont flow any--", fade very rapidly, and the final "--more" exists only as an inkless impression.

So Rachaeliscorrect

Posted by Tuning Spork at 02:10 PM | Comments (5)

September 11, 2003

9-11 + 2

I never bothered to yak about my experience of 9-11, such as it was, mainly because, as Jennifer wrote, it's not about me it's about them.
But I took a look around the blogosphere and see that people are finally relating their experiences, no matter how far removed. So, what the heck.

Really though, I think, in a way these anniversary observances ARE about us. Not in a "where I was and what I was doing at the time" way, but in a "what was I thinking and feeling and learning and how did it change me" way. We, as Americans, Britons, Australians, Philipinos, Germans, Italians, Japanese, etc etc etc... have to work toward a future taht doesn't have the kind of horror that we lived on 9-11. I say que sera sera, the future IS ours to see; we just need to have the will and patience and determination to make it happen.

I live in Bridgeport, Connecticut -- 51 miles from the World Trade Center as the crow flies -- and visit the City (to anyone in the tri-state area New York is called just "The City") several times a year. Well, I used to, anyway.

The last time I was in New York was September 2nd, 2001. It was the Sunday of Labor Day weekend and I met my friend Dave for beer and blather at McSorley's on East 6th Street. McSorley's is the oldest extant ale house (heck, Abe Lincoln got hammered here!) in New York, and we meet about once a year there just to catch up on things, do a couple of Sunday New York Times crossword puzzles, bitch about stuff, yammer about politics and philosophy and kids and nephews and life and mutual friends and, of course, get plastered.

After a long afternoon of banter and debauchery we walked to Dave's subway stop. He caught the train home and I began the long walk from Greenwich Village to Grand Central Station.

On the way back to midtown I stopped in Washington Square park and played two games of chess with a guy who asked for only $2 for a game (and "instruction if needed"). I used to play chess constantly, and was pretty good, but it'd been years since then. He creamed me twice!!

I then left the chess tables, walked around the edge of the center of the park (which was very crowded..lots of stuff going on [bands, acrobats, other stuff I couldn't get close enough to see] and found a small group of musicians playing folky songs on acoustic guitars and bongo drums, and stopped to listen.
They started playing the Bob Dylan song "To Ramona."

I mouthed along at first, then sang along. After three verses I noticed that two or three of the musicians had realized that this stranger (moi) actually knew the lyric. Kinda winking and nodding smiling and singing, one guy flicked his head to tell me to belt out the last verse along with them. So, spleen in throat, I did my best Dylan impression and sang:

"I'd forever talk to you, but soon my words
would turn into a meaningless ring
for deep in my heart I know that there
is no help I can bring
everything passes, everything changes
just do what you think you should do
and someday baby, who knows, maybe
I'll come and be crying to you"

What a fun bunch o' guys and gals and I'd've stayed longer but I had to catch my train and it was starting to get dark.

I was walking up 5th Avenue and I heard the roar of a jetplane. I looked up and watched it as it flew -- nearly overhead -- northerly and toward the Empire State Building. The plane seemed to be flying awfully low, I thought, just above the level of the antenna on the E.S.B., and I wondered for a second what it would look like if the plane crashed into it.
But it didn't, of course, and I thought: "What an amazing view those passengers must be enjoying."
I walked back to Grand Central and took the train home. That was the last time I'd been to New York.

My clock/radio went off at 7:30 and I hit the snooze.

Finally I dragged myself out of bed and heard Imus talking about a plane that had apparently crashed into the north tower of the World Trade Center. Was it a passenger plane? An airliner? No one was sure. Did the pilot fall asleep? Have a heart attack? Who knew?! I then remembered the old photos of that plane that hit the Empire State Building back in 1946(?) with it's tail end sticking out. What a shame. I hit the shower.

Re-entered the bedroom and heard Imus say "Well (long pause), this is the worst attack on America since Pearl Harbor."
I went to the living room and turned on the TV. Both towers of the World Trade Center were on fucking fire (pardon my Freedom).

I continued to get dressed to go to work while I watched. I don't remember feeling anything then, but I do remember that it didn't seem real. No matter how many times they re-ran the footage of the second plane hitting the south tower I kept thinking: -- I mean really internally hard-grounded servo-neurally thinking -- "I'm watching this happen yet I still don't believe it."

But, I was staring at the TV for too long; I had to get to work. I got in the truck and turned on the radio. The south tower had just collapsed.
No way, that's rediculous!
There were so many people there...people trying to get out...others rushing to the scene...thousands of people running in and out and around the towers. It collapsed on them? Does. Not. Compute.

It takes me about a half an hour to get to work, and as I approached my destination I heard that the north tower had collapsed.
You can't explain a feeling you've never had before. It was just disbelief mixed with I don't know what. It wasn't anger (yet). It wasn't sadness (yet). It wasn't anything yet. It wasn't fear at all, It was just disbelief mixed with some kind of something... a need to do something about it, but having nothing to do and no way to do it. And then the certainty that this is a monsterous evil that must be destroyed. No grey area there. Deluded self-ordained holy men murdering bystanders for some kind of sick idea about what is righteous? We just found out that the world is too small to accomodate that shit.

Around 11:00 I called my friend Dave who works at Battery Plaza (a few blocks from the WTC) and left a message. Of course, he'd evacuated already.
He called me back a day or so later and left a message that went something like:
"I'm fine, thanks for the call. I have no energy left to recount the ordeal of walking up the FDR Drive covered in ash, but I'll tell you about it another time."

I've never asked him for a recounting of that ordeal. I don't know how to do it without sounding maudlin.

At McSorley's, our favorite hangout, there is a wire (I think it's fishing wire) stretched above the bar. On that wire hangs wishbones covered in dust. Thick-ass dust. I mean, a wishbone is the size of a pair of tweezers; but these are the size of your middle and index fingers when you flash a "victory" sign because they're caked in the undisturbed dust of the past 85 years.

They were placed there during World War I by local draftees. Each man placed a wishbone on the wire when he left; and took it down when he came back.
The ones that still hang there are the wishbones that were placed by those guys that didn't come back.

New York may forgive (when it's appropriate), but she'll never ever forget.

Semper Fidelis.
Sic Semper Tyranus.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 11:10 PM | Comments (6)

September 10, 2003

The Winner's Circle

Well, I finished last night's post and added to yesterday's, so just scroll down a bit to see it!

Also, I added another round at the beginning (which I meant to do last night but ran out of energy), and tweaked what I'd done last night. mheh.

So what are you still reading this for? Scroll down already!

Posted by Tuning Spork at 09:39 PM | Comments (0)

September 09, 2003

It's all just a game't it?

Well, the Democrat debate on FoxNews is totally boring so I turned it off and wrote this mess:

Osmond: Hi, and welcome back to the celebrity edition of the $100 Pyramid, I'm Donny Osmond. I'm a grown man, dammit, why am I still calling myself "Donny?" Well, it's what I started with and it's too late to do anything about it nevermind.

In our game so far we have a tie score at nil to nada! Our team-members; Michael Moore and Ann Coulter, and Robert Downey Jr and Madonna, are going to move on to the last two categories we have on our board.
Robert, would you like "Out For A Stroll" or "Lucky 7"?

Downey: I think we'll try "Lucky 7", Donny.

Osmond: Of course, that means I can't tell you what these things have in common yet, but take the screen and see how many Madonna can guess. Ready? Go!

Downey: Okay, this is what we use to get where we want to go. Madonna: Boyfriends. Downey: No, no, it's worth alot of money and comes in different models. Madonna: Warren Beatty? Downey: No, it gets stuck in traffic jams on the highway. Madonna: Oh! A zipper! Downey: Pass it.
Downey: This is something that you ride for fun and exercize. Madonna: The gardener. Downey: No, no, no, it's inanimate... Madonna: The plumber. Downey: *sigh* This is something that you pedal! Madonna: Sleaze! Downey: Pass it!
Downey: Okay, this is something you'll find in the city. It can accomodate about 50 at a time. Madonna: Anna Nicole Smith. Downey: No, it's something you might take if you were travelling cross-country. Madonna: Extra batteries! Downey: No, no, when you're in London you might ride on a double decker... Madonna: Strap-on. Downey: Pass it!
Downey: Pass it!
Downey: Okay, they fly up in the air. Madonna: Feet. Downey: No, some are huge and carry massive loads. Madonna: Condoms. Downey: Listen: They are aer-o-dy-nam-ic. Madonna: Cu-cum-bers.

Osmond: Oh, times up. The category was "modes of transportation" and the ones you missed were all them.
Well, that leaves "Out For A Stroll" for Ann and Michael. Ann will give the clues to these things you might see as you take a walk around the block. Ready? Go!

stop sign
Coulter: Okay, this is something you'll find at a street corner. Moore: A drug dealer forced into a life of crime by gross inequities in the system. Coulter: No, it's one word and usually on a pole. Moore: Madonna? Coulter: No, it's THIS BIG and has eight sides. Moore: Dinner. Coulter: Pass.
Coulter: This is a type of flower. Moore: Semolina. Coulter: No, no, it smells sweet and is usually bought by the dozen. Moore: Doughnuts. Coulter: No, you'll likely see them on a bush. Moore: Hand-cuffs? Coulter: No, no, it's beautiful, but it's also thorny. Moore: The violent overthrow of the government. Coulter: Pass it!
Coulter: Okay, you'll see these up in the trees. Moore: Agents of the Ashcroft Justice Department. Coulter: No, they're little animals that run away in fear if you try to get near them. Moore: Stupid white men! Coulter: No, they scamper around collecting nuts all summer. Moore: The NRA. Coulter: Just pass it. Pass it...
ant colony
Coulter: This is a group of creatures that work as a collective unit. Moore: Enlightened people. Coulter: No, they work all day to impress the queen. Moore: Unenlightened British people? Coulter: No, no, how do I say's the entire organized society of little creatures that have no individual purpose, they just toil for the sake of the group. Moore: The worker's paradise!

Osmond: Well, we're still tied at zero, which means it's time for our tie-breaker round. Madonna, would you like card #1, or card #2?

Madonna: I'll take 2, Donny. And...see me after the show to find out what I mean 'cause, after the show; I plan on doing a little receiving.

Osmond: Uh, I'd be tempted except that I have no intention of joining you in hellfire eternal.

Madonna: *shrugs* Hmph, pick yer poison...

Osmond: Well, you picked #2, and that means that, for this tie-breaker round, you'll be giving the clues to Robert Downey Jr these words that begin with the letter H. Words that begin with the letter H. Ready? Go!

Madonna: Okay, after your wedding you had a... Downey: Hangover. Madonna: No, I mean you took your bride on a... Downey: Harley. Madonna: No, no, um...what's in the sky at night? Downey: Helicopters. Madonna: Pass!
Madonna: okay okay, this is something that - if it's bad - you might want to break. Downey: Hyperthermia? Madonna: No, when you do something without thinking about it it's a... Downey: Hiccup! Madonna: Ugh, in the morning a nun will put on her... Downey: Haines? Madonna: Pass it!
Madonna: Okay, this is on top of your head Downey: Halo. Madonna: You cut it when it's too long! Downey: Hemp! Madonna: Arrgh! I shave it off of my legs every day! Downey: Hives? Madonna: Pass it!!
Madonna: Grrr, this is something that I have right now! Downey: Herpes. Madonna: It's a pain you get from stress! Downey: Hernia. Madonna: No, it's annoying, usually mostly in the temples... Downey: Hypocrite? Madonna: Pass! PASS!!
Madonna: Okay, c'mon now! When someone gives you this you feel better! Downey: Heroin. Madonna: PASS!!!
Madonna: When you tell the truth you are... Downey: Hospitalized. Madonna: No, you blithering idiot! Someone who tells the whole truth is being... Downey: Harsh and tactless, you washed-up cow!

Osmond: Well, time's up and you didn't get any, I'm sorry.
Michael and Ann, you have #1, and who'll be giving and who'll be receiving?

Moore: I'm gonna give, Donny.

Osmond: Okay, you're going to give to Ann clues to these things that begin with the letter T. Things that begin with the letter T, ready? Go!

Moore: When you go from one place to another you... Coulter: Tranquilize. Moore: No, no, when you take a trip you.. Coulter: Tumble? Moore: If I - let's say - wanted to go to from my house to your house then I would they have to... Coulter: Tresspass! Moore: Pass.
Moore: okay, this is something you'd dunk in hot water. Coulter: Traitors. Moore: No, no, what's a drink that you might drink with lemon? Coulter: Tequila? Moore: Ugh, there's the phrase "Packs the wallop of a wet..." Coulter: Teamster! Moore: Pass!
Moore: Okay, okay, here we go! When I speak to someone I am engaging in... Coulter: Treason. Moore: No! When you speak you... Coulter: Tingle! Moore: *sigh* Pass!!!
Moore: Another word for "frog"! Coulter: Tyrant! Moore: PASS!!!!
Moore: Someone who supports getting rid of all tariffs on imports is a "free-......" Coulter: Traitor!

Osmond: Wow, you did it!! And that means that you won the game and are going to the Pyramid! Yay!!

Okay, you have 60 seconds to get to the top of the pyramid, you know the rules, blah blah blah. Ann, you'll give nothing more than a list, no hands allowed. Ready? Go!

Things In A Lady's Purse

Coulter: A gun... money...
Moore: Things that are the root of all evil.
Coulter: National Review... the Constitution...
Moore: Things that oppress the masses.
Coulter: a tape recorder... another gun...
Moore: Things that can destroy a presidency.
Coulter: Pass it!

Coulter: Ewe...
Moore: Academy Award winners.
Coulter: ABBA...
Moore: Successful artists, successful entertainers...
Coulter: uh, um, radar...
Moore: Uh, highly complicated things...sophisticated things...
Coulter: uh...racecar...
Moore: High performance, impressive, well-tuned...
Coulter: Pass it.
Things a War Protester Might Say

Coulter: Uh, "I'm an America-hater"..."Why am I so clueless?"...
Moore: Things Trent Lott would say.
Coulter: "I should bathe more often"..."I don't know how to change a tire"..."My failure is your fault."
Moore: Things Roger Smith would say.
Coulter: "I really gotta move out of my parents' basement"..."Christ I'm useless"..
Moore: Entries in your diary...I dunno....
Coulter: Pass it!
Payroll Statistics of General Motors

Coulter: Pass!
Parts of an M-60 Machine Gun

Coulter: The buffer, the spring guide, the cover assembly, the piston, the bolt lever, the elevated sight, the...
Moore: Pass!
Academy Award Winners

Coulter: You.
Moore: Academy Award winners.

Osmond: Just in time! You just won $20!!

Moore: Can I go now?

Osmond: Please do. And that's our show for today, folks, but Ann and I would just like to say: [cue music]

Donny: May tomorrow be a perfect day
Ann: May you find love and laughter along the way
Donny: May God keep you in his tender care
Ann: 'til He brings us together again

Donny & Ann: G'night everybody!

Posted by Tuning Spork at 10:48 PM | Comments (8)

September 08, 2003

Fun With Factually Factitious Facts

This was hastily put together, so it might suck. But hey, whaddaya want for nuttin'...?

Russert: Welcome back to Meet The Press, I'm Tim Russert, and joining me now here in the studio is out-going California governor Grey Davis. Governor Davis...

Davis: "Out-going?"

Russert: What?

Davis: You just called me the "out-going" governor of California, Tim. The recall election isn't until October 7th, and I will prevail.

Russert: *hmch* Wake up. Besides, how do you know I wasn't calling you extroverted and jolly?

Davis: Oh! Was that what you meant?

Russert: No, but let's move on. You made waves this weekend by saying that no one should be the governor of California unless they can pronounce the name of the State. It was an obvious reference to Arnold Schwartzenegger's accent. Governor Davis, are you bigoted against immigrants with accents?

Davis: Of course not, Tim. I just signed the law that allows illegal immigrants to get a driver's license. Would I have done that if I didn't want what's best for me?

Russert: Uh...

Davis: The Republican conspirators are going to come at me with any rediculous fact they can dig up; but I am not going to just roll over like a drunken Irishman. I'm going to fight back with everything I've got.

Russert: On the driver's license issue; former Senator Robert Dole has weighed in, and let me put this up on the screen for our audience. Dole said:

"Giving driver's licenses to criminals is ludicrous and Bob Dole is against it. This is a cynical attempt to get Hispanic votes, and Bob Dole thinks that Governor Davis is a wussy. And dull. And his head's too big for his body. And, heavens to betsy, have you heard this guy speak? He sounds like Al Gore on estrogen. Bob Dole could beat this guy with Bob Dole's good arm tied behind Bob Dole's back."

Is this measure simply a cynical attempt to win over Hispanic voters?

Davis: Of course not, and I've got yet another way to do it.
As you can imagine, the maintenance and security of the bridges in our State is neccessary, but expensive. We've set up a new Department that is hiring wetbacks -- who work alot more cheaply than them Teamsters -- to keep our bridges safe, secure and well-maintained. Any illegals who are interested in working to keep the bridges in sparkling tip-top shape can go to the department's website at www.spic& I think it's going to be good for California.

Russert: I want to put another quote on the screen. This is from Jesse Jackson, a supporter of yours in the fight against the recall. Last week the Reverend Jackson said:

"On question 1, Davis could get 49% and lose. On question 2, someone else could get 29% and win. Democracy is replaced with Atrocity. Grey beat every contenda' but the right wing adjenda. The people have lost! How much did it cost?! The people have lost! How much did it cost?! The people have..."

Governor Davis, in Reverend Jackson's hypothetical example the biggest winner, with 51%, was "yes" on the recall. Could the per centage of the vote achieved by the winner on question 2 make the recall "undemocratic"?

Davis: Of course, Tim. The size of the field, and there are over 130 candidates on the ballot, could mean that the winner gets less votes than I do on question 1. If there were only two people on question 2, then that would mean that the winner would beat me, fair and square. So, you see, the problem is that; the greater the number of candidates on the ballot, the more Democracy is undermined. Taking that fact to it's logical conclusion; the truest Democracy would have only one candidate on the ballot.

Russert: Because only 100% approval would represent the true will of all the people?

Davis: Precisely. Furthermore; this process undermines the Democracy that's already occurred. The recall effort was begun as soon as I won re-election. Why should I have to answer to the people again so soon? Why should I have to answer to the people ever again?! I mean, I won the election, now can't we be done with elections already?!

Russert: Okay, there's just one more quote I'd like put up and have you to respond to before I kick you off the show. This is from Arnold Schwartzenegger, and I quote:

"Gove'neh Davis dt'inks he can beat de rwecaull. So, to him I have just one weurd: pack your bags."

Governor Davis?

Davis: He sure talks funny, eh?

Russert: That's all the time we have. My thanks to former governor Grey Davis...

Davis: Hey!

Russert: ...and, remember: if it's Sunday, it's Meet The Press.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 09:01 PM | Comments (5)

September 07, 2003

Chocolate and Banana Cheesecake

Well, I need something to post today (I hate having those blank days on my calendar), and Jennifer has posted a cheesecake recipe of at Munuviana which inspires me to finally post my chocolate and banana cheesecake recipe. YUM!!

What you need:

An 8" round aluminum foil pie tin. (If you have a springform pan, use that!)

1 1/2 cups crushed graham crackers. (You can a box of pre-crushed graham crackers at the supermarket rather than crushed them yourself [which takes a while]. You can also just buy a pre-crushed crust in a tin at most supermarkets, so if you wanna skip the whole crust making thing then go ahead. I just have an irrational aversion to not doing everything from scratch.)
1/2 cup of melted butter. (if your making the crust yourself)
1 1/2 package of cream cheese. (warm it in the oven to soften it.)
3 large ripe bananas. (peel 'em and get rid of any stringy stuff.)
1/3 cup of semi-sweet chocolate morsels, softened in the oven (in a glass measuring cup), but not completely melted. (the tinier the better.)
1 cup of sugar.
2 tablespoons of flour.
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.
2 extra-large eggs, beaten.
1/4 cup of milk.

Preheat the oven to 375. (if you have an oven thermometer, use it.)
For the crust; mix the crushed graham crackers with the melted butter 'til it's nice an consistent, and press the crackers into a crust in the tin. Try to make is consistent as possible, building the sides is the most tedius, but it's not so bad.

In a large mixing bowl mix crush the bananas into a paste, then mix them with the softened cream cheese. (If you have an electric mixer, I'm jealous.)
Mix in the sugar, flour, eggs and vanilla. Stir until homogenous.

Gently mix in the softened chocolate morsels in small doses using a teaspoon. Try to spread them evenly, but not mixed completely. You want little pockets of chocolate, but not too chunky.

Pour the filling into the crust and pop it in the 375 oven for 45 minutes.

Let it cool for an hour, then, with scizzors, cut the sides of the pie tin vertically to get the cheesecake out.
Leave it in the fridge for a few hours before cutting and inhaling it.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 06:37 PM | Comments (2)

September 06, 2003

What if...? vol ii

Since I had soooo much fun writing the last one, I've decided to try again!

What if STAR WARS was real, and was happening today? Why, you'd want to get news of the lastest developments from FoxNews, of course! I mean, duh!

O'Reilly: Welcome back to the Factor, I'm Bill O'Reilly. Joining me now to comment on what's been happening in the battle between the Empire and the rebel Alliance are syndicated columnist Andrew Sullivan, and co-host of CNN's Crossfire, Paul Begala.
Welcome, gentlemen.

Mister Begala; We've just gotten word, as you are well aware, that the Alliance has begun their attack on the DeathStar. I'm thinking these rebel fighters are gonna get slaughtered by the Imperial forces; they're out-gunned, ill-prepared and under-funded. What say you?

Begala: I can't believe I'm in agreement with a fascist xenophobe like you, Bill, but you're exactly right. The Alliance has been gunning for Darth Vader and the Emporer for years because they can't accept the results of the last war. But Vader is a brilliant tactician with an uncommon tap into the so-called "dark" side of the Force. What's Luke Skywalker and his moronic pack of Free-dumb fighters got? An illegal strike force led by a petulant brat, that's what, and in this battle the rebel force is gonna go down like Linda Lovelace.

O'Reilly: All right, you support the Empire and I think that's crazy and lemme tell you why. Darth Vader is a tyrant, okay? Vader...

Begala: Darth Vader built the Tatooine school system where Little Lukie Skywalker got his pilot's license...

O'Reilly: ...hear me out, Paul, 'cause this is the No Spin Zone...
Darth Vader climbed the ladder of the Empire's heirachy through brutal tactics like murder and torture, all right? Vader is building a DeathStar that will be used to threaten the entire sector with destruction if all don't bow down to the Emporer, and sources say it will be fully operational very shortly. He even had Skywalker's aunt and uncle killed, okay? That's a tyranny that needs to be overthrown, am I wrong?

Begala: You're dead wrong, the rebels are dead wrong, and if they don't get on board soon and praise the Emporer you and them are gonna be just plain dead.
We have no proof that the "DeathStar" -- which by the way is actually called the Command Sphere, talk about spin -- is anywhere near to being fully operational. The plans that Princess Leah SMUGGLED into the rebel base are forgeries according to the BBC. Leah's spreading lies, and she's a criminal who oughtta have her throne plugged in, if you know what I mean.

O'Reilly: I'm not buyin' it, I'm not buyin' it. That story about the plans being forgeries is, so far, the most rediculous item of the day. But let me turn now to Andrew Sullivan.
Mister Sullivan; R2-D2 and another droid, C-3PO, made it to Tattoine with that message to Obi Wan Kenobi in an escape pod from the rebel ship where Princess Leah was captured. The two droids were salvaged by Jawas, and then sold to this kid Skywalker, okay? By sheer coincidence Skywalker happened to know Kenobi and the message got through. But, I mean, come on! Their ship is found by Darth Vader, it gets attacked and boarded by stormtroopers! the message got through by sheer luck! What kind of operation are the rebels runnin' here? They really gotta get their act together, am I wrong?!

Sullivan: What's important is that it got through, even though Maureen Dowd says the important thing was that Leah didn't seem impassioned enough.

O'Reilly: Yeah, we know, Maureen Dowd in the New York Times says that the calm manner in which Leah delivered the message didn't match the dire urgency of it's content, and she claims that that's evidence that Leah may have been overstating the case...

Begala: And that's right. Leah's Chicken Little message was as transparent as the hologram that delivered it, and shame on her.

Sullivan: What's important now is that the Alliance is prepared to mount this attack now, as Jonah Goldberg wrote at NRO. Money quote:

Goldberg: "The Alliance, at long last, seems to finally have regained the will to fight that it lost after the retirement of Kenobi and the other Jedi knights all those years ago.
Which reminds me of the Simpsons episode where Timmy O'Toole was trapped in the well. The police and the media went home after they learned that "Timmy" was Bart playing a hoax. It was when all seemed most hopeless that one man, Homer, became so angry that he began to dig a tunnel to the bottom of the well by himself.
Groundskeeper Willie joined in, and soon the entire town was on their way to the well with shovels. "What's going on?" someone asked the bearded old man. "Why, it's an old-fashioned hole-digging! By Gar, it's been a while.""

Read the whole thing.

Begala: The only thing left to figure out about Jonah Goldberg is: is he a neo-nazi or a pre-neanderthal?

Sullivan: I support victory for the Alliance because I'd hate to see what would happen to C-3PO if the Empire ever discovered his secret.

O'Reilly: Well now explain that, Andrew. Do you have sources with special access to secrets that C-3PO might have?

Sullivan: No, no special sources. The secret I'm talking about I learned by virtue of my own personal resources.

Begala: Y'mean like Radar, only gifferent?

Sullivan: Exactly.

O'Reilly: All right, all right, as always we'll let the audience decide.
Joining me now, via satellite from his home in Kent, Connecticut, is former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. Doctor Kissinger, welcome to the Factor.

Kissinger: Dank you, idz grdeat to be here.

O'Reilly: Doctor Kissinger, as you know, neither side in this struggle seems interested in negotiating a peace settlement; the Alliance is determined to destroy the DeathStar and eventually the Empire, and the Empire isn't about to give up any of it's authority.
If the rebel fleet is destroyed by the Imperial forces, I don't see any way that the Alliance can recover for decades. What say you, sir?

Kissinger: Vell, Bill, ze first t'ing dat ze Alliance needs to do is to rdealize dat dey vill not haf de aut'ority to gove'n ze terditordies contrdoled vit an i'on fist by ze empordeur und hiz main henchman Dardt Vader becaus zey haf not had ze time to stdengzen ze infdasducture of ze local rdulers who vould take ze rdeigns of poweh ven ze empirde is rdemoved by ze insurdgencies dat ze haf not had the rdesources to secuaw becaus ze haf been focused on ze Deadt'Stard to de egsclusion of ze foundations of ze societies zat dey intend to liberdate frdum ze despotic leadaship courdently entrdenched in ze strdategic locations surdounding und t'roughout ze vast egspanses in vich Luke Skyvalker is curdently engaging ze Imperdial fleet vich is very int'rdesting to vatch as Luke vill vatch luke und de vatch luke at de vatch you ah gedding veddy zleepy veddy zleepy ach mein volken vit' deir lederhosen, außerdem: Ich habe offensichtlich das wovon ich spreche und in welchem Sprache ich es sagen wollte glatt vergessen und, deshalb, mein Gedankengang ganz verloren. Ich werde es aber versuchen, den nächsten Gang treu und brav zu folgen...

O'Reilly: I gotta stop you right there, Doctor Kissinger, 'cause I'm not gonna sit here and be hypnotized by the likes of you. It's just not gonna happen, okay?
Doctor Kissinger?

Sullivan: Looks like he's asleep.

O'Reilly: All right, we're just about out of time, last question, Mister Sullivan, how do you see this attack on the DeathStar coming out?

Sullivan: Coming out? Well, I think the Alliance has a good chance to do some damage. They've got young and eager pilots that look great in their flight suits. I'm optimistic because I think that the people are behind them thrusting them on with their love and encouragement.

Begala: I think that Darth Vader will personally get into a fighter and take out that punk Skywalker himself...

O'Reilly: Hold on, Paul, lemme respond to that and then I'll give you the last word. I've invited Vader on to answer the tough questions numerous times, but he's afraid of the Factor. He's like every maniacal dictator: he's a coward, all right? He's a coward. Now I'll give you the last word.

Begala: Bush illegitimate selected not elected Florida 2000 total popular vote WMD arsenic caribou ANWR Enron deficit tax cuts for the rich quagmire Ashcroft...

O'Reilly: Thank you both for appearing...

Begala: based 911 cover-up...

O'Reilly: always, we'll let the audience decide...

Begala: ...patriot act 2 Estrada federalist yellowcake...

O'Reilly: That's the Factor on Fox, fair and balanced...

Begala: ...state of the union subliminable DWI...

O'Reilly: ...and unafraid.

Begala: ...choking on a pretz-- AGGH!! AK!! mmnngggg!! nnnggg!!!

Sullivan: You WISH this was a pretzel...

Special thanks to my esteemed Emporer for the German translation!!

Posted by Tuning Spork at 08:02 PM | Comments (11)

September 04, 2003

What if...

What if the movie JAWS was real, and it happened today? Why, you'd keep up with the latest by tuning to FoxNews, of course!

Britt Hume: Hi and welcome to Special Report, I'm Britt Hume.
Joining me now to discuss the situation at Amity Island tonight is our extended panel. Please welcome James Carville, Jeff Birnbaum, Sean Hannity, Jonathan Alter and Dennis Miller.

Sean, let me start with you. Captain Quint's boat, the Orca, has been at sea all day having set off to find and kill the Great White shark. Question: Are these three men -- Quint the Captain, Matt Hooper the oceanographer, and Police Chief Martin Brody -- enough to get the job done?

Hannity: This is the problem with Liberals today, Britt. First they didn't want anybody to kill the shark because they're totally beholden to PETA and the environmentalists; they make outrageous claims about the loss of life that'll take place if they try to get the shark; THEN they turn around and complain that there aren't ENOUGH guys on that boat that's gone out to kill it. It's sad what the party of JFK - an avid boater in those same waters - has become.

Carville: Wait now...let's just look...let's look at what we got heah. We got three guys going out on a ricketty old tub...they may be fine men, I do'no...going out to kill a shawk! What what what is...what threat is this shawk to them?
It only ate people who were in the watah! I mean you go into the watah where there are shawks and, I'm sorry to break it to ya folks, but yer gawna get eaten!

Hannity: James, four people and one dog have been slaughtered by this monster...

Carville: Well it didn' walk onto the beach, Sean. If that fish was lyin' on a blanket with a basket of lotion then I'd say there's a problem...but let the shawk be a shawk...

Hume: Isn't the problem, fellas -- the real issue -- an economic one... Jeff?

Birnbaum: Well, I, I, I just, let me say, uh, uh, it's Inde-, uh, Independence, uh, 4th of July weekend and, uh, it's a serious economic, uh, uh, situation, er, uh, concern.

Hume: Right, but how do weigh the economic health of Amity -- which depends on the open beaches -- against the need to keep people from becoming breakfast, lunch and dinner?

Birnbaum: Well, uh, these things need to, uh, be weighed by, uh, uh, in order to...

Alter: The real concern is that there are a lot of unanswered questions going around, Wolf, about...

Hume: Britt.

Alter: ....about why Chief Bundy ordered the beaches kept open in order to feed as many people as possible to the school of giant sharks. It may be that there is alot more going on than we know.
Ever since Alex Kintner's grandmother slapped the Chief, people have been saying in hushed tones "Brody lied, people died."

Hume: Uh...let's move on.
Dennis Miller... Matt Hooper, the oceanographer, brought a lot of modern equipment aboard Quint's boat. Rumor has it that Quint's a bit of a traditionalist, an old salt, as it were. How do you see their well-known rivalry playing out on board the ship?

Miller: Well, listen Cha-Cha, these guys are scaling the Matterhorn in a speed-o. What can I tell ya, Custer was better poised for victory than these three faux Ceausteaus. They're gonna see the size of that Grendel-with-gills and have as much optimism as Iron Eyes Cody when he got to the side of the highway.

Hume: So, you wonder if they really even understand what they've gotten themselves into...

Miller: Lemme tell ya, this isn't Snuffalupogus of the Sea. It's as big as a grain silo and twice as indifferent. It'll be worse than the death-toll that could have been avoided had Marion Crane only listened to a weather report.

Hume: Well, we have breaking news that the team on Orca has harpooned the shark with three barrels. This is to bring the shark to the surface and track his position. James?

Carville: What what what what in the hell are they doing shooting haw'poons into this shawk?! How would they like it if a school of catfish invaded their backyawd and started shooting them?! This is madness maddened.

Hannity: You Libs don't believe in self-defense, don't believe in the freedom to go into the water at the beach on a hot summer day...

Alter: I can't fathom why they're wasting their time with harpoons and barrels and beacons when all they have to do is show some patience and wait for the shark to come up for air.

Birnbaum: Well, I, I, uh, think that the shark needs to be, uh, er,

Hume: Spit it out, Jeff.

Birnbaum: needs to be either captured, or, uh, killed, or, uh, otherwise, uh, uh, dealt with.

Miller: Well, that was the longest trip to nowhere since Jack Swigert gave the oxygen a stir.

Hume: Joining us now via satellite from Amity beach is Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton. Senator Clinton, welcome.

Clinton: (cackling in obviously forced laughter) Ha ha ha, hi Britt. Great to be with you!

Hume: Senator, have you gotten a sense of how the beachgoers feel about the Orca crew having headed out to kill the shark?

Clinton: Ha! Ha! Ha! Yes! I've been listening very closely to their opinions and views which we, their trusted overseers, are so eager to hear. So, while I did have some of them talk to me, I unfortunately had to have some them removed by my entourage, and don't recall any of what they alledgedly told me about the several victims and their little dog, too! Ha! Ha! Ha!!

But as you know, Britt, my daughter Chelsea was swimming in those very waters at the time of the last attack. So, as her mother, and being so personally victimized by this, I've been very deeply and sincerely trying to show concern for all of Amity Island.

Hume: Well, actually, wasn't Chelsea swimming in a pool at the YWCA in Cambridge?

Clinton: I'm sorry, the signal is a bit choppy...

Hume: Senator, you've criticized the mayor, rather harshly, for his keeping the beaches open even after several shark attacks. Have you met with the mayor; and, if so, how did the meeting go?

Clinton: (fumbling through her notes) I'm sorry, Britt, but that question was not on the list of questions that was approved by our staffs. I'm afraid I'm unprepared to provide the information and documents. Other than that, I don't recall.

Hume: Well, I just thought that since you had been quoted...

Clinton: And I stand by what I said, and I am sick and TIRED of being called PARANOID everytime I speak out as an American against The Conspiracy in ANY reckless manner I PLEASE!! I don't think that ANY American should have to APPOLOGIZE for saying ANYTHING UNPOPULAR ABOUT ANY ISLAND'S ADMINISTRATION!!!!

Birnbaum: I, uh, my earpiece exploded.

Miller: Was that the B-side of "Instant Kharma"?

Hume: Well, we've got a few seconds left. So, final question for the panel: How will this all end? James?

Carville: Awl three are gawna die in the mouth of that shawk, and they deserve it, too, for their neo-colonialist ocean-rape.

Hannity: Let not your heart be troubled. Brody, Hooper and Quint will tow that shark in and show the world what Americans can do when they're attacked. I mean, how great is this?!

Birnbaum: Well, I, uh, want to know more before, uh, I pre-, uh pre-...

Hume: Jonathan?

Alter: I think that Quinn and Brady will die, but Ishmael will be okay.

Miller: Well, ironically they've bitten off more than they can chew and they're gonna start losing weight one limb at a time and feel like Sharon Tate on the Susan Atkins diet. I mean, lemme tell ya, this is gonna be about as pretty as how I imagine a John Waters version of "Striptease". Ted Williams has a better chance of getting sunstroke...

Hume: And that's all the time we have this time...

Miller: ...than Isabella Rossalini reviving the Stanislovsky method...

Hume:, until next time, good-night...

Miller: ...on Pitcairne Island with Fletcher dancing the Wilbury Twist...

Hume: ...and have a pleasant tomorrow.

Miller: ...while Ronnie Milsap takes his gift certificate to LensCrafters...

Posted by Tuning Spork at 09:56 PM | Comments (8)

September 03, 2003

Jonathan Alter sucks at his job

I just want to say right off: Jonathan Alter is not only a partisan, he's an ignoramus. Every time I've seen him on a cable news show, or heard him on Imus, he's never failed to make some bone-headed comments that show how little he cares for keeping up on the news/topics he shows up to yammer about.

For instance; I listen to Rush Limbaugh during my lunch hours, and often hear Rush criticizing President Bush about this and that (usually his bloated budgets and his State Dept.). But does Jonathan Alter hear that?
Here's the text (from memory) of an appearance on Imus last week (talking about conservatives in talk radio) :

Alter: "I mean, Rush Limbaugh is right-wing. Do you think you will ever hear him criticize the president or any Republican? (chuckling) It's just not going to happen."

Or this from about a year and a half ago (I like this so much because Imus seems to realize how pathetic a commentator Alter is, and shows it in his voice):

Imus: "So, what do you think is going to happen to John Walker Lindh?"
Alter: "Well, he's going to have to go through one of these military tribunals..."
Imus: "Well, Lindh is an American, Jonathan."
Alter: "...and..."
Imus: "And the policy doesn't apply to US citizens."
Alter: "..uh..."

And this is from Britt Hume's show on FoxNews:

Alter: "...and now we've learned that some of the hijackers didn't even know that they were going to die in a suicide mission when the planes hit..."
(Fred Barnes and others jumped in, but Britt took it from there:)
Hume: "No, no. It was that they didn't know precisely WHEN their missions would take place, but they knew they going on a suicide mission at some point."
Alter: "Well...whatever."

But the biggest proof that Jonathan Alter doesn't pay attention to the news -- that he allegedly expounds on -- was when Bush picked Dick Cheney as his Veep.
For days and days all we heard was the word "gravitas." Everywhere. All day and night it was "gravitas gravitas gravitas."

After three or four days of this, Jonathan Alter was on TV (I think it was on John Gibson's old MSNBC show), and, when asked what Cheney brought to the ticket, Alter actually said (in his most smugly arrogant elitist let-me-teach-you-something tone):

Alter: "Well, John, there's something that someone of Cheney's expertise brings to the Bush ticket, and there's a word for it. And that word is 'gra-vi-tas'."

I nearly through my cat at the TV.

I had a point to make other than bashing Jonathan Alter as the useless pundit that he is. What was it? Oh yeah! I read this. It's his latest column (though a couple o'weeks old, and it's co-written with Karen Breslau. At the very bottom it says "With Jennifer Ordonez in Los Angeles."
I mean, the guy needs two co-authors, probably to keep an eye on him to make sure he doesn't embarrass NBC with his random idiocies.

I was going to fisk the whole thing but I realize that my blood pressure would rise and I just had a bowl of Ramen's Sodium Bisque.

UPDATE: Just out of curiosity I did a google search on "Jonathan Alter sucks". Wow! I'm not the only one who's noticed! Pretty please, read this!

Posted by Tuning Spork at 08:17 PM | Comments (5)

September 02, 2003


I just realized that I failed to link to the last three Lemons!

Also, check out! It's close to my original vision of Blather Review (if I'd only had the time and/or resources to make it happen!).

Posted by Tuning Spork at 08:23 PM | Comments (0)

September 01, 2003


According to this item:

A group of cross-party politicians in the German Bundestag has called for the introduction of a children's vote.

Let's check little Helmut's list of Things to Do:
1 tease sister
2 throw peas on the floor
3 eat Play-dough
4 throw a tantrum
5 vote

With the "voting right from birth", parents should be able to vote on behalf of their children. The group said their aim was to attract more attention to children's issues: "It is unfair that more than 5 percent of Germany's citizens cannot vote".

Or drive. Or drink. Or smoke. Or serve openly in the military.
It's so unfair that something that follows mature and measured deliberation on the complex issues of government is unavailable to the tikes! Heck, little Gretchen is ready to give voice to her long-developing ideology! Now if she could just learn to tie her shoe laces she'll be golden.

And just what are the "children's issues" that the kiddies are supposed to be championing? Pediatric Reform? Daycare? School lunches?
Don't be surprised if it turns out that the GAPP (German Association of Pretired People) lobbys an adjenda built around Yu-gi-Oh, Leggos and Christmas once a month.

The group's draft petition which was presented on Thursday calls for the possibility for parents to vote in the name of their children until they reach the age of 18 and that parents should talk to their children about election decisions as soon as they reach an appropriate age.

heh. heheh. mwhehehHAhuhuh! BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!
What's all this about voting on someone else's behalf? And who's gonna make sure that the parent voted the way the child wanted? Why not have the child vote? Oh, right! Kids aren't ready to vote yet! How silly of me.

Critics say these propositions are naive. "Many parents have a completely different opinion in politics than their children", Irmingard Schewe-Gerigk from the Greens said.

Well, hell, why should that matter? I may have disagreed with my mother, when I was 16, about who the next Mayor should be; but she should've been able cast "my" vote as she saw fit. After all, what right does a kid have to cast a vote?!
The logic is simply undeniable.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 06:19 PM | Comments (2)
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