Archive for the 'Comics' Category

Comic of the Day part 2


We knew it was genetic! Uncle Lars, if you’ve come out of it, give me a call! We’ll get together for some mishegas!

Comic of the Day, pt 1


from Doonesbury@Slate

Of course, warriors have rushed into battle on the wings of heavy metal tunes since at least the times of Roman battle songs and Viking Valhalla chants and African battle drums. Of courses the modern generation, earbuds soldered to their helmets, are wielding those multi-million dollar weapons of localized destruction to a killer soundtrack of Heavy Death Acid Thug Thrash.

Even the battlemix is old hat. We have a friend from the old days who swears that in his days as a helicopter gunner in Vietnam, he and his crew liked nothing so much as dropping multiple hits of windowpane acid, fueling up their bird, and heading out over the impenetrable jungle on night patrol. When the acid started to kick in, they would but on their favorite Jimi Hendrix mix tape (Machine Gun, Voodoo Child and the Star Spangled Banner, no doubt) and shoot off a quarter of a million dollars (in 1970 dollars) in ordnance atomizing trees, clearings and the occasional unlucky water buffalo.

Why we lost the war, brother…..

Comic of the Day


from Ted Rall

Comic of the Day


This has become a regular point of contention between the Dowbrigade and his main feline spiritual advisor, Chiqui. Rather than walk on our face (always a risky proposition) Chiqui sits calmly and prudently a few inches to one side and gently paws somewhere in the nose-mouth region. What he means is A) fix my breakfast (he manages to survive on a protean diet of Sensitive Systems hi-tech dry food and boiled chicken breast B) scratch me, and C) don’t you have to be somewhere so I can have the bed to myself the rest of the day?

We have become used to this routine,and occasionally are able to perform our duties in a sufficiently somnambulistic manner to return to dreamland for a few precious minutes afterward. However, lately we have noticed a perturbing precision in Chiqui’s wakeup calls which have us wondering about collusion and outside agendas. Turns out Chiqui has been awakening me at precisely sunrise.

For example, today, according to the Boston Globe, the sun rose at precisely 6:21. Sure enough, at Chiqui’s first touch I looked at the clock, and it read 6:21. Yesterday, it was exactly 6:17, and the day before 6:14. Obviously, this is good news going into the Fall, as eventually we will be allowed to sleep past 7. But it is precisely the precision which has us wondering.

Has Chiqui learned to read the clock, and the Globe? Does he have some feline, or human, co-conspirator giving him cues? Does he have an internal clock even more precise than his master’s (we have never owned an alarm clock, and have never missed a plane)?

We are thinking of installing “Kitty Cams” to find out what he really does all day while we are at work…..

Comic of the Day



The China Conundrum was inevitable. Importing entire Wal-Marts full of goods from a third world country with as creative and casual an attitude towards standards and regulation as China was wound to have repercussions in a country as litigation-loco as the US. The first thing an American thinks when he stubs his toe is “Who can I sue?”

In fact, many Americans don’t even wait to stub anything, they wake up in the morning thinking “Who can I sue today?”

The fact that the answer to that question, in an increasing number of cases, is “Someone in China” is sure to lead to an increasing demand for American lawyers versed in the procedures of bringing suit in Chinese and international courts, and for English-speaking Chinese lawyers to defend the coming avalanche of suits.

Coincidentally, the Dowbrigade has recently become one of the world’s top experts in teaching legal English to foreign lawyers. Actually, one of the world’s few experts. But, be that as it may, we are evaluating where the best locale for an International Institute of Legal English – Hong Kong or Beijing?

OED Claims to have Invented WIKIs – 150 years ago!


LONDON — If you think "wiki" doesn’t sound like English, you are right. But it’s English now.

This word born on the Pacific Island of Hawaii finally got an entry into the latest edition of the online Oxford English Dictionary along with 287 other new words.
It has earned it.

"Words are included in the dictionary on the basis of the documentary evidence that we have collected about them. A while ago this evidence suggested that wiki was starting to make a name for itself," John Simpson, the dictionary’s chief editor, said in a statement.

"We tracked it for several years, researched its origins and finally decided it was time to include it in the dictionary,"

But "wiki wiki," meaning "quick" in Hawaiian, has a very different meaning in its new host language: a type of Web page designed so that its contents can be edited by anyone who accesses it.

That the word acquired a new meaning is attributed to the fact that commenting and editing on Internet websites became faster, said the dictionary’s principle editor of new words, Graeme Diamond.

"There was no delay in submitting a comment," Diamond said.

The most famous example is the popular Internet encyclopedia Wikipedia. Diamond said the Internet-age concept of "wiki" fits well with the 120-year-old dictionary’s own methods.
"Its long tradition of working on collaborative principles means it has welcomed the contribution of information and quotation evidence from the public over 150 years," he said.

from the Boston Globe

Say Goodbye to Radio Free Interent


Music maven and Berkman blogger Sooz made the Globe yesterday, on the front page of the Business section. While this was not where we expected to find Sooz in the paper (Local? National? Arts? Sidekick?) it introduced us to a previously unglimpsed side of her personality.

Sooz, it seems, has her own internet radio station on the popular Live365 streaming audio site. As it happens, Live365 is one of the few premium services that the professionally parsimonious Dowbrigade actually pays for, listening to obscure channels like Momo Radio (Brazilian Funk) and LoungemasterLondon (electronic/chill), so we will add Sooz’s Exploit.Boston channel (Boston indie bands) to our favorite channels list – for as long as it lasts.

The gist of the article is that due to a substancial rise in ther fees internet broadcasters are forced to pay for the rights to use the music. This is not a problem for Howard Stern and satrad, but if it goes into effect it will effectively shut down poor Sooz and her "dozens" of loyal listeners.

We expect to see Sooz this weekend at Barcamp Boston II, a free (registration required) Un-conference to be held at the MIT Stata Center, one of the most discussed recent additions to the local architecture here in Beantown.

This bizarre building is the latest excretion of controversial Canadian architect Frank O. Gehry. We really like what he did with the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, but the Stata Center reminds us of a particularly unpleasant STP trip we took in 1972, at least from the outside.

Hopefully, we will soon get a chance to post from the conference, and get to see what the inside looks like. Pictures and report to follow.

article from the Boston Globe

Bar Camp Boston

Spring in the Air – a Waft of Teargas


Local action in Boston concerning the Homeland Security Gestapo-style raid on the defense-contractor leather factory in New Bedford seems to be percolating up from the grass-roots level. The Dowbrigade position on immigration is that people ought to be able to live and work wherever they want and can find a job.

Folks should be able to move from one country to another as easily as they can move from one state to another – and for the same reasons. A better job, better weather, better sports teams…..People shouldn’t be condemned to lives of moral, political, religious or economic opression by accidents of birth. Most people would stay where they were born and raised, just as they do in the United States now, but like-minded people will congregate in different regions.

Won’t things get too crowded? Will there be enough jobs for everyone? We believe there are enough resources in the world for all of the people alive on earth today to live a lifestyle as rich and rewarding as that of the average American citizen, if available resources were distributed efficently. Perhaps not as energy-intensive, but with comparable standards of mobility, entertainment and consumer choice, and superior levels of health, education and economic opportunity.

Plus, believe it or not, billions of people around the world, don’t think is US is Paradise. They live in, or know of, other places which offer more of what is important to them. To each his own.

Our history consists of immigration – and opposition to immigrants. In the end, Immigration is the most American of experiences. After all, its the only thing we all have in common.

Today there is a rally at Trinity Church in Copley Square (5-7 pm):

Action – 5pm – 7pm Trinity Church Copley Plaza, 206 Clarendon St., Boston there will be a rally to support New Bedford workers and their families. Come hear from the workers and families directly affected by the raid in New Bedford. More information call CSIO at 617-742-5165. (from MIRA)

And tomorrow there will be a protest in front of the JFK Federal Building in Government Center (4-6 pm):

Beer Cat – Watch the Spray


RALEIGH, N.C. — When John Cornwell graduated from Duke University last year, he landed a job as software engineer in Atlanta but soon found himself longing for his college lifestyle.
So the engineering graduate built himself a contraption to help remind him of campus life: a refrigerator that can toss a can of beer to his couch with the click of a remote control.

"I conceived it right after I got out,” said Cornwell, a May 2006 graduate from Huntington, N.Y. "I missed the college scene. It embodies the college spirit that I didn’t want to let go of.”

It took the 22-year-old Cornwell about 150 hours and $400 in parts to modify a mini-fridge common to many college dorm rooms into the beer-tossing machine, which can launch 10 cans of beer from its magazine before needing a reload.

from the Charleston Daily Mail

Video: see the Catapult in action (from Metacafe)

And Dukies wonder why they are anually overlooked in the Rhodes Scholarships awards…..

Symptomatic of Steroid Abuse?


Captain America, a Marvel Entertainment superhero, is fatally shot by a sniper in the 25th issue of his eponymous comic, which arrived in stores yesterday. The assassination ends the sentinel of liberty’s fight for right, which began in 1941.

The last episode in Captain America’s life comes after the events of “Civil War,” a seven-issue mini-series that has affected nearly the entire line of Marvel’s library of titles. In “Civil War,” the government began requiring superheroes to register their services, and it outlawed vigilantism after supervillains and superheroes fought during a reality show, accidentally killing hundreds of civilians. The public likened the heroes to weapons of mass destruction that must be controlled.

The registration act polarized the superhero community. Captain America (whose true identity was Steve Rogers) considered the legislation an erosion of civil liberties; Iron Man, on the other side, believed that training heroes as the military, firefighters or the police are trained would only benefit society. When the factions came to blows and caused more destruction, Captain America chose to fight his battle in court.

from the New York Times

So, it has come to this. The mighty Captain America reduced to relying on Media shysters like Johnnie Cochran, Maria Lopez and Alan Dershowitz. Well, payback is a bitch. Captain America was never one of our personal favorites, even back before we tuned in, turned on and dropped out. A tad too fascist, gung-ho and creepily earnest, in a Ted Haggert sort of way. Him and that sacrilegious spook Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.E.I.L.D. (a thinly disguised C.I.A. clone) running around offing people and overthrowing governments with absolutely no Congressional oversight. Even back in the day, the pre-teen Dowbrigade was more into slackers like Dr. Strange and the Silver Surfer.

Getting back to the recently deceased Captain America, when did he get so ripped? We seem to remember that when he came into the league in 1941 (Justice League of America, that is) he was considerably slimmer. He really seemed to bulk up in the 90’s. Plus, if you compare issues from 60’s and the 90’s you can see that his head size has definitely increased. Now, we are not saying that one of America’s patriotic icons was using steroids or any other performance enhancing drugs, and God knows it’s too late to do anything about it now, but perhaps the time has come for obligatory drug testing for crime fighters. They are, after all, role models.

On the other hand, that Cap sure does look good for an 87-year-old guy, doesn’t he?

Comic of the Day



Astronomers Pray Romans Wrong on Afterlife