mahna mahna .net

Like many personal blogs of its era, this blog is moribund, a casualty of what we might call "the Facebook effect." However, as of late 2015, two things are clear: (1) The Indie Web is a thing, and (2) the re-decentralization of the web is a thing. So who knows? 2016 2017 2018 (!) could be the year this blog rises from its own ashes. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, 30 March 2005
Just one of the reasons the Boy Scouts continue to bar gays and atheists from their organization is a misguided belief that this somehow keeps kids safe. So I’m interested to learn from an article [registration required — sorry] in the Dallas-Fort Worth Star-Telegram that Douglas Smith, the Scouting official who pleaded guilty today to charges of possessing and distributing child porn, was “a churchgoing, happily married man and father of three grown children.”
posted to /news at 11:30am :: 0 responses
Wednesday, 23 March 2005
Not since the war started has there been a story in the news that has upset and angered me as much as the goings-on revolving around poor Terri Schiavo. I’m not going to offer my own rant here; instead, I’ll link to three truly fine takes on the situation, all spot-on, all worth reading: Jon Carroll, Dahlia Lithwick, Get Your War On.
posted to /news at 1:23pm :: 3 responses
Friday, 04 March 2005
An 18-year-old high school junior has been in jail since Tuesday for having written a story about zombies taking over a high school.
“Anytime you make any threat or possess matter involving a school or function it’s a felony in the state of Kentucky,” said Winchester Police detective Steven Caudill.
Take note, now: “Anytime you … possess matter involving a school or function” Kentucky says that’s a felony. I’m not sure I even know what that means. If I possess a pencil stamped George Rogers Clark High School, am I headed to the big house? I don’t know. It’s not like I needed another reason to stay the fuck out of Kentucky, but crikey. Paralyzed by the fear of school shootings and the fear of terrorism, it seems a large number of Americans have simply lost their minds. And apparently they can arrest and lock up those of us who haven’t.
posted to /news at 11:04am :: 0 responses
Wednesday, 16 February 2005
Ladies, are you on the pill? There’s a new study about how those hormones can affect your taste in men:
All women preferred the healthier face on average but those on the pill were significantly more choosy. “Women using oral contraceptives expressed stronger attraction to apparent health than women not using oral contraceptives,” the researchers reported in the Proceedings of the Royal Society.
This reminds me of a different study from a couple of years ago:
Psychologists have found that women who are taking the pill tend to fancy macho types with strong jaw lines and prominent cheekbones. However, women who are not taking that form of contraception seem to be more likely to go for more sensitive types without traditionally masculine features.
Three cheers for rubbers and diaphragms, sez I.
posted to /news at 1:16pm :: 1 response
Monday, 22 November 2004
You’re eating a buncha pistachios. Inevitably, there are a rugged few in the mix who’ve never deigned to crack their shells open even the slightest bit. Your attempt to finish your snack fails, unless you decide to get violent with the offending nuts. (And you probably don’t want to, because, as Mike’s Nuts informs us, “Closed shells mean the nutmeat is immature,” so if you actually do crack that stuff open, you’re probably in for some fart jokes or something.)

But no more. Some bright dude has invented a new machine that will help pistachio packers save you from this nightmare.

[spotted at Follow Me Here; special thanks to Mike’s Nuts]
posted to /news at 4:22pm :: 1 response
Thursday, 04 November 2004
A coalfield fire that has been burning for 130 years in China has finally been extinguished. “The continuing blaze is also thought to have caused environmental damage to the region.” Gee, ya think? We’ve got our own coal fire problems in this country; witness the now-empty town of Centralia, Pennsylvania, which has had a fire burnin’ beneath it since 1961.
posted to /news at 10:04am :: 1 response
Thursday, 28 October 2004
Family loses dog. Family turns on the tube to watch soccer match. Family watches lost dog interrupt the game.

[spotted at Fark]
posted to /news at 11:28am :: 0 responses
Thursday, 26 August 2004
E! Online reports:
The state of Illinois has filed a lawsuit against the Dave Matthews Band for allegedly dumping up to 800 pounds of liquid human waste from its tour bus into the Chicago River earlier this month… . Chicago’s First Lady, a passing tour boat filled with 100 people on an architecture sightseeing cruise … was doused by the falling excrement.
[spotted at The Morning News]
posted to /news at 10:26am :: 2 responses
Friday, 20 August 2004
“When state wildlife agents recently found a black bear passed out on the lawn of Baker Lake Resort, there were some clues scattered nearby — dozens of empty beer cans.” The full details reveal that this bear has some taste: “Fish and Wildlife enforcement Sgt. Bill Heinck said the bear did try one can of Busch, but ignored the rest. The beast then consumed about 36 cans of Rainier.”

[previous Bears in the News is here; thanks to Spike for the scoop]
posted to /news at 2:20pm :: 0 responses
Monday, 09 August 2004
The Associated Press sez here that Koko, the famous gorilla who “speaks” in sign language, recently told her handlers that she had a toothache, and even went so far as to rate the pain on a scale of one to ten. The part they’re not reporting: After having her tooth fixed, Koko ordered Lobster Thermidor and a baked potato for dinner, along with a bottle of claret, which she tasted before spitting a mouthful on the carpet, signing, “This tastes like my armpit.”

(Can’t help but notice that when you need someone to help give an ape a check-up, you call a prof from the med school at Stanfurd. Sounds right.)
posted to /news at 12:09am :: 1 response
Thursday, 10 June 2004
Ray Charles has been on my “gotta see him perform before he’s gone” list for several years. I never got around to seeing him, and now it’s too late. The Associated Press obituary taught me several things I didn’t know about him, including his real last name.
posted to /news at 1:10pm :: 0 responses
Tuesday, 11 May 2004
One American beheaded in Iraq. My heart goes out to his poor family. But the righteous indignation pouring out of Washington is just nauseating. White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan remarked that this act proves that our enemies “have no regard for the lives of innocent men, women, and children.” Let’s recap: We’ve been in Iraq for a little more than a year now. We’ve lost less than seven hundred souls thus far. But we’ve slaughtered some ten thousand. If the Red Cross is correct that up to 90 percent of the prisoners we’ve taken in Iraq are innocent, it isn’t outlandish to think that our mighty military machine has made hamburger of thousands of guiltless individuals who were just doing their best to get along in a rough part of the world. Sure, “that’s war for you.” True enough. But let’s not stand up and take the high ground here, Mr. McClellan. That’s all I’m saying.
posted to /news at 4:11pm :: 0 responses
Monday, 10 May 2004
The British government has come up with a strategy for curbing teenage pregnancy that sounds promising but strikes me as unlikely to ever have traction on our puritanical shores.

[spotted at Fark]
posted to /news at 3:10pm :: 1 response
Friday, 23 April 2004
USA Today reports:
A teacher at a Newton County school has resigned after officials say she admitted she told two students to throw a 14-year-old girl from a classroom window… . two boys later told principal Kenneth Daniels that they threw the girl out the window because they did not want to be written up for disobeying a teacher.
[spotted at MetaFilter]
posted to /news at 1:23pm :: 2 responses
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