29 April 2008


Is That Prince?

Look, it's Prince, performing Radiohead's "Creep" at recent 2008 Coachella Festival.

Festive! Dig the mellotron-tone at the end!!

From Matthew Yglesias, here. If you dig through the comments thread, you can find this politically apropos video. And this one, too.

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23 April 2008


Exorcism! At Last



22 April 2008


Tomorrow Night's the Night

Or tomorrow day, depending on your locale.

If you haven't heard, I'm on Jeopardy! Tomorrow, Wednesday, 23 April 2008.

(Also, literally, on their site, right now, as I type this. Wow!)

Consult here for your local station and times.



News-Journal: "Local man answers 'Jeopardy!' call"

Look who made the front page of the News-Journal.

"Area man" would've been better, but that's one regional man's opinion.

N-J story here. If it's not there, there's a .pdf here.

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19 April 2008


African-American UT Football Star Who Came Out While Still Playing College Ball Finally Being Recognized

Jackie Walker was a linebacker for UT (that's the University of Tennessee for any Texans that might happen to be reading this) in the early 1970s. The team had only integrated racially in 1967, so he was a pioneer in being among the first black men to play for the Volunteers.

He came out as a gay man while he was a senior and on the team. In 1973. From this article in yesterday's New York Times:
Nobody disputes the accomplishments of Jackie Walker, a local high school football star and pioneering all-American linebacker at Tennessee in 1970 and ’71.

At Fulton High School here, he averaged 23 tackles a game his senior season. He went on to become the first African-American football player in the Southeastern Conference to be named an all-American and the first to captain an SEC team. And almost four decades after his college career ended, and six years after his death, Walker remains in the N.C.A.A. record book for his ability to return interceptions for touchdowns.

Despite Walker’s accomplishments, few know much, if anything, about him. And that, largely, is because of the way he lived his life off the field after his playing days.

Walker was gay, which he made no effort to hide after his senior season at Tennessee. That is why his name has faded from memory, according to his brother, Marshall, and several of his teammates and coaches. When Walker was dying of AIDS in 2002, his brother told him he would change that, pledging to help get him into the Greater Knoxville Sports Hall of Fame. Walker laughed, convinced that it would never happen.

Now, it appears that Marshall Walker’s promise has paid off. The Hall of Fame is expected to include Jackie Walker when it releases its latest class of inductees Sunday.
One of his former teammates said on learning of his being gay, " 'I was totally shocked,' he said. 'But it didn’t affect the way I admired and respected him. We were confused, but everybody had too much respect for Jackie, for his character as well as for his football play. Jackie was a private person, very humble. Whenever he did speak, his words were sincere, reflecting his character. He was a silent leader. He didn’t say much, but when he did, you listened'."

It says a lot about the man that he came out in 1973 while still in college. He was drafted by the 49ers, but was cut before he had a chance to play pro ball, possibly because he was gay.

The early 70s were heady times. Due to the anti-war activism and youth movements continuing from the late 60s, there was a sense among many that the world could move forward and be a better place, and that people could be who they were without shame. I personally felt that at times, and yet when I had the opportunity to come out when I went off to college—having been pretty much known to be gay, not because of my own coming out while I was in high school, but because I was sexually active and people talk (LOL)—I copped out and helped build my own closet. So learning of this man, I felt proud for him and curious as to how my own life would've progressed if I had had the balls to come out as he did at the time.

(Found via this post at Towleroad.)

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17 April 2008



Hypothesis re last night's debate: Obama wasn't tired and confused. It was rope-a-dope. Here's Obama today in Raleigh, North Carolina:

Yglesias picks up on a gesture from Jay-Z, too.

Bugs Bunny, alive and well, after all that.

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16 April 2008


Bwa Bwa. Bwa Bwa Bwa.

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15 April 2008


Happy 50th Anniversay

One is a D-Day veteran; one an MD. They've been together almost as long as I've been alive. Story here from the Washington Blade.

So they don't toe some party line: It's their life.

Congratulations to them both.

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11 April 2008


Dalai Lama Talks with Ann Curry

Mack's niece Angie was involved in making this interview in Seattle happen, was in the room for the interview, got to meet the Dalai Lama.

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Fleetwood Bro-Ham

My dad bought my mom one of these to replace the lemon Buick station wagon he had replaced her Chrysler New Yorker wagon with. Her Fleetwood Brougham was white, with a black vinyl roof (that once ripped off coming down Monteagle Mountain on I-24).

I recall my brother and me riding up to Nashville with my dad to pick it up. On the day after Bobby Kennedy got shot. Our maid Jennie—a wonderful woman who I learned much from, but who would've been dismissed at that time as my mom's colored girl, as they would say back then, and nothing more—came into my room that morning and told me, "Well, they shot our man."

I always—always—hated that car.

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10 April 2008


Savage Love

Dan Savage remembers his mom, here. A great read.

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My cousin Gloria publishes her church's newsletter, which she also sends to friends and family. I'm stealing this item from there.

How To Plant Your Garden

First, Come to the garden alone, while the dew is still on the roses....

1. Peace of mind
2. Peace of heart
3. Peace of soul

1. Squash gossip
2. Squash indifference
3. Squash grumbling
4. Squash selfishness

1. Lettuce be faithful
2. Lettuce be kind
3. Lettuce be patient
4. Lettuce really love one another

1. Turnip for meetings
2. Turnip for service
3. Turnip to help one another

1. Thyme for each other
2. Thyme for family
3. Thyme for friends


Thanks, Gloria.

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08 April 2008


Happy Man

With Mr. Alex Trebek

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05 April 2008


Help! I'm Trapped at the Orlando Airport with People Who Are Singing "It's a Small World"

In other news, the TSA had self-selecting lines for families, casual travelers, and expert travelers. A conceptual improvement that seemed to be working.


03 April 2008


From My Brother

A note from my brother, Dan, in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, that left me feeling very proud.
At the time I was born and during the time I grew up, America was undisputed as the leader of the free world and was the greatest country on this earth. Feeble challenges by the Soviet Union only served to unify us as nation that believed in itself.

Somehow, someone or some group began to divide us into a nation of factions.

I believe very deeply that the platforms that have been put forward by the Democratic party are the correct ones.

I believe that we are all created equal. I believe in free speech. Even though I have been a hunter and gun owner must all my life, I believe in gun control, and I believe that Americans have no need for assault rifles or automatic pistols. I believe that the government does indeed know best in some instances and has every right to control certain aspects of out lives.

I have led a wonderful and blessed life. I grew up in a different time. I am not afraid of the future. I am not afraid to vote for a black man for president. I am not afraid for my president to sit down and talk to world leaders we do not agree with. In fact, I believe it is the only way we can possibly solve our differences.

I hope and pray that I am correct and that the Democrats that I have so much faith in will take their responsibility seriously and unite to fight those in the government who are there only to serve their own special interests.

I am proud to be your brother and I am proud that you fight for what you believe in!
I hope to see you soon!

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The Party

So, are you for the candidate or are you for the Party?

I'm for the Party, first, then Senator Obama, second, regardless of all the dinero I've schleped his way or number of people I've advised to vote for him

The most important result of this election is to have a Democratic President. Not that it be Senator Obama; not that it be Senator Clinton.

A Democratic President.

I think those who support either remaining Democratic candidate who try to make the other candidate seem like the Anti-Christ are just nuts? What the hell are you people thinking? Back off. It is more important to win the general than to win the nomination. We may all disagree as to who should win the nomination, but, regardless, we should strive to have the candidate we support reach the nomination in a way that doesn't disparage the other remaining candidate, should that candidate win the nomination.

We are all Democrats here; if not, you ought to be. The Democratic Party, for all its historical faults -- there's slavery, the Civil War, and Jim Crow legislation for starters -- remains the party of the expansion of the Bill of Rights. The party of a more inclusive meaning of "all men are created equal." The Party matters more than its nominee.

I would be happy, in private conversation, to explain why I think Senator Obama is the better of the two remaining candidates, but I will not make my support of him come at the cost of denigrating Senator Clinton should she find some way to win the nomination. No way I am voting for McCain. One shouldn't talk that way.

Either candidate is a good candidate for the party, and we should all act as such. Both candidate's teams have engaged in campaign maneuvers that each likely, or will, regret. So be it. So neither is a Saint: Neither is John McCain, who, for all his admirable traits, is a poorer choice for all but the richest and most powerful Americans to be the next President.

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02 April 2008


Sometimes, I Just Repost What I Find in My Spam Filter


To the world scientific community

There can be no doubt about the world is standing on the doorstep of the new scientific system of views and ways of perception. In the history and philosophy such situation is called "the changing of the scientific paradigm" and it means in reality the scientific revolution. To all appearances this changing will have unbelievable range and can change the root and the branch of our views to the world, the nature and human being. In such way a gap between the ancient wisdom and modern science, between the eastern mysticism, western pragmatism and positivism, between knowledge and intuition, reason and splash of mind is disappearing. Such important discoveries nearly almost have been made by unauthorized people or scientist with unusual turn of mind. A. Einstein, N. Bohr, M. Born, were "amateurs" and called them selves in a such way. I am not shy, that I'm an amateur too. It's important to have an ability to look at old ideas in a new way. Somebody said once "We need crazy ideas, totally crazy to be right". A. Einstein died about 50 years ago, and hasn't fulfilled his dream - to create the unified theory, describing the Universe in the whole. The last couple dozen years of his life he dedicated to the searching of such theory that could explain everything - from elementary particle and their connection to global structure of the Universe. In spite of great effort Einstein hasn't been succeed in it, because that time it was early for it. I'm a usual man from province had more luck, and the discovery is made. "The unified theory of Universal", which is based on Quantum geometry is created. This theory explains lots of things. But most important thing is that most of what we call mysticism and superstition in our days contain knowledge that exceed the results of science. Technologies that are discovered will pass ahead of modern for thousands years. Right now we can begin to create teleportation modules which will be able to teleportate objects and people to every place on the Earth, solar system and galaxy. It is possible to create the time machine, quantum computer, magnetic charge accelerator, to gain energy from "pure" matter and antimatter. All that will allow us to avoid the destruction of our planet from commercial production of minerals. A lot of things will come to light for people. It will bring to the situation when modern technologies will look like "anachronism". Moreover this today's "anachronism" is a catalyzer of people's vainglory that leads to the changing of the climate that can also influence and speed up the global catastrophe and self-destruction. In our days there is urgent question asked by the Shakespeare in ancient time. "To be or not to be" the existence of humane race on the Earth. But we can choose another way, people that become proficient in "Unified theory of the field" could be gods. For this we only need a faith of the world scientific community and the will of humanity to more reasonable existence on the planet and relation to the world.

Alexander Shikunov


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