Musings from Brian J. Noggle
Saturday, July 29, 2006
Hot Jewish Chicks With Guns
Rachel Papo, photographer, captures the young Israeli women conscripts.

Sort of indicting to our American culture that, during a period where our young are at college trying to figure out where the party's at, the Israeli youth are training to protect their existence and their way of life from a hostile world who would destroy it.

(Link seen on Overtaken By Events.)

Also, It Will Build An Army of Supervillians
Radioactive scorpion venom may help treat brain cancer:
    The search for cancer cures can at times produce some curious treatments, but the latest study just might stun you.

    Neurosurgeons at St. Louis University are among the doctors injecting radioactive scorpion toxin directly into the brains of patients with a deadly brain cancer.
When you think about this and the use of botox for cosmetic purposes, we might be now living in the golden age of intaking deadly substances for medical benefit.

The Cat's In The Cradle
Well, no. Ajax isn't too knowledgeable about baby furniture.

The cat's in the cra--er, crib

Friday, July 28, 2006
The Short Memory of Marketers
McDonalds Hugo-sized drink reminded me a lot of Hurricane Hugo, but what's the problem? In a couple years, it won't even be on the list of the top most damaging US Hurricanes, and it was almost 20 years ago. Before many of its target audience were born.

It Pays To Diversify
Record sales and improved margins boost MEMC:
    MEMC Electronic Materials Inc. said record sales and improved margins boosted profit in the second quarter. Although profit per share doubled to 36 cents a share for MEMC, that was short of analysts' predictions that it would earn 42 cents a share.
Silicon and vinyl. They just go together.

Thursday, July 27, 2006
Open Source Humor
If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitschin'.

I thought of that punchline, but for the life of me, I cannot think of a setup that justifies it. I ask you, members of the open source community, to do my work for me and provide it.

Live In An Ugly House In Ellisville, Go To Jail
Remember, citizen, your property rights are conferred upon you by your government. As this story illustrates, your government can arrest you and run you out of town at its displeasure at your standards of maintenance:
    An inspection found the homeowner in violation of five housing laws. The roof was too worn; the driveway was cracked and shifted; the trim, siding, doors and windows had exposed surfaces from a lack of paint; there was open storage alongside the house and in the backyard; and the posts that once held up a fence needed to come down.

    Despite the letter, the violations remained. Court dates came and went. Hordesky didn't show. In March, the municipal judge issued warrants for his arrest. Ellisville police officers searched for him at his house. No one answered the door, but the back entrance was unlocked. They later went inside and snapped pictures.

    The house was deemed a health hazard, and the electricity and gas were turned off. A condemnation notice was stapled to the front door. The city brought in St. Louis County's Problem Properties Unit, which routinely handles similar cases. Jeff Young and Rehagen, the two inspectors who work the southern half of the county, have a caseload of roughly 135 properties. They encounter hoarders often, but seldom in upscale neighborhoods.

    The day of his arrest, Hordesky posted a $500 bond. After discussions with the Problem Properties Unit, Hordesky eventually agreed to sell the house. He recently provided the city prosecutor with a sales contract, and the closing date is in mid-August.
Please, don't offer defenses of the community here, for we cannot have a discussion. A priori we differ enough that I won't want to hear exactly what arbitrary standard you feel justifies this government taking.

Joseph Kittinger, Jr., Award Winner
It's been a while, but we here at MfBJN confer upon Canadian (!) Tom Tilley the Joseph Kittinger, Jr., Award for Demonstrable Manliness for this incident:
    A man stabbed a black bear to death with a 15-cm hunting knife, saying he knew he would otherwise become "lunch" after it attacked him and his dog on a canoeing portage in northern Ontario.

    Tom Tilley, a 55-year-old from Waterloo, Ont., said his American Staffordshire dog Sam growled a warning, then rushed to his defence as the bear came at them on a trail north of Wawa on Friday.

    As Sam battled with the nearly 90-kilogram bear, Tilley jumped on its back and stabbed it with his knife.
Gall as big as church bells.

(Link seen on The Other Side of Kim.)

Previous Kittinger Award winners:

Government Punishes Those Who Buy Parks
Wentzville considers sales tax hike for parks

Dammit, buying a park is expensive enough without an additional government tax on the purchase price. When buying parks is taxed, only the government will buy parks.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006
Book Report: I Ought To Be In Pictures by Neil Simon (1981)
Like The Mystery of Edwin Drood, I bought this book for $2.00 at the St. Charles Book Fair in that orgy of hardback buying that's populated the top of my sole to-read shelves with overflow of unrelated tomes. Since I'm in the midst of a long nonfiction hardback to be reported later, I picked this book up for a quick bit of levity in between.

As some of you know (all of you who aren't dammkidz), Neil Simon was a prolific playwright circa the later middle decades of the twentieth century. Many of his plays were even made into movies. Oddly enough, I have a sort of cultural touchstone with this particular piece from that era; my brother, as a boy, received upon him the schtick that he was a button collector, and he had a I Ought To Be In Pictures button, no doubt reminiscent of the time where this play travelled to the Melody Top or the Riverside Theatre in Milwaukee. But I bought the book because I wanted more drama in my life, not some envy of my brother's button collection. I think I stole inherited it, anyway, when either he needed some money in high school or when he abdicated many of his worldly possessions when joining the Marines.

The play is a simple two act with three characters: a nineteen year old New York girl who arrives at the door of her father's California bungalow sixteen years after he abandoned her; the almost-failure screenwriter father; and his movie business girlfriend with some substance. The action takes place in the bungalow and deals with the daughter who wants to be in pictures... or maybe just wants to reconcile with the father she never knew.

It's a short play, and a simple conceit. I liked it enough, but perhaps if I spent too much time on it, I would think it too facile or not complex enough to speak truth to power. Perhaps Simon ain't Shakespeare. But in 1602, Shakespeare wasn't Shakespeare, either.

Books mentioned in this review:

True, That
Shooting fish in a barrel can prove quite challenging, if you're using 155mm field artillery.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006
Ask Dr. Creepy
Dr. CreepyDear Doctor Creepy,
Today at work, I told an inappropriate joke that, while inappropriate, was also subject to misinterpretation. Someone mentioned using a false name of "Bob," and I rejoindered with, "Because everyone likes a floater." One woman in our group gasped appropriately at the tastelessness, but I later thought that she might have gotten the joke wrong. A floater, as you know, can refer to a bloated corpse fished from a body of water; however, in the common vernacular, it can also refer to a piece of excrement which does not go down the drain with a single flush.

My question is, how can I let these people know that while inappropriate and crude, I am above the common proletarian scatalogical humor?

Signed, Stepped In It

Dear Stepped In It,

As you know, it's perfectly acceptable to make ghastly comments and inappropriate remarks about death to show that you're either a trenchcoat wearing purveyor of the same or hiding your stark terror at mortality behind a flippant front. However, when it comes to creeping people out with your humor, it's more important to let the recipients of your wit wonder about your motives or how you could make that joke than to have them think you're a nice guy.

So let the miscommunication stand. Your apparent cluelessness and lack of decorum serves well enough to creep people out whether its ghoulish humor about decaying flesh or poop. Although the former is preferable, the latter will do, so to speak.

Dr. Creepy

Monday, July 24, 2006
The Haze Spectator
July 24 Downtown

A rich, velvety mouthfeel combines with the flavors of oak, earth, smoke, mangoes, and just the sweetest touch of tannery. A rich, summery haze that represents the genre well but ultimately doesn't rise above the genre enough to be memorable on its own or to transcend its peers.


Sunday, July 23, 2006
Mistakes Common To New Parents
Bassinet, bayonet, come on, I cannot be the only one to have made the mistake. But it's worked out well for the post-fetus, actually, since I gave him a bayonet. Now, when he wants to eat, we get him food. Or else.

To say Noggle, one first must be able to say the "Nah."