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"Your 'reality', sir, is lies and balderdash and I'm delighted to say that I have no grasp of it whatsoever."
— Karl Friedrich Hieronymus, Freiherr von M√ľnchhausen

Mos Def/Eminem/Immortal Technique: Tell the Truth

I had no idea this video existed. Mos Def, Eminem and Immortal Technique asking the government to tell the truth about 9/11. Eminem quite explicitly calls out the president.

The people in the projects are the victims of a system built on a self-perpetuating system of corruption-begetting-corruption. The honest man has just one choice: to tell the truth about what he sees. Lyrics here.

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Markus Neidel: Way of the Sheep

Markus Neidel: Way of the Sheep evokes a surreal blend of horror and joy. What's especially intriguing about this virtual painting is the way that it takes unique advantage of being run on a computer in order to produce a seamless and infinitely scrolling nightmarescape.

The sheep that you count as you drift off to sleep fall into the dreamworld. They tumble past the guardian rats into a dark metal pipe, where a robot then shears the wool from them, creating piles of fluffy clouds on the left and pink pigs on the right. From there, a grinning confectioner pours piggy pink coloring into a vat with the fleece to whip up and sell as phantasmagorial cotton candy to troglodytic children for a dollar. The happy children tumble obliviously into the lair of the insects that drain the pink sweetness from their brains and grow their own, new, white fuzz on their bloated abdomens, which is sheared and knitted by a massive machine back into the sheep that you count as you drift off to sleep....

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Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog

I just watched all three parts of Joss Whedon's new musical. It's good. I don't like musicals, but I think Whedon is particularly adept at using music to convey emotion and gravitas in a way that is endearingly self-conscious and hammy. Watching this it seems the superhero genre lends itself well to the format — after all, superheroes themselves are larger than life.

By the time you read this, however, it will probably be no longer available. You see, it comes down after today. It will be sold on DVD at some point in the future from what I understand.

... better late than never? Oh never mind.

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Gorbachev: The Music Video

The inimitable Amber Night recently posted this crazy-awesome video from a Russian band featuring Mikhail Gorbachev as an axe-wielding barbarian that shoots lasers out of his eyes.

This is a must-see.

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An Angry Girl on the Internet

In honor of the original "angry girl" – Miz Salem-Shadow – and her vicarious return to the blogosphere (does that even make sense?), I present twenty amazing facts about voting in the US brought by an Angry Girl:

  1. 80% of all votes in America are counted by only two companies: Diebold and ES&S. (source1, source2)
  2. There is no federal agency with regulatory authority or oversight of the U.S. voting machine industry. (source1, source2)
  3. The vice-president of Diebold and the president of ES&S are brothers. (source1, source2)
  4. The chairman and CEO of Diebold is a major Bush campaign organizer and donor who wrote in 2003 that he was "committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year." (source1, source2)
  5. Republican Senator Chuck Hagel used to be chairman of ES&S. He became Senator based on votes counted by ES&S machines. (source1, source2)
  6. Republican Senator Chuck Hagel, long-connected with the Bush family, was recently caught lying about his ownership of ES&S by the Senate Ethics Committee. (source1, source2)
  7. Senator Chuck Hagel was on a short list of George W. Bush's vice-presidential candidates. (source1, source2)
  8. ES&S is the largest voting machine manufacturer in the U.S. and counts almost 60% of all U.S. votes. (source1, source2)
  9. Diebold's new touch screen voting machines have no paper trail of any votes. In other words, there is no way to verify that the data coming out of the machine is the same as what was legitimately put in by voters. (source1, source2)
  10. Diebold also makes ATMs, checkout scanners, and ticket machines, all of which log each transaction and can generate a paper trail. (source1, source2)
  11. Diebold is based in Ohio. (source1, source2)
  12. Diebold employed 5 convicted felons as consultants and developers to help write the central compiler computer code that counted 50% of the votes in 30 states. (source1, source2)
  13. Jeff Dean was Senior Vice-President of Global Election Systems when it was bought by Diebold. Even though he had been convicted of 23 counts of felony theft in the first degree, Jeff Dean was retained as a consultant by Diebold and was largely responsible for programming the optical scanning software now used in most of the United States. (source1, source2)
  14. Diebold consultant Jeff Dean was convicted of planting back doors in his software and using a "high degree of sophistication" to evade detection over a period of 2 years. (source1, source2)
  15. None of the international election observers were allowed in the polls in Ohio. (source1, source2)
  16. California banned the use of Diebold machines because the security was so bad. Despite Diebold's claims that the audit logs could not be hacked, a chimpanzee was able to do it! (See the movie here) (source1, source2)
  17. 30% of all U.S. votes are carried out on unverifiable touch screen voting machines with no paper trail. (source)
  18. All -- not some -- but all the voting machine errors detected and reported in Florida went in favor of Bush or Republican candidates. (source1, source2, source3, source4, source5)
  19. The governor of the state of Florida, Jeb Bush, is the President's brother. (source1, source2)
  20. Serious voting anomalies in Florida -- again always favoring Bush -- have been mathematically demonstrated and experts are recommending further investigation. (source1, source2, source3, source4, source5, source6)
Something to ponder as another election looms. But since the 2000 and 2004 went so smoothly, I can't foresee any problems.

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Case Closed

A wonderful political cartoon that explains the real reason the country is going to hell:


Image taken from the blog Political Irony, recommended by Glenn Greenwald.

Let's get this straight: the entire government is run by cowards who have enabled this lawbreaking torture regime. The very notion of an "opposition party" in today's America is a joke. There is a name for this, my friends... corruption, corruption, corruption.

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The First Rule of Chessboxing

...is that you do not talk about Chessboxing.

You play chess with timed moves for four minutes, then box three minutes, then sit back down, and continue your game. There are six rounds of chess and five rounds in the ring, but you can win early with a knockout or checkmate.

This has got to be one of the greatest ideas ever. I love the idea that you have to best your opponent both physically and mentally. Winning that match must be thoroughly satisfying. Concentrating on chess after being smacked in the head many times can't be easy.

The loser said he was simply too punch drunk to fend off checkmate.

"I took a lot of body-blows in the fourth round and that affected my concentration. That's why I made a big mistake in the fifth round: I did not see him coming for my king," he said.

We may have finally found the definitive way to separate the weak from the strong.

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Friday Free Game: Go Go Plant

Posted early in observance of Independence Day in the States.

Go Go Plant scratches the specifically twitch-gamer itch, sort of like Dino Run (the last Friday Free Game from late May(!)), and it's a great candidate for this week's twenty-minute casual distraction. It's a bizarre concept that somehow works. You're a plant, see. And you're grabbin' money. Why? Doesn't matter; it's fun.

The controls are a marvel of perfect design: up to fly, down to dig, forward to punch, back to grab. Somehow it all gels seamlessly in your brain in .3 seconds, and you're off finding Zen-like flow with this game almost equally as fast.

I think the fact that the boards are scripted adds to the addictiveness of the game, because the controls are natural and responsive (but, of course, not too responsive) and the timing they throw at you is always a little tricky. I found myself playing the beginning several times and enjoying each time. There was a good amount of playtesting done on this game.

But don't get me started on the soundtrack. This has got to be one of the most truly random and insane couplings of sounds and visuals ever seen in a Flash game, and that is saying something. The music is this eerily poor recording of some man singing in some language that could be Italian but fucked if I'd know if it was Swahili. And your little green hero is a potted plant with an elastic fist and a butterfly net. And I am not making that up. It's pretty damn strange.

But, like I said, fun. Play Go Go Plant.

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The Red Bull Diary is the personal pulpit and intellectual dumping-ground for its author, an amateur game designer, professional programmer, political centrist and incurable skeptic. The Red Bull Diary is gaming, game design, politics, development, geek culture, and other such nonsense.