Friday, February 04, 2011

Al Jazeera Offices In Cairo Destroyed

According to a report from Al Jazeera, "Al Jazeera's offices in Cairo were attacked on Friday by 'gangs of thugs', according to a statement from the network. The office was burned, along with the equipment inside it."

This comes as the Egyptian government tries to crack down on news reporting.  American and European journalists have been beaten and assaulted over the past couple of days.  

Sarah Palin Branding Her Name

Sarah Palin and her brood have turned celebrity into a cottage industry.  Famous for far more than her 15 minutes, the failed VP candidate is filing to trademark her name and that of her daughter Bristol Palin.

Accoding to an article on Yahoo News:
Palin's paperwork was filed in November, shortly before the premiere of her TLC show, "Sarah Palin's Alaska." Bristol Palin's application was filed in September, a few days before she began her own reality TV stint on ABC's "Dancing with the Stars." The applications are still pending, amid several queries by the Patent office.
As a side note, here series like her governorship has already been canceled.   She may be trying to protect her "brand" but if recent success , or lack of it is any indicator, it isn't in much danger.  Maybe the CHinese will start doing Palin knock-offs?

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Mona Lisa is a Man - Leonardo's Gay Lover!

I can hear the fundamentalists ranting now!  Look for the Mona Lisa to be removed from art history textbooks in Texas soon.  Why? Well, Silvano Vicenti, head of the National Historic Commission of Italy says that the Mona Lisa, Leonardo da Vinci's enigmatic portrait is most likely of his gay lover. 

Long thought to be a portrait of a local merchant's wife, the face bears more than a little resemblance to two other works by the master.  Both were modeled by his lover Gian Giacomo Caprotti.  The painting of John the Baptist and a drawing called "Angel Incarnate" both look to have the same face as Mona Lisa.

As the animation I created shows, it's pretty intriguing.  So, let the ranting begin!

Rolling Power Outages and The Super Bowl

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or ERCOT, mandated rolling power outages to reduce demand during peak periods, at least that was the story.  These lovely folks gave no warning, they just started cutting power.

Now comes word that critical services did not get cut, hospitals and emergency services, and the stadium in Arlington.  Say what?  Yup, DART riders got stranded as power to critical signaling devices was cut, hotel guests were stuck in dark elevators and stairwells, disabled people were stuck in their homes in the dark, but Jerry Frigging Jones and his stadium had all the power they needed.  God forbid football gets delayed!

So what the hell does the Super Bowl have that that you and I don't?  Apparently cutting power would be a security risk. That is the lame story anyway.

So finally the Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst gave us the real answer.  Cold weather knocked out about 50 of the 550 power plants in Texas and there also was an increase in demand.

"Lack of adequate winterization and preparation appear to be a major cause of the outages," he said in a statement. "This is unusually cold weather for Texas, but we obviously need to ensure that we are adequately prepared. That's why we will continue to work with state agencies and energy providers to find out where problems occurred and how to prevent them in the future."

So it comes down the the magic Genni of deregulation.  Companies bent on squeezing every penny from their investments didn't have a plan in place for cold weather.  Lovely!  Instead of buying power from other grids, they just force their problem on the state's citizens.  Meanwhile practice in the stadium goes on as planned.
We can all sleep more soundly, albeit more chilly with the power out, that football will still be played on Sunday.  Thank God!

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Snow Day

So I ended up trapped at home yesterday, though having my partner there and two warm cats made things agreeable. Today was a different story. Temperatures here in Dallas have dropped into the teens, and therefore, very little of the ice has melted on local streets. Highways seem pretty passable if you are careful, but getting to them is a task for the US Figure Skating Team.

I managed to get my partner to the light rail station, since his office is walking distance that seemed like a good idea. Problem is, DART (our light rail) was being affected by the rolling power outages that Oncore has started, so the trains were an hour late. Nice cold wait on the elevated platform for him.

Meanwhile, I went to my office only to find they had closed for the day. At least I can get some work done uninterrupted this way. I have a warm office, lots of coffee and a working computer (which won't work at home for some reason. So, tonight, I will put on my best Johnny Weir outfit and skate over to my partner's coffee and pick him up for the slide home.

Did I say I hate cold weather?

Monday, January 31, 2011

Video From Egypt - Mubarak Can't Stop This! WATCH

If you ever questioned the power of the internet, watch this video and you will have a new found respect for the powerful medium it has become. The message from Egypt is still getting out and it's so powerful it gets me emotional. Watch and let me know what you think.

Saturday Night Live Fails - Trans Skit Downright Offensive

Saturday Night Live took a big step backwards in their faux-commercial for Estro-Maxx.  I understand it's live TV and sometimes skits win and others lose, but at least one of the writers should have known that not only is the bit not funny, it's downright offensive to trans people. 

Here's my beef.  Using trans people or gay men or lesbians or whoever in a comedy skit isn't a problem.  The problem comes when the sexual minority becomes the joke.  Trans people are not a punch line, and I can think of a dozen ways that skit could have been less offensive, but mostly it shouldn't have happened at all.

It would be like doing a comedy sketch where the punch line was that the character was Jewish.  Though there are great jokes about Jewish people, they are not the laugh-line.  So to SNL I say, grow up and start writing something genuinely funny instead of falling back on a cheap laugh that is just plain offensive.

Here is the sketch for those who are interested.

Carol Channing at 90!

It seems that older women in show business lead long lives and have seemingly unending careers.  Betty White's resurgent career is proof of that.  Now Carol Channing does an interview on her 90th birthday on
She is still a vibrant supporter of arts and music in public schools and a well acknowledged gay icon.

Check it out.