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User Journal

Submission + - Meme: This is how you do it

Captain Splendid writes: As usual, Red gets it right when so many get it wrong.

Do you mow your front lawn?

Hell no, I pay someone to do it. People who think the smell of fresh cut grass is "lovely" obviously have never had to mow the lawn themselves.

Do you want to roll with the Gangstas?

Depends. Are bitches and money involved? If so, yes.

Are you first in your class?

ROFL, no. I was the kid in class who did fuck all work and always came in second. One of the first great lessons of my life was discovering how (to me) such simple inaction could piss so many people off in so many different ways.

Are you a champion at D and D?

If we're talking bras, then buddy, you have no conception of how good I am. Pen and paper RPG? Not so much.

Is MC Escher your favorite MC?

Ol' Dirty Batard reigns supreme.

Do you drink Earl Grey tea?

The 2 most overused phrases in the UK are:

1) "Put the kettle on."
2) "Fancy a cuppa?"

I lived there way too long, and am sick of the stuff.

Are your rims quite stationary?

Rims or pay someone to mow my lawn? You get the idea.

Are all of your action figures cherry?

More like "Repeatedly Violated"

Is Steven Hawking in your library?

No. Got a Kurzweil book around here somewhere, though....

Is your MySpace page all totally pimped out?

Even if I had a MySpace page, do you think I'd brag about it on /.?

Do you got people beggin for your top eight spaces?

Fake it or risk being uncool and say wtf is that? Decisions, decisions....

Do you know pi to a thousand places?

No, but if you hum a few bars, I'll fake it!

Do you still wear braces?

Never have. Besides, crooked teeth are useful for freaking out Usians.

Do you order all of your sandwiches with mayonnaise?

Ugh! Mind you, it's nice on french fries.

Are you a whiz at Minesweeper?

Can someone explain the attraction to me? I got bored in 2 seconds and went and got addicted to freecell instead.

Could you play for days?

No. 10-12 hours seems to the rough shape of the "envelope"

Is there a killer app you haven't run?

As a Linux noob, that would be a big fat yes

Do you know Pascal?

Did a little in high school

Do you do vector calculus just for fun?

Nope. Instead, I daydream about torturing famous people.

Do You got a soldering gun?


Is Happy Days your favorite theme song?

A-Team. Or Aqua Teen Hunger Force.

Are you an ace in a game of ping pong?

Is that what they call the guy that faults pretty much every shot?

Can you ace any trivia quiz I'll bring on?

Sadly, yes.

Are you fluent in JavaScript?

No, I cut and paste like everybody else.

Are you fluent in Klingon?


Do you ride a Segway?

I suck at remembering chick's names

Do you collect X-Men comics?

Used to. You know what they say about soap operas: You don't buy 'em, you rent 'em.

The pens in your pocket, do you protect them?

Money, keys, knife, smokes, lighter. If I need a pen, I'll just steal one from the bank for a few minutes.

Does your ergonomic keyboard ever leaves you bored?

Do the encrustations of filth make it ergonomic?

Do you Shop online for deals on some writable media?

Fuck deals. You have the item and the price is reasonable? Sold.

Do you edit Wikipedia?

No. Frankly, those pedants scare the crap out of me.

Have you memorized Holy Grail?

Now that you mention it, I'm probably pretty close.

Can you recite it right now?

We are the knights who say...uh...auggghhhh!

Do you got a business doing websites?

Used to. Not worth the sodding effort.

When your friends need some code, who do they call?

Yeah, we're not that l33t, sorry.

Did you make a homepage for your dog?

No, but my wife has a blog about her garden.

Do you have a fanny pack?

I prefer the British term: Bum bag. And, no, never. Ever.

Do you shop at The Gap?

I get all my clothes by mugging homeless people.

Do you spend your nights with a roll of bubble wrap?

How plebeian. Once you've rolled around your bed naked in a pile of money, everything else just seems so vulgar, darling.

Were you in AV Club?

Ha! I was the AV club for a short while.

Glee Club?

Nope. Choir, though.

Chess Team?


Do you like Kirk or do you like Picard?

Sisko could kick both their asses.

Do you spend every weekend at the Renaissance Fair?

No, but I hear renaissance fairies are HOT.

Do you have your name on your underwear?

Hobos don't wear underwear.
User Journal

Submission + - Clusterfuck Nation: Winners & Losers

Captain Splendid writes: For those who are unfamiliar with Jim Kunstler, his latest post is a good an introduction to the man as any.

It is interesting to see how suggestible world opinion can be. Hassan Nasrallah says that Hezbollah "won" the one-month war it started with Israel and the world affects to believe it. Even the Lebanese pretend to believe it, though their economy was wrecked in the process.

What interests me a little more is the absence of any sense of cause and effect among the Lebanese leaders. They allow Hezbollah to operate as a surrogate military within their state, and then they complain when Hezbollah's military transgressions are answered by an Israeli military response against the host state. And now the Lebanese have to pretend to celebrate Hezbollah's victory -- while tourists quietly decide to go anywhere in the Mediterranean except Beirut.

Another body of opinion, exemplified by George Friedman at Stratfors, says that by failing to eliminate Hezbollah's hardened positions in south Lebanon, Israel has lost its aura of military invincibility -- the invisible shield that for thirty-odd years made the leaders of Muslim states think twice before starting a rumble. This might be true for the moment. But it doesn't include the additional reality that sometimes failure is a salutary prompt to rethink one's tactics and strategy. The likelihood now is that Israel will find ways around Hezbollah's (and Iran's) tactic of conducting rocket war from fortified bunkers and Israel will not advertise it when they do.

Israel's current Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert may be viewed as a loser by Israel's Knesset or parliament, and they may replace him with Bibi Netanyahu, who was PM in the 1990s and went through his own years of loserdom, and now might return to power with a more refined tragic sense of politics and circumstance, as Churchill did in England in 1939.

World opinion seems to regard Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as the current "winner" in the region. He says he aims to kick Israel's ass and sends his goons to show the world how it's done. They're like little kids who go to a neighbor's house, set a paper bag full of dog shit on fire on the door step, ring the doorbell, and hide in the bushes to watch the response. Eventually the police show up.

America's aura of loserdom in the Iraq adventure glows a more nauseating shade of greenish brown every day. But it would be a mistake to think that Iraq was Vietnam all over again. Iraq stopped being a war for us three years ago and became a hopeless police action in a terrible neighborhood. Would Iraq (and the world) be better off with Saddam Hussein still in charge? My guess is he would be vying with Mr. Ahmadinejad to lead the jihad for a return of the Islamic caliphate. That event might have stimulated Europe to take the clash of civilizations a little more seriously a little sooner -- but, alas, we will never know.

As things stand now, Iraq appears poised to crack up along ethnic and regional lines, no matter how many Hummers patrol the streets, which would leave most of the remaining oil wealth of the Shiite-dominant south within Iran's sphere of influence.

Sooner or later America is going to lose access to the roughly 20 percent of the total oil imports it gets that come from the Middle East. The foothold in Iraq was an attempt to postpone that day. It looks like it will not work out. The US army is exhausting itself and bankrupting the civilian treasury. Sixty percent of the US public now disapproves of our continued presence there. Internal pressures among the Middle East oil producers themselves -- including those on the sidelines of the war -- will create additional stresses. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iran, the UAE, all have peaked now in terms of oil production. Meanwhile, their populations still grow, their internal oil consumption increases, leaving less for export, and the quality of the crude goes from light-and-sweet to heavy-and-sour, with further difficulties for refining and marketing.

If America loses 20 percent of its oil imports -- on top of steep depletion rates elsewhere (Mexico, the North Sea), plus political trouble in places like Nigeria and Venezuela -- then we can kiss goodbye a whole roster of things like WalMart, easy motoring on the interstate highway system, Walt Disney World, a continued profitable build-out of suburbia, and a diet of Cheez Doodles and Pepsi. I am on record, of course, as not being in favor of these things, but it would be very messy indeed if they all ground to a halt in a few mere months.

We've done a lousy job of preparing ourselves to live differently. In fact, the whole thrust of American politics along the whole spectrum has been to keep the current racket going. This is why the only broad discussion now occurring over our energy problems is focused to the point of neurotic obsession with keeping the cars running by other means at all costs. This is true on left as well as the right. The left is lost in raptures of driving around in cars fueled by used french-fry oil. The right is lost in raptures of executive pay packages for retiring oil company executives. We are putting no thought, meanwhile, into how we will grow our food in an energy-scarce future, how we will conduct manufacturing and trade, or how we will heat all the McHouses.

There are two themes here, related by strange circumstance, and both a clear and present danger to America's well-being. One is the implacable enmity of an Islamic world bent on vanquishing its old adversary "the Crusader West." And the other is the West's inability to face the practical problems of reorganizing our societies to meet the reality of an energy-scarcer future. The scary thing is, we have to take both of these challenges seriously.
In the meantime, Israel is the West's stalking horse and Jihad's whipping boy. We should recognize the obvious symbolism.

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