Throughout history, many of mankind's greatest leaders in political and military strategy, rational thought, and respectableness have worn beards. There's Abe Lincoln, General Custer, Col. Sanders, Ulysses S. Grant, and many, many more. The list simply boggles the mind.
It was with this idea in mind that I've decided to take an unconventional look at the candidates for 2008's US Presidential election as they stand now. I've taken the most-viable two (as the radio host and callers I listened to the other day decided) candidates from both the Republican-Americans and the Democrat party and examined them for beard-worthyness. In theory, the one with the best beard will win.
Mitt has his work cut out for him if he wants to overcome the negative stigma that most Americans give to being a Mormon. From the looks of his beard, however, Mitt is in very good standing. Nice coloration gives him a statesmanly appearance, with only the slightest hint of crazy. (In these uncertain times, I believe that we could really use a bit of crazy in a leader.)
I think he's ahead of Barack at this point, despite his Latter-Day Saint background.
Being a woman would typically count a contender out of both a beard contest and a Presidential election, but Ms. Clinton has made some incredible inroads this election cycle. Americans are slowly coming around to accepting her vision of the future, and are rather impressed with the amount of growth she can achieve -- both in her poll numbers and her facial hair. Sure, her beard isn't quite up on par with that of a man's, but I think that in light of her not being one, the beard is the least of her troubles.
She's done better than I would have expected, but she's currently trailing behind both Obama and Romney at this point.
As you can very clearly see, despite his reliance on headwear, Senator McClane comes out head and shoulders above the rest of his competition. His beard is incredibly distinguished, very becoming, and has more than enough crazy in there to get the job done.
I'm currently calling the 2008 Presidential election in favor of Senator John McClane. Sure, he's a Republican, but if a member of the Democrat party comes forward with a better beard, I'll gladly throw my vote their way. Nearly every day someone new suggests that they might be throwing in their hat (and/or towel), so we'll have to see how it goes.
1: I was as surprised as you to hear he was a Senator, but in all the talk on the radio I heard the other day, everyone kept referring to him as "Senator John McClane." Who am I to argue with people who clearly know more than me?
UPDATE: This post was originally written in April of 2005.
After being completely oversaturated with coverage about John Bolton's United Nations opponent-turned-Ambassador nomination status, my own personal research has caused me to come to a startling conclusion:
In the early 80's, John Bolton secretly stole world-renowned SciFi Channel psychic Peter James' prized moustache and eyebrows, leaving his own in its place.
Without further ado, here's some photographic evidence:
That's Peter James on the left, while John Bolton is on the right. Clearly those moustaches and eyebrows have been switched.
I'm actually kind of surprised that a psychic of Peter's ability would be powerless to stop the switch from happening, or even notice that it had taken place. In case you are unfamilair with Peter's work, he has visited many historically significant haunted places, eerily telling of people and events he is "seeing." The amazing bit is how accurate he is when you compare his "visions" with the extremely well documented (and publicly known) versions of the same events -- events that the curators of said haunted places tell people about as part of the tour.
It is simply astounding that he could be so aware of the things happening around him and still miss the replacement of his moustache.
(Oregon, AP) -- The director of the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, Teresa Kaiser, has been charged with drunken driving, according to the Portland Police Bureau.
Lonn Hoklin, spokesman for Gov. Ted Kulongoski, said Kaiser e-mailed her resignation to members of the OLCC board of directors on Thursday. The e-mail said: "Due to circumstances that I deeply regret, I am resigning as executive director of the commission."
Police spokesman Detective Paul Dolbey said she was stopped Saturday night near Portland's Ross Island bridge. He said he did not have further details.
The 41-year-old man died in a mental health unit in Hamilton apparently from natural causes. The man had been charged with wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm after he attacked his 73-year-old mother in her Ngongotaha home on Sunday. She had her eyes badly gouged and her right index finger bitten off.
A 49-year-old man was in the county jail Wednesday charged with severely biting his mother's arm after becoming annoyed with her for repeatedly calling for help, police said. Doroty Fisher, 77, told police her son pushed her into a chair on Monday, bit her four times, breaking the skin, and squeezed her arms several times causing deep bruising.
The prisoner however refused to part with the device and hid it in his mouth. When the guards attempted to get it out, Kaverza bit the inspector's index finger savagely. The Prosecutor's Office first charged Kaverza with infecting the inspector with HIV and destabilizing the discipline in a penalty institution. The first charge was however lifted off the defendant after blood tests showed that the inspector had not in fact been infected.
Police accused a northwest Ohio woman of biting off a man's tongue. Chad Ringo, 29, remained in intensive care Monday at St. Rita's Medical Center in Lima after unsuccessful attempts to reattach about 30 percent of his tongue, Celina police said. Police said Mescher and Ringo had been involved in a relationship.
[The man] was driving on U.S. 41 in northern Evansville on Tuesday night when he hit a vehicle in front of him, according to police reports. A passer-by who stopped to check on Mays tried to stop him from returning to his car. Mays then bent down and bit the man’s calf, leaving a bruise and teeth marks, police said.
"After getting out of the vehicle and on his way into the school, [the] defendant saw [Price] walking toward the school, ran toward her and then attacked her, causing serious and permanent injuries by throwing her to the ground and biting her on the arm," according to the lawsuit.
In this country, our fearless leaders have pointed out the importance of avoiding human-animal hybrids, sparking controversy ridicule from the left and right alike. It is unclear whether Bat Boy (or his new friend Boy Bat) are the impetus behind this bold declaration, but I suspect he was.
In China on the otherhand, they've decided it is of utmost importance to put an end to human-cartoon hybrids. Hopefully Google gets cracking on "doing the right thing", they need to block all those Chinese search requests for Blue's Clues and pretty much any Disney movie made before 1994 ASAP.
Armstrong said she was watching from a car while Cheney, Whittington and another hunter got out of the vehicle to shoot at a covey of quail.
Whittington shot a bird and went to look for it in the tall grass, while Cheney and the third hunter walked to another spot and discovered a second covey.
Whittington "came up from behind the vice president and the other hunter and didn’t signal them or indicate to them or announce himself," Armstrong said.
"The vice president didn't see him," she continued. "The covey flushed and the vice president picked out a bird and was following it and shot. And by God, Harry was in the line of fire and got peppered pretty good."
This raises one question from me: Isn't it illegal to hunt from a vehicle in Texas? I know it is in Washington and Alaska.
A couple of days ago, I read a story that is equal parts sad and pathetic. I'll paste the relevant bits for you here, and you can click over for more detail if'n you want it.
Match.com, a unit of IAC/Interactive Corp. , is accused in a federal lawsuit of goading members into renewing their subscriptions through bogus romantic e-mails sent out by company employees. In some instances, the suit contends, people on the Match payroll even went on sham dates with subscribers as a marketing ploy.
"This is a grossly fraudulent practice that Match.com is engaged in," said H. Scott Leviant, a lawyer at Los Angeles law firm Arias, Ozzello & Gignac LLP, which brought the suit.
The Match lawsuit was filed earlier this month in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles by plaintiff Matthew Evans, who contends he went out with a woman he met through the site who turned out to be nothing more than "date bait" working for the company.
The relationship went nowhere, according to his suit. Evans says Match set up the date for him because it wanted to keep him from pulling the plug on his subscription and was hoping he'd tell other potential members about the attractive woman he met through the service, according to Leviant.
Leviant said his client found out about the alleged scam after the woman he dated confessed she was employed by Match.
At some jobs, you might draw the short straw and occasionally have to do some time in a chicken costume to entice in customers, or to wave signs on streetcorners to draw attention to the business you work for. If you thought that was bad, imagine having to go on dates with a bunch of losers to help keep your company afloat. I can't help but wonder if some of the women would actually sleep with men if it seemed as if they were going to cancel. How cool would that be? A dating service that hooks you up with a willing partner if you can't do it yourself.
The last couple days, this has been floating around the Associated Press:
WASHINGTON -- Four months after the end of World War II, five Navy bombers took off into sunny skies from Fort Lauderdale on a routine training mission, never to be seen again. Soon after, a rescue plane was sent to find them. It, too, vanished.
Now a new NBC News investigation marking the 60th anniversary of Flight 19's disappearance in the Bermuda Triangle is rekindling speculation on what happened that day. The anniversary also prompted a resolution in Congress by Rep. Clay Shaw, R-Fort Lauderdale, to commemorate the mission's 27 vanished pilots and crewmembers.
"Perhaps someday we will learn what happened and lay this mystery to rest," Shaw said Thursday, a day after the resolution passed the House 420-2.
The idea that the House passed a Bermuda Triangle resolution boggles my mind, and I've done much searching trying to uncover just what this resolution could possibly entail. I have had absolutely no luck, only finding the original AP article and press releases about both NBC and the SciFi Channel's Bermuda Triangle coverage. I'd really like to know the details of this resolution, and whether or not those 2 lone naysayers will be getting political backlash in the future.
Scary smoker guy voice-over: "Alistair Hoel (L-Wa) voted against the Bermuda Triangle resolution in 2005. He wants our military personnel to depart this plane of existence for a much more horrifying and mysterious one -- one that can only be reached by GETTING LOST IN THE BERMUDA TRIANGLE. Do you want our troops to face unknown horrors beyond the Triangle?"
I've mentioned before that I've been experimenting with listening to many different podcasts, and want to throw out a quick little update. I have now spurned radio in favor of downloadable audio completely. I was initially worried about filling up a 10 hour day with quality content, but have found that this has not been an issue at all. There is so much quality content out there, I don't have enough hours of the day to listen to it all.
I heard a really cool story the other day while listening to ABC Australia's fine program entitled The Science Show, and figured I'd share it in case anyone is interested. The story basically concerns "The Lancelot Code", which is kind of like The DaVinci Code, except for one major difference: The Lancelot Code is actually real and not a load of dingo's kidneys, handcrafted by a thief hack to stay at the top of a best seller list. Basically, the story contains the modern discovery of heretical mathematical concepts encoded into a King Arthur manuscript during The Crusades.
I've gone ahead and chopped down the show into one 16 minute segment that I highly recommend listening to, as it is both fascinating, and an example of why non-US radio is way better than US radio.
Today I listened to a really interesting episode (click to listen to mp3 archive) of NPR's Science Friday on the topic of the recent resurgence of leech use in medicine. Some plastic surgeons are using leeches during surgery to help stem the normal blood loss they have to deal with; drop in some leeches, no more blood sucky hose thingy. Awesome. Next time I need surgery, I am definitely requesting leeches.
One thing that I thought was really interesting: it seems as if leeches actually create morphine as part of the contents of their saliva. Part of what causes the numbing when then suck onto you is morphene being released from the leech. The really neat thing is tho, as the leech's saliva goes to work numbing the area it attaches to, the morphine somehow stimulates the cells of your skin and causes them to release a compound that stimulates vascular opening. More open vessels = more blood. So in essence, the chemistry of the leech reacts with the chemistry of whatever it is sucking on, allowing itself to get an even better meal -- and not bothering the host in the process. Awesome. Next time I need anesthesia, I am definitely requesting leeches.
One new treatment they are pioneering is in lessening the discomfort of arthritis. Apparently a once a month leech treatment can restore nearly full mobility to an arthritis inflicted knee. You get to have your blood sucked and get to walk home easily afterward. Awesome. Next time I need arthritis treatment, I am definitely requesting leeches.
I saw this yesterday, but forgot to mention it until just now.
A Planned Parenthood in Pennsylvania has come up with a really novel idea in an attempt to curb the problems they occasionally have which stem from overzealous protesters. The idea is essentially this: supporters of Planned Parenthood pledge to donate a certain number of cents for each protester that shows up each day. The more protesters that show, the more money in donations the clinic receives. They apparently have signage with stats on display, which allows all the protesters to see just how much money they are helping to raise.
While I don't personally believe abortion is right, I do believe that using intimidation -- whether it be physical, psychological or emotional -- to try to get someone to behave in a manner that you'd be more approving of is very wrong, so I think this is a really great idea. Planned Parenthood does much good non-abortion related work that I think even detractors would be hard-pressed to disagree with; this additional funding will certainly help support those things.
My message to all the protesters: "Bring your friends!"
I can't even begin to comprehend that situation, its like something out of the book of Job.
"Lord, haven't you done enough? My neighbors are gone, my house is destroyed, the water is rising. All I have left is this light pole to which I cling. I'm not sure how long I can hold on, I can't take anymore."
"NOT YET, MY SON. NOW COMES THE FIRE ANTS..."
*gotta love the url which loads that article: http://www.cnn.com/2005/WEATHER/08/28/katrina.doomsday/
It was announced yesterday that the President of Turkmenistan has placed a ban on all forms of recorded music to help protect the musical culture which once dominated life in Turkmenistan. It seems that this is targeted specifically to prevent lip-syncing, a practice which is used by nearly every performer here in the United States to improve both the sound quality and value of nearly $100 (USD) concert ticket prices. In a televised announcement, President Saparmurat Niyazov explained, "Unfortunately, one can see on television old voiceless singers lip-synching their old songs. Don't kill talents by using lip-synching... create our new culture."
The latest attack on the encroaching western cultural influence follows other bans enacted in 2001 on such MTV-influenced fashions as long hair, gold and platinum plated teeth, intricate facial hair and the "Pimping" of rides with such esoteric electronic devices as radios and compact disc players.
These bannings affect more than just the "hip" non-traditional elements one might associate with an impressionable youth, however. President Niyazov has also banned opera and ballet, claiming that they are "unnecessary", and has done away with that ever-present bane to traditional culture -- hospitals.
Like the USA's George W. Bush, President Niyazov feels that it is his responsibility to maintain the religious and cultural ideals held by many of the citizens of the country he is ruling, to lead the nation into a "Golden Age" unhindered by the attempts to unhinge it by the liberal left. All the existing bans -- and presumably all future bans as well -- combine in a valiant effort to hold on to the ideals he feels should be important to every Turkmenistani citizen.
Yesterdays ban of prerecorded music is the first ban put into place by President Saparmurat Niyazov since 2003's horrific shuttle disaster, which ended the lives of seven astronauts over the skies of Texas as the shuttle disintegrated due to faulty heat tiles.
The space shuttles return to Cape Canaveral happened entirely without incident, much to the dismay of media outlets everywhere. How on Earth* are they going to make the news more exciting? Faithful readers have probably already guessed:
CAPE CANAVERAL (Reuters) - The space shuttle Discovery completed a cross-country ride atop a jumbo jet and returned to Florida on Sunday, nearly two weeks after finishing NASA's first mission since the 2003 Columbia accident.
Falling foam doomed Columbia when a briefcase-sized chunk knocked a hole in its wing at launch. During Columbia's reentry in February 2003 into the Earth's atmosphere, superheated atmospheric gases tore into the gap.
Columbia then broke apart over Texas, killing all seven astronauts on board.
I look forward to future articles about the 2003 shuttle disaster cleverly disguised as updates about the current shuttle.
Yup, a terrible pun. Cuz see, it's the space shuttle, and it isn't currently in space...