Archive for the ‘War’ Category

Washington Post reports that “Jet From Supermassive Black Hole Seen Blasting Neighboring Galaxy”.

The very first line of the article tells us that this is “an act of galactic violence…”

 Holy shit! Is this how they sneak it in, under the radar, that we’re not only in an unwinnable war against terrorism, but an INTERGALACTIC WAR too??? Let’s read on.

“What we’ve identified is an act of violence by a black hole, with an unfortunate nearby galaxy in the line of fire,” said Dan Evans, the study leader at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge. He said any planets orbiting the stars of the smaller galaxy would be dramatically affected, and any life forms would likely die as the jet’s radiation transformed the planets’ atmosphere.

Um, OK Dan Evans. So what we learned from the above paragraph is:

  1. A distinguished astrophysician describes this as an act committed by a BLACK HOLE. Like, it decided to do this. Is he relying on the fact that we KNOW that black holes are prescient? Is this how he’s slyly telling us what the government already knows? Hmmm….
  2. Any life forms would likely die as the jet’s radiation transformed the planets’ atmosphere…. there are likely other forms of life in other galaxies? Fascinating!
  3. This could happen to our galaxy?


The extinct space-ilization I plan to discover in my career as a cosmonaut.

If a jet were to hit Earth, Evans said, it would destroy the ozone layer and collapse the magnetosphere that blankets the planet and protects it from harmful solar particles. Without the ozone layer and magnetosphere, he said, much of life on Earth would end.

Merry Christmas!

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Just read this whole recipe first. It’s a lot of steps but its not that much work. Better for two people to do it: one takes care of steak and one takes care of fries. You can conveniently execute this recipe on a small Brooklyn sized grill.

Necessary Jive :

Grill or Cast Iron Pan or (Oiled)

Strip Steaks (one per person or one for two if squeamish)
Unsalted Butter
Fresh Tarragon
Lemon Juice

Idaho Potatoes
Two cloves Garlic
Kosher Salt

1. Get yo’ steaks to room temperature and get that butter soft.
2. Chop up tarragon, combine with butter and tablespoon of lemon juice. Mix with butter.
3. Now, place mixed butter in saran wrap and make a log, place in freezer.
4. Cut up your fries and place in a cold bowl of water with ice cubes.
5. Now, pre-heat your grill pan or grill. Oil it so meat wont stick. On the stovetop, heat about 3-4 inches of oil in a deep pot. Here you really should use an oil thermometer and you should have one, cuz for proper frying this oil should be at 360 degrees F. If it’s cooler than that, you’re wasting your time but hey, dip a finger and take a chance. (Wait, don’t do that).
6. Place two cloves of garlic in the warming up oil and take em out before its hot enuf to put fries in.
7. Now with oil super hot, drop in a first batch o’ fries. Don’t overcrowd, or it will suck suck suck. Just a handful at a time. Get someone else to tend to the fries while you do the steak, as they will need to removed from the oil when they are nice and brown using tongs or a slotted spoon. Put the fries on a rack to drain, preferably, or on a cloth napkin in a bowl and toss around. Throw some plates in the oven to get ’em hot. Keep the done fries in the oven as well.
8. Ok, now the steak. With a 1-1.5 inch steak you want about 3 mins a side for rare, 4 mins for med rare and leave it on forever if you want more than that. Just imagine the heat first searing the edge and then penetrating the meat. You definitely do not want to cook each side for more than 4 minutes in my opinion. Make sure to use tongs and don’t pierce the damn thing. 9. Now let the steak REST. For 2-3 minutes preferably in a warm oven on a hot ass plate or covered in foil.
10. If you are slicing it up, place on cutting board and SLICE ACROSS THE GRAIN. That means slice it perpendicular to the little streaks you see running across the surface of the steak.
11. Cut a round of the now hard butter and place it on top of the steak and let melt. Mmmmmm. Go get your fries.
Serve everything as HOT as you can! Realistically it will take you some tries to get this one efficient, but its f&*% rewarding when you’ve done it a couple times.

Look for more recipe ideas you can rip off as your own at www.chezjjp.com!

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Sexiest Carrot Aliiiive

PETA, best known as the people responsible for whatever gory meat-making video made you turn veg for the worst 3 months of your life (ahem, jbm), turn out to also be shameless celebrity-humpers just like us!

Now, they’re asking us to vote on who is the World’s Sexiest Vegetarian!

Some interesting entries on the ballot: Chelsea Clinton, Lauren Bush (actually not surprising, but I guffawed when I first read it because I thought it said Laura Bush), Serenity (WTF? What is that?), and Princess Superstar! I like that rapping about pussies and fucking Kool Keith raw is enough to get you noticed by PETA.

For the boys, we’ve got some real winners. (I’m a little worried about Plainclothesman getting caught between X-Filing and Pearl Jamming, if you know what I mean.) I’m enjoying a fantasy of Bob Barker, Dennis Kucinich, Common, Casey Kasem, GZA, John C. Reily, Jonathan Safran Foer, JTT, Leonard Nimoy, Little Richard, Prince, and Weird Al battling it out. It’s a lot to imagine. Wow.

Weirdly enough, though it is a ‘worldwide’ contest there is a separate category for “International.” Whatever, PETA, I guess you were too busy doing extra credit in life sciences to pay attention in geography.

Last year’s winners were Prince (yess!) and Kristen Bell (What? Seriously? Is she on the WB? I mean the CW?). Shania Twain got crowned in 2001 and I like thinking about her in I Heart Huckabees telling off Jude Law. 2003 winner Josh Hartnett has a lovely story about his turn to the vag – I mean veg: “One day I was cutting up a chicken for my mom, and I hit a tumor with the knife. There was [pus] and blood all over the place. That was enough for me.”

Ew! Sick. It’s enough for me too. And did he not really say pus? I’m confused.

OK, go make your voices heard!

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Not that I want to turn Brooklyn Skeptic into a porno site or anything (yeah right), but in the interest of sharing the bounty, here it is: a sexy GQ photo shoot of Davey and Josie (pronounced ho-see) looking, interestingly enough, sexy. Oh man.



Um, seriously they’re going to fire me for posting porno. And it’ll be worth it.

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As it is Wednesday, I am now up to the “Week In Review” section of the NY Times I bought on Sunday. Don’t judge me. It’s still relevant, in the middle of the next week.

So I am not one who normally opens up the newspaper expecting to be wowed. Mostly I expect to be angered and disgusted and disappointed. So imagine my surprise as I stood in the crowds of yesterday afternoon’s 4 train reading Frank Rich’s Op-Ed (subscription link) “All the President’s Press.” He was talking about the White House Correspondent’s Dinner. Sounds stupid and boring, right? Right. Exactly. That was his point. Specifically, that it is a ludicrous unconscionable event that further leads to the corruption of the news media.

Laura at the dinner

They [journalist revelers] served as captive dress extras in a propaganda stunt, lending their credibility to the presiden’t sanctimonious exploitation of the Virginia Tech tragedy for his own political self-aggrandizement on national television. Meanwhile the war was kept as tightly under wraps as the troops’ coffins.

Yow. I have to admit, he lost me a little on the details. I didn’t follow the Pat Tillman situation, but I guess the basic gist was that Tillman, a football star serving in Afghanistan, was reported by the Pentagon and later the White House as being killed heroically, but was actually killed by friendly fire. In 2004 at the press dinner Bush eulogized about Tillman’s sacrifice in order to distract from the recently-released Abu Ghraib photos and Ted Koppel reading the names of the war dead on “Nightline.” Basically,

The Washington press corps that applauded the president at the correspondents’ dinner is the same press corps that was slow to recognize the importance of Abu Ghraib that weekend and…..even slower to label the crimes as torture.

So I guess what happened at this week’s dinner was more of the same, as “this year Mr. Bush made a grand show of abstaining [from doing his own comic shtick], saying that the killings at Virginia Tech precluded his being a ‘funny guy.’ Any civilian watching on TV could formulate the question left hanging by this pronouncement: Why did the killings in Iraq not preclude his veing a ‘funny guy’ at other press banquets…?”

The real kicker, though, the thing that to me felt actually exhilarating to read (so exhilarating that I missed my stop) was when Rich outlines the difference between the press’ (minus Rich’s) perception of Iraq and Rich’s (and maybe the NY Times’?) perception of it:

…much of the press still takes it as a given that Iraq has a functioning government that might meet political benchmarks (oil law, de-Baathification reform, etc., etc.) that would facilitate an American withdrawal. In reality, the Maliki “government” can’t meet any benchmarks, even if they were enforced, because that government exists only as a fictional White House talking point. As Gen. Barry McCaffrey said last week, this government doesn’t fully control a single province. Its Parliament….has passed no major legislation in months. Ira’s sole recent democratic achievement is to ban the release of civilian casualty figures, lest they challenge White House happy talk about “progress” in Iraq.

Mmmm. I know I’m not the only transitional democracy buff out there. Reckles, I’m looking at you….

Mr. Rich finishes it off by saying that the Times won’t continue participating in such events. I hope they will continue participating in this kind of fucking awesome truth-telling and…. dare I say…. muckraking. You go baby. You rake that muck.


I know, I know, a mainstream journalist deriding other mainstream journalists, it smacks of a Paris-Nicole showdown. But if that means next up in the ring is Frank Rich v. Ann Coulter, then bring it on bitch, bring it on.

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You’re sick of your Union Halls and your Flatbush Farms. You’re looking for something quieter, uglier, significantly less expensive. You’d pass up fresh-faced bartenders in favor of gristled ladies who could beat up your dad pushing six-packs. Jackie’s 5th Amendment is a den of senility in an area generally packed with sharp, successful breeders. It can add a little flavor to your life – like the way Fixodent makes your dentures kind of minty.

billy-joel.jpgBest things about Jackie’s:

1. Every time you walk by its large picture windows, the scene’s just a couple chips short of a bingo tournament.
2. It’s comparable in price to Welcome to the Johnsons, but there is nary a hipster to be found.
3. If you miss your grandmother, there are plenty of old women on hand to tell you to sit up straight in a proper chair. I’m not sure how they react to being called “Gammy.”
4. They serve whiskey in dainty stemmed shot glasses.
5. On a recent Saturday night, they only played Mariah Carey and Billy Joel songs. Interestingly, these were my two favorite singers when I was in seventh grade.
6. It’s a great place to drink alone. And then to go home alone. Unless you’re into some freaky geriatric sex-swing shit.
7. The back room has a Rivendell-like air of mystery in addition to extra chairs.

Jackie’s 5th Amendment
404 Fifth Avenue at 7th Street
Park Slope, Brooklyn

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Pool is passé.

I’m going to break it to you, there are no longer guys in fedoras tapping their wingtips to the jukebox, with a cigarette between their fingers. It’s been replaced by frat boys in polo shirts & baseball caps, or suits with loosened ties. All the romance is gone and has been replaced by a certain banality.

Bocce doesn’t need to get people to pay for it. They know they’ve created a group of individuals who will come to the only bars in Brooklyn (owned by the same person) to get their bocce fix. They’ve created a subculture who crave their hands around their large balls. They will come week after week, set up leagues, and practically live at these bars. Do we need it in more places? No. And I like it that way. Pool you can go almost anywhere. I can barely walk down the street without running into a pool table.

And I’m sorry, something is wrong if you think handling a small stick and delicately hitting small balls is somehow tough. All that green felt is simply bourgeois. Bocce requires you to get down in the dirty court, pick up balls with your bare hands, and throw it down a court. You really learn to channel a more primal energy. You call that cute? Obviously you also haven’t heard the smack talk that goes on.

You have to accept that bocce is the new hotness, while pool is the old hotness…which can’t be anything but lukewarm.

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I don’t think the word ethereal has ever been used in relation to a game where you lob large circular objects onto a court in an effort to knock other balls out of the way. However my point was not that Bocce is ugly. More that Bocce is, in a word, cute. Bocce is billiards’ cute indy-rock girlfriend who is a little more shy and less overtly sexy. Billiards, on the other hand, is slightly more out of one’s league (pun sooo intended). Billiards has a series of shiny, colorful balls and a beautiful green felt table with six evenly placed leather pockets. And you use a looonng, shiny, aerodynamic, wooden stick that you know you just want to wrap your hands around and….. Ahem. Chalk.

Anyway, again, bocce is definitely hot. Its balls just aren’t as polished.

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Bocce is, perhaps, the hottest game in the history of bar sports. It doesn’t have to hit you over the head with its overtly sexual equipment (cue, balls, holes, etc.) – it’s a demure game with dignity, class, and a regal aura. Sure it’s easy to look sexy while splayed out on a table, man-handling a huge stick. That’s some rookie shit. All of the sexiness in bocce emanates from a player alone on the court, the envy of the entire bar. That player in untouchable. And as we all know, the hottest person in the room is the one you can’t even get close to.

Where billiards is carnal, bocce is ethereal. Though your feet are on a court made of earth, your spirit hovers above near the pressed tin ceilings. Your body becomes a vessel for the, um, balls and thousands of years of Italian history course through your veins, like so many Brooklyn Lagers. If there is anything sexier than the spiritually superior and historically inclined, I don’t want to know what it is.

This sport is so fucking hot, even the pope plays.


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Their borders as permeable as their cheese, the Swiss army “accidentally” invaded their tiny neighbor, Liechtenstein. Apologies ensued, and Liechtenstein was all like “no problem, man. I thought you were just trying to get that Frisbee you threw over here last week.”

The full – if horribly unexciting – story here.

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