30 July 2006

Encyclopedia Daniel

I know this is six years old, but I just found some parodies of the old Encyclopedia Brown books, using then-timely news as inspiration.

Here's how the first one, "Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Dead Child Beauty Queen", begins:
NO CRIME WENT UNSOLVED in the otherwise normal town of Idaville. Although everyone credited Chief Brown of the Idaville police for this incredible record, the truth was that his 10-year-old son, Encyclopedia, solved the toughest cases. Encyclopedia’s real name was Leroy, but everyone called him Encyclopedia because he knew everything. An encyclopedia is a series of books that contains all the facts in the entire world written from a Eurocentric perspective.

In the summertime, Encyclopedia ran a detective agency out of his garage with Sally Kimball, his junior partner. Sally was the prettiest girl in the fifth grade and the toughest, too. She was the only person who could stand up to Bugs Meany, the leader of the local gang, the Tigers. Sally’s parents worried that she might be a lesbian.
Always knew there was a reason I had a crush on Sally.

They're done by the Modern Humorist, i.e. those two dorky-looking guys who are always sitting next to each other on Best Week Ever making vaguely gay references to whatever's in celebrity news this week. Worth reading for any fan of the old E.B. books, or if you just like what you read above.

26 July 2006

Depressing stuff

From this link, ostensibly a review for An Inconvenient Truth:
Maybe as a species we really have reached the same evolutionary dead end as Australopithecus robustus – intelligent enough as a species to create problems we're not bright enough, or adaptable enough, to solve. I don’t know. But if extinction, or a return to the dark ages, is indeed our fate – or our grandchildren’s fate, anyway – I think it will be a Hobson’s choice as to which cultural tendency will bear the largest share of the blame: the arrogant empiricism that has made human society into an instrument of technological progress instead of the other way around, the ignorant prejudices of the masses, who are happy to consume the material benefits of the Enlightenment but unwilling to assume intellectual responsibility for them, or the cynical nihilism of corporate and political elites who are willing to play upon the latter in order to perpetuate the former, which is, after all is said and done, their ultimate claim to power.
Read the whole thing -- it's depressing, but interesting.

In my dark nights when I can't sleep, I often worry that this thing we call liberal democracy has basically come to an end, that the inmates have run the asylum for too long (and not just since the Shrub came into office) and that we're all basically screwed. But we can't live our lives that way, and have to hope that somehow, in some way, that reasonable people can begin to make right those things in the world that irrationality and superstition have made wrong.

Not much else to say, honestly. If I were a praying man, I'd pray.

25 July 2006

The Middle East

I can't say I have much of an opinion in terms of Mideast policy, except that the types of shit that territorialism mixed with a hyper-religiosity can cause are not exactly pleasant.

Beth sent me this link from the local news affiliate.
"The existance of Israel is a core issue to the end time events, prior to the second coming of the Lord," says Pastor Bob Somerville of the Covenant of Peace Church in Huntsville. Pastor Somerville is an evangelical Christian, and like many evangelicals, he's a strong supporter of Israel because of its place in biblical prophecy. He's sorry about the loss of life on both sides in this newest conflict in the middle east. So is the Pastor Emeritus of the Rock, David Nelson, still--"I guess I'm excited about knowing what is happening in the middle east is pointing to the coming of Jesus Christ, and it excites me about the coming of Jesus Christ," says Pastor Nelson.
Isn't it nice that Jesus needs such violence and death in his homeland before he can come back and smite all those heathens and infidels for not believing in his dad's book?

I need to move.

01 July 2006

An actual beer post

I haven't been reviewing much lately, or even drinking a lot of good beer, mainly because I've been trying to save money, and reduce my chemical dependence on alcohol. (Not too bad -- I've been more dependent on caffeine than I've ever been on alcoholic beverages.) But Beth's taking a nap at the moment, so I took the opportunity on this Saturday afternoon to review both Kingfisher Premium Lager and Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine-Style Ale. The Bigfoot is fantastic, the Kingfisher... less so.

I'd forgotten how much I loved drinking and reviewing beers. The hop plant is actually in the same family as cannibis, which means that drinking very hoppy beers actually results in a very mild "high", and I must say that that effect combined with the alcohol makes for quite a happy Daniel. So I'm feeling pretty nice right now.

Olde Towne has finally released their Bock and Hefeweizen in bottles, as well. Good beers, especially the hefe, and I'm intending to make them my Fourth of July bottles.

One last thing, not beer related: I just saw this parody of the Batman origin story, and it's quite amusing.

Tomorrow, I'll put up my comments on the new Superman movie.