It’s horrible to see smoke pouring from wounds in your own country from such a fantastic vantage point. The dichotomy of being on a spacecraft dedicated to improving life on the earth and watching life being destroyed by such willful, terrible acts is jolting to the psyche, no matter who you are.

Frank Culbertson, American astronaut (speaking about viewing the 9/11 attacks from the International Space Station)




These current defacements are just the beginning. Today, engineers with their computers can add color to black-and-white movies, change the soundtrack, speed up the pace, and add or subtract material to the philosophical tastes of the copyright holder. Tomorrow, more advanced technology will be able to replace actors with “fresher faces,” or alter dialogue and change the movement of the actor’s lips to match. It will soon be possible to create a new “original” negative with whatever changes or alterations the copyright holder of the moment desires.

George Lucas, 1988 speech to congress. (via blargisblarg)



Oil prices are set on the global market, and the best a president can do is to push for policies that ensure that demand doesn’t outpace supply. But due to the global nature of the oil market, they are limited in the impact they can make. If Bachmann thinks she is going to increase supplies by flooding the market with shale oil, then she is exceptionally naive. If she is just making hollow campaign promises, then she is another dishonest politician. Neither trait is one I want in a president.

Robert Rapier, from his piece on The Oil Drum: Keeping Michele Bachmann Honest on Gas Prices (in response to her claim that if she were president, the price for gasoline would drop down lower than $2 per gallon).



My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.

Jack Layton, Canadian politician (1950-2011)