Thursday, November 6, 2008

Just in time to miss the Great Pumpkin


The entire archive of Peanuts comic strips is now available for free on I was planning on getting lots of work done today... looks like that won't be happening.


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The last word on the election...

... Goes to president elect Barack Obama.

Twenty four hours later, I still can't believe that really happened. For as long as I've been old enough to be interested, I have been consistently disenchanted by the policies and actions of the American executive branch. For myself and many of my peers the sense of pride on our country that we are feeling now and belief that tomorrow could actually prove to be better than today are new things. There is still a great deal of work to be done, but it is impossible to quantify the positive effects of last night on the psyche of America. Cynicism certainly isn't dead, but its difficult to not feel at least a little bit hopeful for the future of this country.

Someone asked me today if this is what being a patriot feels like. I'd say yes, and it feels good.

Oh. Thank. Goodness.

It says something about the last eight years that in the midst of all tonight's celebration most people still can't believe that the candidate with the most popular and electoral votes was actually elected president. I think most people were expecting a nonsensical twist ending to all this. Its difficult right now to parse out what exactly what the Obama victory means, but it was certainly something to see so many people literally crying in happiness. Way to not screw this up America. Its good to know we haven't lost our minds completely.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Sunday, November 2, 2008

I really have no idea how to make chili

Ingredients! Roommates yelling at me for messing up the oven!

This looks like something Godzilla would eat... well this and Tokyo I guess.

I don't recommend rubbing your eyes after cutting hot peppers... or rubbing hot peppers in your eyes... or cutting hot peppers using only your eyes.

Two of those option lead to sadness and one is physically impossible.

The little bit of green in the pool of beef fat makes chili the healthy choice.

Doesn't look so appetizing at this stage I guess.

Don't ever eat chipotle peppers straight from the can: down that path lies madness.

Chili in some indeterminate number of moderately easy steps!

Multifunctional, chili can also be used as a dip or a thing to store your cheese on top of.

Chili for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!

Superman IV: The Quest for Peace

I have been really busy with school so I didn't really think about my Halloween costume until the day of. Deciding to put approximately zero effort into it, I decided to go as Superman diguised as Clark Kent. The only thing I had to buy was were the glasses (not pictured). There were a surprising number of comic book costumes. Quite a few people were dressed as the Joker, but there were a few other Supermen, a Catwomen, a Flash, and a grape.

Most Amusing Concession Speech?

I hope so.

Political Propaganda

This has been up for awhile, but The Museum of Moving Image has been posting political commercials from every presidential election since 1952. Despite the changes in media in the last 50 years, the general tone of these commercials has not really changed. The same themes and messages we see in commercials released on youtube or during primetime television are the same as those that have been used in commercials since the campaign to elect Dwight D. Eisenhower.

I've been thinking a lot about how the national discourse has changed during the Bush presidency, but looking through these I'm not so sure. Many of these commercials seem almost interchangable with the ones we've been seeing for the last two years. Of course, there is a fairly significant difference between praying on the american public's fear of nuclear proliferation and their fear of secret muslims.

A lot of the commercials are pretty ironic in retrospect, especially those for presidents that ultimately proved unpopular. But even for popular presidents, the dissonance between what is promised in a lot of their commercials and what was actually done is rather gigantic. I don't think its much of a suprise that so many people are so cynical with the political process. After all, everything we're seeing now has been happening for the last half century.

Depending on outcome on Tuesday, I do think some of this will change. One of the most impressive aspects of the Obama campaign has been its media savvyness. They've used text messages, facebook posts, traditional commercials, 30 minute informercials, youtube, and any number of other means to get their message out. Furthermore, the tone of these messages has been remarkably consistant. There is little in the way of personal attacks on McCain and Palin, instead the ads (even the attack ads) have pretty much stuck to the issues. The McCain campaign is also running a revolutionary ad campaign. I'd call it more disguisting than savvy as it has recently relied on stating blantent exaggerations or outright lies as truth. However, it is difficult to argue with their success as many people still belive Obama started his campaign in William Ayers' living room or that he is responsible for voter fraud.

Its going to be an interesting couple of days before we know how this is all going to turn out. I know which side I want to win and its not the one thats been revolutionizing political advertising by repeating outright lies.

To see more commercials check out the living room candidate.