The West Virginia Surf Report

The West Virginia Surf Report is good stuff. Snide, cynical, and most important, funny. Any fool can be snide and cynical, but it takes work to be funny. As Jeff Kay, the site auteur, observes, “Yes, due to the recent well-publicized shortage of amateur websites produced by assholes who consider themselves to be clever, I’ve been drawn to the web — out of a powerful sense of civic duty.” [seen on BoingBoing]

This is a test of

This is a test of Blogger Pro’s ability to upload graphics easily. This is Smiling Guy, the cartoon man I draw whenever I need to doodle something. I have been drawing Smiling Guy more or less continuously ever since Miss Stuart’s class at Brunson Elementary School. So there.

Apparently this is old news

Apparently this is old news now (having been both Slashdotted and Memepooled), but I found it entertaining and maybe it’s new to you too. The Pop vs. Soda Page shows the geographical regions defined by how people refer to carbonated beverages. There must be further generalizations of this waiting downstream: pail vs. bucket, y’all vs. you guys, smeer-the-queer vs. kill-the-kid.

The Star Chamber in current

The Star Chamber in current news: Enron executives testifying, or rather not testifying, on Capitol Hill are the latest to make use of the magical cloaking effect of the Fifth Amendment. And why, you may wonder, did our founding fathers choose to build this odd privilege into the bedrock of our nation? The surprising answer, as I learned listening to public radio, is the court of Star Chamber. Its abuses in forcing people to condemn themselves during the rule of the Stuart kings brought into English Common Law the concept that people should not be compelled by the government to testify against themselves. Interestingly, there is no such legal construct on the Continent (or most other places in the world). Fascinating stuff.