The 2012 Olympic Logo Conspiracy

I can’t stop giggling.  This is much too good to keep to myself.  From the Gruniad:

Iran has threatened to boycott the London Olympics unless the organisers replace the official logo, which Tehran claims spells out the word “Zion”.

The logo, a jagged representation of the year 2012, has been said by its critics to resemble many things, from a swastika to a sexual act, but the Iranian government argues it represents a veiled pro-Israeli conspiracy.

A little googling on Youtube quickly turns up tin-foil worthy animations showing how to rearrange the shapes to get the first two results: above is the swastika, zion is to the left, and here is the video that explains it, complete with illuminati.

Others say it represents Bart and Lisa Simpson.

But this one has all the others beat hands down.

This video is a tour de force combining the reason the Gregorian calendar changed the dates, 3D glasses, and either aliens or Nephilim returning to earth.


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Tunisia, Egypt,…NYT is next

Yes, I’m talking about Ben Zimmer’s On Language column in the New York Times–the column that was started by William Safire some 30 years ago, and continued by Language Log’s Ben Zimmer after Safire’s demise. And unlike Safire, Zimmer actually knows what he’s doing. So why is the NYT magazine’s new editor getting rid of it?

Language Log wrote about it here. The Economist wrote about it here. Enough writing, time for doing.

Go to Facebook’s “Keep ‘On Language’ in the New York Times” page and click “like”.

If you don’t have a Facebook account already, you probably have to create one in order to “like” this group. I did this years ago for some cause or another, and it was worth the aggravation. They did ask my age, and it’s none of their business. I usually tell people like that I’m sixteen, but if you tell internet entities you are a minor, they might want to restrict the content they show you, so I told them I was 80 or 90 something. For the rest of the questions, I tell them as little as possible. Who knows what they will do with the information. Facebook does not have a good track record with privacy issues.

You can also write to the editor, but let’s face it, if the guy dropped Zimmer, he’s obviously not the sharpest tack in the box. It would probably be better to get someone else’s attention. Here is his twitter thingy. Quite frankly, I wouldn’t mind if they retired Safire’s number–he had his own unique conservative political thing going anyhow–as long as we get Zimmer, but this editor guy doesn’t look like he knows what he’s doing.

Bonus link: A lot of people can express ideas well if they have time to write them out and polish them, but how many people can think on their feet?  Here’s Zimmer on video (and what a fresh-faced young pup he is) with John McWhorter discussing the State of the Union address. As they used to say in the Whole Earth Catalog, cream rises.

UPDATE: Yes, write to the paper. The Facebook page now lists these email addresses:

NYT Magazine letters to the editor <>

NYT Magazine editor Hugo Lindgren <>

NYT public editor Arthur Brisbane <>

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Where in the world is myiq2xu?

When I read today that Google had tweaked their search algorithms, right away I googled political blogger myiq2xu to see if they finally got him right.  They didn’t.

For the record, myiq2xu’s home blog is Klownhaus.  Currently myiq2xu is a front pager–and the main attraction–at The Crawdad Hole. Previously,  myiq2xu blogged with Riverdaughter et al at the Confluence, and before that, a few other places.

Myiq2xu, affectionately known as “myiq” or “the clown”, is an internet legend. He says he is a lawyer from California.  He is a political progressive and a veteran campaigner against internet trolls and bullies.  He is frequently irreverent, and his ironic brand of humor is frequently misunderstood.  He frequently makes me laugh.  He also has been known to wade fearlessly into blogs teeming with misandrists and make political common cause with those willing to keep an open mind. I don’t always agree with him politically, but I will defend him any time.

So it annoyed me, but did not surprise me, when googled him today and found that although his own website comes up first in a google search, the website of his political enemies comes up second.  Now how did they manage that?  Maybe this line from their website has something to do with it:

My attention was directed to myiq2xu (full name for the Googlebots)…

I know as much as I want to know about these bloggers at “Buttburger”–they impersonated me on another blog and they  filled up my blog’s comments with all manner of rudeness and profanity. But clearly they know something about search engine optimization and how to manipulate it.

So here are a few links of my own for the google bots–and the full name of myiq2xu, typed a few extra times for good measure.

And if you have a weird sense of humor and want quick smile, go over to the Crawdad Hole where myiq2xu likes to fish, and mouse over the icons of the featured writers.


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Happy Australia Day

Happy Birthday Oz.

So, how to celebrate the day? Last week I discovered that in one Australian town they pass out free “wavers”. Merriam-Webster won’t tell me what Aussies think a “waver” is, but I’m going to stick my neck out and says it means “flag”. Now, which flag? Apparently in Oz they are deeply conflicted about flags.

Frequent polls showed the percentage of Australians wanting a new flag increasing from 27% in 1979 to 42% in 1992, to a majority of 52% in 1998.

The Australian government likes this one:

[Image credits: Wikipedia. First Fleet Bicentennial Reenactment, Sydney Harbor, 1988; Australian flag identity crisis]

This is just wrong

Back before the election, when someone thought it was cute to put up an image of Sarah Palin with a noose, I said there was no excuse for it.

Now that Gabrielle Giffords has been shot, and everyone has seen her earlier statement objecting to Palin’s “crosshairs” map, I’ll say the same about this:

There is no excuse.
In case anyone thinks this is just a political map, to give it a little context here is a sampling of the kind of political merchandise available on You can get a “liberal hunting permit”–“valid at school board meetings, polling places, and city council meetings”–, a “terrorist hunting license”, and in case anyone has missed the point of conflating liberals with terrorists, you can also get a “liberal terrorist hunting license”.

And while it’s not hard to find these images for liberals or for the donkey symbols of the democratic party, there are no corresponding “target” images for republicans, conservatives, or elephants.

You should be able to find most of the below items by doing a site search for “liberal” and “hunting license”.

There’s no excuse.

(In case anyone still has not seen Jon Stewart’s take on the tragedy, it’s worth watching. Sorry, can’t link to it directly, streaming content is blocked on my computer.)

Gay bullying: the dead

Last week I heard of a number of young gay men who had committed suicide lately as a result of cyber-bullying, but the only name I could google up was that of 18-year-old Tyler Clementi. Now the other names have emerged.

Tyler Clementi
Seth Walsh
Justin Aaberg
Raymond Chase
Asher Brown
Billy Lucas

[Thanks, Jason Derrick of  Wear Purple Day on Oct 20 –but careful, site may be NSFW as it keeps filling up with hate comments]


More names of the dead from the Facebook page:

“Please add Victoria Carmen White to your thoughts/prayers. Victoria was a transgender woman that was murdered last week. Her gender was then disrespected by the police reports and her death was largely ignored by the media.”


“I think the worst part is that this didn’t just stem from school bullying… RIP
A week after attending a Norman City Council meeting where a heated debate played out in public, 19-year-old Zach Harrington took own life after week of ‘toxic’ comments…

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The last word on the Shirley Sherrod tempest goes to the insightful Zogby, who observes:

Something is fundamentally rotten in our political culture — where groups seeking political advantage can so easily make victims of innocents and cowards will let good people pay a price rather than defend their rights to a fair hearing.

But of course that’s not how the politics plays out.  If she had not been fired, the teabaggers and right-wing pundits would have made her name a by-word for continuous attack on the liberals, by shear repetition of lies.  This way she gets to sue Breitbart, making headlines that advance the liberal cause as the case plays out in court, and more headlines when she ultimately accepts a new position somewhere.

Today the church bells in the neighborhood were playing

Dear Lord and Father of mankind,
Forgive our foolish ways!
Reclothe us in our rightful mind…

and I thought, not gonna happen.