Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Some interesting designs in this line of trompe l'oeil cycling helmets:

There were many others, one of which was a watermelon with a slice taken out of it.  The whole set of ten or so helmets seems to me a meditation on how fragile the head is, how vulnerable, and how easily the skull can be shattered.

Embarrassments of All Kinds

There's been a fair amount of coverage of the "shockingly phallic" graphic on the swimwear of the Singapore swim team.  The crescent moon and stars motif comes from the nation's flag and someone apparently thought it would be a good idea to have it printed on the team members' speedos.  It would seem to me that somewhere along the line, some official or other might have suggested that maybe this wasn't the best possible placement of the Singapore's symbol.  One comment was that everything would have been OK if the design had been rotated 90º so that the upwardly curving crescent moon was placed "more toward the side" of the trunks. 

As a designer, I think that the design would be meaningless if "more toward the side" as there is so much less material there that the crescent moon would have had no impact visually. What's really interesting is that the Singaporians, who are extremely conservative about some things, would have considered putting the flag on such a brief garment intended to be worn by largely naked men in the first place -- I remember the bloodletting here in the US when hippies started sewing the American Flag on various parts of their clothing, in the same areas the Singapore flag occupies on the speedos.


The recall movement in Wisconsin is already under way, and not just against Governor Walker who isn't actually eligible for recall until he completes one year in office next fall.  Republican state senator Randy (appropriate name, it seems) Hooper (R-Fond du Lac) who was one of the governor's supporters in union-busting, has been revealed to be living out of his district in Madison with his young girl friend who is a lobbyist.  As he was elected back in 2008, Hooper is ripe for recall right now.

Protesters who arrived at Hooper's home were greeted by the senator's dumped wife who informed them of the fact of her husband's adultery and relocation, using the very proper term "mistress" to describe the young woman in question.  She says she's looking forward to signing the recall petition herself and to drumming up support for it.  I'll just bet she is!


Michele Bachmann came here to New Hampshire and said how happy she was to be in the state where the "shot heard 'round the world" had been fired.  It just happens, of course, that the famous shot  happened in Massachusetts, and that Bachmann had once again revealed her shocking ignorance of American history, particularly as a flag-waving, supposedly superpatriotic Republican.

But it gets better: she made this gaffe twice in New Hampshire over two separate days and apparently nobody on her staff, nor any of her handlers, knew any better to correct her on day two.      

These people are being elected, backed by a party and by a dangerous segment of the population, that wants to suppress knowledge of proven science, wants to turn the country into a theocracy, and that is very happy to have an ignorant electorate so they can get away with anything they please.

Here's another one from New Hampshire (it's been interesting here lately), slightly edited from Foster's Daily Democrat which isn't a major newspaper, but is a much-needed antidote to the ultra-conservative Manchester Union Leader: 

Barrington state Rep. Harty resigns in wake of 'Siberia' remark
By Scott E. Kinney
Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A local state representative has surrendered his seat following continuing pressure to resign after making inflammatory comments to an agent of a local nonprofit.  

A public backlash followed the comments of 91-year-old freshman state representative Martin Harty, of Barrington, who said last week funding for the mentally ill should be cut because he doesn't support state funding for "the crazy people" who should be sent to "Siberia."

Harty said in his resignation letter Monday that he was sorry his "big mouth caused this furor." He said with all the "slightly unfavorable publicity" he couldn't be effective.

"Representative Harty came to my office today to offer his resignation in person," said House Speaker William O'Brien in a statement released Monday. "We both agreed that this is what is best for the House to move forward and focus on critical issues, like balancing our budget without raising taxes and giving the voters an opportunity to pass a school funding amendment to ensure local control. We will move quickly to request a special election to fill this vacancy."

NH GOP Chairman Jack Kimball released the following statement regarding Harty's resignation:
"I am pleased Mr. Harty acknowledged his comments were not appropriate for a legislator and I am satisfied with his decision to resign. He failed to represent the sentiments of his constituents and the core values and principles of the Republican Party."

Last week Harty told Sharon Omand, a program manager at Community Partners, which provides behavioral health and developmental services for Strafford County, that he believed in eugenics and disagreed with her about the need for funds for mental health services.

"The world population has gotten too big and the world is being inherited by too many defective people," he told her.

Omand said she asked him to clarify if he meant mentally ill and developmentally disabled and he responded, "I mean all the defective people, the drug addicts, mentally ill, the retarded — all of them."

"I asked what we should do with them," Omand said, and Harty said, "I believe if we had a Siberia we should send them to this and they would all freeze and die and we will be rid of them."

One is encouraged by his words to assume he also advocates "setting out" babies who have the slightest problem or defect, on bare ground to perish of exposure.  I live in NH now and am happy to report that his kind is in the minority here, but I'm very much aware that it's different elsewhere.


And lastly, because it's just too delicious:

It is speculated that the Prince, soon to celebrate his 90th birthday in June, had just farted. The facial expressions are delightful but Prince Harry's unrestrained break up is just great,

Those helmets are scary looking. I don't know that I'd like to see a brain even if it was fake.
I would like to give the Prince the benefit of the doubt and assume that Harry was laughing at something else. Poor Old Prince.
Your Friend, m.
The first helmet reminds me of an anatomically correct brain jello mold. Some years ago we got one for a party. It came with instructions for how to make your jello in dura mater gray.
I love the farting photo!

And, Good Lord!, why didn't anyone in the crowd correct Crazy Eyes Bachmann about her goof? Or were they just as dumb?
Mark: I know, but it's such a human moment that it's kind of endearing.

Doug: everything about that is scary--even for me!

Tiger: apparently not as she went on with the mistake the second day. New Hampshirites are pretty savvy on their Revolutionary history, particularly as a lot of battles and other important events happened in the southern part of the state. I think she's just dumb as a post.
Marvellous PR for a more relaxed royal family. Frankly I couldn't give a toss about the impending wedding - not in an aggressive way, it just doesn't figure for me - but I do think the boys both have charm, and I did smile at Will's rubbing noses with Maoris and grinning at children in NZ
I'm Just Wild About Harry!
Stephen, he's quite the boyo as they used to say in heavily Irish-Catholic neighborhood in Queens, NY.
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