The Facts Machine

"And I come back to you now, at the turn of the tide"

Saturday, December 18, 2004


Are you a Dodger fan? A disgruntled one?

Here's a site for you, dad.

(thanks to ben for the link)

Thursday, December 16, 2004


He might get stuck dating Tara Reid like his immediate predecessor did.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004


As David Byrne put it, "There is interceptor missile . . . at the bottom of the ocean!"
An experimental interceptor missile failed to get off the ground in a test of the U.S. national missile defense system early Wednesday, raising new doubts about prospects for the imminent activation of the system.

In the test, a target missile, a simulated ICBM with a mock warhead, was launched without problem from Kodiak, Alaska, at 12:45 a.m. EST, a statement from the Defense Department's Missile Defense Agency said.

However, 16 minutes later, an "unknown anomaly" led to an automatic shutdown of the interceptor missile shortly before it was to launch from the Ronald Reagan Test Site at Kwajalein Atoll in the central Pacific Ocean.

The target missile crashed into the ocean.

The agency gave no other details and said program officials will review pre-launch data to determine the cause for the shutdown. Most missile launching systems are designed to shut down automatically as a safety feature, but it was unclear what tripped the system, officials said.
Well if only we put a homing beacon on the simulated ICBM, just like the terrorists and despots of the future will...

I haven't been worked up enough to care about Bernard Kerik. Nor about Yuschenko's dioxin poisoning, the growing debate on the fate of social security, or Rummy's charming comments on the state of our army.

Er, let me put it another way. I care about those things, but not in a must blog it kind of way. Ever since the election, I haven't had the same zest for blogging here. Now, it's not just because of the results of the election; I think I would have had a production letdown anyway. Still, this mojo-loss persists, so bear with me in the coming weeks. I'll be back in full force soon, I think, but there are plenty of great people to read in the meantime, starting with Reb&Tom on the left, and Jack on the right.

In the meantime, people, please be mindful of your usage of the word "Tivo". (full disclosure: TFM's older brother is a programmer for them)

Tuesday, December 14, 2004


Fox News hires Zell Miller.

Monday, December 13, 2004


Apparently he's in London:
A waxwork nativity scene that features soccer star David Beckham and his pop star wife, Victoria, as the parents of Jesus has been damaged in an attack, Madame Tussauds museum said Monday.

The museum piece, which has drawn criticism from Christian leaders who say it's disrespectful, was damaged Sunday when a male visitor pushed over the figures of the Beckhams before running out, museum spokeswoman Diane Moon said.

The exhibit had been closed off and police and museum staff were investigating security footage to track down the vandal, Moon said.

The waxwork tableau also features President Bush, British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Prince Philip as the three Wise Men; actors Hugh Grant and Samuel L. Jackson as shepherds; and disco diva Kylie Minogue as an angel.
Well Jackson did say he was "tryin' real hard to be the shepherd", so good for him!

And I'll raise the usual points I ponder when stuff like this happens:

1) If god is so great, he can handle a little satire. What I dont get is why some people think so little of their omnipotent and omniscient deity that they think he is in any way vulnerable to the magic powers of inanimate wax sculptures.

2) If you believe in Calvinist predestiny and such, shouldn't you realize that these wax sculptures are part of god's divine plan? If I were god (I'm not), and nothing was ever a surprise to me, you'd better believe that I'd want some humor in the world, and that it would be part of my friggin plan.

Over at If Six Was Nine we're having an open poll for the best songs and albums of 2004, which I'll be compiling. Here's how it works:
1. There will be two categories: "Best Album of 2004" and "Best Song of 2004"
2. Only albums with 2004 release dates are eligible.
3. Only songs from albums with 2004 release dates and songs released as singles in 2004 are eligible.
4. Each participant will be given 50 points to be distributed among selections in each category - that is, 50 points to distribute among albums released in 2004, and 50 points to distribute among songs released in 2004. This distribution will be subject to the following constraints:
1. Only whole points - no fractions of points - may be given.
2. No more than 15 points may be awarded to any one album or song (the idea here being that if you're truly inclined to give substantially more than 30% of your points to any one album, you've probably been seduced by some kind of novelty.) Point allocations in excess of 15 will be rounded down to 15. (The idea here being that this site is full of would-be cheaters.)
3. You need not allocate all 50 points in either category - in case you are, for instance, disillusioned with the past year in music.
5. Point allocations are to be emailed to no later than 11:59 PM on December 31, 2004. I will compile the results.
Anyone and everyone is invited to make a submission, the more the better. The results will be viewable on 1/1/05 at If Six Was Nine.

Last year was a two-fer for Radiohead, winning in both album and song, edging out The Strokes and The Darkness in the former, and Outkast and Fountains of Wayne in the latter. The thing is, they won mostly due to the lack of diversity of entries, so this year let's get as many in there as possible. Hope to hear from all of you! Your taste in music will not be laughed at.