Some Good Things to Read on the Internet


• The town that tried to ban a bench.

• The federal poisoning program.

• How songs evolve.

• A defense of ChatRoulette.

• Hidden in the cracks of America, there's Kymaerica.

NEXT: Liberal Fantasies About Obama Packing the Supreme Court

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  1. I wrote the evolution of songs post; thanks for linking to it!

    1. Ethan,

      I love the entry. I’ve been looking at keyboards to add to my little studio and you’ve just opened up some really excellent ideas for me to try. Thank you.

      1. Extremely cool article.

        1. And I just discovered Axis of Awesome.
          What the hell did we do before the ‘Tubes?


    This is cool too. Click “Play” once it loads.

    Perspective, I has it.

  3. The Prohibition era NY medical examiner was Charles Norris?! Is there anything that guy can’t do?

    1. There is no chin beneath his beard. Only a Volstead Act.

      1. But like the other Chuck Norris, this guy was a righteous dude.

        1. America has always had a Chuck Norris. But he only appears in times of great national crisis.

            1. Well then, why isn’t he kicking the ass of every single member of Congress and the Executive branch? Oh and Ruth Ginsberg too. She could use an ass-kicking after her last couple rulings.

              1. He’s busy hunting bin Laden. Duh.

                1. He’s dead. So, get with the congressional ass-kicking, toot sweet.

  4. ChatRoulette is da bomb!

    way better than teevee

    Too much dong, tho

  5. I read the article on ChatRoulette, which I had never heard of.

    Just a general question I’ll throw out there: Has anyone here ever seen anything, anywhere at any time, that they think “damaged” them?

    I’m not asking about what you think might have happened to someone else. I’m asking about your own personal experiences.

    And I’m not asking if you’ve ever been grossed out by something you’ve seen. I’m asking if you’ve ever seen something that you think actively harmed you as a human being and left you “damaged”.

    Because I have often been disgusted by something I’ve seen, but I can’t for the life of me think of anything I’ve ever seen, or even could have seen, that would have “damaged” me.

    1. No, but I can imagine that soldiers who’ve seen comrades, or crime victims who’ve seen relatives killed in front of them could be seriously damaged by that.

      1. OK, that’s a scenario I had not been thinking of when I posed the question.

        I think that’s more like an traumatic experience – like being in a car accident but not getting hurt yourself.

        I was asking more in the way of seeing a picture that damaged you just because you saw it.

        1. Goatse has changed me forever. Would I call it damage? I can’t say.

          1. I still wake up in cold sweats after seeing goatse.

        2. I was asking more in the way of seeing a picture that damaged you just because you saw it.

          As an adult? No. I follow SugarFree’s & Viking Moose’s links, and I’ve watched some of the movies Episiarch talks about. Images cannot hurt me, and between all of the above, you find some scary / disturbing images indeed.

          If I saw any as a child that scarred me (and I doubt it), well, it’s too late to say, since the damage was done long ago.

        3. As an adult? No. But as a kid, 10 or under, I can think of a lot of things that would have messed me up: parents having sex, slaughtering of animals, a violent murder or particularly messy corpse, an autopsy, etc.

          I would posit that *events* will damage you, but not images per se, all things being equal.

          1. I remember the first picture I ever saw of a woman’s vagina; it was fantastic! I haven’t been the same since.

    2. I saw Joy Behar and Sandra Berhard on TV at the same time. Yeah, it damaged me. Bad.

      1. Sandra Bernhard in “The King of Comedy”? I would have hit that.

        1. Art, you are so disturbed that I think you need to be separated from the rest of society. You’ve made me physically sick. Thanks. Thanks a lot.

          1. I am kind of disturbed, but that’s not that strange an observation is it?

            1. Sandra Bernhard is a pig of the highest order. I’m actually nauseous right now thinking about hitting that–I’m not kidding. Again, thanks a lot.

              1. I gotta go with Epi on this one. Her body wasn’t bad, but that face could undo a dozen Victoria Secret events.

                1. Her body wasn’t bad, but that face could undo a dozen Victoria Secret events.

                  That’s why they invented doggystyle, for women with great bodies but not so much so in the facial category.

            2. Sandra Bernhard is a three-bagger, IMO. But, I can see Art-POG hitting that, if she weren’t a lesbian who would, you know, not consent to that.

              Because, you know, many men will fuck any woman that will let them. NTTAWWT

              1. I’m a black guy. Even lesbians are curious about that shit.

    3. I’m fairly certain that seeing Jaws when I was very young made me afraid of swimming in the ocean/dark water I can’t see through. It was probably the reason I panicked and drowned as a kid.

      But as an adult? Nope.

      1. Drowning explains the brain damage. Finally, we have an answer.


    4. I won’t say damaged. But I will forever remember the photo of the naked vietnamese girl who had been napalmed and the photo of the execution of the viet cong officer.

      Throw in the assinations of John Kennedy and Martin Luther King, and I think you covered the sixties politically.

      1. Nah, it was the Buddhist monk immolating himself.

    5. I’ve been in some pretty nasty car accidents. I’ve survived a deadly form of cancer for 5 years. Ain’t ANY pictures out there that could do any real damage.

  6. As the Chicago Tribune editorialized in 1927: “Normally, no American government would engage in such business. ? It is only in the curious fanaticism of Prohibition that any means, however barbarous, are considered justified.” Others, however, accused lawmakers opposed to the poisoning plan of being in cahoots with criminals and argued that bootleggers and their law-breaking alcoholic customers deserved no sympathy. “Must Uncle Sam guarantee safety first for souses?” asked Nebraska’s Omaha Bee.

    Deadly SWAT raids on reefer smokers, opposing needle exchange programs despite (because of?) AIDS, Kathryn Johnston, Tarika Wilson and her baby, Rachel Hoffman …

    Everything old is new again.

    1. Don’t forget the bitch who argued against $10 nasal spray that would stop opiate overdoses. Her argument was the same as the prohibitionists: if they stand a bigger chance of dying, maybe they won’t do it. The unspoken postscript is that maybe they’ll just die, which is a pretty big tipoff of the real “morality” of the moralists…

      1. You don’t own you, mother fucker. I own you. And don’t you forget it.

      2. Frankly, anyone who poisoned alcohol, or poisons anything, should be prosecuted for attempted murder, but hey, we live in a very, very fucked up world.

        1. The funny thing is that the government STILL mandates the poisoning of industrial alcohol.

          The article in the link is just a story about a time where the government said, “You know what? That alcohol we ordered be poisoned isn’t poison enough. People are still drinking it. Let’s force distillers to make it even more poison, so that people will die!” It leaves unaddressed the issue of the fact that before and after this event, the government required the poisoning of alcohol.

          And note the REASON the government required the poisoning of industrial alcohol both before and after this event: because alcohol produced for consumption is heavily taxed, and the only proof the government would accept that you didn’t intend your alcohol for consumption was the presence of poison.

          1. Homebrewers: just sayin’, is all.

            Keep in mind that these are not legal in the US.

            1. BP, I can’t even buy lab glassware in my state. Of course I can’t have an alembic.

              1. T, you just don’t want it bad enough. Will, way, etc. NTTAWWT – I;m not getting one, either.

                1. True. Home distillation just isn’t high on the priority list at the moment.

  7. Never knew about the gov’t poisoning alcohol during Prohibition. Learn something every day. Thanks for the info!

    I totally remember paraquat. Unfortunately for the Feds, it never stopped us from buying and smoking pot. We named the last iteration of our high-school/college-timeframe rock band Paraquat. I think we thought that would be funny, or ironic. Or something.
    Good times…

  8. And didn’t Chad start a site “”? I wonder what people would do at that site….hmmmm?

  9. Once in high school, a bird shat on my friend’s Giants hat. I will now forever remember that as the time John was the recipient of paraquat.

  10. Hidden in the cracks of America, there’s Kymaerica.

    That is awesome. Seriously, deeply awesome.

    1. The idea alone is sweet, but greater even in execution, particularly the crafting of plaques. My hat goes off to the artist.

      1. I resonates well with me because I’ve been trying to get a couple of “uncomfortable truth” historical markers placed in town for the last few years. I keep submitting them and the state keeps turning them down. Assholes.

    2. I wholeheartedly agree.

    3. Actually, I don’t like that guy.

      It’s not for any good reason. Primarily, I’m concerned that a future society might uncover these plates, and the task of unraveling our real history might be complicated by the presence of his very, very lame fake one.*

      But then I remembered that it’s irrational to care about the possible documentation problems of people 1000 years after I’m dead. So I guess I have to just dislike this guy because he’s lame.*

      *In both instances where I used the word “lame”, I wanted to use the word “gay”, but refrained from doing so out of deference to the sensibilities of homosexuals. But if there is ever a time to use the word “gay” to not mean “homosexual” but to mean “really, really stupid and weak and nerdy and lame, in that way that little kids mean when they call something ‘gay’,” it’s here. But I couldn’t think of any way to communicate that, other than this way.

      1. “Lame” is ableist language.


        1. Yes, but I’m a PROUD ableist, and would rather be seen as one of those than be seen as a homophobe. Particularly when it’s a result of the limitations of the English language, which as failed to generate a word for me that truly substitutes for all the subtle flavors covered by the word “gay” as I once liberally employed it as a teenager.


          1. No. You’re the retard, retard.

            1. I love you guys, I really do.

      2. “gay” —> emotionalist!

      3. By that argument, Fluffster, all fiction would be banned. 1,000 years from now nobody’s gonna know if The Bourne Identity is a documentary or not, and Tom Clancy might have been writing about current events.

        1. Sorta like how, thousands of years later, people accept the Bible as literal, inerrant truth, even though comon sense should tell you that a lot of it was just effing made up.

          1. Concept: funny.
            Execution: not so funny.

            1. Perhaps I should say Content: not so funny.
              ‘Cause I agree with TAPOG that the markers are well crafted.

        2. That’s a fair point.

          Although generally in archaeology monumental inscriptions are given greater weight than the written word.

          If I find a copy of a copy of a copy of the novelization of “Conquest of the Planet of the Apes”, I will tend to assume it’s fiction. If I find a buried bronze marker that reads, “On this site the ape Caesar killed the human governor Breck” I might say, Hmmmmmm.

  11. Penny Arcade on ChatRoulette.

    Anyway, ChatRoulette has been around for a while. It was traditionally played in truck stop bathrooms. Or at least that’s what [your mom’s name] told me.

  12. New York had a bench too-

  13. Many countries that follow common law have provisions for bench trials.

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