Licensed Driver

Entering Hyperspace, by ÉoleKay passed her driving exam today, and can now legally drive herself around without me.

I sent her to the grocery store. (Not really, but I’m going to.)

She’s out on her first solo now, gone to visit her Mom at work. I’m so proud, and so damned old.

From whence came the art:

That image is titled Entering Hyperspace, by Éole

Teach Both Sides

The Hockey Gods Reward You

“…but I give him so much credit because he has just kept playing as hard as he could every shift and when you do that, very often the Hockey Gods reward you.”

Buh Bye Caps

Playoffs Center Ice, by The700LevelIt was game seven.

It was tied three games to three.

The score was two to two.

It was overtime.

It was win or go home.

The Caps went home.

Buh bye Washington Capitals. See you next year.

Next up: The Habs.

That image is titled Playoffs Center Ice, by The700Level

Meet Anton Plattner

Anton F. Plattner, 1846 - 1928This good looking chap happens to be my great great grandfather, Anton Plattner.

He was born about 1846 in either Austria or Germany, depending on when you asked him. The borders were a bit fluid at the time, and his English was never very good. When speaking to my grandmother, he always said “The Black Forrest”. He came to the United States in 1869, and came alone. He didn’t talk at all about his family or childhood, though when asked about his limp he said he’d been “shot in the war”. Timing would suggest that it would have been the Austro-Prussian War.

Yes, Grandpop Plattner is a member of The Brick Wall Gang. I’ll forgive him though, because he’s such a handsome devil.

He married my great great grandmother, Catherine Neusslein, in 1877 in Philadelphia, and they cranked out nine little rugrats, though only five lived to adulthood. Catherine herself was born to immigrant parents from Germany, George and Mary (Grasser or Groesser) Neusslein.

Sadly, in 1886, a pair of fraternal twins, Frank and Lizzie, died in or shortly after childbirth. I haven’t yet found the birth or death records for the other two children who died in infancy. My grandmother told me that Catherine had been permanently crippled while giving birth to the twins. She assumed that was Frank and Lizzie, but it’s possible that the incident occurred during the birth of the other two children, which may have been later.

Grandpop Plattner’s story is continued below the fold…

Read the rest of this entry »

Expelled Tanking Quickly

Dr. Dr. NeinStein, by QuidamCurrently floating around 8% 7% 6% 5% and nose diving at RottenTomatoes, critical reviews are beginning to come in for Ben Stein’s “documentary” Expelled.  (ETA – back up to 9%, on the strength of a review by Christianity Today.  Yep, All Science So Far!)

Minneapolis Star-Tribune: “Typical of all propaganda, it also distorts language.

The New York Times: “One of the sleaziest documentaries to arrive in a very long time, ‘Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed’ is a conspiracy-theory rant masquerading as investigative inquiry.”

Salt Lake Tribune: “a slick but intellectually dishonest documentary

E! Online: “A flunkout of a documentary, this features Ben Stein….Stein’s credibility is blown on this poorly constructed diatribe, and you’d be smart to save your bucks.

Seattle Times: “A hard-core, fundamentalist bit of right-wing propaganda”

Kalamazoo Gazette: ” ‘Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed’ (PG) — Ben Stein stars in a controversial satirical documentary asserting that ‘intelligent design’ (creationism) advocates are being persecuted. Rave Cityplace 14, Kalamazoo 10, Lakeview Square Cinema in Battle Creek. Grade: F”

Orlando Sentinel (my personal favorite so far): “…a cynical attempt to sucker Christian conservatives into thinking they’re losing the ‘intelligent design’ debate because of academic ‘prejudice.‘ ”

Further down:

Shockingly, the ‘experts’ Stein hurls against evolution are disgruntled, under-credentialed academics dismissed from lesser colleges, they say because they say they wanted to teach creation rather than science. Other ‘experts’ in the film come from anti-evolution ‘think tank’ cranks.

Actually, it’s only shocking if you haven’t been following the shenanigans of The Intelligent Design Creationism Hoax for more than five minutes.

One more little bit from the Sentinel:

Expelled relies on the viewer’s inability or unwillingness to wrestle with a complex corner of science, double-talking its way toward a ‘must be a miracle’ solution to anything that science may not claim to have an answer for. Dismiss that for having no basis in fact, and you’re infringing on ‘academic freedom.’

Edit to add my new favorite review, from FlickFilosopher:

It’s apeshit crazy nuttiness right from the opening moments of Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, as imagery of Nazi atrocities and the terrors of life behind the Berlin War are smugly deployed in a demented attempt to editorialize away basic scientific fact. And in a saner universe than the one in which we live, you could scoff at Stein and dismiss him and not give this propagandistic nonsense another thought.

Even their target audience is panning it outright.

Nell Minow, the Movie Mom at beliefnet: “he should understand that freedom of speech also guarantees the freedom not to have to listen to mangled, manipulative, and disingenuous rhetoric like this.”


For the actual lowdown on this piece of third rate garbage, pop over to the National Center for Science Education’s website at

HT – Carlsonjok and Rich Hughes at AtBC

That image of Dr. Dr. NeinStein is titled Dr. Dr. EvilStein and is used with permission, courtesy of Quidam at AtBC. (I even have the latest version before the boys at AtBC do.)

Expelled Exposed

What Ben Stein isn't telling you about Intelligent Design

There are few things in the world that annoy me more than liars and propagandists.

Expelled Exposed

Hate it too.

Retrete, by Daquella manera @ Flickr

I agree with JanieBelle (which is less often than one might expect). I’m just going to repeat what she said exactly, word for word:

I log on. I start Firefox. I see my front page. I love it. I go to my WordPress Dashboard. I turn off the computer. Every. Single. Day.

In a million years, I could not deliberately design a better example of how to utterly and completely ruin a piece of software.

I’m turning the computer off now. Right after I figure out where the hell they put the publish button.

From whence came the art:

That image is titled Retrete, by Daquella manera @ Flicker