Inhuman Swill : October 2004

"This is not about a bad suit"

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Salon today interviews the NASA photoanalyst who says Bush is lying about wearing nothing under his suit during the first debate (well, no wire, anyway—I think we can assume he had underwear on):

NASA photo analyst: Bush wore a device during debate George W. Bush tried to laugh off the bulge. "I don't know what that is," he said on "Good Morning America" on Wednesday, referring to the infamous protrusion beneath his jacket during the presidential debates. "I'm embarrassed to say it's a poorly tailored shirt."

Dr. Robert M. Nelson, however, was not laughing. He knew the president was not telling the truth. And Nelson is neither conspiracy theorist nor midnight blogger. He's a senior research scientist for NASA and for Caltech's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and an international authority on image analysis. Currently he's engrossed in analyzing digital photos of Saturn's moon Titan, determining its shape, whether it contains craters or canyons.

For the past week, while at home, using his own computers, and off the clock at Caltech and NASA, Nelson has been analyzing images of the president's back during the debates. A professional physicist and photo analyst for more than 30 years, he speaks earnestly and thoughtfully about his subject. "I am willing to stake my scientific reputation to the statement that Bush was wearing something under his jacket during the debate," he says. "This is not about a bad suit. And there's no way the bulge can be described as a wrinkled shirt"...

Nelson admits that he's a Democrat and plans to vote for John Kerry. But he takes umbrage at being accused of partisanship. "Everyone wants to think my colleague and I are just a bunch of dope-crazed ravaged Democrats who are looking to insult the president at the last minute," he says. "And that's not what this is about. This is scientific analysis. If the bulge were on Bill Clinton's back and he was lying about it, I'd have to say the same thing."

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Well, actually, I didn't have so much to drink that I remember three of them.

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I had to be here to the office early to do a data upload to our live site, but an upgrade to some of our software had wiped out my settings. (I know I may be speaking Greek here.) By the time I had things straightened out, it was too late to do the upload, because many of our clients would already be using the site. On top of that, I got testy with Laura on the way to the subway earlier, and now I feel bad. (Not to mention how she must feel.) And my delivery order of an omelet with sausage, tomato, and cheddar cheese with buttered whole wheat toast somehow transformed en route into a sausage, tomato, and cheddar cheese sandwich on buttered whole wheat toast. Kind of messy to eat. Fingers now nice and greasy for typing with.

Is it too late to start Friday over again?

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Blinding insight of the day

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The Constitution is not meant to protect institutions such as marriage from threats real or perceived. It is meant to protect the individual from the depradations of the marauding many.

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Flipflopping like a dead horse

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Do anyone else's teeth begin to grind every time you hear a man-on-the-street interview in which the subject parrots the received unwisdom about how John Kerry is a "flipflopper"?

Ouch, my molars.

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Eight at one blow

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The Boston Red Sox win eight games in a row, coming back from 3-0 deficit in the pennant series to sweep the World Series. That's history, and how strange that it ended on a night when the moon looked red on the East Coast thanks to a lunar eclipse! Congrats to all you Sox fans out there!

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The moon and the Sox

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Well, the lunar eclipse has begun. We have a terrific view of it from the back yard, and we're stepping outside to check on its progress during every commercial in Game 4 of the World Series. More superstitious folks might call the eclipse a portent.

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Some snooty Londoner

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Who the heck is this Samuel Pepys guy, and why the hell is his blog so popular?

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Terror alert levels

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I can't believe it took Laura and me so long to get around to seeing Avenue Q. We went with her parents last night, and the show was delightful from the first strains of its Sesame Street-ish theme song to its puppeteers' final bows.

As a former Sesame Workshop employee, I first heard of Avenue Q before it originally opened off-Broadway at the Vineyard Theater. But did I go? No. Do I wish I had? Oh, yes.

In a raucous evening, it was interesting that the loudest cheers (save those at show's end) came during the song "For Now," when, as part of a recitation of things that would eventually pass, this line was sung: "George Bush is just for now."

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The Accidental Terrorist 30th Anniversary Sale

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William Shunn

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This page is an archive of entries from October 2004 listed from newest to oldest.

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