Dog pee can’t stop Santorum

One of the (ahem) dark spots on Pennsylvania history was electing nut-job Rick Santorum to the United States Senate. Apparently he had his own dark spot–with Spot–before that.  Rachel Maddow brings us this story of the Frothy Mix’s first “man on dog” encounter …

Ricky Gervais is the New Face of Atheism

Ricky Gervais shows off his new Easter card on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart in this webclip. As the newest face for Atheism, Gervais could have greater influence than other public atheists to date. His working-class heritage and ability to speak to emotion as a comedian won’t set off the knee-jerk anti-intellectual reaction that Dawkins evokes in the people we most need to reach.

My QFest 2010 Schedule and Reviews

The waiting is over, the programme is crunched, and it’s time for my annual staycation that is QFest–the film festival formerly known as PIGLFF, the Philadelphia Independent Gay and Lesbian Film Festival. I have a page with my schedule and reviews that I update (almost) daily; I also post reviews and reports in a more real-time socially-networky way on Twitter and crosspost to the great social network wasteland known as Facebook. Hope to see you at the festival or around town!

My QFest 2010 Page

The Official QFest Home Page

On Twitter:

  • @thecorefiles — my reviews and reports from the festival
  • @QFest — the official festival twitter account
  • #QFest — the official hashtag

Festival Tips:

  • All venues this year are Ritzes. Not as convenient the g’ho, but no cross-town rushing and no Prince Black Box.  Hooray!
  • Not sure about one film versus another? Many of the movie pages on the official sites include links to trailers.
  • If you tweet about the festival, be sure to add the hashtag #QFest so everybody can find it.

Choosing My First Bicycle

This, my 45th year, is the year I learn to ride a bike. After months of research and consultation, I’ve narrowed it down to Trek’s Navigator series. So, it’s time to pick one and get on my bike.

Why learn now? It’s pretty simple: To get around town more, enjoy city sights like Schuylkill Banks and the Ben Franklin Bridge, and find a form of exercise I don’t hate. Philadelphia is an up-and-coming bike town thanks to groups like the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, and it would be crazy not to take advantage of the cross-town bike lanes a block from my home.

This time I overcame the previous week’s GPS FAIL. Turns out that Valley Forge BikeLine inhabits what was once my favorite suburban Chinese (with dumplings!) buffet joint. The real-life intel I gathered was great thanks to the very helpful Joel, but he raised some interesting points, and I headed back to the Internet for more research.

At first I liked the 1.0’s basic feature set and not-overwhelming 8 speeds. Joe the Realtor made a good argument as we stuffed ourselves at Percy Street Barbecue: The best bike is just a few more billable hours; more gadgets and more comfort will probably encourage me to ride more. Plus those unforgiving Philly streets make the 1.0’s lack of suspension much less appealing. Sometimes simpler isn’t better.

And then there were two. The 2.0 and 3.0 use the same frame, but most of the 3.0’s components are a step up from the 2.0’s. That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s demonstrably better for a newbie like me. I can’t appreciate the subtleties of tires, cranks, and derailleurs yet. Here’s where I am right now:

  • The 3.0 MSRP is $130 more than the 2.0.
  • The 2.0’s Satin Evergreen is my favorite color, but the 3.0’s blue resembles my CRX. *sigh*
  • The 3.0 can lock its suspension; the 2.0 can only adjust the stiffness. Ahem.
  • The 3.0 shifters are levers instead of the twist shifters on the 2.0.
  • The 3.0 handlebars have something like palm rests; the 2.0 has simple tubes.

Right now the 3.0 is winning, but who knows what will happen when I hit BikeLine this Wednesday or Thursday. Comments are welcome, but the clock is definitely ticking!

Obama’s Precious

The Daily Show frames Obama’s turnaround on fundamental rights with a Lord of the Rings analogy (around 08:00), much like I did last year.  Enjoy, especially the casting of Gollum …

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Respect My Authoritah
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor Tea Party

Because the world needed a semi-automatic Taser

WANT! I’ve had this beauty in my drafts folder since last year, but it’s all the more appropriate given the recent tazing of a suburban hooligan at a Philly’s game. I would make an exception and gladly receive this as an Xmas gift. Actually, I could use one sooner–like right before a Philly team wins any kind of championship. Thanks to CrunchGear and their original article: Because the world needed a semi-automatic Taser.