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Category: Politics
Bush-Voters-Have-Lower-IQs Hoax Runs its Course
Posted by The Curator on Tue May 11, 2004
The Bush-voters-have-lower-IQs hoax appears to have run its course. The editor at American Assembler who posted the table that got the whole firestorm going has posted an abject apology. Meanwhile I've still been trying to contact Robert Calvert, the guy who originally posted the IQ/election data two years ago on rec.org.mensa, to see if he would admit that he made it up. But no luck. He doesn't reply to email. So the possibility hangs out there that he got the info from some obscure source that no one else has been able to find. But this possibility seems vanishingly small to me, especially when you consider the character of Calvert's other Usenet postings, many…
Categories: Politics Comments (6)
Bush Voters Have Lower IQs, Update
Posted by The Curator on Fri May 07, 2004
The Bush Voters have Lower IQ's data, which I posted about a few days ago, is getting a lot of attention now that it's been printed by the American Assembler. Their reprint of it is #3 on Blogdex. But while they're now aware that the source of the info is not IQ and the Wealth of Nations, as they originally claimed, they don't seem aware that the true source of the info appears to be a student at UMass. Scratch that. The student at UMass definitely helped disseminate the chart by posting it on his website, but he seems to have simply picked it up off the web, specifically from a guy named…
Categories: Politics Comments (0)
Just Say No to the Whizzinator
Posted by The Curator on Wed May 05, 2004
The Whizzinator is a prosthetic penis attached to a plastic bag that you tie around your waist. Put heated urine in the bag (dehydrated urine provided), and you're all set to cheat on a drug test. Rather ingenious. But now Illinois officials are cracking down on this product. The Illinois Senate voted 56-0 to outlaw it. Meanwhile the far more morally offensive Brief Safes are still legal. What kind of upside-down world do we live in?
Bush Voters Have Lower IQs
Posted by The Curator on Tue May 04, 2004
A table that breaks down states by income, average IQ, and whether they voted for Bush or Gore has been making the rounds. It appears to show, pretty dramatically, that the states with higher average incomes, and higher average IQs, voted for Gore. Whereas the lower income, lower IQ states went for Bush. The comment accompanying this table is usually 'Come to your own conclusions," or something like that. My first thought, on seeing this, was that it's awfully similar to the Lovenstein Institute IQ Report. But I suspect that the figures, in this case, might be correct... in the sense that they were produced by actual research, not just invented out of whole cloth. They appear…
Categories: Politics Comments (55)
Taiwan’s Fake Election Results
Posted by The Curator on Mon Apr 26, 2004
On March 20, tv viewers in Taiwan got to see real-time election results flashing across their screens as the votes were counted for the Presidential election. But it turns out now that the election results viewers were seeing didn't actually bear any relationship to reality. The tv stations were just making them up. For example, some stations were reporting 3 to 6 million votes already counted and opposition candidate Lien Chan taking a strong lead, when actually the election commission had only counted fewer than 200,000 votes and the election was a dead-heat. If memory serves me, didn't this same thing happen here in America during the 2000 election?
Categories: Politics Comments (1)
EU bans dangerous jellies
Posted by The Curator on Wed Apr 14, 2004
One can always depend on EU politicians for bizarre and arbitrary decrees. First there was their decision to reclassify carrots as fruit. Now they've decided to ban jelly mini cups, recognizing them as the obvious threat to public safety that they are. Apparently they're afraid that someone might choke on the things, even though no one has ever done so in the past. File this under 'sounds like a hoax, but actually isn't.' Update: Apparently there have been deaths attributed to these jelly mini cups. Not in Europe, but in Canada. So it seems like the European bureaucrats are vindicated.
Categories: Food, Politics Comments (11)
Did Lynne Cheney really write a racy novel in her youth?
Posted by The Curator on Mon Apr 05, 2004
Over at whitehouse.org (which is not the website of the whitehouse), there's a page describing a novel, titled Sisters, written by the notoriously prudish Lynne Cheney back in 1981. This must have been in Lynne's wilder days because the book is apparently a sexy tale set on the American frontier involving brothels, attempted rapes, and lesbian love affairs. According to this news report, a publisher was going to reissue the book, but was blocked from doing so by Ms. Cheney. 'Goo' sent me the links to these pages and asked if the book was real. At first I was suspicious because I couldn't find it listed in any library catalogs, or…
Fake Reporters
Posted by The Curator on Tue Mar 16, 2004
The Bush administration is getting some flack for a video it has distributed to news stations showing journalists commenting on the public reaction to the newly passed Medicare law. The problem is that those aren't real journalists. They're actors paid to read from a script. It's a subtle, ambiguous form of deception, since the White House can always say that they really are reporters. After all, they're standing there, in front of a camera, reporting. Doesn't that make them a real reporter? In a sense, yes. But really, no. They're White House press agents. There's still a difference between a press agent and a reporter.
Categories: Journalism, Politics Comments (2)
The JFK-Marilyn Monroe Correspondence
Posted by The Curator on Sun Mar 14, 2004
Lex Cusack is in jail for selling love letters supposedly written in 1961 by JFK to Marilyn Monroe. The problem is that the letters contained zip codes, and zip codes only came into use in 1963. Now the FBI wants to destroy all the letters, and Cusack is crying foul. He argues that even if the letters are fake (he continues to claim they're real), they're still his property and the government can't just destroy them.
The Milton Mule and Henry Bull
Posted by The Curator on Fri Feb 20, 2004
In 1936 a candidate named Boston Curtis ran for the post of Republican precinct committeeman in the town of Milton, Washington. And he won. Unfortunately, and unbeknownst to the people who voted for him, Boston Curtis was a mule. His name had been placed on the ballot by the Democratic mayor Ken Simmons who guessed, correctly, that no one actually knows anything about the candidates for the lower-ranking positions. They just vote along party lines. Simmons figured it would be funny to get the Republicans to vote in a mule (which is the symbol of the Democratic party). Carrying on this tradition of involving animals in the electoral process, we now have Brenda Gould, from Newmarket,…
Categories: Politics Comments (1)
Sham-paign Contest
Posted by The Curator on Fri Feb 20, 2004
The Guardian is hosting a contest to see who can come up with the best doctored photo pertaining to the American Presidential campaign. It's inspired by the recent doctored photo of John Kerry and Jane Fonda (see below).
Categories: Politics Comments (0)
Hanoi John, Part II
Posted by The Curator on Tue Feb 17, 2004
Now that photo of Kerry with Jane Fonda that I talked about in the previous post may have been fake, but this new photo that has just surfaced is undoubtedly real. (via Eschaton)
Categories: Photos/Videos, Politics Comments (3)
Hanoi John
Posted by The Curator on Tue Feb 17, 2004
A doctored photo of John Kerry speaking with Jane Fonda (aka 'Hanoi Jane') at a 1971 anti-war rally has been making the rounds lately and getting a lot of attention. It was almost immediately debunked as a phony. As this Newsday article describes, the original photo was taken by Ken Light. The doctored version of it began popping up in conservative chat rooms a few weeks ago. As the political campaign heats up, I expect that many more photoshopped pictures of political candidates will surface. What I found surprising was not the picture itself, but the speed at which it was…
Categories: Photos/Videos, Politics Comments (1)
Trophy Turkey
Posted by The Curator on Thu Dec 04, 2003
It turns out that the turkey President Bush was proudly holding on his recent visit with the troops in Iraq wasn't for eating. It's what's known as a 'Trophy Turkey': one that is just for decoration, not for consumption. I guess it wouldn't have looked as good for the cameras for Bush to walk around holding the slices of processed turkey meat that the soldiers really got.
Categories: Food, Politics Comments (0)
State Seal of Kahlifoania
Posted by The Curator on Tue Nov 25, 2003
Apparently the great state of California, in which I live, has adopted a new state seal, as can be seen below.
Categories: Politics Comments (0)
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