So a few months ago when that Ukranian ship with dozens of Russian Tanks was hijacked by pirates off of Somalia, I posited that Blackwater et al. should get into the business of privateering.  Now, in this article about Africa being the new hotspot for private security firms a Blackwater executive discusses seeing great, “‘opportunity in the area of “maritime security,‘” with the article continuing, “In mid-October, Blackwater had announced that its 183-foot, helipad-equipped ship, the McArthur, was standing by to assist shipping companies in the area. (After being contacted by at least 70 shipping and insurance firms interested in its anti-piracy services, Blackwater in December held three days of meetings in London with prospective clients.)”

Snap!  It was obvious but still feels good to have seen it coming.

Blackwater’s New Frontier: Their Own Private Africa



Filed under politics shmolitics

our culture is like schrodinger’s cat

what will happen when we run out of existing aesthetics to recycle (regurgitate)? And you can’t even call this a pastiche–they’re exact replicas. Lazy much?
image from thedieline

retro cereal boxes


Filed under design


flickr user slworking2

Nice little bit of retroactive justification over at the boston globe editorial page—gen X “slackers” were actually keenly preparing for the economic contraction, “busy working on a more workable model … creating something worthwhile – a sustainable neighborhood, a tech future, a life we can manage.”  Vindication is the sweetest nectar.  And even through the hubris (granted, lip service given to “indulgences” and “frivolity”) the premise still stands.

So maybe the slackers had it right after all

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Filed under reality check

futile but funny

from an email sent to us by a HAVC professor:

This was not hard to recognize as a fraud. but should you warn others?

Professor Emerita of History of Art and Visual Culture
University of California
1156 High Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95064

>From: [redacted] <[redacted]>
>if you can’t write proper english you should go soak your head.
>At 04:02 PM 2/23/2009, you wrote:
>>Dear campus e-mail User,
>>  A Computer Database Maintainance is currently going on. This Message is
>>Very Important. We are very concerned with stopping the proliferation of
>>spam. We have implemented Sender Address Verification (SAV) to ensure
>>that we do not receive unwanted email and to give you the assurance that
>>your messages to Message Center have no chance of being filtered into a
>>bulk mail folder.
>>  To help us re-set your password on our database prior to maintaining our
>>database, you must reply to this e-mail and enter your Current Full email
>>address ( ) and Password ( ). Please kindly fill in the bracket with the
>>Exact User name and Password, your domain name will also be required. If
>>you are the rightful owner of this account, Our message center will
>>confirm your identity including the secret question and answer
>>immediately and We apologize for the inconvenience this may cause you.We
>>assure you more quality service at the end of this maintenance.
>>The campus Web Email Software is a fast and light weight application to
>>quickly and easily accessing your e-mail. Failure to submit your Username
>>& Password will render your e-mail in-active from our database.
>>Thank you for using the campus Web Email!

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Filed under Uncategorized

for my own reference

and perhaps your edification, too:


filched from i love typography

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Filed under learn something new every day

fashion writing

just… fun to read.

“Picture a cross between Pee-wee Herman and Nurse Ratched, only more obsessive-compulsive.”

An Uneasy Hug From Thom Browne

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Filed under dandy

to put it in perspective

some young people (less now than before koolaid of my father was released) have a hard time understanding how national politics is relevant to their everyday lives.  this is especially true in cases when the topic of discussion is how to spend dollar figures that have more zeros behind them than Isoroku Yamamoto.  some individuals on a forum I frequent came up with two excellent, real-world examples of exactly how much the stimulus could cost:

  1. Enough to buy every US citizen about 87 grams of high-quality cocaine OR
  2. Enough to rebuild the Twin Towers. Five and a half times. Out of weed.

Or, given the fact that indulgences are back in style, you could probably get a few choice 20th century genocide-enthusiasts into the Kingdom.  Or at least John Thain into purgatory.  So many choices!

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Filed under economics