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Retch Like an Egyptian

April 2, 2009

A recent acquisition to the Museum of Bad Art

Art Too Bad to be Ignored

pastel on paper
This is a disturbing image of an Egyptian doubled over in pain,
throwing up colorfully. The X-ray box clearly shows the source of his
discomfort, and the black smoke from the pyramid indicates that a new
pharaoh has not yet been chosen. More study is needed to determine the
meaning of the squiggly lines above and behind him.

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12 Comments leave one →
  1. Stemella permalink*
    April 3, 2009 6:08 am

    Unemployment numbers are out: Overall rate up to 8.5%, highest since Nov 1983. 663K more jobs lost in March, not yet revised, bringing to over 5.1 million since recession started.
    Unemployment in U.S. Climbed to 25-Year High of 8.5% in March

    More and revised from the Bureau of Labor Statistics

    In March, the number of unemployed persons increased by 694,000 to 13.2 million, and the unemployment rate rose to 8.5 percent. Over the past 12 months, the number of unemployed persons has grown by about 5.3 million, and the unemployment rate has risen by 3.4 percentage points. Half of the increase in both the number of unemployed and the unemployment rate occurred in the last 4 months.

    The unemployment rates continued to trend upward in March for adult men (8.8 percent), adult women (7.0 percent), whites (7.9 percent), and Hispanics (11.4 percent). The jobless rates for blacks (13.3 percent) and teenagers (21.7 percent) were little changed over the month. The unemployment rate for Asians was 6.4 percent in March, not seasonally adjusted, up from 3.6 percent a year earlier.

    Among the unemployed, the number of job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs increased by 547,000 to 8.2 million in March. This group has nearly doubled in size over the past 12 months.

    The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) rose to 3.2 million over the month and has increased by about 1.9 million since the start of the recession in December 2007.

    ~snip~

    In March, the number of persons working part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) climbed by 423,000 to 9.0 million.

    and

    Failure Rate Rises on Mortgages Revised in Late 2008, U.S. Says

    Mortgages modified in the third quarter failed at a faster pace than those revised in the first, and the delinquency rate on the least risky loans doubled, signs of deteriorating credit quality, U.S. regulators said.

    Loans modified in the first quarter to help borrowers keep their homes fell delinquent 41 percent of the time after eight months, and second-quarter loans had a 46 percent default rate, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and Office of Thrift Supervision said in a report today. Third-quarter trends “are worsening,” the agencies said.

    “For the year and this quarter, we saw the same trend that we saw last time: quite high re-default rates, no matter how we measured them,” John Dugan, the U.S. Comptroller of the Currency, said in a conference call with reporters.

    Lenders including Citigroup Inc. and loan-servicing companies are adjusting mortgages by lowering interest rates or crafting longer-term payment plans. The Obama administration is acting to help as many as 9 million struggling homeowners by using taxpayer funds to pay lenders such as bond investors, mortgage servicers for reworking the mortgages.

    The indicators of normal people economics as opposed to pirate power broker wall st economics are still looking grim.

  2. Stemella permalink*
    April 3, 2009 7:03 am

    Social Security is getting the squeeze

    The recession is projected to wipe out annual cost-of-living increases on Social Security benefits for the next three years, something that hasn’t happened since automatic adjustments pegged to inflation were adopted in 1975.

    The Congressional Budget Office, which forecast the squeeze, also estimates in an admittedly sketchier projection that annual Social Security increases could average a meager 2 percent after that, extending through 2019.

    another take from the WaPo: Recession Puts a Major Strain On Social Security Trust Fund

    We. are. so. screwed

  3. Stemella permalink*
    April 3, 2009 7:25 am

    Surfing the intertubes while at work makes you more productive! Be sure to email this one to your bosses: Facebook, YouTube at work make better employees: study

    Caught Twittering or on Facebook at work? It’ll make you a better employee, according to an Australian study that shows surfing the Internet for fun during office hours increases productivity.

    The University of Melbourne study showed that people who use the Internet for personal reasons at work are about 9 percent more productive that those who do not.

    Study author Brent Coker, from the department of management and marketing, said “workplace Internet leisure browsing,” or WILB, helped to sharpened workers’ concentration.

    • cometman permalink*
      April 3, 2009 8:36 am

      Ha! I’ll have to bookmark that for my next employee review. It may even be true – I feel like when I waste a little time on the interwebs it makes me get a lot of work done in a short period of time to make up for it. Wasting time at your desk also keeps you from wandering around wasting time with your other coworkers, not that I’d ever do such a thing :)

  4. cometman permalink*
    April 3, 2009 8:29 am

    Love the bad art!

    I know of a painting the Museum of Bad Art would love to get their hands on. At the local art museum they have one room which has a lot of 18th and 19th century portraits, many of which are either of or donated by patrons of the museum. There is one which is supposedly a portrait of somebody’s wife and it is the most hideous thing I’ve ever seen. I think whoever donated it must have done it as a joke because it looks like somebody just used a blacksmith with a wig on for the model – the ‘woman’ has a face full of five o’ clock shadow, I kid you not. Tried to get a link to it but couldn’t find one. Evidently the museum isn’t interested in publicizing this great prize too much :)

  5. cometman permalink*
    April 3, 2009 8:41 am

    Has Hillary Clinton been moonlighting? This is pretty funny:

    Journalists based in the United States got a shock Thursday when they dialed a toll-free number to join a conference call with senior officials accompanying US President Barack Obama in London.

    The number turned out to be a sex chat line inviting callers to use their credit card numbers.

    “Do you have any hidden desires?” a sultry voiced woman asked.

    “Well, do you feel like getting nasty? Then you came to the right place — brought to you by the girls of Swank magazine,” she said.

    Reporters finally got through to the two officials in London — National Security Advisor James Jones and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton — when they gave up on the US “800” number and instead dialed an international number.

    The White House did not offer an explanation when asked how it sent the wrong number in an email listing both numbers — one for journalists in the United States and the other for those overseas.

    • Stemella permalink*
      April 3, 2009 9:24 am

      Sounds like the white house is getting some payback on journalists lately, possibly something Rahmbo and his minions might do. It is pretty funny, though. It also sounds like something I might do as a matter of fact. My buddies and I were terrors as prank callers as kids~ well before caller ID.

      Also, check your email – blog related question for you

  6. Stemella permalink*
    April 3, 2009 12:55 pm

    Someone needs to make a movie of this:

    Meat ants lead Australia’s charge against hated cane toads

    Like the old woman who swallowed the spider to catch the fly, Australian scientists are hoping the native meat ant will eat the cane toad, that was sent to swallow the beetle, that ate the sugar cane crop.

    Reviled for its ugliness and feared because of its unstoppable invasion of the Australian landscape, the cane toad consistently rates as the most despised exotic pest, rivalled only by the feral cat.

    Here’s one eating a mouse http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0DnQv__Gd7Q

    and another of a guy getting high smoking toad paste http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oaAX3Tw-7A8

    • cometman permalink*
      April 4, 2009 8:47 am

      Those toads are pretty nasty! Funny how Australia is trying to handle it – so far bringing in one species to eat another hasn’t worked but now they want to unleash flesh eating ants all over the place. What could possibly go wrong????

      Maybe they should just import some sciafu from Africa. Saw a documentary about these little monsters and they can really do some damage. This clip where the female ants rip the male limb from limb as part of their mating ritual was part of it. No matter how screwed we get from the Geithners of the world, at least I’m not a sausage fly.

    • cometman permalink*
      April 6, 2009 10:25 pm

      Just ran across this post called Our New Meat Ant Overlords. The author doesn’t seem to think much of the plan either:

      In a series of experiments, the Aussies determined that Cane Toads could not flee as quickly from Meat Ants as most native species, were not as weary of Meat Ants in general, and hung out in places that Meat Ants frequented like creepy abandoned lakeside cabins where they meant to fornicate with other teen toads.

      The paper, published in the most recent edition of Functional Ecology, goes onto suggest that billions of Meat Ants should be bred in unused tunnels, such as the old subway and sewer systems of Australia’s largest cities. Eventually, the ants will of course decide to eat Cane Toads. No, but honestly, “Meat Ants”!!! No, but really honestly, one of the researchers explained that “the next step is to work out whether we can manipulate habitats – perhaps by using bait to bring toads and ants together more frequently – to increase the kill rate.” Luckily for all, researchers have already determined that both Cane Toads and Meat Ants love eating kitten.

      • Stemella permalink*
        April 7, 2009 6:55 am

        haha, that’s hilarious. We need to find a new tready photo, the kitty being consumed by a cane toad!

        People never learn. The Hawaiian Islands are the perfect case study of how not to manage nature. The honkies planted tons of sugar, attracting the rats from the ships. They brought in the mongoose to eat the rats but the rats were noctural and the mongoose diurnal. Instead the mongooses developed a taste for local wild bird eggs, bringing several species to near or complete extinction. The rats likes birds and bird eggs too. Double whammy. Adding insult to injury goats and pigs were introduced who went wild are are thrashing the native plant ecosystem. At least they have been successful keeping out the snakes for the most part. They do have a huge infestation of tree frogs though. Loud buggahs.

        • cometman permalink*
          April 7, 2009 7:31 am

          I thought I had found something when I watched the cane toad video you posted. There was a similar one with the title “Cane Toad Eats Cat…” but when you clicked on it the final word “Food” showed up. It was just a fat toad by a plate of cat food. not one cat got eaten. Imagine my disappointment…. :)

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