The Meaning of Dude

A linguist with more time on his hands than he knows what to do with it has spent a great deal of time and money on
researching the meaning of “dude”.


Historically, dude originally meant “old rags” — a “dudesman” was a scarecrow. In the late 1800s, a “dude” was akin to a “dandy,” a meticulously dressed man, especially out West. It became “cool” in the 1930s and 1940s, according to Kiesling. Dude began its rise in the teenage lexicon with the 1981 movie “Fast Times at Ridgemont High.”

“Dude” also shows no signs of disappearing as more and more of our culture becomes youth-centered, said Mary Bucholtz, an associate professor of linguistics at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

“I have seen middle-aged men using ‘dude’ with each other,” she said.

And to think that we could not live without this knowledge………………

Shawn’s Blog

One of the more interesting blogs is Shawn’s Blog that focuses on the technological interests and achievements of the mysterious blogger known only as “Shawn” as well as his many friends and contributors to his blog. Its well worth a look and you might even learn something useful in the process.

Of The Space Program and a Presidential Candidate

How hard is it to get a U.S. Senator and potential presidential candidate interested in supporting the space program? The Space Review’s Eric R. Hedman found out the hard way:

I’ve noticed that members of Congress with a NASA installation or a major aerospace contractor in their home district tend to be the strongest supporters of space expenditures. Critics of NASA spending tend to have districts like those in my home state of Wisconsin that receive little or no direct financial benefit; the late Wisconsin Senator William Proxmire comes to mind. When I make observations like this my friends tell me that I have a brilliant grasp of the obvious. With the upcoming retirements of Sherwood Boehlert and Tom DeLay, and the next change of administration, the question as to how this bodes for the future of government spending for NASA becomes particularly important.

For this publication I tried to contact Senator Russ Feingold’s office to see if it would be possible to get an interview with the senator to discuss his views on how decisions on federal R&D programs, including NASA, should be made. Considering that he seems to be planning to run for President, his views should be of great interest to those in the aerospace and science communities. I’ve tried letters, emails, and phone calls. I get automated responses to emails and no responses to my letters, although I haven’t as of yet called enough to give up on that approach. I’m suspecting that an interview for this publication doesn’t yet have the appeal that the Senator’s frequent appearances on the Sunday morning network talk shows must have.

Flight 93 in the News

As you may be aware, there is a promising new movie called United 93 about the passenger jet that was hijacked on 9/11 and then was the scene of a heroic struggle between the terrorists and the passengers that ended with the jet crashing in Pennsylvania. Now, the folks at the Smoking Gun have more on this incident, among other things, on their most recent newsletter:

Along with releasing the transcript of the final minutes
aboard United Airlines Flight 93, federal prosecutors
yesterday showed jurors in the Zacarias Moussaoui
death penalty case one of the saddest court exhibits
you’ll ever see. Both the transcript and the government
exhibit are at:

When it comes to public displays of affection, a Florida
couple was just arrested for a routine that was far too
public and way too affectionate. You don’t normally see
this kind of action in the parking lot of the local
billiards hall:

Look, when you’re a DEA agent who shoots himself in the
foot during a weapons demonstration for kids, well, you
really should expect the blowback to be pretty harsh.
Especially if the incident has been filmed and the video
has landed online. Story at:

Though Philip Morris would like nothing better than
newborns to take a liking to Marlboros, the tobacco
giant is threatening legal action over the sale of a
ceramic doll known as the “Smoking Baby.” Details at:

Federal investigators were recently thwarted when they
tried to take a unique bite out of crime in Washington State:

New prize contest has started, so enter now for a shot
at some fine loot, including the “Brokeback Mountain”
DVD, “Game of Shadows,” the best-selling Barry
Bonds/steroids book, and some Smoking Gun swag.
C’mon, give it a shot:

The Trashing of Michelle Malkin

One frequent “contributor” to Fox News who’s always been impressive is Michelle Malkin. She is always mild mannered and makes interesting comments on the events of the day. However , despite all this, she seems to bring out the worst in certain folks. Here’s an update on the latest harassment that she has experienced:

Michelle made it clear that the information she published—contact information from a SAW press release—had already been public. In spite of this, retaliation was inflicted on her. MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann designated her as ‘one of the world’s worst people’ because of this incident. Far more sinister ‘revenge’ was inflicted, however: her family’s personal contact information was discovered and made public.

Musing on the reasons for the existence of such hatred for her, Michelle surmises that the Left feels a sense of betrayal with her; many feel that she should be on their side because they believe that is where all women and non-whites should be.

Here is a pair of examples of the anti-Michelle hatemongering of late:

From James Wolcott’s oft-bitter website:

Michelle is hate merchant Michelle Malkin, and I’ll never be able to look at her again on Fox News without picturing her howling like Eartha Kitt possessed as sparrows explode from the trees across North America, or at least the parts of it that haven’t been reconquista’d.

Wolcott approvingly links to this blog passage that reads like a certifiable torrent of hate:

Really now. Did anyone expect any less of Michelle and Jesse Malkin than to use her C-level fame to launch her chromosomally damaged readers after some college students at UC Santa Cruz? C’mon, it’s not like she wants to limit her career options to three minute appearances on Fox with O’Reilly (did you know Bill never wears pants when she’s on? You can look it up) and book signings at Young Fleshy Slightly Damp College Republican conventions. Not when a horse-faced Ann Coulter is pulling down $30K an appearance to blurt out post-9/11 Andrew Dice Clay-isms in a voice that is about two octaves lower than Clays. Michelle is cute (and crazy)! And perky (and crazy)! And her soul is deader than Bob Dole’s dick (…and she’s crazy!). She deserves the big bucks and if she has to write like a tweaker with a raging yeast infection to get some attention, well, deal with it. She’s not going to be ignored! No slight to America is too small for Michelle not to fake a back-arching ragegasm guaranteed to engorge her loyal one-handed readers as they alt-tab back and forth between her site and

And to think that this kind of stuff comes from folks who like to portray themselves as being open minded and tolerant of the opinions of others………………………..

Immortalize Your MMO Character Forever

Most, if not all, of us have spent time creating and customizing our MMO characters for various games. With only the visualization of our characters showing up centimeters and/or inches on our computer and television screens. Detail of these characters on our screens sometimes seems lacking what we imagine them in our minds, but we sit contempt with them none-the-less. Forgive me if I’m sounding like a pitchman here, but our imagination can take on new life now with is an idea created by Jomaro Kindred. He is also known by his online pen name, Gill Bates. His wife and business manager, Nakiesha Kindred, and Jomaro created MMOART to serve all of the ‘massive multi-player online’ gaming communities. Tremendous amounts of time and effort go into developing characters for these online games, with no real way to capture these creations other than in-game screenshots.

What they offer is the opportunity to immortalize your character forever in a professional quality, personalized piece of artwork. From structured poses, to combat scenes, and even group shots, there are no limits to the artwork they can create for you. Even the original hard copies can be yours to own!

I came across after reading a press releases (basically the blockqoute I’ve shared above) on them. I was quickly taken-back by the quality of work Kindred puts into these illustrations of characters from all around the net. You can view examples for yourself by heading over to

Some of these are just … “WOW” … is all I can say.