Canada’s Stalking Us

This post created under the spying eyes of that woman Samantha, by Lostinlimaohio.

Something became very clear to me the other night. Picture it if you will:

I’m sitting watching the news on MSNBC when, okay this is the shocking part, this whole Sam and guest bloggers and all the links, and the WHOLE issue with Canada was explained.

Evidently, unknown to the rest of us- Canadians have been stalking us Americans. I understand this comes as a huge shock to everyone- well except the Canadians, but I have found some clearly disturbing information out from my news watching stunt.

1.Canada is essentially a stalker, stalking the United States
2.Canada has little pictures of us in its bedroom

3.Canada spends all of its time thinking about the United States, obsessing over the United States.

4.Canada thinks we‘re married; we don‘t know it exists.

5.Every single comedian in Canada is now living in the United States… Every one of them. They sneak over the border and live among us unseen.

6. Do you need any more? Really? Do you?

The thought is rather chilling. Here, all this time- I thought Sam was linking to Americans because she liked us- which surely she does- but now it’s just in a creepy “watching you through the bathroom window while you shower” type of like.
What worries me the most is the part where they tell us that Canada has those little photos- think about it, the US is a real big place, they’d have to have one HUGE bedroom to have pictures of all of us.

And another thing, the United States can’t even deal with gay marriages, let alone the sort of mass marriage number 4 mentions. You know there will be some conservitives counting heads in their beds tonight over that one.

Number five doesn’t bother me very much- at least it means that at some point Sam will be relocating to a country offering great things such as:
Bad health care, if she gets any at all.
The Democratic Party
24 hour media coverage of Cindy Shesomeone or another
Pancakes without maple syrup
Using money given by the government to help with childcare costs to buy crack- rather than the beer and popcorn Canadians use it for.
But, back to the stalking…
Every now and then I see some American blogger pops over here to Sam’s place and mentions that they had a referral from Sam’s site to theirs. That would be Sam’s twisted little way of telling us that she’s watching us. I know, all this time you all thought the only person watching your every post, and judging your site was that Bear guy with the globe and clipboard. But you were wrong. Sam’s been there too- sneaking and poking around your site, hoping to catch a picture of some American to put on her bedroom wall.

So there you have it, Canada is stalking the United States. I think the report might have mentioned some other crappy stuff – but I ignored it all to bring you the stalking bit. Because, really- if we are being stalked by a whole country, I think you need to know about it. And now, Sam knows we know. And we know that she knows that we know.

***To Sam’s Canadian readers: the evil MSNBC has posted a reply to your claims of them being big old prudes and not returning your overwhelming love for the US. You can read it here, but with all the spying and stalking you guys have been doing- I’m sure you’ve already seen it.

****Sam, please don’t fire me for letting the secret out about your real linking policy.

Watch Your A$$ And Don’t Break The Glass

You’re at an office Christmas party, there’s a lot of drinking going on, there’s a photocopier nearby. What do you do?fotocopy2

You know what you do.

According to Canon photocopier repairmen, 32% of their Christmas season calls have been to fix the glass plates after people attempted to photocopy various body parts.

As a result, Canon has increased the thickness of its glass in hopes of ending rear-end copying mishaps.

One of the most alarming tales comes from service engineer Steven Mannion of northern England: ‘I had to repair a machine with a photocopy of a man’s groin jammed in it’.
That’s one hard copy.
Mannion also added that

“The manager suggested an office identity parade to see who Canon could charge for the call-out charge.”
I guess this means that all you office perverts out there better lighten your load before the Christmas party, eh, lol.

USA Today Doctored Condi Photo: Answer Here

A huge brouhaha started when Michelle Malkin brought to the attention an obviously doctored photo of Condoleezza Rice.

The images in question are as follows:
Beelzebub CondiBeautiful Condi

Drudge, a master of headlines, summarizes the situation well:
DEMON-EYES-ING CONDI: USA TODAY Caught Photoshopping Secretary of State…
The question is not whether the photographs photoshopped, as a half-brained monkey with glaucoma could tell you the answer to that. The question is: Was the photoshopping intentionally manipulated to portray Condi with evil looking eyes. An important side question, when did photoshop become an English word?

The best summarized knee-jerk expert reaction from Michelle Malkin’s site Reader Scott J. writes:
I’m a prepress manager with twelve years experience and this is my professional take on it. The ‘retraction’ claimed that they sharpened the image and adjusted the brightness, they did not. The eyes were penciled in at the pixel level by hand. (VERY sloppy, I might add.) Their ‘retraction’ is nothing short of complete bullshine.
Here are the two images, simply split down the middle and combined.

condisplit

Note the forehead and color on the face. No change from left to right. Only
doctoring was done to the eyes.
However, I do not believe that expert answer is good enough. Some attempt to prove or disprove the assertions of USA Today can be done. The editor’s note did confirm that some editing was done, but the claim was it was minimal and restricted:
In this case, after sharpening the photo for clarity, the editor brightened a portion of Rice’s face, giving her eyes an unnatural appearance.
While the editor may have excluded some details when writing that comment in the interest of brevity, I will limit my attempt to reproduce the image to simple sharpening and lighting without any detailed pixel-level manipulation.

Unfortunately, the editor did not include a set of detailed steps to reproduce the exact image and frankly that’s a bit of a stretch to imagine that anyone would have written down the steps to reproduce. As such, I will have to examine the image for clues as to what types of transformations were done to the image.

First, I will resize both images to the same size. The original ‘real’ image is 450×354 pixels and the ‘evil’ image is at 180×142 pixels. Maintaining aspect ratio, I notice that the image has not been cropped. This is good as at least the details are not lost. Disappointingly, the original image was saved in a very lossy JPG format which means the blocking artifacts of JPG will be present and distracting from the analysis.

To do this, I will zoom in on the before and after images to unreasonable levels typically reserved for the late 80’s style awfully ultra-close-up TV commercials.

The first clue is the shoulders. The real Condi image looks like:
56516896_f3754d07a5_o

 

 

 

 

The evil Condi image looks like:
56516897_d4c5626992_o

 

 

 

 

 

Three observations can be noted:

1. The dark blue at the edge of the shoulders is considerably darker in the evil image
2. The light blue above the shoulder is considerably lighter in the evil image
3. The amount of light and darkness adjustment is not uniform across colors of the same lightness but rather concentrates around the edges.

This type of editing is consistent with the “sharpness” that the editor notes. This does not prove or disprove the editor’s assertions that the eyes are unintentional but does give credibility that a sharpen filter was applied.

NOTE: The distortion on the evil image on the far left of the shoulder is a blocking artifact caused by JPG compression.

Further examples of a sharpen filter can be found in other areas, such as the left ear:
10-19-2017 3-44-40 PM

 

 

 

 

The lips:
10-19-2017 3-45-03 PM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The collar:
10-19-2017 3-45-20 PM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

… and various other locations: the other ear, the hair, the neck and yes, even those dreadfully wicked eyes.

So step 1: Apply a global sharpen across the entire original image. Why? Obviously, every edge of the picture has been affected by a sharpening effect. Doing two forms of sharpening, a normal and a “more”. I discover the normal sharpen closely matches the sharpening applied to the evil image in every area, except those devil eyes. Actually, I think they rather look like the eyes from Star Gate SG1.
56528236_113cb9e293_o

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I often note that finding anomalies can be best done by breaking the images down to their various channels. In this case, I break down the image into lightness, hue, and saturation which correctly shows the eye brightness difference and the similarity in edges between the two images for their saturation.

Original, lightness, hue and saturation broke down as follows:
10-19-2017 3-44-15 PM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As you can see the image is identical except for the eyes. This can only mean one thing remains, the eyes must have been separately altered from the rest of the image. However, the type of altering could have been with a fine-toothed pixel brush (i.e. intentional altering) or with a broader “I want to enhance the eyes” brush.

10-19-2017 3-43-43 PM

Again, when looking in detail the eyes yield some of the techniques used to enhance them:
1. The dark black at the edge of the eyes is considerably darker in the evil image
2. The light of the eyes is considerably lighter in the evil image
3. The amount of light and darkness adjustment is not uniform across colors of the same lightness but rather concentrates around the edges.
4. The eyebrows post-sharpen are identical thus no additional sharpening was applied to the surrounding area.

So the conclusion: Likely a second sharpen filter was applied to only the area of the eyes. The question again becomes how much sharpening was applied? Without great precision, I applied 3 times the sharpness as the original sharpen, except only to the eye area and voila – the image now looks like the evil image. For your consideration, which of the following is the original evil image [don’t cheat]:

56517480_0253e8a44d_o

I’ll admit this isn’t anything of a precision science; and further, I was using Paint Shop Pro and not Adobe Photoshop as the original “evil” image, so I can’t expect exact results. However, the results are very telling on their own.

My conclusion:
1. There is no doubt the eye area has special attention in photoshop.
2. A pixel level editing level did not have to be done to obtain the evil image and frankly would have been tedious to get the correct balance between lighter and darker areas.

Was this intentional? Absolutely! Was it with intent to make the eyes stand out? Yes, for sure. Was it to make Condi look evil? Doubtful. This looks like more of an attempt to airbrush Condi by making her appear to have strong eyeliner and bright eyes, and a more refined presence from the blurred background.

This type of editing is fairly common, although I personally disdain it. If someone wants to sharpen contrast or lighten or darken an image, try and do so on a picture level rather than doing so on individual areas – it rarely looks ‘human’ and gets you into trouble.

For anyone thinking I’m defending the media, please note the Moron of the Week #5 article, and for anyone who thinks I have a thing for Bush and company, please read Why this Canadian supports the War in Iraq.

For those new to this site, while you are here, why not check out more of Samantha Burns. She’s a fantastically witty blogger and I’m the equivalent of the techie Igor around here.

Update: Another doctored photo has been found by Michelle Malkin and the original story found at Little Green Footballs.

For further reading on this topic and various opinions see:

Rhymes With Right
Mike’s Noise
Confederate Yankee: Photo Ethics Eludes USA Today
Steel City Cowboy: USA Today Uses the Sharpen Filter!
Independent Sources
The Anchoress
T. Longren
GM’s Corner
Viewpoint Journal
Little Green Footballs
RedState.org
Holstein Grove

Dog Condoms

Yes, I said dog condoms. I’m astounded by this one, I must say.

It seems the wonderful invention, the dog condom, was recalled because apparently, it didn’t work.

No Sh*t!

The creator of the meat-scented dog condom believes it is the owners’ fault that there were 102 unwanted dog pregnancies and 15 near-choking incidents. He apparently thought that dog owner would “place the condom on the dog before intercourse and supervise the act”.

And, what’s worse, the numpty is now working on a female dog condom that uses some type of harness mechanism.

Dude, you ever hear of spaying or neutering a pet? Sounds a lot more logical to me. And, as if animals require a romantic setting in the first place.

I don’t know, but a meat-scented dog condom??? Wouldn’t both the male and female be trying to bite the condom off the male, and wouldn’t that create a very unromantic predicament?

Nutjob.

And, why would we want our canines to go through the same embarrassing situations as Aprosexia did at the pharmacy line? Having to figure out what size they are. As an owner of the pet, do you really want to be the one to figure out what size your Great Dane’s penis is? I don’t even want to go there.

Or, do we want our pets to fear a possible sense of inadequacy when we tell the store clerk that we require a small doggy condom for our pooch?

I can’t believe this thing even got on the market in the first place. It’s ridiculous.

What’s next for doggy pleasure, this…

humping-leg

Here are some brand name condom choices for you.

Chicken Gas?

Looks like PETA will have a new item to gripe about sooner than I thought. According to SYN/ACK/FIN and 11alive.com there is a fuel called BioDiesel, which is made partly from chicken fat and partly diesel. In North Georgia, they are using this more environmentally friendly fuel to power their school buses.

That’s just great. Now I don’t know who to side with. If I say, “yay, something better for the environment” I’ll be accused of being an environmentalist, aka enviro-weenie. However, if I say, “boo, using chicken as gas” I’ll be judged as a PETA supporter.

Gosh knows I don’t want to be labelled either way, so I’ll just say, “I’m sticking to my over $1 a litre gas, wanting to bring back carburetors, and ditching this air care thing” While we’re at it, I want to wear my authentic fox fur coat in public, drink my pop in a non-biodegradable styrofoam cup, and bathe every neo-hippy I come across.

Have I missed anyone to offend? If I have, let me know. You’re on my list next.

Lack Of Freedom In Teaching?

Teachers have a tricky position in life. Their role is to bring unbiased awareness and learning to students in a way that enables children to make their own decisions in life. When it all comes down to it, teachers are to be impartial lecturers.

So, why then, did the BC Court of Appeal ruled that teachers could submit their own views about government underfunding of the education system during parent-teacher interviews, and yet, as westernstandard.ca mentions, they ruled against a BC teacher on his rights to express his opinions on homosexuality?

On the one hand, the parent-teacher interview isn’t a time when teachers are actually teaching their students, so they aren’t really expressing their views to sway their students in any one direction on the underfunding issue. And, typically, it is also a time when teachers aren’t being paid for work, so they aren’t really “on the job” at the time to be restricted to what they say and don’t say. Similarly, the BC teacher who expressed his opinions on homosexuality wasn’t really teaching his students to learn in one certain direction on the issue.

On the other hand, students are usually at the parent-teacher interviews to hear what the teacher has to say, and perhaps hearing the teacher rant about underfunding could sway the student in some way. Furthermore, the BC teacher who wrote on his opinions of homosexuality was speaking/teaching his students in a more subtle way – through the means of the media.

Related to the issue of the court’s ruling is how the decision will be maintained by the BC Teacher’s Federation. Essentially, when a teacher registers with them as a legitimate educator, s/he relinquishes basic rights and freedoms for the sake of teaching. Of course, all Canadians live within the same Charter of Rights and Freedoms, but teachers are bound to their roll in the community, and their choice to do so entails being in the constant, watchful eye of the public. Teachers are scrutinized continuously – on and off the job; and therefore, must always exemplify the qualities and morals that the community values and cherishes. If teachers are not supported by the community in their beliefs, then they are not likely to be supported by the BCTF. Hence, if teachers cry out about either underfunding or homosexuality, and the community is outraged by either of their campaigns, then the BCTF will likely favor the community’s outrage over the teachers’ dissension. Regardless of how the courts rule, the BCTF can hold precedence over the fate of the teachers.

All in all, what I’m attempting to demonstrate here is that the teachers likely had more community/societal support on campaigning about government underfunding than did the BC teacher who expressed his opinions about homosexuality.

Teaching is a difficult occupation, especially in this ever-so-sensitive society. What they say, or don’t say, can affect their careers in positive ways or in the most devastating ways. Teachers have lost their jobs over the silliest things, simply because the community, and therefore the BCTF, did not approve. The safest thing for a teacher to do is to be as impartial and unbiased as possible and to steer clear of any hot topics. In order be secure in the occupation, teachers would have to stick to the textbooks and stay out of any subject that has any relevance to real-life situations.

But then they’d have to ask themselves, is that really teaching?

Movie: Fantastic Four

I have to admit when I walked into the movie theatre I wasn’t expecting the world from this movie. The reviews were mixed, of course with all the negatives coming from reviewers who always shoot down “popcorn” films. Naturally, these reviewers have basked themselves in countless movies they lose the love of simple popcorn films.

Like all comic book movies, the first movie is always about teaching the audience about the superheroes and villains, how the characters gained superpowers, and how the characters adapt to life with those powers. This virtual fact guarantees first comic book films expend hefty portions of time on the character and less time on clobbering.

The ratio of humor to action that is in action and comic book films is probably a scientifically researched topic on the Hollywood lots. Ever since the dawn of the laugh track and perhaps even before then, Hollywood scientists have been feverishly using beakers, flasks, and questionable experiments on animals to solve the mystery of humor in television and film. The lab techies must have been on strike for the Fantastic Four, as I wasn’t sure if I was watching a comedy or an action/comic film.

But it worked! Unless your humor gland is completely fried from overdosing on reruns of The Beverly Hillbillies, you should walk away with at least a smirk from this film. The cure for the humor impaired: a good old dose of Monty Python followed by Weird Al’s UHF and cemented with the best of The Simpsons.

Now the one thing that can spoil popcorn comic book films is a reality. If you know a bit too much on genetics, cosmic radiation, space, chemistry or just about any science at all, your brain may ruin the film. Thus, note to self: “disengage brain when watching the film”. It’s a popcorn film people! Don’t expect a level of reality anything greater than a typical Michael Moore film!

So we’ve got The Thing, Mr. Fantastic, Invisible Woman, the Human Torch, and the malevolent Doctor Doom. The Thing, cleverly played by Michael Chiklis, was by far the best character of the lot. The rest were almost forgettable, and even perhaps annoying in the case of Johnny Storm/Human Torch played by Chris Evans. I don’t blame the actors, the script failed them. Perhaps they’ll get another try for the Fantastic Four Sequel (yeah, like Duh, we didn’t know that was coming). Although the evil transformation of Victor Von Doom into Doctor Doom (played by Julian McMahon) was one of my favorites if you exclude the Skywalker to Darth Vadar progression.

Mr. Fantastic played by Ioan Gruffudo was about as fantastic as the early days of Microsoft Windows. Look at me, I can stretch! Wee hah. The Invisible Woman for all intents and purposes was invisible throughout the film, and the Human Torch was entertaining but annoying. Ok, so I’m being a bit harsh, they weren’t that bad. They each had a few key moments of comedy, which forgives them of their wrongdoings.

The script played out naturally, again suspending all scientific belief, in the sense that the characters were put into their situation and how they would respond folds into exactly how the script was written. Alright, I admit, the love stuff was a bit weak but for some reason, Hollywood insists on throwing in love interests into every film. Yes, the characters were feeble except The Thing and Doctor Doom, but in context, it works overall.

On the whole, if you are in the movie for a popcorn film then go see the Fantastic Four. Besides, how do you expect to be able to see the sequel which will be far more action-packed without watching the first film!

Suit Pursuit

You know what my pet peeve is right now? It’s all the suing that’s going on, primarily in the states. I know this doesn’t apply to the majority of my US friends, but a vast number of complainers are finding the craziest things to sue over. Like the old hot coffee lawsuit. Well Duh! Coffee hot. Or the recently burnt butt allegation Duh, chemical’s burn.

I mean, you wonder why society’s becoming overly sensitive, or too politically correct. EVERYONE. IS. AFRAID. OF. A. LAWSUIT. If anyone even gets a whiff of possible trouble, they backpedal and change to become more PC.

But here’s a thought (and even if this show isn’t my shot of vodka), I am very surprised that reality tv like Fear Factor still exists with all the animal and animal parts eating going on. How is it that animal rights activist groups like PETA haven’t bombarded the set with protests and caused media frenzies over the cruelty of animals? I am kind of glad that they haven’t squashed the defiant show because it demonstrates that society isn’t yet doomed to be a prudish wimp.

So, when it comes right down to it, I guess we have to ask, is it really worth it, does it really matter if a few bugs get eaten, a few buttocks get burned, or a few hands and tongues get scalded?

Please people, rethink if making money on a lawsuit or griping for the sake of hearing your own voice is really worth it.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – PC police beware

Like any parent with deferred-parenting skills might do, thumb08I took my kids to see Charlie and the chocolate factory. Having seen the original 1971 version, I have to admit I was eager to see how a great kids story would be modernized as only through the mind of Tim Burton.

Before entering the theater, I knew Tim Burton’s new film would be a bit different and likely lean towards the dark genre of films, but what I did not expect was the absolute disregard for political correctness. Being a bit of a movie buff, and having watched many old films, I’ve always enjoyed the stark contrast compared to modern films. Today’s films endorse sex, graphic language, and violence, but shy away from anything controversial, which might be condemned by the politically correct police.

This film, aimed at children, broke so many PC rules that I wish I had a scorecard just to keep up. I’m truly unsure of how Hollywood managed to sneak this film out without a protest from some activist group, especially PETA.

Picture this, a milking cow suspended in the air, while creepy Oompa Loompa’s whip the milk. Okay, a bit bizarre perhaps, but nothing that unusual, right? I mean, we all know cow’s milk is used for whipped cream. Well, the scene is much more ominous – those Oompa Loompa’s are using real whips while the cow lets out ear curdling moos. I couldn’t quite catch if they were whipping the drops of milk, or the cow itself. Why didn’t PETA break into the Hollywood set and rescue that poor cow? Think of how many retakes from how many angles that poor cow would have had to go through. What kind of message does whipping a cow send The Children(TM) on how to treat animals?

While on the whole PETA kick, I thought it’d be fair to talk about the other abused and mistreated animals: The poor digitally trained squirrels. They work in the factory sorting nuts. PETA – they work in conditions not fit for humans, let alone animals. Imagine a huge open hole in the middle of the floor where any one of these squirrels could fall down and get incinerated on Tuesday after spending the rest of its short life in a pile of garbage. The stench that rises from this hole would be unbearable. Those squirrels work in a sorting area cracking nut after nut. Where are the repetitive stress injury lawyers when you need them? Not even the Oompa Loompa’s were subjected to such working conditions. Those squirrels didn’t even have fresh water to drink from when they needed to rest. Is this the message we should be sending The Children(tm)?

To be fair, PETA shouldn’t be protesting alone. The society to protect endangered animals should have been in an uproar. If this film were properly done in the modern world, Willy Wonka would have sacrificed his life to save that obviously endangered massive insect species chasing Willy through the thick rainforest. Instead, the creature ended up as a tasty sample for the likes of Willy searching for exotic new tastes for chocolate. I ask – where is the anger?

Charlie and the Chocolate factory and the diversity PC police should have been on this one…. Imagine a whole society of Oompa Loompa’s uplifted from their native land where they lived in harmony with nature and were forced to work for cocoa beans in a massive chocolate factory. This movie should be a modern-day scandal. The whole Oompa Loompa story starts off with Willy Wonka insulting the native culinary dish of caterpillars. Next, the entire Oompa Loompa society is transported to his factory and has not been let out for years. All the while the Oompa Loompas are kept as working slaves for the evil capitalist Willy Wonka. Worse, these labourers are used for Willy Wonka’s scientific testing and experimentation. Their language is lost, their culture is lost, and their food delights are no more. How can anyone sit idly by and allow this to happen?

Union heavy Hollywood should have picketed this movie into the reject pile. An entire factory of workers is put out of work for the thievery of a few accused working class stiffs. The accusations are unproven. And clearly, a generous compensation package was not obtained after one observes the nature of Charlie’s grandfather living in a single bed with two generations of Charlie’s family, and all the while, Willy Wonka hordes the profits of his successful chocolate empire. The workers are replaced with cheap Oompa Loompa workers and are locked out of the factory forever. Why did the unionist not save Charlie’s grandfather’s job? Why did they allow such anti-union propaganda in a children’s film?

All kidding around aside, the film is uplifting in a dark, creepy way. Imagine a film that teaches morals, instead of moral relativity. Imagine a film that does not push some kind of traditional-PC agenda down children’s throats. How refreshing!

What others are saying about the movie:

Cross Blogging
Darren Barefoot
brnz.net