Thursday, September 29, 2005

Top 100 Metal Songs 50-41

UPDATE 1/5/2010: Check out my new list, The Top 50 Metal Albums of The Last Decade

In case you missed them . . .
Introduction, 100-91, 90-81, 80-71, 70-61, 60-51

#50: “One-Winged Angel” by 植松伸夫 (Nobuo Uematsu)
Final Fantasy VII Reunion Tracks (1997)

This one is along the same lines as Carl Orff’s “O Fortuna.” It’s technically classical in style, but it still feels metal. This song played during the final battle of Final Fantasy VII, and I have to admit that I just let the music play for almost an hour before I actually got around to doing any fighting. In fact, I went and got a better stereo to hook up to the Playstation instead of using the TV’s normal speakers. It’s extremely dramatic.

#49: “Lord of This World” by Corrosion of Conformity
NIB (1994)

These good old southern boys did an excellent job of covering the 1971 Black Sabbath classic, making it sound like something in between Ozzy’s first band and Zakk Wylde’s Black Label Society.

#48: “Bodies” by Drowning Pool
Sinner (2001)

This was quite possibly the most popular song in the country for at least a month around August of 2001 (the album was released in June). The hook is very addicting: “Let the bodies hit the floor!” It’s too bad the original vocalist died of a heart defect, because these guys were good enough and popular enough to turn nu-metal around and save it from the likes of Puddle of Mudd and Trapt, but alas, it was not meant to be.

#47: “Solitaire Unraveling” by Mushroomhead
XX (2001)

This is certainly the best song by this two-vocalist masked band. They’ve been accused of ripping off Slipknot, but in reality they started wearing masks before they ever heard of Slipknot. They certainly don’t sound anything like them. One vocalist has a heavy, scratchy voice, and the other has an eerie, nasally voice. The song itself defies description, but suffice to say that it gets the adrenaline pumping.

#46: “Toxicity” by System of a Down
Toxicity (2001)

I’m not much of a percussion man, but the drums probably push this song from the bottom half of the list up to the top. The chorus is especially powerful: “You! What do you own, the world? How do you own disorder, disorder?” Serj Tankian’s unique voice and the band’s unique Armenian-influenced style shine through as well in this criticism of the American culture of waste.

#45: “Iron Head” by Rob Zombie featuring Ozzy Osbourne
The Sinister Urge (2001)

The most iconic scary guy of heavy metal from the 70’s and 80’s joins with the same for the 90’s and 00’s for this one, and as always Ozzy’s voice contrasts well with that of the other vocalist, especially on the point-counterpoint chorus.

#44: “Brave New World” by Motörhead
Hammered (2002)

The legendary Lemmy Kilmister hasn’t lost any of his style or talent in his 25 years in the business (as of ’02). This one, however, gets away from the militaristic, sexist, or druggy lyrics that we’re used to from the man with the wart, and instead returns to the more serious side of “1916.” The deepest lines in the song: “God is on your side but I don’t think that you’re on his. If Jesus showed up now he’d be in jail by next week!”

#43: “Dead Bodies Everywhere” by Korn
Follow the Leader (1998)

It opens with single bass notes and eerie music that sounds like a demented music box, and then it pounds your face on the choruses. The verses are almost devoid of guitar, instead being carried by Fieldy’s clicky-deep bass. Jonathan Davis’s anger is evident on this cry for independence. I even used the following lyrics as my senior quote for the yearbook: “What’s your vision you see, what do you expect of me? I can’t live that lie.”

#42: “Tourniquet” by Evanescence
Fallen (2003)

“My God, my tourniquet, return to me salvation. Do you remember me? Lost for so long. Will you be on the other side or will you forget me? I’m dying, praying, bleeding, and screaming. Am I too lost to be saved? Am I too lost?” If the lyrics alone don’t send tingles up your spine, you should listen to Amy Lee’s powerful, beautiful (and Grammy-winning) voice through this crisis of faith. “My wounds cry for the grave. My soul cries for deliverance. Will I be denied? Christ, tourniquet, my suicide.” Johnny Loftus of all music guide said:
"Tourniquet" is an anguished, urgent rocker driven by chugging guitars and spiraling synths, with brooding lyrics that reference Evanescence's Christian values . . . . The song is Fallen's emotional center point and defines the band's sound.

#41: “Change (In the House of Flies)” by Deftones
White Pony (2000)

This eerie, sexy metal song appeared in the most memorable scene of the movie Queen of the Damned, in which Stuart (Stewart?) Townsend was in a tub with Aaliyah, rose petals floating on the surface, and she drank his blood. This disturbing sensuality is punctuated with visions of people suffering. That’s not why the song’s great, though. Chino Moreno’s lyrics sound like the poetry of a serial killer, with images of someone “changing” into something better, and him pulling off that person’s wings and laughing.

Jump to . . .
40-31, 30-21, 20-11, and the Top Ten

UPDATE 1/5/2010: Check out my new list, The Top 50 Metal Albums of The Last Decade

Dead deer and humped cows

"The veterinarian who examined the dead beast concluded that Rudolph had died from the shock of the deafening noise made by the fighter plane." Those dirty Danes killed Rudolph!

"These statues are evidence that the people of the region worshiped oxen and humped cows 3000 years ago." I think they should rephrase their statement. If you can't figure out how to rephrase, then you will forever be amused.

"Firing 77 bullets, cops wounded an ex-con early yesterday after he shot at another man and turned his weapon on police outside a Manhattan housing project, authorities and witnesses said." That's right, this guy is a badass. 77 bullets, and he's only injured.

"Investigators found the dead deer inside the ambulance." That is a phrase I never thought I'd read.

"CCTV footage shows a group of men tipping Wayne Griffin into a bin which hours later was collected by a compactor in Perth." Drink responsibly, or get crushed.

An attorney used the argument that his client wasn't smart enough to do the crime. Seems to me it doesn't take a genius to smash a baby.


It seems that OPS will not put the incident on Ethan Gray's record because his staying home from school was deemed punishment enough. On the one hand, I'm happy that the right thing got done, but on the other hand I had a lot of funny things to say about it.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

6-year-old Butter Knife Terrorist, Pt. 2

Ms. Penny Sophir has responded to my e-mail as follows:
Miss Hoffart, every year when school begins, every student is given a copy of the code of conduct and it is discussed on their level in the classroom as well as sent home to their parents to read and sign and return to school.
In this day and age, a knife is a serious weapon in anyone's hands. It could have fallen into the hands of an older student or adult. It is up to the principal's discretion how to handle a situation. In this case, the in-house suspension was changed to 1/2 day and hopefully the student will use this lesson to realize the seriousness of this situation.
Penny Sophir
Board Member

To which I replied:
Ms. Sophir
First of all I would like to thank you for your prompt reply, although I understand that it may be a standardized response that was agreed-upon by the board or some other body.
I highly doubt that a 6-year-old can grasp the gravity of this so-called "offense," if a completely and absolutely harmless behavior can be called such. I also doubt that a 6-year-old would see a half-day off from school as a punishment of any sort. An effective punishment would have been to make him sit next to the teacher at recess, not to let him spend half a day at home in his pajamas watching cartoons. The largest issue is that this will go down on his permanent record until he graduates from high school, and he will be seen as a troublemaker when it isn't even clear that he put the butter knife in his bag.
You say that the "knife" could have fallen into the hands of someone more dangerous than the 6-year-old (who could possibly be more terrifying I cannot imagine). Does it occur to the school board that a butter knife is only a "knife" in a technical sense, and can't actually cut anything tougher than bread, and that only with considerable difficulty. A butter knife is infinitely less dangerous than many things that are otherwise readily available in an elementary school (such as pens/pencils, paper cutters, metal compasses, and even books). In fact, a fork would be more dangerous. I sincerely hope that the board will consider revoking the punishment and expunging it from the record, or, failing that, that the Gray family will file suit and obtain whatever relief they seek.
MR. Kelly Hoffart

Please, read my previous post and get in contact with the OPS board.

6-year-old Butter Knife Terrorist

A butter knife in a boy's book bag led to suspension at Omaha Public Schools this week. Ethan Gray is a first-grader at Ed Babe Gomez Heritage Elementary School at 17th and P streets. Gray said he didn't know the knife was in his book bag. OPS said it has a zero-tolerance policy. . . . Gray, who is 6, said he brought his book bag to school on Monday, but when he set it down, one of his family's butter knives fell out onto the cafeteria floor. A teacher walked up to question him. Gray told the teacher he wasn't sure how the knife got there. His family thinks his 4-year-old brother, Ben, put it there.
Now al Quesadilla is really getting out of line, recruiting 4 and 6 year olds to be terrorists. Seriously, though, Omaha Public Schools need to lighten up. When I was his age, our school gave us butter knives at lunch. "OPS said the boy could have been expelled." That's nice. What I'm going to do is e-mail all the members of the Omaha school board. I suggest that you do the same.

The letter follows.
To: Omaha Public School Board members

I am a second-year law student at the UNL College of Law, and I am writing in regards to the situation of Ethan Gray. I found out about the issue through (a web site with massive worldwide readership) who appropriately labeled the choice to suspend Ethan as “asinine.” No more than 17 years ago, when I was Ethan’s age, I was given a butter knife in the school cafeteria every day. I understand that weapons technology has grown by leaps and bounds, but I hardly think that the butter knife has evolved to a level where it could be any more harmful than a pair of safety scissors, an item that the elementary students are no doubt required to have.
The actions taken at Ed Babe Gomez Heritage Elementary School have done nothing but raise more bad publicity for Nebraska at a time when Tommy Lee attends our beloved UNL and grown men marry 14-year-olds. I strongly urge the board to take action to redeem Nebraska by issuing a public apology and taking no disciplinary measures against little Mr. Gray.


Kelly Hoffart

And, for your convenience, all of their e-mail addresses.

Giant Squid/Nuclear Saint

The tentacle measured 18 feet (5.5 meters) long. Using its size as a guide, the team estimates the animal was 26 feet long (8 meters). The longest giant squid on record measured 59 feet (18 meters), including its two elongated tentacles.
Giant squid! Abandon the Nautilus! Follow the link to see 9 pages of giant squid goodness, because nobody's ever photographed a live one before!

Historic Russian admiral Fyodor Ushakov -- a hero of Russia's wars against Turkey and Napoleon Bonaparte -- was designated the patron saint of nuclear-armed, long-distance Russian bombers by the Orthodox Church.
Nuclear Saint sounds like a good name for a death metal band.

Singapore said Tuesday that relations with the Chinese province of Shandong grew after it presented officials there with a "unique" gift: quality bull semen.
Sperm, the gift that keeps on giving.

Police in northwestern Pakistan have launched an inquiry after complaints about two dead women being declared elected in a local election held last month, election officials said Monday.
Dead women might make better politicians than some we have here. I say, let them keep their offices.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Piranhas getting married to multiple geriatrics

"You can't get married if you're already married." This story is very interesting to us legal-types. A man was being prosecuted for bigamy, but his lawyer pointed out that because the additional marriages aren't legal, then they aren't marriages, and so he can't be convicted of bigamy. It's kind of a circular argument, but I think you get the drift of it. I find it quite amusing.

The Filipino consignee faces charges of illegally importing live piranhas, punishable by up to eight years in prison and a fine, quarantine chief Felipe Santamaria said.
How was your day at work, honey? Oh, it was alright. I got bit by a piranha, but otherwise nothing exciting.

A group of women mostly older 50 posed nude for a calendar to raise funds for a children's cancer hospital, including lawyers, psychologists and a few men from the aid group "Cheerleaders for Good."
Maybe they got the idea from Northeastern State University.

Target and Full Metal

Target has infuriated me. They no longer do send-out film processing, so the biggest print I could get from my negative was an 8x10. Needless to say, I will nevermore use my beloved retail store and employer of 6 years for my print processing needs. I was going to Walgreens for my film processing anyway.

I did a blog search for "Full Metal" just a moment ago. Full Metal Buns! is not worth visiting. It appears to be an Asian girl who likes anime, so if you like reading about what a 19-year-old cosplayer thinks about (read: boys) then check it out.
Full Metal Blog is a guy who likes to complain about Bush, and apparently likes sissy little hearts on his template. Why would you do hearts when the title contains "Full Metal"?
I'm not sure why this showed up in the search, but I assume it's anime-related. Why would you restrict a blog to only your "friends," I wonder?
I just don't understand why anyone would feel compelled to read Full Metal Cynic, but I suppose you could say that about my blog too.

The question you must ask is, why do I blog? Is it for yourself only, or for your friends, or do you have something to share? If you have something to share, what can you offer that others do not? I'd like to think I have something to share, and I can offer my photography, which no one else can. But do I have interesting commentary on the more news/legal topics? This question I can't answer.

Asians and Amish and Flying Spaghetti Monsters, oh my!

This guy linked to me, and I found out. So I'm returning the favor. He thinks I have some kind of "uncanny" ability to find weird stuff on the Internet, but I must confess that I get it all from Fark--I just filter out so I only comment on the best ones.

Eighty years after the Scopes Monkey Trial, the latest legal chapter in the debate over the teaching of evolution in public schools is to unfold in federal court.
The Dover Area School District on Monday was to start defending its policy of requiring ninth-grade students hear about "intelligent design" before biology lessons on evolution.
I can't wait to hear how this one turns out. I am, however, a Christian evolutionist, so I don't really care how it turns out. I have to point out that India Daily's "technology" columnists would probably buy intelligent design. That is, that species have been shaped by alien intelligence, in the India Daily view. I also have to point out this tongue-in-cheek satire of the whole debate, Flying Spaghetti Monsterism, which has exploded in the month since it began.

Amish farmers fear their salvation is at stake if they are forced to use a proposed computer-based tagging system to monitor their livestock, officials said.
''[The Amish say] it is the beginning of the mark of the beast, and our Bible has told us of the mark of the beast,'' said David Matthes, state chairman of the Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund.
Yes, you Amish must know everything about the Bible. Of course, let's just forget that people have been branding cattle for centuries. When you use a chip it's different, apparently. Yes, Amishites, let's also forget all about Christ's command to "Go and make disciples of all nations" and we'll just sit in our own little communities and not bother anyone.

Those crazy Asian-types . . . the Japanese (whom I love dearly for all the video games and anime they launch over the ocen at us) have named a tropical storm Longwang, disregarding the snickers of all the Western-types in the office.

Monday, September 26, 2005

New Pictures

I took these black and white photographs on Kodak 400 ISO chromogenic film last Saturday. Enjoy all eleven.

All images © 2005 Kelly Hoffart

Crosses and Homecoming Queens

Lights back on, the officer administers a simple walk-and-turn (WAT) test. The suspect fails to follow almost all the directions, muttering about ninjas all the while.
Ninja wannabe. Aren't they all? Not really an interesting story aside from the drunk suspect asking the officer whether he qualifies as a ninja.

The city of Las Cruces' official emblem has three crosses that a federal lawsuit alleges are unconstitutional religious symbols on public property.
The lawsuit, filed Sept. 16 in U.S. District Court in Albuquerque, seeks the removal of the crosses.
Oh, for the love of all that you're free to not believe in. The city's freaking name is "The Crosses." Give it a rest. If there was ever a ridiculous 1st Amendment claim, this is it, my friends. Soon we'll have people suing schools and public libraries because they use books, and Christianity/Judaism/Islam all have holy books, so the symbol of the book offends them. Give it a rest, and let it stop here.

She wants to be known as an advocate for the elderly, but students at Northeastern State University know 71-year-old Muriel Saunders as their homecoming queen.
Cute story. She's probably just a really hot 71-year-old cancer survivor.

A long quest for booty from the Spanish colonial era appears to be culminating in Chile with the announcement by a group of adventurers that they have found an estimated 600 barrels of gold coins and Incan jewels on the remote Pacific island.
Aaaarrrrrrr . . . I knew I left me buried treasure somewheres . . . . Ten billion dollars in gold doubloons . . . avast . . . .

The partygoers who witnessed the shooting beat the alleged gunman and then kept him in their custody until police arrived.
These people are hardcore, definitely my kind of party.

Wardens in Georgia’s Rustavi prison camp have discovered a 12-meter tunnel made by inmates who planned to escape, the Georgia News reported on Friday.
The tunnel was 85 centimeters in diameter and equipped with electrical lights.
Electric lights? Sweet. Those prisoners should get jobs in construction for the government when they get out.

New Korn Album

November 22 is looking to be an even better day than September 20: not only is System of a Down's Hypnotize coming out, but Korn is also rumored to have a new album slated for that date.

Friday, September 23, 2005


Since I've been posting so much lately, I decided to put up this post of the best posts of the week, for easy browsing.
Bizarre news site
Discussion of the 2nd Amendment and New Orleans
Review of Ten Thousand Fists and preview of Hypnotize here
My latest foray into photography with some local fountains.

India Daily

India Daily has to be one of the worst excuses for journalism that I have ever seen. Their top story right now is titled "Katrina, Rita – who is responsible - Russian technology, international oil conspirators, excessive solar storms or electromagnetic effects of polar reversal?" For the love of all that's holy, how in the hell could Russian technology or oil conspirators do this? And their "technology" articles are the best. For example, here is a recent article about "Super advanced alien type IV civilizations are capable of traveling through the Hyperpsace and Universes instantaneously." You can also apparently do this by meditating. Is this what serious journalism consists of in India? Or is this just an outlier? In any case, I recommend reading about it, because you never know when you might see a UFO from a Type III or Type IV alien civilization (of course, you'd never see a Type II or Type I because they don't have the requisite technology). It's amazing that they actually pay people to come up with this stuff, and in most of the UFO articles they talk about Type III and Type IV alien civilizations as if everyone knows what they're talking about. The best part is when they take quotes from serious scientists out of context to try to prove their point. For example, in this article about how a Type III alien civilization helped to shape the development of our solar system, they use this quote from Scott Kenyon of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory: "It’s possible that some of the objects in our solar system actually formed around another star." This they take as conclusive evidence of their alien-design theory. Absolutely insane.
They continually refer to "scientists" and what "scientists" now think. I believe the scientists they're talking about look like this guy:

NOLA: Defining the Need for the 2nd Amendment

Today, the National Rifle Association (NRA) filed a motion in United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana seeking a temporary restraining order to block authorities from confiscating law-abiding citizens’ firearms in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
NRA statement
After reading it, you know, I have to agree. This is, in my mind, the one time when it is absolutely necessary for law-abiding people to be allowed to have guns. I've heard horror stories about gangs kidnapping, raping, and then killing women, and because people are unarmed they can't do anything about it. And the New Orleans police want to take all the guns away from the law-abiding people, not realizing that the lawbreakers are going to be the only ones to have guns after this order is carried out.
"At a time when 911 is non-operational and law enforcement cannot respond immediately to calls for help, people have only the Second Amendment to protect themselves, their loved ones and their property,” said NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

100 Minute Bible

"The 100-Minute Bible, which says it summarizes every teaching from the Creation to the Revelation, was unveiled at Canterbury Cathedral by author the Rev. Michael Hinton." More . . .

"And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book." Revelation 22:19, NIV

I'm just sayin . . .

Killer Hampsters; The Oregon Trail

"HONG KONG - The owner of a BMW in northern China returned to his car to find a note from a woman admirer declaring "I love you because you have a BMW," a news report said Tuesday."

"Concerned Women for America, a national Christian women's organization, says Starbucks, which is based in Seattle, is promoting a homosexual agenda with the cup."
Well, no shit. It's Starbucks, for the love of all that's holy. It's as gay as a rainbow. Sure, sometimes it's nice to go there, and sometimes it's nice to see a rainbow, but if you see people that have rainbows all the time, don't you wonder? And what about people that are in Starbucks all the time? Actually, I was there for the first time in over a year at a Barnes & Noble here in town, and while I was waiting in line I looked over at a magazine rack and, lo and behold, they had The Advocate in the rack, a gay and lesbian magazine. No. Shit. It's Starbucks. It's as gay as Ben and Jerry.

Well, I guess it was only a matter of time before FEMA sent ice to help out the victims of Katrina . . . in Maine.

"One person required stitches and a mother and son were arrested after two drill teams began brawling during an impromptu dance competition, Wichita police said. "This is a whole new arena" of crime, said Wichita police Lt. Jeff Easter."
Wow, just, wow. This blows my mind. Now Grease and You Got Served seem to have some level of relevance. Nah. They don't. Seriously, this is like two ballet teams getting in a fight in their tutus. It's just not supposed to happen. "Chess team! Attack!"

Here's an interview with one of the guys who was on the design team for The Oregon Trail. He also designed Number Munchers, which, by the way, is awesome.

Even better, here's an online Oregon Trail emulator. (It doesn't seem to work with Firefox.)

"In July, the city vowed to launch "the largest toilet revolution in its history". You can even rank the toilets under a star system. Viva la revolucion! En el baño!

"Dhir was elected to his post (as president, not supreme leader) in the spring, in part on a platform calling for the establishment of a rivalry with Washington University. Upon winning election, he created a War Department and Ministry of Propaganda, which has been publishing various critiques of the St. Louis institution. (While both Emory and Washington are members of the University Athletic Association, a league of eight private research universities, officials at both institutions said that the two institutions have no particular historic rivalry.)" Weird

Hilarious: turn your hampster into a fighting machine.

Ten Thousand Fists; Hypnotize

Disturbed's new album Ten Thousand Fists promised to combine the darkness of The Sickness with the melodic stylings of Believe, and it delivers. After only three listens I can tell you that it has surpassed Believe, but falls short slightly of The Sickness. Let's start at the beginning.
The cover art was done by one Todd McFarlane, so it might remind you a bit of Korn's Follow the Leader at first glance. You know, I know he was trying to include all ethnicities and so forth on the cover, but I have never once met, seen, or even heard of a black girl that listens to metal. Black guys, yes. White girls, yes. Not important. I also bought Danzig's Circle of Snakes yesterday, and I noticed that both bands are represented by the same law firm, although I can't remember what the name of that firm is.
Once the disk is in the player, the band never fails to impress. Apparently Draiman has learned to use his post-operative vocal chords. It opens with the title track, which is good but nothing to crap your pants about. Soon comes the first single, "Guarded," which is definitely worthy. After that comes "Deify," which is my personal favorite on the album. The chorus is probably the most beautiful thing David Draiman has ever done. After "Deify" is the current single, "Stricken," which is also worthy. One thing I noticed is that on "Stricken" and "Deify," Draiman comes dangerously close to vocal showboating, without ever going over that edge. He should be careful, because that's one of the things that ruined Staind. The rest of the album is solid, with mostly high points, but the most impressive thing is their cover of Phil Collins's "Land of Confusion." It seems the former Genesis frontman is getting his props from the metal community in recent years (Nonpoint covered "In the Air Tonight"). This cover starts with a better song by a better band than their first cover (sorry Tears for Fears, but they took "suck" and made it into "good" before, and now they took "good" and made it into "holy $#!?!).
In sum, definitely worth the money.

In other news, System of a Down has just announced the release day for the second part of their promised two-disc set. Here's the official announcement:
Six months after System of a Down's Mezmerize debuted at number one on Billboard's Top 200 Albums chart, the uncompromising and outspoken quartet returns with Hypnotize, part two of a promised two-album set. American Recordings/Columbia will release two versions of Hypnotize, the band's fifth studio album, on November 22.

Both the CD and DualDisc versions feature 12 new songs as well as artwork by Vartan Malakian, father of SOAD's guitarist/singer Daron. The packaging for Hypnotize is specially designed to physically join Mezmerize and Hypnotize together, forming one unified product with continuous artwork. Additionally, the DualDisc edition will contain exclusive behind-the-scenes footage showing the making of both records.

More importantly, the albums interlock musically. The final track on Hypnotize, "Soldier Side" completes "Soldier Side Intro," which appears as the opening track on Mezmerize.

HYPNOTIZE Track Listing
1. "Attack"
2. "Dreaming"
3. "Kill Rock 'n Roll"
4. "Hypnotize"
5. "Stealing Society"
6. "Tentative"
7. "U-Fig"
8. "Holy Mountains"
9. "Vicinity of Obscenity"
10. "She's Like Heroin"
11. "Lonely Day"
12. "Soldier Side"

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

4th Amendment

The Supreme Court’s 4th Amendment jurisprudence is completely retarded and confusing. You don’t need a warrant to search a person when you arrest them, but if you find a pack of cigarettes on him you can’t look in it without a warrant. You don’t even need to arrest a guy before you can search his entire car after he violates a traffic law, but if you find a bag in it then you have to get a warrant. You can take the bag until you get a warrant, though (wouldn’t it be easier on the person if you just searched him and let him be on his way/arrest him?). If you arrest a guy in his house, you can search his immediate vicinity for any weapons or contraband. You can even do a protective sweep of the house to look for people. But you can’t search the rest of the house, even with probable cause. You can look at a TV in plain view, but you can’t read the serial number on the back. If you arrest someone in their house, then you can “secure” the building until a warrant can be obtained, even if that may take 19 hours. Isn’t this an even bigger intrusion on privacy than searching the damn place, especially when you just arrested the guy? If a guy violates any traffic law, then you can pull him over and look around. Even if you have a warrant, it might be no good just because you filled in the wrong blank on it.

You know what, I have no idea if any of that is absolutely correct.

And the only remedy for 4th Amendment violations is exclusion of illegally obtained evidence. So only criminals benefit from it. They justify this on the grounds that it encourages police to obey the Amendment, but at what cost? And what can regular people do about it when their 4th Amendment rights are violated? Absolutely nothing.


On Sunday I went to the Bicentennial Cascade Fountain and Stransky Park here in Lincoln to take some pictures. Enjoy.

All images © 2005 Kelly Hoffart

Monday, September 19, 2005

Jihad, 9-year-old with a gun, legal sex with 13-year-olds, and no more sines

I'm sure not many people would agree with me, but I think this is a heart-warming tale about a 9-year-old girl.
"Dad," Samantha said with bravado, "I got a gun."

"The Sri Lankan Cabinet has decided to reduce the age of consent for sexual encounters from 16 to 13 years." Read about it.

Beer 101

"Now there is a better way. Once you learn the five main rules of rational trigonometry and how to simply apply them, you realise that classical trigonometry represents a misunderstanding of geometry."
A professor got rid of sines, cosines, tangents, and all that other crap. He's right about one thing for sure: I have forgotten everything about trigonometry.

"A team of U.S. scientists has found the emotionally impaired are more willing to gamble for high stakes and that people with brain damage may make good financial decisions, the Times newspaper reported on Monday."
Read it here.

Apparently the Arabic symbol for "Allah" looks like an ice cream cone. Jihad against BK!

Sensitivity Training

I just saw this comic over at PvP. I think just about anyone can appreciate it.

Top 100 Metal Songs 60-51

UPDATE 1/5/2010: Check out my new list, The Top 50 Metal Albums of The Last Decade

In case you missed them . . .
Introduction, 100-91, 90-81, 80-71, 70-61

#60: “Halo” by Soil
Scars (2001)

This is a prime example of everything that’s good about nu-metal. It has a great hook, it’s heavy overall, and the vocalist growls in a voice somewhere between Lemmy Kilmister and Rob Zombie. To many people the song will sound suspiciously like Drowning Pool, but rest assured these guys were around first. Jason D. Taylor of All Music Guide has nothing but praise: "Scars is a straight-up rock & roll album, albeit with a modern twist that will make older listeners reminisce of rock from their youth, yet still has enough raw energy to keep younger fans entertained. . . . Songs such as "Breaking Me Down" and "Halo" have evident commercial appeal, yet have a coarse grittiness that is refreshing compared to many well-oiled industry singles. Vocalist Ryan McCombs has rock star quality oozing from his every pore, and listening to his boisterous bellows, one can easily envision him alongside such icons as Axl Rose and James Hetfield."

#59: “The Only” by Static-X
Shadow Zone (2003)

This one’s from the third effort by the so-called “evil disco” band Static-X. On this one vocalist Wayne Static explores his singing voice instead of simply grinding out his voice, and the two voices work well in conjunction. The hook, as in many nu-metal songs, is very compelling.

#58: “Waste” by Skrape
New Killer America (2001)

This band, like Static-X, is produced by Ulrich Wild. The sound is only somewhat similar, and they seem to have a heavy Deftones influence. Again, a great nu-metal hook makes the song.

#57: “Wait and Bleed” by Slipknot
Slipknot (1999)

When this one came out, it made waves in the world of heavy metal and beyond. All nine members of the band can be heard here, from the dual guitars and single bass to the DJ, drummer, and two custom percussionists. This factor makes it madness, yet it’s an amazingly coherent madness. The song also showcases all of Corey Taylor’s vocal moves (rapping like some kind of evil gangsta, singing like an angel, and screaming like a demon). Rick Anderson had this to say: "You thought Limp Bizkit was hard? They're the Osmonds. These guys are something else entirely. And it's pretty impressive. . . . An auspicious debut."

#56: “Prison Sex” by Tool
Undertow (1993)

Tool solidified their position as the metal version of Pink Floyd with the release of Undertow, and this track stands out. It opens with eerie scraping along guitar strings, and throughout the song their characteristic interplay of bass and guitar keeps the listener hooked. Maynard James Keenan never disappoints with his vocals, and the lyrics tell some kind of sick story that sounds like the narration of a serial killer, hitting a crescendo on the line “I have found some kind of sanity in this.” Rob Theakston of All Music Guide said: "Undertow not only paved the way for several bands to break through to the mainstream adolescent mall-rage demographic, it also proved that metal could be simultaneously intelligent, emotional, and brutal."

#55: “Blind” by Korn
Korn (1994)

“Are you ready?” The first line of the first song on Korn’s first album ushered in the era of nu-metal, combining the rhythm section of early hip hop with then-unusual detuned 7-string guitars (and the bass has an extra string too). Even if you don’t like where Korn has gone since, every self-respecting metalhead should own this album. Nearly every artist that has come since has been influenced by them (likewise for Tool, Alice in Chains, and White Zombie), and to this day they continue to release great new music. Stephen Thomas Erlewine of All Music Guide said: "With little publicity, radio play, or MTV exposure, Korn took their eponymous 1994 debut to platinum status. Like all unexpected successes, it's easier to understand its popularity in retrospect. Although they disdain the "metal" label, there's no question that Korn are among the vanguard of post-grunge alt-metal outfits. Borrowing from Jane's Addiction, Rage Against the Machine, Pantera, Helmet, Faith No More, Anthrax, Public Enemy, and N.W.A, Korn developed a testosterone-fueled, ultra-aggressive metal-rap hybrid."

#54: “Breadfan” by Metallica
Garage Inc (1998)

Actually this song was on one of the original Garage Days Revisited albums in the late 80’s before they released . . . And Justice for All. This song covers little-known European progressive rock band Budgie, and it translates well into Metallica’s signature style.

#53: “Black Funeral” by Mercyful Fate
Melissa (1983)

This song signifies everything that the highly-influential black metal band is all about. Their characteristic loping rhythm is present, as are King Diamond’s over-the-top Satanic lyrics and bizarre vocal range. Falsetto: “Bring the black box to the altar” . . . Growl: “All hail Satan” Falsetto: “Yes hail Satan” . . . Growl: “She was a victim of my coven.” It’s probably the definitive Mercyful Fate song, and it’s on what is definitely the definitive Mercyful Fate album. Like Korn, every self-respecting metalhead should own Melissa. Steve Huey of All Music Guide had this to say: "Mercyful Fate's debut album, Melissa, took Black Sabbath's dark occult obsessions to an extreme, fusing them with the speed and tightened, twin-guitar riffing attack of British metal bands like Judas Priest and Iron Maiden. But the band had a distinctive sound of its own, thanks to the neo-classical flourishes of guitarists Hank Shermann and Michael Denner and the unpredictable vocal leaps of King Diamond, who could jump from a deathly growl to an unearthly falsetto wail in the next line."

#52: “I Stand Alone” by Godsmack
Faceless (2003)

The flagship song of the movie-I-never-saw The Scorpion King, this one is a great one from the half-breed Alice in Chains meets White Zombie band-who-also-had-one-of-their-songs-on-commercials-for-the-Navy.

#51: “Anger Rising” by Jerry Cantrell
Degradation Trip Volumes 1&2 (2002)

Former Alice in Chains guitarist/singer Jerry Cantrell hit everything right with this one. (Side note: new Metallica bassist Robert Trujillo played for him on this album.) The song tells of an abused child in an Alabama trailer park, and it showcases Cantrell’s melodic side equally with his heavy side. The chorus kicks you in the head, also.
Stephen Thomas Erlewine of All Music Guide had some things to say: "[S]erious listeners and longtime fans will . . . appreciate the album as Cantrell's best record since Dirt. . . . [I]t is defiantly out of fashion and builds on Alice in Chains' early-'90s sound, but it certainly serves as an effective reminder in a time that's over-run with Alice in Chains clones of how powerful, dramatic, and resonant these hypnotic guitar dirges can be, especially when they're written by somebody at the top of their game."

Jump to . . .
50-41, 40-31, 30-21, 20-11, and the Top Ten

UPDATE 1/5/2010: Check out my new list, The Top 50 Metal Albums of The Last Decade

Friday, September 16, 2005

NEW NINTENDO CONTROLLER! Oh yeah, stuff about murderers too.

This is sick.
"In short, [the triple murderer who raped and killed a pregnant woman, then drowned her 5 and 7-year-olds] gets top-shelf legal representation [so he can have pornography in prison]. [Big-time law firm] gets another hundred grand. And as too often happens, state taxpayers get nothing more than the bill."

A Hmong man on trial for murdering six in Wisconsin claimed today, while on the stand, that they deserved to die. This is because they apparently said something racist, although that part is disputed. His mother's statement was read at the trial, and she said "All of this could have been prevented if we could only learn to respect one another." Sounds to me like they're the racist ones. As a side note, I have no idea how his mother's statement got in. It seems to me that it should be excluded under the hearsay doctrine. In any case, I'd hate to be his lawyer.

In related news, Nintendo has unveiled their new controller. You know how when you were a kid you would raise the controller in the air to make Mario jump higher? Well, now that actually works.

Shocking News (and watch out for those energy drinks)

Some also noticed that Vega had been taking numerous power drinks that were loaded with caffeine.
"He'd had about six, and he said am I all right. My head is buzzing, am I all right? And right up to the last moments, before he ran off, he was asking for help," says Mawre.

Then, he went into K-Mart, grabbed a shotgun and shells, and blew his own brains out.
Watch out for those energy drinks.

Victorian authorities believe a man built up at least 30,000 volts of static electricity in his jacket simply by walking around the western Victorian city of Warrnambool yesterday.
The man left a trail of scorch marks and molten plastic behind him.

Then he melted carpet and got a shock that sounded like a firecracker. I don't know if I believe this story, but it is on ABC News Online.
The CFA has Mr Clewer's jacket and says it is continuing to give off voltage.

In more squirrel news, a Czech town spent about $12,000 to build a bridge for squirrels to cross the road.

A gold chain and crucifix melted around his neck when a lightning bolt struck Jason Crawford in the head while he and his brother were riding dirt bikes in Gunnison County.
The bolt melted part of his helmet, fractured his skull and left burn scars on his chest and left arm.

I guess lightning is just one more reason to wear your helmet while riding a bike.

Thursday, September 15, 2005


Notice anything different about the blog? (maybe)

Am I a sellout? (maybe)

Do I care? (no)

Will I actually make any money? (probably not)

Today (and yesterday) in the news:

An Omaha man mowed a 30-foot expletive in his lawn in response to the city's request for him to mow. Check it out.
A woman informed the police that her hitman didn't get the job done. I think she wanted her money back or something, but instead she got jail time.
In happy news, a terrier (originally bred to be rodent killers) is nursing a baby squirrel (a rodent).

Rebuilding Nawlins

We have a hopefully interesting discussion on the subject here.

My thoughts, in sum:
It's too expensive to rebuild the whole damn thing, considering the possibility of another disaster.
The historic districts and the port are the only irreplaceable items, and so they should be the only things rebuilt and maintained, along with any necessary infrastructure/housing/etc. for the people who need to live there for those reasons.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Naked Guys: do you like them frosted or flambe?

Burglar smeared chocolate frosting all over his victim. Apparently they had met a few hours before. It sounds to me like a jilted lover claiming that the guy broke into his house, but whatever.

In a completely unrelated story, if you're naked and homeless, and you douse yourself with gasoline and light yourself on fire, rest assured people will probably douse the flames for you.

In other news, this has been a great news day.

Alternative Fuel Source

"Koch said around 20 dead cats added into the mix could help produce enough fuel to fill up a 50-litre (11 gallon) tank."
Read all about it. Turns out it costs about 30 cents a gallon to use dead cats as diesel fuel.
My question: did they really have to specify that it was cats? Is there something special about cats that they make better fuel than other organic matter? Wouldn't it have been less offensive to just say "roadkill" or something like that?

Samurai Diner Robbery

A man robbed a diner in Florida yesterday using a katana. Read all about it here.
Also, a soccer player from some German team had his penis ripped open. He got six stitches, and finished out the game. He actually scored, too.
In other news, residents of Lincoln, California received calls to support the proposed Wal-Mart in Lincoln, Nebraska. You can tell those Wal-Mart types really care about their jobs.

Today, a man balanced 439 eggs on end simultaneously. It took 15 hours.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Top 100 Metal Songs 70-61

UPDATE 1/5/2010: Check out my new list, The Top 50 Metal Albums of The Last Decade

In case you missed them . . .
Introduction, 100-91, 90-81, 80-71

#70: “The Unnamed Feeling” by Metallica
St. Anger (2003)

The best song of the latest album from the band that Sully of Godsmack called the “Gods of Heavy Metal.” As the last single it didn’t get a lot of attention, but the lyrics actually help this song rather than hurting it (“I’m frantic in your soothing arms, I cannot sleep in this down-filled world. Found safety in this loneliness but I cannot take it anymore.”) The vocal stylings also help this one stand out against the other songs on the album.

#69: “Something Told Me” by Coal Chamber
Dark Days (2002)

Fans of the band rate their last studio album lower than their others, although I maintain that it’s their best. The band keeps up their good, powerful rhythm and Dez’s unique vocal style on this song.

#68: “Hand of Doom” by Black Sabbath
Paranoid (1971)

From the album that put heavy metal on the map comes this song about self-destruction, later covered by many bands (including Slayer) and revisited thematically by every grunge and post-grunge hard rock band. “Push the needle in. Face that sickly grin. . . .”

#67: “Get Born Again” by Alice In Chains
Music Bank (1999)

I believe this is the last original track by the band that’s cited as a huge influence by everyone now that Layne Staley’s dead. Very compelling lyrically as well—a criticism of people who think that playing the role of the Christian and paying lip service to God will get them into heaven.

#66: “House of God” by King Diamond
House of God (2000)

He’s been called the best vocalist in death and black metal, and over twenty years in the business hasn’t seen any diminishing in his talent. This album combines a love story with a story about finding Christ’s body in the basement of a church in the woods. This particular song is some kind of demented and desperate love story with a compelling chorus that showcases King’s entire vocal range.

#65: “Happy?” by Mudvayne
Lost and Found (2005)

The highest-rated song of this year on the list! Mudvayne departs a bit from their quasi-math metal style on this album, but the bass is as compelling as ever and the vocals always improve. The title says it all—“Happy?”

#64: “Pig” by Coal Chamber
Coal Chamber (1997)

What can I say about a song that opens with the vocalist squealing like a pig? It has low-key verses and a powerful, fast chorus, and it’s found a place in the pig sty of my heart.

#63: “Wicked Pussycat” by Danzig
I Luciferi (2002)

I just realized that I placed two songs with animal sounds right next to each other in the list. On this one the guitar mews like a cat. The metaphor is great (“I like the way you lick your fur” and “I like the way you swing your tail”). One of the better songs on what is not one of his best albums (you’d have to look to his first four for that) but this song really stands out in the evil man’s collection.

#62: “Stairway to Heaven” by Led Zeppelin
Led Zeppelin IV (1971)

Everyone knows the all-time most-played song on the radio, so I only have to justify its presence on a list of heavy metal songs. The reason it’s here is that it follows (and likely originated) an oft-used heavy metal format, so in that sense it sounds like a heavy metal song. By that I mean that the song is mellow throughout, up until the end where it really rocks hard. For a few examples there’s Tool’s combined songs “Parabol” and “Parabola” (which are really just one song) as well as Pantera’s “Suicide Note” parts 1 and 2 (same thing), Evanescence’s “My Immortal” (although not the original album version), Mercyful Fate’s “Melissa,” Metallica’s “Fade to Black” and “Nothing Else Matters,” and probably countless others that I can’t think of.

#61: “Shake Your Blood” by Probot featuring Lemmy Kilmister
Probot (2004)

Dave Grohl’s labor of love for heavy metal finally paid off when the album was released last year. Every song on the album features a more or lesser-known vocalist who influenced Grohl musically, most notably Max Cavalera (Sepultura, Soulfly), King Diamond, and Lemmy of Motörhead fame. This song is the best of the bunch, and I highly recommend the video to anyone who is a fan of Lemmy or of scantily-clad women (I think you can find it on Launch).

Jump to . . .
60-51, 50-41, 40-31, 30-21, 20-11, and the Top Ten

UPDATE 1/5/2010: Check out my new list, The Top 50 Metal Albums of The Last Decade


I've finally updated my web site after a long period of inactivity with the camera. It felt really good to go out and shoot again.
In other news, I've resurrected the Top 100 Metal Songs list, and will pick up where I left off either later today or some time tomorrow. However, I've expanded my horizons a bit and I can't help but feel that the list is too narrow. Bands that aren't on the list but perhaps should be include Iced Earth, DevilDriver (their 2005 album) and Swedish math-metal geniuses Meshuggah probably deserve a spot on the list, but I will leave it as it is.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Sunken Gardens & Swimmer

I went to the Sunken Gardens here in Lincoln yesterday with my camera. It's beautiful there. Enjoy.

Also yesterday Laura and I took Russell to Holmes Lake. He loves to fetch the stick.

All images © 2005 Kelly Hoffart