Cool Videos and a Potential Nab

Hey, all. [wave] I’ve been distracted by other things lately (who hasn’t?!) but I’ve run into some things I want to share.

First, this is a great video. It’s a medley of Village People songs, which is fun in and of itself, but take a good look — there’s only one performer out there. :) Thanks to Syd McGinley (and Charlie!) for sharing.

And another one, while I’m in a video mood. (It’s pretty rare, so I need to take advantage before it passes.) A friend who’s more into music than I am sent me this one. It’s a group called Straight No Chaser doing the Twelve Days of Christmas. They’re an all-male a capella group, and they rock — great singing and they’re funny too. Definitely poke around YouTube and watch more of them.

And a third. This one is more of a geek thing. :) There’s a camera attached to the end of a long sword toward, and it’s used to film several swordsmen doing sword-type maneuvers. What’s cool about this one is that the sword stays still relative to the viewer, since the camera is affixed to it; it’s the swordsmen and the room that are swooping around. I’ve never seen a better demonstration of relative motion. The husband sent me a link to this on BoingBoing; thanks to them for sharing it.

And finally, some excellent news reported by the Washington Post. Auditors from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) are questioning TSA’s spending, saying they’ve been writing checks for technology which hasn’t been proven, or for which there might not be a need. Nice to know someone in Washington has finally noticed.

They mention the puffer booths from a couple of years ago, which were supposed to detect explosives by puffing shots of air at travellers and screening the resulting whatever for explosive residue. TSA spent $30 million on those, and they’re currently sitting in warehouses, “abandoned as impractical.” The taxpayer in me is angry that the backscatter scanners, which cost more than the puffer booths and have more costs coming down the road, might end up similarly abandoned and warehoused. The citizen who still values my constitutional rights is hoping exactly that happens. :/

I loved this one, though:

Some say the fact that the United States hasn’t had another 9/11-level terrorist attack shows that the investment was money well spent.

Whoever these “some” are, I hope they don’t have any spending authority; post hoc ergo propter hoc isn’t exactly a solid foundation for decision making. Hey, I’ll bet if we’d tossed a human sacrifice into Mount St. Helens every year since 1980, these same “some” would take the fact that the volcano hasn’t blown up again in all that time as proof that the sacrifices work. [sigh]

At any rate, I’m keeping a few pairs of virtual fingers crossed on the GAO reining in TSA. Someone needs to do it, and if they get zapped for misspending, the way Al Capone was finally zapped for income tax evasion, well, I’ll take that.

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