Mind-boggling politics

From this distance, the McCain campaign seems to have become so demented that you wonder if they are deliberately trying to lose. For instance, they’ve spent the equivalent of several yearly minimum wages to dress a woman (whose entire USP is supposed to be that she’s just an ordinary Mom, you betcha) as a Vogue businesswoman.

And Sarah Palin then numbed the mind further by claiming that opposition to this Olympic-standard rate of expenditure is “sexist”. (No, Sarah, how can I explain this… Where do I start? Beauty queen contestant. Pitbull with lipstick. Hockey mom. Cute winks. I suspect you know what pandering to sexist stereotypes is, anyway.)

Plus, she claimed – in some travesty of self-defence – that she hadn’t worn most of them anyway. 🙂

“The whole thing is just bad!” she said. “Oh, if only people knew how frugal we are. It’s kind of painful to be criticised for something when all the facts are not out there and are not reported.”

Indeed. Like this:

It was disclosed today that she paid a make-up artist $22,000 in the first fortnight of this month, following the revelation earlier this week of a $150,000 spending spree on clothes

Oh, that awkward “sexism” again. Twenty two thousand dollars on make-up in two weeks? Thats $1571.43 a day. Assuming that the person who applies it earns $1000 a day – which is insane – that still leaves $500 worth of materials to be squeezed onto the small surface area of a human face. Even the ugliest pit bull in the world couldn’t need that much coverage to look like the Mona Lisa. How can she physically lift her head if it has to support the weight of 20 kilos of nanosome pentapeptides?

From sexism to racism. The Republicans have really pushed the boat out here. Who could even imagine anything as weird as the Republican-supporting girl – with a backwards B (that seemed to be drawn in lipstick) on her cheek and the apparent black-eye makeup – who made the patently ludicrous claim she’d been robbed by a black man in pursuit of an Obama victory?

So the deeply troubling violent attack in Pittsburgh on a McCain campaign worker by a “tall black man” who carved a letter B onto her face, telling her “you’re going to be a Barack supporter”, turns out to be a deeply troubling racist fantasy invented by someone we’ll charitably describe for the time being as disturbed (from the Guardian)

The nature of evil

I know, I know. Mocking the people who post on Rapture Ready feels like hanging round the special needs kids and laughing at them.

But still. This is the most comically ironic thread that I’ve followed to its source, from the reliably hilarious Fundies Say the Darnedest Things, for – well – a few days at least.

There’s a Rapture Ready thread on the topic Are Skull Shirts Evil?

Evil? Can clothes be intrinsically evil? This could explain several of life’s mysteries.

Why, for instance, do the top buttons on the most expensive blouse I’ve ever owned pop open whenever I’m in a public place? Why does one in every pair of socks disappear in the washing machine. How can labels scratch weals in your skin, despite feeling as soft as toilet paper when you touch them? How can things that looked stunning on a hanger in the store make the wearer look like a dumpier and more taste-challenged version of the Hunchback of Notre Dame?

Realising that evil may indeed live in the hearts of garments can explain so much. I had previously had to rely on the working assumption that some clothes were under an RPG curse. But now, I’ve seen the truth. They are just innately bad. Probably manifestations of lesser demons or something.

However, reading Rapture Ready with attention, it seems that it’s not clothes in general, just clothes with skull motifs, that are evil. Regular member scapegoat says

It’s part of the “Culture of Death” our world is embracing. Homosexuality, abortion, etc….

RDY4HIM says:

…. From what I can tell, it is directly associated with the kids embracing the spirit of death. They obsess over it. Some are actually suicidal, some practice self-injury, but most are extremely depressed. They see death as a way out and look forward to it because they have no hope. These are the kids that I minister to on-line through Facebook.
….. there is a really cool line of clothing out at Mardel’s and maybe other Christian stores called NOTW (Not of this World). The look is very similar to the skulls and crossbones attire but with crosses instead. They have hoodies, t-shirts, shoes, jewelry, you name it. Very cool, and an awesome way for our kids ti witness. My daughter will definitely be getting some for her b-day.

Lucky, lucky girl…. What an awesome b-day that will be. (It’s not as if a cross has anything to do with death or anything.)

Lucky suicidal kids who get ministered to on Facebook, too. (Yet another reason for avoiding facebook like a biblical plague of boils.)

Some posters say it’s just a fashion, even “cute” in pink (Is there anything on earth that some people don’t think is cute in pink?) But most are predictably aghast – satan’s trickery, EMO death cult and all the rest of it.

Culture of Death, indeed. Let me get this straight:

Rapture enthusiasts = people for whom mass human extinction can’t come soon enough. I think that defines a death cult.

These are the members of a death cult, who see some clothes as evil because – wait for it – their decoration represents a death cult.

So they suggest that their fellow Rapture Xians replace death symbol A (skull) with death symbol B (a cross)

I bet that is sooo cuuuute in pink

Mathematical objects

Alun’s comment on a post about Moebius strips has a link to a site selling Klein bottles. which are attempts to create a Moebius strip in a bottle format.

( I don’t know whether they are Mobius or Moebius strips or whether the o should have dots above it, or even whether the word needs capitals. It’s hard enough typing the rather than teh on a regular basis, let alone being consistent with old Dutch/German surnames.)

Zeolite commented to say that she’s accidentally crocheted a Moebius coffee-cup holder.

You can also find a Moebius dress on yankodesign It’s made out of felt, so it doesn’t need seams.

This would be more impressive if normal clothes didnt behave as if they had become Moebius strips when you have to put them on in a hurry. Surely Moebius strip topology is built into the design of every quilt cover.

There is a mobius strip bag on Makezine. This is designed to exploit the properties of the Moebius strip by the fact that you can split it down the middle to make a shoulder bag.

This page also shows a couple of deeply unflattering, but mathematically pleasing, clothes with edges made using mathematical sequences. There’s a jacket fringe edge based on a Fibonacci sequence. Hmm, I don’t really get that. Surely lace and crocheting are always based on mathematical sequences.

If you want a fractal garment – well, VISIBLY fractal, since creating a non-fractal fabric would be a real challenge for mathematics – it looks like you still will just have to make do with Mandelbrot sets printed on t-shirts, sadly.