Friday, November 25, 2005


God bless the good scientists at Manchester University in the United Kingdom. Scientists there have discovered a formula that helps calculate the effect of "beer goggles" on a person.

The Mailbox is amazed that there is actual science on the phenomenon that makes a girl who looks like this look like this. According to the researchers, factors such as low light, the room's smokiness and the distance between the looker and lookee all make a person look hotter.

Those and other characteristics are measured and put into a formula, which looks scarier than the quadratic formula. After you get the end result, you apply it to a scale:

A formula rating of less than one means no effect. Between one and 50 the person you would normally find unattractive appears less "visually offensive". Non-appealing people become suddenly attractive between 51 and 100. At more than 100, someone not considered attractive looks like a super model.

Not surprisingly, the study was commissioned by Bausch & Lomb. Guess that company wants to know more about what these guys have known for years.

Thursday, November 24, 2005


Of course it's going to crash like crazy.

The XBox 360 is now out in stores, but many owners are complaining about various defects, from software crashes to broken hard drives. What a bargain for $399, eh?

Silly Microsoft fans. Didn't y'all learn your lesson after Windows ME? The Mailbox is going to save its money for something more reliable and definitely cooler. The controller looks like you could throw it at the TV in frustration and it would zip back into your hand.


Man, remember that bad ol' Bill Gates and Microsoft? Screwed software developers, chip-makers and powerful companies alike. Now, all in the computer world bow before him--even Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple (you know that Apple logo, with the bite off the side? As much as the Mailbox loves Macs, it must contend that the bite represents Apple's market share.).

Google, on the other hand. Great bunch of guys. Changing the world, benefitting good causes and being good neighbors, right?

Um, wrong. Wired News details how Google has gone "from a guerilla start-up to an 800-pound gorilla." The Internet is interested in developing productivity software, e-commerce avenues, an operating system, classifieds, video and audio databases and--one of the scariest propositions for writers--a searchable book database. So much for copyright protection if that happens.

Is Google getting too big for its britches? The Mailbox likes the idea of a Google OS, if for no other reason than to see what cute pictures pop up during holidays.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005


Just when the Mailbox thought Kansas was going to hell, some common sense emerges from Lawrence. The University of Kansas will teach a special course to debunk intelligent design.

"The KU faculty has had enough," said Paul Mirecki, department chairman. "Creationism is mythology. Intelligent design is mythology. It's not science. They try to make it sound like science. It clearly is not."

Hear hear. Before today, the only reason the Mailbox had to root for the Jayhawks was Mizzou's immature treatment of Mo. State trying to get the name change.


The Mailbox has never been a Black Friday shopper. Check the flyers, see how full of crap they are. Here's a hint: If a DVD player is worth only $29, then it's probably not worth waking up at 4 a.m. to go get. Same goes for all the other crap retailers try to shill on us before we've had our morning Dr Pepper. While all y'all crazies be shoppin' 'fore the sun come up, the Mailbox be sleepin', word.

If you don't want to be known as a Scrooge for practicing common sense, you can tell those holiday sale suckas that you were just observing a holiday: Nov. 25 is Buy Nothing Day, of course!

The holiday was started 14 years ago by a former ad executive Kalle Lasn. The Internet helped the holiday explode. But, in an interesting article by Wired News' David Cohn, she says Internet activism isn't very active.

"The downside of the internet is that it has spawned a generation of activists who are actually very passive, who basically forward an e-mail to a friend and they think they are being some kind of an activist, and to me that is not the sort of activism that is effective."

It's a good point, and a kick in the ass to anyone who thinks their written words are more important than their actions. Even had to stretch past it's digital constraints. And even that didn't work.


Forgive us, Blogosphere, for the Mailbox has sinned. It has been nine days since it's last posting. What has it been doing? Um, not much...

Listening to new music: Check out Liquid Tension Experiment: Comprised of three Dream Theater members (John Petrucci, Mike Portnoy and Jordan Rudess) and Tony Levin of King Crimson (playing a Chapman could make the Mailbox happy by buying it one for Christmas). This is what happens when four incredible rock musicians freeflow and jam. It's like jazz with balls. Also, check out Coheed and Cambria's new one. This takes the Mailbox back to days when it used to listen to Rush, Yes and Marillion while other bourgeoisie cochons were dancing to MC Hammer and Paula Abdul.

Reading: Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell. Susanna Clarke's first novel is pretty compelling, once you get past the deliberate typos. It's a story of two magicians in 1800s England—this book is like Harry Potter for more literate adults. Not that the Mailbox is dissin' Harry, man.

Watching: Lost and Firefly. Lost speaks for itself, once you get past the whole "why is the fat guy still fat" thing. Don't be afraid of not knowing the past episodes—each one starts off with the necessary recaps so that you get everything. As for Firefly; sadly, this show is long cancelled. The Mailbox doesn't know why. It's funny, exciting and a completely believable interpretation of the future. Anyone who works in the words "gorram," "rutting" or any Mandarain curses into casual conversation gets bonus points with the Mailbox. A good introduction to this TV show is a movie: Serenity. Watch it. You won't be disappointed.

Writing: Some fiction. They say every good journalist has a story in them, and that's where it should stay. MoJoe is ignoring that sage advice and writing about fake things. He also realizes that Suzann Ledbetter is right: Fiction has to make more sense than real life. Unfair concept. Regardless, some fiction will get posted somewhere on the 'Net in the near future.

Pondering: What love is. You'll find out what we come up with on Feb. 15. Here's a couple of hints. It ain't this guy. Or these guys.

Monday, November 14, 2005


Yep. Anyone who relies on science is a fool, in Benedict ex-vee-eye's eyes. He tested the waters in the intelligent design debate last week, and said that anyone who chose to see science instead of God's love has been fooled. Specifically, he mentioned St. Basil the Great as saying some people, "fooled by the atheism that they carry inside of them, imagine a universe free of direction and order, as if at the mercy of chance."

Sayeth the Popester:

“How many of these people are there today? These people, ‘fooled by atheism,’ believe and try to demonstrate that it’s scientific to think that everything is free of direction and order. With the sacred Scripture, the Lord awakens the reason that sleeps and tells us: In the beginning, there was the creative word. In the beginning, the creative word — this word that created everything and created this intelligent project that is the cosmos — is also love.”

The problem is that many scientists are also religious. And scientists are not generally fooled—they actually find explanations to explain and predict the natural occurrences around us. If Benedict XVI is going to call the pursuit of science foolish, then he would be foolish to take medicine or check the weather ever again.

Every Christian should be insulted by this notion that we should not use the thinking skills and powers of observation that God gave us.

The Mailbox will make a prediction: All those religious groups who think the Catholic church is evil will use the Pope's statement to battle evolution.

Thursday, November 10, 2005


Missouri Attorney General Jay Nixon has filed paperwork with the Missouri Ethics Commission to run for governor against Matt Blunt in 2008. According to the Columbia Daily Tribune, he filed a document that amends details of his fundraising committee, Friends of Nixon.

This isn't much of a surprise: Nixon and Blunt have already grappled over a few issues. Nixon said Blunt's 65% plan for funding schools "made no sense." Nixon opposed Blunt in preventing a prisoner from getting an abortion. And Nixon stopped Blunt from giving up rights to the Boonville Bridge, which would have endangered the Katy Trail in favor of a tasty contract with Union Pacific.

The Mailbox thinks that, though Nixon filed way too early, this will be a really good race. And the Mailbox has three words for why Nixon will win: No Call list. GOP or Dem; anyone who thinks of something like that gets the Mailbox's vote.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005


The Mailbox is wondering what the hell is going on in Kansas.

That state's school board has paved the way for mysticism and high priests to replace science and teachers, thanks to the shystering and slick-talking of creation-scientists.

With a 6-4 vote yesterday, the board approved a new set of science standards that encourage criticism of evolultionary theory. Through a strategic set of redefitions, the new standards (PDF attachment) now put the theory of intelligent design—a non-testable, too-obvious explanation of our origins—on par with more than 150 years of scientific work.

Gov. Kathleen Sebelius called Tuesday's action "the latest in a series of troubling actions by the board: "If we are going to continue to bring high-tech jobs to Kansas and move our state forward, we need to strengthen science standards, not weaken them," she told Steve Painter of the Wichita Eagle.

Let's see what Webster says: "science," noun. The state of knowing: Knowledge as distinguished from ignorance or misunderstanding. What's wrong with that definition, Kansas?

Intelligent design is not a viable scientific option to teach alongside evolution. When kids study evolution in schools, they learn about scientific theory, they learn about Darwin's arduous work identifying common characteristics in species, genetics and the mountains of evidence—literally, riddled with fossils. All intelligent design has is a "no-shit-Sherlock" thought.

Science is not out to replace religion. Science fills in gaps with testing, experiments and theories. What's next, creation-scientists? Will you convince Kansas to stop teaching about Newton's theories of physical motion and gravity, replacing it with Holy Velcro?

As for the Kansas board members, their political future is in jeopardy, as evidenced by what happened to Dover, Penn. board members who also supported intelligent design as a scientific theory.

Missouri legislators were smart enough to realize that intelligent design is not science in 2003. Let's hope they stay that way.

Sunday, November 06, 2005


The Mailbox has never seen a case of NIMBY like this.

Volunteers with the Christian County Animal Shelter earned a major portion of progress when Rufus Church, owner of Heritage Chrysler Jeep, donated an acre of land near his lot. That acre would be used to build a new county animal shelter.

WHOOP...wait. Seems a riverwalk is planned for that same acre.

The group was recently successful in achieving the 501(c)3 non-profit status from the government, but before it can finalize plans on a building, the land on the southeast corner of 10th and West Hall streets, must be rezoned from C-4, central business district, to general commercial, C-2. And, according to City Planner Steve Childers, that might be difficult.

"Based on the comments from the public, everyone agrees there should be a humane shelter somewhere in Christian County, but that particular property isn't properly zoned for a kennel nor does it fit into the future planning and rehabilitation of the downtown such as a river walk," he said.

According to information from City Administrator Colling Quigley, the river walk is slated for completion in less than a year. The Ozark Parks and Recreation Department was successful in securing a grant for the trail.

So, does Ozark vote for a shelter or a'gin' it?

The shelter's board has a fair representation of Nixa residents and officials. If Ozark votes in favor of the trail, does Nixa step forward?


It's been a long weekend for the Mailbox. Major life change. It all would have gone a lot rougher if not for a few people the Mailbox needs to thank:

~ Ron Davis, auteur and saboteur behind Chatter, for the blog-props. Davis is a master of summation, analysis and calling out buttheads in today's politics. His site is required reading for anyone unhappy with the party in power.

~ Friends who have listened to me. You know who you are, and you rock.

~ Family, for helping with the cleaning, disinfecting, fumigation and other exorcismal activities. Chez MoJoe feels like a mansion now.

The Mailbox promises not to get too personal on y'all.

Oh, c'mere, give us a hug.

Friday, November 04, 2005


The Mailbox knows all about bad calls in sporting events, and how upsetting they can be to fans.

But this is ridiculous:
Rep. Jeff Roorda, D-Barnhart, is one of many St. Louis Cardinals fans who thinks umpires killed any chances of the Cards going on to the World Series during the NLCS. After stewing over two blown calls—by Phil Cuzzi in Game 4 against the Astros and Greg Gibson in Game 6—he has proposed a law for the 2006 session which would add major league sports officials to Missouri's Athletes and Entertainers tax.

"With one bad call, Gibson killed a Cardinal rally potentially ending the Cards’ season and closing the curtains on Busch Stadium with fans wondering ‘what could’ve been’ were it not for horrible calls by the umps,"
Roorda said in a press release. "If umps and other on-field officials are going to make bad calls that end the season for Missouri sports fans and athletes, potentially costing the state millions of dollars in tourism revenue, then they should pay the same tax that the athletes who are victimized by their bad calls pay."

Sheesh. The Mailbox knows that St. Louis is ticked about losing to their rival Astros, but this is ridiculous. Weren't there at least two other games that the Cards could have won?

The so-called Cuzzi-Gibson Act would group refs and umps in the same tax status as The Baldknobbers and the Kansas City Chiefs. Revenue would fund cultural activities such as the Missouri Arts Council, the Missouri Humanities Council, the Missouri State Library Networking Funds, the state’s PBS stations, and the Missouri Historic Preservation Fund.

How ironic: A ref at a MSU football game would be taxed to fund KSMU.

Thursday, November 03, 2005


The Mailbox believes in the power of words. Especially when set in ITC Slimbach. The only smart thing that Rush Limbaugh ever said was about words: "Words mean things." Thank goodness he spit out that gem before getting hooked on painkillers.

In the Oct. 26 issue of the Nixa News-Enterprise, the Mailbox talked about a rapper and his feelings about a certain word. The N-word, to be precise. J.J., official friend of the Mailbox, said Kanye West performed in Columbia Oct. 19. At the Mizzou Arena, the Louis Vitton Don ripped rhymes and rocked the mic with Fantasia and Common.

When it came time to sing his hit "Gold Digger (need Windows Media Player for this link)," the crowd of whites and blacks sang along. The chorus of the unedited version goes something like this: "I ain't sayin' she a gold digger / But she ain't messin' with no broke n*****s."

After the song, West chided the white people in the audience, saying they shouldn't have been singing that "N" word.

The Mailbox understands that there are racists in the world, prejudiced against black people to the point of violence. The Mailbox understands that the N-word spoken by a white person has a derogatory, degrading meaning.

But, the Mailbox is pretty sure that none of those racists were at West's concert.

The Mailbox paid 99 cents to download "Gold Digger" from iTunes. Other people-caucasians, African-Americans and others-paid $17.99 to buy "Late Registration." We all pay $30-$40 to get into West's shows. Haven't we all bought the right to sing along?

"Gold Digger" is an awesome song. It has a dirty-blues backbeat enhanced with Jamie Foxx's Ray Charles invoked voice laying a blisteringly soulful background. The lyrics are creatively syncopated and hilarious. It just happens to have the N-word in the chorus. When sung in the context of the song, the N-word doesn't have any racial connotations.

So, Kanye: If you don't want white people singing along, don't put the word in your song, dawg. White people have money to spend on your CDs, and you are a talented rapper worthy of their--or a person of any color--bucks.

Music can bring races together. African-Americans throughout history have created powerful, wonderful music that moves people of all colors. If Kanye chills out and focuses more on what whites and blacks have in common, he can help kill this racism in American society that doesn't seem to go away.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005


The world has now been exposed to R. Kelly's latest chapter of his urban opera "Trapped in the Closet." The Mailbox is not sure that the world is better for it.

The Mailbox is pretty sure that Dream Theater would never have written about Rosie the Nosy Neighbor. Twon out of prison gets shot? A cop that writes a ticket to a man, yet having an affair with the man's wife? A preacher having a gay affair behind the back of his cheating wife? Cop's wife baking a cherry pie, hiding a cigar smoking dude in her pantry? R. Kelly singing in a country accent? The only things R. HASN'T thrown in his story are golden showers and sex with minors.

The Mailbox needs to listen to "Metropolis Part 2: Scenes From A Memory" until this steaming pile of hideous storytelling is purged.


Why do we yawn when a Democrat has fun with an intern and a cigar, but salivate when Bill O'Reilly's predilection for vibrators and tropical scenery becomes public knowledge? Because of the whole "holier-than-thou" attitude displayed by many in the GOP. For the same reason, the Mailbox's eyebrow arches when it hears about conservatives who write sex scenes into books. Turns out that Scooter Libby, recently busted aide to veep Dick Cheney, is a member of that elite group.

Found in the Mailbox: A report from Lauren Collins in the New Yorker. Her piece reviews a book that Libby wrote in 1996 named "The Apprentice." Collins describes the tale of Setsuo, a courageous virgin innkeeper on the brink of war in 1900s Japan, and compares it to other works of classic dirty Republican fiction writers such as O'Reilly, William Safire, William Buckley, G. Gordon Liddy and John Ehrlichman.

Apparently, Scooter is one of the better ones, according to Collins: "When it comes to depicting scenes of romance, however, Libby can evoke a sort of musty sweetness; while one critic deemed 'The Apprentice' 'reminiscent of Rembrandt,' certain passages can better be described as reminiscent of Penthouse Forum."

Oh, you want to read a clip, do ya? You dirty reader.

"He could feel her heart beneath his hands. He moved his hands slowly lower still and she arched her back to help him and her lower leg came against his. He held her breasts in his hands. Oddly, he thought, the lower one might be larger. . . . One of her breasts now hung loosely in his hand near his face and he knew not how best to touch her."

More more more, huh? You like that, dontcha?

"At age ten the madam put the child in a cage with a bear trained to couple with young girls so the girls would be frigid and not fall in love with their patrons. They fed her through the bars and aroused the bear with a stick when it seemed to lose interest."

You want more? After reading about a bear aroused by a stick? You perv.

ANYWAY...Collins also notes that Libby stays true to the Republican art of inserting the scatological, making generous use of lice, snot, drunkenness, bad breath, torture, urine, turds, pubic hair, pus, homoeroticism and incest.

The Mailbox would like to point out the obvious: Repression leads to things like this. Including bears and sticks. And all the other things bears do in the woods.


Not very far, says the NFL.

MoJoe, official stenographer of the Mailbox, was born in New Orleans and is a diehard Saints fan. Watching Katrina on TV was heart-breaking and gut-wrenching. But watching the Saints play football is just absolutely sick.

Since Katrina demolished the Crescent City and the Superdome--home field of the New Orleans Saints--the black and gold has been the NFL's homeless vagabonds. They had a home game in New Jersey against the Giants. They have three home games in San Antonio and four in Baton Rouge. Before Katrina hit, however, team owner Tom Benson was flirting with the idea of packing up the Saints and marching over to San Antonio, or L.A., or even worse--Biloxi.

Talks of post-Katrina locations for the Saints has left fans with nausea and anger, especially with Benson talking to San Antonio's mayor about future possibilities. That's like bringing in the new girlfriend while the wife is in a coma. The NFL has put much of this speculation to rest, now. Well, kind of...NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue said that he wants to see the Saints stay in Louisiana. Not New Orleans, necessarily. Just Louisiana. At least Tagliabue is quashing the rumor of moving the Saints to Los Angeles. Crikey: If the Rams and Raiders couldn't make it in L.A., how would the Saints?

Nevertheless, the Mailbox thinks it is sad that Tag' had to do what Benson didn't have the stones to do: Make a promise about a location. The Saints are one of the best things about New Orleans. Take that away, you take away a lot of the heart of New Orleans residents. The Mailbox thinks Benson is a good owner: He has shelled out some major cash to keep Joe Horn and Deuce McAllister. But if he were to move the team, Saints-fan would say there would be a special place in hell. However, if Benson were to invest in New Orleans' reconstruction, then N'awliners would advocate sainthood for him.

Hm. Just noticed this blog was created on All Saints Day. Whodat?!


Unless the Mailbox gets a blog, of course.

Welcome, friends. Regular readers of the Nixa News-Enterprise and Christian County Headliner News recognize the Mailbox for what it is: A nebulous, collective consciousness that soaks in news, pop culture, sports, media, government, hypocrisy, hilarity and any other random bit that's floating out there. The Mailbox has a big memory. The downside is that the Mailbox doesn't have that filter between the brain and the mouth. Not that the Mailbox has a mouth, per se.

The mouth is me: Joe Hadsall. MoJoe, to those who know. I'm just the court reporter, folks. The Mailbox is the judge, jury and hotshot attorney ready to make it with Annabeth Chase.

We all knew the Mailbox couldn't be contained. Wanna get this blog? Just picture The Mailbox on a slam poetry stage making fun of the audience. Freestyle Mailbox, dig. So, let's have some fun. You'll read rants from the print edition and a whole lot more. You will find a new Mailbox entry every once-whenever-it-feels-like posting. Cool? Cool.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005


In all it's Trebuchet-set glory.

Just be patient while it figures out what it wants to do.

Or don't be patient.

The Mailbox is not the boss of you.

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