Friday, October 29, 2004

George Is Bulging Out All Over 

From Salon (via Zemblan patriots K.Z. and B.K.): Dr. Robert M. Nelson, whose day job is analyzing digital photos of the moons of Saturn for NASA and the JPL, decided to have a whack at the videotape of the first presidential debate:
"I am willing to stake my scientific reputation to the statement that Bush was wearing something under his jacket during the debate," he says. "This is not about a bad suit. And there's no way the bulge can be described as a wrinkled shirt" . . . .

How can Nelson be certain there's some kind of mechanical device beneath Bush's jacket? It's all about light and shadows, he says. The angles at which the light in the studio hit Bush's jacket expose contours that fit no one's picture of human anatomy and wrinkled shirts. And Nelson compared the images to anatomy texts. He also experimented with wrinkling shirts in various configurations, wore them under his jacket under his bathroom light, and couldn't produce anything close to the Bush bulge.

[Professor Bruce] Hapke, too, agrees that the bulge is neither anatomy nor a wrinkled shirt. "I would think it's very hard to avoid the conclusion that there's something underneath his jacket," he says. "It would certainly be consistent with some kind of radio receiver and a wire."
So what exactly is the mysterious device under Bush's jacket? Jason Woodside, owner of the International Spy Shop in San Francisco, thinks he knows. In fact, as he told David Lazarus of the S.F. Chronicle, he will sell you a similar rig for $1500:
"A poorly tailored shirt," he said. "It's possible. But it looks like a wireless induction system. It looks like this."

Woodside held up a picture of a small, rectangular receiver, about the same size as the device Bush is alleged to have worn. It comes with an antenna that's looped around the neck and a wireless earpiece . . . .

He pointed at a picture from the debate, in which the material of the president's jacket appears taut and unpuckered.

"Here's the receiver," Woodside said, tracing the outline of the rectangular bulge on Bush's back. "Here's the antenna," he said, moving his finger along what appears to be a line from the bulge to Bush's right shoulder.

Woodside nodded to himself. "My gut tells me he's got something on him."
SIDEBAR: For your amusement, a brace of audio files: this one, via Avedon Carol, and this one, from Zemblan patriot R.K. We will tell you in advance that one of them purports to be a joke.

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