The Vagina Lady. No really! She is out there!
Fun site, you must see the pictures!
Turns out suicide is not painless, at least if you're going over the Golden Gate Bridge:
The very moment John Kevin Hines jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge, he knew he'd made a mistake.
His eyes wet with tears, he had finally consented to the voices that commanded him to take his own life. But at 10:40 a.m. on that overcast September day, just as he catapulted over a 4-foot-high railing and began his frantic free fall, the college freshman asked himself: "What did I just do? I don't want to die."
Plummeting head-first toward the churning waters 220 feet below, he tried to scream, but the force of the descent sucked the air from his lungs. He felt an odd euphoria as winds buffeted his body. But to survive, he knew he had to right himself before hitting the water.
At last, the former high school wrestler and football nose tackle tipped his head back, plunging below the surface feet first. Pain raced through his legs as the impact fractured an ankle and shattered two vertebrae in his lower back.
Includes lots of macabre details about the dark side of the nation's most recognizable bridge.
Via The Politburo Diktat.
When my brother and I were little we slept in the same room, and it was remarkable that during the summer he would be covered in mosquito bites, while I would have almost none. Now we may finally have an answer as to why that happened:
Mosquitoes do exhibit blood-sucking preferences, say the experts. "One in 10 people are highly attractive to mosquitoes," reports Jerry Butler, PhD, professor emeritus at the University of Florida. Incidentally, it's not dinner they're sucking out of you. Female mosquitoes -- males do not bite people -- need human blood to develop fertile eggs. And apparently, not just anyone's.
Growing up in the heart of rice country meant everyone had to deal with mosquitoes. Summer life simply stopped at sundown, and only a fool would leave a light on in their garage or on their porch. I still remember how we marveled at how our uncle's family in Kansas had a house with windows without screens, and how we could walk up to a street lamp there and not get sucked dry by millions of the tiny demons.
Pat gets a dark and shadowy no-prize for bringing us news that the legendary Deep Throat (of Watergate fame, you perv) has come (ha!) forward:
W. Mark Felt, who retired from the FBI after rising to its second most senior position, has identified himself as the "Deep Throat" source quoted by The Washington Post to break the Watergate scandal that led to President Nixon's resignation, Vanity Fair magazine said Tuesday.
"I'm the guy they used to call Deep Throat," he told John D. O'Connor, the author of Vanity Fair's exclusive that appears in its July issue.
Now to go read the "who? What a stupid name!" comments over in Farkistan...
When my brother was doing that sort of thing, one of the hallmarks of his home-built PCs was cooling fans. Lots of them. Think 747-inna-box.
Which is why I instantly thought of him when I saw this. No Jeff, you cannot cut a hole in the case of my computer to fit this thing. I don't care how many extra cycles I'll get. The cats have enough things to pee on.
When you come to court, consider your dress. If you’re charged with a DUI, don’t wear a Budweiser shirt. If you have some miscellaneous drug charge, think twice about clothing with a marijuana leaf on it or a t-shirt with the “UniBonger” on it. Long sleeves are very nice for covering tattoos and track marks. Try not to be visibly drunk when you show up.
Consider bathing and brushing your teeth. This is just as a courtesy to me who has to stand by you in court. Smoking 5 generic cigarettes to cover up your bad breath is not the same as brushing. Try not to cough and spit on my while you speak and further transmit your strep, flu, and hepatitis A through Z.
No, the saddest thing is she's writing this stuff down for a reason.
To put a little more structure on the chaos that is your favorite weblog (right? right???), we've added a new category, "Flowers". Right now there's just a single entry, but that should change as soon as Ellen gets home and I teach her how to re-categorize things. Now you'll have all that fresh pollen-y goodness in one easy-to-get-at spot!
For proof that guys have been fighting over chicks for a long time, we have this New Scientist article detailing an interesting discovery about certain trilobites. By studying the distinctive "headgear" found on certain species, scientists have determined that the placement and shape of said gear is nearly identical to that of certain modern beetles, who use it to fight for access to females.
A bunch of people coming forward with a book claiming a long-dead legendary hero was in fact a womanizing playboy merely raises an eyebrow. Until they get out the DNA tests anyway:
American aviator Charles Lindbergh had three German mistresses simultaneously and seven secret children whom he visited and supported for decades, according to a new book published on Monday.
Eighteen months after genetic tests proved earlier claims by three Germans that Lindbergh was their father, their book called "The Double Life of Charles A. Lindbergh" says he fathered two more children with their aunt and two with his German secretary.
Everyone knew he liked Germany. I'm not sure anyone knew just how much.
I was so impressed with the roses at Arlington. They are enormous!
O!! Mommy is trying to be serious with Memorial Day photos! I don't want the lens cap! No wait! Gah!!
Eastman Industries has taken the lawn mower to a new level (literally). The HoverMower is designed to hover slightly above the ground on a cushion of air, making it more maneuverable, extremely light, easy to propel and able to reach previously inaccessible places like extreme inclines, wet grounds, and tight, difficult to get at places.
Now to convince my kid to use it. One day, one day...
The bizarre suicide of a well-loved man has baffled his friends and family, who knew him for his great sense of humour.
PC James Burgess said: "The whole bathroom was sealed from external sources of oxygen and in there was this barbecue, which clearly had been going for some time."
Ya'll have a great time at the grill today, ya hear?
Your Father wanted you to have this when you were old enough, but your Uncle wouldn't allow it.
He wanted it for himself.
According to said Uncle, light sabers do not come in yellow.
The Devil must be pounding on Drew's door wearing a parka and telling him to knock it off. Why? FARK actually linked up a conservative diatribe against the soft-headed PC groupthink that so dominates the left these days. While a little scattered, the central thesis is as devastating as it is correct:
The press isn't running for office. To say that the media culture is unpatriotic isn't a political ploy, it's an obvious observation. Oh, if my words actually mattered to them, they'd howl and scream about my illegitimate attack. But in private, they are perfectly happy to mock patriotism in all its forms. They're only patriotic when somebody says they aren't.
They are loyal to a community -- but it's not America.
It's Smartland. The nation of the newsmedia people. That's where they live. Not in America. These newspeople generally don't even know anybody, apart from "sources," who serves America in the military. Smartland consists of a very different crowd.
I know that crowd. I've heard them jeer at all the values that most Americans still care about, laughing at religious people, at the middle class, at suburbanites, at the poor ignorant saps who don't think correct thoughts all the time. You know -- the citizens of Heartland. Those poor sentimental fools who stood in line to see The Passion and who like Adam Sandler movies and who get tears in their eyes when they see the American flag and whose hearts break a little when it burns.
I'd only quibble with Card's definition of who lives in Smartland, because it's not just the media. It's citizenship includes pretty much every university academic, essentially all of the democratic underground, and a gigantic percentage of Democrats.
I myself used to be a card-carrying citizen of Smartland. I'm not sure what turned me around... I guess I gradually realized Smartland was a construct, a castle built on a cloud of particularly hot air. It's beliefs may describe how intellectuals want the world to work, but they have little to nothing to do with how the world actually works. The more I read about the abject failures of Smartland's milder projects (affirmative action, forced bussing, the entire "great society", etc.) and the genocidal disasters of their most important darlings (communism, national socialism), the more I realize Smartland isn't just wrong, it's dangerous.
This won't change any current resident of Smartland's mind, even I know that. The tragedy of the place is that at its heart is an idealism that hardly anyone can disagree with... we should all get along, we should all share equally, we should all care selflessly for our fellow humans, we should respect each other's beliefs. The problem is when idealism is married to power, fanatacism is the inevitable result. One only has to look at the "success" of national socialism (hard right idealists), communism (hard left idealists), and fundamentalism (religious idealists) when they're given the reigns of power to understand this simple fact.
Smartlanders may look askance at pragmatism, call it contradictory, cynical, manipulative, even exlpoitative. And you know what? They're right. The difference is that in spite of all these flaws, pragmatism works. Even harder for Smartlanders to accept, pragmatism will always work, while their own idealism never will. Really, it's inevitable. When given a choice between "the right thing" or "the thing that works", which would you choose?
I know my own answer. I probably won't be surprised at all about yours.
NSFW due to content, but totally funny!
Pat gets a no-prize in a basket for bringing us news of a story so sweet it's making my teeth taste like gumdrops:
On May 7, I was sitting out back enjoying the beautiful weather when I heard a crash.
Casey, my American bulldog, immediately pointed me to the area. A little bird had fallen from its nest. I gathered up a basket and put some leaves and bedding in it, and no sooner did I finish than I heard another crash!
This is from none other than one of Olivia's honorary grammas (and a frequent commentor on this site) Liz Hoerske. Read the whole thing for much heart-warming doggy goodness!
In the "so obvious conventional wisdom has it completely wrong" department, we have this summary of a draft report issued in April by the National Institute on Standards and Technology called Occupant Behavior, Egress, and Emergency Communications. Essentially a "who got out, and why" study of the Twin Towers on 9/11, the conclusions are as inescapable as they are horrifying to your typical technocratic lefty:
For more than four years - steadily, seriously, and with the unsentimental rigor for which we love them - civil engineers have been studying the destruction of the World Trade Center towers, sifting the tragedy for its lessons. And it turns out that one of the lessons is: Disobey authority. In a connected world, ordinary people often have access to better information than officials do.
Give the people the information they need to make a decision, and the tools to implement that decision, and then stand back. This is the only real route to lasting success. Some people will think this statement contradicts everything I've ever said about conservatism, government, and the party affiliation to which I attest. I'd remind them about motes, beams, eyes, and which should be removed first, but they already know about that.
Or rather, they should.
Ron gets a no-prize shaped like a hand axe for bringing us news of the latest in tourist-trap developments, the "science park":
Enduringly portrayed as muscle-bound, brainless and unfeeling, Neanderthals may at last start to turn the tide of opinion if a new venture has its way.
Combining tourism and archaeology, the "palaeosite" at the village of Saint-Cesaire, 140 kilometres (85 miles) north of Bordeaux, in southwestern France, aims to give visitors a breathtaking snapshot of how these hominids lived 35,000 years ago.
"It's not a museum, nor an amusement park; it's a new concept which has no equivalent anywhere in the world," said Didier Brennenmann, an engineer who spent five years overseeing the construction of the 13-million-euro ($16-million) complex.
Yet another reason to visit Europe! Wee!
Fark today linked up a story about evidence that there still might be WWII Japanese soldiers who haven't surrendered. Of course, at this distance it's far more likely they just decided they liked the Philippines better.
The last "real" Japanese soldier to surrender did so when I was about six. Back then, he was portrayed as a relatively harmless kook who'd holed up in various palm trees for thirty years because his radio had broken. A few years ago one of the cable channels (I think it was Discovery) aired a documentary about Lieutenant Hiroo Onoda, who today lives in Brazil. Turns out in truth the guy was a complete round-the-bend psychopathic fanatic who, with a companion, terrorized various villages in the Philippines for the better part of twenty-five years. It was only when the area's peasants finally took co-ordinated steps to end their murderous reign of terror, steps that resulted in the death of his friend, that he began to put "feelers" out to various Japanese nationals in the area about a possible "surrender". Celebrated as a national hero, he still ended up emigrating to Brazil. In interviews, some thirty years later, the man was clearly unrepentant... the iron fist had simply rusted.
If these guys turn out to be legit, do not expect some sort of Asian "Skipper-and-Gilligan"-esque comedy duo. These are mean little men, the hardest of the hard core from an age that bred fanatics like mushrooms. Like Onoda, they almost certainly stayed out there not for the honor of their emperor, but for their own murderous little reasons. They are curiosities, true fossils from an age of cold steel hell and hot, violent death.
Would that they all end up toothless eighty-year-olds "hiding out" simply because nobody wants to go to the bother of finding them.
Always the trend-setters, Japanese school girls now have decided to try and look like anime characters. I've never completely understood the whole giant-eyes thing, but its most definitely a lietmotif of the art. No Ellen, you can't have any.
So how did the solar system form? What sequence of events lead it to look like it does today? Well, according to this New Scientist article a recently published report suggest Jupiter and Saturn are the key:
In the model, the four planets [Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune, and Uranus] form in 10 million years within the current orbit of Uranus. Surrounding them in a ring are several thousand rocky objects called planetesimals, left over from the formation of the planets.
Gravity pulls the two types of object towards each other, so planetesimals begin to "leak" into the giant planet zone and the orbits of the giant planets gradually change. After 700 million years, Saturn has migrated outward and Jupiter inward to the extent that they reach a "resonance" point. This means they begin to march in lockstep with each other, with Jupiter completing two orbits around the Sun for every one of Saturn's. The resonance allows the pair to greatly disturb the orbits of the other planets.
The rest, it would appear, was cosmic calamatous history. The model neatly accounts for what we see here today, but nobody mentions any testable predictions. Until such predictions surface and are successfully tested, this model is extremely interesting but no more likely than any other competing model that can account for the same observations.
Jeff gets a monstrous no-prize for bringing us news (and pic!) of a record-setting blue catfish. 58" long, 44" around, and 124 pounds! According to the article, it's going into a display tank at a local sporting goods store. That aughta bring some traffic!
Fark linked up this press release that claims a new helicopter altitude record set in a rather spectacular fashion:
On May 14th, 2005 at 7h08 (local time), a serial Ecureuil/AStar AS 350 B3 piloted by the Eurocopter X-test pilot Didier Delsalle, landed at 8,850 meters (29,035ft) on the top of the Mount Everest (Kingdom of Nepal).
Maybe they'll finally be able to get all the bodies and trash off the mountain now.
If you count first flight dates, this represents sixty five years of Marine aviation. If you could figure out how to mount it, the F-18F would be able to carry the Corsair fully loaded and still stay below max gross.
New Scientist brings us news that Voyager 1 has finally reached the fringes of the solar system. Called the heliopause, it marks the point where the solar wind creates a "termination shock" with the interstellar space around it. Oh, and this time they really mean it!
Newsweek’s Washington Bureau Chief Daniel Klaidman appeared on Al Jazeera TV on May 19, and told the Arab world that, despite their retraction, Newsweek is “neutral” on whether any of this happened.
Just because your buddies stopped caring about it when you made your "retraction" doesn't mean we will. As with Eason Jordan, this sort of reflexive bias only seems to come out when they think nobody's looking, and always speaks to a much more endemic problem. It's time for the Washington Post Company directors to put a stop to this while Newsweek still has some credibility left.
With this very brief article, Aviation Week puts us all on notice that there may be another entry into the hypersonic research arena.
Fark linked up news that Blackbeard's flagship may have finally been found:
``We knew it the first day and we still have absolutely no doubt that she's the Queen Anne's Revenge,'' said Phil Masters, whose Florida-based research firm located the wreckage in 1996. ``There is no other ship lost at Beaufort Inlet with anything more than 10 cannon, nor more than 110 tons that we know of.''
Not a treasure ship in the conventional sense, it's still a real find.
One of the toughest things to convey in aerial photography is a sense of motion. Note the direction of the smoke trail versus that of the aircraft's nose. This thing was doing stunts airplanes shouldn't be allowed to do.
It was right about this time Joshua, who'd never been to one of these things before, said "Oh my God!"
Please keep your trays in the upright and locked position. Please keep hands and feet in ride at all times
About 2 pm yesterday some sort of bug came down on me like a ton of bricks. Been fighting fever and chills ever since. However, that does mean I get to tinker with more of my airshow pictures! So let the noise begin!
Digging around trying to find some pictures of an F-100 (Joshua and I talked about them yesterday at the show), I found out about this nifty little opportunity. The last mention of this on the web I could find was dated 2003, so it would seem that, unlike the EAA's B-17, you can still get some stick time with an F-100 Super Sabre in the post-9/11 world. Even if you only get a ride in one, I'd be all for it.
Of course, last time I got an opportunity like this I ended up missing rent and eating peanut butter for a month. Yes, I was single back then, that's very perceptive of you! Lord only knows what this thing'd cost, supersonic fighters being somewhat more complicated and expensive than WWII bombers donchaknow. Not to mention that nowadays there's other members of the family who might have... issues... about missing a mortgage payment and eating peanut butter for a month just so I can get a ride. The priorities some people have...
But I can dream about it... oh yes, I can definitely dream about it...
Salaam Pax, the original grandaddy-of-them-all Iraqi blogger, has started a new blog. He was always a little more optimistic than Riverwind (with her, it's hard not to be at least a little more optimistic), and a little more pessimistic than the guys at Iraq Now. Maybe if we read all three we'll get a better handle on it all. Yeah, right...
Are cravings in fact caused by your body's need for some obscure nutrient? Apparently not:
Food craving, defined as an intense desire to eat a specific foodstuff, is a common occurrence across all cultures and societies. These yearnings, and those associated with nonfoodstuffs such as pagophagia (the practice of consuming ice) and geophagia (literally earth-eating), are not linked to any obvious nutrient insufficiency. In some individuals food cravings and dietary restriction may be related; however, these observations are inconsistent with the majority of published studies.
The article goes on, in classic Scientific American style*, to try and explain what might cause cravings. The usual suspects-- hormones, psychoses, cultural traditions, etc., are discussed, but it would seem no single source has been found to-date.
* A sort of "nerdy-scientist-wanting-to-be-popular-but-not-talk-down-to-the-plebes" tone. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Since SA nearly always publishes stuff from the primary source, the "I performed experiment A to determine..." and "our studies in clinical trials have shown..." can be a little disconcerting as well.
Upset villagers came to Maranhao state [Brazil] capital Sao Luis on Wednesday claiming the police had demolished their hamlet of Vila Baghdad instead of a squatters settlement about five miles away.
Sometimes greater efficiency simply allows people to screw up faster.
To venture into the Arab world, as I did recently over four weeks in Qatar, Kuwait, Jordan and Iraq, is to travel into Bush Country. I was to encounter people from practically all Arab lands, to listen in on a great debate about the possibility of freedom and liberty. I met Lebanese giddy with the Cedar Revolution that liberated their country from the Syrian prison that had seemed an unalterable curse. They were under no illusions about the change that had come their way. They knew that this new history was the gift of an American president who had put the Syrian rulers on notice. The speed with which Syria quit Lebanon was astonishing, a race to the border to forestall an American strike that the regime could not discount. I met Syrians in the know who admitted that the fear of American power, and the example of American forces flushing Saddam Hussein out of his spider hole, now drive Syrian policy. They hang on George Bush's words in Damascus, I was told: the rulers wondering if Iraq was a crystal ball in which they could glimpse their future.
A lively press has sprouted in Iraq: There is an astonishing number of newspapers and weeklies, more than 250 in all. There are dozens of private TV channels and radio stations. Journalists and editors speak of a press free of censorship. Admittedly, the work is hard and dangerous, the logistics a veritable nightmare. But no single truth claimed this country, no "big man" sucked the air out of its public life. The insurgents will do what they are good at. But no one really believes that those dispensers of death can turn back the clock. Among the Sunni Arabs, there is growing recognition that the past cannot be retrieved, that it had been a big error to choose truculence and political maximalism. By a twist of fate, the one Arab country that had seemed ever marked for brutality and sorrow now stands poised on the frontier of a new political world. No Iraqis I met look to neighboring Arab lands for political inspiration: They are scorched by the terror and the insurgency, but a better political culture is tantalizingly close.
But since the media portray Iraq as an unsolvable problem, a mere stage on which lunatic Arabs blow each other up with increasing abandon, the above is merely propaganda.
A re-enactment of the Battle of Trafalgar is not an opportunity for "French-bashing", says the Royal Navy.
Instead of the British taking on a French/Spanish fleet at next month's event to mark the battle's bicentenary a "red" force will take on a "blue".
Because, you know, nobody on a certain side has a reputation for surrendering. Right?
Jeff gets a no-prize covered in invisible ink for bringing us news of a new development in the quest to unlock the secrets of ancient books:
A particle accelerator is being used to reveal the long-lost writings of the Greek mathematician Archimedes, work hidden for centuries after a Christian monk wrote over it in the Middle Ages.
The so-called Archimedes Palimpsest includes the only copy of the treatise "Method of Mechanical Theorems," in which Archimedes explains how he used mechanical means to develop his mathematical theorems. It is also the only source in the original Greek for the treatise "On Floating Bodies," in which Archimedes deals with the physics of flotation and gravity.
In this age of 3c copies it's hard to imagine holding the only existing copy of anything, let alone something as important as this sort of book. Yet for thousands of years this was commonplace, unremarkable. Little wonder the development of the printing press is considered one of the milestones of human achievement.
Thank you! Thank you! Next children's show at 7!
Joshua to Scott at the air show: "Ya know, this will be a nice change from flowers, cats, fish and babies."
Ellen to Scott at home: *Raises eyebrow* "Do you want me to post these or not?"
Ellen: "What do you want to call this?"
Ellen: "No dumbass, something better. Jeeze, you can't even name your pictures right."
Did I mention I did not take these photos? I am merely a virtual darkroom tech!
See what happens when you lend your significant other your digital baby?? They take pixes of planes then come home for you to digitally edit!
Ever wonder how they really did the surgery?
In the soon-to-be-released "Tomb Raider: Legend," the eighth title to feature Croft, her DD-size bust has been reduced to a more modest C-cup and some of her more revealing outfits have been ditched, the report said.
The adventurer even sports a modest round-neck sweater with full arms for part of the game, the paper added.
Read entire article here.
A case of stupid f'ing, irresponsible people.
- An unusual dispute has a St. Louis dog owner in a fight against the city. The controversy started two weeks ago and could end with the dog turned over to the city.
Saturday is the last chance for Oran Ambus to get his dog out of the city pound. The city says it's a simple matter of getting the dog neutered. Ambus says that's not an option according to the holy word.
Leviticus Chapter 22 is part of the scipture Ambus says applies to his case. Ambus, an israelite, says the holy words are a direct reference to the importance of animals left untouched for entrance into heaven. He says his personal beliefs extend to his nine month old rottweiler, now caged at the animal pound.
Read entire article here.
If I get some Christian Wacko Fundementalist trying to justify this article, you can take your bible and shove it where the sun does not shine.
"That '70s Show" star Topher Grace has joined the lineup of "Spider-Man 3," in which he will play one of two villains.
The film's distributor, Columbia Pictures, declined to give further details about his role.
As long as the writing's good, the makup artists can pretty much do anything with anyone. Hey, if Michael Keaton can pull off Batman...
That Hardee's super-sandwich is now officially p3wned:
So I got an idea in my head. A particularly stupid idea. This makes it even harder to simply pass up.
I think to myself: "I can top this guy - he didn't fry anything!"
And it begins.
The result will be… appalling. A tyrant of a sandwich, so gargantuan and calorically blessed that the mere sight of which would cause Jesus himself to break down in an explosive torrent of tears and fury.
30,000 calories and 6.5 pounds of sandwich later... well, you go see the result. Note: completely SFW, no puking pictures or anything like that.
Wanna win at sports? Wear a red jersey:
Competitive athletes are always seeking ways to improve their performance. The results of a new study indicate that they need only look in their closets. A paper published today in Nature suggests that athletes wearing red uniforms experience a slight advantage over those decked out in other colors.
Of course, the Redskins's uniform is mostly red, and look how much good it's done them lately. Still, it should be good for a smirk or two come football season, as our local blue-and-silver fanatics (Ron isn't the only one) will have one more thing to angst over if their season starts swirling down the toilet again.
China is not the only trading partner of the United States and Europe, but, listening to politicians in the past few weeks, you could be forgiven for thinking it was. In reality, China supplies about one-seventh of American imports and a tenth of European ones.
Moreover, those shares are increasing because Americans and Europeans want them to.
Now, the United States and EU want to turn the clock back by imposing new restrictions on Chinese textiles. In general, the World Trade Organization has been sympathetic to such measures when they were strictly temporary and used to protect industries in transition. There is no such excuse this time; the United States and EU had a decade to prepare, and anyone could have predicted China's actions when the agreement expired.
China keeps the yuan trading within an extremely narrow range by buying billions of dollars worth of American securities. It supplies financing for businesses and the government, making up for the low saving rate in the United States. Again, consumers in the United States benefit - they can keep spending.
In spite of this, as the article notes, protectionism does seem to be on the march, and I agree it bodes well for no one.
"But they're taking our jobs! My friends just lost theirs to foreign competition!"
Quite so, but this is happening because we are making it happen. American regulations and unionized labor have artificially inflated labor costs and made it impossible for our native textile industry, to take one example, to produce clothing and make a profit.
"That's because the other places cheat! Look how they live! These Americans have families! Mortgages! Bills to pay! It's not fair!"
Again, good points. However, there are many definitions of "fair". True, it certainly doesn't seem "fair" for a forty-year-old textile worker to lose their high-paying job because their company can't compete with cheap imports. But it also doesn't seem very "fair" that an entire nation of 280 million people should be forced to pay billions of dollars more for clothing every year just so a few thousand of their fellows can keep their jobs.
What should happen is consumers are given a choice... cheap, reasonably well-made clothing from China (or India, or Vietnam, or wherever), or more expensive, reasonably well-made clothing from the US. The chips (or dollars, if you will) then will fall where they may... if you want to save US jobs, you buy US clothing. If you want to save money, you buy the cheapest thing you can find.
What is going to happen (if Western regulators get their way) is we will be forced to pay more for our clothing than we otherwise would to ensure inefficient factories, poor management, and overpriced unionized labor are able to seem to be competitive. But at least they'll get to keep their jobs, no?
Notice too this burden of higher prices will inevitably fall disproportionately on the poor. I can now in fact afford to pay an extra $5 for a shirt, and probably not even notice it. But there was a time not too long ago when $5 was to me the difference between making my rent or bouncing a check, and I know there are tens of thousands of people across the country to whom $5 is still "real money". The simple fact is that opposition to free trade and globalism, the two great lietmotifs of the left, does not protect the poor, it merely redirects cash from one set of rich people to another.
"Oh, I see it now. What you're saying is we should just toss all these people to the curb simply because they can't compete! How typically neocon of you!"
No, that's not what I'm saying. I'm saying that protectionism as a response to competition does not work, is in fact counter-productive, and hurts far more people than it would ever help. This does not mean we should simply "toss people to the curb", rather we should re-define our strategies for helping them. Make it easier and cheaper to get a good education. Reform regulations and business law to make it simpler and cheaper for anyone to start and run their own business. Keep taxes low so people can keep more of what they make. Ensure capital markets are strong, rich, and healthy so that the very rich (all over the world) deposit their money in our banks, allowing them in turn to lend it out to anyone with a dream and a willingness to work for it. Provide opportunities, don't guarantee results.
Does this mean people will fail? Of course it will. One of the defining features of capitalism is that there are winners and losers. But by ensuring such loss does not automatically exclude future opportunity, we give everyone the chance to keep trying until they finally get it right.
Protectionism is the bastion of utopian idealists, ivory-tower socialists, and cynical special interests. It always creates far more problems than it ever solves. Far better to give people the tools to succeed and the opportunity to use them. Only by allowing them to fail can we ever hope to see them succeed.
Slashdot linked up this nifty photo-and-story of the first time a spacecraft orbiting a foreign body has taken a picture of another spacecraft doing the same thing. Remember to wave as you go past!
The 2006 Hyundai Sonata has left the building.
And just like that, Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama has moved from prototypes and testing to the commercial carmaking business, marking a historic red-letter day for Montgomery.
If you want to make thousands of metal stampings in a process that only requires pulling a lever, using a machine that requires no maintenance or calibration, by all means put the plant in Tijuana or Lahore or Shanghai or wherever. If you want to make cars, ones that don't fall apart as they drive off the dealer lot at any rate, well, maybe you aught to consider the good ol' US. Efficiency and effectiveness always come at a price, but there are different sorts of economy, and building something cheaply does not always mean it's built well.
Sorta reminds me of an old TV commercial that was popular when I was a kid... "expensive, but darn well worth it."
"No pictures, no autographs. See my publicist please!"
Mullin is a boarder that wanted extra special attention. And to touch my camera.
Lift the lid if you dare, and find out what's in The Trunk. Far as I can tell it's SFW, if not for reality.
Jeff gets a no-prize shaped like a game controller for bringing us this more neutral and (seemingly) informed take on the implications of all the upcoming consoles. In a nutshell, it would appear Sony's lead is a lot bigger than I percieved it to be (big surprise there), and that the XBox 360 is much more in line with Microsoft's standard v2.0 practice. I.e., less tacky and clunky than the original, respectable performance, but still well below the state of the art.
In other words, Sony probably doesn't have to dance as fast as I thought they would to lead Microsoft this time around.
The Post this morning carried this report on a new set of fossils "rekindling" the debate over what, exactly, happened to the Neanderthals in Europe. For whatever reason, they died out approximately 30,000 years ago, and the fossils in question have been firmly dated at exactly that time. What makes them interesting is their apparently strange mix of early-modern and Neatherthal features. Could these be evidence of interbreeding? Or perhaps their appearance was influenced by diet or behaivor?* The answer, as usual, is not particularly clear.
* A diet that requires a lot of heavy-duty chewing will result in a much "heavier" face (brow ridges, receding chins, occipital protrubrances, etc.) while the opposite results in a comparatively "gracile" appearance. Likewise, a life of heavy lifting and hard work will produce a skeleton noticeably more robust than what would be found in a more sedentary population.
So, you've invented yourself a genuine "telepresence" system, that allows you to touch something in one location and have it felt by something else in another. What's the first thing you do with it?
What? What were you thinking of touching? Hmmmm?!? Remember, lying makes baby Jesus cry!
Bleary-eyed "first-viewers" just now returning from the theater may find the story of how the first and only full-sized Millennium Falcon was built. No word on what exactly became of the thing. Considering Lucas's pack rat-like tendendices, I wouldn't be surprised to find out it was stored away in boxes in a Marin warehouse somewhere.
Cat proofing your computer.
The person that invented this obviously has a very smart cat that only pretends to be tricked by the software.
Everyone has a lexicon, and biking is no exception. As one who is only just now rubbing away the last of the "noob" he's had on his forehead for the past three years*, it's edifying and amusing, but even I know better than to actually use any of these words.
Oh like I care if you care.
* The bike is still noob-ish, but that'll change soon enough. For now I'll be content that my pedals are way cooler than yours. I am Bike Geek. Hear Me Roar.
No, really, when grackles attack:
Like a scene from the horror movie "The Birds," large black grackles are swooping down on downtown Houston and attacking people's heads, hair and backs.
"They were just going crazy," said constable Wilbert Jue, who works at the building. "They were attacking everybody that walked by."
I guess we'll have to take up a collection to get Lair a football helmet or something.
The shutterbugs in the audience (and the control booth) should get a kick out of The Concours international de la photo animaličre et de nature de Montier-en-Der 2004. No, not sure what it means... concours is something I normally associate with cars. But the pictures sure are pretty!
BBCnews is carrying this article on the discovery of the oldest known use of diamond in history. By examining highly polished paleolithic jade axes found in China, scientists have determined the only material capable of creating such a smooth surface was not quartz as originally thought, but diamond. Even then, modern techniques are not capable of achieving the finish found on these objects. At 4500 before present (bp), they are a full two thousand years older than the previous known use of diamond, in India around 500 B.C.
The media seem to finally be stumbling onto something I've noticed for years: tatoos ain't what they used to be:
As models flaunted head-to-toe body art and hard rock pulsated in a cavernous ballroom, veteran tattoo artists at a New York convention on Saturday wondered if their once taboo artistry was losing its nonconformist lure.
It's Reuters, so maybe the tatoo thing just isn't as big in Britain yet. Somehow I doubt it.
Meant to get to this yesterday but forgot: new research seems to indicate the back plates on Stegosaurs were not protective, but purely decorative. Same thing with Anklysaurs and Ceratopsians. It's amazing how far our knowledge of dinosaurs has come in the past thirty years. One of my most cherished childhood books was about dinosaurs, and that piece of 70s memorabilia was dominated by the "cold blooded, slow moving, stupid, swamp dweller" mindset that had held sway for the previous century.
Let's hope the next 30 years are just as productive!
As with all other slimy spineless predators, when cornered journalists often attempt to escape in a cloud of ink. The Post this morning featured no fewer than four "yes, it was bad, but..." stories about the Newsweek retraction, one of which was on the front page:
Newsweek lied, people died may in fact be a bit of satire, but it's no worse than what traipses across the editorial pages of print journalism's bastions every week. And unlike last year's television news debacles, to date no one has paid a price for this particular print debacle.
Except perhaps for slightly more than a dozen people in Afghanistan.
Funny as hell for all Star Wars fans! Labled under XXX due to ads.
ArmorGeddon is back, and in very fine form:
“Hey Sir,” SSG Terry called out to me. “Can you come take a look at this?”
I looked back at SSG Terry. He was dragging the track in the sand with his tank and the cargo strap when he suddenly had the tank halt. His arms were in the air with his hands clasped. His lips were puckered up with an “uh-oh” expression on his face.
“I saw this get uncovered as we was dragging the track from side to side so I kicked it to see what it was.”
Underneath the long length of track, under the portion pulled up by the strap, SSG Terry had unearthed a large round flat cylinder. It looked like there were a few more next to it. The thing was about the size of a plastic dog food bowl. It was light tan colored and dirty looking. Like it had been there for a long time.
That there's what ya calls a "high pucker factor" moment. One of those stories you laugh about when it's over, sort of thing.
Damion gets a dark and mysterious no-prize for letting us know a sequel to The Dark Crystal is in the works. With the original writer on board and the technical know-how of a Henson organization twenty-five years more experienced, I can only hope the thing eventually shows up, and Does not Suck.
Slashdot is carrying even more updates on the new Xbox 360. This time, an announcement that the new machine will be compatible with the "most popular" of the original's titles (whatever that means). Even though there's mention of a price point, nobody seems to have actually said what that price point is. One commenter mentioned $350, which if true should make life amusing for the PS-3.
Reading the comments, fanboy reaction is still very sniffily in favor of said PS-3. Of course, fifteen years ago a different sort of fanboy very sniffily favored DOS and OS/2 over Windows, and look how that turned out. Microsoft has just called the tune, and Sony better dance damned fast if it wants to stay on the floor.
NASA’s Mars rover Opportunity has begun its long march out of the sandy dune in which it got stuck on 25 April. Ground controllers have got it to move more than four centimetres since Friday - considered a big victory.
I'd crack a joke about needing a come-a-long, but what would you tie the thing to? 4cm down, 4 meters to go.
Take a few rednecks, add some soda bottles, water, and a bit of dry ice and what do you get? Well, this. A little long, but the payoff is worth it.
And no, I didn't notice they had accents. Why?
Ron gets a no-prize that pings for bringing us news of a surprising development in the quest to understand whale strandings. It would seem there's a very strong correlation between these events and sunspot activity, going back as far as we have records (more than two centuries).
No-Prize to my Mom for the link!
Discovering what happens when you die.
Much of what you thought you knew about dinosaurs turns out to be wrong. That's the take-home message from Dinosaurs: Ancient Fossils, New Discoveries, which opened Saturday at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.
Recent finds and technologies have revolutionized scientists' understanding of dinosaur biology, behavior and even extinction. In one especially well executed display, an animatronic T. rex moves surprisingly sluggishly, minding what researchers now believe was the animal's speed limit of 11 to 16 kilometers an hour--a striking contrast to the car-chasing pace of Jurassic Park's monster. It turns out T. rex was far too massive to be a swift stalker.
I don't care if Olivia's not going to get a boost from visiting museums. It's the price you pay for having nerds as parents! :)
While not even remotely pretending to be an unbiased site, PETA Kills should still be interesting to those of you who always suspected these loons were up to no damned good. Remember folks, the lynchpin of every good socialist movement is the understanding that you should do as we say, and not as we do.
You'd think the media would've learned from their idol how to stop this sort of thing: when caught, jump on national TV and toss yourself onto the biggest, shiniest sword you can find, and do it as often as possible. It won't be a free ride, but if you do it right you'll get to keep your job.
But that was a politician. Journalists, why, they're a breed apart. Quiet, milquetoast apologies and desperate attempts to pretend that nothing actually happened have worked since the creation of wire services gave rise to the "main stream media". I mean, hey, these were just Afghanis who got killed. What's a few barbarian deaths between friends? My God, it was getting to seem like the Republicans might've been right about the Middle East! Don't you see that our very agenda was in jeopardy?!?
I thought they'd figured out the rules had changed when Rather and Jordan were shown the door. I wonder how many scalps we'll end up with on the blogMantle before they actually start to catch on? Hopefully we'll end up with a bunch of them. Holding the feet of closet elitist-socialist demagogs to the fire is actually a lot of fun. Their screams are so... satisfying...
If they end up calling this thing toiletgate I think Lair might have to register a whole new set of domains.
Meanwhile, White House reactions are starting to be heard, and some of them are not pretty.
So, How much of the stuff around you do you understand? I scored 80%, and since you're all demonstrably smarter than I am, I'm expecting high marks from every one of you.
Gah. Cheesy seventies song suddenly in my head... Please... help meeeeeee
New Scientist is carrying this article providing some details of what appear to be a developing proposal for CEV system, NASA's shuttle replacement. This take: launch the main CEV on a big horking rocket, then launch the crew on a much smaller air-launched vehicle. This should simplify "man rating" the parts that hold the crew, while still allowing existing heavy-lift rockets to be used to put the big stuff in orbit. The problem: the company behind the air-launch component, Airlaunch LLC, would need to scale up their prototype system a great deal to boost a meaningful payload, and their launch aircraft would need to scale up to match.
Still, good to see movement on this project, from all fronts.
The picture he paints—and it seems a fairly honest and frank assessment— is of someone struggling to come to terms with a new position and power who's still figuring out how to come to grips with how people around him are reacting to the $50 million deal he signed last year with Comedy Central. Without naming specific characters, he seems to blame both some of his inner circle (not his family) and himself for the stresses created by last year's deal.
"There were things that overwhelmed me," he says. "But not in the way that people are saying. I haven't spent any of the money. All that stuff about partying and taking crack is not true. Why do I live on a farm in Ohio? To support my partying lifestyle?"
Money may make misery a lot more comfortable, but it doesn't make it any less miserable.
Remember that story about our guys flushing a Koran down the toilet to get Gitmo prisoners to talk? The one that caused all sorts of riots and got more than a dozen people killed? Yeah, well, um... nevermind...:
Newsweek magazine said on Sunday it erred in a May 9 report that U.S. interrogators desecrated the Koran at Guantanamo Bay, and apologized to the victims of deadly Muslim protests sparked by the article.
People died, and U.S. military and diplomatic efforts were damaged, because -- let's be clear here -- Newsweek was too anxious to get out a story that would make the Bush Administration and the military look bad.
Of course, it's Fox News that's the real enemy. All these other outlets, the ones accused of a liberal bias? Just right-wing propaganda. It's not like our
liberal propaganda pressmonkey poo-flinging bad reporting causes riots and gets people killed.
No, they aren't just for cars anymore.
Yes, even firemen can be wimps at times.
An underwater quake measuring 6.9 on the Richter scale has rocked the island of Sumatra, Indonesia, triggering panic but causing no damage, officials say.
Indonesia's meteorological and geophysical agency said a tsunami was unlikely because the tremor was too far from the earth's surface.
Read entire article here.
What happens when a little girl is mailed a huge box of Mardi Gras beads? You wear them ALL!
I'm not sure what would drive someone to create a list of nearly every Axis WWII aircraft that survives today, but the results are interesting nonetheless. I've actually seen a lot of the stuff in NASM storage back when we toured the Garber facility in '95. Now that they're moving everything to the Udvar-Hazy center, maybe it'll be a little more accessible.
A mysterious respiratory disease is sweeping greyhound tracks across the country, killing dozens of dogs and forcing owners to halt racing as researchers hunt for a vaccine to control the outbreak.
Dr. Lisa Zerbel, a veterinarian in Massachusetts who is treating some of the sick dogs, said she thinks the illnesses are caused by a new strain of the influenza virus that is more virulent than the common one known as “kennel cough.” But other experts say it is too soon to pinpoint the cause.
I'll let the resident vet expert take a look at this one when we get home this afternoon.
Making the rounds: the new Xbox has finally been revealed. Vid-game guru Damion sniffing about how superior Sony's Playstation is to all others in 3... 2... 1...
Slashdot's got the best link roundup I've found so far. The wireless controllers are what make it very interesting for me. It's hard enough for Olivia to resist the urge to help daddy punch all the shiny buttons when he's playing Halo2; when you add a cable stretching across the floor the urge to tug is simply irresistable. This thing may bring me back to consoles.
Far more interesting to me are the implications for the gaming market itself. Microsoft's secret weapon has always been its attitude toward developers. It coddles them, and provides them with the best development tools ever made. It took most of a decade, but together these two forces quietly and inexorably allowed Microsoft to corner the commercial software market.
They're going after game companies with the same gusto, and it looks like they're making heavy inroads. Playstation's only remaining strength is its stable of developers, and if Microsoft woos them away fast enough the PS-3 is very likely to share the same also-ran-shoulda-won fate as the Sega Dreamcast.
From the info available, if Microsoft prices it between $400-$500, then Sony has a chance, and a strong one at that. If they price it just under $300, Sony is in big trouble. If they price it less than $200, it's basically over except for the singing. Nintendo's already been marginalized, and if Sony doesn't jump on this thing with both feet and stomp hard Gates will have another trophy to hang on his wall, and the name on that plaque will be Playstation.
Also from Discovery Channel, news that our early-modern ancestors seem to have left Africa far earlier than was previously thought:
The first modern humans to leave East Africa and populate Asia may have not traveled through the Middle East, as the traditional model suggests, but along a southern coastal route, a pair of new genetic studies conclude.
At least as amazing, to me anyway, is the strong evidence for groups of people living in the same places in Asia for more than 50,000 years. And you thought your family's roots went deep.
Thailand's health ministry warned size-obsessed men on Friday to avoid trying to enlarge their penises with liquid injections, saying it could cause deformities.
The warning followed media reports that male teenagers in central Thailand had rushed to have their penises injected with olive oil or other liquids.
Maybe it's best there really is no way to enlarge it. Considering the popularity of pedestrian penis pills (ha!) and more extreme stunts like this, if there really were a way to enlarge it a significant percentage of the world's male population would be unable to leave the house.
Ron gets a catapult-shaped no-prize for bringing us news of the world's fastest plant. You heard me, fastest plant. Hey man, don't look at me, I just link the things up.
Fark links up news that John Cleese will be writing the next feature film for Aardman Animations, the makers of Wallace and Gromit. It will apparently be a very... ahem... educational piece, explaining why the British hate the French and visa versa. No, really!
All you need to do to get Olivia to stomp around is put shoes on her. She'll even growl at you if you grrrr at her. So, while these would on the face of it seem like a great gift... trust me, she doesn't need anything else that makes noise.
I don't know man, you try and figure it out. And then come back and explain it to me.
Or not. I'm getting a sneaking suspicion I really don't want to know.
You, the fan, know you've wanted a Stormtrooper armor since the first time you saw them on the big screen at your local Movie Theater. You've swooned over them ever since and untill now had no idea how to get your hands on one. Well my freinds, it's time you learned how to use those hands and brains, and built something.
Actually, I'm a big enough nerd (shocking, I know) that I'm a little interested in it. Now to convince Ellen a body cast isn't some sort of weird fetish I've locked on to...
Real or not, a "centerfugal cannon" is certainly an interesting proposition:
The gun consists of a mounted circular chamber that spins the metal ball bearings to high speed. A release mechanism on one side spits the balls out one behind the other, a handful at a time.
Sounds sorta like a tennis ball launcher. Only, like, more evil.
In the land of distinctive sculpture, there must surely be a place for this thing:
At first glance, it looks more like something you'd find at a strip club, instead of a quiet neighborhood.
A backhoe contractor, Ricky Pearce poured concrete into hand-drawn molds to create the 40-ton, 17-foot-high legs. Then, he lifted them into place with a crane.
Complete with some landscaped foliage, strategically placed, the display is making some folks chuckle, and others shake their heads in disgust.
With, for once, pictures! Also nice to see people being level-headed about the whole thing: "The Vance County district attorney told NBC-17 state obscenity laws may stick, but he has more important crimes to worry about."
FYI- Rich is my brother.
The video of the Iraq sandstorm.
Also from Silflay, this "report and pictures" from one LTC Bob, who (as I recall) is part of a detatchment responsible for the destruction of the myriad ammo dumps scattered across Iraq. Not surprisingly, his report is quite a bit more optimistic than what we're hearing out of the MSM nowadays. Plus the pictures are cool.
Be careful what you wish for ladies, you just might get it:
[S]lowly, I started to realize that the men had changed. Where had all my strong and silent, hard-rock listening, muscle car driving, mullet-sporting, chest hair-donning suitors gone?
They had all turned gay!
I’m sorry you had to listen to me swoon about how “Gay Gavin” would make a better boyfriend than you because he really listens and doesn’t mind holding my purse while I try on jeans. I’m sorry I asked you to shower because your underarms smelled like “guinea pig vomit.” I’m sorry I cried and accused you of loving your ‘76 Chevy Nova more than me. I want the old you back.
An apparent airspace violation over Washington on Wednesday prompted evacuations of the White House and the U.S. Capitol as military fighter jets scrambled to intercept an unidentified aircraft.
Former CNN anchor Bernard Shaw said he heard two F-16 jets and saw them circle a single-engine airplane and fire warning flares. The jets then seemed to direct the small aircraft away from the downtown Washington area, Shaw said.
Yup, they rushed people out of the Capitol because of a Cessna. It's been nearly five years, and we're still on a hair trigger.
Those of you outside the US who wait for the time we'll "get over it" have got a lot to learn. I can still remember as a child how obsessed this country was over the likelihood of a sneak attack on a harbor or town, and at that point Pearl Harbor was more than three decades in the past. Other countries may be used to people blowing them up for no clear reason, but we're not, and that will never change.
Does that make us better than anyone else? No. We should get over it. It's been nearly four years, al Quaeda is smashed, Saddam is sitting in a prison, Syria is afraid of sneezing too loudly, and Iran is building nukes because they think they're the only thing left proven to make the US behave itself. With democracy dawning and fascism finally setting over the horizon, we should be well and truly done with jumping at shadows.
Will we get over it? Nope. We're Americans. Most of us really do believe we're the inheritors of the power and glory of republican Rome coupled with the temperance and tenacity of imperial Britain. In a very real sense they are our parents, and reinforced from both sides is the subconscious but no less real belief that We Cannot Fail. As a nation we are simply unable to accept it. Not unwilling, unable. Such cultures do not react well when defeat comes calling.
Rome was shamed and humiliated by Carthage and the Romans did not rest until salt had been sewn into the earth of that city's foundations. Britain threw away a century of careful balancing and precipitated apocalypse over her fear of a Germanic Napoleon. Japan paid the price of nuclear eschaton for her successful humiliation of the most powerful Western culture in history.
In a world where entire cities can be incinerated at the touch of a button, such a brittle pride can be a risky asset. But, in spite of the contrary wailing of soft-headed twenty-somethings and their "old hippies never die they just smoke away" socialist mentors, we are not republican Rome. In spite of the fevered delusions of exploitation and socialist utopia the Democratic Underground hold so dear, we are not imperial Britain. The world may fear our power and detest our wealth, to be honest sometimes we do as well, but its people do themselves a disservice if they think we can be deconstructed as someone else's dim reflection. We will not be seen through a glass, and darkly.
We are instead Americans, as unique and unprecedented as any other people in the world. At our best, we cherish success, reward nobility, protect helplessness, and destroy evil. Since we are still human, at our worst we are quite capable of envying success, undercutting nobility, exploiting helplessness, and encouraging evil. If you were to pick any one thing out that makes Americans different, it is perhaps that, for the most part, we do not cede credit to or place blame on anyone else for our extremes, even when perhaps we should.
We will not "get over it" any time soon, not at all. A nation rich, powerful, and almost gloriously naive about the existence of evil in this world experienced the largest single-day loss of life in an attack since Antietam. Not simply killed, and not soldiers at all, but instead regular citizens murdered in spectacular fashion on national television using the very tools and monuments of our power to do the deed.
The rest of the world treated this country very much as a pretty girl who'd been raped, "Yes, it was a terrible thing, and yes, they were evil men, but really dear, look at the way you dress, the way you act. Don't you think you deserved it, just a little bit?" Even worse was the significant number of our own citizens who snuffled a bit, winced at the pain of still-bleeding wounds, and then slowly nodded in agreement.
But most of us, most of us knew the truth. We knew the world should be safe enough that anyone, no matter how beautiful or flamboyant, should be able to walk down a street stark naked and not worry about being raped. The world miscalculated when it thought America would simply walk away from such an egregious wound. That the barbaric perpetrators, fiery old men who have forever attempted to crush liberty and freedom, should do so is unsurprising. That the rest of the world should do so, merely disappointing. This didn't happen to you. It happened to us. What differentiates us from you is we have the power and the will to make sure it doesn't happen to anyone else. If that means we jump every time a Cessna gets lost or reach for a gun whenever some tinpot loon starts blowing off steam, so be it.
Because we will not fail.
Slashdot is running this summary and comments article on recent developments in the effort to replace the Space Shuttle. Looks like the new director wants to field the replacement far earlier than previously planned.
While it's cool and all that they've done a CGI reconstruction of King Tut's face, the fact is he bears a startling resemblance to my sister-in-law (wait for the pictures on the left to start cycling).
Ok, it's not an exact duplicate, but damned if he couldn't be her long lost brother. Wieeeerrddd.
Ok, this is why when you have a rather large snake, you don't take it out unless there is a second person in the house to help you.
If I am recalling correctly, you don't get crushed. You die of hypertension.
WTF!?? First it's dolls that look like corpses for men to have sex with. Now you can get hamsters!
You have got to check the site out! A real laugh!
Remember how I said George Lucas was the ultimate merchandise maven? I take it back. Maybe Simmons can write a song called Rubber Caster about this?
Said it before, say it again, people turn to crime because they're too stupid to do anything else:
[Gregory] Alston called police to say his white Nissan Maxima had been stolen from in front of his apartment building.
But the car wasn't his.
Police say he had stolen it at gunpoint two weeks earlier.
Not quite as funny as it sounds, since this guy's quite obviously stupid enough to kill someone. And to think we were driving around in Baltimore last month...
Space.com is carrying this summary of where planet hunting is today. While early techniques were only able to detect very large planets circling very close to their stars, recent advances have allowed far smaller objects to be found. Nothing the size of Earth, but they're getting closer every year.
Sex rarely makes the news in Brazil's conservative Northeast — until a small town declared an official Orgasm Day on Monday.
Espertantina Mayor Felipe Santolia endorsed the May 9 holiday, which he said was intended to improve relationships between married couples.
When coupled (as it were) with Steak & BJ day, you're talking about a real party!
Gary Page of George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, and his colleagues have identified 15 asteroids that might also be subjected to the mysterious force. The asteroids' orbits all stretch far into the outer solar system. This is crucial because the Pioneer anomaly only shows up beyond about twice the distance from the sun to Saturn.
So, no need for an expensive, risky space probe, just some telescope time. Some preliminary observations already seem to indicate something is acting on these big rocks. More as it develops...
Fark linked up an example of what Ellen's real extreme vacation would be like. Olivia and I will stay home for that one, thanks.
Um...O? Can I have my pajama bottoms back?
For you fans of the Naked News! Now you can check out the bloopers!
You all have been keeping up with Azrael's continuing saga of an American in Japan, right? You should:
After dinner, we were talking about what to do next. Initially, the other girl who was at the party (I'll call her Satchmo, her actual name is kinda close to that so it reminds me of that Jazz player Louis Armstrong) was supposed to come too, but she couldn't come join us because she had a stomach ache...but she wanted us to come to her house. I was like fuck that, if she can't come then I'm not gonna go see her, but my coke-addicted date was adamant, so off we went to see Satchmo.
Satchmo lives in this VERY TINY little space above a coffee shop. I can't stress how small this place was. And it wasn't just her. NO! It was her whole family too...spin around in your computer chairs right now, imagine dividing your room into three bedrooms, a kitchen, and a tiny bathroom, and you have an idea of the space here.
Satchmo asks us if we want coffee. I don't, but she goes to get it anyway. Then Satchmo's mom walks by...who looks like a JAPANESE GYPSY CRACK WHORE. I shit you not, that's exactly what it was. "You guys want bananas?" She asks. I had no idea how to respond to that, the whole JAPANESE GYPSY CRACK WHORE thing was weirding me out. She disappears and reappears a second later with a buschel of bananas she drops on the table. Satchmo comes back with the coffee, and ice cream. GYPSY CRACK WHORE brings a plate of strawberries. ...OK.
Nice to see dating can be just as loopy (probably moreso) on the other side of the Pacific. Makes me very glad I'm not single.
Jeff gets his second no-prize of the day for bringing us the world's most ridiculous BB gun... the air-powered gatling minigun. Apparently they're miniaturized versions of the venerable M-134, a rifle-caliber minigun used by aircraft in the Vietnam war. Yes, the M-134 is what they used in Predator; no, you can't actually fire a real one yourself (the movie version used low-powered blanks, otherwise the recoil would've knocked Ventura across the set).
To heck with getting my own 10" firework mortar. I'm gonna spend my birthday money on one of these.
Well, ok, not really, since I already spent said money on a flash set of bicycle pedals. But I reserve the right to dream about one of these!
A 38-year-old suburban man allegedly admitted to police he drank 10 beers before lighting a commercial firework inside his home, blowing up the house and seriously burning himself and a female companion.
"Apparently, he thought he would light it, was kind of goofing around, and figured he could put it out," [Pat Barry, spokesman for the Will County sheriff's department, said.]
The man was wrong.
The device exploded seconds after being lit, blowing out a wall and every window in the home and setting it on fire. Neighbors heard the blast, called 911 and rushed to the scene.
Yet another Darwin near-miss. And I want to know where in the world there's a flea market that carries firework mortars nearly a foot across. I got some birthday money I need to spend...
While Japan is justly famous for having a vending machine for literally anything (beer and underwear are two of the better-known examples), in the US such machines are typically limited to chips, candy, and sodas. Until now.
Hopefully it's an all-electronic affair, otherwise I can't see such a thing staying in one piece for any length of time. I mean, kids will knock over a regular vending machine with no prompting at all, and those only deal in singles.
Fark linked up news that Microsoft is "serious" about making a movie out of Halo. It's possible... Halo had a pretty strong story that could probably be fleshed out into a feature film. However, so far nobody's managed to pull this off with any other game franchise, so who knows. It's also very early in the process, and I've heard rumors like this about other games (Half-Life) that went absolutely nowhere. Still, fun to think about!
New Scientist is carrying this interesting article detailing what one group of scientists think a mobile probe to Venus should look like:
Space scientists in the US believe a solar-powered aircraft could explore the atmosphere of the second rock from the sun, and carry a flying "brain" to control a toughened rover on the ground.
Writing in the latest edition of the journal Acta Astronautica (vol 56, p 750), a team led by Geoffrey Landis of NASA's Glenn Research Center in Ohio says that an autonomous solar-powered aircraft could cruise between different altitudes and locations in Venus's wild atmosphere, making measurements and radar-imaging the surface at 10 times the resolution possible with an orbiting craft. They say this would provide far better data than the Soviet and US probes of the 1970s and 1980s, which were only able to make atmospheric measurements for a short time as they descended to their doom in the planet's violent, corrosive winds.
Of course, NASA's famously tight budgets have no obvious room in them for such a project, but you have to start somewhere. I wonder if peanuts and prezels will be part of the cargo?
Hey, even How Stuff Works has gotta pay the bills, ya know? And what better way to do so than running an article giving the lowdown on how a lightsaber works? What I would've given to have had one of these in the fifth grade. I guess it's just as well I didn't; explaining headless bullies to the principal would've been... tricky.
Jeff gets a commercialized but no less cool no-prize for bringing us this amusing pseudo-article.
A camouflage-clad hunter was shot in the arm and leg by another hunter who mistook the man's turkey call for a real bird, state police said.
Jerry White, 28, of Dennis Township underwent surgery Friday to repair damage to his right arm. Doctors removed 150 pellets from the arm and four from his leg.
I mean, where will it all end?!?
Okay, the world title for fastest text messaging is still raging in the streets. The victor in the most recent contest was a bit of a dark horse — 93-year-old telegraph operator Gordon Hill delivered a resounding ass-whoopin’ to his rival, 13-year-old Brittany Devlin, using Morse Code.
Or, as I've always maintained, -- ---.-. ... . -.- --- -.. . .-. --- -.-.-.- ...!
And FYI... if I ever get stuck in a hospital unable to do anything but blink, someone please put the morse alphabet in front of me. "Yes" and "no" are well and good, but it gets "p3wned" by a system that can convey the entire alphanumeric set with the same transmission method.
For the "Ripley's Believe it or not" crowd and all other fans of the macabre, we have these... interesting... anectdotes regarding what can happen when people really lose their head:
Another interesting story was published in the magazine Miracles and Adventures, as told by soldier Boris Luchkin. He was in an intelligence group during World War II. They had to cross the front line and go behind German lines. The commander of the group, a lieutenant, stepped on a mine. One of its fragments chopped his head off. Yet, the beheaded lieutenant remained standing, he unbuttoned his coat, took the map of their itinerary out, held it out to Luchnik, and then fell down on the grass.
No, we don't actually subscribe to The Weekly World News. We have this place; why would we need to?
Colonel David Hackworth, highly decorated Vietnam vet and one of the US military's most prolific gadflies, died Wednesday, age 74, apparently from complications relating to cancer. He is scheduled to buried in Arlington National Cemetery at a date to be announced.
I didn't always agree with him (like that matters), but I always took him seriously, and he was most definitely an asset to the country. He will be missed.
The 25 students in jeans and T-shirts could have been in any career that requires hustle. The classes, covering topics such as effective marketing, stress reduction and legal issues, could have been part of any professional development seminar.
But this was "Whore College," and any illusion it was just another corporate how-to for young go-getters abruptly ended at the sex toy display and was stripped away for good during a graphic demonstration that put a whole new twist on the concept of hands-on training.
It's a joke people. Get over it!
~ Chi Ro, Chi Ro
It's off to bed we go
We paid our buck we want our ****
Chi Ro, Chi Ro~
Tasteless? Crude? Us?!?
Making the rounds: after five years of off-and-on searching, it would appear scientists have finally located the wreckage of the ill-fated Mars Polar Lander. While not definitive, the evidence is the strongest yet found. NASA hopes to direct the Mars Global Surveyor to the site later this year to allow higher resolution pictures to be taken. This should confirm (or refute) the find.
For proof that NASCAR's "good ol' boy" racing ethic* is alive and well in other venues, we have BAR's recent bust for getting clever and then getting caught:
The BAR team has been banned for two races for running an underweight car at the San Marino Grand Prix.
FIA president Max Mosley said: "The facts in this case are very clear.
"The team was asked to pump the fuel out of their car [before checking it was above minimum weight]. They left 15 litres in the tank and told us it was empty."
F-1 is justifiably famous for its byzantine rules and a compliance policy based more on team popularity than on evenhanded judgement, so this is a little more gray than it would at first appear. Still, you'd think that with this arbitrary reputation the team would've thought better of trying to squeak by on a technicality. Bit them on the butt this time.
* "We don't break rules, we make rules." was (as I recall) Darryl Waltrip's quote about "cheating" in NASCAR. This is almost certainly what has happened here... when the spirit of the rules doesn't exactly square with what they say, clever people can wedge in advantages. At least until they get caught.
Roofinex: It's Only Illegal if She Rememberstm.
Special no-prize for the first person who can identify the sappy song at the beginning of the clip.
First genuine review of the next Star Wars movie comes to us courtesy of Fark, and it's actually rather positive. I guess I'm going to owe my brother a pizza if this movie knits the whole thing together and suddenly transforms the other two's suckage into class.
Just keep picking the best kitten!
Thanks to Joshua over at Blue Lens for the link!
The Post today carried this detailed article about a potential "missing link" fossil between plant-eating dinosaurs known as therizinosaurs and meat-eating raptors:
The long-tailed dinosaur ate plants but still had the body of a meat-eater. It was a made-to-order victim for any passing marauder, except for its powerful, ropy arms and the four-inch talons on the ends of its forepaws.
Fark linked up a similar article which has better pictures.
Poor textbooks are nothing new, not exclusive to the United States, and are actually the symptom of a much bigger problem than bad science.
While this article on just how dumb American school textbooks are makes a lot of noise about how awful things are now, I can state quite categorically this is nothing new. People were making the same "horrible discovery" of politically correct groupthink about the textbooks we used in High School 20 years ago, and they were actually much better than drivel used in the late '60s and early '70s. To this day I'm mildly surprised to read a history book that says something good about Western civilization without immediately qualifying it with something horrible.
But it's not just the US. Japan's version of PC-as-education (the whole "Pearl Harbor was a strike against Western imperialism that resulted in Japan's vicitmization with atomic weaponry" theme) regularly gets it into hot water with its neighbors. We won't even start about what a classroom in Egypt, India, or Russia is stocked with.
The bottom line is when you politicize something it will be politics, not rationality or scientific veracity or even basic common sense, that will rule the day. Government is run by whatever set of busybodies happen to be ascendent in any particular region at any particular time, and those busybodies will be the ones who set the agendas for the schools. And don't get all huffy about fundamentalist wackos teaching kids about Noah and the ark. For every loon you show me trying to wedge Genesis into a science text book I will quite easily show you a loon trying to wedge Paul Erlich into the same space.
Is there a solution? It's hard to say. There have been dozens, perhaps hundreds, of experiments in "good" public schooling in the roughly century-and-a-half it has existed. Unfortunately, such experiments are far more contingent on how effective they are as a lever to drive a wedge of political belief around than they are on how well they teach Alan and Betty to read. Hence the ones that actually get a shot nearly always fail, sometimes disastrously, while others that make immenent sense but are essentially a-political are never tried at all.
Higher education is even worse, since tenure has largely sheltered dinosaurs whose political beliefs (socialism, post-modernism, environmentalism, nihilism, fundamentalism, etc.) have elsewhere succumbed to the gigantic asteroid impact of the 20th century. Keep in mind we actually pay extra to allow these fossils-in-the-making to "educate" our children.
In the end I think, as with anything government touches, the best we can hope for is not "best-practice", but rather "least-worst", and even that will come only through constant struggle. This is not as depressing as it may at first sound. America has been muddling through with a least-worst school system for the past 150 years, and we've done pretty well over the long haul.
But it doesn't mean we should stop trying. The loons may twirl to the right or to the left as they bark madly in the night, but make no mistake, they are out there.
And they'll take our children if we let them.
Jeff gets his second no-prize of the day for bringing us a tale of clowns, wiggers, and defenseless Japanese economy cars:
2 weeks later, he is asking to borrow my cordless drill.
He just bought a body kit, yo, and heeds to be down fo' shizzle wit da tool dawg to istall it, no wut hes sane, dawg?
Body kit. Pay attention. It gets good here.
So he drills all of the holes, double sided tape and screws this motherfucker to his car, and it REALLY is beginning to look like a space ship. or a an alien life form. Or a circus car. Well, circus, not yet. Thats coming. heres the problem. The body kit is white. The car is dark green. It looks like a burrito vomit.....and the car is a full 4 inches wider, and 2 inches lower than it was before.
He cant get the doors to open or close properly, because the "body kit, yo" is catching the door jamb. So, always the helpful one, I give him my grinder. That was the coolest, watching this 'tard grind on his new 1200 dollar yo yo word up body kit. word. It was the flyest, dawg.
Now, I wouldn't have quite as much fun as this guy (or Jeff for that matter), because the spider is actually in the same weight class as these clowns. But beating a 32 year-old sports car with your brand new ricer is sorta like a 16 year-old golf champ out-putting Arnold Palmer. Possible? Yeah, but who would you rather hang out at the clubhouse with?
Jeff gets a no-prize with a big "M" stamped on it for bringing us evidence that there is absolutely nothing George Lucas will say "no" to when it comes to making a buck.
I don't know man, there's just something surreal about seeing death squads, maniacal mass-murderers, and weapons of planetary destruction turned into cute M&M characters. Let's just say I'm damned glad Saddam Hussein wasn't smart enough to hire Madison Avenue in 1990. He'd probably be a regular on Oprah by now.
Why yes that's a bee on my head. Why do you ask?
At first I thought it was some sort of weird jet power, but on close inspection, I'm pretty sure there's a regular motor under there somewhere. Yup, it's an oct-turbo motor, one whirring pinwheel per cylinder. God knows how you change the spark plugs...
The U.S. Department of Education recently undertook a monumental project called the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, which tracks the progress of more than 20,000 American schoolchildren from kindergarten through the fifth grade. Aside from gathering each child's test scores and the standard demographic information, the ECLS also asks the children's parents a wide range of questions about the families' habits and activities. The result is an extraordinarily rich set of data that, when given a rigorous economic analysis, tells some compelling stories about parenting technique.
But the ECLS data show no correlation between a child's test scores and how often his parents read to him. How can this be? Here is a sampling of other parental factors that matter and don't:
•Matters: The child has highly educated parents.
•Doesn't: The child regularly watches TV at home.
•Matters: The child's parents have high income.
•Doesn't: The child's mother didn't work between birth and kindergarten.
•Matters: The child's parents speak English in the home.
•Doesn't: The child's parents regularly take him to museums.
•Matters: The child's mother was 30 or older at time of the child's birth.
•Doesn't: The child attended Head Start.
•Matters: The child's parents are involved in the PTA.
•Doesn't: The child is regularly spanked at home.
Bummer about the museum thing though. Meh, she's going anyway.
Oh shut up. Like you didn't already know we were nerds...
The weird thing is, Ellen would actually be happy about this:
A two-foot snake found its way into a packet of breakfast cereal, it emerged today.
Five-year-old Jordan Willett, from Dawley, Shropshire, discovered the live reptile inside his box of Golden Puffs on Bank Holiday Monday.
An expert called in to examine the corn snake, which is non-venomous and feeds on mice and birds, said he had no doubt the animal had been kept as a pet in England and had been well looked after.
However, it would probably make for an excellent vehicle toward speeding us to our various inheritances. Both grandmothers would experience that "clink-clanky" feeling of crapping bricks if Olivia were to start giggling and playing with a 2 foot snake on their watch.
Come to think of it, so would I.
The new Star Wars movie was shown to reporters and reviewers last night, and the current buzz is it's not a kids movie at all:
"Episode III — Revenge of the Sith" is the first "Star Wars" tale to receive a PG-13 rating. The movie was screened for reporters Tuesday night at Lucas' Skywalker Ranch, and the PG-13 rating — "for sci-fi violence and some intense images" — is well-deserved.
The action is relentless and includes sequences more dark and disturbing than anything previously seen in the tragic Skywalker soap opera.
Which is bad if you have a kid in the, say, 4-10 year old range. But might be good if you have a 4-10 year old inside you who's been flinging popcorn at screenings of the past two films. We'll see...
The animals lived in a time when Africa was in an ice age, and before any animals had colonised the land. According to the team, they lived in a shallow sea fed by melt waters from receding ice-sheets.
Interesting in one respect because, until now, fish evolution was thought to have ocurred elsewhere. Interesting in another because, at this point in history, one of these fossil fish (either in Africa or elsewhere) eventually lead to us.
Countercolumn has a whole passle of interesting stories regarding Iraq:
For myself, I can say without hesitation that I support the "insurgency", and would do so even if my only 21 year old son was serving in Iraq. There’s simply no other morally acceptable option.
Those who argue that we cannot leave Iraq in a state of chaos don’t realize that stabilizing the situation on the ground is tantamount to an American victory and a vindication for the policies of aggression. This would be a bigger disaster than the invasion itself. The Bush administration is fully prepared to carry on its campaign of global domination by force unless an unmovable object like the Iraqi insurgency blocks its way. Many suspect, that if it wasn’t for the resistance, the US would be in Tehran and Damascus right now. This, I think, is a rational assumption. For this reason alone, antiwar advocates should carefully consider the implications of “so-called” humanitarian objectives designed to pacify the population. “Normalizing” aggression by ameliorating its symptoms is the greatest dilemma we collectively face.
Because, you know, spreading democracy to other countries is bad. Why, they may start believing they can run the place! The horror!
The little boy screamed out "I am sorry, I don't want to die, I want my father." QUSAY said, "Your father is in the cell next door", which was true. QUSAY then proceeded to spray him with gas and he died after about ten minutes of agony. We could hear them screaming... I estimate that QUSAY SADDAM HUSSEIN personally murdered between 1200-1300 people during this period."
But of course, this was a war without reason, a war about money. Intellectual purity must always trump actual consequences, no? Keep this all in mind next time you watch your child play on a swing, and then come back and tell me it was all for naught.
Interviewer: You slaughtered him?
'Adnan Elias: Yes, sir. Habib 'Izzat Hamu got the knife. He slaughtered him, and when he was dead, he opened his shirt buttons and cut open his stomach.
Interviewer: Who opened him up?
'Adnan Elias: Muhsin, sir.
Interviewer: What did he take out?
'Adnan Elias: I don't know, his guts.
Interviewer: Go on.
'Adnan Elias: Yes, sir. He opened him up, took stuff out, and put TNT and explosives inside. Then he sewed up his stomach with thick thread.
Interviewer: With thread?
'Adnan Elias: Yes. And a needle. He put the buttons back in place...
'Adnan Elias: 15 to 30 minutes later they told his family to come and get their son. His father came with two policemen. They picked up the body and made no more than two steps – we were standing far away – Ahmad Sinjar pressed the button.
Interviewer: By remote control.
'Adnan Elias: The body exploded on them, and they died.
And those of you who admire Michael Moore, well, I'll leave you with Jason's own note:
"They are the MINUTEMEN, the Revolution. And they will win."
There's the trot line. Let's see if we can catch a few lunkers with it...
Jeff gets a little green no-prize for bringing us news that scientists are becoming increasingly convinced life exists on Mars:
Much of the excitement is due to the work of Vittorio Formisano, head of research at Italy's Institute of Physics and Interplanetary Space.
Formisano showed evidence of the presence of formaldehyde in the atmosphere. Formaldehyde is a breakdown product of methane, which was already known to be present in the Martian atmosphere, so in itself its presence is not so surprising. But Formisano measured formaldehyde at 130 parts per billion.
There are three mechanisms that could account for such a concentration, and two of them are non-biological. However, no evidence for the two non-biological methods has been found. Confirmation of life may have to wait until a new rover is sent to the red planet. NASA has one scheduled for 2010.
This simple yet effective concoction is an old favourite of gardeners trying to encourage moss growth and provides an excellent alternative to spray paint.
Luckily our house is faced with some sort of siding, otherwise I'm sure the entire front would consist of a cat face.
ABCnews is carrying this update on the upcoming XBox2. It's from Gates himself, so it's long on vision and short on detail, but it would appear the box is going to include more "media center" features, whatever that means. Maybe The Borg is taking aim at TiVo?
Just about the only thing that'd get me interested in one is if Halo-3 comes out for it and only it. Which, considering the stakes, is IMO pretty much a given. Meh. my friend Damion owns every video game console in the world, I'll wait till he gets one.
Yesterday Slashdot linked up this detailed refutation of intelligent design. Very well done, but essentially re-states what we've said here before. To wit: intelligent design is not science, hence it has no business in a science classroom.
New Scientist is reporting that after a year of delays, the Mars Express probe will finally deploy its MARSIS radar antenna. Short for Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionosphere Sounding, the instrument consists of three whip-like antennas (two of which are nearly 20 meters long) strung with wire. If successfully deployed, MARSIS should allow the Mars Express probe to search for water as much as a mile and a half below the Martian surface.
Fark linked up a summary of the latest in Jack the Ripper investigations. As with Patricia Cornwell, retired British detective Trevor Marriott cast his net beyond Whitechapel itself, and came up with evidence for similar killings in other countries. His conclusion was quite different, pointing the finger not at an artist, but a sailor.
This is a reminder to all of you men out there to do your monthly nut checks!!
While this Paul Graham article is interesting in and of itself as a "how to spot lazy reporters" guidebook, what I found striking was one of the tools he uses:
The secret to finding other press hits from a given pitch is to realize that they all started from the same document back at the PR firm. Search for a few key phrases and the names of the clients and the experts, and you'll turn up other variants of this story.
"Casual fridays are out and dress codes are in," writes Diane E. Lewis in The Boston Globe. In a remarkable coincidence, Ms. Lewis's industry contacts also include the creative director of GQ.
"Ripped jeans and T-shirts are out," writes Mary Kathleen Flynn in US News & World Report. And she too knows the creative director of GQ.
"Men's suits are back," writes Nicole Ford in Sexbuzz.Com ("the ultimate men's entertainment magazine").
"Dressing down loses appeal as men suit up at the office," writes Tenisha Mercer of The Detroit News.
Why so remarkable? Because this is exactly how scholars reasoned out the existence of the "Q" document as a primary, but lost, text about Jesus's teachings.
I wonder... if scholars used the whole panopoly of textual tests and theories developed over the years to tease out Q on modern news reports, would they be able to reconstruct the press releases those reports were based on? Since both exist and are (presumeably) easy to get at, this would be an elegant and falsifiable way to test this contentious academic issue.
Not that it'd shut up any fundamentalist out there, but it would provide a nice bulwark (or nasty knock) to the theory in academic circles. Certainly something an enterprising history grad student or doctoral candidate could build a thesis around.
Me? Oh hell I hate school. Maybe when I retire, assuming Olivia and/or Ellen don't make me stroke out before then.
It would appear that the latest comment-spam lamprey to attach itself to our site is a small-time thug with about a dozen zombies at his disposal. If your MT activity logs have suddenly become filled with poker-related denies, the list below may be of some service. Just add it to the deny section of your .htaccess file.
I know most spammers have legions of zombies to do their bidding. Our two god-like regex'es seem to be taking care of those. But if I can knock just one small timer out, I feel I've done the community a service. Tell your friends!
deny from 220.127.116.11
deny from 18.104.22.168
deny from 22.214.171.124
deny from 126.96.36.199
deny from 188.8.131.52
deny from 184.108.40.206
deny from 220.127.116.11
deny from 18.104.22.168
deny from 22.214.171.124
deny from 126.96.36.199
deny from 188.8.131.52
deny from 184.108.40.206
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deny from 18.104.22.168
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Problem: Unreasonable greenies have convinced the socialist propeller-heads in your government to render illegal your trillion-dollar century-old energy infrastructure in a decade to "prevent global warming."
Ultimate objective: force the capitalist pigs to beggar themselves trying to switch from cheap fossil fuels to expensive and impractical "renewable" energy sources, thereby forcing the social revolution predicted by their betters for some 150 years.
Actual solution: upgrade the energy source:
The latest advocates [of "zero-emission" power plants that burn coal or gas but release no carbon dioxide] are former fans of renewable energy at the European Union, who say the strategy will be "essential" if the EU is to meet targets for limiting the emissions of the greenhouse gas CO2. This month, at a conference in Brussels, Europe's new commissioner for energy, Andris Piebalgs, said the EU could cut CO2 emissions while continuing to burn its native coal and lignite. And still stay economically competitive.
Will it work? If Kyoto holds, it almost certainly will... the imperatives in that treaty pretty much require success. The amusing thing to see is if the greenies and their socialist brethren let it work. Any close reading of a green manifesto will reveal their objective is not a clean environment, but rather the radical dislocation of western capitalism by attacking its infrastructure in an attempt to foment a classic proletariat revolution.
The beauty of capitalism is its successful ability to innovate around virtually any obstacle, when it is allowed to do so. If nothing else the success of such an initiative should provide a nice filter to separate those who simply care about a clean environment from those who care about the intellectual purity of that environment. The trick now is to make sure the latter don't lock the former out of government policy-making.
Of course, none of it makes any difference over here, since we managed not to sign the blasted thing. I think it would be excellent if Europe mangles its heavy industry for a generation developing cleaner fuels while we cheer from the sidelines and then buy their technology when it's completely de-bugged. It'd be a nice payback for, and an ironic reversal of, the 1970s.
Fark linked up this listing of cancelled and renewed TV shows. We're not much for network TV nowadays, but with the exception of Enterprise, the shows we do watch seem to be "in". Fans of shows still "on the bubble" should keep checking back for updates.
Peruvian officials saved some 4,000 endangered frogs from being whizzed into popular drinks after they were found hidden in an abattoir.
Frog cocktails are popular in the Andes because of their supposed aphrodisiac qualities. Shops in central Lima selling the drinks have tanks where customers can choose their frogs.
People bitch and moan about the west's insatiable desire for material goods causing the destruction of both environment and species. What they willfully ignore is that the vast majority of this destruction is done to ensure old men in their cherished "traditional" cultures can continue deflowering virgins and buggering little boys.
The Washington Post today carried this update on the Genesis probe. Intended to gather pristine examples of solar wind particles, the probe crashed into the Utah desert this past September instead of being gently recovered by helicopters hovering above. While seen as a tragic failure at the time, eight months of examination have revealed the effort as far from wasted.
A white South African farmer and one of his employees were convicted of feeding his former black worker to lions while still alive in a premeditated murder, a court ruled on Thursday.
Investigators found little more than a skull, a few bones and a finger last year in the enclosure for rare white lions in the northern Limpopo province, where the murder took place.
Somewhere a Sigfried and Roy producer is saying "been there, done that."
Put on some classical music and you have a little girl that will not only conduct music, but turns into an instant flapper styled ballerina!
Kompas daily reported yesterday that the pygmy community had been found during an April 18-24 expedition in the village of Rampapasa, about 1km from the village of Liang Bua, where the species called Homo floresiensis was found.
The newspaper quoted Koeshardjono, a biologist who discovered the pygmy village, saying 77 families had been found there.
Teuku Jacob, a professor at Gadjah Mada University, who led the human anthropology research team, said 80 per cent of the Rampapasa villagers were small, with most male adults under 145cm and female adults about 135cm.
Read the entire story.