July 31, 2010
Definitely Better than, "Kaboom"

Scientists have figured out how to use an exotic form of carbon to simulate very powerful electromagnetic fields. I think. There was stuff in there about electrons and chicken wire, I do know that. That's gotta be good for something, eh?

Posted by scott at 09:40 AM | Comments (0)
Bah. That'll Buff Out.

Looks like something went "boom" next to a tanker, and now the captain's going to have to call Geico. I'd like to think this was hajji using a small bomb to take out a big boat, but I tend to agree the most likely cause is a nearly-dead mine from the old Iran-Iraq war. Still, that's going to take a whole lotta bondo to fix.

Posted by scott at 09:22 AM | Comments (0)
July 30, 2010
Our Girl in Seven Years


Tell me I'm wrong.

Posted by scott at 10:27 PM | Comments (0)
A Fickle Finger, Indeed

Kevin gets a no-prize that'll crash a dinner party and then snarl about how the English have no balls for bringing us a first-hand account of someone who went on pilgrimage to go see Galileo. Rrrm... sort of. Being an Italian through and through, fate ensured the proper finger would be preserved. Oh don't worry, Ellen's already made similar arrangements.

Posted by scott at 10:05 PM | Comments (0)

Put it this way... you probably don't want to go swimming in a swamp, anyway. And dude, you definitely need a bigger boat.

Posted by scott at 06:38 AM | Comments (0)
Alzheimer's Update

Scientists are using new imaging techniques to come up with better theories of how Alzheimer's works. Which, of course, is likely to lead the way toward effective treatments. There's even some indication it may ultimately be an autoimmune disorder.

Posted by scott at 06:32 AM | Comments (0)
Picture Perfect

Leonard Nimoy has decided to put his other profession on exhibit. 26 photos seems to me sort of a smallish exhibit, but then again not quite half of them are life-sized. A shame they didn't put a few technical details in the article. I'd be interested to know what sort of camera he uses etc.

Posted by scott at 06:23 AM | Comments (0)
July 29, 2010
From The Side of The Road

Don't you normally find these portraits at flea markets with tacky gold frames along with tiger blankets?

Posted by Ellen at 08:51 PM | Comments (0)
I'm Actually Surprised the Damned Things Fit

Being a bazillionaire is no defense against a pissed off civil servant. As if parking, what, half a million dollars worth of cars in front of your store isn't publicity enough. Now that I think about it, I'm calling it damned likely said "pissed off" civil servant got more than just a heads-up about this opportunity. Meh, who cares.

Posted by scott at 07:39 PM | Comments (0)
July 28, 2010
007 Cat

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Posted by Ellen at 09:25 PM | Comments (0)
Cool. Maybe They'll Sell Us Some

China has announced plans to build a Saturn V-class booster. Planning is, obviously, not the same thing as building. The F-1 engine, which was so unbelievably powerful it only took five to start my favorite rocket on its journey, is rightly considered an utter marvel of engineering, a shining example of what infinite money and infinite talent can achieve. The Chinese don't have either of those things, but they do have fifty years of technology advancement to leverage. And having, what, a quarter of the world's population means their talent pool may not be deep, but it is pretty f-ing broad. I wouldn't count them out. And what the heck is wrong with it anyway, after all?

Posted by scott at 06:33 PM | Comments (0)
Waiit a SECOND

There's advertising, and then there's advertising. I'm sure this will come as an utter shock to all of you, but sometimes the subtleties in life escape me. The fact I "got" this one means it's not all that subtle, I'm thinking.

Posted by scott at 06:17 PM | Comments (0)
Chicken Little's Government

Mike J. gets a no-prize he'll need four department stamps and six forms filled out in triplicate to receive for bringing us a brilliant example of what a progressive looks like dining on ashes. "Peak state," like its cousin peak oil, is a chimera built on the assumption that everyone else is stupid and will remain so until and unless they wake up and recognize that the elite really do know what's good for them.

That everyone else is just as damned smart as they are, and that, with the proper incentives, everyone else can come up with some damned clever ideas indeed, never once occurs to the folks on the left side of the peanut gallery. Quite the opposite, they're already sneering at this, thinking how I court destruction and chaos for even mentioning the possibility.

You know, that every one of us has the potential to succeed, and that together we can do amazing things. Yeah, that's definitely a terrible thing to talk about.

Posted by scott at 05:56 PM | Comments (0)
It Makes for a Pleasant Thought

Michael Barone: "So the Republicans' current lead in the generic ballot question suggests they may be on the brink of doing better than in any election since 1946, when they won a 245-188 margin in the House -- larger than any they've held ever since." I've become such a policy wonk, I am genuinely excited about the potential for the Republicans to end up with a majority in both houses after November. I know my own party well enough to view the possibility of the Republicans ending up with veto- and filibuster-proof majorities with considerable trepidation.

That the Democrats can take mandates for hope and change and in less than two years turn them into a thumping not seen in more than half a century, I find not surprising in the least.

Posted by scott at 12:56 PM | Comments (1)

A new armored vehicle being built in Britain has passed yet another spectacular test. I'm reminded of those Evel Knievel toy cars that would blow apart if they hit something hard, and then just snapped back together again.

Posted by scott at 07:06 AM | Comments (1)
Paging Montgomery Scott, White Courtesy Phone Please

It seems a recent discovery about how magnetic fields interact with plasma may lead to a new way of protecting astronauts in space. It's been found that the way the particles interact with the field means their ability to deflect those particles much better than the simple strength of the field would predict. It's still not known if the effect will scale up enough to provide real protection to something as big as a space craft, but only time (and research) will tell.

Posted by scott at 06:56 AM | Comments (0)

So, is Catalonia's ban on bullfighting a stand against cruelty, or a stalking horse for independence? Dude, I think US politics is confusing, and I've lived my whole life here. Another country with a tradition of democracy less than 15% as long as ours? No way.

Posted by scott at 06:46 AM | Comments (0)
July 27, 2010

Posted by Ellen at 08:56 PM | Comments (1)
Well... That's Helpful...

Jesus is coming! Quick! Look busy!

I always liked, "Jesus Saves Sinners, and Redeems Them Later for Valuable Prizes" better.

Posted by scott at 06:46 PM | Comments (2)
July 26, 2010

What better way to end a tough Monday than a collection of time slices? Photography became popular because it allowed the truth of what we see every day to outlast time. It has endured because it captures the strange truth of an instant.

And lets our friends show it to us the next morning. Damn, man, put some pants on!!!

Posted by scott at 10:16 PM | Comments (0)
Impact Fungus

It seems that the on-again, off-again idea that an impact caused the extinction of Pleistocene megafauna is off again. I'm always suspicious when a group of scientists claim they have found The Answer.

Posted by scott at 06:42 PM | Comments (1)
As We Say, Not As We Do

Credit at least one MSM outlet for noting John Kerry only wants to raise taxes on you. No, I don't call this a "progressives suck" issue. I call this an "elitists suck" issue. However,it does seem that most progressives and liberals I know feel government should be powerful, and the reason the government sucks is we haven't found the right people to run it yet. I maintain government attracts people who suck, and the only way to control them is to limit their power.

Vote libertarian! We want to take over the government so it will leave you alone!

Posted by scott at 09:42 AM | Comments (0)
Insert, "The Wheels on the" Comment Here

MSNBC has finally noticed a trend my extended family has been taking advantage of for a few years now: express bus service between large metropolitan centers is a growing business. My bunch's favorite seems to be the Vamoose line, although that's not mentioned in the article.

Posted by scott at 06:28 AM | Comments (1)
July 25, 2010
JA Fight Club

Posted by Ellen at 07:55 PM | Comments (0)
My Kind of Dome

Israel's effort to remove glorified bottle rockets, mortars, and artillery from Hamas's list of "toys with which I would like to play" has completed its final tests and will be deployed by November of this year. Even better, there's lots of interest in the product. My guess at a prime customer? Another small country sharing a border with a bunch of homicidal maniacs. This thing sounds small enough to purchase and deploy discreetly. All in all, a good thing.

Posted by scott at 05:07 PM | Comments (0)
Your Thoughts for the Day

Ganked from a Fark thread. Which will, of course, set off another round of recriminations from that weird crank who's taken permanent offense at our 403 error message. But I digress...

A quick Gun Thread guide by TK

1. 2nd amendment only refers to the military!
1. So are you a member of a well-regulated militia?

1a. Nope. The supreme court decided in DC vs. Heller that the "well regulated militia" was an "inclusionary" clause, not an "exclusionary" one. In short, the 2nd amendment legally means what the NRA has been saying it meant this entire time.

2. You're obviously compensating for something

2a. Ask your mom, she'd know.

3. Guns lead to crime!

3a. Nope. States with open carry have lower violent crime rates (after being balanced for population. Of course Wyoming has less crime than New York.. they have fewer people, too!)

4. What about "common sense" restrictions like background check, etc?

4a. If you have to beg for permission to do something, it's no longer a right. Personally, I don't think it's a great idea, the government having a nicely formatted list of everybody with so much as a pistol.. do you?

5. But those laws make it harder for criminals to get guns!

5a. And I'm sure all the criminals out there will choose to abide by your law instead of buying them off the black market.

6. Guns have no purpose but to kill people and should be banned!

6a. Tell that to the ladies and gentlemen who go down to the range every weekend to have some fun. Some people collect stamps, some people collect guns. Some people play golf, some people go target shooting. What business of yours is someone else's hobby that isn't affecting you?

7. What do you need such a dangerous tool for?

7a. None of your damned business. Less bluntly, a gun is only dangerous when misused, much like any other tool. Did you know that concealed carry permit holders are statistically the LEAST LIKELY group to commit a crime or unintentionally harm someone?

8. So since you view any restrictions on the 2nd as unconstitutional, clearly this means it's okay for you to develop a nuclear bomb in your garage.

8a. Nice strawman. Call me when that actually happens and actually makes it to court. Keep in mind that there are entirely different laws on weapons of mass destruction, even on an international level.

9. The founding fathers wouldn't know anything about the powerful weapons we have today, the 2nd doesn't cover those.
9. The 2nd amendment is a relic of a bygone era

9a. Who determines if a right enshrined in our constitution is "antiquated"? You? Haha. The legislature. Oh, whoops, they already decided that it was nothing of the sort. (see 1a). How would you feel if your right to free speech or right to face your accuser was deemed "antiquated"? That's basically what you're asking; on a constitutional level, both are equal.

Always available at http://bit.ly/gungrabbers
Posted by scott at 04:54 PM | Comments (1)
Praize BeJeeebus!!

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Posted by Ellen at 04:52 PM | Comments (0)
Of Fur and Vagabond

It is not in the nature of cats, at least in the case of the platoon of strays we have adopted in our travels around the world, to freight themselves with speculations about their fortune in finding human refuge. From the get-go, Scuzzi behaved as if he knew how blessed we — as much as he — were by his turn towards our verandah when all other hope for him was gone.

A very sweet story.

Posted by Ellen at 03:25 PM | Comments (0)
Planets Planets Everywhere

A NASA space probe launched last year is finding evidence of hundreds of planets around dozens of nearby stars. Even better, at least some of these newly discovered worlds are Earth-like, rocky, and orbiting a sane distance from their star.

Posted by scott at 02:59 PM | Comments (0)
Meanwhile, at Farnborough

Congratulations to Boeing for a remarkable showing and even more remarkable send-off of the 787 "Dreamliner" at this year's Farnborough air show. What I find most remarkable is the dihedral of those wings... it looks like the wingtips are quite a bit higher than the top of the cabin. It seems that, with the right combination, even a whale can have a specific sort of beauty.

Posted by scott at 09:19 AM | Comments (0)
Quick Exit

Ever wonder just how fast a pilot can get out of a plane in trouble? Wonder no more. It'll be interesting to find out just what went wrong there. Multi-million dollar jet fighters don't just fall from the sky for no reason.

Update: the video seems to indicate he was practicing a very low-speed pass for an airshow. To my (admittedly inexpert) eye, it doesn't look like a bird strike or mechanical failure. Rather, it seems the pilot exceeded some critical threshold, either angle of attack or perhaps a control input, and over it went. I've watched F-18s do this sort of maneuver at airshows for well over a decade. I had no idea it had the potential to go this wrong.

Posted by scott at 09:06 AM | Comments (0)
July 24, 2010


At the Shenandoah National Park today!

Posted by Ellen at 09:59 PM | Comments (1)
July 23, 2010

Scientists have discovered evidence of a dinosaur hunting small mammals. The fossil preserves both the burrows the mammals were living in, and the claw marks of the dinosaur that (presumably) dug them out.

Posted by scott at 07:14 AM | Comments (0)
Adapt and Conquer

Now that the human genome is well and truly mapped, scientists are discovering lots of evidence for very recent evolution in our species. No wonder Chinese people have a reputation for drinking everyone else under the table!

Posted by scott at 07:05 AM | Comments (0)
I Shall Call it, "Purpl-Ray"

Looks like the core technology of the PS4 is slowing making its way out of a lab. I just got a damned blu-ray player. This new tech better take its sweet time going into production.

Posted by scott at 07:00 AM | Comments (0)
An Unconventional Cozy

And now, the world's strongest beer. Inside of a squirrel. Yeah, you heard me, squirrel. That would make for an interesting companion to Ellen's "vomiting frog," donchathink?

Posted by scott at 06:55 AM | Comments (0)
Blind Ambition

That whole, "people who want to be seen naked usually shouldn't be seen naked" thing? How about a guy has made a whole music video on just that theme. Video is SFW, but some of the pictures may have you reaching for the eye bleach.

Posted by scott at 06:37 AM | Comments (0)
July 22, 2010

They are named for their resemblance to architect Buckminster Fuller's geodesic domes, which have interlocking circles on the surface of a partial sphere. Buckyballs were thought to float around in space, but had escaped detection until now.


Posted by Ellen at 06:44 PM | Comments (0)


Either he fell off, or he really did end it there. Not gory, but NSFW due to the ads.

Posted by Ellen at 06:27 PM | Comments (0)
Jelly Not On My List

The children were enjoying Popsicles and were being bathed in vinegar, which is a common treatment for jellyfish stings. They also were given antihistamines and anti-inflammatory medications.

Really, what is this world coming too. Too many odd things going on.

2012 is only a year and a half away.

Posted by Ellen at 07:13 AM | Comments (0)
July 21, 2010
Prickly Love!

Posted by Ellen at 09:44 PM | Comments (1)
A Word of Thanks

Those of you who think the NRA is a giant conspiracy to ensure white people stay on top are pleased to be sitting down and shutting up, now. I think the best, the best part, is that the justice who went through horrific humiliation to get his job will likely be the justice who defines liberty in the 21st century. BONUS: justifies not only the crap that makes the left squirm, but the crap that makes the right squirm, too.

Posted by scott at 09:38 PM | Comments (2)

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Posted by Ellen at 09:30 PM | Comments (0)
Cargo Hold Vomits Spiders

He added that the agency doesn't know whether the spiders are venomous, but that the critters are in various sizes. Agriculture officials also don't know if Guam's tropical climate can allow these spiders to thrive.

Umm...where is my shoe?

Posted by Ellen at 08:43 PM | Comments (0)
Olivia and Her Simba Baby


Olivia is STILL in Disney till Friday! I have no idea how she is getting all of the presents back here. Grammy did not pack an extra suitcase!

Posted by Ellen at 05:58 PM | Comments (0)
Think Small

It seems that, with nuclear power anyway, smaller may just very well be better. All honest players admit the only viable alternative to hydrocarbon energy is nuclear, and it's going to be that way for a very long time. Any development toward making it safer, cheaper, or easier to use is a net plus in my book.

Posted by scott at 07:25 AM | Comments (0)

While I've read a few first-hand accounts of what being a prison inmate is like, I've never found one quite this detailed before. Yet another reminder of why everyone should really, really avoid doing dumb stuff that will get you tossed in jail, eh?

Posted by scott at 07:00 AM | Comments (0)
A Very Cool 2 Minutes!

Posted by Ellen at 05:51 AM | Comments (0)
July 20, 2010

It seems there's a really good chance a recent mudslide in Germany was caused by a long forgotten underground Nazi Zyklon-B factory. Hitler took everything good about one of the best cultures in Europe and harnessed it, then twisted it, into something so horrific it defines the term. And now it seems the very ground of Germany will not forgive them.

Posted by scott at 08:38 PM | Comments (0)
When Vultures Attack

No, really, when vultures attack! As a cyclist who drives a bike that's mostly plastic, my greatest fear is Buffy the Cellphone Slayer talking to her friend and brushing on nail polish, wondering what that weird *thump* was when she accidentally drifted right across the shoulder of the road. I simply don't go fast enough to worry about BIRDS.

Posted by scott at 08:22 PM | Comments (0)
Coyote Ugly

I've had an essay critiquing just why I have such a problem with what the folks on the left side of the peanut gallery are advocating for two, three years, I think. Now I don't have to write it. BONUS: Includes a riposte to various education debates I've had recently. I don't expect you to agree with it. Frankly, I'll be quite surprised if you don't run shrieking to the top of your bell tower and twirl leftward at more than mach one, ringing the bells all the while about how terrible me and mine are. It's in your nature. But this is, exactly, why I'm a libertarian.

Posted by scott at 08:11 PM | Comments (0)
A Special Sort of Plowshare

Tempelhof airport, who's checkered past includes a monument to Nazi pomposity as well as the eastern anchor of the Berlin Airlift, has been turned into an enormous open-air park. I would think the flat, miles-long runways with their great, curved taxiways would make for some spectacular cycling opportunities. But I'm funny that way, donchaknow?

Posted by scott at 08:02 AM | Comments (0)
July 19, 2010
RRrmmm.. Whut?

Ok, and in the, "I'll take your word for it, and no, I don't need the details of how you found that out" file, we have The Electrical Characteristics of Three Human Penises. Or should that be "Peni?" Yes, yes, ladies, I get it, ain't got nothing on what you have to go through on your yearly. That said, last I heard, electricity wasn't directly involved in your garden variety pelvic exam...

Posted by scott at 10:08 PM | Comments (0)
Just When You Thought They'd Done it All

You remember that corvette the North Koreans didn't sink? That they definitely, quite positively didn't sink? That they would bump you on the chest in the playground and thump you over on your butt for implying that they may have sunk something which they didn't sink? Yeah, about that...

I would like to go on record to state there's a left-wing crazy that is so crazy even I, a card carrying member of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy, can't tie into something Obama is doing. And this bunch has nukes. Fizzly nukes, yes, but they also have eight-and-a-half bajillion artillery pieces within range of the car companies who make most of everyone else's wheels. I mean, dude...

Posted by scott at 09:45 PM | Comments (0)
I Find Your Lack of Fruit Disturbing

Mike J. gets a no-prize that will always win "because good... is dumb." for bringing us this graphic account of just how Apple's iPhone 4 experience has gone. I'm pretty sure that's Mandarin, but you don't really need to understand the language to get a chuckle out of it. I wonder if there's an English language version out there?

Posted by scott at 05:40 PM | Comments (0)
Wrong Kind of Hot

No matter how you translate it, a Ferrari on fire is never a good thing. It appears nobody was hurt, so there is that. And yes, very lucky indeed that one of the passers-by was a big fire extinguisher!

Posted by scott at 05:30 PM | Comments (0)
~ So Always Look For / The Little Blue Label ~

I guess, in a way, this is news: a non-profit agency's effort to certify market fish are what they say they are actually works. Likely it adds to the cost as well, but most people will pay a certain premium to ensure they're getting what they're paying for.

Posted by scott at 06:54 AM | Comments (0)
Depends on What You Call Beauty

Personally, I don't really think these things are all that beautiful. The first set of speakers looks like something Dr. Who would face off against, the last one looks like what Pixar's light would grow up into. And yes, folks, that's about how high the real high-end can get, price-wise.

Posted by scott at 06:37 AM | Comments (1)
First Day At Disney Land!


Olivia is in L.A. with Grammy and Nina!

Posted by Ellen at 06:32 AM | Comments (0)
Rollin' Rollin' Rolllin'

Mike J. gets a no-prize that'll go anywhere for bringing us The Tank Chair, the ultimate in handicapped mobility. If something stuck Ron in a wheelchair, it'd be all Amber could do to keep him from driving one of these around in the house.

Posted by scott at 06:31 AM | Comments (1)
July 18, 2010
Olivia the Tour Guide

Olivia and I got box seats to go see Mary Poppins at the Kennedy Center, courtesy of Ellen's boss, Dr. Brown. This was only the second time I'd been to the main opera house in fourteen years, and Olivia's first time. While we were waiting, I asked her to provide a bit of a tour of our digs. The show was lots of fun!

Posted by scott at 04:26 PM | Comments (1)
Bad Bird!

Swoozie takes french fries very seriously, and does not appreciate being offered "substitute" apple fries. AS IF!

Posted by scott at 04:21 PM | Comments (0)
I Swear They Do Have Jet Packs

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Posted by Ellen at 09:09 AM | Comments (1)
July 17, 2010
Rent This Billboard

The 15-by-49-foot billboard stands on the westbound side of the highway, facing eastbound traffic. The message went up June 28, paid for by Final Exit Network, a nationwide group that provides guidance to adults seeking to end a life of constant pain from incurable illness.

That is a billboard that you won't see every day.

Posted by Ellen at 09:05 AM | Comments (0)
Plastic Mouth

From crooked teeth to straight teeth in only 60 seconds. By the hair style, it looks like she got her braces not long after I had mine removed. The ones I got had bands that wrapped around the whole tooth.

Posted by scott at 08:19 AM | Comments (0)
July 16, 2010
Step 7: WTMI!!!

And in the "straight girls are more like straight guys than even they will admit" file, we have an example of someone taking a request for redemption just that much too far. Oh get over it guys. No matter what your fantasy is, straight chicks would react to this in likely the same way you would, if it was your bud "apologizing" like that.

Posted by scott at 09:34 PM | Comments (0)
Can't Have it Both Ways

Ok, so I even have an usher on the left side of the peanut gallery who will vouch for me that I thought it was ridiculous that Obama was being blamed for BP's big spill. I will now go on record that I think it's disappointing, but unsurprising, that he's now trying to take credit for them FINALLY sorting it out.

Posted by scott at 09:20 PM | Comments (0)
Tape Doctor

Now it seems that the Mel Gibson phone tapes may have been doctored. The things said are so ludicrously over the top, and there are so many of them, I'm beginning to think the whole thing might be a hoax. Gibson's ex, who lived nearly thirty years with him and presumably has no real incentive to cover for him, says nothing like this ever happened to her.

Posted by scott at 07:10 AM | Comments (0)
Black Hole Universe

A new scientific theory is making the startling claim that our universe may lie inside a black hole that resides in a different universe. It definitely seems to explain some existing difficulties with older theories. Hopefully its predictions can be tested without a new gajillion-dollar bit of science gear.

Posted by scott at 07:02 AM | Comments (0)

Ok, folks, you can stomp the ground and cause it to shake more than this. However, since this is after all the second densest concentration of reporters in the country, the reaction was typical:


Hell, even Arkansas earthquakes top 5.0 sometimes. At least that'll knock stuff off the walls.

Posted by scott at 06:51 AM | Comments (0)
July 15, 2010
Darwin Killed My Baby's Daddy!

And in the, "I see a flaw in your cunning plan" file, we have a dude who ended up dead when his plot to gain custody of his kid on a "I got shot!" plea went all pear-shaped. Or, you know, bullet-shaped, as the case may be. No, it doesn't make any damned sense to me either, but people of high intelligence typically do not turn to a life of crime, donchaknow?

Posted by scott at 06:58 PM | Comments (0)
Steps Not Taken

Victor Davis Hanson has a ten step solution for the Obama administration that makes way too much sense for the president to think about implementing it:

Just do not mention America in the abstract anymore. After 18 months, we know that the president simply cannot reference our founding without a “but.” He seems to have forgotten that 600,000 killed each other or died 150 years ago over slavery. The Argonne, Okinawa, and Inchon are not in his lexicon. Nor is the greatest economy and defender of freedom in civilization’s history. Edison, Bell, the Wright Brothers — they might as well be Martians. If it is a question — and it sadly always is — between evoking America as dropper of atomic bombs, genocidal hegemon, enslaver, racist, anti-Muslim, etc., and not evoking America at all, then please stay quiet. ... A simple truth that we all learned in kindergarten escaped Barack Obama: America’s sins are simply those of all humankind; but only in America is the sprit of self-critique and collective betterment such that we daily strive to address and solve our innately human shortcomings rather than accept them or give into them. Instead, Obama seems to have been taught that if America alone is not perfect, then it is essentially not very good. Millions of us wince now when the president starts in on the U.S. in the abstract, since we know anything positive will always be qualified by “nevertheless,” “however,” “yet,” and “but.”

Is it November yet?

Posted by scott at 08:21 AM | Comments (0)
Faces In The Window!

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Posted by Ellen at 06:55 AM | Comments (1)
Family Photos A Bit Too Far

I have not stooped this low... yet.

Posted by Ellen at 06:36 AM | Comments (0)
July 14, 2010
I'm Too Sad To Think Of This

Exposure to the antidepressant fluoxetine causes shrimp to radically alter their behavior. While normal shrimp are more likely to avoid swimming towards light because it's often associated with prey like birds or fishermen, those exposed to fluoxetine become five times more likely to swim towards light than away from it. That change in behavior places them in harm's way, and if enough shrimp are exposed to the antidepressant the entire population could be at risk.

So much for shrimp cocktail.

Posted by Ellen at 09:29 PM | Comments (0)
I'm Surprised It's Taken this Long

And in the, "when we do it it's simple protesting but when you do it it's dangerous racism" category, we have righteous indignation that the right has stolen one of the left's most favorite memes. I thought the Bushitler stuff was ridiculous counterproductive crap, and I think this is ridiculous counterproductive crap. All three of the guys on the billboard were much more effective at being horrific bastards than any president can be. That anyone can even vaguely entertain a notion otherwise shows just how far political passion can override historical knowledge. Or, you know, common sense.

Posted by scott at 06:57 PM | Comments (0)
Old Soldiers Never Die. They Just Orbit Away

NASA has officially retired its very first data relay satellite. Launched in 1983, the TDSR-1 (tidsir?) dutifully relayed signals from shuttles, space stations, and various space probes throughout its long career. Its orbital altitude is such that it seems destined not to burn up in the atmosphere, but instead to while away the years parked twenty-two thousand miles up in the sky.

Posted by scott at 06:56 AM | Comments (1)
I'm So Glad They're Here to Tell Us These Things

The Obama administration in general and the president in particular have come to the startling conclusion that Al Qaeda hates black people. No, really! This is important! Stop laughing! Don't you realize they lack cultural sensitivity? That they engage in hate speech against poor minorities? Ok, the laughing was bad enough. I will not abide you rolling on the ground and gasping for air.

Posted by scott at 06:38 AM | Comments (0)
Accelerating Goofs

A federal agency has determined nearly all "sudden acceleration" accidents have been the fault of the driver, not the car. No, this is not 1989 all over again. Or is it?

Posted by scott at 06:27 AM | Comments (0)
July 13, 2010

No one believed me when I passed this place on the way to Atlantic City last year. I got lost and the next thing I saw was a GIANT cowboy and a general store. I felt MUCH better when one of my assistants told me he LIVED in that area and it is COWTOWN, the best flea market in the area. Rudy no longer works with me, but he still sends me text photos of COWTOWN!

He’ll roll a 160-pound barrel — like the one he uses in the rodeo arena to fend off dangerous brahma bulls — 130 miles from Washington, D.C., to Cowtown to confront his largest opponents ever, bullying.

“I once heard something, that bullies are people who try to make their light shine brighter by putting your light out,” said Nash, known as “Starvin’ Marvin,” a nearly 40-year rodeo veteran.

The goal of Nash’s barrel roll is to bring attention to bullying and the effects it can have on the lives of school children, their families and others.

Something you just have to see in person.

Posted by Ellen at 09:55 PM | Comments (0)
Redneck Rampage

Now, I'm pretty sure about half of these are fake, but I can't quite tell which half, and that means the other half are totally frikken awesome! One of Ellen's enduring memories of middle-o'-nowhere Arkansas remains all the goofy signs we saw on the roadside. Landscape-wise, Rural New York is so much like Northwest Arkansas it's scary, but they take themselves so seriously it's nowhere near as much fun as the Ozarks.

Posted by scott at 08:07 PM | Comments (0)
But It's the Tea Party that's Dangerous

An oil executive appears to have been targeted by a bomber. Everyone is constantly reminded by the MSM how dangerous potential right-wing violence is. The actuality, the real and constant actuality, of left-wing violence is, and sadly forever will be, given a gloss by progressives of most stripes.

Posted by scott at 08:00 PM | Comments (1)
Cold Bugs

By using Arctic bacteria, scientists have come up with vaccines which trigger an immune reaction, but don't survive long enough to do harm in a warm mammal body. Well, a warm mouse body, at any rate. Mice are not people, but this approach seems general enough to perhaps work on just about any of us glorified moles.

Posted by scott at 07:16 PM | Comments (0)
Rrrmm... What?

And in the, "f-ing Californians need to get better hobbies" category we have the BBC reporting on the 30 year-old tradition of Cali's finest mooning Amtrak trains. The article includes a fine example of, "people who want to be seen naked generally shouldn't be seen naked," but otherwise SFW pictures.

Posted by scott at 07:11 PM | Comments (0)
July 12, 2010
Agent T and His Drink


Posted by Ellen at 09:18 PM | Comments (1)


Posted by Ellen at 08:48 PM | Comments (0)
~ Gloom, Dispair and Agony on Me / Deep Dark Depression, Excessive Misery ~

Poor progressives. They thought they were catching a rising star, when in fact they were getting well and truly hoisted on a petard of "hope and change." How they realize it, and rationalize it, is really quite a site to behold. I let my subscription to The Washington Post lapse precisely because of the descent described in the article. I'm glad to see I wasn't the only one who noticed.

Via Instapundit.

Posted by scott at 07:09 AM | Comments (0)
July 10, 2010
Daddy's Jacket


Since it'd just stopped raining, temperatures were "only" in the mid-70s. Cold enough to wear my jacket, according to Olivia.

Posted by scott at 03:43 PM | Comments (0)
I Can Haz Scratch?

Tool use: it's not just for humans, you know. If he had an ink pot, I would not be at all surprised if he started writing with it.

Posted by scott at 10:00 AM | Comments (0)
The Trend Continues

"Insourcing," the practice of intentional locating support businesses in low-cost areas of the US, was first noted here a full six years ago. Now it seems it is both successful and growing. What I said then still holds true today:

None of this would be possible without free markets and free trade. The rich upper-middle-class "haves" would ensure no government program would ever threaten their cushy jobs, no matter how many "have-not" lower-class single mothers would be helped out of trailer parks half way across the country. Companies having no incentive to take the risk or pay the expense of training a new work force would never even dream of moving anywhere else. Without the ability to charge a price she considered fair Ms. White would have no reason to even think of a program like this, and no government official in Washington DC could ever hope to determine that price for her.

Being right is more than just a direction, you know...

Posted by scott at 09:53 AM | Comments (1)
July 09, 2010
A Psychic, for the Rest of Us

Paul the psychic octopus has picked Spain to win the world cup final. Yes, I said psychic octopus. Dude, you think I'm clever enough to make that up? Nice.

Posted by scott at 07:02 AM | Comments (0)
Standing Start Fail

Sometimes there's just no avoiding a crash. This stuff happens in all forms of racing. It just tends to be a lot nastier with the 2-wheeled variety.

Posted by scott at 06:42 AM | Comments (0)
~ Massive Bubbles / In the Sky ~

Scientists have discovered a small black hole blowing great big bubbles. Yeah, I know, but that's what they're saying. The observations show that (per usual) black holes are still not behaving exactly as current physics predict they should.

Posted by scott at 06:36 AM | Comments (0)
July 08, 2010
Landing is Hard

Power to weight, for the win!!! That russkie was one cross-breeze away from a Martin-Baker test flight.

Posted by scott at 09:30 PM | Comments (0)
*Waving At My Eyes! Waving At My Eyes!*

Posted by Ellen at 08:04 PM | Comments (1)
Coin Find

Archeologists in Britain have announced the discovery of a huge Roman coin hoard. Huge as in 52,000 coins weighing a whopping 350 pounds. The hoard was discovered by a hobbyist using his metal detector, but he had presence of mind to stop what he was doing and call in the archeologists when he realized what he'd found. The local county council now hopes to have the find declared treasure, which will allow the discoverer and the land owner to be compensated at market value for their discovery. I'll let the coin collector in the peanut gallery speculate as to just how much that might be.

Posted by scott at 09:16 AM | Comments (3)
July 07, 2010
The Lost Cat Poster

This is a reason why you do not fool around with you design team! LOL!

Posted by Ellen at 06:00 PM | Comments (0)
I Have Here in My Hand a List

The people on the left side of the peanut gallery who occasionally come out of their yurts to yell at us whenever we mention anything about the environment will likely miss the point of this article discussing The National Academy of Sciences publishing a list of scientists whom it claims should not be believed on the subject of global warming. They'll most likely treat it as a handy shortcut to a list of people to whom they should never ever listen. Others without a strong grounding in post-WWII US history may not immediately recognize the originator of the title of this article. The rest of us can put two and two together rather quickly, and draw our own conclusions.

Posted by scott at 01:55 PM | Comments (3)
Gas 'em Up

Northrop Grumman is experimenting with providing the Global Hawk UAV with autonomous aerial refueling. The trick? The UAV with the gas will fly behind the aircraft its fueling. According to N-G, this will reduce the cost of the modification by limiting changes to only the Global Hawks that will do the refueling. The ultimate goal is to reduce the number of aircraft equipped with rare, and expensive, sensors by allowing aircraft to stay on station much longer.

Posted by scott at 06:59 AM | Comments (0)
Captain Obvious on the Sea

Scientists have discovered whales do exactly the same thing we do when background noise makes it hard for someone else to hear you. Way to keep those grant dollars rolling in there, son.

Posted by scott at 06:51 AM | Comments (0)
Damned Kids

Today's media-sensationalized warning of DOOM!!! is brought to you by CNN, and the "alarming" trend of kids using decorative contact lenses. Since you all may not be paying attention, they've decided to throw in a gratuitous Lady Gaga reference, since a video she made, what, two years ago, had a scene that used CGI to make her eyes look bigger. Yeah, totally related.

Posted by scott at 06:48 AM | Comments (0)
~ 'Cause Ya Gotta Have Friends ~

A 91 year-old widow has gotten in trouble for keeping the corpses of her husband and twin sister around. As in, "around the house." One embalmed corpse was found on a couch in the garage, the other on a couch in a spare bedroom. Now that's an excuse for not sleeping over at grammas I'd accept.

Posted by scott at 06:29 AM | Comments (0)
July 06, 2010
Olivia and "Agent T". Tiger That Is.


Our first foster baby of the year! This one brought to us by a neighbor who saw him sitting on the side of the road on Rt 123!

Posted by Ellen at 10:14 PM | Comments (2)


Another neat shot I got just 'watching' Olivia and waiting for the right moment. Then...*CLICK*

Posted by Ellen at 09:59 PM | Comments (0)
First Foster of the Season

He already has a home, and it's not ours!
Posted by scott at 07:35 PM | Comments (0)
Ice Cream, for... Rrrmm... Somebody

Anything titled "Who Wants prosciutto Ice Cream?" will likely be worth a look, and this low-key look at someone who's creating just that definitely is. Ellen would never take me there, because she knows all I'd order was chocolate. Still, chocolate ice cream with booze in it sounds... intriguing...

Posted by scott at 09:38 AM | Comments (0)
July 05, 2010
Your Thought for the Day

"What our ancestors would really be thinking, if they were alive today, is: "Why is it so dark in here?" -- Terry Pratchett, Pyramids

Posted by scott at 05:22 PM | Comments (0)
Costume Fail

When I learned Wonder Woman was, after nearly seventy years, getting a costume makeover, I called for an expert opinion. When provided with an example of the previous version of her costume, Olivia's reaction was immediate and conclusive, which I quote here in its entirety, to wit: "Bllleeaaaaarrrrgggggchk!" When pressed for details, she explained the new version was, "too gothic."

I'm actually fine with either version, albeit for different reasons.

Posted by scott at 08:38 AM | Comments (0)
Irony is not Something that Fortifies a Cereal

They told me that if I voted for John McCain, liberal weblogs, chat forums, and message boards would be subject to a new era of censorship... and they were right! Vote libertarian! We want to take over the government so we can leave you alone!

Posted by scott at 08:21 AM | Comments (1)
Squashed Batteries

Scientists have announced the discovery of a material which could some day become the heart of a "battery of the future." By subjecting a common crystal mineral normally used to etch silicon conductors to gigantic pressures, they created a new substance which chemically stored all that energy in the bonds used to create it.

Me, I see two problems: 1) diamond anvils don't sound cheep, and the process required to produce the stuff doesn't sound very fast, and 2) getting energy out of something this power-dense without it getting all explode-y is going to be a neat trick. Still, it does seem to have potential.

Posted by scott at 08:18 AM | Comments (1)
Drug Sub

Authorities have announced the discovery of the first known instance of a drug-running submarine. The article makes hay about how this is such a game-changer, but I think it actually means we're slowly winning the war on drugs.

Drug runners are businessmen who deal in a high-risk, high-margin market. As long as their profit margin remains high, they can afford the stupendous risks involved in running an illegal trade. Submarines are not cheap, so their appearance means the various enforcement efforts undertaken by everyone involved have increased the cost of doing business enough to make such vehicles profitable.

The trouble is that drug runners have a very large but finite amount of money to spend. The United States, for now at any rate, literally has infinite money. Designing and operating a sub is incredibly expensive. Designing and operating a quiet sub is even harder, and the Navy has had sixty years experience hunting them. They are quite good at it.

It would be ironic if the greatest opportunity for legalization of most drugs came at the moment when drug enforcement reached the tipping point of its effectiveness, but stranger things have definitely happened before.

Posted by scott at 08:09 AM | Comments (1)
July 04, 2010
Happy 4th Of July!

Happy Fourth of July!

Be safe with the fireworks, have fun at the bbq's, but remember what the Fourth of July really stands for!

Posted by Ellen at 10:46 AM | Comments (1)
July 03, 2010
Your Thought for the Day

"The Greeks - dirty and impoverished descendants of a bunch of la-de-da fruit salads who invented democracy and then forgot how to use it while walking around dressed up like girls." -- P.J. O'Rourke

Posted by scott at 05:44 PM | Comments (0)
July 02, 2010
Me and Scott In A Nutshell

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures
Posted by Ellen at 10:56 PM | Comments (0)
Scott: "WHY Would You Do That? Again!?"

Push it to around 5-6 minutes to see the piercing goodness!
Posted by Ellen at 09:08 PM | Comments (0)
Well Why Not?

People sometimes wonder where, exactly, I changed from a guy who likes pedaling into a road bike loon. Me, I'm not so sure either, but a conversation like this was probably involved. It's all good. My ex "married" a man who's been quite good to her for many years.

Posted by scott at 06:27 PM | Comments (0)
Cat Earmuffs!


I wear them year round!

Posted by Ellen at 04:46 PM | Comments (0)

The sing-song speak n' spell cadence just makes this discussion of the iPhone even funnier. I can think of several people I know who are just about this dedicated to those silly little glorified card decks.

Posted by scott at 06:28 AM | Comments (0)
Like a Load of Bricks

What is it with grid girls passing out these days? Something very like this happened at the, I think it was the Australian Grand Prix, anyway, at a recent F-1 race this year.

Posted by scott at 06:22 AM | Comments (1)
Practicality Is

Mike J. gets a no-prize that'll be sure to offer last rites for bringing us this rather macabre, but still helpful, sign. The best I ever got was a faded radiation symbol on the side of a public building when I was a kid. I wonder if it's still there?

Posted by scott at 06:17 AM | Comments (0)
July 01, 2010

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Posted by Ellen at 09:29 PM | Comments (0)

Posted by Ellen at 09:20 PM | Comments (0)
Secret Lives

Everyone's favorite 19th century shut-in poet just got even more interesting. You might not think that's possible, but, according to this book anyway, her fame, her very existence as a linchpin of American literature, was the life's work of a woman who blew Emily's family apart, and then literally took an eraser to her poems to ensure Emily's best friend was demonized for posterity. No, really.

Posted by scott at 08:37 PM | Comments (0)
And the Word of the Day is, "Fossil"

Scientists have announced the discovery of what is likely the oldest fossil evidence of multicellular life on Earth yet found. A "cookie-shape" sounds funny, until you realize it's two billion years old. For those of you not keeping score, that is a full 1.5 billion years before life forms you and I would recognize as a critter showed up. Our ancestor around that time? Yeah, you guessed it. Glorified worm.

Posted by scott at 08:31 PM | Comments (0)
It's Only Hypocrisy When You Do It

I know most of you don't follow political blogs all that closely, if at all. Certainly Ellen doesn't. She has better things to do. That said, even she remembered all the noise about Sarah Palin and her e-mails and who "really" fathered Trig. Meld that with the Best Question Evar, and you have yet another observation that all the preening about how progressives were nice and conservatives were horrible was just a great big steaming pile of horseshit.

Posted by scott at 08:26 PM | Comments (0)
The Squawk, of... Friendship

By using a murder of garden variety crows and behavior techniques more normally used observing primates, a group of scientists seems to have proven that birds... well, crows anyway, show empathy to their friends. That sound you're hearing is thousands of parrot owners shouting, "DUH!"

I'll forgive you for not hearing it over the squawking.

Posted by scott at 08:21 PM | Comments (0)