Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Well Put

Update at the top: Lots of people have been pulling up this page looking for the 'crystal meth progression' photo below. For some reason it was coming up a lot in google photo searches, even though my link was broken. Anyway so now it's hosted here. Anything, absolutely anything, that might make someone think twice about taking this horrible drug is worth having out there. Click on the pic for hugeness.

I didn't care about the article; it was the usual stretch to prove the existence of the coming inferno. Something along the lines of: this snowmobile fell through the ice because it was too thin - and the Viking settlers never had their snowmobiles fall through the ice, ergo global blah blah blah...

But what is worse... Do you see it? See the professional writer's use of the word "effect"? If you're going to say the wrong thing, saying it wrongly doesn't make it all better. The heat affects the ice. It has an effect upon it.

Ms Beth Duff-Brown, if that is your name, go back to school now. It will affect your writing.

Changing 'he' frogs into 'she' frogs

It sounds like one of those experiments that get done "because we could," but for what it's worth:

PARIS (AFP) - Frogs that started life as male tadpoles were changed in an experiment into females by estrogen-like pollutants similar to those found in the environment, according to a new study.
Seems entirely unfair to the frogs involved. I wonder if the researchers offered counseling to the frogs they transgendered.

Anyway, I thought it was funny that they'd spend money on an experiment like this. You can do the same thing with the lawn mower. [by accident! please don't write PETA; I was talking only about accidental frog disgendering. (or is it "frog ungenitalization"?) I would never use a lawn mower to do that on purpose; and neither should you]

Headline Again

Another sometimes-the-headline-is-all-you-need:

Scuffle for organs sparks donor debate in Singapore
I've got visions of a kidney skittering across a tiled operating room floor as contenders slip and scramble after the ballistic organ. Reading the article would be a letdown.

Seen This?

Those wacky kids. Har.

Science of Antioxidants

Didja see the new study out on vitamins?

CHICAGO - Antioxidant vitamins taken by tens of millions of people around the world won't lead to a longer life, according to an analysis of dozens of studies that adds to evidence questioning the value of the popular supplements. The large review of separate studies on thousands of people found no long-life benefit from vitamins A, E and C and beta carotene and selenium.
See, the idea of antioxidants being good for us makes sense. The antioxidant cleans up free radicals - and free radicals can damage tissue, so.. it would seem reasonable to take antioxidants. It should work to keep us healthy and extend our lives.

Except this study seems to show it doesn't work that way in the complex chemistry of the human body. It's often like that. What looks convincing on paper just doesn't apply in the real world. [Have you guessed where I'm going with this? That's right, this seems to have become a global-warming/William Shatner/sheep blog, and I must hit you over the head with my viewpoint until you cry out, "Lord, make it stop!"] The CO2 greenhouse effect seems to make sense in a computer model but we don't live in a computer model.

Good news today, though: A new UN panel is recommending a global temperature ceiling. So, problem solved. We should to get them to mandate that antioxidants work to extend life too.

One other thing that makes me despair the state of science writing today:
When they eliminated the lower-quality studies and looked only at the most trustworthy ones, they actually found a higher risk of death for people taking vitamins: 4 percent for those taking vitamin E, 7 percent for beta carotene and 16 percent for vitamin A. The actual cause of death in most studies was unknown, however.
Well... ever think that people who are drawn to taking vitamin supplements may suspect (sometimes rightly) that they have a health problem?

Tuesday, February 27, 2007


I knew what I was going to read before I clicked on the Huffi-Post comments for the Cheney assassination attempt story. Remember when Arianna launched? I think there was talk of the HuffiPo being a center for intellectual discourse. (not sure, but if "discourse" means "poop talk" well, she's succeeded marvelously)

An oddity: One comment read, "glad the VP is OK." It may not be there when you check, though. I'm sure it was flagged as abusive.


WASHINGTON (AFP) - The burial site of Jesus has been found and suggests he had a wife and son, according to highly sensitive claims in a documentary by "Titanic" director James Cameron and Israel-born Simcha Jacobovici.
Sure, James, sure you did. Never mind that my high school janitor in Texas was also named Jesus. I guess we're lucky you didn't go to San Antonio. If you had, we'd now be hearing that you'd located Jesus' broom. "It has to be His. The name is in bold magic marker. Of course the bristles are being carbon-dated, but we're pretty sure we can melt Nazis with this thing."


"Every family has a different carbon footprint,"

***Update: Welcome to visitors from Michelle Malkin and Tim Blair's Place. Feel free to look around, kick the tires, take your shoes off. (but if you break anything: you bought it)

Monday, February 26, 2007

Do As I Say, Not As I Do

Via Stuck on Stupid, some numbers slipped out concerning Al Gore's personal energy use:

In his documentary, the former Vice President calls on Americans to conserve energy by reducing electricity consumption at home.

The average household in America consumes 10,656 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year, according to the Department of Energy. In 2006, Gore devoured nearly 221,000 kWh—more than 20 times the national average.

Last August alone, Gore burned through 22,619 kWh—guzzling more than twice the electricity in one month than an average American family uses in an entire year. As a result of his energy consumption, Gore’s average monthly electric bill topped $1,359.

Since the release of An Inconvenient Truth, Gore’s energy consumption has increased from an average of 16,200 kWh per month in 2005, to 18,400 kWh per month in 2006.

Gore’s extravagant energy use does not stop at his electric bill. Natural gas bills for Gore’s mansion and guest house averaged $1,080 per month last year.

“As the spokesman of choice for the global warming movement, Al Gore has to be willing to walk the walk, not just talk the talk, when it comes to home energy use,” said Tennessee Center for Policy Research President Drew Johnson.

In total, Gore paid nearly $30,000 in combined electricity and natural gas bills for his Nashville estate in 2006.
And that's just one residence; he's got at least three. And that's not counting his jetting around the country in private planes.

Hey, I don't begrudge his energy use. He's got the money; he can light big cigars with hundred dollar bills for all I care. What I do care about is him telling me I've got to burn less while he's out there fuming, and out-gassing, and dripping volatile hydrocarbons with every step he takes. Does Al not believe in man made global warming? Or does he believe in it, but think he's too good to make the sacrifices he's asking everyone else to make? Same question for Leo "let's put the party on a plane and fly it to Rome" Dicaprio.

Why do you notice the splinter in your brother's eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, 'Let me remove that splinter from your eye,' while you're out there splashing the hoi polloi with your big ass yacht Al?
-parts of that are from the bible

Makes Sense to Me

The Last Hurrah

Lumberkid decided that since Al Gore has declared this the absolute last snowfall on planet earth, (ever!) that she would build this one last snowman. The goodbye snowman.

I didn't have the heart to tell her the head goes on top.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Seminary Students Detonate

Three members of a suspected suicide bomb team were blown to pieces on Saturday when their bike laden with explosives hit a bump...
How do you even get three people on a bike? Me, in that situation, I say, "you guys go on ahead, I'll walk."
h/t: Tom Pechinski

Cancel Cancel Cancel

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Branson Visits Crash Site

You know, I applaud Richard Branson's showing up at the site of his crashed train; it shows concern. But I think it's inappropriate to play golf with monkeys while waiting for the cleanup crews to arrive. I'm sorry, I just do.


No, not a sign of global warming. So, how to put this without losing my 'G' rating? Um, the event depicted above is one of the prerequisites for romantic happenings in the 'ol lumber camp. The other involves ice water in Hades. So, any day now, maybe.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Death With Dignity

Could Anna Nicole Smith's death get any more tacky? Yes, but it would mean delivering her body to the graveyard by firing it from a cannon. Absent that happening, I think we've pretty much pegged the meter.

It Has Begun... Again

The Animal Stacking predicted by the revised computerized climate model simulation has begun. Al Gore, and other scientists, with clipboards, predicted long ago that we would see Animal Stacking once we reached the "tipping point" for global warming. Asked for comment, Mr. Gore said, "I warned you this was coming. I tried sounding the alarm back when the first Bug Stackings were observed, but nobody listened. Now we're in for a global inferno."

Asked if this hell on earth would directly affect him personally, Mr. Gore answered, "Hell yes, it will. I'll have to vacation in Canada now. We all face hardships, mister."

Cultural Milestones

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Magnificently sophisticated geometric patterns in medieval Islamic architecture indicate their designers achieved a mathematical breakthrough 500 years earlier than Western scholars, scientists said on Thursday.

By the 15th century, decorative tile patterns on these masterpieces of Islamic architecture reached such complexity that a small number boasted what seem to be "quasicrystalline" designs, Harvard University's Peter Lu and Princeton University's Paul Steinhardt wrote in the journal Science.
Cultural checklist:
*Establish Arabic as language of international scholarship?
*Accomplish mathematical breakthroughs?
*Produce great art?
*Kill daughters for wearing jeans?

Cranky Seniors

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica - An American senior citizen killed an alleged mugger with his bare hands, and his traveling companions aboard a tour bus fended off two other assailants in the Atlantic coast city of Limon, police said

The American, who is about 70 years old and retired from the military, put the 20-year-old in a head lock and broke his clavicle after the suspect and two other men armed with a knife and gun held up their tour bus, said Luis Hernandez, the police chief of Limon, 80 miles east of San Jose. The suspect, Warner Segura, was later declared dead, apparently from asphyxiation.

The two other men fled when the 12 senior citizens started defending themselves during the Wednesday attack. Afterward, the tourists drove Segura to the Red Cross where he was declared dead. The Red Cross also treated one of the tourists for an anxiety attack, Hernandez said Thursday.
Only one?

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Sometimes we dream...

It Never Ends

Fever claim on global warming:

GLOBAL warming will take a toll on children's health, according to a new report showing hospital admissions for fever soar as days get hotter.
The new study found that temperature rises had a significant impact on the number of pre-schoolers presenting to emergency departments for fever and gastroenteritis.

The two-year study at a major children's hospital showed that for every five-degree rise in temperature two more children under six years old were admitted with fever to that hospital.
Good Lord this is turning into a gigantic IQ test and the world has gone Lohan. What the hell can this data mean except that children's illnesses are seasonal? Next up: as the temperature goes up, more people wash their cars, thus draining water reserves and threatening to send us into an out-of-control spiral. If we don't do something about GLOBAL warming now, our grandchildren won't be able to flush their toilets.

It'd be funny, except that right now some new climatologist is crunching numbers in an attempt to prove that since ski trips and Christmas presents are infrequent in July, we'll soon have no vacations and our kids will have to buy their own Barbies. Can you imagine? our kids working in sweat (SWEAT!) shops because evil George wouldn't stop nature.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Everything is Global Warming

Dishonesty abounds. From The Telegraph:

Global warming has largely been blamed for the survival and spread of the Asian Hornet, Vespa velutina, which is thought to have arrived in France from the Far East in a consignment of Chinese pottery in late 2004.....

"There's no doubt that these hornets are heading north and will probably find their way to Britain at some point," said Stuart Hine, manager of the Insect Information Service at London's Natural History Museum.

"Climate change certainly means they can cope with European summers. However, they would still have difficulty coping with our winter frosts."
So it was global warming that made France the same latitude as China? All these bug experts and not one of them pointed this out? "We were hoping that our cold winters would stop their spread but thanks to global warming, France is now located between Germany and Spain! and even to the south of Great Britain! We are keeping an eye on Italy, if global warming pushes them north of us, all will be lost."

***Update: Found a wasp distribution map. It clearly shows that because of global warming, France is no longer a Scandinavian country. (yeah, like we'd have them)

I Disagree

The wife e-mailed me this. She's in the next room and she e-mailed it. She doesn't even use e-mail. She thinks there's (OK, because I told her) a specific time the e-mailman comes around. So it was no small thing that she got this link to me.
From Fox news:

When a man fails to help out around the house, his poor performance might be related to a subconscious tendency to resist doing anything his wife wants, a new study suggests.

Men and women are sure to argue about this one.
Course, I considered not reading it, but the wifey expected me to not read it, so I did. Twice.


From the NY Post, better poll news:

Among other key findings of the poll conducted Feb. 5-7:

* When given a choice of four policies, an immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops was the least popular (17 percent).

* The most popular option (32 percent) was a withdrawal timetable.

* The next most popular policy, favored by 27 percent, was expressed by the statement: "The Iraq war is the front line in the battle against terrorism and our troops should stay there and do whatever it takes to restore order until the Iraqis can govern and provide security to the country."

The fourth option, favored by 23 percent, was the statement: "While I don't agree that the U.S. should be in the war, our troops should stay there and do whatever it takes to restore order until the Iraqis can govern and restore security to their country."
That 17% sounds about right. From the news, you keep hearing that a majority of Americans want us out. And maybe that's true, I want us out - I just want to fulfill our promises first. When this started, Bush said that it would be a long hard road, but that we wouldn't leave until the Iraqis were able to continue on their own. It's good to know that only 17% want to take the shortcut home.

One Less Thing to Worry about

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Men with testosterone levels in the low-normal range are much more likely to have diabetes than those with higher levels, whether or not they are obese, researchers report in the journal Diabetes Care.

"Low testosterone levels are common among men with diabetes and there is growing evidence that low testosterone may be a risk factor for developing diabetes," Dr. Elizabeth Selvin from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore commented to Reuters Health.
OK, so the Rx is for rodeos, nascar, and women. Heck no, not in that order.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Civil War

I understand why some in Congress want to pass a "we don't like it" resolution. They have succeeded in eroding support for the war, (witness John Kerry admitting pariah-hood at Davos, thank you John) and now they want this on their resume. We're for peace. OK, I get it.

What I'm not going to hold my breath for is a resolution stating that we are in favor of letting Iraq fall into full fledged civil war. Or, possibly, the Murtha resolution: that everything will return to normal in Iraq if we withdraw immediately. Go ahead congress, vote we-don't-like-it. But be honest and vote a "to hell with them" or a "it's all going to be ok" resolution as well.


Struck me as funny:

KHARTOUM (Reuters) - Janjaweed militias have been concentrating forces to the north of el-Geneina, the capital of Sudan's West Darfur state, an African Union military source said on Tuesday, corroborating a U.N. report.

Janjaweed is the local name for militia forces drawn mainly from the nomadic Arab tribes of the area and blamed for much of the killing in Darfur over the past four years.

The AU source, who asked not to be named, said: "They are massing (north of el-Geneina). ... They have vehicles with machineguns on top and they're Janjaweed. We can't say what their intentions are."
No, not funny that they're swarming - funny that "we don't know what their intentions are." And sad that some will counsel a "wait and see," approach. Maybe they're all concentrating in one place because they're going to have a janjaweed reunion. Janjaweed Class of 2002, reception in the main ballroom. Buffet dinner and cash bar... Or, maybe they just all picked the same vacation spot. (and what does a Janjaweed do on vacation? Do they take their work with them? "you take the kids down to the beach, dear, I've just got to rape and behead a few things and I'll be right behind you.")

I know it's rightwingreactionarybrownshirt of me, but I'm going to guess, yes, even with my imperfect understanding of their culture, that this gathering of bad guys signals impending mayhem. Sure, I'm probably missing some nuance that John Kerry could have picked up on in his sleep. So ok, let's watch the situation. Let's send some gunships to vacation in the same area. ("you take the kids down to the beach dear, I've just got to incinerate a few drug-crazed cross-dressing murders and I'll be right behind you.")

Monday, February 19, 2007

John Adams

On this President's Day, AWL salutes John Adams, Arizona's favorite son. Which is extrodinary in itself as there was no Arizona in Adams' day.

Congressman Johnson (R-TX) Floor Speech (02.16.07)


Asteroid Threat

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - An asteroid may come uncomfortably close to Earth in 2036 and the United Nations should assume responsibility for a space mission to deflect it, a group of astronauts, engineers and scientists said on Saturday.
Good to know that there are UN diplomats standing by, ready to negotiate with the asteroid, or, to surrender to it, should it come to that.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Father of the Remote Control

Actually, my dad was the father of the TV remote control. He'd say, "Change it to channel 4," and a kid would have to get up and change it. And if the new channel was one that required you to stand there with a hand on the rabbit ears, well, tough, "Raise your right arm a little; there's still snow."

Anyway, the real inventor has passed on:

BOISE, Idaho - Hit the mute button for a moment of silence: The co-inventor of the TV remote, Robert Adler, has died.

Adler, who won an Emmy Award along with fellow engineer Eugene Polley for the device that made the couch potato possible, died Thursday of heart failure at a Boise nursing home at 93, Zenith Electronics Corp. said Friday.

The funeral was delayed somewhat because the remains had inadvertently fallen from the couch and had somehow ended up under an armchair. Progress was made, finally, when everyone quit asking who had the coffin last and got down to look under the furniture and behind the cushions.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Madonna and Britney

So Britney Spears was going to go into rehab and clean up, but opted to shave her head and get a tattoo instead.... well, ok, I can see that. You know, six of one - half dozen of the other.

The funny celebrity this week is Madonna:

Madonna says she is not content to be the Queen of Pop - she wants to be like Gandhi.
She apparently didn't spell out how she wanted to be like Gandhi. Is she referring to scheduled bowel movements, or taking naps with mud packs?
Mondays were "days of silence," when he refused to speak. A devoted vegetarian, he indulged in faddish dietetic experiments that sometimes came near to killing him. He eschewed all spices as a discipline of the senses. He napped every day with a mud poultice on abdomen and brow. He was so insistent on absolute regularity in his daily regimen that he safety-pinned a watch to his homespun dhoti, synchronized with the clock at his ashram. He scheduled his bowel movements for 20 minutes morning and afternoon. "The bathroom is a temple," he said, and anyone was welcome to chat with him there. He had a cleansing enema every night.
Somehow I don't think she is ready to renounce sex and material pleasures. Or maybe she doesn't have a clue who Gandhi was. She likes the idea of everyone talking about her though, and one way to do that is by striving to become a "skinny, bent figure, nut brown and naked except for a white loincloth, cheap spectacles perched on his nose, frail hand grasping a tall bamboo staff."

I say go for it. At least it's a break from the glittery, ass slapping, crucifixions.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Food Police

Tales of the Food Police:

Today Marks & Spencer, one of Britain's largest grocery store chains, announced its plan to hire 1,500 food police to patrol supermarket aisles and lecture shoppers on the contents of their carts. Reminiscent of grade-school Hall Pass Monitors, these health food patrols will donofficial Healthy Eating Adviser badges while harassing customers about the fat, sugar, and salt levels of their purchases.
Can this be real? I can't even imagine being even a little interested in what somebody else eats. Well, beyond, "So how is your steak?" conversation at dinner. And I'm not really interested in how your steak is, I'm just making distracting conversation in order to cage the last sourdough roll.

I'll tell you what, some smiling food police ever dares to criticize my delicately balanced diet of chocolate, salt, grease, ice cream, and more salt, and he'll end up face down in aisle six with a pineapple enema.

Old Joke

"Hell no, Bob, nobody's blaming you for hooking him; hell, we've all done that. But he would have been OK...... until you gutted him."

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Woo-Hoo! I'm a Victim

Finally I hear about a recall, check my lot numbers, and (bingo!) find that I qualify as a wronged-consumer. Yes, I am the owner of a possibly contaminated with Salmonella jar of peanut butter.

The product that I won with is Peter Pan Peanut Butter, Creamy style, 40 oz. size. I used the hand basket while shopping, and I pulled my container from the middle of the shelf. That is pretty much my M.O. for all my shopping, but I never won anything before this.

So what did I win? Well, victimhood itself is a pretty desirable prize. After making everyone around me aware of my possible-victim status, I can use that status to elicit sympathy and get out of doing things I don't want to do. As in, "I'd like to shovel the driveway, dear, but I think I'm coming down with Salmonella again." Or say I'm about to be berated because of some transgression on my part: about halfway through the accusation I start doing my salmonella cough. If the criticism doesn't taper off, I escalate - to the point of a full blown salmonella emergency if it comes to that.

And, of course, this gives me the right to speak out with righteous indignation concerning the evil corporation that did this to me. In this case: ConAgra Foods. (the bastards) What do they care about the little guy? Here I am, possibly on the brink of a disease and they expect me to mail in the lid? Yeah, like that's even possible.

Obviously ConAgra is going to need to be taught a lesson in the courtroom. Let's frog-march them into court and find out whose idea it was to put a migratory fish in with the peanuts in the first place.


Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Strange World

Remember regime change? No, not Saddam, remember Milosevic? Largely US forces broke up his party:

More than 200,000 people are believed to have lost their lives, mainly Bosnian Muslims, and another two million refugees created.

Witness accounts reported mass murder, rape and genocide, while pictures showed starved Bosnian Muslims behind the barbed wire of concentration camps.
So how does a family saved from Milosevic raise this son:
In just six minutes, 18-year-old Sulejman Talovic left a tragic path of destruction that forever changed the lives of dozens of people.
"His intent was to shoot as many people as he possibly could," said Salt Lake City Police Chief Chris Burbank.
Police released details Tuesday on Talovic's shooting rampage that left five people dead before off-duty Ogden police officer Ken Hammond and four Salt Lake City police officers killed him in "a shootout," Burbank said....

......Ajka Omerovic, who said she was Talovic's aunt, visited the home Tuesday afternoon. She told the Deseret Morning News that Talovic had been "a good boy." She said the family are Muslims from Bosnia who had lived in the vicinity of Sarajevo.
I wonder if Muslims teaching their children hate could have anything to do with it. I also wonder if such people are worthy of rescue. No doubt this "good boy" was upset that innocent Muslims were being killed by bombs in Iraq. And I wonder too; why do we keep detonating those car bombs? Wait. Do we? Isn't it other crazy Muslims who are killing innocent Muslims in Iraq? Isn't it the coalition forces who are trying to stop the suicide bombers, the mosque attackers, and the kidnappers?

Of course it is. Of course what we want is to stabilize Iraq and get out. Talovic couldn't see this though. The mother, father, and the culture of young Talovic all taught him hate. His culture is still trying to get even for the Crusades.

Just 1 Calorie

The California warning goes on for three more hearts and a peep.

From the Inbox

Gotta love the Colonel:

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Dr. Zhivago Opens Up a Can of Whup-ass

I don't know about you, but I see a bit of the maniac in those eyes. The man looks like he's ready for some fava beans and a nice chianti.


See what global warming did to a can of soda left in the truck overnight? Froze it hard as Hillary's heart.

And, in case you're wondering; this isn't a product placement. Coca-Cola doesn't pay me a thing for displaying their tasty and refreshing product.

McCain Fears Tet Offensive?

Bob Lewis is doing creative history. John McCain's words:

"By the way, a lot of us are also very concerned about the possibility of a, quote, 'Tet Offensive.' You know, some large-scale attack that could then switch American public opinion the way that the Tet Offensive did," the Arizona senator said.
Helpfully, Bob Lewis explains:
Tet, a massive invasion in 1968 of South Vietnam by Communist North Vietnamese, inflicted enormous losses on U.S. and South Vietnamese troops and is regarded as a point where public sentiment turned sharply against the war.
Except it was the North Vietnamese who sustained "enormous" losses. We sustained Walter Cronkite, who convinced the American people that all was lost - that the North was kicking our butts. In fact is was a tactical defeat for the Viet Cong and the North Vietnamese army.

So McCain could be right to fear another Tet. Because guys like Bob Lewis are picking up where Walter Cronkite left off. And I'm not talking about Walter's odd habit of wearing women's undergarments in a war zone. They're hyping the bad news and squelching the good.

Amanda Goes Down

One down, one to go:

Amanda Marcotte posted on her personal blog, Pandagon, that the criticism "was creating a situation where I felt that every time I coughed, I was risking the Edwards campaign." Marcotte said she resigned from her position Monday, and that her resignation was accepted by the campaign.
I knew it. I knew that Amanda couldn't switch herself into civil-mode. She just doesn't have it in her to discuss politics without getting nasty. It wasn't "every time I coughed," It was, "every time I coughed, and described a priest's genitals, and searched the Catholic encyclopedia for something new to equate with excrement, I was risking the Edwards campaign."
Earlier Monday, Marcotte wrote on her personal Web site, "The Christian version of the virgin birth is generally interpreted as super-patriarchal, where ... women are nothing but vessels."
Don't you just know how she wanted to write that sentence? Every amanda-molecule strained, and protested, and wept at having to express the thought in a civil manner.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Global Warming and Under-frillies

Q: Isn't there enough empirical evidence and facts we can see with our eyes that imply that Man is demolishing the planet and himself?•

Vaclav Klaus: It's such a nonsense that I have probably not heard a bigger nonsense yet.
Concerning nonsense, it's risky business to declare absolutes in a world that has France in it. From afp (who else?):
DIJON, France (AFP) - One of France's leading hosiery makers is launching a new line for men next month -- pantyhose with a welcome front opening and big feet, available in thick mannish knit but also as sheer tights.

Gerbe, which is based in eastern France, said this week that the country's first hosiery line for men would go on sale in March "due to increasing demand from male clients."

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Drunken Pandas

Pandas from Giant Panda Breeding Center in Chengdu, China are seen here getting drunk. They have been depressed for weeks after finding out that the United States has been clear-cutting bamboo forests to supply the ever increasing demand for sticks with which to beat Palestinian women and children. "We didn't complain when the US started drowning polar bears," said Tai Shan, a panda spokesbear, "We figured, 'ah well, they're polar bears. Screw um,' but now the shoe's on the other foot. How's that saying go, first they came for the polar bears.. or something like that?"

Empowered Democrats

Reuters reports:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Recently empowered congressional Democrats are pounding President George W. Bush with their most feared new weapons -- the ability to hold hearings and compel testimony....

...At a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty denied accusations that politics was a factor in firings of seven U.S. prosecutors in the past year.

"When I hear you talk about the politicizing of the
Department of Justice, it is like a knife in my heart," McNulty said.

"What I have seen happen in the Justice Department is a knife in my heart," replied Sen. Charles Schumer, a New York Democrat.
Chuck, Chuck, Chuck. How knife struck your heart must have been when Bill Clinton fired every single US prosecutor in the first three months of his administration!

And come down to it, the Clinton firings were not that long ago. How can this article mention 7 firings in a year and not mention the wholesale firings from the Clinton administration?

Boys on a Plane

Friday, February 09, 2007

Swing a Cat

AP story from Virginia:

ROANOKE, Va. (AP) - Bleeding from three bites and wearing only the housecoat she had on to retrieve her newspaper, an 85-year-old woman upended an attacking, rabies-crazed cat in the street in front of her home and, with her hand tight around its tail, beat the feline into submission against a nearby utility pole.

Isabelle Blankenship said turning the black and white stray cat into a club and "beating the devil out of it" was what saved her from further injury Friday morning in a bizarre assault in front of stunned neighbors.

Authorities said Monday that an examination of the deceased animal revealed the presence of rabies.
She "beat the feline into submission against a nearby utility pole." Those are words you don't hear strung together very often.

Anna Nicole

I don't know much about Anna Nicole Smith; I was kind of out of the loop when it came to her strange celebrity. But she sure was beautiful at one time, huh? Sad that she's gone. Her alcohol and substance abuse would hint that she wasn't the happiest person on earth, despite the celebrity and money.

Norwegian Seed Hoarding

I know they mean well:

'Doomsday vault' to resist global warming effects
"We have taken into consideration the (outside) temperature rising and have located the facility so far inside the rock that it will be in permafrost and won't be affected" by the outside temperature, Magnus Bredeli Tveiten, project manager at Norway's Directorate of Public Construction and Property, told AFP.
So let the north winds blow. We can stand a rise of 0.8º C, no problem, 0.9º C even.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Cooling the Debate

Roger Pielke reports on what happens to those who don't conform:

There are currently two efforts underway to remove two State Climatologists from their positions because they do not parrot the summary conclusions of the new IPCC Report. These attempts are in Delaware and Oregon. This follows the recommendation by Heidi Cullen of the Weather Channel to retract the certification of broadcast weather forecasters who do not accept what she considers is the accepted scientific view of global warming....
This seems a little ham handed. The GW Clergy can't stand opposition so they're trying to get rid of it. In the 90's they said, "All scientists have come to agree with us on global warming." And of course all scientists didn't agree. And every year or two since they would hear dissent when they proclaimed, yet again, that the science was settled. Now they're trying again and they don't mind using intimidation to stifle dissent. Not only do they want these two gone -- they want to send a message to others who might not agree on the origins of global warming, but will be silent in order to keep their jobs.

Hell of a way to win an argument. Seems like if you had faith in your reasoning, you wouldn't have to resort to this sort of thing.

Showcasing John Edwards' Decision Making

From the Wash.Post :

"I've talked to Amanda and Melissa; they have both assured me that it was never their intention to malign anyone's faith, and I take them at their word," Edwards said.
I think this is great. I don't think there's a thing in the world wrong with showing who you really are. If the country takes a look at these people and says, "yeah, that's who I want leading me," well, then it's time to head to the hills. But it won't happen.

And what does this say about Edwards' judgment? "never their intention to malign anyone's faith"? Come on. If you read the 'sticky' post, it's obvious that the intention was exactly to malign and offend. It's the cheapest and nastiest way to make your point: to desecrate that which your opponent holds sacred. It's the your-momma insult updated for the www. This is holy to you? Good, watch me pee on it.

I might just have to write Edwards with a way-to-go mail.

Flying Flap

From the Washington Times on Nancy Pelosi's request for a bigger carbon footprint:

"Nonstop service is not guaranteed, meaning she's getting Hastert's plane and nothing bigger," the congressional source said, referring to the commuter jet Mr. Hastert began using for security reasons after the September 11 terrorist attacks.
But the administration official said Mrs. Pelosi "wanted to be able to fly between Washington and the West Coast nonstop."
The letter leaves open the possibility that Mrs. Pelosi may get a larger plane that does not require refueling if one happens to be available in the 89th Airlift Wing at Andrews Air Force Base. But, generally, the larger military passenger jets are in high demand, especially due to the Iraq war.
But there should be no problem-
Nancy Pelosi in 2005:
"As we approach this Fourth of July, we remember the sacrifice of our Founding Fathers - the courage, the imagination, the intellect, and the values they presented in the Declaration of Independence. And since then, our country has always been about shared sacrifice - when it came to war, and when it came to peace."
So it's a win-win situation. The 89th Air Wing gets to use the big planes where they're needed and Ms Pelosi gets to sacrifice.

Best part of this kerfuffle? Murtha feeling his oats:
But [Murtha] denied pressuring the Pentagon. "I don't need to pressure them. I just tell them what they need to do."
Oh really?

5000 Year Embrace?

Sure, it could be an embrace.

Jane Who's Old-Old Man

Drudge has the headline but no link:

TED TURNER: Global Warming is 'single greatest challenge that humanity has ever faced'...
So I thought I'd post two other Turner quotes:
The United States has got some of the dumbest people in the world. I want you to know that we know that.
-Ted Turner
and Pelosiesque:
To be happy in this world, first you need a cell phone and then you need an airplane. Then you're truly wireless.
-Ted Turner
Think Ted or Nancy will quit dumping CO2 by the ton? Me either.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Another One Bitten

Over at LGF the challenge was to do a caption for the Jimmy Carter at Brandeis photo. I came up blank on that so I photoshopped him. And tell you the truth, making a zombie out of former presidents doesn't sit well. Jimmy's been asking for it though.

Political Activism

Feb 7, 2007

Edwards Team,
I understand that the Religious Right is giving you grief over the appointment of Amanda Marcotte as official blogger to the campaign. I just want to express my hope that you will stick to your guns.

Amanda Marcotte is a breath of fresh air and including her in the campaign will help to raise the level of debate.

Edwards '08 Yeah!

Pelosi Plan Punishes Planet

"It is important to our children's health and their global competitiveness to rid this nation of our dependence on foreign oil and Big Oil interests," Pelosi told the news conference. "Taking bold measures today to achieve energy independence within 10 years must be the highest priority for this Congress."
"But there won't be any new drilling, and I want a big-ass honking plane," she didn't add.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Makes You Want a Drink

I just found this Daniel Baldwin mug shot on Yahoo. Boy, don't you know Nick Nolte is praying for young Daniel to take over as roughest-looking-celebrity, mug-shot division. Looks like Baldwin has a ways to go, but he's definitely on his way.

In Time of War

There seems to be nothing the media won't cover, nothing the politicians won't say. No secret so important that it must remain secret. No enemy so dangerous that we must refrain from encouraging him. I guess nothing is sacred anymore, literally or figuratively. When I was 20, that seemed like a good idea. Today, [Borat warning] not so much.

Downhill Slide

Update at the top: Lots of people have been pulling up this page looking for the 'crystal meth progression' photo below. For some reason it was coming up a lot in google photo searches, even though my link was broken. Anyway so now it's hosted here. Anything, absolutely anything, that might make someone think twice about taking this horrible drug is worth having out there. Click on the pic for hugeness:

Astronaut charged with attempted murder

Remember that progression of photos from some sheriff's department illustrating how meth can ravage you over time? Seems love triangles can have the same effect. Having an astronaut charged with attempted murder is certainly disturbing news, made even worse by this series of photos showing her progression from cheerful astronaut to, well, jailbird.

What's Yours Is Mine

Toyota Motor Corp. (TM) recorded group net profit of 426.8 billion yen ($3.6 billion) in the three months ended Dec. 31, up from 397.6 billion yen the same period the previous year.
No word yet on what Hillary wants to do with all this extra cash.

Strike Two

Jonah Goldberg comments:

It's worth noting, yet again, that 24 continues to depict America's most-liked TV action star as a routine torturer, willing to brutalize and dehumanize his own brother without losing his own humanity. If the moral issues were remotely as clear-cut as some anti-torture obsessives claim, we should be hearing some protest about the show.
I think the torture scenes have been a little tame. None of them have come close to depicting, say, the agony of the technical service line at the Verizon store.

But Jack Bauer does have two strikes against him on my scorecard. One, in the first episode, he was talking on the cell phone, writing down a number, and driving all at the same time. If they'd been shooting on my roads they would have had to edit out the insane honking coming from the lumber-truck. And B, last night he said "new-ku-ler." Why, I could have opened him a new socket and patched him through to the president via ax-handle when I heard that.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Bad News

Human skin populated by veritable zoo of bacteria
Reuters - Mon Feb 5, 5:06 PM ET
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Researchers on a safari for microbes have found that human skin is populated by a veritable menagerie of bacteria -- 182 species -- some apparently living there permanently and others just dropping by for a visit -- all of them at risk due to global warming. "That's right," said microbiologist Dr. Martin Blaser of New York University School of Medicine, "if drastic measures are not taken, many of these organisms could go the way of the polar bear."
OK, I made that last part up. But wait for it. As soon as they figure out that some of these bacteria are beneficial, they'll find something we're doing wrong that threatens the little fellas.

Me, I'm not so sure I've got that many bacteria. That's the way it is though, isn't it? We could see how the other guy might be a biological soup; just not us.

The new chair-eating bear is courtesy of Dallas. See? Global warming is everywhere now. Even the Klondike bear is reduced to eating plastic lawn furniture.

Shrink Wrapped Up

I knew the Dr. would have insight into the gloriously bad Swiss idea of helping the mentally ill kill themselves:

Yet, in the last 30 years we have had entire classes of medications become available to treat hitherto untreatable Psychiatric disorders; we have drugs in the pipeline which may well revolutionize the treatment of Cocaine and Heroin addiction; we are closing in on cures for alcoholism; severely disturbed Schizophrenics and Manic-Depressives can often be stabilized well enough to live satisfying and productive lives; medical science, including neuroscience, is proceeding at such a rapid pace that anyone who claims they can predict the state of the art in treatment five years from now is lying. With all that, the Swiss have now decided that if a person feels sufficiently hopeless and helpless (ie, depressed) that they want to kill themselves, we should agree they are hopeless and helpless and help them do so.
I expect the Swiss will do what the Swiss will do - and all we can do is watch. Funny, well, not funny, that the Swiss will have the problem of keeping the Suicide Hotline and the Suicide Helpline separate. "No, you want 01 / 291 46 46 for help in not killing yourself.... but hey, let's talk for awhile...."

Probe Continues

The best part of this Ananova story is the headline: Police probe underwear

Police in a Wiltshire village have been trying to get to the bottom of an underwear mystery.

Around 30 pairs of knickers have been found draped over road signs and gravestones in Purton, near Swindon.

No-one has reported the items as stolen and they all appear to be new and of quite good quality, reports the BBC.

Phil Elliott from Purton Police said: "If it's a practical joke and someone could just let us in on it, then that would be great."

He said police had been recovering various pieces of women's underwear since November.

He added: "We don't know if it's a criminal offence or a prank. If it's a prank, please tell us."
And this dog has nothing to do with the story:

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Swiss Go Kevorkian on the Mentally Ill

I knew I shouldn't have clicked on the link. There's no joy to be had when Europeans start talking about suicide. This time the Swiss want to expand their Living-is-just-too-much-of-a-bother Law to include people with mental problems. And I'm not involved in mental health, beyond trying to keep a grip on my own, but I believe the Swiss have picked the very worst type of mental illness as a test case: a 53-year old man with serious bipolar affective disorder. It seems like the nature of the disorder should disqualify it - i.e. would this man be asking to die next month? I'll be interested to see if ShrinkWrapped comments on this. Anyway, from the article:

Various organizations exist in Switzerland to help people who want to commit suicide, and assisting someone to die is not punishable under Swiss law as long as there is no "selfish motivation" for doing so...

.....Switzerland is one of a number of countries in Europe that allow assistance to terminally ill people who wish to die.

Netherlands legalized euthanasia in 2001 and Belgium in 2002, while Britain and France allow terminally ill people to refuse treatment in favor of death.
As far as the caveat that there be no selfish motivation behind the assisted suicide, it's been argued that all motivation is selfish.

I had a couple af rogue neurons that told me there was a pithy quote from Thomas Hobbs concerning all human motivation being selfish, so I googled it and got this:
Will to Hobbes is just the last desire you have before you take action on it -- hence free will is an absurdity. All motivation is selfish, and ultimately tied to survival. The basic negative emotion is fear, the basic positive emotion is desire for power. Good and bad are purely subjective matters. And so he goes beyond Descartes: Not only are animals just machines, so are we. B. F. Skinner was an admirer of Hobbes.
So now, add that to this depressing subject, and I don't know about you, but I'm going to avoid Swiss doctors for awhile.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Bush and Me

One thing the President of the United States and I have in common: the ladies do love to kiss on our faces. And I let them do it, too.

side note: I'm just foolish enough to try a Blogger "improvement". Lumberjacks may get a facelift, or it may blow up. We'll see how it goes.

Global FUD

News Photo: Polar bears stand in one place for months while the ice breaks off and melts underneath them.

I may as well point out the continuing FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt) campaign:

Global warming sees polar bears stranded on melting ice
They cling precariously to the top of what is left of the ice floe, their fragile grip the perfect symbol of the tragedy of global warming.....
Except that they're not stranded. Except for the fact that they swam out there to hunt. They climbed up there to scan for prey. And when they're done, they'll swim back. Except for that, they're the "perfect symbol of the tragedy of global warming."

And they are. They're the symbol of zealots who will say anything to advance their cause. And the tragedy is that if there is a problem with CO2 in the atmosphere, many of us will miss the proof when it does come, simply because it'll be buried under this mountain of lies, half-truths, and manbearpigs.