Friday, August 29, 2014

everyday hero story of the week

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Rewrite the history books

Smithsonian suggests: The Kennewick man is probably related to Japan's "hairy" Ainu ethnic group.

headsup Instapundit

And the Navajo and Tinglit languages suggests that they have connections with a language in central Siberia.

Their migration to New Mexico was later than other native American tribal groups, and the Tinglit are not related to the Inuit.

and are the Hopi related to those living in Tibet?

Although both groups are mystical, I suspect this observation might be related to the New Age fascination with hopi/mayan/tibet being "spiritual" like them, never mind that Tibet is Buddhist, and most Pueblo are Catholic, and many Mayans are born again Christians, thanks to their rejection of "liberation theology" that got a lot of them killed...

this is similar to claims of early settlers that Native American tribes understood Welsh, or Hebrew.

The irony of all of this is that it misses the real story. Read the book 1491, or books about the real history of the Americas. For all the talk of Incans, and Aztecs being highly civilized, the dirty little secret is that both groups were late comers who conquered earlier empires (which is why it was so easy for the Spanish to conquer them: Lots of locals didn't like the usurpers. Indeed, if it wasn't for smallpox//hepatitis/influenza and other diseases accidentally introduced into the Americas, probably the locals would have thrown out the Europeans too.

And I say accidental, because the Spanish conquistadors were too dumb to spread germ warfare. The "smallpox blankets" were a much later, British idea...

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Parking, take two

via DaveBarry

Yes, Virginia, there is such a thing as an Eagle Cam


it's an ongoing joke in the film "moms' night out", where everyone from the church ladies to the tatoo parlor bikers watch it...

Cat item of the day


via Incrediblethings

Bug beauty

TYWKIWDBI has a photo of the prettiest beetle you ever saw

"The beetle family Phengodidae, known also as glowworm beetles."

From Project Noah, via A London Salmagundi.

Stuff around the web

John Paul Rubens: Painter and spy.

tea at trianon blog links to a review of the new book.

And notes one difference between the past and today:

Artists, historically, were viewed as craftsmen, who were given their talents by God to bring beauty and light into the world, to raise man up to God, by the medium of art. It is in the Netherlands that oil painting first became the supreme art by the genius of Jan van Eyck. It is in the Netherlands that an artist obtained nobility, fame, and wealth by respectability virtue and above all his devotion to the Catholic faith. That artist was Peter Paul Rubens....Like Raphael or Michaelangelo in the 16th century, for Rubens, classical and mythological themes were often used as an expression of Christian virtue, and they saw no particular contradiction in it.


related item: Tolkien and Beowulf

“What are we to think of the nobility and heroism of the heathen past?  Was it all just evil, damned?” This question defined a serious controversy in the newly-Christian England of antiquity, and the consensus of Old English scholarship is that the Beowulf poem is, in part, a response to them. As Tolkien observes, the poem implicitly takes a side: “[T]he mere fact that the poet wrote a poem about the pagan past shows in general that he did not belong to the party that consigned the heroes (northern or classical) to perdition.”  Like Dante—who acknowledged Virgil as his guide and portrayed the pre-Christian Emperor Trajan in Paradise—the Beowulf poet recognizes that heathen expressions of truth, goodness, and beauty do have their place in the life of the Church.

I should note the subtle difference between this and today's multiculturalism: Multiculturalism denies anything can be good or bad (note that some were upset at ISIL being called "evil"). Catholic tradition sees all good things as a partial understanding of the real truth, and therefore to be encouraged or baptized into the faith, something that the Beowulf poet has done.


Freakonomics: discusses the high cost of "free" parking.

 Increasingly I think we’re paying for it in terms of the environmental harm that it causes. I did use data to estimate that parking subsidies in the United States are somewhere between 1 and 4 percent of the total GNP, which is about in the range of what we spend for Medicare or national defense. So that’s the cost of parking not paid for by drivers.


 from Improbable research: the paper claiming people got less upset if hurricanes had female names has been rebuked.

actually, here in the Philippines, we usually rename our typhoons to something easier than the "international" name, so they are easier to pronounce and remember.


Ebola has killed over 120 health workers in Africa.

yes, but the real death toll will be those dying of treatable diseases such as diarrhea and malaria, not to mention those dying in childbirth who won't deliver in a hospital for fear of catching ebola.

for later reading/watching:

One of our cities is missing.


also for later reading: Uncle Orson discusses the common core controversy.

Summary: It is a good idea, but the bad news is that it was devised by the same idiots who gave us modern math and reading fads that didn't work, and also it will be coopted by the politically correct.

he also discusses Plato, General Sherman (he had Mistresses? Don't tell General Petreus!) and King Lear.


a thoughful essay comparing Fergueson to Staten Island.

the social cohesiveness and trust was missing in Fergueson...


if you think that the birthcontrol/abortion pill mandate will stop here, you might want to see that California demands Catholic universities pay for health insurance that cover all abortions.


Wired discusses bees. and not just any bees, but BLUE BEES.

Bees in the genusThyreus are gasp-out-loud delightful with their shiny blues and teals.
Their beauty hides a deadly secret: the females are kleptoparasitic, a fancy way of saying they steal food and shelter from other bees. Thyreus bees don’t collect any pollen to store as food, and they don’t build nests. Instead of visiting flowers, they cruise around looking for underground nest openings of other bee species.

Includes a slideshow for later viewing.


Instapundit reports insect farming is the future.

I am always sceptical, because although many cultures eat bugs (Pinoys eat crickets, The Shona eat flying ants, and out west the pioneers ate locusts) the dirty little secret is that these things are not every day food.

And the "yuck" factor is big.

The Shona eat flying ants, but shrimp and crustacean foods are taboo: Sister Euphrasia almost starved when she boarded with Italian nuns while studying for her master's degree, because the nuns were vegetarian and ate lots of cheap fish and shell fish and shrimp. It got so bad that she moved to an American convent where beef and chicken were on the menu.

although I believe Locusts are halal for some Muslims, most insects are not.


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Stuff around the web

If you want a nice quiet movie to watch, try renting Belle

from wikipedia

real story here. and HERE.

heh. The missing emails are found: It's just too much trouble to dig them out of the archives.


a non pc evaluation of the Fergueson case.

I figure it's about getting out the vote in the next election.

Any kid murdered for any reason is a tragedy, but when the CDC statistics and the gang murders of the inner city are ignored by the media, and this one murder promoted 24/7, one has to wonder if this is being pushed by a political agenda.

the problem with the cliches being pushed in the media is that too many folks watch CSI, and the evidence suggest it might be a case of self defense...Most ER docs see Orbital blowout fractures in domestic violence cases,
Being caught on surveillance tape threatening a small South Asian clerk doesn't help confirm white racism either.

"In the absence of a motor vehicle accident history...   Orbital fracture, an eye injury which is a break in the skull bone of the eye socket, is an injury that results when a great deal of force is applied to the victim's face or eye. "You can't get it with casual contact," said Goldberg. "The contact must be with a fist or something hard like a ball or a dashboard."

Monday, August 25, 2014

Family news

Lolo  developed facial weakness and trouble walking and slept all day yesterday: I suspect he had a mini stroke. Today he seems fine.

Today is the Sandal festival, and floats with six foot shoes are all around downtown, along with bands and cops.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

The weak shall inherit nothing

It's not just in the Middle East where Obama is ignored and laughed at.

The headlines noted that the Chinese plane buzzed a US plane today, but the real story is that they are claiming territory of the Philippines (and Viet Nam, and Japan, and India).

Strategy Page article here.

and don't dare write against them. I got blitzed after one article by Chinese trolls saying that there was evidence of stone age Chinese tools on the small islands. By that definition, Norway owns Canada...and ignore the history of Chinese once owning Viet Nam...

and yesterday (no link) there was an article that the Chinese guaranteed they won't try to grab Mongolia.

The real loser here is actually Russia: If the Chinese aggression isn't stopped, they will try to grab Siberia.


The headline in today's Manila Bulletin is about our peacekeepers returning from Liberia, and there is some worry they will bring Ebola back with them.

Not to mention the danger of it coming here if one of our nurses/doctors comes in contact with it and brings it home.

The doctor is back

The food of Dr. Who.
from epicurious

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Biology lesson of the day

Measuring inbreeding in the Greek gods the link includes a flow chart.

well, given the history of genetic problems in Pharaoh Ikhnaton and King Tut, and the Hapsburg Jaw and hemophilia in the descendants of Queen Victoria one does have to wonder.

First, there is Vulcan, who has withered legs (either from a spinal cord injury from his mother's abuse, or occult spina bifida) and then there are the Cyclops, from when Poseidon mates with sea nymphs.

On the other hand, Oedipus' kids turn out genetically okay...

Family news

Chano and Joy went to Manila for a delivery and to try to get a large check from a company who bought a large number of Christmas packaged brown rice gifts, and hasn't paid yet.

 Such things are one reason the Philippines has trouble attracting new businesses...along with all the red tape and lack of infrastructure...

I shouldn't complain too much: two guys cleaned out our open air ditches that serve as sewers yesterday, and the garbage is being collected. That is an improvement, since in the past the garbage was dumped across the street in the vacant lot and we had to gather our garbage in a trailer so we could dump it in the city dump a couple miles north of town.;