Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Cat item of the day

Hurry up and buy buy buy...

Funny Pictures - Santa Cat
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

Insomnia download of the day

the original survival against odds story: CabezaDeVaca's tale at Librivox.

Shackleton's book is there too....as is Xenaphon's story about how the Greek Mercenaries said "NUTS" and refused to surrender, but merely marched home again.

or you might prefer to read how a young widow survived in the wild west LINK

Attention Human rights organizations

according to GMA: The Morong 43 are still in jail...and caring for the sick in a prison system that lacks adequate medical care.

Gift item of the day

don't forget to buy your cat fashion calender.

Egon, aged 7 years old, is wearing a floral summer dress. "Egon doesn't like to be left out of dinner parties. Whenever guests come over for a meal, he will meow mournfully until we pull up an extra chair for him"


Stuff below the fold

heh. The nincompoop who is president of Iran is claiming that the US arranged the Wikileaks.

Considering that the leaks confirm that the Saudis wanted the US to bomb Iran, that it showed Iran is into smuggling drugs, supporting terror against Iraq, etc. it makes you think that they might have a point (sarcasm)

Actually, I agree with this story: what's the big deal? Even I, in the backwaters of the Philippines, knew about most of the stuff leaked, except for that botox and bimbo story...

An Iranian "scientist" was killed yesterday and another wounded...
I'll wait before I believe Israel was behind it because I remember this murder....note they were all teachers in universities where anti gov't sentiment was strong.
They might have been a "to-fer" for the gov't: warn the green movement and get to blame Israel.

on the other hand, Roger Simon thinks he was indeed targeted:

PersianParadox has an interesting post on a calligraphy exhibition where their ex president gave a speech using the revered Ali as an example to show how Islam supports freedom of expression.


Katherine Lopez explains how the Pope's condom remarks are being twisted: The real story is how sexuality and love in marriage has been degraded in the last 50 years in the west.
Ironically, the statistics show that cheating is less common than you would think LINK

There are ways to support family planning to strengthen the family (NFP and even using the pill for married women to space pregnancies to improve child maternal health, as was done in Iran), but alas, the US government is bribing Pinoy to support the present "modern safe sex/no responsibility" ideas into our Reproductive health bill and sex education in our schools, despite opposition from Catholics and Muslims.


The Psychiatrists have decided narcissism is not a mental illness.

Narcissistic personality disorder, characterized by an inflated sense of self-importance and the need for constant attention....

yes, I guess they consider Lady Gaga and most politicians mentally normal.

Download a song by Justin Bieber, and the copyright cops will get you.
But they ignore China's huge network of industrial and intellectual theft.

which is why I can get first run movies sooner at the Palenke than at the PirateBay...


Latest conspiracy theory: The Mayerling suicides might have been a political assassination. Maria Elena goes over the theories.
more conspiracy theories HERE.

Mythbusting electric cars.

Don't mess with Texas:

from strategyPage:November 18, 2010: ....The state of Texas, in fact, is engaged in what state security officials have called paramilitary operations. The Texas state police are part of the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS). The Texas DPS has 16 helicopters and uses them along the border to deploy field intelligence teams and tactical strike teams. The DPS runs a joint operation intelligence center (JOIC) in the state capital, Austin.

more HERE.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Gift item of the day

cute kawaii stuff - Hello Kitty Nerd Pillow

helloKittyNerd pillow.
Available at: Indenyldesigns ($29)
see more Must Have Cute/">Must Have Cute

Stuff below the fold

BoingBoing has the really important insider stuff on Wikileaks,
if you want to know which great leader uses botox, just go there and find out.


The LATimes says one million Chinese got HIV via transfusions. So much for condoms....it's the corruption stupid.
rant moved HERE.
it reminds me of the Canadian Hepatitis C epidemic, which got little coverage in the US because it involved a certain Arkansas governor....
a wonderful gift : a HelloKittyFetus

Leslie Nielsen has died.
Trivia factoid: He was the captain in the original Poseidon adventure, but later became someone who gave us many laughs, including this classic line:


Paranoid stuff below the fold

The "Wikileaks" expose is, of course, a leftist plot to weaken the US but that didn't stop the major media from grabbing it up.

Ironically, by making it out that Obama is the "bad guy", it might help his image in the US, refuting charges he is too weak.

On the other hand, the usually thoughtful CSMonitor notes a lot of the leaks involve
underreported threats by American enemies.

“The cables name countries involved in financing terror groups, and describe a near ‘environmental disaster’ last year over a rogue shipment of enriched uranium,” reports the Guardian. ...
According to the New York Times, the cables include: “A dangerous standoff with Pakistan over nuclear fuel … gaming out an eventual collapse of North Korea … bargaining to empty the Guantánamo Bay prison … suspicions of corruption in the Afghan government … and a global computer hacking effort” directed by the Chinese Politburo.

of course none of this is news to anyone who follows the gossip sites.

My problem is that the leak is one sided...and it makes one wonder what the Chinese version of a wikileak would reveal about bribing corrupt governments in South and SE Asia...

As to that "terrorist plot" to blow up Portland, I write on BNN that the scenerio of entrapping a naive but angry kid might sound familiar to certain rednecks.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Newest disaster movie

I don't know if this is any good, but I am bemused that the "city" involved is Scranton PA....

Someone must have it in for Joe Biden

and yes, it was filmed in Pennsylvania, but mainly in central or western PA...which makes me wonder why they chose Scranton as the target instead of Altoona...
the movie is loosely based on this incident:

(headsup SenseOfEventsBlog)

Cat item of the day

funny pictures-So you looked at Medusa, huh? Dang! That girl gets around!
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

Gift item of the day

You might not be Uma Thurman, but you too can play Medusa.

Just imagine wearing it when you go through airline security at LAX....

and when they complain, tell them your religion requires you to wear it....

Gorgons, anyone?

Heh. Not only has the movie about Percy introduced young folks to Greek mythology, including the gorgon Medusa, but now the newest UAV camera is called the "Gorgon stare"

another version is the ARGUS IS; this puzzled me, since the only "Argos" I remembered was Ulysses's faithful dog. But apparently, Argus is a giant with a thousand eyes...

Geek news below the fold

Pick out the geek.
Picture: Ben Gilbert / Geek Calendar

Geek calender photos via the UKTelegraph


Ruby just bought Percy and the Lighting thief. Luckily, I had told her the stories of a lot of the greek myths so she could follow the story.

But in this "updated" story, they don't use a mirror, they use an IPhone camera to get Medusa.


Homeland security, not being content checking the bosoms of grandmothers to stop terrorism, are now going after computer sites.
No, not Jihadi sites that show beheadings or hate rants.

They are shutting down torrent sites where teenagers download the RedHotChiliPeppers.

Priorities, you know.

Yes, I know: This might have been done to slow down the dissemination of the upcoming Wikileaks via torrents. Yet the Pirate Bay is still up....


and it's official. The most boring day in history was...

April 12, 1954.

Musical interlude of the day

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Hobbit stuff

The Tolkien Geek is posting his essays on the Hobbit.

and the Tolkien professor has his essays on the Hobbit in his college course LINK and plans to link to his HERE.

and AlanLee's art work for the Hobbit can be found HERE

and the old cartoon is on youtube

and someone posted parts of the audiobook of the Simarillion on youtube too...

in case you prefer to listen rather than try to read the dang thing.

The Tolkien professor's course is the place to make it easier for you to figure out the Simarillion, and he is planning a "reading" on line of the course in the near future. LINK

Pampanga lantern festival

here, the Christmas star is the symbol of Christmas, but in Pampanga they go overboard in various designs.

Ratioining propaganda again

Sorry to post serious stuff on the weekend, but THIS made me mad (via drudge).

discussing why greedy docs won't take more medicaid patients includes this quote.

"Then you have doctors who order an MRI for an unremarkable headache or at the first sign of back pain," said Robert Berenson, a Commissioner of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, an independent congressional agency. "It's pretty well documented that it doesn't help patients to have those scans done in these cases. But if you have the machine in your
office ... why not?"

Huh? An MRI in "every office"? yes in very large private clinics, but as a doc who was sued for not ordering a sophisticated test only available 500 miles away, excuse my sarcasm.

An MRI machine costs one million dollars a piece.

Here is the NYTimes propaganda piece on all these excess tests, and they use Syracuse NY to prove their point.

In the Syracuse area, the number of magnetic resonance imaging machines has grown by a third over the last three years. In the 12 months ended last June alone, use of M.R.I. scans in the area increased 23 percent, according to National Imaging Associates, a company that works with insurers to manage costs.

Syracuse area has over 700thousand people. So that is not an MRI in every office. But I do notice something: MRI is said to cost $700, but when I practiced, it was $2000 so it seems that competition is making the price go down. A lot of these MRI's are in specialists offices, and it is a lot more convenient for Grannie to get one on site than schedule three weeks ahead in an inner city hospital to have it done, which is how we had to do it in Oklahoma in the year 2000.

I do agree that MRI or CT scan done as self refered screening is not warranted, but on the other hand, what this is actually about is that in the future, MRI will replace other tests.

For example, if you think the discussion about mammograms is hot, wait till you find out that a breast mammogram is a lot better at detecting cancer.

Similarly, in the past, to detect heart disease, you did an angiogram, which is "invasive" and so you didn't do it for every one.

Now, you can just do a spiral MRI and voila, your coronary arteries are checked.

and now they even have MRI's that don't expect you to sit inside a tube that makes noise. Open MRI's are good for the ten percent of people who are claustrophobic, or obese.

finally, the WAPO articl has this part:

Still, even if primary-care doctors had to rely exclusively on Medicare's lower payment rates their incomes would only drop about 9 percent, according to a recent study co-authored by Berenson, who is also a fellow at the non-partisan Urban Institute.

uh, no. You see, that is assuming that Medicare pays you. Too often, it means you end up spending more on clerks to resubmit or even to call and follow up why the payment didn't come. Having a purely medicare office means a lot more overhead.

And it also means that, since Medicare pays only a percentage of your expenses, that people with insurance or without insurance have to pay a larger fee to make up the difference.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Gift item of the day

cute kawaii stuff - Hello Kitty Microscope
see more Must Have Cute

Available at: Rakuten ($21.36)

Cat item of the day

Funny Pictures - Thanksgiving Cat
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

Stuff below the fold

Manolo is not about just shoes nowaday....There is a craftyManolo, and he is writing about yarnbombing..."unauthorized public installations of knitted and/or crocheted items. In practice, it looks a lot like this:


Usually the Philippine Inquirer writes against the FilAm military cooperation, but today's editorial suggests we might need to upgrade our airforce etc. if we aren't to be pasties giving into China (or India) in the future.

If you live in the US and can't afford to travel to Stonehedge or other exotic neolithic sites, well, just mosey on down to Cahokia.


You know the story of Thanksgiving, but TheseStoneWallsBlog has the REAL story of Squanto.

headsup TeaAtTrianon.


Hentoff on Obamacare: Welcome to DeathPanels and getting rid of those inefficient doctor's visits that take a lot of time doing "non scientific thing" like saying hello and maybe discovering what is really bothering the patient.


I tend to pray the daily Psalms (podcast or print) but if you like a more modern approach that will make you feel warm and fuzzy, try Prayasyougo podcast.


The UKTurner prize is most famous for awarding prizes to art works that are later accidentally thrown out as garbage by the cleaning staff.

So there is now a new "art award": The Turnip prize. Winners HERE.

this one is named "A Clockwork Orange"....
Picture: Fran Stothard / SWNS.COM

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving dinner

In case you're wondering what we had for our big Thanksgiving dinner:

We had shrimp.

Attention Buzz Lightyear:

You now need an FAA license to come out of orbit and arrive on earth.

Presumably the Men in Black will arrest you if you come here illegally.

Bumper sticker of the week

GrouchyOldCripple has a lot of very funny bumper stickers about airline screening, but most of them are R rated, so go to his site and put coffee down first.


actually, Lolo has gotten the "pat down" several times, because he always forgets to take his rosary out of his back pocket, and it sets off the alarm.

As for everyone being checked, we went through this on South Africa airlines when it was still a country with apartheid..lots of leftist groups theatening them back then, so only ElAl was more thorough in their passenger checks, so it's not new.

Yet until they start to profile, I think you will have a lot of resentment, although not a lot of anger...yet. Cartoon says it all....

Stuff below the fold

from Notcot.
Remember your cat this thanksgiving by giving her a Holiday themed home.

and don't forget to walk your catfish today.
from Libraryquestsite via webecoist.

A NASA photo of SaudiArabia. suggests that this very arid region once had water...the last volcanic activity was about 700 AD

and Lingwe gives you the philology of have a happy thanksgiving

History lesson of the day

Happy Thanksgiving

Turn up speakers and enjoy!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Stuff below the fold

Forget Big Sister at the airport. The latest invasion of privacy will be Smart pills, to rat to your doc if you forget a dose.

The food police have oodles of articles like this one telling you how to "eat healthy" during the holidays.

As a Pinoy, I say: Bahala na! Enjoy yourself and thank the Lord.
and besides:Grateful folks live longer.


Like climategate, the hype that "high sodium fast foods" were killing Americans as a ploy for the government to take over the food sector businesses seems to be a bit exaggerated: studies show that the sodium intake hasn't changed in 50 years.

What's even more interesting is that everyone in the world tends to eat the same amount of salt:
The average daily sodium intake was 3,726 milligrams a day, even across diverse populations and diets, and with no evidence of change over time. ... "It's spooky how consistent this number is," said McCarron.


Yes, you can find our house on Google Earth now, but you still can't find Area 51. And visitors complain about their reception, if one believes Gizmodo.who posts this screencaputre:

Those Chinese who insist that they are descended from Crassus' lost legion might be right....if the DNA studies are correct.

and a happy birthday to Stan "The Man" Musial, who just turned 90.

Happy trip!

just a reminder to all you who live in the land of the free....

All Good Things Must End
see more Political Pictures

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Musical Interlude of the day

since the previous post discussed kilts, here is the classic song.

Turn up speakers and sing along:

Stuff below the fold

StrategyPage says the Army will finally allow BDU's to be designed with women in mind.

Yeah.about time. When I was in the National guard 30 years ago, being pear shaped, I always wore a Medium shirt and a XXL pants, so the pockets were over my knees ...

USAToday has an article on how bodyscanning lobbiests got a lot of dough for their companies by selling the idea to the gov't.

I think what is angering the US public is that they screen obviously honest people just so they don't get sued for keeping suspiciously acting people spouting hatred of American in Arabic, like the American hating "praying immans", off planes.

in a related item, in the UKMail, a Muslim scholar dares to point out the problem: It's the Saudis spreading a rigidly hateful form of Islam.

Things to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.Link
Electricity, hot water, and...wifi.

You heard about direct to disk movies? Now try direct to Amazon...cutting out the cost of the middlemen.

And the Scottish kilt authorities are trying to order men to go against tradition and use underware, provoking outrage from the traditionalists, but they found one unexpected supporter:

Highlands and Islands Tory MSP Jamie McGrigor, who campaigned for the introduction of a Scottish Tartan Register, said: "I have normally worn underwear with my kilt. In the West Highlands, midges can mount alarming and unexpected attacks on so-called true Scotsmen."

Mathematics post of the day

funny puns-Octopi
see more So Much Pun

Monday, November 22, 2010

How to make a toga

Most folks think just put a bedsheet on and, voila, TOGA PARTY.

But you need to cut the edge in an arc to make it drape right. Instructions here.

or if you don't want your mom to get mad when she finds you cut her queensized sheets to be more genuine, try this:

Another day, another volcano

in Sorsogon, not near here thank God.

Dog post of the day:

Beware of Momo, the killer police Chihuahua:

Momo: You have the right to remain silent (AP)

Stuff below the fold

The Anchoress has a discussion on what the pope actually said about condoms, if you are interested. more HERE.

Actually, what he said wasn't new: we docs were taught fifty years ago that using condom use to stop disease spread was allowed (although if the woman was fertile, a small hole was advised to let the possibility of pregnancy).

Cleopatra has to be reevaluated as a power woman, not a slut, says the Smithsonian.

Actually she was both, but never mind. Killing your brother to get power is a bit worse on the moral scale than sleeping with an old guy to save your country.

Abufares discusses the storm god and Ebla.


BBC has an article on Heinz expanding into the third world.
yes, we can now buy their catsup at the local market...regular, spicy, sweet, and banana catsup.

TeaAtTrianon reviews a book written by a high school student of Frank McCourt.

One of the Vikings had a Native American girlfriend...

Latest "We're all gonna die" story of the week: Melting permafrost releases methane, a green house gas, which will warm us all to death.

and then there is the danger of nanosilver pollution.

food news of the week: Noodles date back at least to at least 500 bc...
more HERE.

Foreign policy has an interesting article on the coming greyhair population problem...

one interesting factoid: Introduce TV, and the birth rate goes down.

How to insult people

You already have some of us shuddering at Obama playing "god" saying that his election would stop the seas from rising. (King Canute did the same and got wet, but few in the US press seemed to think he was being a bit overblown in the speech).

there was even a "Obama messiah" blog, chronicaling some of the more blatent adoration during the campaign.

But now, Christian hating Tina Brown's Newsweek has managed to go overboard.

Obama is not the Messiah, but Shiva, and the Hindus are not amused.

Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that Lord Siva was a highly revered major deity in Hinduism meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and not to be used indecorously or thrown around loosely in reimagined versions for dramatic effects.

How a mortal could be depicted as Siva, who is the director of our destinies, Zed, who is the President of Universal Society of Hinduism, asked and added that inappropriate use of Hinduism concepts and symbols for pushing selfish agenda or mercantile greed was not okay....

This Newsweek cover page is headlined as "GOD OF ALL THINGS".

Of course, if Brown had bothered to check the symbolism behind this icon of Shiva, maybe she would not have used it to depict her "god", Obama:

Nataraja (Lord of the dance) is a well known iconic representation of Lord Siva, symbolizing his salvific, destructive, and creative roles; when he dances the world to destruction to create it again as a chapter of the ongoing cosmic cycle.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Learning about the past.

Watched a movie this morning because I'm too lazy to think, but found a lecture seried on the history of horticulture, not from an archeological or anthropological point of view, but from the point of view from agricultural science.

Since it overlaps the history of the evolution of bronze age civilization (which I'm self studying) I plan to listen to it.

Alas, streaming videos.

One of these days I'll get ambitious and list all the best lectures on the web.

another lecture I'm downloading: science fiction as a literary genre. part one part two

Family news

Went to church, now we're resting. Chano still sick, but I'm getting over the virus that we all had.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Gift item of the day (take two)

My Little GaGa.

Picture: Mari Kasurinen / Rex Features

Gift item of the day

EPOC neuro headset

"...The Emotiv EPOC is a high resolution, neuro-signal acquisition and processing wireless neuroheadset. It uses a set of sensors to tune into electric signals produced by the brain to detect player thoughts, feelings and expressions and connects wirelessly to most PCs....currently utilizing Emotiv EPOC technology in a variety of new and exciting ways.

Artistic and creative expression - Use your thoughts, feeling, and emotion to dynamically create color, music, and art.

Life changing applications for disabled patients, such as controlling an electric wheelchair, mind-keyboard, or playing a hands-free game.

Games & Virtual Worlds - Experience the fantasy of controlling and influencing the virtual environment with your mind. Play games developed specifically for the EPOC, or use the EmoKey to connect to current PC games and experience them in a completely new way.

(and here is the worrisome part):
Market Research & Advertising - get true insight about how people respond and feel about material presented to them. Get real-time feedback on user enjoyment and engagement.

more HERE.

Local news


who designed this logo?


Shhh...bird flu worries here.
Yes, the sick lady probably caught it from an infected bird, and yes China tends to ignore or coverup the extent of it's bird flu problem in it's poultry, but why is the Philippines worried?

Lots of Pinoys working in Hong Kong will visit over the holidays, and the government remembers how the seriousness of SARS was underplayed by China.

everyone wants the Maguindanao massacre trial to be held on TV. Even the bishops....

Why not? The History channel already has produced and shown a program on the massacre...

Friday, November 19, 2010

Craft item of the day

or just turn up your speakers and enjoy the music

Cat item of the day

Pink jellybean toez of death

Miscellaneous links

In the Pillars of Earth, King Stephen is made out the bad guy and Queen Maud the good queen, yet another queen Matilda saw her family destroyed by her husband's quest to steal the British throne.

Full story HERE.

(Headsup TeaAtTrianon).


If your sugar level hasn't reached overload at Cute Overload, check out cute baby animals at DarkRoastedBlendBlog.

a baby aardvark...


Craft item of the day:

Star trek logo pot holders. Pattern HERE.


HELLOKITTY now is official Scots: she has her very ownofficial scottish tartan design, which now will be used on various HelloKitty products.


Stuff below the fold

Hong Kong has another birdflu case, probably caught in China.
The reason this is so bad is that China has hid epidemics before (e.g.SARS) and we don't know if it is the tip of the iceberg or just an isolated infection from a sick bird.

Strategypage discusses Stuxnet.


Persian paradox is being censored. She was active in throwing out the tyrannical Shah's regieme, and favors a free Islamic state.

Sorry, guys, but I am old enough to remember stories from my fellow docs who came from Iran about the Shah; like the problems with the Saudis, these problems were rarely covered by the US press.

And finally, the cultural post of the day:

A Klingon Christmas Carol:

Scrooge has no honor, nor any courage. Can three ghosts help him to become the true warrior he ought to be in time to save Tiny Tim from a horrible fate?

Headsup from ThinkGeek

Thursday, November 18, 2010


When the Pope visited Spain, he held mass at the Holy Family cathedral which was designed by Gaudi.

Nat Geo magazine has a story on it.

Adrian Bejan says the facades of the Sagrada Família are based on the golden ratio, the geometric proportion "behind all aesthetically pleasing art." The distinguished professor of mechanical engineering at Duke University, whose "constructal law" states that design in nature is a universal phenomenon of physics, calls Gaudí a forebear and a "tightrope walker on the line bridging art and science. He understood that nature is constructed by laws of mathematics. What is strongest is inherently lightest and most efficient, and therefore most beautiful."

Cyberg moth

welcome back flash mob music

headsup the anchoress

Headline of the day

Mysterious Dudley Dorito UFO spotted over UK skies for the third time in three years

By Daily Mail Reporter

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Stuff below the fold

Dengue fever has hit Miami.
Yeah, so now maybe someone will get us a vaccine for this nasty illness.


Human Rights Watch has reported that for years Arroyo "aided" the Ampatuans, and looked the other way when they killed folks.
Ya think?
for background, check this PCIJ report from 2008.

INNOVATE FIRST, Regulate Later...MotherJones admits the problem of pushing climate change laws: they won't work until new technology is available.

that doesn't mean we shouldn't live frugally....

Congratulations Archbishop Dolan. Nice to see a Catholic in charge of the USCCB...

the NYTimes sees only politics, but CNN notes the "front runner" who lost had a big problem.

Webecoist has a weird looking fruit list.

Actually, we eat some of these (mangosteen, cherimoya, and Durian for example).

Science melody of the day

Harry Potter meets the Periodic table.

your email of the day from Col Updraft

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Linear A related to sanskrit?

This PBS special claims Linear A of the Minoan civilization is related to sanskrit.

But a quick google suggests not everyone agrees, since others think it is related to Phonecian.

Recipe of the day

you've probably heard about Bacon soda, but Epi-Log suggests this recipe for your breakfast pleasure.

Yankee Breakfast Fizz

1.5 oz. bourbon

1 oz. Jones Bacon Soda

1.5 oz. natural maple syrup

1 egg white

2 oz. heavy cream

soda water

Combine all ingredients except cream and soda into Bston shaker filled with large ice cubes. Shake hard to emulsify egg white. Strain into chilled 12 oz. Collins or Pilsener glass.

Add heavy cream, and stir. Top with soda water.

Insert with long straw and serve for breakfast or brunch.

Books videos

I am bemused that new books now come with their own videos.

This one is about "Wicked Bugs", which is coming out next year, by Amy Stewart, the author of "wicked plants".

actually, having worked in poor areas, I am aware of these problems, but the new "green" fads of not taking a bath or running around barefoot seem to ignore history.

on the other hand, I don't know if I'd enjoy this one.

the whole point of Tolkien is that he was a "very married man" (to quote CSLewis) and I doubt he'd go rolicking around with the philandering Charles Williams or confirmed bachelor CS Lewis when he had a wife and a few kids still at home.

actually, it doesn't matter to me: It usually takes two years for best sellers to hit our used book Kiosk. I just picked up Evanovich's "Finger licking fifteen" but she already released number 16 in the US.

Stuff below the fold

No, not Laurelin, but an imitation of her?

Gold nanoparticles could make trees glow.

The latest psychiatric disorder: Happiness.

It is proposed that happiness be classified as a psychiatric disorder and be included in future editions of the major diagnostic manuals under the new name: major affective disorder, pleasant type. In a review of the relevant literature it is shown that happiness is statistically abnormal, consists of a discrete cluster of symptoms, is associated with a range of cognitive abnormalities, and probably reflects the abnormal functioning of the central nervous system.

headsup thinkgeek.

Green alert:
Latest health hazard...lead in reusable shopping bags.
It is so high that throwing them away will contaminate the environment.

actually, it's not the bags but the decorations on them, so just buy a plain bag.

FYI: The archeology of Balochistan.

One thousand dead in Haiti from cholera, but the US press seems to ignore the place.
where is Kayne west when we need him?


The printing of money to stimulate the economy is called "quantitative easing".
In 2002, speech, Bernanke mentioned that the government can print money, and can stop deflation by printing more money. Of course, this results in inflation, meaning that the government owes less (i.e. the same number of dollars but the dollar is worth less).

(He referred to a statement made by Milton Friedman about using a "helicopter drop" of money into the economy to fight deflation.) Bernanke's critics have since referred to him as "Helicopter Ben"

The Anchoress worries that this idea might end up like the WKRP TURKEY DROP.

In the 1970's when Carter administration allowed severe inflation, and I essentially "lost" half of the real worth of my savings while working in Africa.
I think the same thing is going to happen again. Sigh.


Monday, November 15, 2010

Trolls anyone?

after a hiatus, TolkienGeek is back on line with essays, and discusses how trolls might be portrayed in the up coming movie.


or you could use cornbread:

then there is chestnut stuffing, or if you need a gluten free stuffing, try THIS.

Stuff below the fold

The UK Mail likes Sarah Palin's Alaska,

but the liberal UK Guardian chastises her for "fishing too close to brown bears"

(but their photo suggests she was there first, and the bear wandered over...).

And Zombie envisions an equal times show: Nancy Pelosi's San Francisco (NOT safe for work).


Paul Krugman's agrees with Sarah Palin on death panels. The difference? She warns about them, and Krugman likes the idea.

KRUGMAN: No. Some years down the pike, we're going to get the real solution (to the deficit), which is going to be a combination of death panels and sales taxes.

Forget Obama: Hillary is the one making waves in India by speaking truth to power.

Peter Kreeft takes on anti Muslim Spencer:

Kreeft argues that terrorism, military jihad, and the aspiration to subjugate “unbelievers” such as Jews and Christians, are not necessarily germane to the religious lives of Muslims. (he) insists that such manifestations of Islam are perversions of its true spirit, as witch-burnings, inquisitions, and religious wars were distortions of Christian faith.


Reason number 226 on why I am glad to live in the Philippines: It's snowing in Minnesota.

DNA shows Farmers migrated and displaced hunter/gatherers in Europe.

and the really big headline of the day: ZvaZva hospitalized again.

family news

Today is a holiday in the Philippines but Joy is going to a business meeting and Chano is helping with the harvest.

Lolo is happy about the Pacquiao win yesterday.

Musical Interlude of the day

Lesson for today: The Mayonaisse jar

A professor stood before his philosophy class
and had some items in front of him.

When the class began, wordlessly,
he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar
and start to fill it with golf balls.

He then asked the students if the jar was full..
They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured
it into the jar. He shook the jar lightly.
The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls.

He then asked the students again
if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand
and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else
He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded
With an unanimous 'yes.'

The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table
and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively
filling the empty space between the sand.
The students laughed.

'Now,' said the professor, as the laughter subsided,
'I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life.

The golf balls are the important things - God, family,
children, health, friends, and favorite passions
Things that if everything else was lost
and only they remained, your life would still be full.

The pebbles are the things that matter like your job, house, and car.

The sand is everything else --
The small stuff.

'If you put the sand into the jar first,' he continued,
'there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls.
The same goes for life.

If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff,
You will never have room for the things that are
important to you..


Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness.
Play with your children.
Take your partner out to dinner.

There will always be time
to clean the house and fix the dripping tap.

'Take care of the golf balls first --
The things that really matter.
Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.'

One of the students raised her hand
and inquired what the coffee represented.

The professor smiled.

'I'm glad you asked'.

It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem,
there's always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend.'

your lesson for today from TiaMaria

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Frankenstein's castle

yes, it exists:
Johann Konrad Dippel was rumored to create potions, perform electrical therapies, and partake in gruesome experiments involving stolen body parts from the graveyard. Born in the Castle Frankenstein in 1673, it’s disputed whether or not he was the inspiration for Mary Shelley’s mad scientist of the same name, who did some cadaver experiments of his own.
What is sure about Dippel is his colorful career as an alchemist.

it is now in ruins, but they hold Halloween parties there.

from Atlas Obscura:

Links that make you go WTF

Cross the Fab Five with Shakespeare, and what do you get? LINK

(Headsup UncleOrson)

The most humane way to kill a lobster is to...boil it alive?


The P2P police are alive and well and coming for college students downloading Blackeyedpeas songs on Limewire.

Bad news: Schools across the country ...have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to install anti-file-sharing systems on their network

Even worse news: It can't tell legal downloads from illegal ones.

Here's something to be grateful about: The Beatles wanted to film Lord of the Rings, but JRRT who owned film rights stopped them.

and finally: Puppy Chic:
cute kawaii stuff - Puppy Chic
see more Must Have Cute

George our killer Lab say no way.

Cat item of the day

A great scientific discovery: How Cats drink.

more here.

Absurdities in the war on terror

The BBC has a strange story about aid workers trying to force a Captain to take the ship to Gaza.

The BBC article includes a lot of quotes from the "aid workers" who are lamenting they are being held at gunpoint, is unclear to what happened, but this Turkish newspaper says bluntly that they tried to hijack the ship.

probably a dispute about pay, but I guess if you are a "human rights activist" from the UK, you think you are above the law, and don't have to do silly things like pay the captain and the ship owner.

The Japanese take on airport screening:

(headsup AceofSpades

Who needs Alqaeda when you have Alpha Phi Omega? here in the Philippines, the last blast in Manila has been traced to a fraternity, and now the witness is being threatened.


notes the relationship with proving one's manhood, suicide bombing, and a culture that encourages young men to refuse to do dirty work are related.

Musical interlude of the day

Polish composer Henryk Gorecki has died.

Here is part of his famous Third symphony, the "symphony of sorrowful songs"....

Recipe of the day

Noticing that the birth rate go up in August, Instapundit recommends you serve this at holidaytime:

How To Make Spotted Dick

or buy it at Amazon!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Science headlines below the fold

We don't need male birth control...just tell him to use his laptop. this is the temperature paradox: if the testes are kept warm, they don't make sperm. So hot tubs are a no no too...

podcast of the week: Astronomycast discusses fusion.


Mark Vonnegut, son of the writer, had a psychotic break as a teenager. Back then the story was that he was schizophrenic and/or drug related psychosis (or bipolar disease with psychosis?), but he has since recovered and became a doctor.

Podcast on his new autobiography HERE.

Simon Winchester discusses his books at the Free Library podcast.
he is a good writer, and it's not his fault that the subject of one of his books was not just a brilliant professor but a sociopathic sexual predator and leftist dupe of Mao.

Did you know that the Vikings founded Russia? IOT podcast HERE.

another adult stem cell breakthrough:

Human induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells derived from patients with Rett syndrome allow researchers to replicate autism in the lab and study the molecular pathogenesis of the disease. (Credit: Illustration courtesy of Jamie Simon, Salk Institute for Biological Studies)


Copper or Plastic? The problem with pipes.

This is a family oriented blog, but this proves that some males do have larger youknowwhats than brains.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Musical Interlude of the day

turn up speakers and enjoy!

Headlines below the fold

Uh oh: There are two big bubbles of energy at the core of the Milky Way.

Leading to these impressive quotes from important scientists about the phenomenum:

“They’re big,” said Doug Finkbeiner of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, leader of the team that discovered them....

“Wow,” said David Spergel, an astrophysicist at Princeton who was not involved in the work.


What caused that contrail off of Los Angeles?
probably a plane, but never mind. It's more fun to claim it was a UFO.

Priest performs "exorcisms"..actually he's just blessing homes.

Lots of my Native American patients have their homes blessed, knowing that battles were held nearby. Nor are these beliefs limited to the Osage: my German great grandmother did the same when she had "poltergeist" phenomenum in one of her homes. She claimed it was a poor soul in purgatory asking for prayers, and it worked.
In "new age" jargon, the prayers helped the poor soul to "enter the light" and leave the earthly plane.

as a doc, I have no opinions, but it did seem to work.

One result of the terrible 1881 forest fires in Michigan was that they uncovered the Sanilac Petrographs links HERE and HERE.

This Photo from Michigan DNR


and finally: it's PIGS IN SPACE:

scientific explanation here.

Torture? Moi?

Bad news: Bush claims waterboarding isn't torture.
Good news: But it probably saved lives.

I already discussed this issue, at BNN, from two points of view: What would you do if it saved your child's life, and what would you do if you were a true Christian who really seeks to do God's will...

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Jane Eyre 2011

FYI: Another version of Jane Eyre is to be released next year.

Puppies! More Puppies!

now Ruby's small white dog Angel had a puppy...probably more to come.


must be puppy day.

Inspired by beer

AICN links to the latest Narnia trailer...

looks like they changed part of the story, but looks better than Caspian....And what does it have to do with beer?

Well, CSLewis, JRRTolkien, Charles Williams and others talked over beer at their luncheon meetings of the Inklings...meetings that inspired and encouraged each other's fiction
Believe it or not, I actually found a used copy of this book in a local kiosk here in the Philippines. If you like Lewis or Tolkien, it's worth reading (although it has little on Tolkien, since Carpenter wrote a separate biography on Tolkien).

WOW Beer

If you are civilized, blame Beer


E. Michael Smith / Wikipedia

An Egyptian wooden model of beer making in ancient Egypt, located at the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum in San Jose, California.

Archeoblog links to an article saying:

Beer Lubricated the Rise of Civilization, Study Suggests

Could beer have helped lead to the rise of civilization? It’s a possibility, some archaeologists say. Their argument is that Stone Age farmers were domesticating cereals not so much to fill their stomachs but to lighten their heads, by turning the grains into beer. That has been their take for more than 50 years, and now one archaeologist says the evidence is getting stronger.

Signs that people went to great lengths to obtain grains despite the hard work needed to make them edible, plus the knowledge that feasts were important community-building gatherings, support the idea that cereal grains were being turned into beer, said archaeologist Brian Hayden at Simon Fraser University in Canada.

"Spengler" on the economy

Spengler has a long article about going back to the gold standard, and what it means.

I'm in the "don't know nothing" party of Sarah Palin, who thinks that printing more money is a bad idea and will lead to inflation (heck, it worked for Zimbabwe, didn't it?)


Mama dog has had her fifth litter since we had her "fixed" (uh, you think maybe they didn't do it right?).

During the night, she had two, and when I checked her five minutes ago, there were four puppies, two "white" and two dark.

Looks like she mated with the neighbor's dogs again.

Food factoid of the day

from Colombian recipes:
There are many variations of tamales in Colombia, but they all have something in common and that is that they are all wrapped in banana leaves.

recipes at link