Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Recipe of the day

Make a Queen of Sheba cake...fit for a queen.

Recipe HERE.


and no, the queen of Sheba never ate this: Chocolate comes from the Incas and was not available back then.

Factoid of the day

Cartoon Links for the day

not politically correct, so check links at your own risk.

The Prom dress according to dad

Savage Chicken Terminator cartoons.

Identify the real Washington DC situation room.


Osama's sea burial caught on tape

Family news

brownout at 3 am...internet off this am so I went shopping for "unmentionables"...alas they don't have my size here, so I bought a pair of Sunday shoes instead.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Musical interlude of the day



fast forward to one minute, and enjoy...

Happy Memorial Day

US Ambassador to the Philippines Harry Thomas shakes hands with a Philippine war veterans during a service to mark US Memorial Day and honour soldiers who fell during World War II at the Manila American Cemetery in Fort Bonifacio, Manila Sunday. At least 17,000 graves lay in the memorial park that pays tribute to US and Philippines soldiers that fought side by side during World War II. (KJ ROSALES)



Sunday, May 29, 2011

Musical interlude of the day



Send "Dante's Prayer" Ringtone to your Cell

When the dark wood fell before me
And all the paths were overgrown
When the priests of pride say there is no other way
I tilled the sorrows of stone

I did not believe because I could not see
Though you came to me in the night
When the dawn seemed forever lost
You showed me your love in the light of the stars

Cast your eyes on the ocean
Cast your soul to the sea
When the dark night seems endless
Please remember me

Then the mountain rose before me
By the deep well of desire
From the fountain of forgiveness
Beyond the ice and the fire

Cast your eyes on the ocean
Cast your soul to the sea
When the dark night seems endless
Please remember me

Though we share this humble path, alone
How fragile is the heart
Oh give these clay feet wings to fly
To touch the face of the stars

Breathe life into this feeble heart
Lift this mortal veil of fear
Take these crumbled hopes, etched with tears
We'll rise above these earthly cares

Cast your eyes on the ocean
Cast your soul to the sea
When the dark night seems endless
Please remember me...
-----------------------

another link: stories from Dante

Recipe of the day


Photo by: Taste of Home

How about a real American treat: Patriotic Pizza.


This festive pizza requires only four ready-to-use ingredients, so it can be assembled in no time. Kids will get a charge out of adding the cheese stars and stripes to the red "flag." —Flo Burtnett, Gage, Oklahoma



Ice Tea

Lolo has switched from Decaf to Lipton Tea.

I am cutting my coffee drinking down to two cups a day, but am drinking Lipton ice tea with meals.

If you want recipes for ice tea check Epilog

Lolo usually adds Calimansi instead of Lemon to his tea; I use the premix version which is easier, but the powder tends to disappear quickly for visitors and staff.

Memorial day is coming, so Epilog has lots of recipes for the grill HERE.

more HERE.

we do grill barbecue pork on skewers, chicken and Talapia.

Beef costs a lot here, and the hamburgers are so so. Local beef" is full of gristle and tough...

What I would give for a good juicy hamburger or a tender steak...last good steak I ate was 18 months ago in Manila and cost a fortune...

Dante

I ran across a Yale university course on Dante, so now I am downloading Dante related podcasts...

Link

Link

more HERE and HERE.

I'm not sure I will get through the whole thing.

music in Dante

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Musical interlude of the day

turn up speakers and DANCE!



headsup Manoloshoeblog

Science photo of the week


Because of the absence of gravity, fuels burning in space behave very differently than they do on Earth. In this image, a 3-millimeter diameter droplet of heptane fuel burns in microgravity, producing soot. When a bright, uniform backlight is placed behind the droplet and flame and recorded by a video camera, the soot appears as a dark cloud.

photo NASA

The Gratuitous Lady Gaga post of the day

Stuff below the fold

What's going on in Iran? Dr. Ebtakar, a scientist and who is on the city council, gives this report about the political struggle and the corruption behind the stolen election.

=======================
the "Arab spring" revolts may result in democracy or in tyranny...I am keeping all of them in my prayers.

----------------------------------

There are a million Filipinos in various countries in the Middle East...and the latest news is that our OFW are being told to come home from Yemen.
======================

Immigrants taking over local jobs is not just in the US:

MigrantsRighst blog has avideo on how cheap foreign workers gradually displaced local workers in the Middle Eastern oil fields.

--------------------------

GetReligion
notes how CNN broadcast took the God part out of a story of tornado survivors.

----------------------------
There are jokes about suing the weather man for not predicting storms, but Italy is allowing the courts to charge scientists with manslaughter for not predicting earthquakes...


----------------------------
Mother Jones dissects the fake "paleo survival" shows on TV.

--------------------------------

How NASA's satellites found lost pyramids in Egypt.

The really important medical news of the day


Vuvuzelas 'may spread diseases'

Chinglish anyone?

China and Taiwan now have a dictionary so they can read each other's signs.

Mandarin is the "official" language, but half the country speaks dialects and has to study it.
..

Chinese is distinguished by its high level of internal diversity, although all varieties of Chinese are tonal and analytic. There are between 7 and 13 main regional groups of Chinese (depending on classification scheme), of which the most spoken, by far, is Mandarin (about 850 million), followed by Wu (90 million), Cantonese (Yue) (70 million) and Min (50 million). Most of these groups are mutually unintelligible, although some, like Xiang and the Southwest Mandarin dialects, may share common terms and some degree of intelligibility.




for example, Cantonese, spoken by southern China:


Cantonese
(粵語 or 廣東話) is mainly spoken in Guangdong (where Guangzhou/Canton is the capital) and Guangxi provinces and most of the overseas Chinese communities in Australia, Europe, North America and other parts of the world.
to make things worse, Cantonese has nine tones, and Mandarin four

so how to use a typewriter? you might use Pinyin or the Wubi method.

I suspect that despite the emphasis on Mandarin, the tonal problems and lack of an alphabet will prevent Mandarin from becoming a universal language...perhaps Chinglish will be the ultimate dialect a thousand years from now..

She found it

Student finds universe's missing mass

Agence France-Presse



missing baryons

Stars and galaxies account for just 10% of the 'normal' matter (as opposed to dark matter or dark energy) of the universe. The remainder is predicted to exist as intergalactic filaments which the current study confirms accounts for the "missing mass".

Credit: NASA

SYDNEY: A 22-year-old Australian university student has solved a problem which has puzzled astrophysicists for decades, discovering part of the so-called 'missing mass' of the universe during her summer break.

Undergraduate student Amelia Fraser-McKelvie made the breakthrough during a holiday internship with a team at Monash University in Melbourne, locating the mystery material within vast structures in the intergalactic medium called filaments.

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Search for Jason

originally on the BBC, this is Michael Wood's program searching for the historical roots of Jason and the Argonauts.

Global warming

Professor Brian Fagan on climate change in the past...he has just published a book about this. I haven't listened to this, but have heard his discussions on cultural changes at the end of the ice age etc.



more videos on the subject at UCTV.

Stuff below the fold

Before there was Dunkirk, there was Xenophon and the ten thousand (Librivox link)
when given the choice of surrender or die, they chose "none of the above" and walked home.

Podcast about this episode and his other writings at the BBC.

they also have one on Custer and a few other recent ones HERE.

------------------------------------

Interesting discussion on what to do about Somalia, with it's corrupt government, murderous gangs and pirates.

Note the part about China...

----------------------------

Did Braveheart have women in his army? Or Is this the skull of "Black Agnes"?

They are doing excavations on Stirling Castle and other areas in Scotland,and dug up a bunch of skeletons that date to the Scots war of indepence, including one woman...
actually, the skeleton suggests a hard working woman, so probably a commoner, but the Black Agnes story can be found HERE.

Another site, with photo.

She makes a stir in tower and trench,
That brawling, boisterous, Scottish wench;
Came I early, came I late.
I found Agnes at the gate.
------------------------------------

Budgies

here, we have two love birds which resemble the American parakeet but are larger and you have to buy them in pairs.

The British term for parakeets is "Budgie", but I didn't know that there was a type of Budgie that was native to Australia.

And then we have Budgie smuggling...

this post
explains where that slang term came from...

Headline below the fold

"what me worry?" headline of the day:
MiniBlack holes zap earth all the time...

-----------------------------
there's a minor war going on between Thailand and Cambodia, killing 18 and displacing 80 thousand...
The Philippines offers to mediate.

---------------------------
Mayor Lim is trying to stop "piracy" in Manila...I think they are referring to counterfiet goods and cd's/DVD's...
Guess they'll have to travel to Quezon City to get the latest films on DVD...

----------------------------------
FilAm Moro graduates from West Point...patriotic but also proud of the fighting spirit of his ancestors.

--------------------------------

Gateway Pundit
notes 232 people still missing in Joplin, half of whom are seniors.

"Shelter" in hospitals/nursing homes/clinics usually mean getting to the inner corrider...and if you are bedridden you might not get all the patients moved in time...

The "Time" factor is also a problem if you are in a car. A tornado will pick up the car and toss it, killing you. But in the flat midwest, the nearest "shelter" might be a drainage ditch...the article notes one kid killed in the parking lot of a store (he didn't manage to get inside quick enough). The elderly similarly might just try to shelter in their houses, since there was no time to get to a shelter.

Yes, I remember one time when the neighbors had to help me hurry Lolo to the neighbor's shelter (across a flooded street in the hail and rain)...he got into the shelter 30 seconds before the sky turned green, and the noise got worse and we shut the door...then everything went quiet. Luckily it was a "small" tornado, hitting nearby in the fields north of town, but missing us by half a mile.

Lolo insisted our brick house would be enough shelter, but of course it wouldn't be if it was a larger tornado...

These tornadoes are not rare in the midwest. You mainly hear of them when they hit cities

--------------------------------------------------

ABC NEWS reports


You've probably heard of shrimp on the barbie, but what about shrimp on a treadmill?

The National Science Foundation has, and it spent $500,000 of taxpayer money researching it. It's not entirely clear what this research hoped to establish.

So here's your tax dollars at work:

Family News

Typhoon Chedeng has veered west of the Philippines, meaning no direct hit on Luzon, and is heading for Japan.

Right now, it's overcast and drizzling, but no heavy rain since last night's thunderstorm.


The good news: The puppies are eating.

The bad news: They now can climb out of their box and wander all over, leaving "gifts" behind them...

During the night, we keep them locked in the bathroom, but during the day they are outside where it is easier to clean up.

We give away puppies much earlier here than in the US, so I figure two or three more weeks before they leave.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Craft item of the day

I just finished watching this video on Eric Bloodaxe (the king, not the hacker)



more HERE.

---------------------
So if you are teaching your innocent young children about the Dark Age Viking attacks, remind them that they were not only bloodthirsty bezerkers, but great tradesmen, explorers and merchants.

and to make the dull history lessons more interesting, try doing some of these crafts:






if your young knight wants to wear a chainmail type shirt, check out Kayray for the pattern


----------------------------------


And if you want to make a Viking Hat, check out EHow...you will have to get a milkjug, newspaper and duct tape.

(yes, I know: Viking hats didn't have horns, but never mind...you kid will think it's cool)...

a variation, using styrofoam cones and posterboard is HERE.




-----------------------


From Buttercup Miniatures:

a pattern on how to knit a chainmail coif for your Ken doll...




------------------------------------











or maybe you can just crochet your very own Amigurumi Viking Doll (or if you are lazy buy one HERE.)

Musical interlude of the day

The Snow Goose

Paul Gallico wrote a story of a small unimportant man who helped in the Dunkirk evacuation: The Snow Goose.

Yes, it was made into a TV movie and is on youtube.

Remembering Dunkirk

On May 24th, 1949, the German army halted and waited for the British to surrender...when given the choice between annihilation and surrender, the Brits chose "none of the above".

On the first day, only 7,011 men were evacuated, but by the ninth day, a total of 338,226 soldiers (198,229 British and 139,997 French)[5] had been rescued by the hastily assembled fleet of 850 boats..thousands were carried back to Britain by the famous "little ships of Dunkirk", a flotilla of around 700 merchant marine boats, fishing boats, pleasure craft and Royal National Lifeboat Institution lifeboats — the smallest of which was the 15 ft (4.6 m) fishing boat Tamzine, now in the Imperial War Museum — whose civilian crews were called into service for the emergency. The "miracle of the little ships" remains a prominent folk memory in Britain.[6][7]


End of the world alert




Denmark bans Marmite....

they also ban Rice crispies and

Ovaltine

Technology Stuff below the fold


You know the story of the first computer bug...



But do you know the real story, and the history of the word "Bug"?

-----------------------------

Algae for Bio fuel? Maybe not...and note the discussion after the article.

------------------------

Sexy Actress Hedy Lamar wartime patents....
---------------------------------------------



headsup MyEphemerae

--------------------


Headsup Obtuseblog

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Mystery of the Phoenicians

Nat Geo magazine has the story

and this on Youtube:



shorter version on the DNA study at AlJezeerah:

The good news of the day

CDC notes the ten Great public health achievements of the last ten years.

most are preventive medicine including vaccines (fewer deaths in babies with the new Pneumonia vaccine), increased screening (pap smears, occult blood for bowel cancer) public health (less lead poisoning in inner city black kids) or behavior outreach (seatbelts).

Insomnia downloads of the week

from Librivox:


Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, The by Khayyám, Omar

this is the FitzGerald "translation" that is more of a paraphrase of the original but a masterpiece in itself.

=====================
but if you really have trouble sleeping, try
Personal Memoirs of U. S. Grant by Grant, Ulysses S.

or Easy Lessons in Einstein by Edwin E. Slosson

and if you are really having trouble relaxing, just listen to:

Bunny Brown and His Sister Sue by Hope, Laura Lee

The Original "Don't Panic"

Before there was Arthur Dent trying to stop his house from being demolished for a highway bypass (or fleeing the earth which was demolished for a stellar highway bypass), there was the "stiff upper lip" attitude of the British during the Blitz.

And this was their sign:

Mark your calender

photosource.

May 25 is Towel day

in honor of Douglas Adams. Headsup Think Geek, who posts the quote explaining why you need a towel

A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Partly it has great practical value. You can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapors; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a miniraft down the slow heavy River Moth; wet it for use in hand-to-hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (such a mind-bogglingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can't see it, it can't see you); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.”

— Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Stuff below the fold



another day, another typhoon...it's overcast, and will hit here Thursday. We should miss the winds, but the real worry is flooding, especially in Manila, which was devestated with a similar storm two years ago.

Trivia note: The local name for the typhoon is "Chedeng"...and here it is a slang word for a Mercedes Benz...


======================




Joplin is devestated and now a new batch of tornadoes is hitting Oklahoma city and other areas. Alas, such things are not unusual...FEMA is there, but most of the responders are local folks,(Police, firemen from nearby communities, the Red Cross, and local church groups) including the National Guard.
...the National Guard trains for civilian disasters and includes much of the "support units" for the military (e.g.water supply, military police, medical units, engineering/construction units). They lives nearby, and can be on site quickly.

Legally the regular US military, which is mainly combat units, is not allowed to be called up for civilian emergencies, a law passed after the hated post civil war occupation of the south.

One reason for the Nat Guard being called up to go to Iraq etc. is that their work was peacekeeping/policing/construction, not war per se.

========================

China uses it's military for civilian disasters, and it may need to upgrade to do so efficiently. Something to remember if you read a "China is rearming alas" article.

Of course, the Chinese are using their military to pressure the Philippines and VietNam to give up sovereignty of the Spratlys Islands...they figure Obama won't do anything, and the smaller countries are too weak to stop them...

------------------------

and the really important news for the day: Area 51 was a Soviet hoax, and the "aliens" were child pilots.

preysumably they bought the costume HERE.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Cat item of the day

just for nice:


source via stumbleupon.

Musical interlude of the day

for your listening pleasure: The Hamster song:


The Hamster Dance by MelleBulle

Keeping a guinea pig for a pet: Take two


H2G2 notes:

While a hamster looks like a furry mouse with no tail, a guinea pig is much bigger; it has a giant rounded nose and its legs are hidden underneath it, so it looks like an elongated mop or a furry bread roll with eyes.

The two animals are quite different in temperament as well. Hamsters are highly active, but only at night. They are solitary creatures and like to be alone. They don't mind being handled but will bite hard when they are cross. Guinea-pigs on the other hand sleep at night and are active during the day, although not very active, and are very calm and placid. The
y enjoy company and should be kept with other guinea pigs.

on the other hand, you can always get a pet rat or gerbil...

The Surprising history of Guinea Pigs

the history of Guinea pigs, used for medicine and food in South America at Ancient Standard.

------------------------------
In the Andes of south America, folks raise them to eat, similar to how rabbits are bred by some in the rural US.

They are quite tasty: Recipe HERE.

----------------------

and for your crocheting pleasure,you can find a crochet guinea pig pattern via LINK


buy amigurumi guinea pig pattern here.

The Gratuitous Lady Gaga post of the day

Funny Pictures - Lady Gaga Cats, Born This Way
see more Lolcats and funny pictures, and check out our Socially Awkward Penguin lolz!

Headlines below the fold

Folks in Joplin MO and other tornado or flooded areas are in my prayers.
GatewayPundit has photos.

Sigh...I used to live in Tornado Alley...

--------------------------------


another day, another tropical storm.. due Thursday....should hit north of here, but the worry is flooding.
Luckily we haven't planted yet, but there are worries about Manila flooding again.

---------------------------
Modern Saudi Arabia, where even a physician isn't allowed to marry her choice of husband

and she's not the only troublemaker:



---------------------------

Sister Mary Martha has a typicial Catholic reaction to the rapture (or lack thereof):


But that's not the disturbing thing to me about the Rapture. I am disturbed to the point of disgust at the idea that anyone would be so happy to be whizzed up to heaven because they are so righteous while many more millions suffer the Wrath of God.

---------------------------------
on the other hand, in case you didn't get raptured last weekend, never fear: The 12th Imman is scheduled to arrive on June 5th.

more HERE and HERE.

Someone tell Obama...
-----------------------------------
however, the really bad news of the day comes from Dave Barry:

The economic forces behind the rising cost of beer


-----------------------------
but the good news of the day: The toilet seat hat brought 131 thousand dollars in a charity auction.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Musical Interlude of the day

Family news


very hot today...and the last week, despite the late afternoon showers.

Joy's father's blood pressure went up sky high, and he went to the hospital late last week and now is here recuperating.

Lolo's pressure is going up too but I am adjusting his medicines to keep it down.

The puppies are getting to the wandering age (they can get out of their box which is in the bathroom, so I put them into the shower, where the rim is too slippery for them to climb over...next step, outside the bedroom.)

Cleaning house today so I'm just too lazy to blog...I had put up some links but they were so boring I erased them.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Burial mounds all over the place


Wikipedia article.

and Minnesota alone may have had 10thousand mounds of various sizes.

JV Brower has a couple books about the areas at Internet Archives. He did surveys before a lot of the sites were destroyed by agriculture etc.

Louisiana mounds




Archeology magazine has an article on the mounds of Louisiana.
more HERE.



Povertypoint mound dates to 1600 BC...



but now there is evidence that the mound complex at Watson Brake goes back to 3400 BC...

Located above wetlands, the site would have provided access to vast aquatic resources during certain seasons. Bones of the freshwater drum, a species of fish that spawns from spring to early summer, and charred seeds of plants that ripen in the summer and fall were recovered at the site. The findings contradict the commonly held belief that major building projects took place only in complex societies with permanent villages supported by agriculture or trade. Mobile hunter-gatherers, it was thought, were unable to undertake such projects.

The inhabitants of Poverty Point, while not yet agriculturalists, had a complex social organization, took part in extensive trading networks, and possibly maintained year-round occupation.

Gift item of the day


Build Your own Stonehedge kit from Think Geek


In the year 10,000BC, aliens from Uranus landed on Earth. They didn't find anyone cool to talk to, so they just added graffiti to the countryside and left. That graffiti is Stonehenge. Since that time, druids and scientists have tried to provide meaning to the awe inspiring stones, but have never riddled out the true message. We have. How? We can't tell you. What does Stonehenge really say? That, we can tell you. It says... "WTF?" in Uranean.



and if you don't have any nearby three inch virgins to sacrifice, a cup of coffee will do just nicely.

Megaliths


every year more information comes out by archeologists about the past.

so this weeks' Nat Geo has an article asking the big question: Who built the temple or building at Gobekli? and why?

and another question: Did religion predate agriculture? Because the temple dates back to 10000 BC.

Yes, Çatalhöyük dates to 7500 bc and may have been settled by hunter gatherers, not farmers, (maybe they exchanged the local volcanic glass which could be used as knives to import grain).
But a new structure in Turkey questions if maybe the hunter gatherers...

in Europe, barrows, tombs and megaliths are all over the place, almost as if someone in 3000 bc told the people to do this. and not only Europe, but there are equivalent structures here in Asia...and recognition of similar structures are rewriting the history of the new world: Most are much later than the old world, but some in Louisiana dates to 3000 BC also.


In many of these areas, people were still neolithic (stone age farmers) but some, like Stonehendge, date before agriculture started.

The modern theory is that people started planting, began living in villages, and then decided to placate the gods so they sent good weather (hence so many storm gods like Thor or Zeus). But the Nat Geo article speculates that pilgrimages and ceremonies encouraged people to settle down, so religion might have inspired agriculture, not vice versa.

But now again the history books will need to be rewritten.

Discovering that hunter-gatherers had constructed Göbekli Tepe was like finding that someone had built a 747 in a basement with an X-Acto knife. "I, my colleagues, we all thought, What? How?" Schmidt said. Paradoxically, Göbekli Tepe appeared to be both a harbinger of the civilized world that was to come and the last, greatest emblem of a nomadic past that was already disappearing. The accomplishment was astonishing, but it was hard to understand how it had been done or what it meant.

as Drudge would say: Developing....

headsup SigmundCarl&AlbertBlog.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Teapotting take two

if you are from the microwave/instant tea generation, here is the way you do teapotting:

The Latest Fad: Teapotting


Hot on the heels of planking, "teapotting" is the newest internet craze to take off across the country....

Teapotting is similar to the planking photo fad, but instead of lying face down in interesting places, the subject holds a teapot pose — in reference to the 'I'm a Little Teapot' children's song and dance.Hot on the heels of planking, "teapotting" is the newest internet craze to take off across the country.
headsup Davebarry

facebook page HERE..

next fad? Extreme ironing?

Musical interlude of the day

Duck tape in song

a list of ducktape musical offerings HERE.

includes free MP3 downlaods.

And how to make or repair a musical instrument with ducktape.
more HERE.

and don't miss Duct Tape the Musical

by the Duct tape guys.

video here.

Craft item of the day


How to make a Duck tape rose

tutorial HERE.

video HERE.





or below:

Stuff you need to know

via Dave Barry:
Duct tape to the rescue


----------------------------
Factoid of the day:

why it was originally Duck tape:

another explanation is that like duck cloth, it is strong and waterproof...(although Duck comes from Doek, Dutch for linen canvas.

------------------------------
why travelers need to carry duct tape.

more HERE.

and yes, you can buy HelloKitty Ducktape.

------------------------------------

more WTF at JoeCarter's weekly list of trivia

---------------------

every art student's nightmare:

funny pictures history - MOM!?!
see more Historic LOL

End of the world alert

no, not that nutcase that predicts the world will end today.

This one:



There's also an interesting point to be made, according to the Wall Street Journal: In virologists' forgotten collections or dusty museum specimens, the deadly disease may still exist...

In all likelihood, the scab was of no danger to museum visitors, but it begs the question: How long can a virus survive outside of the body? Could a supposedly defunct bug rise to wreak havoc on unsuspecting human immune systems?


well, at least one epidemic in Native Americans was from blankets previously used by smallpox victims...

Dark Winter redux...

Stuff below the fold

Even Instapundit is linking to the new wheat rust problem...the story has been around for a few years but now there is a worry it will spread.
on the other hand, rice seems to be in good shape this year.

the part about the Maunder minimum has to do with sunspots...most of history ignores the climate, disasters, and disease in the stories...


---------------------------------
Philippines rejected Saudi plan to cut the OFW wages from $400 a month to $200 a month.

summary: lower the maid's salaries to slave wages, or we will cut off your oil and send "charity" money to your rebels...
-----------------------

there's been a lot of stories on the ongoing cyberwar. it's been going on for years, with hackers, cybercriminals and rogue nations going against gov't computers...not only in the US but against south Korea and India.

(the computer system at our federal clinic was taken down in 2002 so we lacked a lot of information, but luckily that was before we went to "paperless" records. If I am leery about paperless medical records, this is one reason why).

the danger: if the power plants are hit.
--------------------------------

there is a shortage of critical medicines.
the answer? more gov't control, of course.

If I'm being sarcastic, I remember how this scam worked for childhood vaccines.

-----------------------------------
since Hamas and the Palestinians and the guy running Iran make no secret of their plan to destroy Israel, Obama's speech reminds me of the the idea that giving the Sudetanland back to Germany would lead to peace...

-------------------------------------
Area 51 story at Nat Geo...

------------------------------
Keep an eye on the Visegrad group...

They too remember the Sudetanland problem and don't trust NATO...
---------------------------------

another clue that the "anthrax" killer ID was flawed.

-----------------------------------

The Gratuitous Lady Gaga post of the day

Friday, May 20, 2011

Zombie apocolypse take two


Think Geek has all sorts of things for you to buy to be prepared for a zombie apocolypse, from the practical (a leatherman, LED flashlights) to the weird (zombie gummi candy).

Are You Prepared?

In an attempt to get publicity on the need for emergency preparedness, the CDC is using a mock "Zombie apocolypse" theme for their site.

  • Water (1 gallon per person per day)
  • Food (stock up on non-perishable items that you eat regularly)
  • Medications (this includes prescription and non-prescription meds)
  • Tools and Supplies (utility knife, duct tape, battery powered radio, etc.)
  • Sanitation and Hygiene (household bleach, soap, towels, etc.)
  • Clothing and Bedding (a change of clothes for each family member and blankets)
  • Important documents (copies of your driver’s license, passport, and birth certificate to name a few)
  • First Aid supplies (although you’re a goner if a zombie bites you, you can use these supplies to treat basic cuts and lacerations that you might get during a tornado or hurricane)
and what is the CDC's job if the Zombies got lose?


This assistance might include consultation, lab testing and analysis, patient management and care, tracking of contacts, and infection control (including isolation and quarantine). .. determine the cause of the illness, the source of the infection/virus/toxin, learn how it is transmitted and how readily it is spread, how to break the cycle of transmission and thus prevent further cases, and how patients can best be treated.
Actually, Stephen King did it better:



Playing "games" let people think about and prepare for a real emergency as in Dark winter.

and few in the west are aware that the SARS virus was stopped with old fashioned things like travel restrictions and quarantine.

sounds good to me, unless we end up with "double dead" meat from an Ebola infected pig..

Stuff below the fold

China admits it has problems with it's much touted Three Gorges Dam.

-----------------------------

Custer's last stand Podcast.

or as the Indians say: Custer had it coming: Sitting Bull one, Custer Zero.
Heh. some of the internet photos of this quip show Gernonimo, who wasn't at the Little BigHorn....on the other hand Wonder what would have happened if they called the OBL raid "operation Sitting Bull"?

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FYI: Playboy puts it's old magazines on line.

OK guys, you can now actually read the articles...

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Craft item of the day



how to make Kusadama flower origamis.

more flower links HERE.

Feminist film that exposed honor killing

few people in the west were aware of the problem of honor killing before this controversial BBC and WGBH documetary.


If you haven't seen it, you might want to check it out.


another reason to support public television.

Wikipedia article documents the outcry and attempts to censor the story.

Extremist kerfluffle of the day

High school uses church owned auditorium to graduate, so ACLU is threatening to sue them. The issue? someone might spot a cross donated by a right wing fundamentalist Christianist extremist during the ceremony:


Removing or covering up the cross was another matter. The Camp Association said it could not cover the cross, said to have been a gift from movie director Woody Allen, who used the auditorium during shooting for the 1980 film "Stardust Memories."

Science Stuff below the fold

We had some pigs with Ebola Reston a couple years ago, but that disease isn't fatal to humans.

The bad news: pigs can carry and transmit Ebola Zaire, the BAD ebola...it doesn't kill them, and the illness looks like other disease such as flu...

The real problem behind this observation is that, alas, farmers here will sell and butcher sick pigs...

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Chose your poison...MJ reports on carcinogens in flame retardant foam...

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Big Brother is watching you: Some folks in Glendale don't like the "smart grid" idea.

and then there is worry about those "radio waves" from the snoopmeters.
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lichens vs mad elk disease?

the real question is if this prion disease can be transmitted to humans...so far, no proof...
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can you predict your life span from the length of your telomeres?

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a new way to "fight HIV": The viagra condom....
the bad news? the medicine used in it may give you a terrible headache.

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Nepal as Shangri La...pristine country unmarred by modernism...

or as a source of poor women who emigrate to find jobs and with poor children who have to work?
and don't even notice this or this...

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but some good news:

They are auctioning off "The Hat"




And profits will go to UNICEF.

It's good to be the king stuff below the fold and other rants

Mo Dowd gets it right....but this is a family blog so I can't quote here...

To quote Mel Brooks: It's good to be the king.
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and is anyone checking what was done with all the money Obama gave the IMF?


Were US taxpayers paying for that $3000 a night hotel suite?

It's good to be the king.

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This FBI raid confirms what was found on a FARC computer: anti war activists who support terrorism.

Yes, they too are above the law, because they are on the side of the angels, never mind that the "good guys" they support kill, kidnap, terrorize, plant landmines, and are involved in drug smuggling.



The document goes on to say that people in the Minneapolis, Chicago, Phoenix, Detroit, Los Angeles and Charlotte, North Carolina, divisions have "provided and/or conspired to provide material support to the FARC and/or the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, also a U.S. State Department designated FTO."


A lot of the left, including the gov't of Venezuela supported FARC with money and areas to hide, even after two amnesties and reform led to most of their followers coming in from the cold, a million Colombianos demonstrating against their terrorism suggested they have little popular support, and that FARC and ELN have actually evolved into narcoterrorists.

Here is a typical cover up of the problem: left wing blog complaints that the raid was illegal (not that FARC was illegally in Ecuador or that Ecuador was aiding terrorists) and then quote some big shot activists with no computer knowledge who insist the information was made up, or the computers didn't have that much information, or even if they did, the hard drives and thumb drives must have been destroyed in the raid, or even if the computers were okay then it would take a thousand years to read the documents to prove the allegations.

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a similar scenerio is found with the left who supports the communists in the Philippines: it's not that "extrajudicial killing" doesn't occur and needs to be stopped (or that such killing is done by a lot of people on all sides of the argument) but that there are folks who literally got away with murder (often of kidnapped soldiers, workers or businesspeople) in the name of revolution, and now are given amnesty.

The dirty little secret is that these groups find funding by kidnapping and extortion: you have to pay a "fee" to run for office or start a business in certain areas. And even many of the "Islamic terror" bombings here are in retaliation against those who refuse to cooperate with their threats (i.e. don't pay them for not bombing their buses or ferries).

The rumor is that the killers of our nephew were ex NPA members who were thrown out for being too violent. They justified their killings by insisting they were "meeting out justice" to various people, where they were really only hired assassins who were hired by one politician or businessman to kill his rival.

In our nephew's case, the murder was rumored to be for political reasons: (either deliberate hit or a "warning" that went bad when the politician wasn't there, only his sons and wife).

In some ways, it was similar to the Maguindanao massacre on a smaller scale: the aim was to eliminate the candidate, but when they only found family members and witnesses, they just killed anyway.

Why the killings? Because they figured they could get away with it. In our case, they might be correct, but in the Maguindanao massacre the press will stay on it because of all the reporters killed.

This is not "left vs right" or even "infidel vs true believer".

in both cases it was about money.

Winning an election allows you to get rich.

In our case, there werer are rumors that the court case has been delayed over and over again because of "gifts" to the Ombudsman office (rumors say the money was diverted from the local government's account), but now that the head of the Ombudsman office has been removed, we are still waiting for justice.

Delay, however, means that witnesses will "forget", "disappear" or be killed.

When justice is delayed, some folks take things into their own hands. A couple years ago in our town, one low level politician was killed, and when the rival showed up at his wake, the son got angry and threw a handgrenade at him and his bodyguards.

Already one person slightly involved in our case has been killed in a hit job, and the question is was if for something he did, or because someone was afraid of something he might do (i.e. spill the beans). But we were told we can't ask for justice, since our nephew wasn't the target (only talking to the target when the hit men arrived).

The irony is that if this happened in the US, our nephew would have been carrying a gun for protection and probably would have gotten off a shot, but here permits are hard to find, and most "security guards" are poorly trained, and in the incident they were the first ones killed.

Speaking of terrorism: The mall not only frisked us but had three soldiers helping the security guard at the entrance. Is that because of OBL? Maybe, but it also could be because they caught five shoplifters a week ago for stealing thousands of dollars of merchandise and they are worried at a revenge bomb.

ah, the pleasure of living on a tropical island.

But of course, the chances of dying from terror are a lot lower than being killed by floods, mudslides, typhoons, earthquakes and Dengue fever.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Factoid of the day take two

from an article on Strategypage discussing the power struggle in Iran:

Iran wanted bin Laden dead, because al Qaeda was violently anti-Shia and had slaughtered over 100,000 Shia in the last two decades. In that period, most of al Qaeda's victims had been Moslems, most of them Shia.



but the bad news is that Syria and Iran and maybe Egypt might plan a war against Israel this summer to distract their people from pointing fingers at their corrupt governments or in Egypt as a way for the extremists to take over the gov't....

Factoid of the day

Arthur's seat isn't the only "volcanic plug" that is famous.


. If a plug is preserved, erosion may remove the surrounding rock while the erosion-resistant plug remains, producing a distinctive upstanding landform. Examples include Shiprock, New Mexico; The Nut, Australia; and the Pitons of Saint Lucia.


webecoist has photos of some of the more famous ones around the world, including Devil's Tower, at the edge of the Blackhills, where I used to picnic when I worked in South Dakota.

but you probably know it best from this film:

comments on the IMF scandal

most of the comments and news about the IMF bigshot are routine, but the NYTimes includes several that actually bring up important questions.

Heather points out the customary way housecleaners check rooms to see if they can clean them.

Bartos disagrees, saying that a maid shouldn't have entered the room (uh, you mean no one was supposed to clean the room?) but does bring up a question: Where was this guy's security guard?

as for the rest: the claim of "consensual" sex might work for certain basket ball players when the girl initiates the sex and then brags about it to her friends, but in this case, the maid walked in, and unlike the French fantasy films few women want a quickie with an unknown man they met two seconds ago....

Stuff below the fold

Heh. Maybe Crassus' legions did make it to China.
DNA suggests it might be so, historical reports suggests it might be so, next step: archeological evidence which so far is lacking.

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The mystery of the exploding watermelons.
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a world with fewer women...means a higher murder rate and more crime.
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the real scandal of New Orleans: A very high murder rate.
the bigger scandal: That this "study" didn't include demographic information, probably because it would be too sensitive.
repeat after me: It's the gangs, stupid. and some folks are working with local churches to stop the violence.

and the real question: Has the emphasis on the war on stopping terror resulted in less emphasis on cops working with and stopping violence in gangs?
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guess what? Someone finally realized that electronic medical records would be easy to hack.

Ya think? The comments tend to be clueless however, because hard copy records have limited access and need to be xeroxed whereas a good hacker (the average 7th grade geek) can download a couple thousand to his hard drive in ten minutes.


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Those uppity women...how dare she drive her kids to school.

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why Angelina Jolie is awesome.
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factoid of the day: noodling is illegal in Texas.


"While noodling has a long history in the U.S., only 17 states permit hand fishing, including Louisiana, Georgia and Oklahoma, home of the Okie NoodlingTournament...

and if you want to noodle mark your calender:



Okie Noodling Tournament
Saturday, July 9, 2011

The 12th Annual Okie Noodling Tournament is scheduled for July 9, 2011. Please note, this year the festival will be held at the City Park (Wacker Park) in Pauls Valley. Bob's Pig Shop is still presenting the event and will be open for business during the festival. Wacker Park is located 2 blocks N.E from Bob's Pig Shop. If you're checking-in fish, parking will be provided near the weigh-in station.

and yes, the film about Okie Noodling has their own webpage

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Musical interlude of the day



sung by Norah Jones...

What happens when you cross Lady Gaga with a cabbage?


you get a weedrobe...


headsup
Davebarry

Stuff below the fold

Professor Bob has a report on the shroud of Turin's scientific studies. as part of his "souvenir" series.

more recent podcasts on his archive page (Civil War, Julius Caesar, Cold war and Napoleon).

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Need to cook but have trouble reading the fine print?

Librivox to the rescue: American Cookery, or the art of dressing viands, fish, poultry, and vegetables, and the best modes of making pastes, puffs, pies, tarts, puddings, custards, and preserves, and all kinds of cakes, from the imperial plum to plain cake: Adapted to this country, and all grades of life

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with the middle east going up in smoke, isn't it nice that we can be distracted by some juicy scandals?

Law and Order, SVU vs rich guy. and the French are aghast that he is being treated like...a common criminal.


Mr Strauss-Kahn was not being singled out for degradation: he was just being treated like any American suspect in any criminal case. Fans of the US television series “Law and Order: Special Victimes Unit” will have recognised the drill: famous and self-important person is unceremoniously arrested and frog-marched off the scene in the presence of his shocked colleagues and underlings

the UKMail editorial cartoon can be seen HERE.

Scandal two: the only surprising thing about Arnold is that the "love child" is that the mother is an employee who has been with the family for 20 years...what's the matter, Arnold, can't find a younger woman? or was it a long term affair?

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links from Joe Carter:
Jane Austen's guide to being a man

See also: Jane Austen and Game Theory;
Jane Austen and Baboon Metaphysics; and
Jane Austen’s Guide to Being a Gentleman.

not to be confused with: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

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and from DaveBarry:

SCIENCE FACTS YOU CAN USE

Why zombie ants infected by mind-controlling fungus always kill themselves at high noon