Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Family news

No, we didn't feel the nearby earthquake. Just a rumble as usual.

Stuff below the fold

Galeras is steaming again, and folks on the slopes evacuated...

I have a son in the nearby city.

Chewing gum helps you think better.

which makes me think of this classic movie scene:


Australian TV has a movie about the nurses and civilian nuns in New Guinea who became Japanese POW's during the war. You can find the story it was based on HERE.

non Brits should know that RN's in UK countries are called "sister".

and Australian pop star Paulini Curuenavuli was in the movie as one of the local sisters ( who risked their lives to help them get food).


Beware of Exploding Tofu.


Celtic Christmas podcast

for those of you who don't get Mark Gunn's Celtic music podcast, you might want to check out his "Celtic Christmas Podcast" link for some fiddling Celtic Christmas music.

photo is Papa Gunn, Mama Gunn and Baby Gunn...

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Marmite Alert

M1 shut after 'Marmite' lorry crash

headsup BoingBoing

Stuff below the fold

Bee hives for your window box

Dave Barry asks: What could possibly go wrong?

I asked the same thing in the comments of this article about beehives used to keep elephants out of African fields.

Earth to city green types: beestings are not just inconvenient: They also can be fatal...
stick to backyard chickens, which can only give you fatal birdflu.


And DB links to where you can buy your very own Jersey Shore ornaments.

where do you buy them? HSN of course...

Ex cop and crime writer Joseph Wambaugh has this hilarious explanation of why the campus cops pepper sprayed the masked protesters.

Blog O' The Irish remembers the good old days of Black and White TV and reminds you:


The Sith who stole Christmas

and yes, the original is on youtube:


cute kawaii stuff - Epicute: Cat-Puccino
see more Must Have Cute

Geed Gift items of the day

TechRepublic has suggestions of gifts for StarWars geeks. such as this Wampa skin rug (and no, Leia doesn't come with it, but you can get the costume here).
and they suggest:

After you've killed your Wampa and made him into a rug, you'll need a Tauntaun Sleeping Bag (ThinkGeek, $99.99) to survive the cold, Hoth nights.

Image courtesy ThinkGeek.


if you are rich, just take your Leia to a honeymoon in Hobbiton

(headsup AICN)

and if you are too poor for either of the above gifts, well, you can always make Bacon dippin dot IceCream.

On the other hand, maybe not. Here is a list of what you need to make it:

Liquid Nitrogen- 10-15 liters

1/4 cup Torani Bacon Syrup

1 cup heavy cream

3 cups half & half

8 egg yolks

1 cup sugar

1/8 tsp salt

Safety Gloves

Safety Goggles- with splash guard

Squeeze Bottle or Marinade Injector

Wars and riots and hobbits, oh my

Wars in the Middle East.

Riots expected if the Euro collapses.

Oh yes: And Quint has another Hobbit report.

That's about all that's important in the news today.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Stuff below the fold

StrategyPage doesn't have the details on why Pakistan soldiers were hit by NATO, but they do observe:

Since the border guards and paramilitary police in the tribal territory are recruited from the tribes, the Taliban can also recruit, bribe or coerce these troops to fire on NATO and Afghan forces. Border patrol bases are often used for this, and NATO air strikes and artillery will be used to support the NATO and Afghan ground troops that are under attack. Since Pakistan officially denies that their paramilitary forces often work for the Taliban, they declare that the casualties from NATO forces defending themselves are "unprovoked attacks on Pakistan." That fiction works for a while in the Pakistani media, but most Pakistanis know better.

Background here.

And denying NATO supplies only hurts Pakistan: Less income from trucks, less stuff to steal, and NATO will just bring it in from the north.

The Good news of the day: The 6000 Pinoys working or studying in Egypt are still safe.

The bad news of the day: More cases of human birdflu in Indonesia and Egypt.

the really really bad news of the day:Dutch Scientists are making a more infectious form of bird flu. Oh, it's not a danger unless it escapes from the lab, so we're all safe.

Or are we?

The really bad news of the day is not in the tabloids but NPR:

News of the results raised red flags for Dr. Thomas Inglesby, a bioterrorism expert and director of the Center for Biosecurity of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

"It's just a bad idea for scientists to turn a lethal virus into a lethal and highly contagious virus. And it's a second bad idea for them to publish how they did it so others can copy it," says Inglesby.

can you say "Captain Tripps"?


the most dangerous drugs to take? Blood thinners.

Since they were shown to lower heart attack rates in the 1950's, they have been "in" and "out" for treatment...because of the side effects. I suspect this report will result in them being used less (and more folks having heart attacks or strokes).

low blood sugar from diabetic drugs is also in the list: Which is why the trend toward "tight control" of the blood sugar is being phased back to be a little less tight: Better a slightly high blood sugar than brain damage or a car wreck from low blood sugar.


and the really important news of the day: Mexico holds the Zombie record.

Nearly 10,000 people have paraded in Mexico City dressed as zombies in what organisers claim is the biggest "zombie walk" ever held.

Before there was JAWS there was Moby Dick

YOUTUBE has Moby Dick, the novel, read on line. With subtitles.

or you can download it from Librivox.

or watch the movie:

or you can just listen to the LedZeppelin version:

Saturday, November 26, 2011

angry cupcakes

feed your kids a cupcake with an Angry bird cupcake topper:

step by step photo Instructions on how to make the angry bird (and pig) HERE.

she uses fondant, which is a thick icing. If you don't have a shop nearby to buy it, you can make it from scratch from sugar and corn syrup and food dye. Recipe HERE.

Filipino recipes

A recipe for Adobong Pusit here.

I suspect a lot of you won't get past step one:


1) Clean pusit by pulling the tentacles. Then discard the teeth, cuttlebone (the sword-like structure) and the innards. Keep the tentacles, head, ink sac and the body . Rinse well with clean water and cut to desired sizes. Set aside.

(it's squid).

and often hospitals need recommendations to give patients on a nutritionally good diet.

Check here for examples for your Pinoy patients

No blades, dear, we're British

A fan without blades? we saw this one for sale at Ace Hardware at the mall yesterday.

so how does it work?


yikes. I remember them when they were still tiny...

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Cat item of the day


Gift item of the day

If you know someone from Minnesota, send them this lovely Biohazard Lutefisk teeshirt

headsup from the Viking lady.

For the rest of you: This is Lutefisk. It's rotten lye soaked whitefish globs. Wikipedia article has this joke to explain it's origin:

Folklore holds that lutefisk originated during the Viking pillages of Ireland, when St. Patrick sent men to feed spoiled fish to the Viking raiders. When the raiders were found to enjoy the spoiled fish, St. Patrick ordered his men to pour lye on the fish, with the hope of poisoning the Vikings. However, rather than dying from ingestion of spoiled fish, or of subsequent poisoning of the spoiled fish, the Vikings declared lutefisk a delicacy. This is obviously a fairy tale, since St. Patrick was in Ireland about three centuries before the Vikings' arrival.

Lecture of the month

Univ of Houston has some lectures on line, including this one on the Vikings.

Actually, it's pretty good so far, although it's a lecture not entertainment.

Factoid of the day: Those horned helmets were for ceremonial wear, not for fighting.

and if you want to learn more, check out the Viking Answer Lady webpage.

and for gifts, check out her cafepress link.

The Truth is out there...or maybe not

Freakonomics podcast on conspiracy, science, and who do you trust?

transcript here.

Philippine news

StrategyPage has a summary of Philippine news that doesn't sound too cheerful. Not only are there stories of the usual terrorism, and that China is trying to take over the sea near Palawan, but there is this:

The government is doing something new in the perennial efforts to reduce corruption by arresting former senior politicians. Thus former president Gloria Arroyo was arrested for electoral fraud, a charge that can result in a life sentence. She was earlier prevented from leaving the country for medical care. This arrest will lead to a major political battle, which could be accompanied by gunfire and bombs.

The latest update HERE.

The NEJournal reports our local rice harvest is down 40 percent.

This is a bit misleading: We managed to harvest some rice before the typhoon/floods hit, but the crops were damaged: Our post typhoon harvest was down 20 to 30 percent, and much of what was harvested after the typhoon hit was poor quality.

The gov't is busy giving out hybrid seeds to local small farmers for the "dry season" crop, hoping to keep the farmers from going broke.

We had land reform, so a lot of those whose grandfathers worked for our grandfather own their land, and this increased prosperity so their kids now are educated and work in Manila or Saudi instead of breaking their backs as the older folks retire, they want to sell the land. By law, we can only own a limited amount of land, sp have bought back some of the farms we used to own, but the increase in fancy homes along the now paved roads suggests a lot of the land near the roads being sold to folks from Manila etc. who want weekend homes in the country.

Bacon makes it better

Your recipe for the day:

Turkey with Bacon stuffing.

includes this tip:

(Tip: to tell if turkey is cooked, insert skewer into thickest part of thigh. If juices run clear it's ready, if not, return to oven and check at 20-min intervals.)

Beware the Jihadi Turkey

The latest absurdity from Homeland security is the report they have tweeted an alert to Americans to watch out for the dangers of exploding turkeys.

Turkeys as a national security danger? As these videos from State Farm and other private organizations show, they can explode, but I suspect that salmonella from undercooked stuffing is actually a more dangerous problem.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Cat item of the day

Funny Pictures - Kitteh Contest
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

For your listening pleasure, from Librivox:

Cat Tales

Lords of the Housetops: Thirteen Cat Tales

these are short stories by various writers. other cat stories:

  1. Clifford, Lucy. "Sandy Cat, The" (in "Children's Short Works, Vol. 011") · (readers)
  2. Cox, Kenyon. "Octopussycat, The" (in "Wit and Humor of America, The Vol 06") · (readers)
  3. Crane, Walter. "Cat and the Fox, The" (in "Baby's Own Aesop") · (readers)
  4. Crane, Walter. "Cat and Venus, The" (in "Baby's Own Aesop") · (readers)
  5. Crooke, William. "Cat and the Sparrows, The" (in "Cocoa Break Collection") · (readers)
  6. Doyle, Arthur Conan, Sir. "Brazilian Cat, The" (in "Tales of Terror and Mystery") · (readers)

Stories below the fold

What can we use when antibiotics stop working?

Darpa is investigating

...Darpa is making a long-shot request for an all-out replacement to antibiotics, the decades-old standard for killing or injuring bacteria to demolish a disease. In its place: the emerging field of nanomedicine would be used to fight bacterial threats.... The agency is already funding tobacco-based vaccine production, prescient viral infection detectors and insta-vaccines to inoculate against unknown pathogens.
headsup Instapundit


CNN has a photo essay on the "invisible man":

The men were anonymous, their faces were shielded from the sun, while their work barely registered with the majority of the population, which spent the day sheltered from the elements inside air-conditioned buildings.

Chancel began visiting their building sites and dormitory camps unannounced, shooting "very fast and very sharp" to capture realistic representations of the men and their surroundings. On one occasion he was arrested.

Having seen the squalid conditions in their dormitories, which he likened to a prison, he became further intrigued to discover the men, who earn salaries of about $160 a month, seem to accept their plight.

Yes, but that $160 a month is a lot more than they could earn in their home countries, and one suspects the dormatories were better than their bamboo houses or slum dwellings they live in at home.

That doesn't justify the exploitation, but it does point out that poverty is driving the problem.

headsup MigrantRights.

The tabloid the UK Mail has an article on the increase in children born with ambiguous genitalia.

Plastics, hormones in the water supply from the pill or from being used in animals, or just better ways to diagnose the problem?

Instapundit writes: CLIMATEGATE 2 EMAILS: They’re real and they’re spectacular.

Anyone reading history knows that climates change (the world is almost as warm now as during the Roman empire), and the problem of pollution is real, but the "religion" of climate change, that insists we need a one world dictatorship and the destruction of prosperity to "stop" the problem is unraveling as more and more lies are uncovered.

Cancer treatment goes to the kitchen.

We have long used freezing ( cryotherapy) for skin, eye, cervical and other cancers.

Now they are starting to cook them: Radiofrequency ablation.
more information HERE.

and the really, really important story of the day:

Dog caught driving in Australia


SALES assistant Phil Newton could not believe his eyes when he saw a dog driving a 20-tonne, double-decker bus through Darwin's industrial zone.

"I thought, 'What the ... '!" he said.

"This was weird, even for the Territory."

Mr Newton, 30, said the dog was sitting in the driver's seat with its paws on the steering wheel.

He chased after the runaway bus, leapt through an open window and rammed on the handbrake.

"It ran for a couple of hundred metres, swerved across the road, went up on the footpath and was just about to run into a parked car when I stopped it," he said.

Woodley, a two-year-old German koolie, was unrepentant.

apparently, Woodley only wanted to drive home.

headsup Dave Barry

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

"What, me worry?" post of the day

Stuff below the fold

LOTR audiobook is posted on youtube (or at least part of it so far).

Quick, download and listen before the copyright cops find out.

Gift item of the day

cute kawaii stuff - My Feelings are Uncomplicated
see more Must Have Cute

buy from Pur Shop

Psst: Thanksgiving is coming

Remembering the First Thanksgiving:

Green story of the day

Heh. An Algae Powered Ex Destroyer.

PACIFIC OCEAN (Nov. 17, 2011) The decommissioned Spruance-class destroyer ex-Paul F. Foster (EDD 964) conducts a successful demonstration of shipboard alternative fuel use while underway in the Pacific Ocean on a 50-50 blend of an algae-derived, hydro-processed algal oil and petroleum F-76. Paul F. Foster has been reconfigured as the Self-Defense Test Ship to provide the Navy an at-sea, remotely controlled, engineering test and evaluation platform without the risk to personnel or operational assets. (U.S. Navy photo by Charlie Houser)


In a related item: The CSMonitor has a section on life after Oil...most of the articles are about small eco friendly projects (ex. using biofuel or small hydroelectric power projects in Asia)

But it includes this article about Green powered jets.

For a glimpse of what the road to an oil-free, more energy-efficient future might look like, look no further than the US military. In a movement that has gained momentum during the past decade, active and retired officers dubbed the "green hawks" have been beating the drum for increased energy efficiency and wider use of renewable fuels for civil­ian and military needs. It's an urgent matter of national security, they argue.

AGHHH! Conspiracy theories

Goldman Sachs takes over the world.

It is not just Mr Monti. The European Central Bank, another crucial player in the sovereign debt drama, is under ex-Goldman management, and the investment bank's alumni hold sway in the corridors of power in almost every European nation, as they have done in the US throughout the financial crisis.

No, it's not ArtBell reporting, the article is from the UKIndependent.


MFGlobal scandal is not much better

MF Global was run by former Goldman Sachs chief Jon Corzine before its Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing....Bankruptcy trustee James Giddens said: "The amount of money MF Global should have segregated for customers may be short by $1.2 billion or more."

(not mentioned: Corzine is NJ's Ex Governor and a Democrat)

MaryBeard blames the Euro problem on the Greeks: The ancient Greeks of 500 BC, to be exact, who also bullied local states to use only Athenian coins.

and points out the disturbing stories behind those logos on the Greek Euro...not just the Owl, but Europa herself

At the centre of the two-euro coin is a bull, and on its back what appears to be a young girl. At first glance, if you didn't know your classical mythology, you might think it was a logo sponsored by the Greens: a symbol of humans and animals living together in harmony.

In fact, it is a rape - (the bull is) Zeus, the king of the gods, snatching Princess Europa from her home city of Tyre, in the Lebanon.

Professor Beard's specialty is classics, and merely amusing, but the really paranoid conspiracy theorists see the logo as the woman on the beast mentioned in the Apocolypse.

The latest Republican Dwarf on top is Newt.

Why not bet on a serial adulterer named for a lizard for president? After all, the lizardly liar Bill Clinton did a better job than squeaky Clean Obama...

and then there is the groundswell for Hillary...

and another story showing the end of the world as we know it is nigh:

Ear stretching: Why is lobe 'gauging' growing in popularity?

Factoid of the day

PHOTO: Myrlie Evers-Wilson, the widow of slain civil rights leader Medgar Evers and ship sponsor of Military Sealift Command dry cargo/ammunition ship USNS Medgar Evers, breaks the traditional bottle of champagne against the ship's hull during the ship's christening ceremony Nov. 12 at the General Dynamics NASSCO Shipyard in San Diego.

Medgar Evers was a veteran of World War II and buried in Arlington cemetary.

They just named a supply ship after him Story
more about these ships HERE

These ships are pre positioned in distant areas to resupply the US Navy at sea, but I am most familiar with them because they also have delivered food and supplied in times of emergency to places in remote Asian/Pacific areas.
Japanese earthquake
Nias, Indonesia
The Philippines.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Musical interlude of the day

The Classic Hollywood LOTR

What if they filmed LOTR in the golden age of film? Bogart as Frodo?

credits HERE

headsup TORN

Stuff below the fold

Naming names: Robert Reich reviews a book.

The real problem, which the authors only hint at, is that Washington and the financial sector have become so tightly intertwined that public accountability has all but vanished. The revolving door described in “Reckless Endangerment” is but one symptom.

Sounds what Sarah Palin wrote last week, except with details.

and then there is the MFGlobal scandal....

Spengler also notes that some Middle East countries are about to go kaput make things worse, Turkey is making noise about intervening in Syria (and Turkey is a NATO member)


Some buzz on the internet about what is that large structure in the desert of China.

Strategypage says it's a grid to adjust their spy satellite cameras.

Mary Beard discusses how Rome handled emergencies: Temporary dictators.
and how ambitious men destroyed that idea.

factoid of the day: The source of the name Cincinnati:

One of the most famous of these dictators was Cincinnatus (whose name lies behind the city of Cincinnati). In our terms he was a right wing ideologue, but was a hero of propriety when it came to the dictatorship. Having been consul in the past, he accepted the senate's request that he become dictator while working on his farm ("Cincinnatus called from the plough" as his tag-line went), and as soon as he had secured the victory, he laid the office down.,,returning to the plough.
The last US president who retired to an ordinary life was Harry Truman....the ones that followed him had farms or ranches or multimillion dollar estates for retirement.

After President Truman retired from office in 1952, he was left with an income consisting of basically just a
U.S. Army pension, reported to have been only $13,507.72 a year. Congress, noting that he was paying for his stamps and personally licking them, granted him an "allowance" and, later, a retroactive pension of $25,000 per year. When offered corporate positions at large salaries, he declined, stating, "You don't want me. You want the office of the president, and that doesn't belong to me. It belongs to the American people and it's not for sale."

Feeling discouraged about the state of the world?

Read about the Norwich Univ students who volunteered to clean up after the floods in New Hampshire.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Factoid of the day

Hot Springs Arkansas has hot springs which are not associated with volcanic magna.

The heat comes from the natural heating of rocks as depth increases. The composition of the water indicates it is heated rainwater which has not approached a magmatic source, so no volcanic action is involved in the formation of these hot springs. The result is the mildly alkaline, pleasant tasting solution with dissolved calcium carbonate.[5]

However, there was once a volcano in Arkansas: the Crater of Diamonds State Park is actually a volcanic tube,

so you conspiracy theorists wondering about the Oklahoma earthquakes can now worry if the supervolcano caldera in Arkansas might erupt. (not).

Brownout all day

We had a brownout all day.

Chano and family went to a fiesta in another town nearby. Lolo and I stayed here. I gave the kittens (!) a bath and cleaned out the fishpond (mainly to cool off: it is three feet deep and you have to go in to get the pump and filter out to clean it, so you get cooled off doing this).

We are now "busog" (fully satieted) with all the food brought back from the fiesta.

The only other news is that a new neighbor up the street was murdered...he had just picked up money in the bank (presumably the ATM) and was taking to the new house to pay the workers later in the day. The family was planning to move in next week...Lots of cops etc.

No, we didn't know the family... robbery is common, but not robbery and violent murder.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Turkey day fashions

no, we don't celebrate Thanksgiving day here in the provinces, although the American expat folks in Manila usually do.

But here are socute kawaii stuff - Keep Your Head Roasty Toasty
see more Must Have Cute

Just for nice

When Sarah Palin agrees with the "occupy" Wall Street folks , you know the world as we know it is coming to an end.

Ah, but in the meanwhile, go to these links and remember that "in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach..."


Writer Brian Sibley not only has a photoblog on Venice, he has one called "window Gazing".
Most of the photos are of stained glass etc. but here is a photo of the burglar bars beautiful:


AiWeiwei, who is best known for his political activism, is an artist. But until now, I didn't check out what type of art he produced.

Via Inhabitat: Making a magic cavern from old bicycles.

Famed artist Ai Weiwei proves that he is as prolific in his absence as he is in his presence, with a new solo exhibition at the Taipei Fine Arts Museum (TFAM). Located at the heart of the show 'Absent', Weiwei's 'Forever Bicycles' installation is a ten-meter high, cavernous structure built from 1,200 bicycles -- the most the Chinese artist has ever used in a single exhibit.

Love HelloKitty? TokyoMango has three HK Shrines for you.

Philippine news below the fold

The big news in the Philippines is that our lovely ex president Gloria has been stopped from going to visit a hospital in Malaysia yesterday. She was arrested in her hospital room for stealing an election.

Seventeen months after stepping down from the presidency, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on Friday was served an arrest warrant for alleged electoral sabotage.

The Pampanga representative, once dubbed the “Iron Lady of Asia,” was in bed at a 16th-floor suite of St. Luke’s Medical Center in Taguig City, wearing a hospital gown and a neck brace. The serving of the warrant capped a day of swift and unexpected developments.

You need to realize that there is a strict libel law here in the Philippines, and of course, reporters who get too nosy end up dead. So the whole story will have to come from an overseas source.

Here is TIME magazine's summary

she'll probably get off, of course, but it sends a warning to other politicians who play dirty.

In the meanwhile, we are still waiting for the politician indicted for the political hit job that killed our nephew to go to trial.

Family news

The local hospital newsletter discusses how physical therapy is helping Alice cope with her scoliosis.

In other family news: The family is making a rice delivery to Manila, and Ruby is planning to attend a concert there, and is very excited. She'll probably post about it on her facebook page....

Friday, November 18, 2011

Gotta Dance! take two

The musical interlude of the day:

Gotta Dance!

A cheeky gecko does an impression of Liz-ard Minnelli, dancing its way across a mirror. The photograph was taken by Shikhei Goh in his studio in Indonesia.


Asian headlines below the fold

The rumors that a certain person at PennState used his charity to pimp out boys is shocking, but here in Asia, the problem of sex tourism is well known.

Nicolas Kristof has another NYTimes editorial on the problem.

US Dept of Justice report HERE.


Our lovely ex President Gloria is trying to leave the country to get more surgery on her neck. Lots of photos of her wearing a neck brace to get sympathy. She is scheduled to go to Singapore today. Will they let her leave?

Singapore is a center for medical tourism: well trained English speaking doctors and clean hospitals.

Singapore is also where President Mugabe (of Zimbabwe) goes to get medical treatment.

Singapore is the new Switzerland for rich presidents of poor countries.

more HERE.

Maguindanao massacre trial: cop describes scene of the crime (and his dad dies of a heart attack from worrying about his son's safety for doing so).

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Cat item of the day

yes, it's a joke

Cat item of the day

yes, it's a joke

Family news

Chano and most of the staff is out harvesting rice.

The white dog Angel lost a second puppy...that leaves her one. She is not letting us bury the dead pup, but keeps following us and taking it from us back to her room.

The "good" news: four kittens are thriving. The Bad news: we don't need anymore cats.

Lolo is fine too.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Czar Harry?

The UK Mail quotes a former Kremlin diplomat who suggests that young Prince Harry could become the next Czar.

While there is currently no undisputed claimant to the defunct Romanov throne, Mr Baunov points out that Harry has plenty of royal Russian blood coursing through his veins.

He continued: 'His great great grandmother was the great duchess Olga Konstantinovna Romanov.

'Moreover, King George V [who ruled from 1910-36] was a cousin of our Tsar Nicholas II, so the British princes are his distant nephews.'

Olga, granddaughter of Tsar Nicholas I and cousin of Tsar Alexander III, was Queen of Greece, and is the paternal grandmother of Prince Philip.
I was aware of the link, since they used his grandfather's DNA to identify the bodies of the late Czar and his family.

But, as the article notes, Prince Michael of Kent would probably be a better match: he even looks like the late Czar and has an interest in Russia.

Headsup Tea At Trianon

Musical interlude of the day


Lots of fake stuff about weird end of the world scenerios on the internet, but the ghost of China is the real problem, at least for those of us in Asia.

There are some hints that China is in a big recession, but this link from Instapundit makes me worry.

also worrying: StrategyPage has a story on bad/shoddy parts for machines that the military uses.

Read the whole thing: This is a major problem here in Asia, where ordinary parts (Plumbing, electronics, shoes etc) are shoddy and fall apart shortly after you buy them. The biggest problem is counterfeit or suboptimal medicines, which I have written about in the past. Not all of these are from China (some are from India) but the WHO estimates they kill hundreds of thousands of people every year. Which is why if someone is sick, I spend extra money to buy a known brand from an established drug store.

The US has allowed it's manufacturing businesses to go to China, but two reasons might lead to these going elsewhere:

One, the demand of Chinese workers to get a living wage (and so easily manufactured products will now move factories to Africa)

Two: High quality items will move back to Japan or the USA.

Want those protesting students with masters degrees in social studies to get jobs? Train them in machinery and blue collar skilled jobs with a gov't grant and put them to work. The Unions should be stressing this, but alas the blue collar unions are too busy raising wages and padding pensions than trying to get more jobs for the kids of their workers.

Then there is the cyberwar from China, hacking Japan and the US, and their increased aggression to try to take over the oceans in the Philippine Sea between here and Vietnam..

and just to make you worry more: StrategyTalk podcast on Israel and Iran.

and China is helping Iran get spare parts for their jets, while Russia is helping them make a bomb.


Quotes of the day

Of modern politicians, Streep added: ‘Today it’s all about feelings. You know, “How do I come off?” and, “Does this seem OK?”.You want people who are willing to find a solution. I admire the fact that she was a “love-me-or-hate-me” kind of leader who said: “This is what I stand for.” It’s a hard thing to do and no one’s doing that now.’

--Meryl Streep about Margaret Thatcher.


I know of no reason why the younger Ms Clinton should not have this or any job. But the increasing sense that this country is run by a hereditary celebrity class is one of the most corrosive and dangerous forces eating away at our common life.

--Walter Russell Mead

(aside from the fact she is bucktoothed, inexperienced and unqualified, what is the problem?)


When I resigned from my position and I drove home, I felt my world had caved in, and I was certain that that was the end of the end...

I went to see the president, and he looked me in the eyes after I could barely get an apology out, and he said, “Tim, I forgive you.” I was really shocked, and I tried a second time to apologize for what I had done.

He said to me, “I’ve known grace and mercy in my life, and I’m extending it to you. You’re forgiven.” ...

As I prepared to leave the Oval Office, he turned to me, and he said, “And, by the way, I want you to bring your wife and children here, so I can tell them what a great husband and father you’ve been.”

from Geoglein's book The Man in the Middle: An Inside Account of Faith and Politics in the George W. Bush Era:

headsup The Anchoress.


Clever Kleptomaniac Claude Cooper From Cleveland Copped the Clean Copper Cutlass Kept in the Commander in Chief's Crypt
"Vandals Strike Lincoln's Tomb, Steal Copper Sword"--headline, KMOX-TV website (St. Louis), Nov. 12

James Taranto commenting on a recent crime story.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Uncle Remus take two

More on the controversy HERE and a webpage dedicated to Uncle Remus tales HERE

Librivox has several books written by those who were slaves themselves, including one posted today by William Wells: My Southern Home

Insomnia download of the day

the tales of Uncle Remus are available at Librivox.

ironically, many of the tales are now taboo (e.g. "Tar-baby" cannot be used as a metaphor for getting in over your head anymore) even though the tales are retelling of ancient African folktales, and include stories of the "Trickster" Brer Rabbit.

so here is the (non politically correct) song to cheer your Monday Morning.

Factoid of the day

from Belmont Club

why do Americans switch their forks to the other hand when eating?

In order to reduce the mayhem at dinner times when men armed with daggers fed at trenchers, often animated by strong waters, King Louis XIV of France ordered all eating knife points ground down. The proscription of points made it hard to spear food and created a market for forks which was acutely felt in the American colonies.

At the beginning of the 18thCentury, very few forks were being imported to America. … Because Americans had very few forks and no longer had sharp-tipped knives, they had to use spoons in lieu of forks. They would use the spoon to steady food as they cut and then switch the spoon to the opposite hand in order to scoop up food to eat. This distinctly American style of eating continued even after forks became commonplace in the United States.

here in the Philippines, we have no knives: The food is cooked (usually boiled in a stew/soup/"Ulam") and then spooned over rice, and eaten with a spoon. We have a fork but rarely use it. and often I end up using my fingers (e.g. with fish, to make sure there are no bones in what I'm eating).

Family news

the small white dog Angel just had three puppies.

Watchdogs Blackie and Mamadog/Cocoa are digging holes and presumably will deliver soon too.

Blackie, who is crippled, (hit by a car as a puppy and has a withered leg) will probably deliver in our room, which at least will keep the cats (and their fleas) out of the bedroom.

Mamadog is from the farm, so usually digs a hole and we have to make sure she doesn't deliver in our garden or under the steps.


Below I posted about some VIP's complaining about security at airports, and Mary Beard's comment on "biometry".

has more here on how it works in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Instapundit has a link to the simplistic border security on those embarking from ferries.

A BORDER FIASCO: “All but the most cursory checks were abandoned on passengers on British-registered coaches as they arrived at Dover, Britain’s biggest port. Instead of passports being scanned electronically, border guards checked that the picture matched the holder. It means they were not cross-checked to a computer database to establish if the holder was a wanted terrorist, criminal or immigration offender. The policy was in place for four years after being introduced when Labour was in power, but never disclosed to Parliament.”
we get our passports checked here at entry, but we also get fingerprints etc checked if we want to stay more than two weeks, meaning that terrorists have two weeks to disappear.

As for "fingerprints": all it takes is sticky tape and a false fingerprint for places using electronic fingerprinting that have busy inspectors who don't check the hands.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Stuff below the fold

C2C on Iran.

trivia fact of the day: No FGM in Iran: it's an Egyptian/Arab problem...

Building roads as a way to peace.

Yup. worked for Rome.

the internet as a way to figure out what folks really think.

Big brother is watching you on facebook.

in our prayers: Turkey has another earthquake.

Science lesson of the day

The Physics of the Yellow Angry Bird.

more on YellowBird HERE.
The Yellow Bird(aka Maching Bird, Fast Bird, Woodpecker or Turbo Bird) is a bird you play with in Angry Birds. The birds are yellow colored and are triangular in shape. Their ability allows them to pick up speed to cause the most possible damage to the pigs and their structures.
The yellow bird sprite as it appears in the PC version.
Much like many of the other birds, its strength usually varies depending on what block is struck and what angle it's struck, but in most cases, it can cut through many pieces of wood easily. Strangely, they're weak against ice, despite ice having a much weaker strength than wood.

See Also:

Catching up on the scandals of the week

After a week of internet instability I'm trying to keep up on the news: most of it seems to be trivia and scandal. well, I know that: We have to watch BBC because CNN has been full of Michael Jackson's doctor's trial etc.

so what is going on?


According to Oryza:

*The U.S. investigation into the $633 million shortfall at MF Global is widening as officials seek to question executives involved in the aborted sale of the trading firm to Interactive Brokers, people familiar with the matter say.
Forbes gives background: it's a shell game, and the money is gone (poof with European market collapse). Why is half a billion not in the news? Maybe because a former NJ governor (and democrat) is the fall guy.

Make a pass at a girl after a party, 699 stories. Lose half a billion bucks, bottom of the page.

They also report financial problems with Greece, Spain and Italy, and that German industrial production is falling.

Uh oh...

The good news: remember that socialist financial report "issued by the Vatican"?

Well, it wasn't "issued by the Vatican", only released by minor officials working there, and the big shot in charge of the curia is clamping down on future "reports".


The big news here in the Philippines is that PNoy is trying to get rid of and punish crooked politicians.

Our lovely exPresident Gloria needs neck surgery after botched surgery here, and wants to go to the US to get it, but he suspects she might run and hide, so he is offering to have the US docs flown here for surgery. This has resulted in her supporters crying that this goes against her "human rights", and of course brings up the memory that Marcos allowed PNoy's father, Ninoy, being allowed to go to the US for surgery years ago...and Ninoy was in jail at the time.

There are rumors that Gloria did normal politician things, such as take a cut in the gov't contracts and steal votes, but she has not been formally charged (and who is going to testify? Her supporters will just point out they too took gifts etc too).

My guess is that they'll cut a deal.

I mean, they can't even get the killers of the Maguindanao massacre prosecuted yet.

and the big story of the day: Smuggled onions seized.

actually this is a big deal for our area, which grows onions only to find them underpriced by foreign (subsidized) onion imports from China and Europe.

no, we don't grow onions. We started to give classes and to grow organic veggies, but the profit margin was negative so we are concentrating on organic rice.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Welcome to Oklahoma

one of the docs who worked with me in Oklahoma sent me this email:

Subject: Wednesday in Oklahoma.

This pretty much says it all.

Tomorrow's weather report has a number of safety precautions you should take note of:

*Tornados are coming: seek shelter in the interior of your house.

*Earthquakes are coming:avoid the interior of your home. Go out side if possible.

*There's lightning outside avoid high ground...

*There's a flash flood warning: avoid low ground...
*Hail is present: avoid open areas.

*Parts of the state have received over 5" of rain in three hours.

*However we have a burn ban.

Welcome to Wednesday in Oklahoma.

which is why I retired to a tropical paradise, where I only have to worry about typhoons, floods, terrorism, and dengue fever....

NOTICE: This email and any attachments are for the exclusive and confidential use of the intended recipient(s). If you are not an intended recipient, please do not read, distribute, or take action in reliance upon this message. If you have received this in error, please notify me immediately by return email and promptly delete this message and its attachments from your computer.

The "WAGD" headlines of the day

Coyotes in the US are migrating east (or as one comment claims, deliberately relocated there by the government) and now are interbreeding with wolves... so they are now big enough to kill a deer (and it's only a matter of time til they kill a human).

Big volcano erupting in the Congo.

and war continues in the Sudan, in case anyone is bothering to worry about it.

Is a strike to destroy Iran's almost ready nukes the best case scenerio?

and what about the poor security for Pakistan's nukes?

ah but there is good news:

That asteroid hasn't hit us. It missed us by 200 thousand miles or so.

Celebrities vs Homeland security

Presumably, Lady Gaga doesn't stand in line with the hoi polloi to get through airport security, but in the last week, there have been quite a few articulate people bashing the way government screen tired airline travelers to make sure they aren't terrorists.

ZDNet wishes Jesse Ventura had won his case against body scanners.

The problem is that Ventura has a titanium implant in his hip, which sets off the security scanners. Whenever he flies commercial, he’s been subject to invasive pat-downs, which also seem to drift towards his fiddly bits. To say Ventura was peeved would be an extreme understatement.

But now, after taking his argument to the courts, he’s been smacked down by the weird legislation that prevents him from taking his case to a jury.

Another victim is Professor Mary Beard, who has to put up with even closer scanning when she goes from the UK to the US to give lectures. She wonders why the obviously innocent (i.e. parents with kids) aren't left through and then wonders:

And I would like to know more about how effective the computer technology really is. Each time I go to the USA and have my prints taken, my iris photographed, my passport swiped.. and I say, in response, to the routine question "I am here to give a lecture at the University of....".. I wonder how border safety is being enhanced.

Perhaps universal biometric checks aren't the best answer.

Well, at least she didn't have to get her family jewels checked like Jesse Ventura.

and then there is writer Brian Sibley, who wonders why everyone on a flight from New Zealand to London has to go through additional screening during transit at LAX (Los Angeles).

I smiled wryly at the notice assuring me that the US welcomed me and promised to treat me with dignity and respect as we "tired, poor, huddled masses" were herded along like recalcitrant cattle, scrutinised like potential terrorists, had our bodies x-rayed and searched and our carry-on luggage gone through item by item before we were allowed to, finally, re-board our plane for London.

well, presumably the US didn't trust the screening from New Zealand.

Checking passengers in transit is not unusual: We get checked routinely again in Japan for example, and even the flight from Bemidji to Minneapolis requires another layer of screening.

The reason, of course, is that if you have links to terrorists, and act suspiciously, they can't stop you from boarding or you will get sued by CAIR....

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Internet on and off

I think I'm on the same wire as another computer....guess they didn't get the wires straight after the typhoon blew the modem.

funny pictures - Getting connected
see more Lolcats and funny pictures, and check out our Socially Awkward Penguin lolz!

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

They Call Me Mr Chubb

Quint, of Ain't It Cool News visits the hobbit set and spends a day with fishguts playing a hobbit.

And here is the link for finding your hobbit name.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Musical interlude of the day (take two)


For football fans:
The movie Rudy is not on line, but the real Rudy story is:

and for those of you who don't care about football: Here is the music from the score that is a delight to hear.

correction: A poor quality version can be found on line HERE.
Don't know if the US streaming sites have it (they don't stream to the Philippines).

Sigh. Four more abadoned kitties

I rescued 4 more abandoned kittens from outside our door. Mama probably is a stray who left them in the vacant lot across the street...I found two in the driveway and one in the ditch and another in the flowers who fell into the ditch trying to get away from me.

We don't need cats we have plenty.

The bad news is that we end up losing most of the rescued kittens from illness or to the dogs when they get old enough to wander. We only have one left of the last 3 I rescued.

No, I am not a cat lover, but they are so sweet, even the one that tried to bite me (and I had to use a towel to grab it).

Earthquakes in Oklahoma? and other stuff

We have small earthquakes here in the Philippines all the time, but in Oklahoma?
more HERE

An increase in cervical cancer? yeah, we docs know all about that, but no one cared to publicize the problem until now, when they are telling you this to encourage you to get a shot to protect yourself.

A new drug for cystic fibrosis?
alas, not all of them, only the minority with a certain gene mutation: more HERE

Ivacaftor, also known as VX-770, was developed by Vertex Pharmaceuticals with financial support from the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. The oral medicine targets the defective protein produced by the gene mutation called G551D that causes CF. Researchers found that patients carrying G551D - approximately four per cent of all CF patients - who were treated with VX-770 showed a 17 per cent relative improvement in lung function that was sustained over the course of 48 weeks.
The Jatinga Triangle: Where birds go to die.

Remember this scene?

well, now the Nails on chalkboard noise mystery solved

headsup DaveBarry

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Gift item of the day

a Sharky Tea Infuser by Pablo Matteoda

the bad news? it's
"conceptual", not on sale anywhere I can find.

more interesting tea infusers are shown at Hometone

Andy Rooney, RIP

TV commentator Andy Rooney has passed away.

His family is in our prayers.