Friday, August 31, 2012

Quote of the day

Apparently, the concept of spin or newspeak is not new:
One day, a disciple asked Confucius: "If a king were to entrust you with a territory which you could govern according to your ideas, what would you do first?"
Confucius replied: "My first task would certainly be to rectify the names."
The puzzled disciple asked: "Rectify the names?…Is this a joke?"
Confucius replied: "If the names are not correct, if they do not match realities, language has no object. If language is without an object, action becomes impossible - and therefore all human affairs disintegrate and their management becomes pointless and impossible. Hence, the very first task of a true statesman is to rectify the names."
Source: Permanent Committee on Geographical Names, UK
From a BBC grammar police article on why some countries (e.g. The Philippines) use The before their name and why some don't.

Factoid of the day

The voice of the Count, Jerry Nelson, died last week.

The BBC asks this trivia question:

Why was 34,969 the Count's favorite number?

34,969 is 187 squared. But why 187?
More or Less turned to its listeners for help.
Toby Lewis noted that 187 is the total number of tiles in a Scrabble game, speculating that the Count might have counted them.
David Lees noticed that 187 is the product of two primes - 11 and 17 - which makes 34,969 a very fine number indeed, being 11 squared times 17 squared. What, he asked, could be lovelier?
And Simon Philips calculated that 187 is 94 squared minus 93 squared - and of course 187 is also 94 plus 93. An embarrassment of riches!
But both he and Toby Lewis hinted at darkness behind the Count's carefree laughter and charming flashes of lightning: 187 is also the American police code for murder.
Murder squared: was the Count trying to tell us something?

Cat item of the day

Stories below the fold

The news here include that the US is sending drones to Palawan to counter the Chinese navy/poaching fishermen off the coast.

It's all about oil, and the Chinese are the big guys of the area, although they are more likely to get in a war with VietNam than with the Pinoys. The Philippines would probably settle with the Chinese if they would share a cut in the profit for drilling.

Right now, the worry is that the Chinese poachers will decimate the fish by overfishing in the region...

The real problem is the middle east: Egypt running out of money to subsidize food and gasoline to it's people, and the chaos that would result if the prices started to skyrocket...then there is the Sunni/Shia war in Syria that could spill over into non Muslims being massacred, not to mention civil war in Lebanon and a war with Israel. And they just confiscated funds from a Hezbollah bank account (which might explain what the Mahdi computer virus was doing)

Strategypage has the background: Will Israel Bomb Iran and If So When? - 8/27/2012
Jim and Austin talk about the possibility of Israel attacking Iran before the elections. They, also, talk about how Syria is involved in scenarios between Israel and Iran.
MP3 Download

Don't just sit there: Print out your new car...

trying to reforest Luzon...the gov't is encouraging planting trees...Chano bought a bunch of seedlings /planted seeds to grow into seedlings, and gave them to farmers to replant as part of the project...

the bad news is that Ruby planted three of them in our front garden as a school project, so in 30 years our garden will have three huge mahogany trees towering over our house. (they grow a lot slower than the palm tree variations we have now. We also have papaya and banana plants which are huge in our gardens, not to mention hot pepper plants and two small calamansi seedlings.

Chano also bought me some rose bushes: They don't grow well here, so we are keeping them in pots (to stop the ground worms from eating them) but most wither in the hot season or die of rust. Sigh.

And I forgot: Lots of hybiscus and bamboo and bouginvillia plants growing all over.

Since I lived for awhile in Northern Minnesota, I appreciate the fact we have warm weather all year long.


The "We're all gonna die" post of the day: What do cows and Antarctica have in common?

Another sign that the end of the world is nigh: Jersey Shore Canceled....

Politics uggh

All I can say is thank God we didn't have to watch the convention. And most of the "news" seems to be spin...

The emails from the Democrats in my inbox were channeling Joe Pesci in My Cousin Vinney...

Sigh. It's going to be a long and dirty election season.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Headlines below the fold

No, we didn't watch the conventions, (one advantage about living in the Philippines) but I saw a "fair and balanced" report on Romney on the Japanese English language news.

no, it's not on their website now...mainly local news about another (mild) earthquake there...
there is also a report that the Japanese gov't is subsidizing their "green" cars....

 Factoid of the day: there are over 1 million Chinese in Africa, most of them recent immigrants...

Marc Gunn is a "celtic geek" and explores the links between celtic music, Middle Earth, SciFi, and ....cats?


Obama speech interrupted by.... left wing protesters?

it's going to be a long election season...

And the really important news of the day: Larry, the UK's chief mouser, has finally earned his keep: he caught his first rodent at the PM's residence in London this week.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Musical interlude of the day


News below the fold

Eco lawyer suggests a way to stop the floods in Manila  by eco pond drainage.

he didn't give details, but I remember in the year that Grand Forks was flooded that they talked about a similar project was in place that protected Winnepeg which was upstream: AKA Duff's Ditch; the city also has numerous local ponds to help water drainage.

And MotherJones reminds the US that even a Category I hurricane could devestate the Gulf Coast and NOLA...
yeah...the latest Manila Flood wasn't a typhoon but heavy rains from distant typhoons.

another "back to the future" post: High tech sails for cargo ships.


Trivia question of the day: What is the only American city that surrendered to a foreign power?

Detroit...200 years ago, and it was surrended by General William Hull....

Yes, Washington was occupied by the British, but that isn't the same thing.

Medieval Ireland was violent: discussion and photos.


Petticoat Surgeon is on line HERE...

God save the King? My RSS feed from the BBC says: Romney anointed by Republicans

but the article at the link has changed the headline to say merely "Republican convention chooses Romney as nominee".. but they kept the original phrase in the article at the side panel.


It's bad enough that someone has hacked all the private information from their US players, but now we hear that Blizzard is being forced to stop Iranians from playing WOW...

good news: the US is having a drought, but Argentina's soy crop was good and could make up the soy shortage.

AYYYY! remembers Phillis Diller...

If your house is really a mess and a stranger comes to the door greet him with, “Who could have done this? We have no enemies.”

The "What is it" post of the day

In the latest “insects that look like Pokemon” news, there’s the Venezuelan Poodle Moth.  Source

via Incredible things:

Back to the future post of the day

From StategyPage:
Sgt. Justin D. Head, animal packing course chief instructor, excercises his mustang, Hondo, shortly after grazing. The animal packing course is the only one of its kind in the department of defense and teaches Marines and other military personnel how to effectively and efficiently work with beast of burden to transport munitions, supplies and wounded personnel to and from areas inaccessible to mechanized and air transportation. The course, offered at the Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center, teaches an introduction to animal packing, an anatomy of pack animals, animal packing techniques, casualty evacuation techniques, animal first aid and bivouac considerations. Photo by Sgt. Aaron Hostutler

I was going to say wouldn't mules be a bit more efficient for mountains (they are more sure-footed) but I checked and Wikipedia has a photo of this:
A photograph of a mule pack string operated by the Mountain Warfare Training Center, carrying weaponry in the Bishop Mule Days parade.
Author Cullen328 by Jim Heaphy
 the Marines Mountain Training Center is in California.

the US Army's 10th Mountain division is in Fort Drum New York

Politics uggh.

Read the whole thing: Dave Barry reports on the Republican convention.

and meets an old friend, Vermin Supreme...

and the "big news" in the catholic blogsphere is that Cardinal Doland will give the closing prayers for BOTH conventions.

Hmmm...seems that there are sinners in both parties for him to convert.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Video of the week


yes, a bit dated, but it's better than watching the convention...

of course, if you want equal time, you can watch this old film instead....

Cat item of the day

luckily, it's already Tuesday here in the Philippines....

Stuff below the fold

The BigIdea podcast (Australia) notes that poor health and poverty go together.

I just explain that to the 'greens' who think poor people in insect ridden huts who lose one third of their kids to disease and live an average of 50 years might not be living in paradise.


I'm happy Naomi Wolf's surgery has helped her...but neurologically it doesn't make sense: the syndrome she describes is Cauda Equina syndrome, and the nerve she claims the doctors had to fix also would have affected other orifices. So did she have to wear pampers before her surgery?

The most worrisome blogpost of the day: when the Anchoress finds her ordinary suburban neighbors are becoming survivalists.

from Atlas Obscura 
While the best-known intaglios in the world are the Nazca Lines in Peru, there are over 300 intaglios in the American Southwest and adjacent regions of Mexico. The best known of the American intaglios are the Blythe Intaglios, located west of the Colorado River about 15 miles north of Blythe, California, and situated on two low mesas or terraces. The figures are believed to have been made by the Mohave and Quechan Indians, are somewhere between 450 and 2,000 years old, and represent Mastamho, the creator of life. The palette of these "drawings" is the earth itself; the artists scraped the dark rock of the desert ground to expose the lighter soil underneath.

I remember some of my Okie oil worker patients coming home from Venezuela when Chavez started messing with the oil industry...

So now there is a big refinery fire, and even the UKGuardian says it was not a big surprise.
This accident and a large oil spill in the eastern state of Monagas have revived allegations from industry professionals that safety protocols and standard maintenance practices were neglected after a general strike by the company's employees in 2002 led to the firing of more than 20,000 people.
According to Gente del Petroleo, an organisation of retired oil executives, since 2003 there have been 79 accidents in the Paraguana refining complex, where 19 workers have died and 67 have been gravely injured.
A summary of OFW's: All over the world.

The Good News: Isaac is not going to ruin the Republican convention

The bad news: It's headed to NOLA, the Gulf coast, and the off shore oil rigs.


First the floods, but now the Leptospirosis epidemic...700 plus cases reported so far

Leptospirosis article here.

Folks were advised to buy the cheap generic doxycycline and treat themselves if they suspected they were getting the infection, so the number of infections might be underestimated.

and the really important headline of the day:

Love it or hate it, Marmite could help doctors beat the MRSA superbug

not really: the article points out that huge megadoses of Niacin help the immune system, and of course Marmite is high in B vitamins.

Monday, August 27, 2012

We're number one

Pinoy wins balut eating contest in NY

 Wayne Algenio celebrates after winning the first annual balut eating contest in New York on Saturday. Algenio won the contest after consuming in five minutes 18 duck eggs which contained fertilized duck embryos, commonly sold as street food in the Philippines. Reuters/Keith Bedford

and what is a Balut? LINK
Balut is a boiled, fertilized duck egg with an undeveloped embryo, usually eaten with salt. It is considered a delicacy in Asia, especially in the Philippines, where it is popularly believed to be an aphrodisiac and considered a high-protein, hearty snack.

no I haven't eaten them, but Lolo does...

Move over Superman

Ruby posted this on facebook: The heroes of the new generation....

and if you are too old to know who they are, just ask a twelve year old...

Factoid of the day

 Be very afraid...

HowieCarr reveals this dirty little secret:

(Governor Romney's) nickname at the State House was Dudley Do-Right.
Does this mean we need to check his birth certificate?

for Non Americans, it refers to this character:

Or watch this film.

and here is a gift you can send to your favorite Republican friend (if you have any):
A Dudley DoRight Bobble head doll

Gift Item of the Day

Your very own Fish head Christmas tree ornament:

you can buy it at Archie McPhee, for only $12 each...
This breathtaking Fish Head Ornament shimmers in the light. It cries out to be possessed - to be loved, yet it simultaneously seeks escape and yearns to swim freely. Thus we face dichotomy with a dash of dilemma. Do we clutch it close to our heart, forced to watch it metaphorically rot away?
headsup the Laughing squid.

actually, fishheads are eaten here in Asia: indeed, people enjoy them.

here is a recipe for a local soup..Sinigang na Bangus....

or you can just cook the Bangus this way:

usually Lolo eats the head and I get the middle part.

Stories below the fold

Why doctors ignore studies:

This article laments that half of black hypertensives don't get their blood pressure lower than the magic 140/90 number.

Yet a few days ago, I posted about the new "evidence" that this number is now considered too low.

So what's the problem with this new study? Well, they claim that the "best" way to lower the BP is to use a mixture of a diuretic and a beta blocker.

 Diuretics are cheap, and if the thousands of years of living in the tropics made folks prone to fluid retention, so that makes sense... but they cause muscle cramps, make you more prone to gout, and increase your cholesterol (and sometimes cause impotence).

 On the other hand, beta blockers, which block the "stress" hormone, do not prevent heart disease so we rarely use them any more for blood pressure.

But if they "work" in black populations, the reason might be "white coat hypertension", i.e. that these folks aren't hypertensive 24 hours a day. And whether to treat this stess linked hypertension is an even bigger question in medicine.

But since only 1 percent of the patients in the study were on this combination, one wonders if the study proves anything at all, since the numbers are too low to be statistically significant...

Ironically, the drug company that paid for the study makes generics, but not of diuretics or beta blockers.


Factoid of the day
...(North Korea plans to) repeal a 1990s law that prohibited women from riding bicycles. This law was passed in response to the death of the daughter of a senior army general, why was hit by a car while on a bicycle in the capital.
related item:

and NoKorea is now in the sights of Don King, who plans a music/boxing match there sometime in the future.

Yes, I know: Mass starvation, Torture and Gulags are nothing to laugh at.

and for up to date convention and hurricane coverage, just check Dave Barry's reports:

But the big story, at the moment, is Isaac. The convention planners have done all they can to prepare; National Guard troops have brought in 65,000 pounds of shrimp cocktail — enough, at normal rates of delegate consumption, to last nearly two days. But still there is concern. The worst-case scenario is that Isaac will develop into a major hurricane, veer eastward toward Tampa and — this is the ultimate public-safety nightmare — get hold of Donald Trump’s hairstyle. If that thing gets airborne in the community, nobody is safe.

Read more here:


You can buy your very own "Obama Birth Certificate" mug

Headsup Instapundit/LegalInsurrection.

The 24 hour cable news pretty well ignored the death of Neil Armstrong...

Armstrong’s determined effort to live a quiet, private life after his astronaut days also left TV at a disadvantage. There was relatively little tape on hand to roll from interviews reminiscing about his experiences, reunions with old astronauts or public appearances. No Armstrong chats with David Letterman. No appearances in music videos. There was the moon walk, and not much else.
Notable deaths often give viewers the chance to reflect, to put into perspective lives of great accomplishment or great notoriety.
Not so with Neil Armstrong. His death was like his life: strangely muted given the magnitude of his achievements.end of story marker
But the headlines have noticed: Snooki had a boy.

Recipe of the day

The book Confederates in the Attic discusses hard core Civil War re-enacters who really try to live (and eat) their ancestor's experience. So if you are a re-enacter, here is a review about a book describing Civil War cuisine, and it includes recipes.
There follow about 60 pages of period recipes, for everything from corn bread and turnip greens to skillygalalee (hardtack fried in pork fat) and rat (“cook as with squirrel and rabbit”) to cane seed coffee and various potables, including Jubal Early’s “stone wall”.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

John Ford take two

I can't find his classic film The Grapes of Wrath on line (Steinbeck's book can be found here).

and the only place I can find The man who shot Liberty Valence is HERE...

but I did find StageCoach

and of course you can always watch the classic The Quiet Man...

Factoid of the day

Filmmaker John Ford' actually spent part of World War II filming with the Navy,
and was both wounded at Midway and present at Omaha Beach on DDay....

So it is fitting that his last film was a tribute to Chesty Puller.

Youtube has the shorter version:

Everybody's got a waterbuffalo

Story in the Inquirer about the Carabao milk farmers in our area.

yes, we buy a pint daily, mainly for our coffee and cereal.

here is our water buffalo but as far as I know, they don't use him for milk.

From Drop Box
altogether now: 

Dog Story of the week

The Queen's Corgis aren't the only dogs protecting their masters:

From The WSJ:
The Marine Corps mascot, a bulldog named Chesty, got into a confrontation with a superior officer, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta's Golden Retriever. Despite this "breach" of protocol, Chesty still got a promotion from corporal to sargeant. WSJ's Julian E. Barnes reports from Washington.
Some snarky folks are suggesting his promotion was because of the incident....

here is the history of Chesty the Bulldog. 

The US Naval institute has a history of seadogs, including this photo of the original Jiggs, from the time of the First World War:

named for Chesty Puller, of course....

Headlines below the fold

Neil Armstrong has died.

a friend posted this on facebook:

‎"the next time you walk outside on a clear night and see the moon smiling down at you, think of Neil Armstrong and give him a wink."
-family of Neil Armstrong
SenseOfEventsBlog posts links, along with this photo and poem:

Family news

The good news: Hurricane Isaac is far enough west that it won't bother my son Miguel.

The better news: It's aimed at the republicans.

The uh oh news: If it turns a little, it could hit New Orleans.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Sunday school lesson of the day

How western churches see sweet "Jesus" with the children:

how the late Pinoy painter Joey Velesco saw him:

actually, for those who aren't familiar with religious art like this famous painting,,  the above picture replaces the angels who comfort Christ in the Garden with the "angels" of earth, those with Down's syndrome...

how western churches see the Nativity:

How Mr. V painted it:

keep in your prayers the many who are still in evacuation centers or whose houses were destroyed by the recent floods in Manila....

Cat item of the day

Robin's family

The really really important headlines of the day

Rick Warren's Presidential civility summit has been canceled...for lack of civility.
...(The) minister told the Orange County Register in an article published Wednesday: “It would be hypocritical to pretend civility for one evening only to have the name-calling return the next day.”
The "mark of the beast" alert comes from Dave Barry:

Israeli biblical park outfits donkeys with wi-fi

Read more here:

Also from DB: 
Drought Blamed for Cow Chip Shortage
We're learning that the drought is impacting a tradition in our area, one you may take your family to each year. Every Labor Day weekend, tens of thousands of people herd into Prairie du Sac for the Wisconsin State Cow Chip Throwing Contest and Festival.
Organizers say this year, there's a shortage of chips.

BUT DON'T DESPAIR: Someone stored last year's leftovers:
Organizers say they have a reserve stash of cow chips held over from last year's competition. They say those couple hundred cow chips will make up for this year's shortage.

The "Don't Mess With Texas" Article of the Day:

StrategyPage notes that Texas now has it's own Navy....

The David Hasselhoff story of the day:

David Hasselhoff’s pet pig has made him late again. “I’m sorry,” exhales the TV star, sinking into a deckchair on the beachfront of a Santa Monica hotel. “He was stuck in the house scratching at the door asking to be let out. Then the water dragons needed feeding.”
Welcome to Hoff-world: an alternative universe where pot-bellied pigs govern schedules, conversations veer off on wild tangents and waitresses swoon like schoolgirls....

Video of the week


something to watch when you think THIS YEAR's US election is dirty...

of course, it's cleaned up a bit...

and this "rewrite" of history also is worth watching if for no other reason than watching the pros work.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Cat item of the day

Factoid of the day

The Chinese invented India Ink.

more Here and HERE.

soot or oak galls?

or if you prefer: A history of writing instruments.

the quill pen was first used in 700AD and usually you only used the feathers from the left wing.

The writing instrument that dominated for the longest period in history (over one-thousand years) was the quill pen. Introduced around 700 A.D., the quill is a pen made from a bird feather. The strongest quills were those taken from living birds in the spring from the five outer left wing feathers. The left wing was favored because the feathers curved outward and away when used by a right-handed writer. Goose feathers were most common; swan feathers were of a premium grade being scarcer and more expensive. For making fine lines, crow feathers were the best, and then came the feathers of the eagle, owl, hawk and turkey.


Family news

I really shouldn't joke about green initiatives in the third world.

my Son in law is involved in organic rice growing, and this year we are working with the gov't to see if we can grow good crops using local hybrids with less flooding (less greenhouse gas release but not using as much pesticide as other dry grow methods).

We also bought an electric rice drier last year after we lost one third of our crop because of the typhoon (we didn't "lose" it: but a lot of it was damaged and hand to be sold for animal food because of the low quality).
Here, the usual way is to lay the rice out on the streets or a large plastic tarp for the sun to dry it. When it floods and rains, the drying is delayed, so the rice quality goes down. We could afford to get the rice mill to dry it, but with the flooding last year, it was delayed and so the quality was too low for us to sell as our own brand of organic rice. So we bought our own small rice drier.

But what about the other farmers, who aren't under our contract?

So we are asking for a gov't grant for a "solar rice drier" that will allow them a cheaper way to dry their rice. Chano and Joy are busy working out the details, and we don't know if we'll get the grant, but it will be done for the corporation, not the family, and the family has to deed some land to the corporation (rent free) where the drier will be put up.

We have two fields on a hill that can't be irrigated (i.e. only one crop of rice a year) so we will put it there. It will be high enough not to be flooded out, even if the irrigation dam overflows and fails.

I may have gotten the details a bit wrong: I was city born and bred, and although I always worked in rural areas, didn't usually farm or ranch myself.

More family news:

Ruby is at a school/church campout for three days (postponed from two weeks ago due to the Manila floods).
They will pick her up tomorrow.
Joy's sister might need eye surgery, so they are going to Asia Eye clinic to talk to the doctors and probably schedule the tests and surgery today.

So we are here all  alone....with three staff, seven watchdogs, and four cats (the missing cat is still missing)...and of course three parakeets and a couple dozen koi fish in our pond.

Stuff below the fold (plus rants)

Price fixing in ebooks? Who wudda thot.

since ebooks don't require paper and storage, the prices should be lower than the paper edition. Indeed, the Philippines is looking into giving kids a small tablet because it is cheaper in the long run to just give a tablet with the needed ebooks than to pay for the books to be publised and distributed all over the Philippines.

I always buy used books myself, or read stuff on line.

Come and get it story of the day:
UN proposes $100 billion dollar climate fund.
 I estimate one third will be stolen directly and another third will go to projects that are useless in the long term, but never mind.

This is your life...this is your life on Obamacare story number one:

2000 hospitals face penalties for Obamacare rules.

Yet often sick people relapse, no matter what.

If you keep them longer than the bureaucrat allows, you are penalized, and told by the administrator they need to be discharged. So people are sent home while still sick or when they lack support in their homes to continue outpatient treatment.

And penalizing readmissions is essentially punishing doctors from letting them back in. Three guesses what will happen? No, not fewer early discharges: fewer readmissions.

This is your life on Obamacare story number two:

Doctor burnout is common?
The study casts a grim light on what it is like to practice medicine in the current health care system. A significant proportion of doctors feel trapped, thwarted by the limited time they are allowed to spend with patients, stymied by the ever-changing rules set by insurers and other payers on what they can prescribe or offer as treatment and frustrated by the fact that any gains in efficiency offered by electronic medical records are so soon offset by numerous, newly devised administrative tasks that must also be completed on the computer.
and one way to ease the load?
Without decreasing the total hours worked or the number of patients a doctor must see, a hospital system might, for example, restructure its clinics so that doctors could spend more time with patients and less time on the phone getting authorization from insurers or in front of a computer completing administrative tasks.
As old Doc McCoy would say: I'm a doctor, not a bureaucrat.

PJMedia on the British economist/historian Fergueson's articles on Newsweek and the daily beast.
I refuse to go to Tina Brown's sites because she is a bigot.

When she moved to Washington, she wrote an article in the WaPo lamenting that now she might have to actually meet "christians", whereas in NYCity she didn't.

But there are plenty of Christians in NYCity: but they are like Chesterton's invisible man: the cop on the beat, the local firemen, the waiters/waitresses in the coffee shops, the clerk at the store, and the lady who cleaned her apartment were probably Christians. Brown was just to bigoted to notice them.


I made quite a few clinical comments against some stupid politician named Akin on several web pages,(wonder how many of them were printed) but as a woman doc who has seen many cases, here is the technical details where he gets it wrong:

The technical part that the guy is probably right in his claim that pregnancy from violent rape is rare in the US: but the reason is twofold: one, that in one third of violent sexual attacks the guy has sexual dysfuntion, so she can't get pregnant, and second, that most of these women have injuries and are seen in emergency rooms get the morning after pill.

this was not true in the past, or even today when rape is used to punish women (e.g. Bosnia, Bangladesh, Rwanda, where rape was a common war crime).

However, in the US, most abortions for "rape" are not violent assault by a stranger: most cases are for underaged teenagers  (or older teens too shy to report the attack), those who were drunk or given a date rape drug, or even those who suffered from date rape by someone they knew and were reluctant to slug. (the Mike Tyson case comes to mind). Often these cases are never reported, or if they do come to the ER it is a week or two later.

But Judge Napolitano points out the real controversy is being ignored by the press: you are talking about a baby.

Most women who have had an abortion know that it is something to be regretted and mourned, not celebrated...and there is something very morally sick about insisting we "celebrate" this "right", or hide this reality by using "newspeak"...

There is actually a kerfuffle in the UK against erecting a statue of George Orwell...
the BBC complains he was "too left wing"  (?huh? as if the Beeb isn't?)...the UKTelegraph points out that their real problem is that he was the first to prophecy political correctness:
the branding of dissident thinkers as racists, sexists or homophobes (thoughtcrime) the necessity of holding two contradictory ideas together (doublethink) and attempts to change the language to change politics (Newspeak).
Heh. Sounds like this year's US elections.

But don't forget the "Two Minute Hate".

And the really important news of the day:

They are trying to convince a hippo to leave a swimming pool in South Africa.

People don't realize that Hippos move around quite a bit. I remember when one popped into our irrigation dam when I worked in Africa. The nearst Hippos were 50 km away. But it had a good side effect: the locals stopped swimming in the lake due to fear of being killed (hippos kill more people in Africa than lions). So the actual result was less schistosomiasis in our patients).

OK: Altogether now:

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Cat item of the day

Two of our male cats went missing last weekend, and haven't come back.  This happens when they go outside looking for love with the female cats in the Palenke, but usually they come back after a day or two.

Alas, We found one of them dead yesterday, but Precious, our gender confused tomcat (who nursed his nephew when the mother died) is still missing:

Dog item of the day

This story says that the Queen's beloved Corgi dogs attacked Princess Beatrice's terriors....and won.

and you thought they were only kept as pets.

and according to this commercial, they also protect her from bad food:

Photo essay of the day

In more than 30 years as a cave explorer, photographer and guide, John Spies - an Australian based in Thailand - has visited 85 caves, discovered incredible formations, documented prehistoric cave art, ancient underworld burial grounds, Buddhist temples and strange eyeless forms of life.
John Spies explores the ancient caves of Tham Lod in Pang Mapha, Thailand
Picture: John Spies / Barcroft Media

at the UKTelegraph: The caves of Thailand.

Ain't it awful stuff below the fold

Eat more fish?

Fukushima’s Fish Are Soaked In Record Levels of Radiation
Why we are fat: Antibiotics?

Democrats again insist there is a war against women.

Yes, because crushing a baby's skull during the birth process is a winning election issue.

Why we're losing the password war.

just stick with  12345....they're going to hack it anyway.

and just wait until all your information gets onto your medical records.

Uh Oh: Conspiracy theory of the day: Obama's financial godfather is dumping stocks and buying gold.

well, this is the guy who is known as the Man who Broke the Bank of England...

JohnsHopkins has an on line book on communities preparing for emergencies.

I have to laugh: They include a chapter on "reproductive health": during last year's hurricane, moms were delivering babies on the floor of evacuation centers, but the UN was there giving out condoms.

Old folks like to live in their own homes, with all their memories around them.

Now the NYTimes has found a new name for this: "Possession paralysis". 
(and they aren't talking about parthological hoarding, just ordinary stuff).

That stuff about "exercizing your brain" may actually be true.

Campaign Video of the day

link This is what the campaign is about.

If you have seen the movie, the Danny DeVito guy is the "evil one" and the Gregory Peck character who only wants to save his business the "good guy".
Until you see this speech.

And how does the film end? By DeVito shutting the plant, and then retooling it to make fiberoptics. This sounds like my family who made nylon stockings at a small plant. The textile industry went South, and they couldn't compete. most of the other small knitting companies in the North went bankrupt, but my uncle merely retooled his equipment and started subcontracting for small parts for larger businesses. It was cheaper for these larger businesses to buy small parts than to try to make every little piece.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Musical interlude of the day


Meteorite of the week

Cosmic wonder: Marvin Killgore of the Arizona Meteorite Laboratory lets the sun shine through a polished slice of the Fukang rock

The rare meteorite weighed about the same as a hatchback when it was discovered in 2000, in the Gobi Desert in China's Xinjiang Province.
It has since been divided into slices which give the effect of stained glass when the sun shines through them.

headsup Dave Barry


JAWS...the Inside Story...

And then there is this: The Whale that ate JAWs. and the True story behind Jaws: the New Jersey Shark Attacks of 1916...
note says the film might be blocked in the US/UK...

Cat item of the day

Factoid of the day take two (Caution: Blood and gore story)

I watched the  BBC series "call the midwife" and it is fairly accurate, but twice the writers had a doctor tell the midwife that a woman's life/pregnancy is now safe due to socialized medicine.

Ah, but is that true?

The "Flying squad" ambulance, that rushed to birth disasters, was actually started in 1933.

The midwives were indeed gov't employees, but the nuns of Nonnatus house (an Anglican order) had been there longer: The senile nun who is the object of one of the shows "took her vows in 1905", and since the order had been started to work in the slums, it sounds like they had been doing the work long before the NHS started in the post WWII period.

The point is that often women delivered with a semi trained midwife, and having a local service was a good thing.
Indeed, a high mortality in the poor due to lack of money was one reason that the federal gov't in the US started the Indian Health Service on the reservations: And they staffed these clinics/hospitals with doctors who were drafted and given a choice between the military and the IHS....

Finally, one of the comments was made when a woman who had ricketts came in to give birth, and the implication was that if there had been socialism she wouldn't have had ricketts (caused by lack of sunlight) and that her previous stillborns were caused by obstructed labor but now due to the wonderfulness of the NHS, she could have a Caesarian section.

Ricketts in the poor was alas seen in northern climates, especially in darked skinned children. Even that old conservative Churchill defended funding milk supplementation in poor areas in the midst of World War II:

There is no finer investment for any community than putting milk into babies. Radio broadcast (March 21, 1943),

But the willingness to do a Caesarian section before a woman was half dead from obstructed labor had changed mainly due to the availability of safe blood transfusions and antibiotics, the availability of which essentially were due to medical advances during World War II.

(We even learned in medical school there was a technique called "extra peritoneal" Caesarian sections, to cut down the incidence of peritonitis in such cases).

Because of the high risk of surgical delivery (and death of the mother due to sepsis after a prolonged labor) these women were delivered by a dangerous high forceps delivery (not the same as the simple "outlet forceps" that we docs still are doing). In the high forceps delivery, the baby is often damaged during extraction, and indeed, often it is dead already from the long labor (or, dirty little secret, sometimes they would have to crush the baby's skull to deliver the kids. And sometimes the child was not dead---so most Catholic doctors would not do this, and were therefore kept out of training for obstetrics in many hospitals)...

In rickets, the opening of the pelvis was shorter from front to back. In contrast, in Africa, the main cause of obstruction was the pelvis that was oval, thin from side to side...the procedure for obstruted labor there was symphysiotomy, cut the pelvic ligaments where they join in front and pop the pelvis open to remove the kid, and then pop it back and put on a tight binder. This could be done by a skilled midwife, but by the time I worked in Africa (1970's)  most clinics were able to transfer to hospital that did Caesarian sections: if there was no doctor, there was even a program to teach midwives and "medical assistants" to do the surgery (medical assistants were essentially nurses who had  the same nursing training but with an emphasis on diagnosis of common diseases. They were paid less than nurses because most hadn't finished high school back then due to lack of high schools in rural areas).

So what did you use for anesthesia? Spinal anesthesia, or local anesthesia could be done if there was no nurse anesthetist. By the 1970's, we were starting to use "Ketamine drips". Yes, the "animal anesthetic"...At one hospital,  we had the flood scrubber adjust the IV drip: we watched the patient's breathing...we gave it until she stopped feeling pain, and then slowed it down until she started moving again...once the floor scrubber had to go outside to fetch something, and the patient stopped breathing, so I had to "break scrub" and stop the IV while "bagging" her with a breathing bag (Ambu bag) until she was okay.

Ah, the "good old days"....

Factoid of the day

The History of the (Medieval Irish) Mullet.
In the medieval period the Gaelic Irish sported a hairstyle known as a cúlán (pronounced cool – awn). This was described in the 1297 parliament as having their “heads half shaved and grow their hair long at the back”. This parliament in Dublin banned Anglo Normans cutting their hair in this fashion describing it as “degenerate”. The Anglo Normans had no time for such hair cuts believing that long hair was a sign of femininity...

The 1297 parliament was convened “to establish peace more firmly” and issued a range of edicts to try and establish some control over a land that increasingly lawless. They banned Anglo Normans dressing in native Irish dress or cutting their hair in this fashion in an effort to visibly distinguish and seperate the two groups.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Gift item of the day

from foodbeast via Cheezburgersite...

buy it at Amazon... fill it with hot coffee and the eyes perk up...

Food item of the day

Dustbury discusses prunes, and links to this classic commercial:

Stuff below the fold

Encoding a book into DNA...

The research was published in Science on Friday. The researchers used a combination of commercial tools for DNA synthesis and new methods of DNA sequencing to store a copy of lead researcher George Church's forthcoming book Regenesis: How Synthetic Biology Will Reinvent Nature and Ourselves in DNA onto DNA.

"The density is remarkably high," Church says in a video explaining the research. "We can store on the order of almost a zettabyte [of data] in a gram of DNA."

Assage complaining about why the west needs to have their secrets hacked ignores that the bad guys are laughing their heads off....

yeah...Ecuador got money from FARC, but we don't see Assage bothering to release evidence of these petty dictators and their corruption.


But it seems nothing is really safe from the hackers: HeirsOfDurin has a long report on the Hobbit characters and plots...picked up from a German fansite.

The US press is seeing the punk band in Russia as being persecuted for political speech, but some religion web sites point out that most Orthodox in that country were aghast because what they did was desecrate a church (this in a country that has only recently allowed freedom of religion).

And, as StrategyPage points out, Putin remains popular because folks in Russia prefer to be safe from thugs and the pension check to arrive on time.
and Russia will reenter the "great game" in Afghanistan area now that NATO is leaving a power vacuum...


The Economist was quoted here as calculating the monetary worth of the US Catholic church.
most of the money is in institutions that care for people or educate folks.

Conspiracy theory of the day: Makes me wonder if the Obamacare mandate will morph into a way for big hospital corporations to make a bundle...and if the Obamacare mandate doesn't work, the coup of the PC nuns "leadership" could result in these "leaders" making the institutions that legally belong to the orders into secular corporations that could similarly become a financial bargain for big business.... Wonder if anyone is following the money in these things.

Wired has an article on the weird animals of the pre Cambrian extinction times.

Forget Upstairs/Downstair and the Kardashians.

The real "reality saga" is coming to you on PBS: Call the Midwife....

Watch Call the Midwife - Preview on PBS. See more from Call the Midwife.


Sunday, August 19, 2012

Musical interlude of the day


Science lesson of the day

Who needs litmus paper when you have red cabbage juice?


what are the ten most dangerous plants you might have in your garden/local vacant lot?
PopMech has a list.

101 gadgets that changed the world: everything from the wheel to the Ipad.


 Inventing the wheel was easy...

the real problem was inventing an axle
or maybe even the light spoked wheel...

and, as one commentator noted: wheels need roads.
without good roads, a camel or Llama will be more efficient. hump or two...and what about the cross bred camels?

or, of course, barges on canals and rivers...


Saturday, August 18, 2012

3D Printer story of the day

from ZDNET: ah, the power of Pasta:

(or maybe not: video has been deleted)

but Fabrioni has instructions on making a printer that will make your models from pasta dough. It was a project for an MIT class

Replicator blog has a list of 3 things you can do with these printers today

and the Pirate Bay has a new listing for "physibles" so you can download instructions to print out models of things like poodles and Zuckerman's head.

The Gratuitous Lady Gaga post of the day

LINK Credit: Splash News/Corbis; BAUER-GRIFFIN.COM
"I am choosing not to comment on whether or not the furs I purchase are faux fur-pile or real because I would think it [hypocritical] not to acknowledge the python, ostrich, cow hide, leather, lamb, alligator, 'Kermit' and not to mention meat, that I have already worn," she continued. "This should already put me in a category as one who appreciates and adores the beauty of animals in fashion... 
Gaga also rallied around Kardashian and warned PETA supporters not to ambush her in public. "To campaigners, save your flour to make bread for the children who are hungry. And Kim Kardashian is fabulous."

Heh. She looks almost as spiffy as Pinoy Blogger/fashion icon BryanBoy in a fur coat.
although why she is wearing fur in August makes me wonder if she's in danger of heat stroke...

But I agree with her: it always annoys me when the pEta activists prance around to get photographed in Manila pretending they care about animals, while they ignore the street children nearby who live in the slums or sleep in the streets:

of course, the Manila elites don't like to  notice such places: Even Boy Abunda blasts the Bourne movie for being filmed in the lower class neighborhoods of Manila instead of the posh gated communities or malls.

History lesson of the day

The Battle of Maldon (by Lego).

with Anglo Saxon Subtitles:

Headsup UnlockedWordhoarde...

Recipe of the week

Yum: Praline Bacon.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Musical interlude of the day

Brian Sibley has a post on the songs of Pooh...including several of the songs on youtube.

one example:

and yes, there is such a thing as Coddleston pie:

Recipe HERE at takeOneCookBookBlog.

His blogpost has two versions of Christopher Robin is saying his prayers, but I prefer this version of the song:

Mr. Sibley is busy so posted for us an old discussion about Tolkien's works that you can listen to on his blog  HERE.

Contributors include: Pauline Bayne, Oz Clarke, Emma Gillson, Wayne G Hammond, John Howe, Rob Inglis, Sir Peter Jackson, Jane Johnson, Alan Lee, Sir Christopher Lee, Roy Marsden, Jane Morgan, Christina Scull, Howard Shore and Peter Woodthorpe; with the voices (in performance) of Sir Ian Holm, Sir Michael Hordern, John Le Mesurier, Sir Ian McKellen, Bill Nighy and Elijah Wood.