Thursday, April 04, 2013

Stuff below the fold

The richest character in fiction is a thief, a murderer, and...a dragon.


1. Smaug

Worth: $62 Billion

Sources: Marauding

Residence: The Lonely Mountain

North Korea is threatening to nuke Washington, New York City, and...Austin Texas.

Why Austin? (one article said it was to kill Bush, who lives a ways off in Dallas).
AustinBay says it is to remove the embarassing evidence that South Korea has a plant making electronics there.

FTArticle notes: Twenty million Anglicans, including Tony Blair, have taken the Alpha course, but it has been ignored even in the British press.
Report on the course from the UKIndependent here.

 lots of these charismatic renewal groups "below the radar".

There are several here in the Philippines, some good and some into "prosperity gospel"... both Catholic and protestant and some interdenominational...and some groups not only do charity outreaches, but help keep the faith alive for workers in Saudi...where there are a million Pinoy Christians but no churches...

related item: John Allen notes that Pope Francis has enough experience with bureaucracies to be able to reform the curia.

Why politics is behind denying that the Fort Hood murders were a terrorist attack, and why denying the soldiers a purple heart warns those in the know that the govvernment is more worried about political correctness than common sense.


The Corner prints a letter from a lawyer explaining why so many are on disability.

– SSD beneficiaries are overwhelmingly poor, overwhelmingly uneducated and of low intelligence, and just in general people with marginal skills.  My typical client is over 50, has at most a GED if that, has worked heavy strenuous jobs with lots of lifting, carrying etc.  I’d say about 10% of them are completely illiterate, 25% marginally literate and some are actually mentally retarded.  I can count on one hand the people I have had over the years with a college degree. When these people develop a condition at age 52 and are unable to continue to do their heavy construction job, exactly what is a 52 year-old with a 8th grade education limited to sit-down work only who can barely read and write supposed to do?  Become newspaper columnists?  Oh, to make it even better, they cannot get any health care (in my state, you must be disabled to qualify for Medicaid) so whatever condition they have has festered and become far more serious since they had to stop working.
sounds about right.
My next door neighbor in Pennsylvania was a coal miner on disability, whose back would go out and put him flat in bed on and off. He was on disability until they saw him lifting fifty pounds of shingles to help his son put a roof on a house. No, he wasn't faking his disability: after helping his son, he was again in bed for a week. And if his back "went out" in the mines, it could have resulted in a dangerous situation. But never mind. Luckily, he just went back to moonlighting with his sons (one was a roofer, the other ran a garage) on his good days and earned as much as he did on disability.

But of course, he had skills, and a work ethic. Others know if they work they will lose their money so tend to dwell on the importance of every ache and pain.

For later reading: Signing as a true language, compared to speech.


Credit: Anne Jaskot

Green Pea galaxies.

I had read how cattails could clean up polluted lakes

but now there is a report that paparus plants do the same thing.

a report on the process HERE.

The problem: If you are a survivalist, don't eat the plants that pick up pollution, or you may end up sick.


Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, the writer of novels, shorts stories, and the screenplays for some Merchant Ivory films, has died. She was born in Germany of Jewish parents, and adopted and wrote about her husband's country, India.

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