Friday, November 30, 2007

Stem cell debate: Bush was right

"A decade ago, Thomson was the first to isolate human embryonic stem cells. Last week, he (and Japan's Shinya Yamanaka) announced one of the great scientific breakthroughs since the discovery of DNA: an embryo-free way to produce genetically matched stem cells....."

Read the entire editorial by Charles Krauthammer, columnist, psychiatrist, and bioethicist who just happens to be a paraplegic...

Blame Canada!

Study: Canadian Beer Drinkers Threaten Planet

(headsup Instapundit)

Altogether now: SING:


Quote of the day

Ellen Johnson, president of American Atheists, worries over rumors that the film has been "watered down" and is not anti-God, anti-Church enough...

What is she talking about? the latest Fantasy film brought to your kids for Christmas...Ignatius press has more....
Here in Asia, they probably won't catch the nuances and will enjoy it.

Family news

The family got home okay from Manila. Joy said they couldn't deliver rice in Makati because the streets were blocked...

The streets here were empty til 5 am: even the Palenke started late.

Today there is a meeting in the hall, so we (and the dogs) are trying to stay out of their way.

Gift item of the day

Earth dog tags...for those who are lost in space....the website states:

In case of alien abduction these dog tags may save
your life. The crucial data an alien will need to get
you back to Earth is die stamped into these dog tags.

History in the headlines

No, it's not a neolithic monument.
It's an Irish Mass Rock

In the 18th century the cruel Penal Laws were passed in Ireland. Priests and bishops were not allowed to say mass. The people gathered together in the open at mass rocks or in safe houses. Some fields in Ireland have the name "Carraig an Aifrinn" or Mass Rock....

"...The custom of placing a lighted candle on the window at Christmas is also said to come from Penal times. It was a signal to the wandering priest that it was a safe house to visit and that the family wanted to receive the sacraments. After the Penal Laws the custom continued but the candle was now used to show the Holy Family the road to Bethlehem and as a welcome to Baby Jesus into the home...."
(headsup RectaratioBlog)

Hmm...sounds like Pinoys in Saudi Arabia today...

the Danish Greenlanders didn't all starve or intermarry, but simply up and left. And the reason for no fish bones? Lutefisk.

(headsup GGG Freeper forum)

The NYTimes reports that the last two remains of the Tsar's family have been found in Russia...the son and one daughter, probably Marie.

StrangeMapsBlog has maps and history of the Cherokee nation...

He links to the UnivTexas map collection HERE.which has lots of CIA maps and historical maps.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

family news

The coup is over.
Local TV news crews were arrested, and lots of protests by the media.

Curfew tonite from midnite to 5 am...
the problem is that Chano is setting up for a trade fair, and they usually drive back late; we are hoping they stay there with Joy's sister for the night.

Another day, another coup attempt

But this one seems serious.
Trillianes, who is under indictment for a previous coup attempt but won election as a senator a couple months ago, walked out of a hearing about that coup attempt and was joined by other soldiers, and asked the people to join him to ask the president to resign. Some soldiers then took over a hotel in Makati.

Archbishop Cruz, a firebrand who is always protesting civil rights violations by the government and it's corruption, is backing Trillianes. No reports about the rest of the church or other churches.

A couple days ago, the latest attempt to impeach President Arroyo was blocked by her supporters in the Congress.

summary of ABSCBN etc: The head of the Army denies any major military rebellion; in the meanwhile troops are being sent to the Manila area to reinforce those in Manila (Many Military had been sent to other areas to help with the typhoon related emergencies).
The North and South Luzon expressways, the major highways, are having checkpoints set up and some roads in Makati (a business district) are now blocked by police.

ABS CBN website with updates is HERE.

Right now on TV the government spokesperople are talking about "rule of law"...and the opposition is saying sarcastically that the corruption and civil rights violations by the present government make the claim "rule of law" absurd.

Don't ask me.
I'm a Democrat and support Hillary.

Political bias? Nah

Just a link to my essay on pc at BNN...
In a similar vein, this essay at Spiked denies that art is left wing...: "...It sneers at the idea of meaning, truth, beauty and all that. In that sense, modern art is neither left-wing nor right-wing, because so much of it rejects the notion of truth and meaning, which must inevitably characterise any politics..."

Um, that is a Marxist interpretation of Art.
Aristotle, anyone? anyone?
What do they teach them in school these days?

Fairy Tales to go

Link is a site that has MP3 and text of children's stories to download.

Or you check this out (headsup Instapundit)

Sounds like an up to date version of THIS... more HERE...


Scottish Deep fried Pizza
they also have links to:

Scottish Deep-Fried Candy Bar *** Popular

At last a solution to social security deficits.

Deep-Fried Cheeseburger ***
We have now reached the confines of the Scottish Diet and enter Deep-Frying Hell. Yea who enter here, abandon all hope and come to behold this new wonder - the deep-fried cheeseburger.

Ah yes, But I'd die happy....

(headsup TheDebatableLandBlog via the Corner)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Ethiopian Arc

check link for history of an arc of the covenant that has been in Ethiopia for a couple thousand years.

Hardy Heron is coming...

I'm just getting used to Gutsy Gibbon, and now Ubuntu is planning to release Hardy heron...coming to a computer to you next April

Attack of the Brussel Sprouts

Your timewaster of the day from MsCellania
who has lots of other links...such as eccentric built castles HERE.

Philippine news

The supertyphoon zipped north, and no longer a problem, but the second typhoon (that had gone thru last week and turned 180 degrees back) is coming. Schools closed in Manila.

And there was a small earthquake yesterday...I only felt some vibrations, like a subway going underneath the ground...
They were out harvesting yesterday...Lolo was at the farm late in the afternoon...finishing the threshing...

Headlines below the fold

Remember the "oil for food (aka palaces) scandal? Neither does the press, but one Texas oilman was just sentenced for taking bribes...and one of these days someone will notice the French ELF connection...
Here's the BBC LINKS to some of the scandal:

Mohammed the Teddy Bear...the boy who named the toy after himself defends the teacher jailed for "insulting Mohammed"...

CQBlog discusses the end of the Iraq war...details at the NYSun news paper, since the Times has been weeks behind the blogs in reporting the good news on the ground.
And if the NYTimes is slow, Hollywood is so far behind they may go bankrupt doing "trendy" political films that will be out of date before their release date...

Next step: Afghanistan, which is getting bad again....

I'm anti pollution, but skeptical about the global warming hysteria...
This UN report wants money to help poor people, ignoring that much of it will go to bureaucrats or crooked government politicians...
Of course, you could just give a check to every one who is poor, but they'd just buy motorcycles, handplows, and tv sets with their checks...

But my favorite article is this one:

BRASILIA, Nov 27 (Reuters) - Unless the international community agrees to cut carbon emissions by half over the next generation, climate change is likely to cause large-scale human and economic setbacks and irreversible ecological catastrophes, a United Nations report says on Tuesday. don't have to actually do anything, you just have to sign a paper saying you agree, and voila, we've saved the planet....

But why worry about all that, when we've already doomed ourselves by simply looking at the universe? Read the ugly details at:
Honey, I've doomed the Universe

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Jetsons take three

Above link is to Nostalgia Manila's website, that links to the Jetson's cartoons... is the cartoon where Judy gets a slightly used Rosy on a trial offer so that they can entertain George's boss

Jetsons take two

check link for more photos...and here are the artists...Betty and Ron Manolio

Jetsons take one

We all know about Rosie, the Jetson's maid....
Well, welcome Emiew 2...

Unlike Rosy, Emiew 2 has some problems...

The red and white robot, designed to run errands in offices, wasn't prepared for the jam of lunch-break wireless network traffic at the company's research center. Unable to communicate with its handler's laptop, it smashed into the office furniture as reporters gasped.

Oh well, back to the drawing board...

Oh well, that's different

After an international outcry protesting the fact that a Saudi woman raped had been sentenced to 200 lashes and six months in jail, the Saudis now say she has "admitted" having an affair, and was therefore guilty of adultery.
Oh, that's different. Rant moved to BNN

The more efficient days of Christmas


The partridge will be retained, but the pear tree never turned out to be the cash crop forecasted. It will be replaced by a plastic hanging plant, thus providing considerable savings in maintenance.

The two turtle doves represent a redundancy that is simply not cost-effective. In addition, their romance during working hours could not be condoned. Their positions are therefore eliminated.

The three French hens will remain intact though they will now cluck in English with only the hint of an accent, thus reaching a broader market share audience.

The four calling birds were replaced by an automated voice mail system, with a call-waiting option. An analysis is underway to determine who the birds have been calling, how often, and how long they talked.

The five golden rings have been put on hold by the Board of Directors. Maintaining a portfolio based on one commodity could have negative implications for institutional investors. Diversification into other precious metals as well as a mix of T-Bills and high technology stocks seems to be in order.

The six geese-a-laying constitute a luxury which can no longer be afforded. It has long been felt that the production rate of one egg per goose per day is an example of the decline in productivity. Three geese will be let go, and an upgrading in the selection procedure by personnel will assure management that from now on every goose it gets will be a good one.

The seven swans a-swimming is obviously a number chosen in better times. Their function is primarily decorative. Mechanical swans are in order. The current swans will be retrained to learn some new strokes and, therefore, enhance their outplacement.

As is known, the eight maids-a-milking concept has been under heavy scrutiny by the EEOC. A male/female balance in the workforce is being sought. The more militant maids consider this a dead-end job with no upward mobility. Automation of the process may permit the maids to try a-mending, a-mentoring, or a-mulching.

Nine ladies dancing has always been an odd number. This function will be phased out as these individuals grow older and can no longer do the steps.

Ten lords-a-leaping is overkill. The high cost of lords plus the expense of international air travel prompted the compensation committee to suggest replacing this group with ten out-of-work congressmen. While leaping ability may be somewhat sacrificed, the savings are significant because there is an oversupply of unemployed congressmen this year.

Eleven pipers piping and twelve drummers drumming is a simple case of the band getting too big. A substitution with a string quartet, a cutback on new music, and no uniforms, will produce savings which will drop right down to the bottom line.

We can expect a substantial reduction in the number of assorted people, fowl, animals, and other expenses. Though incomplete, studies indicate that stretching deliveries over twelve days is inefficient. If we can drop-ship in a single day, service levels will be improved.

Action is pending regarding the lawsuit filed by the Attorney's Association seeking expansion to include the legal profession (thirteen lawyers a-suing).

Lastly, it is not beyond consideration that deeper cuts may be necessary in the future to stay competitive. Should that happen, the Board will request management to scrutinize the Snow White Division to see if seven dwarfs is the right number.

(The "Report from the North Pole" was forwarded to me some time ago and was actually written by Professor Victoria L. Sork of the Department of Biology at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.)


your email of the day from Col. UPdraft

Monday, November 26, 2007

Supertyphoon update

Thanks to a high pressure area in Asia, the supertyphoon stayed off the west coast and is heading north. It missed us.

The bad news is that the same high pressure area is pushing last week's typhoon back to the Philippines.

We can't win for losing.


Photo of the day

Your cute photo of the day from Tia Maria.

Family news

Yesterday we visited cousin Mading, who broke his hip. He's in Cabanatuan and the family is trying to decide if they can afford surgery or they will let it heal "normally" (impacted fracture of the ball of the hip). Of course, with the latter, it means two months in bed then a wheelchair.

Today we are going to Manila to try to fix my visa...I was permanent, but when we renewed my card, we didn't know we also had to renew the paperwork, so I have to start over.

So no blogging.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Close encounters

of the HelloKitty Kind...
yup that's kitty at the Macy's Thanksgiving day parade...

Medical news you can use

worms live longer if you feed them antidepressants.

Dave Barry's Gift selections

And don't forget to send all your friends in Minnesota THIS item:

And Inflatable Moose Head...

Typhoon update

It was supposed to hit south of us, but now it took a northward turn and should hit north of rain yet.

We have the first harvest in, but some fields won't be ready to harvest for another week or two....

Music for the Holiday season

Want to listen to beautiful choral music for the Christmas season, instead of the Chipmunk song?

Check the link....
And the Vatican has music downloads LINK
and LINK

To listen to classical music, try BBC

The daily classic download link at the left is a UK radio station that alas won't play in Asia.

Another classic music radio is Classic archives....and they have downloads at this site...loads of music, mostly of Russian orchestras...and a very low fee.

Christmas gift ideas

AmericanDigest has some tongue in cheek suggestions at link...only for those with a twisted R rated sense of humor

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Forget the FBI: The MPAA is spying on you

Hollywood is losing money, so they are going after college students who use peer to peer downloads...

And the Democrats are helping them do it, by putting it into a bill that mandates colleges to spy on students.
Bush spies on suspicious emails to prevent terrorism, and it's the front page. Harry Reid sponsors a bill mandating spying on college students, no problem.

The problem is not only that they will spy, but the WAPo computer geek notes that the program being offered "voluntarily" to colleges essentially allows hackers to break into the entire university network, since few of these networks have sophisticated firewall security to counteract the "feedback" part of the Hollywood program.

longer post at BNN...

Poultry jokes

While checking on the cull of 70,000 chickens in the UK for bird flu, I discovered the Would Poultry web page has a joke page:
All groaners.

Here's one for Thanksgiving:

Q.Why did the turkey cross the road?
A.To prove he wasn't a chicken.

Sent in by: Wayne Daggett (Ohio, USA)

Philippine news

Another day, another typhoon...will hit south of here, so no problem with the winds...but the rains are another problem...

The bad news is that it is moving very slowly, and it is the end of the harvest sesason here...and of course mudslides and flooding, with disease threats, are always a a precaution water was released from a dam in Bulacan, resulting in villages being flooded...

Our main problem here is problems with our pump (we have a private deep well) water again this morning. If worse comes to worse, we'll have to just hook up with the city water supply...

Invention of the day

Take your treefrog out for a quick flight....
(headsup DarkRoastedBlend).


(Caption: I'll add a picture a little later)
(Headsup GrouchyoldcrippleBlog)

Friday, November 23, 2007

Big stem cell breakthrough

Scientists in Univ Wisc and Japan figure out how to make adult cells go back to an embryonic state. It could eliminate the need for cloning.
The above link is to my BNN essay...

Recipes recipes....

Left over Turkey? Try these recipes.

Here in the Philippines, we had Shrimp this year.

Molasses cookies YUM...

And why have a dull ordinary round pecan pie, when you can have a GIANT FRACTAL PECAN PIE?

Or if you are tired of flat pies, how about a modular Pie cosahedron?

Thursday, November 22, 2007


There'll always be an England...

Until 1999, British nuclear weapons could be opened with a coin or ordinary screwdriver, and a common wrench....and forget having to enter a code...
Passwords? We don't need no stinkin' passwords....

The bomb is actually armed by inserting a cylindrical bicycle lock key into the arming switch and turning it through 90 degrees.

How to recharge your ipod

(headsup YummyWakame)

How to cook a turkey

The above link at cooking for engineers has a photo instruction on how to cook a turkey.
They stuff it with veggies, but I prefer to make stovetop stuffing...

The most interesting clue is that they advise to start cooking it upside down, and then rotate with every basting, so the drumsticks get adequately cooked while protecting the breasts from drying out.

The Athiest and the bear

An atheist was walking through the woods.
"What majestic trees"!
"What powerful rivers"!
"What beautiful animals"!
He said to himself.

As he was walking alongside the river, he heard a rustling in the bushes behind him.
He turned to look. He saw a 7-foot grizzly bear charge towards him.
He ran as fast as he could up the path. He looked over his shoulder & saw that the bear was closing in on him.

He looked over his shoulder again, & the bear was even closer. He tripped & fell on the ground. He rolled over to pick himself up but saw that the bear was right on top of him, reaching for him with his left paw & raising his right paw to strike him.

At that instant the Atheist cried out, "Oh my God!"

Time Stopped.
The bear froze.
The forest was silent.

As a bright light shone upon the man, a voice came out of the sky. "You deny my existence for all these years, teach others I don't exist and even credit creation to cosmic accident." "Do you expect me to help you out of this predicament? Am I to count you as a believer"?
The atheist looked directly into the light, "It would be hypocritical of me to suddenly ask you to treat me as a Christian now, but perhaps you could make the BEAR a Christian"?

"Very Well," said the voice.

The light went out. The sounds of the forest resumed. And the bear dropped his right paw, brought both paws together, bowed his head & spoke:
"Lord bless this food, which I am about to receive from thy bounty through Christ our Lord, Amen."
Your email of the day from Col. Updraft

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Family news

I slept most of the last 24 hours...will take a few days to get over jet lag but at least I am now awake.

The cat is pregnant, but the dog and puppies have now moved out of the bedroom (puppies are at the "cute but dirty" stage), and the watch dog Puti got out a couple times when Lolo went jogging and bit a bunch of people....none badly, just enough to ask us to pay for antibiotics etc.

And the cat or dog ate up my easy chair, my internet wire (I have to use wireless now) and Lolo's TV hearing earphones. Sigh.

Otherwise everything is okay.

Little women

Librivox has the audio book LITTLE WOMEN for download...

Time waster of the day

This is your mouse.

This is your mouse on drugs....

Headsup Sciblogs...

Good news...

Even the NYTimes has finally noticed the improvements in Baghdad...
And this AFP article says the same thing...locals rightly attribute it to the increased ability of the Iraqi government to stop the bad guys...which of course is true...but it helps both sides to know that the American's aren't pulling's sorta like keeping the US in South Korea for 50 years...just to remind the bad guys that if they try something the big 400 lb gorilla is still around...

Carolyn Glick of the Jerusalem Post has an article reprinted HERE...most of it is about stopping Iran from nuking her, but the important paragraph is about the WMD from Iraq, and whether or not that hushed up airstrike in Syria by Israel was to destroy them:

the head of the non-governmental International Intelligence Summit, John Loftus, released a report on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program... "The gist of the new evidence is this: Roughly one-quarter of Saddam's WMD was destroyed under UN pressure during the early to mid 1990s. Saddam sold approximately another quarter of his weapons stockpile to his Arab neighbors during the mid-to-late-1990's. The Russians insisted on removing another quarter in the last few months before the war. The last remaining WMD, the contents of Saddam's nuclear weapons labs, were still inside Iraq on the day when the coalition forces arrived in 2003. His nuclear weapons equipment was hidden in enormous underwater warehouses beneath the Euphrates River. Saddam's entire nuclear inventory was later stolen from these warehouses right out from under the Americans' noses."

Headlines below the fold

PhysOrg has lots of stuff today.

Did Noah's ark kickstart European farming?LINK
Global warming in 8000 BC is a warning for global warming in the near future..
Gender roles, not discrimination, the cause of women lagging behind men in science...sounds about right. If I never had kids or a husband, I would have had more time to "work"...luckily I always found jobs to juggle both...but of course I never earned as much as my classmates...

And more good news for moms: Fewer moms are dying in childbirth...
The cutting edge of Alzheimer's research is getting rid of the amyloid that kills brain cells...LINK...which is why the propaganda about embryonic stem cells curing Alzheimer's was just that: propaganda...
in the meanwhile, although the monkey clones were "virgin birth" and may not have the same ethical problems, another adult stem cell breakthrough suggests adult stem cells, which are cheaper and easier to get, could work as well...


The NYTimes has an article about take is HERE: it's not about helping families, but subsidizing large health care industries that provide care takers, while helping Hillary win the see, those who don't hire care takers but quit or cut back on work to care for the elderly themselves won't get the tax write off...


Carnagie Mellon Univ has evaluated a way to most efficiently find stories on the internet...

Top 100 blogs for unit cost case and population affected objective function

If I can read 100 blogs, which should I read to be most up to date?

Number one on the list of "news" blogs is Instapundit...the only other "top ten" for news I read is boingboing...nope, farc didn't get in the top ten...

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


Archie the cockroach

Archie, the poet cockroach...

And if you want to hear Garrison Keillor's narration of an Archie poem, listen HERE.

Mummy facts

go to link...

Herding cockroaches

coat a robot cockroach with a phrenome (sex hormone) and the other roaches will interact with the robot, and change their staying in the light so you can step on them instead of hiding in a dark crack where you have to use chemicals to kill the little roaches.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Stuff below the fold

Two longer rants I posted on BNN...

One is that the "80percent increase in Army desertions" is really only increasing the percentage from 0.7% to 0.9 %...both numbers under 1%...LINK

The other is about amazon's ebook...but instead I'm investing in a eeepc mini computer...but they are so hot it's on backorder, so Luke will check it out until one of the relalatives link brings it along.

Robin's family

Click on photo to go to webalbum..
Robin's Family

Headlines below the fold

I scanned the headlines, and they were full of politics. UGGH.

There was an earthquake near my son's town in colombia, but when I checked the earthquake site of the National Geological survey earthquake page only mentions the one near Ecuador but the IRIS site shows two: and has the one furthur north near the Colombia border...the areas are very rural and isolated villages in valleys, so no bad reports yet...

You can tell the US press has it's heart in the right place when Quinto playing Spock gets more headlines than two major South American earthquakes.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Have a green Christmas

All the puritans will be complaining about all that energy wasted on Holiday lighting

But just buy LED Christmas lights, and save money and energy.

What to do with a left over Iron

Don't throw out that left over Iron...or motorcycle.

Recycle it into a nice lamp...

Catholic joke of the day

Muldoon lived alone in the Irish countryside with
only a pet dog for company. One day the dog died,
and Muldoon went to the parish priest and asked,
'Father, me dog is dead. Could ya' be saying' a mass for the poor creature?'

Father Patrick replied, 'I'm afraid not; we cannot
have services for an animal in the church. But there
are some Baptists down the lane, and there's no tellin'
what they believe. Maybe they'll do something for the creature.'
Muldoon said, 'I'll go right away Father. Do
ya' think $5,000 is enough to donate to them for the service?'

Father Patrick exclaimed, 'Oh, that's different.
Why didn`t ya tell me the dog was Catholic?'

your email of the day from Col Updraft

Gift for air travelers

Why wait for the Xrays?

Buy one of these, and everyone can see you are carrying dangerous items such as Jack Daniels or ipods...

Tee Shirt of the day

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Bombing suspects killed/arrested?

police using a warrant for previous bombs raided a house in QC and ended up in a fire fight...there is a suspicion that the group was behind last week's bombing of the Pinoy Congresspeople.

cat brain

headsup Misscellanea

The new alternative drink

for Linux fans only....

.and for other Open Source Colas and recipes check HERE

How to make a G rated viagra commercial

From Saudi TV

Hollywood theives and the Hobbit

Entertainment weekly has a story about the Hobbit...Jackson has a feud about residual payments for LOTR; some of those defrauded are suing for money, but Jackson apparantly is suing for the right to audit their books...and the courts just fined New Line 100 thousand plus for not supplying the books.

The excuse is, of course, that the hits profits are taken to offset the loses, but the stars and producers get paid up front, even if it's not a hit....which is why stars and directors will get paid for making lousy anti American propaganda films

About the only good news is that it might lead to writers/directors being willing to make and distribute movies using the new technology.

discusses how the "silicon valley" model might work for distribution, which is the "bottleneck" that keeps people in the studio system.


People have been enjoying chocolate for more than 3,000 years—about 500 years earlier than previously believed, according to a new study.

Researchers also think that chocolate was discovered by accident—when Central American Indians making beer from the pulp of cacao seedpods found a new use for a byproduct of that process.

So, if you love chocolate, thank the ancient beermakers for discovering how to ferment cacao beans to make delicious chocolate...

And HERE are instructions to make your own chocolate beer...
or just buy it from Sam Adams

Ten best family games

TeenyManolo has a list of the ten best family games...

Scrabble, Monopoly, etc.

Yes fashion can be beautiful

The Anchoress links to a site of bridal saris as an example of beautiful fashions.

Even the website's "casual wear" is more beautiful (and more chaste) than the plain jane stuff we women are forced to buy----->

In Asia, we have both Indian channels and FashionTV. Along with anorexic and weird European fashions, sometimes it shows fashions from Asia. So instead of geometrical tight and slutty fashion, we have an opportunity to see feminine fashion at it's best...

One way to drape a sari is found HERE

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Philippine bomb probably terrorism

ABS CBN reports the bombs killing 4, including 2 congresspersons, was hidden on a motorcycle, surrounded by nails and set off by a carphone: All the marks of an Alqaeda bomb. They've been worried about this for awhile, since alqaeda trained JI terrorists from Indonesia have been instructing locals to make these bombs...and at least one such bomb making factory was destroyed by Philippine security last year.

CBS News: Combat veterans suicide expose misuses statistics

CBS has an "expose" on veterans suicide....the headline blares: Suicide epidemic among veterans...suicide rate of veterans is twice that of other Americans...

The problem is that it simply is not true.

Suicide is a terrible problem, and suicides are higher in those suffering from post traumatic stress syndrome and combat fatigue...but what disturbs me is that the analysis is poorly done.
My full analysis is on BNN where you can find all the nice references,but in summary

1) they compare veteran (mainly males) suicide data (suicide rate 18-20 per 100 000 population) to the general population (suicide rate of 11)...but a better comparison would be to the suicide rate of males ( 17)
By using the general population, the low suicide rate in females (4.6) distorts the picture.

2) by not defining who is a veteran in their data, the data might include those who never were in combat, or the elderly, whose suicide rate is much higher.
If the statistics on veterans come from the VA, we might see a different problem: the VA has an extensive mental health program, using VA statistics might artificially increase the statistics, since their population would be sicker medically and psychiatrically than those veterans who never used and never needed the VA system and were lost to follow up.

3) the only combat veteran group from Iraq whose statistics they cite is veterans from 45 states from age 20 to 25, where they cite a high rate of 22-31.

The problem is that many who serve in Iraq are older than this...the average age of National Guard members in Iraq is actually why do they highlight this age group? And are the numbers high enough to be statistically valid?

We don't know, because they never bother to give us the statistical analysis.
And they don't bother to inform you of the military's suicide prevention program, nor that Bush just signed a bill to increase VA funding for suicide prevention...

This is good news, since suicide is an ongoing problem in combat veterans, and it's just too early to tell how bad the problem will be. So yes, inform the public, but stop distorting statistics to "prove" veterans are all helpless victims. The suicide statistics do not prove that they are much worse off than their stay at home brethren.

And FYI: The suicide rate in doctors is between 28 an 40....higher than that cited by CBS for the younger, most vulnerable combat veterans.

Cartoon of the day

via Misscellania...

Headlines below the fold

Congressman from Basilan killed by a remote control take HERE.

Manila is on high alert....
But I'm on visiting Robin in Tennessee, so not in any danger...

Hicks nix peacenix pix...
Screenwriter Roger Simon explains: if you are an SOB, you make a self righteous movie to prove you have your heart in the right place.

Violence in Baghdad down...Ralph Peters comments on how OJ in on the front page again...

Malaysia is going to make an Islamic car that includes a compass that points to Mecca...
Top Ten Other Features of Proton's New "Islamic Car":

10. Infidel-resistant fenders
9. Sensor warns if car is about to enter drive-through at Taco Bell
8. Extra-long seat belt to accommodate burqa
7. Horn plays two bars of Scheherazade
6. A feature patterned after OnStar calls CAIR and The New York Times in case of emergency
5. Special Saudi model keeps women in back seat
4. Warranted for six years/72 virgins
3. Will not start during Ramadan
2. Absolutely no plans for a hybrid
1. Self-destructs upon entering Jewish neighborhoods

See your dealer today. (Suggested by LGF.)

from Dustbury

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Madeline's poster

This is the poster from madeline a couple years ago..
Madeline Lathroum, 10, took first place for Navy entrants.

"I just thought of it, drawing a carrier when my dad was (deployed to) Hawaii," Madeline said about her entry. "I was surprised. I didn't think I'd win."

Her dad, Navy Cmdr. John Lathroum, was pleased his daughter received the award.

"I just think it's really nice that something like this gives her a bit of positive feedback on something she really loves to do," Lathroum said.

Oy veh, am I having a bad hair day!

More photos at above link and at the Micropolitan Museum


SCRATCH AND SNIFF Tutti Fruiti wallpaper...

They also sell pretty pink raincoats for your dog...somehow I don't think Puti would put up with this...

Craft item of the day

A glowing ice ball...

(headsup Scienceblogs)

Saudi fashion show

Hollywood notes

Hollywood's anti American propaganda films are tanking at the box office, but the IHT has the back story of Hollywood corruption behind the writer's strike...

Essentially, the stars and producers/directors get money no matter what (often with profits from different hit movies), and the rest of those working for the industry get a pittance even if the story is a hit....

Reminds me of Joseph Wambaugh who said he preferred working as a cop with ordinary thieves than with the Hollywood types.

Happy Veteran's day

And some are grateful for their work:

(Host) Sheik Ahmed Abu Risha spoke through a translator. He said his province has overcome terrorists and insurgents.

(Abu Risha) (voices shift back and forth from Arabic to English) ``Today in this state ... we present this victory ... to the families of the victims of the soldiers in Iraq ... and specifically express our appreciation to the state of Vermont.'' ...
(Host) James Soriano is a State Department official traveling with the Iraqi delegation. He says the sheik keeps a memento of the Vermonters' service.

(Soriano) ``And I said to him, `And you know we're going to go to the state of Vermont.' ... And, he said, `Vermont?' He said `There was a Vermont military unit which was stationed here in the Ramadi area.' He rose from his chair and went over to the shelf and pulled off the shelf a plaque, signed by the colonel and the sergeant-major, in the shape of the state of Vermont. He still had it on display."

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Wife abuser dies, literery establishment sighs...

Norman Mailer, why by the time I was an adult was best known for trying to kill his wife and for being stoned all the time, has died.
Full rant at BNN

Blond joke of the day


Reading asignment for today

Austin Bay has a story about meeting a LtCol in an airport, and about those who understand...

And I agree, not because Lolo is a veteran, or even because John is back in the Gulf...but because those who bomb markets and kill civilians in Mindanao, Afghanistan, or Baghdad need to be destroyed....

And the dirty little secret that I learned as a missionary in Africa is that they kill civilians because they can...why risk your life killing a soldier when you can kill a nun or a teacher or school kids who can't shoot back, and feel like a hero?

And the irony is that the same "peace and liberation" types that funded the "freedom fighters" who killed Sister Rita and 37 other of my fellow missionaries now ignore the human rights atrocities of the regieme they essentially put into place, while going on and feeling "self righteous" about their Bush hatred.

end of rant

Gift Item of the day

I Heart Plush guts...and lungs...and kidneys..

Sign of the day

Saturday, November 10, 2007

The Five Scariest Downloads

LINK... hairdressing salon!

Chuck Norris Widget!...

Right now, I'm using my grandson Luke's Macbook, so catch the video re the difference between Mac and Windows...

AGHHH the bluescreen of death vs the beachball of death...

of course, at home I use Gutsy Gibbon, so nyahnyahnyah...

LOTR origami



and for all those Ron Paul fans out there, This shows you how to make a Guy Fawkes Mask...


Heh. NYT might actually get it

At a Catholic summer camp, Kelly was struck by the reverence of the Latin Mass.

“It’s quiet,” she said. “People are paying attention. In the English Mass, it’s noisy. There are babies crying. But here people are completely focused on God.”

My take's not Latin per se but the "whoppie for us" versions of the modern mass that drive Catholics into other churches.

Quote of the day

Philosophy has several branches, but on one tree. The good, the true, and the beautiful can be distinguished, and to some degree isolated in the foreground. Yet in the background they coalesce. We speak of the beauty of a moral act, and everyone knows what that means, including those who deny that they know. We speak of “truth to nature” in a drawing, and say that a song is “good.” Each virtue points towards a convergence, where “the fire and the rose are one.”

The question of how to live can never be reduced to law and politics. There is also, to be urgently considered, the question of beauty. Our “machine for living” cannot be very efficient, if it is ugly, and especially if it excludes the possibility of moral, ethical, and aesthetic beauty.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Family News

I will be flying to Robin's today.

Yahoo email is down, so if you need to contact me, send an extra copy to this blog's email address.

Fishing can be dangerous

MANILA (Reuters) - A powerful explosion ripped through a residential village south of the Philippine capital Manila on Thursday, killing four people and wounding two, police said.

Fidel Posadas, police chief in Cavite province, said a large cache of dynamite stored in one of the houses in Bacoor town likely caused the blast but investigators were still trying to find out what set it off.

Illegal dynamite fishing still occurs in the Philippines and along the Cavite coastline.

Dynamite fishing is illegal, of course...but with the large coastline it still is used.
Not only does it destroy the coral reef, but as this explosion shows, it is dangerous...


HTML Earrings......Buy them at Etsy, of course...