Friday, February 29, 2008

Voytek, the Bear hero

Adopted by fleeing Polish soldiers, an Iranian honey bear was adopted and taken with them to England...

His shining moment came in April 1944 during the battle of Monte Cassino. ...

The 22nd Transport Company was charged with moving supplies up and down the mountainside. During the battle, Voytek is said to have walked up to his commanding officer and put out his paws. The officer handed him a "heavy box and watched in wonder as Voytek loaded it effortlessly onto the truck. Backwards and forwards he continued, time and time again, carrying heavy shells, artillery boxes and food sacks from truck to truck, from one waiting man to another." The monastery was taken at last taken and Voytek became the symbol of the 22nd Company. It even made an emblem in his likeness.

Headsup ConservativehistoryJournal.

The hype versus the reality of anti depressants

There's a lot of stuff pointing out that double blind studies don't show a difference in treating with anti depressants and no medicine.

But the studies are done on mild to moderate depression, both of which often respond to TLC (tender loving care) and tincture of time.

However, for people with severe depression, the drugs do help.

First of all, population studies in teens show a drop of suicides after docs started using antidepressants for them, and now after the "Black box" warning has gone on these medicines, and fewer pills are given out, the suicide rate is increasing.

Second, these studies weren't in the real world, where HMO's often insist doctors see 35 patients a day, so who has time to talk? Voila, pills please....but a good doc will give the pill, order tests, and do a couple follow up visits. No pill, the patient doesn't feel better...and may not come back.

Third: the anti depressants make you feel 'normal' not "happy", so how do you measure that in a study?

...full rant at BNN

I just got a tape on this.

First Kiss

your email of the day from TiaMaria

Time out site of the day

The Sacred Space website is a good place for a short "time off" to relax you and put things into perspective.

The Spratlys deal

Ricky Carandang follows the China

Manuel QuezonIII has more HERE.

Far Eastern Economic review HERE.

Global Security has background HERE.

More from IHTribune...:

Summary: there is oil/gas off the coast of Viet Nam in the Spratlys...and everyone nearby wants did the Philippines exchange their claims (and help push out the Vietnamese) for development loans badly needed by the Philippines?

...Not my area of expertise so I hope I got that right...

Headlines below the fold

Drudge does it again: Prince Harry in Afghanistan...
GatewayPundit has lots of links.

FARC releases 4 hostages.
Publicity stunt, of least 700 more to go...probably a couple thousand if you include kidnappings for money only.

The ever chipper Neal Cavuto points out that Hillary's campaign isn't as dead as the pundits claim...but then he relies on the actual numbers, not the hype.

Who does Code Pink call on for help when someone they verbally attack starts hitting back? The US Marines, of course.

When the wind stops sweeping down the plain:
The problem with windpower:
Of course, any farmer with a windmill pump for his ponds could have warned them about that. History of windmills HERE...

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Shroud of Turin update

According to the UK Telegraph, The Oxford lab that did the Carbon dating on the Shroud of Turin now says: WHOOPS...that even 2percent contamination could put the dates off....maybe as much as 1000 years...

This 2004 BBC article discusses the controversy. And HERE is the shroud's "official" website.

The Catholic church has never had an official opionion...some say it's a miracle, others a fraud...and the arguments go back to the day it was stolen and brought back to Europe. Me, I don't know. I "enjoy" stories of miracles and stuff but feel caring for the poor and your family is a bit more important than "proving" a relic.

(headsup MysteriousUniverseBlog)

Garbage art Award of the day

Want to guess what it is?
A baptismal font surrounded by phallic symbols?
No it's a pulpit...and alas, it's located in one of the loveliest churches of Christendom.

The Cranky Professor

This pulpit at the front of the cathedral in Pisa may be the worst piece of 20th century religious art I've ever seen - and I've seen some doozies!... To make matters worse, it's within yards of one of the lovelier pulpits, by Giovanni Pisano from around 1300. .. What were they thinking? Oh, well - it looks like it will be easy to remove, someday.

This site
has more photos of the church...and for obvious reasons, the new pulpit isn't included in their photos, perhaps because it's an art website.

Politics politics


McCain was born in the Panama Canal Zone (back then, a US Territory, not a foreign country) where his father was stationed with the Navy....nevertheless, the NYTimes is questioning if McCain can be president...
"the founders first set quill to parchment and declared that only a “natural-born citizen” can hold the nation’s highest office."

So does the Times mean any military brat or diplomat's kid can't become president?
What's next? Denying that people born by Caesarian section are ineligible, because they weren't "natural born", but "from (their) mother's womb untimely ripped"?.

And things aren't much better here...
For what it's worth, the Pinoy bloggers are having a blogswarm...


Miscellaneous news

I've updated my blog's atom feed to rss via feedburner. It seems that feeds were only posting the headlines.

I don't know if the problem is fixed, but it works in my bloglines.

If it works, my posts will cross feed to Prepys blog.

Download of the day

Grace Livingston Hill's sentimental G rated novels are now at Project Gutenburg.

(to male readers: It's a girl thing).

Ralphie has a blog

I couldn't find Ralph Nader's presidential website, but his organization has a blog, and it brings up a lot of stuff that the press should be covering but isn't. (e.g. coal mine safey and work accident prevention).

However, as a former Federal Employee, I raised my eyes at this:

...hundreds of billions each year of federal government contracts, grants, leaseholds and licenses given to corporations to run our government, exploit our taxpayer assets and lay waste to efficient, responsive public services.

There are arguments about lack of oversight when public services are privatized, but the reason for outsourcing is that the private sector is more efficient and much more responsive to public pressures...that's why a lot of tribes have privatized their tribal clinics and services from the IHS...
But again, it is an issue that hasn't been covered much in the MSM....

Medical Headlines below the fold

Bill Buckley has died. I rarely agreed with him but he could make a point and reading him expanded your vocabulary.

WSJ article on how drug laws scare doctors. So our cancer patients should suffer because their daughter/cousin/kid's friend stole their oxycontin, ground it up, injected it and overdosed?

EAT EGGS! LOSE WEIGHT! Louisiana State University found that by giving two eggs a day for breakfast, overweight and obese women lost more weight than women eating a similar breakfast without eggs. ..(because of ) the satiating quality of eggs..
Good news: PrimeGen claims they have produced an improved adult stem cell that is less prone to tumor formation.
The bad news: they've exaggerated claims before, and scientists are still awaiting details in this one.

Was Alqaeda involved in the Anthrax letters? If so, why so little US coverage? I'll have to google about this one...

The "we're all gonna die" headline of the day:
Automated killer robots 'threat to humanity': expert

Another threat to mankind: Killer lightbulbs.

Guess we'll have to go back to candles.
But this could be a real problem: Yellow Fever outbreak in Paraguay.
There also have been some cases in Brazil...

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

England swings like a pendulum do

an earthquake in England?

Who wudda thot?

Trivia for today

The "smart card" used to ride the London rail service is called an Oyster card.

according to Wikipedia:
Oyster was conceived and subsequently promoted because of the metaphorical implications of security and value in the component meanings of the hard bivalve shell and the concealed pearl. Its associations with London through Thames estuary oyster beds and the popular idiom 'the world is your oyster' were also significant factors in its selection as was the uniqueness of the word Oyster.

And, of course, don't forget to carry your oyster card in your

Genuine Sanrio Hello Kitty Oyster Card, BusPass Holder

Fried Brain Oyster shooters

No, I didn't name it...

It's a mixture of vodka, tobasco sauce, and one oyster.

If that doesn't fry your brain nothing will.


Chano made some seafood chowder when we visited Baguio (with all the Koreans and Japanese tourists there, it's easier to buy seafood than in our Palenke).

Recipes here...

and here's how to shuck an oyster:

Download of the day

Eight Cousins is on Librivox for download at link.

And for those who preferred the Annie Coleman reading of Anne of Green Gables: after a long hiatus, Ms. Coleman is releasing more podcast chapters.
And she is engaged to be married...go over and give her a congratulations.

and no, she is not wearing one of her super duper knit hats to be married in...


Headlines below the fold

Will Gloria stonewall the growing allegations? Who knows? My summary here, although I probably simplified it too much.

Kuya is pro Gloria, Lolo is against Gloria, and I'm for Hillary.

big headlines on CNNI is that the NYPhilharmonic is playing in North Korea...
Don't get old in Boston: the PC Medical Ethicists in Boston are proposing we don't give to simple antibiotics to the senile...but ignore the nursing is more important than rant on BNN

Henry Kissinger speaks bluntly to the (anti American German magazine) Das Spiegel...LINK

Another terrorist dead: Dulmatin, who helped kill 200 people, both Aussies and local Hindu Indonesians, in the Bali Bombing, was confirmed dead. Someone is ten million bucks richer.


Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Abomination of the day

A Pennsylvania joke...
Cleaned up scrapple recipes HERE and HERE...
The real way they prepare it is found HERE (scroll down)

Schoenborn on Evolution

CSPAN book TV has Schoenborn's lecture on the compatibility of faith and science.

A lot of the evolution wars confuse science, a method of finding the truth, with scientism, the philosophy that assumes that only science can explain everything. If scientism is true, then poetry, symbolism, love, the arts, etc are false, and the real danger is that since science does not tell one the reason for life and death, scientism quickly degenerates into Social Darwinism and utility and eugenics as "scientific" guides to how one should live.

David Warren discusses the same topic HERE, and worries about it's implications in politics:

that “science and science alone” (note the singular) explains everything that can or should be known. That is to say, the worldview in which “science” is openly substituted for religion, and the sciences (plural) are thereby opened to corruption, to regulation and censorship, to serving the agendas of various smelly little orthodoxies. And I get my evidence in email every day, from correspondents both Left and Right in politics and cranial disposition, on subjects ranging from evolution to world climate: drooling subservience to anyone who has donned the priestly mantle of “science.”

Flute history

8000 year old Chinese flutes...

Fragments of thirty flutes were discovered in the burials at Jiahu and six of these represent the earliest examples of playable musical instruments ever found. The flutes were carved from the wing bone of the red-crowned crane, with five to eight holes capable of producing varied sounds in a nearly accurate octave..... Chinese myths known from nearly 6,000 years after the flutes were made tell of the cosmological importance of music and the association of flute playing and cranes.

Is Hollywood out of touch?

Except for the rat movie, no one saw any of the movies that won, and since nobody cared, no one watched the overlong Oscars show.

Medical link of the day

Dave Barry is promoting Colonoscopies to detect cancer. His latest link is the above oldie but goodie but not work safe video.

Gift item of the day

A SpongeBobSqarePants Rectal thermometer
Product and packaging image of Musical SpongeBobâ„¢ Digital Thermometer

Plays "SpongeBob SquarePants Theme" at the end of temperature taking

Headsup davebarry
Headsup the corner

Anthropology of Obama

The acid tongued Spengler of the Asia Times analyzes Obama's anti American roots.

Obama profiles Americans the way anthropologists interact with primitive peoples. He holds his own view in reserve and emphatically draws out the feelings of others; that is how friends and colleagues describe his modus operandi since his days at the Harvard Law Review, through his years as a community activist in Chicago, and in national politics. Anthropologists, though, proceed from resentment against the devouring culture of America and sympathy with the endangered cultures of the primitive world. Obama inverts the anthropological model: he applies the tools of cultural manipulation out of resentment against America. The probable next president of the United States is a mother's revenge against the America she despised.

I don't agree with Spengler (who hates everybody) but he brings up some interesting points and is always worth reading.

Map of the day

I knew National Geographic has a photo of the day on their website,

But now they have the Map of the day's is an old map of Korea.

other maps you may need to check are the earthquake map

Want to go paranoid LINK is a map of all the emergencies in the world. Today the only Philippine emergency is a minor flood in Leyte...but in South America, there are four volcanos perculating, and Galeras is at level two again...

But the weirdest Map page is StrangeMapsBlog.
A lot of the maps come with the history of why they were made. For example, today's map is Thomas Jefferson's 1787 proposed division of areas west of the Appalachans but east of Spanish Louisiana into states.

Headlines below the fold

an article from Nat Geo about The God Particle:

Scariest line of the article:
The people running the LHC aren't in a rush to talk about all the things that can go wrong, perhaps because the public has a way of worrying that mad scientists will accidentally create a black hole that devours the Earth.

and don't miss these other links from JGoldberg at the ones:

New Scientist has five great Auditory Illusions.

How to Crochet Oreo Cookies.

Treat your tummy to a yummy tapeworm! Each 19" long, 65 gram gummy parasite has a crisp green apple flavor. Yummy Tummy Tapeworm

Video of a Karate chop in slow motion.
Worth re-visiting: Monty Python - Four Yorkshiremen.

and from ABSCBN: your headline of the day:

Search for biggest kalabasa, longest talong

no, it's not what you think: It's a contest for the largest vegetable in LaUnion...

Monday, February 25, 2008

family news

We just got back from two days "vacation" in Baguio...will resume posting later when I get some sleep and stop being angry about spending hours sitting in the car while my step son did business...

Saturday, February 23, 2008

She proved she could do it, but he only says he something

(headsup DrSanity)

Yum! Sauerkraut Cake

She also has a cake made from redbeets.

The blog is devoted to "old" know, making stuff from scratch like great grandmom did?

KhymosBlog has a photo, and another sauerkraut cake recipe which comes from THIS cookbook (Hint: he claims chocolate mixed with the caraway in the sauerkraut makes it taste remember to use real German sauerkraut, not the lousy canned stuff).

Another retro recipe link HERE...curry cake. The curry adds a tang and color to white cake...

(Headsup Epicurious)

Headlines below the fold

Who needs bird flu when Texans can't keep bad bugs safe in their laboratories?

Employees being exposed to TB, HIV, and anthrax might be a normal hazard of the work, but throwing out a mouse with Qfever? Ordinary incompetence...but what about failure to report to the CDC when a worker came down with Brucellosis does make one wonder...

Geneticist Ray Wu died...he invented a way to sequence DNA...

Wu's group used the novel genetic engineering techniques they developed to insert foreign genes into rice; the idea was to improve yields of cereal crops in the developing world. A technique he developed in 2002 for producing high-yield rice resistant to environmental factors such as drought, salinity and insect attack is now being developed for commercial use, Cornell geneticist Susan McCouch told the Los Angeles Times. "Where rice is grown, everyone knows Ray Wu," she said.

Robert Jastrow of NASA has also died..

Cinametographer David Watkins has died...The visual beauty of the film Out of Africa and other films has been compared to Vermeer...


For Ubuntu geeks waiting for Hardy Heron to be released n April, just remember, Intrepid Ibex is waiting in the wings...October will concentrate on mobile web access...

Want to know what's an Ibex? LINK...want to hunt one? Try the New Mexico mountains...

Friday, February 22, 2008

Deadly Delicacies

the most dangerous delicacy is the Japanese delicacy, the Fugu fish...

BUT number three is the lowly Casava root...

VERY dangerous if not prepared correctly.

That explains the helicopters

The US/Philippine war games are going on....and a lot of them are up here at FtMagsaysay...
Which means the noisy AI and helicopters are flying over our house.

The Philippine Special Forces teach them jungle survival skills:

The next day about 100 U.S. National Guard Soldiers maneuvered through thick jungle brush to eat wild leaves and insects. They quenched their thirst with a little king cobra blood, enhancing their jungle survival skills Feb. 19 at the Philippine Army Special Forces School at Fort Ramon Magsaysay.

and they will be holding medical clinics and bringing supplies for local schools in the rural areas.

The New Mexico National Guard is there...

Their unit was invited by MG Donald Goldhorn, the adjutant general of the Guam Guard, to participate in the exercise because of their WW II historic ties to the Philippines.

Soldiers from the New Mexico Guard were involved in the defense of the Bataan peninsula and also in the Bataan Death March in World War II.

Medical news you can use

Dave Barry on Colonoscopies:Andy explained the colonoscopy procedure to me in a thorough, reassuring and patient manner. I nodded thoughtfully, but I didn't really hear anything he said, because my brain was shrieking, quote, ``HE'S GOING TO STICK A TUBE 17,000 FEET UP YOUR BUTT!''


Thursday, February 21, 2008

Music to wake you up

Band has an original name...the big guns. duh. but the rifts are great...if you like Springsteen...

Gift Item of the day

A cat purse.

And the artist has a blog HERE.

Headlines below the fold

If the US gets another republican president, it serves the left right for abandoning Hillary. And Obama's advisors suggest he would be another Carter...or McGovern...
My screed here.

McCain must be making the MSM nervous...they are writing about a possible romance he may have had eight years ago...

Heck, just sowing his youthful oats. At 71 he's probably settled down a bit since then....


FINEX calls for "closure" on the scandals...which scandals? Take your pick:

In a paid ad in the Philippine Daily Inquirer, FINEX said President Arroyo should resolve the controversies hounding her administrating including the fertilizer fund scandal, the "Hello Garci" wiretapping scandal, the distribution of cash gifts in Malacañang, the ZTE, Cyber-Education and the North and South Rail projects.

And next: the big guns.
The bishops are holding a mass on Sunday.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Sawyer nickname Generator

Conspiracy theories

Yes, we saw "National Treasure"

Military History podcast mp3 here discusses Lincoln's assasination:

Podcast of the week

If you like to hear about knitting/crochet discussions, YarnCraft has a podcast.

But first, Liz and Zontee tell us about their latest projects including an adorable Pirate Pal, some fun amigurumi animals, and a couple of cowls.

Kate talks about the themes of the book, including how knitting metaphor is a metaphor for life and the meaning and importance of true friendship. She also shares her own favorite knitting projects and discusses what knitting has meant to her personally through the years. Learn more about Kate’s work on

Craft item of the day

Lesson 2: Skunk to knit or crochet

How to knit

Link has lots of links and videos to learn to knit.

Myself, I prefer to crochet...

For Linux users, try the arigurumi Penguin
(more arigurumi animals here)

Knowing how to knit or crochet comes in handy when you are on a twelve hour airplane flight...or sitting in a long boring medical lecture...

Obama in Indonesia

An American Expat in IndonesiaBlog reports on local news coverage of Obama in Indonesia, including clips from the TV there.


Obama studied at a both a Catholic grade school (where he was registered under his stepfather's name and listed as a Muslim) and then a secular public school (which like most countries includes religion classes), not a madrass...but did attend prayer services at a moque with his father/grandfather. ...

The Obama mania of the press reports I see from here make me wonder if anyone is really voting about the issues.

I mean right now withdrawing will mean massacres, not peace...and I marvel that the Democrats will again pick an extreme left wing demagogue over a better qualified and more experienced Hillary.

Pakistan election stuff

BillRoggio reports that both Musharref and the Taliban lost, and Bhutto's party won.

Check link for analysis.

I found this part sounds familiar:
The reins of the party were turned over to her husband Asif Ali Zardari, who faced charges of corruption for embezzling $1.5 billion during Bhutto’s time as prime minister...

So for all those who assume women will clean up the mess in politics, it's probably true. They won't be corrupt...they'll let hubby do the dirty work.

Photo for Col Updraft

lolcats funny cat pictures have snow and ice and 18degrees (-7 Centigrade).

We are balmy and sunny...

Headlines below the fold

More rumors on sabotage of the internet in the Middle East, but no new facts. My summary HERE.

Cher Ami, the pigeon that saved 200 men...

Short on cash? Need an airforce? Try a Cessna with a hellfire missile...

New contraption allows professors to spy on students to make sure they are taking notes and not IM their friends. My screed here.

In my day, we had a class "note taker" and a lot of kids just skipped class and read the notes.

And of course, in some progressive universities, now you can just download the podcast instead.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Quantum Forest

This image captured in German labs by Thorsten Dziomba, shows GeSi quantum dots -- a mere 15 nanometers high and 70 nanometers in diameter.

Lego video of the day

turn up speakers and enjoy!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Medical news you can use

Biggest Medical story that is ignored: The large decrease in deaths and disease from the pneumonia vaccine for kids

The adult vaccine is simple, but children didn't produce an immune response below age 2, so they "conjugated" it by combining it to another disease antigen...and voila, antibodies...

Prevnar seems to be working, as the graph shows.

And of course here comes the paranoia: Worries it will cause an epidemic of diabetes..or resistant diseases...or that other vaccines given at the same time won't work as well...

WaPost reports: "stress" increases the rate of Cervical cancer. or maybe not...if you read the article, it's the perception of stress that seems to do it...

No mentioned: promiscuity is associated with an increased rate of Cervical cancer...and promiscuity is more common in girls with low self esteem/poor coping mechanisms.

We docs are seeing more and more cervical cancer in very young women including teen agers...a lot more than we saw 40 years ago...but fewer deaths thanks to pap smears.

Normal married women do get cervical cancer,but at a much lower rate, and at a much later age: the average age is 40...and women with a single circumcized male partner have even a lower rate.
Finally, a cure for obesity:

Diet and exercize
...well, duh, even Hippocrates knew that...
One problem with the influenza virus is that it changes antigens (the coating of the virus particle that antibodies can attack...if the antigen changes, the vaccine doesn't work).
This seems to be happening this year....the shot only protected against 40 percent of the disease...and although Tamiflu still works, the virus is now resistant to other anti flu medicines


In my spare time, I'm trying to study up on history, and I have only a vague idea of the one thousand year "clash of civilizations" between Orthodox Christianity and Islam....but the Russians remember...

the link is to BoingBoing, and reminds us that some people still remember history....

Headlines below the fold

Green police alert!
Now they are trying to outlaw...bottled water...

Sixty things worth shortening your life for...

It's one of the biggest censorships of history. So, I thought somebody should say this, and then others might disagree, say, "Ahhh, this could not be! This is blasphemy!" But it's OK — this is the 21st century. It's time for information. It's time for communication. They can go check it out.

Yup. Easter is coming, and the "debunking Jesus" article of the year will be...the Muslim screed here.
Toledo mayor who dissed the US Marines is heckled by the public.


Minnesotans for Global Warming

well, after all, if it wasn't for global warming, Minnesota would still be under a 200 foot glacier.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Farms in the Ancient Amazon

More rewriting of history, with more findings about agriculture 11 000 years ago in South America.

I first read about it HERE, but the Freepers have a discussion and link to other articles.

Daily Japan Photo

For those who like beautiful photos, go to Japan Daily photo Blog...

Today's photo:

HandTowel, the Superhero

The lowly heated Japanese hand towel has now evolved into a superhero...

And unlike James Bond, he prefers lager Beer...

Flash film HERE
Oshibori Art museum HERE

(headsup Tokyotimesblog)

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Craft item of the day

What could be more fun than your own Loch Ness monster? Measuring about 9" from head to tail, Nessie is made of Peace Fleece wool/mohair blend. This pattern works up in a couple hours and is good for advanced-beginner crocheters.

Link is to the pattern.

Nessie RIP

LEGENDARY Nessie hunter Robert Rines is giving up his search for the monster after 37 years....

Despite having hundreds of sonar contacts over the years, the trail has since gone cold and Rines believes that Nessie may be dead, a victim of global warming.

(headsup Silent running)

Gift item of the day

A plush spaceman named Kyle..
Or if you prefer a Jesse the Body Ventura type plush doll for your baby, there is Baz Morley...

KimChee in SPACE

SEOUL (AFP) - A specially engineered version of kimchi, South Korea's beloved pickle dish, has been cleared for a historic space mission this year, officials said Wednesday.

The bacteria-free kimchi, developed by top Korean scientists, will blast off along with the country's first astronaut

And if you want instructions on how to make it, TigersAndStrawberriesBlog tells you how.
And keep some on hand to treat birdflu...

Indie's back...

Attention Homeland Security

While you are busy x raying shoes and confiscating mother's milk, you are ignoring the danger of...

Mayonaise firebombs.

(headsup Dave Barry)

Friday, February 15, 2008

Gift Item of the day

Genuine Samurai dog armor

The Journey of Mankind

The link is to the latest theories of how mankind has populated the earth...

A flash program of the last 150thousand years or so.

Includes the theory that during times of climate change, small refuges allowed some people to survive the depopulation cause by a supervolcano eruption and ice ages.

Film HERE. (but it costs money).

(headsup FreeRepublic poster Blam)

Headlines below the fold

The NYTimes reports that "religious parties" in tribal Pakistan are floundering...not because they are religious, but because they are incompetent...

The Manila Times
makes a similar argument against trying to remove Gloria: Corruption won't improve(note: so far, there is no proof that GMA was behind the present scandals), and she is able to run a good economy....

In the US, it seems that no one is talking about competency, merely about likability, and Obama is wowing them like a rock star, and the girls are fainting in the aisles....

But Al Franken is being found too mean spirited for Minnesota...Ahyup.


Origami Rose

The link has five pages of instructions to make an origami rose for your loved one.

Or you can make a French Lilly with your serviette(napkin) and place it on her plate as a hint to how you feel about her...


Beware the dragon!

Joseph Wu's creation at the Origami Masters Exhibition held at the Pendulum Gallery (HSBC Building, 885 West Georgia, Vancouver, BC) in 2007.

....more photos HERE.

Family news

We spent all day yesterday going to Manila to pick up Lolo's hearing aid.

It had to be sent to Singapore to get fixed, and has been back for two weeks but this is the first time we had a chance to go. Now I don't have to shout at him to be heard.

Since it was Chano's birthday, we celebrated by eating at a local (US BASED) Restaurant/Steakhouse.
Lolo hasn't eaten steak for three years: Steak here has to be imported from New Zealand or Australia. The local beef is waterbuffalo or old cow, and has to be boiled or marinated/pounded to make it tender.grill

As we ususally do, we shared: I had the salad (something else we rarely eat here) and he got the steak, and we still had steak to take home. Chano got the "Family mixed grill", with babyback ribs and barbecue chicken...yum. Again, we ended up taking half of it home...the bad news is that it cost the same as it would in the US. Oh well. It's only for once a year.

Lolo's infected foot is still red and hurts, but the redness is getting smaller.

The rest of us are okay.It's the cool season, so everyone is coughing.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

family news

Chano is holding a seminar on greenhouse technology to grow off season organic produce.

Twice as many showed up as planned, so everyone is busy.

Lolo has an infected foot.

I won't be blogging today

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Aye aye Captain. Warp two

(more catstuff at Misscellania)

Bumpersticker for the rest of us

Headlines below the fold

Everyone has heard of Rosa Parks, but a week before the incident, the courts declared seating by race was illegal for interstate buses...because Pvt Sarah Keyes refused to change seats.

Global warming alert: 40 below in northern Minnesota...
Been there, done that....if you don't have a garage, you have to plug in your car...if you don't have a plug in, a blanket and a 25 watt bulb next to the engine block helps.

WaPost admits: Not as bad in Afghanistan as the hysterics suggest. And the reason is: ROADS.

Hitchens disses PC UK bishop...Saying that Sharia law should be allowed to judge family and other type court cases sounds fine in theory, but too bad this (pdf) report on domestic violence and honor killing in the UK just happened to be released, showing how it works in practice...

And Tom Lantos has died...


Clean up your vocabulary by substituting some SciFi words...TechRepublic suggests:

1. Frak (v.), Battlestar Galactica
2. Frell (v.), Farscape
3. Gorram (adj.), Firefly
4. Shazbot (n.), Mork & Mindy
5. Poodoo (n.), Star Wars
6. Smeg (n.), Red Dwarf
7. Farathoom (n.), Don’t Bite The Sun
8. Shock (v.), Spiderman 2099
9. “I seem to be having tremendous difficulty with my lifestyle” (v.), The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
10. Smurf (v.), The Smurfs

And the first use of these words is to describe this junk science paper from MIT that "proves" SciFi readers are dumb...
Ah, comeon guys, NObody reads Hamlet for who would say it's their favorite book?
(thanks for the headsup from Col Updraft)


PHILADELPHIA — U.S. Army Cpl. Michael J. Crescenz, a native son of the Philadelphia Archdiocese who died a hero’s death in combat in Vietnam at age 19, will soon receive a resting place of high honor — Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va.

“He belongs with his comrades,” said Joseph M. Crescenz, 51, one of Michael’s five brothers and a member of Our Lady of Consolation Parish in Parkesburg, Chester County.

“It’s a big honor that he’s going to be among some of our country’s other heroes and prominent politicians and policy-makers. … I’m thrilled,” Joseph said.

“I know it’s … a symbolic thing,” he added regarding his brother’s posthumous honor. “He’s with the Lord. I strongly felt that the day he was killed.”

Nov. 20 will mark the 40th anniversary of Michael’s death....

(one of my classmates)

Monday, February 11, 2008


Or maybe that should be

Your email of the day from Col.Updraft

Just wondering:

CNN Intenational is using the old, Sadam era flag for their report instead of the new flag...the new flag is the pre Sadam era flag.

Freudian slip?

Artist John Alvin RIP

If you read the papers, the only artists are avant garde types who put crucifixes in urine or make exhibitions that are in constant danger of being discarded as garbage by the janitor.

Yet some artists' work is well known but few recognize it as art: It is merely "design"...

Quint at Ain'tItCoolNews reports that John Alvin, designer of many movie posters, has died.

You probably have seen his work: Photo is the ET poster, but LINK has many others...Cocoon, The Little Mermaid, Blazing Saddles...Ernest Scared Stupid...

Holy Cow!

Casapinka's latest Thrift shop find...
And no, neither she nor her commenters know what it is...
I thought it was a hook to hang your towels or apron in the kitchen.

First they came for the cigarettes, then my SUV...oh no, not my teeshirt

Latest BBC discussion is about the need to stop people from buying cheap clothing.... to save the environment. Yup. It's the green puritans trying to stop you from having fun again.

Alec Guiness, call your office...

Bouadicea take two

Boadicca alert

NO, it's not Hillary showing what she really thinks of Obama, it's Boadicca of England...

Paul Johnson remembers an earlier "insurgency"...
Freepers have links and discussion...

Of course, just remember: If she had won, there would have been no St. Patrick, and no Irish monasteries to keep civilization alive...

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Guess the Marines were just too exciting for Toledo

The Michigan Marine reserve unit usually borrows an empty building in Toledo for urban warfare training....
No problem with locals, and no problems with the cops...
Ah, but the mayor hyperventillated.

So this song's for him.

Chinese new year recipes

Here in the Philippines, Chinese New Year came the day after Ash Wednesday, so the local Bishop told the Chinese they didn't have to fast and abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday.

Included is a recipe for Chinese dumplings. Before I came to the Philippines, I didn't realize that stuffed Dumplings were a Chinese food.

Of course, we aren't in an area with many Chinese, but among our fast food vendors are chinese dumplings (Shaopao) and various dumsin. And along with McDonalds, Jolibee, and Kentucky Fried Chicken are the ChungKing and other fast food outlets with Chinese food.

Shop or my shrimp will shoot!


Most of those living in Bree had plant names.
Ever wonder where Mr. Butterbur got his name? Above link is to Killerplants about the herb.
The leaves were large and flat and the name comes because they were used to wrap butter...
as an herb, it was used to lower fevers and treat cough/congestion. A BMJ article suggests that it has anti allergic properties.

When I lived in Appalachia, the locals used the tead of a related herb, the coltsfoot, to treat coughs. The tea was made of the small yellow flowers...which bloomed in the spring...the leaves appeared later.

Dengue Fever...the ROCK GROUP

Cambodian American rock group...playing Kymer rock...
downloads at above link...

Store here

in case you need a teeshirt...