Monday, March 31, 2008

A voice etched in smoke

BBC links to the first recorded voice...recorded in 1860, etched in smoke for posterity but only recently found and deciphered

Tsunamis in history?

Did an asteroid cause an epic tsunami in the Indian Ocean 5000 years ago? And was this the source of flood myths in hundreds of cultures worldwide?

Do ancient Tamil (India) words suggest tsunamis are common? Scientists want to examine ancient texts to find clues...

One of the causes of the dark ages was solar dimming. Was it caused by a supervolcano in 536 A.D.?

Headsup the Freeper's GGGForum ...(history stuff on a political website)

The "we're all gonna die" post of the day

Could Volcanic Activity In West Antarctic Rift Destabilize Ice Sheet?

....volcanic eruptions beneath the ice could destabilize the ice sheet, leading to as much as 25 feet of sea-level rise....

Headlines below the fold

Mugabe lost...
Ah, but will he steal the election?

The Pope is coming to visit...Steinfels at the NYTimes predicts the media spin when they discover the Pope is Catholic... (headsup GetReligionBlog).

Somalia is polio free. It took lots of money and lots of community volunteers to do it.

Bet you won't read about it elsewhere...
Stem cells from hair grow new blood vessels...

They also can grow hair from hair stem cells....which will make someone a fortune if they figure out how to do it easily.

The really big news of the day: hops shortage...hasn't been this bad since the end of the 19th century...

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Hot dog variations

How one eats a hot dog depends on where one lives....

From eating it with baked beans to cole slaw chili dogs.

Ironically, here in the Philippines, the only time we eat that type of sausage is cut up in our Spaghetti...
Recipe HERE...

If you want to make it, buy Franco American spaghetti, add some sugar, warm it up and mix with boiled hotdogs, and top with American cheese.

Kids will love it.

Nyah Nyah Nyah

It's computers versus hackers, and the winner?


Harare Book Cafe

Zimbabwe is in the news because the elections are being held, and no one expects them to be fair.

But AlJezeerah has a series on the Harare Book Cafe and their news report about the arts in Harare is at youtube. part one:

Book downloads of the day

Librivox has Chesterton's Misscelaney of Men...

Right now I'm listening to "The Story Girl" Lucy Maud Montgomery...
A lot of the stories and characters are changed a bit but are the ones in the "Avonlea" series that played on the Disney Channel...

Sect Rice agrees with Obama on race

Also HERE...

The State Dept has a blog? Who wudda thot?

Lights Out to save the earth!

Lolo is up on all the ecology stuff, so last night at 8pm, he went around and turned off all the lights.

Chano and Joy were having a late supper, and had to eat by candle light, but never mind.

And I had to put away my book. No problem. I just started listening to a book on my mp3 player.

Ah, but when Lolo came back to the room, he put on the TV (!) which probably used more electricity than the (eco friendly flourescent) light bulbs.

And since it was hot in the room, he put on the ceiling fan.

What I didn't tell Lolo was that I had the airconditioner on low...Don't tell Al Gore or Gaia...

Friday, March 28, 2008

Bitter melon for diabetes?

Ampalaya here in the Philippines is believed to be a Diabetes preventative. It's not a melon but a vegetable/gourd. We often eat the early ones, about the size of a golf ball, but the photos show it can grow as large as a cucumber.

Science daily has an article explaining it counteracts insulin resistance, which is thought to be the cause of diabetes type II

People with Type 2 diabetes have an impaired ability to convert the sugar in their blood into energy in their muscles. This is partly because they don't produce enough insulin, and partly because their fat and muscle cells don't use insulin effectively, a phenomenon known as 'insulin resistance'....

The four compounds isolated in bitter melon perform a very similar action to that of exercise, in that they activate AMPK.

Garvan scientists involved in the project, Drs Jiming Ye and Nigel Turner, both stress that while there are well known diabetes drugs on the market that also activate AMPK, they can have side effects.

"The advantage of bitter melon is that there are no known side effects," said Dr Ye. "Practitioners of Chinese medicine have used it for hundreds of years to good effect."

We eat it with our veggies almost every day (usually mixed veggies: Okra, beans, ampalaya etc)

Family news

Hot season has arrived, with electricity going on and off.
I apologize for the wordy posts: with the internet going off and on, I didn't have the time and energy to edit them (i.e. if I tried to edit them down, the internet and/or electricity might go off for another hour, and the post would be lost completely.

Chano has been busy.
They are harvesting the late fields.
He also had a meeting with the local Government that helps the farmers....we sell organic rice (which of course make a higher profit, because it is more work intensive, and is lower yield if you don't care for the fields right). Now of course Chano is holding seminars for off- season organic veggies starting the seedlings in greenhouses and then using plastic mulch instead of pesticide.

I am sick with the heat...especially when there are brownouts and no airconditioner....Otherwise all is okay

Bill Roggio on Basra

Long report by Bill Roggio HERE...

Follow the dots:

Sadr's Mahdi Army has been formed by Iran's Qods Force along the lines of Lebanese Hezbollah. Imad Mugniyah, the senior Hezbollah military commander who was killed in Syria in February, was among those behind the formation and training of the Mahdi Army. Iran established the Ramazan Corps to run weapons, fighters, and support to the Special Groups, which include significant elements of Sadr's Mahdi Army.


The NYTimes and LATimes are reporting "protests" and opposition, but Strategy Page explains it is a mopping up of criminal "insurgents" LINK and LINK.

the Iraqi government is using the same techniques to go after the Shia Arab terror networks. Most of these are sponsored by Iran. This makes the Shia terrorists quite unpopular, because Iran has been seen as a threatening neighbor for thousands of years. Iran is also believed, by most Iraqis, to have supported Sunni Arab terrorist groups as well. This is seen as typically Iranian, and just another example of how ruthless and diabolical they can be. On the plus side, the Shia Arab terrorist groups are not as effective as the Sunni Arab ones, which is why the Iraqi security forces are taking them on without a lot of U.S. backup.

If I trust Strategy Page more than the NYTimes, it's because they get it right on places I have been and know what is going on..

Lesson for today

Just Checking In
>>> A priest passing through his church
>>> in the middle of the day,
>>> Decided to pause by the altar
>>> and see who had come to pray.
>>> Just then the back door opened,
>>> a man came down the aisle,
>>> The priest frowned as he saw
>>> the man hadn't shaved in a while.
>>> His shirt was kind of shabby
>>> and his coat was worn and frayed,
>>> the man knelt, he bowed his head,
>>> Then rose and walked away.
>>> In the days that followed,
>>> each noon time came this chap,
>>> each time he knelt just for a moment,
>>> A lunch pail in his lap
>>> Well, the priest's suspicions grew,
>>> with robbery a main fear,
>>> He decided to stop the man and ask him,
>>> "What are you doing here?"
>>> The old man said, he worked down the road.
>>> Lunch was half an hour.
>>> Lunchtime was his prayer time,
>>> For finding strength and power
>>> "I stay only moments, see,
>>> because the factory is so far away;
>>> as I kneel here talking to the Lord,
>>> This is kind a what I say:
>>> The priest feeling foolish,
>>> told Jim, that was fine.
>>> He told the man he was welcome
>>> To come and pray just anytime.
>>> Time to go, Jim smiled, said "Thanks."
>>> He hurried to the door.
>>> The priest knelt at the altar,
>>> he'd never done it before.
>>> His cold heart melted, warmed with love,
>>> and met with Jesus there.
>>> As the tears flowed, in his heart,
>>> he repeated old Jim's prayer:
>>> Past noon one day, the priest noticed
>>> that old Jim hadn't come.
>>> As more days passed without Jim,
>>> he began to worry some.
>>> At the factory, he asked about him ,
>>> learning he was ill.
>>> The hospital staff was worried,
>>> But he'd given them a thrill.
>>> The week that Jim was with them,
>>> Brought changes in the ward.
>>> His smiles, a joy contagious.
>>> Changed people, were his reward.
>>> The head nurse couldn't understand
>>> why Jim was so glad,
>>> when no flowers, calls or cards came,
>>> Not a visitor he had.
>>> The priest stayed by his bed,
>>> He voiced the nurse's concern:
>>> No friends came to show they cared.
>>> He had nowhere to turn.
>>> Looking surprised, old Jim spoke
>>> up and with a winsome smile;
>>> "the nurse is wrong, she couldn't know,
>>> that in here all the while
>>> everyday at noon He's here,
>>> a dear friend of mine, you see,
>>> He sits right down, takes my hand,
>>> Leans over and says to me:
>>> If this blesses you, pass it on
>>> Many people will walk in and out of your life,
>>> but only true friends will leave
>>> footprints in your heart.
>>> May God hold you in the palm of His hand
>>> and Angels watch over you.
>>> But for those of us who are already His, He not
>>> only holds us in the palm of His hand, but has
>>> engraved our names there, and we are continually
>>> in His sight (Isaiah 49:16)
>>> This is too good not to share -
>>> So this is me ... Just Checking IN

WMD alert

BOGOTA, March 26 (Reuters) - Colombia said it seized at least 66 pounds (30 kg) of uranium from the country's biggest left-wing rebel group on Wednesday, the first time radioactive material has been linked to the four-decade-old guerrilla war....
An expert on Colombia's cocaine-fueled conflict said rebels of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, do not have the facilities needed to make a bomb with uranium.

"This appears to have been part of a black market operation that the guerrillas were trying to use to make money," said Pablo Casas, an analyst at Bogota think-tank Security and Democracy.

"This is new for Colombia and could bring the FARC into the major leagues of black market terrorist transactions," he said.

The government said information about the stash of uranium was found earlier this month in computer files left behind by top guerrilla leader Raul Reyes, who was killed in a Colombian bomb strike against a FARC camp in neighboring in Ecuador.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

GIft Idea of the Day

A BobaFett Flash Drive.

(headsup Gizmodo)

The new Pox threat?

Pox virus evolution might mean newer monkeypox epidemics?


I went down to that deep sea and i tell you what i did

I went down to that deep sea and i tell you what i did
I hook line and sinkered on that giant deep sea squid

I caught me a big one, caught me a giant squid
I caught me a big one, caught me a giant squid
I reeled him in, it took ten men oh lawdy yes it did

Well he wasn't dead yet, he grabbed on to my leg
Well he wasn't dead yet, he grabbed on to my leg
Pulled me down, i grabbed the rail i tried to stay
Pulled me down, i grabbed the rail fell to my watery grave

MP3 here...

Headlines below the fold

Professor in LATimes laments: ARE THE TIBETANS doomed to go the way of the American Indians? Will they be reduced to being little more than a tourist attraction, peddling cheap mementos of what was once a great culture?

You mean, should Tibetans start Casinos and ski resorts, and get rich?
Sounds good to me...
CNNI: three minutes reporting McCain's speech, five minutes talking about McCain's teleprompter problem"...

Yup. Genocide versus blooper. Blooper wins.

And the press is all over Hillary for her "sniper" remark...but forget that she was at risk, not just from snipers but from a bad air controller/navigation system in an area where airports are at the bottom of a barrel.... which is why Sect Brown died flying to land in Dubrovnik...
Trying to figure out the Pope...he talks paragraphs, not soundbites.

Here in the Philippines, corruption is common but reported and condemned...but who is paying attention when Saddam is paying for a soundbite or FARC trying to get Congressman to stop a bill helping Colombia...

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Where are they now?

The LATimes has photos and information on where the teens in all those John Hughes films have gone...

A Manly Diaper bag?

How to make a manly diaper bag...PDF HERE

Of course, if you shave your head and carry bottles and baby toys in your ammo harness, you don't have to worry if your diaper bag is powder blue...

Headsup from Instapundit...

Gift item of the day

Bart. the Aussie Ginger cat

Medical news

Essay on BNN explains why "inspections" won't work to prevent deliberate substitution into American medicines...

I also have some musing on economists who found blood pressure is inversely related to happiness...

Headlines below the fold

Mugabe plans to steal the election in Zimbabwe in plain sight...
Rev. Stig has more photos of Zim youths in SAfrica protesting the election (South Africa could intervene, but refuses).

Slavery in some (Muslim) West African countries (that border the Sahara) was common until thirty years ex slave fights for his people's rights LINK.

Save the planet! Buy a Scooter...
I always thought one would be nice...except in Minnesota, where for six months a year it was below freezing, or in Oklahoma where six months a year it would go over 85...
And of course if you are hit by a bus or of our friends died last week in Manila in such a collision.

Vatican says baptizing a Muslim is not a hostile act.
Confiscating Bibles and rosaries from immigrants and treating them badly is a hostile act.
Arresting women for driving is a hostile act.
Funding terrorists with charity money and funding mosques who recruit youth to kill other Muslims is a hostile act.
Let's put things into perspective, shall we?

I know many pious Muslims, and think it is a beautiful faith. But the Saudi version is to Islam as the KKK "christian" movement is to Christianity...a distortion and a blasphemy.

Must bash Bush..must bash Bush....
Notice the headlines:
Court backs Texas in dispute with Bush
Justices Rule Against Bush on Death Penalty Case New York Times
Court Backs Texas in Dispute With BushThe Associated Press

All the headlines posit this as a defeat for Bush...
What it actually said was:
. "To turn over to the judiciary the task of deciding when a treaty becomes domestic law, the Chief Justice added, would be to give the courts “the power not only to interpret but also to create the law."

So even though Bush was going along with the International law so beloved by the MSM, and against the death penalty, the stories twist it as a defeat for wasn't. It was a reaffirmation of US sovereignty.
Michael Yon warns Instapundit that the Iraqi government (not just the American army) is going against the Iranians in Basra...
"It's important to contextualize the fighting in Basra. That the Iraqi Army apparently is fighting JAM is important; a largely Shia Government of Iraq is in command of the Iraqi Army. The Iraqi Army is fighting Shia militia. This is not bad news."

Remember this the next time you hear the spin on CNNInt.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


(headsup Misscellania)

Quote of the day

The Anchoress writes why the Pope baptized a Muslim Convert to Christianity in public:

So, Benedict and Chrstian Allam have made a response to Osama bin Laden and the response is: you love death; we love life. You deal in death, which is a conquered trade, for the One we follow has overcome death. Death, your idol, has no power over us, because we are alive in Christ, who was slain and who rose....

Lego Futurama

Headlines below the fold

Place a cross or creche in a public square, and you get sued.
Use a public park to blaspheme Jesus, and it's apparantly legal.

While the rhetoric that wants to roll back Bush's tax cut implies that those earning $100 000 a year are "rich", the elephant in the living room is the tax fraud by the superrich who use offshore bank accounts...costing the US up to $100 billion a year...
And this doesn't even include the billions by third world politicians

Headline of the day:

Man Declared Dead Feels 'Pretty Good'

not good news for those trying to get organ donations. I've heard of a case (in Ohio) like this from a nurse, but I assumed it was merely an urban legend...
And the really, really important news of the day:

SOUTH PARK IS ON LINE. FREE...and it actually streams here....

Medical news for today

Due to a power outage, only one paramedic responded to the call. The house was very dark so the paramedic asked Kathleen, a 3-yr old girl to hold a flashlight high over her mommy so he could see while he helped deliver the baby.

Very diligently, Kathleen did as she was asked. Heidi pushed and pushed and after a little while, Connor was born.

The paramedic lifted him by his little feet and spanked him on his bottom. Connor began to cry. The paramedic then thanked Kathleen for her help and asked the wide-eyed 3-yr old what she thought about what she had just witnessed.

Kathleen quickly responded, 'He shouldn't have crawled in there in the first place, smack his butt again!'
Your email of the day from TiaMaria

Monday, March 24, 2008

What is going on in Europe?

The usually staid CSMonitor has an article questioning if the Lisbon treaty is being pushed through via stealth essentially making an end to England as we know it, in order to make a new Europe...

Shire Network News has a more satirical discussion mp3 here. They also cover more important news stories, such as police investigating the racism of a stuffed animal and why churches need to take Christ out of Easter...

Attention Homeland Security

Why Onions have been added to the "no fly" list...

(via DaveBarry)

Food tips

it's ten you know what to serve your guests?

Everyone gather 'round! It's time for pastel-tinted hairy balls with salsa verde!

of course...

Faberge Eggs

Story at link...

Ironically, they were packed away and lost in a warehouse...and luckily when they were rediscovered in 1927 they were sold for money.... so most were saved for posterity.
In 2004, a rich Russian industrialist bought many of them and brought them back to Russia...

You can still buy modern replicas and similar designs as gifts. LINK...

The things the headlines ignore

Kerfluffle about Obama's passport files being spied on..
Whoops: spying company has connections to Obama's campaign...
Murderer allowed out of jail...
Whoops: after a public outcry asking about the short sentence, the authorities found it was a year too early...
Miami Herald is
following those FARC computer story...

The headline gleefully talks of bombs.
... the real story: the US Army found a cell preparing suicide bombs...
This means someone snitched on them...and indicates civilians are turning against the "insurgents"...

Whoops: Health food given to prison inmates is cruel and unusual punishment...

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Skating lassies

your email of the day from Col. Updraft.

Craft item of the day

full directions at site...after folding, you blow inside to make the bunny plump up...

an origami inflatable bunny....

Toothbrushing Kitty

For those people with time on their hands the above link shows you how to brush your cat's teeth so he won't need false teeth when he gets old...

or you can just teach him to do it himeself

Gift item of the day

Does your pussy have to gum it when she catches a mouse?

Well, your problem is now solved:

False teeth for cats.

Of course, the real problem is trying to get Kitty to use them...

Yum! Lembas bread!

HappyLovesStrawberryBlog has a Lembas bread recipe...

Note the lack of oil so that it can stay fresh.

Actually, my main problem with the movie's Lembas was that the breads were supposed to be wafers wrapped in leaves, not cookies open to the air with only a partial leave covering.
(headsup Tastespotting)


Here in the Philippines, they cook sticky rice with coconut juice and then steam it. It is called Suman...
Ourlocal type is wrapped in banana leaves...but there is a slightly different version that is wrapped in palmleaf...

we usually eat them with Mangoes because the sweet rice counteracts the acid of the very sour mangoes.

Stuff white people like

Calling Obama: Here is a blog that explains to those of you in your "afrocentric" church what White people really like.

Of course, no one seems to be aware of Africa in the church either...or they would be up there lauding Bush for saving lives in that continent.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Pipe bomb or college prank?

The big story in the Philippines is the price of rice going up and that the country is shutting down for the four day Easter Holiday..

But Google news is blaring about an "explosion" near the Presidential palace...the police say it was only a college fraternity student killed last weekend, and it might have been payback...


(headup from AutumnblossomKnitsBlog...
She also has links to how to convert a knit pattern to crochet pattern)
My problem is that I can't find anywhere to buy crochet cotton since the Palenke burnt down...

Phobot, the cowardly Robot

PHOBOT SCARED...Phobot sad...Phobot Curious...P****in his pants...

When first exposed to a fear-inspiring object - in this case, a menacing larger robot - the Phobot retreats and then spins in circles....

"This robot is there as a sort of buddy to help a child having any kind of actual fear, doing it step by step," said team member Ork de Rooij.

Actually I'd prefer a big dog inspire fear in the menacing target.

Gift item of the day

a three inch fish bead

Counterfeit medicines from China

Long summary of what was causing people to die from Heparin allergies at US hospitals and dialysis units posted on BNN...

This hits home because the Philippines is trying to pass a "generic" drug bill...usually generics in the US work, but when Lolo had an infected foot, it didn't get better after four days on the antibiotic, until Dr. Angie warned me to change to a brand name drug...and the infection immediately improved, and was cured in five days.

Science Headlines below the fold

Did a volcano cause the global dimming of the sixth century that helped spawn the Dark Ages all over the world?

My doctor CME/Journals are discussing the possible influenza outbreak if Birdflu or a similar flu gets loose...
You think the press hyperventillated with Katrina, wait til the flu hits and we get thousands of dead kids, chaotic ER's and hospitals bulging at the seams...

The FDA found that the Chinese heparin was "contaminated" with Chondroiten, a cheaper substance that tests similarly to Heparin.

This is not an other medication contamination (and the pet food contamination) it took someone who knew how quality testing was done, and then the cheaper ingredient that could pass the tests was substituted to make a profit.

Podcast of the day

Planatary Society podcast linkHERE....the above link is where you can download an MP3 interview with Arthur Clark.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Trouble with Robodoc

Your email of the day from Col Updraft

Bombing Bathrooms in Tulsa

This was on one of the local news reports last night...

Your quote of the day: "well, it's not everyday that you get hit by a missile"...
CarolynGlick gives examples of how to respond to hate speech.


Dalai Lama theatens to step down if violence doesn't stop...china continues to stonewall...

Putin to make up with the US? And what's this about offering to help in Afghanistan?
Is he trying to break up NATO, or just trying to guard the central Asian pipeline?

And your quote for today:

Sacred cows make the best hamburgers...
Mark Twain.

Science headlines below the fold

Restoring retina cells (i.e. that allow you to see) by turning on Muller cells in the retina to form new retinal cells....
Scientists have long been aware of Müller cells (which exist in great abundance in the eye)...In recent years, however, researchers have reported that these cells sometimes exhibit progenitor cell behavior ... Progenitor cells are similar to stem cells but are more mature and are more limited in the number of cells types they can become.
... In their study, Chen and her team observed that when the naturally occurring chemicals ... were injected into the eye, the Müller cells began to divide and proliferate....
In both cases, the cells became progenitor cells and then changed into retinal cells. And with aminoadipate, the newly minted retinal cells migrated to where they might be needed in the retina and turned into desirable cell types...the type of cells that are lost in retinitis pigmentosa or macular degeneration...

Natural family planning works?

Hint: It gives women control of their love lives, so women like it...
Some of my patients who used it were very good Catholics, but most of them who used it were those who didn't like Chemicals.... "Green" types and American Indians.'s also big here in the Philippines...

Arthur Clarke died....
Although, if rumors of why he had to move to Ceylon are true, he needs lots of our prayers for his soul.

What makes Leprecauns green? Fluoroscein....
But the big mystery is what did they use to dye the Chicago River...since the city denies using it...

Song Link of the day

Turn up speakers and enjoy!
The Leningrad Cowboys (from Finland) and the Red Army Choir perform Sweet Home Alabama.(Headup MissCellania)

Happy Spy Wednesday

In the pre vatican II days, today was "spy Wednesday", because it was the day that Judas decided to spy for those trying to capture Jesus.

I hear the BBC is rewriting the Gospel to "explain" the reason why...

But after living for a couple of years in the Philippines, my version of the story is that Judas was on the take to spy on Jesus, and got blackmailed into betraying him...and Jesus was eliminated because he was a whistleblower on the corruption racket going on in the Temple.

I gotta stop watching those Senate hearings....

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St. Patrick's day

(headusp Daimnation!Blog)

Cartoon of the day

History lesson for today

Today's (R rated) history class is about Female rulers.

If the ladies ruled the world, things would be different, wouldn't they?

Not really, but they might make some great movies.

TeaAtTrianon has the tale of Christina of Sweden,
whose antics horrified Sweden and the Pope, and who, although a virgin, fell in love with both men and women...

And then there is Sugarcube the "filthy Sultana", and her nemesis, the Sultan's mom Kosem...
And someone is reading history, because this lady did get her own movie:

Mary Bullen (the sister of Anne Boleyn, who preferred the fancier Frenchified spelling)...mistress of two kings, but queen of nowhere...

Easter eggs and craft projects

Tipnut has lots of to dye eggs in various ways.

But how about an Easter Turduckan? (456 calories each)....

Martha Stewart's easter workshop

And knitting an Easter Peep...>---

Sermon commences. Agnostics can skip below.
I have to laugh, the "google ads" on the sites are those fundamentalist type:
"Do colored eggs & Easter rabbits have anything to do with Jesus?"

Well, see, a live chick coming out of an egg that looks like a stone reminds us that life conquers death...a rabbit appearing in the spring from a hole in the ground reminds us of Christ coming out of the tomb...

Reading the glory of God in nature led to Easter, the pagan holiday is about life reappearing in spring after the death of winter, and Easter the Christian holiday tells us that Christ's resurrection reminds us that we too shall rise again.

So is it a sin to recognize the similarities, and celebrate it that way?
Chesterton sniffs at the bluenoses and puritans who take one item out of context and build a church out of it:

Of these theological equalisations I have to speak afterwards. Here it is enough to notice that if some small mistake were made in doctrine, huge blunders might be made in human happiness. A sentence phrased wrong about the nature of symbolism would have broken all the best statues in Europe.
A slip in the definitions might stop all the dances; might wither all the Christmas trees or break all the Easter eggs.

As for the real lesson of Easter, it was put this way by one stubborn German:

If you follow the will of God, you know that in spite of all the terrible things that happen to you, you will never lose a final refuge. You know that the foundation of the world is love, so that even when no human being can or will help you, you may go on, trusting in the One that loves you.

-Pope Benedict XVI from Jesus of Nazareth

Too many big Macs?

"...Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in captive gorillas, the zoo said in a release. More than 40 percent of adult gorilla deaths are due to heart disease, The Washington Post reported Friday.

Scientists said they don't know why gorillas contract the disease at such a high rate. Possibilities include diet, disease, old age or some other unknown cause...

Actually, the heart disease is not hardening of the arteries, but a fibrosing cardiomyopathy...which could be nutritional or immune related.

Headlines below the fold

Food prices going up due to ethanol mandates?
Here, rice is higher...maybe due to high oil prices for import, transport and handplow diesel.

Nicolas Kristoff of the Times reminds readers of the reality of prostitution ... Ironically, countries that legalize prostitution increases society's tolerance of prostitution, leading to an increase in more women becoming entrapped ....out of economic necessity or from pimps taking their passports away and forcing them to work...

GetReligionBlog explains that the template for the Pope's visit is ready for them to twist Benedict's words to fit their pre conceived story...
He also suggests a contest:

We may need an ongoing contest, during coverage of this meeting, to count all of the scare quotes that reporters are going to put around crucial words such as “relativism,” “truth” and even “Catholic.”


only 3% of news stories cover that because much of the news is good, or because no one cares?

And the EU tells Serbia to quit complaining they are losing territory if they want to join the EU...whoops...they forgot about Putin.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Pakman wins!

Everyone was at the Palm Sunday procession at 6am

But at 11 am, they were watching the fight, and Pacman won again.

Rejoicing on the streets in the Philippines.

Horton's a hit?

Rotten Tomatoes gives it an 80%...heh.

And unlike previous Seussfilms, it is G rated because Mrs. Seuss decided to keep it that way.

Sunday Stuff

Who needs legos when you can build with...Bloxes?


discusses Google Sky and other ways to view the nighttime sky.

Ironically, except during blackouts, we are too close to downtown to get a good look at the sky....the best star viewing was when I was in Africa, since the climate was dry, we were 5000 plus feet in elevation, and no one had electricity except the hospital (sometimes)....
That's the trouble with globalization: Poor people get rich and install light bulbs and tv antennas....;-)


Lots of links about Medieval Mary's gardens....over 800 plants have Marian names or symbolism, and the gardens give depth of meaning into the sacred space full of the beauty of flowers....

And like the "language of flowers", in the Mary garden, each one reminds us of a story reminding us of the transcendent in life.



Killer plant screensaver of the day

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Art stuff

NYTimes has a page with lots of links about museums.

It includes a video about kids spending a night at the Museum of Natural Science (yes that movie was just on TV here)...

Buying books in the Philippines

I guess I should explain about books here in the rural Philippines.

In the past, I used to go nuts: no books, only a daily newspaper. But when I moved here, we had dial up internet, which helped. Since from visits I knew there were no nearby bookstores, I brought about 200 books with me to keep myself busy.

About two years ago, a mall opened the other end of has a bookstore that stocks best sellers and a lot of reference/school books and religious stuff (mostly protestant self esteem type books). There are also used books there: overstocks and paperback used books, mainly best sellers .

Last year, the US Postal service discontinued the "MBAG" surface rate for printed matter, so I rarely get books from the US: Too expensive.

So now, I mainly find books on line and webpages to read.

So I get a lot of books from project Gutenburg or Librivox. I also am downloading a lot of podcasts, including a bunch of history courses from Berkeley.

Amazon should be a good resource for ebooks, but the problem is trying to redownload and reopen the books when your hard drive crashes. Also, the e books cost just as much as print books (more, since usually I bought used books from Amazon) but I don't enjoy reading on the computer as much as I do with a print book.

We just opened a new library in town, and one of these days I'll visit there...but so far, between my classics and the internet, I am able to find most of the stuff I need or want.

Anne Rice: latest book

Anne Rice, of Vampire fame, returned to the Catholic church a couple years ago....and is releasing her second novel about Jesus...

What is interesting is that it got good, haven't read the new ones, only the Vampire ones...that we get as used books at the palenke a year or two later...the "new" book store has only a small selection here in town...

Irish Soda bread

Epicurious links to Irish soda bread recipes...YUM...

Did you know:

Strictly speaking, there is no white Irish soda bread with raisins. Traditional Irish soda bread is brown, with a coarse texture and no fruit. It can also contain seeds and flax and bran, depending on the baker's desires. That is the reason I was shocked to see the white item passed off as Irish soda bread when I arrived in the States. However, in Ireland there is a famous old bread that was very popular with the poorer people in times past, and considered quite a treat for a special occasion or on Sundays. It is still popular today. Depending on which part of the country one is in, it is known as spotted dick or spotted dog. Basically it is derived from Irish soda bread, but it uses white flour in place of the traditional flours and other ingredients that go into the true Irish soda bread. To enrich the recipe, people added raisins when they became available, and they might add a full egg beaten into the milk, plus some white sugar. So it is the old Irish spotted dick that folks here call Irish Soda Bread.

LOL Philosopher

(headsup MissCellania)

The election for geeks

Is Obama a Mac and Clinton a PC?

Ah...that explains why I find the election so strange...

I use Linux...

Friday, March 14, 2008

Gift Item of the day

a Hello Kitty Belly fat burner...

Pi, the book

and other "fun" links...including the MP3

Makin' Pi music


Pi day Rap

Homepage HERE.

Happy Pi Day

), is the symbol for the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. Pi = 3.1415926535... Pi Day is celebrated by math enthusiasts around the world on March 14th.

(headsup from those mathematical neocons at the corner)

Green recipes

Irish recipes from the Daily green...

And Planet Green has another one here.

Of course, since we eat locally, we probably won't have any traditional Irish food...

However, since Mangos are in season, here is a recipe for Burong Manga...or if you want something tart and sweet, try Green mango juice.

Sign the Apocolypse is nigh

A "Hello Kitty" Barbie doll...
. chocolate

From Savvy Chick, who is going to Chicago to see the river turn green...

In Boston, the Charles River does that all the's called pollution...

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Burqa take Three

One can, after all, condemn imposed dress codes on women without forcing women to be asexual infertile minimen...

So let's hear it for the unisex Gyms.

I wanna Boogie...

Count to three and say "cheese"

Motherhood cartoon of the day

Weird disinformation in the news

ABC news covers a fashion event, and tells it's readers that "..The burqa is the wardrobe of choice for many Muslim women...."

Guess ABC can't tell a burqa from a chador...

And how do they explain the "choice" part when local thugs in Paris and the morality police in Iran and Saudi have morality police to force women to comply with the dress code...even if this means they burn to death?
Antisemite Arun Gandhi tells us "now it has just got to the point when we can't move away from the screen to see anyone or enjoy nature and the family. We have no time to cultivate relationships or interact with human beings (except snipe at each other on email) and this form of isolationism only leads to more violence in human societies..."

Well, that explains Rwanda, the Holocaust, the massacres of Ghengis Kahn, and the Gulag. It's the email's fault.

You wouldn't know it from the one thousand news stories, but Eliot Spitzer is a .....DEMOCRAT.

On the other hand, he's not the only sexual hypocrite who arrests immoral women while enjoying their charms.
Stuff on that Colombian computer:

-- FARC connections with Ecuadorean president Rafael Correa
-- Records of $300 million offerings from Hugo Chavez
-- Thank you notes from Hugo Chavez dating back to 1992
-- Uranium purchasing records
-- Admit to killing the sister of former President Cesar Gaviria
-- Admit to planting a 2003 car bomb killing 36 at a Bogota upper crust club
-- Directions on how to make a Dirty Bomb
-- Letter to Libya's Moammar Gadhafi asking for cash to buy surface-to-air missiles
-- Meetings with "gringos" about Barack Obama
-- Information on Russian illegal arms dealer Viktor Bout who was later captured
-- FARC funding Correa's campaign
-- Cuban links to FARC

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Put your hands in the air and drop that poodle!

A woman, who dyed the dog's hair with organic beet juice to promote breast cancer awareness, has been fined $1000 in Boulder Co:

One ordinance prohibits the coloring or dyeing of animals, a law that went into effect about five years ago to discourage families from dyeing rabbits and chicks for Easter.

"We've received a number of complaints about the dog," (explains the animal control officer)...

Some people have just too much time on their hands.

Lesson for today from TiaMaria

Lawyer Joke of the day

Charlotte, North Carolina. A lawyer purchased a box of very rare and
expensive cigars, then insured them against, among other things, fire.

Within a month, having smoked his entire stockpile of these great cigars and without yet having made even his first premium payment on the policy the lawyer filed a claim against the insurance company. In his claim, the lawyer stated the cigars were lost "in a series of small fires."

The insurance company refused to pay, citing the obvious reason, that the man had consumed the cigars in the normal fashion.

The lawyer sued. and WON!

Delivering the ruling, the judge agreed with the insurance company that the claim was frivolous. The judge stated nevertheless, that the lawyer held a policy from the company, which it had warranted that the cigars were insurable and also guaranteed that it would insure them against fire, without defining what is considered to be unacceptable fire" and was obligated to pay the claim.

Rather than endure lengthy and costly appeal process, the insurance company accepted the ruling and paid $15,000 to the lawyer for his loss of the cigars lost in the "fires".


After the lawyer cashed the check, the insurance company had him arrested on 24 counts of ARSON!!! With his own insurance claim and testimony from the previous case being used against him, the lawyer was convicted of intentionally burning his insured property and was sentenced to 24 months in jail and a $24,000 fine.

Moral of the story: watch what you ask for, you may get it.

Your email of the day from Col. Updraft

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Website of the day

If you want to do a "deep search", go to

Put in name and city, and voila, instant information. I found my medical license on line, for example, and addresses of my relatives.

And then it also refers to various google sites
Google blogsearch, google Scholar...findagrave....and it found this blog and my "bloggernews" articles.

But it didn't find my published articles at Pubmed...oh well, nothing's perfect.

Poutry photo of the day

Eng. Hamid Reza Ziyaee inspects one of his chickens (Hatchery Manager at Ziyaran Poultry Complex)
another photo of introducing new chicks into their new home.

More photos HERE.
A much more modern operation than our chicken houses (which we now rent out), which are cocowood and bamboo, with shades and fans for hot days...but then we only fed up the chickens to broiler size.

Minnesota Hotrod

(Actually it's a Michigan hot rod, but I lived for three years in Northern Minnesota).

Your email of the day from Col Updraft who lives in the New England mountains...where, like Minnesota, there are two seasons: Winter and "where did summer go"...

Save that Umbillical cord

Scientists take cells from human umbillical cords, injecct them into mice brains, and voila, mice brains recover from disease.

But it is not the umbillical cord cells that grow, but due to the stem cells in the brain being turned back on so they can regenerate....

“We think that UCBCs may have a similar potential to reduce inflammation and to restore some of the lost capacity of stem/progenitor cells to proliferate and differentiate into neurons,” said Dr. Bickford.

The study found that the number of proliferative cells increased within 24 hours following the UCBC injections into the aged laboratory rats and that the increased cell proliferation continued for at least 15 days following a single treatment.

Harddrives are forever

Love is for a time, but hard drives are forever is the geek proverb.

Last week Strategy Page (scroll to March 1) pointed out
The troops found Raul Reyes laptop, and this produced a goldmine of email messages and documents. This information clearly showed FARC relationships with leftist leaders in Venezuela, Ecuador and around the world.

Well, more news stories are coming out in the Colombian press, and finally the US press has the news: Chavez trying to overthrow Uribe by paying FARC and instigating other leftists governments to do the same.
Will the US decide Chavez is a "sponsor of terrorism", meaning no more oil from Venezuela to the US? And if so, would China, who is now facing their own terrorists, buy up the oil or go along with the US Plan?

The irony? That the FARC guy was caught because he made a cellphone call to Chavez using a satellite phone he bought in Miami...

Silverstar Marine

"...Dodging insurgent gunfire, a 19-year-old Lake Jackson soldier used her body to shield five injured comrades after a roadside bomb struck her convoy in Afghanistan last spring. That act of bravery has earned her the Silver Star.

Army Spc. Monica Lin Brown is only the second woman since World War II to receive the medal, one of the nation's highest military awards given for gallantry in combat..."

Let's hear it for the medics...

Monday, March 10, 2008

Thank God for Hell

MANILA (Reuters) - A Philippine court acquitted former first lady Imelda Marcos of 32 counts of illegally transferring money abroad on Monday due to insufficient evidence...."I am so happy and I thank the Lord that the 32 cases have been dismissed,"(said) Marcos, dressed in a green traditional Philippine dress with a gemstone brooch and matching earrings, told local television.

The Marcoses, their relatives and business cronies were accused of looting up to $10 billion from state coffers during his 20-year rule but Imelda has been cleared in most of the cases against her due to insufficient evidence.

Only about $1.8 billion has been recovered....

Here, fishy fishy fishy

Build a ten foot high goldfish.

Students did just that for theWalker art center in Minneapolis, whose most famous sculpture is a cherry and spoon.

No, i't s not lego but QBaMaze blocks.