Monday, November 30, 2009

PrinceCaspian/Voyage Dawn Treader

the BBC TV version of the children's books are here.

Things you might want to know

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is now on Facebook

slideshow of photos here


The Hobbit
filming is being delayed.

Last week, I read about the decline of births in Korea...ah, but some are still having children in Korea, notes the NYTimes. Many are from arranged marriages with women from other Asian countries (the Philippines and Viet Nam), and a lot of these marriages are in rural areas to older farmers or farm workers.

Why do they hate us? It's the Narrative, stupid.

Book TV discusses Amelia Earhart.


Craft item of the day

Pikachu convertible ski mask by =Sugarcoatidli3z on deviantART

patternlink HERE

Headsup WeeklyTeninouWoman

Hello Kidney!

(From HelloKittyHell)

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Stories below the fold

District 9 up for an academy award?
Why not? It's about time that a nerd becomes a hero...

FYI: The unimaginative hard headed Boer(Afrikaner) is a stock character in South African comedy.

NoyNoy says "I'm not autistic".
He's just a nerd, and it's about time an honest nerd becomes president.

V for Vendetta: The Anthropology of clan feuds in the Philippines.

From Spiked: Why Malthus is wrong, and his ilk has been wrong for 2000 years.


The General behind Ben Hur
Good news: you can watch it on Youtube
Bad News: The Youtube version is the 1925 version

Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Evolution of Miss Piggy

Go to link to see how Miss Piggy has changed her styles over the years.

Manolo for the big girl blog
has quotes:

“Never let your frog outdress you.”

Tut's fireball

You can buy Desert Glass on line; this glass is similar to that used for the scarab found on this pectoral jewelry of King Tut.

But where does desert glass come from?
Nasa explains:As a geologist who had spent most of his career studying the Earth’s major deserts, he knew that the glass formed after a massive meteorite hit the desert with enough energy to splatter chunks of melted sand across the extensive fields where fragments are common today. But beyond the glass, no evidence of such an impact had ever been found...El-Baz sorted through image after image of the Western Desert when he came across a ring of rocks surrounded by traces of an outer ring: the telltale markings of an impact crater...The massive crater measured 31 kilometers across and was large enough to contain 70,000 football fields; the site was a very probable source of the glass.

BBC;s HORIZEN has a MOVIE at you tube

Gift item of the day

A USB Alien...
"This scary realistic alien toy modeled after the
Alien movie series will sporadically stick its glowing red tongue out at you if you plug it into your computer via its USB cable."

via Tokyo Mango:

Musical interlude for the day

Depressing news of the day

Philippine Massacre number up to 64....some bodies so badly decomposed that they haven't been identified...backhoe operator missing, presumed killed.
Generals who refused to give security to convoy are fired(replaced by their second in command, duh)
And witnesses who were horrified at what they saw are spilling the beans. They thought they were going to kill the big shot and bodyguards going to register, not a bunch of civilians and reporters not connected with the clan.

The fingers are all pointing to the President, who has allowed lesser murders to go unsolved, resulting in a culture where some presume political murders won't be solved and those behind them prosecuted.
Her connections with the clan behind the murders is well known.

Anyone in Washington notice? Anyone?Anyone?


Will Swine flu and Bird flu combine to make a new Spanish Flu (1918) pandemic?
Chinese expert worried, saying a lot of deaths being covered up in China...

TehCreepyThinMan in one discussion board called Avatar Dances with Thundersmurfs

Very few articles on AICN about the movie...This is in contrast with LOTR, where Peter Jackson went out of his way to befriend fansites.

compare contrast: Ten worst movies of the decade.

JohnBolton was right...
And StPeggy is saying TchTch...
Religious right redux.
well, maybe not religious right: some of the Catholic bishops signing are quite liberal in other social policies.
Ethics, not science is the problem with climategate.
In science, truth is truth, not the matter of opinion polls. If it can't be replicated, you throw out the theory, not pooh pooh the contradicting data by issuing statements signed by lots of big shots.

and yes, I believe in global warming. Minnesota was under 200 feet of glaciers 12000 years ago.

IN a related item, Computerworld writes about lessons learned about email privacy and identity theft from the incident.
(via Instapundit)

Friday, November 27, 2009

Most important news of the day

Shreck the 4th will be a parody on "it's a wonderful life".

here is trailer for shrek 2 the best of the triology

and "It's a wonderful life" is available for viewing HERE

Leftover Turkey Recipes

Tipnut has links to recipes for leftover turkey.

Usually we used it reheated, or in sandwiches.

The carcass, we boiled to make soup, and then took out the carcass, added onions, carrots, and celery, and broad egg noodles, along with poultry spice and salt, and cooked.

When the carcass cooled off, we cut off the meat and put it back in the soup, discarding the bones.

Massacre update

Junior is whining after he was caught, saying: it was the MILF but no one believes him, especially since one of the militia spilled the beans to Al Jazeera...

The real danger is if the government doesn't press for justice, you may end up with a full blown war between clans.

has the practical anthropology behind the feud.

Musical Interlude for the day

One of the most beautiful melodies, originally a song of the Shaker community, "Simple Gifts" and rearranged by Copeland in Appalachian Spring suite.

'Tis the gift to be simple, 'tis the gift to be free,

'Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be,

And when we find ourselves in the place just right,

'Twill be in the valley of love and delight.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Medical stuff below the fold

Spray on skin for burn patients...using the patient's own skin.

Contained in the thin skin sample are basal stem cells and melanocytes, cells that give skin its particular colour and texture. The structural materials holding these cells in place are dissolved with trypsin, an enzyme harvested from pigs, and then sprayed back onto a burn site.

Once on the burned area, the skin stem cells and melanocytes begin to divide and expand. In less than a week that stamp-sized donor site of skin can turn into a page's worth of new, healthy skin, which matches the tone and texture of the original skin more closely than skin grafts usually do.


Stuff below the fold

Iraqi tourism?
Fox has a report on an Ancient site
(Headsup Jim L)

more on Iraqi archeology: Google will put ancient artifacts on line.

Years after the war ended, Japanese who fled into the mountains of the Northern Philippines and died there are getting proper burial ceremonies.

"...After three hours of cremation the ashes were gathered and boxed to be brought back home to Japan for a proper burial and finally laid to rest ."

and Maori skeletons brought home fromUK museums will similarly be laid to rest with proper rites.

FastFoodNation the cause of heart disease?
Mummies had heart disease too...
actually, one of these days the anti food people will notice that heart disease has been decreasing over the last fifty years, while fast food outlets are increasing.

Should dads be in the delivery room, asks the BBC?
Well, my mom said she had felt sorry for Queen Elizabeth when she had to give birth in front of all those witnesses...but after having a baby, she said with all that pain she wouldn't have cared one bit who was watching.

This is why they call her "Madwilly"

Philippine journalist massacre update

Phil Inquirer reports President has declared a day of mourning.
“I am declaring a day of mourning for the victims of the mass murder in Mindanao,” the President said in Filipino during another of her jaunts to her home province of Pampanga, this time to open a P360-million access road connecting Porac to the Subic-Clark Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx).

Another PI story is even more blunt:

Since Monday’s massacre, the Palace has been offering words of assurance that the government will bring justice to the victims even if the alleged perpetrators, members of the powerful Ampatuan clan, are very close to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

But until Wednesday, government investigators had yet to formally invite a single Ampatuan for questioning despite the text message of Mangudadatu’s wife to her husband that Datu Unsay Mayor Andal Ampatuan Jr. had led the group of gunmen shortly before she was killed.

“There are certain procedures we must follow,” Ermita said. “We don’t want people to be unnecessarily tried through publicity.”

The PI also notes evidence that the massacre was planned in advance

A military intelligence officer said the advance planning was evident in the presence of a backhoe of the Maguindanao provincial government in the area. The backhoe was supposedly used to dig the graves where the victims were dumped...

The source said the gunmen were to bury all the victims, including the vehicles, but failed to do so as a helicopter flew over the area.

GMA news puts it this way in it's headline:
Cops ‘arrest’ suspects in Maguindanao massacre

Amid claims that Malacañang is going easy on the suspects in the Maguindanao massacre, the Philippine National Police announced Thursday the arrest of some civilian volunteers linked to the crime.

PNP chief Director General Jesus Verzosa also said a member of the Ampatuan clan linked to the murders has sent feelers he will “surrender."

OK, LawAndOrder fans: what's wrong with this picture?

update: Mangudadatu arrested

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Puppy photo of the day

It's been a hard day at the office.

Philippine journalist massacre update

The death toll is now 40, including at least 12 journalists...and the and a lot of accusations are being made.

Even the ManilaBulletin has the headline "WHAT NOW" above their daily photo of the president, and prints articles pointing out her links with the suspects.

In the article, they note they lost one of their reporters, and that the military claims they can't find any witnesses.

quotes the government as saying there won't be any "quick arrests".
"We have due process to be observed also, so let us allow the investigators on the ground to come up with [a case] through their investigation," Press Secretary Cerge Remonde replied

Those accused of the murders were her allies, and there are connections with the "helloGarci" scandal, according to GMA NEWS article, which describes how the clan controls the area with the government's blessing.

From GMA NEWS: one journalist asked to go back and get his laptop...but actually he had noticed that requests for security and police had been turned down, and he was worried.

GMA Also reports
:"...The perpetrators, according to military reports, included not just the mayor and his men but also practically the entire local police force, para military forces and senior police officials."

The PhilInquirer
describes the culture of clan wars, and why it is so much worse in Mindanao.

What it comes down to is money. The clans get hold of a political office, and then skim off the top. This makes their entire family rich.
They frequently have their own private armies of "security guards" to protect them. In Mindanao, it is complicated by the war, so a lot of local militias (which are supposed to protect folks from attack) are at the beck and call of the local politician.

The killings are of rival politicians, reformers, and reporters who spill the beans. Usually it is only one at a time, which makes it easier to cover up.

In this case, the murder of the reporters will make things more difficult to cover up.

Expect delaying tactics: if you try to get justice, it is difficult to follow the blame to the top: The killers will be caught, but know if they keep quiet, their families will be taken care of...but if they spill the beans they will be dead.

So the witnesses will not be found, and if someone is supsected of knowing the truth, often they will "disappear" (die or flee).


In our nephew's murder, everyone knows who ordered the hit, and the names of who did it. We even know how much was paid to whom.

But whether we will ever get our day in court, who knows. The perpetrator is still out on bail, and now one of his relatives is running for his office.

And even though our relative was a US Citizen, the embassy shrugs it off as if it were merely a random criminal attack. US pressure could help us get justice, but I guess because it was only a political murder (not the murder of an ex communist or leftist) the human rights folks aren't much help either.

The politician behind our nephew's murder is under indictment, so can't run again for office. Instead, his wife is running.

And as I noted awhile back: the person who is now running for the political office involved travels with a body guard, even to private residences.

When I ask the staff, they say that the going rate is still 500 pesos for a vote. (about ten dollars). However, since both sides offer a similar bribe, voting might be fair. But calculate up how much money is being spent to get hold of a minor office.

And remember: We are a small town.

In Mindanao, because of all the development money being spent there, I suspect there is a lot more money at stake. It must be going somewhere: Because the people there aren't getting any richer.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thanksgiving food suggestion

Don't forget to make your turkey Bento

(and notice it's in a HelloKittyBento Box?)

more cute bentos HERE.

Thanksgiving song

The official song of the first Thanksgiving...

from the album:
Stan Freburg presents the United States of America.

News Stories that make you go "huh"?

Report: Prisoners escape, steal cigarettes, then return to prison

Headline announce big breakthrough at the Hadron Collider...
but if you read the story, it was due to an error...

Cern's Director General Rolf Heuer said yesterday's collisions were actually the side effect of the quick advances being made by the LHC during its startup phase.

and they didn't really do anything new:
We're incredibly pleased, everything seems to be working excellently. The LHC hasn't actually accelerated particles yet - it hasn't made them go any faster than they were when they came into the tunnel.

And the "get that guy a decent Shredder" item of the day:

via AceOfSpades

the ACORN office in National City (San Diego County) engaged in a massive document dump on the evening of October 9th, containing thousands upon thousands of sensitive documents, just days prior to the Attorney General’s visit. has learned that not only did this document dump occur, but the documents in question were irresponsibly and brazenly dumped in a public dumpster, without considering laws and regulations as to how sensitive information should be treated.

as everyone who watches LawAndOrder knows, if you throw anything away in a public trash bin, anyone can take it....

Maybe ACORN needs to take lessons from Hillary:

Grand Jury Is Reportedly Told Of Shredding at Little Rock Firm
Published: Friday, March 4, 1994


NYTimes lets "expert" rewrite WWII...blamingEisenhower for being too petty to let a southern Army cross the southern Rhine...

aside from snow, hills, being surrounded by Germans, no rail lines to bring in supplies, and not a lot of gasoline, what could have gone wrong?


In contrast, podcast on the Battle of the Bulge here

War on Terror? Nah, just politics as usual

Big kidnapping and massacre in the southern first it seemed linked to the war on terror, but now it looks like it is linked to politicians killing their rivals.
ABS CBN Headline summarizes it thus:

Beheadings mark start of election season in Maguindanao

The bad news: Many of those killed and mutilated were women and journalists.

Link Link Link

Personal note: One of my nephews was killed in the crossfire of a political hit job on a rival a couple years ago...we are still awaiting justice.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Craft item of the day

Crochet a "Happy the Clam Amigurumi"
You can buy the pattern from TheseLovingHands at Etsy.

clam soup

Lutong Pinoy has a recipe for clam soup.

And here is a classic video about clam soup

Yum! RoboClams

more HERE

"...Such devices could be useful, for example, as tethers for small robotic submarines that are routinely repositioned to monitor variables such as currents and temperature. Further, a device that can burrow into the seabed and be directed to a specific location could also be useful as a detonator for buried underwater mines..."

Stuff below the fold

Big "Road rage" murder in Manila by a US citizen driving his stepdad's car who shot the son of a Malacañang official ...
stepfather is Brit who works for an NGO and has diplomatic is sister to a local singer...and the alleged shooter got away with vehicular homicide a couple years ago.
Stepdad says he will cooperate, but can't remember where he put the car keys and of course he can't remember where he put his car either...


While reading about DominickDunne at Vanity Fair, I checked out his 1986 article on Imelda in the archives.


have you seen this man?
Wanted by the police: The serial Marmite thief

have you seen this rat?
The world's smartest rat ,
The rat, when it was an embryo, was injected with genetic material to boost the NR2B gene which controls memory.
Photo: GETTY

and FYI: the shrine at Lipa is now open for prayers.

Inquirer has reports and I commented on it HERE.

I've never visited the shrine, although we did visit the Taal Volcano which is nearby.

The "visions" occurred after the war, and much of the area was destroyed in the fighting. This photo shows what the town looked like after the fighting.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Cat photo of the day

funny pictures
moar funny pictures

A Black Sheriff?

Before there was an Obama, there was this:

you can watch the full movie on line...until the copyright police find it's there.

Best quote:

Jim: [consoling Bart] What did you expect? "Welcome, sonny"? "Make yourself at home"? "Marry my daughter"? You've got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know... morons.

How to make yogurt

Several videos on Youtube on how to make yogurt...I posted this one because it's how I made it. (with a microwave and Dannon yogurt that was fresh).

The trick is not to get it too hot, or it curdles. Low fat milk won't set, so that's why he says to add extra milk powder...


JugbandiBlog says making kefir is easier than making yogurt, .and has instructions

The KefirLady has more.

Kefir vs Yogurt LINK

In the US, I used to make my own yogurt, but haven't gotten into it here, probably because milk, even local carabao milk, is expensive.
Here in the Philippines, although they sell some yogurt at the supermarket, the local product pushed for health is Yakult, originally a Japanese product (our neighbor, a Seventh day Adventist, is the local distributer).

Information on probiotics HERE.
as we take more antibiotics (That kill off the "good" germs of our body) probiotic use may become more and more important.

Related item: the ability to digest lactose is proof of evolution, with the trait evolving in two separate areas of the world over the last 10 000 years.

Quotes from the news to think about

“A political system based on force, oppression, changing people’s votes, killing, closure, arresting and using Stalinist and medieval torture, creating repression, censorship of newspapers, interruption of the means of mass communications, jailing the enlightened and the elite of society for false reasons, and forcing them to make false confessions in jail, is condemned and illegitimate,”
---Ayatollah Montazeri, one of the fathers of the original Islamic revolution in the NYTimes

"...As Afghanistan opened itself up after the fall of the Taliban, the cuisine, movies, and money that flowed into the country were, naturally, Indian....South Asia is a tar pit filled with failed and dysfunctional states, save for one long-established democracy of 1.2 billion people that is the second-fastest-growing major economy in the world, a check on China's rising ambitions, and a natural ally of the United States."
Fareed Zakaria, Newsweek columnist.


“Not since ‘The Birth of a Nation’ has a mainstream movie demeaned the idea of black American life as much as ‘Precious,’ ” Mr. White wrote in his review. “Full of brazenly racist clichés (Precious steals and eats an entire bucket of fried chicken), it is a sociological horror show.”

Armond White is the chief film critic of The New York Press and the chairman of the New York Film Critics Circle. Article from NYTIMES


We tend to imagine China as a monolith: 1.3 billion people sharing the same language, history, and culture. The truth is far more interesting. China is a mosaic of several distinct regions, each with its own resources, dynamics, and historical character.

an article in the Atlantic byPatrick Chovanec,about the NineNationsof China
several other scholars have similarly noticed this on their own, says the discussion on theGraniteStudioBlog

Galeras erupting in Colombia

people near slope evacuated to mention if Pasto, which is within 9 km of the volcano, will also be evacuated.. . no emails from my son yet, presumably because these small eruptions have been going on for 20 years.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

You mean the world won't end in 2012?

I'm still listening to podcasts on the Bronze age, and I was checking on the Ramayana at the British Library and elsewhere when I came across this site:

The ancient Hindus mainly used lunar calendars but also used solar calendars. If an average lunar year equals 354.36 days, then this would be about 5270 lunar years from the time when the Kali Yuga started until 21 Dec 2012....Lord Krishna's Golden Age could easily begin in 2012!

So tell your friends the "good news"...

EBook of the day

The Tale of Tom Kitten is now on line

The Tale of Benjamin Bunny and several other Beatrice Potter books are there too.

Cat video of the day

headsup from the Anchoress

Hackers strike again

Hackers got into the research organization for climate change, and have posted them on line...

The UKTelegraph tells why this is such a bombshell: emails such as this one that denies there was a medieval warming period:
……Phil and I have recently submitted a paper using about a dozen NH records that fit this category, and many of which are available nearly 2K back–I think that trying to adopt a timeframe of 2K, rather than the usual 1K, addresses a good earlier point that Peck made w/ regard to the memo, that it would be nice to try to “contain” the putative “MWP”, even if we don’t yet have a hemispheric mean reconstruction available that far back…

And I checked: although the hacker's site has been taken down, You can find the emails at the Pirate Bay...

Yes, I believe in climate change; Personally, I would love to figure out why Minnesota is no longer under 200 feet of glacial ice, or why the 4200 year event destroyed early civilizations.

and yes, I think that one needs to cut down greenhouse gases and switch to non petroleum sources of power.
But I also think that it is being hyped to scare people into a larger agenda that will allow some people to tell us how to live, and let others make lots of money from it.

And until this worry is addressed, a lot of us will oppose the green dictators.

Craft Item of the day

AnnaMarieHornerBlog has patterns for a wise owl Christmas ornament LINK

Gossip stuff of the week

I usually try to stay away from politics on weekends, but I love the writing of Dominick Dunne, and MarkSteyn's obituary about him does mention some inconvenient women who encountered some VIP's in Hollywood or other posh neighborhoods...

Steyn's column on Johnny Mercer, born 100 years ago this week, is HERE.
Mercer is mentioned in the book "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil", but is best remembered for this song.

An interesting link: Dunne's fictional Truman Capote (Basil Plant) character is portrayed quite sympathetically in this book....

Why Modern Health care costs so much

A woman brought a very limp duck into a veterinary surgeon. As she laid her pet on the table, the vet pulled out his stethoscope and listened to the bird's chest.

After a moment or two, the vet shook his head sadly and said, "I'm sorry, your duck, Cuddles, has passed away."

The distressed woman wailed, "Are you sure?
"Yes, I am sure. The duck is dead," replied the vet.
"How can you be so sure?" she protested. "I mean you haven't done any testing on him or anything. He might just be in a coma or something."

The vet rolled his eyes, turned around and left the room. He returned a few minutes later with a black Labrador Retriever..

As the duck's owner looked on in amazement, the dog stood on his hind legs, put his front paws on the examination table and sniffed the duck from top to bottom. He then looked up at the vet with sad eyes and shook his head. The vet patted the dog on the head and took it out of the room.

A few minutes later he returned with a cat. The cat jumped on the table and also delicately sniffed the bird from head to foot. The cat sat back on its haunches, shook its head, meowed softly and strolled out of the room.

The vet looked at the woman and said, "I'm sorry, but as I said, this is most definitely, 100% certifiably, a dead duck."

The vet turned to his computer terminal, hit a few keys and produced a bill, which he handed to the woman. The duck's owner, still in shock, took the bill. "$150!" she cried, "$150 just to tell me my duck is dead!"

The vet shrugged, "I'm sorry. If you had just taken my word for it, the bill would have been $20, but with the Lab Report and the Cat Scan, it's now $150.

on WorldPoultrynet,Sent in by M. Y. Nalek

Friday, November 20, 2009

GIft item of the day

A Christmas Bunny Flip book

TheThumbCinema Flipbooks from Fernanda Frick on Vimeo.

headsup FunkyFindsBlog

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

Big meteor over film at link.

One wonders how often this happens without being seen...we saw a similar one when we were in Africa...

Set Phaser on Stun

Good news: Light emitting phaser invented
Get zapped, and you are stunned..
...and another blast wakes you up
Bad news: Only works if you are a worm.

Oh well, it will be a good weapon if your house is attacked by Zombie earthworms.

Photocredit:Clive A. Edwards, The Ohio State University, Columbus.

Really bad news:
"Although some of the worms died, most of them lived through the process. "


funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

Stuff below the fold

Green algae can produce petroleum free plastic.

Between 2000 and 2005, 57 terrorist attacks occurred on American soil.

Guess which group was behind 43 of them?

World Poverty fell 80% since 1970...

and the big question: Why does Africa lag?

and the really bad news story of the day:

There is an EGGO shortage

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Oldie but goodie movie of the day

Three coins in a fountain... guys need to watch.

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

Global warming will increase the world's temperature 6 degrees by the end of the century.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Scenic beauty

webecoistBlog has a list and photos of the most amazing beaches in the world.

The most unusual?
Pfeiffer Beach in Big Sur California.

(photo borrowed from Flikr...which won't let me sign in).

Stuff below the fold

Pinay UN worker laid to rest.

Her crime? Teaching Afghanis to hold the Taliban attacked the UN guesthouse in revenge.

And here in the Philippines, the AbuSayyaf is terrorizing teachers in Sulu.
seems to be a pattern:The jihadis also kill teachers in Thailand.
StategyPage wryly comments on the Taliban destroying girl's schools: god tells them to keep the girls ignorant.

The fact that teachers and UN workers continue to try to improve conditions for ordinary folks says a lot about the heroism of everyday folks.

But it also stresses the problem of pacifism: opposing the killers is necessary too.

After 61 years, Catholics can again visit the Shrine where Our Lady supposedly appeared in Lipa.
It was "shut down" by Vatican politics, who back then hated all visions as too untidy...

Chicago Tribune writer wonders how a suicide managed to find his way to a spot near the river in the dark...

Hmmm....Sounds like Vince Foster redux...

Female caregivers of those with Alzheimers get support from families and church.

.... Robert Reich points out the Chinese emphasis on putting profit into industrial expansion instead of paying higher wages may have social consequences.
I don't know enough about economics to commen

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Stuff below the fold

CNN, and now Arirang (Korean) TV are showing President Obama's "Townhall" style meeting in China.

However, now the reports say that it was only shown in Shanghai, with a lot of his comments censored...

Edward Woodward
, the Equalizer, has died...

Is hatred for Sarah Palin due to class hatred? the same folks who made fun of Hillary supporters last year.

Why haven't Janet Evanovich's stories haven't been made into movies?
Guess they are too busy making "big movies".
But why not make them a TV series, like Colombo?

Political quote of the day, from the PhilInquirer:
“The Comelec cannot, as its Second Division has done, discriminate against and whiplash gays, while they give party-list accreditation to cock fighters, etc.,” he said.

Cockfighting party? Yup...

Alyansa ng Sabungero (Alliance of Cockfighters), Ang Kasangga, the duck-egg sellers, and Ladlad, a group of homosexuals, are among the 250 groups who filed for party-list accredidation....

In their petition, Alyansa said that cockfighters are considered as ‘marginalized and underrepresented’ and must be given a chance to vye for a congressional seat...

Duck-egg, or balut, sellers, on the other hand, did not suffer the same faith as the cockfighters.

Balut — pre-mature duck chick — is a known native delicacy in the Philippines and is patronized not only by the locals but also of the foreign visitors in the country.

The commission accredited the party in April recognizing the need for the representation of the industry....

what all these things are about is agendas: to promote civil rights for gays (who are considered part of the family here, but ridiculed), the cockfighting party is about countering the rich foreign funding for animal rights and to help legalize gambling, and for the Balut industry is about increasing votes for the Arroyos:

...(because) the party’s head, Maria Lourdes Arroyo, is not a balut vendor but a member of a powerful clan in Iloilo. She is also the sister of the Philippine First Gentleman Mike Arroyo.

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Prisoner

We don't get AMC here, but if you do, you might want to check on the remake of the Prisoner.

Ian McKellrn stars as Two, the boss , but Jim Caviezel plays the Patrick McGoohan role....

The 4.2 kiloyear event

Yesterday, Discovery channel had a special on the fall of Egypt: Why the Old Kingdom collapsed, and was followed by 200 years of chaos and lack of records. They implied it was a long drought (at which point I fell asleep, alas).

But I am also listening to podcasts on the ancient civilizations of India, and the Harappan civilization of the Indus valley also disappeared about this time...but Wikipedia says no, not 2200 but 1700 BC...
more HERE.
more about climate changes and the effects on civilization HERE.

Robo fairies

In an A&M University presentation of "A Midsummer Night's Dream", the fairies are all accompanied by...robofairies:

"The idea of flying robot fairies was one I had early on, as soon as I heard about the possibility of a collaboration with the Department of Computer Science and Engineering," Hopper said in a press release. "What's great is that they have been a part of the production from the beginning and the robots seem more and more like characters that have always been a part of the story. To see them flying, spinning and bouncing through the air just adds to the magic and mystery of the world Shakespeare created."

headsup Physorg

Stuff below the fold

The lawyers at PowerlineBlog discuss the legal implications of trying terrorists in civilian courts...

and point out that the Nuremburg trials were military tribunals

MPAA police are shutting down community WiFi sites.

nah, just because they cut the profit of the telecoms has nothing to do with it.

And if you think that is scary, ZDNET points out:

Microsoft shuts down Xbox Game Portal access to users with XBox Consoles that have been modified or are playing pirated games.

  • It’s estimated that over 600,000 users have been affected.
Big Brother is watching you...and your XBox.

A lot of us worry that children playing violent games, like children who watch violent TV programs, will desensitize them so that they are more prone to commit violent acts.

But others argue that playing video games (like sports) will allow a non violent way to divert rage and anger, so that the anger is defused.

StrategyPage, in an article on the prevention of Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, notes:
, when possible, combat troops sleep in air conditioned rooms, and have access to the Internet and video games, as well as good food and other amenities. The video games and Internet resulted in an unexpected positive effect. The surveys found that troops that spent 2-4 hours a day on the Internet or playing video games (even violent ones) had far fewer stress problems. Having exercise facilities available also helped....

The answer is probably both: When there is anger, expressing it in a harmless way is one way to defuse it. But when a person already is prone toward harmful acts, games and media that glamourize violence allow "permission" to act out.

Family News

The flu is going through employees again...Ruby and Joy both had a mild case, and several employees. Lolo and I are okay, probably because we had it the last round in June.

The workmen have been here day and night making booths for the local businesses for trade fairs. Finished now, so everyone can go to sleep before midnight.

Dog killed another kittie, who wandered out looking for mom...I heard him but am slower than the dog.

However, on Sunday, Chano saved a stray kittie that wandered in here...mangy but strong. So we still have four kittens.

Blackie's puppies are starting to get out of their box...will have to banish them to the kitchen, whose tile floor is easier to clean than our hardwood floor in the bedroom.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Gods must be Crazy

if you have never seen the movie "the Gods Must Be Crazy", and want to laugh out loud, go to link...

You see, there was this coca cola bottle, a bushman, a naive blond teacher, a klutzy scientist, and a bunch of insurgents...

The funniest part: when the scientist got his Landrover stuck in a tree...

Chicken post number two

see more Lolcats and funny pictures

The real disaster news of the week:

Chicken wing shortage forces sports bars to punt

Article tells you why:
It's the economics, stupid.

Trivia item: In the US, barbecued chicken wings are called Buffalo wings, after the city (Buffalo NY).
And here is how you make them:

House beautiful

When we lived in the US, Lolo always bought Better Homes and Gardens. His sense of design is worse than mine, but he enjoyed looking at beautiful rooms and decor.

Here in the Philippines, if we want to buy this type of magazine, we go to the used book store which sells the unsold magazines from a couple months ago.

But what is amazing is all the design and decor websites available on line.

The link is to The Peak of Chic, one of the best.

Peacekeeping and anthropology

StrategyPage notes: The US Army is teaching cross cultural anthropology by using games. This enables direct work with locals in peacekeeping.

Ironically, I've stumbled across some of their webpage educational sites for various countries (not games, just descriptions). Lots of cultural points and tips for lots of countries.

And this page let me download useful medical phrases to use when I see sick employees and their families.

Medical personnel might consider downloading it if they need to talk to someone in Tagalog (or a couple dozen other unusual languages) in case your patient only speaks Khmer or Somali or Spanish.

The "WAGD" post of the day

could global warming lead to an instant "mini ice age" as in AlGore's disaster movie?

Well, probably not. 12,800 years ago, it took a year to restart a mini ice age, giving you time to buy your sub zero parka before you froze to death.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Musical interlude of the day

turn up speakers and Hula!

Trivia fact for the day

The Bayeux Tapestry had a "picture" of Halley's comet on it...the comet was considered a bad omen back then.

Bart's comet

Sorry but thanks to the copyright police I couldn't find any link to theSimpson episode where Bart finds a comet ready to demolish Springfield.

But Wikipedia has a summary of the plot, and this link says it has the episode for you.


Science stuff of the week

The "we're all gonna die...well, maybe not" story of the week:

Asteroid 2009 VA Barely Misses Earth...

FromTheGonzoBlog calculates how much damage a meteor that size could cause, depending on what it was made of and how it hit.
Worse case scenerio?

Imagine a 3,800 foot wide, 800 foot deep crater suddenly becoming an obvious landmark in your hometown, wild stuff.

Astronomycast podcast discussion here


Nanohair inspired by sea urchins.
From Technology Review: (The nanobristles) spontaneously curl into a precise array of helical bundles when immersed in an evaporating liquid. AAizenberg likens the phenomena to the way wet, curly hair clumps together and coils to form dreadlocks...

Via BoingBoing.

In humans, however, curly hair is caused by a single gene.


But a lot of questions about the toxicity of nano particles is still being questioned.
if you love protesting chemicals, just wait till nano particle hysteria starts


Putting textbooks on Kindles could save money, but they are "too hard" for the visually impaired to figure out how to use the text to speech function, so the PC want to ban them from some universities as "discriminatory".

Silly me. I thought if you went to college, you'd be smart enough to figure such things out.


Family News

They are up all night making booths for the local businesses to use in trade fairs.

Last night they set up in Clark.

The puppies have opened their eyes, and are starting into the "cute" stage.

Lolo and I are well.

Minor brownouts, but no posting yesterday was due to lazyness.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

You know you're getting old

When your classmates at the reunion look like your grandmother.

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

Enchanted April

Enchanted April just popped up on Youtube...

and if you don't get a chance to watch it before the copyright police remove it, listen to the audiobook HERE.

(headsup the Anchoress)

Fort Hood and crime statistics rant

NYTimes story on violence at FortHood.
moved to BNN.

the president is right: Stress the heroism, not the psychobabble.

Audio Links for today

Librivox has links to books on nursing in wartime

A nurse in WWI: LINK

A nurse in the Civil war LINK

BBC program on Florence Nightingale HERE.

She still inspires nurses all over the world today, as this video by nursing students shows: LINK Part ONE:

Another Day another (fill in the blanks)

Another Day, another Volcano...

Mayon spewing lava again...far from us so we're okay.

Another day, another impeachment try...

$329-million National Broadband Network (NBN) contract with China’s ZTE Corp. was overpriced by about $130 million to cover kickbacks.

They got a whistleblower on the case because he was shocked that the kickback was too high...

Alas, such things are common via Instapundit:


How much do crooked politicians and others steal every year?

Nobody really knows, of course, but as the BBC reports today, the UN estimates that $1.6 trillion each year is stolen each year and moved across national borders.

No typhoons this week however.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Craft item of the day

a David Hasselhof paper doll...
via AyyeBlog.

Craft item of the day

If you hurry, you just about have enough time to crochet a Turkey Tea Cosy for your Thanksgiving supper table. Pattern at link.

Design by AngelinaCatirina...

Reading links FYI

I have most of Sigrid Undset's books with me.
You might have heard of her book Kristen Lavransdattir, which is still in print and was made into a movie a couple years ago.

What I didn't know is that she had written a biography of Catherine of Sienna, now being republished by Ignatius Press.

Ignatius press is also releasing a biography of Dr.Takashi Nagai, whose books helped heal the bitterness in Japan after the bomb...he lost his family in the bombing of Nagasaki.
More about him here at JesusOtakuBlog...

Librivox has coffee break stories of faith for your listening pleasure.

Includes "How The Virtues Of Abstinence And Patience Rise In The Sensuality"

And if you don't find that stimulating enough, try listening to speeches given to the UK House of Commons.

Uh, it was around here somewhere...

"...Hundreds of bleached bones and skulls found in the desolate wilderness of the Sahara desert may be the remains of the long lost Cambyses' army, according to Italian researchers...."

Again, Herodatus story, which many had ridiculed, turned out to be true.

Herodatus says Cambyses went crazy after wounding the Apis bull.

Lesson: Don't mess with the (Holy Apis) Bull...
In another bull story a man in the Philippines was gored by a waterbuffalo for preventing him from visiting his girlfriend.

Monday, November 09, 2009


Benny HIll

Benny Hill won't get his own stamp in the UK:

"Benny Hill has been included in previous presentations but concerns were raised by our public relations team as it was in direct opposition to company's policies on harassment in the workplace," the minutes stated.

Gift item of the day

A Nativity set for the bear lovers in your home.

Stuff below the fold

How a casual remark brought down the Berlin Wall...
BBC calls it a "baffling year".

JP2, Reagan, Thatcher, andSolzhenitsyn might have had something to do with it...

Pashtuns and Kurds and Baluchis o my...

Do you give tribes their own country, or integrate them into larger countries, or ethnically cleanse the area, like the Turks did to the Greeks?

Forget the JDAMS:

Beware of the Bears.

Movie Suggestion for the week

Post Traumatic stress syndrome is not a new problem...

and for my spin on the Fort Hood murders, I have it on BNN. And my non PC version is HERE.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Japanese names

I am always fascinated on how different cultures devise names.

Until the reforms of the Meiji period, one's "name" would essentially be a description of one's family...

"...Here's how it breaks down: Saito, the family name, refers to a real or fictitious ancestor's official post as head of ritual purification (sai) at Ise Grand Shrine in present-day Mie Prefecture, the nation's holiest Shinto site. Ichiro, meaning "first-born son" (just as Jiro means "second son," Saburo "third son," and so on) isn't so much a name, as it would be today, as a kind of decoy — more on that in a moment. Sama-no-kami means "Head of the Left Horse Stables," an ancient title evocative of ancestry serving in the Imperial Palace, where all duties were divided for symmetry into "left" and "right." Minamoto is a clan name. Ason is another ancient title, of the sort known as kabane — there were eight in all, awarded to clan chieftains most eligible for hereditary government office. And Tadayoshi is the personal name, whose utterance in everyday situations that decoy "Ichiro" made unnecessary. Why was that desirable? Because in Japan until the Meiji Era, personal names — used sparingly even today — were taboo..."

headsup TokyoMango

First step toward a space elevator?

"...The team's robotic machine raced up more than 2,950 feet of cable dangling from a helicopter.

Powered by a ground-based laser pointed up at the robot's photo voltaic cells that converted the light into electricity, the LaserMotive machine completed one of its climbs in about three minutes and 48 seconds, good for second-place money..."

podcast on space elevator HERE

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Purple Waffle Plant 1, indoor pollution 0

want to decrease indoor pollution?

Buy a houseplant.

According to Kays, some indoor plants have the ability to effectively remove harmful VOCs from the air, and not only have the ability to improve our physical health, but also have been shown to enhance our psychological health. Adding these plants to indoor spaces can reduce stress, increase task performance, and reduce symptoms of ill health.

Photo: Hemigraphis alternata, or purple waffle plant, one of the highest rated ornamentals for removing indoor air pollutants. (Credit: Photo courtesy of Dr. Stanley Kays)

Medical photo of the day

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

and now for the really bad news:

You can give it to Fluffy...

Ah Choo  Now U haz Flu too
moar funny pictures

actually, cross species infections are a real danger...which is why SARS and Bird flu are so dangerous...and why a lot of us worry about the hype about cross species transplatation or making Chimeras that can live...