Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween humor

From Epilog:Kid Friendly Halloween party recipes.

Ghoulish Goodies author Sharon Bowers shares recipes and tips for making Monster Eyeballs (shown above), Funny Bones, and Glowing Jack-o'-Lantern Cookies.

more HERE.


from savageChickens

How to make a zombie: Mix flu virus and rabies?


basement kitteh is  NOT amuzed!

Happy birthday, Asimo

Honda's Asimo Robot is not ten years old

Quote for the day

The state is not the whole of human existence and does not encompass all human hope.

J Ratzinger

something to remember in these times of overheated rhetoric.

Frankenstien's monster

another item for your Halloween party:
cute food photos - Frankenstein's Monster Cookie
see more EpiCute

Eat the Monster

from bakegreek

Saturday, October 30, 2010


Yes, it's HelloKitty Paradise!

cute kawaii stuff - hello kitty paradise
see more Must Have Cute
Hello Kitty’s Kawaii Paradise (has a) 10,000 square-foot venue features aggressively kawaii decor, with a Hello Kitty ball pit, Hello Kitty cartoons projected onto the ceiling, a Hello Kitty restaurant (with Hello Kitty pancakes, natch), and, of course, a Hello Kitty gift shop.

Must have flowers

we have flowers all year round, but for those of you in cooler climates, how do you find flowers to decorate your home?

Craftlovers has a Tutorial on making felt flowers HERE.

a different type of felted flower is made in this tutorial:

Family news

Joy and others are busy with the Rice harvest...luckily since the typhoon, the rains have stayed away. Chano also has been busy with the Capiz workers, hurrying to fill orders for Christmas stars and flower decor lamps for Christmas gifts.

Yesterday I bought some orchids for the graves, before the flower prices go up. We will buy cut flowers Sunday. I will try to get Lolo to visit on Sunday, to beat the crowds on All Saints day.

The father of Dr Zamora has died and lots of relatives going up to his town for the funeral either today or tomorrow. We can't go because of the harvest but mainly because I don't want Lolo traveling that far. He is better now than he was two weeks ago, but I still worry about him.

Terrorist threats?

the WAPO reports the "suspicious packages" were taken off in Dubai and the UK, and were probably a "dry run" for planned Christmas attacks. the press reported that they both had the same address in Yemen...same address??

Great. More airport security nightmares.


here in the Philippines, the All Saints day holiday means everyone is going home to visit their families and clean up the graves in the cemetaries.
we are worried about terrorism, since blowing up buses and ferries has been done in the past.

of course, here, bombs might not just mean terrorism, it might be extortion or even fraternity pranks. And now rumors that the 2007 Glorietta mall blast might not have been an accidental methane explosion.

Friday, October 29, 2010


If you are tired of ugly versus uglier pumpkin designs, check out Janice Nadeau's designs and excellent tutorial at Design Sponge.

Musical interlude of the day

Stop or I'll shoot

from the Guinea pig Olympics at the UKTelegraph.

Is BPA making us fat, diabetic and infertile?

I had written about BPA, the chemical in clear bottles, that it leeched into the liquid when heated, which is why some folks want it banned from baby bottles.

There is also some evidence that it might be behind the epidemic of obesity, since it can induce metabolic syndrome (the metabolic problems associated with diabetes and obesity)...
report in JAMA...
EPA "action plan".

the latest study shows that men working in a Chinese plant exposed to BPA had lower sperm counts.

what good is having Democrats in office if they can't ban it? I mean, even the freepers don't like it...

spider Cupcakes

cute food photos - Gummy Spider Cupcakes
see more EpiCute

Tip of the day from tia Maria

Val Glinka teaches self-defense to students at Sylvania Southview High School . For decades, he's suggested putting a can of wasp and hornet spray near your door or bed.

Glinka says, "This is better than anything I can teach them."

Glinka considers it inexpensive, easy to find, and more effective than mace or pepper spray. The cans typically shoot 20 to 30 feet; so if someone tries to break into your home, Glinka says, "spray the culprit in the eyes". It's a tip he's given to students for decades. It's also one he wants everyone to hear. If you're looking for protection, Glinka says look to the spray.

of course, if he's wearing safety glasses, you are in trouble.

Here in the Philippines, guns are illegal without a permit. In the US, Lolo always had a gun (as a doc who made housecalls, he had morphine in his bag, so was worried about addicts). Here in the Philippines, we rely on George the killer watchdog and a machete.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Cat item of the day

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

Stuff below the fold

Who is the patron saint of those who organize stuff, (e.g. Bureaucrats)?

St Benedict, of course, says Sister Mary Martha, and explains why.

the mystery of Peter Ney....maybe someone should do some DNA studies.

Did Napoleon's General, Marshall Michael Ney get executed by a firing squad, or did he escape and work as a schoolteacher in North Carolina, under the name of Peter Stuart Ney?

Factoid of the day: At Waterloo, Marshal Ney was in charge of the cavelery, but it was Marshal Grouchy who lost the battle.

Get ReligionBlog points out how partisans censored the second part of Juan William's comments....
this make more sense to me, since as I noted earlier, Williams tends to be nuanced...

No matter who wins the election in the US, the outsourcing folks are licking their chops here in Asia.
Now, if PNoy can only get rid of some of the corruption, maybe our OFW's will come home to work.

In a somewhat related item, AustinBay has the historical background on why Obama is going to India.

Sept. 11 and Islamist terrorist attacks in India forge another common cause. As for mutual economic interests, an Indian technician fixing an American computer from a call center in Bangalore is a telling indicator. The Indian government, unlike China's, does not fear global connectivity.

and PNoy and VietNam agree on the Spratlys,

The two countries, along with Malaysia, Brunei, and China are claiming the group of islands of more than 750 reefs, islets, atolls, cays, and islands in the South China Sea that is believed to contain significant oil and gas deposits.


and finally, there is some good news for today:

Yes! The Hobbit will be made in New Zealand.


Family news

Big party last night for Ruby, everyone was there.

Danny arrived from the US with gifts (thanks Daisy).


The Tolkien professor, who is on the "No wings" side of the Balrog argument, links to this recipe for Balrog wings at Dillicious..

but CheeryTomatoBlog has this photo of a genuine Balrog, and sorry, professor, it does have wings.

To make the costume, she writes:
Chris rearranged and spraypainted a Viking helmet to make the horns, and we rigged the wings with electrical wire and sheer fabric.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Lady Gaga related post of the day

Tiny Pie throwing catapult

ok. You have your tiny catapult on your desk. What do you do with it?
Bioephemerma blog links to this video:

Stuff below the fold

Montezuma, the head of the Aztecs who killed thousands in ritual sacrifice, might have been done in by the Spanish, but Andrew Cusack notes his relatives lived on,moved to Spain, and became Spanish nobles.

top photo from wikipedia
cutaway drawing from the UKTelegraph.

The prehistoric Neolithic culture of Europe produced many Megaliths and other sites, including the world's largest prehistoric mound at Silbury Hill, near Stonehedge.

Heritage KeyBlog notes:

New and more precise dating of materials found inside the hill now suggests the main construction happened in about 100 years, involving some three generations between 2400 and 2300 BC – right after nearby Stonehenge's thirty enormous sarsen stones were put in place.

no, no one is sure why.

Why are things hot or cold?

Astrocast podcast discusses.
Professional liturgists zero.
Professional musicians one.

Score another one for the Pope.

James MacMillian on Wikipedia.
I don't like it either, but see what you think:

and finally, via Randomgoodstuff:

How to make toothpicks into a star without touching them.

Craft item of the day

DMC webpage has instructions for you to make this creepy cupcake...

or if you don't have that much time, they also have a pattern for candy corn decorations for your Halloween party table.
(headsup ReadyMade)

(see below) the scariest movie is the if you are a horror movie freak,PintassilgoPrints has Jack, Wendy and Danny finger puppets for you.

at her Etsy shop.

eHow has a recipe for Pumpkin Spice Latte:Instructions
Things You'll Need:

* Coffee
* Milk
* Pumpkin spice powder

1.Brew yourself a cup of coffee if you have granules. If you use instant coffee then boil yourself some water.
2.Make your coffee, sweeten to taste, and add milk (the latte part).Foam the milk is possible.
3.Place 1 or 2 shakes of pumpkin spice on top.

the more complicated recipe, using an espresso machine, is HERE

and finally, Cannelle et Vanille has a recipe for Maple glazed gluten free donuts HERE.

Family news

We went to KFC to celebrate my birthday last night, and we will have Ruby's birthday party with the relatives and friends tonite in our garden.
We harvested a second rice field yesterday, and a fairly good harvest, not ruined by the rain. (By "we" I mean our farmers with Joy and Chano supervising and helping).

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Haloween scary movie of the week

It's coming to get you and take over your brain, and it's...yummy.

Hagendanz takes over the world!

Yes, The Stuff is on Youtube HERE

and EntertainmentWeekly's list of the top scary movies is HERE.

top scary movie? The Shining...

no, I haven't seen many of them, because I dislike Horror movies. But I did enjoy Poltergeist and Jaws, mainly because these stories were about the ordinary folks fighting a menace, not stories that stress the evil thing or person as the star.

Musical Interlude of the day

Cat item of the day

Basement Kittehs wish  U Happy Hallowe'en

Headlines below the fold

Elections in the Philippines "mainly" peaceful.

List of casualties, including the mastermind behind you know what.


an AMA related source is trying to persuade docs why the Obama health care bill was really, really needed.
Yes, we needed it fixed, but as my post points out, this report doesn't prove much.

The AP doesn't like Catholic bloggers who are...Catholic.

who wudda thot?
If you are really interested in why some of us rebel, check out Father L's explanation.

AlJezeerah has a report on what's going on in the Sudan.

(Senator Kerry )... urged the mainly Arab north and Christian and animist south to overcome obstacles to implementing the 2005 peace agreement.
South Sudan is struggling to recover from Africa's longest civil conflict, which was fuelled by ethnicity, ideology, religion and resources such as oil and left an estimated two million people dead.

IF you want to read Wikileaks, they are on the Pirate Bay

They're listed right under the "Asian girls like big D...s" torrent...

"Culture of death" news of the day: Selling body parts for those who love the macabre...

and yes, there is a China connection...


After you have carved your geeky pumpkin,

Zombie Kids by Germanica’s husband

how do you light it up?
Gizmodo has suggestions.

and for those who overdo it (either those who set fires on Devil's night or those who think the holiday is Demonic), sisterMaryMartha reminds us it is part of the celebration of All Saints day:

It's lovely that the children are going as saints and angels, but I wouldn't start a Holy War over, what is for a small child, a gentle little holiday involving candy and dress up. It's such fun to dress up. That's all they care about. That, and candy. Yay! Candy!

It's not really a demonic holiday. It's a very Catholic holiday. Holiday/Holy Day.

Yes, here in the Philippines, the big holiday is November 1, when everyone leaves town to go home to visit the dead (clean up the graves and party while doing it).

Haloween? Originally a way to laugh at the devil, not to celebrate him.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Science is crazy

Geekologie notes:

Too Deep For Me: Scientists Build 'Holometer' To Determine If Universe Is Just A Hologram

more HERE.
and then there is this: an airbag for those who use bicycles.

whether it will work for a motorcyclist who is hit head on at 120 km/hr is another question.


cute food photos - Breakfast Banana Love
see more EpiCute

some people can make beauty out of the most mundane objects.

Stuff below the fold

Louis XVI was autistic? In one movie they thought so.

But I am not convinced, and wrote on my Xanga blog why.

"Big Boost from Dollar Decline".

yeah, you know damn well the "debt" will be decreased by lowering the value of the dollar, and the resulting inflation. I lived through this during Jimmy Carter.

The "Truth" behind coconut oil.

For awhile, it was a no-no because it's unsaturated, but now it's promoted as a "health food" here in the Philippines.

As a doc, I have no opinion..

What is it about Islamasist extremists and education?

Razing schools hasn't been limited to Afghanistan: It has occured in Pakistan, in Thailand and in the southern Philippines.

and now, the government in Iran is shutting down programs to study social studies, humanities, and philosophy in their universities..."The decision is seen as a response to concerns by Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei that the subjects could lead to religious doubts." "

This is shameful and unIslamic, but never mind. These radicals are doing more harm to their religion than Ghenghis Khan or Tamerline., who destroyed the centers of medieval Islamic scholarship...


Vegas on the Nile?

Why not? as one internet wag noted: Glenn Crawford, deftly summed up the different cultural approaches to unpromising climate, in this instance between the Afghan plain and Nevada. Third World solution: eke a living out of the desert. American solution: “Viva Las Vegas!”


A "paramilitary attack" against a pizza man?

Sinn Fein councillor Kevin Campbell said it was the third attack this week."These attacks will achieve nothing and I would call on those responsible to desist from these actions"

Presumably if they don't, he will send them a "nasty letter".

Family news

Barangay elections today. Say a prayer for everyone's safety.

Our cook reports that a certain friend of an ex mayor, who was the suspected mastermind of a certain political hit job, was killed in a nearby Barangay.

No, we didn't do it.

Am waiting for the official news story, and will post about it later.

"only" 27 people were killed in this year's local elections here in the Philippines.

I SAID BEFORE THAT WIKILEAKS’ JULIAN ASSANGE WAS CLEARLY A TOOL, BUT WHOSE? Well, so far the two biggest scoops from the latest document dump are that the infamous Lancet study was bogus, and that WMDs were found in Iraq in quantity. . . . .UPDATE: Here’s more on Wikileaks.

and the LATimes has more on "sectarian violence"...some of it by Saddam's minions, but much of it by Iranian backed Shiite hit squads.

The Lancet study, which I suspect was run by and based on Sunni data, reflected the ethnic tensions.

The US is trying to keep Sunnis as part of Iraq, but many Shiites remember the atrocities and want payback...and remember, Iran lost a million in Saddam's war, and also wants payback.

to put it into context: not only did many "collaberators" die after WWII, but 14 million ethnic Germans were victims of "ethnic cleansing".

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Guess who's 21!

yes, you know you're old when your grandkids are old enough to drink.

Baked Donuts?!

Doughnuts Cookbook Trailer from Lara Ferroni on Vimeo.

headsup Epilog

While you were watching Dancing with the stars

or getting upset at the latest kerfuffle about the US elections, maybe take a moment out and write a check to your favorite charity for the folks in Haiti.

first earthquake and death, then hunger and homelessness, and now, Cholera.

And don't forget the folks in Pakistan, although the bad news there is unless you give wisely the money might be diverted into the pockets of politicians and others instead of helping those in need.

Here in east Asia, several countries have had local floods. In the nothern Philippines, a lot of people are still displaced, but are getting badly the rice crop has been affected is still uncertain.

Photo from the Inquirer
HELPING HANDS. Philippine policemen and US Marines load relief goods into a US CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter for a mercy mission in Isabela province which was ravaged by Supertyphoon “Juan” on Monday. The Philippine weather bureau lifted all typhoon warnings as Juan, moves further away toward Taiwan and southeastern China. EDWIN BACASMAS


with the street kids being treated at the hospital.
(facemasks are commonly used for those with active TB in our hospitals).

one of the many paintings of Joey Valasco, who recently passed away from renal disease.

WAGD post of the day

worried about natural disasters?

Well, you should be worried...look at history.

but all of these disasters are in the west/middle east.

Earthquakes and floods killed millions in the history of China.

more HERE.

and then there is "man made disasters such as war. The Mongol conquest came in number three yet few in the west realize it, even though it probably spread the black death, which killed another 40 million people.

Musical Interlude of the day

headsup from BrianSibley discusses a new book on the making of the Disney cartoon Beauty and the Beast.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Gift items of the day

Going to a Halloween party as a bloodthirsty Viking? Ah, but where can you buy a nice helmet?

Try the Village Hat Shop:

They include this disclaimer for the Politically correct:
It has been recently discovered that the real Viking Helmets did not have horns, please note horns are unique, no two are alike.

Helmets and horns vary from shape and color as shown in image, as all are handmade.

But, our customers still like them, so we still make them.

and what about the rest of the costume?

Add some chain mail from ThinkGeek:

and no, it's not made from Mithril,(i.e. titanium) but it's made of the next best thing: Aluminum.

The ThinkGeek Chain Mail T-Shirt is honest-to-goodness real metal chain mail hand forged by dwarfs in forbidden mines near the center of the earth and delivered to the ThinkGeek warehouse by shrieking black apparitions in the dead of night. Its bright shine and relatively light-weight comes from its anodized aluminum construction. It's appropriate protective wear for most occasions including office meetings and parties you would rather not have attended.

DIY Haloween crafts and recipes

Want Halloween ideas? Try Tipnut's page of suggestions.

and if you want to make a pumpkin chuckin' trebuchet, here are instructions:

You can buy a full sized Trebuchet HERE,

or buy one of these for your desk at work

News from the past back in the news

Orson Bean, the "Yankee" humorist who played the voice of Bilbo in the cartoon, is alive and well and writing for Beitbart.

He was always controversial in his politics, sort of a left wing libertarian back then, and still has opinions that would get him censored on NPR.

little known fact: Barbra Streisand's first TV appearance was when he was substituting on Jack Parr's program and arranged for her to sing.


Cardinal VanThuan, who spent 19 years in a communist Vietnamese "reeducation camp" is now up for sainthood. LINK

His book was matter of fact, and what I learned from it was that even our "useless hands" when we can't work, can be of use to God.


The Dawn of the written word, 3200BC

Writing probably started as tags for shipped goods, and evolved into lists.
Stories came a few hundred years later.

so if you are reading this, thank a Sumerian bureaucrat.
Headsup Archeoblog.

Did Colgate new "Herbal" Toothpaste "steal" a 1000 year old recipe for tooth cleaning from India?


Not only did nuclear launch codes go missing under Clinton, but Jimmy C once sent them to the dry cleaner.

The Dog who prays...the story behind the video.


and the big news of the day: The NYTimes has discovered Pumpkin Chunkin.
coming to your screen soon on discovery channel.

headsup Dave Barry

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Mathematics of a wet dog

Physicists Discover Universal "Wet-Dog Shake" Rule

funny pictures of dogs with captions
see more dog and puppy pictures

How fast should a wet dog rotate its body to dry its fur?

When the dog shakes, centripetal forces pull the water away. So for the water to be ejected from the fur, the centripetal force has to exceed the surface tension.

This model leads to an interesting prediction. If the animal has a radius R, the shaking frequency must scale with R^0.5. That makes sense, smaller animals will need to oscillate faster to generate forces large enough to dry themselves.

To find out whether that applies in nature, Dickerson and pals studied films of various animals of different sizes. They found that a mouse shakes at 27 Hz, a cat at about 6 Hz while a bear shakes at 4Hz. "Shake frequencies asymptotically approach 4Hz as animals grow in size," they conclude.

headsup DaveBarry.

It's a world record!

The least covered story in the world

the abuse of migrant workers.
Well, AlJezerah has a report:

hopefully, PNoy will implement steps to protect workers.

NYTimes has a story on the Ismaili Muslims...
maybe one day they'll notice the persecution of Shias and Christians in Saudi too...

Gift item of the day

buy your aspiring politicianess a Michelle Obama action figure (aka DOLL)...

only $12.95

well, the press is always sniping at Michelle's wardrobe, Momlogic informs us that the dresses are authentic, and provides these photos to prove it.

Stories that make you go WTF

Cause of airplane crash: A crocodile who got lose?

Soft spoken Juan Williams got fired?

a prank call that went "wrong"...


Austrailian unions one, ...New Zealand economy zero.
while still trying to figure out where they will film it, it is confirmed that Martin Freeman will play Bilbo.

more here:

"separation of church and state"

7. The first mainstream figures to favor separation after the first amendment was adopted were Jefferson supporters in the 1800 election, who were trying to silence Northern clergy critical of the immoral Jeffersonian slaveholders in the South.


Michelle still getting dissed by the PC set: "chain mail studded flat black leather boots"? like THESE? or like THIS?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

It's the great Pumpkin!

the whole film can be seen at Toudu...

How to carve your pumpkin

from Make Magazine:

pumpkin carving with your Dremel motor tool.
Don't forget the Safety goggles
Download the Project PDF


if you don't have a Dremel, instructions in carving can be found HERE.
also has a lot of templates for you to copy.

and don't miss this prize winning horror film:


cute food photos - Princess Leia Cupcakes
see more EpiCute

princess Leia cupcakes.

more ideas for your Starwars party at Just Jenn's webpage

Politics uggh

Headlines below the fold

Do statins (cholesterol lowering meds) make a small number of people fuzzy minded?
In my experience, I learn these things by listening to my patients: the "news" usually hits the journals a few months later.
the rule in old people is: if they are confused, first stop all medicine to make them better.


India to Obama: Sikhs are not Muslims. Wear a baseball cap.

Trees one, wind zero. It's the reforestation stupid.

ProGay Libertarian teapartiers defend Anti Gay social-conservative teapartier.

more here...correcting the original "report"?


Michelle is hated by the press...a "valuable wardrobe?, but the amount is merely made up. Wonder what they'd write if she bought the clothes at Nieman Marcus?

What is impressive is that Michelle wears clothing I would wear (or Sarah Palin would buy)...

"From November 2008 to December 2009, David Yermack counted that Michelle made 189 public appearances, and wore items by or sold at 29 publicly traded companies, including J.Crew, the Gap, Dillard's, and DSW."

Why does the press hate Michelle so much? Maybe because she is a neighborhood girl made good, not a leftist who hung out with the elites. From my experience, her problem with Princeton was from being working class, not racial.


more "avoid getting screened" propaganda (and save taxpayer money) at the LATimes.

long rant moved to my Xanga Blog.

Bangldesh at most risk from climate change.
Yes, the delta is below sea level: remember this? and this?


speaking of storms, the Zambales here is in a state of calamity...and PAGASA is worried that Juan will turn back.
right now, it is raining with thunder again.

Headlines that make you go WTF

D.C. toilet shortage is Keeping Fear Alive

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Good news headline of the day

End of the Earth Postponed

whoops: they miscalculated the date.

well, one of these days they'll get it right.

Insomnia download of the day

Having trouble sleeping?

Try listening to Spinoza's ethics,

In The Ethics, Spinoza attempts to demonstrate a "fully cohesive philosophical system that strives to provide a coherent picture of reality and to comprehend the meaning of an ethical life. Following a logical step-by-step format, it defines in turn the nature of God, the mind, human bondage to the emotions, and the power of understanding -- moving from a consideration of the eternal, to speculate upon humanity's place in the natural order, freedom, and the path to attainable happiness."(Wikipedia)

or how about this one: The Monadology by Leibniz

The Monadology (La Monadologie, 1714) is one of Gottfried Leibniz’s best known works representing his later philosophy. It is a short text which sketches in some 90 paragraphs a metaphysics of simple substances, or monads. What he proposed can be seen as a modification of occasionalism developed by latter-day Cartesians

they also have books you really might want to listen to, such as Jack London's the Call of the Wild, or check out their recommendations HERE.

As for myself, I'm busy with Isabel Pafford's latest class on Greek Heroes (at itunes).

Duh, Homer is Catholic?

Get Religion discusses all the stories about the Vatican newspaper's comment that Homer Simpson is Catholic.

Vatican Claims Homer Is Catholic; Saints Go Begging (NPR)

D’oh! Vatican declares Bart and Homer Simpson Catholic (CNN)

IS THE DOPE CATHOLIC? The Vatican blesses Homer Simpson (despite what the show says) (Washington Post)

(Marge and the family, of course, are "Presbylutheran", but Homer and Bart would fit in well with the rest of us in "catholic" heaven).

Church versus state

It's not just Islamic mosques that run into problems with neighbors who fear them and use zoning laws and lawsuits to get rid of them.

LINK LINK LINK LINK and probably lots more if you check local papers.

That is why the US Congress passed a law allowing places of worship to be built despite local zoning laws...


The hoity toity are picking on Michelle again.
They wanted to be treated like royalty, not like a mere guest.

Hey, at least they didn't hang your flag upside down.

the New Yorker has rumors Obama's father was murdered.

Well, he was in the opposition, and therefore thrown out of work, but he also witnessed a political murder, and after that started really drinking heavily for fear he was the next one on their list.

The rejection of "multiculturalism" in Germany is ominous, not because of Hitler, but because of the Treaty of Trianon.
There were huge population shifts of minorities after World War I, when the "multicultural" Austria-Hungary and Ottoman empires dissolved.
And Germans should remember the Germans who were thrown out of Czeckoslovakia and western Poland after World War II ...

The "good" news of the day: Supertyphoon hits Philippines, only 12 dead.

The bad news? Lots of almost ready to harvest rice might have been destroyed by the storm.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Hobbit holes

WebEcoist has photos of hobbit hole houses.

Steph points out that the Viking houses in Lanse Aux Meadows, (the Viking site in Newfoundland, Canada) were similarly made comfortable by their earthen protection.

Wikipedia has an article on putting sod on top of roofs in Scandinavia.

which might be why the German and Scandinavian settlers of the Dakotas knew how to make sod houses.

Stuff below the fold

It seems like a story out of fantasy, but the 14 days the miners in Chile spent in the dark is the stuff of nightmares.

‘We were in total darkness. The heat was oppressive. We all felt the Devil was down there with us. We prayed and prayed. It was a dark, black hole. We were buried alive. We were all so scared. We begged God to help us. We were worried we would starve to death or that the water would run out and we would die horribly from dehydration.’

And it says a lot about the sad state of the modern press that their "code of silence" was being spun by some in the press as hiding sex orgies, or plans for was actually an agreement to shield those who broke down in the ordeal...

Gift item of the day

(Picture: 1.3m (4.5ft)

"This jizai okimono was made by armour makers when business dried up after peace broke out in Japan in the late 18th century. "

Buy it for someone you love, for only

headsup DamnData

Family news

Typhoon passing north of here...heavy rain last night, and the streets are flooded but not too windy. Electricity went out about midnight and back on at 10 am. I did ask for the generator to be started in the morning (we have a water pump, and the tank usually has to refill after showering).

Now it's lunch time and the rain is light and not much wind.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Musical Interlude of the day

some beautiful music by John Williams.


Professor Bob is on YOUTUBE

I always download HistoryAccordingToBob's podcast, but usually skip his videopodcasts.
they are now on youtube. but he also has some on Caesar and the civil war.

this one on TRex

Cat item of the day

funny pictures-Going to Mordor with Frodoes, BRB.
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

Stuff below the fold

Medicare fraud case: not caught until they had billed $100 million fake bills.

Yet we docs spend time and energy trying to figure out the complicated system, and often underbill out of fear we'll be investigated.What's wrong with this picture?

Trillianes is out, but the Morong 43 are still in jail....

New book on the Bloodlands of Stalin/Hitler .
the bloodlands are Central Europe, so these stories are now finally leaking out.

Also starting to leak out: the news that Mao made both of them look like amateurs.


InFromTheColdBlog discusses rumors of another underground explosion. Stuxnet strikes?


Need a job? Guam is seems the US is moving a lot of stuff from Okinawa to Guam and they are recruiting up to 15 thousand workers here in the Philippines to help build and staff the base.


Bob Hope is dead, but Lt.Dan Band is still working for the USO.
Most of the youtube stuff is fuzzy phone captures, but this one has great music, if you ignore the pictures.

so turn up speakers and dance:

Family news

Joy says they have to finish the harvest...great timing, since a typhoon is hitting north of here, it's overcast, and we are signal one (rain and low winds only).

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Barara Billingsley

Barbara billingsley, best known as June Cleaver (in "Leave it to Beaver") has died at age 94.

For the younger generation, she is probably best known for this:

Soaps gone wild

Beware of exploding bath kits.

Nearly two years after hundreds of thousands of bath kits were recalled because they could explode, the government is warning consumers anew after more than a dozen more injuries were recorded from these soaps gone wild.

The kit, made for kids, has had the unintended consequence of gases being built up in the cute little purple containers that store the bath concoctions, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said.
Spa Factory Aromatherapy Fountain & Bath Benefits Kits, imported from China by JAKKS Pacific, were first recalled in January 2009 after 88 incidents were reported, including 13 children injured. Since then, another 13 injuries were reported to both kids and adults, the CPSC said, and now the incidents total 100.

(Headsup davebarry)

reading lesson for the day

I usually try to avoid politics on weekends, but you must read Iowahawk's satire.

(Headsup Anchoress)

the dirty little secretis that the press always hypes and gives lots of publicity over 'embryonic stem cells" while those from adult stem cells, which work, are cheaper, already are curing folks, and are better DNA matches, get only mild publicity and often the source of the cells isn't identified, link...

but since embryonic stem cells aren't better for treating disease, why the push? the answer: it is about cloning

ironically, sci fi and movies already have pointed this out, that having your own clone to give you "young" organs would let you live longer.

so now we have a question; should we "clone" Neanderthals?

"I think there would be no question that if you cloned a Neanderthal, that individual would be recognized as having human rights under the Constitution and international treaties," says Lori Andrews, a professor at Chicago-Kent College of Law. The law does not define what a human being is, but legal scholars are debating questions of human rights in cases involving genetic engineering. "This is a species-altering event," says Andrews, "it changes the way we are creating a new generation." How much does a human genome need to be changed before the individual created from it is no longer considered human?

yes, and since the UK Bishops already said that chimera with a preponderance of human genes should be given rights to life and treated as if they were human, this raises a question: Who will adopt and raise such 'clones"?

Frankenstein is not dead, he's just into genetic engineering..

Craft item of the day

yarncraft podcast discusses Tunisian crochet, that uses a double ended crochet hook, which can be bought at lionbrand who sponsors the podcast (free registration required).

More information HERE...and youtube has a series of videos to instruct you how to do it.

I crochet here in the cool season for throws/afghans, usually using a lacy stitch since it never gets too cool here. I used to crochet doilies/amigurumi, but with my arthritic hands, I don't do it as often as I used to.

Another craft item is making origami flowers

it has subtitles, since it seems to be in portuguese...

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Cat photo of the day

too much study...

Classified ads

These are classified ads, which were actually placed in a U.K. newspaper:
8 years old.
Hateful little bastard.

1/2 Cocker Spaniel, 1/2 sneaky neighbour's dog.

Mother is a Kennel Club registered German Shepherd.
Father is a Super Dog, able to leap tall fences in a single bound.

Also 1 gay bull for sale.

Must sell washer and dryer £100.

Worn once by mistake.
Call Stephanie.

**** And the WINNER is... ****

Complete set of Encyclopaedia Britannica, 45 volumes.
Excellent condition, £200 or best offer. No longer needed,
got married, wife knows everything.

your email of the day from TiaMaria

essay of the day

the intellectuals have discovered LOL Cats.

The cats not only speak in a form of pidgin English (which makes the captions funnier) but they also tend to use “leetspeek”, a written form of slang used primarily on the internet and online video games. David McRaney explains how this peculiar brand of folk art works as communication:

[A] fusion of sorts between learned, direct language and rapid, practical digital missives takes place with Leetspeak and macros. Both relay a great deal of information in a small burst of code. Each depends on the receiver of the information having working knowledge of the culture and its references. In a sense, these serve as argots, and help identify both sides of the information transfer as belonging to the subculture where they appear. The in-joke is part of the communication. The separation of ingroup and outgroup helps drive the rapid evolution of both leetspeak and macros.

The appeal of cat macros is that they can be enjoyed as folk art, even by those who are in the “outgroup.”

Lessons for today

a very good talk on development...the comments stop when she mentions coca cola, but I've seen coke or fanta in the most remote cities and villages of Africa, Asia, and South America...and what is more important is that there are bottling plants in medium sized towns in these countries.

Stuff below the fold

JCarter has links up to interesting stuff at FTBlog.

13. 5 Things SpongeBob Squarepants Can Teach You About Business


14. War Can Make You Fat

so here I am downloading a NatGeo special from youtube (yes, we get NGeo Asia, but a lot of the best programs are on later at night, when we are sleeping)...and then when I try to download part three, I get the "sorry but they won't let you watch it in your country because of copyright something or other".

No problem, I just download it from a Chinese site that mimics youtube.

They reason I learned about all these places to download videos in the first place was because Amazon refused to let me download a movie I had bought from them, due to copyright laws. The movie was an oldie which I couldn't find here in the boondocks of the Philippines, but torrent sites had it listed, so no problem.

And, ironically, if I want to watch a new movie, we can find these films at the Palenke for less than a dollar, often before it opens in Manila.

What's wrong with this picture?

And when I hear about books and textbooks costing almost as much for the ebook version as the hard cover, I also shudder. Yes, medical textbooks are available on line for overseas docs, but someone needs to look into other types of textbooks. No, I rarely use ebooks myself...too old fashioned... since the US stopped their cheap book postage rate, I get most of my books used...most best sellers appear at our "used book kiosk" three years after they are published, and I have found quite a few classics there too.

In contrast, ten years ago, we couldn't get any books here in town, but we have had cable TV since the early 1990's.

Another Day, another typhoon

supertyphoon should hit Monday...but might be far enough north of here to spare us the worst.

Rice harvest is due, and we are investigating buying a rice drier, to help us dry the rice in case of bad weather (the usual "drier" is to place it on a tarp on a road and let the sun dry it).

Friday, October 15, 2010

Cat item of the day


and then there is this important instruction video on how to teach your cat to yodel: