Monday, January 31, 2011

Dr. Hawass on the Egyptian museum

he reports that the theives entered through the glass roof, but were kept from stealing too much because the security guards and some local volunteers kept the damage to a miniumum...and points out that a few thieves do not mirror the attitudes of the Egyptian people.

Full report at his website.

So how did he post it to his website with the internet out? He faxed the report to Italy and someone there posted it.

more at natgeo.

Headlines below the fold

Southern Sudan to secede?

99 percent of the south says they want to leave, and 58 percent of the north agree it's okay. Problem: oil and water rights...

Happy year of the rabbit...

and Rush isn't the only one in hot water for skewering the Chinese dictatorship: this film has been censored by China.

Cartoon of rabbit turning on tiger was blocked by Chinese gov't (references to the tainted milk that killed a lot of kids and the forced demolitions).

Baby it's cold out there story of the day: Ron Emanuel is pushing bike Chicago...where right now the windchill index is minus 6 degrees C...

And how are those PC LED traffic lights and electric cars doing?

didn't anyone think to test these items before investing in them?

Would a new Egyptian government help destroy Israel?

strategyPage notes that with Hezbollah in charge of Lebanon and the Hamas/Muslim brother hood in charge of Egypt, that there could be a two sided attack on Israel with a change of government.

the real problem is one rarely discussed in the west:"all those decades of anti-Israel propaganda have had an impact on most Egyptians."

Fairy tales

I saw Tangled, and was not impressed: too many cliches and scenes that had been done better before, and the plot twists seem to be more a way to not imitate what had been done before.

Rotten Tomatoes has a list of all the Disney cartoons in order: Number one: Pinocchio.

it's on this chinese site (for now) if you want to watch it...

Sunday, January 30, 2011

CDC grand rounds are on line

Including this one on Nuclear/radiological preparedness for docs etc.

The "WAGD" post of the day

Professor Bob's history podcast has been discussing the Cold war recently, and he has posted this cheerful vodcast:

seems to cut off early, presumably he will post part two later today.

When folks say how terrible today's news is, the answer is: well, it could be worse.

Sunday school lesson for today

the Anchoress' site carries this quote. Guess who wrote it.

The root of man's joy is the harmony he enjoys with himself. He lives in this affirmation. And only one who can accept himself can also accept the you, can accept the world. The reason why an individual cannot accept the you, cannot come to terms with him, is that he does not like his own I and, for that reason, cannot accept a you. ...If an individual is to accept himself, someone must say to him: "It is good that you exist"—must say it, not with words, but with that act of the entire being that we call love.

No, not Oprah....I'll give you a hint: He wrote THIS, a scholarly tract which links Agape and Eros.

My take: "Socialism" and the left is agape (do gooderism) without eros (emotional warmth); hedonism/free love that is the theme of much of western culture is eros without agape. Marriage is the melding of both....

lesson for today

Science News you can use

worms protect against ecsema?
uh, worms induce high eosinophil counts, and can contribute to ecsema, not to mention asthma, malnutrition, anemia etc. but then I never saw a case of ecsema in Africa either.
and of course the question is: which worms?

how a few patients cost one quarter of the health care bill.
yeah, they won't take their pills and end up sick. It's social problems and isolation....not discussed: Family breakdown, lack of education, and drugs that are behind the family breakdown.
a lot of the preventive medicine things they mention was what we did in the IHS, with local people trained as tribal health workers to check in on the patients...

Mammograms do save lives.

Marriage is good for you.

destroying the "eat breakfast if you are dieting" myth

The emphasis on women as men (i.e. that they have to work outside the home): another undiscussed reason that the elderly don't get care. NYTimes discusses "strain" from the modern world on Hispanic caregivers.

cancer drug taxol might help cut spinal cords to regenerate.

and the science headline of the week:

Bovine bellies yield biofuel clues

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Gift item of the day

a helloKitty I love Nerds Laptop cover.

Stuff below the fold

I am a bit sceptical of the coverage in the US about the protests in Egypt. The BBC is a lot better than CNN

But Global voices has reports from on the ground, so check that site out if you want a different take.

Note the article about the similarities between the "Green revolution" in Iran and the folks in Egypt.

Strategypage has it's analysis here.

and PCMagazine discusses the "internet kill switch". Via Instapundit.

the Last Unicorn

The Tolkien professor is giving a course in fantasy (first lecture includes stuff about Middle English). Most of his books are classics on line, or I brought them with me to the Philippines for my granddaughter.

The Last Unicorn was made into a film: Trailer here:
THE LAST UNICORN: Movie Trailer. Watch more top selected videos about: Angela Lansbury, Jeff Bridges

but the full video is only on veoh or this chinese site.

PeterBeagle Interview HERE


I was listening to (BBC MELVIN BRAGG) podcast on unicorns last night.

they essentially discussed that it was either a rhinocerous or an oryx, and that the animal was "first mentioned" in Persian literature in 500 bc, and the writer said that the animal live in India.

Well, Harapan archeology (i.e. Indus Valley) has a picture of a unicorn on a seal that dates back to 2000 bc.

and the Asian Rhinocerous is found in India, Sumatra and Java, and has one horn, although it's habitat in India is now limited (due to population, excess hunting and/or climate change).

"...The Indian rhino formerly occurred from the foothills of the Hindu Kush in Pakistan, across the sub-Himalayan region, to the India-Myanmar border on the eastern edge of the Brahmaputra watershed. By the late 19th century, the Indian rhino had been eliminated from everywhere except the Chitwan Valley (Nepal), lowland Bhutan, the Teesta Valley (west Bengal, India) and the Brahmaputra Valley (Assam, India). For most of the 20th century, known populations have been concentrated in southern Nepal and northeastern India."


by the way, this is an oryx:

and the factoid for today comes from Wikipedia:

Between 1969 and 1977, the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish intentionally released 93 Gemsbok into the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, and that population is now estimated between 3,000 and 6,000 animals.[3] Within the state of New Mexico, oryxes are classified as "big game" and can be harvested with the proper license, however the quality of the hunt may be affected by military regulation of the missile range.

since I used to live uphill from white Sands, I know about this. Also about the Luftwaffe squadron who trains there.

Indeed, we once lived were between White Sands and Roswell, so we saw a lot of weird stuff in the sky, and the Apache usually shrugged and figured they were testing something...

The Good news Headline of the day

Need a job? Well, this is for you:

Dallas strip clubs worried about stripper shortage for Super Bowl weekend

Where Sith Lords go when they retire

from cheezburger via ThinkGeek:


Friday, January 28, 2011

The "WAGD" Headline of the day

The internet has run out of IP addresses and what happens after that is anyone's guess

Cat item of the day

cute kawaii stuff - Micro Mini Tiny Kitty
see more Must Have Cute

at Etsy

Headlines below the fold

TheNRCorner is keeping track of Egyptian news, despite the country blocking the internet, facebook, twitter etc.

Article on how they are bypassing the block.

in our prayers.
rant moved to BNN.

Philippine news

PNoy has declared today a national day of mourning for those killed in the terrorist bus bombing...but now more problems: Ten construction workers killed in accident.

and a less flashy headline suggests he is going after corruption (may not succeed: for example, a famous radio personality with a lot of evidence on the rich and famous was just killed in Palawan).

Testimony about stealing from soldiers salaries, and giving it to the big shots of the army... and the Senate is probing into the story that admitted kickbacks to the bigshot's families were ignored.

but there is some good news: Now the Chinese are coming here to learn English.

Baguio is full of Koreans learning English, many of Korea's schools have Filippino teachers of English, and of course many students from overseas come to our good universities to study because of their high quality.

and from NEJournal: the Three Kings Fiesta.

The SOTU speech in LOL

via Instapundit: Win The Future:

Heh. Sarah used it.
...she may not speak Mandarin or French, but she speaks LOL...

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Headlines below the fold

Obama got stuck for an hour in traffic this morning because it was snowing....

the Kings' Speech is up for 12 Oscars...BBC has story and speeches from their archives.

Background on Egyptian riots HERE

Musical Interlude of the day

put down coffee, turn up speakers, and don't forget to sing along with the chorus:

While you were busy...

rant moved to BNN.

The long Walk being filmed

Powerline blog reports that The Long Walk has been released as a film "The Way Back".

Since it's done by Peter Weir, it might be worth seeing.

I read the book years ago, and it is a classic survival story about a few people who escape from a Russian concentration camp and walked over the Himalayas to India. And yes, one of those walking was a woman, so this is not a politically correct invention.

Two incidents in the book stuck in my mind: they ate snake, and they actually saw the Abominable Snowman of the Himalayas, even though they had never heard of that legend of the Yeti. (It is one of the reasons that I think that the Yeti might be real, not a legend exaggerated to make money).

Well, anyway, if they filmed it right it will make a good movie.

Now, if they would only make a film about Father Cizek's survival in the Gulag....

Insomnia downloads of the day

Does listening to audiobooks to fall asleep sometimes keep you awake at night?
Well, try listening to a book in another language, so that the English words don't distract you.

For example, Librivox has some classic Tagalog short works for your listening pleasure (and they are so boring they'll put you to sleep even if you DO understand Tagalog).

they also have Heidi (in French or German), Die Hoehlenkinder (in German), the famous Hungarian Novel Egri Csillagok, and parts of the Odessey in the original Greek, Latin and German

And if that doesn't work, listen to The Tolkien professor reads Sir Orfeo, a medieval story about Faerie... in the original Middle English.

misleading headline of the day

misleading headline of the day: 35% of wounded soldiers addicted to drugs.

if you read the story, it refers not to all wounded soldiers, but to a subgroup of soldiers badly wounded and who will soon be discharged, and they are not "addicted" but :

Most case managers and nurses interviewed by investigators said 25% to 35% of soldiers in warrior units "are over-medicated, abuse prescriptions and have access to illegal drugs."

But are they doing so to get high? Or are they merely requiring narcotic medicine to relieve their pain? Or both?

Are the "demanding" drugs because they hurt, or because they want to get a stash to get high, or to sell?

The story not being addressed is that after years of letting people suffer because no one was supposed to prescribe narcotics, we now recognize that sometimes an oxycontin is the difference between someone home bound in pain from an injury, and someone able to function normally pain free. The fact that druggies buy the oxycontin, grind it up to get high and then some die of overdoses is not the same thing.

But don't blame the wars for the problem:

"...About 10% of the soldiers in these units are wounded in combat. The rest are there for injuries, illness or mental health issues. The report says most people "generally" feel the units are the best place in the Army to heal..."

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

SOTU song

no I didn't watch the US State of the Union sermon. I hate sermons and speeches, and of course we are a 12 hour time zone difference here.

But RogerRulesBlog says this song just about sums it up, which is really funny, since it was written during the Eisenhower administration by the late Johnny Mercer.

So put down coffee, turn up speakers, and enjoy:

For those too young to remember Lil' Abner, check out Wikipedia.

and if you are over 21 and male, danger danger: the film was the movie debut for Julie Newmar as the country's secret weapon: Stupifying Jones.

Musical interlude take two

one of the saddest songs I know, for everyone who has had to leave their home country and yearns to go home again some day.

Musical interlude of the day

turn up speakers and sing along.

Ball jars take two

Design sponge has this photo of how one artist made a Ball Jar chandelier, with instructions on how to make it.

for non US readers: Ball Jars aka Mason jars are traditionally used in home canning, which is still common in small towns where folks "put up" their extra garden veggies and fruits to eat in the wintertime.

and no, except to make jelly out of fruit, I never canned my veggies. I usually froze the ones we didn't eat right away. Instructions on how to do that HERE.

and here in the Philippines, we eat everything fresh, so when there are flooded roads or when the Palenke burnt down, we only ate from our own small garden here at the house (peppers, tomatoes, and small eggplant, with papaya and bananas in season).

Gift item of the day

Redneck Wine Goblets.

via RandomGoodStuff


and SeriousNYEats reports that some NewYork eateries seeking an "authentic" feel are using Ball jars for their customers...

"...Using Ball jars as serving vessels affects a feeling of old-fashioned, homey utilitarianess, and it's the perfect identifier of a certain kind of restaurant. The New York Times may call it "Brooklyn's New Culinary Movement,"

but I'm going with "Ball Jar Places," a shorthand for what I've been saying until now..."

Headlines below the fold

The latest "cause" of obesity: indoor heating.

Which explains why we have all those fat people in the tropics, and all those skinny Eskimos and Russians...


A good discussion of end of life directives with the traditional Navajo, who shun the discussion of death.

but these beliefs are not the same as most tribes, and so the Sioux and Objibwe might suspect the "no treatment" parts are the white man trying to save money, even though they also might refuse extraordinary care at the end of life,or go home to die with their loved ones, or leave the big city hospital to die in the small local IHS hospital where loved ones can be with them.

Radical feminist leaders criticize the government for promoting marriage.

I'd be more cynical if I wasn't aware that one of these bigshots divorced her abusive husband at 22, and the other a commited marxist who sees marriage as oppression.

but the NYTimes notes that boys without fathers don't fare so well.

Killer of Africans gets jailtime.

One good reason for Gitmo: and a list of those killed can be found on Wikipedia.


However, the real news in Africa: The worry about having enough food.

with the droughts in Africa, the floods in Pakistan, and a lot of US corn being made into biofuel, there are rumblings about a food crisis in the third world.

More economic worries: Inflation in China will cause world wide inflation. Places like Algeria already have had riots, and the increase in food prices is partly behind the Jasmine revolution in Tunesia.

which, of course, will mean all that money owed will become magically smaller in real money.

Carter did it, so why not?

Egypt the next "Jasime revolution"? the real worry is if the radicals in the Arab world take over.

background HERE.

Bus bombing here in Manila.

Most of these are in the south and related to terrorist groups punishing companies who didn't pay their "tax" (i.e. extortion). But this one used a cellphone to set off the bomb, and reminds the Inquirer of the 2005 bus attacks by the Abusayaf...

Man bites dog news of the day:

Chinese environmental groups complaining that Apple is poisoning the environment.

The comments are fairly clueless, because I suspect the real reason is that they haven't greased the right palms.

and Iran is blaming the US for all those cybergeeks protesting.
first Twitter and now Tor.

Ah but when heroine of the Islamic revolution and Tehran city council member gets her blog censored, maybe it's not the US formenting all that trouble...

there has been some press about European and Japanese depopulation in this century, but this article caught my eye:

South Africa to experience population shrinkage starting in 2030.

partly due to HIV, partly from family planning.
But with the extreme poverty in Zim, Mozambique etc. I suspect that the population will continue stable from immigration....

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Musical interlude of the day

The Good news Headline of the day

Scots unveil their healthy haggis in a bid to persuade U.S. to end 40-year ban

Yes, not only is the Haggis now "lung free" (lung was the original ingredient that led to it's being banned in 1971, and then in 1989 mad cow disease scare stopped the importation of food containing brain), but it has also been reformulated to please the heart of Michelle Obama and the food police:

"...It contains 70 per cent less salt and 35 per cent less fat than the traditional Scottish version served up on Burns Night...."

whether or not it tastes any good was not mentioned in the article.

well, maybe next year.

Burns' night is January 25, and the traditional supper includes Haggis in the menu.

Headlines below the fold

Joe Biden called for Jury Duty.

The veep... went virtually unnoticed by at least one member of the jury pool when he arrived Monday morning, according to the Delaware News Journal's Sean O'Sullivan.

the bad news: Obama (and most of us docs) claim we are too busy and are excused, but the news story says (tongue in cheek) "apparently Biden didn't have that excuse"


Time Magazine complains that Sarah Palin put the flag on the wrong side when she gave her speech.
well, at least, unlike other politicians, she knows what symbols like the flag or the National Anthem means to ordinary folks, and tried to show her respect.

Bad news: Apparently they didn't get the memo from the WaPost to ignore her.


Was Genghis Khan the world's Greenest conquerer?

He only killed 40 million people, spread the black death, ruined the irrigation systems that fed the middle east but hey, it allowed nature to take over, right? So that makes him green.

The bad news: I'm not sure this is a satire.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Gift item of the day

Tactical bacon...:

"the CMMG Tactical Bacon is perfect for camping trips, survival situations, a snack at the range, zombie attacks, and many other apocalyptic scenarios. Able to be eaten cold, or heated up, CMMG Tactical Bacon is sure to please bacon lovers of all ages.

* CMMG® Tactical Bacon
* Manufacturer Number: TB-1
* Comparable To 3 Pounds Of Raw Bacon
* Ingredients:
o Pork
o Water
o Salt
o Sugar
o Smoke Flavoring
o Sodium Phosphates
o Sodium Erythorbate
o Sodium Nitrite
* Packaging: Aluminum Can
* Amount: 9 Ounces
* Shelf Life: 10+ Years "

via Davebarry...

musical interlude of the dayy

semper fi, via Ukelele

Medical news

The global fund against Malaria and Tb had a lot of funding diverted, and the pills sold on the black market.

heh. Welcome to the "third world"...
the bad news is if you insist on too strict guidelines, no one will be helped. All you can do is try to keep the corruption down...
Good news about the Gates foundation here.

A TB vaccine? BBC doesn't give many details.

TB relies on cellular immunity, so if you get BCG, you merely get better cellular immunity so are less prone to get TB (not complete protection, but you get a "secondary" case, i.e. not widespread TB all over before the immune system kicks in).

This 2008 article explores the various vaccines in the pipeline...and for practical reasons, they are trying to make it an intranasal or oral vaccine.


BBC also has a report on using the pneumococcal vaccine in Africa, to prevent pneumonia (and pneumococcal meningitis).

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Sweetness and Light Religious Headline of the day

Boy George returns Christ icon to Cyprus church

photo from the BBC

He bought it from an art dealer years ago, but it turned out to be one of the artworks stolen from the Turkish side of the island, where Turkish authorities looked the other way when over 500 churches were looted of their art...BBC also links to the 2002 story of "
one of the most systematic examples of the looting of art since World War II."

Headline of the day

Norwegian Boy Fends Off Wolf Pack with Heavy Metal

music, that is, via cellphone...

Friday, January 21, 2011

Someone needs a name change

demotivational posters - MILF WAR
see more Very Demotivational

here's the Wikipedia explanation if you don't speak LOL....

another sign that the end of the world is nigh

cute kawaii stuff - Hello Kitty Chandelier
see more Must Have Cute

a HelloKitty Octapus chandelier...

Family news

Joy went to Manila for her business class.
The city is spraying the streets and drainage ditches to try to cut down on mosquitoes (because of Dengue fever).

Lolo is well, but still wheezing a bit. Cloudy but no rain.

There's bad news and there's good news

Good news: Climate study that predicted 5degree increase in temperature in the next decade was flawed.
Bad News:We are headed to 2.4&176;C, it is just not going to happen in 2020, says one researcher

this is the study that got Algore his Nobel Prize.

Maybe he might want to give it back?

Many governments, like Iran, Zimbabwe, and China, track down disadents who dare to publish bad news.
Good news: US gov't now paying hackers to figure out how to get around these blocks.
bad news: It can be used by terrorists and criminals, but they already know all the tricks.

And if you are paranoid and think your tinfoil hat isn't working, download Tor....
they even have a version for Linux and your smartphone.
EvolvingNewsroom has a story about it's use.

and the "wagd" story of the day: Yellowstone is bulging again.
the good news? If it blows, it will probably stop global warming.

Good news below the fold

Listening to Strategytalk's podcast, they mention what soldiers have to carry: one important item is a first aid kit with quikclot.

press release from the company that makes it:here

the new version is a gauze (the older one got hot and could burn). Wikipedia has an article HERE.

QuikClot Combat Gauze is a soft, white, sterile, nonwoven 3” by 12 feet rolled or z-folded gauze impregnated with kaolin, an inert mineral with no known contraindications. Each roll of QuikClot Combat Gauze is individually wrapped in an easy rip, military grade pouch. Indicated for temporary external control of traumatic bleeding, QuikClot Combat Gauze is flexible and pliable and contours to all wounds, and can achieve hemostasis in severe bleeding situations in as little as three minutes.

the good news is that they issued it to our soldiers here in the Philippines last year, along with Kevlar helmets.

the good news is that you can buy a version of it here.

heh. They used it to stop a nosebleed.
nosebleeds are common, but serious ones (e.g. from high blood pressure) require posterior and anterior packing, usually with the patient gagging and spitting on you.
Having had to place posterior packing in bleeding noses is one of my least favorite jobs.
and there are a few reports of using in inside the abodomen or thorax...bleeding liver experiment here...

Hmmm...I wonder if it could be used to stop severe post partum bleeding, along with packing of the uterus...only had to do this twice, but it's a messy job too...

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Gift item of the day

lolmart shirts dr. tiny cat
see more Lol Celebs

doctor tinycat teeshirt.

and for the more mature woman in your life, maybe get one with this photo on the front:

funny pictures - Meno*PAWS*
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

the really really scary worry

floods happen, tornadoes happen, and even if a limited atomic bomb or two went off people would survive.

But the really worrisome scenario was posited in a war game conducted by Johns Hopkins a couple years ago...

Operation Dark Winter.

more HERE

yes, more first responders are now vaccinated against smallpox and plans are in place to quarantine contacts, but a deliberate or accidental release of smallpox, or the emergence of a new superpathogen or reemergence of an old pathogen that mutates, could be devastating.

that's why docs worry about things like SARS and birdflu...and ebola type viruses getting lose by accident.

The "WAGD" headline of the day

The "we're all gonna die" headlines come from FuturePundit, who discusses all those disasters in the 1800's that could wipe out the US if they occurred now.

The U.S. Geological Survey has released a report on what the most severe storm for California, a once in 500-1000 year event, would do to the state....The 1861 and 1862 storms show what is possible. The 19th century featured much more drastic disasters than the 20th. In my previous post about the 1811-1812 New Madrid earthquakes (Mississppi river changed course), the 1815 Mount Tambora VEI 7 volcanic eruption, the 1859 solar Carrington event and other awesome displays of nature's power I made the argument that if the 21st century features disasters more like the 19th century then we are in some some tough times. But I missed out on the California storms of the early 1860s. With nearly 40 million people now such a storm would do far greater damage.

Wikipedia: The Great Flood of 1862

well, sorry but Californians think they are above such things, but anyone who lived in the Midwest knows about floods. (and tornadoes).

Life is risky, and it isn't only the Philippines that faces flood problems. (latest count: 67 dead, 1.6 million displaced)

the Great Mississippi flood of 1927.
more HERE.
and this book tells the story in detail.

the Mississippi floods occur every decade or so, and that doesn't include the many other midwest floods, of lesser rivers. (like the Ohio or the Red River of the North flood that devestated GrandForks)..,

famous headline from the GrandForks Herald, a newspaper that kept publishing despite the evacuation of the city....with a photo of the center of town that flooded and then burnt down....

headsup Instapundit.

Pyramids and other ancient burial sites

photo source.
Silbury Hill in the UK "The largest man-made mound in Europe, mysterious Silbury Hill compares in height and volume to the roughly contemporary Egyptian pyramids. Probably completed in around 2400 BC, it apparently contains no burial. Though clearly important in itself, its purpose and significance remain unknown. There is no access to the hill itself. "

If the UFO guys helped build the pyramids, then they were pretty busy.

I always thought that the pyramids in Egypt and the Mayan pyramids were the only big burial sites around, but as I study more, it seems that mounds and pyramids are all over the place and many date back to the Neolithic times, some even in areas where agriculture wasn't yet practiced.

So here's a few links.

Most folks now know about the megalomaniac first emperor of China had a huge burial mound, but he dates to only 200 bc and we know why he built it (not prehistoric)

even the Egyptian pyramids, although constructed in 2500 bc, belong to the age of writing.

But what can we make of these prehistoric mounds/megaliths/hedges?

the Bosnian Pyramid of Visoko
...natural geological formations, or man made? LINK

and what do we make of Newgrange mound in Ireland, a place dating to 3000 bc?

or Silbury Hill, dating back to 2400 bc

Stonehenge is the most famous British megalithic monument, but not the only one...

even in North America, the Native Americans had mounds for their cities, dating to 800 AD.

and now that India and China are doing their own excavations, expect a lot of news from those areas.

The Indus Valley civilizations are fascinating,2500 bc dates. and local scholars are busy arguing how the archeological discoveries fit into the ancient legends...similar to the arguments about the bible and Homer in the west.

as for China, one wonders what they will find in the next century...

so what I learned in history in college is being rewritten...

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Happy news of the day

cute baby animals - Acting Like Animals: Bats Off to Ya!
see more Daily Squee

these baby bats were rescued last week from the queensland floods.
original story: UKMirror.

Ruby, Drama Queen

Ruby is now into Facebook and Photo editing. Here are some of her photos:

Copper clapper caper

This is more classic comedy:

Hu's on first?

President Hu is visiting Obama, and that reminds me of this gag:

Guppies! take two

Yes, there is a webpage for those who love Guppies LINK.

more information HERE
and unlike most fish, guppies give birth to live babies.

but the only guppy recipe I could find was one for pickled Guppies on a WOW site, at level 81...

Cat item of the day

cute kawaii stuff - Hello Kitty Bathtub
see more Must Have Cute

your very own hellokitty pink bathtub.

The Guppy

The Guppy

Whales have calves,
Cats have kittens,
Bears have cubs,
Bats have bittens,
Swans have cygnets,
Seals have puppies,
But guppies just have little guppies.

Ogden Nash

Factoid of the day

These are guppies:

and this is a GUPPIE
photo source

actually there are three different Guppies, which are aircrafts converts to ship large items (like Rocket boosters) all dating back to the 1960's:
more at webpage HERE.

and then there are Belugas:

more about them HERE.

Fashion headlines of the day

ManoloShoeblog has a report on the worst fashions at the GoldenGlobes, with photos.

nah, just in a kilt.


and the really good news for little old ladies:,yes, you can sue if a topless bar fires you for being old.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The "WAGD" Headline of the day

Will "Smart" Household Electricity Meters Give You Cancer?

MotherJones reports:

the Marin County board of supervisors voted unanimously to impose a moratorium on installation of the devices, primarily because of health concerns about the electromagnetic radiation the devices emit.

I should note MJ rebutts the worry and the site has a well written assessment about using these meters: the risk is about one/onethousanth of a cellphone at the ear.

Audio links for today

Librivox has an audiobook for children about Father Damian.

And this one for adults is about women coping with frontier life.

if you want to fall asleep, try Captain Cook's book on his voyage around the world.


If you are a history buff, Mike Duncan's Roman history podcast, which has now nearing the time of Rome's fall, is reposting podcasts on the early history of Rome.


and if you are going crazy about all the lousy news on tv and the internet, well, just download Car Talk podcast and laugh...

Cartoon from

Headlines below the fold

Wikileaks may end up destablizing Zimbabwe: Mugabe is "investigating" Tsvangirai.

On the other hand, if Wikileaks does publish the "Swiss bank account" data, maybe we'll find all that money stolen from Zimbabwe, including Grace's "blood diamond" money...

and maybe it will find the billions stolen in Nigeria...and all those other places where the amount of money stolen is a lot more than the money sent in by charities to feed the starving...

GetReligion blog points out how the press makes up quotes and distorts what the Pope has said.

Example: "...The universe is not the result of chance, as some would like to make us believe. In contemplating it, we are asked to interpret in it something profound; the wisdom of the Creator, the inexhaustible creativity of God, his infinite love for us..."
was rewritten as "pope denies big bang theory".

Facebook making identity theft easier.

There are now ethnographers studying the anthropology of cyberspace.

and now the really important news:

The IPhone: is there anything it can't do?


Speaking of mummies

Bob Brier/discovery channel film about animal mummies has been posted at youtube

Chilly mummies

according to the Manila Bulletin, it's so cold here in the Philippines that the mummies of Benguet are complaining of the cold....they are worried that the cold might deteriorate the few that are left, and there has been frost on the vegetables and 5degree C weather in some areas of the mountains north of here.

Even here in the lowlands, it's been chilly...23 degrees C (low 70's) and I worry about the street people and the poor who lack blankets. At least, only a little rain now, although now the storms/floods are affecting Palawan...

here is a film on the mummies.

Math lessons for today

headsup from Megaman

Monday, January 17, 2011

Whoops...Sorry about that

The Daily Mail says that, 100 years after he was executed, DNA has proven Dr. Crippen was not guilty:

his wife's "body" turns out to be that of a man...

High rank officers avoid computerized combat simulations for fear of losing.

Of course, they could always cheat: The Kobayashi Maru simulations discussed at wikipedia.

The good news: Discussing "end of Life" treatments was not the same as a "death panel".

The bad news: THIS is a death panel:

"...Can they limit the number of chemotherapy rounds allowed cancer patients? Or restrict the type of dialysis offered to people with kidney disease?This week an independent advisory group convened by the Obama administration launched what is likely to be a long and emotional process to answer such questions,,,"

uh, does the constitution allow the government to deny you the right to medical care? the Ninth Amendment suggests no.

Disease of the week: Blastomycosis in Man after Kinkajou Bite,

actually, I've diagnosed two cases of blastomycosis in humans in 35 years of medicine, but I've never seen a kinkajou....apparantly, they have claws and can bite, and their bites can be serious.
Here's a photo (Hint:The smart looking one is the Kingkajou).

Citizen soldiers

A lot of folks argue in US courts that only the militia are allowed to carry guns, but StrategyPage has a discussion of the state militia/National Guard....and they claim, according to the Dick act of 1903, every able bodied man is part of the state's "Unorganized militia".

actually, this was an improvement over the 1792 law, which mandated every able bodied man be part of the "organized militia" (and had to go to drills): now only the "organized militia" had to drill... but as SP sardonically points out:

"...Therefore, if you are an adult American male between the ages of 17 and 45, you are part of the militia, whether you knew it or not, whether or not you want to be, and whether or not you are armed. Just so you know...."

presumably we gals aren't included in the mandate...sorry about that, Combat Barbie...

Cat item of the day

Yes, It's official. According to Improbable research, cats always land on their feet...unless you drop them from one foot or less...

of course, this experiment was first done in 1890

Etienne-Jules Marey cronophotography experiment, with cat falling down.

Stuff below the fold

Ottoman empire redux? That's what the Turkish president is proposing in Newsweek...

not mentioned: The resurgence of radical Islam in that country, threatening the secular tone of their society.

Newsweek might not be aware of history, but the Russians, Serbia, and Greece still remember their fight against the Ottoman menace.

Tunesia revolution: A strike for freedom?

Will this lead to more "people power" type revolts in the Arab world to introduce democracy, or will the revolution be hijacked by radicals, as it was in Iran when the Shah fell, or in Russia when the soviets took over?

and are "suicide protests" spreading from Tunesia to Algeria?

Stuxnet expose is at the NYTimes


Even if we stop emitting Carbon dioxide, the world is doomed, says this science report.

so I guess it's okay to continue breathing.

Compare and contrast: NASA on glacial melting.

Global warming has many causes. Stop pollution, but cut the stupid propaganda.

Facebook helps nab illegal loggers here in the Philippines.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Modern, no fat way to pop Popcorn

headsup FT

Celtic beer recipe

Sciencenews has the recipe:

"...At the Celtic site, barley was soaked in the specially constructed ditches until it sprouted, Stika proposes. Grains were then dried by lighting fires at the ends of the ditches, giving the malt a smoky taste and a darkened color. Lactic acid bacteria stimulated by slow drying of soaked grains, a well-known phenomenon, added sourness to the brew.

Unlike modern beers that are flavored with flowers of the hop plant, the Eberdingen-Hochdorf brew probably contained spices such as mugwort, carrot seeds or henbane, in Stika’s opinion..."

Henbane is an herbal sedative/narcotic, related to scopalamine. Witches made a salve with it to fly in the good old days, and alas it is known for it's poisonous properties.

but up to the middle ages some added it to beer to make it more intoxicated:

In the Middle Ages, henbane was widely used in Germany to augment the inebriating qualities of beer. The names of many German towns originate from the word Bilsen–henbane. Later on, the word was transformed to Pilsen to name the famous Pilsen beer. It took many years to prohibit the use of henbane in brewing after numerous cases of poisonings.

headsup IO9

religious Stuff below the fold

This would make a good movie:

Communist moles in the Vatican...and the coverup detected when the unexpected election resulted in a Polish Pope who then figured out what was happening.

No, not "Art Bell": facts dug up by the respected author/biographer George Weigel...

You know about "El Nino"?

Well, the weather phenomenum was named after today's feast of El Nino. Background here.
From Finestkind Clinic and fish market

It's really big in Cebu, but even here all the kids brought their statues of the Christ child to church, and the procession is later today. The main "Santo Nino" statues are dressed as kings, but a lot of ordinary folks dress them in normal clothing, i.e. shorts, tee shirt, and baseball cap.
one more note:

47 dead and 1 million 30 thousand displaced so far in local floods and landslides here in the Philippines.

(not in our area, thank God).
keep us in your prayers.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Stuff below the fold

From SweetSassafras:

Baked Grapefruit: "..All you have to do is cut the grapefruit in half, then cut around each section so they’ll be easier to scoop out when eating. Sprinkle each half with a little cinnamon, brown sugar, and chopped walnuts or pecans...bake it at 375 for about 15 minutes, then stick it under the broiler for another minute. "

check photos at her blog. Looks yummie

Of course, if I made it here in the Philippines, I'd have to microwave it or broil it over charcoal,(we "wok" nearly all our food), use a pomelos and top it with peanuts, but never mind...we try to eat locally, but Chano should be able to find all the ingredients when he goes to Manila.


Biology Question of the day.
Do Giraffes get hit by lightning?

No, says an expert at the Colchester Zoo. They go indoors when it rains.

But their African based expert says yes, they get hit directly or die when the tree they are standing under is hit.


Martha Stewart is expanding into Pets?!

at Petsmart...

yes, let your dog be the first one in your neighborhood to wear this Martha Stewart Sequin Skeleton Sleeveless Tee

what is it with Martha and skulls? The GurglingCod
blog has a photo of her with a plastic skull on a scale in the background...

Must have coffee

Humorous Pictures
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

no, I didn't find a frog in my coffee, but I just dumped one out of the water dish inside the birdcage...

rants rants rants

I've written five rants on bnn in the last few weeks...

Mind reading?

Iphone has an app for that

the UKMail has photo:

Lecture of the day

"Trees, Chainsaws, and the Visions of Paradise in J.R.R. Tolkien" by Tom Shippey from ASU English on Vimeo.

Tom Shippey discussing Tolkien and Trees.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Frankenstein lecture

Or maybe I should say: lecture of the day:

Is Victor Frankenstein's experiment really about letting men give birth? That's what Professor Mellon ponders...

And a lot more interesting thoughts about how the novel worried about and forecast the seeking of scientific perfection in a future Brave New World.

"Mothering Monsters: Mary Shelley's Frankenstein" by Anne K. Mellor from ASU English on Vimeo.

factoid of the day: The original monster had long black hair and yellow skin...

of course, Shelley's novel is a bit different from the films, but you can download and listen to it HERE at Librivox....

and those who like modern horror stories might be interested that Dean Koontz has rewritten a modern version, (which I haven't read).

Video of the week

after mentioning Frankenchickens and clones Mammoths, I think we need a song:

Mammoths reborn?

from the UKTelegraph: Plans to clone a mammoth

Podcast of the week

I linked to Professor Anderson's German history broadcast on the left, but I just finished that course, and now I found she also has a course on Modern European history.

There are several History5 courses at Berkeley: hers is at this LINK.


Musical interlude of the day

Headsup TherapyThursday....
and you might want check his discussion of coping with serious illness...

Stuff below the fold

I'll probably be misquoted and called a racist for this, but the dirty little secret is that gun violence is not uniform in all populations.

Hell Freezes over: Alan Dershowitz defends Palin in the ultraliberal anti American UK Guardian.

Clueless in USNEWS: no, don't worry about gas prices going up because most Americans have fuel efficient cars and drive less.

Uh, it's not the cars that will be the problem. It is that increasing the price of oil will raise food prices, especially in the Third world where folks are already starting to go hungry.

The Anchoress has a report about officials in Haiti not getting food to those who need it.

Yes. A similar problem in Pakistan after the earthquake is why a lot of folks displaced by the recent flood are still in dire straights.

As for the Philippines: we limit our corruption. When the hurricane caused a rice shortage, the rice did get to poor people, but too much was ordered and it was overpriced, so that the "middle men" could get their share of the profit.

more Bisphenol A studies on hormones.

Wouldn't it be interesting if the obesity and infertility epidemics were from plastic bottles?

and here's good news: Birdflu free Frankenchickens.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Illegal Zimbabweans in SA have til August

Immigrants are unpopular in lots of places, not just the US.

from the Times (SA)

"...On Wednesday the department announced that a moratorium on the deportation of Zimbabweans who don't have the proper papers to be in the country, would stay in place until August 1, to allow for the 275,762 applications for the legalisation of their stay in South Africa to be processed...".

most are "economic refugees" who fled Zim.


and then there is this: from an article about some Chinese detained for bad visas:

Zimbabweans are currently up in arms over the influx of Chinese and Nigerian business people who have taken up most of the shop space in the country’s main towns and cities.

(posted by accident: I meant to post on my Makaipablog, but never mind...)


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