Thursday, March 31, 2011

News below the fold

Will the execution of three "drug mules" in China (including two women)mean that the higher ups arrested here (many of whom are Chinese) will be found and punished? Ramon Tulfo is sceptical...

and how will it affect the discussion of the Spratlys, or will it pressure the bigshots to change the gov't policy that encourages Pinoys to work overseas? Nope. Don't hold your breath.

and how did two of them easily get ten kilos of heroin past security at NAIA? Those packages that the mules didn't know what was inside could have been bombs...

Makati/Bali bomber caught in Pakistan after flying all around SEAsia...

yeah, those "no fly lists" are really working
oh yes, if you are going to be a whistleblower on problems with airport security, don't be a wiccan or they will fire you because others fear you'll cast a spell on them...

Big brother is watching you...

The real danger to privacy isn't those looking for terrorism, it's those looking to see who's downloading Lady Gaga's latest hit by P2P...

if you own a Samsung computer, beware.

update: That previous report about Samsung\turned out to be a hoax/misunderstanding

heck, if you are a politician with a cellphone, you are in big trouble too...

Are the Arab uprisings 1948, 1960, 1989, or 1848?
The European revolutions that changed the map of Europe...


Science News you can use

sounds about right...about 80 percent of these "science breakthough" stories on medicine tend to be exaggerated or nonsense or the reinvention of the wheel.

Headsup formerspook

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Gratuitous Lady Gaga post of the day

demotivational posters - LADY GAGA DOLL
see more Very Demotivational

Ficus sycomorus

Actually, I know this tree because we had one outside our hospitals. We had a bench built around the trunk...The branches tend to cascade down like an umbrella, and if we couldn't find a patient, we'd often find them there relaxing. I don't ever remember getting fruit from it, however.

I just never thought it was the same one mentioned in the Bible, especially since there are so many fig tree species. Check out Figs4Fun webpage.

WIKIPEDIA LINK shows the range:

and PBS had a special about one of them a couple years back:

if you want to watch the whole thing, go to Youku...

Factoid of the day

I'm trying to gradually watch the streaming lectures of ancient horticulture. LINK I'm up to lesson ten...

today's lecture explains biblical references to horticulture and what they really mean to those who work with crops.pdfhere.

the factoid learned was that Amos was a fig gasher: they used special knives to make a hole in figs to force them to ripen...

the previous lecture included an ancient writing about the argument between the hoe and the plow.

Drug mules and corruption

The big story here in the Philippines is that China intends to execute three "drug mules".

Appeals hasn't worked, so the papers say folks are now resorting to prayer.

But the real story is, of course, the fact that two of them managed to get drugs on the planes leaving the big is the problem? The Inquirer notes that there are 500 Pinoys on death row on drug smuggling related charges. That suggests a major pipeline, and lots of people taking money to look the other way.

Again, the strict libel laws make a lot of dot connecting difficult, since the primary sources only hint at the problem.
Another example of how friendship (aka corruption) can let even the best known fugitives hide from the law: Lacson will stay mum on the names of his friends.

So, was he framed by a certain person to stop him from investigating corruption, or did he order the hit job and get away with murder?

Justice delayed is justice denied, as the saying goes, and that is even more so here than in the US....we're still waiting for the mayor who ordered the hit job that killed our nephew to be tried. If they delay long enough, of course, the witnesses will change their mind, disappear, or die...and in the meanwhile, the US embassy does nothing about the murder, prefering to pretend it was a simple robbery, not a political murder to keep control of the city's funding and siphon off money.


The background is that China is pushing their weight around now that Obama has signalled the world he is making American less 'aggressive". Of course, the left here hates the US, but China's pushing the Philippines around in the Spratlys isn't helping us at all (not to mention a lot of unsubstantiated rumors about Chinese money, the broadband scandal, and the weakening of Filipine sovereignty in the area in the recent past). Background HERE.

Apparantly, China is also pushing around VietNam (who has a similar claim). Summary at StrategyPage:

here, they are merely disliked because many married into the leading families and their descendants run the country.

the fact that one of our generals went bonkers, hijacked a bus and killed a bunch of innocent tourists from Hong Kong awhile back isn't helping things either.

Another worry is that there have been so many reports about abuse of OFW's in Saudi, especially of maids, that the gov't says they want to know the addresses of the employers before they let the girls go there. So now the Saudis are angry, and says they won't hire any more maids from the Philippines.

Religious Stuff below the fold

Ratz the best selling author.

"...SAN FRANCISCO, March 28, 2011 – After debuting as an instant bestseller, Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week has moved to No. 5 on the April 3 New York Times bestseller list. The book also made the bestseller lists published by The Wall Street Journal and “Publisher’s Weekly.”"

There's a minor kerfuffle in English speaking countries about the "new" Mass translations...similar to the kerfuffle over Bible translations.

But the real problem is one brought up by ExAnglican Father L. to liturgical translators:

"...In all the translations and the revisions and the arguments and the revisions of the revisions and among the liturgical experts and the linguistic experts and the theological experts and the Scriptural experts did anyone at any time stop and take the time to run these translations past a board of poets and literary scholars and perhaps a group of classically trained actors?"


50 books you need to read before you die (not).

sounds about right. Be honest: How many of these have you really read?
Although the trick to reading "war and peace" is to follow one character (e.g. Natasha, Princess Mary) and ignore the rest of the verbiage.

headups First Things.

While the world is watching Libya, the really important goings on are in Syria.

essentially Syria is Iran's proxy against Israel, and it's human resources make it more influential than it's small size.


GetReligion discusses the press coverage of Pakistan's blasphemy laws. and includes a quote from a Guardian commentary by Shehrbano Taseer, the daughter of the late Salmaan Taseer:

The blasphemy laws were foisted on to Pakistan by the draconian General Zia ul-Haq in 1986. Since then, more than 500 Muslims, 340 Ahmadis, 119 Christians, 14 Hindus and 10 others have been charged under the laws.

Thirty-two of those accused — and two Muslim judges — have been mowed down by Islamist vigilantes. Since 4 January, the day my father was assassinated, there have been 16 known cases in which 23 people have been affected. Once a law is made in the name of religion, no one can touch it.

theWhitePath links to a lecture about Islam and Liberty. YOUTUBE LINK.

PETA is insisting that Bible translators recognize animals as persons.

yeah. Here these type worry more about killing animals than the poor farmers' kids or street kids dying of protein calorie malnutrition.

Example of animal rights wasting your tax money: The Davis Toad Tunnels.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Of course, if you really want to make a mummy...


check out the Mummy page on the website of the Boston Museum of Science.

more HERE.

or Try a game of Senet at home. (PDF - requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)

Senet game

green Stuff below the fold

The Lean Mean Green Marines. Photo US Marines from a NYTimes article:
A testing ground for a Marine Corps’ solar energy experiment, in Twentynine Palms, Calif.

Tipnut includes instructions for
Homemade weedkillers and hints about spring cleaning, including home made house cleaning formulas

the main problem that I have is that a lot of the spices etc. are not available here.

they also have some yummy brown rice recipes.

our family grows and sells organic brown rice, but here in the Philippines, we just cook it plain and you spoon the "ulam" ( gravy/soup) from the stewed food over the top, and put the veggies/meat/fish part at the side of your dish.

and check out Tipnut's Easter craft page.


Gift item of the day: Leaf it sticky notes.

and Amazon sells a whole bunch of designer sticky notes.

Psst: NATO includes a Muslim nation

Most of my news on what's going on in Libya comes via local news reports or via US/UK sources.

But on my AlJezeerah rss feed I find this reminder that NATO includes the Muslim country of Turkey, and they are also helping protect the rebels.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the country's prime minister, said Turkey would take over the running of Benghazi airport to take responsibility for distributing humanitarian aid from the rebel-held eastern city.

The AFP news agency also quoted an official as saying Turkey was responding to a request from fighters in Libya, saying civilian and technical personnel would be sent out.

Ankara has already sent a ferry carrying a medical team, two ambulances and two tonnes of medical supplies to Libya in an attempt to help treat wounded people.

Cemil Cicek, the deputy prime minister, said Turkey was planning to take around 450 injured people from the rebel-held port of Misurata to Turkey for treatment.

Last week, the Turkish parliament also approved the dispatch of a naval force to Libyan waters as the government moved reluctantly to join the military campaign in the north African country.

Book stuff

Insomnia download of the day:
from Librivox:
Theological Orations

by Gregory of Nazianzus (329-389/390)

summary: Everything you wanted to know about the Trinity but were afraid to ask.


They also have Tolstoy's book against the RussoJapanese war (which turned out to be a disaster when Russia lost ).

Reminiscences of Forts Sumter and Moultrie in 1860-'61 (version 2) by Doubleday, Abner


A-Birding on a Bronco by Merriam, Florence A.
In "A-Birding on a Bronco," she writes an engaging memoir about her several trips to study birds on a ranch in California in the late 1800's.

Books on line, which lists lots of old books, is a valuable site to find out of print books for your Kindle for free.

It has recently included in their list a bunch of anti catholic screeds from the 1800's on their site. So if you want to know about the horrors of Romanism or the papist conspiracy to take over the world, go peruse to your heart's content.

to give some balance, they also link to Vanity Fair, the magazine archives of 1911-18

Monday, March 28, 2011


Some Peter Kreeft lectures on Vimeo, (he's a philosopher, but many of his on line lectures are about religion but include some on Lewis or Tolkien)...this video link is on CS Lewis and the Dawn Treader here.

Cat item of the day

funny pictures - If I do not eat, I do not sleep. If I do not sleep, YOU WILL NOT SLEEP. Are we clear on this?
see more Lolcats and funny pictures, and check out our

Musical interlude of the day

Verdi's Requiem...Caution: it's an hour and a half long.

Psst: WAGD

Mother Jones brings up another worry on those "safe" nuclear Plants in Japan: That seawater used to cool them will result in salt deposits and corrosion.

Stuff below the fold

The Fruit vendor shakedown incident that started the jasmine revolutions.
In Africa the proverb is: remember, even a small snake has a fang.

Sorry, I missed saying Happy Norwuz.

Persian paradox sees this feast of Spring renewal as the renewal of just governance in the region.

my rant about this is on BNN...

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Gratuitous Lady Gaga post of the day

The Modern Samurai

from the PhilInquirer

TOKYO—Radiation injuries to three workers at Japan’s stricken nuclear plant have put a focus once again on the unnamed and largely faceless corps of men risking their lives to prevent further catastrophe for their countrymen.

First dubbed the “Fukushima 50,” their number has now risen to more than 700 workers toiling inside an evacuation zone at the facility on Japan’s northeast coast that was battered on March 11 by an earthquake and then a tsunami.

Easter Eggs take two

And, why have a boring old fashioned Easter egg hunt, when you can do some RedNeck Easter Egg Hunting:

and here is how you make one:

turn up speakers and enjoy the music.

Don't mind me...I just finished reading THIS, where on line "WOW" type gaming and potato guns and a Dolly Parton clone mix to make mayhem

Egg Dyeing 101

Epilog has a page on how to dye easter eggs.

Martha Stewart has some information on how to dye eggs HERE.

and more HERE.

and if you are into gaming, there is the black op easter egg guide

Lecture of the day

The Psychiatrist behind the PBS special.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Pagnol's family saga

If you don't mind subtitles, check out My mother's castle and my father's glory, at you tube.

Gift item of the day

cute kawaii stuff - Stampler
see more Must Have Cute

buy it HERE.

via Holycool.

History lesson of the day

HistoryNet discusses the north Devon coast of England, the setting of the novel Lorna Doone.

you can download the novel via Project Gutenburg.

and yes, it's been made into quite a few films, and the BBC version is available for your viewing pleasure at Youtube, and no, Katherine Heigl is not in it.

Katherine Heigl take two

The G rated romance referred to in the previous post is available on Youtube:

Ladies, get out your handkerchiefs and enjoy.

Stuff below the fold

Madonna spent $15 million to build a school, but all I got is a lousy teeshirt.


In our time podcast this week: the start of the Iron Age.


a new medical hazard: Blackberry thumb.

Life imitating the Onion:

Obama was locked out of the White House.

Speaking of the Onion: The latest headline:

In Freak Accident, 34 Katherine Heigl Films Released At Once
The nation is still reeling from accident at Sony Pictures which unleashed dozens of films starring the irritating actress on an unsuspecting public.

(as Evanovich fans know, she is playing Stephanie Plum in the movie One for the Money, but I presume this is referring to her G rated movies on the Hallmark channel...and yes, I've seen them...)

and the "I'll get around to it one of these day" headline of the week:

Procrastination day put off till tomorrow

Insomnia downloads of the day

try the original Insomnia download: A Thousand and one Nights, at Librivox

  1. Anonymous. "Book of A Thousand Nights and a Night, The (Arabian Nights) — Volume 01" · (readers)
  2. Anonymous. "Book of A Thousand Nights and a Night, The (Arabian Nights) — Volume 02" · (readers)
  3. Anonymous. "Book of A Thousand Nights and a Night, The (Arabian Nights) — Volume 03" · (readers)
  4. Anonymous. "Book of a Thousand Nights and a Night, The, Volume 04" · (readers)
if that doesn't work, you can always try Aristotle. "Posterior Analytics" · (readers)

no, it is not an analysis of girl watching,

"Posterior Analytics deals with demonstration, definition, and scientific knowledge. Demonstration is distinguished as a syllogism productive of scientific knowledge, while Definition is marked as the statement of a thing's nature, a statement of the meaning of the name, or of an equivalent nominal formula..."

also available: the Admirable Crichton.

for some reason, the Kenneth More film based on the play isn't on youtube.

And if you like choral music, check out the BBC Site.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Stuff below the fold

Do modern cooking pans lead to early menopause?

I haven't seen a lot of early menopause myself, but these chemicals with estrogen like properties might be causing other things, such as feminizing males, low sperm count, and metabolic syndrome.


An article on Cahokia mounds...that started going downhill about 1300...

wasn't that the time when climate change linked famine predisposed Europe to the Black plague?

The X rated background on ancient Chinese history...

and if you thought his story would make a good movie, you're right...

Another reporter killed, and with a straight face, a police spokesman suggests it was a robbery for a cellphone...

and the prosecutorial team against the Amputuans has been sacked.

And now that the Amputuans are in jail, the Mangudadatu clan seems to be involved in killing a prosecutor in Manguindanao.

Like most of these political shennanigans, including the murder of our nephew, it's rare for the papers to suggest the real cause behind the murders and the possible corruption links behind the headlines, because of our strict libel laws in the Philippines. And, being a foreigner, I rarely can connect the dots (e.g. who is connected to whom and who is backed by what family clan).


Citizen Videos show horror in Daraa

Syria: Citizen Videos Show Horror in Daraa

Syria: Citizen Videos Show Horror in Daraa

Syria: Citizen Videos Show Horror in Daraa

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Poll dancing 4 Jesus

yes, I read the story about Polldancing at some Texas churches.

My problem is that elderly fat women with arthritis are not exactly sexually enticing trying to poll dance.

But Ceiling cat has another opinion
PollDancin 4 Jesus  I duz it
and basement cat is aghast...

hmmm...a bit pricy....I wonder if they give a clergy discount...

Needlepoint is now "In"

According to the WaPost anyway.

they include links:
including video links

but hey, anyone who googles knows they can find great patterns to copy. Just check out CraftyOctober's Mythbusters needlepoint at Craftsters.


Musical interlude of the day

The Gratuitous Lady Gaga post of the day

first there were guitar masses, then there were Polka masses, but a Gaga mass?

yes, it's the Episcopalians at work again....complete with an ECLA pastorette disguised as a lady Epicopalian priest....

I guess I'm the only one who has more problems with the priestess' arian theology than with the Lady Gaga part...after all, we have no problem using music from a real Lutheran or another apostate Catholic

headsup from Dustbury.

Stuff below the fold

Headline in the Phil Inquirer:

Liz Taylor and Michael Jackson: reunited in heaven?

actually, I pray for God's mercy on both of them...despite the glamour of their careers, they both lived unhappy lives.

The difference between the Philippines and the US:

US article: why I left my children

key paragraph:
I was afraid of being swallowed up, of being exhausted, of opening my eyes one day, 20 (or 30!) years after they were born, and realizing I had lost myself and my life was over.

Phil article:How Raising Children Helps Parents Become More Mature
key passage:

Being a parent does not only give us the responsibility of giving our child his/her basic needs. We have to push and go far beyond what is expected of us. We nourish not only their stomachs and minds, but also their souls.

If you come to a point that you start asking yourself, “What about my own needs?” because you may happen to be either overly stressed, tired and left out from the rest of the world, look at your child or children now. I know it sounds cliché, but they are all you need. You may have forgotten, but despite their sometimes seemingly strange and outrageous personalities, they ARE your reasons for living.


Austen Bay points out the dirty little reality that the removal of Ghadaffy is the best of several bad choices, and the Anchoress wonders if the Jasmine revolutions would have occurred a few years ago if the Democrats hadn't gone along with their left base to demonize Bush for purely political purposes.

more discussion links at Instapundit.

Despite all the reports of confusion, wars do tend to be messy and kill people, but I loath pacifists who stop "wars" and then ignore the massacres that don't get headlines, be they in Cambodia, VietNam, Zimbabwe, Bosnia, or Libya.

Sorry folks, this mom is projecting her own guilt on the cops.

and no, I'm not considering a druggie overdose as "murder", maybe because I've seen several overdoses including one death because the druggie stole the narcotics from my dying cancer patients. If you follow the mother's logic, they would have arrested me for treating the pain of the dying person because I "knew" the caretakers would abuse or sell the drugs.

and the Hell Freezes over headline of the day:

Rebuilding Lives and American Ties to Japan

Yes, the NYTimes finally notices the US Navy and Marines who are helping in the Japanese rescue effort. more HERE

Yes, the Navy helps all the time for disasters, not just in Japan, but in the Philippines and Indonesia and the Pacific Islands. They usually coordinate with local relief efforts, and their help is rarely noticed in the US press.

MANILA, Philippines (Oct. 2, 2009) – Cpl. Kevin Quintana, a motor transport operator with III Marine Expeditionary Force, works with Armed Forces of the Philippines counterparts to unload several of more than 2,000 'family food packs' during deliveries to three separate sites in metro Manila. The Marines are supporting Philippine authorities as they provide relief to local residents following flooding brought on by Tropical Storm Ondoy (U.S. Photo by Marine Lance Cpl. Shelby R. Shields)

a lot of the much criticized "Balikatan" exercizes are aimed to train together in case of emergency, as this recent multinational exercize in Jakarta shows.

and here's another photo from a joint exercize:

DA NANG, Vietnam (Aug. 12, 2010) - USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) Damage Controlman 2nd Class Steven Galarza, from Newark, N.J., demonstrates how to use a Portable Exothermal Cutting Unit (PECU) during a damage control (DC) demonstration aboard the ship. The DC training is one of several professional exchanges being conducted between John S. McCain and the Vietnamese People's Navy to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relations. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Brock A. Taylor)

The ship is named after two Admiral McCains: Father and son...
and of course the grandson, Senator McCain supported President Clinton to normalize the diplomatic relationship.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Gratuitous Lady Gaga post of the day

memes - I was Born This Way, a Hipster Kitty.
see more Memebase and check out our Courage Wolf lols!

Take that Firefox

I erased the "new" firefox, which is an imitation of Chrome, and put in the older version that still allows all my tools for links and downloads.

what a pain.

starwars photo of the day

see more Hacked IRL - Truth in Sarcasm

Stuff below the fold

Hell freezes over:

N.O.W. defends Hillary and Palin from sexist abuse.

Bill O'Reily defends Obama against partisan bashing.

African union decries bombing of Libya.

not mentioned: That he bribed them.
And why is a rapist like Zuma giving a speech at a Human rights day event?


2 million earth like planets out there.
and 38 of them might actually be good enough to live on.


HEH: The Battle of Hastings cancalled due to lack of UN Mandate.

Actually William did have international support for his invasion, or at least support from the Pope and the Holy Roman Emperor...


House votes to impeach Ombudsman

but Ping may come out of hiding now that he has beaten the charges.

for non Filipinos, strategypage has background on what is going on here.

Insomnia downloads of the day

OpenCulture has links to a lot of classic audiobooks for your listening pleasure

and BMW (yes the car maker) has some freebie downloads of stories

"...Inspired by the success of and “The Hire” Internet series of short films, showcases some of the finest contemporary writing talent today, including Karin Slaughter (Kisscut, Faithless, Indelible), Don Winslow (The Power of the Dog, California Fire and Life), James Flint (The Book of Ash, 52 Ways to Magic America), and Simon Kernick (The Crime Trade, The Murder Exchange). The four debut short stories mix the best in BMW product with contemporary original literature..."

now, why does this remind me of Anne of Green Gables and Avril's atonement?

Gift item of the day

from the One Ring Net

Don't upgrade firefox

I just upgraded my firefox and found it ate my link add on.

And it has all the annoyoing things that I dislike on other browsers like Chrome (e.g. you have to find the small star box on the side to even find your regular links).

I'm not that coordinated, so I keep getting the homepage instead. sheesh.

Guess I'll use Opera until they get it fixed.

some of us like customizing our toolbars, fellahs.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Musical interlude of the day (take two)

this is a silly song from the show Lyle the Kindly viking

Texas Joke of the day


Musical interlude of the day

Pinetop Perkins, who just passed on to his reward.

Cat item of the day

I has   homework


Next Tuesday is William Shatner's birthday

and don't miss the third annual "Talk Like William Shatner Day".
TrekMovie has partnered up with and ThinkGeek to hold a special contest where you can win prizes by submitting a video talking like Shatner.

best episode

full episode

headsup DaveBarry

Stuff below the fold

ProfessorBob has a podcast on Otzi the Iceman LINK


Guess these guys don't watch Fox Crime channel, or they'd know that cellphones tell the cops where you are.

via Pajamasmedia links to the UK Mail.

and StrategyPage has updates.

Good news: The EPA is tightening mercury emission controls.
The bad news: A lot of it is from China's pollution is hitting the US,
(via Instapundit)

A good discussion on traditional marriage, which has pretty well been destroyed by social policies and societal trends of the last 30 years.

who won the sexual revolution? The bad boys...

What is needed is for the gay community to embrace what Camille Paglia calls "presbyterian marriage", that includes faithfulness and the nurturing of offspring, and the conservatives would be more sympathetic toward same sex marriage.... Many Lesbian friends of mine have done so, but not a lot of the male gays, alas....and it's not PC to discuss that in polite company any more to acknowledge why some in this group gets so much HIV...

Monday, March 21, 2011

party time

ruby made this of her Lolo/Lola's anniversary party using movie maker for her homeschool assignment.

Stuff below the fold

another day, another earthquake...north of here.

the 3.0 means vibrations like a truck, and I did hear/feel that yesterday, but thought it was a rice truck taking a shortcut up our street.

Benedict XVI is a greenie, so the upcoming World Youth Day will be ecofriendly.

That's Doctor FrankenSTEEN...


WHO has been working for years to destroy the world's stockpiles of smallpox. but now there is a controversy if it should be done.

So why not destroy all of them? Recent studies suggest that variola and its experimental surrogate, vaccinia, have a remarkable ability to modify the human immune response through complex mechanisms that scientists are only just beginning to unravel. Further study that might require intact virus is essential. Moreover, modern science now has the capability to recreate smallpox or a smallpox-like organism in the laboratory in addition to the risk of nature re-creating it as it did once before. These factors strongly suggest that relegating smallpox to the autoclave of extinction would be ill

Another reason to study history

Austin Bay calls what is going on in Libya and the middle East "world War I part four".

for more background, check the European history link under podcasts and listen to Dr. Anderson's lectures about world war I.

The demise of the Ottoman and Austrian Empires was due to nationalism, but we are still living with the results of their demise.

and no, I don't know much about it, although I did bring a book on the Ottoman Empire with me to the Philippines here, I haven't gotten around to reading it...

and the best "on the ground" coverage is from AlJezeerah...why? Because you already know they are biased (i.e. give the Arab point of view) and will not bias it for political gain.
And thcy actually note other things brewing in the area.

but don't worry. The US press still knows who is the real enemy: Sarah Palin.