Saturday, April 30, 2011

Musical interlude of the day

turn up speakers and dance!

What's in a last name?

It's Montebatten-Windsor.

from the names of the Queen and her husband.
From the Royal Family website:

At a meeting of the Privy Council on 17 July 1917, George V declared that 'all descendants in the male line of Queen Victoria, who are subjects of these realms, other than female descendants who marry or who have married, shall bear the name of Windsor'.

The Royal Family name of Windsor was confirmed by The Queen after her accession in 1952. However, in 1960, The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh decided that they would like their own direct descendants to be distinguished from the rest of the Royal Family (without changing the name of the Royal House), as Windsor is the surname used by all the male and unmarried female descendants of George V.

It was therefore declared in the Privy Council that The Queen's descendants, other than those with the style of Royal Highness and the title of Prince/Princess, or female descendants who marry, would carry the name of Mountbatten-Windsor.

and yes, they are on both twitter and Facebook

Math lesson for today

headsup DRB

Yum: HellokittyRestaurant

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

Scandals below the fold

China is having another food scandal...

and what is it about the Chinese drywall problem I keep hearing about?

The founding mother of feminism was manipulated by a charming con man, but never mind.

the mystery of the bog bodies/


Lamenting about the sexual paranoia spread by the Wilde trial.

I'd feel sorrier for the guy if he hadn't been exploiting young boys....but never mind...this part is usually ignored because he was a big shot, and anyway they were lower class kids.

The scandal of DNA was that the woman whose photograph enabled the discovery of it's structure has been ignored and even ridiculed.
Thoreau ate"rye and Indian meal without yeast, potatoes, rice, a very little salt pork, molasses, and salt; and my drink, water. It was fit that I should live on rice, mainly, who love so well the philosophy of India."

So why didn't Thoreau die of Pellegra (corn lacks niacin) or BeriBeri?

He reports eating the weed purslane, which is high in vitamin C, which is why he probably never got scurvy, but the real "secret" to living cheap is this:

To meet the objections of some inveterate cavillers, I may as well state, that if I dined out occasionally...

Yup. He mooched meals cooked by nearby housewives, who were never asked of what they thought.
on the other hand, one suspects his chronic malnutrition was the reason he died of Tuberculosis at age 44...

Friday, April 29, 2011

history item of the day

funny pictures - Progress
see more Lolcats and funny pictures, and check out our Socially Awkward Penguin lolz!

yes, cats domesticated humans.

Musical interelude of the day

musical selections for the Royal wedding include one called "ubi caritas" (where there is love) by Paul Mealor.

I couldn't find that song, but here is another choral song by him from Youtube:

alas, like a lot of modern music, they seem to like no rhythm and a lot of atonality and ninth chords...
but don't mind me: I prefer what my kids used to call "elevator music"...

Stuff below the fold

Heh....Affirmative action President...

Yeah, my medical school had preference to accept the sons of previous graduates... and up to a few years before I went my school had quotas for Jews (10 percent), Blacks(1 or two per class) and women (none).

but then came affirmative action, so I lost my scholarship so that they could fund someone of a more politically correct race.

Forget tsunamis: a simple tornado can knock out a nuclear plant.

China's crackdown on dissadents noticed by the NYTimes...maybe one of these days they'll notice the crackdown on religion there too.

Pastor David Wilkerson has died in a car crash.
Prayers for his family. He's the one in the cross and the switchblade,

and his TeenChallenge worked with drug addicts in the inner city when I was in medical school, long before such work was common by churches.



Thursday, April 28, 2011

Factoid of the day

I just saw some geese headed east in a Vee shape looking for a place to land for the night(it's sunset). We see these all the time in the US but this is the first time I've seen a flock passing by here. I'm still trying to figure out what type they were.

we are on the East Asia Australasian presumably they are on their way up to Siberia or western Alaska.

so while doing research, I not only found out that the bar headed goose is a high flier, flying over the Himalayas,(Photocredit)

but this factoid:

The highest-flying bird ever recorded was a Ruppell's griffon, a vulture with a wingspan of about 10 feet; on November 29, 1975, a Ruppell's griffon was sucked into a jet engine 37,900 feet above the Ivory Coast-


Musical interlude of the day

Craft item of the day

Steve Pozek / April 16, 2011

Reeds Spring High School junior Maura Pozek spent 100 hours weaving 4,000 pull tabs into her prom dress

more HERE.

headsup Geekcrafts

Musical interlude of the day

A Pub singer in the UK was arrested for singing this song.

so to show your support of Non chinese singing about Kung fu, turn up speakers and enjoy...

hmmm...wonder what the thought police would make of this....or THIS.... or THIS...or the all time favorite for cat lovers everywhere LINK.

Headlines below the fold

Remember StarTrek's universal translator? It's here: and it's made by Google.

Time only can travel in one direction.

Bad news for Marty, who will now be stuck in the future.

The Five Front war in Libya.

FYI: The rich are fleeing China...


Why you should never kiss an armadillo.

American Med News just put out an alert for docs in the US to watch out for cases of Dengue fever. this nasty disease has been a problem here in SE Asia for the last decade.

Folks might not be aware that Dengue is not the only mosquito spread disease that used to be common in the US: Malaria and Yellow fever were once common in the southern US and killed thousands of soldiers in the Civil War.
all are mosquito spread, but from different varieties of mosquitos.

the real danger is if the disease goes from an infected person into the mosquito population, as happened in the 1793 Yellow Fever epidemic of Philadelphia.

Another Civil war related website: Friends of the Hunley.


And the really really big news of the day: Obama finally released his birth certificate, and it confirms he is human.

and No, it won't satisfy the ArtBell conspiracy types (who know he is really an alien from the planet Nibaru).

Trivia question of the day: Who was the politician who was being monitored by the bozos in this movie? hint: it was one of the agent's college roommates...

History Stuff below the fold

I added Professor Carter's Prehistory podcast at links.

A lot better than her MMW 1, which tended to be a bit diffuse (the MMW courses are basic history overview courses for freshmen and tends to be a bit spoon-fed).

The bad news: Professor Miano's podcasts on Rome were removed from UCSD site last week, but his old one on Greece is still there, as is his Egyptian history... He is good, but for classics, not as good as the lectures from Professor Pafford from Berkeley and Santa Clara.

a lot of these are on ItunesU...

Of course, the best podcast about Rome is Mike Duncan's Rome History podcast...these things overlap, but actually all of them teach from a different point of view and emphasize different things.

Another great podcast option is at Yale: I am also listening to the Yale Old testament podcast...Kagan on Greece is there too. My main complaint is that if you get an interruption in download, it stops and you have to redownload. Also, the lectures tend to be long, so often I get interrupted and never get around to hearing the end of them.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Where's the money?

I find it amusing when Wikileaks reports stuff known about terrorism links.

But the real problem will come as they release who has all that nice money in all those foreign banks.
That kind of knowledge has gotten whistleblowers killed here in the Philippines. LINK2

Musical interlude of the day

headsup Manolo who writes:

Unfortunately, this was followed by one of those modern songs the kids supposedly like, the shapeless piece of music which sounds like the weakest song on latest 3 Doors Down album. That would not be so bad, except the song promotes this vague theology centered on the awesome awesomeness of the awesome God. Say what you will about the old hymns, but they were written by the people who knew their way around both the G-clef and the King James Version.

Mark your calender

April 27 is Administrative Professionals day.

aka secretary's day

He's everywhere he's everywhere

the superheros that didn't make it:  #27, CHICKENMAN

Benton Harbor, in person.

more HERE.

of Crazies and ordinary folks

Of Gods and Men: a review.

more HERE.

Yes, holy monks killed by jihadis funded by Islamic charities.

Now if they'd only make a film about my friends who were killed by "freedom fighters" funded by the world council of churches.

It's the extremism, not the violence, stupid. The "True believer" doesn't require religion per se: he only requires a higher cause to give his life meaning, and a bad guy to blame his problems on, and he isn't exactly one to be dissuaded by weak pieties.
Hoffer believes that mass movements are interchangeable, that adherents will often flip from one movement to another, and that the motivations for mass movements are interchangeable; that religious, nationalist and social movements, whether radical or reactionary, tend to attract the same type of followers, behave in the same way and use the same tactics, even when their stated goals or values different.

I have another problem with the film: The film is impressive, but so subtle that it makes you admire the monks as something beyond the ordinary, not something to emulate in your daily life.

And that is not true: The heroism of ordinary folks is all around us, just rarely seen in the media. Storm stories anyone?


the curse of Tut's Trumpets.streaming audio at BBC4: more HERE.

Today's Manila Bulletin had a photo of "Greenpeace" anti nuke demonstrators.

Yup. another outside funded group paying for rich yuppies in Manila to "do something" politically correct, instead of doing something practical, like working with street kids, or doing something dangerous, like going after the real problem (i.e. corruption).

Yet in this, I agree with them: the dirty little secret is that Nuclear power is safe, as long as you have obsessive compulsive folks working there, and you aren't hit with a 9.0 earthquake, as the problems in Japan and Chernoblyl show, if you don't, then sometimes things go wrong.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

How does one fight hate?

See previous post about saving folks via waterboarding.

An important lesson on how real faith (not the stuff that is usually called faith) can help one fight without violence is found in the film weapons of the spirit, about Chambon, a village where a pacifist preacher and his church rescued Jews openly.

The film was once shown on PBS

Camus partly based his book The Plague on the village and the question of how to fight evil...

which is probably why so few have read that book. (which is also a good description of an outbreak of disease).

It says a lot about the world when I can't find a version of the film on line,and that the version that I had bought, which was to be used in schools, took out all references to religion....

headlines below the fold

Heh. Wikileaks reveals the BBC had a direct line to terrorists.
yes, must give their propaganda equal time....

When the ravens leave the Tower of London, the monarchy will fall.
so they clipped their wings to make sure they don't fly away.

Iran has gotten hit by a new computer worm, called "Stars".

want to build a posh resort in the middle of Manila? The gov't is selling two military camps here. only 55 billion pesos.

Did waterboarding save London?

I wrote on this a couple years ago.
If you really believed God was in charge, the answer to allowing torture is "no", but few people on either side of the argument really take God seriously: they are spouting slogans, not discussing the best way to confront evil.

The Gratuitous Lady Gaga post of the day

headsup Col Updraft

Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter eggs

epic win photos - Eggshell Art WIN
see more Hacked IRL - Truth in Sarcasm

via the laughing squid.

and check out Instructables Egg page.

Tax lawyer discussion of LOTR

funny facebook fails - Accounting for Middle-Earth
see more Failbook

Always dress in season

cool accessories - easter - dress - peeps - Where My Peeps At?
see more Crazy Shoes and Cool Accessories

Only in America

Dave Barry Writes:


A chocolate Easter bunny. Kosher for Passover.

Globalization and disease

The importation of "new" animals/insects into a ecosystem is not new, (see the Columbian exchange). But it continues:

from the CDC:

To explore increased risk for human Rickettsia spp. infection in Germany, we investigated recreational areas and renatured brown coal surface-mining sites (also used for recreation) for the presence of spotted fever group rickettsiae in ticks. R. raoultii (56.7%), R. slovaca (13.3%), and R. helvetica (>13.4%) were detected in the respective tick species.

Heh. Clean up industrial sites and voila, more problems.

Rocky mountain spotted fever was common in our area of Oklahoma, so anyone with a "FUO" (Fever of unknown origin) was placed on Doxycycline or a similar antibiotic that would kill Rickettsia (and lyme disease). Usually the first blood test would be normal, and half the time the person never would come back just to get a second blood test (which usually would show if you had the disease).

If you wait until you get the rash, you are pretty sick.

Trivia question: How can you tell if it's RMSF or measles? Measles appears on the trunk and face first, RMSF starts on the arms and lower legs first.

The real problem is that if a person comes in with a fever in a non epidemic area, the docs might not even think of the disease...especially in Germany...

Related disease: Yes, black death (or some of the epidemics) was bubonic plague, probably from Asia (some claim the Gobi desert).

It spread via trade from China to India and then to Europe.

copyright © 2003 Melissa Snell.

and then we have this:
Grand Canyon National Park Ecosystem Threatened by Kazakhstan Beetle?

The scientists introduced the beetle to kill the invasive tamarisk trees, which were imported long ago for stablizing soil along rivers and to plant in back yards.

but the beetles are killing too many of the trees, and endanger the wildlife that has had 200 years to get used to living on and with the tamarisk.

Wars below the fold

The antiwar right seems upset that the Libyan rebels have been killing and decapitating some of the African mercenaries hired by Ghadaffy and their friends. Sigh. such things happen in every war, and are often not atrocities as much as "payback's a bitch". And Obama seems to be taking a lesson from Reagan.

But the Independent notes that there is underlying unrest in Tripoli.
and StrategyPage notes that the war is still early, and that many countries have special forces types helping to train the rebels, who lack basic war skills. They figure the war will go on for a few more months.

Strategypage is also a bit more optimistic about Afghanistan than the MSM, (the opposite point of view is seen HERE) and they are the ones who point out that the real "game changer" is Syria, not Libya.
and the joker in the deck is

I tend to trust them over most newspapers, because they get stuff right, such as that the real problem is corruption, not ideology.

Robbing the poor and giving to the rich.


Good news for gals with guns: They are finally making gal uniforms that fit.

Seven hundred outfits are currently being tested at Fort Belvoir in Virgina. They have shorter arms than the male versions and greater breathing room around the chest and hips. Designers have also repositioned the knee pads, to compensate for the fact that women generally have shorter legs than their male counterparts.

The most important feature, in practical terms, is said to be a redesigned crotch. The camouflaged uniforms no longer boast an old-fashioned zippered fly, but are made in way that allows female soldiers to urinate without the inconvenience of having to disrobe


I have a high waist, so always had to get the long issue pants to fit my bottom, and then had to cut off about 9 inches and rehem them...and the pockets were in the wrong place.Since I was only a weekend warrior and only used them to run around the Idaho desert (I was in the IDNatGuard in the 1980's) it didn't matter much, but for a real war it would be nicer to have such things available....the question is why did it take them 30 years to figure this out?

Maybe the "don't ask don't tell" policy will improve things: sounds like some higher ups need some input from the Fab Five.


more good news: The unicorn is back.

The Nepal one horn rhino (which was probably one of the inspirations for the unicorn) is now increasing in number now that the civil war in Nepal is "on hold".

Photograph by Dilip Mehta

all of this is good news for the Eco tourists,

Stuff below the fold

Peeps: They're indestructible.

and if you want to make your own version, check the recipe via Epilog.

andUnlikelyWordsBlog has some random peeps links:

Peeps dioramas have sprung up all over with newspapers in Washington, Seattle, Fort Worth, Boston, York, Nebraska, Lehigh Valley, the Twin Cities, Sheboygan, Denver, and Chicago holding contests, as well as the American Bar Association....As there’s no accounting for taste, click through and choose your own favorites, each contest has many great entries. Dollars to doughnuts, someone submits a “Death of Newspapers” diorama, but doesn’t win. The Office Tally and National Geographic have jumped on the Peep contest bandwagon with Peeps reenacting ‘The Office’ and pictures of traveling Peeps respectively.

From Boing Boing, the (Masters of Internet Peepness), Mike Leavitt’s Anna Nicole Smith Rest in Peeps. Mike also did Barack Obama in Peeps. Other Peeps art can be found at David Ottogalli’s PeepsShow. It gets a little wackier at Skoozot Gallery and Fanpop Peeps, but Painting Each Day plays it a little straighter. And we mustn’t forget Peeps photography. Pink Pickled Peep is one of the weirder Peep art pieces I saw, and if you’re in Milwaukee, you might remember Peep Show which hasn’t happened for years, but is apparently happening again this year? I just don’t know what to do with these Motorbot Dunneeps, but they’re so cute, as are these Peepachus.

Starry Night by CakeSpy

more HERE and HERE and HERE

a coloring book for your kids.

and then there is the Lord of the Peeps...

and yes, Peeps is on Facebook

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Factoid of the day

I knew that Stonehendge was not the only large stone construction in Europe, and that megaliths were all over France, Malta, and Turkey.

But I didn't know that Asia has areas where people placed similar megaliths:

Megaliths are found in Korea, Japan, mainland China, and what we otherwise label Southeast Asia.

The Medici

Well, HBO has the Borgias, but PBS has the Medici...

Musical interlude of the day (take two)

this one is by the Philippine Madrigal singers:

Musical interlude of the day

Happy Easter

Our dog Blackie decided to have her puppies early this morning.

Three so far.

Happy Easter.

Yum: Peeps Sushi

cute food photos - Epicute: Peeps Roundup
see more Must Have Cute

Happy Easter

Col Updraft sent me this photo to remind us why we decided to retired to the Philippines:

Yes, here in the Philippines, we might have typhoons, earthquakes, volcanoes and Dengue fever, but we don't have snow.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Passover post of the day

Food link of the day

Twinkie reports:

Papa John’s UK division is actually selling Prince William and Kate Middleton wedding pizzas featuring a portrait of the happy couple in cheese, mushrooms, olives, pepperoni, and other assorted toppings, according to The Sun.

what, no pineapple?


Headline of the day

Bounding Easter Bunnies

The Charm of Competitive Rabbit Jumping

headsup DaveBarry

Insomnia downloads of the day

This week's choices from Librivox seem slightly familiar:

Curious Republic of Gondour and Other Whimsical Sketches, The by Twain, Mark

heh. who knew? Gondor was a republic, not a monarchy.

Doctor's Dilemma, The by Shaw, George Bernard

Death panels, before the days of Obamacare.

Lord of the World by Benson, Robert H.

A century before the "Left behind" books, Benson''s take was less cheerful.

Short Nonfiction Collection Vol. 021 by Various

This collection includes such gems as:

  • Farming with Dynamite by du Pont de Nemours Powder Co.
  • A Report on the Feasibility and Advisability of Some Policy to Inaugurate a System of Rifle Practice Throughout the Public Schools of the Country by George W. Wingate & Ammon B. Critchfield –
  • The Social Possibilities of War by John Dewey
  • An Adventure with a Dog and a Glacier by John Muir
  • Philip Dru: Administrator by House, Edward M.

    Before the Tea Party, there was Phillip Dru, who leads the democratic western U.S. in a civil war against the plutocratic East...

    Quo Vadis by Sienkiewicz, Henryk

    Will Lycia remain a virgin? Will Nero come in first in "Roman Idol"? The good part is that you don't have to listen...

    and finally, the mystery story of the day:

    Birthplace, The by James, Henry

    A great man was born here...or was he? Come on, let's see the birth certificate....

    Religion post of the day

    funny pictures history - Not the virgins the terrorists were expecting
    see more Historic LOL

    Friday, April 22, 2011

    Thursday, April 21, 2011

    Cat item of the day

    Wonkette has crossed the line:

    we are not amused

    Stuff below the fold

    A "Glee" passion play?

    oh yes: PNoy said we'll celebrate Earth Day on Monday, not Good Friday.
    Everyone is heading to the provinces for the weekend anyway.
    the real worry is that someone here will bomb the churches, or maybe even a ferry or a bus.

    USS Decatur visited India. It's lovely Captain is from an immigrant family from there.


    Catholic church in LA area burns down. probably arson. Sigh.

    Local DJ released on bond...he was in jail on libel charges.

    Taliban kidnap, then release Iranian engineers....they were working on a road development project in western Afghanistan.

    The cost of the BP spill one year later.

    The Gratuitous Lady Gag post of the day

    heh. Weird Al has a blog. Who wudda thot?

    Wednesday, April 20, 2011

    Abbott and Costello and Shakespeare

    who's on First as written by Shakespeare.

    the original film is here:

    and then there is my favorite, this "updated" version from 1982

    headsup from the Anchoress.

    Gift item of the day

    HelloKittyHell writes:

    and now, he reports,
    you can now buy a HelloKitty septic tank.

    Good news of the day (NOT)

    The good news about high oil prices.
    This one is from MSNBC MONEY, and the sad news is that it is so clueless.

    HELLO: High oil prices mean that food prices will skyrocket.

    It's the 16th anniversary of the Oklahoma city bombing.

    No, we didn't live in Oklahoma City, but in Clinton and Pawhuska at a different time.

    some good news from Oklahoma: Pointing out that funerals are private matters, it strives to protect the family while pointing out there are plenty of places and times to protest that aren't restricted. The sad news in this is that such a law is needed (and will probably be thrown out by the Supreme court).

    Drug resistant HIV and the failure of the safe sex meme is a worrying problem, even in the US heartland.
    It's the Craigslist epidemic. Sigh.

    Good news for grumps: Cheery people die earlier.

    It's still snowing at Lake Woebegon

    Librarian fans only: Professor Bob on the Sacred Lance (all 14 of them).


    Lots of corruption cases starting here in the Philippines. Fertilizer scam, military plunder, etc. etc. etc.

    I'm not sure how many will go to jail when the cases are finally heard (or how many convicted will have a friendly court throw out the conviction) but it's a start. Even the Ombudsman is being impeached.

    Our family is still waiting for justice.

    In the meanwhile, the Philippines is planning to shut down as everyone goes home for the Easter holidays.
    We're hoping for no terrorism or accidents will happen to spoil the fun.

    Tuesday, April 19, 2011

    The beauty of Art

    I ran across some videos from the BBC series Sister Wendy's story of painting at YouTube.

    This is from episode one, ancient art.

    the entire series is on the documentary channel here (streaming only).

    I had always assumed that she was a Benedictine. (In the Catholic church, Benedictines tend to be oriented to art, music, books and hospitality) but according to Wikipedia, she actually was a nun in a teaching order, is South African, not British, and is now a "consecrated virgin", sort of a hermit: and she is living with the Carmelites in the UK.

    more at the PBS website.

    Gift item of the day (take two)

    buy one for your favorite Geek Mom


    Gift item of the day

    Like to eat at Starbucks? get the ring and show off your favorite eats.

    More Photos at the UKTelegraph

    I don' t know if it's the same artist, but you can buy miniture food jewelry from
    Kawaii handmade food rings at Etsy HERE.

    Yum. Nacho chips and cola on a ring.
    or how about some tuna sushi?

    News you can use

    Strategypage has another report on Iranian proxy war against Israel that is pretty well ignored by the MSM.

    another day, another cyclone threat.


    Dog saves Cage from cage.

    When they ask you "what is your sign", answer:"Ophiuchus".
    More information on the lost sign of the zodiac here.

    CivilwarDailyGazette will bring you the headlines of the war of 150 years ago.
    (headsup FatherZ)

    Professor Bob has a podcast on the Sacred Lance.

    He also has an ongoing podcast covering the civil war of the US, along with recent podcasts on Caesar and on Napoleon on his archives. but if you want the entire series, check out his CD's link...


    The last Maharaja of Jaipur has died.

    War hero, pragmatist (he turned his residence into a five star hotel), politician, and party giver, his obituary makes a fascinating read.


    The Earl of Sandwich has opened a ...sandwich shop.

    and did you know the world's tallest Lego Tower is in Brazil?

    Discriminating against Wicca

    the school that insisted that Easter Eggs needed to be renames "spring Spheres" was discriminating against pious pagans.

    Easter, easter eggs, and bunnies are all symbols of earth reviving magically in spring, and the history of these customs are preChristian, according to the Ancient standard...
    of course, we Catholic Christians see no problem with "baptizing" these nice customs to link it with Christ's rebirth.

    Logic? We don't need no stinkin' logic

    headsup First Things.

    Created by Landon Schurtz. Via: Marginal Revolution

    originated by LandonSchurtz

    Wikpedia list of fallacies.

    Monday, April 18, 2011

    The real problem with Lent

    funny pictures - Teh wut???
    see more Lolcats and funny pictures, and check out our Socially Awkward Penguin lolz!

    This Year's Easter time "expose" is a fake (again)

    The text appearing in the codices contains numerous inconsistencies and anachronisms.
    CREDIT: Steve Caruso

    For the last few years, there are headlines by amateurs who claim Christianity is wrong.

    Usually these stories, from the Judas gospel to the bone box of James to the tomb of Jesus, are loudly proclaimed by the press, and then a few weeks later, after the experts check out the claims, the stories are quietly withdrawn.

    This year, the hoax has already been debunked: by two different secular scholars.

    Fake relics and bible "discoveries" have been around for years, so these are not exactly new. But why does the press believe those who "announce" a finding by someone without credentials.

    True, Schliemann did the same thing a hundred plus years ago when he "found" Troy. And the press ate it up. But the "troy" he found was 1000 years too old, and in the last 120 years, one does expect a bit more professionalism in archeology.

    Ken Burn's Civil war

    PBS is rebroadcasting the classic miniseries The Civil war (check local listings)

    but if you are outside the US and want to see it, you'll just have to download it before April 29 at Google Video:

    the part about Gettysburg is HERE

    or you can watch it streaming from this website

    Stuff below the fold

    Military related headline of the day:

    Ballistic Underwear Conquers Afghanistan


    more troublesome news:
    why nato can't fight.


    Thank Wikileaks: for outing the Chinese cyberwar bureau.


    Did Volcanoes do in the Maya?
    if so, should one worry about THIS?

    Singing the Pasyon

    Every Holy week, in our area they still sing the "Pasyon". Usually we hear it in the background during the day: a sad wailing chant, usually sung by women in small chapels that are set up in the street.
    from the Manila Bulletin:

    “Pabasa” is an old, time-tested Holy Week tradition that has remained well-preserved particularly in the provinces, where it is held continuously day and night, sometimes for as long as three straight days.. In recent years, the melodies of popular tunes are sometimes used to make the chanting of the Biblical passages sound more interesting, lively, and appealing particularly, to the young.

    The custom dates back a couple hundred years. From Wikipilipinas:

    The pasyon is a verse narrative about the life and suffering of Jesus Christ. The verses are structured in five-line stanzas, with each line containing eight syllables. The pasyon is commonly sung during Holy Week, starting Holy Monday. The reading of the pasyon is a traditional religious practice in the Philippines and people gather around the reader of the pasyon to listen and reflect.

    Usually we send a gift to help decorate the chapel and feed the singers at our barangay's local chapel (San Lorenzo).

    But what about the millions of Pinoys working overseas?

    The bishops here are modern: They have the entire chant on line HERE in streaming audio.

    A typical example of the off-key chanting is at this video link, but

    Maeken16 in Dubai has this video of a modern version of the custom (I say modern, because they use guitars and sing hymns along with the chant).

    Sunday, April 17, 2011

    Craft item of the day

    Lion brand has patterns for Easter crafts. Free registration required.

    More downloads

    Classic tales (some retold or edited) on line at librivox:

    Mahabharata by Vyasa: The epic of ancient India condensed into English verse, The by Romesh C Dutt

    Arnold, Edwin, Sir. "Bhagavad Gita" · (readers)

    Tagore, Rabindranath. "Gitanjali" · (readers)

    Hall, Jennie. "Viking Tales" · (readers)

    Elves and Heroes by Mackenzie, Donald Alexander

    Haggard, H. Rider. "Eric Brighteyes" · (readers)

    Anonymous. "Eirik the Red's Saga" · (readers)

    Magnússon, Eiríkr. "Völsungasaga" · (readers)

    Craft item of the day

    how to make edible Angry Birds.


    and then there is this headline:
    White House plans to win the future by beating Angry Birds (seriously)

    and this one:

    Angry Birds Challenges President Obama in White House

    Stuff below the fold

    Interested in ancient India? Links to where to buy them and a few free downloads for Books about Harappa here.


    Download emergency manuals for free via lifehacker (headsup instapundit).

    Hesperian also has health books for download, in English and Spanish.


    Baruch Blumberg has died...He was the scientist who identified the hepatitis B virus. By doing so, they were able to develop a vaccine which save lives and prevented liver damage in millions.


    A Dummies guide to speaking with an Irish accent.

    Read more: A guide to how to understand Irish speak or slang

    Read more: The worst Irish accents in Hollywood movies

    Helping Japan

    from the NYTimes:
    NATORI, Japan — Last month, when a team of United States Air Force Special Operations forces reached the damaged Sendai Airport, just a mile from the coast, it found a devastated landscape of uprooted buildings, smashed vehicles and the bodies of the dead....

    Over the next four weeks, they worked to restore Sendai Airport, where he huge tsunami had flooded the runway and threatened to engulf the sleek glass terminal....On Wednesday, the airport in Sendai, one of northern Japan’s largest cities, nearly 200 miles northeast of Tokyo, reopened to commercial flights for the first time since the earthquake and tsunami struck on March 11. But when the airport resumed civilian operations, the two dozen members of the Air Force unit, the 353rd Special Operations Group, were not on hand to celebrate. Nor were most of the 260 Marines and soldiers who also joined the cleanup.

    They had already packed up and gone.
    NYTimes Slideshow here.

    more on the story at Stars&Stripes, including this photo:

    Thank you NYTimes for noticing...the US Military has helped in several Philippine disasters, but kept a low profile so that most of the publicity could go to the larger local groups that were here.

    Saturday, April 16, 2011

    It's Spring and if you live in Oklahoma, you know what that means

    it's time to sit outside and watch for funnels.

    photo credit

    yes, I know: You are supposed to head to the basement when there's a tornado warning, but the bad news is that if you live in rural areas, the warnings usually arrive after it hits...heck, sometimes the siren doesn't go off until it's passed, or the thunder/rain/hail is too loud to hear it.. So if you don't have a basement, you go outside to keep an eye on the weather, while you get the kids and elderly down into the shelter.
    We used to hide in a neighbor's shelter across the street, that was large enough for one family but usually contained three families: five kids, three dogs, a cat, and three women inside, while I stood outside with the two guys to keep watch.

    cat item of the day

    from ask Sister Mary Martha blog

    Have a cup of relaxing tea

    cute kawaii stuff - Epicute: Relaxing Tea
    see more Must Have Cute

    The Rebel Yell

    The US Civil war started on April 12, when the battle for Fort Sumter started

    SenseOfEvents blog discusses the Rebel Yell, and links to this video.

    Shelby Foote discusses the Civil war...

    The film comes from the Ken Burn's miniseries on the Civil war from PBS.

    Science headlines that make you go WTF

    Scientists teleport Schrödinger's cat

    Funny Pictures - Schrodinger's Cat
    see more Lolcats and funny pictures

    Researchers from Australia and Japan have successfully teleported wave packets of light, potentially revolutionising quantum communications and computing.

    The team, led by researchers at the University of Tokyo, say this is the first-ever teleportation, or transfer, of a particular complex set of quantum information from one point to another.

    They say it will make possible high-speed, high-fidelity transmission of large volumes of information, such as quantum encryption keys, via communications networks.


    Singing Aussie whales top of the pods

    A Queensland scientist has found humpback whales in Australian waters set the trends for mating songs for humpbacks across the South Pacific.

    photocredit Greenpacks who also has an article about why whales sing...

    Do Cosmic Strings of Gas Come From Sonic Booms?

    The team suggests that as sonic booms from exploding stars travel through the clouds, they lose energy and, where they finally dissipate, they leave these filaments of compressed material.
    photo and more discussion at Spacestation blog...

    Recent Rants

    I usually put my longer rants at BNN. Here are a few recent ones.

    Factoid of the day

    I was reading a novel that retells the story of the Odyssey, including parts about the Trojan war, and they mentioned Memnon and the Ethiopians fighting for Priam and the Trojans.

    And yes, he is mentioned in the Odyssey because he killed old king Nestor's son (the Iliad doesn't cover the fall of Troy) but I hadn't noticed it.

    Like a lot of the heroes, his background and legend is a bit confused, not from racism as much as because there are several oral traditions on all these heroes, and often they linked heroes with the gods or applied the names of heroes to different stories.

    Also, the links between the various Bronze age civilizations became legend during the Greek dark ages after the Bronze age collapse. Some theorize that when Homer wrote, they didn't realize that Ethiopia was black, but later contact during the classical period, with the black Nubian pharaohs of Egypt made them change the depiction of him in their art. more HERE.
    and HERE.

    Modern archeology is trying to rediscover this lost history, including that of the ancient African civilizations.

    And you can watch a lecture on his story on YOUTUBE:

    Factoid number two, from Wikipedia:

    In the prologue to his Prose Edda, the Icelandic scribe Snorri Sturluson states that Memnon (whom he says is also known as Munon) was one of the kings present at Troy, who married Troana, the daughter of king Priam. He further relates that they gave birth to their son Tror, that is, Thor, born with hair "fairer than gold", who later becomes king of Thrace, and ancestor to all the Germanic kings.

    heh. Wonder if the Nazis knew about this...