Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Cat Item of the day

funny graphs - Rub On It Before You Eat It
see more Funny Graphs

Akhnaten take two

A discussion of Akhnaten's revolution in Egypt, with Prof Bob Brier, can be found on youtube:

and I just got hold of the Waltari book The Egyptian (which is much better than the kitchy film of the 1950's) so was looking up stuff on this pharoah.

Factoid of the day

composer Philip Glass wrote an opera on the Pharaoah Akhnaten.

It's part of a trilogy of operas, the other two being about Gandhi and Einstein.

I don't care for his music, but here is an excerpt from youtube:

Musical interlude of the day

turn ups speakers and dance!

The really important news of the day

The "duh" story of the day: 1500 Pinoys attended "World Youth Day" in Madrid...30 percent went "TNT"

TNT (tago ng tago—or always in hiding) is a local term that refers to Filipinos who stay overseas without proper documentation and keep hiding from authorities to avoid deportation.

We in the Philippines know that with typhoons/hurricanes, it's the rain more than the wind that is the problem.

So now reports of floods in Vermont and other eastern US states should silence those who laughed at the hype and claim "overreaction" by governors in the NE USA...videoHERE (the trucks have a snorkle for air intake to the engine).

and I suspect few have flood insurance, which is very expensive.
Blackfive liveblogging the American Legion convention.

Factoid of the day: Half a million workers from Nepal work in Saudi Arabia.

Something to remember the next time you read rich westerners writing about how they love those wonderful quaint unspoiled countries.

Heh. Putin rides a Harley...must be copying Sarah...

Joe Biden's Noodle Meal: shocking the Chinese by eating with the hoipolloi.

In a country where government officials' transportation, overseas travel and banquet expenses account for 60% of all administrative expenses, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs claims that such expenses are national secrets, Biden's casual meal has won ordinary Chinese people's hearts. To the extent that the Chinese propaganda department finds the news embarrassing for the Chinese authorities and is banning media outlets [zh] from discussing the noodle incident.

and DaveBarry has this crime report:


2 pajama-clad girls take stolen goat for walk

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Opposing the bank bail out

I always thought the Tea Party started as an outgrowth of the Porkbusters, opposing bad fiscal management by Bush, and then expanded under Obama to protest the bail outs and unneeded social spending and explosion of trivial business regulations under him.

Editorial on how the US bailed out the banks, including some outside the US.

Now, it seems that the bail outs are being scrutinized by Rolling Stone

and Bernie Sanders is is Elizabeth Warren, who may oppose Teaparty candidate Brown for Mass Senator.

Yeah, better to ban transfats, and close down organic milk sellers and lemonade stands. Reminds me of Harry Truman who said that the James brothers were "pikers" next to the big shots who looted the railroads for millions and got away with it.

Don't ask me, I'm a doctor, but having lived through the inflation of Carter (where most of my hard earned savings lost half their worth) I figure the next step is a hidden superinflation to lower the deficit.

and you might want to check out Dr. Coburn's Pork Report.

Gift item of the day

A Weight watchers saints charm bracelet.

Today, we've put together this chain of heavenly help for dieters.

St. Thomas Aquinas:cut a semicircle out of his table so his stomach would fit.

St. Martha: patron saint of cooks and waitresses.

St. Catherine of Sienna: Dieter extraordinaire! Survived for months at a time on only the Host.

St. Lawrence: roasted to death on a grill. That's him on the medal, holding his grill.

St. Charles Borromeo: patron saint of the stomach.

That ought to get you past that piece of chocolate cake.

by the "tongue in cheek SisterMaryMartha, whose delightful blog will put a smile on your face.

Science Headlines below the fold

Death panels work fine in Scotland.

When good laws go bad: The Dodd-Frank law that prevents the US from buying "conflict minerals" has not only harmed the Congo, but allows China to buy up all the rare metals from there.

Cosmic rays are the "x factor" in clouds.

the latest invention: Seagull proof plastic bin bags.

Space Station RIP?

how an Ethiopian slave became a teacher in South Africa.

The "we're all gonna die" post of the day: Birdflu is back...

Monday, August 29, 2011

Headlines below the fold

Five good things about hurricanes.

recycling post of the day:


Save Earl Grey...

they even have a facebook page.

factoid: It's named after the 2nd Earl Grey, a PM of England and supporter of Catholic emancipation...he and his wife had 16 children, which explains why he joined others in bedding Georgiana, the Dutchess of Devonshire (who also had a child by him who was raised by Grey's parents and is the ancestor of Sarah the Dutchess of York).

The film "the Dutchess: was about Georgiana and her romances.

another factoid: Bergamot, one of the ingredients in the tea, is used as an aphrodesiac.


Cat item of the day

you know about planking?

well, now there is kittyplanking

more photos at Cute Overload

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Bacteria two, Mosquitos zero?

two BBC reports on mosquito control.

The First report is that scientists found that if a certain bacteria infected mosquitoes, they didn't tranmist Dengue fever.

The scientists are uncertain as to why Wolbachia blocks the ability to transmit dengue, but Professor O'Neill said they have two theories: "The first relates to the immune system. The data suggests that the presence of Wolbachia boosts the immune system and helps the mosquito fight off the effects of dengue.

a second report says that surveys in Africa are showing that the mosquito that transmits malaria is also decreasing in number, for unknown reasons.

they don't know if this is from climate change, or if a bacterial or other disease has affected the mosquitos.

It isn't over until the (naked) green lady sings

I knew Donald Swann (of Flanders and Swann fame) had written serious music, including musical scores for Tolkien's songs, but I didn't know that he had written the music for a Perelandra Opera.

Perelandra is the second book of CSLewis' space trilogy, where the character Ransom (which some believe is based on Tolkien) is sent to help the "Eve" of that land to resist the temptations from one of the scientists, Weston, from book one.

Although I enjoyed the first book of the triology, I found Perelandra boring, and the third book is good in parts but also gave me intellectual indigestion for various reasons (I hated the character Jane).

The point is that the Lady, the Eve of the newborn land of Venus, not only is "green" but she doesn't wear clothes in the book.

so how did they manage this on stage?

The opera was performed a few times, then went into limbo with the death of Lewis.

well, the copyright cops kept it from being performed, but in 2009 when the copyright died of old age, they again staged the opera. The UKTelegraph has a review here.

the bad news is that although there is a CD available here, no one has bothered to post it on line or on youtube.

as for the Lady, check out this painting to get an idea of how she might look. As the saying goes: She wasn't naked, she just didn't have any clothes on.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Family news

another day, another typhoon...

not much wind here (the storm is off the east coast) but lots of rain...and we're upstream from Manila's garbage clogged sewers. Well, that's one advantage of having open ditches for sewer run off...



Motivational Video of the day

headsup GrowingteenagerBlog.

as I wrote before, our prayers are with him and his family.

Factoid of the day take two

There's no cure for Dengue, which is endemic here in SEAsia, but now reports say the Tawatawa plant could help prevent the dehydration complication of that disease.

From Finestkind Clinic and fish market

foodrecapnet has more. and more from Internet Philippines (where I got the photo)

I know the plant: it's a weed that we remove from our garden all the time.

another possible cure: Camote tops. This is the top leaves of the sweet potato plant that is used here as a "green" vegetable.

another way to prevent control the mosquitoes that spread Dengue and Malaria: Guppies.

They can eat the "wrigglers" (larvae)of the mosquito in water and are used in many countries for fresh water mosquito control.

From Finestkind Clinic and fish market

photo is that of a plain female guppie.

Not to be mixed up with the Pregnant Guppie.
From Finestkind Clinic and fish market

Koi do this also: we use koi in our fountain to control the mosquitoes.


and your vocabulary lesson of the day:

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


Stuff below the fold

Back in 1986, Reagan bombed Libya to warn Ghadaffy after they found he was behind a bombing of a nightclub in Germany that killed some Americans.

Gadaffy reported that the raid killed his adopted daughter, causing a lot of handwringing from the left, who hated Reagan even more than they hated Bush.

However, today we have good news. Ghadaffy lied She wasn't killed: she's alive and well and is now a doctor.

Whoops...the God Particle might not exist after all.


Scientific mystery of the day: The Cuppa hot cocoa paradox.

They wrote that if "the bottom of the mug was tapped repeatedly with a spoon as the (instant coffee or cocoa) powder was stirred into the water, the note emitted could be heard to rise in pitch by over an octave".

read the rest of the report to find out why.


Dustbury posts the creepiest commercial on line.

King Arthur's round table found again.

Factoid of the day

Pearl Millet was first domesticated 5000=8000 years ago in sub Saharan due to climate changes that was drying up the Sahara. more HERE.

when I worked in Africa, the folks usually grew some as a "backup crop" in case there wasn't enough rain for the corn crop. Since it was easier to digest than Maize porridge (sadza) we used to instruct our moms to make it for their newly weaned children (and add either buttermilk or peanut butter to make it high protein).

more HERE.

recipes HERE. and HERE. It is gluten free....and millet flat bread is eaten in India.

Dog news of the day

you don't step on superman's cape post of the day:

Cheney's labradors Jackson, left and Dave Photo: WHITE HOUSE

Dick Cheney's memoir reveals that his Lab DAVE once attacked Bush's dog Barney.

and from ITblog:

Friday, August 26, 2011

The Gratuitous Lady Gaga post of the day

ladyGaga in sinagapore last year.Photo AFP

China has banned 100 songs from being featured on websites, barring artists ranging from Lady Gaga to the Backstreet Boys apparently for being out of tune with the country's cultural authorities.

no, it's not her drug use or her support of gay marriage that got her in trouble:

Lady Gaga's "Bloody Mary" ends with the line "Oh, libertad, mi amor (Oh, freedom, my love)", while "Hair" includes the lyrics "This is my prayer/ That I'll die living just as free as my hair".


no comments so far from Joe Biden.

Cat item of the day

OK.  Try cranking it now.

Stuff below the fold

StrategyPage on Colombia
NYTimes notices grandparents now care for grandchildren,
Anti Catholic propaganda from the good old days debunked...

No religion allowed at the 911 memorial?

Say a prayer to Father Judge to make the mayor change his mind.

Steve Jobs resigning. in our prayers.

Blackfive has USAA's advice on preparing your cellphone for a hurricane.

another day, another typhoon...right now we are signal one.


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Sad video of the day


Factoid of the day

actually, we're in the monsoon season, so it's not that hot.

But this time of year is called the "Dog Days of Summer".

funny dog pictures - lazee dayz ob summer
see more dog and puppy pictures

ah, but why is it called that? Because dogs hate the heat? Because dogs might get rabies?

No: Father Z says it's because it's the time of the dog star:Sirius. And he adds lots of quotes from Greek and Latin literature.

from Wikipedia:

The Dog Days originally were the days when Sirius rose just before or at the same time as sunrise (heliacal rising), which is no longer true, owing to precession of the equinoxes. The Romans sacrificed a brown dog at the beginning of the Dog Days to appease the rage of Sirius, believing that the star was the cause of the hot, sultry weather

and the ancient Egyptians used the rise at dawn of the dog star to predict the time of the annual floods of the Nile River.

Insomnia downloads of the week

having trouble sleeping but don't want to count sheep?

Try listening to Aristotle's Metaphysics or one of his other charming works:
  1. Aristotle. "Categories" · (readers)
  2. Aristotle. "Metaphysics" · (readers)
  3. Aristotle. "Nicomachean Ethics, The" · (readers)
  4. Aristotle. "On Interpretation" · (readers)
  5. Aristotle. "Poetics" · (readers)
  6. Aristotle. "Politics" · (readers)
  7. Aristotle. "Posterior Analytics" · (readers)
  8. Aristotle. "Prior Analytics" · (readers)
  9. Aristotle. "Rhetoric" · (readers)
  10. Aristotle. "Selected excerpts" (in "Library of the World's Best Literature, Ancient and Modern, volume 2") · (readers)
  11. Aristotle. "Sophistical Elenchi" · (readers)
  12. Aristotle. "Topics" · (readers)
if you prefer to be bored by religion, try:

Bible (KJV) 04: Numbers by King James Version

or try some sermons:
  1. Brennan, Rev. Gerald T.. "Angel Food: Little Talks to Little Folks" · (readers)
  2. Brennan, Rev. Gerald T.. "For Heaven's Sake: Little Talks to Little Folks" · (readers)
  3. Brennan, Rev. Gerald T.. "Ghost of Kingdom Come, The" · (readers)
  4. Brennan, Rev. Gerald T.. "Going His Way: Little Talks to Little Folks" · (readers)

and for history buffs:

Recollections of Life in Ohio, from 1813-1840 by Howells, William Cooper

  1. Summerhayes, Martha. "Vanished Arizona: Recollections of the Army Life of a New England Woman" · (readers)
  2. Anonymous. "Diary of a Nursing Sister on the Western Front 1914-1915" · (readers)
  3. Chesnut, Mary. "Diary from Dixie, A" · (readers)
  4. King-Hall, Stephen, Sir. "Diary of a U-boat Commander" · (readers)
  5. Quincy, Samuel M.. "History of the Second Massachusetts Regiment of Infantry: A Prisoner's Diary" (in "Short Nonfiction Collection Vol. 021") · (readers)

Family news

Ruby at the town Plaza.
she's getting to be a little lady.

Photos of the day

A Pileus Iridescent Cloud Over Ethiopia
Image Credit & Copyright: Esther Havens (Light the World)

Explanation: Yes, but how many dark clouds have a multicolored lining? Pictured, behind this darker cloud, is a pileus iridescent cloud, a group of water droplets that have a uniformly similar size and so together diffract different colors of sunlight by different amounts. The above image was taken just after the picturesque sight was noticed by chance by a photographer in Ethiopia. A more detailed picture of the same cloud shows not only many colors, but unusual dark and wavy bands whose origins are thought related to wave disturbances in the cloud.

This view was created using three-dimensional information from the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter, which flew on NASA's Mars Global Surveyor orbiter. The vertical dimension is not exaggerated. Color information is based on general Mars color characteristics.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Craft item of the day

instructions HERE

or try this:

family news

at 3 am I woke up to a strange noise coming from the bathroom...the cat had brought us a "present": a live bat.

I scooped it up without touching it and threw it outside...I never heard of a cat catching a bat, so I hope it wasn't a sick bat (with rabies etc). I had rabies shots after a dog bite, but the cats here haven't had any rabies shots.

Since I was awake, I went on line, and the headlines are the same: Bad news.

oh well.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

craft item of the day

poetry take two

Poetry corner

Headlines below the fold

End game in Libya...why it could be bloody. Sigh.

He's probably hiding in a bunker...
all sorts of folks build them..
who built the caves of the moon in Madrid?

one result of the war is that the American troops can finally come home...from Germany...

In this war, as in the Punic wars, the Numidians (Berbers) helped turn the tide...

as for superweapons, they make a good headline but don't work well...Hannibal's elephants article HERE.

68 Pinoys converted to Islam in Saudi last year says the headline.... and they assure us it was "voluntary".
Well, out of a million there, it's not a big number. Wonder how many Saudis converted to Christianity? Oh, I forgot: If they are found out, they are killed or imprisoned.


Massacre of the mercenaries...AD 900
(headsup Archeaoblog)

and the photo of the day:

Picture: Quirky China News / Rex Features

Earthquakes in D.C,?

my relatives in Pennsylvania report feeling the earthquake but all report they are well.

Lolo is over his chest cold and back to normal...he is quite frail nowadays but his mind is okay.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Stuff below the fold take two

Leptospirosis, a rat borne disease that is caught by wading in flood waters, is becoming a worry in the Philippines...this CDC article suggests most cases are never diagnosed, and suggests that a fast and easy test is needed.

since it can be treated with common antibiotics such as penicillin and doxycycline, one suspects many cases are just treated empirically by doctors.

keeping down the rat population by garbage collection could help too, but we find that even with rat poison, rat killing dogs and mice killing cats, we still have a problem...they migrate in from the nearby vacant lots..

and we also have a dengue alert...1600 cases so far this year...and again, most cases are mild and never see the if they'd only spray the open ditch sewers.
Smithsonian article on new species being discovered in the Philippines.

Stories below the fold

Stress really does make your hair turn grey.

BoingBoing has a summary of the contamination from Fukushima....and Japanese kids are affected too.

Burbank residents are worrying about being attacked by coyotes and mountain lions.

maybe they need to hire Rick Perry...
Perry said that because the coyote was acting threatening toward him and his daughter's Labrador retriever, he pulled a .380 pistol with a laser sight from a belt on his jogging suit and shot the coyote dead. He told the reporter he carries the gun when jogging because he is afraid of snakes.
heh. Don't mess with Texas...

Just what we need: A stealth Snow Mobile.

priority number one: Make it a bit quieter.
faster, please...

also from Davebarry:


Yokohama, to visit the Cup Noodles Museum


Happy 91th birthday Ray Bradbury.
from a 2001 interview:


Islamic victory?

Via Yahoo: How Did Tripoli Fall so fast?

You will read a lot of nonsense worrying if the new government will be Islamic or secular... The assumption in the US is that secular is best, yet American law is based on both British common law, and (protestant) Biblical law...that part about "freedom of conscience" is a protestant idea only belatedly picked up by Catholics, for example.

and this ignores that the "Arab spring" is secular governments that are tyrannies and kept in place with outside support, and that many of the rebels see their inspiration in their religious heritage.

Dr. E in Tehran rejoices, and points out the religious rebels won over secular dictators, and she suggests Iman Ali as a role model.

And the White Path (Turkey) points out that the Muslim Brotherhood is evolving, and could see Turkey's relaxation of the anti religious law was done by vote, without the need for a theocracy, as a role model for Islamic democracy.

Ironically, in the US, many religious voices are being ridiculed and a similar argument is going on.

And here in the Philippines, a similar argument is being waged against the Catholics who dare to oppose the RH bill ...

Monday, August 22, 2011

Feminist Doctors of the church?

Traditionally the title "Doctors of the church" is given to folks who can explain the faith.

At World Youth Day, they proclaimed St. John of Avila as the latest doctor. (not to be mixed up with John of the Cross who coined the phrase "the dark night of the soul"...).

But Chiesa has a news article suggesting quite a few might be put in the list in the next few years, including feminist icon Hildegard of Bingen and the popular Julian of Norwich.

If you like Gregorian chant, check out one of Hildegard's songs:

Preserving the Osage language

when I worked in Oklahoma, they were giving language classes for the kids, trying to preserve the Osage language. Tribe link here includes audio and video links and language lessons

Most Oklahoma tribes are integrated into society, so there is a real danger of losing the languages.

A longer article on this from Indian country

headsup TimeAndTongueBlog.

History lesson of the day

funny pictures history - Bluetooth, circa 1928
see more Historic LOL

cat item of the day

Uummm...                   tweet?

Headline of the day

End game in Libya...

Heh. All the big news outlets are reporting from the hotel and worried about their own security, but AlJazeerah has reporters on the ground.

Zeina Khodr, Al Jazeera's correspondent, said from the Green Square: "There's a party in the Libyan capital tonight. The people are in charge of the city. They've decided the square is now called Martyr's Square, the original name. They're shouting 'we're free' and shooting at a poster of Gaddafi."
another reason for the US to get AJ's english coverage on cable tv. Biased? yes but so is CNN and Fox...

(it's Bush's fault)

and if you want your head to spin, check some of StrategyPage's podcast on Syria discusses the Arab/Iranian, Muslim/Druze, Turkish/Persian empire, factions all choosing sides.

And Iran's president is a bad guy hating Israel, but he is also fighting corruption and the extremism of the Mullahs.

the fall of the EU may be due to Greece's corruption, says the UKTelegraph
Strategypage podcast discussed this a few weeks ago LINK


I defended Obama's choice of vacation spot here, but then I used to live in Boston and don't consider Martha's Vineyard a place for only the rich. Obama's problem is his tin ear, not his choice of vacation spots.

photo Inquirer.

PNoy is still seeking justice for his father's murder. It's the anniversary of his death today and folks are remembering him.

more HERE

the Triple bypass that changed history.

a rememberance...

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Musical interlude (take two)

another happy song:

Musical interlude of the day

Turn up speakers and dance!

Skin walker

A student made film about skin walkers by Grace Todacheenej

(see earlier post on mixing up vampires and skinwalkers)

Tony Hillerman

short bio on Tony Hillerman.

Family news

I finally got over my chest cold, but now Lolo is sick.
He is eating okay, just running a low fever and staying in bed most of the day.

We had a brown out most of yesterday, and today it's scheduled from 8 to five, but the generator is working okay so we have hot water and weak level air conditioning.


We didn't go to church again, so the usual beggars noticed I was missing again, so they came to the door bringing the sampaguita garland we buy every week since the seller also "missed me"...and wanted see if I'm okay.

Of course they got their tip. They are quite expert in crying about problems because they know they'll get a bigger tip, but they seem to make a good living off of it: One of them showed me a graduation photo of her daughter who just finished high school last year. But sometimes they do need money, especially if they need to buy medicine (they bring a note from the public hospital or the prescription to prove they aren't lying).

one of the regulars was a girl with Down's syndrome who suffered from ecsema. She had family but they moved away and so she lived in the palenke. Social services finally got her a place to stay...

for those who don't know about the sampaguita garland, here is a photo of a seller...sometimes other flowers or IlangIlang leaves are used.

Lolo usually puts some on the graves in the cemetery, and we also garland Mama Mary's statue with them, placing on the statues as a necklace...

Pagan custom? No, a sign of honor because we figure our loved ones in heaven see the flowers and know we are remembering them.

Attack of the killer capybara

The LATimes says that it's not a killer rabbit roaming the wastewater treatment plant, it's a capybara

The rodents — which can grow to the size of a large dog — aren't dangerous, "just weird-looking," Hughan said.

The "I know It's around here someplace" story of the day

From Webecoist:

A Floating island artwork (called "is land") has disappeared before they could send it to the Burning man festival. Presumably it has floated off to Czech republic....

cloud cukooland redux?

and the trivia factoid of the day:
  • Cloud Cuckooland is a level from the Nintendo 64 game Banjo-Tooie.

Saturday, August 20, 2011


TYWKIWDBI has photos and a discussion of butterflies in Wisconsin.

The top embed is a photo of a Giant Swallowtail. This has historically been a butterfly of the southern United States, since its preferred food plants are citrus trees. Until a few years ago they were seldom seen in Wisconsin, but last year they appeared across much of the state, and this year they have been relatively abundant;


Daphne DuMaurier's summer home is for sale.

only 2 million Euros...

The Guardian book podcast this week is on Gothic Edinburgh...mp3

LesFemmesBlog suggests you wear this teeshirt to shut up all those who make snide remarks about breeders:

and the Cat video of the day:

Gift item of the day

From ITBlog flying sharks...

Rants on my other blogs

From my Medical blog:

Number one: comments on the PBS story of Washington's nine deadly diseases. (headups TeaAtTrianon)

two: Almost dying from hemorrhage after having a baby.

3) Pfizer pays up...experimenting on Africans.

4)musing about congenital heart disease.

Recent BNN Rants:

World Youth Day

from the Inquirer.

Benedict told them their decisions to dedicate their lives to their faith was a potent message in today’s increasingly secular world.

“This is all the more important today when we see a certain eclipse of God taking place, a kind of amnesia which albeit not an outright rejection of Christianity is nonetheless a denial of the treasure of our faith, a denial that could lead to the loss of our deepest identity,” he said.

Bluepangeetblog has a series full of photos reporting from the event on his blog and his facebook page includes streaming videos

he reports not just about the mass but about the concerts and teaching sessions in the different languages.

he reports that the protesters mocked the youth all day, but were only arrested when they started throwing things. Nothing on google news yet about this, but it is covered in the Inquirer, without of course mentioning why the protesters were removed....

here is some of his photos: faces of world youth day:

the official WYD Pinoy webpage

and YouthPinoy is twittering the event. they report being harassed too.

the complaints that the money needs to be sent to Somalia is a "straw man" argument, because you don't see the protesters working with the poor or giving time to help...and pilgrimages renew hearts and inspire people to actually do such things.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Musical interlude of the day

Shakespeare vs Dr. Seuss

caution: Bad language.

The "WAGD" post of the day

For years, scientists have scoffed at those who believe in UFO's.

But now,the UK Guardian reports that the scientists trying to take over the world using global warming as an excuse are telling us if we don't clean up the planet, the Space Aliens will destroy us.

I seem to remember this is old news (see photo)

although I do realize that space aliens trying to stop people from blowing up the earth is so last when Hollywood remade it they changed it to an environmental theme where the alien doesn't just warn earth, he simply destroys all of earth's technology as a warning (so that everyone nicely starves to death instead).

if you read the article, it seems that this NASA think tank has done all their research on possible scenerios from sci fi movies, from ET to District 9 to The Day the Earth Stood Still.

I prefer to think that if there are aliens that can cross huge areas of space, they might so more advanced that they won't need somthing as primitive as a space ship...they'd probablly resemble the Eldils of CSLewis than ET in a spaceship.

photo from a new book I'd love to read (hint hint)

Stories below the fold

Forget the Men In Black: the real mystery is Who are the men who run the financial ratings agencies?

AndrewBrown at the (left wing) UKGuardian writes:

The pope draws 1.5 million young people to Madrid – but that's not news?

The media focus on the anti-pope protests, but ignore World Youth Day, perhaps because its attendees aren't cool

The President deserves a vacation, but he has a tin ear on choosing where to go, says VDHanson.

... if President Obama has already purchased the new bus, why not use it Winnebago-style to see America with his family for a week, visiting a national park, a closed-down plant — or a real vineyard?

Instapundit disagrees, snidely remarking: That seems too Sarah-Palinish.

or maybe too Jimmy Carterish,
photo of ex president Jimmy Carter helping with homebuilding after Katrina

( - Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images News)

although I must add that
Sarah and family did spend her vacation helping Alabama in the tornado cleanup too.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Gift item of the day

a collapsable kettle to take with you when you go camping.

via Randomgoodstuff.

Saluting Astronauts

from the NASA website:
Stephen Colbert, host of The Colbert Report, salutes the crew of STS-135 during their appearance for a taping of his television show, Tuesday evening, Aug. 16, 2011, in New York. The astronauts from STS-135 are in New York for a three-day visit. Seated from lower left are Commander Chris Ferguson, pilot Doug Hurley, and mission specialists Sandy Magnus and Rex Walheim.

Image Credit: NASA/Paul E. Alers

and no, we don't get Colbert here in the Philippines...but I have seen a few of his skits via youtube.

"Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war"...

StrategyPage has an article on "doggles" and kevlar vests for trained military dogs (and the night vision cameras) used in Iraq and Afghanistan, and a history of dogs in the US military.

you heard of "dancing with wolves"? Well, here's a SEAL "Jumping with dog.

Highest Jump By a Dog Ever: A U.S. Navy SEAL, Mike Forsythe, and his dog, Cara — pictured above — recently broke the world record for “highest man/dog parachute deployment” by jumping from 30,100 feet. (via War Dog - An FP Photo Essay By Rebecca Frankel | Foreign Policy)

a 2003 article in Nat Geo can be found HERE.

a tribute to these dogs at YOUTUBE...(headsup Gary'sReflectionsblog)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

ever have one of those day

funny pictures - Ok, so I'm grumpy.  All I need now is a reason why.
see more Lolcats and funny pictures, and check out our Socially Awkward Penguin lolz!

The good news of the day

The good news is that the "Lone Ranger" movie has been axed because it cost too much...

I was annoyed that in this day and age they though they could get away with casting Johnny Depp with a goatee as Tonto.......heck, even under the lax Eastern Cherokee rules of 1:16 percentage he wouldn't get a CDIB card: "In an interview he stated that his great grandmother has a lot of Cherokee heritage."

in contrast, the TV version had Canadian First Nations member Jay Siverheels to play Tonto...

More info why you should be happy about this can be found at Filmdrunk: it was supposed to have werewolves

Indeed, because what better way to honor Native American mysticism than through a European myth recently repopularized by a kid with washboard abs in a movie about sparkly white vampires based on a book written by a Mormon?

It seems the high budget was for the Special effects, but after "cowboys and aliens" was a failure (I mean, it lost to the Smurfs!) they decided to ax it.

As for werewolfs: it sounds like the producers are mixing up Navajo skinwalkers with Scandinavian werewolves. so that makes sense: Depp is mainly of German heritage and loves Europe, not America.

Medal of Honor

Sgt DakotaMyers will be awarded the Medal of honor this September.

The story:

Though bleeding from shrapnel wounds in his right arm, Meyer, aided by fellow Marines and Army advisors from Embedded Training Team 2-8, braved a vicious hail of enemy machine-gun and rocket-propelled grenade fire in the village of Ganjgal to help rescue and evacuate more than 15 wounded Afghan soldiers, and recover the bodies of four fallen fighters — 1st Lt. Michael Johnson, Gunnery Sgts. Aaron Kenefick and Edwin Johnson Jr., and Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class James Layton....
Meyer charged through the battle zone five times to recover the dead Marines and injured Afghan soldiers, risking his life even when a medical evacuation helicopter wouldn’t land because of the blazing gunfire.

from StrategyPage.
more at CNN.

"There's not a day -- not a second that goes by where I don't think about what happened that day," the Marines quoted Meyer as saying. "I didn't just lose four Marines that day; I lost four brothers.

Hello Kitty Bling

headsup From HelloKittyHell

Cat item of the day

there is now an app so your cats can play with your iphone

more HERE:

The World's Best Video Game for Cats is now on your iPhone!

We've brought the best-selling iPad Game for Cats to the iPhone so now every cat can enjoy it!

Chase a laser! Chase a mouse! See how many points your cat can rack up...

Free the mouse and then you can chase it! Cat's love this adorable little mouse. He doesn't mind either. But don't take my word for it, let me let him say something:

"Squeak squaker squeak squeakum squeak!" - Mr. Mouse

We brought our game the cat shelter to bring some joy into the orphaned cat's lives. Guess what? They loved it! Your cat will too!

WYD Economics

The newspapers are insisting that the protests are about Spain paying 60 million Euros to have WYD be held in Manila.

OTWOMD blog points out:

In fact, 80% of the expense of the event will actually be financed by thousands of young people coming from all over the world, delegates and pilgrims who will flock to Madrid with their registration fees. 20% of the remaining expense is financed by corporate sponsors and individual Catholics. Actually, the Spanish Government would profit at least $140 Million dollars from this event alone through commodities, hotels, and tourism.
Presumably the gov't will have to provide security but that's another thing altogether...

isn't it ironic that this huge pilgrimages are rarely given press, unless some protester causes violence? And it's not just WYD: It's the Haj and the millions who make pilgrimages to various Hindu, Muslim, or Christian shrines all over the world who get ignored.

Weird history article of the day

How Vlad the Impaler (AKA Dracula) helped save Christian civilization, became a saint and inspired a major Christian feast day.

more HERE.

Semi related articles:

StrategyPage discusses the problem with Islamic imperialism of history and mentions how Turkey might stop the violence in Syria.

Hell Freezes over and other stories in the news

The NYTimes admits HIV is spread by immoral behavior. Of course, it's not mentioned until the last paragraph...

Mayor Nutter pulls a Cosby...

sounds more like Mayor Rizzo every day.

The London riots were mainly by youths of a certain minority, but someone finally noticed the pious Muslims and Sikhs who tried to keep their neighborhoods safe from thugs. and tried to stop their own youths from revenge.

Our tax dollars at work. The modern "make a headline by blaspheming Jesus" trend hit the Philippines, and the day of penance against the blasphemy is scheduled for August 26.
but no one has the courage to whisper: it's not art, and it's not even original....

WYD draws a million youths...and a total of 133 stories on google news.

Most of the stories are about the protests of course, not why a million youths decided to attend, but the usually anti Catholic UK Guardian is more balanced than the US papers in this matter...


The US is pressuring PNoy to make peace with the MILF, who want their own state of Sharia, never mind that there are a lot of Christians and indigenous living there who don't want this.

the "hell freezes over" par is that it is not the US or the church but the communists (who represent the poor Christians and indigenous locals) who are protesting this US interference with Philippine internal affairs.

Background, the populist Erap, who gave guns to the Christian villagers to defend themselves against attack when he was president, is also warning the gov't from going to far. The dirty little secret is that if the Muslims get their own state, the Christians will lose their civil rights and one doubts if their villages are attacked they will be defended.

But it's not about religion: it's about who controls the money. If they get their own state, the clan leaders can steal all the money for development, whereas if the gov't does it, the gov't officials will steal some, but probably a smaller amount, and the work will actually get done.

Southern Living has a series of articles about neighbors helping each other after a tornado destroyed their town.

...the same geography that left us in the path of this destruction also created, across generations, a way of life that would not come to pieces inside that storm, nailed together from old-fashioned things like human kindness, courage, utter selflessness, and, yes, defiance, even standing inside a roofless house.

As Southerners, we know that a man with a chain saw is worth 10 with a clipboard, that there is no hurt in this world, even in the storm of the century, that cannot be comforted with a casserole, and that faith, in the hereafter or in neighbors who help you through the here and now, cannot be knocked down.

The goodness in America is rarely mentioned in our media...
headsup TeaAtTrianon.