Monday, October 31, 2011

Insomnia downloads of the week

Homeschooling your preschool child?

Maria Montessori's Handbook is on line at Librivox.

and some short childrens' stories are there too.
  1. "Children's Short Works Collection Vol. 013" · (readers)
  2. Belloc, Hilaire. "Cautionary Tales for Children" (in "Children's Short Works, Vol. 006") · (readers)
  3. Lear, Edward. "Story of the Four Little Children who went round the World, The" (in "Children's Short Works, Vol. 005") · (readers)
  4. Various. "Children's Short Works, Vol. 001" · (readers)
  5. Various. "Children's Short Works, Vol. 002" · (readers)
  6. Various. "Children's Short Works, Vol. 003" · (readers)
  7. Various. "Children's Short Works, Vol. 004" · (readers)
  8. Various. "Children's Short Works, Vol. 005" · (readers)
  9. Various. "Children's Short Works, Vol. 006" · (readers)
  10. Various. "Children's Short Works, Vol. 007" · (readers)
  11. Various. "Children's Short Works, Vol. 008" · (readers)
  12. Various. "Children's Short Works, Vol. 009" · (readers)
  13. Various. "Children's Short Works, Vol. 010" · (readers)
  14. Various. "Children's Short Works, Vol. 011" · (readers)
  15. Various. "Children's Short Works, Vol. 012" · (readers)
if you want to bore the kids, just download the story of Beowulf for Children.

Family photos

dad's family

Tomorrow is the day of the dead

we're headed off to the cemetary to clean the place up and put flowers and candles there.

Presumably the minute we leave, the kids nearby will steal them and resell them to other folks, but never mind.

We're going today, because tomorrow it will be crowded with a million folks, and we wouldn't be able to drive all the way into the cemetery to the grave due to crowds.
Everyone will visit, clean up the gravesites, decorate the graves with candles and flowers. There will also be plenty of vendors selling candles, food, beer and toys for the bored kids to play with.

From 2010-11-01

From ito's anniversary

Heck, why not? The dead we are honoring know and love us, and are watching down from heaven. And it's not the staid harp playing heaven but Catholic heaven:

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Musical interlude of the day

Stuff below the fold

Why do sanddunes sing? MJ has an article why:

Some researchers now theorise that the sound is caused by the reverberation between dry sand at the surface and a band of wet sand within the dune, hence it changes seasonally.

and MJ links to the green BBC page. which has this and other interesting video clips.


Headline of the day:

Liverpool Coastguard in more Ribble estuary cockler rescues

it seems that cockles are a gourmet item and lots of clueless amateurs want to cash in on the harvest.

You know, cockles: As in this song:


NOTCOT, the design/food/etc. blog now has a "NOTVENTURES" site with suggestions and information about vacation spots.

for example, today they link to where to go to visit the real sites of 13 horror stories.

not included in the list: The hotel behind The Shining and the cemetery where George Romero filmed the original Night of the Living Dead, or the mall where he filmed the Dawn of the Dead.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Musical interlude of the day (take Two)

Musical interlude of the day

Droid O Lanterns

mobile phone texting autocorrect - Happy Halloween! Here Are Some Android-o-Lanterns
see more

Making a flashlight into a lamp

Awhile back, I posted the story of how they invented a way for shacks to get light inside without a lot of money, by making a hole in the roof and putting a bottle of water inside LINK

but HomeTone has instructions how to use a water bottle and a flashlight to make a similar diffuse light.

the Thirteen Clocks

Thurber's the 13 clocks, narrated by Lauren Bacall...

quick watch/listen before the copyright cops find out it's there

Important news you might have overlooked

The "Don't mess with granny" headline of the week:

Granny fends off croc attack with a mean punch

via DaveBarry

Here in the Philippines, folks are busy traveling home for November 1, the day to remember their deceased family members.

we will probably clean up and visit the grave Sunday and say a prayer(which Lolo does almost every week). But we'll probably see other relatives who come up to visit early next week.

Reason Two hundred and eleven on why I retired to a tropical paradise

Col. Updraft reported seeing his first snowman of the season.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Musical interlude of the day

Glowing punch for Haloween

from, a recipe for punch that will glow in the dark under a UV light.

This punch recipe gets its luminescence from the quinine in the tonic water, which naturally glows blue when exposed to UV light. But the quinine’s not just for show: It also gives the drink a slightly bitter flavor that balances the sweeter pineapple juice, pisco, and lime juice. Make sure to place the punch bowl right underneath a couple of black lights to get the maximum glow.

headsup CutOutAndKeep blog

Haloween costume ideas

need a nice costume for Haloween?

Just go and buy an official LadyGaga Costume HERE.

or you can make your very own LadyGaga Ducttape dress...

See Lady Gaga Inspired Duct Tape Dress and 1000's of others - or share your own on Cut Out + Keep


Thomas Barnett has a talk on international stuff including globalization in five parts.

on his site or you can watch it on youtube in five parts. This is part 2, about the flow of people:

which explains why there are 40 thousand Pinoys in Israel (and a million in Saudi).

his TED Talk is HERE.
he is a good teacher so it's worth checking.


what will be the result of sex selection abortions in Asia? Freakonomics's latest podcast discusses LINK

well, some will probably find brides here in the Philippines.

And what's wrong with this quote?

Lee suggested reaching back into the past to seek lessons from ancient man.

“Our ancestors lived for thousands of years in harmony with nature. There are surely profound wisdoms in their ways of life that we can learn from,” he said.

Ah yes those wonderful days when life was "nasty, brutish and short". From wikipedia:

Between 108 BC and 1911 AD, there were no fewer than 1,828 major famines in China, or one nearly every year in one province or another.
(I removed a nasty criticism of his talk that I had posted here earlier: because he wasn't talking to the rising middle class who struggle and often have to work overseas to try to get improvements in their life, but to the rich families, and believe me, the excess spending on junk in the upper crust malls etc. is enough to make one agree that a simpler life for some is needed)...


People aren't the only ones emigrating to the US without proper papers:

The Lego Man has just washed up in Florida.

Image Credit: Sarasota Sheriff's Office. from LATIMES

heh. He even has a website.

Religious "news"

In the (conservative NatReview) The Corner, they quoted a poll saying that 75 percent of Catholics felt they didn't have to follow the church teachings.

They thought that was terrible, except then the "Vatican" (actually a small office in the Vatican that doesn't speak for the church) released an economic statement that came out of the left wing of politics. Well, duh. The "church" as John Allen keeps reminding folks, is not a monolith, and a lot of the stuff that comes out of the Vatican is opinion, not dogma. Actually, there is only a small core of doctrines that we need to obey, the rest is optional.

So you have the professional Vatican pressuring Israel to make concessions because of the persecution of Christian Arab in various Arab countries. The pope is worried that the "holy land" will soon have no more Christians left.

Except, they are still there, but they are the "invisible man";

From the SeattlePI:

In the Holy Land, a changed Christian world
MATTI FRIEDMAN, Associated Press

The two Masses in Arabic for the town's native Arab Christian population are outnumbered by four in English, attended mainly by Filipina caregivers. Then there are others in Spanish, for South Americans; French, for African migrants; three South Asian languages, including Konkani, spoken in the Indian district of Goa; and, for a generation of Christians raised among Israel's Jewish majority, Hebrew...If one counts all of the people in Israel who are neither Jewish nor Muslim, these newcomers outnumber Arab Christians by more than five to one. The number of newcomers who are practicing believers is far smaller, but by some estimates they equal or outnumber the members of local churches.

"This creates concern for some that in the long term there could be a change in who the Christians of the Holy Land are, and concern about what will happen to the historic churches," said Amnon Ramon, who has researched these demographic changes as an expert on Christianity in Israel at the Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies.

There are enough newcomers now for a Catholic cathedral in every major Israeli city, said Rev. David Neuhaus, who heads the Church's vicariate for Hebrew-speakers.

the article says there are 40 000 Pinoys in Israel: but I suspect if you include those there without proper papers and their children, it is even higher.

Cute photo of the day


comes from the UK Telegraph:

An eight-day-old baby snuggles down for a sleep with a five-week-old puppy. Photographer Richard Barry captured the endearing image at the home of newborn Matilda's family.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

warm fuzzy cavemen

below I linked to a Univ Penn museum lecture about Neanderthal burials.

More about the controversy HERE.

smithsonian article HERE

and in a related item, for Jean Auel fans, lots of links.

I enjoyed the first one, but got bored in the second and haven't read the rest. The people seemed to think like modern American folks think they should think (indeed, like modern upper class American feminists think the heroine should think), and after living for years with non Western Europeans, it just didn't ring true.

As someone once said: The past is another country...but Auel's lands were but her people weren't....

The Hobbit is 75 years old

and the Guardian has pictures and the story.

more at Cheezburgers

sci fi fantasy The Hobbit - The Art of the Hobbit
see more

and long before Jackson took over the franchise there was the Hobbit cartoon:

Cat story of the day

Funny Pictures - Jack the Cat Is Back!
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

From American Airlines’ Facebook page:

American Airlines is happy to announce that Jack the Cat has been found safe and well at JFK airport. American’s team of airport employees have been focused on the search effort since Jack escaped on August 25, 2011. Jack was found in the customs room and was immediately taken by team members to a local veterinarian. The vet has advised that Jack is doing well at present.

Birthday photos

cellphone photos of last night's party.

Chano Joy and Ruby are celebrating it today in Manila.

Happy Deepavali

Story of the Hindu feast of light HERE.

and some recipes to celebrate the holiday can be found HERE.

No, we don't celebrate it in the rural Philippines, but the Growingteenagerblog says they celebrate it in Singapore where he lives.

More beautiful places

Atlas Obscura has posts on several beautiful and interesting mosques.

The Kota Kinabalu city mosque, built in 2000, is in Malaysia

The Crystal Mosque includes a Heratage theme area that has miniatures of other famous mosques.

and the Shiek Zayed Grand mosque.,..more HERE

Yes, beauty still exists

I spent yesterday catching up on the news after a week of no internet, (and you know, things are still bad).

So today I decided to check on the blogs that see beauty.

Orwell's Picnic
is visiting the city of Florence, and posts this photo:

When I was young, I visited that city (you could still see the high water marks after they had a terrible flood) and loved it. I'd love to go back and visit...

Florence isn't the only lovely city in Italy:

BrianSibley has an entire blog of Venice Photos for your delight.

this one was taken by his friend David Weeks via Flickr.

Mr. Sibley, however, is back from vacation and is in Wellington working, and includes photos of that lovely city.

And if you aren't familiar with Mr. Sibley and why he is in Wellington, you aren't a Hobbit fan


You can find Venice recipes that sound yummie at the NatGeo site, but for me, I'll have to just look and imagine, since the ingredients aren't found in our local Palenke.

However,The Cottage Smallholder has a recipe for eggy Cheese toasties, if you are in the mood for a British breakfast.

Looks great...but somehow using Eden cheese, Gardenia bread and coconut oil for the ingredients doesn't seem quite as appetizing, but at least we do have the ingredients...or we can fake them.

For example, here's one of the GardeniaBread recipes for a grilled chicken wrap, they don't sell pita bread: you flatten their bread with a rolling pin to make it...

I miss my breadmaker and oven...the good news is that we have a "Pan De Manila" shop at the nearby mall, and their bread is passing good.


Just for cute: Bear bread in a cup. Alas, the recipe is in Japanese, but the cuteness factor makes you want to go out and bake a couple. (via Tastespotting)

presumably you could make these in a Dutch oven if you don't have a regular oven...Dutch oven bread instructions here.

(hmmm...wonder if you could bake bread in a covered wok?)
Of course, the ingredients for all types of gourmet food can be found in Manila... and so when Chano has time to travel and shop there, we eat gourmet food...the rest of the time we eat local food cooked in traditional recipes.

We usually go to fast food restaurants in the mall, but there are several nice restaurants here that serve traditional food. For example, yesterday we celebrated two birthdays at Luz' Restaurant. Their specialty is Caldaeta Gambing. Recipe here.


We are also blessed with various tropical fruit, albeit mainly when they are in season. So we would be able to make this recipe from La recette du Jour for Avocado orange salad ...

Cannele et Vanille blog usually has recipes, but this week has lovely photos of autumn in Vermont...another sight that delights the eye.

Locals have to drive carefully because all the tourists are busy looking at trees instead of where they go.

I spent a few years nearby so the photos bring back memories...

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Factoid of the day

actually I learned three fact today

One: The US gets almost half their petroleum needs from domestic consumption, and over half of what they import is from the western Hemisphere.

and EvansPritchard of the UKTelegraph says local oil percentage of the US is even higher and going up.

Two: Bayer settled a multimillion dollar lawsuit with rice growers in the US.

Did bad pesticide spoil the crops? No, but tiny cross pollination from nearby pesticide resistant GM crops made it impossible to sell rice to Europe and parts of Asia.

Yes, fear of the franken food boogeyman might get you.

yeah, I remember two years ago when we desperately needed rice in the Philippines, the Green lobby of the Catholic church stopped the church from giving out US donated rice because it might be contaminated with GM crops...and Zimbabwe used that excuse to stop South African donations for it's starving too.

Ironically, China found benefits from a similar rice, (fewer health problems due to less pesticide use) and of course although China only recently "approved" it's use, it's been grown there for years.

They figure theoretical "health" problems aren't as bad as massive starvation...

Three: Pakistan has people supposedly descended from Alexander the Great's soldiers, who still practice polytheism.

the bad news: Wikipedia says the experts have argues yes and no, but the latest analysis suggests they probably are not.

you might be familiar with them (or actually their sister tribe in Afghanistan) from this movie

The Kalash people's reputed connection to Alexander the Great is the basis of the famous Rudyard Kipling story "The Man Who Would Be King", however it takes place among the Kalasha of Nuristan, then known as Kafiristan, in nearby Afghanistan. The story was made into a film in 1975 starring Sean Connery and Michael Caine.

The bad news is that, like other minority religions there, they are being forcibly converted to Islam

Photo of the day

Credit: Samuel Hartman

Skywatcher Samuel Hartman of State College, Pa., snapped this photo of the amazing Oct. 24, 2011 northern lights display. The aurora display was created from charged solar particles from an Oct. 22 sun storm that took two days to reach Earth.

from SpaceCom

a history of recent solar storms causing similar auroras LINK

A lot of conspiracy sites say such auroras predict war, but since there are wars and disasters nearly every year, that doesn't say much. This one caused spectacular auroras, but the real worry is that a "big one" will zap computers world wide.

But even the Solar storm site does mention the big solar storm of January 1938, calling it the "Fatima storm"......because at Fatima one of the prophacies was that a "light in the sky" would be a warning of a coming war.

The Great Aurora was seen over the whole of Europe and as far south as Southern Australia, Sicily, Portugal and across the Atlantic to Bermuda and Southern California...Fire department of Salzburg was called out to quench what residents thought was their town in flame... This same impression of the aurora also struck Londoners during the January 1938 aurora who also thought their entire city was aflame... In San Diego, forest officials in the town of Descanso about 40 miles east, were routed out of bed on January 22 to respond to reports of 'great fire in the back country'. ... Meanwhile, in Scotland, many of the more superstitious people living in the lowlands 'shook their heads and declared the northern lights always spelled ill-omen for Scotland. The phenomenon also had some side effects. It was responsible for delaying express trains on the Manchester to Sheffield line after electrical disturbance hit the signaling apparatus...

Albert Speer's biography has a chilling rememberance of the storm, or maybe another storm, since his jail memoirs thought it was in 1939 discussed a red aurora that was present when Hitler's minions were discussing the upcoming war...but he remembers it in July or August 1939, when there was no big solar storm...since his memoirs were written in jail, he might have had a selective memory.

In the course of the night we stood on the terrace of the Berghof
with Hitler and marveled at a rare natural spectacle. Northern lights 1
of unusual intensity threw red light on the legend-haunted Untersberg
across the valley, while the sky above shimmered in all the colors of
the rainbow. The last act of Gotterdammerung could not have been more
effectively staged. The same red light bathed our faces and our hands.
The display produced a curiously pensive mood among us. Abruptly
turning to one of his military adjutants, Hitler said: "Looks like a great
deal of blood. This time we won t bring it off without violence/' 2

(book link at

Happy St. Crispin's day

For those who remember Shakespeare...

it is also the anniversary of several other battles including the battle of Leyte gulf.

actually, it was Oct 25...headsup Father Z

Dog photo of the day

Baxter is busy as a bee...

Nope, the world hasn't ended yet

The "we're all gonna die" post of the day is a Reuter's article on the population implosion.

and it's not just Europe: Spengler's discussion of Iran ends with this note:

Iran is suffering the fastest fertility decline on record, any time, ever. The average Iranian has six or seven brothers and sisters, but will have one or two children. The population pyramid will invert: within a single generation

he has a book about the problem of depopulation, and notes that parts of Asia and also Turkey have the same problem.

Iran's problem is their private terrorist organization, the QUDS, is all over the place causing trouble.

Once you get to know Quds Force a little better, the Saudi ambassador assassination plot does not seem so outrageous. Quds Force has always tolerated, and sometimes indulged, mavericks who were willing to undertake high-risk (but high-payoff) operations overseas.

but not everything in Iran is war, religion or politics:

Amir has photos of the memorials to Steve Jobs in the Apple store in Tehran.

photos of their computer mall here.
Blogging is big in Iran, and Farsi is one of the most common languages on the net.


Iran has a long history...and there is a course about it on itunesU..., if that link doesn't work check HERE.

My main interest for podcasts is the neolithic revolution and Bronze age classical history, but I'm starting to work through Herodotus, and need some background on Persia....

Speaking of neolithic ages: A lecture I listened to last night said that Neanderthals probably didn't bury their dead, since the "ritual objects" near the skeletons were probably just trash that landed near the body...the only burial that raises questions was a child's body in a small cave like hole...
it was downloaded awhile back from a video

lecture is from the Penn museum.


here in the Philippines, a minor war has broken out in Mindanao after the Abus got more aggressive.

The AFP is after the "MILF by day, Abus by night" folk...the MILF who is trying for peace is upset (but of course not upset enough to turn in their relatives), but Erap (former president Estrada) was on TV yesterday supporting military action...since Erap is a commoner he probably speaks for the majority of ordinary folks...but of course, the Churches and the US are pressuring PNoy to talk peace.

The MILF want to take over their island, never mind that the majority who live there are not Muslim. The Muslims are angy because many locals have lived there only for 50 years... but the indigenous say the Moro pirates moved in and stole their land only in 1457 so so stop complaining.

It's not really about religion: it's about money: who gets to siphon off a share of all that development money. Even if the radicals got everything and chased off all the non Muslims, you would get wars there between the clan chiefs over who gets the loot (the terrible Manguindanao massacre was mainly about staying in power to get rich by corruption...)

so it looks like PNoy, like Obama, started out as the peace president but is stuck fighting a war because some thought working for peace meant you were a weakling.

in a related item: the priest killed in the south was killed for defending the indigenous tribes from having their land destroyed by mining companies (open pit mines). Many mines have their own private militias to guard the mines from NPA or MILF attacks, but now PNoy will be pressured to eliminate these private armies.

The problem is that you can always hire an ex soldier or ex-NPA hitman to do the job for a price...that way, you can keep the investigation from targeting the guy who ordered the killing, as in the killing of our nephew...

A parallel in European history is how the medieval kings got rid of the local barons' castles and private armies to stop local wars and uprisings.


other news: Our lovely ex president Gloria and the former "first gentleman" have been given subpoenas.

Thailand is in terrible shape from the flooding, which continues as the rainwater flows downstream through Bangkok...a story that is dominating the news here in Asia. The loss of the rice will lead to an increased price for rice, although probably not a shortage.

Flooding has damaged 13 percent of crop areas in Thailand, 6 percent in the Philippines, 12 percent in Cambodia and 7.5 percent in Laos, according to the UN Food & Agriculture Organization.

And here's a factoid of the day that I learned:
Strategy page points out that since a lot of hard drives are made there, expect the prices to go up again...fiberoptics plants have also been damaged

Internet back on

for now anyway.

we are fine.

Ruby's birthday is tomorrow and she is going to Manila for shopping and for an enrichment program at her "home school" sponsor.

the harvest has been lousy...even the field we expected to have a good yield was poor (although we suspect the farmer who rents the field harvested some pn the sly to make up for his own farm's poor yield...sigh...impossible to prove).

Monday, October 24, 2011

Internet outage

they are fixing the internet over the weekend. It should be on line but it's still off. Maybe it's our modem.

I will resume blogging when we're back on line.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Learn something new every day

Learn something new every day is the way to stay young.

So over the weekend, I downloaded a TV series (I often download TV shows, because they are either not on our channels or so we can watch them when we want to see them) to watch, and later found the download was a PAL iso, which won't play on our DVD player, although I could watch it on the computer. Alas, my software wouldn't rip it to AVI either.

So I googled and found this advice, used the free program to peak into the instructions to change it to our type of DVD....neat. Ready to burn...

But I don't need the high resolution film, so once I had changed the instructions, my dvd ripper would actually rip it back to the avi, so I can save space by ripping the series onto one disc.

yes, I know: Any 10 year old like Ruby knows such things already, but I'm still learning about computers and P2P stuff...

Family news

Brownout again this morning so we're on generator. So I may not blog a lot today (when brown out is going on the internet is on and off).

They are continuing to clean up in preparation for a conference of pastors being held in our meeting area Friday.

The dogs are in exile in the garden or in our house, and Lolo and I will hide out here with the dogs.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Musical interlude of the day

Pumpkin ideas

how to make a cylon Jackolanturn

sci fi fantasy - Sci-Fi Pumpkins
see more

or you could always make a HelloKitty pumpkin

Via Hellokittyhell

Haloween costume for your cat

See, first take your cat to ComicCon and then, he's ready for Haloween.

funny pictures - And While You're At It Where the Hell is My Lightsaber?
see more Lolcats and funny pictures.

Headlines below the fold

Well, the world didn't end with Comet Elenin or planet Nibaru in September.

But don't worry: "Reverend" Camping is betting it really, really will end next week.

How global warming will shake up the NBA.

The "discovered" if you don't eat as much, you tend to grow less. well, duuuh. But then they make this statement:

Studies have shown that global warming will affect regions of the Earth differently -- some countries will see stark affects, and others won't. Applying that concept, one over time could find soccer or basketball players who grow up in drought-stricken regions -- say, the state of Texas (the Dallas Mavericks's current crop is pictured above) -- outclassed by athletes from currently underrated, rain-drenched locales such as the Indian state of Assam. Scouts pay attention.

So absurd in so many ways...the main one being that a rain drenched locale, where insects abound, crops rot and landslides kill folks, does not always correlate with the ability to eat food...

Uh, fellows, it's bad science like this that makes a lot of folks sceptical about global warming.

Another priest killed in the Southern Philippines. Since he is Italian it made the headlines. The real question is who did it? The Muslim terrorists tend to kidnap Italians, because they pay huge ransoms, and unlike a Filipino priest two years ago who was killed fighting off the kidnappers, there is no evidence the priest resisted being kidnapped.

The paper hints it was his opposition to mining in the area. That makes more sense...

Laura Pollan has died of Dengue fever...

Ziva Sahl, blogging at babalu, said:

I will forever hold in my heart the image of Laura Pollán, dressed in white, carrying gladiolus, leading the column of Las Damas de Blanco. How many of us waited every Sunday for news of their weekly act of brave resistance, their peaceful, dignified walk down Havana’s 5th Avenue, as we prayed for their safety, the release of their husbands and all political prisoners, and inspired by their bravery and dignity, dared to hope for more, so much more for Cuba.

can yoga relieve pain?

It's a good exercize which can help in musculoskeltal aches and pains, but the real pain relief part is based on the relaxation/deep concentration side effects of good yoga.

It's a variation of self hypnosis, and yes in suggestible people it will relieve pain (as will biofeedback, relaxation technique, music, prayer, faith healing, and placebo pills).

Ah, but how can you tell if you are one of the folks that can benefit. The eyeroll test, described in this PDF paper. It's a neurological ability, not anything magic.
But note:
if you have ADD or other mental reasons that you can't concentrate, however, the test might not be accurate.

If you see a small helicopter drone flying over your areas in New Zealand, don't worry: It's Peter Jackson saving money...

here's an example of what it can do

OM-Copter demonstration from omstudios on Vimeo.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Get your costumes out

one advantage of going to ComicCon is that you can use your costume for the Halloween party.

Instructables has these costumes to make.

Bobette Fett

the perfect Zombie

Mario Brothers

and for Luke: Megaman

Compare and contrast

Occupy Wall street:

Hundreds of people have been arrested in New York since the protests began last month. On Wednesday, the biggest crowd so far of about 5,000 people marched on New York's financial district,

ComicCon NYC

100,000 guests expected at New York City's second biggest annual event

Gift item of the day

A solid gold HelloKitty HandGrenade.

for when the pink HelloKitty Handgranades clash with your outfit.

headsup HelloKittyHell

Politics Uggh...


Does the "occupy wall street" crowd remind you of something?
No, I wasn't around Berlin in 1939....

Would you buy a used bomb from this man?

Dr. E on that Iranian incident: even the green opposition will back their government on this one.

Colombian violence down but not out: alas, the violence has moved to areas of Native tribes, who are being caught in the crossfire.

The right wing blogs are blasting President Obama for sending in a small number of special forces types to Uganda, but I see three advantages to it.

One, it is a reward for Uganda sending peacekeeping troops to Somalia etc.

two: It will give Uganda needed expertise to track the LPA terrorists (similar to how the US is helping the AFP to get the radicals in the south).

Three: He now can say he is fighting "christian terrorists" too...

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Saturday, October 15, 2011


blogging has been light all week because of internet instability

today they are fixing the phone line that carries the internet, so hopefully back to blogging next week.

we are okay

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Musical interlude of the day

the entire movie "The Little Colonel" is HERE

a bit dated, to say the least, but it does show the dancing of the great Bo Jangles

alas, he is most famous for this song (which used his name but really wasn't about Mr. Robinson).

This version is by another song and dance man:

Insomnia downloads of the week

The King of Ireland's Son


by Padraic Colum (1881-1972)

The King of Ireland's Son is a children's novel published in Ireland in 1916 written by Padraic Colum, and illustrated by Willy Pogany. It is the story of the eldest of the King of Ireland's sons, and his adventures winning and then finding Fedelma, the Enchanter's Daughter, who after being won is kidnapped from him by the King of the Land of Mist. It is solidly based in Irish folklore, itself being originally a folktale. (Introduction by Wikipedia)
and there's more:
  1. Colum, Padraic. "Adventures of Odysseus and the Tale of Troy, The" · (readers)
  2. Colum, Padraic. "Children of Odin, The" · (readers)
  3. Colum, Padraic. "Girl Who Sat by the Ashes, The" · (readers)
  4. Colum, Padraic. "King of Ireland's Son, The" · (readers)
  5. Colum, Padraic. "Plougher, The" (in "Short Poetry Collection 050") · (readers)
and the related:

Irish Wit and Humor

by Anonymous

Excerpted anecdotes from the biographies of Swift, Curran, O'Leary and O'Connell, relating humorous snippets of politics in 18th and 19th century Ireland. For some these may be poignant in addition to being humorous and for others they may be humorous in addition to being poignant. ( Summary by JCarson )

for "Little Colonel" fans:

The Little Colonel's Holidays


by Annie Fellows Johnston (1863 - 1931)

"What happened after the Little Colonel's house party?" they demand, and they send letters to the Valley by the score, asking "Did Betty go blind?" "Did the two little Knights of Kentucky ever meet Joyce again or find the Gate of the Giant Scissors?" Did the Little Colonel ever have any more good times at Locust, or did Eugenia ever forget that she too had started out to build a Road of the Loving Heart?

other "Little Colonel" books:
  1. Johnston, Annie Fellows. "Little Colonel's House Party, The" · (readers)
  2. Johnston, Annie Fellows. "Little Colonel, The" · (readers)
  3. Johnston, Annie Fellows. "Two Little Knights of Kentucky" ·

but if you really can't get to sleep, try THIS

A Popular History of France from the Earliest Times, vol 5

by François Pierre Guillaume Guizot (1787-1874)
Translated by Robert Black


Headlines below the fold

Terror plot, rogue element, or a way to justify "fast and furious"? the source of the plot data was a Zeta drug informant.

The UKGuardian's take HERE.
sounds like someone was watching too many movies and decided to become a "do it yourself" terrorist, or else it was another FBI sting.

(I remember when a big mouth good old boy was acquitted for a "plot" to blow up a dam in Pennsylvania. He got off, because as one local noted, everyone knew he was all talk, no action...and, as one person put it: it was common knowledge that if you met a stranger in a bar who offered help you blow something up, it was probably an FBI agent trying to get you into trouble.)

a lot of the Wall Street protesters are liberal arts students from prosperous families who studied at ivy league universities and who now find they can't find jobs to pay back their huge debts.

I have a solution for them: Come to Manila! Most of our cousins study here for their nursing or medical degrees....

Factoid of the day: 100 Iranian DENTAL student in the Philippines are suing for discriminatory practices. From Wikipedia:

Iranians were the third-largest group of 9(f) student visa holders that year, amounting to 2,980 persons, behind Chinese and Koreans.[9] Among these are a number of Iranian medical students in Cebu, who in 2010 fell victim to the a tragic and widely-reported bus accident which led to an inquiry by the Iranian embassy

The accident was a tour bus that fell off a road into a chasm...alas not an uncommon occurrence here.

in comparison, almost half a million Iranians and IranianAmericans live in America, many of whom fled since the revolution (and some fled the Shah). The Persian diaspora includes Muslims, Christians, Jews, and Zoroastrians...

Syria is still a hot spot, but no one in the US seems to worry about it.

Pakistan being unfriendly? No problem...the TransSiberian railroad is near by, and they are discussing reopening the silk road pass to China...

Uncle Orson discusses the hard heartedness that makes some of us dislike Republicans....he even throws the Bible at the anti immigrant religious right....

Egypt is running out of food...which explains the pogrom against the Copts
and the weapons being smuggled into Egypt from Libya...
Austin Bay discusses here.
Turkey/Iraq model or back to the seventh century?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Articles that make you go WTF

NASA photo of the day goggle-eye nebulae in Orion...
The latest disease: TextNeck.

Doctors and chiropractors said hunching over mobile gadgets was causing increased incidence of neck and shoulder aches and pains. They also warned that “all that curving of the body to text, type, watch videos, and play games could cause debilitating pain that lasts a lifetime.”

actually, there used to be all sorts of attachments for telephones so your secretary didn't hurt her neck...I finally bought my secretary a headset...

Eating chocolate will reduce your chance of having a stroke.

Targeting high risk behavior groups rather than the general public will stop the spread of HIV. This goes against the PC insistance that "anyone can catch HIV"...Promoting hedonism under the guise of "safe sex" is objected to in many countries.

First there came extreme ironing

Photo source, and check out more

then came Extreme cello playing
(website and photosource HERE)

and now, Extreme Jacuzzi...

Headsup DaveBarry


Two African women from Liberia won the Nobel peace prize.

I was in Liberia before the first civil war broke out. It was a corrupt oligarchy, where the American-Liberians ran the place, and locals had little power or money.

I left/was thrown out just before the first civil war started there. (visa problems, and it was easier to return to the US and get a new visa than try to bribe folks to update it there). Two days later, they started an uprising, killed the president, and were shooting looters in front of the Hilton, where I used to disco dance. So I stayed safe at home, and wasn't there several months later when the US Marines had to evacuate all US citizens in August.

There was a terrible civil war, followed by "peace" when Charles Taylor "won" the election. This was followed by a second civil war, which is where the women played an active role in establishing peace.

But don't let the "peace and light" stuff fool you. It was the US Marines who were the tipping point. Without them, the African peacekeepers and these "peaceful" women would have had no chance.

Full article on my Makaipa blog.

And AlJazeerah has a good article on the real problems: corruption and the disconnect between the westernized elite and the poor.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Sigh...flood water not receding

most of our folks are back in their houses (I just gave the cook some money to buy insecticide for a house of one of her relatives).

Lots of folks with sores on their legs etc. coming for money to help them buy Amoxicillin so they don't get leptospirosis...

and now the Bulletin is saying the flooding could continue for another month, as the rain continues on and off and the swollen rivers flow downstream.

Latest data released by the NDRRMC also showed “Pedring” affected 643,154 families or 2,989,419 people in 3,464 villages from 310 towns and 42 cities in 35 provinces. Of these, a total of 18,845 families or 81,041 people are currently staying in 128 evacuation centers.

“Quiel,” on the other hand, affected 219,645 families or 1,085,857 people in 1,719 villages from 133 towns and 10 cities in 17 provinces.

Of these, at least 6,304 families or 27,886 people are temporarily being served in 207 evacuation centers.

those who didn't clean the silting of the rivers and misjudged the water for the dams are of course blaming global warming.

But Google's "Way back" machine has the story of the 1936 flood...LINK which killed over 300 in our province alone...

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Gimli factoids

Gimli Manitoba has the largest population of ethnic Icelanders outside of Iceland.

They named their town after the "Hall of Gimli"

and in the Eddas, Gimli is not a person but a place:

From eNotes:

In Norse mythology, Gimlé (alternately Gimli) was a place where the survivors of Ragnarök were to live. It is mentioned in the Prose Edda and Völuspá and described as the most beautiful place on Earth, more beautiful than the Sun.


Right now I'm listening to a Yale Course on the history of epidemic disease. Anyone who thinks the past was wonderful, or that vaccinations are a conspiracy theory should listen to the course.

One of the items discussed was quarantine by the Italian republics.

Photo via Atlas Obscura:

more HERE

The famous Gudridors....

Among the ten female explorers (many of whom seem to be eccentric 18th century rich Englishwomen), this one stands out:

who according to the sagas, traveled to Greenland and Vinland, had a baby in Vineland, married a couple of times, became a Christian, and later traveled to Rome before returning to Iceland to become a hermit.
A story of her travels can be found HERE. and a map HERE. Another little known fact: Gudridur Irish, descended from an Irish freedman.

But she isn't the only Gudridur who made it into the history books.

Guðríður Símonardóttir (1598 – December 18, 1682) was one of 242 people abducted from the Westman Islands, Iceland in 1627.[1] The attacks by Barbary corsairs came to be known as the Turkish abductions and Guðríður became known as Tyrkja-Gudda.

And another little known fact is that many Icelanders emigrated to the Americas:

During the 19th century several waves of emigrants left Iceland. The first one went during the 1850s to Utah but organized emigration on a large scale started in the 1870s, mainly to Canada, North-Dakota and Minnesota. Almost a quarter of the entire population of Iceland emigrated between 1870 and 1914

There is even an Utah Icelandic Society, and every year they hold celebrations in Spanish Fork Utah...and one of the early Icelandic settlers was Gudradur Ulfsdottir. The story of the Icelandic settlers there can be found HERE.

An article on those who settled in "New Iceland" Manitoba (and found it too cold) is found HERE.
and yes, Tolkien fans, the nearby town of Gimli Canada was also settled by Icelandic immigrants.

That town is most famous for the "Gimli Glider", one of the classic air crash stories where by some miracle and some good flying skills, everyone got out alive...

one more piece of trivia:

The DNA of Scandanavians includes Celtic and other strains, but one mystery is that some of the population has a genetic marker found mostly in Native Americans. LINK2

Another article HERE says one skeleton was Arab
(From a Rus trading connection with the Arabs?)

the original link for the previous post are headsup by FTJoeCarter.