Monday, April 30, 2012

Family news

Robin and Chano and family are all back from Baguio.

today is Madeline's birthday so we are having a party for her tonite (Yum...lechon).

This afternoon will be the parade.

Cat item of the day

Did you know that Friday April 27 was National Hairball Awareness Day?

Headsup Dave Barry

Check your children for signs of Palaontology addiction

(headsup Instapundit)

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Cleaning up history

NatGeo has a nice article and photos of Pitcairn Island, where the mutineers from the Bounty settled with their Tahitian wives.

the island's gov't website is HERE. and has this photo of the island

and the Polynesian cultural center has the map of where it actually is

Of course, it's the G rated version: when they arrived there, the mutineers pretty well killed each other off...

it's not exactly a modern day paradise either: it's more like a modern day Lord of the Flies:  LINK
Link2 NPR

on the other hand, although Bligh's voyage in an open air boat remains a famous story of survival, he went on to suffer more mutinies against his strict discipline.


The settlement of the Pacific and the ability of the people to navigate all over the place is only now getting the respect of scholars, (how did the South American sweet potato move into Polynesia, for example)...The young girls gone wild stories come from the sailors who mainly hit the equivalent of red light districts where unmarried girls had fun, and there is a lot of nonsense written about the area, partly due to the fact that Margaret Meade, the anthropologist, didn't realize that the girls were pulling her leg about their sexual shenanigans... which were true but a bit exaggerated. (American Indians did the same to some nosy investigators, and they will sometimes laugh at what is in the textbooks)...

Most people seeing the map think of "Tales of the South Pacific" (and yes, I have that and it's sequel with me).

But another book about this area is Trustee from the Toolroom, about a British worker going to find the bodies of his only sister...who was sailing with her husband in a yacht when they wrecked in a hurricane...
Why did the quiet toolworker have to check the bodies? Because they were smuggling their savings in diamonds, and he had to find them on the wrecked boat, because they belonged to their daughter, and he was her "trustee" and only relative...and he ends up sailing there with a Polynesian on a hand made boat...

One of the best books about engineers and the way they think (but rarely get books written about them)...

Video of the day

quick before the copyright cops find it.... there are several versions on line, including this one, which is the entire film

Because my internet connection goes on and off with the brownouts, I usually prefer those in segments, so that I don't have to download the whole thing twice if the internet goes off...

However, Amadeus is one of the DVD's I brought with me to the Philippines, and it is worth buying for the visual beauty and better music on the professional version...

musical interlude of the day

Stuff below the fold

Thanks to Borat, Kazakhstan is now attracting tourists:the UKTelegraph has a series of photos on that country to show you what to visit from one of the world's largest mosques to the world's second largest canyon to ski resorts to the former home of Dostoevsky in exile...

The attraction: Bayterek Tower, a 150-metre high monument in the heart of Astana
The details: It has become a symbol of the nation's capital. It features an observation desk at 97 metres as well as other venues including a large aquarium, an art gallery and restaurant.
Picture: Alamy

Leto and the swan is now not PC...



StrategyPage has a book review on a new book on Christopher Columbuse, who sounds nuttier than Camping and Mel Gibson put together...


Bison in Europe? check out this film:
Poland boasts the last primeval, virginal forest in Europe, which covers 1,500 square kilometres on the eastern side of the country bordering with Belarus.
Rajan Datar went to visit what is now a world heritage site and home to a great deal of wildlife, including 500 bison who had faced extinction.

I ridiculed that C2C type lady (see my earlier posts) who is giving the keynote speech to the next conference of the Leadership conference group that the Vatican is trying to rein in:

Well, I checked out her site and she says that all of her group of superior wise people will ascend to a higher evolutionary plane through conscious evolution this december...and if you spend oodles of money for her conference or her tapes, she'll show you how to join them.

Of course, there is no scientific evidence to show that meditating will let you evolve to a superman (although there are transhumanists out there who are trying to actually manipulate genes to do just that...LINK)

Me, I'm sceptical about those who want to be supermen and posit utopias that won't include the hoi polloi...and if this too sounds familiar, you are right:

OK, Kids, altogether now:

where is Christopher Hitchens when we need him?

And you thought Harold Camping was nuts.

Conan the Librarian

one of the parodies on the old Al Yankovic film UHF, which you can watch on YOUTUBE, at least until the copyright cops find it:

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Factoid of the day

from the Smithsonian:

The Mexican Revolution played a critical role in the history of the Mormon colonies. Were it not for that 1910 uprising and the years of war that followed, Mitt Romney might have been born in Mexico, and might be living there today raising apples and peaches, as many of his cousins do.

An especially vicious faction of revolutionaries arrived in the colonies in 1912, appropriating the settlers’ cattle and looting their stores. The revolutionaries took one of the community’s leaders to a cottonwood tree outside Colonia Juárez and threatened to execute him if he didn’t deliver cash.
Many English-speaking families fled, never to return, including that of George Romney, then a boy of 5.

Cat item of the day

Beware of the Geeks

Geeks in costume at C2E2 2012 

Photo credit: DTJAAAAM via Flickr

Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo (C2E2)

41,000 attended...

Strange stuff below the fold

ZDNET: CISPA More Henious Than SOPA And It just Passed-reports:

According to TechDirt, a site I quite respect, CISPA just passed the House in a rushed vote, with some amendments that TechDirt claims pretty much, well, here, read it for yourself:
 The government would be able to search information it collects under CISPA for the purposes of investigating American citizens with complete immunity from all privacy protections as long as they can claim someone committed a “cybersecurity crime”. Basically it says the 4th Amendment does not apply online, at all

Now, I haven’t sat down and read the entire bill as revised and just passed by the House, but I will. You should, too. Here’s the PDF to the bill, directly from the House’s mouth (PDF).

First Things has an essay on the Hunger Games.

I'm not sure I agree with him on the Peeta vs Gale part: Gale became pretty ruthless in the third book and probably designed the plan that killed Katniss' sister...

America's cultural borders

interesting, but superficial and meaningless...

 What he doesn't get is that people in different cultures actually THINK differently about different things, make different assumptions based on those beliefs, and that what he is measuring is only the technical data of what they use, not culture...


How Tupac Lives

So who was the whistleblower on the "boys having fun in Colombia" scandal?

A black woman.
 Paula Reid, at right, walks in a motorcade alongside President George W. Bush's limousine shortly after his inauguration on January 20, 2001. (AP Photo)

AfroCom reports:
Paula Reid is the 46-year-old special agent responsible for blowing the whistle on the sex scandal... Reid, the head of the service detail down in Latin America, discovered that at least 11 agents, including two supervisors, had brought prostitutes back to their hotel rooms in Cartagena, Colombia, just days before the president arrived for an international summit. Such action posed a significant security risk for the commander-in-chief...
The 2001 photo suggests she's been in the Secret Service for awhile, so she must have guts...
As Elizabeth I says in "Shakespeare in Love": I know something of a woman in a man's profession. Yes, by God, I do know about that.

I use facebook, but not their "TimeLine"...I just admonished a friend who was putting all sorts of personal information on her Timeline that she should be cautious about identity theft.

Usually banks etc. have "security questions" about what year you graduated, or where you were born etc. and a lot of this is on time line...

Of course, it's probably easier to steal your identity by hacking into medical records, especially since the government is requiring all docs use electronic medical records...and most docs became doctors to treat patients, not to follow government regulations.... but still it could be a problem.

Heck, Robin just found someone stole her credit card numbers and now she can't use her credit card here in the Philippines. Bummer.

As for me, I'm just paranoid. When we lived in one African country, missionaries had their mail read, and several were thrown out for bad remarks about the regime. Missionaries were notorious for being whistleblowers on government atrocities, and often collected information for human rights groups, which they often smuggled out hand carried by someone who was traveling to Europe etc.... As a result, when we went on leave, my bags were carefully searched for contraband letters...which I didn't carry.

However, my mother, who was traveling with me, did not have her bags searched, because she was just a little old when we arrived in Europe, she took the letters out of her pockets and mailed them...

Nowadays, all they have to do is snoop your blog or internet mail...

No, I am no longer involved in missionary work, nor do I blog about human rights atrocities, but you might notice that I haven't named the name of the SOB who ordered the hit on his rivals that killed our nephew on the blog, because he is still at large and there is a strict libel law here in the Philippines.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Factoid of the day

Catholic world reports clarifies something that has been obscured by the press:

Catholic nuns are not being bullied by the church. only the 1500 belonging to the leadership conference are being corrected.
Rant moved to BNN.

Stuff below the fold

TehranLive  is back on line and has some neat photos...just go over and check it out.
my favorite? The series of photos showing a rock strewn field that keeps getting closer and closer to one rock...

Ancient Standard has an article on the history of honey: which has been used since at least the mesolithic era.

The IceCube research station in Antarctica is looking for neutrinos.

the "boy are they strict" headline of the day:

Naked biker booked for no helmet

(headsup DaveBarry)

Beware the Kung fu Cuy...


It's not just wind turbins that kill birds (440 000 last year in the US)

6.8 million birds die from those communication towers ...blinking red lights on the towers would halve that risk.

In contrast, 500 million birds are killed by your kitty cat every year...and no, declawing doesn't stop them from catching birds..


Where are the best waves in the world?

Surf spots with waves the size of houses rise and fall off the coast of Ireland with some enthusiasts travelling up to eight miles offshore in search of these 50ft monsters.
Once a well kept secret, known only to a select band of local pioneers, the waves around Ireland are now being thrust into the spotlight of the surfing world.

 source of surfing leprechaun Squidoo

News below the fold

Don't bother to read the's all trivia and political stuff.

And the real news is bad: From the BBC:
US taxpayers are unlikely to get all their money back from a $700bn (£432bn) bailout of the country's stricken banking and automotive sectors, according to a report....The report said it was a "misconception that Tarp will make a profit"....The most recent cost estimate for Tarp is a loss of $60bn. Taxpayers are still owed $118.5bn."

and then there is this, also from the BBC:

The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (Cispa), would allow the government to access web users' private data on suspicion of a cyber threat.
It would also allow easier information-sharing between security agencies and private web firms.
Advocacy groups claim that it is aimed at file-sharers rather than hackers.
yes...all your blogposts belong to us..

Family news

Robin and Madeline arrived with Chano at 3 am...tired from the flight.

They left to go to Baguio this morning...and visit the rice terraces in Banaue...the trip had been scheduled so they will have to sleep in the van (easy to do, until they hit the highway to hell, the windy road to Baguio)...

Thursday, April 26, 2012

family news

Robin and Madeline arrived in Manila and should be here in a few more hours.
We went to Florinda's birthday party, and Chona, Emie and Doy were all there.

Family reunion time.

Health News you can use

Mucus from Pig Stomachs Is Effective as Anti-Viral Agent: May Be Useful in Cosmetics and Baby Formula

WTF story of the day

From a long Reuters report:
 The 28-year-old insurance-fraud investigator comes from a deeply Catholic background and was taught in his early years to do right by those less fortunate. He was raised in a racially integrated household and himself has black roots through an Afro-Peruvian great-grandfather - the father of the maternal grandmother who helped raise him.

via Drudge, of course

Happy St Geoge's day (April 23)

headsup Brian Sibley yes, it's Stan Freburg...

family news

Robin didn't arrive...will come in tonite due to plane issues.

update: She missed the last leg of her flight from Guam due to weather problems, and they are stuck in that beautiful paradise for a day at the airline's expense...

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Headline of the day

Scots village Dull to officially twin with US town Boring

Family News

Chona and Emie and Florinda were here visiting (and bringing GOODIES)...

Robin and Madeline arrive tonite, but may be late due to airline delays.

Everyone is visiting for the town Fiesta, which is May 1 (Mary the holy Shepherdess is the town patron saint).

It's still going into the 90's with rolling brownouts, but this time never long enough to bother to start the generator for us (candles and flashlights and battery based electric fans work fine).

Stuff below the fold

As Father Z notes, the new age nuns are trying to defend their theological errors as politics.

GetReligion has several articles on the strange coverage of the problem LINK    LINK2

Father Groeschel and some nuns discuss the spiritual crisis of the religious orders...the side you won't hear about in the mainstream media. podcast link. Note Father Groeschel has a PhD in pscyhology...

 Megaupload trial may go kaput because of major legal lapses.

It's not just for good old boys anymore: The latest sport craze: Archery.

Yes, all the little girls want to be Katniss...

While Obama shows weakness, China is threatening war with the Philippines. and they have started a major cyber attack on the government websites here.

The lastest yearly war games of the US/Philippines is making them angry (even though they happen every year and usually concentrate on disaster relief), but I wonder how many in the press noted that there are now joint war games between the US and VietNam?
Earlier this month, five Vietnamese Buddhist monks traveled to the Spratlys to teach Buddhism and defend Vietnam’s territorial claim. Tensions between Vietnam and China hit a low point last summer after Hanoi accused Beijing of interfering with its maritime oil exploration activities. Beijing denied the charge.

 CSMonitor has an article on the Ugandan troops who have been chasing down Kony for the last several years...
Joseph Balikudembe, the commander of the Ugandan operation, says the US soldiers are boosting the Ugandan army's logistical and intelligence capabilities. “They are helping us with hiring helicopters and providing fuel and other advisory roles. It is mainly logistics and intelligence,” he says... But none of the US troops have visited 77-Juliet out in the bush and for now it's down to the Ugandan army to pusue the LRA on the ground – whatever the risks.

The real root of Islamic terrorism: Corruption. Strategypage explains.

The SpaceX mission has been delayed.


A cow infected with "MadCow" disease found in California.

This could lead to Asia stopping the importation of US beef, so it is a bad thing.

Yet I wonder why so little attention is paid to "Mad Elk"disease, which is widespread in the US... a more recent link says the disease is now hitting deer in Missouri...

No reports (yet) if it could spread to humans: CDC page HERE.

Most pain killer abuse comes from medicine that is "borrowed" (or stolen) from friends or relatives... yes, a major problem for our cancer patients... so they will "educate" doctors on how not to prescribe pain killers?

Anti Asian bigotry by a cocaine using serial adulterer.


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Musical Interlude of the day

Back to school

I just checked my blog, and found recently I've been making a lot of spelling and grammar errors... No, I'm not going senile: I'm doing most of my blogging early in the morning when I'm half asleep...

Should you check your email?

From Forbes full size HERE.

Cat item of the day

Humorous Pictures
see more Lolcats and funny pictures, and check out our Socially Awkward Penguin lolz!


Stuff below the fold, or why history matters.

The "we're all gonna die" headline of the day: Arctic methane leaks threaten climate 

Headsup Instapundit

related item: I was listening to the Univ PA Museum lecture on the archeology of King Arthur, and Hodges mentioned the tree ring data of 560 AD showing a major cold spell in the area. (he was arguing how pot shards from the eastern Meditteranean and the tree ring data are rewriting the story and the dates of the Anglo Saxon entry into England)... In other words, if the potshards are right, a theoretical King Arthur lived later than the 500 AD...closer to 560 AD.

There is a lot of arguments about dates in all of this, which was the point of his lecture. Some say that the worldwide cold spell was in 535 AD, not 560 ...and the Justinian plague of the 540's might have depopulated England and led to the migration, which is what the Wikipedia article claims.

Alas, I fell asleep in midlecture so will have to watch it again.

 Similarly, my Univ Houston lecture on the Vikings and the professor suggests Offa's Dyke may not have been built to keep out the Welsh but to keep out the Vikings who were living in Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, and raiding into England. Yet was Offa's Dyke only repaired by Offa and built earlier? Who knows...

Like the Bronze age of Greece, the history of the Dark Age is being rewritten since I was in school...

and this year, the explanation for the fall of men is no longer "god is punishing your sins of immorality" but Climate change and Global weirding is God's way to punish you for using plastic bags. 

which brings us to this article:

The "boy who cried wolf" story of the day: Lovelock admits overhyping global warming.
“The climate is doing its usual tricks. There’s nothing much really happening yet. We were supposed to be halfway toward a frying world now,” he said.

"The climate is doing it's usual tricks? Uh, climate is a concept, not a thinking being... A Christian who said god is punishing you would be rightly ridiculed by the scientific community, yet few questioned his theories even though he personified earth, an inanimate object, as a thinking beings... “Revenge of Gaia: Why the Earth Is Fighting Back"...uh, Gaia is a planet with a molten core and an atmosphere, not a goddess.

This is magical thinking, not science...Professor Raia's course (see previous post) will explain to you the difference, and even trace his thinking to the pre Socratic philosophers.

Salon reviews a new book on the OKCity bomb...

nothing new here: awhile back, a British reporter found half those involved in the Elohim city commune were paid FBI informants and noted the German Strassmeir connection, and here in the Philippines, they still believe that TerryNichols met the Alqaeda bomb makers who were living in the Philippines.

and one reason that not one but two juries refused to give the death penalty to Nichols is that they wanted someone alive so he would eventually connect the points being overlooked in the "official" explanation.

Monday was Talk Like Shakespeare day

  1. Instead of you, say thou or thee (and instead of y’all,
    say ye).
  2. Rhymed couplets are all the rage.
  3. Men are Sirrah, ladies are Mistress, and your friends are all called Cousin.
  4. Instead of cursing, try calling your tormenters jackanapes or canker-blossoms or poisonous bunch-back’d toads.
  5. Don’t waste time saying "it," just use the letter "t" (’tis, t’will, I’ll do’t).
  6. Verse for lovers, prose for ruffians, songs for clowns.
  7. When in doubt, add the letters "eth" to the end of verbs (he runneth, he trippeth, he falleth).
  8. To add weight to your opinions, try starting them with methinks, mayhaps, in sooth or wherefore...

and Father Z has his own parody

Factoid of the day:
Since Hamas set up shop in Gaza eleven years ago, over 12,000 rockets and mortar shells have been fired from Gaza into southern Israel, killing 40 and wounding several hundred
and although Israel gets headlines if they retaliate (with the papers mourning the "dead civilians") less attention is being paid to this:

April 7, 2012: Hamas executed three people in Gaza, one for being an Israeli spy, the other two for murder. In the last seven years, Hamas has officially executed 32 people, and murdered several hundred more during police or terror operations (usually against political rival Fatah).

Third little reported fact: there is a big field of natural gas off the coast of Israel...the bad news? If you thought the fight over who owns the Spratlys was bad, they point out that there could be a big fight over who owns the gas fields in the Mediteranean shelf: mainly between Greek Cyprus and Turkey.

they also note that the number of weapons stolen from Libya is minimal.

Fides reports this little known fact: the Hong Kong Catholic diocese ministers to 357,000 locals and 173,000 foreigners.... The Filipino community, made up of 128,000 people, is the largest.

and a report on the large but moderate  "Muhammadiyah" movement in Indonesia on it's 100th anniversary.

in a related item; the kidnapping and forced conversion of Christian (and Hindu) women in Pakistan (and also in Kashmir and Egypt) has been covered in the Cathoic press, but now the LATimes finally noticed the problem.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Shessh Everyone's out of work

Sudan's war against the south

Strategypage discusses the oil issue in Sudan's war against the now independent Southern Sudan

Arab vs Black African, Muslim vs Christian complications, but it's essntially over who gets the oil revenues, which are badly needed by South Sudan...

Headlines below the fold (plus rants)

LATimes complains a law making "confidentiality agreement" will stop docs from getting information about their patients exposure to fracking related chemicals.

what is missing in the story: If you run into a new medical problem, you don't personally do urine tests, you report it to the CDC who does a scientific investigation.  It might be due to contact dermatitis, heavy metals, tick borne germs, or the chemicals used in upstream meth labs...Plastic surgeons don't have the expertise to do this type of investigation, but apparently they have the expertise to go to a bigshot reporter with their claims...

On the other hand, when we had three cases of severe hepatitis in three patients all of whom had been at the same festival 6 weeks earlier, I couldn't get the Minnesota health department interested because they were Indians (implying it was due to illicit drugs or alcohol). Yes, but one case was a child...

Dave Barry gives you reason number 5280 on why you should drink beer:

U.S. Waters Polluted by 10 Million Tons of Dog Poop


Read more here:

I can't decide if this screed is bad theology or bad science. Both probably.

Mother Gaia is killing you for the sin of  not picking up your dog poop polluting the environment?

Where is Christopher Hitchens when we need him?

Aspirin as a lifersaver.

Yes, unless it gives you ulcers: Lolo has had two GI bleeds from aspirin (which he took to prevent another stroke). So be cautious.

This is from the UKMail, so take it with a grain of salt, but if it's true, it suggests that all those rumors tweeting about a Chinese government scandal might be true.

Say what you want about politicians who kill their rivals here in the Philippines, at least we don't destroy planes killing over a hundred innocent people: usually they send guys on motorbikes to do the job to limit collateral damage... (even Maguindanao massacre "only" killed 58 innocent people...) (yes, our nephew was killed as a bystander in a political hit job in our town, but that's because they hired killers who learned to kill in the NPA, instead of hiring professionals to do the job).

China's cyberwar: strategypage has a report.

And the Pinoys hack them back, in retaliation for their aggression against an area near Luzon that has been part of the Philippines since at least 1734...

I've run into this claim in some of the lectures about the evolution of man: Eating meat helped the brain to grow and people reproduce more successfully.

But they missed the real point: chimps eat meat, but it takes forever to chew. It was the introduction of fire, that made meat and grain easier to chew and digest, that was the real breakthrough.

a report on how the cellphone is changing Africa.
yeah. Even Sister Euphrasia has one now.
And one of these days I'll figure out how to use my cellphone...
(headsup Instapundit)
the quote of the day comes from Instapundit:
THEY NEVER REALLY WENT AWAY: Walter Russell Mead: Are Death Panels Making A Comeback?
Don’t worry, we’ll ease you down life’s off-ramp with medical psilocybin.

the WRMead article points out one of the real reasons for unnecessary testing: Defensive medicine. But of course, since the lawyers are big funders of Obama's reelection campaign, we won't hear a lot about that problem...

Choose your poison article also from the UKMail:  Pollution from traffic, planes and power stations 'killing 13,000 Britons a year'

compare and contrast: The Great Smog of 1952 may have killed London alone.

Factoid of the day: the polygamist in Romney's family tree was his great grandfather, which puts it pretty far back there.

On the other hand, President Obama's father was a polygamist and an alcoholic, President Kennedy's father was a serial adulterer, booze runner, and pro Nazi, his grandfather ran a saloon, and his other grandfather was a crooked politician. Then there are the Bush family skeletons in the closet...

The anti LDS hatred and ignorance reminds me of the anti CATHOLIC ignorance and bigotry we saw in 1960...

To quote James Carville: IT'S THE ECONOMY STUPID.

Heh. Sounds like they are taking lessons from Gloria...or maybe Gloria took lessons from them....

so if you don't like the trend toward insisting on voter registration, don't blame "republican hysteria", blame wikileaks...

NSA has all your emails.

Hope they like all those subversive jokes
You know a joke or video  has gone viral when you get the same joke from friends in both the US and Iran...and now that Sister Euphrasia in rural Zimbabwe has internet access, I'm waiting for her to send me emails with photos of cute kittens too...

How geeks having fun:

MIT students play Tetris:

Sunday, April 22, 2012


I'm still trying to fix my blog using the "new blogger", but every time I do it, it goes kaput. It's getting late, so I hope it's working...

Musical interlude of the day

Chantelle Nyika & Gutu Mission School Choir singing Avhurika Masuwo: "open your hearts to God"

The Price of Tomatoes

the film that made Peter Falk famous...alas grainy black and white:

Family news

It's very hot, so we are staying indoors.

Chano and family went to Manila to deliver rice and because Ruby is going to a concert with her cousin.

I'm busy downloading romances from youtube...LINK  link2     
link3 link4

Yum! Almond Biscotti

I love biscotti, but they were rarely available in the rural areas where I worked (one exception: in northern Minnesota, where a mixture of Scandanavian farmers, Objibwe Indians, and back to nature yuppies all managed to get along).
When we moved to New Mexico, I tried baking them, but found a problem in baking anything, since we lived at 7000 feet and I never got the time to experiment with adjusting the recipe.

So go here for a recipe on how to make Almond Biscotti at Joy of Baking:
(headsup Cupcakes and Cahsmere)

or watch this video:

and no, they don't sell biscotti at the local Palenke, but we can buy them in Manila or at Starbucks (the nearest Starbucks is located on the highway on the way to Manila).

However, we now can buy pizza in town (several "take out" shops now will cook a frozen pizza for you), and we can get decent bread at "Pan De Manila" at the mall, so things are improved a lot in the last ten years...

In our prayers

Chuck Colson has died...most of the papers only remember him from Watergate, but his "Prison Fellowship" works in US Prisons, and most of the comments on the news stories are full of vitriol, but I am most familiar with their work helping families of prisoners to visit their dads for the holidays... (In the USA, often prisons are located in rural areas, far from the cities, so it is hard for folks to visit them without staying overnight...and this group often assisted families of those in local prisons not only with gifts but in helping them visit.

But since Colson was a republican, and many of those helping prisoners live in rural areas, their actions won't get into the MSM...
and no, I've never worked with prisoners, but Lolo did work part time at one before he retired...


I was puzzled at reports that Andrew Beitbart died of "heart failure", and that he had both hardening of the arteries and a large heart...but checking other reports, it seems he probably had hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, and died of sudden cardiac death...a hard disease to diagnose, and one that runs in families...another cause of sudden cardiac death:  long QT syndrome or a similar electrical problem in the heart...)

Wikipedia actually has an entry on "sudden unexpected death syndrome" in SE Asians:
Sudden unexplained death syndrome was first noted in 1977 among Hmong refugees in the US.[2][3] The disease was again noted in Singapore, when a retrospective survey of records showed that 230 otherwise healthy Thai men died suddenly of unexplained causes between 1982 and 1990:[4] In the Philippines, where it is referred to in the vernacular as bangungot, SUDS affects 43 per 100,000 per year among young Filipinos. Most of the victims are young males.[5]
presumably it is a variation of Sudden Cardiac death and in some cases it is from Brugada syndrome, which also can sometimes (but not always) be picked up on a routine cardiogram...

We have had at least two younger men in Lolo's family die of Bangungot...

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Science Magic and Religion

a great course for the nuns, who now can't tell the difference between magical thinking and scientific thinking (Catholicism is a mix of reason and faith, as JP2 explained here )

both the lecture series and the encyclical don't make for soundbites.

Stories below the fold

After a long interlude, I re-discovered the address of MichaelMartinez' web site with essays on Middle Earth etc. Today's essay is on how "history" morphs into legends and myths in Middle Earth.

Calling Dr. Bookie...calling Dr. Bookie...

The maternal instinct is one reason women are less willing to take risks...even if the baby is not their own...

the Brain contains it's own stem cells that may be the way for brains to regenerate lost or damaged areas.
and research using the body's own stem cells may lead to spinal cord injury repair...

a new disease in VietNam?

sounds like Kawasaki diesease, with the hand and foot rashes... but Kawasaki tends to be in younger kids...
EarthDay facts from NatGeo.

What, no mention of Ira Einhorn?

Poet Dana Goia interviewed on EWTN news magazine...

Fewer Children are dying today thanks to better nutrition and vaccines...

Celebrate the Queen's Diamond jubilee with Marmite 


Gift item of the day

buy them from ThinkGeek

Or, if you prefer, buy your very own tribble


  • Cute furry robotic creatures that shake and quail when disturbed
  • Two sizes, large (about 12" in diameter) and small (6" in diameter), and come in random shades of black, brown and grey
  • Is partial to quadrotriticale, but really likes AA and AAA batteries, conveniently included in its velcro-edged stomach
  • On-off switch conveniently hidden inside the tribble!
  • Guaranteed to have a calming effect on most humanoids *
* Sorry, but tribbles seem to have an adverse effect to Klingons

Quotation of the day

quote of the day comes from The DiploMad
Rethink foreign aid.... In the vast majority of cases, the money is consumed by a welter of consultants, NGOs, and bureaucrats. (For example) the empowering of women. Domestic groups form alliances with favored groups in "recipient" countries, and cook up lame projects that involve a lot of travel, conferences, and setting up offices with nice logos, fax machines, cellphones, and websites...

Big Love

When You Lose the Little Old Lady Vote

sent to me by Tia Maria, my cousin, a great grandmother who usually sends jokes around in her emails. The failure of the MSM to take seriously the Obamacare attack on religious freedom means that you won't hear about it, but when even little old ladies know about it from the alternative media you know their monopoly of propaganda is breaking down.

Friday, April 20, 2012

From heresy into delusion?

In a previous post I have a minor rant about the PC nuns who have been gently reminded by the Vatican that they are supposed to be Catholic.
My rant wasn't that they are not agreeing with the church, but because as a doctor I have had run ins with a few of them who were into reiko, theraputic touch, enneagrams,  and other forms of magical thinking instead of doing real life practical things like nursing and the German and African nuns who I worked with in Africa.

In my rant, I joked that considering who is the keynote speaker at their next convention, that it looks like they are now into "coast to coast" territory, referring to the late night radio show that discusses UFO's and conspiracy theories.

Well, I looked it up, and sure enough, their invited speaker has been on coast to coast.
Her conspiracy theories are anti Christian (implying with the help of these experts,  mankind will evolve the next  step into a superman type being,)
"I think we're seeing the emergence of a universal species...we're going to have extended life, extended intelligence, extended contact throughout the universe, that we'll be freed up from repetitive labor...and the species itself will evolve into a co-created humanity... But if we don't, if we stay self-centered, separate, competitive, overpopulating and polluting, we won't make it," she stated. We're seeing a breakthrough of more people becoming conscious of god, super-nature, spirit, or tendency of higher order-- a transcending impulse of higher evolution, she continued. 
(hmm...her idea is familiar: I first ran across years ago in a science fiction story by a well known writer who will be nameless since he has passed away, but who was known here in Asia for his preference for little boys)...

The problem?
Doesn't quite sound like the Baltimore Catechism now, does it?  All of those superior folks evolving to a higher consciousness, leaving us primitive papists and Pinoys behind to party...

sort of reminds me of this:

Family news

So they gave a seminar at the farm on organic farming, and then the VIP's came here to hear a short talk this afternoon..

In the meanwhile, Lolo's TV went kaput so when the staff came back after lunch at the farm, we had one of the men bring down the guest TV from upstairs, and since we chain the dogs in the living room, they put George, the Killer watchdog, outside on a chain to get to our room...and in the five minutes it took to move the TV's, a visitor got too close and George got him. Luckily only a scratch... Sigh.

Forget the news

Most of the news is bloviating on trivia: Dogs, Secret Service parties, and the "war against radical feminist women who want to be men by using your money" who feel threatened by "the enemy": (women who raise families)...

Way back when, I wrote this about eating dogs (when some green group lamented that dogs caused global warming).

And no, I don't have sympathy with the Vatican smackdown of those aging activist "leaders" of dying religious orders who think they are "trendier than thou" but actually stuck in the 1970's...I have had it up to here with their "reiko" and "theraputic touch" and enneagrams, none of which pass scientific scrutiny.... and if one reads who will be the keynote speaker at their next conference, it seems like they are now in Art Bell territory..

Of course, Art Bell (actually it's now George Noury) comes in handy sometimes: one of these days, we will have someone besides CoastToCoast discuss the financial crisis...

Recipe of the day

ALTERNATIVE RECIPE HERE Actually most people don't have ovens here in the Philippines (we have a small toaster oven and a microwave, and sometimes Chano teaches Ruby how to bake cakes) ... come to think of it, we don't have 7 up either (Sprite yes, 7 up no). we cook in a wok with a table top burner outside our house, and have a rice cooker.

Dog post of the day

via Buzz feed: 33 animals with stuffed animals that look like them.


Quote of the day from meteorologist Josh Johnson:

Tornadoes in Spring aren't extreme. Oklahoma and Kansas just had a big tornado outbreak. In April. The national media calls it "cataclysmic, weird, extreme"....meteorologists call it "Spring."
(and he has other instructions for those who don't know anything about weather in flyover country)

headsup Dustbury

of course, as the joke says: you can always identify an Okie because he goes outside to watch for the funnel cloud.

Why? No, not to photograph it but because you have to figure out if the tornado is near enough to go to the shelter...if you didn't do this, you'd be spending half your time in the tornado shelter.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Photo of the day

This handout photo provided by NASA shows the space shuttle Discovery, mounted atop a NASA 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, flying over Washington skyline, including the Washington Monument. The photo was taken from a NASA T-38 aircraft, Tuesday, April 17. Discovery, the longest-serving orbiter, will be placed to its new home, the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va.

Everybody's got a water buffalo

yup: Here is  our water buffalo:

We usually haul the threshed rice with our jeep, but some fields are a bit far from the road and the heavy jeep gets stuck in the thick mud, so we use a cart

Lolo at the farm:

Ruby at the farm (the water is the irrigation ditch)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Brideshead is back

quick, before the copyright police find out: The old BBC miniseries Brideshead Revisited is on Youtube. Think of it as a decadent Downton Abby...with papists...

Video of the day

Cat item of the day

Factoid of the day

comes from Fomerspook:
As many as 100,000 soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines will be forced out of service over the next three to four years, due to Pentagon budget cutbacks. It doesn't take an economist to calculate the impact of those force cutbacks on military families.

Stuff below the fold

It's open season on the LDS church.-actually it's open season on traditional families as part of their "war against women" theme.... Rant moved to BNN.

and I bet a nickle that the outcry on the Zimmerman shooting will soon morph into the meme that Mormons are racist.

China corrupt? Heh. Someone finally noticed.

They are big at looking the other way when their criminals sell adulterated medicine and counterfeit auto parts, and it's an open secret that they have bribed politicians here and in Africa, so why did anyone think they were honest inside the country?

Why worry about boys having fun? The security implications of that Secret Service party...

Priests as heroes: BBC story about Father Kapaun...

Then there is the priests on the Titanic

maybe someday someone will remember Father Braun....LINK2


Bumper sticker of the week.
YUM! see they eat it in Indonesia too...


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Teen Fiction

My granddaughter is busy writing teen fan fiction, and I was impressed. She's only in fifth grade and English is her second language, yet she writes better than I do. .

Musical interlude of the day

try not to cry...

Kalderetang kambing

goat stew, Pinoy style:

or use this recipe.

Once, we just took a whole goat and injected it with marinade and cooked it over charcoal...yum....

Yum: Lamb stew

Yes, Ruby, there is an unofficial "Hunger Games" recipe book, and it includes the recipe for lamb stew: alternative LINK

Yield 8-10 servings
  • 5 pounds lamb fillet, shoulder or leg, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • ½ cup water
  • 4 cups beef stock
  • 2 teaspoons white sugar
  • 3 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 3 cups diced carrots
  • 1 cup diced zucchini
  • 1½ cups diced celery
  • 2 large onions, diced
  • 3 potatoes, cubed
  • 5 cups dried plums
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 3 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup ginger ale

  • Place lamb, salt, pepper, and flour in a large mixing bowl. Toss to coat meat evenly.
  • Heat olive oil in a large pan and brown the meat, working in batches if you have to.
  • Remove lamb to a side plate. Pour off fat, leaving ¼ cup in the pan. Add the garlic and onion and sauté until the onion becomes golden. Deglaze frying pan with the ½ cup water, taking care to scrape the bottom of the pan to stir up all of the tasty bits of meat and onion. Cook to reduce liquid slightly, then remove from heat.
  • Place the lamb and garlic-onion mixture in a large stockpot. Add beef stock and sugar, stirring until sugars are dissolved. Bring mixture to a boil, cover, and simmer for 1½ hours.
  • Add the vegetables, dried plums, herbs, and ginger ale to the pot. Simmer for 30-45 minutes, or until meat and vegetables pierce easily with a fork.
  • and no, we don't eat a lot of lamb here...goat once in awhile but not lamb, although a neighbor does graze his goats and sheep in the vacant lot across the street...

    Factoid of the day

    Atlas Obscura tells the story of three dogs managed to survive the Titanic sinking. two Pomeranians and a Peking dog. Another dog, a huge GreatDane, was refused a place, so it's owner stayed on the ship with him. But what about the kittens?
    If you're an animal lover but prefer the felines, you're probably asking yourself, “What about the kitties? Weren't there any cats on board?” Yes, apparently there were, at least through the first leg of the trip. The ship's cat, who was brought along to control vermin and had given birth to a litter of kittens, disembarked, carrying her babies one by one to the pier in England before the ship started its journey across the Atlantic. Some feel this was a mystic animal premonition, although it could just be chalked up to Mama Cat seeking a more secure future on land for her little ones. Either way, no known cat lives were lost.

    some of our kitties

    From Recently Updated
    From Recently Updated



    Gift item of the day

    Killer Barbie.

    DaveBarry comments: Ken is a dead man!

    and don't forget the merchandizing;
    Katniss Barbie is the latest product in a line of merchandise being produced at breakneck speed to capitalize on the wildly popular franchise.
    Fans can also purchase Hunger Games-themed nail polish, cookbooks, posters, clothes and even a workout class at New York Sports Club gyms

    Nail polish? Sounds like the minions of District one are at it again...

    Quote of the day

    comes from the Corner, about the partying secret service agents:

    I mean seriously, a country that has been synonymous with narco-trafficking and bloodshed for most of my life, in one weekend gets re-branded as Party Central (America)™ 
    well, it's a lot safer there now than in the past.

    And no, I've never been to Cartagena, my son lives in the highlands near the Ecuadorian border.

    The Dragon is Coming The Dragon is Coming

    From the BBC:

    The first cargo resupply mission to the space station to be carried out by a commercial operator is likely to be on 30 April, the US space agency says.
    The flight of the unmanned Dragon freighter is supposed to be just a demonstration, but its success would mark a new era in spaceflight....
    Dragon has been developed under Nasa's Commercial Orbital Transportation Services, or COTS, programme, in which the agency has sought to seed fund cargo-carrying replacements for its recently retired shuttles.
    SpaceX and another private company, the Virginia-based Orbital Sciences Corporation, have received hundreds of millions of dollars to help them develop new rocket and capsule systems.
    The background of all of this can be found in this March 2011 article at BrahmandNews:

    While Russia’s Progress spacecraft, launched by the Soyuz rocket, has remained a reliable unmanned resupply vehicle that continues to deliver tons of cargo to the space station every year and will continue to do so following the retirement of NASA’s space shuttles, cargo vessels of Japan and Europe too have joined in replenishing the ISS and bringing back waster material from there.

    The H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV) or ‘Kounotori’ spacecraft of Japan has flown to the space station twice since its first mission in 2009. European Space Agency’s automated transfer vehicle (ATV-2) has also supported space supply missions since its first launch to the ISS in 2008.

    With all three shuttles of NASA – Discovery, Endeavour and Atlantis, used to serve the dual purpose of ferrying astronauts as well as instruments to the scientific laboratory – set to retire later this year, the space agency has embarked on an ambitious programme to develop new commercial space vehicles for the delivery of crew and cargo to the ISS.

    Under the Commercial Orbital Transportation Services programme announced on January 18, 2006, NASA awarded two contracts, one to SpaceX and the other to Orbital Sciences Corporation, to design the new spacecrafts along with the launch rockets that will fly to the ISS.

    The contracts include at least 12 missions for SpaceX and eight missions for Orbital Sciences between 2011 and 2015 carrying cargo to the ISS as well as disposal of ISS waste.

    This ambitious programme gave birth to Dragon – the spacecraft designed by commercial firm SpaceX – to initially carry cargo to the space platform and perhaps astronauts in future.