Thursday, February 28, 2013

Family news

Joy is going to the farm to supervise the rice harvest.

Chano's fever/infection is improving, but not enough for him to go with Joy.

Good news of the day: Ruby came in first in the achievement tests at her school

Bad news of the day: the old man who usually bathes the dogs is also busy at the farm, so to my horrors the outdoor watch dogs all are full of ticks: so it's up to me: Three bathed and two to go.

Guess I'll have to invest in some Sargent's to keep them coming back. It costs a fortune, and it's a chemical, but the herbal anti flea/tick powder doesn't keep the ticks out of their ears...yuck.

Language evolution

A couple days ago I posted a lecture by a linguist who discussed how Tolkien's artificial languages "evolved"; he pointed out how Tolkien used the ideas of language evolution (that was his university area of expertise) in his artificial languages.

Today, archeology links to an article at LiveScience on how linguists used this to link Homer to the Hittites.
The study mostly affirms what they have been saying, that it was written around the eighth century B.C....They took the language of the Hittites, a people that existed during the time the war may have been fought, and modern Greek, and traced the changes in the words from Hittite to Homeric to modern. It is precisely how they measure the genetic history of humans, going back and seeing how and when genes alter over time.

the only problem is that the Hittites disappeared about 1100 BC, meaning that the tales had been handed down by word of mouth, and of course the bards changing the words as the language changed.

Factoid of the day

Oats (and Rye) started out as weeds:

from Wikipedia:
The wild ancestor of Avena sativa and the closely related minor crop, A. byzantina, is the hexaploid wild oat A. sterilis. Genetic evidence shows the ancestral forms of A. sterilis grew in the Fertile Crescent of the Near East. Domesticated oats appear relatively late, and far from the Near East, in Bronze Age Europe. Oats, like rye, are usually considered a secondary crop, i.e., derived from a weed of the primary cereal domesticates wheat and barley. As these cereals spread westwards into cooler, wetter areas, this may have favored the oat weed component, leading to its eventual domestication.[2]

Oatmeal below the fold

Medieval meals in Dublin contained some surprising ingredients:

Perhaps it is the desert that will surprise people most. The prior was frequently treated to almonds and rice. In medieval Europe rice was served in a pudding made from almond milk. Interestingly figs and walnuts were also available in 14th century Dublin.

Alas, they don't mention the trade routes that would bring these Mediterranean ingredients (along with another ingredient mentioned: Olive Oil) to the rich in Dublin.

MedievalLife discussion:

Stefan has some recipes here...

Original recipe from Gervase Markham's The English Hous-Wife, 1615:  Take
halfe a pound of Rice, and steep it in new Milk a whole night, and in the
morning drain it, and let the Milk drop away, and take a quart of the best,
sweetest, and thickest Cream, and put the Rice into it, and boyl it a little.
Then set it to cool and hour or two, and after put in the yolkes of half a
dozen Eggs, a little Pepper, Cloves, Mace, Currants, Dates, Sugar, and Salt,
put in a great store of Beef suet well beaten, and small shred, and so put it
into the farms and boyl them as before shewed, and serve them after a day old.

Here is a Tudor era recipe for rice pudding (although using sausage casing would probably taste better than his modern method):

Coquinaria has a Catalonian recipe and discussion HERE.
Rice remained a fairly expensive import for most of the Middle Ages and was grown in northern Italy only towards the end of the period.
they also note that bread was not common in northern Europe
Before the 14th century bread was not as common among the lower classes, especially in the north where wheat was more difficult to grow. A bread-based diet became gradually more common during the 15th century and replaced warm intermediate meals that were porridge- or gruel-based. Leavened bread was more common in wheat-growing regions in the south, while unleavened flatbread of barley, rye or oats remained more common in northern and highland regions, and unleavened flatbread was also common as provisions for troops.
I first noticed this in the novel Kristin Lavransdatter, where she gave out gruel (aka oatmeal) to guests.

Yet Oats were grown in Scandanavia since Bronze age times, LINK

More on Viking cooking HERE

and Ydalair viking has recipes HERE.

if you run across the word Bannock in a historical novel, they are actually discussing an oat cake.
they also call these "scones", but usually nowadays scones are made from wheat flour.

cooking like a native American (Minnesotan):


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Family news

Chano is in bed with the flu.

Joy is at the farm harvesting rice. It is overcast so we hope it doesn't rain.

The dogs are all covered with ticks, so I'll have to get prevention medicine at the vet.

Stories below the fold

John Pertwee, Dr. Who number 3, was a spy in real life.
The actor revealed that during his time working in Naval intelligence he would attend meetings “where Churchill would be at the
end of the table and he would be smoking his cigars”...

Pertwee taught commandos how to use ingenious gadgets.  “Compasses in brass buttons, secret maps in white cotton handkerchiefs, which only showed up when
you urinated on them. Pipes you could smoke that also fired a .22 bullet. All sorts of incredible things. Now that suited me perfectly as I have always loved gadgets.”
If it all sounds a bit James Bondish that’s not surprising as Ian Fleming, Bond’s creator, was a colleague of Pertwee’s.

Dr. Koop has died...a great pediatric surgeon who became famous for separating cojoined twins before he was nominated by Reagan to be Surgeon General.


TYWKIWDI blog discusses dreys and finds some new words on Wikipedia.
  • A badger's nest is called a sett.
  • An eagle's nest is called an eyrie.
  • A squirrel's or ringtail possum's nest is called a drey.
  • A hare's nest is called a form.
  • A beaver's nest is called a lodge.
  • A pheasant's nest is called a nide.
  • A wasp's nest is called a vespiary.
 those of you who are card playing gamers might recognize that last one as the name of the Girl genius "bug squad"....

speaking of Wasps, the latest email going around is telling women to use wasp spray for self defense.

the worst dressed women at the Oscars.


Oscars? What Oscars

You'd think that it would be easy to find who won the oscars for what on the web, but most of the stories seem to be lauding Mrs. Obama, who seems to be hogging the spotlight in the headlines.

Am I the only one who thinks it's ironic that the wife of a president who abandoned diplomatic personnel in Benghazi to present an Oscar to celebrate a film about diplomatic personnel abandoned in Iran by a previous administration (and saved thanks to....Canada?).

At least I saw Argo: (oh yes: and Les Mis).... the rest I will have to wait til they hit HBO.

As for "life of pi": I hear it is a beautiful story and well directed.... my problem is that I read the end of the book after buying the damn novel, and found out that the whole story was a cheat, a romantic story deliberately made up by the boy to cover up a crime.

I know why the elites loved the story: because it made God into nothing but a fantasy to help people cope.

"So tell me, since it makes no factual difference to you and you can't prove the question either way, which story do you prefer? Which is the better story, the story with animals or the story without animals?" Mr. Okamoto: "That's an interesting question..." Mr. Chiba: "The story with animals."
Mr. Okamoto: "Yef. The story with animals is the better story."
Pi Patel: "Thank you. And so it goes with God."

Of course, as I have said earlier, any cop hearing the first romantic story and the boy instantly telling the second story when they don't believe him, would figure that there was a third story not being told....

Yes, get rid of God as reality, and voila, truth doesn't matter....

Monday, February 25, 2013

Calories calories

Toxel has photos of food portions that give you 200 calories. The problem? Quick: which would you rather eat? Veggies:

or this?-------------


And which of these would you really prefer to eat?


Yes, as if you would eat all those lovely celery sticks that taste like straw...

Lecture of the day

A very funny lecture on Tolkien's imaginary languages.

Yes, Dwarves are Jewish, or at least Dwarvish is linguistically related to the Semitic languages., and he explains why.

and David Salo's essay on this can be found HERE. which discusses how Dwarvish plurals resemble Arabic Broken plurals, or this essay that gets very technical on phonology/grammar.

Stuff posted elsewhere

essays posted elsewhere (so as not to bore you).

The Calcium Kerfuffle.

Catholics with dirty foreheads.

The bomb of Shell Shock.

Diabetes stories.

Stories below the fold

Ray Cusick, who invented the Daleks, has died. His family is in our prayers.


 BBC has a report on films that make you cry, as in "Les Mis"...

Nordic parents leave the kids outside in the cold to sleep.

well, I was amazed how I acclimatized to the cold after living in Minnesota for a few years: We got so used to below zero (F) temperatures that when it hit 32F, (or 0 C), we went around in just a sweater or a long sleeved shirt and loved it.

How you can tell your neighbor is from Minnesota

60 above zero: Floridians turn on the heat. Minnesotans plant gardens.50 above zero: Californians shiver uncontrollably. People are sunbathing in Duluth.
40 above zero: Import cars won’t start. Minnesotans drive with the sunroof open.
32 above zero: Distilled water freezes. The water in Bemidji gets thicker.
20 above zero: New Mexicans don long johns, parkas and wool hats & mittens. Minnesotans throw on a flannel shirt.
15 above zero: New York landlords finally turn on the heat. People in Minnesota have one last cookout before it gets cold.
Zero: People in Miami all die. Minnesotans close the windows.
10 below zero: Californians fly away to Mexico Minnesotans dig their winter coats out of storage.
25 below zero: Hollywood disintegrates. Girl Scouts in Minnesota still selling cookies door to door.
40 below zero: Washington, D.C.  finally runs out of hot air. People in Minnesota let their dogs sleep indoors.
100 below zero: Santa Claus abandons the North Pole. Minnesotans get upset because the Mini-Van won’t start.
460 below zero: ALL atomic motion stops (absolute zero on the Kelvin scale). People in Minnesota can be heard to say,  “Cold ’nuff fer ya?”
ok guys: Compare and contrast the two Sherlocks. I haven't seen the US version ( Elementary)...which means it either hasn't played here or is on later than 9 pm which is our bedtime. 


Battle of the Giants:
who will win the big fight of Croc vs Alligator?

From AYYYY! blog.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Rewrite the history books

Encyclopedia Brittanica says that
Although the Pythagorean philosopher Archytas of Tarentum (5th century bc) is the alleged inventor of the screw, the exact date of its first appearance as a useful mechanical device is obscure
from FromWhatTheyAre blogspot:

Screw stoppers of Upper Paleolithic Dordogne

While not really a novelty, I bet that most readers have never heard of this (I had no idea myself admittedly). David Sánchez discusses this week at his (Spanish language) blog Noticias de Prehistoria - Prehistoria al Día the existence of several most intriguing conic screw pieces found in Gravettian and Magdalenian sites from Dordogne (Aquitaine, French Republic), a district that (because of its great density of findings and cultural centrality for Middle and Late UP European prehistory) I have sometimes dubbed the Paleolithic Metropolis of Europe.

 the article goes on to say that they think that wineskins had hollow bones put into the neck, and that these were screwed into the bone to make a stopper.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Cat Item of the Day


Music appreciation lectures

from Missouri State Univ:

a course on music in history.

here is one of the later lectures, on 20th century music: the lecture on Copeland.

Copeland's Appalachian spring is the most famous: here is the famous ending, based on an old Shaker hymn.

The entire piece can be found HERE

The Hero with a thousand faces

This TED Talk discusses modern "myths" and uses the ideas of Joseph Campbell.

or you can watch the original miniseries about Cambell's work on Youtube.

The bad news?

I ran across a lecture series on mythology in the ancient world, and the professor pointed out that Campbell tended to cherry pick his examples to fit his ideas... so think of this as an editorial on myth, not as a true history or news report....

Headlines below the fold

 A website with recipes for a real man: Guy's American kitchen
 Via Dave Barry:


headsup Senseofevents


Taking motherhood a bit too far:

62 year old (bird) has a new chick.


Beer! making people happy since 3200 BC

the article quotes an expert saying that there probably wasn't alcohol in beer, but I suspect it probably was "lo beer" rather than alcohol free...why? Because no alcohol lets germs live, while alcohol kills germs.

And this property of yeast was probably known, since the bread or beer would bubble to show the yeastie beasties were doing their thing...

Straws were used for beer because of the stuff floating on it made quaffing it unpleasant. 

as for that "non alcohol" part: Nonsense. Noah got drunk after landing the arc, but in the Egyptian version, Ra got Hathor drunk by giving her red coloured beer, thereby allowing mankind to survive.

One of my favorite documentaries:


The best and worst movies about Abraham Lincoln.

they say the best one was the oldie but goodie:  Young Mister Lincoln.

and no, I haven't seen the recent film Lincoln: Hasn't hit the cinema here yet, and haven't found it in the Palenke either, which suggests that it must be boring, but only the UKMail has the guts to admit it
Best quote from their review:
This is high-minded hagiography, and too much of it resembles a Disneyfied waxworks show with an animatronic version of Daniel Day-Lewis intoning speeches by the great man in a reedy tenor, while John Williams’s sub-Aaron Copland score strains for sonorous solemnity.

However, I did enjoy Abraham Lincoln Vampire paraphrase a famous Mel Brooks quote: Unlike other Lincolns, he has a real American accent...


Beauty tip of the day: Try a kitty litter facial.

Bentonite, also referred to as Montmorillonite, is one of the most effective and powerful healing clays and can be used externally as a mud pack and in skin care recipes. The substance if composed of age volcanic ash. It should be odorless, non-staining and a grey/cream color - anything bordering 'pure white' is suspect. When combined with water it produces an 'electrical charge', giving it the ability to absorb and remove toxins. It can also be taken to help with digestive disturbances such as acid reflux, constipation and bloating and as a natural detoxification remedy. presumably it is not the clumping type, which turns hard as a rock after Kitty uses it.

Alas, the kitty litter here is hard to find:  terrible and expensive., so we just let the windows open and let the cats into the garden.

The Neurophysiology of spoonerism.
Interestingly the data also shows consonants and vowels originate in different parts of the brain separated by relatively large distances.
Chang says this may explain why in "slips of the tongue" it is more common to substitute consonants with one another and vowels with vowels.

 The word Spoonerism comes from Rev. Spooner, who was actually a well beloved scholar and lecturer. More about Spooner and the popularity of puns HERE including this factoid:

In the U.S., transpositional humor was popular in the west. Reportedly, Abraham Lincoln was fond of them. A manuscript written by Lincoln begins "He said he was riding bass-ackwards on a jass-ack through a patton-crotch " It is not clear whether Lincoln created this piece or just copied it.
Lincoln was famous for his bawdy "corn spun" humor...

and no, he didn't invent facebook.
Father L links to a John Allen article about our own beloved Cardinal Tangle

In the Imus diocese, Tagle was famous for not owning a car and taking the bus to work every day, describing it as a way to combat the isolation that sometimes comes with high office. He was also known for inviting beggars outside the cathedral to come in and eat with him. One woman was quoted describing a time she went looking for her blind, out-of-work, alcoholic husband, suspecting she might track him down in a local bar, only to find that he was lunching with the bishop.
Here's another typical story. Not long after Tagle arrived in Imus, a small chapel located in a run-down neighborhood was waiting for a priest to say Mass at around 4 a.m. for a group mostly made up of day laborers. Eventually, a youngish cleric showed up on a cheap bicycle, wearing simple clothes and ready to start the Mass. An astonished member of the congregation realized it was the new bishop and apologized that they hadn't prepared a better welcome. Tagle said it was no problem; he got word late the night before that the priest was sick and decided to say the Mass himself.
Tagle is a gifted communicator, making him a sought-after speaker and media personality. He drew rave reviews for his performance at a 2008 International Eucharistic Congress in Quebec, where observers say he brought an entire stadium to tears. He's a very 21st-century prelate -- he hosts a program on YouTube, and he's got his own Facebook page.

Philippino headline of the day: Sin: Grace Under Pressure.

That's Archbishop (later Cardinal) Sin.

EDSA anniversary

Remembering Doy Laurel

more stories here.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Video download of the week

Fiddler on the roof.



Finally Justice

The animal lovers in the US might lament the death of Lolong, the world's largest crocodile, but the parents of the kids he ate might see it as a relief.

the Philstar says he died after swallowing a nylon cord, but today's Manila Bulletin said he died of pneumonia. The only bad news is that it means fewer tourists to the area

Another day, another storm


it rained here last night: enough to make the roof of the kitchen leak.

Headlines below the fold

Google Glass? been there, done that in a tv show.

In our prayers: Lady Gaga had hip surgery.

a cartilage tear: description of the problem here. or HERE


Alqaeda has a tip sheet on how to dodge drone hits. 
 example: Hide under trees or cover yourself and your cars with mud, to block your "heat signiture"

Heh. Sounds like they took tips from the Guvernator.


Forget 50 Shades of grey: The UKTelegraph suggests these books up for the weirdest titles for your reading pleasure,

How Tea Cosies changed the world.

Most  Americans, who drink instant coffee or Mr Coffee, aren't familiar with the tea cosy, which is placed over one's teapot to keep the tea warm.

and yes, there are safety standards for tea cosies and they seem to be working
The number of injuries associated with tea cosies has dropped from three in 1993 to zero in 1994.
 however, the tea pot continues to be dangerous, with 66 people that year being hurt by teapots.

The WAGD headline of the day sees global warming causing a methane release.(from the Siberian permafrost).

Insomnia downloads of the week

Essays on Music appreciation, for your listening pleasure.
For Every Music Lover by Moore, Aubertine Woodward

And rmore fairy tales Violet Fairy Book, The by Lang, Andrew
Posted 24 hours ago

In the past, young boys read Natgeo magazine for the photos (of topless women). But now you can listen to it, and this month talks about the rivers and valleys of Pennsylvania...< br/> National Geographic Magazine Vol. 01 No. 3 by Various

A classic by Aeschulus, Prometheus Bound by Aeschylus

If you really have trouble falling asleep, try this one:

Considerations on Representative Government by Mill, John Stuart

Stories of Army life in the good old days killing Indians.

Starlight Ranch And Other Stories Of Army Life On The Frontier by King, Charles

Before there was Dawkins, there was Thomas Paine. The difference is that Americans saw what would happen if "reason" without the restraint of traditional values resulted in: lots of people dead in the French revolution and Napoleon's wars, so they rejected Paine's ideas.

 Age of Reason, The (version 2) by Paine, Thomas

Before there was Ms Manners, there was:
Gentleman and Lady's Book of Politeness and Propriety of Deportment, The by Celnart, Elizabeth
Posted 3 days ago

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Family news

brownout due today.

Went to the farm to check a dog with severe mange. I used a shampoo on him but will have to get oral medicine from the vet today for him.

He is semi wild, and the last time we brought him here to treat a wound, he ran away (and found his way home). I wrote about him back here on BNN...


ThorinoakenshieldBlog has a nice article on the Runes of Tolkien's dwarves, as shown in the Hobbit. Includes a download of how to read them.

they link to David Salo's article on the hobbit film's runes.

David Salo is a Tolkien language expert who helped in the LOTR trilogy and now the present Hobbit films.Blog here.

Lenten prayers

Earlier I linked to the podcast of the daily psalm readings of the church LINK

but for those who want downloads of the texts, Universalis has that.

Both have Apps for your convenience.

more prayer links here.

The Sky is falling! the Sky is falling!

with that well recorded meteor crash in Russia, Instapundit links to an Atlantic magazine article on meteor strikes in history.

Was the Flood (recorded in both the Bible and Gilgamesh) a tsunami from a meteor strike, not the flooding of the Black sea?
Given the history of ordinary floods in Mesopotamia, who knows if it was one of these or just a superordinary river flood.
and the article also blames an asteroid for the 536 event, a world wide famine/cooling spell, that in the past was thought to be volcanic in origin.

Related item: meet the only meteorite strike survivor.


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

In an alternative universe

If Anikin didn't go to the dark side

Happy Happy Happy

The "WAGD" post of the day

The "god particle" hath spoken.

Higgs data indicates finite life of the Universe.

Oh well: I'll meet you at Milliways  for a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster.


trivia of the day:

In the continuity of the books, Frogstar World B is the future site of Milliways, the Restaurant at the End of the Universe. In the radio series this role is instead given to Magrathea.

and this site says it has the radio version for your listening pleasure.

stories below the fold

TPMBarnett links to an article in the NYTimes blasting President Obama's foreign policy, but blames the voter:
I have little doubt in the verdict, but frankly, this is what the American people voted for in both 2008 and 2012: focus on the economy and temporize on foreign affairs.

Meanwhile, the Politico praises President Obama for manipulating press coverage.

Alas, this results in the press seeing any question of the President's policies as political attacks, and thereby changing the subject from the questionable policy to a discussion of how the evil republicans politicize foreign policy.

related item: DieHard 4 should have made China the source of the cysberattacks (but it might have hurt their feelings).

but aside from shutting down power grids, the main threat is stealing industrial secrets.

It's election time in the Philippines: time to get out your guns.

Our cook reported another drive by shooting of a candidate's house by a masked man on a motor cycle yesterday.
Guess the one who hired him wasn't aware that the candidates pledged a "no violence" election.


Attention Homeland Security: While you are frisking grandmom, these robbers stole diamonds by simply cutting through an airport fence in Brussels.

That should make you feel better when they pat down your family jewels.


Sounds like the Pope's failing health may be why he resigned, but the PC who ridicule him might want to read how he made enemies fighting corruption in the bureaucracy of the Vatican.

and I read that one rediculous MSNBC wag suggested they make a nun a pope.

Hmm... Mother Angelica for pope....sounds ok to me...

Oh? They didn't want her, but a PC nun who takes dancing lessons from Pricilla...

Related item: Dustbury vents on old ladies trying to look 20 in jeans and boots.


 Factoid of the day: The UKMail points out how the UAE helped Joplin after a tornado wrecked the place,and lists other poor areas in the US they have helped.

Yes, and they have helped us out here too...

Muslim nations charity gifts often don't get reported positively in the press ..

alas, some private Islamic charity money is diverted into terror, which taints their reputation. So the general from Iran killed in Syria last week was both an aid supervisor and a backer of the local Qods fighters.

 Last month, StrategyPodcast discussed the long view of Egypt

This month they discuss

What The Hell Is The Seven Years War And Why The Hell Should I Care? - 2/18/2013
Al and Austin discuss the ongoing effects of the Seven Years War which end 250 years ago this month.
MP3 Download
Most of you know about this war from The Last of the Mohicans...

no, it's not as interesting as the podcast on Sex and the Generals...
Bradley had a bimbo on the side? Who wudda thot?


Joe Biden's advice for protecting oneself: buy a shotgun, not an assault weapon.

Actually, this is good advice. When my son left home, we sold his deer rifle, but I gave his shotgun to my mother to use for protection. Actually, she knows how to shoot, but in an apartment building a high power bullet might go through walls and injure someone, whereas a shotgun at close range is scary, but won't kill someone a mile away by accident...

Forget the story of how China is claiming the West Philippine sea.
Today's headline is how some Pinoys decided they should own a piece of Malaysia.

related item: Prof O'Brien at Univ of Houston has a course of Piracy, and last night I was listening to his lecture on the Chinese pirates. Alas, I fell asleep in the middle of it, but if you are interested in the subject check it out...

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Stuff below the fold

Want to visit Archie, the giant Squid?

AtlasObscura has the details and photos.

Held in a custom-made acrylic tank filled with a 10% solution of formol-saline, the giant squid at the center of the London Natural History Museum Spirit Collection was caught off the coast of the Falkland Islands in March of 2004.
The 8.62 meter long creature is an Architeuthis dux, or giant squid, and known at the museum as "Archie."
StainlessSteelDroppings takes a breather from his SciFi reviews to discuss the Little Mermaid.

Compare and contrast her choice with Arwen's....

No, there is not a "hobbit" language, but they do speak a dialect of the common tongue. The article discusses the origin of placenames in the Shire.

Paleoglot discusses why we outlasted the Neanderthals.

And corrects a WSJ article implication that gutteral languages don't have nuances.

I wonder where ASL or other sign languages would fit into the discussion. I thought it was interesting that Jean Auel's series has the Neanderthals not speaking many words, but using a sign language in it's place.

Sense of Events corrects a previous post claiming that the USGovt was buying "billions" of bullets.

They only ordered a couple hundred thousand bullets.


I heard several doctors were killed by Islamacists for daring to vaccinate children against disease, but AJ reports they were from North Korea !?
more at the UK Guardian:
He told journalists that the three men were from North Korea and had lived in the state since 2005 as part of a medical programme between Yobe and the Pyongyang government.
There are more than a dozen other North Korean doctors posted to the state under the scheme, which also includes engineers, Mamman said. He said all will receive immediate protection from security forces. "It is very unfortunate," he said of the killings.

and before you point at Islam for being the cause of these nut cases thinking vaccinations are a western plot, maybe you should blame the vaccine deniers who get oodles of publicity for pointing out minor problems of vaccines in the press, which are then picked up and magnified by the crazies.

Bookmarked for later reading: Fairy tales across cultures. 

includes this factoid:
That's because when immigrants from a particular cultural group move into a new one, they bring genetic diversity that, if the immigrants have children, get mixed around, changing the new population's gene pool. But the new population's culture doesn't necessarily change.


Two blogs with photos of beautiful blue doors. LINK LINK

what is interesting is that this custom, common in the southern US, is so widespread. Blue keeps the spirits out.

And then there are the "blue Bottle Trees"
That belief in the power of colors also explains blue doors and blue porch ceilings -- both are so painted to keep evil from crossing the threshold into a home. Blue-bottle trees prevent the spirits from even getting that close.
Some say the blue-bottle trees did a fair job of ridding homes of more terrestrial nuisances -- bugs.
According to the blogger The Lazy Gardener, the lime once used to make blue bottles also is an insect repellent that keeps skeeters and noseeums out of your house. This doesn't work anymore, though -- apparently, lime no longer is used to turn things blue.

Read more here:

Monday, February 18, 2013

Corruption Stuff below the fold

CSI Cold case files:
Hieropraxis reviews a book using the cold case approach for an analysis of Jesus' crucifixion.

now what is needed is someone to analyze why he got into trouble: No, it wasn't because of doctrinal differences: it was because he exposed the corruption and kickbacks of some working in the Temple administration.

Lots of photos of that Russian meteor. I had originally thought they were taken by cellphones, but actually they were taken by dashboard cameras.

And Wired explains why so many folks there have dashboard cameras:  protection against corruption.



Here, the gambling and casinos that are corrupting the country are rarely condemned, except for good old lefty Archbishop Cruz.

In fact, the administration is even assiduously cooperating and eagerly looking forward to the on-going establishment and eventual operation of some kind of a local Las Vegas in Metro Manila. To say the least, the main capitalists of the project seem to be dubious characters. The main envisioned patrons thereof once made operational, also appear as dubious gambling tycoons – especially from Asia. Thus, too, comes to fore the probability of the invasion of the Philippines by gangsters, racketeers plus members of dangerous syndicates associated with big gambling from different countries of the world.


Vice Mayor Isko Moreno shows his stained hands to mediamen yesterday after he and five political allies had their fingerprints taken at Police Station 3 in Sta. Cruz, Manila following their arrest on illegal gambling charges. (Michael Varcas
But this week the big scandal is a bunch of politicians in Manila being arrested for illegal gambling. Of course, they were later released for "insufficient evidence"...

So whose money was being used? Ah, you'll never find that out, because of the strict libel laws here, and the practice of "eliminating" whistleblowers.

But hey, it can happen even in the US, so don't point fingers: LINK 


Speaking of shooting: Did I tell you that last week, while Lolo was getting a facial, that we heard gunshots? Apparently, a security guard shot a woman. Something about the drug store lease being cancelled so that 711 could put a store there, and the pharmacy folks refused to move. I don't know the details, but the woman was taken to the hospital, but apparantly not hurt badly, and I haven't found the story in the press.

Update: DraAngi said that the woman was killed but that there was no publicity about it because...well it sounded like someone didn't want the publicity. She left an orphaned child.

Stories below the fold

Frontpage magazine has an expose on the crimes of Fidel Castro.
Ignored by the MSM, of course, because he is a communist his heart is pure and only was trying to help his people.

As a doc, I was aware that he put HIV positive people in concentration camps, but no one cared because most of them were heterosexuals who caught it soldiering in Africa.

What, you didn't know the story of how Castro's soldiers kept the corrupt minority tribe regieme in power in Angola (so that the oil companies could steal their oil)? Well, if you heard of it, it only might be because the "evil" south Africa supported the majority tribes (UNITA) against the communists. The press condemning their SA boogeyman usually ignored Castro's part in the civil war, even though Chevron, not the locals, were the big winners. The country is still a corrupt mess, although Castro's mercenaries have left.
Wikipedia article (for what it's worth) HERE.

Movie trivia: What movie had a major character who was one of Castro's soldiers?

The Gods must be crazy number two.


Fashion suggestion for the day

TeaAtTrianon has a hairdo suggestion for your next party: forget the beehive hairdoo...try a pouf:

see article at Historyandotherthoughtsblog:

This is one fashion extreme not yet worn by Lady Gaga.

Speaking of LadyGaga: I read somewhere she now has Lupus. Nasty disease, although now there is treatment for it. In our prayers.

More Lenten suggestions

Tired of eating crickets and 'gators?

Try these instead:

Barnacle goose, Muscrat, Beaver, or Capybara...

Most country folk in Appalachia know recipes for the first two but FYI: Capybara recipes can be found HERE.

Capybara meat makes excellent jerky, and is frequently sold in dried form. This dried meat is often used shredded in recipes like black bean soup.
It is also consumed in sushi. The meat, either raw or slightly steamed, is rinsed in a vinegar and salt mixture and rolled in sticky rice with a seaweed covering just like fish would be.
Raw capybara can be marinated before cooking using the same sort of spices you would for either pork or chicken.


Since they live in wet-lands, the Catholic church, via special dispensation, classified them as "fish" when consuming meat on Fridays was still forbidden by the church.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Stuff in the past

TeaAtTrianon links to This WSJ article discusses a modern hairdresser who does old fashioned hairdoos: From the ancient world...


 Google Earth vs North Korea.

...Thus we know of the palatial estates of the North Korean rulers and recreational facilities closed to all but the elite. There are also extensive and detailed photos of military sites, as well as the network of prison work camps holding at least one percent of the population. This is causing the North Korean rulers image problems at home and abroad. 

how good is google Earth? well, we live in a pretty unimportant spot in the rural Philippines, but if you google for the town square, that's us half a block away...

answering the really important religious questions:

Can I eat insects on Fridays?

Father Z replies:
Yes, Mr. Reinfield, they are not counted as meat products.  You may eat all the bugs you can find, also on Fridays!

OK: one dish of cricket adobo, coming up.

--and no, I don't eat it, but Lolo does....

and if you live in New Orleans, you can eat alligators on Fridays in lent too...and Father Z posted this for your grocery list:


Want to visit Julia's balcony in Verona?

well, Juliet is a fictional character, but hey, for money they made it up.

and yes, I've seen the movie (and duuh...two folks who had little in common in the first place now rediscover their lost love? I give them two months before they split...)

But if you are more romantic, and want to watch a "three handkerchief" romantic movie, hey, you can find it on Youtube.


An economic summary of Middle Earth;s economy hitting the financial cliff.

yes, it's a satire.



Deacon Bill Steltemeir, the craggy faced good old boy southern lawyer who helped Mother Angelica develop EWTN has died. Rest in Peace.


Science article of the day: The Physics of Sunsets

Black lamb grey falcon

Rebecca West traveled through Yugoslavia before World War II, and wrote a book about it, Black Lamb Grey Falcon.

I was looking for the book on line, and found that the way back machine of Atlantic magazine has it there in five parts (each with several pages) in case you want to read about a part of Europe that rarely gets mentioned in "european history" books.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Factoid of the day

 JRR was V.S. Naipaul's tutor, when the latter studied English literature at Oxford.

It was found Deep in the comment section of a post from mentalfloss on ten things you might not know about Tolkien. (most of which I already knew).

in this book review of Naipul's biography it mentions Tolkien praised his paper on Anglo Saxon.
also see HERE.

essay part one on Tolkien's dwarves on Thorinoakenshield blog.

Router problem fixed!

Chano fixed the wire to the wireless router two days ago, but I still couldn't get on line. After many tries (by both of us) I finally got it reconnected (new password and ip address needed).


Answering the really important questions of the day

If Downton Abby folks came to the US, would they have vacationed in Newport?

TeaAtTrianon discusses Peter the Roman: Not the end of the world, or end of the church, but the end of an age.


Geordi Redux: FDA okays implant for those with retinal (eye) disease. 
The device, made by privately held Second Sight Medical Products Inc of Sylmar, California, is intended to replace the function of light-sensing cells in the retina destroyed by retinitis pigmentosa, an inherited degenerative disease that affects about 100,000 people nationwide.

but it's a lot smaller than Geordi's wrap around glasses...presumably he lost the globe of the eye. Since the backstory says he was "born blind"...most kids born blind have congenital cataracts, most blindness in children are because they lose the globe from infection or injury, or they could be blind from problems of the retina, but it is rare to have a child born without an eye..., one has to presume he was born with the very rare problem of  micro-ophthalmia or agenesis of the globe of the eye...if so, this explains the wrap around glasses, since these kids often have a smaller "orbit", i.e. the eye socket is smaller than usual...

Caelum et Terra usually has radical essays a la the Chesterton/Dorothy Day branch of the church, but today I notice an article on a faith healing "catholic" "surgeon" (who asks for oodles of money to see patients, which makes them sceptical about his religion.)

Cleveland magazine is more sceptical, and it sounds like a scam to me. If he is a physician in a pain clinic, then $250 for a comprehensive consultation (physical exam, evaluations of history, x rays, previous treatment etc) in his office is not high, but 95 dollars to attend a meeting as a faith healer is a bit on the high side......

Giant Ferris wheels around the world

Well, when this one, not the tower bridge, is the latest landmark for London, you know ferris wheels are in...


Podcasts and other stuff below the fold

NewBooks in History reviews a new book about the 14 million Germans forcibly deplaced after WWII...


Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, The by Blasco Ibáñez, Vicente

no, not the biblical ones: This is an old classic about an Argentine family before WWI

Book of Divine Consolation of the Blessed Angela of Foligno, The by Angela of Foligno, Blessed
Sounds impressive enough to put you to sleep. Reminds me of the quip by (Catholic publisher) Frank Sheed, when asked how to define a saint, answered: An Italian virgin.

Captives of the Flame by Delany, Samuel R.
Sci fi classic

My Lady Ludlow by Gaskell, Elizabeth Cleghorn
19th century novelist who wrote about England

Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving, An (Dramatic Reading) by Alcott, Louisa May
Alcott is too sweet for my tastes: however, considering that she had an abusive father and nursed in the Civil war, I guess she was writing what she wanted things to be, not things she actually saw.

Full List of Alcott's audiobooks HERE.


Instapundit links to an article on why the Left is down on Downton abby.
Well aside from the fact that the family who actually lived at the house were a lot more risque than those in the film (Howard Carter and family), the left will be pleased that an attempted homosexual rape in the third season is covered up by the master of the house, who even orders a third staffmember who witnessed it to stay quiet about it, since "no harm done"...


Update: Did the pope get the shaft for trying to clean up the Vatican Bank?
Evidence suggests the outgoing pope sought to shed light on the dark Vatican books, but that effort yielded even more controversy.
 But, like the pedophile scandal that he fought to stop, he is getting blamed by many in the press for the scandals that he is actually trying to root them out.

best comment:
Didn't they show Benedict Godfather III BEFORE accepting the job?


The WAGD post of the day

well, the big meteor didn't hit us, but a smaller one injured some folks in Russia

The Russian Academy of Sciences estimated that the meteor weighed around 10 tons and was traveling at 10 to 12 miles per second (roughly 30,000 to 45,000 mph) when it disintegrated.
Searchers found a circular hole in the ice, 15 to 20 feet across, in a lake west of Chelyabinsk, and roped it off.
and I presumed everyone had their cellphones with them, but apparently not:
Many of the videos were from dashboard cameras that many Russians use to document accidents.

Friday, February 15, 2013

various stuff below the fold

Yesterday was Valentine's day, and Chano's birthday, so we had a party last night.

If they ever post some photos I'll cross post some here.

Today they went to Manila to deliver rice and do some meetings, so we are alone here (along with 9 dogs, two puppies, and 8 staff members).

I'm catching up with two days of internet rss feeds and podcasts since the router still won't let my computer talk with the modem.

Those of you who are "fuzzy warm"spirituality type catholics might like this one: Pray as you go has a Lenten Retreat...

no, I haven't listened to it yet: Not only won't my computer get on line (router problem? Wrong Address?) but now my MP3 player died...I was doing a software update on it and we got an unannouced brownout in the midst of the update....Now it won't even connect with the computer. Sigh.

Yes, I have another Mp3 player: It's a cheap one that won't let you shuffle etc so I have it programed with music. The good one I use for podcasts etc.

The Ash placed on the head of Catholics is to remind them they will die one of these days.
boring sermon moved to BNN.


TeaAtTrianon links to a screed on a Fox site that insists the actions of the Concordia, where women and children were not rescued first, proves that chivalry is dead.

Actually, that made a good story, but the western press missed the real story: that many crewmembers delayed their own rescues to help others. This is from a Filipino site.Lokalo:original story is from GMA ON LINE:

Following the incident, some of the Costa Concordia’s foreign passengers shared their experience to the media, highlighting the Filipino crew’s effort to make sure they made it out safe.
“A French passenger said, ‘Those who helped us were cooks and stewardesses, all Filipinos. They roped themselves together to help us get down to the lifeboats. We were able to get in at the last moment,’” the statement read.

and one intrepid Pinoy took this with his cellphone ....

As he helped out, Cartago also videotaped his Filipino colleagues—mostly cooks, dishwashers, and waiters—as they ran around, searching every nook and cranny to make sure that nobody was left behind the ship. Some of the poignant moments in the video include a Filipino cook running to the altar and making a sign of the cross, two Filipinos helping a limping colleague walk, and Filipinos letting the foreign passengers get out of the ship first.
Ah, but never let reality stand in the way of a good story, especially if the heroes are the "invisible men" of the world: our OFW's...

Irish blessings for lent here.

Blessing for Lent
Merciful God, you called us forth from the dust of the earth;
you claimed us for Christ in the waters of baptism.
Look upon us as we enter these Forty Days bearing the mark of ashes,
and bless our journey through the desert of Lent to the font of rebirth.
May our fasting be hunger for justice;
our alms, a making of peace;
our prayer, the chant of humble and grateful hearts.
All that we do and pray is in the name of Jesus.
For in his cross you proclaim your love for ever and ever.
From Catholic Household Blessings and Prayers

Photo Credit: Catholic Herald

Prof Podles who has written investigations of sexual abuse discusses Benedict XV and his resignation...he has an interesting take on the power of the papacy, saying that he isn't a dictator, but only changes thing with the consent of the bishops and laity.
Key item in the article, about sexual abuse is here:
. Benedict has done more that any pope in centuries (probably since Pius V) to end sexual abuse in the Church. He has not done enough, but he has done more than most bishops, priests, and even laity want...

 Yeah: reminds me of Boston, where the worst abuser was a charismatic and popular "street priest" who was the idol of the liberal types.

For later reading:
SEARCHING FOR CONSCIOUSNESS IN AN INJURED BRAIN. “We began to see patients who looked like they were vegetative, but they weren’t. . . . They were beginning to show responsiveness, they were sort of breaking the rules.”

Yeah. I've had a lot of patients who had fancy neurologists declare they were "vegetative" and should be starved to death, yet they could see and recognize family and staff and enjoyed TV and baths etc. But our stories of this were usually ignored.

from wired via instapundit:-

Ancient standard has more on Richard III's wedding.

And they ridicule the hillbillies for marrying relatives...

and Congratulations to Professor Mary Beard, who is the Oldie's pinup of the year.
She was branded ‘too ugly for TV’ and subjected to vicious trolling about everything from her hair to her teeth.
But yesterday Professor Mary Beard had the last laugh when she accepted The Oldie magazine’s Pin-Up Of The Year award....
The professor of classics at Cambridge University, presenter of BBC2’s Meet The Romans, said it has been ‘stressful’ coming under attack from online bullies, ‘to a very large extent, women’.
But Professor Beard, a married mother of two, said the advantage of being 58 was that she felt able to stand up to her critics.

and the series is on line HERE.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

The election is on

And it's time for the poor to get some cash

According to Harvey Keh of Kaya Natin!, large amounts of money change hands in this subversion of the electoral process. Individuals are paid up to P2,000 while families are paid up to P10,000 for their vote. Additionally, if several candidates try to buy an individual's vote, that individual can be paid as much as P5,000 in total.

Factoid of the day

From Improbable research:

Kansas is flatter than a pancake.

Love of money is the root of all evil

The (progressive/business oriented) Manila Bulletin claims the pope is resigning over 30 million dollars of money laundering in the Vatican Bank.

Uh, fellahs, even Wikipedia notes that this "Scandal" is not news.

The Vatican bank scandal has been around since the 1970's, and a few people have been murdered trying to cover it up.(print Masonic conspiracy theory here)... But 30 million dollars? That is nothing in the world of big business finance.

The Vatican Bank started with Mussolini's money settlement for Giribaldi stealing the Vatican states and making them part of Italy. It would be nice if they got rid of the bank, but institutions need investments to live off the income in today's worlds (In the same way that medieval monasteries ran poor houses, hospitals and schools from the income of land donated to them by dying rich sinners)...These things go in cycles, so expect another cleanup. The good news is that the church will throw out the bums and start again much poorer. The bad news is that the money will end up in someone else's pockets (e.g. Henry VIII gave his supporters all those lovely monastery buildings and land. Downton abby was stolen, and the ones who suffered were the local poor).

The "Masonic" conspiracy theories have some validity here: also see this book by David Yallop

and Godfather III has the ongoing scandals as a sideplot/

A side note: Andrew Greeley (in a novel) says that the Chicago Polish America bishop was the fall guy for the scandal because he was naive. (Greeley's R rated novels include a lot of church scandals in fictional form. The difference is that he always includes good guys in the novels, which the "ain't it awful" folks never do).

Ah, but it isn't just someone in the Vatican Bank who is laundering money: just ignore the billions laundered by other banks who got only a slap on the wrist.

SpiritDaily's take on the matter (writer is an environmental reporter who got religion)

From USAToday:
NEW YORK — British banking giant HSBC agreed to pay a record $1.92 billion settlement Tuesday after a broad investigation by U.S. federal and state authorities found the bank violated federal laws by laundering money from Mexican drug trafficking and processing banned transactions on behalf of Iran, Libya, Sudan and Burma .

That's the fine, not how much they laundered...

Since 2009, foreign banks with U.S. arms, including Credit Suisse, Barclays and Lloyds, have made payments to settle allegations they moved money for people or companies that were on a U.S. sanctions list. Because these banks had U.S. subsidiaries, they are subject to U.S. laws and regulations.
Both scandals have been discussed on C2CAM in the past, both the vatican/Catholic carelessness with your money, and the. 2012 on the bank scandal.... The church has the excuse that some are naive about the evil in the world, and just don't see evil, but what is the excuse of the federal regulators whose job it is to notice such things, and then settling with the bank instead of jailing the culprits?

Ah, it's nice to be the king: from Global research
The total fine of $1.9 billion (i.e. the fine against the bank) is only 8.6 percent of the $22 billion profit the bank recorded in 2011, and is likely less than the profits HSBC made over many years serving as the main financial conduit for Mexican drug lords, including the Sialoa Cartel.
More from Democracy NOW, some more figures

This is one issue where the tea party and the Occupy movement agree...

And if you really are into conspiracy theories, explain why Malachy Martin, Andrew Greeley, and Hillary Clinton all had simple falls and developed subdural hematomas that put them out of the action (Martin died, Greeley is still incapacitated, and Hillary was out of it for awhile and hasn't fully recovered)....