Thursday, May 30, 2013

Factoid of the day

So what did they use before the invention of the paper clip?

Straight pins...and this article discusses pins, pinholes and original manuscripts.

more HERE.

and HERE (PDF)

and HERE.

so what about safety pins?

They are descended from the ancient "fibula" brooch, used to hold clothing in place, but the modern safety pin was only invented in 1849.

Depressing Stuff around the net

Archbishop Chaput warns about threats to religious freedom. For later reading.


Instapundit quipped:
VATICAN: 100,000 Christians Killed For Faith Each Year. Will a new version of the Knights Templar arise?

I don't know about the Knights Templar, but the MadMonarchist has this article on the Knights of Malta's role in running hospitals and protecting pilgrims.(headsup TeaAtTrianon)

They still work today, running charities for example working with lepers in Africa.


David Warren asks: who should the US help: Al Qaeda or Hezbollah (and the radicals in Iran)?

Turtlebay Blog watches the elite international community pushing a culture of death, in case you want to know the mentality behind why the cash poor Philippines was bullied into passing a law for docs to push free contraception while one third of women deliver babies without a trained midwife.

Family news

Internet continues to go off and on, mainly off during the day (thunderstorms and rolling browouts).

the minute I get something to post, the connection dies. so posting will be light.

Chano and family still at a meeting.

The rest of us are fine.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Family news

Chano is still at the meeting, and he took the family along.

I bought a large sack of dogfood and Lolo's medicines at the Palenke.

The internet has gone off and on several times so far, so I guess I won't be blogging today.

Monday, May 27, 2013

After hitting the wrong link on the internet

Factoid of the day

awhile back, I noted that the first Asian use of the number zero was traced to Cambodia.

ah, but did you know that the Mayans developed the idea independently?

they used a system based on 20, not ten.

more HERE.

however, although they had a physical representation for zero, they didn't use it in equations.

more on the history of zero HERE.

Stuff around the net

the One Ring Net has  tee shirts on sale.

they also have a "may the dwarves be with you" teeshirt.

Dustbury notes that the IRS site for refund questions is off line this weekend.

I checked, and yup it is:

Where's My Refund - It's Quick, Easy and Secure.

Planned Outage: May 23 — May 28, 2013
This service will be unavailable beginning approximately 7:00 p.m. ET on Thursday, May 23, 2013 until approximately 5:00 a.m. ET on Tuesday, May 28, 2013, due to several factors, including scheduled maintenance.

"several factors"? what does that mean? Dustbury has included a top ten list of why:

  1. IRS accidentally got put on the Sequester List
  2. All the field agents’ cars ran out of gas at about the same time
  3. Joe Biden’s doing some replanting, if you know what I mean
  4. Cost of buying votes unexpectedly rose 4.5% this year
  5. Nobody remembers who was supposed to renew domain
  6. Congressional health plan expanded to include polygraph tests
  7. Had to cover Antonio Villaraigosa’s unemployment check
  8. Eric Holder had to subpoena himself, causing an endless loop in government computers
  9. Tim Geithner’s late with his payment again
  10. Hey, them drones ain’t cheap


For later reading because it comes in several parts:

Father L links to an older series of posts on Frodo Baggins...


Also book marked for later reading: David Warren's essay on the Pope who actually talks about the devil in plain language.

this might explain why the "scientific" Christianity and the social work-Catholicism of post Vatican II is being left behind while the Pentecostals surge in Latin America, Africa and Asia...


Insomnia download of the day: History of Russia.


Your tax dollars at work: There is a shortage of INH, one of the basic Tuberculosis drugs...

USN has a report here.
more HERE.

Update: apparently the only FDA approved source of the basic ingredient needed to manufacture it came from Japan and that plant shut down from the tsunami. However, you can still get INH in Europe and everywhere else: it's just not FDA approved.


Sunday, May 26, 2013

Musical Interlude of the day


headsup Dymphna's road

Your tax dollars at work

Ben's Guide has a list of government web sites for kids.

  a few random sites from the "science" section:
and for your future spies try one of these:


Family news

Chano has taken Joy's parents home to their farm in Bulacan, along with family, so we are holding down the fort.

Internet was off from Sat evening til noon Sunday: Probably they were fixing the line.

Now it works fine, but I was too busy to get on earlier and now it's threatening a thunderstorm so I don't dare keep the computer connected. Yes, I have a surge control, but I don't trust it: When Angel had puppies, I left the computer hooked up and after the second puppy I left and found the thunderstorm surge had given me a "blue screen of death" as a present. Sigh.

The good new: Not major brownouts here, unlike Manila.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Factoid of the day

I am reading the Victorian era Amelia Peabody series of mysteries, and she not only carries a parasol but has a stiff leather belt from which hang various objects.
Her other famous accessory is her belt, later partially replaced with a vest with many pockets. It contains: "Pistol and knife, canteen, bottle of brandy, candle and matches in a waterproof box, notebook and pencil, needle and thread, compass, scissors, first-aid kit and a coil of stout cord (useful for tying up captured enemies)."

And (via Neatorama), 

Collector's weekly has an article on the Chatelaine,
Like a customized Swiss Army knife, a chatelaine provided its wearer with exactly the tools she needed closest at hand. For an avid seamstress, that might include a needle case, thimble, and tape measure, while for an active nurse it might mean a thermometer and safety pins. Inspired by the complex key rings carried by “la chatelaine,” the female head of a grand French estate, these beautiful little contraptions were as fashionable as they were practical. In fact, their design was sometimes so trendy that style trumped usefulness.

Family news

I'm still sick with a very bad cold, as is Joy.

Ruby and her church's youth group are taking a trip to Zambales.

Lolo is okay.

stuff from around the internet

a very nice article about the Franciscans working in the slums of Rio

the "noble Savage" doesn't exist. Pass the word...

Ha. Manila is the location for The Gates of Hell, according to Dan Brown.
Actually, I thought it should be Goma, which has a volcano nearby, but never mind.

Yes, Christ's grace can save Atheists....Father Z parses the Italian...

Factoid of the day

IdleSpeculations blog points out that Norman Rockwell's picture of Rosie the Riviter is posed similar to that of Isaiah in the Sistine Chapel: website has the two pictures side by side:

the history of Rosie from the library of congress.

;becaause of copyright issues (Rockwell's picture was on the front of the Saturday Evening Post) usually the "war bond" version of Rosie is more famous...

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Family news

Both Joy and I have some kind of the flu, so blogging will be light.

Factoid of the day

You know about the Hound of the Baskervilles,

but do you know about the "Typeface" of the Baskerville?

more HERE

 Baskerville used his new typeface and printer to make a beautiful Bible, which is ironic since he was an atheist.

he had to redesign the printer to get the letters crisp and clear,
And EnglishHistorical FictionBlog discusses his career, and the wanderings of his corpse...

and it is not known why the Sherlock Holmes used his name for the story, but if you want to listen  to it, you can download it from Archives

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Your tax dollars at work

NASA funds 3D pizza printer.

So a future Captain Kirk will be able to eat pizza

jounolist? We don't need no stinkin' journolist

Instapundit quips:

JOURN-O-LIST CAVALRY TO THE RESCUE! Spotted: @joshtpm @CapehartJ @ezraklein & other lefty columnists headed into the West Wing as a group. POTUS coffee? Carney meeting? Anyone?
Watch for even-more-unified weaponized Administration-excusing talking points, coming soon to a publication near you!
Posted at 4:19 pm by Glenn Reynolds
he's a libertarian, so has lots of tea party photos too...

FYI: The tea party is libertarian, of small business entrepeneurs, not the KKK or even the religious conservatives. But don't expect the press to notice.

Mollie from GetReligion (a blog on religious reporting) has this article at IR:

How to be a lousy journalist for fun and profit.

Remember Your Job Is to Advance Narratives, Not Report Facts

related item:

And PJMedia say the backstory of Benghazi is not about shipping missiles to Syria, but the CIA trying getting them back from Alqaeda after the state department let them get them. And yes, the military was told to "stand down"...

Factoid of the day

 was the oldest Zero written down in a Cambodian artifact from 683 AD?

Inscription K-127, from Sambor on Mekong. Photo Credit: Debra Gross Aczel

The history of "zero", why it is important.

Attention conspiracy buffs

Did a cosmic impact cause the temporary stop of global warming 12000 years ago and help kill off the mammoths?
About 12,000 years before the Younger Dryas, the Earth was at the Last Glacial Maximum – the peak of the Ice Age. Millennia passed, and the climate began to warm. Then something happened that caused temperatures to suddenly reverse course, bringing about a century’s worth of near-glacial climate that marked the start of the geologically brief Younger Dryas.
theory has been around for awhile, and this short termed "swing" of climate has been postulated as the reason man started farming...


Yes, 'climate change" is to blame for the tornado, says Mom Jones....

of course, LAST year "climate change" was blamed for the lack of tornadoes... change".
(the reason it is now called "climate change" is because it stopped warming over a decade ago... and as Drudge points out, thirty years ago, tornadoes were blamed on global cooling.

Because they never had tornadoes in Tornado alley in the past.

 Surrender, Dorothy!

Ironically, I think that pollution and degradation of the environment is a major problem but when someone says "global warming" or climate change, what they imply is that we should implement another agenda, run by experts, of course...


if you like Alex Jones, why not find the real thing?

 Carroll Quigley's stuff has been posted on Internet archives. and no, he isn't a weirdo, but Bill Clinton's professor at Georgetown.

 includes the Anglo American establishment:


Quigley exposes the secret society's established in London in 1891, by Cecil Rhodes. Quigley explains how these men worked in union to begin their society to control the world. He explains how all the wars from that time were deliberately created to control the economies of all the nations.


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Musical Interlude of the day


or this one

Rembrant flash mob


Headsup Briansibley

Hate speech against those needing help


what is worse is that 52 people retweeted it, and over 20 marked it as their favorite.

She has since "apologized"...after being caught by the right wing blogosphere.

but as the BMJ (link posted earlier) notes: one shouldn't criticize those who suggest killing babies: they should be allowed to propose such things under the guise of academic freedom:
The real problem is the fact that some stupid ordinary people get mad at them and threaten them...
Describing support for infanticide as ‘madness’ is problematic because it appears to fail to respect the serious arguments being put forward by our opponents (italics mine)...
Furthermore, though clearly not as egregious as the inexcusable death threats and other hate speech, describing our opponents in this way allows the focus to shift away from their actual arguments

In a world where learned academics support killing infants (and adults with Alzheimers)  why is Ms. W's "tweet" so terrible?

maybe because ordinary people love their children? And because most of us mourn children whose lives are taken from them?


State Medical Examiner: 37 People Dead, Death Toll Expected To Rise

View Comments
MOORE, Okla. (CBS Houston/AP) — A monstrous tornado at least a half-mile wide roared through the Oklahoma City suburbs Monday, flattening entire neighborhoods with winds up to 200 mph, setting buildings on fire and landing a direct blow on an elementary school. At least 37 people were reported killed.

KFOR-TV reports that up to 24 children are believed dead at the Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore and that it has turned into a search and recovery effort. The storm tore off the roof, knocked down walls and turned the playground into a mass of twisted plastic and metal. Several children were pulled alive from the rubble, however. Rescue workers passed the survivors down a human chain to a triage center in the parking lot.
At least seven of the children drowned after being found at the bottom of a pool at Plaza Towers, according to KFOR.
The storm laid waste to scores of buildings in Moore, south of the city. Block after block of the community lay in ruins. Homes were crushed into piles of broken wood. Cars and trucks were left crumpled on the roadside.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

In our prayers

My patients in Oklahoma have been hit by tornadoes. The severe weather in the midwest is continuing for the second day.

and no, it is not due to global warming: It is normal weather in tornado alley...

the problem is that the funnels can appear before the radio announces it...we used to keep an eye on the weather channel maps (usually the local stations kept the maps in the corner of the programs) to know if we were in the danger zone, but the joke is that in small towns and rural areas, you just go outside and look for funnels, while you get the kids in the shelter.

Our house was brick, but not good enough for a larger tornado: the public shelter was downtown three blocks away, and the ground water meant we didn't have a basement, but Lolo was slow, so the neighbors left us hide in theirs, along with six kids, three women, two dogs and a cat, while I stood out at the entrance with the three husbands. Quite scary, sinceit was hailing and raining and we couldn't even see across the street.

all of a sudden, in the hail storm the sky/air turned green, and we heard a noise, and closed the door; a minute later the hail had stopped and it was only lightly raining. The smallish tornado hit half a mile up the street, luckily missing the high school and the hospital. But the very huge tornadoes are too large to "see": they can be half a mile wide.

Ironically the only tornado I ever "saw" was while with the National Guard in North Dakota, where we watched one form, and we busy taking photos when the local NG chased us into the shelter. Why weren't we in the shelter? Because no one told us where it was, so we figured to stay in the clinic's inner corrider....No, that one didn't touch ground.

The ground water problem keeps a lot of folks from having a basement, so the shelter is a concrete box in the ground. If you are rich, you can build a "safe room", but the average safe room costs more than what I paid for my home...

last night, I was keeping an eye on the reports on FreeRepublic, who has "real time" reports from the right wing freepers.

The folks in Oklahoma, Texas and Kansas and the other states hit by the supercells are in our prayers, especially the families of the schoolkids killed or injured in Moore OK...

Monday, May 20, 2013

Insomnia download of the day

Quick, before the copyright cops find it:

Someone put some of the Percy Jackson audiobooks on youtube.

Factoids of the day

Starts with a bang blog has a nice article on earthquakes that includes this factoid:

Well, guess what we notice about the Earth after each-and-every measurable earthquake?
By just the smallest of amounts, the rotational period of a day shortens. For example, the 2011 Japan earthquake (including aftershocks) shortened the day by 1.8 microseconds, the 2010 Chile earthquake shortened the day by 1.26 microseconds, and the 2004 Sumatra quake shortened the day by an astounding 6.8 microseconds!

These are tiny numbers, of course, considering that we lose about 14 microseconds from the 24-hour-day each year just due to tidal friction from the Moon-Earth-Sun system,

Welcome to the culture of death

The BMJ has an entire issue discussing infanticide.

There are a few with fuzzy arguments why this is wrong.

None seem to have a religious argument (such as "Well, the Lord God said it was a no no to kill your babies" (this one dismisses religion as being against "questioning" things, therefore we need to discard all religious arguments, and then dismisses what he thinks their arguments are, not what religions actually believe.)

"Every murder or other injury, no matter for what cause, committed or inflicted on another is a crime against humanity."

of course, they use a "hat trick" by redefining murder as the killing of a person, and then redefine who is a person according to their own ideas.

The problem? Who died and made them king? Why do we allow these people the "right" to remove the right to live from huge segments of humanity?

Hannah Arendt in her book Eichman in Jerusalem actually predicted this would happen, that in the future experts will devise criterias for personhood and then arrange to kill those who don't meet the criteria.


all of this reminds me of this song:

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Lectures of the week

Harvard has several lectures by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, about technology and culture of New England women at the time of the revolution.

Her books include a lot of information on a woman's work in the economics of those days, and a book on Margaret Ballard, a local midwife, which was made into a PBS film.

alas, they are only "streaming" video, which is hard for us when the internet is acting up.

For those who are visually handicapped, a "Daisy" book can be downloaded from internet archives LINK

A Vimeo lecture can be found HERE.

and a google talk can be found HERE.

Yes I've read the book in the past, and one of the books I brought with me here was the age of Homespun, which is more about what women had to do in those days...

Nano Flowers

Image courtesy Laura Hendriks and Wim Noorduin

Image courtesy Wim Noorduin

Image courtesy Wim Noorduin

  Image courtesy Wim Noorduin 
from Nat geo

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Cat item of the day

Toxel links to SushiCats.

Stuff around the web: where are the families?

There is a podcast about CSLewis HERE.
discussing the abolition of men essay. I haven't listened to the podcast yet, but the essay laments the loss of the TAO, or the way morality and wisdom is ignored in the modern educational system.

Lewis is important, but I find his essays superficial in some ways, because he does not include in them any hint about the importance of family: the academic ideas are what matter...
And this is found in his fiction too: So at the end of Narnia I, the kids are (unmarried) kings and queens of Narnia who hunt the white stag.

Contrast with Tolkien, where the LOTR ends with Sam coming back to Rosie and his kids.


The Pope speaks of the "gentrification" of the heart, and urges the self satisfied to get off their tushies and help the poor.
Pope Francis warned against “gentrification of the heart” as a consequence of comfortable living, and called on the faithful to “touch the flesh of Christ” by caring for the needy.
As an ex-missionary, I sometimes want to shake comfortable people and tell them to look around and notice the poor too, but ironically, in my practice of medicine, I see another picture: a lot of people care for the "needy" by quietly caring for their own families....and a lot of these "comfortable" people care for children, the elderly, neighbors, with little notice or applause.

According to estimates from the National Alliance for Caregiving, during the past year, 65.7 million Americans (or 29 % of the adult U.S. adult population involving 31 percent of all U.S. households) served as family caregivers for an ill or disabled relative.
and that statistic doesn't include busy mothers...

and one thing I fault the Post Vatican II church for is because it lauds "charity work" as the way to heaven, but ignores becoming holy in the duty of our daily lives (See Theresa's "little way", which was popular before the Vatican council).

Making a life, making a living, making a difference.

Again, fine, but ignores family life as a source of meaning. I am reminded of one lady humorist who wondered why, in the post feminist world, working eight hours a day at a department store is supposed to be more meaningful than raising kids...

Open sex is destroying eroticism?

Uh, sex is not about eroticism, but about expressing in one's "lovemaking" the care for the other at a deeper depth, and of course, it is about babies. Without noticing the disconnect, you make it merely something that is fun but lacking humanity....

Discussing sex without noticing babies (or noticing how many of the girls end up with abortions, end up becoming single moms, or end up with a nasty STD) is ignoring reality.


ComeAwaywithme has lovely photos.
and this reminder:
Every child comes with the message
that God is not yet discouraged of man.
~Rabindranath Tagore


Friday, May 17, 2013

Stuff below the fold

I don't like Zombie movies, but Ruby got me the film warm bodies, where a zombie wants to learn to communicate with other people... and ends up falling in love and becoming human again.

But lots of small digs at modern society: Here, at 1:42, there is a five second memory of the past, talking about how people used to connect with other people (but actually shows a lot of people, all texting and ignoring everyone around them). Ha.

Why did little boys in the olden days wear skirts/dresses until age 3 or 4? No zippers.
  TeaAtTrianon links to this article:

From the Pragmatic Costumer:
In 17th century Europe, the sight of a little boy in a fluffy pink skirt wouldn’t have been frowned on in the least. Boys wore skirts from the time they could walk until the age of 6 or 7. Since zippers and elastic were centuries in the future, a 17th century mom couldn’t just slip a pair of pants over her squirming toddler’s legs. Breeches required buttons and buckles to hold them in place: two nimble, dexterous activities that toddler hands cannot perform on their own. Until a boy was considered mature and independent enough to handle his own dressing, he wore skirts.
UKTelegraph has an article about the Dambusters raid.

Lots of folks lament the firebombing of Dresden and Tokyo but don't think drowning a  lot of steel workers and their families was bad.

On the other hand, the peaceniks tend to ignore the huge numbers of civilians killed by departing Japanese troops in revenge when they abandoned Manila, which probably killed more people than the Atomic bombings of Japan. Why? Because it wasn't done by the USA?

Speaking of atrocities: A new Pinoy film on the Bataan death march is being presented at the Canne film festival. This quip about modern movies says it all:

Shot against hand-painted backdrops, with visceral close-ups of the actors’ faces, ‘Death March’ will be up against the likes of Sofia Coppola’s ‘The Bling Ring’ at Cannes this year.
Yes, another belly button gazing film about Hollywood that glamourizes thieves: what else is new?

TeaAtTrianon also links to an article why the Pope doesn't give out communion: too many notorious and unrepentant sinners would take a photo of it, implying he approved of them, and Pope Francis doesn't want them to use it as a photo op.

So why not just refuse them the sacrament?  Because one doesn't know if the person repented

 Yes. Reminds me of the murderous ex mayor standing up in front of church with the VIPs when the bishop came here for the fiesta. When Chona brought up her donation, she turned around and saw him and spontaneously shook her fist in his face and said loudly "you, YOU!" before returning to her seat.

The scandal made the bishop hold a mass before the next election,where he demanded all those running for office to vow they wouldn't murder each other.

Sigh. It didn't keep his daughter from buying winning this years' election.

in a related item, several news stories claim the Catholics are losing power because the bishop's pro life candidates didn't win. Nonsense. It just means the catholics didn't buy enough votes. Just ignore all that  lovely money being passed out.

Old Lefty Archbishop Cruz (ret) writes:

It was no secret that a big amount of money changed hands on the occasion of yesterday’s election, while it is true that Philippine elections and money continue and persist as a ground reality paring, from all tri-media accounts, this time around, very much more money made the rounds on the occasion of the last political event. There can be various explanations for such an anomaly: those running for election had so much money to buy votes with. The voters sold their votes because of their abject poverty if not downright misery...

yeah. When they're all crooks, why not just vote for the one who actually helps you with a bribe?


We used to fish (legally) at the Quabbin reservoir, and it's pretty huge.
It has an aggregate capacity of 412 billion US gallons (1.56 km3) and an area of 38.6 square miles (99.9 km²). 

 So I suspect this arrest is overkill.

and you will be happy to hear that they tested the water and didn't find any alien larvae.

Nigerian terrorists are getting arms and experience terrorists from the Arab Spring...Mali redux?

This is a potential war of religion,in an area where the Muslims were backed over the Christians in a previous civil war so that the west could get control of their oil,  but never mind. LINK2

much of the profit is stolen anyway...



Thursday, May 16, 2013

Cat item of the day

Scandal? what scandal?

One of the pundits' headlines said that Obama needed his own Drudge, to counteract the bad news.

Uh, isn't that why I keep receiving emails from the Democratic based cheerleaders?

the UKMail has the latest in the IRS scandal. Here are a few questions the IRS asked:

Three of the more than 90 questions the IRS posed to Linchpins of Liberty, including (#24) the demand for a list of everyone the organization had trained, or planned to train - all of whom would be students in college and high school

This is probably not new: Back in the anti war days under Nixon, demonstrators had their photos taken and put into a data base. I attended a religious retreat where a non violent protester (on bail) also attended, and the FBI was outside monitoring the event, which had nothing to do with politics. We took them some coffee...

and now there are rumors that ten million patients had their medical records stolen by the IRS? WTF...
IT personnel at the scene, a HIPPA facility warning on the building and the IT portion of the searched premises, and the company executives each warned the IRS agents of these privileged records," it continued. 
According to the case, the IRS agents had a search warrant for financial data pertaining to a former employee of the John Doe company, however, "it did not authorize any seizure of any healthcare or medical record of any persons, least of all third parties completely unrelated to the matter," the complaint read.    

Headsup from the very partisan Gateway pundit.

so why the fuss? As Canadian pundit David Warren quips:
My guess is that the IRS scandal is tops. Nothing could make the “average taxpayer,” in the very season of income tax returns, & with the nightmare of them freshly in memory, identify so viscerally with the IRS targets — with the tea-baggers & “patriots” & others of that ilk whom the Tax Department selected for persecution — nor infuriate him against Big Guvmint so comprehensively.


SciFi/Fantasy author Sara Hoyt writes that not all is lost."they" have the educational system, the mass media etc. but thanks to the internet, things are changing...

Read the whole thing. Via Instapundit


Prince Harry visited America, honors war veterans, and is now visiting New Jersey and the areas destroyed by last year's storm..


Here in the Philippines, vote buying and family dynasties are normal in politics (as is, alas, shooting one's opponants). So we just have to grit our teeth about the new Mayor, whose father ordered the hit that killed our nephew.

The new voting machines are supposed to stop the stuffed ballot boxes from being substituted, but are actually slowing the vote count.

But the Inquirer notes that the "young guns" may take over the Senate.
But young as they are, the fact that they represent old names in Philippine politics wasn’t lost on Angara and Aquino.

Insomnia download of the day

The Tale of the Genji is now at Librivox.

The bad news? It's a condensed version.

The Good news? It's a condensed version of 200 pages, not the entire 1000 page novel.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Stuff around the net

Minoans were probably related to neolithic farmers from Anatolia (Turkey) who migrated to Europe in the early bronze age/late neolithic age.
The findings suggest that the ancient Minoans were likely descended from a branch of agriculturalists in Anatolia (what is now modern-day Turkey and Iraq) that fanned out into Europe about 9,000 years ago. If so, the Minoans may have spoken a proto-Indo-European language derived from the one possibly spoken by those Anatolian farmers, the researchers speculate.
Knowing that the Minoan language has Indo-European roots could help archaeologists decipher a mysterious Minoan writing system, known as Linear A, Stamatoyannopoulos said.
The prevailing theories hold that Minoan was a separate language family.

attention, Downton Abbey fans:

Librivox has the audio for the Experience English Housekeeper.
English cooking at its best from eighteenth-century celebrity chef, Elizabeth Raffald. Born in Doncaster, Raffald worked for 15 years as housekeeper in great houses, including that of Lady Elisabeth Warburton at Arley Hall, Cheshire, before setting up as a confectioner and innkeeper in Manchester. The Experienced English Housekeeper was published in 1769 and ran to 13 editions.
if you prefer to read the book, check this link at Internetarchives.

A volcano 40 miles away from Mexico City is threatening to explode. Except for ash, that shouldn't be a problem for the Mexico city dweller.

follow up: LATimes on genetic breast cancer genes and Angelina Jolie.


from American Medical News: Regulation overload.

alas, the article is written in "technicalese", which is meaningless and even adverse to what docs actually do. It assumes the patient has a problem, and you solve it. Alas, most patients have many problems and often much of your time is spent talking about stuff you can't put into the coding machine, so when docs type out and fill in the blanks instead of talking to a patient as a human being, the patients get frustrated.

their answer: Hire a consultant.
Bollinger said small practices may want to consider hiring a consultant who is knowledgeable about the compliance piece and will stay informed of the necessary changes. Practice managers also can network with others facing the same challenges. This may mean partnering with local hospitals, other practices or outside organizations. She said online networking groups also can help.

and then there is this article:
The exercise in frustration is made worse by the work flow processes required by the nascent EHR systems, Dr. Stack said.
“Each element is selected by a series of clicks, double-clicks or even triple-clicks of the mouse,” he said. “Standardized language, not necessarily intuitive or ideal, is presented for all items being documented. Hunting, clicking and scrolling just to complete a simple history, physical exam is a tedious and time-wasting experience.”
first they replaced the high energy light bulbs with low energy light bulbs that contaminated everything with mercury when they broke.

Now the meme is to use LED lightbulbs that may make you blind.

Oh well: Back to candles and oil lamps. Then you only have to worry about the house burning down.

Everyday heroes:school kids in a race stopped to save a girl from drowning.

As they waited to cross the waist-high water, the pupils - led by Matt Hunt, 15 - spotted a girl from another team who had lost her footing and was being carried off downstream.

Max Alford, 15, quickly used his throw line to pull the stricken girl to safety. An air ambulance arrived to treat the girl, who has now recovered from her ordeal.

the Topless wonder

When the late Alice Roosevelt Longworth (the "bad girl" daughter of Teddy) had a double mastectomy for breast disease, she called herself the topless wonder.

In 1956, Alice discovered she had breast cancer. She underwent a mastectomy and it was success. In 1970, the cancer returned to the remaining breast and she had a second mastectomy. Taking it in her usual Alice stride, she said she was the only "topless octogenarian" in Washington.

and now, the headlines say that Angelina Jolie has had a double mastectomy because she carries a gene that gives her a very high risk for breast cancer.

Good for her. Too often these ladies instead get yearly MRI's and repeated biopsies and we still miss cases.

And another alternative, a drug that is touted to decrease their risk, does lower their risk but puts some women into a depression and results in a loss of libido.

I had one woman who was so bad her marriage was at risk: I told her to ask her husband if he would prefer a sexless marriage or a wife without boobs...

NYTimes article here.

it should be noted that the risk of breast cancer is 10 percent, and getting higher, probably because early pregnancy, many pregnancies and breast feeding protect you from breast cancer (and now, having ten kids is rare).

Having a close relative (mother, sister) with cancer increases your risk, but there is also a familial risk, where nearly every woman has had breast cancer in a family. This is the type that Ms Jolie apparantly has, and actually I think her choice was wise, and that she is brave for chosing to make her choice public.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Why Tolkien's Dwarves Rock

 A nice guest essay at Thorinoakenshield webpage 
by Anjy Roemelt.

First they are family. They belong together, and as the audience I can make myself believe I do, too. I pin their pictures to my kitchen-door, I wear their items, I sing their song, I am one of the family. Better, sometimes, than my real one. Family as it ought to be. Loving and teasing and fighting for one another. It’s vital we know these things are still important....Secondly, they fight. For one another. For something. They have something more important to them than their comfortable homes and regular income...And then there is the humour of it all. Starting with Bilbo. All these great feelings and longings I have described so far, and I should go for them without a hanky? No way! Bebother and confusticate reality! The greatness and the kingship, and the nobility, and glory would be unbearable without the humour.

and an unrelated photo

Family News

Internet was off all day, but came on after a short brown out. Guess they were fixing the lines.

The murderous ex mayor's daughter won the election, so the family is sad/angry.

wonder how much it cost her? Our cook said the price was 1000 P which is a bit high (maybe to vote the party line: but even then it's high, the usual price to buy a vote is 200-500 pesos, about ten dollars).
how bad is the vote buying here? Well, we even made it into a Singapore paper...
Supt. Crizaldo Nieves, the Nueva Ecija police director, said the police had received reports of massive vote-buying going on in various towns in Nueva Ecija. He said long lines of people were reported to be waiting for their turn to receive money from ward leaders of the candidates. The amount being handed out ranged from P500 to P2,000, he said.

oh well...the ex mayor is on dialysis and I worry more about his soul for not repenting than about his family trying to keep him out of jail.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Family news

Last night, we went to a restaurant to celebrate Mother's day and also Chano/Joy's anniversary.

Today it rained in the afternoon, so maybe the monsoon started.

It's midterm elections here, so everyone is going around with a purple finger.

Just for nice

Factoid of the day

The ancient Greeks were the first ones to recognize the link between psychiatric symptoms and the stress of war in their veterans. LINK

more at my medblog LINK

I also have some partial thoughts about congenital syphillis and "failure to thrive" in Victorian times.

another factoid: Back then, physicians estimated about ten percent of men had been infected. Luckily,60 percent didn't get severe problems from it.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Benghazi et al

Wired article on vilerat's warning.

I keep referring to this article when  I write about the coverup on Benghazi, but so far the newspapers seem to be ignoring the fact that Smith not only told his fellow gamers that an attack was coming but one suspects he also warned the State Department.

So the timeline actually should start 3 hours earlier...since it was posted at 12 noon on the gamer site...I know that because I checked the site when the article came out...

yet almost no  one mentions it in the news reports...wondering why?


Addendum: other stuff I was going to post before my connection went off this morning (sorry no links).

The WAGD story of the day:

MomJones said we have reached the tipping point for CO2 levels, which are now the "highest in human history". I added a question to their website asking what they meant by human history (since they started measuring CO2 or if they meant since Homosapiens evolved 150 thousand years ago)...but never mind. It doesn't sound good to me...

the "maybe We're All Not Going TO Die" stories of the day:
The good news is that the new "SARS" coronavirus doesn't seem to spread from person to person.

The good news (?) about the new "flu" virus is that it is too fatal to become a world wide epidemic (people die before they spread it to a lot of folks). The bad news? The virus seems to be evolving to a less lethal strain so might become a pandemic which is less lethal.

Happy Mother's day

this one is from the UKTelegraph.

 A baby orangutan has been born at the zoo in Paignton, Devon which keepers believe to be a girl 
Picture: R. Wiltshire/Paignton Zoo/Solent News

 other stuff FYI:

Video on the completion of the WTT spire.

ComeAwayWithMe has lots of lovely photos of spring.

here it is still "Tag-Init" (Hot season) but it is starting to cloud over and cool off in the afternoon, meaning the Monsoon season is nigh.Chano and Joy have been busy preparing fields for planting rice up at the farm: The latest project is vermiculture.

HortPro magazine has a nicearticle and this nice cartoon about this way of making compost:

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Craft item of the day

Via Evil Mad Scientist lab:

How to build a working computer out of paperclips.

paperclip 1
How to Build a Working Digital Computer is both an introduction to the “new and exciting field of digital computers” and a set of plans to build one.  What’s especially interesting is that the plans don’t call for any specialized electronic components, but instead show how to build everything from parts that you might find at a hardware store: items like paper clips, little light bulbs, thread spools, wire, screws, and switches (that can optionally be made from paper clips).

here is the book they link to, at Internet archives.

Blame the fleas

Scientists have confirmed that the Plague of Justinian was caused by Y. Pestis, aka the Black death.

The bacterium Yersinia pestis, which caused the disease known as the Black Death in the fourteenth century, has been identified in DNA samples taken from 19 skeletons of people who died in sixth-century southern Germany. It is thought that these people were felled by the Justinianic Plague, which killed more than 100 million people between the sixth and eighth centuries. Named for the Byzantine emperor Justinian I, the plague is thought to have contributed to the decline of the Roman Empire.

this was after the "fall of the Roman empire" aka the fall of the western Roman empire, with the sacking of the city of Rome a few centuries earlier.

longer discussion moved to my medical blog.

Insomnia downloads of the day

from Librivox: Flying saucers are real.

Yeah. When I worked at Mescalero, they usually ignored such things, figuring they were experimental aircraft from nearby White Sands.

But the reason I started to question the "abduction" type stories is because in the early UFO books, people reported being put under a machine that made noise to examine them.

Many years later, they started reporting being put into a tube that examined them.

Any doc knows the first is an Xray machine, but the latter is a CT or MRI scanner...and one does wonder why the E.T.'s technology mirrored the changes of human radiological progress.

The Tolkien professor notes (in his "Fairie and Fantasy course) that in medieval times, people wandering in forests would see bright objects and be abducted into a timeless land, and noted the many similarities with these stories and those of modern UFO abductions.

How much is "real" and how much is our subconscious interpreting things, I do not know: Like near death experiences, there is a question if they are real or the mind's response to severe stress, since you don't have to be near death physiologically for this to occur (the book "miracle on the Hudson" shows many in that plane had such experiences).

As a Catholic christian, I have no problem: God uses our minds to talk to us, and uses natural things to encourage us, be they "coincidence" or hallucinations.

However, the problem with all of this is that humans can't always tell if the experience is real, imagination, hallucination, or even diabolic.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Benghazi: Where are the peaceniks?

I am wondering why the left doesn't get on the Benghazi coverup: there were a lot of "spook" types in the area, who were presumably trying to stop the local Alqaeda guys from getting Kadaffy's weapons and sending them abroad to cause trouble, and the meeting with the Turkish ambassador suggests the US Ambassador were probably funneling captured weapons to Syrian rebels...

That explains the fake "cover story" (and why Romney went along with the coverup).

But it doesn't explain why there was no rescue...and rumors about the military going to help them were told to "stand down" continue on the Milblogs...

Yes, a small group did fly in from Tripoli that night to help the local militia. Has anyone bothered to thank them and the locals who risked their lives?

Stuff below the fold

Here, they buy votes for 200 pesos (five dollars), although here, with the murdering mayor's daughter running, our cook says the bribe to vote the party line is 2000 pesos.

But that's a third world phenomenum, right?

Gay Caswell, an ex MP says no: it's a way of life for the "indigenous" in Canada:
We saw that watching Liberal stalwarts marshall the troops for NDP  Doyle Vermette . For at least two weeks before the election day, dependable people from northern communities were stationed in La Ronge where they were given booze, dope, money for food and lodging. They voted Left and often and got their relatives and friends to do the same. Probably every person voted at every advance poll at least one. Most went home well stocked with booze and drugs  to do the same on election day.  Doyle Vermette is in the Legislature today because of sustained massive violations of the Election Act and sustained massive violations of the Criminal Code
drug laws.
    How can any political campaign afford the drugs and booze that is freely distributed at election time? Where do they get these drugs? Why are there never charges and prosecutions?

Although I worry about her: Canada has a strong libel law, and she named names...the last time she did that, her blog was taken down and she was fined for libel (but apparently no investigation of her charges was done).

Brown out yesterday is routine in the hot/dry season, since we get a lot of our electric power from hydroelectric plants, which run low in water about now. (until the monsoon arrives in early June).

They had a major brownout in Manila yesterday, which is part of the "rolling brownout" strategy.

The bad news? we have electronic voting machines....and the election is this week...

 To prevent fraud (i.e. stuffed ballot boxes full of fake votes) we have switched to voting machines (presumably the politicians haven't figured out how to reprogram the machines yet, and the ballots, which require punching your decision, require more time and energy to fake and are also counted manually to double check what is going on).

So will the rolling brownouts mess up the election?


A mask that lets you block out sound so that the unidirectional microphone can point to the sound you need.

What I can't figure out is why they need a mask, which some of us with agorphobia wouldn't tolerate, when simple ear plugs would do.

they also say they have a similar "mask" for the eyes so you can concentrate on what you want to see...


FYI: AngryBirds Multi device syncing now available.

happy birthday? Spam mail turns 35

Hollywood's perfect timing: Nostalgic film about terrorism is released right in time for the Marthon bombing.

Volcanos can be dangerous: Link to a BBC special on how even scientists get it wrong.

YouTube Link

The bad news is that the Mayon explosion that killed the hikers last week was not a  magna eruption, but overheated water exploding, so there was no warning.

Ender's game: The trailer is now available.

the problem? Ender was 8, not near puberty...

Ruby noticed the same thing in Percy Jackson film: They made Percy an older teen, not the 12 year old in the book.

I wrote awhile back about the problem of making underaged teens as military heroes: Indeed, children are easy to program as killing machines, as every third world dictator knows, and they are hard to "deprogram" into civilian life when the war stops (one of my friends in Zimbabwe helped work in a program that did this).


more news about pacifiers: adults who "clean" them by sucking on them may be helping their kids have fewer allergies.
but I suspect it is bad data based on population bias...


Stephen King supports gun control, and even pulls a short story about a teenager who shoots up a classroom because he is angry.

Uh, isn't it a little late for the author of Carrie to come out against teenagers using violence against bullies? 

 Ironically, if someone had a gun and shot Carrie when she was setting the prom on fire, maybe a lot of kids wouldn't have been killed in that novel/story...


Hmmm...Everyone on earth is related to everyone else...

The "WAGD" article of the day: The SARS like virus that killed several people in Saudi has now been found in France in a man who had visited the UAE...

StrategyPage has the background for Israel's bombing of weapons in Syria

and this article on Algeria points out the tribal differences behind some of the conflicts may have a religious twist:
There was also a religious element to the hostility as the local Berbers belong to a Shia sect. Algerians Arabs tend to be Sunni and Sunni conservatives consider Shia heretics. An increasing number of Berbers are also converting to Christianity, as a protest against the continued persecution of Berbers. This further infuriates the Sunnis. The government says that only 11,000 (out of 34 million) Algerians are Christian. But Christian religious leaders say the number is 30,000 and growing fast, especially among Berbers. The government fears these Berber Christians and Berbers in general. The Berbers, a people related to the ancient Egyptians, were the original occupants of Algeria. Arab armies conquered the country over a thousand years ago, but, unlike other Arab conquests, most Berbers did not adopt Arab language and customs. Today, about a third of Algerians are Berbers, and speak the Berber language, Tamazight.

 Wikpedia article notes that the Protestants are making converts there (although only a tiny percentage of the population)  however, given that these are Protestants, one wonders if it will spread quietly, using the mem of the underground house churches as is happening in China.

Refworld has more HERE. about the prosecution of local Christians... more HERE.


The story behind the reason the Pope is declaring the martyrs of Otranto as saints

maybe because, like Thermopolae and the Alamo, they slowed an invasion so that the main army could be gathered to stop them...

and it mentions Vlad the Impaler as another "christian" prince who stopped the Turkish invasion of eastern Europe...and it mentions the Serbian struggle against the Turks: which is one reason why Russia resented Clinton bombing Serbia...

headsup IdleSpeculationsblog.

Quickbeam at TORN presents his favorite Tolkien quotes.
my favorite wasn't there, but is this one:

“But Sam turned to Bywater, and so came back up the Hill, as day was ending once more. And he went on, and there was yellow light, and fire within; and the evening meal was ready, and he was expected. And Rose drew him in, and set him in his chair, and put little Elanor upon his lap.
He drew a deep breath. ‘Well, I’m back,’ he said”

Why? Because destroying the ring was not about glory and power, but about letting ordinary folks live their ordinary lives in peace...

Factoid: In the film, Jackson casted Sean Astin's daughter and Sarah Mcloed's daughter as her son...

and of course, in the book, Sam grew up with her brothers and knew her for years: she helped at their farm, and was not a barmaid (Jackson's invention to simplify the story)...