Sunday, June 30, 2013

Factoid of the day

The History of Ketchup (at the Georgian gentleman blog)

Originally it didn't have tomatoes.

We wouldn’t actually recognize the ketchup. We think of a thick gloopy red sauce made from tomatoes but to the Georgians it originally meant a dark brackish liquid infused with fermented fish extracts and, later, a type of runny chutney made from items such as fermented walnuts, or mushrooms. The tomato didn’t make an appearance in ketchup before 1800, and sugar really only became an ingredient fifty years after that....
 the article includes this recipe is from Eliza Smith's The Compleat Housewife, or Accomplish’d Gentlewoman’s Companion, in 1727

and he notes the origin of the word:

Etymologists argue whether the word has Chinese or Malay origins – certainly it came to Britain with various spelling variants, Jonathan Swift was describing it as’ catsup’ back in 1730. Katchup, Catchup, and Kitchup were alternative spellings to a product which quickly became phenomenally popular throughout the English speaking world. says it comes from Chinese:

(ketchup/catsup is) derived from the Chinese ke-tsiap, a pickled fish sauce. It made its way to Malaysia where it became kechap and ketjap in Indonesia.
the Language of Food says:

What was this Asian sauce? It's clear from the earliest English recipes that the original ketchup was fish sauce, the stinky cooking sauce called nuoc mam in Vietnam, nam pla in Thailand, patis in the Philippines, and made from salting and fermenting anchovies.
They note it is no Han Chinese, but from the Min (cantonese) dialect of southern China and includes a map line to show where Patis is used vs soy sauce use. (we use both).
And the  blog has a long explanation of the word's usage in SE Asia and southern China.

And did you know here, we have banana catsup here in the Philippines? It tastes almost the same as the American ketchup, which we also can buy locally....

but when I lived in Africa, I actually brought a big bottle of ketchup with me, because the British ketchup was very vinegary in taste, not sweet like Heinz...

Books on line

I was just listening to 84  Charing Cross Road, and the plot is a New Yorker who orders rare books from a British book store in the 1950's.

but nowadays, thanks to Project gutenburg and Internet archives and similar sites, you can find all sorts of rare books on line.

For example, I was reading a book that mentions St Macrina, and voila, IA has it.
as an audiobook, which is great for my sore eyes.

and a lot of colleges have lectures on line....this one is a series of lectures on ancient Greece at Eastern Ill Univ

Golden pork award of the day

from internet archives blog:

Because of recent news reports, I wanted to cross check the cost feasibility of the NSA’s recording all of the US phonecalls and processing them.
These estimates show only $27M in capital cost, and $2M in electricity and take less than 5,000 square feet of space to store and process all US phonecalls made in a year.   The NSA seems to be spending $1.7 billion on a 100k square foot datacenter that could easily handle this and much much more. 

it was linked by BoingBoing, where there are a lot of interesting comments pointing out it's been going on for years, and saying they transcript the call to written data.

All this reminds me of the maid who caught that IMF big shot in a rape attempt/failure to pay her a nice fee for sex. She was caught talking to a friend in her native dialect...and no one seemed to wonder why her calls were  monitored (were they allowed to do so by court order?) or who found someone to translate her call...

Family news

A storm is passing through our area (signal 2) and heavy rain.

It seems to have passed so we managed to get to church okay.

Lolo is okay but wheezes, so I keep the aircon on "dehumidfy" even though it is cool...

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Hey baby

Land of typhoons, earthquakes, floods, and...Buggy Creek Virus?

I often say living in a tropical paradise is fun, except for the typhoons, earthquakes, floods, and Dengue Fever.

But now there is a new mosquito linked virus (although not yet in our area):

Chikungunya outbreak in antique confirmed

By Raymund F. Antonio
Published: June 29, 2013
Manila, Philippines --- The Department of Health (DOH) yesterday confirmed an outbreak of the chikungunya virus in Patnongon, Antique, with 313 cases as of April this year.

The symptoms are similar to Dengue, but it usually isn't fatal:

National Epidemiology Center head Dr. Enrique Tayag compared the disease to dengue in which is also transmitted through mosquito bites.
He said the symptoms of chikunguyna include fever, rashes, and severe joint pains.
“Chikungunya also presents with severe, persistent headache, red eyes, difficulty in directly looking at light, nausea, and measles-like rashes,” Tayag said via his Twitter account.
Wikipedia article here.

You have to remember that poor folks don't always go to the hospital for achyness and fevers, and a lot of cases might be though to be Dengue.

One of our cousins, a nurse, was hospitalized for possible Dengue last year, but the tests were negative: Maybe he had this virus....

Environmentalists protest in Iran

Dr E reports on an environmental protest in Iran and notes:

Experts believe the natural pristine forests of Iran, belonging to the Hircanian age, probably date back to between 2-3 million years ago.... They comprise up to 4% of the country's area and are under constant pressure from legal and illegal logging, urbanization and industrialization projects. (they are) Situated at the north of Iran and southern border of the Caspian sea
CNN "world report" discusses this, and says the road was planned by the previous administration, which is why Dr. E and others are hopeful that it will be stopped.

StrategyPage analysis of the latest election here.

Rowhani was widely believed to be more capable than Ahmadinejad when it comes to fixing the economy, mainly because Rowhani has demonstrated an ability to work out compromises. Rowhani is also expected to keep quiet about the corruption among the families of the senior clerics and concentrate on the welfare of the Iranian people as a whole.

The real problem is the ancient Shiite/Sunni divide, complicated by the more ancient Farsi/Arab divide.

Persia once ran the place, and wants to do so again.

Friday, June 28, 2013

The Heliosphere

Voyage 1 is making scientists rewrite the books as it reports on the the way out of the solar system
(AP Photo/NASA / June 27, 2013)

Like Earth's magnetosphere, which shields us from radioactive solar winds, the heliosphere shields the solar system from many of the cosmic rays that fill interstellar space.
Scientists had long envisioned its outermost layer, the heliosheath, to be a curved, distinct boundary separating the solar system from the rest of the Milky Way. They theorized that once Voyager 1 crossed that threshold, three things would happen: The sun's solar winds would become still; galactic cosmic rays would bombard Voyager from every angle; and the direction of the dominant magnetic field would change significantly because it would be coming from interstellar space, not the sun.
All of those predictions have been turned on their head by Voyager's latest instrument readings.

bookmarked for later reading.

Non Politically correct ethnic jokes of the day

> A Jewish grandmother is giving directions to her grown grandson
> who is coming to visit with his wife.
> "You come to the front door of the apartments. I am in apartment
> 301.
> There is a big panel at the front door. With your elbow, push button 301. I will buzz you in. Come inside and the elevator is on the right.
> Get in, and with your elbow, push 3rd Floor. When you get out,
> I'm on the left. With your elbow, hit my doorbell. OK?"
> "Grandma, that sounds easy, but, why am I hitting all these buttons with my elbow? .........
> "What . .. . .. .. You're coming empty handed?"
> _______________________________________________
> Wise Italian Grandfather
> An old Italian man in Brooklyn is dying. He calls his grandson to his bedside, "Guido, I wan' you lissina me. I wan' you to take-a my  chrome  plated ...38 revolver so you will always remember me."
> "But grandpa, I really don't like guns.. How about you leave me  your Rolex watch instead?"
> "You lissina me, boy! Somma day you gonna be runna da business,
> you gonna have a beautiful wife, lotsa money, a big-a home and maybe  a couple of bambinos. "
> "Somma day you gonna come-a home and maybe finda you wife inna  bed with another man. "Whatta you gonna do then? Pointa to you watch and  say,  'Times up!' "?
> ____________________________________________________
> Irish blonde...
> An attractive blonde from Cork, Ireland, arrived at the casino.
> She  seemed a little intoxicated and bet twenty thousand dollars in a  single  roll of the dice.
> She said, "I hope you don't mind, but I feel much luckier when  I'm  completely nude." with that, she stripped from the neck down,  rolled the dice and with an Irish brogue yelled, "Come on, baby, Mama  needs new clothes!"
> As the dice came to a stop, she jumped up and down and squealed.
> "Yes! Yes! I won, I won!" She hugged each of the dealers, picked up her  winnings and her clothes and quickly departed.
> The dealers stared at each other dumbfounded.
> Finally, one of them asked, "What did she roll?" The other  answered, "I  don't know - I thought you were watching."
> Not all Irish are drunks, not all blondes are dumb,
> .... but all men...are men!
> ____________________________________________________
> Global Facts About Sex
> At any given moment:
> FACT: 79,000,000 people are having sex - right now.
> FACT: 58,000,000 are kissing.
> FACT: 37,000,000 are relaxing after having sex.
> FACT: 1 old person is reading emails.
> You hang in there, sunshine!
your email of the day from TiaMaria

Big brother is back

The Philippines are so tired of Chinese grabbing fishing areas they aren't protesting the US coming back to Subic etc.

The plan has taken on added urgency since a tense two-month standoff last year between Chinese and Philippine ships at the Scarborough Shoal, which is only about 124 nautical miles off the Philippine coast. Chinese ships now control the shoal, often chasing away Filipino fishermen.


We are the weakest link, but they also are pushing around Japan and India...

then there is this...

Presumably all the healthy young girls in Subic are happy they can work with nice young Americans instead of older, fat ex pats from the US and Europe...

Busy busy busy

Lots of busy work and chores, and when I am on the internet, I'm busy trying to back up my Xanga blog.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Armageddon in cyberspace

What happens if the net fills up or gets whapped by someone/something?


Introduction lecture:

a conference at Gresham college.

more links HERE in sidebar.

Catching the stupid

Bloomberg has an interesting article that points out that the broad NSA information gathering tends to gather information on ordinary folks (not suspected of crime) but misses the really hard core jihadis and criminals, who manage to hide their stuff from easy scrutiny.
 In a January 2012 report titled “Jihadism on the Web: A Breeding Ground for Jihad in the Modern Age,” the Dutch General Intelligence and Security Service drew a convincing picture of an Islamist Web underground centered around “core forums.” These websites are part of the Deep Web, or Undernet, the multitude of online resources not indexed by commonly used search engines.
So grandmom's "LOL Cat" emails that she sends all over the world will probably be watched, but not the pedophiles using TOR and certainly not the jihadis.

I'm sure that makes you fell better.

this old NBC news article on the "underweb" notes the same thing:
When the German Foreign Office hosted a human rights conference several months ago, one of the invited guest organizations was the Tor Project. The Tor Project runs a secure, anonymous network and distributes free software used by dissidents and free speech activists worldwide. Activists in countries like Syria and Ethiopia use Tor regularly. The Tor Project, in fact, receives funding from the United States State Department for that very purpose.
There's a catch, however. The same secure communications Tor offers have attracted spies, criminals, and pedophiles alongside political dissidents.

And if I, a lowly grandmom in the rural Philippines, knows about TOR (I've posted about it and where you can download the software in the past), why doesn't the NSA know about it.

And the "good news"?

Wait until Obamacare and the gov't push to computerize medical records becomes universal.

Then not only Grandmom's "Lol cat" emails will be sucked into a black hole for big brother to monitor, but you will find her pap smears and medical history there.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Asking questions no one else is asking:

ZDNET: Which is worse: facebook or the NSA?

Facebook probably collects more data about your internet use than the NSA does.

Even more to the point, to quote from the company's Data Usage Policy:
We also put together data from the information we already have about you and your friends. For example, we may put together data about you to determine which friends we should show you in your News Feed or suggest you tag in the photos you post. We may put together your current city with GPS and other location information we have about you to, for example, tell you and your friends about people or events nearby, or offer deals to you that you might be interested in. We may also put together data about you to serve you ads that might be more relevant to you.
yes but so far Facebook (and Google which does the same thing) isn't in a position to arrest you for sending emails of kitties to enemy countries.

On the other hand, why does Lolo get emails from Obama's fund raising arm, when he is a Republican? Maybe because I use his email address for our facebook page?

St. John the Baptist festival (or wear a raincoat just in case)

ABS-CBN slideshow HERE.

The San Juan festival takes its inspiration from the biblical character, St. John the Baptist, who converted people to Christ by blessing them with water, thus the use of water for merry-making. From the city mayor to street urchins, San Juan residents participate in an all-out drenching using water bottles, water bombs, water pistols or the lowly tabo (dipper). Even fire hydrants and fire trucks are fair used. For common passers-by or jeepney passengers whose rides happen to pass by the city on this day, there's no other way to keep dry except to bring extra sets of clothes secured in plastic bags so they can change upon reaching their destinations.

and closer to home, the Mud Festival (Taong Patik) is also celebrated on St. John's day.

Nueva Ecija journal article
In the Philippines, as in other Catholic countries, June 24 is observed as the feast day of Saint John the Baptist. The day offers an excuse to engage in revelry such as dousing water on unwary people.
In Aliaga, Nueva Ecija, in Barangay Bibiclat, hundreds of devotees of the village's patron saint, John the Baptist, transform themselves into "mud people" -- literally "taong putik."  The locals call  the ritual Pagsa-San Juan....

Nobody knows exactly when the Taong Putik Festival started. One legend says the image of the patron saint which was brought to Bibiclat by early Ilocano settlers, helped in driving away poisonous snakes from the village...  Another legend says that when Japanese soldiers during World War II were about to execute all the men in the village in retaliation for the death of 13 fellow soldiers, it rained so hard that the male villagers had to be herded into the church to seek shelter. After a while, the Japanese soldiers had a change of mind and set their captives free. The residents attributed this to a miracle of Saint John the Baptist, and  vowed to pay homage to him on his feast day by wearing costumes patterned after his attire -- this time, using native materials.

Al Jezeerah article

Dog names in history

Medievalist has an article on Medieval Pet names:

In England we find dogs that were named Sturdy, Whitefoot, Hardy, Jakke, Bo and Terri.Anne Boleyn, one of the wives of King Henry VIII, had a dog named Purkoy, who got its name from the French ‘pourquoi’ because it was very inquisitive.
Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Nun’s Priest Tale has a line where they name three dogs: Colle, Talbot and Gerland. Meanwhile, in the early fifteenth-century, Edward, Duke of York, wrote The Master of Game, which explains how dogs are to be used in hunting and taken care of. He also included a list of 1100 names that he thought would be appropriate for hunting dogs. They include Troy, Nosewise, Amiable, Nameles, Clenche, Bragge, Ringwood and Holdfast.

Meanwhile, in Switzerland a list of 80 dogs that took part in a shooting festival in the year 1504 has been preserved. They reveal the most popular name was Furst (Prince). Other names included Venus, Fortuna, and Turgk. Some dogs got their names from the work being done by their owners: Hemmerli (Little Hammer) belonged to a locksmith, while Speichli (Little Spoke) belonged to a wagoner.
the article also notes the names of medieval cats.

Ancient Egyptians also named their pets (and the article includes many pictures of dogs)

We even know many ancient Egyptian dog's names from leather collars as well as stelae and reliefs. They included names such as Brave One, Reliable, Good Herdsman, North-Wind, Antelope and even "Useless". Other names come from the dogs color, such as Blacky, while still other dogs were given numbers for names, such as "the Fifth".

Read more:


 and of course, the most famous dog of Antiquity is Ulysses' dog Argos,

(in Greek: Ἀργώ, meaning 'swift')

First, Buddha heads, and now Wiener dogs

Dave Barry reports the good news of the day:

The stolen Weiner dog statue is back at his post.

apparently he was taken to a party by some teenagers.


and the article explains why they put the statues there:

D'Angelo says the statues are just some of the artwork used to spruce up a neighborhood trying to rebound and rid itself of drug trafficking and prostitution.
Simon says of the theft, "You feel bad when one person disrespects a good thing that's happening."

heh. That's the difference between Pittsburgh and Chicago: No one took any of the crime fighting Buddhaheads to a party...

Medical stuff

Recent posts on my medical blog

Military medicine update

Hans: Mark your calender: Sex at 10 to 10:15 tonite

Cutting for the stone

Ricketts and that beautiful white complexion

some topics are R rated, which is why I didn't post them here.

Stuff below the fold

Dr. E, who was declared not eligible to stay in the Tehran city council, has an article about the increasing Sunni/Shia violence in the area, and mentions the Mahdi, from a religious standpoint.

Apparently she isn't aware that for Christians, he has already come, but the world didn't want to listen to his non political message, but never mind.


The Mystery of the missing socks explained. 


Uh Oh: Three local politicians died shortly after receiving xenographic stem cell treatment in Germany.

On Sunday, the PMA and the PSSCM reported that there were German doctors asking Filipino patients to check in at five-star hotels in Metro Manila, where they perform xenogenic stem cell therapy for around P1 million per shot.

so, it is a real concern about patients, or a concern that local docs are losing business? Both, probably...

Paying off the kin to stop a murder charge in the Manguindano massacre.

well, that might explain why the court case is still being stalled...the victims families need money more than justice. And there are rumors that the family behind the shooter has friends in high places...

Attention Buffy/Firefly fans: There is going to be a conference on Joss in June. (headsup From Mythgard)


Monday, June 24, 2013

Ebook of the day

The Ultimate Survival manual. the bad news, of course, is that in a really bad emergency, you won't have your laptop to read it. However, maybe with the new tablets and cellphones it will be available.

Factoid of the day

In the good old days, beeswax candles cost money (even Tallow candles cost money) so what did the poor use? Rushlight.
Burning the Candle at Both Ends Rushlights were made from the stem of the rush plants, dried and stripped of green fibre, then soaked in any available fat. Cheap and easy to make, they were a popular lighting option for poor people. The rush stem was supported in a holder at a 45 degree angle to provide maximum light and burn time. An average rush light burnt for 10 – 15 minutes. If you wanted a brighter light (but with half the burn time) you lit the rushlight at either end, hence the expression ‘burning the candle at both ends’.

more at Wikipedia. who supplies this photo

more at

I assumed this meant cat tail stalks, but what is a rush?


rush, soft rush [Credit: A to Z Botanical Collection/EB Inc.] any of several flowering plants distinguished by cylindrical stalks or hollow, stemlike leaves. They are found in temperate regions and particularly in moist or shady locations. The rush family (Juncaceae) includes Juncus, the common rushes, and Luzula, the woodrushes. Common rushes are used in many parts of the world for weaving into chair bottoms, mats, and basketwork, and the pith serves as wicks in open oil lamps and for tallow candles (rushlights). J. effusus, called soft rush, is used to make the tatami mats of Japan. The bulrush, also called reed mace and cattail...

more HERE (Pilgrim, a british site).

Rushlights were the most common source of light in the cottages of Wales until the beginning of the 20th century. The soft rush (Juncus effusus) or common rush (Juncus conglomeratus) were the species of plant used for the purpose, which was found growing in pastures and beside streams. The longest and largest rushes were chosen and gathered in the summer when they were green. They were then soaked to prevent shrinkage and to make the peeling easier. After being peeled they were dried and then soaked in a grease-pan of boiling fat.

 So what is Juncus effusus? From Missouri Botanical gardens.

Soft rush or common rush (also bog rush or mat rush) is a grass-like, rhizomatous perennial that features cylindrical upright green stems in spreading basal clumps to 20-40” tall. Clumps provide vertical accent to moist garden areas. Although the stems appear from a distance as coarse and stiff, they are soft to the touch. Soft rush is native to North America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and New Zealand. In many locations it is considered to be a somewhat aggressive weed. Juncus effuses var. solutus is commonly found in central and southern Missouri in stream margins, sloughs, ponds, wet depressions in fields, pastures and prairies and in roadside ditches (Steyermark). Soft rush is one of the true rushes. The plant leaves are reduced to bladeless sheathing at the stem bases. Insignificant, tiny, yellowish-green to pale brown flowers appear in clusters (many flowered cymes) that emerge on the side of the stems slightly below the stem tips in summer. Foliage turns yellow in fall before browning up for winter. Soft rush is commercially grown in Japan for making tatami (woven mats for homes). From ancient times until the early 1900s, soft rush stems were used in England to create inexpensive, candle-like evening lights called “rushlights.” Rush stems were peeled away and the inner pith was soaked in animal fat, grease or wax. When dry, the pith could be lit at one end (sometimes both ends) and burned like a candle. Juncus means rush, and effusus means loose-spreading in probable reference to plant habit.

I haven't watched it, but NancyToday has a series of videos about making a rush light.


Audiobook of the day

 It's not complete, but Catholiclady is reading Taylor Caldwell's The Great Lion of God on youtube.

quick, before the copyright cops find it.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Ebooks on the web

Project Gutenburg Canada has some of Nevil Shute's novels in their list,

including the classic A Town Like Alice.

I have the paperback with me, and the film is on line on Steffstuf's youtube channel (in 21 parts since it was a miniseries).

Larks rise to Candleford is also there.

Lark Rise to Candleford (1945) [Trilogy consisting of the novels Lark Rise (1939), Over to Candleford (1941), and Candleford Green (1943), with the 1945 introduction to the trilogy by H. J. Massingham (1888-1952) Wikipedia] HTML HTML zipped Text Text zipped

Family news

Chano is still at the farm all day.

 Lolo went last evening (4 pm when it starts to get cooler) and stayed until 7 we ate and went to bed late. As a result, I overslept and we missed mass. Sigh.

When Mamadog was dying, she often couldn't manage to go outside for the ladies room, but went inside the garden door, away from the dining room and living room. Now that she is gone, and it's raining and wet outside, the other dogs have decided they can now use it, which means cleaning up every morning (sometimes twice, since the cook cleans the floor at 6 am and they go again after breakfast). Yuck.


 So I am in a perpetual bad mood, and have to punish/re teach the dogs, who were house trained up to three months ago.

Nothing bothers Lolo, however.

The news of the day is all bad: scandals and wars. So I am downloading lectures to listen to, and found some old Gregory Peck movies on youtube to watch:

 Keys of the Kingdom.

Twelve O'Clock High.

The man in the Grey Flannel Suit.

Moby Dick

and if you want to watch a movie that won't make you depressed, there is

Roman Holiday.


Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Mystery of the Pittsburgh Protractors

At Atlas Obscura:

Hidden in plain sight around Pittsburgh are hundreds of numbered protractors glued to various surfaces. Their purpose—and provenance—remains a mystery of the first order.
The geometry implements are securely fastened to bridges, garbage cans, stones, mailboxes, benches, street signs, and other objects around the city. They can be found in many neighborhoods, but the Polish Hill neighborhood has one of the largest concentrations.
Each is assigned its own number, and the numbers run into the hundreds. Reports of protractors began coming out of the ‘Burgh, as it's colloquially known, in 2011.

more HERE.

Stuff around the net

12 officials, including armed police with bulletproof vests invade a restaurant

it was a routine health and alcohol registration inspection...

(headsup Lucianne)

Perusing the right wing American Spectator, (about the Hastings accident) I ran across this:
Since January 1, 2013, federal government has been on the website 81,164 times, with the IRS, Department of Justice, and the Department of Homeland Security leading the way.
also from Lucianne: Read the Exorcist? Got scared?This article has the story with links, including a PDF diary of the real story.


Naked mole rats don't get cancer, but why?

Fungus threatens gin supply.

the most beautiful Water landscapes.

Monty Python meets the Hicks

The guys at Spiked report a meeting to teach "tolerance" in Tennesee, and the hicks fight back when the speakers stereotype them.

 Those jeering are wrong (I dislike jeering and interruptions) but they are talking truth to power, and when the FBI was there to take notice, what does it say about freedom of speech?
Ron Meeks, 68, a retired water department supervisor from Hillsboro, said the jeers had been ridiculous. But still, he remained troubled that the US attorney and an FBI agent had come to read the community the law, while taking so few questions. ‘It didn’t feel like tolerance’, he said. ‘They were here to threaten us and put the fear in us.’

You don't help promote understanding by preaching at people like they were stupid, and much of the jeering was simply pointing out that those who gave the talk were prejudiced against locals and stereotyping them as hate filled bigots.

as for "hate crimes": 62% of them were against the Jews, but never mind. and I suspect a lot of the vandalism against Christian churches (like satanic symbols and dead goats descecrating churches) are not put into the statistics...

Book download of the day

Hillary's classic book about the Battle of Britain the Last Enemy can be found at Project Gutenburg (Australia) (which might not download to the USA).

what happens when the cynical anti war agnostic generation of the 1930's go to war to defend their homes?

And the story of his rehab in the burn unit is classic.

A short excerpt from the audiobook can be found here.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Just when you thought it was safe to go to the movies


Video downloads of the day

I don't know if I posted these before, but if you want to get depressed,

Winter's Bone is on youtube,

More depressing films:

 Silver Linings.


The sixth Sense.

Jerry McGuire

Stuff around the net

Were the original Irish settlers snail eating Basques?


LOL CAT: Ahora in Espanol:

I stand corrected:
In the original TV series, Khan had dark hair:

In the Movie, the Original Khan has grey hair.

related item: Who was the real Professor Moriarty?

The violence in Northern Ireland has to do with a couple hundred years of religious discrimination and massacres ..

So who does Obama blame for the "troubles"? Catholic schools.

Yes, and the potato famine was due to GM potatoes...


Rand Paul was right?


Your tax dollars at work: putting Buddha's heads into violent areas to cut crime.


CDC report on home made chemical bomb injuries.

actually, most of these seem to be someone mixing drain cleaner or a similar chemical with bleach, or chem lab experiments in schools gone wrong...the report doesn't include real bombs.


Musings about Plan B on my Xanga Blog.

Is Sherlock Ben Laden?

Is "StarTrek into Darkness" an allegory on drones?

and why does the Khan character wear Sherlock's coat, complete with turned up collar?link

for that matter, why do they cast an obvious Anglo Saxon actor as Khan? What, no Indian actors who could play a baddie?

Yes, the original Khan was played by Ricardo Montalban, a Mexican American, but at least he had black hair in reality and played the character more flamboyantly....Cumberbach has light brown hair...

I don't know if I'll bother to see it...(the only versions in the palenke are cam videos and I usually watch the better "legal" versions when they arrive in the mall...Yes, it will be on HBO next year, but Lolo dislikes Sci Fi so I have to watch this type film on my computer)....

I watched the first movie on the plane coming back here, and wondered why they put in all the ordinary fisticuff scenes  after they "accidentally" drop their super duper phaser...

No fancy Jackie Chan foot work, no "Indiana Jones" response when confronted with a stronger bad guy, and no hidden knife or MacGuyver type weapons used, not even a knitting needle..


earth to Star Trek: put a "hello Kitty" mitten cord on your phasers, and you'll never have to worry about losing them again.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Fathers are important role models for their children

Family news

Heavy rain...the roof no longer leaks over the sink and into the bathroom, but the skylight lacks putty and is leaking all over the dining room table. Sigh.

I'll have to check if the heavy rain removed the garbage from the open gutters.

In Manila, the streets are flooded...duh.
Oh yes: a minor earthquake (not here, and no I didn't feel it).

Chano is again at the farm, and trying to limit the money used for cooking, so the cook is upset...

 Luckily, Jolibee is down the street.

Miamisburg Mound

Miamisburg Mound

in Ohio.

The Miamisburg Mound is a large Native American conical burial mound constructed by the culture that archaeologists refer to as Adena.  The mound is almost 70 feet tall, and is virtually intact....
The mound tomb was constructed approximately 2500 years ago, as one of many similar mound earthworks. Excavated in 1869, found bark covered skeleton and a chamber located 28 feet deep into the mound, but found empty.

The Adena people flourished between 1000-200 BC, and found their homes across what is now Ohio, Indiana, West Viginia, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and New York. There a several existing mounds and an estimated 200 Adena related sites scattered throughout their territory.

more HERE.


Like a lot of folks, I wondered about the explosion of TWA 800, but not because 100 folks "saw" a missile explode near the plane, but because an earlier terrorist plot against Phil airlines had a small bomb placed under the seat so that it would explode the center fuel tank (it didn't work, because the plane was an "extended" version, and the fuel tank was further forward, and because the pilot skillfully managed to land the plane).

but now there is a new film with whistleblowers saying that it might have been an outside explosion that brought down the flight.

So terrorism? Or a "friendly fire" accident?

Sigh. There were 16  students from the Montoursville High School French club killed on that flight, and it will open new wounds in the parents, some of whom still feel that they weren't told the truth.

update: Here are the names of the students and their chaparones who were killed.
01- Dickey, Debbie, a French teacher, Montoursville, Pa.
02- Dickey, Doug, husband, Montoursville, Pa.
03-*Fry, Carol, former school board member, Montoursville, Pa.
04- Rupert, Judith, high school secretary, Montoursville, Pa.
05- Wolfson, Eleanor, chaperone of Montoursville, Pa., group
     (mother of Wendy Wolfson)

06  Aikey, Jessica, 17, Montoursville, Pa.
07- Baszczewski, Daniel, student from Montoursville, Pa.
08- Bohlin, Michelle, student from Montoursville, Pa.
09- Bower, Jordan, student from Montoursville, Pa.
10- Cox, Monica, student from Montoursville, Pa.
11- Gallagher, Claire, student from Montoursville, Pa.
12- Grimm, Julia, student from Montoursville, Pa.
13- Hettler, Rance, student from Montoursville, Pa.
14- Karschner, Amanda, Montoursville, Pa.
15- Loudenslager, Jodi, Montoursville, Pa.
16- Nibert, Cheryl, 16, junior-student from Montoursville, Pa.
17- Rogers, Kimberly, 17, senior-student from Montoursville, Pa.
18- Uzupis, Larissa, 16, junior-student from Montoursville, Pa.
19- Watson, Jacqueline, 18, graduated from Montoursville, Pa., High School.
20- Weaver, Monica, 16, senior-student from Montoursville, Pa.
21- Wolfson, Wendy, 16, senior-student from Montoursville, Pa.
     (daughter of Eleanor Wolfson)


article on the NSA spying program by a reporter who just died in a car accident.

headsup Instapundit.

Update: PJMedia is on it, and since we own a Beemer, I googled if we should worry about becoming BBQ if we hit something coming back from Manila after midnight.

Uh, probably not.
The Mercedes-Benz C-Class, which is an evolutionary design from a company known for sweating the safety details over and above the Euro NCAP requirements, should be leading the pack in the not-catching-on-fire category.

Investigative reporter/conspiracy theorist Jack Cashill feels vindicated.


and attention conspiracy theorists; forget the "black helicopters": worry about the drones. 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Leaker or traitor?

InFromTheCold analyzes the latest security leak, shows what happened to whistleblowers who actually used legal means of whistleblowing, and then analyzes why we keep records on great grandmoms.

Ah, but what if Grandmom is an evil Republican? Will she get a visit from the IRS checking out her taxes?

and just wait til they get hold of your electronic medical records.

Edward Snowden deserves to be punished, but the debate he has spurred must also be a part of the public discourse.  Wisconsin Republican Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, who will never be confused with an ACLU member, says on-going surveillance activities go "far beyond" what was envisioned in the 2001 Patriot Act, a law that Mr. Sensenbrenner played a key role in crafting.  It's time to ask exactly what is being done in our name, and what we've surrendered in our collective yearning for "safety."                                                     

Lecture of the week

for Percy Jackson fans, try this lecture series on Greek myths.

This on is on the Trojan war.

I downloaded this lecture series on iTunesU awhile back, but now it's on Youtube.

Video download of the day

The news is the same old WAGD scandals, so I am checking Youtube for lectures on science and history.

I ran across this lecture (part of a series) by the late professor Rupus J Fears on the wisdom of history.

quick before the copyright cops find it's there.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Flight of the butterflies

There is a nice film about the migration of the Monarchs on PBS (but won't stream outside the USA).

or you can watch it HERE.

Family news

Chano and Joy are busy at the farm (planting season).

I went with Ruby to the Palenke to get some flowers...she wants a window box, so we bought some miniture rose bushes.

When I got home, we found our old farmdog, Cocoa, dead. She's has ascites for a few months, and we figure she had cancer (she was at least 10 years old). Lolo and the cook Dita were crying, but I was expecting it... with everyone but us at the farm, I had Dita ask her son, who works nearby, to bury her under the banana trees in the back garden for us. Sigh.


 DadCanDo has downloadable plans for making your kids a paper butterfly.

these were done by sugarplum.

Origami page has some instructions too, but the butterflies are much simpler (for small children).

here is a nice tutorial.

this video shows you how to fold your napkins (serviettes) into a butterfly.

spidergirl has several versions in her film.

stuff around the net

StrategyPage gives a summary of how information is analyzed to catch the bad guys.

and notes that politicians and companies also use this type of information analysis.

I agree: but the problem is that a lot of folks think it will be used against political enemies, not the guys who bomb marathons or who are PC so they know they are allowed to break the law.

more HERE.

A German bomber that crashed off the coast of the UK is raised, and the story behind it.
Two of the crew actually survived to become POW's.


want to see the steer your hamburger came from?

There's an app for that...


the reason the Supreme court ruled against Arizona's voter law was because the federal law for motor voter voting trumped the state law. 

So this is a states rights issue, not an issue about immigrants or voter fraud per se.

I am ambivalent: We voted in Minnesota because I used my driver's license, but Lolo, who no longer drove, only had a Pennsylvania ID, but I vouched for him so they let him vote. When we moved to Oklahoma, I got him a senior citizen ID at the police station...

Making things too strict only stops the poor and elderly: so those who can't figure out how to navigate the bureaucracy end up disenfranchised. Of course, voter fraud is rampant, but hey, nothing new about that: Kennedy won in 1960 partly thanks to the Chicago cemetery vote.


The immigration bill weighs 24 pounds and has 1075 pages. Presumably everyone in congress and every reporter has read the whole thing...

I'm ambivalent: I can't see sending home hard working folks without papers, but when my son can't even get a visitor visa because he once had a green card and lost it when he moved "home", (and the immigration folks at the embassy worry he'll overstay his visa and find a job), one has to wonder about the system...

Saudi won't allow christian churches and even private Christian worship services can be raided by religious police.

But this is not true for the small Gulf states: AbuDabi has a new church.

In the UAE there are an estimated 700,000 Catholics who go to 10 churches and served by about 40 priests speaking a dozen languages.
“The church is very much alive here, in Africa and certainly in Asia. All of the members are migrant workers. Besides Filipinos, Indians and Christian Arabs, we have a growing number of Korean Catholics too...
“The UAE,” said Gandolf, “is probably the most open country to Christians in the region.”


Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Father's day

Black holes are everywhere

It's been awhile since I had time to check the space blogs, but this caught my eye:

The Andromeda galaxy is full of black holes.

more at 26 new black holes were found recently.

So how many black holes are there?

Hubble site on black holes says:

There are so many black holes in the Universe that it is impossible to count them. It's like asking how many grains of sand are on the beach. Fortunately, the Universe is enormous and none of its known black holes are close enough to pose any danger to Earth.

Stellar-mass black holes form from the most massive stars when their lives end in supernova explosions. The Milky Way galaxy contains some 100 billion stars. Roughly one out of every thousand stars that form is massive enough to become a black hole. Therefore, our galaxy must harbor some 100 million stellar-mass black holes. Most of these are invisible to us, and only about a dozen have been identified. The nearest one is some 1,600 lightyears from Earth. In the region of the Universe visible from Earth, there are perhaps 100 billion galaxies. Each one has about 100 million stellar-mass black holes. And somewhere out there, a new stellar-mass black hole is born in a supernova every second.

Supermassive black holes are a million to a billion times more massive than our Sun and are found in the centers of galaxies. Most galaxies, and maybe all of them, harbor such a black hole. So in our region of the Universe, there are some 100 billion supermassive black holes. The nearest one resides in the center of our Milky Way galaxy, 28 thousand lightyears away. The most distant we know of lives in a quasar galaxy billions of lightyears away.

Pony parody



Getting rid of the really dangerous pirates

No, not the Somali pirates who are holding 200 Pinoys from ships

The Gov't has taken down Kicka** torrents.
US pressure?
TorrentFreak also said it "wouldn’t be much of a surprise if U.S. forces have also been applying pressure."
It cited the US government's Special 301 Report saying the Philippines remains on its copyright “watch list.”  — ELR, GMA News
Ya think?

PNoy is busy obeying Obama in passing PC bills that Americans care about (but most Pinoys don't see as a priority).

So I can't buy and download films from Amazon (and I can't even watch some films on youtube because of copyright problems). Luckily, most of the songs I like are "elevator music" types, so I download them from Youtube and rip them to mp3 for my listening pleasure.

Films are another problem: we get them on HBO etc. in a couple of months, but often they are on at an inconvenient time. I guess we'll have to figure out how to copy them like I used to copy them in the US on my Video recorder.

Luckily, thanks to the huge Chinese pirating industry, we can buy the latest film from a small vendor for 50 pesos in our rural Palenke the week before it opens in Manila.

And small vendors at the Palenke will sell you a cd of your favorite songs (and you can even chose which songs for them to burn on your cd at some small shops).

I'm on your computer, watching your keystrokes

Saint Peggy says it all

Our government is not totalitarian. Our leaders, even the worst of them, are not totalitarian. But our technology is totalitarian, or rather it is there and can be used and abused by those whose impulses tend, even unconsciously or unthinkingly, in that direction... Go to somebody who's 75 and ask, "So if it turns out the U.S. government is really spying on American citizens and tracking everything they do, is that OK with you?" They'll likely say no, that's not what we do in America.
I also saw an article about a guy's teenaged son covering all the camera eyes on his computer screens, to stop them from spying...Paranoia? Well, if I find any photos of me stark naked on the net, you'll know my computer was breached.


Related item (satire) if Palin was president.

after a long list of things being done right now, the writer comments:

But the real issue is this “transparency” thing. We can’t really have any with a democrat in charge. Implicit in all of these bullets is the unstated extra, “If President Palin ever made any movement in any of these directions, the media would light her up like a fucking Christmas tree.”
 she will never be president, but she has more one liners than Leno:
“Our government spied on every single one of your phone calls but couldn’t find two pot-smoking deadbeat Bostonians with a hotline to terrorist central in Chechnya.…

And it’s built an apparatus to sneak into all of the good guys’ communications but…whoopsi-daisy… It missed the Fort Hood murderer of our own troops despite this Islamic terrorist declaring his ideology in numerous army counselling sessions and on his own business cards. But, whoops, no red flags there.


The problem: The idea of "pathological altruism"

Not a new idea: Hyack's book on totalitarianism says the same thing...

headsup Instapundit.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Dengue anyone?

Dept of Health here in the Philippines reports 42,000 cases of Dengue fever with almost 200 deaths in the last six months.

probably more cases than reported, since mild cases don't see doctors.

another "roll on roll off" ferry sank in calm seas.

luckily, nearby fishermen rescued most of the folks, but 2 dead and at least 7 missing (since often the bug drivers aren't on the passenger list)

well, at least when Cebu Pacific slides off the runway, no one is killed...

Brady Barr is in the Philippines. Guess we'll be on Nat Geo one of these days. The killer croc Lolong, has died of pneumonia and that makes him sad:

Barr said he was saddened by news of Lolong’s fate. Barr said he was saddened by news of Lolong’s fate. “Truly, giant crocodiles are very, very special,” he said. “They’re very few and far between. There are fewer of them on the planet every single day for a number of reasons: habitat loss, illegal fishing activities … We kill them out of fear and ignorance,” he added.
actually, Lolong wasn't killed, (he died in captivity) but should have been: He killed a young girl and probably killed a missing fisherman.

and I have to laugh at Barr telling the local poor that they live in a tropical paradise. As my husband told me: You can't eat the scenery.

monsoon rains are flooding some areas.

Don't blame global warming: it's due to deforestation (bribe someone to look the other way when you cut the valuable trees down) allowing folks to build houses on the flood plain (bribe someone to ignore regulations) and lack of proper drainage (rivers silt up, garbage gets thrown in ditches and block drainage...either these things are not a priority or the money supposed to pay for these things ends up in someone's pockets).


Podcast of the week

For Christians, the saying is "WWJD", what would Jesus do....

but a new book suggests that for presidents, the question is: WWWD, what would George Washington do?

Beirne shows that the American presidency was born as much out of the personality of one man–George Washington–as it was out of the political philosophies of the founding fathers. After all, the framers had never seen a presidency before–almost all previous states were led by monarchs, and that was not an option for the new American Republic. So they looked at Washington, what he had done during the Revolutionary War, and modeled the presidency after him.

mp3 link

and if you want to keep in touch with Big Brother in the US, check out links at Instapundit.

who links to this editorial in the Times of India.

There was never a doubt that governments across the world, the US in particular, took help of technology companies like Google, Microsoft, Facebook and Apple while investigating crimes or tracking terrorists. But the perception was that whenever this happened, some sort of due process was followed and that the technology companies had a level of control on what they shared. There was a perception that companies, especially Google, were strongly committed to the privacy of their users.
Last week, this perception shattered. The leaked material purportedly reveals that NSA had “direct access” to the servers of nine companies and the agency officials could monitor, track and record every message or mail sent by web users utilizing the services of these companies. The companies named in the reports were Facebook, Google, Apple, Yahoo, Skype, Microsoft, AOL, YouTube, and PalTalk.

and many of these customers are  not US citizens and upset about it.

Lord Minimus

The celebrated spy, Sir Jeffrey Hudson, was not only a pituitary dwarf but a Catholic.

Crisis magazine has a short biography.

most famous for being present to the king inside a pie, he also was a spy, a Captain on the Royalist side of the revolution, killed a man in a dual, and at age 25 was captured by Barbary pirates and a slave in North Africa for 25 years...before being rescued.

Curiously, in his years of slavery, Jeffrey had grown in spurts to 48 inches, which is not uncommon for those with pituitary deficiency, so he could no longer make much of a living as a curiosity.

The article remembers a few other people of short stature. Charles I was only 4 ft 8 inches; the poet Alexander Pope was only 4 foot (and also a Catholic). Both probably genetic or lack of growth from disease/nutrition.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Factoid of the day

Tycho Brahe had a brass nose, not a silver nose.

(he lost it in a dual)

and he died of a ruptured bladder from a kidney stone, not mercury poisoning.

more at Neatorama...

read the whole thing, especially the part about his drunken pet moose...

and a PDF about the history of Bladder stones and treatment can be found here.

Pepys had his removed surgically...

and the surgical treatment is ancient: Which is why it is mentioned in the Hippocratic oath.

The ancient Greek Hippocratic Oath includes the phrase: "I will not cut for stone, even for the patients in whom the disease is manifest; I will leave this operation to be performed by practitioners," a clear warning for physicians against the "cutting" of persons "laboring under the stone"; an act that was better left to surgeons (who were distinct from physicians at that time in history). Operations to remove bladder stones via the perineum, like other surgery before the invention of anesthesia, were intensely painful for the patient.[1]
 more here.

and wikipedia has some very nice descriptions of how they used to smash or chisel the stone to get it small enough to take out.
from nlm.nih
the reason for the perineal approach is that if it got infected, the pus could drain out. If you went in above the pubic bone, there is a chance you would clip the peritoneum and end up with a patient who dies from peritonitis .

And yes, this position today is still called the "lithotomy" position, although we use that position for Pap smears and some childbirth.

cross posted to my Xanga blog.

Medical essays

at my xanga blog.

Medieval Leprosy

Ricketts and that lily white complexion of the Medici

Mad, bad, and heroic (headlines)

Ancient military medicine.


I'm trying not to get paranoid about politics (one of these days I'm going to write an essay wondering if, as an elderly mother of 2, stepmother of three, and grandmother of six, and an ex missionary to boot, if I have a big file somewhere in Washington that puts me on a terrorist risk.

Why should they?

Well, I attended a Church weekend with one of the Harrisburg 8 (the FBI was watching) and kept quiet when a non violent anti Vietnam protester who they were looking for was living down the street from me.

Then I worked in Rhodesia, at a time when it was under sanctions and on the "no visit" list along with Cuba and North Korea.

Then I was in Liberia, which is another long story, except to say that I got out shortly before they started a revolution and shooting folks in front of the Hilton where we used to disco dance.

In the US, I didn't cause trouble, except for pro life letters to the editor (guess that might make me a terrorist)

and when 911 occurred, I didn't report that one of my patients had made arrangements for her daughter's boyfriend's family to hide out with her if the gov't tried to imprison all Muslim non citizens (similar to FDR's actions against the Japanese).

Of course, I now live in the Philippines and send letters with kitten photos all over the world, including to Iran, the Middle East, Zimbabwe, the UK and the US.


In our prayers

Iran is holding elections, and since all candidates have to be okayed by the reigning Mullahs, it is a choice between Tweedledee and Tweedledum

From StrategyPage:

June 13, 2013: The presidential election is tomorrow, but all the candidates were approved by the senior clerics and there is not much drama because whoever is elected will do what they are told

and they are preparing prisons in case the public objects.

Dr E, of Persian Paradox, was hoping that the previous president or other reform candidates would be allowed to run as a reform candidate, and many reformers were trying to run for lower level jobs running the cities, but alas this has also been nixed. LINK

Now that I have been disqualified on political pretexts, to run for Council elections in Tehran, I have been  spending more time on the concurrent presidential elections. Former President Khatami has now, for the past 7 months, convened a Council of Advisers to decide on a road map for the future. A strong and unified presence for the nationwide council elections and a wise decision on presidential elections has been pursued by this group and other remaining Reformist political groups.

Although many well known Reformist figures were disqualified for council elections in major cities like Tehran, yet Reformists have managed to produce an alliance among their groups and give a 31 person list for Tehran as well as many other cities. This is the result of months of tireless efforts of many political activists who have payed the heavy price of Reformist activism in Iran.


So why has President Obama chosen the day of the Iranian elections to openly take sides against Iran's ally in Syria? I question the timing. Iranians might hate their rulers, but the spector of a US threat may make many of them less likely to object to the fake election.

The reason I say "openly" is, of course, because the Benghazi coverup was about funneling confiscated arms from Ghadaffy to the Syrian Rebels via Turkey.


we're number ten: only slightly more dangerous than the Sunni extremists in Iraq.

Beware of Sister Mary Elephant: She's mad, she's bad, and she's out to get even.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Family news

They are back working on the roof: hopefully it will be fixed before this year's typhoons start hitting us.

Chano and Joy are at the farm all day.

I went to the bank and then the mall with Ruby: got a new "emergency" flashlight. I had the choice between an LED that said it would last 10 hours and a halogen that lasts only 3 hours, but was a better brand. I chose the halogen, a large square flashlight, that doubles as a lamp when we have brownouts: and because I need a heavy and bright flashlight at night when I answer the door (I'm closest to the doorbell). If the wrong people are there, they will face me with a heavy flashlight, along with our dogs.

Musings below the fold

, David Warren discusses re introducing the classics into education, and maybe reteaching the bible.
It is the superiority of the narrative to the syllogistic in the education not only of children but of people, generally. Christ taught in parables, & by example. The Bible is an exemplary storybook, which has obvious use in the moralization not only of our pallid race, but of all races. And the technical foundation, in Latin & Greek (perhaps even a soupçon of Hebrew), is best advanced through the delight of the Classics. (The real Classics, the classic Classics, that take us back to the ground conditions of human experience & language.)
The irony of this is that too often the classics are taught badly (I hated the Oddessey because we were expected to read it as poetry: MEGO).

But I used to tell stories to Ruby, including the classic ones, and now she understands a lot of the metaphors in the Percy Jackson series, about a son of Poisidon. And Tolkien's works have not only brought back Beowulf and renewed the genre of fantasy, but renewed interest in the good part of the middle ages, which were not as dark as the PC of the past insisted (mainly in order to become leaders in their own brave new world).

Warren adds this:
A Catholic re-evangelization, to my mind, must necessarily focus on re-teaching that very same Bible, through all the media of literature, music, & art, resolved in the Liturgy. As much as possible, we must find a way to approach Scripture & Tradition on their own terms, & not through the blinders of faction; to be bravely “catholic” or “universal,” to say nothing of humble in our approach to this magnificent inheritance.

Andrew Greeley does this in his R rated novels, and has several books about the "catholic" imagination, that sacramentally sees God in the little things of life: the flower, the sunrise and in our lover's smile...the old saying goes that we can find out about God in two "books": The bible and the book of nature...

and no, science doesn't negate God (scientism does, but that is philosophy, not science).

one reason he hated the "reformers" is that they tended to be dry intellectuals or have the rigid protestant rule oriented faith, whereas he saw the Bible and all of life as God's telling us a story...

 Insight has a link to an essay on Love in Shakespeare as divine madness, and how it has deteriorated into cynical coupling or "do your own thing" in the modern world. Yet they are both wrong.

Bookmarked for later reading. It's by Joseph Pearce, who specializes in finding Catholic themes in great books: his more recent ones are about Catholic themes in Shakespeare, who if he wasn't Catholic (see Michael Wood's "In search of Shakespeare" who comes to the same conclusion) had a lot of Catholics in his family...

 Idle Speculations has a link to the Met's books on art.

MetPublications is a portal to the Met's comprehensive book and online publishing program with close to 700 titles published from 1964 to the present.
It has been made available thanks to the generosity of the Museum and Hunt & Betsy Lawrence
It makes available 370 out-of-print titles, including lots of informative and visually-packed art catalogs from the museum’s past exhibitions. You can read the books online or download them in PDF format
 they also have films here.

again, bookmarked for later reading.


why am I not surpised

'Spiritual' young people more likely to commit crimes than 'religious' ones, study finds, 

yeah. Spritiual but not religious usually means being a sociopath who rejects all those inconvenient rules that stop one from doing what one wants to do...

and the non believers do even fewer crimes, although I suspect it is because that group tends to be more educated and affluent.


and the really, really important headline of the day:

Research shows male guppies reproduce even after death

no, not this one
Photographer: Debbie Lockett

this type.

although we never had problem with breeding guppies: they are "live bearers" and gestate the eggs inside the mother, and after the eggs hatch the kids come out and will get eaten if you don't have lots of greens in the tank where they can hide.

which is why Ogden Nash wrote this poem:

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