Friday, February 28, 2014

The really really important stories of the dayy

Pope Francis and his "mini Me".

DuckDynasty alert:

the latest fad: Beard Transplants.


The "every cloud has a silver lining" story comes from Dave Barry:

Polar vortex chill exterminated 95 percent of stink bugs in Va. Tech experiment

Read more here:


The UKTelegraph slideshow of the day is cats sleeping in weird places.

bananas: You are peeling it wrong.


one of the gems in reading the Manila Bulletin is the comic strip Norman's Island.

here is a recent one:


Thursday, February 27, 2014

CAT item of the day

UK Telegraph article on the ten most famous cats in the world.

Yes, Nyahcat came in number one,

and grumpycat came in number two.

Headsup Presurfer.

Stuff around the net, plus rants

StrategyPage podcast discusses the root causes of World War I: blame Charlemagne?


Freakonomics points out modern marriage, where "two incomes no kids" (or one or two kids) in the elites and the poor marrying each other have led to increase of income inequality...

actually it's worse because a lot of working class moms don't bother to marry the kid's daddies, because they can make more money off of welfare, and his job was exported to China...

Fracking could change this, but never mind.


Someone in Florida said they supported immigration for cheap gardeners and maids.

Hungergames, says Instapundit. Nah, just third world economics. Lots of Pinays get jobs here, or in Saudi or in Singapore etc. as maids to support their extended families.

My take? We have maids and cooks here, but the only person I knew who had a full time maid in the US is the woman who hired my mom to do dressmaking and my brother to do the yard work.

Hello: Most American women do their own work and raise their kids on their own (which is why most women prefer to work part time).

Remember when the press wined and dined the ex boyfriend of Sarah Palin's daughter, so he could drop dirt on her, and his main criticism was that she forced her daughter to cook supper? It says a lot about the state of the MSM that they thought this was horrible, even though few Americans have maids and most of us who work and raised kids did expect the kids to help in the home...


It's not just priests (although you might not know about these previous scandals).

The BBC report on how UKMail dared to point out that some very prominent folks there allowed a pedophile group into their "civil rights" organization in the 1970's and early 1980, including some who worked to lower the "age of consent" to 10...

Yes, in our medical school in the 1970's, a psychiatrist supported introducing children to sex. It was all the fad back then.

But in the UK, such charges are kept out of the papers, partly thanks to a strict libel law...and then there is the "gentleman's agreement" to keep such things out of the press, according to this report in the left wing/anti war Counterpunch... and there are more detailed stories on conspiracy sites that may or may not be accurate.


The "wedding cake" controversy is being written up as an "anti gay" thing, but it's actually not a case of refusing to serve Gay customers: it is about publicly cooperating in an action that they view as immoral.

A parallel case would be a pizza parlor refusing to deliver to an abortion clinic or a restaurant refusing to allow the KKK or the Tea party to hire them for a meeting.

If these individuals came to be served as individuals, they would: but if they came and asked the restaurant to essentially support them in their actions, you have a different argument altogether.

As for cakes: I once saw a staff party where the cake was a naked woman...and the only woman in the office was their supervisor?
Would it be legal for the bakery to refuse to bake that cake?
What if you knew that the supervisor was black, and it was a chocolate cake?


addendum: TheOtherMcCain blog notes that according to the daily beast the real problem with America is that porn actors are looked down upon.

 In the meanwhile, several more intellectual magazine essays are comparing America with Weimar Germany....

well, the difference was the the corruption in the Wiemar republic was pretty much limited to certain areas of Berlin, wheras you kids can see Miley Cyrus etc. in your living room.

To quote Arthur C Clark: I remember Babylon...

And if you don't think that is ironic, never mind.

Family news

Yesterday, Ruby and I went to the mall to buy stuff (i.e. groceries that the local market doesn't have), and Lolo went along because he didn't like the soup that the cook made. So we ate at the Chinese fast food restaurant: We got Lolo a meal, but he just ate the big bowl of ramen noodles (which are called "mami" noodles here).

But afterward, he was exhausted and we took him home. Last night he had a fever and I started him on antibiotics for a possible kidney infection.

He is okay, but not much appetite.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Hobbit Trivia

According to David Salo at Midgardsmal, the runes on Kili's stone mean "return to me".

He has a full linguistic explanation there.

and if you want lessons on how he devised the various dialects of Orcish languages, he has various blog posts on that too.

for the non Tolkien geeks, Salo is a linguist who had an interest in Tolkien's languages, so we tapped to devise non English dialect for the LOTR trilogy.

No, I have no background in linguistics per se, but know enough about Tagalog and ChiShona to know a little about it (and a tiny bit of Navajo, with it's many many irregular verbs and glottal stops).

One of these days, I'll study Chinese to fill in the final gap.

Rest in Peace

From TeaAtTrianon: Maria Von Trapp (the daughter) has died at age 99.

she is the last of the original singers (although I believe several of the much younger children of the more famous Maria, the second wife, are still alive).

NYTimes obit here: She is survived by her half siblings and her adopted son...

Factoid: She served as a missionary in New Guinea, (where the stepmom Maria joined her for a few years).more HERE

In 1956 the Trapp Family Singers had toured Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific... the von Trapps promised (the bishop) they would go to the islands and start lay missionary work...
Stepdaughter Maria (b 1914) and children Rosemarie (b 1929) and Johannes (b 1939) had just arrived in PNG. Maria and Rosmarie taught "the little ones" and tended the sick in villages while, among other chores, Johannes built a church and two schoolhouses. He remained in PNG for four years, Rosmarie for five and Maria for a dedicated 30.


Picture: Hendy Mp/Solent News

from the UKTelegraph

Quotes of the day

David Warren quotes a comment to his article on miracles (or rather the lack of signs and wonders).

“As far as signs and portents, … it is once again St John of the Cross who grounded me  as I was finding my way back to the Church. He said God gave us our intelligence for a reason, and we should not be petitioning Him for signs and wonders, not that God does not sometimes give them, but we can so easily misinterpret them. So it is best to leave them alone or take them to a spiritual adviser or let God clarify them in His way and time. …
“One other good thing St John taught me is that faith is not feeling.”
I think I've seen two miracles in 36 years of practice, and about one a year get the impression in my heart that God wants me to do something (I was going to write "hear" but it wasn't hearing, but a small still voice). But many times in my life, I saw the "coincidences"...

One thing that Tolkien taught me is that God works in coincidences.


First they came for the fetus: Rev Sensing points out the next step: After birth abortion.

No surprise there: They already do it in Belgium. Except in Belgium the kid has to be sick. Not so in this article:

... Abortions at an early stage are the best option, for both psychological and physical reasons. However, if a disease has not been detected during the pregnancy, if something went wrong during the delivery, or if economical, social or psychological circumstances change such that taking care of the offspring becomes an unbearable burden on someone, then people should be given the chance of not being forced to do something they cannot afford.
 Yes, if you have economical problems, just throw out the kid.


Monday, February 24, 2014

Stories, we like stories

CiDevant blog notes the good (the return of the strong woman) the bad (the whitewashing of Cromwell, and ignoring the bad side of the Dutchess of Winsor) and the Ugly (making Anne Boleyn such a B***** that one can't see why anyone would love her).

 I like historical fiction, but not when the fiction makes people act and think like 21st century upper class feminists. I just threw away another novel about Africa because the dialogue seemed to be more existentionalist/ introspective comments than African (and not really compatible with Bantu syntax or customs. For example: You have to say hello and then ask about your family etc. before you start a conversation)...

that's not to say all African novels written are wrong: Cry the Beloved country gets a lot right, as does Maya Angelou's autographical writings. Actually I first read Maya Angelou in Africa, where a local nurse recommended her books to me. This was in urban West Africa, not rural Southeast Africa: the cultures are not the same...

Eric Metaxas talks about his biography of Bonhoffer here and also has a link to a series of bible studies on Bonhoffer.

One is previewed here on youtube: 


Family news

Lolo is feeling better, but it is hot again.

I almost have all my w2 forms for income tax, but I can't even find the bank statements for Lolo so we can estimate his, so I might file as a single but married category. No one is going to put Lolo in jail, and most of his bank accounts are in the name of Filipino relatives.

I rescued another loud kitten from the vacant lot yesterday. I think this one wasn't abandoned but the kitten of a feral cat, since he is black (as are several other feral cats that visit here) and well nourished but won't let anyone touch him. If I can't tame him in another day or two, we will let him lose in the Palenke area, where there are lots of mice and lizards but no dogs, and let him fend for himself. I tried putting him in the side garden, that is fairly closed off to dogs, but he just cowered down and wouldn't move...but kept meowing. I figure George would get him in about ten minutes so I brought him back.

Sigh. Not a good country for cats or dogs.

In the meanwhile, school is starting, so I am giving extra to the "regular" beggars. They aren't too destitute: Several have kids in high school, and husbands who work as tricycle drivers. They beg to supplement their income.

We also have the destitute, mainly a couple elderly whose family works elsewhere, who come here for help with their medicines, which are expensive. Five pesos a day for a blood pressure pill does add up... I let the maid sort them out if I'm not sure if they are needy or not.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Stuff around the net

(scifi) writer Sarah Hoyt has a series of articles on Heinlein.


Also from PJMedia: the usually pessimistic Michael Ledeen notes that people power in several countries shows that there are reasons to be optimistic.

Since then, the Ukraine seems to have forced their dictator to flee (and Weird Al Yankovic has tweeted that no, he isn't president of the Ukraine). StrategyPage has the background of what's going on...Fracking to the rescue?
Ukraine got free in 1991 when the Soviet Union collapsed and want closer economic and political ties with Europe. To that end Ukraine began 2013 by signing a $10 billion contract with a major oil company to develop shale gas fields in Ukraine. Within a decade this could eliminate the need to import natural gas from Russia. This would free Ukraine from Russian threats to halt gas shipments if Ukraine did not do as it was told.

all of this reminds me of the problem of "realism in politics": in the days of Marcos, the "realism" types in the State Dept backed him as "the only alternative to communism" (and the liberation theology types, said a communist revolution was the only solution to the country's problems).

Then Nino was killed, and Cory ran in his place, and a million Pinoys marched to oust him, singing hymns.


Speaking of demonstrations: It was noisy from traffic, and when I checked there was a traffic jam and lots of buses detouring around our house (an alternative route to travel through town).

It seems that the Iglesia n iCristo are having a demonstration in Manila on Tuesday, and we are on one of the main roads from the north.

About three million Iglesia ni Cristo members are expected to attend the event at Quirino Grandstand in Manila. As early as 7 a.m., police have kept watch over the Luneta area, including nearby roads and hotels, as buses and jeeps carrying delegates from the provinces started arriving.

The gathering is touted as a "Bible Exposition," but observers also see it as a demonstration of the religious group's numbers and potential political clout.

. They are very active in politics, and because they tithe have huge identical churches all over the place (the only "clean" areas of our town center are the InC church and the LDS church, both down the street from us).

the Iglesia Ni Cristo are supposed to be United Church of Christ (so don't recognize Jesus as God, which means the Baptists dislike them) but are very very strict in rules, so lots of folks call them a cult. When our Iglesia driver went to ask permission from her family to marry our secretary, a strict Baptist, the father said the difference in churches didn't matter as long as he wasn't Iglesia. So he lied and said he was Catholic (which he once had been) and got permission.


The local elites love to blame global warming for all the problems here.

It's a twofer: You can ignore the bribery/corruption behind poverty, and ignore that the illegal logging/mining/dynamite fishing that destroys the reefs, causes landslides and floods, and blame the problem on "global warming".

and of course all that "reparation" from industrial countries will end up in the rich folk's pockets.


The good news: A new agreement on more US troops here, trying to scare China from stealing the West Philippine sea (and all that lovely natural gas that will be fracked in the future). And it's also good news for the lovely ladies in Subic...

Defending tyranny: Time travellers: please don’t kill Hitler...

or as Rev Sensing sardoncally notes: Because killing 50 million people is better than any alternative


Islamophobia in practice:
Some mullah declared a Fatwa against Muslims going to Mars.

or maybe not: The fatwas was some clerics in the UAE. Except they don't speak for Islam (the Egyptian mullahs are the experts who are most respected in these things, but even their fatwas are often not recognized). I mean, there are a billion Muslims, and yes, there have been Muslims astronauts.

And, of course, they don't speak for  Shiites, so that means Iranians can ignore them.

The headline itself is a form of promoting Islamophobia, sort of like quoting some unknown pastor out of context and implying he speaks for all the one and a half  billion Christians in the world. As JFK pointed out: hatred of Catholicism is often spread by quoting a cleric from another country, often from another century, and then implying he represents all Catholics or the church's official dogma. Same here.

and in this case, the headline ignores that the fatwa was because the trip was too dangerous, not because the religion is anti science.

Mark your calenders: Feb 22 is (or was) World Sword swallower's day.

family news

We were at Emie's for a party last night. She promised a dying friend to hold a "birthday party" with her fellow classmates in her memory, but we were invited to share in the food.

The female dogs are in heat, so lots of noise and fights with "visitor" dogs over them, so I am up and down all night leaving out PapaDog (aka Bad Bart before his arthritis slowed him down) to chase away the competition.

our Killer Lab George (aka Whitey)? He used to get so aggressive that we couldn't control him so we had him snipped so he just goes back to sleep.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Stuff around the net

GeorgeStuart has two articles on how he started on model making (and later, in recreating historicaly figuirines)


His gallery is shown HERE and a youtube channel from the museum that includes his talks with his figurines is HERE.

the latest videos are on Russian history

Friday, February 21, 2014

I sing the body electric...

 Are two actual people still required for a relationship? Asks Psychology today

the psychologists, being intellectuals, cite HER, a non hit film by a PC filmmaker about robosex, and of course the maid from the Jetsons (presumably they watched this before they went to universities and learned to despise popular culture).

Yet AI, by Spielberg, and I Sing The Body Electric, by Bradbury, explore the subject in more depth.

The dirty little secret is that it is not "sex robots" that will be needed, but robot caretakers, which are quickly being developed in Japan where the population is imploding while the number of frail elderly are increasing in percentage of population. Already they import lots of Pinay caretakers, but in the future, robo caretaker may be the way to go (in contrast, Europe is busy popularizing the idea to kill off their useless elderly...a contrast between Buddhist vs post christian modern utilitarianism).

And here's a factoid: What ancient book described caretaker robots?

It's the Iliad

Then from his anvil the lame artist rose;
Wide with distorted legs oblique he goes,
And stills the bellows, and (in order laid)
Locks in their chests his instruments of trade.
Then with a sponge the sooty workman dress'd
His brawny arms embrown'd, and hairy breast.
With his huge sceptre graced, and red attire,
Came halting forth the sovereign of the fire:
The monarch's steps two female forms uphold,
That moved and breathed in animated gold;
To whom was voice, and sense, and science given
Of works divine (such wonders are in heaven!)
On these supported, with unequal gait,
He reach'd the throne where pensive Thetis sate;

headsup From Instapundit:

Factoid of the day

Is the mysterious Voynich manuscript being decoded?

no, but one scholar claims that it includes words describing herbs that are real.


Thursday, February 20, 2014

Cute photo of the day

Confused Grasshopper by Matt Cole, 2012

Faraday cage to the rescue?

I'm listening to C2C on EMP's/solar flares and their danger to the electric grid.

heh. Here in the Philippines, we have to rely on typhoons to blow our electric supply and floods to destroy our computer systems

But he mentions that the reason our microwave oven doesn't fry our brain is that it has an inbuilt Faraday cage.

That takes me back awhile (to when I studied Physics in college).

from how stuff works:

As a Faraday cage distributes that charge or radiation around the cage's exterior, it cancels out electric charges or radiation within the cage's interior. In short, a Faraday cage is a hollow conductor, in which the charge remains on the external surface of the cage.

yes, that is why you are usually safe if lightning hits your plane or car (at least in the pre plexiglas days), and where the "tin foil hat" idea comes from.

more HERE

if you are surrounded with wire, you are Mythbusters shows

 one note: Make sure the cage is grounded...

biology is destiny---not


thoughtful essay about the deconstruction of gender, marriage etc. via propaganda, intellectual fads, and coercion against those who "sit athwart the rush of " history" and say no".

LIterary stuff

writer Brian Sibley says his next BBC radio project is The Once and Future King.

Hopefully I will have a good enough internet connection to listen to it streaming (or maybe someone will post it to the Pirate Bay).

Unrelated item: I just reloaded a downloader that can recognize YouKu and other Chinese TV sites, and although sometimes they charge for film downloads, and often they won't let you view their programs, sometimes I am able to download them anyway.

So I found I can download Sherlock(!) there...
 and I watched a local program (streaming) where the vonTrapp greatgrandkids singers were interviewed and explained how they taught the audience to yodel in Chinese...

 They are the grandkids of "Kurt", whose real name was Werther....


LightReadingBlog says there will be a lecture by Emily Wilson on the problems of correctly translating Homer.  Sigh. I doubt it will get put on line. Their podcast page only has podcasts that."spotlight contemporary issues and (feminist) activists."...

the murders in the Iliad are pretty graphic...and ironically, they are not anonymous "extras" as in too many films: and often we hear a short "biography" of the victim in the description.

and like later Greek writers, they often portray their victims sympathetically (not true in the literature of other countries)...

something to remember when people criticize "Captain Philipps" for making the Somali bad guys all too human...


DavidWarren always has thoughtful essays at his site.

Today is about all the end of time kerfuffle and other forms of fortune telling

and about all those who get "messages" from God, he notes that Mother Teresa had exactly one "sign" from God, and after that she was on her own, presumably God trusted her own judgement and gave her this freedom.


Poetess Holly Ordway has part three of a series on Love, sex and the supernatural in CS Lewis and Charles Williams.

mainly bookmarked for later reading, since I don't agree with Lewis and wonder about Charles Williams personal life, with erotic but sex free relationships with other women.

maybe after I get around to reading the thoughtful essays I'll change my mind...


Dead Poets Society Blecch.

bad teaching where movies get it all wrong.

Via FR

Politics uggh

No, we don't get House of Cards here (at least I don't think so: but then we tend to watch films or nature documentaries).

But this article hints that it is doing the job that the press doesn't want to do. (headsup Instapundit)

And Peggy Noonan has an essay about it: Our Decadent Elites.

heh. they seem to be channeling Lil Abner.

Update: it is popular in China.

hmmm...wonder if it's on Youku?

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

WTF articles of the day

The attack of the killer chihuahuas

Why you need to read conspiracy sites: and follow the money

The WSJ reports on John Kerry praising Maurice Strong of Canada, one of the unelected puppet masters who are behind a lot of changes but never get into the news. Follow the money...which is why THIS article makes one shudder.

Hey, the Dark Ages wasn't that bad.

actually it was: When you do economic measurements, the economy flopped because it was too unsafe to trade, and there was no law and order. And yes, slavery was bad, but so is anarchy and roaming armed thugs that steal all your food...

As the saying goes:

Heh. Zimbabwe hit the news

Chicago politician who was convicted for pedophilia, bank fraud, and possession of child pornography, who got pardoned by Clinton, was arrested for filming Porn in Zimbabwe hotels....or maybe the real problem was that he didn't pay the hotel bill.

you will be happy to learn you are now safe from dangerous Catholic terrorists:

84 year old nun sent to jail for protest against nukes.

their real crime? showing that the site had lousy security.
The three were convicted of cutting fences and entering the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, in July 2012, embarrassing U.S. officials and prompting security changes.

Muslim dress designer shows covering up can be beautiful.

Lamya is someone who has customised, or changed the way the Arab world perceives an abaya. She has steered clear of the ‘all black, and sequins at the hem’ kind of designs. Her designs have seen reflections of a unique form of traditional wear like the Indian saree, the Japanese kimono, and sometimes pantaloons, too


for later reading


discussion here.

WE are the weakest link...


abuse of women and children in Afghanistan is endemic, but the leftists prefer to see them as the noble savages.

they also kill medical workers...
In the last 15 months more than 40 people associated with the polio eradication teams have been killed by the Taliban. The Islamic terrorists believe the polio vaccination is really intended to poison Moslem children, despite the fact that kids who are vaccinated do not get polio. As a result of these attacks there were 91 cases of polio in Pakistan during 2013 and 58 in 2012.

and I suspect the real number is higher:most cases don't result in paralysis, but in rural areas, the kids probably die at home after not seeing a doctor, or have mild cases and the family doesn't worry about it.

Cat item of the day at Librivox.

Dr. E at Persian paradox no longer has her job on the Tehran city council, but remains active in fighting pollution in that country. She reports on what's going on... 
including visiting Iraq on environmental matters.


not linked, but there is a report that New Jersey is salting their roads with pickle juice because the feds won't allow their salt to be shipped from Maine because of a regulation.

Better dead drivers than breaking a technicality I guess.


Tuesday, February 18, 2014


(Light blogging since I am updating windows on my new computer).

bookmarked for later readin:

StrategyPage has an article on the evolution of warfare that includes this paragraph.

If the expected breakthrough in batteries (fuel cells) evolves as reliably and cheaply as expected, the 2040s infantryman will be something of a cyborg. In addition to carrying several computers and sensor systems, he might wear body armor that also provides air conditioning. Satellite communications, of course, and two way video. Exoskeletons are already in the works and may mature by then. A lot depends on breakthroughs in battery tech although engineers are also finding to do more with just a little juice. Historians tend to constantly underestimate the cleverness of engineers and inventors in general.


related stories LINK LINK

Monday, February 17, 2014

Science stuff below the fold

Fusion energy update;
For the first time, experiments have produced more energy from fusion reactions than the amount of energy put into the fusion fuel, say scientists at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California.
Mother's milk is different for boys and girls.


Sochi from space
yes, we're watching it on and off.

Big news here is yes, we have a skater competing there.

 Georgia the Mississipians.

below I pointed out that heritage seeds/crops were needed in these days of agribusiness.
Psysorg has an article about it here.

Fire moon

I was puzzled at the "fire moon" reference in Hobbit two, where Kili tells Tauriel about seeing a red moon rising. I don't remember any thing about this in Tolkien.

So what causes a "fire moon", where the moon turns red as blood?

UniverseToday discusses HERE

usually it is because it is low in the sky, but it can also be caused by smoke/particles in the air such as after wildfires or volcanic eruptions etc.

ZTResearch has a great photo of a firemoon in Rapid City from the wildfires in Wyoming. LINK

 a third reason is during a full lunar eclipse.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Gift item of the day

Pizza Cologne

more here.

GMO Hysteria overblown?

GMO's are controversial, as are a lot of the superseeds pushed by big agri businesses.

So I was happy to see MomJones discuss the problem.

Genetic modification, Novella says, "is not the panacea, nor is it a menace; it's just one more tool that has to be used intelligently."
So what does Novella think accounts for our distrust of genetic modification? He points to what he calls the "naturalistic fallacy," or the reverence of "quote, unquote: what is 'natural' to an unreasonable degree."
"There's nothing inherently good or virtuous about the way things were in nature," he says. "And we've been altering them beyond recognition for thousands of years, anyway."

the point is that GMO crops are not dangerous per se, but that like other hybrids, you have to use common sense and figure out if they could harm other crops or local ecosystem.
And, of course, mono culture is a problem: having farmers switch to the high tech seeds and the local seeds with their genetic blueprints are lost.


Freakonomics discussion on gmophobia  

Scientifically, whether something is a risk depends on whether it is physically hazardous, in what ways and at what dose, and whether we’re exposed, at what age and how often. A radioactive particle in your lungs can cause cancer whether the particle came from the natural breakdown of uranium in the soil, which produces natural radon gas, or from a nuclear power plant accident. But risk perception research has found that natural risks don’t feel as scary as the the equivalent man-made risks. 


Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's day

a Valentine's day commercial from Wacoal, a lingerie company...
headsup from TurtleBayandBeyondBlog

Another sign that the end of the world is nigh


and guess who plays Gandalf? God....

Stuff below the fold

Don't look now: China's financial bubble is about to pop.

and no, I don't understand it except it seems to be saying that the US will print money to help the world cope.


UN will push new plans to remake the world.


The new agenda is also intended to  bring  “a new sense of global partnership   into national and international politics”; must  cause the world to “act now to halt the alarming pace of climate change and environmental degradation;” and bring about a “rapid shift to sustainable patterns of consumption and production,” to name just a few things itemized in the document.

 Heh. Sounds like the plot of the LEGO MOVIE

An ordinary LEGO minifigure, mistakenly thought to be the extraordinary MasterBuilder, is recruited to join a quest to stop an evil LEGO tyrant from gluing the universe together.

Freakonomics podcast part one on why marriage is changing.

The latest "two minute hate" on facebook was a two minute love: A photo of girlscouts selling cookies outside a marijuana store.

Wonder if they'd think it was cute if they were selling cookies outside of a gun/sporting good store?

Facebook widens Gender options to 50 odd options

the term "odd" is not me: That's what the BBC says.

The 50-odd options, which include "bi-gender", "transgender", "androgynous" and "transsexual", will allow people "to express themselves in an authentic way", Facebook said in a post.
That should confuse the NSA when they download information on you.

the BBC also has Hemingway's favorite Burger Recipe.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Cat Item of the day

Family news

Chano and family are in Baguio discussing organically raised veggies and seeing what seeds would work best here.

Since tomorrow is his birthday but he won't be back until tomorrow afternoon, we went to a local restaurant to celebrate last night.

Lolo's infection (technically erysipelas, not a pimple) is much better, but still tires easily.

Stories below the fold (plus rants)

Hundreds of bodies found in Mexico were killed by the drug cartels....and now the locals are protecting themselves with home grown militias.

(From StrategyPage).

I usually support gun control, since I was brought up in a city and my grandfather, a cop, wouldn't allow guns in the house for fear of children getting hold of them...

But I know from bitter experience that when there is no law and order, having a gun is the only thing that stands between you and being dead.

related item: The Diplomad discusses the Mexican violence, and how the Fast and Furious talking points tried to spin it to push gun control in the USA.

StrategyTalk discusses Benghazi.

related essay: Why the west is screwed (in Syria).

March 1 is the day of rememberance for the handicapped who were and are being killed for being handicapped.

for later reading: The Pope and economics.

... “How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points? … He continues, “Human beings are themselves considered consumer goods to be used and then discarded.”
yes, like when Europeans and some in North American think the handicapped and unborn who need to be eliminated so the strong and healthy can fullfill their dreams.

And here, it means encouraging local values and local jobs, and eliminating corruption, not making people into money hungry gringo imitators and having the government encourage folks to work overseas, a practice that is destroying many families.
Bishop Cruz has more here.

and ironically, the left leaning Inquirer editorial notes love was always associated with solidarity and family, but now the word has been degraded into personal feeling.

It is remarkable that, in the modern world, love’s main association is no longer with solidarity but with eroticism and passion, the intense feelings that two individuals have for one another. For that is not how the concept began...

Nowhere perhaps is love’s ancient association with human solidarity more eloquently expressed than in the famous biblical passage from 1 Corinthians 13:4-7: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
Shirley Temple: RIP.

exploring the "Brilliantly successful" persecution by the Shogun against Japanese Christians 400 years ago
Or was the government trying to find a scapegoat after Hideyoshi died and Admiral Yi's turtleboats kicked their ass?
For later research....


Banana miscellanea.

Most Popular Item
at Walmart: Bananas

Business Week, Aug. 15, 2010
Walmart Bananas
       Walmart, which registered $405 billion in sales last year and is the largest retailer in the world, sold more bananas than any other single item in its stores.

Headsup AnnAlthouse.

Radical feminist supports female genital mutilation.
and again, Ann Althouse blasts the lack of logic 

I should note: There are three types, (only one type is harmless to future childbearing and sexual pleasure) and it long predates Islam, and the more radical practice continues even though the prophet tried to discourage the more extreme version... 

more here.


For later reading: Flappy bird has flown the coop.

this article says that the designer removed it because it was addictive.

but don't worry: Pirate bay to the rescue.

Ruby has it on her smartphone....and agrees that it's addictive and harder than it looks.


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The "WAGD" Post of the day

Bird flu in China.

Wired has a summary here.

Their current tally stands at 336 cases since H7N9 first surfaced.
That total is an important number, for two reasons.  First, because the number of cases in the “second wave” of H7N9 (from late autumn 2013 until now) exceeds those in the first wave of outbreaks. And second, because it suggests that H7N9 is managing more rapid spread than the flu strain that has been the subject of the greatest international concern, avian flu H5N1: 336 in 12 months, versus 650 in 10 years.
So far, according to the WHO, almost all of those who have fallen sick have had some contact with individual live poultry, or visited a live market where poultry are slaughtered on site.
Explanation: not person to person spread...yet.
But given the SARS coverup by China, who knows...

I haven't been long enough back on the internet to check out the story in the NEJM

Unrelated item, also from WIRED

but most spiders are not poisonous.

Tell that to Bilbo and company...the massive attack by the smaller spiders in the Hobbit are much more frightening than Shelob ever was.


Bad news


The truly demonic nature of this bill—as a theologian I do not use that adjective lightly—is to be found, however, not only in its sanctification of suicide. It can be seen also in its attempt to force public institutions and healthcare personnel to become complicit in both suicide and murder, through a mandated process of cooperation with ministerial directives and demands for referral.
nor is it only the Catholics who are worried: The disability activists are worried too.

GayCaswell links it to Quebec's activists who pushed abortion and helped destroy the Catholic church.

of course Mrs. Gay Caswell has been sued for libel for being a whistleblower on drug using politicians, and her school is being harassed.

on the home front, Obama has told the president here to cool it and let china take over the South China sea.
Locals are mad, but as FilAm Fernandez at Belmont club writes: You get what you wished for.

he notes the decimation of the US by Obama's policies, and wryly links to the old story: last of the legions.

Strategypage also has an article saying be careful what you ask for.

a lot of this  China's a cynical way to distract folks from corruption and pollution.

they say China is only asking for it's territory back, but that claim goes back a couple hundred years. It would be like Norway claiming they own Canada because of the Viking incursions. And, of course, no one is asking if the hoi polloi back then liked their corrupt Chinese masters.

and what really infuriates the Philippines is that some generals were allowed to state in the state run press that they also claim the Philippines.

So we are busy wasting money to buy arms to defend ourselves.since no one believes the US will waste money defending it's allies.

related good news: Iraq must be getting safer, because the gov't is allowing local nurses to be recruited to work there.


Family news

Lolo's infection is getting better.

Chano and Joy were on TV yesterday discussing brown rice. that we sell.

Internet is back on, but the browser is bad, meaning I can only surf the net if I go to the office. Sigh.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Family news

Chano and Joy are getting interviewed about our organic products on a local tv show.

Lolo has an infected face, but is improving.

Internet going on and off: It's hot season.

Friday, February 07, 2014

New Computer

My old computer is working, but crashes periodically showing the blue screen of death, so I finally bought a new computer.

Uggh: Windows 8, which shares every thing via cloud. Oh well.

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

The "WAGD" Post of the day

From the UKTelegraph: economy bad.

I don't understand what they are talking about, but it sounds ominous...

Factoid of the day

comes from StrategyPage about Algeria, about the Arab/Berber conflict.

About 30 percent of Algerians are Berber, but the percentage is higher in the south. Ghardaia is an ancient Berber city of 90,000 that contains many Ibadi shrines.

as they rewrite the history of Egypt, the importance of the Sahel and the oases, along with the Nubian influences, are being reexamined.

But I never knew there was a fairly decent sized city in the Sahara...check wikipedia

no, it's not "ancient": Only 1000 years old according to wikipedia, but I suspect it dates further back...however, the water system is the key to being able to live there:

Gharda├»a's ancient water distribution system was devised by the Mozabites, keeping in view the ephemeral flows of its oueds (rivers). Realising the preciousness of this natural resource, the Mozabites developed a unique hydraulic system of underground tunnels to harvest rainwater and divert it to the oases. They have an equitable water distribution to all gardens and also maintain good flood protection measures.[5][15] The water supply is accessed in a number of ways through an incredible irrigation system that distributes water from many wells.[9] Well drilling occurs to a depth ranging from 350 ft (110 m) to 500 ft (150 m), then drawing the water from the Albian fossil groundwater continental infill whose reserves are estimated at 1.5 trillion m3. It is also sourced[15]

 underground irrigation tunnels?

Bookmarked for further reading.

Monday, February 03, 2014

Family Life

While President Obama is touting abortion as a gift so women can persue their dreams, a small whisper comes from the counterculture:

About Time.

although it's touted about a boy getting a "girlfriend", it really isn't. It's about family.

I believe it is by the folks who gave you "Love Actually", which is also described as being about people and their "love lives"...uh, no it's not. It is about people's connections with each other, not "love life" which in today's society is usually defined as sexual connections outside of marriage when people "fall in love", which is why this Atlantic review complains it's not "romantic" and blasts it.

 Well, since the stories include confronting infidelity, a man hopelessly in love with his best friend's wife,  a girl who chooses to care for her mentally ill brother, knowing that she will never have another chance for romance,and an aging rock star who shags every girl in sight but finally realizes that the only one who truly cares for him is his gay assistant,  (and Martin Friedman in a nude scene) maybe he is right.

Romance in today's world is about one's own desires.

Which brings me to this article (via TeaAtTrianon)

 Matt Walsh argues that your life is over when you have kids.

Your life is over when you have kids.
It’s true. They were right. It’s over.
My life is over now that I have kids.
My life is over.
That thing that I called MY life. That portion of existence — that long, lonely chapter — when I lived for me, and me alone. That delusion known as my life, where I exerted, or thought I exerted, ownership over my whole self. Where I separated my life from all other lives, and lived to satisfy my whims and desires.
That’s over. That’s all over.

read the whole thing.

Horticulture take two

More links for later reading:

A lot of dark age history can be found under "history of religion"

Scholar Phillip Jenkins has an article on Ninias/Finnian here

and then there is the DNA project

and For What they were blog has an article on lactose intolerance.

trivia question: Where else can you find folks able to drink milk? One royal family in Uganda got all the milk and can digest it fine.

The Masai, who are cattle herders, drink cow's blood mixed with milk.

But the Bantu I worked with (the Mashona) said you would get sick if you drank it before it was "ripe" (i.e. buttermilk).

Here in Asia, they are pushing milk to help post toddlers grow...wonder if  drinking milk stops the shut down of the gene, or maybe it's because there are so many metzisos.

Family news

Lolo is better: not coughing as much and more energy.

I am bored.

Both my computer and laptop work, but both are on their last legs. The question is which one do I want to replace. Sigh.

Chano and family got back from Manila late last night.

Early in the evening, I heard their cat meowing... someone had left it in the office. Usually I would have taken it down to join my cats in the spare bedroom's bathroom, but all the dogs were loose so I just got it food and an empty basket lined in newspaper to "do it's thing". Wonder what they'll do when they find him? Last time they did this, the cat pooped in the corner and they got mad. DUUUHHH.

Sunday, February 02, 2014

Stuff around the net

Chano and family went to Manila to see if some organic restaurants want to buy our veggies.

Lolo is better but weak, so we didn't go to church.

I am busy surfing the net on random subjects, such as: How did folks farm in the days of Hesiod?

Google picks up all sorts of stuff when you put in a random set of words.

But here are a few random things I ran across:

The Battle of Marathon was called that because the fields were full of fennel.

Sherlock Holmes old radio programs.
(no, I have no idea why this one popped up) 

Sagas, anyone?

Horticulture history

For later reading

Don Surber's essay

Stalin's useful idiots.

Lies behind the culture.

full article link

a lot of this is obvious to those of us who live and work outside of the elite bubble chamber... especially for those of us who have experience overseas.
People in other cultures don't think the same, and don't view the world in the same way.

 Father Z has an article about an artist, Daniel Mitsui whose work includes showing the angels as Samurai. 

well, why not? although most western artists pain St. Michael as a Roman centurian, in one of Andrew Greeley 's novels he appears dressed as a Navy SEAL.

Saturday, February 01, 2014

UH OH: the portents are not favorable


Father Z discusses the portents...


of course, these things can be read several ways.

The attacking birds were crows, who in Europe are associated with evil, not Ravens.

 In Norse mythology ravens are the messengers of Odin (and in the Hobbit book, can talk t, o dwarves). Even the movie has this dialogue:

Gloin: Aye, Oin has read the portents, and the portents say: it is time.
Oin: Ravens have been seen flying back to the mountain as it was foretold. When the birds of the old return to Erebor, the reign of the beast will end.

and, of course, it was seagulls that saved the Mormons....

unrelated item: The Hobbit book can be found on line here.

Unrelated item  NSA spies on you via AngryBird app....

and then there is this: Angry pirate birds.

For Later Reading

The demise of high art.

I suspect the problem is that in the past, artists sought beauty, but now they see their aim to diss ordinary folks. They rejected art as a muse (a goddess, or as a way of echoing the beauty of God) and ended up with the opposite.

But the discussion about how in the past the artists had to please their rich patrons is only partly true: Soliari vs Mozart, anyone? There was lots of bad art in the past too: but the difference is the bad stuff hasn't survived so we only see the good stuff.

heads up by ponylore expert Dustbury.


factoid of the day:

Instapundit mentions Blue Hades.


PC has really really gotten absurd.


the real Tara.  headsup teaAtTrianon

and Melanie was named after Sister Melanie, who was once loved by Doc Holliday


How the San Jacinto waste pits make Texan seafood poisonous.

our stream in rural Pennsylvania was blood red from slag heap run off, and Indians in northern Minnesota were warned not to eat too much local fish because of lead pollution.

here in the Philippines, we only have to worry  about red tide...

how communities imagine themselves.

Africa and Asia has many countries that are mixtures of tribes and languages, who are now trying to make sense of their history....


Family news

My computer is fixed!

the bad news: my tablet died. sigh.

Lolo has a cold. Flu and measles are going around. The mangy dog is improving.

I am okay, but these typhoons to the south make my arthritis worse. Sigh.