Saturday, August 31, 2013

“There are a lot of gas-mask kits in excess supply."

It was not an issue of availability,” the former official said. “In the early days of the Syria conflict, even the smallest amount of aid to the Free Syrian Army was viewed with great concern. It was a lack of foresight by administration bureaucrats. Unfortunately, now we’re seeing the consequences.”
This is a disgrace.  Add this to the unbelievably long list of scandals of this administration, any one of which would have led to the impeachment and/or resignation of any other previous president.

The Syrian rebels asked for gas masks a year ago; Obama refused to give them gas masks that were readily available, already in the region.  How many hundreds (thousands?) have died as a result?

Do you remember that motto Code Pink would mindlessly chant, while dragging their giant paper-mache swastika-emblazoned Cheney head down Pennsylvania Avenue?  "Bush lied, people died."  I kind of doubt we'll see Cindy Sheehan shrieking "Obama repudiated, children asphyxiated."

And it doesn't matter whether the Muslim Brotherhood used the gas in order to goad us into action against Assad; and it doesn't matter whether congress gives Obama the cover he apparently now seeks to back down without bruising his ego too badly.  There were innocents, including children, who died horrible deaths, and this wouldn't have happened had we distributed this gear when we were asked for it.

Why deny them this protective gear?
A senior Obama administration official confirmed to The Daily Beast on Wednesday that the White House did review the issue last year and determined it wouldn’t provide any gas masks or other chemical-weapons protective gear to the Syria opposition because of fears the equipment could get into the wrong hands.

“The provision of protective gear for the opposition sounds like an easy idea, but we need consider the potential for misuse as well,” the official said. “Such equipment requires proper training to be effective, and we need to be careful about how and to whom we provide it.”
Think about that.  They didn't want it to fall into the wrong hands.  Now, I could see the logic of this, if we were talking about body armor.  But we're talking about gear that protects against a weapon that we and our allies will never use.

Oh, and it requires proper training to be effective; so it's clearly better to leave it here in this warehouse.

Please, liberals, feel free to defend President Nincompoop in the comments.  I'd love to see your defense of this.

Open Thread

Mgmt - Time To Pretend

"[T]ake a bite of your crapstrosity..."

A Burrito Rant. (ADDED: I didn't write this letter)
Dear Guy Who Just Made My Burrito: 
Have you ever been to earth?
On earth, we use the word “burrito” to describe a tortilla filled with things you eat. Pretty simple stuff, and I’m surprised you at least got that part right. My burrito was, in fact, filled with food. In this, you and I agree and are friends. But this is also where my lifelong hatred begins for you and anyone else whose brain has been repeatedly scrubbed with the same mixture of bleach and Pop Rocks as yours has. Because that should have killed you, but left you around long enough to do what you did to me today. Let me explain:
You’re an idiot.
Let me further explain:
Burritos are eaten from one end to the other. So that means when you assemble a burrito with motherfucking ZONES of ingredients going that direction, you create a disgusting experience for the burrito’s end user. When you make a burrito, you should put the ingredients in layers lengthwise. That way, every bite has AT LEAST A FUCKING CHANCE of getting at least two types of ingredients, and there is little chance of becoming almost hopelessly trapped in a goddamned cilantro cavern.

Is Obama like Bush?

Obama to Seek Congressional Authorization for Use of Force in Syria.

Obama WILL Seek Congressional Approval to Bomb Syria.
YoungHegelian said...
Go to Congress for a real attempt at a "war": that makes sense.

Spend days & days trying to figure out if you want to inflict a pinprick on a regime, in which interval said regime has time to harden & hide the military assets that our air attack is meant to destroy: what's the point?

No, this is Obama hoping that Congress will vote "No" so that he has an excuse for backing down from his off-teleprompter "Red Line" gaff. That way, he can blame Congress instead of being left out in the open looking like the clueless wonder he truly is.

Tim Tebow Cut... Again.

The Tim Tebow Experience is over in New England.
Tebow was released by the team Saturday, ending another chapter in the 2007 Heisman Trophy winning quarterback's wandering pro career,'s Ian Rapoport was told by a source informed of the move.
Despite the requisite fervor draped upon Tebow's every move, it's far from a surprising transaction if the Patriots intended to fill their 53-man roster with the best players available. With Ryan Mallett firmly in place as Tom Brady's backup, Tebow played himself out of the role during an underwhelming preseason.
Tebow was signed in June, a move that made some sense considering the presence of offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels -- Tebow's former Denver Broncos coach who drafted him in 2010 -- and Bill Belichick, whose affinity for University of Florida players is well-documented.
Still, the Patriots needed to see Tebow develop as a quarterback in time for the regular season, and he didn't come close: His 11-of-30 passing performance over three preseason appearances netted just 145 yards, with a pair of touchdowns and two picks.
Brandyn Shepherd · Top Commenter said... 
"We knew Tim Tebow would find a place where he can be utilized for all of his football skills." - Said all Tebow Fans.


no comment

"Dude pissing on Lava"

Dude pissing on Lava

"In a French-ass restaurant/Hurry up with my damn croissants."

UPDATED: The letter penned to West was a parody, written by W. David Marx.

Regarding Croissants in "I am a God"
Association of French Bakers
900 Rue Vielle du Temple
To Monsieur Kanye West:
Congratulations on the birth of your daughter, Nord! This is a truly auspicious time for you — and so it is with great sadness that we must lodge a formal complaint against the song "I am a God" from your new album Yeezus.

Our organization represents bakers across France, many of whom have taken great offense at this particular rhyming couplet:

In a French-ass restaurant
Hurry up with my damn croissants

Assuming you, as a man of means, dine exclusively at high-end restaurants and boulangeries during your voyages to Paris, it could not be possible that the delay of your "damn" croissants originated from slow service. And certainly, you are not a man to be satisfied with pre-made croissants from the baked goods case reheated and tossed out on a small platter. No — you had demanded your croissants freshly baked, to be delivered to your table straight out of the oven piping hot.

And it was with great joy you ordered croissants  — not crêpes or brioches — because only croissants can proudly claim that exquisite combination of flaky crust and a succulent center. The croissant is dignified — not vulgar like a piece of toast, simply popped into a mechanical device to be browned. No — the croissant is born of tender care and craftsmanship. Bakers must carefully layer the dough, paint on perfect proportions of butter, and then roll and fold this trembling croissant embryo with the precision of a Japanese origami master.

This process, as you can understand, takes much time. And we implore the patience of all those who order croissants. You may be familiar with the famous French expression, "A great croissant is worth waiting a lifetime for." We know you are a busy man, M. West, but we believe that your patience for croissants will always be rewarded.

We could easily let this water pass under the bridge, as they say, but we take your lyrics very seriously. From the other lines in the song, we have come to understand that you may in fact be a "God." Yet if this were the case — and we, of course, take you at your word — we wonder why you do not more frequently employ your omnipotence to change time and space to better suit your own personal whims. For us mere mortals, we must wait the time required for the croissant to come to perfect fruition, but as a deity, you can surely alter the bread's molecular structure faster than the speed of light, no? And with your omniscience, perhaps you have something to teach us about the perfect croissant. We await your guidance and insights.

We appreciate your continued patronage of French culture. (Your frequent references to menage perhaps speak an interest in the structure of the French household?) We hope from the deepest recesses of our hearts, however, that in the future you give croissants the time they need to fully mature before you partake. With that, we say, adieu. And our member Louis Malpass from Le Havre wants you to know that he loves "Black Skinhead."

Salutations cordiales

Bernard Aydelotte
Association of French Bakers

Favorite Arias

Sull'aria, The Marriage of Figaro, by Mozart

As we join our opera, already in progress, the Countess and her maid, Susanna, betrothed to Figaro, servant to the Count, are writing a duplicitous letter to the Count. He has been delaying the marriage of Figaro to Susanna, with the aim of seducing her. With the Countess dictating, Susanna agrees to meet him 'under the pines.'  A comedy of errors ensues.
What a gentle little Zephyr
This evening will sigh
Under the pines in the grove
The rest he will understand. 
I know little of opera, please share your favorite pieces so we might all find new surprises.


Friday, August 30, 2013

How Men Have Become Less thrill-seeking, Study

The desire for adventure and thrilling activities has decreased in men over the last 35 years, according to new research.
A team from the school of psychology and neuroscience at the University of St Andrews discovered that men are less willing to take part in physical challenges such as skydiving than they used to.
The findings of the research led by Dr Kate Cross have been published in the journal Scientific Reports and was co-authored by Dr De-Laine Cyrenne and Dr Gillian Brown.
Researchers focused on the sensation-seeking personality trait which has been described by the university as the desire to pursue novel or intense experiences even if this involves risk.
A sensation seeking scale, version V (SSS-V) questionnaire was used to find out if people were willing to try various activities.
In the late 1970s more men were more likely to try parachuting, scuba diving or mountaineering than women, but over the years their desire for thrills has decreased.
The male average is now closer to the female average, backing up the argument that some sex differences in behaviour have decreased which is linked to cultural changes.

More on Sensation-Seeking...

"I just want them to attack so much"

Says a Facebook post, claiming to be authored by the 11-year-old son of President Bashar al-Assad. I came upon it via Drudge, who leads with it as of right now. 
A Facebook post said to be written by the 11-year-old son of the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, and “liked” or commented on by several people who appear to be the children and grandchildren of other senior members of Mr. Assad’s government, may offer a glimpse into the mindset of Syria’s ruling elite as the country braces for a potential Western strike in response to a chemical weapons attack on Aug. 21.
It is impossible to confirm whether the Facebook account does, in fact, belong to the son, Hafez al-Assad, and aspects of it invite doubt. For example, the owner of the account wrote that he was a graduate of Oxford University and a player for a Barcelona soccer team, neither of which would be likely to appear on the résumé of an 11-year-old boy in Damascus.
But those claims could also be read as the ambitions of a child, and there are reasons to believe that the account may actually belong to Hafez.
Take a closer look after the jump

Write the caption

"Causal dynamical triangulations"

This video is part of a larger Nature article titled "Theoretical physics: The origins of space and time". Subtitled "Many researchers believe that physics will not be complete until it can explain not just the behavior of space and time, but where these entities come from."
Casual dynamical triangulation uses just two dimensions: one of space and one of time. The video shows two-dimensional universes generated by pieces of space assembling themselves according to quantum rules. Each colour represent a slice through the universe at particular time after the Big Bang, which is depicted as a tiny black ball.


Causal dynamical triangulations

bill stroud said...     
Of course it would seem that language was never intended to provide such meaningful terms that identifies the actual state or state transitions. After all its the structure of language where precise (imprecise) terms create paradoxes. The truths exist in domains that language will never describe. When we can communicate at a level that language never can, we will begin to assemble these elusive truths. Language is a member of the Darwinian set of rational.

'I get that and will act accordingly'

"Barack Obama's plans for air strikes against Syria were thrown into disarray on Thursday night after the British parliament unexpectedly rejected a motion designed to pave the way to authorising the UK's participation in military action."
The White House was forced to consider the unpalatable option of taking unilateral action against the regime of Bashar al-Assad after the British prime minister, David Cameron, said UK would not now take part in any military action in response to a chemical attack in the suburbs of Damascus last week.
Although Britain's support was not a prerequisite for US action, the Obama administration was left exposed without the backing of its most loyal ally, which has taken part in every major US military offensive in recent years.
France, another strong US ally, that could be expected to take Britain's place and join the United States in some form of coalition of the willing, it's support so far, seems sketchy.
French officials also are calling for a delay in action until U.N. inspectors conclude their report. “Before acting, we need proof,” said Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, a minister and government spokeswoman, according to Bloomberg News.
The latest developments suggest that Washington’s allies will insist on waiting at least until next week before launching what initially appeared to be an imminent strike on Syria.
On the question of whether France would ultimately join the US military effort.
In an interview with Le Monde newspaper, Mr Hollande said the UK vote made no difference to his support for action against the Syrian government.
He said that if the UN Security Council was unable to act because two of its permanent members, Russia and China, were in opposition, a coalition would form including the Arab League and European countries.
"But there are few countries which can have the capacity of enforcing any sanction through the appropriate measures," he added.
"France will be part of it. France is ready."
On the question of whether Germany, another US ally, would join the US military effort.
"There has been no request to us for a military commitment, and a German military commitment has never been considered by the government," Merkel's spokesman, Steffen Seibert, told reporters. Pressed on whether Germany might later participate in military action, he replied: "We have not considered it and we are not considering it."
Seibert pointed to "narrow limits" under German law to military commitments abroad, which need parliamentary approval. He also wouldn't be drawn on whether Berlin would consider it legitimate for other countries to launch military action without a U.N. mandate.
The Guardian, Washington Post, BBC

The internet adage about satire is not coined by the poet Poe

Like I assumed, it is another Poe, Nathan. That without a blatant display of humor it is impossible to create a parody of extremism or fundamentalism that someone won't mistake for the real thing.

Well, there will alway be someone.

My day's roaming started poorly. A British site deep in the comments embedded a video of some down ticket Republican politician saying something dumb about gay marriages. Or something. You'd have to watch to know. That something so lame was posted so distant to smear so lamely bent me out of shape right off. Causing me to return more harshly than I care to.

And scanning the polurls to see how blue/purple/red concerns sorted. I notice that blue is deeply concerned with some error Bill O'Reilly made, something about no Republicans being invited to some 50th anniversary confab, all down the line in each publication there was some item or two things about that. But purple and red didn't even notice it or did not remark. Odd, it is only one television show, and blue doesn't watch that show, they turn it off in disgust yet the obsession is widespread, so whatever they know they received, and the people who do watch had nothing to say, they are talking about more serious things.

And it's all such a drag.

Volokh writes it is hard day for distinguishing between satirical pieces from the real ones and presents two examples. First the Slate piece on being a bad person if you send your kids to private school, and second, the New Yorker piece Obama promises Syria strike with no objective.

The commenters at Volokh, bless 'em, provide another New Yorker Piece about Christie being booted from GOP primary consideration due to his empathy display.

If that were not bad enough, the links to other New Yorker stories are even more ridiculous that two already mentioned. Another fixation with Fox, something about their "don't come to Jesus moment", now who could resist clicking that obsession? Paula Dean's ugly roots. Satire or what? She's from Georgia. She's old. Will the piece condemn the old South and ignore everything lovely about the woman, or is it more satire?  I'd have to read the whole thing to know. And finally Why the GOP needs to lose for a third time with a picture of Bush. It must be satire.

They're not done in Volokh's comments. The onion is mentioned. But it is a serious piece about limited options, not the satire you might have already read linked at Ace's about the range of options being from a limited bomb strike to a limited bomb strike. I found that very amusing. It is a form I use to describe someone's acting range. From screaming to screaming, while holding out my arms as if screaming were a broad range in itself.

And the Daily Show. But that is a video that comes with an advert, and eh, Jon Stewart.

And finally wikipedia, and that is where I learned Poe not being the poet.

And I realized how depressing all that is. How it is not me at all, how much out of character I come just to process it and address it, how I dislike it a lot. And that is the straw, when two grievances coincided, the one single comment left on one of those final links used the word  "allot." That did it. 

And all that roaming around
The net foreign webs and You Tubes
The finest  thing I found
Turns out to be Two Diva's boobs

I watched all of them. ALL of them. They are so worth the time spent. Then, some of the large breasted women who appeared on the show upload their own videos, and they're even better in their own videos.  The comments on the one woman's page are so full of love and warmth and true affection.


Even the video about bread-feeding bras. Ew. Nobody wants to watch that one. Not any comments. Too bad. It is a really hot woman who wants a hot bra not the ridiculously ugly utilitarian wet nurse bras. She shows it so you know what she's talking about. And  it makes you realize, wow, what a drag to be stuck with such ugly bras if that's what you had to wear. And the shopkeeper says, "Any bra can be turned into a nursing bra." Then fits the lady with a really hot bra, and you and she and the shopkeeper all glee and dance at once, hurray! A hot bra!

The View. I know. But it is a very good separate interview without the usual lineup. Two parts, this is the second part. The more useful, I think, but they're both good.

I love these two women. I love their television show. I love the enthusiastic girl who works there, and the things she has to learn. The whole thing is wonderful.  

Through all of this I leaned. And I must agree, honestly, this goes without saying, you would have to have a really good fitting bra for each day of the week at least, That is how guys think. But even that is only one week supply. I am not comfortable with less than thirty. A month. Because I do not like to do laundry. That is my plan for laundry avoidance, and it's a very good system that works. That would apply to bras too if I had to wear those.

One episode showed them making a new ad. Wonderfully zany and self-deprecating and loving and fun. It leaves with the impression the result was bolloxed but the advert on YouTube looks very nice to me, not at all resembling what was shown. One commenter there:

I love this video I love this show I love double divas I wish I could meet them though that would be the happiest moment of my life

Ha ha ha ha ha ha, you loon. I feel the same way. 

There's Been A Hoot-Owl Howling By My Windows Now...

...for six nights in a row.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Open Thread

Greg Kihn Live at The Country Club 1981 - The Breakup Song

The Grindstone

Having a wheel and four legs of its own
Has never availed the cumbersome grindstone
To get it anywhere that I can see.
These hands have helped it go, and even race;
Not all the motion, though, they ever lent,
Not all the miles it may have thought it went,
Have got it one step from the starting place.

~from Robert Frost's The Grindstone (1923)

A grindstone belonged to my grandma's yard when I was little. It stood outside withstanding Wisconsin weather year after year. I saw it once a month or so on Sundays when we visited. I guess it had been my grandpa's and maybe his father's before that but they were already dead by then and I forgot to ask my dad about it too. My dad never farmed for a living and so the grindstone never passed down. He showed me other useful things.

A grindstone must have been handy on a farm in the days of steel plows and scythes. I never saw it make sparks fly but it must have done that in its day. Come to think of it, that's probably why it was outside (and why Frost's grindstone was outside too). It's not the kind of tool to keep and use in a barn around sawdust or straw. But farming changed and that grindstone became a relica sort of lawn ornament and a plaything for me, my brother, and my cousins while the grown-ups chatted inside.

No doubt that grindstone had abetted the killing of countless blades by whetting blades, but those of the surrounding weeds by then outnumbered the kind that this device had sharpened. I thought of none of that then. It was enough to just play with it and turn its heavy wheel. A fixed handle cranked the stone disk around and around. Getting it going really fast and then letting go of the handle made it hard to grab it again without getting hurtsuch was its angular momentum. But that's not what I called that force then. I didn't know what to call that force thenI just knew that the grindstone had it and I never forgot it. And though that grindstone is long gone, it was a starting place for lessons learned many years on.

"Even if it is not very solid data...

"... we can say definitely that there are drug problems in most parts of the world," said Theo Vos, of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, the study's senior author."
LONDON (AP) — Marijuana is the most popular illegal drug used worldwide, but addictions to popular painkillers like Vicodin, Oxycontin and codeine kill the most people, according to the first-ever global survey of illicit drug abuse.
In addition to cannabis and opioid painkillers, scientists analyzed abuse of cocaine and amphetamines in 2010, largely based on previous studies. Ecstasy and hallucinogens weren't included, because there weren't enough data. The researchers found that for all the drugs studied, men in their 20s had the highest rates of abuse. The worst-hit countries were Australia, Britain, Russia and the U.S. The study was published online Thursday in the journal, Lancet.
But there were few concrete numbers to rely on and researchers used modeling techniques to come up with their estimates.
Global burden of disease attributable to illicit drug use and dependence: findings from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010

No systematic attempts have been made to estimate the global and regional prevalence of amphetamine, cannabis, cocaine, and opioid dependence, and quantify their burden. We aimed to assess the prevalence and burden of drug dependence, as measured in years of life lived with disability (YLDs), years of life lost (YLLs), and disability-adjusted life years (DALYs).
Skipping all the way down...

Australian National Health and Medical Research Council, Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Technium news: cuddle enhancing mattress

Mehdi Mojtabavi just wants to cuddle. But his arm would start to fall asleep, and he'd have to roll over. So Mojtabavi came up with theCuddle Mattress, which allows you to slip your arm down into the mattress and around your partner. (Watch the demo video.)   
Essentially the Cuddle Mattress divides the upper and lower portions of the bed into a series of slats. Side sleepers can wedge their arm — or stomach sleepers can wedge their feet — in between these slats. Each slat has a firm and a soft side, which you can flip depending on your sleeping preference. The slats come in three different materials: latex, polyurethane or polyurethane memory foam. The mattress also comes with its own stretchable, fitted sheets.
How convenient.


OK, be honest...

Who among us wouldn't have an ex or two executed by firing squad, if they could get away with it?
Why are you looking at me that way?  What?  I'm the only one?  Oh, fuck you guys.

Do they have a word for that?

"The relationship between words and their meaning is a fascinating one, and linguists have spent countless years deconstructing it, taking it apart letter by letter, and trying to figure out why there are so many feelings and ideas that we cannot even put words to, and that our languages cannot identify."

11 Untranslatable Words From Other Cultures

1 | German: Waldeinsamkeit
A feeling of solitude, being alone in the woods and a connectedness to nature. Ralph Waldo Emerson even wrote a whole poem about it.

6  | Spanish: Sobremesa
Spaniards tend to be a sociable bunch, and this word describes the period of time after a meal when you have food-induced conversations with the people you have shared the meal with. 

8 | Hawaiian: Pana Poʻo
You know when you forget where you've put the keys, and you scratch your head because it somehow seems to help your remember? This is the word for it. 

"Do you believe a stranger will do the right thing?"

"The decline of serial killers and rise of the sharing economy. The booming market for peer-to-peer business is a reflection of Americans' renewed faith in strangers."
In San Francisco and Los Angeles, fleets of amateur taxi drivers have taken to the streets, using services like Lyft and Sidecar to find fares, ferrying total strangers around to earn extra cash. In New York City, despite legal concerns, there are thousands of apartments available on Airbnb, and many renters allow a never ending stream of visitors to book a spare bedroom for a few nights each week. Across the nation, TaskRabbits fill odd jobs — walking the dogs, carrying the groceries, and cleaning the bathrooms of people they don’t know very well at all. 
Collectively these companies have raised over $200 million in funding to power what's known as the "sharing economy." But there was time not so long ago when the idea of interacting so freely with complete strangers would have made many Americans much more uncomfortable. "There was a cultural moment during the '70s and '80s where the dominant boogieman was the serial killer. This figure crystallized our worst fears, and walked among us," says Harold Schecter, a professor at Queens College and a true-crime writer.
The article goes on to say that the trend in serial killings peaked in the 80's and has gone steadily down since then. Which I suppose is another way of saying "the booming market for peer-to-peer could/should boom larger, now that people don't have to be as afraid of strangers. Which begs the question... If the scourge that was serial killing is no longer the specter preventing this flourishing world of tomorrow, here today, thanks to the internet, how come this rent-a-rigmarole has not quite taken over the economy? *

I would like a bombardment

That means something more than just symbolic statement.

But not something too big, nor too small. That is the problem, getting the message just right.

Protein Wisdom has a few opening sentences that would look good framed or cross-stitched or something. Words so fine they should be enshrined somehow, but you know, not pervishly stalkery or religiously so, but the words do deserve something more than a mere post, but not something too extravagant, must get it just right, just the right message.

The post is about an official, always unnamed, who avers they are looking for something for Syria that will send the right message. Intelligent Diplomacy™ is complicated and very hard to do.

So while you're grousing about how much better for all of us do nothing at all, that really is the best option sometimes, that is not an option for a president with something to prove, have a look at how good Jeff's first sentence looks in ASL, if you like, that is my tribute to him.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Mermaids After Midnight

This song is by the Aqua Velvets, a surf rock band from San Francisco, and it closes out their 1997 album Guitar Noir. I think they are the best thing to come out of SFO since sourdough bread and I wish I had seen them then and there.

Still Seeking The Island Of Stability

Element 115 is one step closer to being added to the Periodic Table: Link

h/t Icepick

But the atomsmiths still have haven't found the legendary "Island Of Stability"

Professor Martyn Poliakoff explains:

I Have A Dream Speech Powerpoint


Via Scribd

The gay mafia has gone too far this time.

They're now directing their hate toward Pavel Datsyuk, and they're apparently on a mission to destroy him.

For those of you not familiar with hockey, Datsyuk is universally recognized as the best two-way player in the game.  I'd go farther than that:  I've watched hockey for over 30 years, and I think he's the best player, period, in the history of the game.  That would certainly be debatable, but that's a debate for another time.

This is Pavel Datsyuk:

Datsyuk won 4 Lady Bing trophies in a row -- that's the NHL's award for sportsmanship. He's the cleanest player in the league.  And he's a remarkably modest, unassuming, self-effacing man -- the most humble professional athlete I've ever seen.  Part of that humility probably stems from his humble beginnings in Russia.  His family didn't have much money; his mother died when he was 16; he wasn't drafted at all in 1996 or 1997, and went in the seventh round in 1998, because he was considered too small.

And I'm sure part of that humility comes from his faith -- he's a quietly devout Orthodox Christian.

Because the Olympic hockey tournament will be played in Russia this year, and gay rights advocates have pushed the issue to the forefront all summer, it was inevitable that some reporter would ask Datsyuk his opinion of his country's laws regarding homosexuality.  Datsyuk responded about as I expected:

"I'm an orthodox and that says it all."

More after the break.

Honor System

Kell'e Gallimore says he's surprised how quickly word has spread about the players' decision to act appropriately. "It was only…a cord for four dollars," he says. "I didn't think it was going to blow up to be this big."
WAYNE [NJ]- A group of young men dubbed "honest shoppers" have come forward after they walked into a Wayne store that was supposed to be closed, took what they needed and left money for their purchases.
Honest Shoppers Mistakenly Break Into N J Store, Pay For Goods

Frost Bite in the Morning

We make ourselves a place apart
     Behind light words that tease and flout,
But oh, the agitated heart
    Till someone find us really out.
'Tis pity if the case require
    (Or so we say) that in the end
We speak the literal to inspire
    The understanding of a friend.
But so with all, from babes that play
    At hide-and-seek to God afar,
So all who hide too well away
    Must speak and tell us where they are. 
 ~Robert Frost (1913)

Not Random Drudge - 3 of 36


"Her Buns Are The Best"

Comedy lesson by Patrick Stewart.

Quadruple Take Masterclass

captaingraham18 said...                          
Sometimes, when people like each other a bunch, they can't help but touch each other all the time. Attempting to be as close as possible to one another at all moments of the day.

Why Six Seconds?

"GE recently held a contest via the Vine app asking how much science can you fit into six seconds?"
On August 15th, GE launched the world's first #6SecondScience Fair, a week-long celebration of science on Vine. By the time the week ended, over 600 projects had been submitted.

How Much Science Can You Fit Into 6 Seconds? - GE

Crack Emcee fan qmqz commented...
Unfortunately, some of the townspeople here seem to have no concept of the wonders of science. Some of them even claim my little inventions are magical! Such poppycock! There is no such thing as magic!
Via It's Okay To Be Smart

That time at the VFW

For some odd reason I wanted to visit my dad and that is unusual. Hunting him down just to visit is way out of character. 

I imagined him to be at one of two places, a VFW that I know about or home. Those are my only two guesses although there are dozens of good possibilities.  I was in the area so I swung by and bang there he was right off. Sometimes I can be a very good guesser. He was sitting at the bar of the VFW that commands a lofty position overlooking Hampden 285 on the West side as it enters the foothills, engaged  with a hulking Mexican guy. He was delighted to see me. Genuinely surprised as all heck. That was a good one. He bought me a drink. 

I drink sissy drinks. Cubalibre. 

Now there are three of us in a huddle of three stools. Turns out, the El Dorado parked out front belongs to the Mexican guy. I noticed it on the way in. Nice. New. Shiny. You can tell when a vehicle is important to someone, and this one is.  

But they never are to me. They just aren't. I said to the man in my usual droll way, "Oh, so that's your el Dora Do I noticed coming in." 

And it pissed him right off. Right off. 

I gone and done it. Wow. No sense of humor at all. Not regarding his car. He was having none of my diminution of his vehicle. Not by way of introduction. 

But part of his negative reaction was my dad cracking up laughing. 

And the guy turned away and left us alone. 

Whereupon my dad turns close in to me and goes, "You know Chip. Your mother and I always prided ourselves on raising you two boys the same.  But looking back I'm not so sure that was a good idea." 

"Uh, what?"

"You were different boys. I had to lay it on thick sometimes to get through to Barry. With everything. Everything I said to the lad didn't affect him one bit. But you were different."

Here we go, I thought. I've got some catching up to do. siiiiiiip.  

"I'd actually browbeat Barry in an effort to get through to him and it all rolled off his back like pellets of water off a duck."

I did not know that, but what an odd comparison, I thought as he continued.  siiiiiiiiip

"But one unkind word to you and you'd go silent for two weeks." 

I do not recall anything that dramatic. 

But my Belgians are like that. Or rather, German Shepherd vs Belgian Sheepdogs. Maybe that's why I can train them so well. Nah. They're just flat brilliant at training it has nothing at all  to do with me. Still, the Belgians are a lot more sensitive than the German Shepherds, and take a different approach, one devoid of corrections, not praise and corrections, only praises or praise withheld, and then only momentarily, back to praise and happiness again, that is how sensitive. 

This concludes my anecdote. Sorry, no epiphany or nothing, no denunomexxx denumomentxxxx great ending, or even a point for that matter, but there you go. 

So to compensate for that shortcoming, and because it appears we're becoming something of a food blog, here's an omelet.

I made this twice in a row because twice in a row I wanted the delightful and intriguing combination of crunchy iceberg lettuce and softly stacked egg. Not puffy like whipped.

An easier thing to do would be use a corn tortilla to wrap a few leaves of lettuce with a touch of some kind of dressing. A very simple salad in a wrapper. That is the idea. That's all. So it goes very fast.

As I'm putting it together I am rejecting a million ready enhancements, possibly ten ready enhancements, sandwich ham sitting right there beckoning to be used, cheese of various types are obvious choices, avocado, tomato, onion, mushrooms, Lordy, all those would work great, but no, iceberg lettuce it is. Lowly iceberg lettuce. Crunch.

So howzabout an obnoxiously pedantic overly detailed description of something so simple a nine-year old can do it? Huh? Doesn't that sound like fun? I did this sort of thing at nine-years old so I know that part isn't the customary 12% exaggeration for dramatic effect.

This is just for you. I did not publish this over there on my other place. No. This tedious thing is just for you.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

A Tomato Summer Pudding

No, not pudding in the American sense, of sugared sludge with the texture and appeal of a vat of vanillin-flavored tile grout, nor in the British sense, of dessert in general. This "pudding" gets its pudding-ness from the fact that it's molded in a dish, and from its relationship to an old-fashioned British dish, Summer Pudding, which is a mélange of fresh berries and sugar poured into a bread-lined basin, weighted, and allowed to amalgamate into a succulent warm-weather treat

Jennifer Paterson
Since the original form of Summer Pudding is made from whatever berries are available, it seems reasonable to make it out of tomatoes, which in late summer are a plentiful berry (yes, tomatoes are berries), and therefore transform the old Summer Pudding into a savory dish. This is such a good idea, I wish I had thought of it, but credit for the original concept goes to the late, great Jennifer Paterson, a British cook and eccentric who is most well-known for her participation in the television cooking show Two Fat Ladies. Before her television career, Paterson had worked as a live-in personal cook and caterer. In 1978 she got a job as the house cook, and later the food writer, for the British conservative magazine The Spectator. In the late 1980s, she was fired from her job as The Spectator's cook after a temper tantrum during which Jennifer angrily hurled dirty crockery, which was sullying the tiny top-floor kitchen where she worked, out the window and into the backyard of the neighboring funeral parlor. Fortunately she kept her job as the magazine's food writer.

Paterson had conversational style of writing about food and cooking that would have been quite at home on a blog, and her recipes are an interesting mixture of (pre-WWII) British traditional cooking, with eclectic Mediterranean, Portuguese and Middle Eastern influences. Her food writing for The Spectator is collected in a very good little book called Jennifer Paterson's Feast Days. As the title of the collection suggests, Paterson, a devout Roman Catholic, makes frequent reference to the saints and liturgical celebrations of the Roman Catholic Church in her writing and recipes. Her advice for poached eggs involves first rolling the whole eggs around in a pan of simmering salted water "whilst intoning two Our Fathers and one Hail Mary" before cracking the shells and doing the actual poaching.

Paterson's receipt (as she referred to recipes) for her Tomato Summer Pudding is like many of her recipes, breezy and loose, so I've expanded it a bit here. This dish is a great use for all those delicious tomatoes that you (hopefully) have ripening in your garden right now. Like so many simple dishes, this pudding depends upon good ingredients for its success. Exact quantities of the ingredients you'll need depend upon the size of basin or bowl that you use to mold the dish. When I made the one you see in the accompanying photographs, I used a tall Pyrex bowl with a 6-cup capacity, which required about 10 medium-sized tomatoes to fill.

EBL's Blueberry Pie

Blogger EBL has posted a recipe for blueberry pie with a vodka crust. It looks as tempting as Key Lime Pie

War Thoughts At Home

Photo by the author at the Cleveland Flats, 1984
On that old side of the house
The uneven sheds stretch back
Shed behind shed in train
Like cars that long have lain
Dead on a side track. 
~Robert Frost (January 1918)

The whole poem is here and the backstory is here

What do you think of these maps?

Mapped: 35 Places In Syria Likely to Get Hit With a U.S. Cruise Missile

It seems more and more likely that the United States will take some kind of military action against the regime of Syrian dictator Bashar al Assad. On Aug. 26, Secretary of State John Kerry all but said the regime of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad has used chemical weapons to kill hundreds of civilians, a move the Obama administration says it will not tolerate.
Mapped: Air strikes on Libya
March 21, 2011
A coalition of Western Allies has launched a series of air strikes against military targets in Libya. US and British warships and submarines in the Mediterranean, as well as British, US and French fighter jets, took part in the raids.
more after the jump

10 most popular dog breeds

Carl's Christmas

"...based on AKC dog registration statistics for 2012." 

My daughter is not a dog lover, but she does want a Shetland Sheepdog, commonly called Shelties. They are those adorable miniature collies that are popular. Does anyone have any experience with them?  

My uncle occasionally watches his daughter's shelties when she is away, and boy does that particular pair bark a lot. I go over to play cards and they bark frantically. The next guest arrives, they bark. I go to my car to get something, and when I come back, they bark. To their credit, they never nip, and are very sweet dogs when they're settled down. 

What is your favorite breed? I prefer mutts, but among pure breeds some of my favorites are rottweilers, border collies, and miniature poodles.

“[A] state of full or partial undress in any area ...

"... in which the person being photographed or recorded has a reasonable expectation of privacy.” is covered under a measure being considered in California to deal with something called ‘revenge porn’.
On a recent episode of “The Newsroom,” on HBO, the character Sloan Sabbith, a financial reporter, was mortified when an ex-boyfriend posted compromising pictures of her online, which then went viral. Her recourse – on the show at least – was to track down the offending creep and punch him.
If Ms. Sabbith were living in California, she would be closely following the deliberations of the state Legislature here this week. A proposal, to be debated Tuesday in the Assembly, could let victims of so-called revenge porn see their vindictive ex-lovers go to jail for up to a year.
The bill passed the state Senate earlier this summer. It would make it a criminal misdemeanor to post nude or revealing pictures that may have once been taken with a subject’s consent. The practice has become increasingly common, victims’ advocates say. And it poses a vexing legal question, pitting the rights of victims against the principles of free expression. Making matters more complicated is the fact that sites that host these user-generated images are usually immune from civil liability under federal law.
More after the jump.

“The whole purpose is student safety”

"Glendale Unified Hires Local Company To Monitor Students’ Social Media Posts."
The Glendale Unified School District has hired a Hermosa Beach company to monitor public social media posts made by its students to find out when teens are in trouble or causing it.
Superintendent Richard Sheehan said Geo Listening is analyzing the posts of 13,000 students at eight Glendale middle and high schools.
The goal is to give school administrators critical information as soon as possible.
 "Critical information as soon as possible."

Guys with fancy lady hair

People are for it in the comments. And you never do know when you're being put on and when you're having a look at the next new big thing.

German astronomy

I don't know where I saw this. Not on Reddit but it looks very Reddity to me. And this is the internet. It has that unprofessional overly obvious fake-ass perversely inauthentic look to it that is so difficult to achieve, and yet I believe it is real.


Outlaw motorcycle gangs. This is a PDF for a Los Angeles policeman's booklet about the 1% of motorcyclists that are gang members and how to identify them. What to do. Things to avoid. Their facts and figures. I think I saw 2003 but it appears throughout to be older than that.

Those are the good guys. The PDF booklet helps police officers profile. So even if a gang's insignia is a Christian type cross (even of bones) and their mission statement says they must go to their church, their patch still says 1% and that means they are differentiating themselves from the noncriminal herd.

But it is still funny because long-haired threatening-looking bikers contemplative sitting in an art museum runs counter to stereotype.

At the end there is an address for tips and suggestions. Let the first suggestion we make be to draw up criminal charges for the egregious grammar. When it is worse than my own, when even I notice how bad, it is sunk to the level of criminal. See for yourself, it's all over. I'm embarrassed. 


Okay, now when I get off, pull up. Pull forward because when I come out, I'm going to be really hustling hustling everyday I'm hustling.


Remember, pull up and leave a space. Pull forward and be ready to go. And keep the engine running.

Okay hurry up. 

How Ben Affleck prepares for a role

You might notice the pennants. You might sense the t.v. reversed. In this cartoon when the character exits to the left it means they are leaving the house, the door is there, seems no matter the house, and if he exits to the viewer's right then he's going deeper into the house, the kitchen, whatever. This horizontal reversing is how people get around things. 

Russian SWAT

This is fun.

They should change SWAT to STOMP

Russian Mafia. I guess all crime in Russia is organized and all organized crime in Russia is Mafia. Fine. A bunch of crooks.

* Weather is dith-PICKable
* They apparently pick the car by its blackened windows
* License plate covered with mud
* It looks like as traffic is slowed, the cop simply opens the back, shoots inside the car and drags out a suspect as they converge
* A front wheel is silently blown out during the attack. To assure it must be towed away?
* They shove the suspects faces into the mud.
* Injured, no matter, still face in the mud.
* Dragged through the mud to line up
* Self-Congratulatory celebration

Ashton Kutcher's inspiring speech

I heard part. It is good. You'd like it. Who wouldn't? The part I recall is, "luck sounds like work," "opportunity sounds like work" something like that. He makes sense. The take-home is, hey, work is cool.

If you want the text, pick a page, it's everywhere, [ashton kutcher inspiring speech]

But I was distracted. By better things. Kutcher is singing to the choir. He's singing my song, but I don't care. It's old. In my world, this is better than that.

Here is the bottom of one of the pages I looked at.

And this folded dollar bill graphic at the bottom caught my eye.

As photographs of origami miniature schnauzers do. It must be. No? When you click, the text gives no indication a dog is intended. Is this one of those pareidolia things? 

That's a bit weird. The dog is #1 result for min schnauzer face, but search by photo, then similar photos to expand, does not make this match. It matches all kind of other things that are worse. There are color results but only faintly colored. That's it. Oh, plus I reversed it. At any rate, Google does not see a schnauzer, in fact anything but a schnauzer.