Saturday, November 2, 2013

Iza straight up gansta pimp for realz, yo.

Oh no, these are throws, Sir. I thought I'd liven' up the place, you know, add a lady's touch.

You ain't no lady.

Well spotted, Sir. I can see you are a fan of the anatomical sciences too.

The American gangster rap phenomenom does not fit exactly the British chav template  but that cannot prevent crossover like this. Something is not lost in translation either, rather, I think something very funny is gained. I find this incredibly funny all the way through. 

Another cartoon I noticed was front-paged quite a while ago depicted a young guy walking along a London street speaking like an American gangster rapper something along the lines of, "I'm gonna pop a cap in your can." The final panel he flips a Burberry hat into a bin marked "hat collection." 

This has become a series. Sort of similar to how South Park started, a similar thing where a small group of animators most likely in school has a group of fans who bug them about making more of the same thing so they oblige. 

Revenge of the Gummi Bears

Gummi Bears.  Yummy, sweet, tasty wonderful Gummi Bears.  Happy and colorful, sure to put a smile on your face.  A nice treat at home, or in the workplace, or while driving.  You love them, I love them, kids love them, the whole world loves Gummi Bears.

The sugar in delicious Gummi Bears can be a teensy weensy issue for folks watching their weight or their blood sugar or their body mass index or their abs or whatever.  But not to worry!  The fine, fine people at Haribo make a super-tasty sugar-free version; a change in the recipe so subtle that not even the most addicted Gummi Bears eater can tell whether it's the sugar or the not-sugar that makes the ethereal sweet flavor.

That might be hyperbole.  Slightly.  There are some differences, as noted in the reviews posted at Amazon.  Small stuff, really.
What came out of me felt like someone tried to funnel Niagara Falls through a coffee straw. I swear my sphincters were screaming. It felt like my delicate starfish was a gaping maw projectile vomiting a torrential flood of toxic waste. 100% liquid. Flammable liquid. NAPALM. It was actually a bit humorous (for a nanosecond)as it was just beyond anything I could imagine possible.
What? Couldn't be.  It must have been something he or she ate for dinner, not the Gummi Bears.  Let's look at a different review.
When I got these, I couldn't contain my excitement and I ate about a quarter of a bag. Scenes from the movie 2012 could have been filmed inside my gut. There would have been less pressure to make two winning free throws in the NBA finals than for gas to escape my bowels. After a few hours, I had an EXTREME build-up of gas with no relief. All I could do was lie on my bed and pray for a fart. That might sound funny, but when you've eaten something that has basically turned you into the blueberry girl from Willy Wonka, you're pleading for relief. Well, the farts came and I lived through it but I not only had a visit from the fart fairy, but the sales rep from Montezuma's Revenge stopped by and gave me a FULL demo of their services as well.
Sometimes people make stuff up, ya know?  Really, you can't trust some of these reviews.  Let's keep looking.
That's where things started to go wrong. Thrust increased, to be sure, hammering the porcelain, but the exhaust flow became turbulent. It was also becoming asymmetric. The signal came from below, "The engines cannae take any moor, Cap'n!" (I have no idea why my arse has a Scottish accent.)

Fuel flow dropped off and the nozzle output dropped to merely 10%, with some damage to the combustion chamber
 Say.....maybe there's some truth in these reviews. could these Gummi Bears be repurposed?  How could they be used for the general good?
I am getting these and taking them to work. Good times to be had shortly and I will sit back and enjoy the explosion of a show.
Or even better...
I am sending a bag of these to every member of Congress to show my deepest gratitude.
Heh.  Go here to read all of the reviews.  Best product reviews I've ever seen on Amazon.  And happy shopping! Keep a bowl of Gummi Bears on your desk in the office.

"Miraculous Escape From Death"

Air Marshal Sir David Grahame Donald KCB DFC AFC RAF (27 July 1891 – 23 December 1976), often known as Sir Grahame Donald, was a Royal Naval Air Service pilot during World War I, a senior Royal Air Force officer between the wars and a senior RAF commander during World War II.
Donald also became famous for his miraculous escape from death having fallen from his Sopwith Camel at 6,000 feet (1,800 m) in 1917. On that fateful summer's afternoon he attempted a new manoeuvre in his Sopwith Camel and flew the machine up and over, and as he reached the top of his loop, hanging upside down, his safety belt snapped and he fell out. He was not wearing a parachute as a matter of policy. Incredibly, the Camel had continued its loop downwards, and Donald landed on its top wing. He grabbed it with both hands, hooked one foot into the cockpit and wrestled himself back in, struggled to take control, and executed "an unusually good landing". In an interview given 55 years later he explained, "The first 2,000 feet passed very quickly and terra firma looked damnably 'firma'. As I fell I began to hear my faithful little Camel somewhere nearby. Suddenly I fell back onto her."

Lifted from Wikipedia

"Is Norway’s Slow TV Phenomenon The Future Of Reality Programming?"

"Knit one, purl … eight-plus hours of live stitching? That’s what’s happening tonight on Norwegian public broadcaster NRK2 as folks around the country gather in viewing parties. The show is part of a phenomenon known as Slow TV which has increasingly captivated Norway. The overall gist of the concept, to which LMNO Productions recently acquired U.S. rights, is a hybrid of unhurried documentary coupled with hours and hours of continuous coverage provided by fixed cameras trained on a subject or an event. Prior to tonight, those have included a 7.5-hour train journey, a 134-hour coastal cruise, a stack of firewood and salmon. Tonight, NRK2 will turn its lens on National Knitting Evening."
The subjects covered in the Slow TV canon have thus far had deep cultural ties in Norway, but Mocklebust says he thinks the format can travel. They’re also very inexpensive to produce. The Knitting Evening cost between $150,000-$200,000. Asked if there are any celebrities involved, Mocklebust says, “only the sheep.” 

Deadline London

Something To Hang On A Wall

"A masterful recording of 219 engines of aural bliss that tracks the progression of the music player from 1840 to the modern day. Color-coded and hand-illustrated, this chart scores a wide spectrum of audio devices, from Edison’s early phonograph to the Disco Lyte boombox to the Sony Walk/Discman, all the way to the rise of mp3 players like the iPod and Zune. If music is the gateway to the soul, this high-fidelity timeline lays down the ways we’ve been unlocking the doors through 173 years of audio history."

Pop Chart Lab

"LAX Gunman Identified After Airport Shooting Spree"

"A gunman armed with an assault rifle entered a terminal at Los Angeles International Airport today, killed a TSA agent, and penetrated deep into the terminal before he was captured by police."
Five other people, including three other TSA officers, were injured in the incident.
The shooting sent hundreds of passengers streaming out of the terminal with many fleeing onto the airport runway. Dozens of flights to and from the airport were delayed or cancelled. It also triggered a "tactical alert" for the Los Angeles Police Department.
The shooting began around 9:20 a.m. in the usually crowded terminal.
The shooter, initially identified as Paul Ciancia, pulled an assault rifle from a bag and blasted his way past airport screeners, said Los Angeles World Airports Police Chief Patrick Gannon.
Ciancia, 23, is believed to be from Pennsville, N.J., however authorities said he has a residence in Los Angeles.
Saryan said the gunman asked him, "Are you TSA?"
"He saw me. He looked at me with a quizzical look and said, 'TSA?' And I just shook my head. So he moved on," Saryan said.
ABC News

"Senate Democrats supported rule that led to insurance cancellations"

"Senate Democrats voted unanimously three years ago to support the Obamacare rule that is largely responsible for some of the health insurance cancellation letters that are going out."

"In September 2010, Senate Republicans brought a resolution to the floor to block implementation of the grandfather rule, warning that it would result in canceled policies and violate President Barack Obama’s promise that people could keep their insurance if they liked it."

“The District of Columbia is an island surrounded by reality. Only in the District of Columbia could you get away with telling the people if you like what you have you can keep it, and then pass regulations six months later that do just the opposite and figure that people are going to ignore it. But common sense is eventually going to prevail in this town and common sense is going to have to prevail on this piece of legislation as well,” Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley said at the time."

“The administration's own regulations prove this is not the case. Under the grandfathering regulation, according to the White House's own economic impact analysis, as many as 69 percent of businesses will lose their grandfathered status by 2013 and be forced to buy government-approved plans,” the Iowa Republican said."

"On a party line vote, Democrats killed the resolution, which could come back to haunt vulnerable Democrats up for re-election this year."

Senate Democrats like Mary Landrieu, Jeanne Shaheen, Mark Pryor, Kay Hagan and Mark Begich – all of whom voted against stopping the rule from going into effect and have since supported delaying parts of Obamacare.

CNN via Instapundit

Rocket Man Cover by Maynard & Drozd

Burning up the shoes off everyone!

Anthony Bourdain, London

At the point where Bourdain is picked up by the two Indian ladies I realized, "pressure cooker." He's afraid of them. And sure enough, they use pressure and he acts afraid of it. And I do not understand that. I do not respect that in chefs. It is a thing that housewives know about and use and do all the time, so to act like it's odd and out of a chef's grasp is ridiculous. They do that sometimes, I notice, stake out an area to be resolutely closed about. I hear them say things like, "Baking is chemistry. I don't do baking." 

One episode on Food Network involved a contest between chefs taking place in Aspen. The deal was to impress other chef-judges with a meal at a decked out resort. The place has everything a chef could ask. All contestants had difficulty with altitude, none of them even considered using pressure to compensate. I was sitting at home thinking how ridiculous that is, how it makes everything else they are squabbling about moot. There was no cook to root for in that case, I wanted each one of them to lose. 

crash happy flying robot

He said the trick was decoupling the outer shell. Inspired by insects. I was wondering too, how can it be that I smack those flies in mid air, and feel the hit like a ping, and they go flying off. 

True Facts: Cuttlefish

Friday, November 1, 2013

Song Request And Open Thread

This one goes out to Icepick and to Rhythm And Balls; I already know that Sixty Grit can't stand it:


Flea tends bar.  I got my older brother to like the song (despite the band's name).

"Emails: IRS Sent Tea Party Tax Documents to FEC"

"The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) shared confidential tax records from several tea party groups with the Federal Election Commission (FEC), emails obtained by the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch reveal."
Lois Lerner, the former head of the IRS tax-exempt division at the heart of the agency’s targeting scandal, sent the FEC records from several conservative groups, including the American Future Fund and the American Issues Project. Federal privacy laws heavily protect tax returns and associated documents.
“These extensive emails and other materials provide a disturbing window into the activities of two out-of-control federal agencies: the IRS and FEC,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a statement. “And there is the very real question as to whether these documents evidence a crime.” 
Judicial Watch obtained the emails from the FEC through an Aug. 9, 2013, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. 
Lerner invoked her Fifth Amendment rights and refused to testify before the Oversight Committee earlier this year. She retired last month while an internal IRS probe was still ongoing, guaranteeing her a federal pension.
Washington Free Beacon

Emboldened China Reveals Attack Plans Against US

"Chinese state-run media revealed for the first time this week that Beijing’s nuclear submarines can attack American cities as a means to counterbalance U.S. nuclear deterrence in the Pacific."
On Monday, leading media outlets including China Central TV, the People’s Daily, the Global Times, the PLA Daily, the China Youth Daily and the Guangmin Daily ran identical, top-headlined reports about the “awesomeness” of the People's Liberation Army navy’s strategic submarine force.
“This is the first time in 42 years since the establishment of our navy’s strategic submarine force that we reveal on such a large scale the secrets of our first-generation underwater nuclear force,” the Global Times said in a lengthy article titled “China for the First Time Possesses Effective Underwater Nuclear Deterrence against the United States.”
The article features 30 photos and graphics detailing, among other things, damage projections for Seattle and Los Angeles after being hit by Chinese nuclear warheads and the deadly radiation that would spread all the way to Chicago.
China’s sub fleet is reportedly the world’s second-largest, with about 70 vessels. About 10 are nuclear-powered, and four or more of those are nuclear ballistic submarines capable of launching missiles.
Washington Times (mobile)  UPDATE: China Moves Spy Ship to Hawaiian Waters

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Goth Said Let It Be Dark

"Last week, “South Park” devoted an entire episode to mocking “those goth kids.” The compliment was perhaps backhanded, but it is a testament to the staying power of a countercultural identity that had its heyday in the mid-1990s. “Goth never truly dies,” said Lauren M.E. Goodlad, a professor at the University of Illinois, Urbana, and an expert on goth culture. “Part of its aesthetic is undeath.” And yet, the goth “look” remains surprisingly difficult to pin down. Contemporary goths put together a collage of styles drawn from a variety of fringe influences. “‘Wear that! Do this!’ That would be a goth’s worst nightmare,” Professor Goodlad said. “And I don’t mean that in a good way.”

Beginning paragraph of an article on the Style Section of the NY Times written by Jennifer Daniel and Alicia DeSantis.

Lileks Candy

Needed: Spooky Music Suggestions For Halloween

Here is one:

"Americans keep moving to states with low taxes and housing costs"

"Where are Americans moving, and why? Timothy Noah, writing in the Washington Monthly, professes to be puzzled. He points out that people have been moving out of states with high per capita incomes -- Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts, Maryland -- to states with lower income levels."

"“Why are Americans by and large moving away from economic opportunity rather than toward it?” he asks."

"Actually, it's not puzzling at all. The movement from high-tax, high-housing-cost states to low-tax, low-housing-cost states has been going on for more than 40 years, as I note in my new book Shaping Our Nation: How Surges of Migration Transformed America and Its Politics."

"Between 1970 and 2010 the population of New York state increased from 18 million to 19 million. In that same period, the population of Texas increased from 11 million to 25 million."

"The picture is even starker if you look at major metro areas. The New York metropolitan area, including counties in New Jersey and Connecticut, increased from 17.8 million in 1970 to 19.2 million in 2010 — up 8 percent. During that time the nation grew 52 percent."

"In the same period, the four big metro areas in Texas — Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Austin — grew from 6 million to 15.6 million, a 160 percent increase."

"Contrary to Noah’s inference, people don’t move away from opportunity. They move partly in response to economic incentives, but also to pursue dreams and escape nightmares."

Michael Barone - Washington Examiner

"Belgium considering whether to allow sick CHILDREN to end their own lives"

"Euthanasia is already legal for people over the age of 18 in the country and now it may be extended to cover children which is something no other country has done."
The same bill would offer the right to die to adults with early dementia.
''It is strange that minors are considered legally incompetent in key areas, such as getting married, but might (be able) to decide to die,' Catholic Archbishop Andre-Joseph Leonard testified."

Bedknobs And Broomsticks

Where does the flying broomstick myth for the Halloween witch come from?  Is it related to hallucinogenic drugs...or is it a clever and subversive plot to undo a Christian tradition -- The Legend Of La Befana?

You decide:

"Study says 'Cash for Clunkers' created few jobs"

"Washington — The nearly $3 billion “Cash for Clunkers” program approved by Congress in 2009 did little to boost the environment and created few jobs, a new study released Wednesday found."

"A Brookings Institution study found the $2.85 billion program “provided a short-term boost in vehicle sales, which were pulled forward from sales that would have occurred in subsequent months. There was a small increase in employment but the implied cost per job created ($1.4 million) was far higher than other fiscal stimulus programs.”

"The study — from researchers Ted Gayer and Emily Parker — said the “Car Allowance Rebate System,” or CARS did little to boost employment. This is at least the fourth major study since 2012 that has raised questions about the value of the program."

From The Detroit News

"Sources: White House told insurance execs to keep quiet on Obamacare"

"White House officials have pressured insurance industry executives to keep quiet amid mounting criticism over Obamacare's rollout, insurance industry sources told CNN."
After insurance officials publicly criticized the implementation, White House staffers contacted insurers to express their displeasure, industry insiders said.
Multiple sources declined to speak publicly about the push back because they fear retribution.
But Bob Laszewski, who heads a consulting firm for big insurance companies, did talk on the record.
"The White House is exerting massive pressure on the industry, including the trade associations, to keep quiet," he said.
Insurers, he said, warned the White House that the regulations would lead to discontinued policies.
"One of the things I think is clear here is the Obama administration has no trust in anything the health insurance industry is telling them about how to run a health plan," Laszewski said.

It's the smiley face that did it

Two engineers close to Google exploded in profanity when they saw this sketch. This is a slide from an NSA presentation called "Google Exploitation" It depicts the point where "Public Internet" meets "Google Cloud," the point where all the juicy user data resides. 

Story at washingtonpost

The Snowden revelations of NSA secretly breaking into the main connections linking Yahoo and Google (this is different from the sketch above) and intercepting emails, documents, and other electronic communications (that would be pictures) between companies has shocked representatives and intelligence officers and are inflaming the relationship between the Obama administration and American technology companies.

They say "likely to inflame" but I changed it for drama. 

American companies.

They're driving business elsewhere. Entire nations are moving business elsewhere. 

One place to go is a Chinese company Huawei. 

Chinese, and it's the same thing all over again. It has to be and yet within the comments here at cableforeignpolicy a Huawei representative claims otherwise. I thought that was interesting that they would pop up like that in comments to an article and sell themselves with a good pitch, and have that pitch batted right down with a sharp rebuke attached to it, "Bull." 

If you Like the Philosophy You Have, You Can Keep It

“You can’t compare my experience with his lack of experience,” said Mr. Lhota, a onetime Wall Street financier, a deputy mayor in the administration of Rudolph W. Giuliani and a former chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority."
Mr. de Blasio, the city’s public advocate, scoffed at that assessment, arguing that what really mattered to voters was not executive savvy, but philosophical worldview.
“You have to look at the values that each of us brings to this,” he said. “It’s not just what job titles you’ve held.”
Snipet of a NY Times article, covering the final debate between Bill de Blasio and Joseph J. Lhota for the mayoralty of New York City.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Dumb ways to die

Reports are kids love this. They howl, apparently. Catchy tune. One man said he'd like it more were he not subjected by younger members of his family singing it four days straight. Sixty-three million views over there on YouTube, two or them are mine. Nearly ninety-four thousand comments, and that is a lot of comments. 

Seven Days In November

Trooper York said...

Seven Days In November

Oval Office Wednesday November 9, 2016

“Well the election results are in Mr. President” said Jay Carney “It’s a replay of Bush vs Gore.”

“What do you mean Jay?” said the President as he played with his Blackberry. It was never too early to work on his NCAA brackets. “Spell it out for me please.”

“Hillary won the popular vote but it seems that maniac Ted Cruz won the electoral. They are contesting Florida in court and demanding a recount. So it is still up in the air.”

“Either way the country loses Mr. President” piped up Valarie Jarrett who was commonly referred to as Rasputin behind her back. As much for her facial hair as her Svengali like powers over the lazy Chief executive. “Your agenda and legacy will be trashed by either of them. That racist Cruz will destroy Obamacare and wipe out Food Stamps and clean energy. He will be a disaster. The Tea Party will destroy this country and everything we have built. Hillary will be worse. After the way she attacked us and threw you under the bus about Benghazi you know she is going to let loose the dogs to investigate everything that happened during our time of office. We can’t let that happen. It will be a witch hunt. And who is a bigger witch than Hillary?”

“Listen to them Barry” intoned his wife Michelle as she flexed her arm muscles and broke a walnut. She was not referred to as Rasputin even though in fact she actually was a beard. “We have to think outside the box. I mean who says we really have to step down when the country is in chaos? Either one of those damn fools will destroy the America that we have built.”

“Yes that’s true” murmured the distracted President as he tried to figure out how to get the PGA standings on his phone. “Bring me some options on what we can do. But first I have one important question. Jay?”

“Yes sir?”

“What is my tee time today?”

(to be continued)

Reflections on the Old and the New

"Diamonds, dance classes and dramas at the debutante ball: Behind-the-scenes at London's most prestigious society event"
"Queen Charlotte's Ball sees the daughters of some of society's most prestigious families make their social debut"
"The event was introduced by King George III in 1780 as a way to celebrate his wife’s birthday
Historically the event was to help the ladies find a suitable husband, but is now more of a social event"

Mail on Line

Larison on Santorum's foreign policy

"That brings us to Santorum and “strong foreign policy,” which means something radically different to him than it does to most of the rest of us. [George] Will doesn’t talk about Santorum’s foreign policy in the column, because there is probably nothing complimentary Will could say about it. If Romney’s foreign policy agenda last year could be fairly described as “omni-directional belligerence,” Santorum would probably say that Romney was far too timid and cautious in what he said. Santorum would probably agree with Bolton et al. that Romney agreed with Obama too often and didn’t attack him enough on these issues.
While someone could argue that Romney was just pandering to hard-liners during the campaign, Santorum truly is one of the hard-liners on foreign policy, so much so that he turned his re-election campaign into a referendum on his alarmist views and thereby guaranteed a landslide defeat. Shortly following his defeat in 2006, he restated the hard-line views that did so much to doom his campaign in this article. As Santorum saw it, even Bush and Gates were too weak-willed and feeble...
...Nothing has changed for Santorum in the years between his 2006 loss and today. If Santorum is the one defining what “strong foreign policy” means, we should very much hope that the GOP will be rid of it soon."

For the birds

Here is a 'no melt' suet mix, that reportedly can be put out in the summer. Thus far, I've only ever put up pine cones smeared with a lard/peanut butter mix and rolled in bird seed.. As there is plenty of food available during the warm months, I do this only during the cold months. It is important to not use only peanut butter, as some birds may choke on it.

Please share your bird feeding adventures with us. 

Hot Weather Suet

1 lb. lard
16-20 oz crunch peanut butter
3/4-1 c. raisins (optional)
3/4- 1 c. bird seed
6 c. cornmeal
5 c. flour

Melt lard in pan. Cool, then mix with peanut butter. Stir in remaining ingredients. Line appropriate-sized containers with plastic wrap, press in mixture, freeze. Remove from containers, finish wrapping, store in freezer.

"Teacher Fired For Allowing Students To Share Needles During Experiment"

SPRING LAKE, N.C. (AP) — A Harnett County teacher has been fired after school officials said she allowed biology students to prick themselves with lancing needles as part of an experiment and reusing the needles with other students.

Officials said Miyoshi McMillan of Overhills High School in Spring Lake conducted a lab Oct. 24 on blood typing.

School spokeswoman Patrician Harmon-Lewis says McMillian used a lab kit that included synthetic blood and seven lancets used to obtain drops of blood for testing.

Harmon-Lewis says McMillan provided the lancets for each lab group. She said after the students used the needles, they used alcohol swabs and saved the needles for the next class to use.

The school sent letters home with every student in the biology classes.

McMillan began as a substitute teacher in 2009.

CBS Charlotte

"What did President Obama know and when did he know it?"

Is a trending question being parodied in Twitterverse. My sense is that it is not being asked with the specter of the original history behind that question, the scandal that led to the resignation of president Nixon. But more of an attempt, by way of insinuation, to describe the scenario we are currently in, with an already familiar background to many of us.

Dana Milbank of the Washington Post elaborates...
For a smart man, President Obama professes to know very little about a great number of things going on in his administration.
On Sunday night, the Wall Street Journal reported that he didn’t learn until this summer that the National Security Agency had been bugging the phones of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other world leaders for nearly five years.
That followed by a few days a claim by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius that Obama didn’t know about problems with the Web site before the rest of the world learned of them after the Oct. 1 launch.
It stretches credulity to think that the United States was spying on world leaders without the president’s knowledge, or that he was blissfully unaware of huge technical problems that threatened to undermine his main legislative achievement. But on issues including the IRS targeting flap and the Justice Department’s use of subpoenas against reporters, White House officials have frequently given a variation on this theme.
Question: What did Obama know and when did he know it?
We may never know for sure. We could, however, put together clues from the time when Obama was not yet the President of the United States. Clues that may very well help us transition from insinuation and speculation to... if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck...

Kerry Picket of Breitbart elaborates...
President Barack Obama made it no secret he was a proponent of a single payer health care system in America when he first came on to the national scene. However, he explained to his supporters over the years that a "potential transition" would be necessary to break away from the current system. 
Interestingly, as the implementation of the Obamacare exchanges face problems and millions begin to lose coverage from their private insurers, something President Obama promised would not happen, Democrats and their liberal allies are now beginning to suggest a single payer system as a solution to the rickety exchanges. 

3 year old Matthew reads to 1 year old Noah in ASL

Colors and signs.

Well. One word per page, but still. There are letters involved and decoding, and common sense, and we see Noah doing the signs before his older brother reads them and cues him. Their little fingers are adorable.

Superboy Tyler shows his new pajamas

SNAP drops back to pre-stimulus rates

"The exact reduction that families will see beginning Nov. 1 depends on the recipients' situation, but a family of four with no changes in circumstance will receive $36 less per month, according to the USDA.

...Others are less worried about the immediate cuts. Parke Wilde, associate professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition at Tufts University, said that in real dollars, the cuts brings the program's aid levels back in line with where they were in the mid-2000s, before benefits were boosted as part of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act.

"That's neither great nor terrible," Wilde said.

He said the bigger issue is the debate in Congress over whether, and how much, the SNAP program could be cut in years to come. The House of Representatives passed a bill in mid-September that would eliminate about $39 billion form the SNAP budget over 10 years, while the Senate has approved a bill that makes much smaller cuts to the program."


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Omidyar/Greenwald: new media venture

In order to short-circuit the traditional alliance between governments and news outlets, Glenn Greenwald is going to leave The Guardian to begin a new "media venture" with eBay founder, Pierre Omidyar: 
On the one hand, people like Assange, Greenwald and Snowden need newspapers or similar media outlets. Without some such outlet, they are voices in the wilderness. On the other hand, exactly because newspapers play a crucial political role in validating knowledge, they have complicated relationships with governments and politicians. This leads them to actions which people like Assange and Greenwald are likely to see as compromises with power.
 And this is why the new venture is so interesting. It will likely shape up as a serious journalistic enterprise. Capital of USD $250 million can hire some very good people. The venture has the potential to become the kind of news source that can turn information into knowledge. Yet it doesn’t sound as if it’ll be bound by the kinds of political relationships that most newspapers are embedded in... 
Today it was announced:

Kasha Varnishkes

Kasha Varnishkes is an Ashkenazi Jewish recipe that originated in Eastern Europe. Kasha, in case you're not familiar with it, is buckwheat. Buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum) is a plant, related to rhubarb & sorrel, whose fruit is used as a food. Even though buckwheat fruit is not an actual cereal grain, it is dried and hulled in the same manner as cereal grains such as wheat (to which buckwheat is unrelated) and rye. The product of this hulling process is called buckwheat groats (no, not the medieval coin groat), or kasha. Kasha can be cooked to make a porridge, just like cereal groats; it's very hearty and healthy and since it's not a grain, is a good fiber-rich, gluten-free food. It has a unique, slightly bitter flavor, like other related plants, and a very chewy texture so you might need to get used to it. Kasha is also a common filling for knishes.

Buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum)
Kasha varnishkes was originally little kasha-stuffed dumplings, sort of like Yiddishe ravioli, but since the early 20th century it's usually a blend of kasha and Farfalle pasta. The dish is easy to make, the ingredients can be found in most grocery stores— look for kasha in the "Kosher" or "International Foods" aisle of your supermarket; the most common brand is Wolff's, which comes in a small black and gold box that you can see in the pictures accompanying this recipe. Get the "medium" texture kasha.

First off, you need schmaltz to make this recipe properly. Schmaltz is simply rendered chicken fat. If you live in a town with a good Jewish deli or store, you can buy a container of schmaltz, but it's very easy to make. Click "Read more" below for the technique & the recipe for Kasha Varnishkes.

Super Human Strength Pull Ups.

And core body strength, and leg strength, and balance, and improvisation and coordination and more! Playground antics, building better bodies.

This video is suggested at the end of the Ozell Williams video, and frankly I find it equally awesome.

This post is inspired by Eric the Fruit Bat's physical fitness improvisation.

I loved those monkey bars wherever I found them. The playground bars at Tachikawa were the best. And I mean best! That is where a girl showed us how, by grabbing the fabric of her dress and using it to slip-slide, she could clamp the bar with both hands and with centrifugal force of her upper body vs legs twirl completely around the bar multiple times spinning and always end upright. Impressive. At that age where girls outpace boys, she was bigger than most boys.

We were not to be outdone. This hit right where it hurts, ego. By example, by outdoing us, without a word, without a common language, she taught the whole playground at that school for that year how to twirl around a bar, how to not fear the bar. Basically, she showed us any girl can do it. You are the first people I ever mentioned this to. I'm a bit embarrassed. That girl shamed us. I recall now, you can initiate a twirl forward by boldly lifting your full weight upon the bar and thrust it upward, forward and outward as if you fully intend to smash your face into the ground. That's the brave part. If you hold on tight enough and slam forcefully enough then you twirl around instead of smashing and the second twirl takes much less power, the next twirl no power at all. Rub dirt on your hands if you haven't a dress to pull up tight around your bottom side . Other times you'll want hand-traction, but not with a twirl.

"Spears is on the front lines of fighting piracy"

"That's right. According to U.K. Merchant Naval Officer Rachel Owens, British ships patrolling the coast of Africa have taken to blaring Spears's tunes to ward off pirates. "Her songs were chosen by the security team because they thought the pirates would hate them most," Metro (a free UK tabloid) reported on Sunday. "These guys can’t stand Western culture or music, making Britney’s hits perfect," said Owens."

"Wondering if this story is true, or merely a publicity ploy for Spears' upcoming album release (the single, "Work Bitch" is already out there. You're welcome.) I called the London-based Security Association for the Maritime Industry (SAMI). The Metro story quotes SAMI Maritime Director Steven Jones: "Pirates will go to any lengths to avoid or try to overcome the music." He adds, "I’d imagine using Justin Bieber would be against the Geneva Convention."

"SAMI is embracing this titillating story rather than wishing it would go away - if only for the chance to raise awareness about the problems of piracy."

In an email, Molica-Franco later followed up with some fascinating background on the use of music to deter pirates:
We were approached after it emerged that some private maritime security guards on merchant vessels were using music tracks to 'blast' at pirate skiffs which were approaching their ship. This was a trend, which began a few years ago, in which Long Range Acoustic Devices (LRAD) were used to try and supposedly 'deafen' pirates. The equipment was first used by US police/military to quell rioters ashore, but it has been adapted for maritime use. However just as protesters ashore often use gas masks to counter tear gas, the wily pirates can also use ear defenders to counter noise.
The LRAD is not solely about causing discomfort or injury; it is an excellent device for hailing or communicating across a distance – so ideal for telling suspected pirates to "back off." There is a suggestion, therefore, that the LRAD sound does not actually overpower the pirates, as claimed in the rash of news stories over past days."
Instead, more likely the music shows the pirates that the vessel has security guards onboard. It then loudly demonstrates that the pirates have been spotted and the security team are ready to act against them if they proceed closer.
She added:
So rather than Britney actually making them break off their attack, it could be they are instead going to seek a softer unprotected target – one which may not be so vigilant or protected. While the artist choice does not appear to overly important, if the music is distasteful to the pirates, then it perhaps gets the message over a little quicker that their presence is not welcome – hence the Britney back-catalogue being a popular choice.
portions of an article by Jordan Strauss / Invision / AP as it appeared in The Star dot Com

"World's first Bitcoin ATM goes live in Vancouver Tuesday" (today)

"What's believed to be the first Bitcoin ATM in the world is expected to go live Tuesday in Vancouver, operated by Nevada-based Robocoin and Vancouver's Bitcoiniacs."

Mitchell Demeter, co-founder of Vancouver bitcoin trading company Bitcoiniacs and part-owner of Robocoin, has invested in five such machines to be placed across Canada."

Bitcoins are an emerging digital currency that isn't controlled by any authority such as a central bank. It’s an idea that is moving into the mainstream, despite the scandal surrounding Silk Road, an anonymous online marketplace for illegal drugs and other illicit goods that used Bitcoins."

While some have doubted Bitcoin's validity and others have raised concerns that the unregulated currency is being used for nefarious means, a U.S. judge ruled last month that Bitcoin, which has been around since 2009, is a real currency."

CBC News Canada

Duck Dynasty shoe project

I want these shoes with springs in them. They look stupid. But so do yours. Everybody's shoes look stupid to me. So, stupid as these look they will not stick out. In fact, they're camouflaged.

Boing,  boing, boing, like a kangaroo already, I'm starting to feel it over here by this picture. You can see how it will soften the impact on the heel and return the energy propelling you forward. I want to try that.

I know. That's the bad part. 

The good part is they're only $100.00 to pre-order. The project has already raised $400,000.00 which apparently is 409%, well, off to a good start then, and they're cheaper if you pre-order more than one pair. The project funding ends 11/18, I would imagine with excess funding they've already begun. 

I like these Duck Dynasty because I noticed them first, but the spring idea is not new. Apparently web browsers were presenting ads for shoes with WaveSpring by Spira built inside the heels. They all look like this with different logos, a leaned over McDonald's arches, a cartoon sperm. They're all the same thing and more expensive than these. 

I do not like this kind of synthetic shoe at all, but I'm willing to wear them for a few hours to bounce around. Who knows? 

I might change my whole attitude.

Out shopping a while ago a small child glided right past me on wheels, his shoes were fitted with rollerblades, ordinary shoes with the blades built in. He was having a great time on the smooth floors, staying out of trouble under his father's watchful eye, the whole thing a touching family father-son outing. He was moving faster than everyone else around him, in his own time phase like a Star Trek episode, out of sequence with everybody else, whizzing past moving at greater speed, 

"Hey no fair! I want to do that too!"

"Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha," as he smoothly sails down the aisle. Nothing beats getting one over adults. 

When I was his age I could not understand why everybody did not travel on rollerblades. They're brilliant. For a while I didn't want to take them off. I still think that. Impractical for everyday use, yes, I realize that now, but I didn't then, and it does make perfect sense to children, the impracticality of them on steps and stones and carpets and such more a challenge than a bother.

When I see people wear rollerblades at work like in warehouses and the places where waitresses wear them, except for carrying things, they make sense. 

I believe these spring type shoes would make you want to get out and walk your dog longer than usual. I'm willing to give them a try just to see. For the fun of it. 

"At Kosherfest, a 40-pound chicken nugget and a Conservative hechsher"

"The 25th-annual, two-day kosher food expo kicks off in Secaucus, N.J., tomorrow [today] and is expected to draw more than 6,000 people, all of them ready to nosh."

Kosherfest will feature products from over 300 companies and more than 20 countries.

For the first — and perhaps last — time, the expo will also include a kosher supervisory agency run by a non-Orthodox rabbi. Rabbi Jason Miller’s Kosher Michigan certifies more than 50 businesses and is one of only a handful of non-Orthodox supervising agencies in North America. In an email interview, Menachem Lubinsky, Kosherfest’s founder and co-producer, said that Kosher Michigan is “the first non-Orthodox agency that has even attempted to exhibit at the show” and that it “fell between the cracks.”

“The sales people did not realize that Michigan Kosher was not an Orthodox agency,” he said. “The show is under the kosher supervision of the Association of Kashrus Organizations (AKO) and there will be signs posted throughout the show that AKO takes responsibility only for those booths that are either AKO members or offer products that meet AKO standards. He is clearly not a member and his products do not meet AKO standards. Show management will take steps to assure that only AKO approved exhibitors participate in the show in 2014.”

Interviewed by phone, Miller, who is based in suburban Detroit and certifies over 50 companies, most of them in the Midwest, emphasized that he had not hidden his Conservative identity; in fact, Kosher Michigan’s exhibitor blurb, which he said has been on the Kosherfest website for months, states in the first sentence that the agency was founded in 2008 by a Conservative rabbi.

“Certainly the ultra-Orthodox do not want to believe a non-Orthodox rabbi is able to run a successful kosher certification agency, but the facts on the ground are that that’s what’s happening,” he said. “The marketplace — the consumers — have the loudest voice in this industry so the market will dictate which certification agencies are authentic and which are not … My goal has always been to increase the number of kosher options without increasing the cost.”

portions of an article written by 


Turkey Bacon with Mayo & Tomatoes and a Cherry Coke

Troops Subs (former Frills) Clifton, NJ

"Pa. boy dresses as vagrant for class, is suspended"

(AP) -- A high school student who dressed as a homeless man for a drama assignment was so convincing that he fooled school officials -- and ended up getting suspended.

It began with an assignment last month, senior Michael Bodomov, 17, said: Create a character and be that person for an entire day at Mount Lebanon High School, just outside Pittsburgh.

"I wore like a couple layers of coats and some sweatpants," Bodomov said. He added a pair of fingerless gloves, mismatched shoes and plastic bags for socks. He also smeared ink on his face to make it look dirty.

"I had to kind of think on my feet," Bodomov said, since he didn't want to break character before the school day even began.

"I kind of mumbled" and "said I need to talk to some people," Bodomov recalled, adding that in retrospect that might have made officials think he was mentally unbalanced.

"At one point, I think I said, 'I might be a student here,'" and a school official responded, "No, you can't be. You look like you're 30 and you haven't showered in 10 days."

He also tried showing them the garbage bag he was carrying, since it contained his school backpack. But his attention to character detail thwarted that, too. The bag was also filled with empty plastic bottles, and that's apparently all the officials saw.

"It's not like this entire time I wasn't trying to let them know I was a student," Bodomov said. "It was pretty funny to me."

Then the police showed up.

After staying in character for a little longer, Bodomov explained the whole situation. The police left, and an administrator said he was suspended for insubordination and for breaking a rule that students must identify themselves to an administrator when asked.

KEVIN BEGOS Associated Press

Book: "How Adolf Hitler Prevented 'Subject Races' from Possessing Arms"

"When Adolf Hitler came to power in 1933, he seized gun registration information that had been compiled by Germany's previous government under the premise that the information would not fall into the wrong hands or be used for an all-out confiscation scheme. But as gun scholar Stephen P. Halbrook makes clear in his new book, Gun Control in the Third Reich: Disarming the Jews and "Enemies of the State," Hitler's hands were the wrong hands. And Hitler and the Nazi movement used all the information they could find—as well as the threat of brute force and death—to force Jews and others to hand over their firearms."

As Halbrook put it: "The Nazis thought it was pretty important to be sure the Jews weren't armed."

Gun Control in the Third Reich covers gun control under Hitler but, perhaps more importantly, it covers the methodology of that gun control in great detail."

Halbrook also shows how propaganda was used to further gun control and how terms like "assault rifle" did not exist until Hitler created them."

According to Halbrook, this is the fight that has to be fought—the fight to keep such information from being gathered in the first place."

Said Halbrook: "The Nazi example is not a warning of what will happen but of what could happen. We can't dismiss it by saying, 'Germans didn't have a Second Amendment tradition to defend them like we do.' We have to minimize government information on gun owners."

Breitbart's AWR Hawkins

"'We're Really Screwed Now': NSA's Best Friend Just Shivved The Spies"

"One of the National Security Agency's biggest defenders in Congress is suddenly at odds with the agency and calling for a top-to-bottom review of U.S. spy programs. And her long-time friends and allies are completely mystified by the switch."

"We're really screwed now," one NSA official told The Cable. "You know things are bad when the few friends you've got disappear without a trace in the dead of night and leave no forwarding address."

In a pointed statement issued today, Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Dianne Feinstein said she was "totally opposed" to gathering intelligence on foreign leaders and said it was "a big problem" if President Obama didn't know the NSA was monitoring the phone calls of German Chancellor Angela Merkel. She said the United States should only be spying on foreign leaders with hostile countries, or in an emergency, and even then the president should personally approve the surveillance."

It was not clear what precipitated Feinstein's condemnation of the NSA. It marks a significant reversal for a lawmaker who not only defended agency surveillance programs -- but is about to introduce a bill expected to protect some of its most controversial activities."

Excepts from an article by Shane Harris and John Hudson as it appeared in Foreign Policy

Update: White House OKd spying on allies, U.S. intelligence officials say

Pied Beauty

Glory be to God for dappled things —
  For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
    For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches' wings;
  Landscape plotted and pieced — fold, fallow, and plough;
    And áll trádes, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;
  Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
    With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
                Praise him.


Ozell Williams

Monday, October 28, 2013

10-year marriage contracts

It works like this: On the onset of the marriage the parties lay out the goals of the relationship. A prenup, but more. Decide the financial terms during the marriage, as well as how money will be dealt with should it end. Same with kids. But more than that, the contract establishes broad goals for the marriage itself: Is it for companionship? A passionate love? To bring children into the world? Build financial equity or a business?
Then, when the marriage nears year No. 9, the parties are forced to make a decision. Do they decide — amicably — that the marriage has run its course? If so, the contract has paved a path for a low-animosity split (thanks to the prenup), and the possibility for celebrating a partnership that was successful while it lasted.
Or, the couple decides to sign another 10-year contract, but with changes. Study after study find that a lack of communication is the No. 1 reason people divorce. A forced conversation about the future of a marriage can only be good for any relationship. Gone will be the days of the couch potato marriage, where everyone simply waits out the clock without actually working on the relationship.

ObamaCare Double Whammy

"Sue Klinkhamer has a problem. It’s called Obamacare."

"And the irony of her situation is not lost on her. In a recent email addressed to her former boss, Illinois Congressman Bill Foster, and other Democratic colleagues, she wrote:
“I spent two years defending Obamacare. I had constituents scream at me, spit at me and call me names that I can’t put in print. The congressman was not re-elected in 2010 mainly because of the anti-Obamacare anger. When the congressman was not re-elected, I also (along with the rest of our staff) lost my job. I was upset that because of the health care issue, I didn’t have a job anymore but still defended Obamacare because it would make health care available to everyone at, what I assumed, would be an affordable price. I have now learned that I was wrong. Very wrong.”
For Klinkhamer, 60, President Obama’s oft-repeated words ring in her ears: “If you like your health plan, you will keep it.”

Chicago Sun Times via Iowahawkblog

Census Bureau: Means-Tested Gov't Benefit Recipients Outnumber Full-Time Year-Round Workers

( - Americans who were recipients of means-tested government benefits in 2011 outnumbered year-round full-time workers, according to data released this month by the Census Bureau. They also out-numbered the total population of the Philippines.

There were 108,592,000 people in the United States in the fourth quarter of 2011 who were recipients of one or more means-tested government benefit programs, the Census Bureau said in data released this week. Meanwhile, according to the Census Bureau, there were 101,716,000 people who worked full-time year round in 2011. That included both private-sector and government workers.

That means there were about 1.07 people getting some form of means-tested government benefit for every 1 person working full-time year round.

When the people who received non-means-tested government benefits from programs such as Social Security, Medicare, unemployment and non-means-tested veterans compensation are added to those who received means-tested government programs such as food stamps, Supplemental Security Income and public housing, the total number of people receiving government benefits from one or more programs in the United States in 2011 climbs to 151,014,000, according to the Census Bureau.

Portions of an article by Terence P. Jeffrey for CNS News dot com

Any suggestions?

Evi L. Bloggerlady said...
Santorum is not electable as President. Now that said, I agree that Republicans need to pay attention to all the legs of the stool. National Security, Social Conservative and Business...but there is a fourth leg and that is Freedom-libertarian (basic Tea Party principles).

We need a candidate who can articulate all those positions in a manner voters will get. It is really not so hard (the issue is balance).

Cruz is a good man. I agree he was a bit hamfisted in this latest fight--but he did not embarrass himself like that dottering old fool John McCain (who soiled himself). As for Santorum, Cruz did not lose Texas by 17 points.

"Zalipie: Poland’s Painted Village"

"The secluded village of Zalipie in southeastern Poland is home to a charming tradition. Over a century ago the women of the village began to paint their houses: however, it was not the single, uniform color one might expect from a traditional and conservative society. The village, through the intricate and vibrant paintwork of its womenfolk, bloomed."
This is my favorite
"Although no one is completely sure how and when this tradition began, it dates from when the smoke from stoves escaped through little more than a hole in the ceiling of the house. Women would paint over the spots of soot with whitewash. Yet the spots would still be partially visible and it is believed that the women, in order for their house to appear immaculate for religious festivals, took to covering the remnants of soot stains with paintings of flowers. Once modern cooking and better ventilation came in to practice, these cover-ups were no longer necessary. Yet instead the flower patterns became gradually more and more sophisticated."


Andrea Peyser: ‘Uncomfortable truth’ in Matthew Shepard’s death

"Stephen Jimenez didn’t set out to be the most dangerous journalist on earth.
Or, more to the point, the most dangerous gay journalist.
But Jimenez unearthed a story that few people wanted to hear. And it calls into question everything you think you know about the life and death of one of the leading icons of our age.

Matthew Shepard, college student. Killed, at 21, for being gay.

Or was he?

Jimenez’s “The Book of Matt: Hidden Truths About the Murder of Matthew Shepard,” out last month, challenges every cultural myth surrounding Shepard’s short life and unspeakable death. After some 13 years of digging, including interviews with more than 100 sources, including Shepard’s killers, Jimenez makes a radioactive suggestion:

The grisly murder, 15 years ago this month, was no hate crime.

Shepard’s tragic and untimely demise may not have been fueled by his sexual orientation, but by drugs. For Shepard had likely agreed to trade methamphetamines for sex. And it killed him.
New York Post

"The Wellcome Trust 2013 winning entry: where did syphilis come from?"

"Did Columbus bring the disease back with him from the New World, or was it in Europe all along? Katherine Wright, winner of the Wellcome Trust science writing prize 2013, investigates"

Here are some excerpts
In the 1490s, a gruesome new disease exploded across Europe. It moved with terrifying speed. Within five years of the first reported cases, among the mercenary army hired by Charles VIII of France to conquer Naples, it was all over the continent and reaching into north Africa.
As its many names attest, contemporaries of the first spread of syphilis did not know where this disease had come from. Was it indeed the fault of the French? Was it God's punishment on earthly sinners?
Another school of thought, less xenophobic and less religious, soon gained traction. Columbus's historic voyage to the New World was in 1492. The Italian soldiers were noticing angry chancres on their genitals by 1494. What if Columbus had brought the disease back to Europe with him as an unwelcome stowaway aboard the Pinta or the Niña?
... [S]cientists, anthropologists, and historians still disagree about the origin of syphilis. Did Columbus and his sailors really transport the bacterium back from the New World? Or was it just coincidental timing, that the first cases were recorded soon after the adventurers' triumphant return to the Old World? It seems increasingly likely that Columbus and his crew were responsible for transporting syphilis from the New World to the Old.
Of course, Treponema pallidum was not the only microbial passenger to hitch a ride across the Atlantic with Columbus. But most of the traffic was going the other way: smallpox, measles, and bubonic plague were only some of the Old World diseases which infiltrated the New World, swiftly decimating thousands of Native Americans. Syphilis was not the French disease, or the Polish disease. It was the disease – and the revenge – of the Americas.

The Guardian and The Observer

"7 ridiculous restrictions on women’s rights around the world"

'"With Saudi Arabian women behind the wheel since Saturday to protest their country's refusal to grant driver's licenses to women, they’re challenging not only long-standing restriction, but also a the larger system of Saudi Arabian gender-based laws, some of the harshest in the world."

"According to one measurement, though, there are actually several countries that rank lower on women's rights than Saudi Arabia."

Here are other remarkable legal restrictions against women, from Asia to Latin America:

1. India (some parts): Road safety rules don’t apply to women.

2. Yemen: A woman is considered only half a witness.

3. Saudi Arabia and Vatican City: Women can’t vote... still.

4. Ecuador: Abortion is illegal, unless you’re an “idiot.” 

5. Saudi Arabia and Morocco: Rape victims can be charged with crimes. 

6. Yemen: Women can’t leave the house without their husbands’ permission.

7. Saudi Arabia: Women can't drive.

Washington Post