Saturday, November 9, 2013

"Rock And A Hard Place"

"A rock and a hard place"

"Fagan answered a 10:15 p.m. knock on their front door Thursday, Oct. 24. A friend having just left their apartment, he assumed the friend had come back. Instead, John Michael Taylor, a felon who showed them his ankle bracelet tracker in an attempt to intimidate them, faced him. Taylor asked Fagan for money, and became agitated when Fagan turned him down."
When he sensed Taylor might enter the apartment, Fagan yelled for McIntosh, who brandished his pistol, for which he has a concealed weapons permit. Taylor quickly fled. Little did they know, removing Taylor from their doorway would lead to potential university sanctions.
Fagan, 21, and McIntosh, 23, rent their two-bedroom off-campus apartment, No. 5, from owner Gonzaga University. Complications arose after the men called both the Spokane Police and CAMPO to report the trespasser, in doing so declaring the pistol to SPD Officer Adam Valdez. SPD quickly apprehended the suspect, who was arrested on outstanding felony warrants. Valdez congratulated the students for safely warding off a possibly dangerous menace.
But according to the Gonzaga Student Handbook, students may not possess weapons on campus or university-owned property. This clause triggered an early-morning return by CAMPO and a residence director, resulting in the seizure of two guns, including a shotgun owned by Fagan. This occurred at 2:30 a.m., more than four hours after the initial incident. Director of Security Brian Kenny served the men with hearing notices at 9 a.m. that morning.
Gonzaga Online Bulletin

Political Compass

The Politcal Compass assessment has been around awhile. I imagine most here have taken it before. In the above chart, we can see where some 2012 candidates are predicted to fall. There is a short article under it that begins, "This is a US election that defies logic and brings the nation closer towards a one-party state masquerading as a two-party state." Where do you land?    

How To Steal A Song And Get Away With It

Watch this brief video I made and then allow me to explain:


"Hubble spots strange asteroid with 6 tails of dust"

"The Hubble Space Telescope has discovered a six-tailed asteroid in the asteroid belt between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. Scientists say they've never seen anything like it. Incredibly, the comet-like tails change shape as the asteroid sheds dust. The streams have occurred over several months."
A research team led by the University of California, Los Angeles, believes the asteroid, designated P/2013 P5, is rotating so much that its surface is flying apart. It's believed to be a fragment of a larger asteroid damaged in a collision 200 million years ago.


George Strait

For no reason other than it's good.

"Landslides and typhoon Haiyan"

"As I write typhoon Haiyan is tracking across the Philippines. Jeff Masters reports that this is likely to be the most intense landfalling tropical cyclone on record; as such the damage on the areas affected is likely to be extreme. As I have noted previously, whilst it is the wind that tends to grab the attention of the media (and wind speeds of 310 km/h are clearly devastating), most of the damage is done by water, in the form of the storm surge, waves, floods and landslides. In terms of the latter, unfortunately the island of Leyte, across which the storm has just tracked, is very landslide prone. Indeed, Leyte was the location of one of the most devastating landslides in recent times, when the Guinsaugon landslide of 2006 caused 1126 deaths:"

Photo by Lance Cpl. Raymond D. Petersen III
Interestingly, the Guinsaugon landslide occurred as a result of ten days of rainfall that deposited over 2,000 mm of precipitation in total.
Typhoon Haiyan seen from space

Typhoon Haiyan seen from space
AGU Dave Petley , Michael Rusch ‏@weeddude

“I know that people accept me for who I am.”

Eric Fromm has received a lot of hugs on campus lately — at least once a day since he “came out” as an atheist last week in an article in his Christian university’s online newspaper.
And while the Northwest Christian University student body president doesn’t quite know what to do with all the new attention he’s receiving, he says it’s a welcome change from the isolation, verbal attacks and accusing questions that he’d grown to expect as rumors about his nonbelief circulated.
Though his active campus involvement was enough to win him the student government presidential election, Fromm said he’s felt judged by some of his peers throughout college because, as he wrote in the article that appeared in the school’s Beacon Bolt newspaper last week, “I couldn’t force myself to believe in God.”
“I’m too young to really know what’s going to happen after death,” Fromm said. “What I really want to focus on is what I’m doing here, and what it’s going to change.”
The Register Guard

Turn Left To Go Right

The most confusing thing for students learning how to ride a motorcycle is learning how to steer. 

Their confusion is compounded by really bad advice they have been given by really stupid people.  It's the "I know a guy...." syndrome.    You've probably heard it in some context.  It usually starts with "Hey, I know a guy who says you can sleep on broken glass and not get cut..." or some other nonsense. 

In my role as a motorcycle riding and safety instructor I have had many conversations with students to (1) instruct them how to steer correctly, and (2) to pound out of their noggins all of the wrong ideas they have received.

"How is a motorcycle steered?" I ask a class of students.

"You slap your knee against the tank and it'll lean over" says someone.

"You shift your weight to one of the footpegs and the bike'll lean over" says someone else.

"Turn the handlebars.  They're like a steering wheel"  says another student.

"Well, those are interesting answers, but we haven't heard the correct answer yet"  I'll reply.

Then it starts.  "I know a guy who says he just hammers the tank with his knees."  Or "My sister's boyfriend says he just turns the bars, man; that's what they're for."

No and no.  To steer a motorcycle (at speeds above 10 mph) you steer left to go right and steer right to go left.  It's science.  When I say that the first look I get is "I want my money back."  It takes effort to rid people of untrue things that they believe are true.

Mind the jump.  Cool videos ahead.

"Accounts Differ to F.B.I. and CBS on Benghazi"

Dylan Davies, a security officer hired to help protect the United States Special Mission in Benghazi, Libya, gave the F.B.I. an account of the night that terrorists attacked the mission on Sept. 11, 2012 that contradicts a version of events he provided in a recently published book and in an interview with the CBS News program “60 Minutes.”
Mr. Davies told the F.B.I. that he was not on the scene until the morning after the attack.
The information he provided in an F.B.I. interview was described Thursday by two senior government officials as completely consistent with an incident report by the Blue Mountain security business, which had been hired to protect United States interests in Benghazi. The officials who spoke said they had been briefed on the government investigation.
Mr. Davies, who worked for Blue Mountain, has disavowed the incident report, saying in an interview last week with the online magazine The Daily Beast that he did not write it and had never even seen it, and was not responsible for the account of events it contained.
Instapundit, otherwise known as professor Glenn Reynolds, believes sinister forces are afoot, attempting to discredit the whileblower, Mr. Davies, so as to aid then Secretary of State and current hopeful presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton.
NYTimes, Instapundit

Acidente de trabalho

That sounds kind of Portuguese. They stick extra "L's' in things.

There are a few lot more acidente de trabalhos on YouTube.

Acidente de Trabalho Visão Prevenciosa e Legal. Part II


Série Especial Acidente de Trabalho - frigorífico

Acidentes de Trabalho Opening frame is a stack of boxes.

Acidente do Trabalho Opening frame is a bloody face like Jack Nicholson in the Stanley Hotel

Acidente de trabalho em pastelaria Guy's hand in a rolling machine.

Prevenção de Acidente no Trabalho Cartoon

OMG, it goes on and on and on. I had no idea. It's ridiculous. I'm all the way up to page 10 and it's still acidente de trabalho all over the place, and they're not funny either. Don't they have OSHA or what?

I'm up to page 23 of videos with that phrase in it and there is no end in sight. Conclusion: Portugal has a serious acidente de trabalho situação.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo

"Written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, "Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker)"'s lyrics relate two stories: one is a story of New York City police shooting a boy because they mistook him for a bank robber, and the second of a ten-year-old girl who dies in an alley of a drug overdose. Neither of these events are known to be factual."
After telling the story of the police shooting the wrong person, Jagger sings,You heartbreaker, with your .44, I want to tear your world apart.
The .44 magnum cartridge had been recently made famous by the 1971 film Dirty Harry, in which Harry Callahan uses "the most powerful handgun in the world" to cleanse the streets of crime. The lyrics complement the music, which Rolling Stone magazine described as "urban R&B", due to its funk influence and prominent clavinet part (played by Billy Preston).
Wikipedia - the web encyclopedia

Mineral Waters

Here's an advertisement I found in the front of The Useful Family Herbal by John Hill, M.D., printed in 1770. Mineral Waters! If you're interested in any of these esoteric waters, you can read a contemporary account, The Methodical Synopsis Of Mineral Waters, by John Rutty, M.D. You can also read "Dr. Russel's Dissertation on the Use of the Sea-Water, with Dr. Speed's Commentary" that's mentioned in the ad. A few of the waters are still bottled and sold.

Interestingly, William Owen, bookseller and mineral water salesman, was also the publisher of Mr Hill's book in which this advertisement appears. This is the only time I can recall a publisher of that era advertising his side business in one of his own publications.

Further research into William Owen reveals that he was charged with libel against the House of Commons and the King's Bench in 1752, for printing a pamphlet which the attorney-general called "wicked, false, scandalous, seditious, and malicious libel".

and to what, you may ask, does that asterisk refer? To this, at the bottom of the page:

 Well played. A toast, to Mr William Owen, with the mineral water of your choice.

"Exclusive: Obama’s Secret Iran Détente"

The Obama administration began softening sanctions on Iran after the election of Iran’s new president in June, months before the current round of nuclear talks in Geneva or the historic phone call between the two leaders in September.
While those negotiations now appear on the verge of a breakthrough the key condition for Iran—relief from crippling sanctions—began quietly and modestly five months ago.
A review of Treasury Department notices reveals that the U.S. government has all but stopped the financial blacklisting of entities and people that help Iran evade international sanctions since the election of its president, Hassan Rouhani, in June.
The Daily Beast (for reaction read more)

"Google Is Giving The Entire World A Rorschach Test"

Today Google is giving the world a Rorschach test to celebrate the 129th birthday of Swiss psychologist Hermann Rorschach, who created the iconic inkblot test.
The tests present subjects with a pattern and ask them to give their interpretation. Interpretations can provide insight into a person's personality and emotions.
For samples of what people report seeing click here @ Business Insider

Obama: "we are remaking the courts"

".. at a fundraiser in Texas last night, President Obama said his administration is “remaking the courts.”
Here’s the full quote for context via a transcript:
We were able to reform our financial system so that the likelihood of taxpayer-funded bailouts is a lot less than it was. We were able to expand funding for young people going to college. We were able to expand national service for young people who want to serve. We fought long and hard for consumer protections that weren’t there before.
As Lisa mentioned, we are remaking the courts. I know that we’ve got some lawyers here, and here in Texas sometimes people feel a little frustrated about the pace of appointments here in Texas. But you should know that in addition to the Supreme Court, we’ve been able to nominate and confirm judges of extraordinary quality all across the country on federal benches. We’re actually, when it comes to the district court, matching the pace of previous Presidents. When it comes to the appellate court, we’re just a little bit behind, and we’re just going to keep on focused on it.

Choosing To Die - "Hope and Change"

I watched Megyn Kelly interview cancer patient Bill Elliot last night.  It brought me to tears. Here's the video.

His medical insurance has been cancelled and he can't afford the ObamaCare replacement policy.  He doesn't want to cause his wife and kids financial distress, so he's choosing to die. 

Economic death panel.

"the president “doesn’t have to worry legally about lying.”"

“Even though the president and the Justice Department can prosecute people, Americans, who lie to the government, the president and the whole governmental apparatus are free to lie to us,” the judge [Napolitano] said.
According to Napolitano, President Obama’s lie is the most egregious. “Richard Nixon told a lie about his personal knowledge of a third-rate break-in, burglary. Bill Clinton told a lie about a personal sexual liaison. Barack Obama has told a lie repeatedly, readily, consistently, systematically, over and over again that will affect the wealth, the health of millions of innocent Americans. The first two […] are so insignificant compared to these lies.”
Fox News Insider

Jonah Goldberg: "The government thinks you’re stupid, or at least ignorant."

"This week the feds took the first steps to ban trans fats. Why? Because trans fats are bad for you and you can’t be trusted to avoid them on your own. I bring this up not because it is such an outrageous illustration of my point, but to demonstrate how typical it is. This is what the government does, day in, day out."
That’s what makes the reaction to Obamacare so interesting. Several times now, the president has endeavored to explain that it’s not that big a deal millions of Americans are losing their health-insurance plans against their will. The people who had plans they liked didn’t understand that the plans they liked were no good — they were the actuarial equivalent of trans fats, don’t you know? The fact that the people who held them liked them, thought they were good, and wanted to keep them doesn’t count for much, because the government knows best.
The president can’t say it as plainly as he would like, because to do so would be to admit not only that he lied to the American people, but that he thinks the complainers are ignorant about their own needs and interests.
Jonah Goldberg National Review Online

Rookie Hazing

I knew it would happen.

Since I'm the rookie on Lem's plantation, I've been told to review all the purchases made through the Amazon Portal last month and issue gracious and fulsome words of appreciation for your providing Lem with Cheetos money thoughtfulness.  I'd better hop to it before the Lemster goes all Incognito on me.

*Opens and reviews list of purchases provided by Amazon*

It's probably best to do this without naming the guilty mentioning the names of the people who you'd never imagine would buy this stuff were careful Amazon shoppers in order to keep shit quiet protect their anonymity.

Hitachi Magic Wand and Attachments.  Several buyers.  One of them female

Vino Italiano Wine Making Kit.  Two buyers, both in Wisconsin

Doc Johnson Butt Plug For Men.  One buyer, eastern state

Haribo Sugarless Gummi Bears.  Many buyers, some also ordered item Christmas gift wrapped

Geiger Counter.  One buyer, California

Canned Unicorn Meat.  One buyer, Lake Country

Porcelain Gay Wedding Cake Toppers.  One buyer, California

Thomas Kinkade Painting.  Delivered to an Art Department at an east coast university

Deepak Chopra book.  One buyer, Utah

Bitter is The New Black.  One buyer, Madison

My Third Husband Will Be A Dog.  One buyer, Madison

Rubber Bulldozer Track.  One buyer, rural Wisconsin

Kenworth Stering Wheel With Skulls.  One buyer.  Picked up at warehouse

Pacemaker Synchronization Guide.  One buyer, New York

Dagobert Wooden Toilet Throne. One buyer, last name is "Archy"

Boobs, An American Obsession.  Multiple buyers.

Lem asked me to say thanks for the spare lunch and porn money your taking time to order things through the portal on his blog.  So, thanks very much!


Profoundly to Inception's soundtrack.


Thursday, November 7, 2013

Now Follow Along


Remember When POTUS Channeled Al Green?

Now let's see him channel his other half:

"Obama personally apologizes for Americans losing health coverage"

"President Obama said Thursday that he is "sorry" that some Americans are losing their current health insurance plans as a result of the Affordable Care Act, despite his promise that no one would have to give up a health plan they liked."
"I am sorry that they are finding themselves in this situation based on assurances they got from me," he told NBC News in an exclusive interview at the White House.
"We've got to work hard to make sure that they know we hear them and we are going to do everything we can to deal with folks who find themselves in a tough position as a consequence of this."
Obama’s comments come 10 days after NBC News’ Lisa Myers reported that the administration has known since the summer of 2010 that millions of Americans could lose their insurance under the law.

No Way

Daniel Larison muses on the viability of Chris Christie in the general election:

That still leaves the question of whether Christie’s general combativeness will work very well during the nomination contest in other parts of the country. David Harsanyi says that attack “is his default position when challenged,” but it seems more accurate to say that it is just his default position. Jonathan Chait makes a fair point that this doesn’t hurt Christie among Republicans when the targets of his ire are teachers’ unions or public-sector employees, but it easily could make him hated inside his own party if he directs his attacks against Republican competitors. He’s already shown in his spat with Rand Paul how clumsy and tone-deaf he can be when talking about national issues, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he manages to alienate a large portion of the Republican primary electorate between now and the start of voting in 2016.

Over at Bloggingheads, Matt Lewis, riffing off Bill Scher's insight says this [14 seconds].

"Starling Murmurations Captured by Photographer Alain Delorme"

"Just by their natural habits, some animals make art. From the famous webs of spiders, to the amazing arrangements of the sand bubbler crab, many animals leave us with beautiful patterns in the wake of their everyday life. If spiders and crabs leave us sculptural works of art, then the starling is a performance artist. These small european birds flock together, forming moving clouds of flapping wings that shimmer with life in motion. These flocks are called a murmuration."


Benjamin Starr Visual News (More pictures and videos at the link) 

Gangs and Politicians in Chicago: An Unholy Alliance

Violent gang crime in Chicago has been a constant feature of news reports for years.  Most of it is gun-related crime; homicides caused by people shooting other people.  We hear of school kids being killed, toddlers and families in parks being killed, people walking on the street being killed, gang bangers being killed by other gang bangers.  The number of homicides is especially high in Chicago's gang-ridden south side.

In 2012, three hundred ten American service members were killed in Afghanistan, while there were five hundred thirty-two homicides in Chicago.

The cause of most of the violent crime is drug dealers, or more specifically, organized gangs of drug dealers fighting over turf, territory, and money.  A lot of money, millions and millions of dollars.  Yet Chicago has a large and powerful police department with more than 12,000 sworn officers.  How can such a high level of violet crime persist in a City with a huge law enforcement presence?

Much, much more after the jump.  You'll want to read it all.

"Sanford, Fla. Reverses Gun Ban on Neighborhood Watch Volunteers"

"Police in the Florida city where George Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon Martin have backed off a plan to explicitly ban neighborhood watch volunteers from carrying guns while on duty."
Earlier this month, police in Sanford, Florida, announced new rules on how civilian patrols can operate in an attempt to revive the program's reputation.
Sanford Police Chief Cecil Smith, in a phone interview on Wednesday, refused repeated requests to explain the reversal.
Read the rest of the story at Reuters.

"Dolphins players defend Incognito"

"To the accompaniment of circus-like music, turmoil surrounding the Miami Dolphins escalated Wednesday as players rose to the locker room defense of teammate Richie Incognito and questioned the motives of his alleged harassment victim, fellow offensive lineman Jonathan Martin."
Martin, a second-year offensive tackle from Stanford, left the team last week amid allegations of bullying and racist and threatening emails from Incognito, a ninth-year offensive guard.
The Dolphins organization, after initially putting out a statement that nothing of the sort had gone on, ended up suspending Incognito, one of Miami's most popular teammates.
"If you asked Jonathan Martin who his best friend is on this team two weeks ago, he'd say Richie Incognito," quarterback Ryan Tannehill told news reporters Wednesday. "It's tough for us to sit here and hear all that when we have each others' backs."
Martin has yet to talk publicly about the bullying he said he experienced, but his alma mater has come to his defense. "We're proud of Jonathan," is the tweet sent out today by Stanford football.
"He was a quiet guy. Never said much," Tannehill said of Martin, one of his protectors on the offensive line. "He was the same guy every day. ... Tough to see warning signs."
Many of the Dolphins players just find it difficult to believe the harassment was so intense that Martin felt he needed to leave. 
"We joke with each other. You can't have thin skin around here," defensive tackle Randy Starks told news reporters. "We're trying to clear Richie's name. He's getting a bad rap."
Gary Mihoces, USA TODAY Sports

"Mental health bills may limit young Americans' clout"

"High mental health costs for young adults threaten to undermine a key assumption of the Affordable Care Act: that insuring more young people will lower costs because they are healthier and require less expensive care."
The Obama administration estimates that 2.7 million people between the ages of 18 and 30 need to buy health insurance through the federal and state marketplaces to offset the health care needs of older Americans buying insurance as required by the Affordable Care Act. But while those younger Americans may not have physical ailments, they are more likely to have mental health issues that will now be treated the same as physical problems because of the law.

Tacoma Toddler Tiger costume

And a real Sumatran tiger.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Country Music Awards 2013

Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood, here's kisses on your opening.

International Mosaiculture Exhibition Montreal 2013

Much more at My Virtual Garden

Click over if you like artistic gardens there is one of a Viking coming out of the ground with moose antlers grabbing a snake in the forest and the snake curls around the whole forest, you gotta see it. The snake cannot even fit in the photograph.

These take fussy gardens to another level. It takes a team of specialist to pull off each sculpture. From the official website, mosaiculture is horticulture art involving creating and mounting living artworks made of plants with colorful foliage, mostly annuals, a complex form requiring the skill sets of participating artists planning and building the framework, matching its colors, and understanding the maintenance of each plant. And that is all very fussy and stunning.

Can't We Be Friends? (1956)

Larry Griswold

Today is the first that I've heard of this man. 

Warren Wilson Dog

Dog trolled two games. 

Don Rich Should Be in The Country Music Hall Of Fame

The Country Music Association awards are on television this evening.  I've come to appreciate the CMA award show more and more the past few years primarily because the music is so good, the award recipients are (usually) so happy and kind, and the tapestry of patriotism and thankfulness woven into their performances and speeches.

Part of the CMA show is announcing each year's inductees into the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.  Some names are from long ago, and I never heard their music.  Others are more contemporary, at least in the sense that they performed during my lifetime.  And others weren't performers; they were producers, radio station people, song writers, and so forth.  All are deserving of induction into the Hall of Fame.

One thing bothers me, though.  Don Rich should be in the Country Music Hall of Fame and isn't.  And barring some kind of miracle, he probably never will be.

Who's Don Rich?  That's the great Buck Owens in the video, isn't it?

"Notes Reveal Chaotic White House Talks on Health Care Site"

There’s been a crisis of confidence created in the dysfunctional nature of the website, the canceling of policies and sticker shock from some people,” said Ms. Mikulski, a strong supporter of the 2010 health care law."
The notes indicate that by Oct. 8, one week after the exchange opened, administration officials had begun to realize that its problems were widespread and could not be easily fixed. No sooner was one problem solved than others popped up. The documents show that officials were focused on addressing individual bugs, rather than the larger issue: The website was not working properly from Day 1.

Poll Finds Lena Dunham Cohort Key To McAuliffe Win

Story at HuffPo: link

Will that genie even fit back in the bottle?

"Leaked UN global warming report written by environmental activists"

"While many media outlets focused on the UN’s warnings about the effects global warming will have on food production, the Canadian journalist who leaked the report on Monday has focused on the role environmental activists played in reaching these conclusions."
“One would expect a body that says it’s conducting a scientific assessment to choose people who are clean as a whistle for such a task,” writes Donna Laframboise. “People who exemplify science at its best — neutral, dispassionate, disinterested scholars. But that’s not what happened.”

"Toronto Mayor Admits He Smoked Crack"

In a day of high drama, Mr. Ford told reporters that he smoked the drug "about" a year ago when "in one of my drunken stupors."
Speaking outside his office at City Hall, the mayor said, "Yes, I have smoked crack cocaine," after having repeatedly denied reports of drug use since they first emerged in May.
Mr. Ford also said he would remain in office, raising questions in Toronto about how the controversy will affect the running of North America's fourth-largest city by population and whether the global attention its mayor has garnered will hurt attempts to position the city as a world leader in culture and finance. 
"I love my job, I love this city," Mr. Ford said, fighting back tears.
Wall Street Journal

"‘I want to die running’: Race fall fatal for marathoner, 86"

"An celebrated ocotogenarian runner who loved the sport so much that she proclaimed “I want to die running” suffered a deadly injury when she stumbled during Sunday’s New York City Marathon."
Joy Johnson, 86, of San Jose, Calif., died Monday from complications of blunt trauma to her head and blood-thinning drug therapy for a heart ailment, according to the Medical Examiner’s Office.
Johnson’s death was ruled an accident, spokeswoman Grace Brugess said.
“She said: If I can die running I’ll die happy.”
“When evaluated by our medical team she was strongly advised to allow our Emergency Medical Services team to take her to the hospital for further evaluation, but Joy declined,” said Chris Weiller of NYRR.
A devout Lutheran who ran every day but Sunday so she could attend church, Johnson sang hymns to herself and “thought happy thoughts” to pass the time while running, Anderson said,
Daughter Diana Boydston, 54, said of her mom: “She was always a happy runner — and besides her faith and family, this was something she loved the most.”
NY Post Natasha Velez and Bruce Golding

"US Rents Rise To New All-Time High; Homeownership Rate Stuck At 18 Year Low"

"One quarter ago, when we performed our regular update on trends in US homeownership and rents, we said that "The American Homeownership Dream is officially dead. Long live the New Normal American Dream: Renting." What happened since then is that the American Dream briefly became a full-blown nightmare when in Q3 mortgage rates exploded, pummeling the affordability of housing, and ground any new mortgage-funded transactions to a complete halt (don't believe us - just ask the tens of thousands of mortgage brokers let go by the TBTF banks in the past 6 months). Which is why it was not at all surprising to find that the just updated Q3 homeownership rate has remained stuck at 65.1%: the lowest since 1995."

Read the rest of the Zero Hedge post here

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

UW-Madison Ranked Number One in Caring About Arbitrary Rankings

The exclusive story is here (in case you missed it amidst all the hoopla of the UW being named the Sexiest Campus by the Daily Beast).  

Did Althouse blog the latter?  I missed it but can't believe she would too -- she's always blogging about ratings.

Plaque at Northeastern Illinois University

The Jacob Carruthers Center for Inner City Studies. 

Yellowbullet. Message board, people are not thinking too forgivingly about this mistake. It is going to talk a long time to fix this depth of stupid, if that is even possible. 

Living just enough, just enough for the city.

A Pleasant Sallet: Celery Rémoulade

Celery Rémoulade, also known as céleri-rave rémoulade or celeriac salad, is a delicious and simple salad made from a julienne of celeriac. Celeriac, also (incorrectly) known as celery root, is a brownish, lumpy, tuberous-looking thing, about the size of a large turnip, that has ivory-colored flesh with a mild celery flavor that’s a bit like a cross between a potato and celery. Although called a root, it’s actually the hypocotyl storage organ of a variety of celery, Apium graveolens var. rapaceum; ordinary celery is Apium graveolens var. dulce.

It took me a while to locate celery in European culinary history, since it was barely eaten at all in much of Europe until the late 17th century, and it wasn’t called celery, but elioselinon (a transliteration of its Greek name), marsh parsley (it is in the same botanical family, Apiaceae, as parsley), and smallage, which seems to be the most common English name for celery before the word celery came along. Celery, by one or another of its names, appears in various European herbals and botanical books from the 16th century on. It doesn’t seem to have been very highly regarded by early writers, with various sources calling it bitter and strong in flavor.

From Botanologia, the English herbal
by William Salmon, 1710
William Salmon, one such early botanical writer, was a mysterious self-taught surgeon, astrologer and general dilettante who wrote and/or plagiarized a number of books in the 17th- and early 18th centuries. I own a 17th century copy of one of his books, entitled Polygraphice, which is nominally a manual of drawing, painting, and the visual arts, but which also explores such divers subjects as chiromancy, perfumery, cosmetics and transmuting mercury into purest gold. Salmon also published an extensive illustrated herbal in 1710 in which smallage is described. Interestingly, Salmon includes a recipe for preparing a celery root salad:
The Sallet of the Whited Stalks and Roots. They are cut or sliced and eaten with Salt, Vinegar and Oil, raw, they make a pleasant Sallet, are grateful to the Palate and Taste, strengthen the Stomach, and cause a good Appetite and Digestion.

Adorable Washington Post

A euphemism of four small toys certainly does annoys ya
when a closer metaphor is forest Sequoia. 

"Bolz-Weber’s liberal, foulmouthed articulation of Christianity speaks to fed-up believers"

"In her body and her theology, Bolz-Weber represents a new, muscular form of liberal Christianity, one that merges the passion and life-changing fervor of evangelicalism with the commitment to inclusiveness and social justice of mainline Protestantism. She’s a tatted-up, foul-mouthed champion to people sick of being belittled as not Christian enough for the right or too Jesus-y for the left."
“You show us all your dirty laundry! It’s all out there!” the Rev. John Elford of the University United Methodist Church booms, as if he is introducing a rock star, leading the cheering crowd into an impassioned round of hymn-singing.

Bolz-Weber springs onstage to do a reading from her book, but first she addresses the language that’s about to be unleashed on the pulpit: “I don’t think church leaders should pretend to be something they’re not.”
The crowd erupts into applause.
Wapo's Michelle Boorstein

"Hillary Clinton Again Shuts Out Media"

"We’ve been here before: Hillary Rodham Clinton lands in a major U.S. city for a speech. Her team bars the media from the speech. Local media documents the firm stiff-arm from Clinton Inc."
Happened in Miami. Happened in Atlanta. Now the San Francisco Chronicle’s Carla Marinucci reports it’s about to happen in San Francisco.
The former secretary of state will be speaking at a mammoth Saturday event for the National Association of Realtors at San Francisco’s Moscone Center. And later that day, she’s scheduled to appear at a “Millennial Network” event to benefit the Clinton foundation, at San Francisco’s Regency Ballroom, Marinucci reports.
Both events will be closed to the press.
Washington Post Erik Wemple

False Dichotomy

The main problem with the modern conservative movement is the attempt to reconcile the irreconcilable values of Christianity and Ayn Randian Social Darwinism. It can't be done and the attempt leads to intellectual confusion on the party of millions of social conservatives. 
A reasonable argument could be made that these conflicting values can actually lead to a form of mental illness - embracing a "let the poor sink or swim" mentality while calling yourself a "Christian" is a recipe for a sick society. 
~A comment by "Soulstranger" at a story lined at Drudge: Liberal, Foulmouthed Preacher Speaks To Fed-up Believers*
False dichotomy.  And for their part, liberals reject a very simple truth time and time again: it is the painful truth that when you subsidize something, you get more of it. Liberals rightly believe that subsidizing healthcare will lead to more of it. But they ignore the dependence they will necessaily create. Democrats learned this the hard way with welfare reform under Clinton.
*Lem has a scheduled post on the "foulmouthed preacher" so please save comments on her for that post

Post ObamaCare-Rollout Ad Rolls Out

What do you think?
Is it any good?

Miami Dolphins' Richie Incognito

Transcripts of voice mail messages and text messages left on Miami Dolphins' Jonathan Martin's machine by teammate Richie Incognito indicate Incognito has a serious potty mouth along with race, sex, age, class issues causing Incognito to be suspended indefinitely by the Dolphins for conduct detrimental to the team.
 "Hey, wassup, you half n----- piece of s---. I saw you on Twitter, you been training 10 weeks. [I want to] s--- in your f---ing mouth. [I'm going to] slap your f---ing mouth. [I'm going to] slap your real mother across the face [laughter]. F--- you, you're still a rookie. I'll kill you."
That is the best part. It's all you're having of the trash talk so no point in clicking over to  espn.go for more of that, there isn't any more trash talk over there, but there is more on the suspension and how the story surfaced and multiple sources and such. 

Richie, where are you?

Over here.

Oh. Didn't recognize you. 

That's because I'm Escondito. 

Kaus Comes Clean: "We might as well enjoy the spectacle"

"I admit that all the recent Obamacare troubles are … well, let’s face it, they’re huge fun."
It’s true, I supported Obamacare–I favor universal health care, and still think it’s a good idea to try to inject competition through the “three legged” mechanism** of the exchanges before resigning ourselves to some kind of Medicare-for-all scheme.
On the other hand, it’s hard not to witness the current Obamacalypse without getting more than a little spark of serotonin. Here’s the self-righteous, cocooning, progressive “coalition of the ascendant,” disdainful of triangulation, dismissive of all the 90s-era Charlie Peters neolibs with their worries about bureaucracies and perverse incentives and their focus on the mechanics of government, suddenly discovering that neglecting the mechanics of government can be a big, big mistake. The Education of Ezra Klein continues, at great expense to the nation. We might as well enjoy the spectacle.
(**–Obamacare’s three-legged stool: 1) guaranteed issue (despite preexisting conditions), 2) mandate to buy coverage, 3) subsidies to help people pay the now-increased premiums for the mandated coverage.)

"I Started About A Year And A Half Ago"

Inspirational, at a time when I need some inspiration to push away from the computer. 

Just calisthenics using the weight of one's own body.  The way it has been done since ancient Greece.  Google 'calisthenics' for some good instructions. Fitness Center also has very good information.

He started about a year and a half ago.  I started this morning.  Pass the Tylenol.

"Gunman Opens Fire in NJ Mall"

"A 20-year-old man wearing a motorcycle helmet and dressed in all black walked into a busy New Jersey mall minutes before it closed Monday night and began shooting, sending terrified customers running and trapping hundreds more in the building overnight as police searched for him."
Hours later, he was found dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound in a remote area of the 2.2 million-square-foot building, officials said Tuesday morning.
No one was injured in the gunfire at Westfield Garden State Plaza Mall in Paramus. The gunman, identified as Richard Shoop, fired six rounds, striking an elevator, escalator and several store facades about 9:30 p.m. Monday. He was using a Sig Sauer rifle modified to look like an AK-47 that he stole from his brother earlier in the day, officials said.
Bergen County Prosecutor John Molinelli said it wasn't clear whether he intended to hurt people.

Officials said Shoop was a drug user.

"He really was a sweet kid, I don't know what went wrong," said one of Shoops' neighbors.

The mall will remain closed Tuesday.
NBC Ida Siegal and Michelle Kim

Primordial Soup

Our always-brilliant friend El Pollo Raylan wrote in his most recent post:
Lastly, Lem posted an intriguing story about life on other planets. I think the unspoken question is, "but did they have the spark of life?"  I'm not being creationist here. The famous Miller-Urey Experiment was anything but that.
This reminded me of one of my most favorite little digressions from one of my favorite people, the great writer, cook and personality Julia Child. This video, produced for a 1970's exhibit at the National Air and Space Museum called "Life in the Universe", features Child cooking up Miller & Urey's (and Cyril Ponnamperuma's) recipe for Primordial Soup.

Monday, November 4, 2013

The Man Who First Galvanized The World Was...

...Luigi Galvani!  In 1771, he discovered that frog's legs twitched when touched by static electricity. This in turn galvanized a young gal by the name of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley. The rest is history.

"There are likely billions of Earth-like planets in our Milky Way galaxy, astronomers say"

There are likely "tens of billions" of Earth-like planets in our Milky Way galaxy, according to a study released Monday by astronomers from the University of California-Berkeley and the University of Hawaii.
"Planets like our Earth are relatively common throughout the Milky Way galaxy," said astronomer Andrew Howard of the University of Hawaii.
In fact, the nearest Earth-like planet may be "only" 12 light years away, which is roughly 72 trillion miles.
Overall, astronomers now estimate that about one in five sun-like stars have planets that are nearly the size of Earth and also have a surface temperature conducive to the development of life.
USA Today, Doyle Rice

"Annular Sunrise Solar Eclipse"

Annular Sunrise Solar Eclipse (11/03/2013)

Michigan Man Gets 3 Days in Jail for Telling Off the Judge and Prosecutors

"A Bay City man who wrote a vulgarity-laden rant on a jury questionnaire form is heading to jail for the next few days, despite apologizing to the Bay County Circuit Court."
“I just want to apologize to the court and the men in uniform here for the rant that I put on the paper,” Haubenstricker said. “For me to be here right now is really embarrassing. I’ve gotten several calls from family members saying I really took it out of line.
“There are certain things in my life I’m working through right now,” the defendant continued. 
Haubenstricker’s attorney, Paul F. Beggs, asked the judge to be lenient... “Most people saw this as stupid rather than criminal,” Beggs said.

Sheeran (the judge) did not agree.

About a decade ago, Haubenstricker served seven years in prison, Beggs said, though he didn’t specify the nature of his conviction.

“As a convicted felon,” Sheeran continued. “All you had to do was fill out the form properly and you wouldn’t be serving as a juror anyway. You needlessly created a lot of trouble for yourself.”
Michigan Live Cole Waterman

Dont Go Wobbly On Iran

"For the past 10 years, world powers have been talking to Iran. Meanwhile, Iran has been creating facts on the ground by building the elements of a nuclear weapons program and the long-range missiles needed to deliver a nuclear warhead."
Yet once again, the Obama administration is asking Congress to hold off on additional sanctions to give time for diplomacy to work. Tougher sanctions, we are warned, could upset the delicate balance inside Iran and poison the well for a deal.
I disagree. Tough sanctions are exactly what has brought Iran to the table now, and tightening sanctions as we engage diplomatically affords us the opportunity to apply further pressure and force Iran’s leaders to choose between regime survival and a nuclear weapon.
... we should take this opportunity to meet with Iran. We should test out the sincerity of Iran’s proposals, but our patience must be limited. The past decade should give us little optimism and great skepticism about Iranian intentions.
It is far too premature to let up the pressure.
Portions of a Marco Rubio piece on Politico

Monday Night Football

It's the Green Bay Packers versus the Chicago Bears at Lambeau Field tonight.  The Packers - Bears rivalry is one of the longest in professional sports, dating back to 1921.  The teams have played each other 186 times.  The Bears won three times, tops.  Maybe twice.

Here's a photo of both teams quarterbacks, Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers and Chicago's Jay Cutler, taken after last year's game.

The Packers will win, of course.  Tune in to watch Jay Cutler sprain his vagina or something.

"To Shape Young Palestinians, Hamas Creates Its Own Textbooks"

"For the first time since taking control of the Gaza Strip in 2007, the Hamas movement is deviating from the approved Palestinian Authority curriculum, using the new texts as part of a broader push to infuse the next generation with its militant ideology."
Among other points, the books, used by 55,000 children in the eighth, ninth and 10th grades as part of a required “national education” course of study in government schools, do not recognize modern Israel, or even mention the Oslo Peace Accords the country signed with the Palestine Liberation Organization in the 1990s.
Textbooks have long been a point of contention in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, in which dueling historical narratives and cultural clashes underpin a territorial fight. And they are central examples of what Israeli leaders call Palestinian “incitement” against Jews, held up as an obstacle to peace talks newly resumed under American pressure.
Fares Akram and Jodi Rudoren writing for the NYT

PS.. I can't find "Gaza City" on the Google Map "Location" feature for this post.

"Legislative Prayer Gets Supreme Court Review"

"The Supreme Court, which asks for God's protection before every public session, will settle a dispute over prayer in the halls of government."
The case being argued at the court Wednesday involves prayers said at the start of town council meetings in Greece, N.Y., a Rochester suburb. It is the court's first legislative prayer case since 1983, when the justices said that an opening prayer is part of the nation's fabric and not a violation of the First Amendment.
AP Mark Sherman (Althouse will very likely have more on this)

I Love You, China

It's like America the Beautiful, except different. Compare and contrast:
A lark flies across the blue sky:
"I love you, China!"
I love you, China,
I love you, China,
I love your exuberant seedlings in spring,
I love your bountiful golden fruits in autumn,
I love your temperament of green pines,
I love your character of red plum flowers,
I love your home-grown sugar cane,
That nurtures my heart like milk.
I love you, China,
I love you, China,
I will dedicate the most beautiful song to you,
My mother,
My motherland.
I love you, China,
I love you, China,
I love your blue waves rolling across the South Sea,
I love your white snow flakes flying over the North Land,
I love your endless forests,
I love your grandiose mountains,
I love your vivacious streams,
That flow through my dreamland with clear sparkles.
I love you, China,
I love you, China,
I will dedicate my prime youth to you,
My mother,
My motherland.
Ah ......
Ah ......
I will dedicate my prime youth to you,
My motherland,
My homeland.
The song first appeared in a film, Overseas Compatriots, but has since been taken up as a stand alone piece for its beauty. It is written for soprano. In the film, the heroine sings this song on an entrance examination for a music school. It attracts the attention of men outside who gather at the window to watch the woman they hear singing. It happens.
There are more palatable sopranos than that, in my humble opinion.
Better than random.
It is achingly slow, and frankly, I find it annoying.
It is considered a patriotic song, jingoistic, if you like, but people love it. Millions and millions of people love this song. That makes it a bit of an odd choice for a talent contest. It would be like singing America the Beautiful for a talent show. Reading through the 3,270 comments it appears the judges did not select this man because they say they have nothing to teach him. He blew them away so solidly they have nothing to add to his training. He should be training them. The woman said she already has six so cannot press her button anymore. One judge said he believed the other judge would be better. Chinese viewers think the judges are averse to adopting the singer due to the song being patriotic and Chinese. This singer is well-known in China.
Everyone agrees he sings the song very well. It does not sound like the same song the women are singing. 

nice hair! i mean your eyebrows :D

Actually he isn't naturally bald, he has curly hair and thought it wasn't easy to tidy up, so he tried to shave his hair in 2004 and thought it's more suitable for him to stay bald.