Saturday, July 12, 2014

The Sun Did not Come From Behind The Clouds

Sultans of Swing cover

Someone on Reddit asked, "what is a song you immediately fell in love with?" and redditors have some great responses. The Smiths appear early. One liked "The Boy With a Thorn in His Side" and another linked this video of David Tennant (Dr Who) dancing to  it.

Another linked a street entertainer in Brazil during the World Cup. Please, I ask you, stick with it until the end. The guitar riff at 5:45 takes off impressively, an improvement, I think, over the original.

The thing is, this guitar looks exactly like the guitar my dad bought us kids overseas. Just handed it over and said, "Here." He allowed us to plug it into his stereo hifi for an amp, his pride and joy, that we played records on endlessly. The record player lifted out of the cabinet and extended toward the person kneeling in front of it presenting itself for you to set the stylus anywhere you like. We went through styluses like nobody's business. We ruined it, of course, playing Simon and the Chipmunks over and over. How he stood the racket of five children is beyond me, but he did. Liked it, in fact. Could not tolerate silence. He was the type who abhorred being alone. Never was alone, always took along at least one of kids with him wherever he went. Usually two or three. None of us could do anything with that guitar except hurt our fingers, break strings and snap picks. Not even House of the Rising Sun, which is like, what, four notes? We couldn't even tune it, and we tried. I'm going to ask my sibs what happened to that guitar. One of them still has it, I'm certain of that.

Sandra Bullock

Sandra Bullock movies, in general free polls

New York Mag: "Guy Who Called LeBron James the ‘Whore of Akron’ Forgives Him Now"

"Broadway Danny Rose said it best — 'Acceptance, forgiveness, and love,'" Raab writes after today's big news. "As human beings, that's the only recipe for leading a righteous life in this world. Such words — from the famous and unfamous — come cheap. But you're living those truths now, walking that walk. Who am I to hold a grudge?"
In other words, Scott Raab, who profited off of his sports-fan indignation, read James's touching announcement as an apology to Scott Raab, and he would like the best basketball player on earth to know that apology is accepted.
Watch a Broadway Danny Rose clip after the jump


Where it's a bubble off plumb.

I see Rolling Stone has her listed as the 22nd greatest singer out of 100. You will be surprised at some considered better than she. What a joke.

Is ‘Culturally Insensitive’ Attire At AT&T Park A Far Cry from Room 641A?

"The San Francisco Giants are considering a new dress code for fans, which may include a ban on fake Native American headdresses and other “culturally insensitive” clothing."
The proposal for a new dress code comes after two Native Americans were detained during a Giants game last month after asking a fan to remove a headdress they found disrespectful.

If approved, the new policy could be a first for a major-league sports franchise, American Indian activist Suzan Shown Harjo told USA Today. The headdress incident happened during Native American Heritage night on June 23 at AT&T Park when the Giants were hosting the San Diego Padres.
It may be worthy of note to point out just where these "culturally insensitive" fans are displaying their "culturally insensitive attire". AT&T Park was "originally named Pacific Bell Park, then SBC Park in 2003 after SBC Communications acquired Pacific Bell, the stadium was ultimately christened AT&T Park in 2006 following SBC's merger with AT&T." 

So, what's the big deal Lem? The Giants baseball team plays their home games at a park named AT&T. Whoopty Doo

Well... It just so happens that approximately seven minutes away from AT&T park, at 611 Folsom St, there is a room 641A which acquired certain "disrespectful" and "culturally insensitive" notoriety, operated and maintained by AT&T.

The room commenced operations of a "disrespectful" and "culturally insensitive" nature in 2003; about 3 years after the opening of AT&T park.
Room 641A is a telecommunication interception facility operated by AT&T for the U.S. National Security Agency

Room 641A is located in the SBC Communications building at 611 Folsom Street, San Francisco, three floors of which were occupied by AT&T before SBC purchased AT&T. The room was referred to in internal AT&T documents as the SG3 [Study Group 3] Secure Room. It is fed by fiber optic lines from beam splitters installed in fiber optic trunks carrying Internet backbone traffic and, as analyzed by J. Scott Marcus, a former CTO for GTE and a former adviser to the FCC, has access to all Internet traffic that passes through the building, and therefore "the capability to enable surveillance and analysis of internet content on a massive scale, including both overseas and purely domestic traffic." (read more)
While I, AT&T may listen in and/or read your private communications at will... 'just 'don't bring your disrespectful, cultural insensitivity to my ball games...', to paraphrase another notoriously "disrespectful" and "culturally insensitive" Tea Toddler A-hole :-P

Jack Ryan - Shadow somethingorother

Just rented it On Demand.  Fun movie.

I liked his girlfriend/wife because she was mad and got over it and then she said she'd go to the hospital in case the hospitals got busy later, so you figure she's not going to be constantly putting herself in harms way just to prove she's equal, or something.  And I always notice if a movie or story screws that up.

I did have one double-take moment though, when Ryan describes the basis of the whole Russian plot as the fact that the US doesn't have significant oil reserves.

I thought the news was that we just might have more than anywhere else in the world.


Meh. I'm not in the mood for you. I got your dreamers right here.

These are the 'children' Reuters describes as "migrants." 

Jacking with language as usual. Taking in the low information voters who accept Newspeak that show up at polls in droves who couldn't tell the difference between legal and illegal even if they did care and who couldn't pass a third grade American History exam if they were given the answers, purposefully conflating illegal immigrant with migrant as if to suggest some intention of returning. They assume you are stupid.

Per National Review, adults posing as children to enroll in High School, screw you, property owners. Here is your one chance to instill a sense of what it is to be American, whoops, too bad, the teachers are socialists too. 

Objections to federally sponsored waves of illegal immigrats have nothing to do with xenophobia either, it has nothing to do with nativism as one Shikha Dalmia at Washington Examiner so rudely suggests. 

Per Breitbart TSA is now allowing illegals to board commercial airlines without identification. While regular American travelers get the full shakedown. We know nothing of these people, who they are, where they come from. Their documentation mere copy paper without any photo, easily counterfeited. I could do it myself. Without any health clearance whatsoever. So screw you, regular paying jet airplane traveler. Here, have a case of scabies, or nits, or worse, tuberculosis. I know what happens to people with vulnerable immune systems who dare board a plane. I've seen what happens to them. Even healthy people get sick when they fly. At this point you couldn't pay me to get on a plane. I honestly believe our federal government is making itself our enemy. Taken together this is so far beyond the pale it is quite unbelievable. I could weep were I not so angry and disgusted for what has become of my onetime wonderful country at the hands of this shiftless president and his malevolent controlling Party, and his abetting corrupted media. I am fed up with all of them. 

We are being lied to. Again. These people are looking for a socialist country to embed within. To take care of them. To change by their numbers, by their lack of education, their abject absence of appreciation of our laws, our history, for our constitutional constructions, by their propensity for accepting ruthless ruling class.This is why Homeland Security is not allowing journalists to document activities, when they're not swarming small towns in a show of force. It is precisely why photographers are not allowed. This is not a thing that is happening out of the blue by forces beyond our control, rather, it is a thing our federal government is doing to us. 

Photo from Film Ladd's twitter.
Via Jeff G. at Protein Wisdom.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Kitchen decor

I've always loved the kitchen in Moonstruck. I had been working with my mom on re-doing her kitchen and we discussed subway tile, classic, yet timeless. I was checking my memory to see if there were subway tiles in the Moonstruck kitchen, and there were.

Charles and David Goldstein

Business Insider: "Manhattanhenge Is Coming"

Manhattanhenge — the twice-a-year-event when the sun sets in perfect alignment with the Manhattan street grid so you can see it setting between the buildings when looking west — happens for the second time this year on Saturday, July 12. The first Manhattanhenge of 2014 was on May 29.



Where the impossible takes a little longer.

Does this work:

Medical News Today: "Alcohol does not benefit the heart, claims new study"

"The 155 researchers - from the UK, continental Europe, North America, and Australia - pooled and analyzed data about links between drinking habits and heart health from 56 epidemiological studies covering more than 260,000 people of European descent."
They found that people with a particular gene consumed 17% less alcohol per week, were less likely to binge drink, and were more likely to abstain from alcohol altogether, than non- carriers.

These lower alcohol consumers typically had a 10% average reduced risk of coronary heart disease, lower blood pressure and a lower body mass index (BMI). (read more)

Scientists Discover That Atheists Might Not Exist

Cognitive scientists are becoming increasingly aware that a metaphysical outlook may be so deeply ingrained in human thought processes that it cannot be expunged.
While this idea may seem outlandish—after all, it seems easy to decide not to believe in God—evidence from several disciplines indicates that what you actually believe is not a decision you make for yourself. Your fundamental beliefs are decided by much deeper levels of consciousness, and some may well be more or less set in stone.
We're born that way, say cognitive scientists.  We're wired that way from birth.  Or perhaps wired from before birth.

Full and interesting article here.

EDIT: Incorrect link repaired @11:24 AM.

New York Mag: "Police Think Better of Forcing Teen to Get Erect for Evidence Photos in Sexting Case"

"Following a wave of justified outrage, Virginia police have said they "are not going to serve the search warrant" that authorized them to photograph the medically induced erection of a 17-year-old boy. He's currently facing two felony counts of possessing and manufacturing child pornography for allegedly exchanging sexual pictures and videos with his then-15-year-old girlfriend. The photos, prosecutors said, would be used for comparison."

"Manassas City Police said in a statement that it is not their policy "to authorize invasive search procedures of suspects in cases of this nature," but the boy's aunt claimed they never would have backed off without the widespread uproar against the insane legal strategy. "They would have gotten away with this," she told the Associated Press. "They were not going to back off." The teenager, however, still faces charges that could have him registered as a sex offender for life."

Boston Globe: "HIV appears again in child thought cured"

It felt very much like a punch to the gut,” said Dr. Hannah B. Gay, a pediatric HIV specialist at the University of Mississippi Medical Center who treats the girl. “It was disappointing from the scientific standpoint because we had been hopeful it would lead to bigger and better things, but mainly for the sake of the child who is back on medicine and expected to remain on medicine for a very long time.”

"HIV hides in so-called reservoirs of the body, and the viral material there often remains dormant as long as a patient is receiving antiretroviral drugs. But as soon as the drugs are stopped, the viral strains can become active and replicate in the body." (read more)

Thursday, July 10, 2014


I was looking for a way to say "automated by machine." The word for machine is the interlocking gear thing. And using the gear thing implies automation. I can say the same thing by snapping my fingers. Snapping fingers can be a lot of things, I use it for "go" for "fast" for anything snappy, like "automatic." But this is what the dictionaries offer for "automatic" and I do see them all. You just have to pick one depending on what your atomization looks like, I suppose. These are all American.

Most other countries offer their version for this word here , the word must be entered for the flags to appear. Variations show something mechanically automated. 

I'm seeing 75% of them reference two handed meshed gears, also  pistons, pulling a cord, Japan uses our word for "hurry," a stamp puncher, whirling gear instead of meshed gears, back and forth thumbs like locomotion bar that connects wheels, and our word for "hard." 

Where does this leave us? Do whatever you want.

IRS scandal, day 427

Tax professor, Paul Caron, Pepperdine University School of Law has an unusually long list of links up today having to do with IRS cover up hiding emails from Congress, and asking about instant messaging being stored or searchable, Learner's reaction to the answer, about her advice to coworkers for the need of being cautious in emails, about Learner being worried of Congress asking for emails, about Congress reading them, discussions she had  her lawyer, and about her saving 'some' emails, her collusion, and her caution, and her fear of her own wrongdoing and her illegal activities being uncovered. 

The links go to all over, not just right wing sites, although it appears it is the right wing that is most interested in discussing these new findings, Washington Times, Washington Post, Washington Examiner (twice) Wall Street Journal (three links) Tribune Review, Politico, NPR, News Max, Market Watch, Main Justice, Las Vegas Review-Journal, American Center for law and Justice and the expected top right-o-sphere sites. Notably absent are the top left wing sites, apparently they prefer their readers be kept uninformed when not actually mal-informed. 

Obama official chastises Israel

"Israel’s ongoing occupation of the West Bank is wrong and leads to regional instability and dehumanization of Palestinians, a top American government official said Tuesday in Tel Aviv, hinting that the current Israeli government is not committed to peace.
In an unusually harsh major foreign policy address, Philip Gordon, a special assistant to US President Barack Obama and the White House coordinator for the Middle East, appealed to Israeli and Palestinian leaders to make the compromises needed to reach a permanent peace agreement. Jerusalem “should not take for granted the opportunity to negotiate” such a treaty with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who has proven to be a reliable partner, Gordon said.
“Israel confronts an undeniable reality: It cannot maintain military control of another people indefinitely. Doing so is not only wrong but a recipe for resentment and recurring instability,” Gordon said. “It will embolden extremists on both sides, tear at Israel’s democratic fabric and feed mutual dehumanization.”
Delivering the keynote address at the Haaretz newspaper’s Israel Conference on Peace, Gordon reiterated Obama’s position that a final-status agreement should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed land swaps."

WSJ: Emails Point to IRS Officials Using Instant Messages

The Wall Street Journal article covering the latest Lois Lerner lost emails news is behind a pay wall. There is a way, however, to access a limited amount of material from the them, should push come to shove. By goggling the headline, you can gain access. Which is what I did here.

Politico has the story, but they don't extensively quote the email exchange, to the extent the Wall Street Journal does.

Here is the Lerner email exchange with colleagues, which is grabbing headlines ...
“I was cautioning folks about email and how we have had several occasions where Congress has asked for emails and there has been an electronic search for responsive emails — so we need to be cautious about what we say in emails,” she wrote to Maria Hooke, the director of business systems planning for the tax-exempt division. “Someone asked if OCS conversations were also searchable — I don’t know. … Do you know?” 
[Instant] messages are not set to automatically save as the standard; however the functionality exists within the software," the IRS official wrote back. "My general recommendation is to treat the conversation as if it could/is being saved somewhere, as it is possible for either party of the conversation to retain the information and have it turn up as part of an electronic search." 
"Perfect," Ms. Lerner replied.

PolitiBrew: Mike Rowe and His S.W.E.A.T. Pledge Scholarships: Cool!

"Remember Mike Rowe from that dirty jobs show where he'd go work with folks who have the dirtiest jobs there are, like working in sewers and such? I love that guy, and he speaks with such good sense it's difficult to disagree with him on anything I've thus far heard."
He's funny, smart, wise, and has a desire to see America regain her greatness, and her greatness resides in her people, her workers, and producers. He offers scholarships to young people too, so they can get educations in fields of endeavor where jobs are plentiful yet companies cannot fill.

During his show which chronicled so many dirty jobs and the people that perform them, he says he's counted 40-some-odd millionaires. For example, a family that runs a very lucrative mushroom farm. Americans love them some mushrooms. Now in running a mushroom farm, there are two things which are imperative, and you can probably guess what those two are. I'm talking about the one which is not shade.
Mike Rowe posted S.W.E.A.T. (Skills & Work Ethic Aren’t Taboo) Pledge on Facebook that is just the kind of straight talk we need to have with ourselves as a country to get that “can-do” spirit back. 

Read the pledge after the jump


Where we can blow off some steam.

This beautiful video (h/t rh) reminds me of judith2you, a blog by woman named Judith who searched through art and literature for instances of the name Judith. A recurring theme is the apocryphal Judith, "a daring and beautiful widow, who is upset with her Jewish countrymen for not trusting God to deliver them from their foreign conquerors. She goes with her loyal maid to the camp of the enemy general, Holofernes, with whom she slowly ingratiates herself, promising him information on the Israelites. Gaining his trust, she is allowed access to his tent one night as he lies in a drunken stupor. She decapitates him, then takes his head back to her fearful countrymen. The Assyrians, having lost their leader, disperse, and Israel is saved. Though she is courted by many, Judith remains unmarried for the rest of her life." -Wiki

up to $75,000 speaking fees

That goes to the bribery/graft/501(c)(3) abuse/extortion/circular kickback redistribution racket named the Clinton Foundation. Chelsea Doody tried to care about money but found that she simply cannot bring herself to care. Goodness, her speeches must be penetratingly astute.

My friends organized for her mother to speak to them one time at a private home here in Denver, two Democrat types, imagine that,  when the two women were much less expensive. Probably even free, I'll bet. But try as I might, that day I found that I simply could not bring myself to care about subjecting myself that long to vapidity attending.

So many other pressing matters at hand such as walking my neighbor's dog and properly disposing its poo.

Tell us, Supporters, how wrong I am in harboring such a bad attitude, explain all the wonderful philanthropic things they do over there at that foundation. The list of great efforts is admirable. Wikipedia [Clinton Foundation

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Cleveland likely site for 2016 Republican convention

"The announcement of Cleveland as the recommended site for the 2016 convention came on Tuesday. Assuming the party apparatus ratifies the choice—and everybody seems to think it will—the problem won't be the choice of city per se. The issue will be the state and the debate about Obamacare and Medicaid that's played out there for the last year-and-a-half.

Under the Affordable Care Act, states can make Medicaid available to anybody whose household income is less than 133 percent of the poverty line, which for a family of three works out to about $31,700 a year. It's how Obamcare's architects envisioned the poorest people without insurance would get coverage under the new law. But conservative state officials have resisted taking that step, arguing that the expansion would place too great a burden on state treasuries, build on a flawed model for insurance, prop up a big government program, and so on.

Conservative Republicans in Ohio were among them and, because they control the state legislature, they were able to block expansion for a while. But one Ohio Republican [Gov. John Kasich] saw things differently. While a bona fide conservative who opposed Obamacare, he figured that Medicaid expansion was still a good deal for his state. He knew that hundreds of thousands uninsured residents would eventually get coverage and the federal government would be picking up most of the additional cost, thereby infusing billions of dollars into the state economy. This Republican also realized that most of that money would go directly to hospitals and health care providers, whose growth had been a major factor in Ohio’s recovery from the recession. And this Republican understood that Medicaid expansion had strong support from Ohio’s business community. 

...Here's the problem for Republicans. Whether or not they intend to make Obamacare a central focus of the 2016 presidential campaign, they’re going to talk about it at their convention. The conservative base would have it no other way. But if Kasich wins reelection this year, then the host state governor, a well-regarded conservative and model Republican in almost every other respect, will also be the state’s most outspoken and eloquent spokesman for why the right’s absolutist opposition to the Medicaid expansion is so wrong."
What is the logic behind the RNC's choice of Cleveland? I suppose the benefit of Ohio's status as a swing state outweighs what appears as rewarding Gov. Kasich for bucking his state's Republican legislature. 

How to poach an egg

If you can you stand the boiling whoa-ta. I watched a dozen videos and all of them have unnecessary steps, where the chefs are not flatly wrong. Although all of them contain at least one good idea. I should make my own video. My methods are better than all that I've seen by these chefs. No brag. Just fact.

Take it from me. I know whereof I speak. 

The water does not need to be boiling. Eggs cook well below the boiling point even at high altitude. The doneness of eggs a function of time, the degree of denaturing of two types of albumen and yolk.  Roiling water interferes with gentle poaching and tends to spread the egg white. 

The water does not need to be swirled as suggested all over the place repeatedly. It is the vinegar added to simmering water that pulls the egg white together. It actually observably pulls it together. You can watch with your eyes, the white initially spread, freak out, and contract back unto itself, if incompletely. It's funny, like ew ew ew ew ew, vinegar. The acid prevents the albumen from spreading, and contributes a trace of flavor that is actually good, not at all undesirable for anything the egg will be used.  Vinegar and swirling does not "coagulate" the white as blood coagulates, rather, swirling tends to spread the albumen around unnecessarily in trailing threads. 

The egg needn't be lifted with a slotted spoon. A regular soup spoon works as well if not better, a serving size spoon even better for jumbo size eggs. The egg yolk, a blob, the object of attention,  pushes water off the sides of the spoon. Excess egg white hangs off the side of the spoon.

The excess egg unsightly white needn't be trimmed with a knife. The edge of the spoon against the inside of the pot works even better. It is a more eloquent trimming. The size of your poached egg will be the size of your spoon.

No need to dry off the egg with bread. What's wrong with a little surface water? It does not ruin anything, even toast, in fact it helps.

[Incidentally, raw spinach is not good. The vitamins unavailable, actually blocked.  They must be cooked for them to be beneficial. I'm surprised a chef doesn't appreciate this.]  

There is another good idea that I do not bother with having to do with straining each egg first to rid it of the loosest form of albumen that spreads out from old eggs and becomes thready and messy. The chef lowers the egg into the water with the strainer, jostling the strainer to free the uncooked egg into the water. The result is a nicely contained poached egg. 

Breakfast today: spaghetti carbonara.

Gizmodo: The World's Tallest and Scariest Waterslide

"We conceived of it around 2012, in October, at a water park show," Schooley told Gizmodo. He and Henry were walking around with people from the Travel Channel, and when they asked Jeff what his next project was, he said he wanted to build the world's tallest and scariest water slide. Henry wasn't joking. He started seriously planning with Schooley almost immediately. The two men have worked together building water parks since the '90s, but this is their most ambitious project to date. They specialize in a park design they call "transportainment," where they design everything in the hopes that park patrons will spend most of their time on communal rides, not in line. That's why making the tallest water slide a group experience was so important to the duo."

 "Basically, we were crazy enough to try anything," Schooley said. "We decided to design something entirely new, because we decided to put a three or four man boat down it, and we wanted not only the fastest and steepest water slide going downhill, but we wanted to take it uphill over a hump, to give people a weightless experience going down the other side." What's fear without a side order of astronaut nausea to go with it? (read the whole thing)

Darrone: Kate Knibbs said...
I'm confused. Maybe this is the old man in me who remembers when phones made calls and cars were driven by people, but what the hell is the point of a water slide if your strapped into a vehicle? Isn't that a less-aggressive roller coaster with a misting spray added? It's basically a log flume right?

It Happened To Me: "I Didn't Know I Was Working For A Christian Marketing Agency"

Alright, that was an easy one. I’ll give ya another,” said Rob, and he quoted another verse from the Bible. Not being a religious person in any way, but also not wanting to cause any trouble, I buried myself in my article about cottages in Northumberland and ignored the conversation. I figured maybe it just happened once in a while. When I told my husband about it over dinner that night, all he could say was, “Welcome to Lake Mary.”
"In all the jobs I’d worked, I’d never heard anyone so much as ask anyone about their religion or faith, much less have a group discussion about it in the office. But this was my first time working in Lake Mary, home of Christian entertainment channel, Good Life 45, among other things. I wondered if this was a more common occurrence the closer you got to the Bible Belt. I hoped it was just a first day fluke and left it at that." (read more)

The Awl: "The Potato Salad Kickstarter Is the Science Fiction Villain We Deserve" (updated*)

"As of writing, a Kickstarter campaign for "just making potato salad" has raised $37,115. ($58,667 as of this posting) Every few seconds that number climbs higher, and each uptick is greeted with cheers. It's a self-perpetuating humor machine, and it is horribly efficient. There is no joke, at least not anymore; whatever joke there was has become an adaptive, joke-like arrangement of circumstances. It is a perfect device, compatible with all known theories of humor and therefore with none of them." (read more)

* Email: Problem Solved. 
h/t Allen S

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Blog Claim: "App Brings Israel’s Air Raid Warnings to Your iPhone"

"Hear the rocket attack air raid warnings real-time, as they go off in Israel, on your iPhone. Live as an Israeli citizen for a day, using the Red Alert : Israel app. After 24 hours, you’ll never be the same."
In the past day, more than 30 sirens have gone off, each a rocket attack launched by Hamas from the Gaza Strip. The rockets land indiscriminately throughout Israel, a nation one-tenth the size of Oklahoma.

Israel citizens scramble to shelters, like in the video below, each time this occurs, day or night. The nation has built an extensive system of shelters as part of it’s national defense.

If you can take it for more than 24 hours, you’ll understand why Israel has called up 40,000 reserve troops, and is launching air strikes into Gaza to locate the source of the attacks. (read more)

Download the app:

Customer Reviews

Red Alert (five stars out of five)
by TJCinMaryland:
I've used the Hebrew version for a whole. It's wonderful (in a sad way) to finally have this in English so my coworkers can better understand the horror of the situation, and what Israelis are going through daily.

Cristo redeemer of sports

World Cup 2014 Semifinal: Germany Beats Brazil 7-1


President to meet with Gov. Perry for border discussion

"Gov. Rick Perry turned down what he characterized as President Barack Obama’s offer for a “quick handshake on the Tarmac” when the president arrives in Austin on Wednesday. But Perry said he would juggle his schedule to accommodate a “substantive meeting” with Obama on border security any time during his two-day visit to Texas.

Late Monday, Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor to President Obama, replied to Perry affirmatively, saying, “The president would welcome a meeting with you while he is in Texas.”

In the two-page letter obtained first by the American-Statesman, Jarrett also invited Perry to join faith leaders and local elected officials for a round table discussion on the border that has been added to the president’s schedule while he is in Dallas on Wednesday. It wasn’t immediately clear how Perry would respond.

The president is spending two days in Texas, raising money for national Democratic coffers in Dallas on Wednesday and in Austin on Wednesday evening and Thursday morning. His only public event in Austin will be a discussion of the economy at the Paramount Theater on Congress Avenue on mid-day Thursday. There was no plan to visit the southern border while in Texas, but the newly-added Dallas round table means that he will be addressing the issue of illegal immigration head-on while in the state."

10 Ways Addiction Is Different In America

When it comes to the politics and culture of drugs, we are indeed special—or at least dramatically different from the rest of the Western world. Too often, however, we are special for the wrong reasons.
Americans are more likely to try illegal drugs than anyone else in the world, according to global survey data from the World Health Organization.
A higher percentage of  Americans have tried marijuana than the Dutch.  A higher percentage of Americans have tried Cocaine than the Colombians.  America apparently has a higher percentage of people who are high than any other country.  And a higher percentage of people incarcerated for drug-related crimes.

Everything is different in America, including drug usage and addiction.

The New Yorker: "Sixty-Nine Days, The Ordeal of the Chilean Miners"

I’m not embarrassed to say I cried, a lot, at that moment, thinking that I wouldn’t see my family again, and thinking of the suffering they would go through,” Reygadas said. He walked away from the others, in violation of a mining code that says you should never walk alone underground. The rules didn’t matter anymore. He followed the light of his lamp until he found a front loader like the one he operated. He sat inside the cab, but after a few minutes he remembered the moment of the collapse. Tons of rock fell on top of the miners, and yet “there wasn’t anyone who was hurt.” The improbable fact of their survival, he thought, carried a hint of the divine. He decided to go back to the Refuge, and to be a strong old man instead of a weak one. If it was all part of a plan by his Creator, maybe his prayers would reach the surface, and make the people who loved him strong, too, because they had to be suffering, out there in the night, wondering if he and thirty-two other men could still be alive.” (excerpt from an over 13,500 word piece)

British Airways: "If You Have a 'Dead' Device, You Can't Fly"

"Passengers flying to the United States with British Airways will not be allowed to board the plane if their phone or laptop has run out of battery, the airline has warned. The announcement by the carrier late Monday was prompted by new U.S. requirements - enforced by the U.K. and France - that passengers must be able to turn on their devices to prove they're not hollowed out and packed with explosives. British Airways said the extra checks were at departure gates, immediately prior to boarding, and passengers carrying "dead" devices would be forced to re-book on a later flight."

"The policy could be a particular headache for U.S.-bound connecting passengers who may have not have access to a power source for many hours. A British Airways spokesman was unable to clarify if passengers would be allowed to board the plane if they chose to leave their device behind. U.S. officials last week asked airports handling U.S.-bound flights to tighten security amid fears al-Qaeda-linked terror groups might conceal a bomb within a fake smartphone or laptop. Virgin Atlantic warned customers they would not be able to travel with unpowered devices but did not say passengers would be required to re-book on other flights."

Monday, July 7, 2014

No Sleep Till Brooklyn


Sleeping Giant Yankee Sues ESPN

"2014 Senate rankings: Map favors GOP"

"[Republicans have] landed top recruits to take on first-term senators in New Hampshire and Colorado, nominated credible female candidates in open-seat contests in Michigan and Iowa, protected all of their incumbents from tea party challenges and thwarted more conservative candidates that could have hurt the GOP’s chances in states like North Carolina and Georgia.

With the general election field all but set, Republicans are looking to turn the midterms into a national referendum on Obama. Democrats want the focus to be squarely on the candidates, and they’re spending the typically quiet summer months trying to define Republican hopefuls as unlikeable and extreme."

Scroll down for "the 10 truly competitive races, ranked in order of likelihood of a party change."
This is good news for the Democratic nominee.

New Scientist: "Consciousness on-off switch discovered deep in brain"

"ONE moment you're conscious, the next you're not. For the first time, researchers have switched off consciousness by electrically stimulating a single brain area."
Scientists have been probing individual regions of the brain for over a century, exploring their function by zapping them with electricity and temporarily putting them out of action. Despite this, they have never been able to turn off consciousness – until now.

Although only tested in one person, the discovery suggests that a single area – the claustrum – might be integral to combining disparate brain activity into a seamless package of thoughts, sensations and emotions. It takes us a step closer to answering a problem that has confounded scientists and philosophers for millennia – namely how our conscious awareness arises. (read more)

Joan River to CNN interviewer: “Are you wearing leather shoes? Then shut up.”

AP: "First day of Pamplona bull-run sees 1 gored"

"Jose Aldaba, a spokesman for Spain's Red Cross, said four people were taken to a city hospital for injuries sustained in the 8.a.m. run, the first of the annual San Fermin festival. One was gored in the thigh."
A statement from the Navarra regional government said the four were Spaniards but none was in serious condition.

The run sees people racing with the bulls along a narrow 930-yard (850-meter) course from a holding pen to the city bull ring.

It lasted just over two minutes.

Dozens of people are injured each year in the "encierros," as the runs are called in Spanish. Most get hurt in falls.
Video of the run after the jump

bûche de février

Meringue shapes, caps and stems.

Ganache for glue.

Bûche de noël, Yule log, but this was February, so bûche de février. If you would make one this month obviously it would be bûche de juilet, and just like bûche de février have no cultural significance whatsoever. But who cares? It's fun.  

It's a thing in France. Designers go crazy. They add all kind of things, holly, berries, trees, candles, snow, Santa Clause figures, elves, words, pistachio, ring designs, bark designs, ferns, candy, chocolate, reindeer, white frosting, white chocolate. 

You know what would be great?  Ice cream. 

Google Images [bûche de noël]

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Sunday Evening Juvenile Joke Fest

Some jokes just write themselves.  Hey, anyone know which street Lorena Bobbitt lives on?


"Roam" was my favorite song from The B-52's "Cosmic Thing" (1990). Others' mileage may vary on that call. I think I liked it because in early 1990 I was about to leave America for Europe on an extended working vacation.

Lyrics after the jump

Happy Birthday George W. Bush (43)

Camara Indiscreta

Oriole third basement last night at Fenway Park 
Indiscreet has been loosing its cachet as word.

News Report: Bedroom fireworks turned deadly

"A 49-year-old woman has died and her 25-year-old son was also burned during a Fourth of July fireworks accident, according to [Florida] Auburndale police".
A family get-together was going on at the home with a number of people attending.

Police said Kathryn Flint, 49, went inside the home to ready multiple large fireworks, or mortars, that had previously been placed on top of a bed in a bedroom, and was going to take them outside to set them off.

At about 8:40 p.m., while she was inside the bedroom with two dogs also present, there was an apparent accidental ignition of at least one mortar, police said.

When the mortar exploded, it set off others inside the bedroom, resulting in the ignition of multiple other mortars. (read more)
The story called to mind a scene from one of my all time favorites. A little background... she is pregnant and was told by her doctor, in an earlier scene, not to smoke.

In the news story moderated forum comments...

shelleyn411 • 17 minutes ago
Who stores fireworks in a bedroom? I now see why most states ban the personal sale/use of these things since you would have to administer an IQ test first.

Andrew Clemens

Andrew Clemens was born 1857 to German and Prussian parents who met on their way to the United States, settling eventually in McGregor, Iowa at the time of the gold rush. At five years of age Andrew contracted encephalitis nearly killing him and leaving him deaf.

As a teenager Andrew became enamored with the colored sands found at Iowa's Picture Rocks park where water derived from the Mississippi river charged with various minerals pass through limestones staining them a range of colors. 

Andrew brought home the sand and sorted the grains by size and color then began arranging them grain-by-grain inside glass bottles. Beginning with geometric shapes Andrew developed his craft, designed special tools for his art, and began creating extraordinarily detailed images with a great deal of subtlety in shading. The grains are not glued, rather, they are held in place inside the jars by pressure of tightly packed sand.

Andrew created images of George Washington on his horse, nautical scenes, flowers, local events, historical figures, flags, and geometric patterns, even words. At one point in his life Andrew worked for South Side Museum in Chicago creating designs with sand then smashing them to demonstrate there is no magic involved. But he received little recognition in his time. His genius largely unappreciated. It was not realized until later that Andrew actually invented a new art form and perfected it all by himself, and neither did Andrew himself seem to know his own art's worth. He sold his bottles for 50₵ to a few dollars. Now they are worth thousands. Many have been broken. Of the bottles that survived, not one grain has moved out of place. 

Andrew died of tuberculosis at age thirty-seven.

Google Images [Andrew Clemens sand art]