Thursday, July 31, 2008
Some sample questions; you are supposed to fill in the blanks.
3) If my father would only...
4) People think of me as...
5) I suffer most from...
6) What upsets me most is...
7) Most men...
8) I regret...
9) My greatest worry is...
10) Some member of the opposite sex...
11) Most women...
12) I regret...
I don't recall taking any such quiz when I needed a clearance to work with classified information in the US Navy, but I wasn't working directly for NSA. I was quizzed carefully about vices and practices that would make me likely to divulge secrets, such as perversion or drug use.
The NSA is jokingly referred to as No Such Agency in the intelligence community.
I have to guess that his line got snagged and, while trying to free it, it came loose and rubberbanded the sinker into his face. A three-ounce bank or pyramid sinker would definitely hurt.
It's similar to a common mishap among tarpon fishermen: if you have the line taut from fighting the fish and it leaps out of the water, you're supposed to "bow" to the fish, releasing tension on the line, so that the bait with its heavy hook isn't snapped into your face.
Once an outlaw sport derided for its brutality, the prizefighting style known as mixed martial arts or ultimate fighting has toned down its act to gain government approval, a loyal television audience and hundreds of gyms training youngsters across the country. Now, to herald its full arrival, mixed martial arts has claimed a signature injury — cauliflower ear.
A deformity initiated by repetitive trauma, cauliflower ear can crumple an outer ear to a misshapen shell.
Unfazed by the prospect of living life as a walking what’s-grosser-than-gross joke, a nationwide corps of professional fighters, amateur enthusiasts and teenagers have taken to leaving their ears untreated or self-treated, wearing their shriveled, hardened waxen auricles as badges of honor.
“It’s definitely part of the culture,” said Dr. John H. Park, a physical therapist in Rockville, Md., who specializes in treating M.M.A. participants. “They say, ‘Chicks dig that stuff because they know you’re a fighter.’ “
Fire-starters, the sort of women who provoke animal reactions, like a bitch in heat with dogs fighting over her. As humans, we're supposed to be better than that.
*chuckles to himself*
Update: Heard Rush Limbaugh at 12:37 this afternoon riffing on the same point I made. I wonder if he reads...nah.
I'm not a smoker, but I think that smokers are being treated unfairly these days. At my hotel, guests who smoke have to smoke outside in designated areas, and if they smoke in their rooms, for which they pay up to $139.99, they can be assessed a $150 "cleaning fee."
Yup, the fiendish Jews have been secretly breeding a new species of giant rodent which can even chase away Arab cats.
According to the reports, these rats are twice as big as yer average rat, they are ferociously aggressive, they like to attack Arab children and they breed four times more often than a normal rat.
The rats are apparently being introduced into the area by Jews "who bring them in huge cages and release them onto the streets to make living there a nightmare for Arabs".
Terrifyingly, the rats even know the difference between Jew and Arab and they leave the Jews alone while terrorising the Arabs.
Apparently the Navy dug ol' Uncle Ernie up, injected him with zombie juice, and turned him loose, because:
1. A skipper who grounded his amphib in the Persian Gulf has been relieved of command;
2. The CO and XO of the nuclear aircraft carrier USS George Washington have been relieved of command after a major fire burned for 12 hours, injured a bunch of sailors, and did millions of dollars in damage, all due to the carelessness of someone smoking a cigarette.
All of this started, of course, when a couple of warships were found to be unready for combat, as I blogged here.
The Navy goes through cycles like this. Just before I enlisted, there was a huge problem with drug use in the Navy, which resulted in tragedy onboard the USS Nimitz. The Navy cracked down and eliminated most drug use in the fleet. Apparently discipline is getting lax again, and this is the result.
I sympathize with the officers involved, but it's the Navy way; the CO is responsible for what goes on in his ship.
update: the man himself, in all his shambling zombie glory:
My hotel is in a low-crime area, but we don't have a security guard at night, and apparently there is a gang of thieves that is taking advantage of it (other hotels in the area don't employ security, either). Possibly it's time for the local police to use a decoy Dodge Charger with hopes of catching this gang.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
The director of the Montserrat Volcano Observatory says late Monday's collapse of a dome at the crater sent bursts of volcanic material sweeping down into the island's abandoned former capital of Plymouth and the sea. The town was buried in a 1997 eruption that killed 19 people on the tiny Caribbean island.
Sounds like pyroclastic flows. You can have those without an actual eruption, since an active lava dome is made up of superheated magma.
Which reminds me of Joseph Wambaugh's novel The Delta Star, in which a jaded detective calms down a rookie cop who is jabbering hysterically about a human head involved in a crime by telling the cop that if the head still has the eyes, that you can't bowl with it, so what good is it to anyone?
Which, even if you account for the eyes, makes you wonder about where you put your thumb...
*goes away grumbling*
Five minutes of my life, wasted! Thanks, NY Times!
Comes with a content warning from Google, justified. Getting a lot of good information here, such as the fact that cops like to eat at Subway because the food is prepared before your eyes and can't be tampered with.
It's worth a read.
I lived in southern Spain for three years back in the mid-80's. It was the heart of the Sherry region; the little village I lived in, Rota, was at one time famous for its own wine, known as Rota Tent, now long vanished from the wine scene.
Anyway, in nearby Jerez de la Frontera are found most of the bodegas (wineries) that produce Spain's Sherry, and much of her brandy, as well. Gonzalez Byass Bodega is arguably the most famous, and its dry Tio Pepe sherry is world famous.
Gonzalez Byass is also famous for its wine-drinking mice. They dwell in the bodega, living off of drippings from the new butts of wine and from spillage that occurs when "running the scales," which is a blending process that is used in the making of Sherry.
The mice also sip from glasses of Sherry that are provided for them during tasting tours at Gonzalez Byass. Toward the end of the tour the guide pours a glass of Sherry, sets it on the floor, and leans a small wooden ladder against it. Mice run out from under the nearby butts of Sherry, and walk up the ladder to sip from the glass. It's a wonderful photo opportunity and usually the hit of the tasting tour.
During my own tour, one desperate alcoholic mouse wasn't willing to wait his turn at the ladder, and so got off to a running start and leaped headfirst at the glass, knocking his companion off the ladder in the process.
Here's a pic I found on the internet of the mice sipping:
Experts at Ecuador's Geophysics Institute say the Reventador volcano's activity Monday does not pose a threat to surrounding villages or oil pipelines in the area.
The 11,500-foot (3,485-meter) volcano last erupted in November 2002, showering the capital, Quito, with volcanic ash.
The story notes that in addition to Reventador, the nearby volcano Tungurahua is also erupting. This is something I note again and again with volcanic eruptions; my theory is that magma levels are regionally higher when such activity occurs, or perhaps the individual volcanoes are fed by the same magma chamber.
Monday, July 28, 2008
At 29, she is still single, and assuredly not a nun.
"I mean, do you see this in a convent?" Snyder said, glancing at her flowered skirt, peasant blouse and jewelry. "It just doesn't happen. I mean, really!"
Instead, Snyder chose a little-known third path with a long tradition in Catholicism: She became a consecrated, perpetual virgin - the first in the 188-year history of the Richmond diocese, which includes Hampton Roads.
Wearing a white sundress and big pink earrings, Snyder knelt in May as Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo laid hands on hers in the rite of Consecration to a Life of Virginity of Women Living in the World.
He also slipped onto her ring finger a gold band - a symbol of her spousal relationship with Jesus Christ.
And no, she's not a grotesque hag that couldn't find a man otherwise; photo:
I really can't say that she's deserving of ridicule, although there will be plenty of jokes about her, I suppose. I'm not religious anymore, but that doesn't mean I don't admire a level of faith that would result in such a vow. I rather admire her.
He was big and mean and had a 98-mile-an-hour fastball, and he would show up when Ron Guidry or Catfish Hunter got tired, so hitters from other teams back then really hated the Yankees.
The NY Times story slants him as an obstructionist, but he seems to have the soul of a true small-government conservative.
Read the whole thing, it's well worth it.
A controversial computer game which let members of the social networking site Facebook "virtually knife" one another has been removed from the site.
Shank could be added by any Facebook member and appeared in the user's profile as a small knife with a black blade. Once installed as part of the Superpoke! application - which is typically used to send virtual greetings such as hugs and kisses - it allowed users to "shank" their friends.
Sometimes people just get on your nerves, and...
Sunday, July 27, 2008
However, Lieutenant Colonel Cynthia Ryan of the US Civil Air Patrol has said Fossett, whose body or plane was never found, could still be alive.
She said: "I've been doing this search and rescue for 14 years. Fossett should have been found.
"It's not like we didn't have our eyes open. We found six other planes while we were looking for him. We're pretty good at what we do."
Fossett also apparently claimed he was going to scout for locations for a land speed record attempt, but he supposedly took off with no emergency equipment.
The choice of plane was also a baffling one - a Bellanca Citabria Super Decathlon, which, according to risk assessor Robert Davis said was constructed from a steel and wood frame, but actually covered in fabric, making it easy to dismantle.
Davis conducted an eight-month investigation for insurers Lloyd's of London, said to face a £25 million payout on Fossett's death.
He said: "What I've strived to find out is what happened to this man in the run-up to his disappearance, why did he disappear?
"I spoke to reporters who were on the scene, people who were helping out with the search efforts, anyone whom I thought could shed some light on this.
"I discovered that there is absolutely no proof that Steve Fossett is actually dead. I'm not a conspiracy theorist, I'm a man who deals in facts, and I don't really care if he is alive or dead, it make no difference to me.
Ok, so perhaps we can discount the views of Davis, who is an insurance investigator trying to save Lloyd's from paying out a 25-million dollar claim; but what about the Civil Air Patrol representative? It's interesting that she talks of other aircraft found during the hunt for Fossett; did those planes all go down after his, or were some from crashes that happened years before? You read occasionally in the news of a plane crash discovered years or even decades later, so that should give an indication of how large the backcountry is and how small the planes that fly in it.
Saturday, July 26, 2008
It's the huge downside shipwreck salvage, especially when treasure is involved. That's not an issue here, but Mel Fisher fought the state of Florida for years for he right to salvage the Atocha, and the Spanish government is even now involved in a lawsuit over a wreck found off the coast of UK.
Seems to me that if these various governments wanted to profit off their old ships, then they should salvage them themselves, rather than live parasitically off the work of private individuals.
It's a brown stone, so not a desirable color, and no mention is made of the clarity, but the boy says that someone told him it could be worth up to $3000. Not bad for a morning stroll, and certainly good enough for a blog entry on a slow news day.
But what we’ve learned over the years is that Mr. McCain is one of those guys who never has to pay much of a price for his missteps and foul-ups and bad behavior. Can you imagine the firestorm of outrage and criticism that would have descended on Senator Obama if he had made the kind of factual mistakes that John McCain has repeatedly made in this campaign?
He says this as the MSM huddles protectively around Barack Obama, ignoring that man's own numerous gaffes and outright lies that a Republican would be raked for weeks over coals for.
*shakes head sadly*
Huffington Post gets mentioned, but not either of Michelle Malkin's two sites, natch. Maybe the Times could do a follow-up article on the glass ceiling that conservative female bloggers have to put up with in coverage by major media outlets.
(From Larry Niven's novel Ringworld, perhaps imperfectly remembered, since I don't have a copy at hand.)
A mad Irishman is shot dead in Oregon after attacking police:
Police officers Tony Gonzalez and Josh Barnett respond to the 911 call and break off to search for the suspect. Mr Gonzalez is alone on Oak Street when he hears branches breaking and shines his torch on the area and spots Mr Hanlon. He does not draw his gun but orders him to come out and show his hands.
Mr Hanlon comes out but cuts behind a line of parked cars and moves down the street. He ducks out of sight and Mr Gonzalez hears the sound of glass breaking.
He assumes the suspect is now armed with a broken bottle and draws his gun. It appears that Mr Hanlon had actually bumped against a recycling bin full of bottles.
Mr Hanlon steps out from behind the cars and the police officer orders him to show both of his hands and to lie down on the ground. They are standing about five to eight feet apart.
Mr Hanlon says "ok" and starts to reach toward the ground. However, he suddenly stands back up again, bends down again and then lets out a scream and jumps at the officer.
The police man begins to retreat and is chased by Mr Hanlon, who is now swinging his arms and kicking and screaming. Mr Gonzalez is never able to get more than five feet from the Irishman. While retreating, he fires seven shots, five of which hit Mr Hanlon.
A local resident, Jeff DeSantis, hears the police officer repeatedly shout out "Get down", "Freeze", "Don't move". Mr Hanlon lets out what was later described as a "primordial war scream" and is performing kicks and what appear to be martial arts moves. After several shots are fired Mr Hanlon falls to the ground. Officer Gonzalez grabs his radio and reports "Shots fired". Mr Hanlon dies at the scene.
You can analyze the situation all you want; cop should have used a Tazer or his stick instead of a gun, and Hanlon would still be alive. Having drawn his gun, though, it is possible that he couldn't have re-holstered it safely while under physical attack by Hanlon. So another dubiously-justified shooting, another apparent "suicide by cop" on the part of Hanlon.
The lesson learned, though, is that the Kzinti method of attack shouldn't be used against armed police, especially if you aren't Kzinti.
Two Muslim deli owners in Brooklynn defended their store with machetes against a gang of thieves who tried to make off with $2000 worth of cigarettes.
Well and good, but it's another instance of New York's awful Sullivan Act denying these men the proper means (handguns) to defend their store at minimal risk to themselves.
via Drudge Report.
Friday, July 25, 2008
First SAK (Swiss Army Knife) I've purchased since 2001, when I bought a Wenger Soldier model. That one has stayed in my pocket ever since, with a camera's wrist thong attached so that removing it from my pocket becomes easier, and as an emergency lanyard in case I am in danger of dropping the knife where it can't be recovered (deep water, cliff, etc).
The only fundamental difference between the Farmer and the Soldier is the inclusion of a wood-cutting saw, which for me is a handy tool. I bought this Farmer with red Alox scales; tried to get it in blue, but the first vendor reneged on the purchase and I had to go to a second vendor, who only had red. I'm using the shoelace from a workboot as a lanyard at the moment; I'll have to see if I can come up with something better.
Anyway, that's my knife fetish temporarily satisfied (I'm a knife man more than a gun man; always have been).
Says he can't find any other work, so he'll be a career criminal.
Well, if that's the best you can do, then at least aspire to greatness; try to be the world's best midget blackmailer, or poisoner, or forger; not a low-life occupation like scrap metal burglar. Go for the gold, kid.
Here's the paragraph:
But he has grown accustomed to putting on this sort of saccharine show for the rock concert masses, and in Berlin his act jumped the shark. His words drift far from reality, and not only when talking about the Senate Banking Committee. His Berlin Victory Column treacle would have made Niebuhr sick to his stomach.
Bishops are urging the setting up of an Anglican Faith and Order Commission to give "guidance" on controversial issues such as same-sex blessings and gay ordinations.
The commission was put forward as a proposal this week to the 650 bishops attending the Lambeth Conference as a way of preserving the future unity of the Anglican Communion. Insiders compared it with the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the body formerly headed by the present Pope as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger and previously known as the Holy Office or Inquisition.
I hope that someone checks with Michael Palin to see his reaction:
The daughter was embarrassed by this (natch), so she went to court to have her name changed. Because of privacy laws in New Zealand, her name hasn't been revealed officially.
Rumour has it, however, that the girl is now named Down-In-Nagasaki-Where-The-Men-Chew-Tobaccy-And-The-Girls-Wicki-Wacky-Woo.
That's just a rumour, however.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Gabriel Almeida, who lives on the outskirts of Belo Horizonte in the state of Minas Gerais, broke a canine tooth when he bit into the dog's neck to fend off an attack. Since then, he has been pampered in the studios of several TV stations, where he has been recounting his ordeal.
"I grabbed him by the neck and bit," he told O Globo newspaper. "It's no big deal. It's better to lose a tooth than to lose your life."
Rumor going around has it that rappers, white rednecks, and former NFL star Michael Vick are looking into importing Brazilian boys into the country for dogfighting purposes.
Denver officials expect to spend more than $18 million on police equipment for the Democratic National Convention — but the purchases apparently won't include high-tech weapons that use sonic waves to incapacitate protesters or goo guns to immobilize them.
The ACLU sued Denver in May under the state's public records law after city officials refused to provide documents showing how they were spending millions of dollars on police equipment.
They will not include non-lethal weapons that use "slime" or "goo" to immobilize protesters or that use microwaves or sonic waves to induce pain or other discomfort. Some convention watchers had alleged that the city might purchase a weapon that would cause people to defecate.
A shit gun? Hell, I'd pay for the privilege of shooting hippies with a gun that makes them crap themselves.
(via Drudge Report)
Fun story. I imagine that messages in bottles stand a much better chance of surviving a long sea voyage now than formerly, since you can use lightweight plastic bottles with good cap seals instead of heavy glass bottles with a cork stopper. Strangely enough I've never done the message in a bottle thing, even though I was raised in Florida, served in the Navy, and been enamored of the sea my entire life.
Peoples' Republic of Moonbattia is comprised of the liberal-leaning states, both East and West coast, joined together with a strip along the Canadian border so that the predominantly blue states of the Midwest can be included. Total gun control, free health care, confiscatory taxes. The whole liberal wet dream. Capital? San Francisco, Chicago and New York will have to fight that out.
Aztlan comprises an area of the Southwest that Hispanics can call home. If they like, they can join their fortune to that of Mexico.
United States of Wingnuttia: filled with conservative, white working class people, with a strong religious foundation. These are the people that Barack Obama characterized as bitter, clinging to guns and religion. No gun control for law-abiding sane citizens, up to and including automatic weapons. Moral perversion frowned upon. No welfare of any kind.
African America: African-Americans deserve a place of their own, so they can actually have a chance to run a country of their own and not have white people to blame for their failures. Capital: New Orleans, renamed Chocolate City by the first President of African America, Ray Nagin.
Once the borders for Nu-America are drawn, each citizen of the former United States of Amerikkka will be given one year to choose his new country and arrange to emigrate. You'll notice I've drawn Nu America so that everyone gets some coastline.
The fact that people are even contemplating such things as secession tells how fundamentally deep the political divisions have become in America. The savage arguments that take place in blogs and internet forums only exacerbate the problem, I think; not that I would advocate censorship because of it, however.
Update: Instalanche! Thank you, Glenn Reynolds!
I note that the woman who broke down is 58 years old, and so is of a generation that would be more appreciative of such acts than then younger generations would.
You know, however bad and biased the New York Times' political reporting is, their paper is redeemed by feature stories such as this one.
Basically they're the Russian equivalent of Alaskan Brown Bears. The Russians are flying in a team of snipers, but the area is so remote that it will take a day or so for the snipers to arrive.
My question: don't the miners have firearms?
What philosophical archetype are you?
created with QuizFarm.com
|You scored as The Underground Man|
Dostoevskyâ€™s creation, you are completely and purposefully detached from life. Rarely acknowledged for your obvious superiority, however sometimes pathetic people do cling to you. All in all, you prefer the comfort of your own fantasy world to the difficulty of relating to others. I strongly advise that you stop playing World of Warcraft and get a life!
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
As a child in Hudson, N.Y., she would often join her father, a land surveyor, at work. One day, Hill found an old, dented metal canteen cup in a field, not too far from her home.
The cup had words scratched into it...Africa, Italy, Rum and L.R. Noreen. Hill deduced the cup belonged to a military veteran, but all of her searches for L.R. Noreen came up empty.
When she moved to Owosso, Hill brought the cup with her. One day, her husband (John Hill) encouraged her to pick up the search again. The two scoured Internet sites and veteran listings at their local library but found nothing - until a search finally came up with the name L. Noreen. The listing also had a phone number, so Monica Hill called it.
“I said ‘I think I've found something of yours,'” Hill said. “He said to me, ‘I don't think I've lost anything.' And then I said ‘Well I have a canteen cup with your name on it.' And he broke down and started crying.”
It's worth reading it all. You have to love the common decency of Americans when you read of something like this.
The boy, identified in news reports only with the name Johnson, died Tuesday of a haemorrhage several hours after the circumcision took place, authorities in the southern port city of Bari said.
Police arrested 28-year-old Eraboremi Eghanghe who they said has admitted to carrying out the circumcision with a 'barber's razor- blade and some palm oil.' However, he has denied being responsible for the boy's death.
Boy's name was Johnson.
That is all.
I collected these as a child; they preceded Hot Wheels cars by some years. It was always a thrill to go to the Toyland in Gainesville, Florida, and make my way to the back of the store where a glass case protected all of the Matchbox cars. I'd contemplate for minutes at a time, trying to figure out which one(s) I wanted my mother to buy for me.
Sadly, they're all gone now. A friend and I demolished them in a "smashup derby" that involved him squatting at one end of a sofa and I at the other; at the signal, we would send our cars hurtling the length of the couch to be destroyed in a head-on collision.
He calls himself Mr Methane, and his singular skill is to augment a series of well-known musical pieces by breaking wind in the style of the famous 19th-century French vaudevillian Le Pétomane. Mine is to write a weekly column in the sports section of the Guardian. Not what you would describe as a marriage made in heaven, but I have somehow been persuaded to be the genial host of a showcase for his unique talent.
I first read about this strange skill in The Straight Dope.
Canadian police used DNA testing to link the foot to the man after receiving a tip last week, Sgt. Pierre Lemaitre of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said Saturday. Police are not identifying the Vancouver-area man out of respect for his family, who want time to notify loved ones, Lemaitre said.
You can click on "feet" down in the labels for other stories in this series.
Lance Corporal Matthew Croucher stepped on a trip-wire which triggered the device during a night raid on a Taliban compound in Afghanistan.
Realising that three other members of his patrol would be killed if he did not act, he launched himself forward to smother the explosion, managing to twist on to his back to let his rucksack take the full force of the blast.
He's a tough-looking hombre, too:
I imagine that rucksack will be a treasured possession, passed down to his kids and grandkids.
Funnily enough, I remember reading a similar scenario in a Sgt. Rock comic book back in the 70's; in it, Sgt. Rock, who is helping to stack sandbags at a bivouac site, falls on a grenade, but has the foresight to interpose the full sandbag between his body and the grenade. I was Navy, not Army or Marines, so I wonder if those guys ever discuss these scenarios in bullshit sessions?
Update: More about the George Cross here.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
The MSM obviously decided after the Clinton administration that delving into a candidate's pesonal life was not to be done, unless it hurt a Republican (e.g., New York Times story on McCain/Lobbyist alleged affair).
I've never been one who agreed that a President's personal life (or a candidate's) is off-limits to questioning, and here's why: I served four years in the Navy, and my work required that I be granted a security clearance. Part of the process of getting a clearance is understanding the risk factors that can cause someone with a clearance to compromise classified material; among these, infidelity and secret sexual kinks were among the worst, because they can be so easily exploited by enemy agents. Thus, when Bill Clinton signaled to the world that he was unable to keep his marital vows, it left him open to such exploits.
Don't think it's rare or no longer common; you can scroll down in this very blog to see the sorry tale of a Brit aide to UK PM Gordon Brown who was compromised by a Chinese security agent. It's as simple as this: if Bill Clinton is willing to compromise White House security in order to receive oral sex, he lays himself open not only to blackmail actions by an enemy agent, but even assassination. This is the primary reason we need mature individuals of sound judgment as our President, and why it's important for rumors to be followed up by the MSM, even if it hurts a Democrat in the process.
I kid you not.
I guess I'll have to announce a new category: stranger than fiction.
Lee Kildare, who suffers from a congenital condition and is 3ft 11in tall, climbed into tiny nooks and crannies to help strip empty buildings of scrap metal.
But the 22-year-old was caught in the act when a police officer spotted his head poking through a small hole in the front door of a property he was raiding.
His head is easy to spot, by the way:
During a speech accepting the award, however, Konar Governor Sayed Fazlullah Wahidi indicated that the motive for the eradication wasn't the welfare of the Afghan people or humanity around the world:
“The people of Konar deserve the credit for the poppy eradication,” Wahidi said. “All the tribal elders and people of Konar are committed to putting an end to this [poppy] seed, because the smuggling, trafficking and growing of narcotics is forbidden by Islam.”
*sigh* I think they're all still fundamentally Taliban in their hearts.
Only leaves his henchman Ratko Mladic to be rounded up.
Whenever some smug Eurotrash specimen asks me why the US hasn't caught Osama bin Laden, I always point to these two Serbs.
(and I personally believe that Osama is dead; recent audio and video tapes seem very contrived and minipulated.)
Here's a US Geological Survey photo of Mt. Cleveland. I don't know how current it is, but it shows Cleveland as a gorgeously symmetrical volcano in the classic conical shape:
Monday, July 21, 2008
They were destined for the D-Day invasion but never made it. How did they end up at the bottom of the sea? Records aren't clear. I'd speculate that they came loose from their fastenings on the deck of a ship during a storm and went overboard, or were jettisoned from a ship in distress.
A favorite old book and a favorite old movie, which starred my favorite actor, Steve McQueen.
With the passage of time more information has come to light about Henri Charriere, the real Papillon, and it's the consensus that he made up some of his described exploits, or hijacked them from lesser-known convicts. He wrote a good story, though.
Trivia: Aubrey/Maturin author Patrick O'Brien did the English translation of Papillon.
Reading about this stuff I wonder to myself, why isn't this stuff used in executions in the US? Why have a mix of chemicals that are occasionally ineffective when this single substance has the capacity to bring painless, quick death?
And yeah, if I were in excruciating, endless pain I'd want an option to drink a glass of this stuff and die with dignity.
Some limitations to the technology in the car; no air conditioning, no doors, range of only 200 miles, with a 6-hour period to fully recharge the batteries. It's a good start, though.
Here's what it looks like:
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Can't make this stuff up, folks.
I blogged on a similar story recently.
Nothing's changed since then. You think it would have been fixed by now. /snark
It's the equivalent of Shhh. Don't put a whammy on it.
That's probably over 900 too many, in my opinion. I don't think there should be more than a half-dozen reasons to so such a thing, myself.
Looks as if she's put on a few pounds since photos taken earlier this spring. She really could stand to lose a bit of weight, but she's really cute. Appropriately enough, she wants to be an opera singer.
Here's a photo of the OTHER gun-hating loser trying to pander:
Now we KNOW that Gordon Brown will go down in flames when the next UK elections are called.
Update: Hot Air-lanche! Thanks, Guys!
I've seen them called "Venus traps" also. The Soviet Union used to excel at this, and seeing the beauty of girls coming out of Russia, I can see whey they were so successful at it.
Of course, involving a Brit official in a sex scandal never was particularly difficult.
She's trying to change that, of course.
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Why, God, Why...
...don't we have a crime called criminal stupidity included in most state law codes? Is it because it would be too easy to prosecute and involve too much of the populace?
Pupils are not allowed to use the phrase "innit" or other examples of "playground patois" when talking to teachers. Formal language must be used at all times in communications with adults and pupils have been told that street slang should be "left at the school gates".
The measure, along with a strict uniform policy, is part of a tough stance on discipline at Manchester Academy, in the city's deprived Moss Side area, has restored order. Since the school became an academy in 2003, exam results have improved from about 10 per cent of pupils achieving five good GCSEs to 33 per cent and the proportion who leave without a job or college course to go to is down from 26 to 6 per cent.
In truth, UK appears to be in need of such measures universally. There is more than one generation that is in need of correction, but since you can't reasonably correct adults in such a fashion, universal correction of the younger generation for at least the next 2 generations will be necessary to instill the correct virtues. You'll end up with younger people who have a better outlook and are more virtuous than their parents, but that's all you can expect at this point, when the ball has been dropped on discipline for so long.
Friday, July 18, 2008
Look! World's smallest violin! *rubs finger and thumb together*
Here's a riddle: What do you call a large, repulsive rodent that has been out in the sun too long? Rattan!
I guess you noticed my lack of sympathy...
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Simply supply an adjective and a noun to the following short sentence:
(adjective) (noun), using nanotechnology.
Here's a sample:
Faster cars, using nanotechnology.
Try it yourself!
*with great respect to Prof. Reynolds.
Why do I somehow think that the Left will find a way to blame Karl Rove?
I've read a few of his mystery novels, but they didn't really leave an impression, since I can't remember any titles or details.
The obit is unsatisfactory because it doesn't even tell the cause of death.
Yah, it's a Daily Mail photo and thus not trustworthy, but if Dame Helen really looks like that, well, just...damn!*
*expletive favored by the late Rob Smith of Gut Rumbles, AKA "Acidman."
I'm pretty much an ignoramus and a Philistine about art, but I was impressed by the garden I saw in the photos. Makes me a rube, no doubt. Probably means I'll vote for McCain this fall...
Meanwhile, Jesse Helms' Misguided Children block a NC anti-bullying bill.
Rednecks and gays! What the hell is it about rednecks and gays?
Well, there's not going to be any other roles, obviously, and the only other "defining" role in his past is Brokeback Mountain, for good or ill. I have to think that his portrayal of The Joker will go down as the definitive one, the glorious what might have been role.
Their finding, with which industry spokesmen disagree, is based on a review of more than 500 internal tobacco-industry documents dated from 1985 through 2007.
The documents showed, according to the researchers, that tobacco companies studied how controlling levels of menthol could increase brand sales. They concluded that new and young smokers liked mild menthol that masked the harshness of tobacco smoke. Veteran smokers, the companies are said to have concluded, favored stronger doses of menthol for its cooling effects on their throats.
And we know it's mostly African-Americans who prefer the menthol cigarettes too, so it's a racist plot, as well.
Notify Al Sharpton!
I think we all saw that one coming, didn't we?
Good for him.
By the way, this article is by Tara Servatius, one of the best news reporters in Charlotte. She also hosts a weekday radio show on WBT Radio (AM 1110) that can be heard all up and down the Eastern Seaboard from 9:00 p.m.-11:00 p.m. Give her a listen sometime.
What's with the crap plea deal, though? Six months' house arrest?
That's the sort of crap sentences that the Mecklenburg Country DA has given out for years; that, and dismiss serious felony charges for lack of prosecutors.
The significance of the moment was not lost on representatives from the Pratt Museum, archaeologists, historians, researchers, teachers, writers, Coast Guardsmen and others surrounding a collection of items spread across the Hickory's deck. Before them were pieces from the Torrent, a privately owned 141-foot, 641-ton ship, that sank after its oak hull crashed against the jagged rocks of Bird Reef the morning of July 15, 1868. Just off Dangerous Cape, Bird Reef is in southern Cook Inlet, near Port Graham.
Being used as a military transport, the Torrent, with Capt. Richard Carlton as master, was carrying Battery F, Second United States Artillery, from Washington State to the newly purchased territory of Alaska. Under the command of 1st Lt. John McGilvray, their mission was to establish a military presence at "Fort Kenay." Aboard were five officers, 120 enlisted men, four laundresses, two servants and 11 children, as well as the Torrent's crew.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Um...Dr. Williams? Muslim doctrine is offensive to Christians (and most other humans), as well.
Just wanted that on the record.
By the way, you might trim those eyebrows sometime.
So the revolution starts...over a titty bar?
If Ariel Sharon wasn't already IN a coma, this would be enough to cause one. It's so fundamentally wrong that no words can express my outrage.
In US, if you, as a free-born citizen (not a subject), with rights enumerated and guaranteed by the Bill of Rights, try to interfere with a criminal going about his criminal business, you can expect to be asked sufficient questions by the police to ascertain that you are a law-abiding citizen, then you will be allowed to go on your way.
Presumption of Innocence vs. Presumption of Guilt. Treated as a free citizen istead of an enslaved subject.
"Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, GIVE ME LIBERTY OR GIVE ME DEATH!"
Um... got a bit carried away there at the end. Sorry about that.
Labour deserves to lose. Criminalising the right of self-defense and disarming law-abiding citizens is tyranny.
Well, Susan Atkins, aka Sadie Mae Glutz, has been denied compassionate release and should die in prison.
I have no problem with that. Atkins was originally sentenced to death, so every day she has lived since then has been a grace she should be thankful for. Sharon Tate and her unborn baby were given no such grace by Atkins and her associates.
We had a similar situation at the house a few years ago when a Black Rat Snake (elaphe obsoleta) tried to crawl into our air conditioning compressor, and became wrapped around the shaft of the fan when it kicked on. The a/c repairman marveled at the sight, claiming never to have seen such a thing before.
Brigid comes down on the "give fair warning" side of the argument, posting bullet-riddled targets in her garage for burglars and home invaders to look at.
Michael Bane represents the other argument:
It’s worth noting that those of us have owned and used guns for years have quite literally changed our lifestyles to accommodate that decision. My house is secure. My locks are good. I live in a safe neighborhood in a safe small city. I own an excellent gunsafe. I don't broadcast the fact that I own and carry guns.
We might call these the difference between the rattlesnake and the copperhead. The rattlesnake tries to give fair warning, relying on recognition of his potential lethality as a deterrent; the copperhead is silent, trusting that he won't be noticed, knowing that he is still capable of lethal action.
The danger in the first approach is that it deters ony those weaker than the rattlesnake/home owner. A sufficiently powerful predator will not be deterred, and the element of surprise has been lost.
The danger in the second approach is that it increases the potential pool of predators, but the homeowner/copperhead still has the advantage of surprise.
Two approaches, each with advantages and disadvantages. I can't say that one is wrong and the other right; it's a totally subjective judgement decision.
Wish I had enough of a blog audience to discuss it. :)
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
But when the Coral Gables doctor covers the disc, which is designed for materials testing and quite safe, with a thin piece of fabric, the numbers dive and the noise from the Geiger dips to a low growl.
It's an effective demonstration of Demron -- the radiation-blocking material of DeMeo's invention -- and one that his Coral Gables company, Radiation Shield Technologies, hopes will find a receptive audience in a post-9-11, security-conscious world.
The patented fabric -- just slightly thicker than denim -- is embedded with metal particles and other compounds capable of blocking X-rays, low-energy gamma rays and other types of nuclear emission that might be found anywhere from a doctor's office to the site of a dirty bomb blast.
The company had just under $1 million in sales last year, providing torso vests and full Demron suits to doctors and a specialized niche of first responders. But now RST is hoping to broaden its reach into the military market with the launch of Demron-W, which is also impervious to chemical and biological agents.
Wait until the tinfoil hat brigade hears about this stuff!
Monday, July 14, 2008
Maybe while they're at it they can reinstitute the old practice of posting the heads of criminals atop the ramparts of the bridge, starting with a few knife-wielding thugs (as an example) and whichever MP it was who decided that self-defense in UK is a crime.
I like to look at them myself, and have several of Bruce Roberts' wonderful books on the subject. The hermit in me would like to live alone on one of the old screwpile lighthouses in Chesapeake Bay, with a supply of guns, fishing gear, and books; something rather like this:
A real rarity in most of North America, these dangerous bears pop up occasionally in the Far North. Back in 1977, geologist Cythia Dusel-Bacon lost both arms to one that attacked her in a thicket north of Fairbanks and tried to eat her alive.
Smokey's hungry, and he could care less about forest fires. He wants to eat you.
Sunday, July 13, 2008
I work full-time as a hotel front desk night clerk, which is from 11 at night to 7 in the morning. From the time I get home until about 4 in the afternoon, I tend to my mother, who is an invalid. She's not bedridden, but not far from it; she walks to and from the bathroom with a walker, and can walk the short distance to the car for doctor visits and hairdressing appointments, but not much more. I blog during the day hours tending her, and alternate with playing Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar to keep my sanity and escape from my real life temporarily.
I can blog a bit at night, if it's quiet. The work computers have too slow a connection for blogging, and cause problems with Blogger, so I have to use the lobby computer, which has a faster connection but limited functionality, being locked down via a program called Site Kiosk.
I probably need to acquire a laptop for use at work, and use the wi-fi connection there. It can go on the list of things to spend money on, along with car repairs, dental work, new clothing, etc.
Anyway, here's a screenshot from Middle-Earth:
What Kind of a Western Bad-Ass are You?
created with QuizFarm.com
|You scored as Lee Van Cleef|
You look like an accountant, but your steely glare and matching nerves make you a match for any hard-case out there.
Lee Van Cleef isn't much of a western badass, but at least I didn't get Gabby Hayes. Or Jack Elam, for that matter.
Peter Lee, 61, rammed his pursuers in a bid to knock them off their boat as it came alongside his 41ft yacht but the pirates managed to scramble on board after firing several shots at him.
The couple's dog then furiously attacked the men, biting and snapping at them, until one of them shot and stabbed the animal between the shoulder blades, leaving him for dead.
Mr Lee and his wife Betty, 57, who are originally from Stockport, were two years into their adventure aboard their £65,000 yacht, Raven Eye, when they encountered the pirates last Saturday evening.
Mr. Lee is talking of acquiring a shotgun after this incident. It's problematical, having guns at sea when travelling around the world; so many regulations to comply with in each port visited, so many chances for them to be stolen while you are ashore. I'm glad this didn't end in tragedy, though.
He shaves his head to save money on barbers. I do the same with barber clippers; I'm mostly bald from Male Pattern Baldness, so I decided to stop wasting time and money on barbers, bought some clippers, and never looked back. My nephew Jeremy is already doing the same thing.
Despite all the efforts of networks like Animal Planet and Discovery, people still get squeamish about snakes, and only a minority of the population wants one as a pet.
I personally haven't killed a snake consciously since I was a teenager in Florida (I may have run over a couple since then with my car, but not intentionally). I captured a live Copperhead once on a visit to the Carolina Raptor Center, so even venomous snakes won't trigger a killer instinct in me unless no other alternative offers.
Some of us like snakes, some don't. That will probably never change.