Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Shipwreck Blog: City of Rayville, Australia


The City of Rayville was the first US-flagged ship lost in WWII, a victim of a German mine.

Good underwater video footage at the link.

For The Travelling Troglodyte In Your Family

Cave hotels around the world.

A UK Telegraph slideshow.

Here's a pic of a cave hotel room from Turkey:

Can You Spell "Recidivism?" Good, I Knew You Could!

In UK, Prisoners released early to ease overcrowding have gone on to commit more than 1,000 fresh offences, the Ministry of Justice has admitted.

But they promised they'd be good!

How Dare He?

A military retiree in UK foils a robbery of a post office.

A FORMER soldier became an instant hero when he bravely foiled a post office raid - just hours after moving into a quiet village.

Gulf war veteran David Creber had popped into the local shop to say hello when a masked raider burst in and flung a jug of petrol over the postmaster.

The thug then pulled out a cigarette lighter and threatened to set fire to terrified Talfyn Harries, 60.

But David, 45 - a veteran of 20 years’ Army service - waded in and punched the robber in the face.

He then ripped the cigarette lighter from his hand and grappled him to the petrol-soaked floor.

The robber's accomplice came to the robber's aid, and the two managed to escape, but the postmaster had activated a silent alarm and the two were caught.

udge David Morris awarded him £250 from public funds and said: “Mr Creber showed outstanding and selfless disregard for his safety by tackling Snaith.”

David said: “I’d moved into the village that day and it was my first time in the post office.

“It was a bit of a shock to get caught up in a violent robbery but I could not stand by and watch it happen.

“It must have been my military training coming back to me but I just thought: ’How dare he?’

“I just couldn’t believe his nerve and I was determined he was not going to get away with it."

Very well done, sir.

Here's a pic of the hero:

David Creber, Hero.

"Neighbor From Hell" Returns There In Fiery Explosion

Donald Joyce, who had recently been in court over his harassment of neighbors, has apparently blown up his house with himself in it just minutes before he was due to face official eviction.

Here's a pic of the infernal Donald:

And here's what's left of his house:

Donald didn't go gentle into that good night, did he?

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light. - - Dylan Thomas

I Wonder If He'll Be Tempted...

...to give President Obama UK-coded (PAL) DVD's to watch?

From this story in the UK Guardian:

16. What about the goodie bag?

After tomorrow's dinner, Gordon Brown will present goodie bags that will showcase "British creativity". They will include a tie designed by one of three British tailors (Ozwald Boateng, Timothy Everest and Richard James), a tea towel from Ulster-based linen producer Thomas Ferguson Irish Linen, Kelly Hoppen candles, and Rococo chocolates. What about those world leaders who don't wear ties – German chancellor Angela Merkel, say, or Nehru-jacket-sporting Indian premier Manmohan Singh? Will they get an alternative gift? "I don't know," sighs a long-suffering No 10 spokesman. "I'll get someone to call you back with that information." At the time of going to press, no one has.

Scientists Discover That Microbes Fart


Takeaway quote:

"We kept getting all this methane," he said. "We may now understand why."

Attack of the Mini-Gator

James Gaff, a homeowner near Eustis, Florida, had to be treated for bite wounds when a two-foot-long alligator wandered into his house via the porch door.

I guess that the 52-year-old Gaff wasn't familiar with alligator handling, or perhaps his reflexes were slowing a bit with middle age. With a two or three-foot alligator, you grab it by the scruff of the neck with one hand and secure the tail with the other hand. It's actually possible to stun a small alligator by flipping it onto its back and stroking its belly, something I have seen the late herpetologist Ross Allen and his son Tom do on occasion. Ross was famed in Florida for his reptile handling, and ran the snake show at Silver Springs for many years. He is mentioned in Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings' book Cross Creek and actually took Rawlings rattlesnake hunting.

Here's a pic of Ross in his prime:

Maybe he wasn't as charismatic as the late Steve Irwin, but Ross taught many thousands of Americans to not be afraid of the reptiles that dwell among us.

One Killer, One Cop, and a One-Shot Stop

Psycho killer Robert Stewart stalked the halls of Pinelake Health & Rehab Center, a nursing home in Carthage, NC, where his recently estranged wife worked. Stewart had already shot 8 people when Officer Justin Garner, 25, confronted him from the end of a hallway. They exchanged shots; Stewart hit Garner in the foot and leg, Garner ended the confrontation with a single shot to Stewart's chest.

Stewart has survived Garner's bullet, and is in the hospital awaiting transfer to jail. He faces 8 first-degree murder charges.

USA Today has a fine story about Garner, the young cop who ended the killing spree. Here's a pic of the hero:

Monday, March 30, 2009

Darwin Award Nominee of the Day

Never stick a lighter into a fuel tank to check the level.

Yah, he really did that. Says he ended up with burns on his face and hands, probably looked like Wile E. Coyote after a failure of an Acme product:

Oh, Deer...

On my way out of the nursing home after visiting my mother this afternoon, I saw a herd of 8-10 deer feeding on the sweet new grass on the border of the property. When they heard me exit via the side door they quickly ran into the adjacent woods.

Does The Navy Teach The Four Rules?

This story makes me wonder if the US Navy is teaching Jeff Cooper's four rules of firearms safety to its sailors.

The four rules are:

1. All guns are always loaded. Even if they are not, treat them as if they are.
2. Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy. (For those who insist that this particular gun is unloaded, see Rule 1.)
3. Keep your finger off the trigger till your sights are on the target. This is the Golden Rule. Its violation is directly responsible for about 60 percent of inadvertent discharges.
4. Identify your target, and what is behind it. Never shoot at anything that you have not positively identified.

They're Dirty Dirty Girls

New Zealand girls just want to have fun.

Dirty Girl.

Just another reason that New Zealand is heaven on earth, I guess.

Maurice Jarre, 1925-2009: R.I.P.

Maurice Jarre, the composer of the music for the movies Dr. Zhivago and Lawrence of Arabia, has died at age 84.

Takehome quote from the story:

'When I die there will be a final waltz playing in my head and that only I can hear.'

I hope that the waltz will be as beautiful as this is:

It's One Of Them There Assault...Dogs.

In Wake County, NC, the District Attorney is charging the owner of two pit bulls with Assault With A Deadly Weapon.

Hey, pit bulls are the weapon of choice among criminal gangs, did you know that? These Assault Dogs serve no purpose other than to kill. They need to be banned. Or at least registered. Owners of these Assault Dogs should have to keep them muzzled at all times, except maybe once a day for feeding purposes. Maybe if we can't ban them right away we can draw up more effective Dog Control laws so that our children aren't endangered. Maybe we can limit the number of Assault Dogs that a person can own, or limit the number than they can purchase at one time. And we need to close the dog show loophole, too.

Probably Not A White Dude

Police here in Charlotte made two arrests in an assault in which shots were fired at an undercover policeman. The Charlotte Observer didn't publish photos or description of the perpetrators, but did name them: Demarcus Dontavion Dubose and Marcus Avery Moore, which my intuition tells me are not a couple of white guys.

Marcus and Demarcus.

*chuckles softly to self*

You Don't Know Where That Finger Has Been

Ok, we'll play a game today based on an actual lead sentence in a newspaper. Your job is to guess, from the lead sentence, the rest of the story. (Wow, Paul Harvey moment!)

Here is the sentence:

A Michigan man has learned not to stick his fingers in certain places.

Here is a poll where you can vote for your favorite answer:

Where Did The Man Stick His Finger?
Light Socket
His Nose
His Own Private Parts
Someone Else's Private Parts
An Animal's Private Parts
A Knothole In A Board
None of the Above
pollcode.com free polls

Answer and story link will appear in comments.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Be Nice To the Toads, We'll Kill Them For You

Australians are having a cane toad roundup.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has applauded the effort – with one caveat. "We're only supportive of the plan if the toads are killed humanely – in other words, they're not hit with baseball bats or cricket bats and golf clubs," said spokesman Michael Beatty.

Ah, damn. That takes all the fun out of it.

Cottonwood, Arizona: Attack of the Rabid Bobcat



Look at how the morons all get their phone cams out to video it.

Friday, March 27, 2009

We Know What That Means

President Obama unveils his "stronger, smarter" strategy for Afghan region."

The strategy involves not just military intervention, with more than 20,000 US military reinforcements to Afghanistan and extra training for Afghan security forces, but billions of dollars of direct aid to Pakistan, and even the creation of "opportunity zones" in border regions.

Please don't tell me he's going to build shopping malls for them?

So Much For A Troglodyte Existence

The federal government wants you to stay out of caves, because it hurts the bats.

Well, damn. So much for my plans to retire as a hermit.

Let Me See If I Have This Right

Mohammed discusses Easter with Jesus.

Good Interview With Christopher Lee

One of my favorite actors of all time.

I didn't know that he loves opera singing, and is a skilled baritone singer in his own right. It's too bad he hasn't recorded before, and at his age it's possibly too late now, since his voice won't be at it's best.

He's been in so many great movies; he's the definitive Dracula, and I loved him as Rochefort in the Richard Lester version of The Three Musketeers. Saruman, Count Dooku; so many fine performances.

One of Lee's more obscure performances was his appearance as Death on Saturday Night Live, in which he turned what would presumably be a terrifying avatar into a gentle, sympathetic character.

Down in the comments someone wonders why Lee hasn't received a knighthood. I agree, it's long overdue. I wonder if he's privately refused one?

Don't Tell Me: Soft Cushions, Comfy Chairs?

Austrian incest monster Josef Fritzl breaks silence, says he tried to make his cellar dungeon as pleasant as possible.

You know where this inevitably leads, don't you? Of course you do.

140 Characters To Leave Your Lover

Madonna dumps her latest Latino loverboy via Twitter.

She's also buying another African baby at the Malawi baby shop. Isn't that wonderful?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Pardon Me While I Hump Your Leg

Scientists look at sled dogs in the fight against diabetes.

I hope it doesn't involve gene splicing. Don't think I'd care much for sleeping outside in the snow and eating kibble.

Bald Eagles Hatch 3 Eaglets At Norfolk Botanical Gardens

For the second year in a row, a pair of Bald Eagles nesting at the Norfolk Virginia Botanical Gardens have hatched out young eaglets, this time three of them.

You can see live eagle cam action here.

Great Slow-Motion Gunshot Photographs

Air rifles, to be more specific.

A pellet hits a water-filled Christmas ornament:

A pellet hits some Crayons:

Beautiful pics. Click the link for more.

When Science Fiction Draws You To Science

If you are like me, perhaps you are more interested in reading and watching science fiction than you are true science. So you might be re-reading Larry Niven's superb Ringworld and hear the name Freeman Dyson; later you might be watching an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation,, and see good ol' Scotty crash-land on a Dyson Sphere named after that same Freeman Dyson. You might think to yourself, self, I need to learn more about this Freeman Dyson.

Here is your chance. Nicholas Davidoff of The New York Times has done the work, all you have to do is read it. It's a wonderful introduction to Freeman Dyson, the octogenarian scientist who was born in England but long ago joined himself to the US, to our great benefit. Unusual for a modern scientist, Dyson has remained open-minded and skeptical, unwilling to sink to the level of lesser intellects who seem to have all the world's answers.

It's a long article, but well worth reading in its entirety.

Here's a pic of this gentle man:

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Would It Were So

The UK Daily Mail, in an article on the world's most beautiful female politicians, slips up and describes Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as "US Vice-President Elect."

Here's the pic they used:

And here's the caption they used:

Awwwk! You're Turning Violet, Violet!

A parrot has been given a lifesaving award for calling out a warning when little girl was choking.

Willie, Hero Parrot

Apparently Willie is a Quaker Parrot. I wonder if that means he says "thee" and "thou" a lot and opposes all war?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Treasure Blog: Saints' Relics, British Museum

While preparing a portable altar for display, staff at the British Museum made a startling discovery.

Relics of 39 saints were discovered inside the portable altar, including a relic of St. Benedict, the father of Western monasticism and the patron saint of Europe.

Be sure to click the link and watch the accompanying video for images of the portable altar and the relics.

What If You Don't Survive The Crime?

The UK Justice Secretary, Jack Straw, set out plans for 21st century "Rights and Responsibilities" of Britons in a green paper released yesterday.

Among the rights:

The Bill of Rights and Responsibilities would reaffirm every citizen's right to equal health care if they become ill, decent treatment if they become a victim of crime, free education for every child and universal access to good housing.

And the responsibilities?

The statement of responsibilities could include the duty to pay taxes and obey the law, as well as vote in elections, undertake jury service if summoned and treat public sector staff with respect.

Reflecting modern worries about the planet's future, it could also require citizens to live "within our environmental limits". The proposals came after Gordon Brown put the issue of constitutional reform at the centre of his leadership campaign in 2007.

Doesn't look very promising for British citizens subjects. "Decent treatment if they become a victim of crime" doesn't leave room for self-defense against criminals, at least on the face of it. And the responsibilities very much sound like shut your mouth and do as you're told.

And any such list should certainly be put to the voters to approve or disapprove.

Ignorance of the Four Rules Is...Occasionally A Good Thing

As all law-abiding gun owners should know, there are four rules of gun safety that were formulated by USMC Colonel Jeff Cooper, the first of which is A Gun Is Always Loaded. Even if they are not, treat them as if they are.

Philip Collopy, a crime boss in Limerick, Ireland, apparently never learned these four rules. While explaining the workings of a Glock pistol to his henchmen, Collopy removed the magazine from the pistol, then pointed it at his head and pulled the trigger. Oops! There was still a round in the chamber, and Collopy blew his brains out, recorded for posterity by a phone camera. (No, video not available to the media).

Here's a pic of the late Mr. Collopy:

Philip Collopy, Maroon.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Toto Saves Muchkin Lost In Forest

In Wales, though, not Oz.

The Munchkin wasn't carrying the 10 Essentials for Hiking, and so had to rely on Toto to stay alive.


Going walking in the wilderness? Carry the Ten Essentials and your chance of survival goes way up.

Best Rube Goldberg Contraption Evah!

Cream That Egg!

NOTE: if the player seems too narrow to see all of the action, go to the link to see a wider version. I narrow my player links so as to fit within my blog.


Why not just ride a kayak down a 127-foot waterfall, then?


He lived, and wasn't even injured.

Treasure Blog: Botanical Paintings, 18th Century.

Bound into a book, hand-painted, in remarkable condition, other than the book binding itself.

Here's a pic:

Treasure Blog: Porcelain From Vietnamese Shipwreck

Some pretty stuff that can be found here, including a pornographic plate I'm not going to show here. I'll instead show a less risqué piece from the same collection:

Treasure Blog: Tang-Dynasty Chinese Vase


Found in a box along with "bric-a-brac," it's estimated to be worth £120,000. One of those Antiques Roadshow moments, although this wasn't found on that show.

Here's a pic:

I'd be willing to bet that sometime during it's long life that it was used as a chamber pot:

Yes, it's quite a remarkable item. Where did you get it?

'Eeee, we used it as a pisspot since I don't know when. Hope we cleaned it enough?

Coen Brothers To Remake True Grit?


The Coen brothers' next film will be a remake of True Grit, the 1969 western which won John Wayne his only Oscar, Variety reports.

The original movie was a star vehicle for the Duke, but the Coens are said to be planning a version closer to Charles Portis's 1968 novel, told from the point of view of a 14-year-old girl who hires a grizzled gunman to help find her father's killer.

I have news for you guys: the John Wayne version of True Grit was one of the more faithful movie versions of a book that I've ever seen from Hollywood.

You guys are just trying to cash in on a popular title. Why not just have Will Smith star in the remake? Black versions of popular movies seems to be the norm, these days.

Let's Dump Grandma At The Mall

An elderly woman known for the last 14 years as Jane Doe has finally been identified.

Apparently Elba Leonor Diaz Soccarras, who emigrated legally to the US from Colombia, was suffering senile dementia which her family or caretakers apparently weren't willing to deal with, so they simply did the same thing you would do with a dog or cat: dump it somewhere.

I Don't Much Care For Your Standard Procedure

A sheriff's deputy in Albuquerque pulled his pistol on a 70-year-old woman during a routine traffic stop.

Deputy Richard Castillo drew his gun after Margaret King failed to pull over promptly and then started to open her driver's side door, said Castillo's report for the Bernalillo County Sheriff's Office.

Failing to stop and opening a car door signals danger for deputies, Undersheriff Sal Baragiola told the Albuquerque Journal in a story published Monday.

When did we substitute "standard procedure" for common sense?

Ancient Builders' Tricks: Date-Specific Solar Illumination

By which I mean designing and constructing a building so that sunlight entering a window on a specific date can illuminate an object of the builder's choice.

Here's a pic for an example, a crucifix that is illuminated by the Sun on the spring Equinox:

I don't know if it is done with modern churches, but formerly churches were oriented, built along lines established by compass so that sunlight could enter the church at appropriate times. Orienting to a particular day is a more complicated feat, but has been done by the ancient Egyptians at Abu Simbel, and in Spain at the Cathedral of Toledo, to name just two examples.

Volcano Blog: Redoubt Finally Erupts

Mt. Redoubt in Alaska finally erupted late Sunday night after weeks of preparatory grumblings.

The report indicates that the eruption was minor, with only some ash clouds being produced, and nothing to endanger nearby Alaskans.

If the camera that Alaska Volcanoes Observatory uses to watch Redoubt is still in place, then there will possibly be some good footage from that later on today.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Fun With Sheep

null - Watch more free videos

h/t The Agitator.

He's Bereft of Life, Gone To Meet His Maker.

In a scene reminiscent of a Monty Python skit, a man took an urn containing his dead father's ashes to a hospital to prove that he was dead, so as to stop numerous phone calls confirming doctor's appointments with the dead man.

So, of course:

You've Been A Very Naughty Girl

Beware! Dominique Fisher, who I blogged about here, has had her day in court and received little more than a scolding.

Dominique likes knives, and, if you're stupid enough to sleep with her, might just carve her name in your flesh:

You'd think that with the current anti-knife hysteria going on in UK right now that Dominique would have received more than a scolding, but I guess that the judge is a fan of kinky sex and thought it was all good fun.

*shakes head sadly*

Apocalyptic Post of the Day

In the Depression of 2009, when pawn shops outnumbered Starbucks...

Daddy, I want to be a pawnbroker when I grow up!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Smash 'Em & Snort 'Em?

Spanish police seize crockery, plates and cups made out of compressed cocaine.

How on earth do you manufacture such stuff? Is it fired in a kiln the way pottery and other porcelains are? Wouldn't the cocaine burn up during the process? I'm baffled.

Here's a pic:

The Really Terrible Twos

Authorities in Lincolnshire, UK, are threatening a two-year-old boy with an Anti-Social Behavior Order (ASBO).

Precocious little tyke, isn't he? ASBO's are used to indentify bad kids and are a sort of identifying badge for budding criminals.

You don't know whether to laugh or cry at a story like this. Is the government going overboard and abusing its authority? Is the child such a little hellion than nothing else will suffice?

Seems to me if he's misbehaving he just needs a good spanking or two, but what do I know?

The Old Jarhead: This I Believe



I believe in limited government. Government is at best a necessary evil, which tends to drift toward tyranny if not checked, as Thomas Jefferson, founder of the Democratic Party, noted. Every power that the government has is at the expense of liberty. Government is necessary to defend the nation, to provide infrastructure, and to protect us from each other. But as the repository of most force, it is also always a threat to freedom.

I believe in individual responsibility. The idea that someone else is responsible for all your troubles, and to take care of all your problems, is the source of much of our misery.

I believe there is no difference between a thug with a gun at the local 7-11 taking the money I earned for his own use, and a bunch of people who want to take that money getting together to elect officials who will send police and tax collectors to take the money I earned and give it to them, under the slogan of "Spreading the Wealth Around."

I believe that America is far from perfect, but that to equate her flaws with the grinding tyranny of other regimes, past or present, is the worst kind of sophistry and moral blindness. With all her faults, we need to guard our borders not to keep people in, but to prevent the tens of millions around the world who would like to come here from swamping our institutions, destroying the culture that made us great, and further ruining our economy.

Click the link to read it in its entirety. It's long, but I find that I agree with most of it. It should be required reading for all the Republicans in Congress.

Ann Coulter's Tribute To Ron Silver

You can find it here. If you're only used to reading Coulter in her snarky TV role, this is another side of her, a warm tribute to a man she obviously considered a close friend. Nary a snark in it.

h/t Beth at My Vast Right Wing Conspiracy for the link.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

UK: Yellow US Schoolbuses Could Bring 13,000 Jobs


As a practical matter, though, they'll probably paint them a different color than the common US yellow, so as to differentiate them from the US version and hint at their British superiority.


The M*therF*cking Capital of Europe

That would be Romania.

Let's Add a Vibrator To The Surgical Instruments Tray

Women should be having orgasms during childbirth?

I would have sworn that this was part of the plot of Deep Throat, but my memory may be faulty; I only ever saw it once, a long time ago...

And, of course, it's only a small step from this to an insistence that each woman delivering a baby be given multiple orgasms, on pain of a malpractice lawsuit if the doctor fails in his job...

Des Newton, 1941-2009: R.I.P.

Some people are renowned for large achievements, large personalities, large appetites; Des Newton, on the other hand, was noted for small things: tiny ships inserted into bottles.

Des Newton was a ship bottler:

Another Small World Created

It's a nice obituary for a master craftsman of the small.

Update: Linked by Instapundit. Thanks, Glenn!

Obama's Teleprompter Gets A Blog!

Barack Obama's Teleprompter's Blog.

Here's a screenshot in case the liberals manage to get it pulled down:

Hilarious! Rush has been hitting Obama hard on the Teleprompter thing, crediting the Teleprompter with all of the things that Obama should receive credit for.

update: I've blogrolled it. Oh, h/t Drudge Report.

Volcano Blog: Let's Map The Floor of Hell

A BBC crew descends into the crater of an active volcano in Ethiopia to scan it with laser mapping technology.

Worth reading in entirety, and be sure to watch the video clip. Needless to say I'd be scared shitless to be in that crater, myself.

Erta Ale Volcano, Ethiopia

"And So, For 60 Years The Poster Was Forgotten..."

The story of the "Keep Calm And Carry On" poster from WWII.

It's definitely a cool poster, and I can see the reason for its popularity. It would be a great name for a blog, as a matter of fact.

Eventually, Of Course, The Salt Shakers Will Go.

In Manchester, UK, "health chiefs" (WTF is a "health chief?") have substituted salt shakers with fewer holes for the ones commonly used in fish & chip shops.

The "health chiefs" think that this will reduce salt usage in the chip shops and lead to better health among the patrons.

This is very similar to the Congressional interference with toilets here in the US: Congress mandated a change to low-capacity 1-gallon toilet tanks as a water-saving measure; the toilets, unable to flush the contents of the bowl like the old 3-gallon toilets, clogged up, and soon people realized that they'd have to flush 2 or three times to get the same result.

Such will happen with the salt experiment. People will stand for it at first, until they realize they are being manipulated; then they'll take countermeasures, either by shaking the shaker for a longer period, or even by punching holes in the cap to facilitate better salt flow. Eventually, of course, a busybody and interfering government will simply try and ban salt shakers from the chip shops; see how well that goes down.

I'd Like To Draw Your Attention...

...to Random Acts of Patriotism, a blog from a former Marine based here in North Carolina. It's well worth reading (and blogrolling, as I have done).

Sometimes They Come Back*

Gerardo Reyes-Campos is an illegal alien from Mexico who was deported back in September. He quickly returned and is now accused of stabbing his wife and abducting their daughter.

"Reyes-Campos is in the country illegally and was deported to Mexico in September. Authorities have said they did not know he had returned to the U.S."

No, of course not. With a border as porous as our southern border is, how could they? And so we have to waste US taxpayer dollars on Mexican criminals. Again.

*bonus points if you can identify where I got the title to this entry.

A Nearby Crime

Police say what started as a home burglary turned into much more overnight in south Charlotte.

A man returning to his home near Marvin and Ardrey Kell roads was shot after confronting another man who apparently had burglarized his residence, police said.

Which is why you really aren't safe even in a "safe" neighborhood. We live in a low-crime area, but this incident shows that crime happens everywhere, and that to rely simply on percentages to save you from being a victim is ill-advised.

Charles Manson At 74


This will probably be blogged by damned near everyone today, so I might as well blog it too.

Here's Charles Manson at age 74:

I guess he'd clean up pretty well except for the swastika he carved into his forehead back in the 60's during his trial. Skin grafts could probably take care of that.

Death Before Jail For Tennessee Moonshiner

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. Famed Appalachian moonshiner Marvin "Popcorn" Sutton, whose incorrigible bootlegging ways were as out of step with modern times as his hillbilly beard and overalls, took his own life rather than go to prison for making white lightning, his widow says.

I think I saw this guy on a recent PBS special while visiting my mother in the nursing home. Looked just like Snuffy Smith, he did.

Volcano Blog: Undersea, Near Island of Tonga


An undersea volcano erupted in the same area last year, leaving the sea covered with a blanket of pumice. This eruption appears to be much larger.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Flying car.

Vulcan Phalanx For Israeli Missile Defense?

Why not? It's a proven, effective system.

(Note: registration may be necessary to read story; it's free and easy.)

Never heard of Vulcan Phalanx? Here it is:

Basques Bite 'Em Off With Their Teeth?

A discussion of "Mountain Oysters" - - testicles - - in the New York Times.

The tradition in Nevada is strongly associated with the Basque sheepherders who came to Nevada in significant numbers in the late 19th century. The yellowed pages of many a family cookbook include recipes for “bildoch pesta,” lamb fest or lamb party, with the ingredients — much to the consternation of outsiders — sometimes obtained with the teeth.

Eat 'em sauteed...

...or deep-fried...

...or a bunch of other ways.

He Looks Like He Eats Nuts Regularly.

How The Mighty Have Fallen

Here's Barry Gibb of the Bee-Gees:

Remember once upon a time when Babs Streisand was so hot for him that she put him on an album cover?

*snort* Bwaaa haaa haaa!

Wonder What The Other Part Is?

Found in my Google Reader this morning:

click to enlarge

I hope that the girl part includes the fun parts...

Too Cheap To Build A Guardhouse, Bob?

One of Bob Dylan's Malibu neighbors is upset by the smells emanating from an outdoor toilet on the folk singer's property.

The toilet, apparently a porta-potty or something similar, is for the use of the guards that Dylan employs.

Here's a pic of the compound:

Pretty posh, isn't it? Looks like he could afford to build a small outbuilding, probably a gatehouse, with a real flush toilet.

Of course, maybe the neighbor will decide he don't wanna live near Dylan's home, anymore...

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Want To Be In The Navy, But Don't Qualify?


h/t A Keyboard & a .45

Let's Discuss It Over A Drink

A Telegraph story on the drinking problem in UK.

The writer is sure of only one thing: he doesn't want excise taxes raised on wine, beer and booze. The rest of it is a bunch of baffled shrugs and pious platitudes.

Confucius Say I Kick Your Ass

Chow Yun-Fat has contracted to play the ancient Chinese philosopher Confucius in a movie.

No word yet on whether Michael Moore has agreed to shave off all his body hair and wear a diaper so as to play Buddha.

Denver: The Coyote Wars

Jay Stewart was hired by Greenwood Village, an affluent suburb of Denver, for $65 an hour to kill coyotes he deems dangerous.

Pretty good money for varmint hunting. :-)

The Return of the Right Whale

Fine New York Times story.

It's a comprehensive story, with video and an audio slideshow. Worth a visit.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

I Become A Heretic

A while back I mentioned that I wanted to purchase a new gun with my tax refund. I was thinking of either a stainless 1911A1 or an M1 Carbine. I wasn't sure which to get.

Well, I decided. I bought one of these:

Yep, I've become a heretic to the memory of John M. Browning (PBUH) and purchased a Glock 21, .45ACP caliber. Why did I do such a thing? Because I've owned 1911A1's in the past, and although I love them and respect them, I've never owned a Glock before, and wanted to experiment with something new. 1911A1's were one of the best semiautomatic pistols of the first half of the 20th century; Glocks were the best of the last half of the 20th century. I am limiting myself by not owning and becoming familiar with one.

I'll be evaluating this Glock in the months to come, and I'll report on my findings here. Of my first impressions, all I can say is that I wonder about the grip; finger grooves should be omitted, because shooters have fingers of varying sizes and grooves necessarily force fingers to position themselves on the pistol in ways that may not be the most comfortable or suitable. It seems more compact than a 1911A1, more chunky, more...square. More...black. The absence of multiple safeties is both disturbing and refreshing at the same time. I've been mostly a revolver shooter for most of my life, so lack of external safeties in itself doesn't bother me. As for possibly snagging the trigger when holstering, I don't think it will be an issue. Time will tell.

Well, congratulate me or curse me, as your inclination takes you. Discussion welcome.

NY Times Unhappy With Blue Dogs On Gun Issues

In a New York Times op/ed column, Carl Hulse expresses the Times' official dissatisfaction with the moderate (Blue Dog) Democrats in the House of Representatives who refuse to adhere to the liberal party line on gun control.

Even the MSM these days is admitting that the 1994 loss of Congress by the Democrats was as a result of the gun control legislation passed that year.

A Roman And Only One Of 'Em

An English Labour party official is in trouble for asking for a translator to help understand the strange dialect of a Scot from Glasgow.

As anyone who has listened to Billy Connolly can tell you, that particular dialect can be difficult to understand at the best of times:

The Convert-A-Doe Kit

Marcel Fournier, a Vermont hunter adept with tools, shot a doe Whitetail Deer out of season, then tried to pass it off as a buck by bolting antlers onto the doe's skull.

Game wardens were suspicious of large, 10-point antlers on such a small deer, though. I'd have to guess that Fournier had neglected to sew a nutsack onto the doe's hindquarters, too.

Which raises a question in my mind; hunters, could you tell me what happens when hunter shoots a hermaphrodite deer? Does (s)he get to choose the gender when confronted by the game wardens? Do you get charged with two deer instead of one? How exactly does this work?

And, of course, this whole story reminds me of another famous deer conversion kit: