Thursday, April 30, 2009

OK, How About Bionic Penguins of DEATH?

In the future, bionic penguins will rule the world.

Say hello to your new penguin masters.

Imagine this scenario:

Two Taliban "insurgents" are spying on a column of Coalition trucks moving down a road. The two taliban plan to explode IED's placed beside the road.

Suddenly a strange, small, flying object comes into view. The two Taliban can't believe their eyes: is it...a penguin? Are they hallucinating? The small penguin turns toward them, seems to notice them, laser eyes flash, and...SsssshhhwwoooshBAM! a Hellfire missile slams into the ground beside the two Taliban, and the resulting explosion sends them to the arms of Allah, who is waiting with 72 raisins...

Peter Hitchens On Gun Ownership


Some highlights:

This brings me back to the USA. Americans are not so infantilised as we are. For many reasons, mainly the fact that it is still possible to live genuinely rural lives in large parts of the country, Americans are less likely to rely on others to protect them or their homes from danger.

This used to be true of us too (again I must urge those who are interested to read the relevant chapter in 'Brief History'). It's evident from a lot of English fiction, written not for propaganda but by people who simply recorded life as they understood it, that until quite recently we had a more American view of things. In fact until 1920 English Gun Law made Texas look effeminate. Read, as nobody now does, Captain Marryat's 'Children of the New Forest' set in the days of Cromwell, and observe the wholly different attitudes towards self-defence against crime that are casually described there.

Read, as fewer and fewer people now do, alas, the 'Sherlock Holmes' stories, and see how often Holmes and Dr Watson venture out carrying firearms. This was perfectly legal, and unsurprising, in the late Victorian and Edwardian era in which the stories are set. And pre-1914 attempts to control guns were resisted by MPs much as the US Congress resists them now.

My suspicion is that the guts were knocked out of us British by the First World War, in which the best people of all classes died by their thousands in the great volunteer armies which marched off to Loos, Passchendaele and the Somme. Those who survived lacked something of the spirit that a free country needs, and we never fully recovered, just as Russia has yet to recover from the fourfold blow of the First World War, Civil War, Great Purge and Second World War, each of which destroyed the best and brightest of their generations. The USA - a society, for the most part, of volunteers and pioneers, has never had a comparable experience. Let us hope it never does.

An Appropriately-Named Police Dog

Katie Johnson, a police constable in UK, set her dog Chaos on a robber after being shot in the leg. Chaos instead bit Katie in the arm.

It probably went something like this:

I'm shot! Get him, Chaos! Take him down!

Raawwwr! Comin' ta git ya!

Stop! I am not the robber you are looking for!

Wha'? I'm confused. Who do I bite, then?

Bite? You bite her, of course. *points* Off you go.

Right, thanks! Rrraawwrr! Comin' ta git ya!

Chaos, what are you doing?! Aieeee!

Bwaaa haaa haa! Sucker!

Doctor's Orders For Soldiers In War Zones

Take no aspirin and you'll live to see another morning.

Use of aspirin as an analgesic is being discouraged for combat soldiers because it leads to excessive blood loss, due to aspirin's blood-thinning qualities. Soldiers in combat zones are instead being encouraged to switch to non-aspirin analgesics such as Tylenol or Motrin.

Message In A Bottle: Auschwitz

When you are lost at sea or on a desert island and have no hope that you will be found, what do you do? You put a message into a bottle and cast it into the sea, hoping it will one day be found. It's a fool's hope, a yearning for a miracle to not be forgotten.

What do you do, then, when you are one of seven prisoners confined at the Auschwitz death camp by the Nazis during WWII? You put a message into a bottle and hide it carefully in a wall, hoping it will one day be found. It's a fool's hope, a yearning for a miracle to not be forgotten in a place where that intention is the primary purpose of your evil captors.

65 years later, the bottle is found, and the names and the words of the forgotten men are read by construction workers tearing down a wall:

Bronislaw Jankowiak, Stanislaw Dubla, Jan Jasik, Waclaw Sobczak, Karol Czekalski, Waldemar Bialobrzeski and Albert Veissid.

Of the seven, Mr Veissid is alive and well, the BBC has established, having spoken to him on the phone at his home in France. Veissid has stated that at least two of the prisoners survived Auschwitz, and efforts are being made to discover if any of the other prisoners are still alive.

So you failed once again, Nazi swine. Your evil intentions are once again shown to the entire world, to be an example of depravity and barbarity for all time. A piece of paper stuck into a bottle made a miraculous landfall 65 years later, announcing to the world that seven brave individuals refused to be forgotten as so many others were.

Here's a pic of the note found in the bottle:

h/t instapundit

Hotel Work: The Continuing Series

This week our hotel is playing host to caddies and cook staff from a major PGA golf tournament. We did this last year, as well. The caddies are mostly well-behaved, but there are a few bad apples in every bunch. Last year I nearly got into a fistfight with a caddy who accused me of not giving him his wakeup call; he had arrived at the hotel from the golf course at 1 in the morning, drunk, and asked for a wakeup at 3, two hours later. Of course, being drunk he slept through the wakeup calls, which are computerized and ring the room at five-minute intervals for a total of three calls, 10 rings per call.

This morning I discovered two drunken caddies passed out in the halls on the second and fourth floors, one of them pawing feebly in his own vomit. I went and got my camera to take photos for the management; when I returned, the drunk on the second floor was gone, but the drunk on the fourth floor was still passed out, although he had crawled away from the vomit, presumably not liking the smell.

I'm sorry, but I can't post the photos here, as much as I would like to. If you've seen one pukey drunk, though, you've seen them all.

Ah, well. One more night and the weekend is here.

And You Don't Try To Mug The Baton Twirling Girl

Two muggers made the mistake of trying to rob a girl from a high school marching band:

The girl punched one of the men in the nose, kicked the other in the groin and beat both with her large baton before she ran away on Friday morning, officials said.

So you can add this to the list of things not to do, such as not tugging on Superman's cape, spitting into the wind, pulling the mask off the Lone Ranger or messing around with Jim Slim.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Semen Syringe Dentist Fails To Get License Back

Which is definitely a good thing.

Novocaine is bad enough, but spermocaine? *shudders just thinking about it*

A Name Change to Help Understanding

If you've ever read of Walter Russell Meade's Spectrum, you'll know where I'm going with this. We should probably rename the Democrats the Wilsonian Party:


Wilsonians believe that both the moral and national interests of the United States are best served by spreading American democratic and social values throughout the world. They want to see the U.S. involved on a worldwide basis with a peaceful international community based on the rule of law. Want a Wilsonian organization? Look no further than the United Nations, perhaps the ­quintessentially Wilsonian creation.

An interesting point to note is that Wilsonian values are a fundamentally American conceit, yet they have been adopted wholeheartedly by many of the ruling political organizations in Europe, especially by those most passionately interested in furthering the European Union.

Wilsonian tendancies have run through American foreign policy thought since long before Woodrow Wilson took office. The tens of thousands of missionaries sent abroad from the US in the 19th century, for example, are an exemplar of Wilsonian thinking. American Presidents have often been guided by Wilsonian thought, too. Jimmy Carter was obviously a Wilsonian. But so was McKinley when he used missionary thinking to justify annexing the Phillipines. Wilsonian views are also widely held in Great Britain, where the new version of the Labor Party and it's head, Tony Blair, exemplify Wilsonian thinking.

And the Republicans are obviously the Jacksonian Party:


The Jacksonian tradition is perhaps the least well-known, and certainly the least understood of the four schools of thought that Meade defines. Jacksonians tend to be looked down upon – despite the fact that by the numbers, they appear to be the largest of the four schools. The driving belief of the Jacksonian school of thought is that the first priority of the U.S. Government in both foreign and domestic policy is the physical security and economic well-being of the American populace. Jacksonians believe that the US shouldn't seek out foreign quarrels, but if a war starts, the basic belief is "there's no substitute for victory" – and Jacksonians will do pretty much whatever is required to make that victory happen. If you wanted a Jacksonian slogan, it's "Don't Tread On Me!" Jacksonians are generally viewed by the rest of the world as having a simplistic, uncomplicated view of the world, despite quite a bit of evidence to the contrary.

Jacksonians also strongly value self-reliance. "Economic well-being" to a Jacksonian isn’t about protectionist trade barriers. Rather, it is about providing Jacksonians with the opportunity to succeed or fail on their own.

Looking for a Jacksonian President? Ronald Reagan was very much a Jacksonian, as is our current President, George W. Bush.

Me? I'm proud to call myself a Jacksonian.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A Shiny Gold Tooth

Blacks in Memphis, Tennessee, led by the Rev. Al Sharpton, got up in arms over a mural depicting a black woman with a gold tooth, not realizing that the mural depicted a living person.

From Bob's Lexicon of Sardonic Invective:

stereotyping: v. to draw conclusions based on observed behavior, usually by an individual without a college degree. When a person with a B.S. degree draws conclusions based on observed behavior, the act is known as anthropology.

Specter The Traitor

Arlen Specter found a way to keep his senate seat after all.

Hmm, he's gone from being a RINO to a DINO. Hope the Dems enjoy having to put up with his behavior.

Treasure Blog: Perfect Blue Diamond

Blue, the rarest color for diamond, and absolutely flawless after cutting.

Here's a pic of this 7.03-carat masterwork:

Presumably it will acquire a name during its lifetime, and crimes will be committed on its behalf; "They are the Devil's pet baits," said Sherlock Holmes in The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle, and he was describing a stone that might be this one's brother.

Headline of the Day

"Game depicting Jesus and the Prophet Mohammed fighting is taken offline after intolerance row."

Must mean that Jesus was winning.

I've Advocated This For Years

This, I mean:

It saves a lot of time and wasted conversation, after all. It's why I can't be trusted with Real Power; I'd be too tempted to tattoo enemies and random citizens with the truth of their lives, presuming I'd be generous enough to let them live to begin with, a doubtful prospect.

The only way this pic would be better would be if there was another man in the picture with his head tattooed to read I'M WITH STUPID.

Treasure Blog: The Emperor's Jade Water Buffalo

Found in a bank vault where it had been stored for safekeeping for decades, a jade carving of a water buffalo probably made for the Chinese emperor Qianlong.

It's gorgeous:

The carving is expected to bring over £500,000 at auction.

Truth: Stranger Than Fiction

A man from Yorkshire (UK) began singing in an Irish brogue after waking from brain surgery.

Unfortunately, the song was Danny Boy, so the doctors had him immediately euthanized as a menace to society.

"We thought he'd follow up Danny Boy with I'll Take You Home Again, Kathleen," said one of the doctors.

Ok, I confess, he wasn't euthanized for singing Danny Boy, but he should have been.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Oops, Sorry About That

The idiot in the White House sends a jumbo jet chased by F-16's through lower Manhattan, without bothering to tell the residents of the city:

*shakes head in disgust*

h/t Instapundit.

Tempting The Lava: Up Close With An Erupting Volcano

Story and pictures here.

The volcano is Hawaii's Kilauea, which in the pantheon of volcano types is a stable, gentle individual, with lava of the non-gaseous type that isn't likely to cause explosive eruptions. This gentle lava lends itself to spectacular photos, also:

This wave of lava actually chased the photographers up to higher ground, it was a genuinely dangerous moment for the team. The main danger at Kilauea is the possibility of breaking through a thin roof of cool lava into a hot chamber below; death would be inevitable and quick in such a scenario, and probably briefly agony.


I'll Get It Open

In today's Day By Day cartoon by Chris Muir, Zed nearly resorts to a drastic solution to opening a too-tight pickle jar lid:

Or perhaps he just needed some relish...

UK Postman Bitten By Adder In Mailbox


Apparently the snake crawled into a collection box through a hole in the bottom of it, and bit the postman on the back of the hand when he opened the box to collect the mail. He then pulled it loose and threw it into the grass, where it escaped, but not before he was able to identify it as a venomous adder.

He utilized an old-fashioned technique and sucked at the site of the bite. From reading the description in the story I would theorize that the snake either injected no venom (an occasional occurrence with snakebite) or injected so little as to have negligible effects. Suction is no longer felt to be an effective treatment for snakebite because the venom spreads so quickly in the lymph system to suction to do much good. Modern treatment discipline is to get the bitten person to the hospital as soon as possible for treatment with modern antivenins.

Adders, the only venomous snake in UK, are only mildly dangerous, in any case. Their venom is not particularly toxic, and they typically only inject a small amount per bite. In general terms only small children, and pets are in danger from the venom itself; more likely is an allergic reaction and anaphylactic shock, which can kill far more quickly than the venom itself.

Anyway, here's a pic of the postman and the mailbox in which the snake was lurking:

Sunday, April 26, 2009


Went over 100,000 blog visits over the weekend. I'd like to thank all of my loyal readers for helping me to achieve this milestone.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Susan Boyle's Inevitable Makeover Pic


Here's the pic:

You can't really blame her. For the last two weeks all that has been discussed is how grotesque she looks in contrast to her angelic voice. No one's ego can withstand that sort of constant criticism, so she's more than justified in trying to improve her appearance. It looks as if she's off to a good start.

Dita Von Teese, The New Face of Wonderbra



Lots more hot pics at the link.

UK Cop's Blog Wins Orwell Prize

It's called NightJack.

You can read NightJack here.

He has a list of "greatest hits" posted as his latest entry, as well as some notes regarding the Orwell Prize:

A Survival Guide For Decent Folk

Only 24 Hours To Crack The Case Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7 Part 8 Part 9 Part 10 Part 11 Part 12

Darkness At The Edge Of Town

Living On The Ceiling

The Face Behind The Face

The Evil Poor

Gone In A Blur

The Weight

What Is A Prison For?

Notes From The Glue Factory

From Truncheons To Tasers

Pop Quiz

I've bookmarked it for a detailed read later.

Headline of the Day

"British women are the fattest in Europe (but think they're thin) while the French are slimmest (and believe they're too fat)."


Great Horned Owl At Great Home Depot

A Great Horned Owl decided to nest in the garden center at the Harrison, Arkansas Home Depot store. She laid two eggs which hatched. One of the owlets fell to its death; the other survived, and is now resident at the store, apparently having decided that the store is part of its territory.

Here's a pic of the young owl:

Didn't Sheb Wooley Write A Song About That?*

Tourists at Seacrest Beach, Florida, discovered a one-eyed, three-legged Florida Alligator sunning itself on the beach.

Sorry about the small size of the pic. You can see larger versions at the story link.

*Purple People Eater.

"He Then In Fact Fell."

A drunken dumbass (redundancy alert) who was urinating off a bridge over the Minnesota River fell into the river while trying to amuse a friend by...wait for it...pretending to fall into the river.

Being drunk, he didn't die, and he didn't manage to kill anyone else in the process, so the story ends humorously instead of tragically.

His last words before the splash were probably Hey, watch this!


Treasure Blog: Abandoned Safe

An old safe, found abandoned by railroad tracks near Tulsa, Oklahoma, may hold treasure. Then again, it may not.

Here's a pic of the safe, estimated to have been made around 1856-1907 according to patent dates found on it:

And you can even see a video report on the safe:

It's most likely to contain nothing of real value, as Geraldo Rivera found out when he opened a similar safe supposedly owned by gangster Al Capone. But then again, that's the fun of a mystery container: What's inside?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Himiko The Space Blob

Scientists aren't quite sure what it is:

ScienceDaily (Apr. 23, 2009) — Using information from a suite of telescopes, astronomers have discovered a mysterious, giant object that existed at a time when the universe was only about 800 million years old. Objects such as this one are dubbed extended Lyman-Alpha blobs; they are huge bodies of gas that may be precursors to galaxies.

So it's a really huge blob.

Thar's Gold In That Thar Ash

Cashing in on the eruptions at Redoubt Volcano, Alaska.

While many folks in Southcentral Alaska found reason to duck and cover from impending ash fall three weeks ago, others took the opportunity to look on the bright side and embark on some eBay entrepreneurial efforts with the fallout from Mt. Redoubt's largest eruption so far.

Hadley said he has sold ash to customers in New York, California and even Juneau. And when asked why people seem so interested in the item, he claims it’s from being a “headline item.”
“People see it on FOX News or CNN and want a little piece of it,” he said. “I collected [the ash] off my truck, scraping it off with a 5-by-7 index card and saving it in several plastic containers. I must have close to 30 pounds of the stuff.”
Other opportunists have jumped on the Redoubt bandwagon also, and are selling pounds of the stuff for $250. Others fashion brass earrings containing small bottles of the ash to sell as jewelry.
But Hadley said he’s the only seller with a “Certificate Of Authenticity” that he feels adds to the attractiveness of his auction.

Ok, so here's this chillbilly hick from Alaska, selling dirt to people with more money than common sense. And you effete blue-staters call him stupid?

Poland To Ban Che Guevara Images


The proposal, which could see the faces of some of the leading lights of communist history such as Lenin and Trotsky removed from t-shirts and flags, reflects a Polish view on communism far different from the rose-tinted and romantic images often found in the West.

After experiencing 40 hard years of communism, as well as the horrors of Nazi occupation, few Poles have qualms equating under law the inequities of Nazism and communism.

"Communism was a terrible, murderous system that claimed millions of lives," said Professor Wojciech Roszkowski, a leading Polish historian and member of the European parliament.

"It was very similar to National Socialism, and there is no reason to treat those two systems, and their symbols, differently. Their glorification should be prohibited."

He added communism had accounted for the slaughter of thousands of Poles in the Katyn Massacre while its gulags had consumed countless millions of victims.

Good for them.

Macedonian Body Type?

A painfully thin woman became a contestant in Miss Universe.

Meanwhile, Miss Universe Australia director Deborah Miller managed to stir up more controversy when she put Miss Miss Naumoska's weight down to a 'Macedonian body type'.

'This girl has Macedonian heritage and if you had been there you would know it is a Macedonian body type,' she said.

'They have long, lithe bodies and small bones. It is their body type. So she does not have an eating disorder.'

Nutritionist Susie Burrell said there was no such thing as a Macedonian body type.

'There is no evidence published anywhere to back up that assertion.' she said.

Sounds a lot like the Norwegian Blue Parrot, noted for its beautiful plumage.

Anyway, here's a pic of the bonesack contestant:

So let's have a poll!

Would You Hit It?
Damn straight I'd hit it.
Not even with my worst enemy's dick.
Only if she approves of gay marriage
I'd hit a knothole if I had a pair of tweezers for splinters. free polls

Update:I wondered why all the new visitors today, and it looks as if I struck gold with my blog post title:

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

NO Vacancy!

An Australian owner of a motel in New Zealand has banned an entire town from staying in the motel.

Being in the industry myself, I can certainly sympathize.

Sir Derek Jacobi, Shakespeare Truther

Sir Derek Doesn't think the Bard was The Bard.

Mummified Cat Found In Wall


Apparently people used to put cats in walls to ward off witches.

Anyway, here's a pic, which I have subtly altered:

Ozone Hole Over Antarctica Means...More Ice?

Remember, a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds. Ralph Waldo Emerson said that.

File under...

Got a Fag, Guvnor?

In Lincolnshire UK a sparrow set fire to a building roof after carrying a lit cigarette home to its nest.

Cor, stone the crows...

Today's Science Discovery

Scientists discovered that chameleon lizards bask in the sun more often when they are lacking in Vitamin D.

Impact of this study on humans: Drink your milk, or you might someday become a chameleon.

Oh, THAT Gun.

The parents of a boy who shot himself in the head with a .25 caliber handgun had forgotten that they even owned it.

Good thing the gun was a mousegun or the boy might have been seriously hurt. /snark

Measure Twice, Cut Once

MONTICELLO, Utah, April 21 (UPI) -- The U.S. National Geodetic Survey says the monument marking the spot where Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona meet is 2 1/2 miles from where it belongs.


Here's a pic from Google Maps of the area under discussion:

Treasure Blog: HMS Victory Fire Bucket

A fire bucket that was part of the fittings of HMS Victory during the Battle of Trafalgar is up for auction.

The bucket, made of leather and copper, is expected to fetch up to £1000.

Here's a pic:

Give That Monkey A Twinkie!

Reggie the spider monkey is back with his owners, the Liebel Family Circus, after 6 weeks on his own in central Florida.

Reggie was found hanging upside-down from a tree in a trailer park. He was lured down with Twinkies, potato chips and Coca-Cola.

Reggie apparently is addicted to meth and is dating a mother and her daughter in the trailer park. He is scheduled to be on the Jerry Springer show next month.

Ok, I made up that last paragraph. Sue me.

Addition To The Blogroll

My First Dictionary. First-quality snark, fresh, with illustrations. Superb!

h/t Lynn at Violins & Starships.

update fixed incorrect link.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

You Are Not Wearing A Badge, Are You Ashamed Of Yo' Profession?

Police in UK during the G20 Summit protests apparently hid or removed their badges so that they could not be identified as abusing the protesters.

Bonus points will be awarded to the reader who correctly identifies the movie quote in my subject line.

Hitler's Cows?

Apparently old Adolf had a desire to see extinct cattle roam Europe again, so he ordered German scientists to re-create the Aurochs from descendant stock breeds.

Here's a pic of a modern-day "aurochs:"

You'd have to run DNA tests to see how closely the German scientists came to reproducing the old line, which might prove difficult given the rarity of original Aurochs genetic material. Maybe you could find one in a bog or glacier somewhere?

Should There Be Ideological Litmus Tests In Beauty Pageants?

At the Miss USA contest, it appears that Miss California, Carrie Prejean, lost the pageant when she answered a politically-charged question in a way that the judge and audience didn't approve of.

When asked by gay blogger/gossipmonger Perez Hilton if she supported gay marriage and thought that it should be the law of the land, Prejean answered in the negative, saying that marriage should be between a man and a woman. Hilton has been openly hostile since, and the audience was openly hostile, as well. The obvious conclusion is that Hilton asked the question for purpose of ideological litmus test, and Miss Prejean failed it.

Let's Poll:

Should Beauty Pageant Contestants Be Subject To An Ideological Litmus Test?
Yes. We can't have bigots or extremists representing the USA
No. It's just a beauty pageant, for chrissake. free polls

Monday, April 20, 2009

Food On A UK Submarine

A really great Daily Telegraph story about the HMS Tireless and its chef, Petty Officer Andy Bailey.

I'm embedding the video of the event, but please click over and read this fascinating article in full.

As a bonus, here is another Telegraph article about the Tireless, this time describing Royal Navy slang for the foodstuff that the sailors eat, among which are:

* Baby's head – steak and kidney pudding (the smooth pastry rises like a shiny baby's head)

* Black on black – chocolate pudding with chocolate sauce

* Action Man pillows – ravioli

* Teddybears' ears – Chinese prawn crackers

* Seggies – grapefruit segments

* Snorkers – sausages

Bon apetit!

Oh, Damn, Now I Want Some

Roast Beef and Yorkshire Pudding, cooked the traditional British way.

Rules restaurant, in West London, has seen some colourful characters in its 211‑year history. It was the unofficial green room for much of the talent of West End theatreland including Lillie Langtry and Laurence Olivier; Maggie Thatcher, with her Eighties' helmet of hair, is commemorated in a mural on a back wall; and braying bankers could be heard guffawing over their fine bottles of claret from lunch until supper.

How times have changed –but the menu and the decor have resolutely remained the same. The rows of champagne Balthazars, Spy caricatures, stag horns and stuffed pheasants still adorn the walls, while good old-fashioned British staples such as roast rib of beef "Old England" and Yorkshire pudding are cooked up with flair. So where better to learn how to recreate these dishes than from the head chef, Dick Sawyer?

Dick's kitchen dishes out enormous Yorkshire puddings, the size of soup bowls, which they believe are moister than the smaller variety, perfect for spooning ladles of gravy into.

The secret to his tender, salty, yet lusciously sweet roast beef is to cook it in pure beef dripping, which they render down in steaming vats. "It is an age-old method of preserving food, which gives an intense, almost gamey flavour to most things," says Dick.

The restaurant sources top-quality, grass-fed Herefordshire beef which has been hung for up to 30 days to add depth of flavour. "The tastiest cut of beef is on the bone. The nearer the bone, the sweeter the meat," he says. Dick seasons the outside with Coleman's mustard, sea salt and ground white pepper to give it a crispy outer crust. But the most important tip when cooking a good slab of beef is in what you do after it has come off the heat. "You must rest the meat, it needs time to relax otherwise it is still tense from all that cooking," says Dick. "People often forget this and it is a terrible mistake." He recommends allowing a small joint to rest for at least 25 minutes; a big joint for an hour and a half. "You can tell how the beef is cooked through touch – rare is akin to the touch of the cheek, medium the chin and the nose is well done."

Tell me YOU don't want some of that?

He Went Walkabout In Woop Woop

A dying teenaged hiker lost in the Australian outback was ridiculed by emergency call center workers when he called on his cell phone for assistance.

Out of water, he made six calls to emergency workers, only to be met with scorn and derision.

In his final call to the emergency service, he apologised that he couldn't even remember the name of the track he was on because he was too disoriented. David repeated the word "sorry", to which the operator abruptly responded: "Don't keep saying that ... tell me where you are."

The teenager was also put on hold twice. After his sixth call to the service, he was never heard from again. Eight days later his body was found by rescue teams in a dry creek bed.

David's parents left the court while the harrowing recordings were played.

The NSW Ambulance Service has apologised for the way it treated David and issued a statement saying it had changed its procedures for handling calls from people in remote locations.

Oops, sorry about that. Won't happen again, we promise.

It's terrible that it happened; worse that it was avoidable, if the lad had simply carried the Ten Essentials, as I've mentioned in this blog in the past. In a desert country, as much of Australia is, supplementing the Ten with a solar still would have saved this boy's life.

Revealed: What Would Have Been Said If Apollo 11 Had Failed

The speech that President Richard M. Nixon would have given to the American people if a disaster had befallen the Apollo 11 Astronauts on the Moon:

"Fate has ordained that the men who went to the Moon to explore in peace will stay on the Moon to rest in peace.

"These brave men know there is no hope for their recovery but they also know that there is hope for mankind in their sacrifice.

"These two men are laying down their lives in mankind's most noble goal: the search for truth and understanding.

"They will be mourned by their families and friends; they will be mourned by their nation; they will be mourned by the people of the world; they will be mourned by a Mother Earth that dared send two of her sons into the unknown.

"In their exploration, they stirred the people of the world to feel as one; in their sacrifice, they bind more tightly the brotherhood of man."

The speech was found in President Nixon's archives and was written by William Safire. Click the link for more details.

A Place To Hang Your Hat

Croatian fashion designer Roland Lodoli has invented push-up briefs for men that work on the WonderBra principle to enhance your modest assets.

I hope that this doesn't signal a return of the codpiece.

US Army: We Hate Berets


Soldiers have discovered that berets might look cool, but ain't.

SEOUL — They’re hot, sweaty and do nothing to keep the sun out of your eyes during a long formation.

Those are just a few of the reasons the Army should stop making soldiers wear wool berets outdoors, a group of delegates said Friday at the 8th Army’s annual Army Family Action Plan conference.

"Everyone is affected by the beret," said Sgt. Brad Stuckey, spokesman for a group that studied family-support issues. "This is an issue that your average soldier feels very strongly about."

The group recommended that soldiers be required to wear lighter, cotton-nylon blend patrol caps instead. They block the sun, absorb sweat and are somewhat water resistant, Stuckey said.

Soldiers had a list of complaints about the black beret. Among them:

* It doesn’t match the Army Combat Uniform, which has no black in its pattern.
* It has to be shaved, washed and dried on a lampshade or hat stand to hold its shape.
* It can cost nearly twice as much as a patrol cap, and there’s no standard way to wear it.

"You have seven people wearing it seven different ways," said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jon Butler.

He said people have complained about the beret since it became part of the uniform in 2001.

The neverending battle between form and function continues.

She Screamed So Loud She Woke The Deaf Neighbor

A UK woman has been served with an Anti-Social Behavior Order (ASBO) for disturbing neighbors with her loud screams during sexual encounters with her husband.

Caroline Cartwright was found guilty of breaching a noise abatement notice served on her after 25 complaints to police.

The 47-year-old denied the latest five charges but was found guilty after Sunderland magistrates listened to recordings of her loud lovemaking with husband Steve.

The couple’s partially deaf neighbour Margery Ball said she had not had a decent night’s sleep in two years because of the noise made by the couple.

As well as being given an Asbo, Mrs Cartwright was yesterday fined £200 with £300 costs.

She was taken to court after Environmental Health officers placed recording equipment in the flat next door to her house in Concord, Tyne and Wear.

Her neighbour, Rachel O’Connor, pressed a button on the machine every time she was disturbed by noise from next door.

She told the court: ‘I heard sounds of a sexual nature, they were really loud, and there was a lot of moaning and groaning and screaming as if in pain.

‘It wasn’t just the woman, it came from both parties.’

Here's a pic of the frisky (and loud) couple at the scene of the crimes:

It'd be funny as hell if the audiotapes made their way onto YouTube, wouldn't it?

WAVE Recalls WWII Service


87-year-old Penny Mirigian joined the US Navy WAVES service just in time for WWII. She worked intercepting Japanese Morse Code, which she transcribed and delivered to her superiors, who broke down the coded messages to gather vital intelligence. Penny never knew what the messages she copied said, and was warned that if she disclosed her job responsibilities to anyone it could result in her court-martial and execution for disclosing national secrets.

She lives in Fresno now, and has kept both her WAVE uniform and her figure, and can actually still fit into the old uniform:

The US Navy was still doing this during the time that I served, the ratings that did Morse intercept were known as CTR's and CTT's. The Navy tested me for Morse skill when I first signed up, but my score wasn't particularly distinguished. I became a CTO, which was basically a Radioman with a higher clearance who dealt with the transmission and receipt of messages dealing with intelligence intercept.

Today's Nugget of Humor

Found in a Daily Mail story about Prince Philip, the Prince Consort of Queen Elizabeth II:

The list of princely experiments is a long one. The Duke installed some of Britain's first solar panels on the Sandringham estate. There was his electric van for driving round London (decades later, the Government is now encouraging us to follow suit). 'It was very odd driving around in this entirely silent vehicle which would suddenly stop unannounced,' recalls an aide.

Today, the van has retired to a Sandringham garage while the Duke uses a gas-powered London taxi as his urban runaround. Up on the Sandringham estate, he is trying an experiment underground - Britain's first royal truffle farm.

It may end in failure - like the exploding manure machine which was supposed to produce methane gas for Windsor - but the Duke is always keen to give things a go.

Nobody in Windsor castle farts?

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Are You REALLY Prepared?

Perhaps you think that simply buying a gun and some ammo will be enough in a SHTF (Shit Hits The Fan) scenario occurs. You'd be wrong.

Here is a shopkeeper who had to engage in four gunfights as the price of doing business in Los Angeles. He's alive, the robbers who confronted him were either killed or wounded and subsequently imprisoned. Look at the measures that Lance Thomas had to take to prevent the SHTF scenario, and notice that his measures didn't prevent that scenario from happening. Later measures that he took (doing business by phone, not admitting customers other than through appointment) did work.

h/t Nobody Asked Me.

Milsurp Arrival - - Update 2

Ok, the cleanup of the K31 rifle is complete, here's the finished work so far:

I'm thinking perhaps of touching up the worn blueing that can be seen in various places. Other than that, I don't think the rifle needs more work.

I'm liking this rifle more and more every day. It's more comfortable to hold than my M38 Mosin/Nagant, seems better designed as an infantry rifle. Now it's just a matter of shooting it. I'll try to get it out to the range sometime in the next month to see what it's capable of.

Friday, April 17, 2009

I Just Can't Watch It Enough

Susan Boyle's amazing debut, I mean.

I've been watching it off and on since I first discovered it a few days ago. Gods, what a wonderfully cathartic video clip it is. You could show that clip to people on the edge of death and keep them alive as long as you kept replaying it over and over again.

It's Like Goofy Golf For Grown-Ups

It's the 19th hole at the Legend Golf and Safari Resort in South Africa.

If you make a hole-in-one here, you win a cool million pounds sterling. How hard is it? Here's a pic of the hole:

It's a lot like those old advertisements in the back of golf magazines for art featuring impossible holes like this, from cliffs, underwater, etc.

Death By Fallen Arches

The fallen arches of a McDonald's restaurant, to be precise.

Should've Gone To Burger King

Thus Disarming Him

Scuba-diving vandals have apparently hacked off the arms of a statue of Jesus that was blessed by Pope John Paul II and intended as an underwater tourism attraction.

Here's a pic of the statue with its arms intact:

There is a similar statue off the Florida keys, if memory serves. Maybe someone should go take a look at that one, as well.

And, since I always work in Monty Python skits whenever possible, no matter how slight the pretext, here for your pleasure is...

UK's MI5: Hunting For A New "Q"

Did you grow up obsessed with James Bond gadgets and always wanted to emulate "Q," AKA Major Boothroyd, who furnished 007 with his exotic gear?

Well, MI5, the UK equivalent of the FBI, probably doesn't want to talk to you.

They do, however, need a chief scientific advisor.

Why Are You Always Playing With It, 007?

Al Capone, Composer

Gangster Al Capone, while serving time in Alcatraz for tax evasion, apparently composed a love song he called "Madonna Mia."

Now it's being recorded to CD and will be available on the internet.

It's not Capone singing it, of course, but he wrote it and presumably the music, and lyrics (if any) are his.

It'll be interesting to hear as a curiosity, anyway.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Musical Interlude: Don Walser

The "Pavarotti of the Plains" yodels his way through Rolling Stone From Texas.

Don died a year or so ago of complications from diabetes. Try to keep his music alive, pass it on if you like it.

Milsurp Arrival - - Update

As an update to this entry in which I mentioned the arrival of a K31 Schmidt-Rubin rifle, I can add that the wooden stock is not walnut as advertised, but some lighter-colored wood:

I also found the original owner's card underneath the metal buttplate of the rifle, it apparently once belonged to one Hans Rudolf. After I refinish the stock the card will go back under the buttplate.

Painting With Too Broad A Brush

Department of Homeland Security head Janet Napolitano is taking heat for a DHS report that characterizes veterans as potential terrorists.

Indiana Rep. Steve Buyer, the ranking Republican on the House Veterans' Affairs committee, said it was "inconceivable" that the administration would consider military veterans a potential terrorist threat.


I Was Born With The Gift of a Golden Voice

No, not Leonard Cohen. Susan Boyle.

I agree with columnist Zohar Laor, who compared her to Andersen's Ugly Duckling.

If you haven't seen this amazing clip from the TV show Britain's Got Talent, you owe it to yourself to watch it. If you ever felt sorry for yourself, thinking that "the little people" don't ever get a chance in this world, watch this video and see what happens when one of the little people does get that chance.

It's Raining

A 28-year-old man on an airplane flight from Los Angeles to Honolulu has been arrested for urinating on a fellow passenger.

Can you guess the sly movie reference in the title? Hint:

Ya Want Snot On That?

Domino's Pizza is forced to do damage control after idiot employees post prank video on YouTube.

Did you know that cops like to eat at Subway because they can watch their food being prepared and can be confident that it hasn't been spoiled by a hostile employee?

I think we need to bring back pillories and stocks for food workers that spoil food.

h/t Ann Althouse.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Hulk Hogan: Cuckold's Lament

He understands OJ Simpson, he says.

Of course his ex is taking advantage of it, read the whole story for details.

h/t Ann Althouse.

Are We Living The Omega Glory?

Do any of you remember that particularly cheesy Star Trek episode The Omega Glory? It's the episode where the planet's inhabitants are divided between "Yangs" and "Kohms," and the endless war between the two groups?

Does it ever seem like we here in the US are currently living in that situation, with Left and Right engaged in endless warfare over the stupidest issues?

Just curious.

Are You A Yang or a Kohm?
Kohm free polls

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Human Etch-A-Sketch?

Apparently so.


She says it doesn't hurt her, and it's not contagious or anything like that, just strange.

Treasure Blog: Gold Coins Of James VI Stuart

Found in Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, by a construction worker.

Fifty-nine of them.

Lovely things. He certainly chose his moment to sell them, gold has never been higher.

By A Strange Coincidence...

...I listened to The Lark Ascending just a day or so ago.

I like the Variations On A Theme of Thomas Tallis more, though. It came in at #3, I notice.

Strike While The Iron Is Hot, Sez I

Let's cash in while these Navy SEAL pirate hunters are still a hot commodity.

You can bet there's always someone inspired by news headlines to make a buck in Hollywood.

Of course, to be politically correct the Hollywood version will probably make the pirates white and half of the Navy SEALs black...

It's Just An Ornamental Swine, Officer. *Nudge Nudge Wink Wink*

A UK man has been arrested for "harassing" his policeman neighbor with an ornamental pig and a sign saying "No Pigs."

Sometimes A Pig Is Just A Pig?

It's the sort of court case that couldn't be brought in the US because of the 1st Amendment. Read the whole story. Butter wouldn't melt in this guy's mouth.

But Osshifer, I Only Had Two Beers... shays sho righ' here on my breff'lyzer...

When Public Relations cops go bad.

UK To Practice Genocide On Immigrant...

...American Gray Squirrels.

Although some groups are upset about it, and want all the squirrels to gather together in a circle and sing kumbaya.

Government officials are watching the program closely, with an eye to adding other species if it proves successful.*

*not really, I added that last bit. Still, it's the natural progression if the gray squirrel extermination works, isn't it?

The Library Stink Test

The Schaumburg Public Library don't need no stinkin' bodies.

Wonder how they feel about obnoxious gardenia perfume?

Music Arrival

Slaid Cleaves' new CD is on pre-release status, as a subscriber to his newsletter I had the opportunity to buy an advance copy; the general release will be on April 21st.

Here's the CD cover to Everything You Love Will Be Taken Away...

You can buy a copy here.

I'm listening to the CD as I type this. Give Slaid a listen, if you like Americana/Alt-Country/Folk, you'll like this. Writer Stephen King is a fan and wrote the liner notes. If Slaid appears in your town to do a show, be sure to go, he's an entertaining rascal, and for you ladies, real easy on the eyes. If you're lucky he'll even do a yodelling song or two.

Nationalized Dentistry: Prepare To Pull Your Own Teeth Out

"Free" dentistry, the UK way.

And remember: this is the sort of "free" dentistry that the Democrats here in the US hold up as a shining example to be followed.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Milsurp Arrival

Picked up a K31 Schmidt-Rubin carbine on Saturday. Walnut stock, nice clean bore, $219 at Classic Arms.

Here's a pic:

It does of course need some cleaning: stored for decades, it has protective cosmoline inside and out which needs to be removed. The stock, made of walnut, has received dings, dents and scratches during its lifetime, which can perhaps be removed or lessened with a bit of effort with a steam iron, damp cloth and some sandpaper, or maybe not; I have yet to make a final decision. At the very least, however, the cosmoline needs to be removed from the bore, the interior metal parts, and especially from the bolt, which will need to be disassembled for this process. I've heard that underneath the steel buttplate can often be found a paper with the name of the original Swiss soldier who long ago possessed this rifle. I've read tales of milsurp purchasers who traced down these old soldiers to let them know the fate of their old rifles.

All this, and I get to shoot it, too.

*grins happily*

Friday, April 10, 2009

Take a Copper Pipe And a Chinese Rock...

...add the skill of a master craftsman, and you end up with...this:

A ring made for my by my friend Michael McRae of Scotia Metalwork.

When Librarians Screw Up

When you're a librarian and you receive a new book into the library, you have to determine where to place it on the shelves. Usually the easiest way to figure this out is to look at the verso page, which is the page that is on the back of the title page. The verso page provides copyright information and, in more modern books, information about how the book might be classified and shelved. If you can't figure it out by using the verso page, you might read a summary of the book on the dust jacket, or glance at the contents page, or, if all else fails, try to classify it via the title.

This last option is apparently what happened at UK's Manchester University Library when the librarians were confronted with a book titled Homo Britannicus.

The conversation probably went something like this:

1st librarian: 'Eee, it's called "Homo Britannicus." Is it about poofters, then? It says "Homo" right there in the title.

2nd librarian: Oh, it must be. There's so many books about gay lads out now.

1st libarian: All right, then, we'll put it with the gay books.

Unfortunately for our Manchester librarians, Homo Britannicus is a scholarly discussion of man's origin and the archaeological record.

I wonder what they would have made of a book titled Homo Erectus?

Birthday Greetings

Happy Birthday to novelist/travel writer Paul Theroux.

Clown With Attitude

It's Yucko the Clown (NSFW):

h/t Hyperbolic Chamber.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

From The Grill

Today's lunch: Sirloin!

In other outdoor tasks, I'm adding another coat of boiled linseed oil to my Mosin/Nagant M38 stock, and I rinsed pollen and other maple sex excretions from my car.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Hell, They Were Just Metallica Fans

A former Cape Cod Police officer has agreed to pay restitution to fans at a Metallica concert after he urinated on them.

Which means, of course, that they were pissed on and pissed off simultaneously, which sounds like it should be physically impossible.

Florida: Dive-Bombing Birds

Mockingbirds and Red-Shouldered Hawks, engaging in protective behavior during nesting season.

I have personal experience with this. When I was a boy we lived in a house with a trellis on the front porch, roses climbed the trellis and were a favorite spot for mockingbirds to nest. My sister and I were dive-bombed regularly by the parent birds when we went outside.

She Has A Passion For Bean Curd?

The Colorado Department of Revenue rejected a woman's request for a personalized license plate.

The woman, who professes to love tofu, proposed a license plate reading ILVTOFU.

Presumably you can see why the Department of Revenue rejected her request?


Hope It Was Worth It

A San Diego, California, helicopter pilot lost his pilot's license after engaging in oral sex with a porn starlet while flying over downtown San Diego. Video was involved.

Damn, men are stupid at times, aren't they?

Knives From My Collection

Since I've been lax at posting recently, I'll try to make it up to you all by posting a few photos of knives from my collection.

First, a knife made from a Russell Green River Works blade. The handle is red Dymondwood, pins are nickle silver, sheath is a dangler-type. The blade is carbon steel and is in a butcher knife pattern, although much shorter than a typical butcher knife. A knifemaker friend assembled it and made the sheath.

Next is a Randall knife, the Model #10 "Salt Fisherman & Household Utility." It is made of 440 stainless steel with cocobolo Dymondwood handles, brass pins, belt pouch sheath. Unlike most other Randalls, the #10 is not forged but is made by the stock removal process. When I purchased it these knives were available for delivery within a month or two, but since then have been added to the standard wait list for Randalls, and can take up to five years for delivery.

Finally, a Randall Model #12 "Smithsonian Bowie." This is made with an O-1 carbon steel blade, stabilized Maple handle, and brass furniture, and a leather belt sheath. This is an extremely heavy knife, heavier than a butcher's cleaver, made of 3/8" stock. I think personally it is too heavy and should be made with 1/4" stock at most. The Randall shop did a poor job on the finish of this blade, grinder marks are still visible. Frankly this is a wall-hanger, it's too heavy to be a practical carry knife; you'd be better off with a $10 machete from Wal-Mart. Still, it's a great big Bowie, 11" blade, and makes you feel 10 feet tall when you hold it in your hand. The photo is a bit overexposed, I should have shot it in shade.