Tuesday, March 29, 2005

All Tied Up!

Between technical difficulties, spring break, & taxes, postings will continue to be light for the next week.

[The BLOG update: Sorry, couldn't enlarge photo, but the woman has been taped to the
wall with duct tape. Those wacky college students...]

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Beware Of Dog

Pet dog Xi Xi plays with a chicken at their home in Xi'an, northwest China's Shaanxi province. The dog is very protective towards the chicken, according to the owner. He bought the pet to allay the loneliness of Xi Xi, who was mourning the loss of a previous pet.

Moments later, loneliness struck Xi Xi's life again, and she once again mourns for another lost pet.

The owner says he will consider getting a larger pet for Xi Xi.

A Rottweiller perhaps?

Legal Travesty vs Human Tragedy

I have purposefully not posted about the Terri Schiavo case because I felt that I could not possible add anything new. Well, it may not be new, but I wanted to speak up nonetheless.

Charles Krauthammer eloquently sums up the situation in the Washington Post here . He writes, "We ended up having to choose between a legal travesty on the one hand and human tragedy on the other." How true. Mistakes, legal & otherwise, were made...

One fatal flaw was allowing a less-than-dutiful husband speak for Terri. The general rule of spousal supremacy requires amending to preclude guardianship being awarded to a spouse who has less than honorable intentions, i.e., a spouse like O.J.Simpson or Scott Peterson.

Another fatal flaw occurred when the case was presented as a pro-life case. Perhaps had it been framed as a spousal abuse case or as a disabled rights case, the ensuing political polarization -- left (pro-death) vs. right (pro-life)-- could have been avoided altogether. Instead, national media attention would have been focused on the inadequacy of Michael Schiavo's guardianship and his expedient removal from the case.

Yes, mistakes were made then...and mistakes are being made now.

The federal courts have ruled that a denovo look at the case is not going to happen despite extraordinary measures on the part of the House and the Senate. The Supreme Court appears to be the last recourse for the Schindlers, but hope is dwindling after losing 2 appeals.

It is looking like Terri will die soon...from the willfull withholding of food and water. How cruel is that? How barbaric? How?

Terri's humanity is not in question, but our's is.


Tuesday, March 22, 2005

GOP On The March In D.C.

All is not well with the world, but it sure beats the alternative...

Monday, March 21, 2005

Anniversary Surprise For Terrorists

On the two year anniversary of the Iraq war...

U.S. troops killed 24 terrorists (no, I will not refer to them as insurgents) and wounded seven in a battle on the outskirts of Baghdad on Sunday after the guerrillas attacked a U.S. position.

It is rare for insurgents to attack U.S. positions head-on in large numbers, with most of them preferring sneaky hit-and-run guerrilla tactics or chickenshit attacks with roadside bombs.

Looks like our troops rained on the terrorists anniversary plans.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Top o'the mornin' to ye.

Sentient Meat

Good science fiction challenges preconceptions.
"They're Made Out Of Meat" a story by Terry Bisson is short but sweet. And worth a read.

[Courtesy of SETI fiction]

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Go Figure...Skating

Irina Slutskaya of Russia performs during a ladies qualifying free skating session at the World Figure Skating Championships at Luzhniki Sports Palace in Moscow on Wednesday.

Also hoping to advance through the qualifying round are fellow competitors, Svetlana Tartikova, Olga Harlotsky, and Paulina Doxiekovitch.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Malt Liquor: Drink Of Choice

A man who identified himself as Mario sits with his dog, Spliff, as they bundle up against the -15C, 5F temperatures as he panhandles in downtown Montreal, Canada.

Meanwhile, U.S. researchers at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science in California found that malt liquor, a type of beer that is higher in alcohol than other brews, is largely a drink of the homeless and unemployed, and is likely to be abused.

Oh, Canada...hide the malt liquor.

Happy Pi Day!

In case you're not a math nerd, yesterday was Pi Day because the date is 3/14 -- the first three digits of Pi. For those who flunked math, here's a clue: Pi is the literally never-ending number that represents the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter. It takes its name from the Greek letter Pi.

Go here for the first 50,000 digits of Pi.

The last time I was this excited about a date was....02/03/04! Let's hear it for three consecutive numbers on the numberline.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Origami As Fashion?

A model presents a creation by Mexican designers Izet and Hazel Baeza creation during the Autumn-Winter Fashion Week in Mexico City.

While on the runway, the model kept a straight face & did resist the urge to pull on the tail of the giant paper crane on her head to make it flap its wings.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Cat Blog Friday

Nothing like a drawer full of clean clothes...

Rosie Blather Blog

Rosie O'Donnell has a blog. E I E I O.
And on this blog she has some free associative blather. E I E I O.
With some fatuity here,
And some nonsense there,
Here a twaddle,
There a babble,
Everywhere some drivel slobber.
Rosie O'Donnell has a blog. E I E I O.

Unless this blog is a joke... see for yourself ...Rosie needs to increase her lithium dosage.

Rosie, remember when you used to BE FUNNY?

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Rules Of Engagement

Once again, Cox and Forkum manages to encapsulate the issue with a few strokes of a pen.

In this case it is the issue of security checkpoints in Iraq... see the cartoon here

If you haven't already, bookmark their site. They are worth a look.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Sith Happens

Remember this teaser poster from last year?

The official movie poster heralding the 5/19/05 release of Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith has just been unveiled & can be seen at starwars.com

...Darth Vader looms large!

Kofi Break

U.N. Must Accept Hezbollah, Annan Says.

Just one more reason the United Nations needs a new Secretary-General.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Mime Out

French mime Marcel Marceau, 82, attends a press conference in Caracas, Venezuela to herald the start of a worldwide farewell tour. The press conference ended in confusion when Monsieur Marceau became locked behind an invisible wall and was unable to free himself.

Debra Hill, 1951-2005

Debra Hill, co-writer of the horror classic "Halloween," who rose through Hollywood's ranks to become a pioneer as a woman in film production, died in LA Monday at the age of 54. The cause was cancer, according to a family friend, Barbara Ligeti.

Aside from several Halloween sequels, Ms. Hill was associated with other films such as The Fog (1980), The Dead Zone (1983), Escape From New York (1981), and others.

Sorry to see.

Hans Bethe, 1907-2005

Hans Bethe, one of the last of the giants of 20th century physics, who was a key figure in the building of the first atomic bomb as head of the Manhattan Project's theoretical physics division in Los Alamos, N.M. and who won a Nobel Prize for figuring out how the sun and other stars generate energy, died Sunday at his home, at the age of 98.

Bethe (BAY'-tuh), who fled Nazi Germany and joined the Cornell faculty in 1935, also made major discoveries about how atoms are built up from smaller particles, about what makes dying stars blow up as supernovas, and how the heavier elements are produced from the ashes of these supernovas.

In his 90s, at Cornell University's Newman Laboratory of Nuclear Studies, he devoted many solitary afternoons to his passion: numbers. Of numbers, Bethe said, "I think it's very useful for keeping me young."

Read the rest here and meanwhile, keep playing with those numbers if you want to stay young.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Cat & Booze Blog Friday

You've heard of cat blog Friday...
You've heard of booze photoblog Friday...
Why not do both?

Dan Still Doesn't Get It...

Just an excerpt from Dan Rather's appearance on Late Night with David Letterman proves to all that Dan is not on the right frequency:

LETTERMAN: Now, just taking that story in and of itself, would that have been a damaging story? Was it a damaging story? Is it... would it have caused people to change their votes? How big a story would that have been if it had been verified?

RATHER: I don't know because we never reached that point. We put it on the air with what we thought was credibility. We had things besides the documents, but for whatever reason, rightly or wrongly, the focus became the documents. We were not able to authenticate the documents as thoroughly as I think we should have, given a little more time perhaps we could have.

Earth to Dan. Earth to Dan. The documents were forged. You can take from now until the proton death of the universe & you won't authenticate the documents, Dan,
because they were F-O-R-G-E-D.

For the entire transcript and much, much more on Rather's meltdown, visit ratherbiased.com

Dead Lobster

Bubba, the 23-pound lobster who was spared death by cooking pot, died yesterday, nearly 24 hours after his transfer to Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium.

An aquarium spokeswoman said that the lobster became lethargic during the day and never ate the food that was offered to him.

There is much speculation over why leviathan lobsters don't fare as well in captivity as smaller lobsters. Bubba may have eaten the rubber bands from the claws of other lobster tank-mates, or the formula of the tank water may have disagreed with him, or it may have been simple stress from the number of moves he endured in a short amount of time.

He died at about 3 p.m. A necropsy will be performed, but the cause of Bubba's death may never be determined. Lobster necropsies entail boiling, the forcible removal of the flesh from the shell, & bathing the flesh in copious amounts of butter & lemon.

R.I.P. Bubba.

Funded By The Left

Media Matters for America, the group headed by conservative turned liberal writer David Brock, has finally admitted the truth about its financial connection to billionaire George Soros.

After initially claiming on Dec. 1, 2004 that "neither Media Matters nor its president and CEO David Brock has received any money from Soros or from any organization with which he is affiliated," the group is no longer disavowing any connection with groups "affiliated" with Soros.

Media Matters for America (MMA) spokeswoman Sally Aman, when asked about donor funding, mentioned Peter Lewis, the chairman of the Cleveland based insurance company Progressive Corporation and a close confidant of Soros. It is common knowledge that both Lewis & Soros actively funded MoveOn.org.

The plot thickens when Brock's financial records and public documents are examined and are found to show that the heavily funded Soros liberal think tank, The Center for American Progress, (CAP) was instrumental in getting Brock's media group off the ground.

Former Clinton administration chief of staff John Podesta, the current president of (CAP), also confirmed to the New York Sun that his group provided office space and logistical assistance to Brock in 2004.

Soros has reportedly given $3 million to CAP and its senior vice president, Morton H. Halperin [see The BLOG post of 10/14/04 for Halperin's history], is also the director of Soros's Open Society Institute.

Of course, this admission doesn't come as a shock to those who follow the news and are aware of the intense liberal bias in the MSM. We knew it was there all along because we saw the evidence of the tracks it left in its wake. This article brings out the carcass of the bias 'beast' into the open.

Once upon a time the liberals influenced events by decided what news to show & how to spin it. Those days are over.

Kudos to Marc Morano, Cybercast News.com Senior staff writer, (read entire article here) for the kind of reporting that asks the hard questions & gets to the truth, regardless of political leaning, for that is the job of a free press.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Gonzo's Last Word

Not Charles Foster Kane's, Rosebud, but equally enigmatic, the last written word of Hunter S Thompson, who died last week, has left the literary world intrigued.

According to a sheriff's report, the author's body was found in a chair by his kitchen table, on which a typewriter had been placed and a page of writing paper had been lined up with the word "counselor" typed at its center.

Do you suppose he was a Trek fan?

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Cloaking Device Devised

Can you spot the space ship in the starfield?

The idea of a cloak of invisibility that hides objects from view has long been confined to the more improbable reaches of science fiction. But electronic engineers have now come up with a way to make one.

Andrea Alù and Nader Engheta of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia say that a 'plasmonic cover' could render objects "nearly invisible to an observer". Their idea remains just a proposal at this stage, but it doesn't obviously violate any laws of physics.

The invisibility shield proposed by Alù and Engheta is a self-contained structure that would reduce visibility from all viewing angles. In that sense it would be more like the shielding used by the Romulans in the Star Trek episode "Balance of Terror" in 1966, which hid their spaceships at the push of a button.

The key to the concept is to reduce light scattering. We see objects because light bounces off them; if this scattering of light could be prevented (and if the objects didn't absorb any light) they would become invisible. Alù and Engheta's plasmonic screen suppresses scattering by resonating in tune with the illuminating light.

This is cool beyond words (and a hunter's dream to QQ). Read about it in more detail here

[The BLOG tip o'the hat to off the cuff.com
for the link to the news@nature.com article]

Bubba Reprieved

Bubba,a 23-pound lobster pulled from the waters off Nantucket, Mass., has received a reprieve from being dinner and will be moving off to the Pittsburgh Zoo.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals wanted to release Bubba back in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Maine.

Another group calling itself People For Eating Tasty Animals reportedly offered Wholey's fishmarket a hefty price for the lobster. At Tuesday's price of $14.98 a pound, Bubba would retail for about $350.

Bob Wholey, the owner of the fishmarket to which Bubba was initially shipped, decided to give the lobster to the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium, which will send him to an aquarium at a Ripley's Believe It or Not museum.

Although his business is to sell seafood, Wholey says he's become a little philosophical after seeing the lobster, which has been estimated to be anywhere between 50-100 years old. "I don't think you could eat something that big." he said, "I mean, if you sat down and ate this thing, wouldn't that be a bit shellfish?"

Bubba, no butter for you!

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Professors For 'Forked Tongue' Speech

From the Denver Post.com (2/28/05) - About 200 University of Colorado faculty members have signed a full-page ad in today's Boulder Daily Camera demanding that school administrators end an investigation of professor Ward Churchill.

The advertisement purports to defend "Professor Churchill's right to speak what he believes to be the truth." Today's ad, paid for by the 200 signers, says the school is investigating because of what Churchill wrote, rather than a "prior formal complaint of specific professional or academic misconduct on his part."

Supporting free speech is one thing. Supporting a skilled liar's right to say & do anything he well pleases without consequences is another.

His hateful rhetoric aside, Ward Churchill is a liar and a fraud. He has lied about being a Native American, he has written poorly researched papers espousing fraudulent views, he has plagiarized works of art and received remuneration for the "artwork". And this may just be the beginning because everytime you scratch at the edifice that was Churchill's reputation, you find more artifice and lies.

According to the University of Colorado's website, there were 1,012 tenured and tenure-track faculty members at CU in 2004, and another 1,069 instructional faculty. This ad campaign tells me that roughly 10% of the University of Colorado faculty has mush for brains.

The March Of Freedom

Lebanon's prime minister, Omar Karami, resigned Monday, dissolving the country's pro-Syrian government. The surprise resignation came as the streets of Beirut were filled with tens of thousands of flag-waving protesters calling for Syrian troops to leave Lebanon.

I blame George W. Bush...