Friday, October 31, 2008

Friday Links

Download the latest version of World Wide Telescope—totally awesome.

The US must update its nuclear deterrent.

Attractive fathers do not attractive sons make.

The court limits business method patents.

What kids are up to these days.

The candidate of decline.

Introducing Hushie.

The paradox of an unattractive Russia.

Is malaria winning the race?

Contrary to propaganda, McCain is not more of the same.

Why not just let them marry?

More scary—but hidden—Obama connections.

The persecution of Christians continues in Iraq.

The persecution of Christians continues in India.

Is the Iceman from a different branch of humanity?

Is the Newest Deal bad for the market?

Thursday, October 30, 2008

In my CLU.

USMC Camp Lemonier, Djibouti.

A Containerized Living Unit. Spartan. 20 X 8 X 8. A desk, a twin bed, a few lockers. Books from home.

Bathroom nearby, in another container. About 200 yards from an active runway.

It is remarkable what a mollycoddled civilian can get used to after three months. At least I'm not getting shot at.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Wednesday Links

Progress in plasma propulsion.

Shame cubed.

Microsoft reveals Azure.

Yet another Islamic woman stoned.

Transsexual genes.

Turns out that she's smart after all.

Solomon's copper mines found.

Touchpad without the pad.

Suppressing the Obama tape.

Nuclear planes.

Will Sarkozy become the first "President of Europe"?

The master of fire is at least 790,000 years old.

Why's everybody always picking on Russia.

7 of the greatest hoaxes of all time.

It's all downhill after 39.

Childhood's end.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

But Who Pays?

Obama has called for people to take off work on election day to vote. Are people to be paid for not working or are they supposed to forego a day's wages during an economic crisis? I'm not sure if the campaign has answered that question. It sure says something though.

Quote of the Day

"...not everyone agrees that the stimulus packages, which are designed to loosen up tight credit, will prove helpful. Peter Schiff, president of broker-dealer Euro Pacific Capital, believes the impact will be decidedly negative.

"The goal of all these plans is to give consumers more money to spend. However, excess consumer spending is part of the problem, not part of the solution" he said. "After a decade-long spending orgy, market forces are finally trying to restrict consumer spending and dampen credit. But the stimulus looks to provide a new source of funds after savings, income, and credit have been exhausted. Our imbalanced economy is in desperate need of retrenchment, but stimulus plans will effectively hold the firemen at bay while throwing gasoline on the flames."

Original article.

Monday, October 27, 2008

But, Teddy Bears are cute!

I've had this article from the Daily Mail bookmarked for a couple of weeks. There is something about it that puzzles and horrifies me, but more on that in a bit.

It is a news story about a British Columbian fellow by the name of Jim West who was out walking his dog. He heard a grunt behind him, turned around, and discovered a rather pissed-off black bear. He tried to scare it off by kicking it, and ended up with a bear on top of him mauling him. Somehow he rolled free and got his hands on a large tree limb. He cronked the bear over the head with it. The bear was stunned by the blow, and he figured his only hope was to keep swinging the tree branch. Amazingly he survived the encounter by killing the bear with that tree limb.

That's all remarkable, but it is not the part of the article that really caught my attention. The final two paragraphs are what puzzle me to this day. I quote:

Sadly, the bear was the mother of two young cubs - who had to be euthanised because it was believed they would not survive the cruel Canadian winter without her.
Even so, he said, he did not regret what he had done - believing it had been necessary for him to survive.

Seriously, did the reporter actually ask him if he regretted saving his neck by killing the bear? Who would even ask such an idiotic question? Poor little bear cub orphans aside, did they think Mr. West would regret making it out alive of a situation like that to return to his family and friends?

There is a frightening fuzziness of thought in mechanics of that question -- I imagine a reported solemnly grieving for the bear cubs and not noticing the fellow with 60 stitches standing in front of them.
Oh yea, there is one comment on the piece. Again, I quote:
I'm sorry, but I'm totally on the side of the bear here. Those poor cubs... was there not a zoo they could have gone to?
Totally on the side of the bear? Good God Almighty, doesn't that fool realize how callous their sensitivity sounds?

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Sunday Links

The global electoral college.

Can Ford be saved?

Giving Caesar control over the things that are Christ's.

3M's new x-ray business.

Good news in Kashmir.

Are the orcas starving?

The facts of press bias.

A turnaround in housing?

Computing in the cloud.

The real Italian job.

Smarter smart cars.

Tens of thousands march for independence.

You've seen Google Mail, Google Maps, Google Knol,.... Introducing Google Fighter Jet.

Rebooting the immune system to cure multiple sclerosis.

Afghanistan on the edge of disaster.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Friday Links

Why the Republicans must lose!

If you're going to Mars, you better be prepared to stay.

Blowing up Jews in Russia.

10 things to do for a freshly laid-off developer.

The irony of Obama.

Did feathered dinosaurs precede birds?

Lighting up Berlin.

The current state of the cancer art.

Mexico's spreading drug violence.

18 ways to live below your means.

Check out some people in the Living Library.

Chavez expands his empire.

When spiders eat birds.

US Johnny still can't add.

Ready for a brain wipe?

Spend now, tax later.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Obama in his natural habitat

I probably should be ashamed of myself, my political commentary seems to have dwindled to nothing more than posting odd YouTube videos. All I can say in my defense is that I am absolutely gobsmacked by how strange this election has been, and gah... can the media sink any lower into Democratic Poodle status?

Anyhoo, above is my latest silly YouTube offering.

Hat tip to, which is a forum I've gotten addicted to lurking at. It is a forum full of PUMAs and, if you think Republicans hate Obama, they're pikers compared to these folks. They positively loathe Barrack.

It has been very interesting watching their transformation. They were kind of in despair until Sarah Palin was selected as McCain's VP. A lot of them posted that this year's Republican convention was the first they had ever watched. They were struck by how upbeat the Republicans were, and the absolutely went wild over Palin's speech.

Since then they've come to believe McCain is an honorable and decent politician, that Palin is a delight (second only to their beloved Hillary), that the MSM's Democratic campaigning is a scandal, and that ACORN's attempted vote-rigging is beyond the pale. Most of them are going to be pulling the lever for a Republican for the first time in their life, with a number of them already having switched parties. A number are also actively campaigning for McCain/Palin.

I have no idea how many of them there are, although the forum is extremely active (this, with their registration locked to prevent it from being overran by Obamabots). It is quite an interesting daily visit.

Wednesday Links

Drugs of the Stone Age.

Born in Columbia, made in the USA.

Putin's weak-kneed western defenders.

With only a billion years left, is it time to move the Earth?

100 more banks to fail?

Able to leap tall buildings with a single bound.

Sometimes you just have to stand on principle.

Global warming goes poof.

Russia to world: "death solves all problems".

Your Mexican drug dollars at work.

Not enough ads for all the startups?

Aid workers vs. the Taleban.

Good times breed bad times.

UFOs over England?

World Champion Anand wins a second game as black, and one as white.

Robotic surgery on a beating heart.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Sunday Links

Who stole the beach?

Running the economy into the ground.

How to buy a mattress.

The audacity of Obama.

The waft of a plant in agony.

Sinbad's time capsule.

Where communism is the new fad.

Logical bacteria.

Was Milan Kundera an informer for the communist secret police?

Camel wrestling in Turkey.

Yahoo's coup de torchon.

Friday, October 17, 2008


A few of us, being left more time to sort
The verbiage, thought we'd find "wisdom," for sure, —
Books in the old man's library, lake house
Still standing, despite earthquake and wildfire
Consuming so much from so many years.
So one stumbles around, looking for verbs.

(The verb in Spanish would be evitar,
As in Tu sabes, quiero evitar…)

Though end-of-summer loopiness pervades
The dry air, hinting lavender, —a tinge
Of leafy close-to-happiness remains
To squander, hours of freedom to bestow
After the passing of the private pain
The flesh is heir to.
One might reel stuff in,
Appreciate the meanings, toss it back,
And hope it doesn't work its way back home
Somehow, to cloud significance the mind
Assigned to aspects of reality
Already dealt with. Firmly. I insist
We stipulate migrating humpback whales
Be counted at least once, and in a space—
"Virtual" space—of our own making, so
The doubters and deceivers, on a whim,
While being besieged by this beleaguered blue
Bounding our earthly spaciousness, let go
Of pointing out the pointlessness of time
Well spent on Heidegger's first question: Why
Is there something, rather than nothing? No,

The sun may be taking the decade off,
Cutting back on his spots, and girls may bathe
Blithely in his last rays, and children swim
Against the current of the what's-to-be…

I've half a mind to let the whole bunch go.
The sea turtles, I mean. Also the sea
Cucumbers, other vegetables the sea
Deposits on our shore, as though our faith
Were somehow limited. If you must know:
It's like, you take the middle of the three
Thirds of a line segment (you have to leave
The endpoints on the page) but endlessly
Repeating the same taking/leaving, you

Are left with just this "dust of points," somehow
Still infinite, its cardinality—
Roughly, the "size" of its "infinity"—
The same as what you started with. Just so,
Your attitude is generous and calm.

After the moon moved on, we walked a bit
Down to the garden, cosmos of starlight
Or light dusting of stars, where the old man
Had buried secrets for the grandchildren.
Long since invisible, the ghosts of these
Still haunt the place, at least if you believe
In secrets, keeping them. Down by the creek,
Watery voices, the first light of dawn.


Friday Links

Is it time to ban recess?

9,000 year old tuberculosis.

Who is the real Obama?

Can magnets cure deep coma?

Can electricity cure paralysis?

Wind-powerd bicycle lights.

Democracy vs. Property.

Is Jobs leaving Apple?

You need a podcar.

A ton of snake.

The $58 trillion elephant in the living room.

Balloon sculpture.

Google's chips are hotter than thine.

Don't laugh at the bear.

What is the speed of life?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Wednesday Links

Hang the Christians.

H1-B visa fraud is rampant.

Why "Russian human rights" is an oxymoron.

Black silicon to the rescue?

Rising gun culture in a gunless land.

Why you should write your goals.

Russia and China play the UN like a fiddle.

The 200 greatest songs of the Sixties.

Can nanolevers kill superbugs?

The debtor nation.

Free movies online while they last.

Chavez managed to lower oil production 25% so far.

The baldness gene.

Racism ueber alles.

Almost human.

The statists are on a roll.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Sunday Links

Is it a government-induced problem?

Is it time for a time-out?

The end of Capitalism?

The end of free trade?

The end of the Universe?

Iran celebrates.

In defense of (copyright) piracy.

The secret to a long life? Maybe it works better for women.

Trying out the Touchless. Video here.

Mexico City is bad for children and other living things.

He's got magic hands.

They just can't hold onto their data.

California breaks the ozone law.

When Big Brother just isn't big enough.

Saturday, October 11, 2008


So today I get the following from Wells Fargo

Fed Drops Rates Again
Take Advantage of Lower Home Equity Rates

So the Fed lowers the rates and it's an excuse to dun up more debt among consumers. And don't tell me the folks who borrow on their house are good credit risks. There might be occasional good reasons, medical expenses and such, but I'm inclined to regard someone wanting such a loan as a bad indicator. And aren't there better things for Wells Fargo to invest in? And aren't home equity loans the main exposure of Wells Fargo to the housing bubble? But what do I know, maybe I'm just old fashioned.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Friday Links

What Ayers believes.

The fungus that eats pollutants.

Two questions that mattered.

The colors of the brainbow.

$900b gone today. Dow in worst decline since 1931.

Machine learning for a more beautiful you.

You need the $12,000 bulletproof shirt.

Why energy in Germany comes increasingly from Russia.

When character trumps degrees.

Earthquakes in the Midwest.

Trees growing in Antarctica.

Salmon in Switzerland.

2008 rankings of the top 200 worldwide universities.

When doctors go bad.

How the turtle got its shell.

The right to free universal health care.

Errant black holes.

A mouse-bites-snake story.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Friday, October 03, 2008

The cutting room floor...

Considering the editing of interviews and remarks taken out of context... oh, bah-humbug... enough with political wind-baggery for a bit. Time for some pure puffery. I found the following Presidential Debate edit and was amused by it.

HT: Monkeys for Helping


The fear was jays just had no way to know
Those codes, embedded in the morning rain,
Trucks bearing gondolas loaded with grapes
Gearing down on the highway, as though months

Of hastening toward fall’s beckonings would play
Out in what coming sundries! —But the eye
Still hungers. We’ll be leaving ample room
There to maneuver, where the starling starves,

Where vines appear—to love hard times as much
As any of us, that the vintage be
Torn from the earth quietly as sunlight
Falls on a hillside vineyard.
Let the rains

Continue, I am happy as scrub jays
Harvest their acorns. Such a bumper crop
Has not been here for years, among a dearth
Of sadness, to judge by the hermit thrush

Down in the darkening garden, where we breathed
For free…
Until distilled intoxicants
Arrive, we’ll be left hanging—out in back,
With the alembic, say, of Plato’s mind

To guide us for a while. But in the thick
Of thinking things through we’re so often lost,
Albeit in a “compact metric space,”
Austere and timeless, a Platonic form

Itself, of sorts.
Out standing in the field,
Electric, with a buzz on, in my shorts,
I’d rather celebrate when static air
Goes lively, new waves battering the shore.


Friday Links

On moral philosophers and child murderesses.

A complete collapse in the ethics market.

Snow on Mars.

Exiled to Siberia for his rap song.

Martian fossils?

No honor among thieves with machine guns.

Dragonfly robots for Mars.

Africom goes operational.

You think the CIA is a bunch of clowns? Check out these guys.

Making coasts invisible to tsunamis.

80 of the best web illustrator resources.

Bleeding without being cut.

Addicted to debt.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Sawatdee Khrub!

Wednesday Links

Democracy won.

Rescuing children from forced marriage—in England.

Carbon nanotubes was the secret of Damascus steel.

China's secret African slave empire.

Rich men are more likely to find mates, sire children.

The newest prime number.

Iran is more important than Wall Street.

Fourth time's a charm.

Mortgage brochures from hell.

Search Flickr by color.

Things you can get for free.

The warrior and the priest.

The social threat of naked long-buyers.

Learning from mistakes only works after age 12.

Study a little history, lest you relive it.

How government went wrong with mortgages.