Wednesday, December 31, 2008

John Lennon Appears in Charity Video

With the approval of Yoko Ono, Lennon's voice and face have been digitally altered to give a video message of support for "One Laptop Per Child," a charity that supplies solar-powered computers to poor kids. It's kinda creepy.


Happy New Year, Australia

1.5 million watch the fireworks at Sydney Harbor Bridge.

Wow, someone has a YouTube video up already.


Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Yellowstone Earthquake Coming to Solve World's Problems

Yellowstone National Park is home to what is probably the largest caldera in the world, and it has an active ocean of restless magma underneath it. It's a supervolcano. And it's acting super funny:

Scientists are questioning whether a historic volcano in Yellowstone National Park is preparing to erupt after a swarm of earthquakes shook the area.

Yellowstone National Park rarely experiences earthquakes of any "real" magnitude, but starting on December 26, the area has been hit several times by earthquakes up to 3.9 in magnitude.
Scientists and researchers are stumped as to why the earthquakes are stronger than usual and aren't sure if it's indicative of a problem.

The latest from the USGS.


From Gaza, With Love

The blog of Dr. Mona El-Farra.


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Holidays

You know what's nice about saying "Happy Holidays"? It's a nice thing to say - and it annoys people like Bill O'Reilly. It's a twofer.

And: Here's a mindblowing happy holiday story. Enjoy.


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Coal Ash Slurry Pond Dam Bursts in TN


HARRIMAN — A retention pond wall collapsed early this morning at the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Kingston steam plant, releasing a mixture of water and fly ash that flooded nearly a dozen homes and caused a train wreck.

More than 500 million gallons of it. And: What is fly ash?

Fly ash is the finest of coal ash particles. It is called "fly" ash because it is transported from the combustion chamber by exhaust gases. Fly ash is the fine powder formed from the mineral matter in coal, consisting of the noncombustible matter in coal plus a small amount of carbon that remains from incomplete combustion.


Coal ash can carry toxic substances that include mercury, arsenic and lead, according to a federal study. The amount of poisons in TVA's ashy wastes that could irritate skin, trigger allergies and even cause cancer or neurological problems could not be determined Monday, officials said.

More on that here.


Monday, December 22, 2008

Oh God

The pope says that saving rainforests from destruction is like saving humans from homosexuality.

What is wrong with these people?


Saturday, December 20, 2008

Saturday Sonata XIX: Lucie Idlout

My 19th Saturday Sonata is up over at The Peace Tree. This week, Inuit rocker Lucie idlout, and the crushing song, "E5-770: My Mother's Name."


Friday, December 19, 2008

A Bottomfeeders Christmas


Need an inexpensive and easy to acquire Christmas gift for a loved one or enemy?

A Long Tough Blog recommends a song or 12 from the CD, Bottomfeeders, available at iTunes.

You can also get it at CDBaby, and several other online sites (see "Vital Links" in the right-hand sidebar).



Deep Throat is Dead

Otherwise known as W. Mark Felt:

W. Mark Felt, who leaked information to reporters under the moniker, "Deep Throat," about the Watergate break-in, died Thursday at the age of 95, sources told CNN.

W. Mark Felt, known as "Deep Throat," divulged information to reporters about the Watergate break-in.

Rob Jones, Felt's grandson, said his grandfather died at his home in Santa Rosa, California. According to published reports, Felt died of congestive heart failure.


When asked how he would like to be remembered, Felt said, "I'd like to be remembered as a government employee who did his best to help everybody."

You'll be remembered much more kindly than that, Mr. Felt. Rest in peace.


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The History of "Merry Little Christmas"

I got an email this morning notifying me that a podcaster in Australia, Aussie Tech Head, had played a version of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" that I recorded with some friends a few years ago. (Thanks, Aussie Tech Head.) It's a nice recording - my vocals aside - especially because Jeff Stanley plays such a sweet guitar part on it.

The email reminded me that yesterday I got into a small argument with a couple friends about the song's lyrics. I just used the magic of the Google to find out why:

''I often wondered what would it have been like if those lyrics had been sung in the movie,'' laughs O'Brien, now 69. ''But about a week before we were to shoot the scene where Judy sings it to me, she looked at the lyrics and said, 'Don't you think these are awfully dark? I'm going to go to Hugh Martin and see if he can lighten it up a little.'''

That's just the beginning of the story. Frank Sinatra asked for another change years later, resulting in what I always thought was the "real" version. Who knew?


Cheney Confesses To a War Crime

And what wil the Democrats do, one wonders.

One doesn't wonder, really.

Why are we Americans so afraid to punish our leaders?


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Marines to Man DUI Checkpoints

In California.

More here.


Puso: Filipino Woven Rice Pouches

Very cool:

Puso are one of those incredibly perfect foods… boiled rice in a biodegradable package. It is nutritious, delicious, hygenic, easy to carry or transport, easy to open up, keeps the rice clean, can be brought out to the fields, a picnic, etc. And it doesn’t mess up any pots or pans or utensils when you cook them. All you need to master is the weaving process…simple, right? Of course the simplest looking things are often the most difficult to do. And of a dozen folks in our Cebu office, not one among them knew how to weave a puso container made out of coconut leaves or fronds. All admit to having eaten hundreds if not thousands of servings of rice purchased or cooked in this manner, but few had any clue how to make the little packages. It was time to call in an expert, and “Richard” (who made puso for a living) was asked to come to the office to teach me how to make a puso, ineschange for a modest “consulting” fee.

Link has many more photos of the weaving process.


Saturday, December 06, 2008

Gonzales Will Sing Like a Chicken

I can not wait for the day that this sick bastard proves to the world what a chickenshit he really is and starts spilling on Rove and Cheney and whoever else matters.

I'm guessing we'll start hearing about it April 09.


Friday, December 05, 2008

Two US Attorneys Refuse to Resign [updtd]

Lots of people have this story about U.S. Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan. The crux:

As Think Progress reports, when a new president is elected, U.S. attorneys generally submit their resignations to make way for the new appointees. But one loyal Bushie isn't ready to quit:

Despite a new administration coming into power, U.S. Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan said she plans to stick around.

"It doesn't serve justice for all the U.S. attorneys to submit their resignations all at one time," she said yesterday.

She's not the only one. Hawaii's Bush-appointed USAtty, Edward Kubo, said in November that he won't resign. Update 2: And another.

Has this happened before? With incoming Republicans, especially?

Update: This may be a story about nothing. Here we have past examples of USAttys who refused to resign, one in 1969 under incoming Nixon. It also points out that Janet Reno, in March, 1993 - two months after Clinton took office - demanded the resignation of all 93 USAttys, who hadn't, obviously, by that time already resigned.

USAtty job description, from the Justice Dept.


Merry Athiestmas

Is this really newsworthy?


Thursday, December 04, 2008

Convert NASA to a Sustainable Energy Development Project

I love NASA and space exploration and all the great science that comes out of it, but space exploration for space exploration is a luxury we can't afford today (or yesterday). It should all be converted to a green energy program.

There are probably really bad aspects of that that I'm ignoring or just ignorant of, but still.


The Green Bailout

Spend the money! Dump trillions into the economy! Do it! And make it work by transforming the U.S. of A. into a green colossus!

I'm serious.


Autoworkers Don't Make $73 an Hour

So stop saying it.

In fact, according to General Motors, the figure representing the hourly cost of labor to automakers -- which GM puts at $69 -- includes not only current workers' hourly wages and benefits, such as health care and retirement, but also retirement and health-care benefits that U.S. automakers are providing for retirees.

Is that too hard to understand?


Wednesday, December 03, 2008

I'm Going to Pray

Not something I've done a lot of since unlashing my life raft from the Catholic Church twenty-five-some years ago. But I'm getting a sick feeling in my gut, and I'll sacrifice my lack of belief for something good. Or at least the lack of something very, very bad.

I now openly and sincerely pray that this horrible shit does not go the way of nightmares. Sincerely.


Prop 8 - The Musical

With Jack Black as Jesus.

See more Jack Black videos at Funny or Die



Odetta is gone. There was simply no voice like hers. Strong as a tree trunk, sad as murder, as warm and kind as your mother and grandmother combined. So long, Odetta. Thanks for everything you gave this sorry world. We'll keep listening.


Tuesday, December 02, 2008

How to Tie a Blood Knot

And other fishing knots.


India Warned About Bush a Month Before Attacks

No wait, it was "Bush warned Al Qaeda about India attacking terrorists." No. That's not it. It was..."Bush was warned a month early about possible attacks by airplane hijackers." Was that it? No! It's "Those stupid Indians were warned by us smart Americans about a possible attack by sea."

What are you gonna do with stupid people?


Font Designer Works in Snow

Chank Diesel is a Minnesota fontmaker, apparently. In this video he designs one with ice scrapers on a parking lot surface in sub-zero temperatures.


Ford and GM CEOs to Cut Salary to $1...

...if we give the companies they ran like stone boats billions of dollars. What sacrifice!

How will they eat?


Friday, November 28, 2008


Welcome to

(A Motorcycle Picture Diary from the Philippines and United States)


Saturday, November 22, 2008

Saturday Sonata XVIII: Mongolia

My 18th Saturday Sonata is up at The Peace Tree. I found some really nice videos of music from Mongolia. And one very strange video promoting tourism in Mongolia.


Rogue & Poet

New Web site centered around the arts in the Rogue Valley. Good luck to them.