Wednesday, April 30, 2008

CNN ÜberFluffs McCain

The headline: Rove: McCain's too private.

Wow! Karl Rove's going after John McCain? Boy, he sure is a non-political unbiased kind of guy! Way to go finding him, CNN. I bet he's going to go after McCain for being too private with his finances. Let's watch:

Writing in the Wall Street Journal, former top Bush adviser Karl Rove called McCain "one of the most private individuals to run for president in history," and said the presumptive Republican nominee must reveal more about his unique life story in order to win the presidency.

"Private people like Mr. McCain are rare in politics for a reason," Rove writes. "Candidates who are uncomfortable sharing their interior lives limit their appeal. But if Mr. McCain is to win the election this fall, he has to open up."

His "unique life story." That's funny! The whole philanderin' into wealth and using it to buy into politics and - hold on:

Specifically, Rove says McCain should reveal more about his wartime heroics and days as a prisoner of war in Vietnam. He also says McCain should spend more time highlighting the fact he and his wife took in a sick Bangladeshi child in 1991, their adopted daughter Bridget.

Well, fine. Never mind. Just never mind.


Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Ex-Chief Gitmo Prosecutor Testifies AGAINST BushCo

Things that make you want to say, "God damn America":
On the witness stand was the former chief prosecutor for the tribunals, Col. Morris Davis. Called to testify by defense lawyers, he told the court what he'd told the press -- that he'd quit after becoming convinced that the political appointees overseeing the system were about politics first and justice second, that he was told "we can't have acquittals," and that he was pushed to land indictments or plea deals before the election. He also said that his superiors saw no problem with using confessions obtained through torture, including waterboarding. Everything is "fair game," he says he was told, "let the judge sort it out."

And hiding veteran suicide rates - what the hell will it ever take before people have had enough? Veteran administration officials - which means Bush administration officials - are hiding U.S. military veteran suicide rates - and they still have any supporters at all? What the hell is wrong with people? Especially so-called "pro-troops" people?


Monday, April 28, 2008

SquidCam: Watch Live as Giant Squid Dissected

From Metafilter:

A team of scientists will be thawing and dissecting a giant and colossal squid between 28 – 30 April.

And you can watch:


Sunday, 27 April: Thawing starts - giant squid removal from freezer

Monday, 28 April: Small colossal squid removal from freezer. Examination of giant squid
3pm: large colossal squid removal from freezer.

Tuesday, 29 April: Examination of giant squid specimen; afternoon: examination of small colossal specimen.

Wednesday, 30 April: Wednesday 10 am - 2 pm: examination of large colossal specimen; 2 pm fixation of specimens in formalin

On May 1 and 2 there are a series of lectures. Here's an example of the video of the dissection table.


Pigs For Obama

Roger Waters at the Coachella Valley Music & Artists Festival floats a giant inflatable pig over the crowd. On it's belly: the word "Obama" with a checked box next to it.


Sunday, April 27, 2008

Earthquakes [Updtd]

Reno's just five hours away and it seems like there are little quakes happening everywhere . Here's another one.

The Big One's coming. I know it...

Update, 4/28: 4.8 off Vancouver Island. Draw a line from Reno to that quake...straight through my kitchen, swear to God.

The Big One...


Friday, April 25, 2008

Support the Troops, BushCo Style

A soldier's dad videos his son's barracks at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina (his son just returned from Afghanistan), and posts it on YouTube. This is your Army on Cheney, Bush, and Halliburton.


Urgent Request From Nigerian Hillary Clinton Business Proposal

Go. Witness the hilarity:



I wish to introduce myself to you. I am SENATOR HILLARY CLINTON, wife to former deposed president BILL CLINTON of the United States, who has been overthrown by tyrant GEORGE BUSH on 21 January 2001 who has ruled America with an iron fist.

Shortly before the present government consolidated power and banished my husband from his rightful Throne, the leaders of my political party entrusted to me the care of the legacy of Democracy and with the sacred charge of inheriting the leadership of the country so that we may once again bring peace to the land.

Violent rebels funded by the current government, and led by notorious BARACK OBAMA are conspiring to maintain the grip of the current government on power for many years to come.


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

17 Scientists Pick 17 High Impact Books

Great idea from New Scientist. And an impressive list of thinkers (with short articles from each on the books they chose):

1. Farthest North - Steve Jones, geneticist

2. The Art of the Soluble - V. S. Ramachandran, neuroscientist

3. Animal Liberation - Jane Goodall, primatologist

4. The Foundation trilogy - Michio Kaku, theoretical physicist

5. Alice in Wonderland - Alison Gopnik, developmental psychologist

6. One, Two, Three... Infinity - Sean Carroll, theoretical physicist

7. The Idea of a Social Science - Harry Collins, sociologist of science

8. Handbook of Mathematical Functions - Peter Atkins, chemist

9. The Mind of a Mnemonist - Oliver Sacks, neurologist

10. A Mathematician’s Apology - Marcus du Sautoy, mathematician

11. The Leopard - Susan Greenfield, neurophysiologist

12. Darwin and the Emergence of Evolutionary Theories of Mind and Behavior - Frans de Waal, psychologist and ethologist

13. Catch-22 / The First Three Minutes - Lawrence Krauss, physicist

14. William James, Writings 1878-1910 - Daniel Everett, linguist

15. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep - Chris Frith, neuroscientist

16. The Naked Ape - Elaine Morgan, author of The Aquatic Ape Hypothesis

17. King Solomon's Ring - Marian Stamp Dawkins, Zoologist

I'll go with Oliver Sacks' recommendation to start.


Obama in 30 Seconds

(Go on over and vote!)

Concise and powerful Obama video contest entry - from Ben Heine and The Poetryman.


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Earth Day Reading: 50 Simple Things...For the 21st Century

I'm going to a reading tonight by John, Sophie, and Jesse Javna, principal creators of 50 Simple Things You Can Do to Save the Earth: Completely New and Updated for the 21st Century.

50 Simple Things - revisited: [link fixed]

In this brand new edition—completely revised and updated—Javna and his two children, Sophie, age 14 and Jesse, age 18, have collaborated with 50 top environmental advocacy groups to explore the most important environmental issues facing us today. Together they outline simple, step-by-step actions that empower readers to become citizen activists in the fight to save the earth. The Javnas believe that although individual actions are important, real and lasting change will come about only when we work together.

Good idea, huh?

Here's their Web site. [link fixed] Go give 'em some love!


"I Looked Up 'Illiterate' in the Dictionary"...

Your Accidental Comedian of The Day: Rep. Douglas Bruce (R-Coloradoe Spreengs),


Reindeer Herder's Lasso Saves Ice-Fisher

You heard me.


V.A. Hid Veteran Suicide Numbers

BushCo can still go lower:

The charges were backed by internal e-mails written by Dr. Ira Katz, the VA's head of Mental Health.

In the past, Katz has repeatedly insisted while the risk of suicide among veterans is serious, it's not outside the norm.

"There is no epidemic in suicide in VA," Katz told Keteyian in November.

But in this e-mail to his top media adviser, written two months ago, Katz appears to be saying something very different, stating: "Our suicide prevention coordinators are identifying about 1,000 suicide attempts per month among veterans we see in our medical facilities."

Katz's e-mail was written shortly after the VA provided CBS News data showing there were only 790 attempted suicides in all 2007 - a fraction of Katz's estimate.


Saturday, April 19, 2008

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Bush Makes WH Video For Company Applying For Military Contract

From the lowest drawer in the Holy Friggin' Crap file:

Sitting at the head of the table, Air Force Maj. Gen. Stephen M. Goldfein, the highest-ranking officer in the room, leaned forward and told the officers and others assembled before him that they should steer a multi-million dollar Air Force contract to a company named Strategic Message Solutions.


It was during that meeting in November 2005, according to a 251-page IG report obtained by The Washington Post, that a controversial $50 million contract was awarded to a company that barely existed in an effort to reward a recently retired four-star general and a millionaire civilian pilot who had grown close to senior Air Force officials and the Thunderbirds.


According to the report, Goldfein even arranged for President Bush to videotape a testimonial in the White House Map Room that was included in the SMS contract proposal as a demonstration of the company's credibility and access.

Don't you love it how some stories veritably scream, "I have a front-page half-life of seventeen months"? Let's hope that scream is right.

More at the Air Force Times. The contract regarded producing "multimedia presentations for Thunderbirds air shows":

And it later came to light that Goldfein worked through the White House and got President Bush to tape a video testimonial for the Thunderbirds. Goldfein provided this testimonial to Shipley [president of SMS], and SMS included it in its proposal.

I don't think Bush could exactly say he didn't know it was going to be used on a presentation for a Pentagon contract - y'know? I mean the people who'd see kind of like know him and stuff. And if he does say that, well, so he's calling Goldfein a liar? This will be interesting.


Complete, Handwritten Darwin Online


This site contains Darwin's complete publications, thousands of handwritten manuscripts and the largest Darwin bibliography and manuscript catalogue ever published; also hundreds of supplementary works: biographies, obituaries, reviews, reference works and more.


"Sickened pork workers have new nerve disorder"


CHICAGO (Reuters) - Eighteen pork plant workers in Minnesota, at least five in Indiana and one in Nebraska have come down with a mysterious neurological condition they appear to have contracted while removing brains from slaughtered pigs, U.S. researchers and health officials said on Wednesday.

What can you add?


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Man Attacked By Crocodile; Friend Shoots Man

My God, I love Australia.

Hey, I passed right through Marrakai Station on my way to Jabiru in '06. How cool.

Photo by LT, NT, 2006


Mrs. McCain's Recipe Plagiarism?

What will she steal next?!

On a section of McCain's site called "Cindy's Recipes," you can find seven recipes attributed to Cindy McCain, each with the heading "McCain Family Recipe." Ms. Handel quickly realized that some of the "McCain Family Recipes," were in fact, word-for-word copies of recipes on the Food Network site.

My friends, there's a perfectly good explanation for Uh oh. The recipe pages is are now gone. Google it and it goes to this.

I think someone did a naughty.

(And while we're on the Crooked Talk Express, what the heck happened to the Keating 6 story?)


BBC: Aborigines 'used in experiments'

Sydney Morning Herald, and the BBC:

Aboriginal children in Australia were sometimes used for medical tests, it has been claimed.

Aborigine rights campaigner Kathleen Mills said she had heard of children being injected with a leprosy treatment and becoming very ill.

She said many members of the "Stolen Generations" - Aborigines taken from their homes and raised by white families - had similar experiences.

Senior politicians said they had never heard such claims before.

Photo via


Saturday, April 12, 2008

Pirrates Rrelease Hostages [Updtd]

Late Update: Pirates captured, flown to Paris. Pirates get all the breaks.

Updating this post, the 30 hostages taken last week from the yacht Le Ponant by PIRATES have been released. Whether or not a ransom was paid is unclearr.


Earthquakes Off Oregon

Man, there have been a a lot of earthquakes off the coast recently, and not just the 600 or so in the last 10 days reported in this story. More here and here at the USGS.

[Image via USGS]

Friday, April 11, 2008

The Pope Says Nope!

Oh schnapp! Pope benedict won't be attending a White House dinner in his honor next week. (He's going to be in the country at the time.)


Chuck Norris Existed...

...before the Big Bang. In fact - one of Chuck Norris's fists caused the Big Bang.

Your surprisingly good Chuck Norris news for the day.


Why Isn't Bilal Hussein Free?

What the hell?

The US military says it will continue to hold Iraqi news photographer Bilal Hussein while it reviews a government amnesty order.

The Associated Press (AP) man has been held for two years on suspicion of helping Iraqi insurgents.

But Iraqi judges on Wednesday dismissed the accusations and ordered his release under this year's Amnesty Law.

A US military spokesman said Mr Hussein would still be held as a "terrorist" threat pending a review of the order.



The George Bush Torture Team: Sweating

Do they wake up in the middle of the night with a knot in their guts that just won't go away?

A lump in their throats?


Thursday, April 10, 2008

Bottomfeeders CD: $5

*** Sale over! Thanks to everybody who bought a song or the album or even just gave it a listen - it's appreciated. ***

*** Last day of A Long Tough Blog's $5 CD sale! Get songs like "I Cant Wait to Do a Tracheotomy" for your iPod today!

Hard copy or MP3 (includes a JPG of the album art), only $5 in this limited-time offer.

You can hear samples over there, or at MySpace and similar places (links at top right). Thanks!

And: Huge thanks to A.C. for the link.

[First posted mid-March; front-paged until April 11.]


Report: Torture Approval Went to Top

I almost wrote, "This will be a huge story." I should know better by now.

In dozens of top-secret talks and meetings in the White House, the most senior Bush administration officials discussed and approved specific details of how high-value al Qaeda suspects would be interrogated by the Central Intelligence Agency, sources tell ABC News.

The so-called Principals who participated in the meetings also approved the use of "combined" interrogation techniques -- using different techniques during interrogations, instead of using one method at a time -- on terrorist suspects who proved difficult to break, sources said.

Highly placed sources said a handful of top advisers signed off on how the CIA would interrogate top al Qaeda suspects -- whether they would be slapped, pushed, deprived of sleep or subjected to simulated drowning, called waterboarding.


At the time, the Principals Committee included Vice President Cheney, former National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Secretary of State Colin Powell, as well as CIA Director George Tenet and Attorney General John Ashcroft.

The "Principals." How ironic.

And - Colin Powell deserves a special place in Hell's Hell if he had a part in approving torture.


Food Riots

Daily Kos.

And shouldn't Wolf Blitzer know stuff?

Last Living WW-One Vet Will Be Interred at Arlington

Not yet, though! 107-year-old Frank Buckles is still kicking ass.

More here, and image from near there.


Great Moments in Fark Headlinery

Fark headline of the day award:
"A Cambridgeshire church has lost its 'Spitting Vicar'. The English language, however, has gained another euphemism for 'Penis."

Understanding Nothing: Before the Big Bang

A new theory emerges:

That means that our universe today, roughly 13.7 billion years after the bounce, would share many of the same properties of the pre-bounce universe at 13.7 billion years before the bounce. In a sense, our universe has a mirror image of itself, with the Big Bang (or bounce) as the line of symmetry


Inject-A-Spinal Cord

Technology Review:

Previously, researchers have restored function in the paralyzed hind legs of mice, but those experiments involved surgically implanting various types of material, while the new substance can simply be injected into the animals. The nanofibers break down into nutrients in three to eight weeks, says Stupp.

The new material is different because the researchers can inject it as a liquid directly into the spinal cord. Negatively charged molecules in the liquid start clumping together when they come in contact with positively charged particles such as calcium and sodium ions in the body. The molecules self-assemble into hollow, cylindrical nanofibers, which form a scaffold that can trap cells. On the surface of the nanofibers are biological molecules that inhibit scars and encourage nerve fibers to grow.


Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Iraqi Journalist Bilal Hussein is [*] Free [Updtd]

[* Ordered freed, not free yet.] [4/11: updt]

From Glenn Greenwald (go to updates):

The lawless detention of Bilal Hussein was one of the worst American travesties of the U.S. occupation. He was but one of 24,000 Iraqis (at least) detained without charges. But the fact that he was an AP photojournalist (part of a Pulitzer Prize-winning team covering the war) whose journalism reflected negatively on the Bush administration, and who became controversial (and then lawlessly imprisoned) as a result of that work, made his detention -- imprisoned for over 19 months without even any charges before finally being turned over to an Iraqi court -- that much more reprehensible.

A small step for actual freedom in Iraq, a giant kick in the ass for George W. Bush.

Update: Hotair blogger Allahpundit reports on the story, giving his note the headline Not guilty? Not quite.

Those Warbloggers - constantly putting (other peoples') lives on the line to defend that sacred tenant of democracy: "guilty until somehow found guilty."

(Here's another one. They want him so bad to be guilty of something - anything - simply so they can justify their Jihad! against AP. Strange, demented children.)


Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Follow Tagged Great White in Real Time

Just amazing:

A juvenile Great White shark that was on exhibit in the Monterey Bay Aquarium has been tagged and released into open ocean, and is being tracked in real time on this website.

Go here and find "Juvenile White Shark" on the list on the left. Last tracked he was entering the Sea of Cortez. Lots of other animals to follow as well.