Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Lander Detects Snow Falling on Mars

You live in an era in which it's possible to read a news release that says that the little car that we put on the planet Mars has "detected snow falling from Martian clouds."

How cool is that?

They're not saying whether it's water snow—or if any other kind exists, but I'm guessing it does.


Is Sarah Palin the Anti-Christ?

I'm just curious.

And take a look at that photo! (Click to make larger.) She's shooting Satan-rays out her eyes!

Now to the subject this post was supposed to be about: John McCain suggests Sarah Palin could be the next Clinton or Reagan.

Who knew he hated Reagan that much?


Sunday, September 28, 2008

Egyptian Jailed: Questioned Mubarak's Health

Our friend Egypt, who still gets about $1.5 billion in U.S. aid a year, put a journalist in prison for questioning the health of President Hosni Mubarak.


Frank Rich Serves You John McCain

On a skewer.

A few things that stand out: Rich shows McCain to be shamelessly greedy for power; dangerously ignorant and reckless in that pursuit of power; as destructively divisive as they come in regards to party politics; he's two-faced; he's a liar; and he has lost his honor. Just a few things.

A piece:

To put these 24 hours in context, you must remember that McCain not only knows little about the economy but that he has not previously expressed any urgency about its meltdown. It was on Sept. 15 — the day after his former idol Alan Greenspan pronounced the current crisis a “once-in-a-century” catastrophe — that McCain reaffirmed for the umpteenth time that the “fundamentals of our economy are strong.” As recently as Tuesday he had not yet even read the two-and-a-half-page bailout proposal first circulated by Hank Paulson last weekend. “I have not had a chance to see it in writing,” he explained. (Maybe he was waiting for it to arrive by Western Union instead of PDF.)

That's a very, very tame piece compared to the rest.


SNL Last Night

Out of the park. Grand slam. Nostril milk. Etc.


13 Million Digit Prime Number Discovered

What this proves: that mathematicians are lonely people with lots of time on their hands.


Saturday, September 27, 2008

"John, You Were Wrong"

Excellent video using pieces of last night's debate, and flashbacks to john McCain saying really stupid stuff.


Saturday Sonata: 8 Bells

My fifteenth Saturday Sonata is up at The Peace Tree.

This week: 8 bells.


So Long, Paul Newman

One of the good guys.

Now here's something interesting: Haaretz has the story under the headline (at least on the Google page), Legendary Jewish American actor Paul Newman dies aged 83. I don't think I ever knew he was Jewish.

Oh, funny. His mother was Catholic, his father Jewish. He considered himself Jewish, he said, because it was "more of a challenge." (From this 11-page TIME article on Newman from December, 2006.)

A tribute over at Newman's Own.

And an interview. "Couple hundred million I guess."

And another, regarding Newman's Own specifically:


Friday, September 26, 2008

Oldest Rocks Found

No, this is this is not a John McCain joke:

Earth's most ancient rocks, with an age of 4.28 billion years, have been found on the shore of Hudson Bay, Canada.
Writing in Science journal, a team reports finding that a sample of Nuvvuagittuq greenstone is 250 million years older than any rocks known.
It may even hold evidence of activity by ancient life forms. [...]

"The rocks contain a very special chemical signature - one that can only be found in rocks which are very, very old," he said.

Photos of the area.


Thursday, September 25, 2008

Couric: "Really Interesting Experience" Interviewing Palin

Yeah, as in, it's like I did way too much acid.

Check this nugget out:

PALIN: Ultimately, what the bailout does is help those who are concerned about the health care reform that is needed to help shore up the economy– Oh, it’s got to be about job creation too. So health care reform and reducing taxes and reining in spending has got to accompany tax reductions.

Oh my god, the floor is moving. This is some good shit, man.


Quartz City

I find funny blog for you.


Video: Israelis for OBAMA [updtd]

Steve Clemons warns: "Beware, it triggers tears in some."

Update: Dang, the title read "Israelis for McCain" for days! I'm a dope!


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Campbell Brown On McCain/Palin Fiasco

Kind of an odd angle - "Free Sarah Palin" - as if she hasn't had a part in this nonsense, but good nonetheless:

I call upon the McCain campaign to stop treating Sarah Palin like she is a delicate flower who will wilt at any moment.

This woman is from Alaska for crying out loud. She is strong, she is tough, she is confident. And you claim she is ready to be one heartbeat away from the presidency. If that is the case, then end this chauvinistic treatment of her now. Allow her to show her stuff.

Allow her to face down those pesky reporters just like Barack Obama did today, just like John McCain did today. Just like Joe Biden has done on numerous occasions. Let her have a real news conference with real questions.

By treating Sarah Palin differently from other candidates in this race, you are not showing her the respect she deserves.

Free Sarah Palin.

Free her from the chauvinistic chains you are binding her with.

Sexism in this campaign must come to an end. Sarah Palin has as much a right to be a real candidate in this race as the men do.

So let her act like one.


Active Army Unit Stationed In U.S. For First Time

In October.

The 3rd Infantry Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team has spent 35 of the last 60 months in Iraq patrolling in full battle rattle, helping restore essential services and escorting supply convoys.

Now they’re training for the same mission — with a twist — at home.


It is not the first time an active-duty unit has been tapped to help at home. In August 2005, for example, when Hurricane Katrina unleashed hell in Mississippi and Louisiana, several active-duty units were pulled from various posts and mobilized to those areas.

But this new mission marks the first time an active unit has been given a dedicated assignment to NorthCom, a joint command established in 2002 to provide command and control for federal homeland defense efforts and coordinate defense support of civil authorities.


They may be called upon to help with civil unrest and crowd control or to deal with potentially horrific scenarios such as massive poisoning and chaos in response to a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or high-yield explosive, or CBRNE, attack.



Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Polar Bears "Resort to Cannabilism" As Ice Shrinks


Less than 30 years ago, there would still be 7 million square kilometers or 2.5 million square miles of ice left at the end of an Arctic summer. That's now dropped by almost 40 percent.


"The Arctic sea ice melt is a disaster for the polar bears," according to Kassie Siegel, staff attorney for the Center for Biological Diversity. "They are dependent on the Arctic sea ice for all of their essential behaviors, and as the ice melts and global warming transforms the Arctic, polar bears are starving, drowning, even resorting to cannibalism because they don't have access to their usual food sources."

Polar Bears International.


Man With Gun Arrested Near Obama's Home

Here. And here.

Are they going to find a bunch of "high-powered rifles, ammunition, wigs, scopes, fake i.d.'s, radios, [and] camouflage gear" on him and say he was no credible threat?


Monday, September 22, 2008

The Financial Mess Explained

Not overly long, one look at some U.S. financial history from 1982 until the present.

And if you think it can't get worse, read this:

The Federal Reserve said Sunday it had granted a request by the country's last two major investment banks — Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley — to change their status to bank holding companies.

What does that mean? It means, if I'm understanding this correctly, and I think I am, that they don't have to go down in the flames they deserve - nope - they get a piece of the $700 billion dollar pie that us taxpayers will be paying.

Isn't that special?


CNN Carries Palin's Rape Kit Story

'Bout time.

Background here.

Short version: While Palin was mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, the city charged rape victims for rape examination kits.

Palin's defense: nobody can prove that she knew anything about it. How's that for Leadership We Can Count On?

Add this to it: The state was trying to get a law passed that would have stopped cities from continuing the abhorrent practice. Wasilla's police chief opposed it vocally. Mayor Palin somehow was unaware of this.

And from the Alaska Report (Shannyn Moore wrote that), that police chief was hired by Sarah Palin. The police chief before him - the one Palin fired - he had the city pay for the kits:

Much can be learned about the Palin Administration’s family values from reviewing their spending priorities. Former Chief of Police Irl Stambaugh included forensic rape kits (up to $1,200 per kit) in his budget requests. He was fired by Palin in 1997. In her termination letter, Palin wrote, “…I do not feel I have your full support in my efforts to govern the city of Wasilla. Therefore I intend to terminate your employment. . . ” Staumbaugh headed the police department since it was created in 1993. Before that, he served 22 years with the Anchorage Police Department rising to the rank of captain. Sarah Palin hired Charlie Fannon as the new Wasilla Chief of Police and said it was one of her best decisions as mayor. Fannon eliminated the forensic rape kits from the budget. Though the number of rapes weren’t reported, Fannon claimed it would save Wasilla taxpayers $5,000 to $14,000 a year.


Friday, September 19, 2008

Children & Lying

From the American Academy of Child Adolescent Psychiatry:

Lying that may indicate emotional problems:

Some children, who know the difference between truthfulness and lying, tell elaborate stories which appear believable. Children or adolescents usually relate these stories with enthusiasm because they receive a lot of attention as they tell the lie.

Other children or adolescents, who otherwise seem responsible, fall into a pattern of repetitive lying. They often feel that lying is the easiest way to deal with the demands of parents, teachers and friends. These children are usually not trying to be bad or malicious but the repetitive pattern of lying becomes a bad habit.

There are also some children and adolescents who are not bothered by lying or taking advantage of others. Other adolescents may frequently use lying to cover up another serious problem. For example, an adolescent with a serious drug or alcohol problem will lie repeatedly to hide the truth about where they have been, who they were with, what they were doing, and where the money went.


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Gordon Smith Lied About Hiring Undocumented Workers

Smith went apopleptic when he was accused of hiring undocumented workers at his Smith's Frozen Foods plant in Weston, Oregon.

The followup, from the Willamette Weekly:

When Salgado went to Smith’s for a job in 1982—while the multimillion-dollar business was under Smith’s direct control—he had no papers permitting him to work in the United States, not even fake ones. When he filled out his application to work for Smith Frozen Foods he simply made up a Social Security number, he says. What’s more, so did his brother.


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Hubble Finds a Mystery Object in Space

Just appeared there one day.


"Everyone in Alaska Uses Tanning Beds"

I just remembered hearing that from that dope whose name I can't remember on Olbermann last night.

The Alaskans I lived and worked with would howl at that statement.


Saturday, September 13, 2008

Hackers Attack Large Hadron Collider

How in hell's ankles do you get inside CERN computers? That's some serious hackerating skillz.

Click on the photo. That's the message they left on computer screens inside CERN - as the first particles were making their trip around the tunnel. They claim to be a group called the "GST: Greek Security Team." Their message ended with "We are 2600 - dont mess with us."



I Will Lie the Devil to Sleep

Sarah Palin has a plan for America's enemies: she's going to lie them to death.

She's a new Marvel Comics superhero: Atomic Lie Lady.

Osama bin Ladan? She's lied bigger lies for breakfast.

The Taliban? She will annihilate them with her Atomic Lie-ser Ray.

Iran? She's been there like four hundred times, and she knows exactly where they keep their hundreds of thousands of Weapons of Mass Destruction. She'll activate them with her Lie-beam. Iran go lie-bye.


Thursday, September 11, 2008

Timeline at the Pentagon

The memorial:

Julie Beckman, 35, and Keith Kaseman, 36, who have since married, were only a few years out of college when they entered the design contest for the Pentagon Memorial, competing with more than 1,100 other entries in their first major design competition.

"We were living in New York on 9/11 and experienced the city in one of its darkest hours," Beckman said, adding that she and her partner had no real hope of winning and entered as "a way for us to deal with our grief."

Their winning design, which emerged from among six finalists, is now on display about 200 feet from where American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the side of the Pentagon, killing 59 passengers and 125 inside the building. The demolished section of the Pentagon was repaired within a year, in time for the second anniversary of 9/11.

The memorial field, separated from the Pentagon by a tall black fence, is organized as a timeline of the victims’ ages, moving from the youngest, 3-year-old Dana Falkenberg, to the oldest, John D. Yamnicky, a 71-year-old Navy captain. Both were passengers on the flight.


Hot Hadron Particle Physicists!

Damn them! They're going to rip the universe to shreds while distracting us. Bastards!


Rarest Tree Frog Found After 20 Years

That and some other good animal videos from the BBC.


Wednesday, September 10, 2008