Friday, December 21, 2007

The naked priest

The Rev. Robert Whipkey was arrested June 22 in Frederick, about 25 miles north of Denver, after an officer saw him walking on a street naked at 4:35 a.m. Whipkey told police he jogged naked because he sweats profusely if he wears clothing, according an arrest report.

- azcentral (read full story here)

The wheels of justice grind slow, but they surely do grind.

Sour tone, or lack thereof

"Democrat Barack Obama on Thursday lamented the sour tone of the presidential campaign...."

- AP/Forbes (read full story here)

I would like to see a lot more eye-gouging and ear-biting on the Democratic/Socialist side of the campaign.

World class genius

Former President Clinton says his wife is a "world-class genius" when it comes to improving the lives of others.

- AP/Forbes (read full story here)

Translation = She has a world class genius for raising taxes and exerting more government control over peoples' lives.

Mitt happens

Mitt Romney, who earlier this year had to backpedal on his hunting exploits, is explaining himself again after claiming an endorsement he did not receive and saying he witnessed his father in civil rights marches he could not have seen.

- AP/Forbes (read full story here)

Each one of these is very minor, but the accumulation starts to give the wrong impression.

An inordinate fondness for beetles

(Thanks to Elizabeth for this link)

Interesting new development on the evolution of beetles.

Disappointing that the "inordinate fondness" quote was not included.

One of my pet peeves is the "must have" nonsense from the Harvard guy.

The Harvard guy knows all too well that "must have" is not science.

Maybe he was mis-quoted.

Thursday, December 20, 2007


Rep. Tom Tancredo plans to withdraw from the GOP presidential field today, ending a campaign in which he failed to gain much attention or traction as rivals largely adopted his long-held immigration positions.

- Denver Post (read full story here)

What a bitter disappointment. He was good on the issues.

The Breck Girl

Edwards has said that, if elected, he would attack poverty by making it easier for unions to organize, creating temporary jobs for people who can't find work, expanding the federal Earned Income Tax Credit, adding 1 million new federally subsidized housing vouchers and creating universal kindergarten and pre-school.

- AP/Forbes (read full story here)

Translation = By raising taxes and exerting more government control over peoples' lives, the cause of liberalism can be advanced.

Manchurian candidate for Muslims

"It's probably not something that appeals to him, but I like the fact that his name is Barack Hussein Obama, and that his father was a Muslim and that his paternal grandmother is a Muslim," said Kerrey, a former governor and the current president of the New School in New York City. "There's a billion people on the planet that are Muslims, and I think that experience is a big deal."

Kerrey's mention of Obama's middle name and his Muslim roots raised eyebrows because they are also used as part of a smear campaign on the Internet that falsely suggests Obama is a Muslim who wants to bring jihad to the United States.

- AP/Forbes (read full story here)

Smear campaign? What smear campaign?


As far as I can tell, it's mostly secular liberals swooning over Huckabee. Liberals adore Huckabee because he fits their image of what an evangelical should be: stupid and easily led.

I guess Huckabee is one of those pro-sodomy, pro-gay marriage, pro-evolution evangelical Christians.

- Ann Coulter (read her full comments here)

And to think that I once liked Hucklebee.

Looking for a Christmas tree

Frederick Dominguez and the children, who vanished while looking for a Christmas tree, were rescued Wednesday by a helicopter from a snowy ravine, just as another storm was bearing down in the foothill region about 100 miles north of Sacramento.

- AP/ajc (read full story here)

Ms. Irrelevant

Former Democratic Rep. Cynthia McKinney, who was ousted from office last year after a headline-grabbing scuffle with a Capitol Hill police officer, has decided to seek the presidency - as a Green Party candidate.

"The Democrats do not speak for us," she said. "The Democrats are no different than their Republican counterparts."

- AP/Forbes (read full story here)

How can anyone take someone like this seriously?

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Hot Rod

.... Sean Dubowik, who .... bears the tattooed slogan, "Hot Rod."

Dubowik .... said he'd gotten the tattoo on a $1,000 bet.

"It was the most horrible thing I ever went though in my life," Dubowik said.

- azcentral (read full story here)


"Mike Huckabee is the Republican Jimmy Carter."

- Ann Coulter, quoted on (read full story here)


Harridan for President

Mrs. Clinton has embarked this week on a warm-and-fuzzy tour, blitzing full throttle by helicopter across Iowa to present herself as likable and heartwarming, a complement to her “strength and experience” message that the campaign felt a female candidate needed first.

- NY Times (read full story here)

Amazing that anyone could take this seriously.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Ken Burns

Barack Obama picked up an endorsement Tuesday from filmmaker Ken Burns, who said he was disappointed in what he called the negative tone of Hillary Rodham Clinton's campaign.

- AP/Forbes (read full story here)

This is the kind of endorsement that would make me less likely to vote for someone.

I heard Burns speak at Yale, and the experience confirmed my opinion that he is a loser.

Romney & Planned Parenthood

Mitt Romney dismissed a picture on the Internet on Tuesday that apparently showed him attending a fundraising reception for Planned Parenthood in 1994 during his Senate campaign.

- AP/Forbes (read full story here)

That was a long time ago.

The Infamous Clinton Double Standard

Bill Clinton says Sen. Barack Obama is a highly ambitious, political prodigy who is asking voters to "roll the dice" and elect him president.

He should know - that's a fair description of Clinton when he sought the presidency in 1992.

It also illustrates Clinton's penchant for rewriting history.

- AP/Forbes (read full story here)

Business as usual from the Clinton campaign.

Dealing with ice dams

This story documents how it is already one of the worst winters for ice dams, and winter is just starting.

Anyone who thinks there should be gutters on the new mansion in Indian River needs to read this article so they know exactly what we are up against.

The Beer Ambassador

Saturday, we attended the beer tasting at Discount Liquor on Oklahoma Ave. in Milwaukee.

The Beer Ambassador was pouring several fine beers from Tyranena.

She was a lot more interested in talking beer than last time I saw her.


Impeccable dancing, fanciful costumes and sets, and the incomparable music of Tchaikovsky hold equal footing in the Milwaukee Ballet's magical production "The Nutcracker."

- Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (read full review here)

Friday night, we attended the opening performance of the 2007 Nutcracker.

Thanks to Elizabeth for the tickets.

Thoroughly enjoyed it, but still prefer the old one-eyed Drosselmeyer from years ago.

McCain & Lieberman

Republican John McCain is having quite a moment. He's rising in the polls. He's got major newspaper endorsements in Iowa and New Hampshire. And now he's getting help with this state's legions of independent voters from Joe Lieberman, the contrarian who was Democrat Al Gore's running mate in 2000.

- AP/Forbes (read full story here)

Just when I thought McCain had completely fallen off the radar screen.


Interesting article on the battle of African immigrants versus demons, devils, witchcraft, and curses.

Giant rat

"The giant rat is about five times the size of a typical city rat," said Kristofer Helgen, a scientist with the Smithsonian Institution in Washington.

- AP/azcentral (read full story here)

For another version of the story, including many references to literature, see:

Monday, December 17, 2007

Manchurian candidate for Muslims

Obama staffers and volunteers say they periodically encounter voters who say they cannot support Obama because he is Muslim, a claim that has been making its way through Internet sites and blogs since he announced his candidacy for president.

- AP/Forbes (read full story here)

Obama's father was Muslim, which means to a great many Muslims that Obama is also Muslim.

In some parts of the Muslim world, Obama could get the death penalty for converting to Christianity.

Billick & the Ravens

Nevertheless, the Ravens are the worst team playing right now.

- David Steele, Baltimore Sun (read his full comments here)

Pathetic. Lost 8 in a row, lost to the hapless Dolphins, and their head coach is brain-dead.

Mr. Savage

Then, a few weeks ago, Mr. Savage uncorked a cascade of invective about Islam. Among his on-air comments: the Koran is “a book of hate”; some Muslims, at least, “need deportation”; and adherents of Islam would do well to “take your religion and shove it up your behind” because “I’m sick of you.”

- NY Times (read full story here)

He does not pull any punches.

Rodriguez & Michigan

But the hiring of Rodriguez away from West Virginia will not be cheap. Michigan will pay West Virginia $4 million just to release him from his contract, the largest known buyout to hire a college football coach. Rodriguez is expected to make well over $2 million a season in salary, which would put him among the top dozen of the nation’s highest-paid coaches.

- NY Times (read full story here)

So much for rumors that Michigan was penny-pinching.

The software spiral crashes and burns

Interesting article on faster manycore chips and the lagging attempts to fully utilize them via software.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Global warming

More than two miles above the Pacific surf, at the summit of the world's largest volcano, the evidence of human influence on global warming is in the air.

- Wall Street Journal/Denver Post (read full story here)

Odd that the sensor is mounted atop a volcano, but the article does not in any way address the relative contribution of active volcanoes.

Boston Globe

The Boston Globe's editorial board has endorsed Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain ahead of the New Hampshire presidential primary and the Iowa caucus, the newspaper reported Saturday.

- AP/Forbes (read full story here)

Are these valuable endorsements or the kiss of death?

Friday, December 14, 2007


Huckabee, a fireman's son from tiny Hope, Ark., is hoping to follow the footsteps of his hometown's most famous overachiever, former President Clinton.

- AP/Forbes (read full story here)

Pathetic. Bill Clinton was a chronic underachiever as president.

Eat more bison

Buffalo meat is lower in fat and calories than beef, pork or chicken, with a flavor similar to beef, only richer and sweeter.

- (read full story here)

Eating at the bar

Very interesting article on the trend (in Milwaukee) towards eating at the bar instead of at a table.

Very gushy piece that makes it sound like a lot of fun.

To do list

(thanks to for this list)

Spring will be here before you know it! Here are
10 early season chores that will get you all psyched
up for the pleasures of spring…

1. Clean, sharpen, and oil your gardening tools.
2. Prune back perennials that may need it.
3. Prune summer flowering shrubs.
4. Rake your lawn.
5. When soil permits, till the garden.
6. Start propagating houseplants.
7. Turn your compost pile and sift decomposed material.
8. Amend your flower bed soil with compost and organic matter.
9. Start a garden journal for 2008.
10. Stock up on supplies for indoor seed starting.

More taxes

Democratic presidential rivals called for higher taxes on the highest-paid Americans and on big corporations Thursday and said any thought of balancing the federal budget would have to wait.

- AP/Forbes (read full story here)

Liberal plans for more taxes on the wealthy always transmogrify into higher taxes for everyone.

Boy vs. moose

This 12 year-old Norwegian boy saved his sister and himself from a moose attack using skills he picked up in the online role playing game 'World of Warcraft.'

- (read full story here)

Top predators

An unknown predator mauled a pit bull and killed two puppies in Brunswick County [NC], and residents fear it's the same animal that killed three dogs in September.

Some residents and experts said the predator may be a bear, a wayward panther or cougar, or even a wolf because 3-inch paw tracks were found at the scene.

- AP/ajc (read full story here)

Based on tracks, it should be possible to identify which animal it was.

Democrats vs. Democrats

Now, as Congress struggles to adjourn for Christmas, relations between House Democrats and their colleagues in the Senate have devolved into finger-pointing.

Democrats in each chamber are now blaming their colleagues in the other for the mess in which they find themselves.

- Washington Post (read full story here)

They are both right.


Interesting article on Huckabee as the new Jimmy Carter.

Broncos vs. Rockets

Afterward, Mike Shanahan repeatedly blamed himself for not having his team prepared.

"Maybe I worked the guys too hard," Shanahan said. "I don't really know what it was, but we didn't have the energy we had a week ago."

- Denver Post (read full story here)

For two days in a row, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel listed the games as "Broncos vs. Rockets."

I guess it is difficult for northern liberals to keep all those Houston teams straight.

Then, the Texans crushed the Broncos. What has happened to the Broncos?

The Clantons vs. Manchurian candidate for Muslims

Presidential contender Hillary Rodham Clinton on Thursday accepted the resignation of a top adviser who a day earlier suggested voters should ask rival Barack Obama if he were a drug dealer.

- AP/Forbes (read full story here)

Interesting to note that the Clantons never had any problems with Bill's drug use.

What was Bill's comment? He never exhaled?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Urban chickens

Cities including Madison, Wis., and Kent, Wash., have passed ordinances allowing people to keep chickens. In Ann Arbor, Mich., a councilman says he plans to introduce a resolution to allow hens to be kept for eggs, and the Board of Zoning Appeals in the upscale Indianapolis suburb of Carmel recently approved an exception to city rules to allow a family to keep three hens in their backyard.

- AP/azcentral (read full story here)

Hales Corners does not allow chickens.

Emmitt Thomas

Emmitt Thomas, the Falcons secondary coach, will serve as interim head coach of the team for the final three games of the season, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.

- Atlanta Journal Constitution (read full story here)

I liked Emmitt when he was defensive coordinator for the Packers in 1999.

Larry Craig Christmas

More House page scandals

The political fallout over the expulsions of four (possibly more) teenagers from the House page program is getting nastier. And now it's unclear whether the tradition of having teens in matching navy suits running errands for the powerful on Capitol Hill will even continue.

- Mary Ann Akers, Washington Post (read her full column here)

If the Republicans were in control, this story would be front-page news for weeks on end, and there would be charges of a cover-up, but since the Democrats are running things now, it is business as usual.

iPod caused crash

A car rollover that killed two Minnetonka High School seniors happened because the driver was distracted by her iPod, according to the final State Patrol report released Monday.

- Star Tribune (read full story here)

Global warming strikes Midwest

Snow and ice storms battering the Midwest since the weekend have caused at least 23 deaths, snarled air travel, closed schools, left thousands without electricity and temporarily halted presidential campaigning in Iowa.

- Washington Post (read full story here)

This deep and deadly freeze was caused by global warming?

Armed guards, part 3

"Why are there security guards at a church?"

"The reality of the situation is -- it's a sad reality, but it's a reality -- there are no sanctuaries anymore. We've seen this happen in schools, in malls, playgrounds, parks, churches. No place is safe anymore."

"It is important to have technology as well as trained security personnel who are prepared and trained in all scenarios. In addition, it is important to have uniformed police officers on site to avoid situations like what happened in Colorado."

- Washington Post (read full story here)

If more law-abiding citizens were armed, we would all be safer.

Huckabee, the 1992 version

"I believe to try to legitimize that which is inherently illegitimate would be a disgraceful act of government. I feel homosexuality is an aberrant, unnatural and sinful lifestyle, and we now know it can pose a dangerous public health risk."

- AP/Forbes (read full story here)

That was a long time ago.

Jesus and the devil

Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee, an ordained Southern Baptist minister, asks in an upcoming article, "Don't Mormons believe that Jesus and the devil are brothers?"

The article, to be published in Sunday's New York Times Magazine, says Huckabee asked the question after saying he believes Mormonism is a religion but doesn't know much about it.

- AP/Forbes (read full story here)

If he does not know much about it, then he should refrain from asking questions like that.

Ice fishing in Wisconsin

This is how they ice fish in Wisconsin. Compare the previous picture for icefishing in Colorado.

Ice fishing in Colorado

This is how they ice fish in Colorado. Obviously a lot different than they do it in Wisconsin.

Colorado's Fishing Headquarters

Huckabee & the Minuteman

"For months now, I've been searching for a candidate to support for president of the United States," said Gilchrist. He said he settled on Huckabee as the candidate whose plans were most likely to halt "this illegal immigrant invasion problem."

- AP/Forbes (read full story here)

It is a problem.


The SEC is becoming a rehab facility for NFL coaches gone bad. Roll call: South Carolina's Steve Spurrier (12-20 with the Redskins), Alabama's Nick Saban (15-17 with the Dolphins), Kentucky's Rich Brooks (13-19 with the Rams) and now Petrino (3-10 with the Falcons).

- Atlanta Journal Constitution (read full story here)

Maybe Petrino should have gone to Michigan instead, but then again, maybe Michigan wants someone with a little more character.

Armed guards, part 2

The security guard credited with bravery for shooting a gunman at a Colorado church was fired from her job as a Minneapolis police officer in the 1990s for lying, Minneapolis police officials said Tuesday.

- Star Tribune (read full story here)

Why do the Minneapolis police feel the need to tell us this when they are not willing to tell us about any commendations she received?

Cris Carter & Son

Very gushy article on former NFL receiver Cris Carter and his son.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Deer on a bicycle

Thanks to my brother for this one.

Privacy, or lack thereof

The fourth-largest search engine company will begin a service today called AskEraser, which allows users to make their searches more private.

But underscoring how difficult it is to completely erase one’s digital footprints, the information typed by users of AskEraser into will not disappear completely.

- NY Times (read full story here)

More private, but not actually private.

Top predators

Interesting article on top predator/midlevel predator/prey relationships.


For the better part of the last year, Blackwater has maintained a conspicuous presence in Potrero. Company officials have attended planning group meetings, established a shelter and relief center after wildfires burned down 17 Potrero homes in October — and have attracted some supporters.

Sitting at the 94 Cafe, the town’s only diner, Andrew Lindsay, 82, and his wife Inez, 74, counted themselves among those supporters. Mr. Lindsay wore a pin with the firm’s bear paw logo on his cap.

- NY Times (read full story here)

I support Blackwater. Where do I get one of those pins?

Addendum: There are some available on e-bay.

Bachelor President?

The country has not elected a bachelor president since 1884, when Grover Cleveland won the White House despite newspapers huffing that "a man who will not marry a woman and take care of her has no right to be a president."

- AP/Forbes (read full story here)

Bloomberg is not going to be president, but he might help The Clantons get elected.


"I favor whatever provides us more police," Graham said. "For us, more police is simply better. It makes a difference. It assures the neighborhood and prevents crime."

- DC Council Member, quoted by The Washington Post (read full story here)

I agree.

Armed guards

A heavily armed man who killed four young people at a missionary training center and a church Sunday apparently intended to gun down many more victims before he was shot by a church security guard, authorities said Monday.

- Washington Post (read full story here)

This is why we need armed guards at churches.

On relative difficulty

It ought to be at least as difficult to get across an international border as it is to get on an airplane in our own home town.

- Huckabee ad, quoted by The Washington Post (read full story here)

I agree.


A former CIA officer who participated in the capture and questioning of the first al-Qaeda terrorist suspect to be waterboarded said yesterday that the harsh technique provided an intelligence breakthrough that "probably saved lives," but that he now regards the tactic as torture.

- Washington Post (read full story here)

And the alternative is what? Squander American lives that could have been saved?

World's first supermodel

One of the world's first supermodels (she even claims to have coined the word), Dickinson, 52, .... claimed to have had sex with over 1,000 men.

- Miami Herald (read full story here)

Odd claim to fame.

Grand Valley deserved home field

Was it an NCAA conspiracy that forced the Lakers to be the visitors simply to make the challenge greater for a program that has been viewed as the undesired New York Yankees of Division II football?

Or was it a plan by the NCAA to get rid of the evil empire from West Michigan before the national championship in northern Alabama?

- The Grand Rapids Press (read full story here)

Good questions.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Jumping without a parachute

Fascinating article about jumping without a parachute.

I am not ready to try this myself.

Carolin' Carolynne

Yesterday, we attended the Milwaukee Rep performance of "Carolin' Carolynne's Comin' to Town" at the Stackner Cabaret.

Thanks to Elizabeth for the tickets.

Easily the most bizarre Christmas show I've ever seen.

Excellent Sprecher Black Bavarian on tap.

My favorite sketches were the Siren and the Irish.

Pet benefits

Dogs and cats are often another beloved family member -- the replacement children for empty nesters, the substitute kids for young couples and singles. Now you just might be able to add Spot onto your health insurance plan.

- Miami Herald (read full story here)


Sunday, December 09, 2007


Republican presidential contender Mike Huckabee says he'd seal the Mexican border, hire more agents to patrol it and make illegal immigrants go home before they could apply to return to this country.

- AP/Forbes (read full story here)

Good goals, but hard to accomplish.


GOP presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee said Sunday he won't run from his statement 15 years ago that AIDS patients should have been isolated.

- AP/Forbes (read full story here)

Quarantine has been used to control the spread of infectious diseases for hundreds, maybe thousands, of years.


Atrazine, the second most widely used weedkiller in the country, is showing up in some streams and rivers at levels high enough to potentially harm amphibians, fish and aquatic ecosystems, according to the findings of an extensive Environmental Protection Agency database that has not been made public.

- Washington Post (read full story here)

Farmers either use weedkiller or have greatly reduced crop yields.

Manchurian candidate for Muslims

The Washington Post has been criticized for a story examining reports of Barack Obama’s “Muslim ties” — but the article’s editor says he is “a little puzzled” that readers didn’t recognize that the intent was to discredit those reports.

In the wake of the Post story, “there have been angry e-mails… and allegations that the Post is swift-boating the Illinois senator by discussing rumors at length, without mentioning whether they’ve been thoroughly discredited by other media,” The Politico reports.

- (read full story here)

Swift-boating = revealing the truth.

Ice fishing, sort of

This guy likes a lot of water with his ice fishing.

Antero rainbow

This is a nice fish.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Crisis at the New York Times

Another biased and dishonest editorial by the NY Times.

They always find a way to reach a new low.

As black as Barack

Civil rights icon Andrew Young says Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama is too young and lacks the support network to ascend to the White House.

In a media interview posted online, Young also quipped that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton has her husband behind her, and that "Bill is every bit as black as Barack."

- AP/Forbes (read full story here)


The O & O Show

Talk-show diva Oprah Winfrey said worry about the direction of her country and a personal belief in Barack Obama pushed her to make her first endorsement in a presidential campaign, invaluable support in a tight race for the Democratic nomination.

- AP/Forbes (read full story here)

Maybe she has a thing for the sons of goatherders.


NBC reversed course Saturday and decided to air a conservative group's television ad thanking U.S. troops.

- AP/Forbes (read full story here)

If it had been a liberal ad disrespecting the troops, NBC would have run it with no question.

Baseball Hall of Fame

Interesting op-ed piece by an embittered ignoramus.

Clean energy

"Wave farms, harvested with high-tech buoys that are being tested here on the Oregon coast, would strain clean, renewable power from the surging sea."

"But some environmentalists and fishermen worry that the recent rush for renewable energy is more about politics, big business and the next big thing than it is about clean energy. They warn that too little is known about what effect wave farms might have on migrating fish and whales."

- NY Times (read full story here)

There is always some opposition to energy, regardless of the source.

Ice fishing

These guys know how to ice fish in comfort.

Antero trophy trout

Here is a proud fisherman with a big 15-incher.

Unforgettable gift

The International Rhino Foundation, headquartered in Yulee, is peddling the dung of endangered rhinos on eBay -- with starting bids ranging from $100 to $500. The auction ends Sunday at 3 p.m.

- Miami Herald (read full story here)

The perfect gift = endangered feces.

Culpa Innata

I never expected that in 2007 I would be playing an adventure game that will shoot right into my personal top 5 of all time and that I will have already played it 3 times - and will certainly not stop there! Yes it is that good – certainly the best adventure game released this side of the millennium.

- (read the full review here)

Thursday, December 06, 2007

The return of the son of the goatherder, part II

A volunteer Iowa county coordinator for Hillary Rodham Clinton's presidential campaign has resigned after forwarding a chain e-mail that suggests Barack Obama is a Muslim who wants to destroy the United States by being elected to its highest office.

A hoax e-mail that has been widely circulated suggests Obama is some sort of Manchurian candidate for Muslims.

- AP/Forbes (read full story here)

"Manchurian candidate for Muslims" is a nice phrase. I might have to start using that one.

Do they sell "Manchurian candidate for Muslims" t-shirts?

JFK Speech on Religion

Text of the Kennedy 1960 speech. I particularly liked his Alamo reference.

Dishonest liberals

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton's support from South Carolina's black religious leaders may not be quite as extensive as her campaign suggests.

- AP/Forbes (read full story here)

It would be unreasonable to expect honesty from liberals.

SEO for Firefox

Looks like an easy way for novices to get into a lot of trouble.

The Anti-War General

Interesting analysis of a political ad where a long-time Clinton crony supports Clinton.

Someone would have to be brain-dead to be actually swayed by an ad like this.


Interesting snapshot of Nauvoo, IL.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007


Interesting op-ed piece on the National Geographic Society's mis-translation of the Gospel of Judas.

Page ranking

Interesting article on increasing page ranking using free open source software tools for search engine optimization.


Interesting article on the return of Absinthe.

The $75 St. George sounds good, but seems a bit pricey.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Savage vs. CAIR

A conservative radio talk show host has sued an Islamic civil rights group for copyright infringement over the organization's use of a portion of his show in which he called the Quran a "book of hate."

- AP/Miami Herald (read full story here)

Excellent. I hope he wins.

Kaleidoscope Butterfly Bush

The Kaleidoscope Butterfly Bush is a gorgeous breakthrough—the first Buddleia to offer two colors on one panicle! Lavender and butterscotch yellow blooms blend together on fluffy, fragrant panicles up to 10" long. Butterflies can not resist the hundreds of bright florets. The eye-popping display lasts from midsummer to fall. Grows 6-8' tall in full sun to partial shade.


Yet another Butterfly Bush to add to my wish list.


Disagreement over the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is at the core of conservative Christian worry about a possible Mitt Romney presidency.

- AP/Forbes (read full story here)

And some of us still hold a grudge over the massacre at Mountain Meadows.

A lot of ham

Thieves stole 17.6 tons of ham and bacon from a warehouse and left behind a message busting the owners' chops, police said Monday.

- AP/azcentral (read full story here)

I like ham.

Glorifying the drug trade

New mint packets being sold by The Hershey Co. look nearly identical to the tiny heat-sealed bags used to sell illegal powdered drugs like crack, heroin and cocaine and glorify the drug trade, a Philadelphia police official said.

- AP/azcentral (read full story here)

They would make great stocking-stuffers.

The most racist city in America

Spike Moss, a member of the Community Relations Council, said the group should call for the department to be placed in receivership, meaning another agency would be in charge. He called Minneapolis the most racist city in America.

- Star Tribune (read full story here)

They should stop drinking the water.

Muslim intolerance

A British teacher jailed for insulting Islam after allowing her students to name a teddy bear Muhammad flew home Monday following a pardon by the president of Sudan, a British Embassy spokesman said.

- AP/Star Tribune (read full story here)

Some Muslims are almost as intolerant as liberals.

Liberals vs. The Clantons

Liberal activists plan to begin airing a television ad against Hillary Rodham Clinton in Iowa this week, the first negative ad aimed at a Democratic presidential candidate.

- AP/Forbes (read full story here)

We hope to see many more like this.


Is Texas about to become the next state to undermine the teaching of evolution? That is the scary implication of the abrupt ousting of Christine Comer, the state’s top expert on science education. Her transgression: forwarding an e-mail message about a talk by a distinguished professor who debunks “intelligent design” and creationism as legitimate alternatives to evolution in the science curriculum.

We can only hope that adherents of a sound science education can save Texas from a retreat into the darker ages.

- NY Times (read full editorial here)

More bias and scare-mongering from the NY Times.

Anti-Christian bias

A federal appeals panel ruled yesterday that a state-financed evangelical Christian program to help prisoners re-enter civilian life fostered religious indoctrination and violated the constitutional separation of church and state.

- NY Times (read full story here)

Divorce is bad for the environment

"Hopefully this will inform people about the environmental impact of divorce," Liu said in an interview yesterday. "For a long time we've blamed industries for environmental problems. One thing we've ignored is the household."

- Washington Post (read full story here)

I am glad that Michigan State University is keeping track of things like this.

Too many grizzlies

"We've got grizzly bears eating people who come here to hunt," said Vic Workman, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks commissioner, who fended off a grizzly during a Nov. 25 hunting trip near Whitefish. "It's getting out of whack. We've got too many bears."

- AP/ajc (read full story here)

Yes, but according to liberals, bears are more important than people.


Researchers believe kudzu is releasing ground-level ozone, contributing to smog, breathing difficulties and global climate change.

The native of Japan and China was introduced in the United States in 1876 as an ornamental plant at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition. It was widely touted as a way to control soil erosion, and during the 1930s and 1940s the Civilian Conservation Corps planted vast amounts of the vine.

- AP/ajc (read full story here)

Yet another cause of global warming?

Danger at The Nutcracker

A 17-year-old girl dancing the new role of the baby Panda in the Atlanta Ballet's "The Nutcracker" was injured when she fell off the Fox Theatre stage into the orchestra pit during the Sunday afternoon matinee, a ballet spokesman said.

- Atlanta Journal Constitution (read full story here)


The condition afflicting five of the workers at Quality Pork Processors Inc. has been identified as a rare disease called chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy or CIDP, which normally strikes fewer than two people per 100,000. In this instance, it may have struck 11 out of about 100 people in a particular part of the plant, state officials said. It is most often a chronic disease that results in nerve damage and can lead to disability.

- Star Tribune (read full story here)

Another dread illness I never heard of.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

My kind of town

Leaving for Chicago tomorrow morning, will not return until Sunday night, so no blogging until then.

Brain drain

My theory is that Hayworth and Graf lost because the multitudes of Times reporters losing their jobs due to the Newspaper of Record's plummeting circulation have recently moved to Hayworth's and Graf's districts. (This is what's known as a "brain drain" in those districts.)

- Ann Coulter (read her full comments here)

Not only does she hit the target dead center, but she does it with humor.

Circulation numbers

Here's a story that may not have been deemed "Fit to Print": In the six months that ended Sept. 25, The New York Times' daily circulation was down another 4.51 percent to about a million readers a day. The paper's Sunday circulation was down 7.59 percent to about 1.5 million readers. In short, the Times is dropping faster than Hillary in New Hampshire. (Meanwhile, the Drudge Report has more than 16 million readers every day.)

- Ann Coulter (read her full comments here)

In Times-speak, The New York Times is targeting circulation so that they do not waste money on extra subscribers.

Fox hunting

The image of Britons in scarlet coats galloping over fields as their dogs chase foxes is fixed in the popular imagination. But Britain's highest court ruled Wednesday that laws banning the hunts must stand.

In rejecting the associated appeal against the Scottish ban, Lord Hope wrote that "there was adequate factual information to entitle the Scottish Parliament to conclude that fox hunting inflicted pain on the fox," and was therefore cruel.

- AP/azcentral (read full story here)

White hunter

A white hunter convicted of killing a Hmong man while both stalked squirrels in woods near Peshtigo was sentenced today to 69 years in prison.

- AP/Star Tribune (read full story here)

It will be interesting to see how much time he actually serves.

Space Hulk

Open source Visual Basic conversion of the out-of-print Space hulk game (originally published by Games Workshop).


Games Workshop shows how to mimic Space Hulk using the new Warhammer 40k rules.


Very gushy review of an out-of-print game.


Very interesting account of one gamer's obsession with finding the out-of-print game. Some good color pictures of his modification and painting of the figures. In the end, he found the game disappointing, but he had a good adventure along the way.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Fall plantings

I planted a lot of stuff this fall that never got blogged.

The following items were obtained from White Flower Farm.

(100) Daffodils - The Works

(25) Grape Hyacinths (Muscari 'Dark Eyes')

(50) Scilla sibirica ('Spring Beauty')

(12) Queen of the Night Tulips

(25) Galanthus ('The Last Snow Mix')

The following items were obtained from Wayside Gardens.

(1) Bunchberry (Cornus canadensis)

(1) Wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens)

(1) Salvia lyratra ('Purple Knockout')

(1) Bugleweed (Ajuga 'Mahogany')

(4) Hellebore ('Royal Heritage')

(1) Elderberry (Sambucus 'Black Lace')

(1) Lily of the Valley (Convallaria majalis 'Bordeaux')

(1) Geranium ('Espresso')

The following items were obtained from Friends of Boerner Botanical Gardens.

(12) Mixed Hyacinths

(12) Mixed Triumph Tulips

(12) Red Riding Hood Tulips

(12) Queen of the Night Tulips

(25) Mixed Crocus

(25) Snowdrops

(25) Grape Hyacinths (Muscari armeniacum)

(25) Scilla sibirica ('Spring Beauty')

The following items were obtained from Luxembourg Gardens in Franklin, WI.

(10) Chysanthemums


Nightbringer: An Ultramarines Novel (2004)by Graham McNeill

Captain Uriel Ventris and Inquisitor Ario Barzano combine forces to stop an ancient C'tan threat known as the Nightbringer.

Dark Eldar and a planetary rebellion complicate their task.

Judge Virgil Ortega detonates the planetary armory to deny the rebels access to those resources.

Very good novel set in the Warhammer 40k universe.


Dr. Robert Cade, who invented Gatorade and sparked the multimillion dollar sports drink industry, died Tuesday of kidney failure. He was 80.

His death was announced by the University of Florida, where he and other researchers created Gatorade in 1965 to help the school's football players replace carbohydrates and electrolytes lost through sweat while playing in swamp-like heat.

- AP/Miami Herald (read full story here)

The Horus Heresy (continued)

These novels are set in the Warhammer 40k universe.

False Gods (2006) by Graham McNeill

Horus is betrayed on Davin by Erebus, First Chaplain of the Word Bearers. The temptation of Chaos proves too great, and Horus turns traitor.

Galaxy in Flames (2006) by Ben Counter

Horus murders loyalist Space Marines on Istvaan III. Lucius betrays his brothers.

The Flight of the Eisenstein (2007) by James Swallow

Loyalists commandeer the Eisenstein and flee the treason of Horus to warn the Emperor. No good deed goes unpunished.

Fulgrim (2007) by Graham McNeill

The sad saga of Fulgrim, Primarch of the Emperor's Children. Eldrad Ulthran, Farseer of Craftworld Ulthwe, proves to be astonishingly short-sighted. Fulgrim gets what he deserves in the end.

Soviet-style health care

Rhode Island Hospital has been fined $50,000 and reprimanded by the state Department of Health after its third instance this year of a doctor performing brain surgery in the wrong side of a patient's head.

- AP/azcentral (read full story here)

This will be a lot more common after The Clantons inflict Soviet-style health care on America.

Monday, November 26, 2007


Five United Airlines workers sought medical attention for nausea and vomiting after the company provided a Thanksgiving meal to employees.

- AP/azcentral (read full story here)

This reminds me of the urban legend where the organized crime figure was having trouble with some union guys. He provided them with a conciliatory lunch where he served them sandwiches made with dog feces. Forever after, the mob guy went by the nickname "Dog Shit."

Michigan man shoots cow

A man says he shot and killed a neighbor's cow after mistaking it for a coyote.

- AP/azcentral (read full story here)

I am not sure this guy is entirely trustworthy.

White Night

White Night: A Novel of the Dresden Files (2007)

by Jim Butcher

The ongoing soap opera of wizard Harry Dresden, set in an alternative Chicago.

Emphasis on dialog and character development.

Features several interesting characters:

Molly (apprentice)
Murphy (police sergeant)
Bob (non-corporeal undead wizard)
Thomas (vampire)
Lasciel (fallen angel)

Worth reading once, but probably not more than once.


Crone's Book of Magical Words

Crone's Book of Magical Words (1999) by Valerie Worth

Devoid of useful information.

The very minor amount of herbal folklore is not enough to save this book.

Not worth reading.

The Nutcracker

“...few things offer the entertainment and comfort of ‘The Nutcracker.’ Unless you are going to an action movie and eating Chinese food.”

- Kris Slava, senior vice president for programming and production at Ovation, quoted by The New York Times (read full article here)

Green alleys

In a green alley, water is allowed to penetrate the soil through the pavement itself, which consists of the relatively new but little-used technology of permeable concrete or porous asphalt. Then the water, filtered through stone beds under the permeable surface layer, recharges the underground water table instead of ending up as polluted runoff in rivers and streams.

- NY Times (read full story here)

Needs some serious cost vs. benefit analysis.

Guitar Hero vs. Rock Band

Interesting article on the music video games.

Tourism threatens Antarctic?

While the rescue may have been a success, the consequences for the Antarctic’s fragile environment of having a submerged ship that is estimated to be holding 48,000 gallons of marine diesel fuel sitting off its coast are unclear.

- NY Times (read full story here)

Unclear does not even begin to describe the situation.

Prius in Georgia

Scott Merritt bought his low polluting Toyota Prius to help save the planet, conserve energy and encourage others to go green. He's also a big believer in keeping dirty polluters off the road.

So imagine his surprise and frustration when his electric hybrid failed Georgia emissions testing — not once, but three times.

- Atlanta Journal-Constitution (read full story here)

It sounds like a Prius is too green for its own good.

Sunday, November 25, 2007


Scientists at the University of Bonn have identified a substance that appears to be partly responsible for the previously unexplained sedative effect of valerian, a herbal native to Europe and used for more than 2,000 years.


Saturday, November 24, 2007

Big turkey

A Minnesota man basted a 72-pound turkey to trounce his sister in their annual sibling rivalry over who can prepare the biggest Thanksgiving bird.

- AP/azcentral (read full story here)

Ours was only 24 pounds.

Thursday, November 22, 2007


"Beowulf," the poem, is more about darkling silhouettes than three-dimensional anything. Where the movie aims for a powerful digital glow, the poem is entirely twilit. Where Zemeckis gives a crystal-clear vision of a world of striking lights and shadows, in the poem it's the vision itself that is dark and troubled. Everything about the poem is clouded in mystery, from its diction to its imagery to its mix of pagan and Christian ideals. The movie, on the other hand, believes in keeping every little hair and drop of blood and plot detail in perfect focus, leaving nothing to a viewer's imperfect imagination.

- Washington Post (read full review here)

I give it a 3/10. The high spots are the soundtrack, the dragon, and John Malkovich as Unferth.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Folklore of minerals

Giuliani vs. illegal immigration

Giuliani said his approach could end illegal immigration within three years.

- AP/Forbes (read full story here)

Easy to say, tough to do.

Recent plantings

I planted the following items obtained from The National Arbor Day Foundation.

(10) Fragrant Purple Lilac (Syringa vulgaris)

(The following 25 bulbs were packaged as "Purple Royalty Garden")

(5) Tulip 'Purple Prince'

(10) Crocus 'Ruby Giant'

(10) Glory of the Snow (Chinonodoxa forbessii)

Illegal liberals

A union-financed advocacy group that played a major role in the 2004 elections has agreed to pay a $580,000 fine after the Federal Election Commission concluded it illegally ran advertising against President Bush and in favor of Democrat John Kerry.

- AP/Forbes (read full story here)

Of course.

Firefighters vs. Giuliani

New York firefighters, including two who lost sons in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, joined other victims' relatives Monday to argue that Rudy Giuliani's character and actions make him unfit to be president.

- AP/Forbes (read full story here)

The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy

The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year: Volume One (2007)

Edited by Jonathan Strahan

As one might expect, a lot of variation in both content and quality.

Some of my favorite stories:

How to Talk to Girls at Parties by Neil Gaiman (a cautionary tale on the effects of drinking Pernod and Coke)

I, Row-Boat by Cory Doctorow (Asimov turned completely upside down mixed with William Gibson)

Under Hell, Over Heaven by by Margo Lanagan (reminds me of Planescape)

The Night Whiskey by Jeffrey Ford (a cautionary tale on drinking liquor distilled from corpse berries)

Pol Pot's Beautiful Daughter (Fantasy) by Geoff Ryman (even the rich & beautiful have their problems)

Eight Episodes by Robert Reed (a very short-lived and bizarre TV-series)

D.A. by Connie Willis (Didn't Apply and Devil's Advocate)

Some of these stories are definitely worth reading more than once.


Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris) AKA Traveler's Herb

Witch's Shield

Witch's Shield: Protection Magick & Psychic Self-Defense (2006)

by Chrisopher Penczak

Includes Audio CD of Protection Meditations

Mostly useless with the exception of some obscure folklore on herbs and minerals.

Some of the herbs covered:

Angelica (facilitates shamanic journeys)
Lady's Mantle
Lavender (soothes the nervous system)
Mugwort (banishes the energy of illness)
Sage (the author's favorite is California white sage)
Solomon's Seal
St. John's Wort
Vinca (Sorcerer's Violet)
Wolf's Bane (Monkshood)

Some of the minerals covered:


I fell asleep listening to the audio CD.


Presidential hopeful Barack Obama on Tuesday told high school students that when he was their age he was hardly a model student, experimenting with illegal drugs and drinking alcohol.

- AP/Forbes (read full story here)

Translation = Obama and his friends spent a lot of time snorting laundry detergent and plooking each other.

Classical music arrives at Pandora

Since we launched Pandora 2 years ago, our most common request from listeners has been that we add Classical music. We're excited to announce that Classical music is now available on Pandora. Enjoy, and please let us know if you have any feedback. The Classical Genome is a work in progress and we'd love to hear any of your suggestions on how to improve it.

- Pandora

Squirrels knock out power

It was an unlucky day for two squirrels and hundreds of Midwestern power customers.

- AP/azcentral (read full story here)

Monday, November 19, 2007

Water in the desert

By tapping rivers and sucking water from deep underground, developers have covered Arizona with carpets of Bermuda grass and dotted the parched landscape with swimming pools, golf courses and lakeshore homes.

Now another ambitious project is in the works: A massive new water park that would offer surf-sized waves, snorkeling, scuba diving and kayaking - all in a bone-dry region that gets just 8 inches of rain a year.

- AP/Miami Herald (read full story here)

Vinca minor

Also known as sorcerer's violet.

Fish & fishing

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.

- Lao Tzu (

Planes dump on Wisconsin town

"It looks like somebody released the holding tank for their septic and that fluid was dropped through that section of neighborhood, and it stains," Krueger said.

- AP/azcentral (read full story here)


The Hanging Judge

Judge Parker hanged 79 men.

Those were the good old days.

Good clay

Researchers studying a special type of French clay found that it smothers a diverse array of bacteria, including antibiotic-resistant strains and a particularly nasty pathogen that causes skin ulcers in some parts of the world.

- Science News (read full story here)

Amulets & Talismans

Amulets & Talismans for Beginners: How to Choose, Make & Use Magical Objects (2004)

by Richard Webster

Mostly useless, but has two interesting chapters.

One is on the folklore of lucky charms.

Acorn - makes the path ahead smoother
Badger's Tooth - good luck at cards
Bee - bad luck when a bee dies inside your house
Butterfly - good sign when a white butterfly settles near you
Coin - a lucky coin is any coin that happens to be in your possession
Ear - there was a good reason for those Nam vets to wear necklaces of ears
Four-Leaf Clover - eliminates unpleasant surprises
Ladybug - bad luck to kill a ladybug
Rabbit's Foot - works better if carried in the left pocket
Spider - bad luck to kill a spider
Swastika - was considered good luck before the Nazi usurpation

The other one is on the folklore of minerals.

Amber - relieves breathing problems
Black Tourmaline - shields against negative energies
Bloodstone - promotes strong bone growth
Moonstone - aids the lymphatic system
Smoky Quartz - helps to overcome procrastination

Not worth buying. I am glad I read the library copy.

670 the Score

Chicago Sports Radio

Particularly entertaining after a loss by the Bears.


Beeing: Life, Motherhood, and 180,000 Honeybees (2002) by Rosanne Daryl Thomas

Autobiographical sketch of a beekeeper.

Does a good job of illustrating the problems facing a beginner.

Good book, but no reason to read it more than once.

Dimensions & strings

In a school of thought that teaches the existence of extra dimensions, Juan Maldacena may at first sound a little out of place. String theory is physicists' still-tentative strategy for reconciling Einstein's theory of gravitation with quantum physics. Its premise is that the subatomic particles that roam our three-dimensional world are really infinitesimally thin strings vibrating in nine dimensions. According to Maldacena, however, the key to understanding string theory is not to add more dimensions but to cut their number down.

- Science News (read full story here)

I do not have the physics background to understand this.


Some of the most aggressive antibiotic-resistant staph infections gain their advantage with a molecule that punctures the immune cells trying to fight off the bacteria, scientists have discovered.

The team elucidated PSM's importance by isolating the protein and adding it to white blood cells called neutrophils, which usually engulf and destroy bacteria that enter the body. PSM molecules destroyed neutrophils by forming pores on the cells, letting their contents leak out.

- Science News (read full story here)

School sues blogger

A private school claims the mother of a former student crossed the line in a critical Internet blog she wrote about her daughter's experiences there.

So the New School of Orlando sued Sonjia McSween to stop her from publishing and talking about the school and force her to pay damages.

- AP/Miami Herald (read full story here)

Filthy bloggers are a menace. Heh.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Feel better

1. Open a new file in your computer.
2. Name it “Hillary Rodham Clinton”.
3. Send it to the Recycle Bin.
4. Click on “Empty the Recycle Bin”.
5. Your PC will ask you, “Do you really want to get rid of Hillary Rodham Clinton?”
6. Firmly Click, “Yes.”
7. Feel better.


Interesting Detroit Free Press article on birdscaping and feather-friendly gardening.

Refers to the book "Birdscaping in the Midwest" by Mariette Nowak (Itchy Cat Press, $27).

Centaurea 'Gold Bullion'

Put this one on my wish list. I have a lot of the old-fashioned Mountain Bluet, but this would be a welcome addition.

Minnesota, Land of Liberals

Minnesota is cracking down on the increasing number of microfarmers, saying the agricultural tax rate break is being abused.

- Star Tribune (read full story here)

Translation = Minnesota, Land of Liberals, wants to raise taxes and exert more government control over peoples' lives.

Buddleia 'Santana'

Put this one on my wish list.

MSU sports shooting center

Michigan State University's archery team currently practices in a converted hallway in the basement of the IM West building. The Air Rifle Club hones their skills in the ballroom of Demonstration Hall.

But starting in spring 2009, they'll be practicing in what MSU is saying will be one of the best shooting sports facilities in North America and one of the largest indoor facilities in the Midwest.

- Lansing State Journal/WZZM13 News (read full story here)

I sure wish MSU had this when I was a student.

NRA Hunters Rights

Butterfly bushes

Tons of information on butterfly bushes (Buddleia)

College campuses

Conservative speakers are constantly being physically attacked on college campuses -- including Bill Kristol, Pat Buchanan, David Horowitz and me, among others. Fortunately
the attackers are Democrats, so they throw like girls and generally end up with their noses bloodied by pretty college coeds. But that doesn't make it right.

- Ann Coulter (read her full comments here)


Devils Lake

It sure would be nice to have some of those Baraboo quartzite chunks from the rip-rap in the distance.

The park rangers probably would not approve of me poaching them.

Beekeeping Starter Kit

Lots of information and links in addition to the products for sale.

Cyberspace addiction

Compulsive Internet use has been identified as a mental health issue in other countries, including the United States. However, it may be a particularly acute problem in South Korea because of the country’s nearly universal Internet access.

- NY Times (read full story here)

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Honey Super Cell

Some interesting information on varroa mite suppression in bee hives.

Oyster Po'Boy

For lunch today, I had the Oyster Po'Boy from the St. Paul Fish Co. at the Milwaukee Public Market.

There are not enough words in my vocabulary to describe how good it was.

If I lived downtown, I would be a regular customer.

Into the Wild

Into the Wild (2007)

I give the film a 1/10.

It would be 0/10 except for the performance of Bart the Bear and Kaki King's work on the soundtrack.

Preachy, and shamelessly manipulative.


Two weeks ago, we attended the Tyranena beer tasting at the Sendik's in Franklin.

Jessie was pouring three beers (she does not look like this in real life).

Stone Tepee Pale Ale
Headless Man Amber Alt
Bitter Woman IPA

The beers were excellent, but The Beer Ambassador acted like she was at the end of a long, hard day and just wanted to go home.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Robotic bugs

Tiny robots programmed to act like roaches were able to blend into cockroach society, according to researchers studying the collective behavior of insects.

- AP/azcentral (read full story here)


Beekeeping in the Midwest

Beekeeping in the Midwest (1976) by Elbert R. Jaycox

Illinois Cooperative Extension Service Circular 1125

Covers the usual topics but also includes plans for building your own equipment.

Since I live in the Midwest, I appreciate the focus.

The Complete Guide to Beekeeping

The Complete Guide to Beekeeping (1980) by Roger A. Morse

New, Revised Edition

Covers all the bases: equipment, seasonal management, harvesting honey, pests & diseases, honey plants, bee biology, etc.

Good bonus chapter on honey wine.

First Lessons in Beekeeping

First Lessons in Beekeeping (1917, 1924) by C.P. Dadant

Revised and rewritten by M.G. Dadant and J.C. Dadant (1938)

This comprehensive introduction to beekeeping is surprisingly modern.

Well worth reading. If I were to get a hive, I would buy this book.


Discoverer Paul Sereno named the elephant-sized animal Nigersaurus taqueti, an acknowledgment of the African country Niger and a French paleontologist, Philippe Taquet.

- AP/azcentral (read full story here)

One-dollar coins

Interesting article on $1 coins.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Shotgun as wrench

A man trying to loosen a stubborn lug nut blasted the wheel with a 12-gauge shotgun, injuring himself badly in both legs, sheriff's deputies said.

- AP/ajc (read full story here)

I have to admit that I never tried it.


"Total elimination is impossible because there are so many of them," Ellis said. "One of the big misconceptions is if you trap the six coyotes that are roaming around your neighborhood, that will be it. But that is not the case. Another animal from another range moves in, or the rest of the species overbreeds to fill that void. "

- Atlanta Journal-Constitution (read full story here)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Little Red Hen

Once upon a time, on a farm in Texas, there was a little red hen who scratched about the barnyard until she uncovered quite a few grains of wheat. She called all of her neighbors together and said, "If we plant this wheat, we shall have bread to eat. Who will help me plant it?"

"Not I," said the cow.

"Not I," said the duck.

"Not I," said the pig.

"Not I," said the goose.

"Then I will do it by myself," said the little red hen and so she did. The wheat grew very tall and ripened into golden grain.

"Who will help me reap my wheat?" asked the little red hen.

"Not I," said the duck.

"Out of my classification," said the pig.

"I'd lose my seniority," said the cow.

"I'd lose my unemployment compensation," said the goose.

"Then I will do it by myself," said the little red hen, and so she did. At last it came time to bake the bread.

"Who will help me bake the bread?" asked the little red hen.

"That would be overtime for me," said the cow.

"I'd lose my welfare benefits," said the duck.

"I'm a dropout and never learned how," said the pig.

"If I'm to be the only helper, that's discrimination," said the goose.

"Then I will do it by myself," said the little red hen.

She baked five loaves and held them up for all of her neighbors to see. They wanted some and, in fact, demanded a share. But the little red hen said, "No, I shall eat all five loaves."

"Excess profits!" cried the cow. ( Nancy Pelosi)

"Capitalist leech!" screamed the duck. (Barbara Boxer)

"I demand equal rights!" yelled the goose. (Jesse Jackson)

The pig just grunted in disdain. (Jimmy Carter)

And they all painted "Unfair!" picket signs and marched around and around the little red hen, shouting obscenities.

Then a government agent came. He said to the little red hen, "You must not be so greedy."

"But I earned the bread," said the little red hen.

"Exactly," said the agent. "That is what makes our free enterprise system so wonderful. Anyone in the barnyard can earn as much as he wants. But under our modern government regulations, the productive workers must divide the fruits of their labor with those who are lazy and idle."

And they all lived happily ever after, including the little red hen, who smiled and clucked, "I am grateful, for now I truly understand."

But her neighbors became quite disappointed in her. She never again baked bread, because she joined the "party" and got her bread free. And all the Democrats smiled. 'Fairness' had been established. Individual initiative had died, but nobody noticed; perhaps no one cared ... so long as there was free bread that "the rich" were paying for.

Friday, November 09, 2007


Saturnalia (2007) by Lindsey Davis

A Marcus Didius Falco novel.

Set in Rome, AD 76, during the holiday of Saturnalia.

Falco is an informer (sort of equivalent to a modern private investigator).

Falco simultaneously tries to capture Veleda (an escaped German enemy of Rome), find his wife's missing brother, and solve a case involving the serial killing of homeless people.

I found the characters from the competing schools of medicine very interesting. The schools were:

Egyptian empiricism
Greek pneumatism
Etruscan dogmatism
Chaldean dream therapy

I have enjoyed several of the author's Falco novels, and this one is no exception.

Tiny PC

Photo and video sharing service.

$25,000 dessert

I am sure it is worth it.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Learn to Type

Free typing tutor. Maybe I can learn to type some day.

Nice door

Nice door, but it needs some more signs.

"Danger! Explosives!" might be good.

Thanks to Paul for the picture.

Cuff links

Interesting article on the return of the son of cuff links, part II.

Monday, November 05, 2007


"Patriotism is about accepting your cost, even when it is disproportionate."

- Colorado State Sen. John P. Morse, a Colorado Springs Democrat, quoted by The Washington Post (read full story here)

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Christmas Mountains Ranch

Very interesting article about the Christmas Mountains Ranch in Texas.

Osama the anti-patriot

(thanks to Mark for this one)

This picture says it all.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Two thousand

2,000 posts in this blog!!!

Crone's Book of Charms & Spells

The Crone's Book of Charms & Spells (1998) by Valerie Worth

First published as The Crone's Book of Wisdom (1988)

Not much useful information but an entertaining read.

Contains some very obscure herb folklore.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Natural Magick, or lack thereof

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Natural Magick (2005)

by Miria Liguana and Nina Metzner

Devoid of useful information.

Not worth reading, and certainly not worth buying.

It is a good thing I looked at the library copy.

Enchantment of the Faerie Realm

Enchantment of the Faerie Realm: Communicate with Nature Spirits & Elementals (1993)

by Ted Andrews

Includes interesting folklore on herbs, flowers, and trees:

Black-Eyed Susan
Faerie Lantern


Several interesting black & white illustrations taken from older sources.

Magic Gardens

Magic Gardens: A Modern Chronicle of Herbs and Savory Seeds (1939)

by Rosetta E. Clarkson

Contains no color photos or not much modern horticultural information, but includes tons of history and folklore.

Very entertaining book.

If I ever see it at a used bookstore, I will buy it.

Landscaping with Herbs

Landscaping with Herbs (1994) by Jim Wilson

Lots of color photos and good ideas.

Makes several references to comfrey, but curiously omits comfrey from the catalog of herbs.

Recommends an unusual tansy, T. ptarmicifolium 'Silver Feather'

Advocates the use of granite meal and pelleted dolomitic limestone as soil amendments.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Max McGee

Max McGee, the free-spirited Green Bay Packers receiver who became part of Super Bowl lore after a night on the town, died when he fell while clearing leaves from the roof of his home. He was 75.

- AP/Star Tribune (read full story here)

A terrible tragedy.

U of Minnesota football

In what will go down as one of the lowest points in program history, the Gophers were dominated in every way, shape and form by the Bison, who avenged a heartbreaking loss here last season with a 27-21 victory before an announced crowd of 63,088 at the Metrodome.

- Star Tribune (read full story here)

It looks like the Gophers have been drinking the water.


Survived the trip to Dearbornistan and glad to be home again, even if it is for a very short time.

Leave for the beautiful lake country of Michigan tomorrow.

Friday, October 19, 2007

The Clantons

"Hillary Clinton's ill-conceived economic plans would devastate middle-class America by placing the burden of massive government growth on the backs of working families," Republican National Committee spokesman Danny Diaz said.

- AP/Forbes (read full story here)


Brownback bites the big one

Republican Sen. Sam Brownback abandoned his 2008 presidential bid Friday, his White House aspirations dashed by a lack of money and a failure to gain traction nationally.

- AP/Forbes (read full story here)

Sam can take a small consolation in that he was more relevant than Tommy Thompson.

We Are Ready

The new Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said that despite the commitment of U.S. forces elsewhere, the military is capable of conducting operations against Iran if called on to bomb nuclear facilities and other targets.

- NewsMax (read full story here)


Conservatives & liberals

Here is proof that conservatives & liberals can get along.


"Politics and the racial environment is threatening the human family. But black males, in particular, are endangered. Our attitudes, our ignorance, our savagery are all lending to a plan — a conspiracy to make the black man, not endangered, but extinct. ... If God doesn't intervene, we will be extinct."

- Louis Farrakhan, quoted by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (read full story here)

A white person might get into a lot of trouble for making statements like that.


A photo of a bonfire taken by a Polish construction worker is creating a stir for the resemblance of the flames to a silhouette of the country's beloved son, the late Pope John Paul II.

- AP/azcentral (read full story here)

It is a miracle.


Recently, economists Thomas M. Lenard and Brent D. Mast released a report through the libertarian Progress and Freedom Foundation that showed most cell phone users' paid out about $7 a month in federal, state and local taxes.

That's more than people pay in cigarette or liquor taxes, and I don't think we need to be taxing broadband like it was a sin or a luxury. Congress should make permanent the tax moratorium on the Internet, or, at a minimum, extend it.

- Fred Thompson, RCP (read full story here)

We have enough taxes already.


Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama said Friday the head of the Justice Department's voting rights office should be fired for saying minorities often die before they reach old age.

- AP/Forbes (read full story here)

Liberals are often uncomfortable around factual statements.

Purer sewage

In short, a Republican who is unafraid and unembarrassed to trumpet his conservatism, not as a primary season fa├žade, but as a sincere expression of his heart, still holds the best hope for the GOP. Nor should he ever attempt to bridge the gap between himself and his Democrat opponent. On some issues, no “common ground” exists. Attempts to mix pure water with sewage will not result in purer sewage. And the country knows it.

- Christopher G. Adamo (read his full column here)

Exactly right.


Just this year, anti-Muslim fliers were put out on the George Washington University campus -- by leftists, including a member of "Iraq Veterans Against War." When it was thought the leaflets were from the conservative group Young Americans For Freedom, the dean called for the expulsion of the culprits and the university demanded that YAF officers sign a statement disavowing "hate speech." But when it turned out leftists had distributed the fliers, the matter was dropped faster than Larry Craig was dropped from Mitt Romney's campaign.

- Ann Coulter (read her full column here)

Of course.

Albino deer



To be more precise, Bloggergate is the subsidizing of left-wing bloggers with illegal Democrat campaign contributions, laundered through ostensibly "non-partisan" non-profit groups.

- NewsMax (read full story here)

Liberals business-as-usual politics.


Republican presidential hopeful John McCain's argument as he woos restive religious and social conservatives comes down to this: "I have a record that can be trusted."

- AP/Forbes (read full story here)

While I agree with McCain on many issues, I do not trust him.

The McCain-Feingold mess immediately comes to mind.

Osama Obama

Presidential hopeful Barack Obama said Thursday his foreign policy record leaves him immune to Republican attacks likely to be lodged in a general election campaign.

- AP/Forbes (read full story here)

This is an odd comment coming from a guy with no foreign policy experience of any substance.

The Clantons

"People who are here legally deserve some better treatment and acceptance in the law than people who are not here legally. These are hard choices."

- Hillary Clinton, quoted by AP/Forbes (read full story here)

I am amazed bordering on stupification that I actually agree with something The Clantons say.

Heartless liberals

Conservatives must be prepared in this campaign season to return to their own free-market principles and expose the liberals' compassion for the ruse it is.

- David Limbaugh (read his full column here)

Liberals continue to be the most heartless members of society.


Interesting article on the history of the Honeycrisp apple.


"Woodstock Museum is a shining example of what's wrong with Washington on pork-barrel, out-of-control spending," said John McCain, Arizona senator and Republican presidential hopeful. An example, he said, of "the earmark pork-barrel spending which has made the American people disenchanted and angry."

- AP/Forbes (read full story here)

I agree with McCain.

Thursday, October 18, 2007


Republican White House hopeful Mitt Romney called the United Nations a failure on Thursday and said he would support a new coalition of the free nations of the world.

- AP/Forbes (read full story here).

Agree. The United Nations is a negative asset for the world.

Wisconsin hummingbird

Theories abound about how the bird ended up in her garden. Pidgeon and other bird experts said it could have been blown north from Mexico by a tropical storm. Others believe a mutation in its navigation system could have put it off course shortly after birth. Some blamed global warming.

- MCT/ajc (read full story here)

Global warming in the news again.