Tuesday, February 28, 2006

The Death of Empedocles

Five fingers on each hand, five
toes on each foot, that's enough.

I get into the past
which has a different kind of dust on it.

There's an old Coke bottle with dust on it
behind the bust of I think Empedocles

Nobody from the neck down. O
Empedocles, don't jump into that volcano!

But jump he did, with his whole body,
bouncing off the rocks on the way down.

And you call this a philosopher?
I don't think he set a very good example.

Ron Padgett

Broken Windows

There's an interesting article over at The National Review Online about the broken window theory of crime reduction, which in short says that quality of life crimes and petty crimes give the impression to bad folks that no one cares and scares good folks into submission. Rudy Giuliani and others applied this principle to clean up The City of New York. That combined with it's obvious effectiveness and ineluctable common sense seems to cause every liberal with a goatee to take a pot shot at the theory, which is more less the point of the NRO article.
I live in West Hartford about a 7/8ths of a mile from Hartford, but in reality I live in different world. Here we have a employer/employee relationship with our police. We pay their salaries and expect them to protect us and our property, and they do a damn fine job. Down the street in Hartford the police are viewed as adversaries and are not trusted. There is more to story than mere geography, there are racial, ethnic, social and economical issues at play here but the bottom line is this: if some drunk was peeing on street in West Hartford he'd have hand cuffs on before he finished. He knows it, we know it, we demand that it be so. In Hartford someone may call the cops on you and they may show up if they're not at a drive by shooting, but chances are you can whiz away with impunity. In Hartford every few weeks or so some yahoo shoots some other yahoo or sadly some innocent bystander or child. Then "community leaders" get 15 seconds of face time on the local news but nothing ever changes. Groups with clever acronyms print up T shirts and decry the violence but nothing ever changes.
Here is my observation and suggestion, when you have a culture that at every turn celebrates, encourages and rewards violent behavior, degrading women, and quick cash through illicit means is it surprising that people, especially young people act out on it? Combine that with a society distrustful of law enforcement and rightfully fearful of criminal retaliation and it's a wonder more people aren't shot in Hartford. I suggest that real community leaders who wish to change the way things are done in Hartford demand that little crimes don't go unchallenged. When kids get caught skipping school it should seem like the end of the world to them. These leaders need to reach out to police, the police in turn need to embed themselves in the community. Then maybe, maybe there might be some change.

Pictures of Lily

A substitute teacher in New Jersey has been allowed to return to teaching after sex reassignment surgery. I have no idea if this is a good idea or not, there's not enough in the referenced story to make an informed decision. But it occurs to me that this a good opportunity to discuss two things and how they might intersect. The first is compassion. In this life there are a lot of unanswered questions, but one question most of us never ask ourselves is "Why was I born a man/woman?" Presumably Ms Mcbeth is decent person deserving of respect and consideration. But can you imagine what makes a person change their sex after 70 years? Clearly this is a tortured soul who deserves our compassion, not ridicule. Compassion and kindness are excellent qualities to instill in children, but that leads us to my second thought, what if any "danger" is presented in a classroom by Ms McBeth? Being a substitute teacher is tough gig in the best of conditions, as parents and educators can we be certain that this is the best decision? You want your kids to be around all types of people, to see and learn what the world is about, but you want to do this in manner that's safe and respectful. Is this a good opportunity or a bad decision?
When I was in high school I had an earth science teacher who was gay, after I graduated he was brutally murdered by a gay basher. Mr Beauchain is the last person on the planet who deserved such a fate. Patient to a fault, gentle and enthusiastic, an excellent teacher by any standard. I didn't "know" he was gay, in 1983 in a Catholic high school one didn't discuss such things, but I knew he was different. It didn't matter.
It would be nice to imagine a world where that whole content of their character thing was the major criterion, but some actions are so extreme they call into question basic questions of sanity. I could be wrong, but it seems to me that anyone who feels they need a sex change is at very least unstable, which is not to say dangerous, but is it a good idea to introduce that level of drama into a K-6 school?

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Free Speech For All, Even The Stupid

Some yahoo was sent to prison in Austria for three years for denying the holocaust. He's not the sort of guy I look to defend, but since when does a mere dumbass opinion necessitate a prison sentence? Our Man in Washington, George Will has a good piece on the sad events here. A Dane said during the recent troubles there, "Free speech is free speech is free speech".
As a graduate of UCONN I had first hand experience with the speech police, who in the name of tolerance and diversity are among the least tolerant people on the planet. A pox on them, may the be perpetually annoyed at the sound of their own breathing.

King Kong 2005

I finally got around to seeing Peter Jackson's King Kong. This is one of the few occasions that I agree with almost all the criticism of a movie, even the conflicting points of view have their merit. Perhaps because this is such a ginormous film, one can take what one pleases from it or not .
I agree that it is far too long. The old paradigm of plot points works well, so why screw with it? In Jackson's case I think he was in love with the time period and the characters and he felt compelled to linger when perhaps he should have moved the story along. That is probably my biggest issue with the film. On a more positive note, the cast is excellent. Jack Black excels at playing a lovable weasel, Naomi Watts and Kong convince us they have some understanding lacking in the other films. Colin Hanks plays the decent everyman he was born to be.
A lot has been made of the special effects, critics have said they are too many of them. I can see why they say this but I think the miss the point. This is a gargantuan film about a gargantuan hero. I for one would be grossly disappointed to see STORA LANDSVÄGEN in the jungle.
Without spoiling the movie I would suggest parents think twice about bringing small children to this film unless they want their little interlopers sleeping with them until they're teenagers. If you don't like bugs this movie will do little to help you.
Overall I would give this movie a B+. Kong had me at hello, but I would appreciate a tighter editing process.

Friday, February 24, 2006

She Had The Nerve To Wear White

A Sudanese man has been forced to take a goat as his "wife", after he was caught having sex with the animal. The goat's owner, Mr Alifi, said he surprised the man with his goat and took him to a council of elders. They ordered the man, Mr Tombe, to pay a dowry of 15,000 Sudanese dinars ($50) to Mr Alifi. "We have given him the goat, and as far as we know they are still together," Mr Alifi said.

Thanks to LGF

Read the whole story.

Thursday, February 23, 2006


Letter from First Things

Dear Bishop Robinson,

I was dismayed by your February 13 letter, in which you trotted out so many of the same old oenophobic clichés. A diversity-loving man such as yourself ought to know that the word “alcoholism” is nowadays tantamount to “hate speech” and I was saddened to see that you have fallen victim to believing the dubious proposition that oenophilia can (and should) be “cured.”
Long ago, Chardonnay rights activists (dismissively called “bums” by “straight” society) reclaimed the language, and adopted far more empowering terms for the great gift God has given them. Only those who lack an integrated affective libational maturity will use such medieval terminology as “alcoholism” to describe this wonderful gift.
In that spirit, you should reject the self-hatred that would let you label yourself an “alcoholic” (connoting something clinical, perhaps even “objectively disordered”). Rather, you ought to accept yourself as a “lush” (connoting what is verdant and bountiful).
Moreover, it is a well-understood psychological principle that the most vocal oenophobes are themselves oenophiles in secret. So please “come out of the cellar,” Bishop Robinson, and embrace your identity as a lush, the way God made you.
It is my sincere hope that you will take this letter to heart, renounce your oenophobia, and decide once again to embrace the LGBT (Liquor, Gin, Beer and Tequila) community.
(name withheld)


This is hardly a novel opinion but it bothers me that Muslim world goes into fits of rage, belatedly and on cue, over cartoons in a Danish newspaper, but is mute as a stone over suicide bombings in pizza parlors, beheadings, and now the bombing of the Shiite Shrine Ali al-Hadi in Samarra. Is there some bizzaro parallel universe that I'm not aware of where mere annoyance is casus belli and cold blooded murder is rewarded in heaven?


If you were born before September of 1983 and you can read this you may wish to thank this man Stanislav Petrov.


More cartoons here.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

UAE Port Controversy

Last I checked The UAE are our allies and deserving of all the respect and consideration due an ally. To deny them this business deal because of the A in UAE would seem un-American and knee jerk. There may be dozens of reasons why this is a bad idea but we should all wait until the facts are in. Just because Jimmy Carter is for it doesn't always mean it's wrong, even a broken clock is right twice a day and Jimmy is long past due to be right on something.
The major issue here seems to be safety. The theory that some cabal of Arab conspiracists have a plan to buy ports to smuggle in WMDs into our country through them seems kind of far fetched. Why go through all that trouble when millions of pounds of drugs are smuggled into our country each year through every other means?

Hitchens On Defending Denmark

Why aren't we defending our ally brave, little Denmark against the slings and arrows of outrageous Wahhabism? The Danes require and deserve our support, fortunately Christopher Hitchens is on the case:

A small democratic country with an open society, a system of confessional pluralism, and a free press has been subjected to a fantastic, incredible, organized campaign of lies and hatred and violence, extending to one of the gravest imaginable breaches of international law and civility: the violation of diplomatic immunity. And nobody in authority can be found to state the obvious and the necessary—that we stand with the Danes against this defamation and blackmail and sabotage. Instead, all compassion and concern is apparently to be expended upon those who lit the powder trail, and who yell and scream for joy as the embassies of democracies are put to the torch in the capital cities of miserable, fly-blown dictatorships. Let's be sure we haven't hurt the vandals' feelings.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Cheney Shooting Still News Worthy?

I don't think so, but then again I'm not a news professional. On This Week With George Stephanopoulos The Nation's Katrina vanden Heuvel seemed to think Shotgungate was indicative of every republican evil since fluoridated water and parental notification. I suppose she has her audience, but it was clear that more level headed liberals such as Stephanopoulos thought she was blowing the whole thing way out of proportion. George Will in his inimitable way made her look silly and everyone else had a nice chuckle at her expense.
Drudge says that Time and Newsweek plan to put this non-story on their covers. Nice. Unless their is something major left unreported, there is nothing left to say about this slightly funny, mostly sad story and it would be wise to let it go.
It may be cynical but I hope the MSM works this story like Greta van Susteren works the Natalee Holloway story. It won't hurt the GOP and make the MSM look all the more irrelevant. If you think I'm being harsh on the MSM read this.
Thanks to Instapundit.

That Damn Toxoplasma Is Killing Otters

More proof, as if any were needed, that cats are the devil's playmates. It appears that their Toxoplasma is leaching into the oceans and killing our good friends the sea otters.
Cat faeces carrying Toxoplasma parasites wash into US waterways and then into the sea where they can infect otters, causing brain disease. The parasite is familiar to medical researchers, as it can damage foetuses when expectant mothers become infected while changing cat litter. The most likely source of infection for sea otters is the parasite's tough egg-like stage, known as the oocyst, that is passed in the faeces of cats.
Read the rest of the story.

George Will And The Ohio GOP

More and more African Americans are embracing the Party of Lincoln. George Will has his say on the GOP in Ohio. Prior to the New Deal blacks were nearly unanimous in their support of the Republican party, I think a natural constituency still exist there. This is a good thing for the GOP, a great thing for the African American community and what may well be the final nail in the coffin for the DNC.

Tolerance For The Intolerant?

At first glance I thought he was talking about the PC crowd but Tigerhawk refers to Muslims who demand tolerance, while being entirely intolerant of others.
The cartoon intifada has taught us that Muslims all over the world believe that they have the religious obligation to reach in to Western countries and nullify our most cherished rights. Not only does the "Muslim street" think this, but we have endured the absurd spectacle of Arab kings lecturing the Danes and other Europeans about respect.
Read the whole thing.
Thanks to Instapundit for the link.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

It's The Demography Stupid

Wouldn't you love to have a few beers with Mark Steyn? Not only are his opinions well reasoned, i.e. I agree with him, but he is among the most amusing pundits out there. This piece on the impending Islamic demographic supremacy is sobering. You should of course read the whole thing.
Demography doesn't explain everything but it accounts for a good 90 per cent. The "who" is the best indicator of the what-where-when-and-why. Go on, pick a subject. Will Japan's economy return to the heady days of the 1980s when US businesses cowered in terror? Answer: No. Japan is exactly the same as it was in its heyday except for one fact: it stopped breeding and its population aged. Will China be the hyperpower of the 21st century? Answer: No. Its population will get old before it gets rich.
Check back with me in a century and we'll see who's right on that one. But here's one we know the answer to: Why is this newspaper published in the language of a tiny island on the other side of the earth? Why does Australia have an English Queen, English common law, English institutions? Because England was the first nation to conquer infant mortality.
By 1820 medical progress had so transformed British life that half the population was under the age of 15. Britain had the manpower to take, hold, settle and administer huge chunks of real estate around the planet. Had, say, China or Russia been first to overcome childhood mortality, the modern world would be very different.

Limnic Eruption At Lake Nyos Cameroon

Imagine walking into a village where every living creature is dead, no fires burn, cars and trucks are stalled in the middle of the road their drivers dead at the wheel. The ground is littered with dead birds and insects but no visible damage is seen to any creature or structure. What the hell happened?
This is exactly what happened August 12, 1986 near Lake Nyos Cameroon when co2 burst from the lake and swept down the valley killing over 1700 people and innumerable wild and domestic animals, some nearly 17 miles from the lake. Scientist think they understand the process by which this happened, but there is still some debate.
A survivior tells his tale:
"I could not speak. I became unconscious. I could not open my mouth because then I smelled something terrible . . . I heard my daughter snoring in a terrible way, very abnormal . . . When crossing to my daughter's bed . . . I collapsed and fell. I was there till nine o'clock in the (Friday) morning . . . until a friend of mine came and knocked at my door . . . I was surprised to see that my trousers were red, had some stains like honey. I saw some . . . starchy mess on my body. My arms had some wounds . . . I didn't really know how I got these wounds . . .I opened the door . . . I wanted to speak, my breath would not come out . . . My daughter was already dead . . . I went into my daughter's bed, thinking that she was still sleeping. I slept till it was 4:30 p.m. in the afternoon . . . on Friday. (Then) I managed to go over to my neighbors' houses. They were all dead . . . I decided to leave . . . . (because) most of my family was in Wum . . . I got my motorcycle . . . A friend whose father had died left with me (for) Wum . . . As I rode . . . through Nyos I didn't see any sign of any living thing . . . (When I got to Wum), I was unable to walk, even to talk . . . my body was completely weak." Joseph Nkwain from Subum

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Ann Coulter: Friend or Foe

Foe. Though we may technically be in the same camp on a lot of issues and I would much rather look at her than Al Franken, I can not stand her stridency and bomb throwing.
I would like to think that the most liberal wiener in Berkeley and I want more or less the same things in this world, we just differ on how to go about getting them. Nobody wants bad schools, hunger, disease or war. As a conservative I believe that accountability, free markets and a robust national defense will help ameliorate all these problems. A very liberal person would probably differ, to say the least. Short of open warfare we each have to deal with each other in such a manner that common ground may be found. The Ann Coulters of this world preclude that possibility.
George Will, Paul Gigot and Thomas Sowell are conservatives who know their stuff, stick to their guns and keep the discourse civil. Coulter could learn a lot from these guys.

Bryant Gumbel Is A Jerk

It will shock no one to find out that Bryant Gumbel doesn't always say the brightest things, but comparing the winter Olympiad to a GOP convention due to a paucity of blacks is just plain stupid.
"Like, try not to be incredulous when someone attempts to link these games to those of the ancient Greeks who never heard of skating or skiing. So try not to laugh when someone says these are the world’s greatest athletes, despite a paucity of blacks that makes the Winter Games look like a GOP convention."
Imagine if a white sportscaster compared a track and field event to a Million Man March, you would never hear the end of it and rightfully so. Think of what happened to that loud mouth Rush Limbaugh for his McNabb stupidity.
It's hardly newsworthy to point out that Scandinavian countries are well represented in winter sports. Nor is it surprising to see the USA represented by black athletes in track and field events. It may be interesting from a sociological perspective why this is so but it shouldn't be a criticism of either sporting event.

Spring Pools

These pools that, though in forests, still reflect
The total sky almost without defect,
And like the flowers beside them, chill and shiver,
Will like the flowers beside them soon be gone,
And yet not out by any brook or river,
But up by roots to bring dark foliage on.
The trees that have it in their pent-up buds
To darken nature and be summer woods --
Let them think twice before they use their powers
To blot out and drink up and sweep away
These flowery waters and these watery flowers
From snow that melted only yesterday.

Robert Frost

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Bad Parenting

Don't do this.

David Gray's White Ladder

I've been getting into this CD for awhile now. He's sounds kinda like Dylan only better and genuinely Welsh. He incorporates lyrics from Van Morrison's Into The Mystic into Soft Cell's Say Hello Wave Goodbye to great effect. In fact David Gray reminds me of Van the Man quite a bit, which is usually recommendation enough. Check it out and listen to the whole thing a couple of times through and through, you won't be disappointed.

Some Say

Translated by Peter Saint-Andre

Some say an army of horsemen or footmen or rowers
Is the most beautiful thing over the coal-black earth,
But I say it is that thing, whatever it is,
That one loves and desires.

All easy it is to make this clear to anyone,
For Helen, far surpassing all mortals in beauty,
Leaving behind the best of all men,
Departed, sailing for Troy --
And not at all did she remember
Parents, nor love of children,
But passion directed her....

Now my Anactoria too is gone, and
I would rather see her supple walk
And the bright sparkle of her face
Than all the chariots of Lydia
And foot-soldiers in arms.


Cheney Shoots Lawyer, Dems Shoot Foot Part II

Hillary Clinton is critical of the the secrecy surrounding shotgungate, "The refusal of this administration to level with the American people on matters large and small is very disturbing, because it goes counter to the way our constitutional democracy ... is supposed to work." Speaking of being less than forthcoming or in fact lying under oath, think of these three words Hillary: stained blue dress.
In a desperate search for a smoking gun, the Dems are trying to make this accident something more than it is. I guess in politics everything is fair play but I don't see this as a winner for them. The folks over at the WSJ have a different opinion.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Cheney Shoots Lawyer, Dems Shoot Foot

So, Dick Cheney accidentally peppered his hunting partner with bird shot form his 28 gauge shotgun. Accidents will happen when you do your own shooting.
Some anti-gun nitwit will comment on the Vice Presidents use of such a large gauge shotgun, saying something like " why didn't he use a 12 gauge?" and in doing so, coyly impugn Cheney's manhood and demonstrate his or her profound ignorance.
The stink being made over this will in the near and the long term elevate most American's opinion of Dick Cheney. After all who hasn't accidentally peppered a lawyer with bird shot or wanted to?
The Dems will overplay this. They are Midas in reverse, not that this is a solid gold opportunity, but instead of making the Veep look reckless or gun happy, they will appear opportunistic and penurious. Too bad Tom Daschle isn't around to tell us how he is deeply concerned and profoundly saddened.
I'll go out on limb here and offer some advice to the opposition party. We get it, you don't like the president or anyone he may or may not truck with. You oppose whatever he supports, okay fine. Now what are you for, other than whatever GWB is against? When you figure that out, hold a press conference and let us know.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Good Ideas

Ten commandments for Muslims over at The Big Pharaoh, all of which sound like pretty good advice to me.

Friday, February 10, 2006

The Winter Olympics

Ice Dancing, Curling, Luge, 200 Meter Fritzen fruben.

Pitchers and catcher report in 7 days 12 hours and 34 minutes. Not a minute too soon.

Chupacabra Caught In Bear Trap Near El Yunque

Proof positive that these things do exist.

First Ever WMTN Caption Contest

Here's how this works; I post an amusing or provocative photo, you provide via the comment section a jocular or witty caption. First price is a Cadillac El Dorado, second prize is a set of steak knives, third prize is your fired. Mitch and Murray are tired of you non closers sucking up all the coffee around here.
NB - No actual prizes will be awarded.

Vampire Spider

This little beggar has a taste for human blood. Thankfully they live in Africa and eat human blood via engorged mosquitoes. They are the only animal known to select its prey based on what the prey has eaten.

All Hail Our New Masters

This is fascinating, it seems that parasites may be able to exert some control over their hosts. Be sure to read the comments, they are a bit above average in wit and levity. Thanks to The Corner for the link.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Cartoon Protesters Direct Their Anger At The US

No it's not Ren, nor is it Stimpy, it's our good friends over in the "Arab Street" who seem to be perpetually pissed at one thing or another. My question for the "Arab Street" is how's that working for you? When my people had just finished worshipping trees you lived in paved cities, invented the university and pondered the intricacies of algebra, a science I barley understand today. But what have you done to better your lot on this planet in the last 600 years or so? 90% of your doctoral graduates study Islam. Since the invention of movable type a mere 800 books have been translated into Arabic. To put that into perspective that's roughly the number of books translated into Spanish from English each year. What diseases have been cured by your new drugs? How is your space program going? Why does every Arabic country except for Jordan refuse to allow Palastinian refugees to settle in their country?
In short you have alot to be angry about, but a cartoon wouldn't be at the top of my list. Demand change from those who would govern you.

Bird Poops On Couric's Head!

According to Drudge, Couric may have been pooped upon at the opening of the Turin Olympics. My question is: How could they tell?

Let's Cut The Whole Thing

The Bush administration has proposed cutting the budget for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. I have a better idea, eliminate it completely. Here’s why.
In my opinion it is not the responsibility of the federal government to collect taxes to compete with the private sector. In an age of 500 channels the quality programming on public television should find a home and pay it’s own way just like the rest of us. If it can’t, why the hell are we paying for it? Considering the burgeoning waistlines and related health care costs of a great number of Americans, it would seem the Feds would have a compelling interest in limiting assal horizontology, not promoting it with our tax dollars.
Do Jim and Jane six pack come home from a day at the office and wonder what’s on "Americas Ball Room Challenge" or who’s on Jim Lehrer? No probably not. In fact a lot of the programming on public television leans towards the highbrow. Again, so why the hell are we forced to pay for it? The demographics of the public television viewer would seem to indicate that they are more than capable of paying their own way, yet there they are like sows at the public teat. It’s welfare for the rich.
Ask any parent if they have any Sesame Street branded stuff in their home, chances are that they do. Where does all this money go? Do the kind folks at Sesame Street cut a check back to the American taxpayer when they sell their billionth Tickle Me Elmo? Considering you can’t swing a dead cat in group of children without hitting something Muppet covered, I find it odd that tax dollars are used to put Sesame Street on the air to begin with.
There is quality programming on public television such as the various Ken Burns series. But couldn’t his baseball homage find a home at any one of the fifty sports networks and couldn’t his Jazz piece find a home at A&E, BET or heaven forbid introduce actual music to MTV viewers? Almost any major network would have televised Burns’ Civil War. The difference you might say would be the advertisements. I for one would much rather have an animated gecko sell me insurance for 30 seconds than listen to some pandering amateur guilt me into a pledge for 30 minutes. Besides there are lot of specially sponsored commercial free programs on commercial television such as "Saving Private Ryan" last November.
The bottom line is that as long as taxes are involuntary they should be used to pay for genuine essentials only. No television program is essential, not even the Simpsons. National defense, infrastructure, ensuring the rule of law, all the things the private sector can’t provide, these are essential expenditures. Barney is not.


Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Monkey Gone Mad

When I was a little kid I always wanted a monkey so I could be like Tarzan. Apparently chimpanzees are a hell of a lot more dangerous than it would appear. Do a google search on chimp attack and you'll see what I mean.
BTW he's holding the gun all wrong, silly monkey.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Friday, February 03, 2006

Dumb Ass Gets Killed By Bear

Timothy Treadwell was an "eco warrior" who was killed along with his poor girlfriend Amie Huguenard by a bear in October of 2003. How did this sad fate befall this former actor and drug addict and his unfortunate cohort? Were they stranded in the wilderness by cruel fate and left to fend for themselves against unequivocal nature ala the so so Anthony Hopkins movie "The Edge"? No he was a dumb ass tree hugger who thought it was clever to be transgressive and cohabitate with bears. While he purported to be an advocate and a protector of all things ursine , it was his asinine behavior that directly caused the death of two bears who had to be shot to recover his partially eaten body. Here's a news flash bear kibble boy, bears are wild animals - do not try to touch them, do not name them, you do not have a "spiritual connection" with them, to them you are food.
When man interacts with nature something or someone always gets hurt. Whether it's the brown trout who is caught and released, the Yellowstone bear who gets fat on human garbage, or the weekend warrior who takes a header off a bike trail, the idea that you can wander into the wilderness and become one with nature simply isn't true. We are of two separate worlds, Treadwell knew this but thought somehow he could transcend it. He was wrong. The only sad thing about this story is that two innocent animals had to be destroyed because of his stupidity. Maybe Treadwell got what he wanted in some bizarre way, how else do you explain his behavior?

You Have Been Warned

A disagreeable comment or a cartoon is extremism or terrorism. Honor killings, sharia, suicide bombings, lack of progress since the 8th century is what exactly?

Math Problem

I was an English major so please forgive my mathematical impertinence, but if 1300 people were on board a shipwreck and about a 100 are rescued, doesn't that mean that 1200 have been lost? Shouldn't the story read "Hundreds Dead After Egyptian Ship Disaster"?


Dozens Dead After Egyptian Ship Disaster
By SALAH NASRAWI, Associated Press Writer 21 minutes ago
An Egyptian ferry carrying about 1,300 people sank in the Red Sea overnight during bad weather, and rescue ships and helicopters pulled dozens of bodies from the water Friday, an official said. About 100 survivors in lifeboats were rescued.
An Egyptian Embassy spokesman told the British Broadcasting Corp. that "dozens of bodies of victims" had been pulled from the choppy waters between Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
The 35-year-old ship, Al-Salaam Boccaccio 98, went down 40 miles off the Egyptian port of Hurghada, the head of the Egyptian Maritime Authority, Mahfouz Taha Marzouk, told The Associated Press. The cause was unknown, and no distress signal was received. The ship went down between midnight and 2 a.m., a maritime official said.
Britain's top naval officer said he diverted the warship HMS Bulwark to the north Red Sea site, and it will arrive within two days. But the U.S. 5th Fleet in Bahrain said Egyptian authorities turned down an American offer to divert a U.S. P3-Orion maritime naval patrol aircraft to the area.
An official at the maritime authority control room in Suez said at least 20 bodies had been pulled from the water, and 100 people in five lifeboats were rescued. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press.
Ayman al-Kaffas, a spokesman for the Egyptian Embassy in London, told the BBC that "a massive search-and-rescue effort" was underway, and "dozens of bodies of victims" had been pulled from the water. The water temperature averages in the upper 60s during February.
Four Egyptian rescue ships reached the scene Friday afternoon, about 10 hours after the ship likely went down.

Tasmanian Tiger

I love Tasmanian Tigers or Thylacines and pray they are not extinct. There have been some credible sightings in the last few years so I guess there is always hope. If they are extinct we should clone them back into existence, concerns about paranoid chaos theories be damned.
Aren't they beautiful? Wouldn't you like to have one, or better yet a pack of them to hector your nemesis with? Unfortunately they don't do well in captivity and your local animal control officer would probably frown on the keeping of large, nearly extinct carnivores. Like a lot of other Australian animals this creature looks like he was designed by a part time committee. Rear legs like a kangaroo, stripes like a tiger and a powerful double hinged jaw. Of course it's a marsupial, the largest carnivorous marsupial since the extinction of the Thylacoleo or marsupial 'lion'. Drop me a line if you happen to see one.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Old Crow Medicine Show

I'm not a huge fan of old timey music and don't ask me how I came to learn of OCMS, but here they are, I kind of dig them. The first link is to a video performance, the second is their web site, you should check them out. A description from their website:
We rarely come across genuine buskers in America – street musicians playing their hearts out in public – let alone tightly-meshed ensembles with keening vocal harmonies, fiddles and banjos. But Old Crow Medicine Show (O.C.M.S.), doing things the old-fashioned way, took their stirring and reassuring music to people where they lived, made friends, opened ears, moved feet and drilled passageways through time.