My brother writes to say that I'm lucky Katrina didn't come my way, and I can certainly agree.
My heart goes out to all those suffering in Katrina's destructive and terrible wake.
Pray, folks. Pray.
Alea iacta est
My brother writes to say that I'm lucky Katrina didn't come my way, and I can certainly agree.
My heart goes out to all those suffering in Katrina's destructive and terrible wake.
Pray, folks. Pray.
Yesterday, the network at work was really acting up, such that I couldn't get Internet access, access to my email, or anything like that.
Very frustrating. It was eventually traced to a spyware worm that had attached itself to a computer somewhere on the network. It wasn't isolated until the late afternoon.
Then, at home, a backhoe working on road work overnight snapped some underground cables, and so we didn't have access there either this morning.
Finally, I come in to work and I find that many, many, of my usual sites seem to be down: Instapundit, Lileks, Captain's Quarters, Power Line, Shot in the Dark.
What's happening, folks? Is it just me? Or is this worm infecting others areas as well?
I seriously doubt the veracity of this particular "Overheard".
I call BS on it!
I have no idea how this happened. I suspect that n.z. bear has changed his categories. Perhaps, it'll change back soon.
I don't care. I'm flappy!
You scored 26% Tough, 14% Roguish, 47% Friendly, and 14% Charming!
|You are the fun and friendly boy next door, the classic nice guy who still manages to get the girl most of the time. You're every nice girl's dreamboat, open and kind, nutty and charming, even a little mischievous at times, but always a real stand up guy. You're dependable and forthright, and women are drawn to your reliability, even as they're dazzled by your sense of adventure and fun. You try to be tough when you need to be, and will gladly stand up for any damsel in distress, but you'd rather catch a girl with a little bit of flair. Your leading ladies include Jean Arthur and Donna Reed, those sweet girl-next-door types. |
Find out what kind of classic dame you'd make by taking the Classic Dames Test.
|My test tracked 4 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:|
|Link: The Classic Leading Man Test written by gidgetgoes on OkCupid Free Online Dating|
Pious gratitude to: The Anchoress, who says she's looking for a guy like me. Who isn't, my dear? Who isn't?
For me, this is a really funny and personal kind of movie, because the people in it work in a company that maintains banking software, and they are all busy working on getting their software all ready to fix the Y2K bug. And at the time this movie came out, that was EXACTLY WHAT I WAS DOING, every doggon day.
Remember that? When people said that the whole modern world would come crashing down because nobody thought to include enough space in the files to handle the year 2000? People were stockpiling cans of beans and shotgun shells and gas powered electric generators.
And our bosses and clients were all panicking because everybody wanted to be ABSOLUTELY POSITIVELY SURE that there wasn't any problems, so we all went in to work on New Years Day to "make sure" that everything was still working right.
Stupid. Stupid. STUPID!
Like we couldn't simply set the dates forward on our computers and see what would happen. See smoke? Bad. No smoke? Good.
Anyway, unlike the folks in the movie, we didn't respond by embezzling like a billion dollars or anything like that.
Go rent that movie; it's really funny.
You know, I didn't need to read a story like this to know that those Animal Liberation Front numbnuts were, uh, numbnuts:
Animal right activists steal diseased dogs
Without expert treatment, the infected dogs will waste away and die fairly quickly.
If any of the dogs are only carriers of the disease and survive to be bred, they pose the risk of spreading the disease to other dogs.
"(The activists) thought they were liberating animals facing vivisection," said the head of the Massey University Veterinary School, Grant Guilford said. "Instead they have got things horribly wrong and condemned at least some of the dogs to certain death."
...The colony of dogs maintained at the farm is used for handling "practicals" in which veterinary students are taught how to conduct physical examinations safely and well.
Occasionally they also participate in pet food palatability studies for manufacturers.
After a period of service dogs are placed in private homes.
In a message to the same animal liberation website yesterday, Prof Guilford hit back at the activists.
"We choose popular breeds for the colony and make very careful efforts to ensure they are well socialised so re-homing can happen," he said. "There are no 'leg experiments' at Jennersmead.
"So you have screwed up."
Say, is that a bandwagon I see passing by?
I better hop on!
Look, it's possible that you could find a more exciting and interesting column than Michael Yon's reporting from the front lines of Iraq, but it's a cinch it won't be in the New York Times.
That Karl Rove is a genious!
Somehow, he's gotten a vile neo-Nazi group to join Mother Sheehan's Traveling Salvation Tour.
There's no other explanation....except, maybe, that the naked anti-Semitism of the Left is a good fit for the naked anti-Semitism of resurgent Fascists.
Nah. It's gotta be Karl Rove.
Robertson Activates Christian Sleeper Cells
Except for few desperate individuals driven to violence by U.S. imperialism, Islam is a Religion of Peace. Christianity, on the other hand, has been the engine of world suffering for over 2000 years. It was Christianity that nearly eradicated the indigenous peoples of this continent, the survivors condemned to the perpetual humiliation of cartoon stereotypes and offensive sports mascots. It was Bush's Christian cousin, Adolf Hitler, who sent hundreds of homosexuals and midgets to the gas chambers even as great agnostics like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. fought against racial injustice. And it is the Christians who constantly subvert our political process by allowing their "moral compass" to determine how they should vote, rather than NARAL or labor union leaders. Now, the man described by the New York Times as "The Unequivocal Voice of Christian Conservativism - Perhaps Even Christianity Itself" has called for the murder of a benevolent Latin American leader. Alas, the heartless evil of the American Taliban has been never been so palpably insidious.
With a red beret and a thick Latin accent that makes the panties of every progressive American glisten with dew, Hugo Chavez is much more than your typical Marxist revolutionary. Unlike Bush, he's a democratically elected leader who is greatly loved by his people. He's also one of the few Latin American leaders not installed and controlled by the CIA, which has made him the target of several Bush-ordered coups and failed assassination attempts. But in spite of U.S. imperialist plots to poison his Fruit Loops, Chavez has instituted widespread social and economic reforms. This year, he was honored by both Greenpeace and Amnesty International for disposing of the old corroded car batteries in his torture chambers and using cleaner, more efficient solar power to energize the nation's impoverished testicles. Furthermore, spontaneous human decapitations have dropped by 12 percent on Chavez's watch. Can Bush say as much? I don't think so.
Its no wonder, then, that Pat Robertson has issued a death warrant on Papa Chavez.
For the lack of a more gender neutral noun, our founding "fathers" never intended for one man to wield so much power over the mouth-breathing, biblethumping lemmings of Jesusland. That's why they constructed a wall between church and state - the only thing in the Living Breathing Constitution that isn't ethereal or anachronistic. It's for our protection, people! One word from this Osama Bin Laden of the Religious Right and Christian sleeper cells could be activated all across the nation, acting all Holier-Than-Thou and making gay couples feel like second class citizens. Before you know it, Robert Schuller would be sawing off the heads of fornicators on The Hour of Power.
Venezuelan Vice President Charles Rangel (D) had it right. Calls for the assassination of world leaders should be done only by the seasoned professionals on Air America, where they can be directed at members of the Bush administration in a humorous, light-hearted fashion. What Robertson did goes beyond the pale. In a free, democratic society like Venezuela, he'd never get away with it.
Still think that the New York Times is unbiased?
Read Jack Kelly, who checks up on a story about military body armor.
Simply amazing. They take a good story, and make it a bad one.
I wonder why?
John Hinderaker has Some Thoughts...
Sometimes it becomes necessary to state the obvious: being a soldier is a dangerous thing. This is why we honor our service members' courage. For a soldier, sailor or Marine, "courage" isn't an easily-abused abstraction--"it took a lot of courage to vote against the farm bill"--it's a requirement of the job.
Even in peacetime. The media's breathless tabulation of casualties in Iraq--now, over 1,800 deaths--is generally devoid of context. Here's some context: between 1983 and 1996, 18,006 American military personnel died accidentally in the service of their country. That death rate of 1,286 per year exceeds the rate of combat deaths in Iraq by a ratio of nearly two to one.
That's right: all through the years when hardly anyone was paying attention, soldiers, sailors and Marines were dying in accidents, training and otherwise, at nearly twice the rate of combat deaths in Iraq from the start of the war in 2003 to the present. Somehow, though, when there was no political hay to be made, I don't recall any great outcry, or gleeful reporting, or erecting of crosses in the President's home town. In fact, I'll offer a free six-pack to the first person who can find evidence that any liberal expressed concern--any concern--about the 18,006 American service members who died accidentally in service of their country from 1983 to 1996.
The point? Being a soldier is not safe, and never will be. Driving in my car this afternoon, I heard a mainstream media reporter say that around 2,000 service men and women have died in Afghanistan and Iraq "on President Bush's watch." As though the job of the Commander in Chief were to make the jobs of our soldiers safe. They're not safe, and they never will be safe, in peacetime, let alone wartime.
Read it all.
I feel a great disturbance in the Force....
The portly propagandist is doing a stint at the Pritikin Longevity Center & Spa in Aventura, Fla. — also known as the “fat farm for the rich.” Moore is learning how to cook healthy meals and exercise and attending classes on “life re-education.” The program starts at $3,800 a week and promises enrolees they’ll “learn a new approach to eating,” “never have to diet again,” and can lose up to 12 pounds in the first three weeks. The facility also has “cosmetic/medical treatments, such as intense pulsed light, botox injections, and Restylane."
Tim Blair comments: A “new approach to eating”? Maybe they’ll teach him to chew.
I never thought it'd be Mikey who ended up in the "re-education center."
Update: Iowahawk has 'Moore'...as in 'Pwned'
Los Angeles - Sacha Baron Cohen aka Ali G was dunked in the sea by Pamela Anderson's bodyguards - after rugby-tackling the actress at her dogs' wedding.
The Ali G star was dressed as his other creation, Kazakhstani TV journalist Borat, when he pulled the stunt.
Cohen, 33, in trunks, leather jacket and Village People-style cap, emerged from the surf on an inflatable turtle.
His rugby tackle sent Pam, 38, hurtling to the sand on the beach at Malibu, California.
Concerned security men grabbed the comedian and dragged him into the sea.
Pam was presiding over the nuptials of her Golden Retriever Star to Chihuahua Luca.
The pain is so great, I may never recover....
Update: Rereading this, I keep going back to the "wedding" for Pam's dogs. This sounds like something that Marie Antionette or one of the more-syphilitic Caesars would have done. Amazing.
Lisa Ramaci-Vincent, wife of murdered journalist Steven Vincent, eviscerates Juan Cole, who slandered her husband on his own blog.
My heart goes out to this woman for her grief and heartache; and I commend her for her muscular defense of her husband's memory.
Last week, controversy erupted at Orange County Schools, when demonstrators appeared at the county offices, protesting a letter written by an Orange County elementary school teacher to a congressman, which somehow made it into the hands of the Puerto Rican newspaper El Nuevo Dia. The Orlando Sentinel reports:
In a published version of the letter that began "Dear Honorable Congressman," the writer said Hispanics and other Caribbean newcomers are taking all the jobs and that "foreigners are the largest users of taxpayers' money." It also charged that Hispanics and immigrants in general were hurting the quality of schools and dragging down educational achievement.
The letter also charged that Puerto Ricans are destroying Orlando, and that laws should be changed so Puerto Ricans -- who are U.S. citizens by birth -- would stop moving to Central Florida. It complained about Mexicans, Middle Easterners and Haitians, adding that Mexicans bring drugs and incurable diseases and that Haitian children are too aggressive. Puerto Rican teachers who work here, the letter went on, have the equivalent of a fifth-grade education.
Incensed Hispanic interest groups were swift to leap into the spotlight:
"If this [letter] is true, she basically has a problem with anyone who doesn't belong to her race," said Marytza Sanz, president of the advocacy group Latino Leadership, adding that the schools should offer sensitivity training to teachers.
After several hours of demonstrators marching around with signs and drawing unwanted attention, Superintendent Ron Blocker called a press conference, which drew even more attention, as the reason for it had to be explained to the local English-language press. At this press conference, Blocker made the mandatory (and superfluous) statement: “For anyone who is not clear on this, Orange County public schools educates all children. We are a diverse community. There is no room for racism and discrimination.”
(This is an interesting statement: there is obviously room for racist statements when they are uttered by a School Board Member, as they were on the record at a recent Orange County School Board Meeting. School Board Member Kat Gordon (who is black), addressed the School Board Chairman (who is white) as “Massah” and implied that he was a racist when they disagreed about the disposition of an agenda item. Mr. Blocker, who was present at this exchange, made no statement at that time against racism and discrimination.)
School Board attorney Frank Kruppenbacher said that regardless of Hall's protected constitutional right to free speech, discriminatory statements violate the "Code of Ethics and the Principles of Professional Conduct" that all Florida educators must follow. The code states that educators "shall not harass or discriminate against any student" based on race, national origin or ethnicity. Because the letter referred to Sadler and Hall identified herself as a teacher, the code applies, he said.
They then suspended her without pay, pending a hearing before the school board. It should be clear that no attempt had been made to determine at that time whether or not Ms. Hall had "harass[ed] or discriminate[d] against any student."
I have in my possession a copy of this letter, which puts me at an advantage over Superintendent Blocker and Mr. Kruppenbacher, who at the time of the press conference did not; they were reacting entirely to the embarrassing presence of protesters on their doorstep when they made the decision to throw Ms. Hall under the schoolbus. Regardless of the final disposition of this case, the administration of Orange County has shown itself to be an organization that will sacrifice any of their employees if they find it expedient to do so. Such an attitude destroys morale and evaporates loyalty.
Ms. Hall’s letter is politically naive; it is sure to offend those of a disposition to be offended; it is factually suspect; and it is poorly written. It also is a private letter which she wrote to a Congressman (whose identity is at this point unknown); how it ended up in the possession of El Nuevo Dia has not been revealed, and should cause any person to pause. She uses no slurs and shines a light on some hard truths; she is responding to the problem of illegal and unrestricted immigration as she sees it and trying to identify a solution.
In this way, she is similar to the Governers of New Mexico and Arizona, who last week declared border emergencies in their respective states in order to draw attention to the problems caused by illegal immigrants.
That her attitudes are unpopular is unquestioned; that she has a right to express them should be equally unquestioned.
And no one should question whether School Superintendent Blocker will support one of his employees who finds herself in a tight spot: the answer is ‘no’.
In today’s Orlando Sentinel, a letter written by Ray Walls sums up my attitude exactly:
The uproar surrounding elementary-school teacher Jan Hall does not seem to be proportionate to the act. The kind of firestorm that's developed over a letter to a congressman didn't even materialize in the past when other educators were found to have molested young children.
While I do not subscribe to the opinions espoused in the published letter, I don't understand why this woman is being crucified for her personal opinions. If Orange County school administrators were as quick to act on raising the quality of education in our schools as they were to "deal with" Jan Hall, they might actually be worth their paychecks.
Everyone involved, including those at the School Board, would be well advised to put the whole situation into perspective and act according to the law. Otherwise, taxpayers will be footing the bill for another wrongful termination lawsuit -- less money for schools and more for inadequate leadership.
Update: Fixed a few typos.
Excelsior, True Believers! Click and read the Pulse Pounding In-Action!
At a time when I'm eyeing the thermometer as it hovers near 100 and ruefully facing another 10 weeks of this, Lileks is again moaning about Summer's end.
Summer is the tall pretty woman at the party who was here before but isn’t here now. You look up, look around; she was over there, talking to that guy just a minute ago. Or ten minutes. Whatever. It’s a great party; you don’t notice. But an hour later there’s a hole in the room, somehow; the mood’s changed, the momentum dissipated.
Actually, Summer is more like that lonely guy that comes to the house an hour early when the wife is still getting dressed and hangs around watching pay-per-view while you're washing up afterwards. He doesn't take your yawning hints that it's getting rather late, waving airily when you finally give in and announce that you're going to bed. "I'll lock up when I'm done," he says and settles in for a long stay. You sigh, defeated, and lie awake, wondering who, exactly, invited him and whether it'd just be better to move away before your next party....
Oh, and sometimes, he trashes the place.
Ok, here's a meme that everybody can participate in.
I found it on theonebob's Live Journal.
Step 1: Go here
Step 2: Put the year you graduated from High School in the search window in the upper-right-hand part of the screen.
Step 3: The first item returned should be the top 100 songs from that year. Cut and paste them into your post.
Step 4: Modify the list as follows:
Bold the ones you like.
Underline your favorite.
Strike through the songs you loathe.
Italicize the ones you can't remember.
Leave it untagged if you're without an opinion
Now, strap yourself in as we revisit the horror that was: 1980.
1. Call Me, Blondie
2. Another Brick In The Wall, Pink Floyd
3. Magic, Olivia Newton-John
4. Rock With You, Michael Jackson
5. Do That To Me One More Time, Captain and Tennille
6. Crazy Little Thing Called Love, Queen
7. Coming Up, Paul McCartney
8. Funkytown, Lipps, Inc.
9. It's Still Rock And Roll To Me, Billy Joel
10. The Rose, Bette Midler
11. Escape (The Pina Colada Song), Rupert Holmes
12. Cars, Gary Numan
13. Cruisin', Smokey Robinson
14. Working My Way Back To You/Forgive Me Girl, Spinners
15. Lost In Love, Air Supply
16. Little Jeannie, Elton John
17. Ride Like The Wind, Cristopher Cross
Upside Down, Diana Ross
19. Please Don't Go, K.C. and The Sunshine Band
20. Babe, Styx
21. With You I'm Born Again, Billy Preston and Syreeta
22. Shining Star, Manhattans
23. Still, Commodores
24. Yes, I'm Ready, Teri De Sario With K.C.
25. Sexy Eyes, Dr. Hook
26. Steal Away, Robbie Dupree
27. Biggest Part Of Me, Ambrosia
28. This Is It, Kenny Loggins
29. Cupid-I've Loved You For A Long Time, Spinners
30. Let's Get Serious, Jermaine Jackson
31. Don't Fall In Love With A Dreamer, Kenny Rogers and Kim Carnes
32. Sailing, Christopher Cross
33.Longer, Dan Fogelberg
34. Coward Of The County, Kenny Rogers
35. Ladies Night, Kool and The Gang
36. Take Your Time, S.O.S. Band
37. No More Tears (Enough Is Enough), Barbra Streisand and Donna Summer
38. Too Hot, Kool and The Gang
39. More Love, Kim Carnes
40. Pop Muzik, M
41. Brass In Pocket, Pretenders
42. Special Lady, Ray, Goodman and Brown
43. Send One Your Love, Stevie Wonder
44. The Second Time Around, Shalamar
45. We Don't Talk Anymore, Cliff Richard
47. Heartache Tonight , Eagles
48. Stomp, Brothers Johnson
49. Tired Of Toein' The Line, Rocky Burnette
50. Better Love Next Time, Dr. Hook
51. Him, Rupert Holmes
52. Against The Wind, Bob Seger and The Silver Bullet Band
53. On The Radio, Donna Summer
54. Emotional Rescue, Rolling Stones
55. Rise, Herb Alpert
56. All Out Of Love, Air Supply
57. Cool Change, Little River Band
58. You're Only Lonely, J.D. Souther
59. Desire, Andy Gibb
60. Let My Love Open The Door, Pete Townshend
61. Daydream Believer, Anne Murray
62. I Can't Tell You Why, Eagles
63. Don't Let Go, Isaac Hayes
64. Don't Do Me Like That, Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers
65. She's Out Of My Life, Michael Jackson
66. Fame, Irene Cara
67. Fire Lake, Bob Seger and The Silver Bullet Band
68. How Do I Make You, Linda Ronstadt
69. Into The Night, Benny Mardones
70. Let Me Love You Tonight, Pure Prairie League
71. Misunderstanding, Genesis
72. An American Dream, Dirt Band
73. One Fine Day, Carole King
74. Dim All The Lights, Donna Summer
75. You May Be Right, Billy Joel
76. Hurt So Bad, Linda Ronstadt
77. Should've Never Let You Go, Neil Sedaka and Dara Sedaka
78. Pilot Of The Airwaves, Charlie Dore
79. Off The Wall, Michael Jackson
80. I Pledge My Love, Peaches and Herb
81. The Long Run, Eagles
82. Stand By Me, Mickey Gilley
83. Heartbreaker, Pat Benatar
84. Deja Vu, Dionne Warwick
85. Drivin' My Life Away, Eddie Rabbitt
86. Take The Long Way Home, Supertramp
87. Sara, Fleetwood Mac
88. Wait For Me, Daryl Hall and John Oates
89. Jo Jo, Boz Scaggs
90. September Morn, Neil Diamond
91. Give Me The Night, George Benson
92. Broken Hearted Me, Anne Murray
93. You Decorated My Life, Kenny Rogers
94. Tusk, Fleetwood Mac
95. I Wanna Be Your Lover, Prince
96. In America, Charlie Daniels Band
97. Breakdown Dead Ahead, Boz Scaggs
98. Ships, Barry Manilow
99. All Night Long, Joe Walsh
100. Refugee, Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers
1. Call Me, Blondie
Mark Steyn in the Chicago Sun-Times:
Sorry about that, but, if Mrs. Sheehan can insist her son's corpse be the determining factor in American policy on Iraq, I don't see why her marriage can't be a metaphor for the state of the Democratic Party.
In the Weekly Standard, Noemie Emery writes:
IN THE FOUR YEARS OR so since September 11, liberals have found a new weapon of preference, and that weapon is martyrdom. They have discovered grief as a tactical weapon. They tend to like grief they can use. They use it to arouse guilt and sympathy to cover a highly partisan message, in the hope that while the message may be controversial, the messenger will be sacrosanct and above reproach. Since 9/11, they have embraced this tactic repeatedly, and each time with a common objective: to cripple the war, to denounce the country, to swing an election, but mainly to embarrass and undermine the president.
Read the rest of both of these fine columns.
I've been to a few sci-fi conventions in my time, and they usually have a big Treker contingent there. At these big conventions, there are lots of fans of many ages, and I know from experience that there are usually a lot of teen tart girls running around in costumes, giggling and flirting.
These fan conventions are opportunities for people who share a common interest to interact and have fun. Alcohol flows and the bars of the venues are full of adults making friends and hooking up.And I know that there are a lot of emotionally retarded adults at these things, many of whom are lonely in their "real life." And wild teen girls often want to get drunk.
So, I'm not saying that lonely geek losers are more likely to be child molesters. But if I were a pervert with an unhealthy interest in teenage girls, I'd definitely buy a pair of Spock ears.
John Hinderaker has an uncharacteristically interesting post on archeaology today. (Uncharacteristically about archeaology, not uncharacteristically interesting; John's posts are usually interesting.)
Anyway, he writes the following as part of the post:
...there are one or two obscure bloggers I read regularly; my favorite blogger, who is pretty much unknown, wrote this about today's archaeological find:
...and then he quotes at length.
I'd like to point out that his "favorite blogger" is apparenly destined to remain unknown, since Hinderaker neither links to him or names him.
I can now say, with some authority, that I am one of John Hinderakers favorite bloggers since he neither names or links to me, either.
The hard left in America needs to realize a bald, cruel fact: Anyone who sees no moral distinction between Israel and the mullahs of Iran, or sees the U.S. attempt to set up a constitutional republic in Iraq as equivalent to the Syrian occupation of Lebanon, suffers from incurable moral cretinism. The more the fervent anti-war base embraces these ideas, the more they ensure that no one will trust the left with national security. Ever.
Pious gratitude to: Der Perfesser
John Hinderaker notes that Universal Studios is planning to make a film about Flight 93.
I don't have much confidence in Hollywood's ability to get these issues right, but it would be pretty hard to go wrong--just about impossible, in fact--with the story of Flight 93.
Despite his protestations, I'd say John has too much confidence in Hollywood. They'll get it wrong, and embarassingly so.
A few predictions:
I hope I'm wrong. I'd really like to see a movie about Flight 93 that didn't disgust me.
I just don't think Hollywood is capable of making such a film.
Glenn Reynolds writes:
The press views the war as a political story, not a matter of patriotism. That's what's different about today's coverage, and it's a disgrace.
I've certainly seen plenty of evidence that he's right; anybody want to take a stab of showing evidence to the contrary?
(2005-08-12) -- The nationwide campaign to drum American Indians out of the public square chalked up another win this week as NORAD announced it would stop using Indian names to describe its air defense exercises. This follows last week's decision by the NCAA to ban Indian mascots from its college sports tournaments.
"Naming things after Indians gives these tribal people recognition that they don't deserve," said an unnamed spokesman for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). "After all, we conquered them and occupied their land. Why give them the honor that comes from naming stuff after them as if they were brave, victorious warriors. They lost. Do you really want your children emulating a bunch of losers?"
NASA is planning on launching a new GOES-N satellite in about a half hour.
Here is a link to the Mission Page.
GOES-N is the latest in a series of Earth monitoring satellites. The GOES-N launch has been postponed. A new launch date has been set for August 15. Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES) provide the kind of continuous monitoring necessary for intensive data analysis. Geostationary describes an orbit in which a satellite is always in the same position with respect to the rotating Earth. This allows GOES to hover continuously over one position on the Earth's surface, appearing stationary. As a result, GOES provide a constant vigil for the atmospheric "triggers" for severe weather conditions such as tornadoes, flash floods, hail storms, and hurricanes.
The launch vehicle is a Boeing Delta IV.
Update: Launch scrubbed due to a technical problem with a doo-hickey. Too bad, I wanted pictures.
....we have a Japanese propaganda booklet from World War II detailing the Imperial Army's plan for dominating the nations of the region...
See it here. Kind of amazing. I especially like the "advice" on how to feign lunacy.
Today is VJ Day, and is as good an excuse as is necessary to link to the war-time reminiscences of my uncle, Morris Taylor, who served with distinction aboard a PT boat in the Pacific Theater.
Charles Johnson reports on "[h]armless mortar shells, falling from the heavens like a Fortean rain of frogs, their source mysterious."
Captain Ed reports on a cache of chemical weapons (1500 gallons of precursor agents) found in Mosul . It's apparently of recent pedegree (i.e., it hasn't been sitting there since Saddam fell) which raises the question of where they came from:
No one believes at this point that the chemicals predate the fall of Saddam. That would mean that the chemicals made it into Mosul either by bringing them out of Syria or from a safe storage area in Northern Iraq. Either of those two scenarios could point back to pre-invasion Iraq as the source of the chemicals themselves, however; the former scenario only adds the possibility that Bashar Assad has lost his mind.
The size of this find makes it a significant development, both for the insurgency as it stands now and the sourcing of these chemical components. We may have some radical rethinking to do about the nature of not just the terrorists in Iraq, but also the war narrative that said Saddam had no WMD available for his use.
Captain Ed is also battling leftist commenters with reading disabilities.
In the last month or so I have discovered podcasts, I guess along with many other people who downloaded iTunes 4.9 with Podcast subscription support.
Among the gems I've found The Signal...
...which is all about the science fiction show Firefly. Here you will find features, news, reviews, interview, chat, and anything else we can think of relating to Firefly. If you don't know anything about podcasting, don't worry, you can just download the individual MP3 files and then figure out all the podcasting stuff later. Go ahead and listen to - THE SIGNAL.
In the last three podcasts, they've had interviews with Adam Baldwin, who plays Jayne Cobb on Firefly (Show #4); Gina Torres, who plays Zoë Warren (Show #5); and Ron Glass, who plays Shepherd Meria Book (Show #6).
It's a lovely podcast made by some lovely fans who love Firefly. Each show runs about an hour.
Give it a listen, if you're a fan, or if you want to see what I keep going on about.
Instapunk discusses the role of grief in our society:
For whatever reason, we have exalted grief in this nation to a supernatural force that must be honored and appeased rather than overcome. As recently as the Victorian era, infant and child mortality was so pervasive that few large families did not experience it. Before the age of modern medicine, sudden, unexpected death was an everyday companion of the living. They learned to control grief with defined periods of mourning in prescribed clothes and then to proceed with life. And they learned not to lose their faith and humility in the process.
Now we teach even our youngest children that grief is a devouring god to whom they must genuflect whenever the bad thing happens. Every incident at school -- fire, death, insect infestation -- is followed by an invasion of professional grief counselors who carefully implant the idea that what has happened will resonate through the rest of their lives like some gong of doom.
We have taught ourselves to view the grief-stricken as secular saints imbued with the mystery of new age stigmata, and we watch in awe as they bleed continuously from their invisible wounds. In their actions we consecrate what we cannot comprehend, and we collectively offer up to them the key to a kind of free-fire zone, in which they can act out all they want while we do their penance for them in hushed, admiring tones.
Wow. Read it all.
Here's an awsome site. All those moving letters are being moved around by other people.
Note: Flash required
I will admit that the first time that the murderous Taliban regime of Afghanistan came to my notice is when I read an article in Archaeology Magazine about their destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas, a series of marvelous giant statues, which offended their 6th Century sensibilities.
This was before 9/11 and their ouster, obviously, but the loss of the statues is a blow to all humanity.
Artist Hiro Yamagata will use solar and wind power to project a series of images onto four miles of clay cliffs.
Afghan government officials, who approached the Japanese artist in 2003, are awaiting approval from Unesco.
Fourteen laser systems would project 140 faceless images, standing up to 175ft (52.5m) tall, onto the cliff-face for four hours every Sunday night.
EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (Reuters) - The space shuttle Discovery and its seven astronauts returned to Earth safely on Tuesday, bringing a successful end to NASA's troubled return to human space flight 2 1/2 years after the Columbia disaster.
Discovery made its fiery re-entry into Earth's atmosphere and swooped over the Pacific Ocean before gliding to a smooth landing at 8:12 a.m. EDT (1212 GMT) at Edwards Air Force Base in California after a 14-day mission that included a stay at the International Space Station.
NASA diverted the shuttle to California after bypassing four chances to land at Discovery's home port, the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, where clouds and rain showers proved troublesome.
"Congratulations on a truly spectacular test flight," astronaut Ken Ham at Mission Control in Houston told the Discovery crew as the shuttle stopped on the runway.
"Welcome home friends."
NASA accomplished its main goal for the mission -- safely launching and landing the aging shuttle. But when chunks of insulation flew off Discovery's fuel tank during launch, the U.S. space agency learned it had failed to fix the problem that doomed Columbia on Feb. 1, 2003.
Columbia disintegrated over Texas, killing all seven astronauts on board. Investigators blamed the disaster on a large piece of insulating foam that broke off the tank during launch and punched a hole in the orbiter's wing, allowing superheated gases to enter as the ship returned to Earth.
NASA scored some notable successes on its long-awaited return-to-flight mission, launched on July 26 after the agency spent $1 billion on repairs and safety upgrades. Discovery carried badly needed supplies and equipment to the space station and used new technology, including laser scanners, to search for damage on the outside of the shuttle.
Discovery's crew performed three successful spacewalks -- replacing a faulty steering gyroscope and reviving another on the space station.
But Discovery's crew also had to perform an unexpected repair with an unprecedented and risky spacewalk to the belly of the shuttle to remove bits of cloth filler protruding from the spacecraft's heat-shield tiles, which NASA managers feared could cause dangerous overheating on re-entry.
The fuel tank foam problem prompted NASA to ground the shuttle fleet until it can find a fix. The U.S. space agency has set Sept. 22 as a target for the next shuttle launch.
Earlier story: Return to Space!
At its best, science fiction advocates liberty. While Star Trek lamentably supported a "Federation knows best" mentality, other works like Star Wars and Robert Heinlein's novels have promoted the dissolution of central rule and the triumph of the individual. For the science fiction writer, space means one thing: freedom. Like the Wild West where men made their own rules and property rights were enforced at the end of a landowner's shotgun, space has afforded the hope that one day man can move beyond the reach of any government's oppressive hand.
No recent T.V. series understands this better than Fox's Firefly, the tragically cancelled masterpiece spawned from the mind of Joss Whedon, the creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and its spin-off Angel. Firefly was critically acclaimed, but sadly mismanaged and was cancelled after only eleven episodes aired in 2002. But thanks to DVD sales, Firefly has maintained a steady popularity. It currently ranks at 49 among DVDs on Amazon.com after seventeen months since its release.
Yay! A Firefly story! Read, read!
From Ye Olde Smoking Gun:
Crusader Nabbed By Michigan Cops
Medieval sword, mallet, armor no match for ye olde Taser
AUGUST 5--Meet Robert McClain. The Michigan man, 42, was arrested last week after he attempted to literally go medieval on cops. According to the below Royal Oak Police Department report, officers were dispatched to McClain's home after a motorist called 911 to report that McClain had fled the scene of an auto accident. When they arrived at his crib, McClain allegedly tried to strike a cop with a four-foot sword. After missing, McClain retreated to his basement, where he donned a chainmail armored vest and leather gauntlets to protect his arms. He also added a giant wooden mallet to his arsenal and beckoned officers to come downstairs and get him. "I'm gonna crush your f***ing skulls," McClain warned. Then, in a nice rhetorical flourish (for a lunatic, at least), he added, "I have a thousand years of power." That omnipotence, however, was no match for a police Taser, which felled McClain. He was then carted off and charged with felony assault and a misdemeanor count for failing to remain at an accident scene.
Putting on the armor was a definite tactical mistake; the cops gain a +3 bonus on attack rolls if the opponent is wearing metal armor .
Sissy Willis writes about the Evolution vs. Intelligent Design debate:
The President did not say ID was a legitimate alternative to evolution. His actual words were "You're asking me whether or not people ought to be exposed to different ideas, and the answer is yes." We didn't like the unspoken implications of his words either, of course, knowing they were vague enough to be clay in the hands of anyone who likes or doesn't like ID and/or GW. As a Darwinian Libertarian, we find the ID folks both self-deluded regarding the science and disingenuous in their "teach the controversy" spin. But that doesn't excuse willful misreading of either Darwin or Bush.
Quite lovely; give it a read.
Via Tim Blair, Phil Hendrie has a great post:
To call the great professional men and women who serve in our armed forces "kids" is a semantical tactic employed by my Poseur Leftist friends. They know that by tossing this little hand grenade into the mix any hope one has for a debate on fact, as opposed to hysterical rumor, flies right out the window. Who can not, at a moment like that, bow their head, and ponder ever so deeply, the meaning of children dying in a war.
Ladies and Gentlemen, calling these great people, part of the best trained and best equipped military in the history of the world, "kids" is an obscene insult.
And it's intended as one....
Calling professional and very adult American soldiers "kids" is only one weapon in the emotional ammo dump the Poseur-Left keeps rummaging through. Unsubstantiated but oft-repeated and provocative charges of war crime, torture and over-kill keep the easily confused all the more easily confused. The very people who ask for infinitesimal and undeniable proof of WMD's and terror links offer nothing but ludicrous rumor and gossip to bolster their arguments.
Great stuff. Read the rest.
This story is obviously false:
At the other side of his screen door – at the end of his driveway Wednesday morning – Duane’s stroll for the morning paper brought him face to face with a four-foot-long alligator.
“I was more worried about my cat cause the cat was acting like a tough guy like she was gonna take him on, and I think the alligator was laying low for the cat to get close enough,” Johnson said.
Over and above the unlikely discovery of a 4-foot alligator in Illinois is that this story claims that the cat "distracted" the alligator while his owner got away.
Sorry, I don't buy it.
Little Green Footballs is a site that seems to absolutely polarize the blogosphere. If you are like me, you consider it a clearinghouse for little-noted stories from the front lines of the War on Terror, frequented, in the main, by tough-minded folks who have little patience for terrorists and their apologists.
If you are unlike me, you consider the site to be a locus for crazy right-wing nuts and racist extremists who march in lock step behind Charles Johnson, the lizard-like owner of the site.
I'd like to provide, with little comment, evidence to support my opinion. On this post, about an unusual incident of Israeli-on-Palistinial terrorism, Charles is taken to task by his long-time readers for his choice of headline: "Israeli Murderer Lynched After Bus Attack".
Commenter Abu Maven writes:
Charles, I am 100% pro-Israel and a huge supporter of your site, but you've entitled this post such that the larger story appears to be the lynching, rather than the despicable underlying act that provoked it. In so doing, I fear you may give ammunition to your critics for having displayed the same bias you accuse, quite rightly, the mainstream media of having.
Followed immediately by Jheka, who comments:
That's not the thread title that I would have used.
I would have gone with something along the lines of "Israeli Right Wing Extremist Goes on Murder Spree; Killed by Angry Mob in Retaliation"
Or something along those lines.
Some commenters who express a measure of support or "nuanced" understanding for the Israeli man, are repeatedly confronted by other commenters who make no distinction between terrorism, whether or not it's perpetrator is Arab or Israeli.
Zombie does write:
The difference is this:
When an Israeli commits murder against non-Jews, we are ashamed and horrified and angry at the murderer. We condemn him morally, and also feel that the act was completely counter-productive politically.
But when a Palestinian commits murder against Jews, either as a suicide bomber or otherwise, the killer is glorified in Palestinian culture and his act is seen as praiseworthy, and politically jusitfied. The "martyrs" become saints.
Jewish murderers are not seen as saints. Quite the opposite.
You can't really argue with that.
Now, critics of LGF can cherry-pick over these comments (there are more than 700 of them at the time of this post!) and come up with a few that are ugly and hateful; but these are a tiny minority of the posters, and they are vigorously confronted by the others.
Sounds like a good role-model for other groups who may find themselves infiltrated by bad guys....
I saw Tony Blair on television this morning announcing this and taking questions:
Prime Minister Tony Blair on Friday announced new deportation measures against those who foster hatred and advocate violence, as his government tries to counter Islamic extremists in Britain.
Blair said the government would draw up a list of extremist Web sites, book shops and organizations and said that involvement with them could be a trigger to deport foreign nationals.
Over at LGF, Charles has a video from Iraq taken from a car that passes by a "Vehicle-Borne Improvised Explosive Device".
It's pretty amazing; go watch it.
The naked swordsman is pleading guilty. Curtis Rarick of North Liberty, Iowa, was accused of chasing his neighbors with a sword.
His neighbors told police a nude Rarick was standing in his front yard and they complained.
According to the neighbors, Rarick got upset then ran into his house, came back out and threatened them with a sword. He's now pleaded guilty to assault with a dangerous weapon.
Rarick will be sentenced next month and faces up to two years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
With the Serenity movie only about two months away, if you aren't yet familiar with Joss Whedon's Firefly, you should run out right away and buy the complete DVD collection and catch up.
The Firefly - The Complete Series DVD may possibly be the most perfect collection of DVDs ever produced by the hand of man, but even this zenith of the televisual arts has a flaw: it’s distressingly short. There are only 14 episodes in all, which includes the two-hour pilot. This leaves the fan longing for more.
However, this does have one advantage: one can enjoy the entire run in the course of a weekend’s leisurely watching. If you include the special features, but forego rewatching the episodes with their commentary tracks, you can blow through the whole thing in about 16 hours. Include the commentary, and you add about another 7 hours, so you’ve got Labor Day weekend sewn up.
Each show is a joy, and deserves to be watched slavishly and praised excessively. But for those who, due to a lack of time or commitment, are unable to watch all the episodes, I present below my choices for shows that highlight the basic storyline and characters. I won’t say that these are the “best” episodes (though in many ways they are favorites), as the other episodes each are terrific and have much to recommend them; and if you’ve got the time, you will be rewarded by watching the entire series in order.
Firefly For New Fans In A Hurry
And, there you have it. If you absolutely have to pick-and-choose what to watch prior to the release of Serenity, and want to get up to speed, these are my picks.
Ayaan Hirsi is a Dutch MP, and a Muslim reformer. She has been targeted for death by Islamists for her outspokenness, and for articles like this one:
The terrorists, and the Shari'a-based societies to which they aspire, have an entirely different philosophy. Humans are born to serve Allah through a series of obligations that are prescribed in an ancient body of writings. These edicts vary from rituals of birth and funeral rites to the most intimate details of human life; they descend to the point of absurdity in matters such as how to blow your nose, and with what foot to step into a toilet. Muslims, according to this philosophy, must kill those among them who leave the faith, and are required to be hostile to people of other religions and ways of life. This hostility requires them to murder innocent people and makes no distinction between civilians and the military. In Shari'a societies, women are made subordinate to men. They must be confined to their houses, beaten if found disobedient, forced into marriage and hidden behind the veil. The hands of thieves are cut off and capital punishment is performed in crowded public squares in front of cheering crowds. The terrorists seek to impose this way of life not only on Islamic countries, but, as Blair said, on western societies too.
At the core of this fundamental challenge to the west lies a pre-medieval figure to whom the London terrorists—along with all faithful Muslims in our modern world—look for guidance: Muhammad. All faithful Muslims believe that they must emulate this man, in principle and practical matters, under all circumstances. When trying to understand Islamic terrorism, most politicians and other commentators have avoided the core issue, which is Muhammad’s example. The west, before embarking on a battle of ideas, must attempt to understand this figure, and his presence in the daily lives and homes of faithful Muslims today.
It is apparent on reading the Koran and the traditional writings that Muhammad’s life not only provides rules for the daily lives of Muslims; it also demonstrates the means by which his values can be imposed. Muhammad himself constructed the House of Islam using military tactics that included mass killing, torture, targeted assassination, lying and the indiscriminate destruction of productive goods. This may be embarrassing to moderate Muslims, but the propaganda produced by modern terrorists constantly quotes Muhammad’s deeds and edicts to justify their actions and to call on other Muslims to support their cause.
Entire post stolen from:: lgf