Monday, February 27, 2006

so the leader of the free world....

HE MAY be the most powerful man in the world, but proof has emerged that President George Bush cannot ride a bike, wave and speak at the same time.

For Jess...

The five-ingredient rule is something that my mother-in-law shared with me shortly after I got married. She said that one of the things she did when her five children were small was to come up with about 20 recipes that she could make with only five ingredients.

The benefit of the 5-ingredient rule is that you can make these recipes in short order. With seven people in the house, and five of them children, emergencies and crazy days happen fairly often. By keeping the pantry stocked with the ingredients for these 20 recipes, she could make them without much fuss on hectic days

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Livin' on reds, vitamin C and cocaine

Americans work more, seem to accomplish less

sigh...

and this is how it happens....

Civilization eludes us

According to some estimates, upwards of 30 percent of the country's married women have been snatched from the street by their husbands in a custom known as "ala kachuu," which translates roughly as "grab and run."

In its most benign form, it is a kind of elopement, in which a man whisks away a willing girlfriend. But often it is something more violent. The custom predates the arrival of Islam in the 12th century and is practiced in varying degrees across Central Asia, but is most prevalent in
Kyrgyzstan.
According to some estimates, in the Naryn province alone an estimated 55 percent of all women were abducted against their will and forced into marriage, while only 10 percent of abducted women dared to stand for their rights and leave their abductors.

In case you thought it couldn't get grosser

Jasmine found that in four of the five restaurants, the ice that came from
the self-serve machines had more bacteria than the toilet water. Three of the
five cups of ice from the drive-through windows had more bacteria than the
toilet water.
Of the bacteria found in the ice, three out of the five
restaurants tested positive for fecal coliform or E. coli, organisms that come
from the feces of warm-blooded animals.
Health symptoms related to the presence of coliform include cramps and diarrhea. E. coli can cause intestinal illness and, in rare cases, hemolytic uremic syndrome, a serious kidney
condition.
Jasmine offers several theories for the contamination.
"The machine may not be cleaned properly, or it comes from someone touching the ice
with their hands," she said.
Galina Tuninskaya, vice president of Applied Consumer Services, a private lab that tests drinking water, said the standard for drinking water is usually 100 colony-forming units of bacteria per
milliliter. The highest amount Jasmine found was 54 units in ice from a
self-serve machine.

Welcome to reality moron

Mr Fukuyama once supported regime change in Iraq and was a signatory to a
1998 letter sent by the Project for a New American Century to the then
president, Bill Clinton, urging the US to step up its efforts to remove Saddam
Hussein from power. It was also signed by neoconservative intellectuals, such as
Bill Kristol and Robert Kagan, and political figures Paul Wolfowitz, Richard
Perle and the current defence secretary, Donald Rumsfeld.


However, Mr Fukuyama now thinks the war in Iraq is the wrong sort of war, in the wrong
place, at the wrong time. "The most basic misjudgment was an overestimation
of the threat facing the United States from radical Islamism," he argues.
"Although the new and ominous possibility of undeterrable terrorists armed
with weapons of mass destruction did indeed present itself, advocates of the war
wrongly conflated this with the threat presented by Iraq and with the rogue
state/proliferation problem more generally."


Mr Fukuyama, one of the US's most influential public intellectuals, concludes that "it seems very unlikely that history will judge either the intervention [in Iraq] itself or the ideas
animating it kindly".

Ball Lightning

So I was driving to dinner with my roommate and we saw these wierd little balls of light. Roomie claimed we had just seen ball ligtning. I said he made that up on the spot. Apparently I was wrong:)

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

So Gross

Eeeeeeewwwwwwww!!!!!
Wed Feb 22, 2006 10:44 AM ET BERLIN (Reuters) - A Bavarian village was
flooded by liquid pig manure after a tank containing the fertilizer burst,
German police said Wednesday.
Sewage rose to 20 inches in the courtyards and
streets of Elsa after gushing from the tank, which held some 240,000 litres of
pig manure.
"The village was swamped with green-brown liquid and it was pig
manure -- the mother-of-all muck," said Rainer Prediger, a police spokesman in
the nearby town of Coburg

What does a chinese keyboard look like?

I am linking to this for posterity. My brother sent in the question! (see the bottom where he is thanked)

my apologies if the site gets refreshed every week- guess we'll have to wait and see...

Murderers I have known

"Friends assume I am working to free the wrongly accused, and there are some innocents in jail and on death row. But there are more men who admit their crimes. What is so compelling, at least to me, is how so many of them were made into criminals by their circumstances, assembled piece by piece, like Lego toys."

Mom genes

Doesn't the Y chromosone do any work?

Good commentary on the Muslim cartoon furor

hat tip to Brian!

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Marriage Myths

Some of the facts on this graphic are fascinating!

The wonder of our world

This site just rocks. Take a minute or two and just browse through the various posts on the right side. OMG some of them are amazing! I love having my perspective twisted around every once in a while.

Get comfy..you might be working for awhile

Life expectancy in the United States is now around 78 years. But if anti-aging therapies prove to work as well for humans as they have for worms, flies, and mice in laboratories, by the year 2050 people might routinely reach the ripe old age of 120.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

you have to read it to believe it

FEBRUARY 17--This country, as you know, is filled with the deranged. And then there's Travis Frey, a 33-year-old Iowa man who is facing charges that he tried to kidnap his own wife (not to mention a separate child pornography rap). Frey, prosecutors contend, apparently is a
rather demanding guy. In fact, he actually drew up a bizarre four-page marriage
document--a "Contract of Wifely Expectations"--that sought to establish
guidelines for his spouse in terms of hygiene, clothing, and sexual activities.
In return for fulfilling certain requirements, Frey (pictured right) offered
"Good Behavior Days," or GBDs. Each GBD, Frey wrote, could be redeemed by his
wife to "get out of doing the things" he requested daily. A copy of the proposed
contract, which Frey's wife never signed and later provided to cops, can be
found below. While we normally point out the highlights of most documents, there
are so many in this demented, and very graphic, contract, we really can't do it
justice. So set aside ten minutes--and prepare to be repulsed. (4 pages)

Friday, February 17, 2006

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Just when you think the world is going completely to shit...

At a time when cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad have triggered violent protests in several Muslim countries, the respect between faiths in Senegal remains unshaken.

While the overwhelming majority of its people are Muslim, the West African country has made religious harmony a point of pride. Many families, like Correa's, mix different religions.

kid food

Ok, I admit that I have a bit of an obsession with kid nutrition. As someone who's always been overweight, one of my biggest goals as a soon to be parent is to find a way to foster healthy habits without creating food obsessions or neuroses. Separating my own body issues from the equation is something I find challenging now when it's still just in theory. I can only imagine how hard it will be when the kids actually start eating! That said, I am HORRIFIED at how many kids subsist soley on soda, chicken fingers, and cookies. And don't get me started on the recent "whole grain" movement, which has somehow been completely sucked dry of any merit by the food industry. Fruit loops with "whole grain" is still 90% sugar. And I don't care what Kraft claims, pasta is by definition not a whole grain. Anyway, that is my rant for the day. Thanks for indulging me (if you're still reading).

This link is to a blog written by a vegan mom and I just thought she was pretty damn creative with the lunches she makes her kid.

I'd also be really interested in hearing your thoughts about food and the whole nutrition vs. obsession thing. (If you have any... this could totally just be me.) I so do not want to suck all the fun out of food. Hell, it's one of my favorite things!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Fun

Yahoo's "date night movie guide" is better than I expected. I think the same person who occasionally slips hysterical headlines into their Top Headlines wrote the movie commentaries. For example:

Good reasons to see "Body Heat":
When he throws a chair through the locked glass door to get to her. Finding the key in a fake rock just isn't as sexy.

"You're not too smart, are you? I like that in a man."

Progress

Are Americans giving up on love?

I have seen more of these articles on the demographics of singles in the US and there really does seem to be a growing deprioritization of relationships. This can not be a good thing. Are people really not looking for companionship or are they redefining it?

Federal Budget Commentary out of Northampton

I just found a link to this in the craiglist politics-usa forum, and haven't really explored. It looks like a website worth digging in to though.

Courtesy of Bobbi and Brian

These are pretty good --

Rob Corddry (Daily Show): "Jon, tonight the Vice President is standing by his decision to shoot Harry Whittington. Now according to the best intelligence available, there were quail hidden in the brush. Everyone believed at the time-there-were-quail in the brush. And while the quail turned out to be the 78 year old man, even knowing that today, Mr. Cheney insists he still would have shot Mr. Whittington in the face.”

David Letterman: “We can't get bin Laden, but we nailed a 78-year-old attorney.”

Jay Leno: “When the ambulance got there, out of force of habit they put Cheney on the stretcher. … Hey, wait, no, it’s the other guy!”

Jon Stewart: “Now, this story certainly has its humorous aspects. And it's easy to make fun of an incident like this. ... Very easy. But it also raises a serious issue, one which I feel very strongly about. Moms, dads, if you're watching right now, I can't emphasize enough: Do not let your kids go on hunting trips with the Vice President. I don't care what kind of lucrative contracts they're trying to land or energy regulations they're trying to get lifted. It's just not worth it.”

Jimmy Kimmel: “This is all part of the Bush administration's new Social Security plan. Once you hit 78 . . .”


Global Headlines –

Cheney Bags a Lawyer
-- The Herald (Scotland)

Cheney Hunts Quail and Everyone Else Ducks
-- Sydney Morning Herald

Deadeye Dick
-- Philadelphia Daily News

Duck! It's Dick
-- New York Daily News

Monday, February 13, 2006

Friday, February 10, 2006

Friday Commentary

Our Trade deficit hit a new record in 2005. I am fairly soon that at some point we are going to hit the tipping point (if we haven't already) of not enough good paying jobs in the US for us to buy all the crap we are currently importing.

A quick
search shows bird flu showing up in several new countries. Greece, Azerbaijan and Iraq and China seeing new cases.

Rumors persist that Madonna and Guy Ritchie are on the rocks. Is nothing sacred?

The continued violence over cartoons is clearly sharpening the conversation in the current
"clash of civilizations". Will the dialogue lead to progress or further violence?

Finally, new debt scam. Banks are selling very old debts to pedatory collection agencies for pennies on the dollar. All states have statues of limitations on old debts, so if you get a call...hang up. Don't disagree or acknowledge, just hang up!

Thursday, February 09, 2006

cool...

Thursday, February 09, 2006
Target sets sights on hard-to-crack cases
I got an unusual assignment this week -- Target's crime lab. Yes, I'm talking about that Target, the national "upscale discounter," as they style themselves in the information package the company hands out to reporters.

Turns out Target has one of the most advanced crime labs in the country at its headquarters in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It was initially set up to deal with things like theft, fraud, and personal injury cases in their stores. Now, Target also helps law enforcement agencies nationwide solve crimes, even murders. Target has worked with the Secret Service, the ATF, and the FBI, to name a few.

Target does the work for free, seeing it as a kind of community service. It doesn't advertise its crime lab services, but word started spreading and law enforcement agencies started asking for help. Some government agency labs aren't as well-equipped as Target's. In other cases, Target can get results faster because of logjams in agency labs.

Target's lab is run by an ex-FBI agent and boasts a staff of forensic experts. They spend a lot of time analyzing video from surveillance cameras in their own stores.

The day we visited we looked at how they helped crack a murder case using video from a convenience store security camera in Minneapolis. The Target team cleaned up the image of the shooting suspect, but that wasn't enough to identify him. Then they figured out what kind of car he was driving, even though you could barely see the vehicle through the store's window on the surveillance tape. It was the stuff of CSI.

Police put these pieces together to help identify the murderer. He's now serving a life sentence in prison.
Posted By Jonathan Freed, CNN Correspondent: 5:12 PM

Hezbollah...saying what we all want to say

Hezbollah Leader Tells Bush, Rice to "Shut-Up"

Is this kidnapping?

The buzz is that Tom Cruise wants his wife-to-be to focus on being a wife and a mother — not on her career. He also reportedly wants her to avoid the spotlight for a while.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Cityrag blog...funnier than us

They also have links that show the likeness of Ashlee Simpson to David Lee Roth and great photos from the westminster dog show!

Hattip to Bobbi and Brian!

The messiness of morality

This article is awesome. Make sure you read at least to the end of p. 2, where they start getting into how this all comes into the lives of those of us who are not executioners on death row.

Stickin' it to the (Dasani) man

"At up to $2.50 per liter ($10 per gallon), bottled water costs more than gasoline in the United States."

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Cartoon War

The cartoons were largely unnoticed outside Denmark until a group of Muslim leaders there made a point of circulating them, along with drawings far more offensive than the relatively mild stuff actually printed by the paper, Jyllands-Posten. It's far from the first time that an almost-forgotten incident has been dredged up to score points with the public during politically sensitive times.

The governments of the countries in which the demonstrations are occurring are responsible for keeping them nonviolent. Lebanese officials have rightly apologized to Denmark for failing to
control a protest that ended with the torching of the Danish consulate in Beirut. That's in stark contrast with what happened in Syria, where there is no such thing as a spontaneous demonstration, yet where large crowds managed to assemble and set fire to the Danish and Norwegian embassies.

An interesting conversation

While the topic is not quite what I was talking about in my last post, this is still an interesting discussion.

What do you guys think about this?

This is from an email I just wrote to Laura, but I want to put it out there for all of you guys to see. What do you think?

re: the story linked above:
I think that there is no way that this kind of reaction is due solely to the printing of a picture. If some american newspaper printed a cartoon that was extremely offensive to, say, blacks or jews or gays or any other group that has been oppressed here, there would be protests and letters to the editor and general reaction, but not violent clashes withthe military. These people in this story organized themselves to march on a military installation- you don't do that simply over a cartoon. You do that when you are already pissed or feeling backed in a corner or disregarded or insulted. I think this cartoon issue was the straw that broke these camels' backs, thus the violent and dramatic response. What is scary to me is the fact that this simmering bad stuff is so strong in the Muslim community. What are they so mad about? I can thinkof 1000 possibilities, and probably they are all true, to some extent. But at this point my thoughts are pure speculation-- why is nobody talking about this?!

Monday, February 06, 2006

Tough Love...uh huh

"No pain, no gain," Andy Wylegala, whose job at the embassy is to help Americans do business in Iraq, said at the same briefing. "It's a very difficult procedure to pass through. But when I look from my side, I see it as a long-term, very favorable development."

After touring Baghdad early this month, Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) questioned the new direction.

"I think we're fooling ourselves if we think we can simply just pass this on to the Iraqi people immediately or to the international community," Reed said. "We've got to continue our efforts…. That requires money."

Iraq's new government will embrace market policies, but it still needs more help with reconstruction, said Movad Ubaidi, deputy chief of the newly elected National Assembly's economics committee.

"If these donations were spent, the American government is asked to give more so that Iraq can recover from the damage it suffered," Ubaidi said.

But the commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Iraq, Gen. William H. McCoy, said at a recent briefing that the last of 3,100 reconstruction projects would soon be awarded, and almost all would be completed before the year ends.

"We were never intending to rebuild Iraq," McCoy said. "We were providing enough funds to jump-start the reconstruction effort in this country."

Unfair world

DENVER (Reuters) - Just over half of new infections with the
AIDS virus in the United States are in blacks, U.S. researchers reported on Monday.

ahh, Buffy as wisdom

Thus, collectivism is actually the best way to secure individual liberty. Since it’s well established that money is power, it also follows that individual liberty is also dependent on sharing wealth as well
as political power.


For every atom belong to me as good belongs to you.


The “Buffy” discussion illustrated this perfectly–power-sharing is a
win-win situation because the group is stronger than the individual, the
individual is freer with the group supporting her (In this case, Buffy is free
to take a day off, knowing that there are other Slayers who have her
back).

Last post before I go to bed

Bed Bugs are back as a "pandemic". I first saw it as a story that fancy chicago hotels were being affected, but now Australia, NYC and others are also being innudated. Pay attention if you go to a hotel and wake up with a rash:)

Bed bugs NYC
Bed Bugs Chicago

Globalisation and your teeth

Another article on the human side of the global workforce.

Judge calls out bankruptcy Law

Alfonso Sosa, a house painter here who made about $20,000 last year, filed
for bankruptcy the morning of Dec. 6, hoping to avoid the foreclosure on his
family's mobile home scheduled for later that day. Judge Frank Monroe of Austin
rejected the case 16 days later — with a bang.
In his ruling, Monroe said
the new federal bankruptcy law is full of traps for consumers, calling some of
its provisions "inane," "absurd" and incomprehensible to "any rational human
being."

Muslim cartoon controversy

12 cartoons were published in the Danish newspaper Morgenavisen Jyllands-Posten, which you can see here. Some were
very bland, others seem to be unquestionably offensive. Yet these cartons
were published on September 30, 2005. What the traditional media has
failed to explain is why the protests are occuring now.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Satellite Radio song

Sometimes I hear stuff on Satellite radio that just blows me away. My manager found these lyrics for me. Country singer!
So I’d heard of Larry McMurtry, but that’s because he’s the screenplay
writer for a movie called brokeback mountain, not for country music singing.
His son, James McMurtry is a folk singer, and has an album out called
childish things with a song on it called “we can’t make it here” with lyrics as
follows.


We Can’t Make It Here


There’s a Vietnam Vet with a cardboard sign
Sitting there by the left turn line
Flag on his wheelchair flapping in the breeze
One leg missing and both hands free
No one’s paying much mind to him
The V.A. budget’s just stretched so thin
And now there’s more coming back from the Mideast war
We can’t make it here anymore



That big ol’ building was the textile mill that fed our kids and it paid our bills
But they turned us out and they closed the doors
We can’t make it here anymore


See those pallets piled up on the loading dock
They’re just gonna sit there ‘til they rot
‘Cause there’s nothing to ship, nothing to pack
Just busted concrete and rusted tracks
Empty storefronts around the square
There’s a needle in the gutter and glass everywhere
You don’t come down here unless you’re looking to score
We can’t make it here anymore

The bar’s still open but man it’s slow
The tip jar’s light and the register’s low
The bartender don’t have much to say
The regular crowd gets thinner each day
Some have maxed out all their credit cards
Some are working two jobs and living in cars
Minimum wage won’t pay for a roof, won’t pay for a drink
If you gotta have proof just try it yourself Mr. CEO
See how far $5.15 an hour will go
Take a part time job at one your stores
Bet you can’t make it here anymore

There’s a high school girl with a bourgeois dream
Just like the pictures in the magazine
She found on the floor of the laundromatA woman with kids can forget all that
If she comes up pregnant what’ll she do
Forget the career, forget about school
Can she live on faith? Live on hope?
High on Jesus or hooked on dope
When it’s way too late to just say no
You can’t make it here anymore

Now I’m stocking shirts in the Wal-Mart store
Just like the ones we made before
‘ Cept this one came from Singapore
I guess we can’t make it here anymore

Should I hate a people for the shade of their skin
Or the shape of their eyes or the shape I’m in
Should I hate ‘em for having our jobs today
No I hate the men sent the jobs away
I can see them all now, they haunt my dreams
All lily white and squeaky clean
They’ve never known want, they’ll never know need
Their shit don’t stink and their kids won’t bleed
Their kids won’t bleed in their damn little war
And we can’t make it here anymore

Will work for food will die for oil
Will kill for power and to us the spoils
The billionaires get to pay less tax
The working poor get to fall through the cracks
So let ‘em eat jellybeans let ‘em eat cake
Let ‘em eat shit, whatever it takes
They can join the Air Force, or join the Corps
If they can’t make it here anymore

So that’s how it is, that’s what we got
If the president wants to admit it or not
You can read it in the paper, read it on the wall
Hear it on the wind if you’re listening at all
Get out of that limo, look us in the eye
Call us on the cell phone tell us all why

In Dayton Ohio or Portland Maine
Or a cotton gin out on the great high plains
That’s done closed down along with the school
And the hospital and the swimming pool
Dust devils dance in the noonday heat
There’s rats in the alley and trash in the street
Gang graffiti on a boxcar door
We can’t make it here anymore