Archive for May, 2011

Rio

May 31, 2011

We just got back from seeing Rio. It was fairly good, better than most family movies, with some really funny parts and the obligatory happy ending. The main character is Blu, a macaw who has lived his whole life as a pet and so doesn’t know how to fly. He turns out to be the last male of his species and is taken to Rio to mate with the last female. In the ensuing adventures he learns to fly and become more self-reliant.

Here is the trailer.

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Sarah Palin Treats Reporters Like Paparazzi

May 31, 2011

Form CBS News and Drudge. Apparently the reporters sent to cover Sarah Palin’s bus tour are complaining because they are not being told where she is going;

Since Palin and her team won’t share where the potential candidate is headed, reporters and producers have little choice but to simply stay close to Palin’s bus. This has resulted in scenes of the Palin bus tooling down the highway followed by a caravan of 10 or 15 vehicles all trying to make sure they don’t lose sight of the Palin bus.

Well it’s not like they were going to give her fair coverage anyway. Sarah Palin, unlike some Republicans seems to be aware that nothing she will ever do is likely to get positive coverage from the Old Media, so why bother to try? Instead, she has decided to go around the Mainstream Media to get information out to her fans.

Palin has repeatedly cast the press corps as treating her unfairly, and has tried to make her Facebook and Twitter accounts primary sources of information about her – a strategy she is continuing with the bus tour, for which she is directing interested parties to her political action committee website. (Information about a visit only goes up after she has made the stop.) Earlier this month, she discussed her feelings about the media with Fox News’ Sean Hannity, complaining about “that goofy game that has been played now for too many years with the leftist mainstream media trying to twist the candidates’ words and intent and content of their statements.”

“I think to start with, we ignore some of these reporters and their requests for us to comment and be interviewed,” she said. “We know going into what they are going to do to us to as conservatives — so, why participate in their game?”

It will be interesting to see how successful she is at this. This may be the beginning of the end of any relevance the mainstream has in politics.

Back to the Future

May 30, 2011

Here we go again. From the Jerusalem Post. They’re forming a Nazi Party in Egypt. The story doesn’t say how large this party is, only that they were underground during the Mubarrak administration and are now out in the open and growing rapidly. Their Facebook pages have some 70 followers

The newspaper said it could not verify the report, but said it found two Facebook pages that appeared recently under the title of “the Egyptian Nazi Party,” which have so far attracted 70 followers.

Members are “increasing at an unexpected rate, and several people came to ask about the nature of the party and its plans,” the report said.

The party has a one-year plan to develop Egypt – unlike the “marginalized liberal parties, which are like dead bodies,” a source was quoted as saying.

The idea to start it came after some fundamentalist-religious waves emerged, which, according to the source, created a state of chaos, and led to the burning of churches, the destruction of shrines and assaults on unarmed civilians.

Responding to the report, Dr. Mordechai Kedar, of Bar-Ilan University’s Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, said Egypt was going through a highly turbulent period, adding that all manner of bizarre individuals were launching Facebook groups and attracting members.

Historically, he said, the German Nazi party saw three attempts to copy it in the Arab world in the 1930s in Lebanon, Iraq and Egypt. The Egyptian party of that time was led by former president Anwar Sadat, who went on to sign a peace treaty with Israel in 1979.

 

This isn’t really that surprising. There were links between the Nazis and various Arab nationalist groups during World War II and Hitler has been something of a hero in that part of the world for killing so many Jews. When you consider how chaotic the political situation in Egypt is at the moment, there are all sorts of movements coming out from the woodwork. I don’t think anyone can tell what kind of government Egypt will have in five years, but I doubt any developments will be good for Israel.

 

 

Stinky Feet and Mosquitos

May 30, 2011

From Physorg.com. Here is some news we can use. It seems that mosquitos are not only attracted to humans by the carbon dioxide we exhale, but they are also attracted by certain foot odors so they can attack near the ankles. I’ve always wondered why mosquito bites seemed to be concentrated around my ankles. Remco Suer has been doing some research into this in order to manipulate mosquito behavior, especially the species that carry malaria.

Remco Suer started by experimenting on the African , . He knew that prior research had found that human foot bacteria produce about ten separate odors, some more attractive to mosquitoes than others. Suer, who did the study as part of his doctorate in at Wageningen University in the Netherlands, showed that these foot odors are detected by that control smell, which are present underneath hair-like structures on the mouthparts of the malaria mosquito.

Suer tested their in the labratory by pumping additional CO2 into a container to simulate , then added a high concentration of five different foot odors and found that the mosquitoes were unable to react to the CO2 for several seconds. The sole-ful odors actually stopped mosquitoes from sensing CO2 from breathing — which could be a reason why malarial mosquitoes divert when honing in on a person and move instead to the feet at close ranges.

But Suer pointed out that this doesn’t mean people with especially funky feet are more likely to get nibbled on.

“It is not the amount of odors produced, but which particular odors and ratio between them that makes a difference. Finding these odors and their respective ratio’s brings us one step closer to manipulating the mosquito’s behavior.”

They hope to be able to lure mosquitos away using traps with the appropriate odors. Here’s one especially promising line of research;

Kline’s research has taken him to do similar experiments with dirty socks — including a pair he wore for 12 hours per day, for three days in a row.

“We actually got the female mosquitoes to respond to the socks,” he said.

Using the olfactory prowess of the malaria-bearing mosquito against it is a useful trick.

Maybe gym-shoe odors could possibly do the trick.

I wouldn’t mind smelling like an old gym shoe if it kept the blood suckers away.

Memorial Day

May 30, 2011

Today is a day to honor those who have fallen in the defense of freedom.

 

 

Too Busy for Blogging

May 29, 2011

I’ve been extremely busy lately, too busy to do much with this blog. That’s too bad, since I really like writing here. It’s strange, how the physical exhaustion of working ten to twelve-hour days, putting up Pepsi, leads to a sort of mental fatigue. I have been so tired this past week,  that I can’t really focus my thoughts, not to mention just not having much free time.

I hope things will be better soon.

The Last Roman

May 29, 2011

On this day, May 29, in 1453 the Turks captured Constantinople, the queen city of Christendom, and the last Roman Emperor Constantine XI fell in battle.

San Francisco to Consider Banning Circumcision

May 27, 2011

Jeff Jacoby writes about this in his column. Apparently, this fall voters in San Francisco will get to vote on whether to ban circumcision on infant males. If the measure passes, circumcising a baby boy will be an actual crime with a sentence of a fine up to $1000 and up to a year in jail.

Why? I didn’t think that this was a problem. I mean, with all the other problems that the state of California and the city of San Francisco are having, why are they even bothering with this. The majority of males in the United States are circumcised and I haven’t heard anyone complaining about it. And what about the Jews? Wouldn’t this law be kind of anti-Semitic?

Jeff Jacoby explains who is behind this:

The ballot campaign in San Francisco is being spearheaded by a group of self-described “intactivists,” political crusaders obsessed with the preservation of foreskins. Their mania might be laughable if not for two things: (1) they hijack terminology used to describe a dreadful type of violence against girls and women, and (2) they are attempting to criminalize a fundamental rite of Judaism.

Promoters of the San Fancisco initiative call it the “MGM bill.” The initials stand for “male genital mutilation,” a dishonest phrase meant to link the safe and medically unobjectionable procedure of male circumcision with the frightful cruelty of female genital mutilation.

The two are not remotely comparable. “Female genital mutilation has no known health benefits,” the World Health Organization and nine other international organizations stressed in a 2008 report on the scourge, which persists in much of Africa and the Middle East. “On the contrary, it is known to be harmful to girls and women in many ways.” It is painful and traumatic; it makes childbearing “significantly” more risky; and it leads to higher rates of post-partum hemorrhaging and infant death. Long-term consequences of female genital mutilation “include chronic pain, infections, decreased sexual enjoyment, and psychological consequences, such as post-traumatic stress disorder.”

Yes, the difference between male circumcision and female genital mutilation is that circumcision, in no way impairs the functioning of the male organ, while female genital mutilation is a deliberate attempt to prevent females from having any pleasure during intercourse.

 

Ron Paul

May 27, 2011

Michael Medved really lays it on to Ron Paul in his last column, referring to Paul as “The Mad Doctor”, “The Crotchety Candidate” and “Dr. Demento”, largely because of Ron Paul’s uncompromising Libertarian views.

How would you describe a perennial presidential candidate who insists in a televised debate that government has no more right to interfere with prostitution or heroin than it does to limit the right of the people to “practice their religion and say their prayers”?

The phrase “crackpot” comes immediately to mind—and in any contemporary political dictionary that term would appear alongside a photograph of Congressman Ron Paul.

The Mad Doctor, who proudly consorts with 9/11 Truthers and Holocaust denying neo-Nazis, announced his third race for the nation’s highest office on Friday the Thirteenth (appropriately enough) by declaring that, as President, he never would have authorized a lethal strike against Osama bin Laden. The firestorm over this remark distracted attention from previous controversial comments just eight days before, when he used the first debate of the 2012 race to stake out exclusive territory on the lunatic libertarian fringe.

It gets better, or worse, from there. Any person running for public office must choose a middle course between two extremes. On the one hand, a politician who has no convictions and just shifts with the wind, or the polls, is worthless. A leader ought to have some principles or convictions to guide the decisions he makes. On the other hand, there is such a thing as being consistent and principles to the point of idiocy. I think most would agree that legalizing heroin or prostitution is over that line. Not only do such stands make a candidate unelectable, but it shows a certain unwillingness to consider the real world consequences of political theories and policies, or to do what must be done even if it is against your particular ideology.

Aussie Student Finds Universe’s ‘missing mass’

May 27, 2011
Another Hubble image shows an infant galaxy fo...

Image via Wikipedia

From Yahoo News. This is really interesting. It seems that an Australian university student, Amelia Frazier-McKelvie has discovered where the “missing mass” of the universe went while on an internship with Monash University‘s School of Physics. Apparently it i to be found in the “filaments” of galaxies.

Monash astrophysicist Dr Kevin Pimbblet explained that scientists had previously detected matter that was present in the early history of the universe but that could not now be located.

“There is missing mass, ordinary mass not dark mass … It’s missing to the present day,” Pimbblet told AFP.

“We don’t know where it went. Now we do know where it went because that’s what Amelia found.”

Fraser-McKelvie, an aerospace engineering and science student, was able to confirm after a targeted X-ray search for the mystery mass that it had moved to the “filaments of galaxies”, which stretch across enormous expanses of space.

As I said, I find this interesting and I hope to find out more details.

I liked the first comment on this article by one Josh

There should be more news about this kind of stuff on the front page.

But instead of this great story, we have stuff about how Justin Bieber got two tattoos.

What is wrong with us as a nation?

What indeed? I can’t imagine why anyone would care about Justin Bieber’s tattoos. In fact, I barely know who Justin Bieber is.


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