Friday, December 31, 2010

Musical interlude

Tonight's musical interlude -- the obligatory Auld Lang Syne, on this New Year's Eve:

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Farewell to Kodachrome days

Tonight's end-of-an-era tribute -- Paul Simon's 1973 hit, Kodachrome. Via Denninger, we learn from CBS News that the last film lab in the world to process Kodachrome, Dwayne's Photo in Parsons, Kansas, is processing its last roll of Kodak's legendary color transparency film today. Kodak had announced last year, in June 2009, that it was discontinuing the film after 74 years. Dwayne's Photo is apparently the last lab -- anywhere -- to process it.

From the CBS Story:
"It's going to be really sad day, it was an important part of our business and Kodachrome was an important part of the history of all of photography," Grant Steinle said. "To know it was the first consumer color film that was available. Lots of really iconic images of the 20th century were captured on Kodachrome."

Steve McCurry captured one - the 12-year Afghan girl on the cover of National Geographic in 1984. Actually, he captured two, when he returned to Afghanistan and found her 17 years later.

"Kodachrome was my mainstay film, this was the main film I used for 30 year," McCurry said. "I have about 800,000 Kodachrome transparencies in my archive, maybe more, and this was probably the greatest film ever made."

When Kodak announced it was discontinuing Kodachrome last year, he had an idea.

"I called my contacts, my friends at Kodak and said you know I'd really like to get the last roll and do a project with it to kind of honor this passing of this iconic film," he said.

He picked a region in India where he'd come across the perfect subjects.

"I decided to pick a community which was disappearing," he said. "It was a nomadic community which I spent a week with and traveled with them and photographed their way of live because again, like Kodachrome their way of life is vanishing."

He used most of the last roll of Kodachrome ever made, but saved just a couple of frames, which he shot in parsons just before dropping the film off at Dwayne's.

The very last image ever made with Kodachrome is a civil war cemetery in Parsons, Kan.

"I was going to the lab in the next 15 or 20 minutes and I drove past the cemetery and I thought this would be a sort of perfect ending to the roll of Kodachrome - a cemetery," McCurry said. "It's a passing of an era." ...

The end of an era, indeed.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Musical interlude

Tonight's musical interlude - Celtic Woman performs Amazing Grace:



Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Old rockstar songs

Tonight's musical humor - comedian Tim Hawkins sings the songs old rock stars will be singing in their old age:

New Jersey town spends over $17,000 to defend $5 fee it charged resident .. and loses

Today's no-wonder-your-state's-broke story comes from the Garden State, where the town of Bridgewater spent more than $14,000 in legal fees to defend a $5 fee it charged resident Tom Coulter for a CD of a town council meeting. The town lost its fight, and had to pony up another $3,500 for Mr. Coulter's legal fees, along with a $4.04 refund for the overcharge on the CD.

Read it here. So, $17,504.04 of the taxpayers money down the tubes. Hey, it's not like New Jersey is in financial straits, or anything, right? Obviously, $17K is a drop in the bucket compared to the billions in the hole New Jersey's government at all levels is in, but it speaks to the kind of contempt that their politicians have for their taxpayers money, that they would spend waste that kind of money over a $5 matter.

But for the most part that's representative of socialist governments, always happy to waste other people's hard-earned money. Then act surprised when the money runs out.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Ball in a box, spud edition

Tonight's culinary carving:

A Christmas story

Today's inspirational story, from the Boston Globe:
MELROSE — Everybody was waiting for Rudy.

On Tuesday night, Patty and Rick Parker were in their cramped kitchen with their 8-year-old son Ben. Dinner was over. Bedtime was near.

Ben’s twin brother, Sammy, lay on a cot in the narrow hallway just outside the kitchen. Unable to see or speak or control his limbs, he coughed or let out a little moan every now and then. Rick and Patty took turns feeding Sammy, who has cerebral palsy, through a stomach tube. He cooed when they kissed his face or stroked his cheek, and when they cooed back, he opened his mouth into a wide, joyful O.

A few feet away was the narrow, winding stairway that is the family’s biggest burden lately.




Which is where 17-year-old Rudy’s simple, life-changing act of kindness comes in.

Until recently, Rick carried Sammy up those 14 stairs to his bedroom each night. But a few months ago, Rick had major surgery for a life-threatening heart condition, and now he can’t lift much at all, let alone a 75-pound child.

“We thought Rick was going to die, and we were terrified,’’ Patty recalled. “We knew right away he had to stop carrying Sam.’’

Patty couldn’t carry him, either. Desperate, she called her pediatrician, who put her in touch with Elizabeth Paquette, the nurse at Malden Catholic High School. Paquette said she’d take care of it. The boys at Malden Catholic are taught to embrace service: She’d find plenty of students to help.

Rudy Favard was the first kid Paquette came across after that call. At Malden Catholic on a partial scholarship from the Catholic Schools Foundation, this son of Haitian immigrants was one of Paquette’s treasures. The linebacker, cocaptain of the football team and honor roll student was always willing to lend a hand.

The nurse had barely begun telling Rudy about the Parkers before he said he’d help. Another boy would fill in for Rudy on game nights. And a third boy was on standby in case neither of the others could make it.

When Paquette brought the boys to meet the family for the first time, the Parkers cried. ...
Read the rest here.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Musical interlude

Tonight's musical interlude - the Trans-Siberian Orchestra's Christmas Canon Rock:



Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

Wishing everyone a merry, and very blessed Christmas!

Tonight's Christmas musical interlude - Sir Colin Davis conducts the London Symphony Orchestra, with Susan Gritton, Sara Mingardo, Mark Padmore, Alastair Miles and the Tenebrae choir performing For Unto Us a Child is Born from Handel's Messiah:



Friday, December 24, 2010

Musical interlude

Tonight's musical interlude - Faith Hill's rendition of Joy to the World:



Thursday, December 23, 2010

Conan the horseman

Tonight's horse story - Conan O'Brien visits Martha Stewart's ranch in New York:

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Casteller

Tonight's human castles, from Tarragona, Spain:

From the video's description:
In the city of Tarragona, Spain, castellers gather every two years to see who can build the highest, most intricate human castles. This uniquely Catalan tradition requires astonishing strength, finesse, and balance. Not to mention courage.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Musical interlude

Tonight's festive Christmas lights and musical interlude, from a house in Frisco, TX (from a Christmas 2005 display). The song is Trans-Siberian Orchestra's Wizards in Winter:



Monday, December 20, 2010

Simulated driving

Tonight's advanced automobile simulator:

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Musical interlude

Tonight's musical interlude - Carol of the Bells, by male a cappella group Straight, No Chaser:



And Andrea Bocelli sings Angels We Have Heard On High:




[Both via Aggie Catholics]

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Musical interlude

Tonight's musical interlude - Earl Scruggs and Steve Martin do a little Foggy Mountain breakdown:

Friday, December 17, 2010

Sleepless (and Icy) in Seattle

Tonight's icy road video -- from a snow/ice storm last month, on Seattle's John Street in Capitol Hill according to the video's description:

A mugger's Christmas story

Today's video Christmas card, from Tiger Valley, a firearms training facility in Texas [hat tip: Tom O.]:

Thursday, December 16, 2010

What's that you say?

Tonight's speech perception video - the McGurk effect:

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A few Christmas lights

Tonight's Christmas lights compilation:

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

When lawyers take Viagra

Tonight's lawyer humor:

Monday, December 13, 2010

Musical interlude

Tonight's musical interlude - the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus performs 'Behold the Lamb of God' from Handel's Messiah:




Sunday, December 12, 2010

The turbo entabulator

Tonight's gobbledygook explanation - the Turbo Entabulator:

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Fisherdog

Tonight's K-9 fishing video:

Friday, December 10, 2010

San Francisco

Tonight's tilt-shift video - scenes from San Francisco:

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Musical interlude

Tonight's musical interlude - Silent Night, by Celtic Woman live at the Helix Center in Dublin, Ireland:



Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Floating green

Tonight's unusual golf green - the floating green at Coeur d'Alene Resort golf course in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho:

That's Mistress Sarah to you, Left Wingers

Zombie over at Pajamas Media gives his take on the Left's obsession with Sarah Palin:
Why are liberals obsessed with Sarah Palin?

Because she is their dominatrix.

I posit that American liberal men are, as a group, masochists in search of a sadist. Sarah Palin at first walked into the dominant role completely unwittingly, but once she grasped the erotic control she wielded over her opponents, she became not quite as unwitting about it as some may think.

Sexual kinks are a peculiar thing: they often make no logical sense to an outsider who does not share the fetish. How can liberals denounce Sarah Palin as a Nazi and a bitch and an idiot yet simultaneously harbor a masturbatory fascination with her?
Read it here.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

8Pen

Tonight's text input interface:

Monday, December 6, 2010

I guess you could call it a kalamari impersonator

Tonight's unusual sea creature - the Mimic Octopus:

Weimar, an anecdote

Today's hyperinflationary anecdote, from Alex Nevalainen at Coinflation.com, who quotes the following story from Max Shapiro's The Penniless Billionaires (now out-of-print) on the hyperinflation that hit the Weimar Republic in 1922-23:
CHAPTER FIVE
The German Hyperinflation, 1922-1923

In the autumn of 1923, Lott Hendlich, a German widow in her fifties, returned to her native Frankfurt after an absence of more than four years in Switzerland. In 1919 she had gone to spend a few pleasant weeks in a Swiss village where her relatives lived. But almost immediately, Frau Hendlich broke her hip in a fall. During her long convalescence her chronic cough became worse, and the doctor attending her advised her that she was suffering from advanced tuberculosis. The months and years of her illness dragged on interminably even though her relatives were genuinely solicitous (they insisted on defraying all her expenses, including the fees of her doctor). At last, in September 1923, she was "cured" and considered well enough to return home. Her much longed-for homecoming soon became a nightmare.

In the stack of accumulated mail she found three letters from her bank; they delineated her ruin. The first–written in mid-1920 by a minor bank officer who had befriended her–advised her "to invest most of the funds in your rather substantial bank account" (amounting to over 600,000 marks, or the equivalent of more than $70,000 at the exchange rate prevailing in 1919). "It is my judgment," the writer continued, "that the purchasing power of the mark will decline, and I suggest you try to guard against this through some suitable investment which we can discuss when you come into the bank."

The next letter, dated in September 1922, and signed by another officer said, "It is no longer profitable for us to service such a small account as yours. Will you kindly withdraw your funds at the earliest opportunity?"

The third letter, dated several weeks before her return from Switzerland, announced, "Not having heard from you since our last communication, we have closed out your account. Since we no longer have on hand any small-denomination bank notes, we herein enclose a note for one million marks."

With gathering panic Frau Hendlich looked at the envelope that had contained the letter and the million-mark note. She noticed that affixed to it there was a canceled postage stamp of one million marks. Her bank account–which four years before seemed large enough to provide her with a serene existence to the end of her days–had been utterly consumed by inflation and could no longer pay for an ordinary postage stamp.
Got precious metals?

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Floating cube

Tonight's optical illusion:

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Sportscaster in training

Tonight's sports news recap:

Friday, December 3, 2010

Awesomeness

Tonight's compilation of awesomeness:

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Human dummy

Tonight's ventriloquism routine - ventriloquist Paul Zerdin does his routine at Comedy Rocks:

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Amateurs in space

Actually, amateur radio operators in space. For those who may not know, the International Space Station (ISS) has an amateur ("ham") radio station, callsign NA1SS. The video below is by Col. Doug Wheelock, ISS Expedition 25 commander, talking to US amateur radio operators down on terra firma:

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Please use the white courtesy telephone

Tonight's airport announcement humor:

TSA abuse, compiled

Via Popehat, we learn of the TSA Abuse Blog, which is compiling stories and articles related to the TSA abuses ongoing across the nation.

Also, Reason Magazine has compiled some of the "mainstream" media's editorial positions on government-approved sexual assault, aka TSA's "enhanced pat downs": Editorial Boards to the Little People Complaining About the TSA: Bend Over and Take it Like a Man!

Finally, definitely go read Popehat's post on the matter here: The TSA’s Junk Gets Fluffed, which juxtaposes Passengers' Stories of Recent Travel collected by the ACLU, with some op-ed quotes from the Left-wing extremist, aka "mainstream", media.

The ACLU's take on the over 900 passenger complaints it has received:
Recurring themes in these reports include:
• The searches are extremely invasive
• Many travelers are reporting intense feelings of violation and humiliation
• Some report being physically hurt by the searches
• Some feel their searches are punitive
• Reports of gawking by agents
• Reports of seemingly unnecessary repeated touching of intimate areas
• Many vow not to fly any more
• Any traveler may be forced to undergo one of these searches

The TSA: Keeping you "safe", one scrotum and vagina at a time.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Musical interlude

Tonight's musical interlude - OK Go's This Too Shall Pass, filmed with the Notre Dame Marching Band:



And the band's more widely viewed version of this song:



Sunday, November 28, 2010

Random act of culture

Tonight's random act of culture - a flash mob of over 100 singers sing the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel's Messiah at the Seaway Mall in Welland, Ontario, Canada on Nov 13th:



Saturday, November 27, 2010

Would you like fries with that?

Tonight's fast food order:




According to the video description, this was not staged, and the Taco Bell order taker got the order (almost) all right.

Daily Bell: Oath-Keeper Stewart Rhodes on the rise of authoritarianism and how law enforcement can take a stand for freedom

Today's reading, from the Daily Bell - Stewart Rhodes, founder of Oath Keepers, interviewed by the Daily Bell. An excerpt:
Daily Bell: Do law enforcement officials perceive the problems that you perceive? How many? The majority? What do the FBI and the ATF think of your organization? Have you heard from them?

Stewart Rhodes: Many rank and file police officers understand what is going on, and are very much aware of how the Bill of Rights has been relentlessly eroded. I don't know what percentage are awake. I'd like to say it was half, but I think it is less than that. But that is the point of my organization – to wake them up, and the percentage that are awake and aware, and studying the Constitution, is growing. The efforts of Oath Keepers Board Member Sheriff Mack, in particular, are making real headway among the police and sheriffs. In addition to many active duty police and sheriffs personnel who have become members, we now have several current serving police officers within our Oath Keepers state leadership. And for each officer who openly joins Oath Keepers, I think it is safe to say that there are hundred and perhaps thousands more who are of like mind, but who prefer to stay under the radar by not joining. So I can say without a doubt we are making an impact. The same is true among the military.

As for the federal officers, we have not heard directly or officially from the FBI or ATF, but we have heard from FBI agents, through intermediaries, who tell us that many among the rank and file are sympathetic to our position, but they also tell us that the powers that be in Washington are not happy, and would love to try to make us look like a militia, such as the Hutaree, so they can more easily discredit us. We intend to make it hard for them to do that.

One interesting bit of "intel" we got was from someone within the NSA who told us that the "powers that be" are "concerned about the Oath Keepers effect if/when they decide to give certain orders, but have no way to quantify that effect." In other words, we are like an iceberg: there is a very visible, credible "tip" of active duty who have stepped up and signed their John Hancock by joining, but there are many more who have not joined, and are thus the great mass under the surface that is hard to quantify. "They" don't, and can't, know how big that mass is until they test it. I like causing that kind of uncertainty in the minds of the self-anointed power elites. Hopefully it will make them hesitate to attempt to pull the plug, thus buying us more time.

Daily Bell: Here are some points you and other Oath Keepers adhere to and some questions regarding these points: You will NOT obey orders to disarm the American people. Why not – what makes you believe this will be a problem?

Stewart Rhodes: Once a people are disarmed, they are nearly defenseless against oppression. That is something our forefathers understood, and it was the attempt to disarm them that finally led to the fighting that kicked off our Revolutionary War. Add to that example the many examples since of disarmed populations being tyrannized or even mass-murdered. It is a critical line in the sand that must not be crossed, and not just because our Second Amendment says so, but because it is a violation of the inherit, human right to self preservation, and because the lessons of history show what happens to people who allow themselves to be disarmed. And the wholesale disarmament during Katrina shows that it can, indeed, happen again, right here in America. ...
Read it all here.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Jeep in a jiffy

Tonight's fast mechanics:

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Musical interlude

Tonight's post-dinner meditation - George Winston's Thanksgiving:




The lost Thanksgiving lesson

As we move headlong to Communism, John Stossel reminds us of an early Pilgrim lesson:
Had today's political class been in power in 1623, tomorrow's holiday would have been called "Starvation Day" instead of Thanksgiving. Of course, most of us wouldn't be alive to celebrate it.

Every year around this time, schoolchildren are taught about that wonderful day when Pilgrims and Native Americans shared the fruits of the harvest. But the first Thanksgiving in 1623 almost didn't happen.

Long before the failure of modern socialism, the earliest European settlers gave us a dramatic demonstration of the fatal flaws of collectivism. Unfortunately, few Americans today know it.

The Pilgrims at Plymouth Colony organized their farm economy along communal lines. The goal was to share the work and produce equally.

That's why they nearly all starved.

When people can get the same return with less effort, most people make less effort. Plymouth settlers faked illness rather than working the common property. Some even stole, despite their Puritan convictions. Total production was too meager to support the population, and famine resulted. This went on for two years.

"So as it well appeared that famine must still ensue the next year also, if not some way prevented," wrote Gov. William Bradford in his diary. The colonists, he said, "began to think how they might raise as much corn as they could, and obtain a better crop than they had done, that they might not still thus languish in misery. At length after much debate of things, (I) (with the advice of the chiefest among them) gave way that they should set corn every man for his own particular, and in that regard trust to themselves. And so assigned to every family a parcel of land."

In other words, the people of Plymouth moved from socialism to private farming. The results were dramatic. ...
Read the rest here.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Coachella 2010

Tonight's look at the 2010 Coachella Music and Arts Festival held in Indio, California:

TSA - The tip of the Police State spear

Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.
Ben Franklin.


The stories of the TSA sexual assault gropings / perv-scanners continue apace. From Karl Denninger comes this list (with sources):
The following are 22 quotes about enhanced pat downs and TSA groping.  They are presented without commentary because they speak for themselves.  Please share these quotes as widely as possible.  If Americans do not wake up now, when will they ever wake up?….


#1 Blogger Erin Chase:
I stood there, an American citizen, a mom traveling with a baby with special needs formula, sexually assaulted by a government official. I began shaking and felt completely violated, abused and assaulted by the TSA agent. I shook for several hours, and woke up the next day shaking.


#2 ABC News producer Carolyn Durand:
“The woman who checked me reached her hands inside my underwear and felt her way around.”


#3 Wendy James Gigliotti:
“She said ’spread your legs.’ And then she took her full palms and started at my neck and ran all the way down my body, full palms, constant contact. And when she got down to my feet, she was in constant contact from my ankles all the way up to my groin, across my groin, and down the other leg. And she did that twice.”


#4 Female air traveler Ella Swift:
“The female officer ran her hand up the inside of my leg to my groin and she did it so hard and so rough she lifted me off my heels.”


#5 Flight attendant Cathy Bossi:
“She put her full hand on my breast and said, ‘What is this?’.  And I said, ‘It’s my prosthesis because I’ve had breast cancer.’ And she said, ‘Well, you’ll need to show me that’.”
...
Please read the full list (22 items, all with linked sources) here. Also available here.

These are nothing less than assaults and batteries on peaceful citizens. Naturally, members of the ruling class such as Sen. Jay Rockefeller thinks TSA head John Pistole is doing "a terrific job".

At some point, red-blooded Americans may decide to implement their own, uh, kinetic response to such travesties. And if that happens, the bloodbath the ruling class seems to keep pushing for will be on. Heaven help us.

Here's Congressman Ron Paul on the TSA [via Karl Denninger's Market Ticker]:



Some of the machines even seem to require that you assume the surrender / "I give up" position:


How appropriate, no?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Back to Back to the Future

Tonight's look back at Back to the Future, an interview with the movie's stars Michael J. Fox and Lea Thompson:



Monday, November 22, 2010

A little privacy, please

Tonight's curious privacy screen - the window of Nicholas Roy's workshop in Berlin, Germany has an motorized curtain that positions itself in front of any passing pedestrians using a video camera and software running on a laptop computer:

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sneaky

Tonight's touchdown play - Driscoll Middle School uses deception to get past the defense:

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Musical interlude

Tonight's musical interlude - Toto's Africa, from their Live in Amsterdam album:



Friday, November 19, 2010

A Gentlemen's Duel

Tonight's aristocrat brawl:

Thursday, November 18, 2010

No need for pumping iron or boob jobs in movies anymore

Tonight's movie special effects technology:



Looks a lot like the technology portrayed in the 1981 Michael Crichton film Looker:



Which starred the lovely Susan Dey (sorry, I could only find the French language clip):



Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Notte Sento

Tonight's short movie, made from 4500 still photographs taken with a Canon EOS 30D:

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Musical interlude

Tonight's musical interlude - Duran Duran's Rio:



Monday, November 15, 2010

Bendy Wendy, er, Zlota

Tonight's ultra-bendy girl:

Why Chuck can't get his business off the ground

Today's vast-regulatory-state video:

Sunday, November 14, 2010

A random act of culture

Tonight's random act of culture - the Opera Company of Philadelphia and 650 singers perform the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel's Messiah at Macy's in Center City, Philadelphia:

From the video's description:
On Saturday, October 30, 2010, the Opera Company of Philadelphia brought together over 650 choristers from 28 participating organizations to perform one of the Knight Foundation's "Random Acts of Culture" at Macy's in Center City Philadelphia. Accompanied by the Wanamaker Organ - the world's largest pipe organ - the OCP Chorus and throngs of singers from the community infiltrated the store as shoppers, and burst into a pop-up rendition of the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel's "Messiah" at 12 noon, to the delight of surprised shoppers. This event is one of 1,000 "Random Acts of Culture" to be funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation over the next three years. The initiative transports the classical arts out of the concert halls and opera houses and into our communities to enrich our everyday lives. To learn more about this program and view more events, visit www.randomactsofculture.org. The Opera Company thanks Macy's and the Friends of the Wanamaker Organ (www.wanamakerorgan.com) for their partnership, as well as Organ Music Director Peter Conte and Fred Haas, accompanists; OCP Chorus Master Elizabeth Braden, conductor; and Sound Engineer James R. Stemke. For a complete list of participating choirs and more information, visit www.operaphila.org/RAC. This event was planned to coincide with the first day of National Opera Week.



Saturday, November 13, 2010

Not so handy, man

Tonight's D-I-Y fail compilation:

Friday, November 12, 2010

Travel Teleprompter

Tonight's iPhone app:

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Flyover

In honor of Veterans Day, tonight's NFL pre-game flyover video:

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Water rocket

Tonight's water-power video - water-propelled toy rocketry, from Air Command Rockets:

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Shweeb along

Tonight's human powered transportation prototype:

Things that make you go "Hmmmm ..."

[Update 10 Nov 2010: Some are saying this is merely a commercial jet contrail, as seen from a certain angle - see Jet contrails from some angles look like missile trails for one such analysis]

Apparently, someone launched a missile off the coast of Los Angeles yesterday evening:



Via Karl Denninger, who has his own commentary here.

From Fox News: Missile Shot Off Los Angeles Still a Mystery for Pentagon Officials

... The Missile Defense Agency told Fox News it did not launch any test missile Monday night that could explain the dramatic images. The Navy and the Air Force were also unable to offer an explanation.

[Col. Dave] Lapan said it does not appear that whatever was flying was part of a "regularly scheduled missile test." He noted that before a missile test, notifications are sent to mariners and airmen. This does not appear to be the case here.

At this point, the military is working only with video taken from the local news camera, and NORAD and Northcom apparently were not able to detect the contrail on their own. [emphasis added]

It appears from the video, Lapan said, the object was launched from the water and not U.S. soil, though at this point there is no way to be certain. ...

Monday, November 8, 2010

Favourable lie

Tonight's tough-golf-shot ad:

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Send in the clowns

Tonight's singing instruction - Stephen Sondheim teaches a student (possibly Jaye Griffiths, who went on to become a British stage and TV actress) from the Guildhall School of Music in London a fragment from Send in the Clowns:



Saturday, November 6, 2010

Momma cat and baby rabbit

Tonight's dose of "awwwww" -- a nursing cat adopts a baby rabbit:

Friday, November 5, 2010

Not's your daddy's Matchbox car set

Tonight's matchbox / hot wheels video:



Thursday, November 4, 2010

Musical interlude

Tonight's musical interlude - Taylor Swift's Love Story:



Obama high-tails it to Mumbai; trip costing $200 million per day

The Marxist-in-Chief is getting ready for his trip to Mumbai, India with his close personal Teleprompter, wife, and an emperor-sized contingent of 3,000. We taxpayers get to pick up the $200 million a day tab:
Mumbai: The US would be spending a whopping $200 million (Rs 900 crore approx) per day on President Barack Obama's visit to the city.

"The huge amount of around $200 million would be spent on security, stay and other aspects of the Presidential visit," a top official of the Maharashtra Government privy to the arrangements for the high-profile visit said.

About 3,000 people including Secret Service agents, US government officials and journalists would accompany the President. Several officials from the White House and US security agencies are already here for the past one week with helicopters, a ship and high-end security instruments. ...
Your money, hard at work. Or something.

Tsunami

So writes Erick Erickson over at Red State about Tuesday's election results:
... There will be 18 states subject to reapportionment. The Republicans will control a majority of those — at least ten and maybe a dozen or more. More significantly, a minimum of seventeen state legislative houses have flipped to the Republican Party.

The North Carolina Legislature is Republican for the first time since 1870. Yes, that is Eighteen Seventy.

The Alabama Legislature is Republican for the first time since 1876.

For those saying this is nothing because it is the South, consider these:

The entire Wisconsin and New Hampshire legislatures have flipped to the GOP by wide margins.

The State Houses in Indiana, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio, Iowa, Montana, and Colorado flipped to the GOP.

The Maine and Minnesota Senates flipped to the GOP.

The Texas and Tennessee Houses went from virtually tied to massive Republican gains. The gains in Texas were so big that the Republicans no longer need the Democrats to get state constitutional amendments out of the state legislature. ...
Read it here. Looks like the big action was at the state level. Change we can believe in.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Dot.

Tonight's cell phone short movie:

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

White knuckles

Tonight's music video - OK GO's White Knuckles - reportedly, most of the dogs used in the video were rescues from animal shelters:

Monday, November 1, 2010

Packing for a month

Tonight's tightly packed suitcase:

Voter fraud - what to watch for

Today's public service information, via Pajamas Media:
There’s been lots of talk about voter fraud this election season. Already machines have purportedly preselected candidates and in other places, documents demonstrate non-citizens are registered to vote. Anyone who says voter fraud doesn’t exist has no credibility. I’ve covered elections for over 10 years. I’ve seen it over and over again with my own eyes. I’ve proved it in federal court. It is significantly more common than Sasquatch.

But what does voter fraud look like? What can citizens be on the lookout for when they participate in their election? Let me share some examples:

Commands to vote

I’ve seen election judges telling voters for whom to vote. In Philadelphia, I have repeatedly seen the people who sign you in and check off your name give instructions to voters for whom to vote. It isn’t supposed to work that way, and if you see it, get the name of the election official and report it to their boss. Better yet, try to get the name of the voter.

Mass illegal assistance

One of the most outrageous behaviors is campaigns of illegal assistance. I’ve seen lone soldiers of a political machine march dozens of voters into the booth and vote for them. In some instances the voter provided little or no input. Remember that disabled citizens have a right under federal law to have anyone assist them, as long as it is not an employer or union representative. Illiteracy and inability to speak English well also trigger this right. So just because someone is in the booth with a voter doesn’t mean something illegal is happening. But if you see van loads of voters being “voted” without expressing their own input, get the tag number of the van and remember what illegal assistant looked like.

Phony voters

I’ve watched people in states without voter ID seek to vote who were clearly not the people they said they were. During one election, I saw a young man give a name. It caused the women working the polls who knew him to laugh at him and tell him to stop fooling them. He insisted, even under watchful eyes, that he was this person everyone knew him not to be. Everyone was laughing, but the poll workers relented and reluctantly gave him a ballot, somewhat perturbed that he pushed the issue. For a brief moment, he was someone else. And since voter ID was not the law in this state, he voted a regular ballot. ...
Read the rest here.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Dinnertime

Tonight's doggie dinnertime - the hounds of Chateau Chevemy are hungry:

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Things we say wrong

Tonight's grammar rant:

Steyn: The Decrepitude of Liberty

More from Mark Steyn:
... The object is to reduce and eventually eliminate alternatives – to subsume everything within the Big Government monopoly. Statists prefer national one-size-fits all – and ultimately planet-wide one-size-fits-all. Borders create the nearest thing to a free market in government – as the elite well understand when they seek to avoid the burdens they impose on you. John Kerry, a Big Tax senator from a Big Tax state, preferred to register his yacht in Rhode Island to avoid half-a-million bucks in cockamamie Massachusetts “boat sales and use” tax. Howard Metzenbaum, the pro-Death Tax senator from Ohio, adjusted his legal residency just before he died from Ohio to Florida, because the former had an estate tax and the latter didn’t. This is federalism at work: States compete, and, when they get as rapacious as Massachusetts, even their own pro-tax princelings start looking for the workarounds.

Bazillionaire senators will always have workarounds – for their land, for their yachts, for their health care. You won’t. ...
Read the rest here.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Side bike

Tonight's unusual bicycle pedal arrangement, reportedly seen in Amsterdam:

Traveling down the road to serfdom: History of Socialism from Marx to Obama

Today's history lesson - soviet defector Yuri N. Maltsev's presentation, Traveling Down the Road to Serfdom: History of Socialism from Marx to Obama, given at "The Delusion of Good Government": the Mises Circle in Colorado Springs, CO, September 2010:

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Understanding Southern talk

Tonight's Southern directions:

Another historic first for teleprompters

From American Thinker - Obama's Teleprompter Embarrassment in India:
The pathetic inability of Barack Obama to speak without the help of a teleprompter will be showcased to the world's most populous democracy when the president flees the electoral aftermath and decamps for India after the November election[]. Daily News and Analysis India reports:
A teleprompter will be in use for the first time in the Central Hall of Parliament when US President Barack Obama addresses MPs on November eight. [emphasis added]
...
Sigh. The leftist media's boy wonder can't give a 20 minute speech without his beloved teleprompter. And doing so in India, a country with a parliamentary tradition that expects its politicians to be able to speak articulately and extemporaneously. Even reading from a prepared printed text would have been less humiliating.

Of course, the Obummer will be partying in lavish Indian Raj style on the wallets of U.S. taxpayers:
To ensure fool-proof security, the President’s team has booked the entire the Taj Mahal Hotel, including 570 rooms, all banquets and restaurants. Since his security contingent and staff will comprise a huge number, 125 rooms at Taj President have also been booked, apart from 80 to 90 rooms each in Grand Hyatt and The Oberoi hotels. The NCPA, where the President is expected to meet representatives from the business community, has also been entirely booked. [emphasis added]

The officer said, “Obama’s contingent is huge. There are two jumbo jets coming along with Air Force One, which will be flanked by security jets. There will be 30 to 40 secret service agents, who will arrive before him. The President’s convoy has 45 cars, including the Lincoln Continental in which the President travels.”
Your tax dollars, hard at work. By the way, where are all the global warming wackos denouncing the enormous carbon footprint of ObooBoos' multiple jumbo jets and fighter escorts, the 45 vehicle motorcade, not to mention the U.S. naval and other U.S. assets being deployed as a result of his visit? As with Al "Crazed Sex Poodle" Gore, it is evidently ok to have a small city-sized energy footprint, so long as you have a "D" beside your party affiliation.

Steyn: The Republic of Paperwork

Another from Mark Steyn:
When the law says that it’s illegal for a storekeeper to offer his customer a cup of coffee, you should be proud to be in non-compliance. What the hell did you guys bother holding a revolution for? George III didn’t care what complimentary liquid refreshments a village blacksmith shared with his clientele. Say what you like about the Boston Tea Party, but nobody attempted to prosecute them for unlicensed handling of beverage items in a public place.

This is the reality of small business in America today. You don’t make the rules, you don’t vote for people who make the rules. But you have to work harder, pay more taxes, buy more permits, fill in more paperwork, contribute to the growth of an ever less favorable business environment and prostrate yourself before the Commissar of Community Services – all for the privilege of taking home less and less money. ...
Read the rest here.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

March of the Emperor

Tonight's humor:



C.H.S.: Geopolitics and oil

Charles Hugh Smith offers a thought-provoking piece on geopolitics and peak oil:
There is only one nation-state which can project hard power: the U.S. A missile is not power-projection, because it exerts control over nothing; it is deterrence or threat, but not power that can be projected. Only aircraft carrier groups and the ability to transport an army by sea and air to any locale in the world is power projection.

The U.S. has 11 carrier groups, China has zero. The U.S. has the ability to transport a small army by air, China does not. The U.S. has the sealift capability to transport a large army by sea. China does not, and neither does Russia or the E.U.

Power projection is far more costly than defensive Armed Forces, and the U.S. is the only great power with true power projection because it alone has hegemony over the world's reserve currency. The U.S. skims a stupendous arbitrage profit from creating dollars and exporting them in exchange for real goods.

China and other aspiring great powers must actually make real profits. Just to put costs in context: China's huge $1.8 trillion in foreign reserves would cover the costs of global power projection for about two years.

We should also stipulate that an aircraft carrier alone is simply a sitting duck; it projects nothing but vulnerability. It is a carrier group which projects power, and that requires an enormous infrastructure: a small fleet of other vessels, satellite communications, anti-submarine capabilities, global bases to refuel/ reprovision, and so on.

When two carrier groups steam offshore, they are the largest air force in the world save a very few. The U.S. could trim its 11 carrier groups to 8 or 9 and still have the only large-scale, globally decisive 8 or 9 carrier groups in existence.

The same infrastructure is required to airlift or sealift troops: you need AWACS aircraft, global communications, global bases, and so on.

Why is all this important? because when push comes to shove, there is only nation which can project hard power in a meaningful, decisive manner: the U.S. Bankrupt, wounded, in decline, however you wish to characterize the U.S., it holds decisive dominance in hard power. And as long as the world accepts dollar hegemony, then the U.S. can afford its Empire.

As noted above: the true value of hard power cannot assessed until you don't have any. ...
Read the rest here.