Mar 21, 2009

Italian aerial acrobatic patrol

The Italian aerial acrobatic patrol Frecce Tricolori flying in tight formation.

Man as a chemical plant on 1926 Fritz Kahn poster - revisited

German author and artist Fritz Kahn made this poster in 1926 depicting the human body as an ‘industrial palace’ by turning it into a complicated chemical plant using metaphors of 1920’s industrial life.

I find Kahn’s almost morbid ‘dream anatomy’ very interesting. His mechanical visualization of the inner workings of the human body reminds me of a somewhat similar illustration I loved to look at when I was in the fourth grade.

I found a ‘mechanical inner man’ illustration in an old three-volume encyclopedia in the school library. It was less complicated than the Kahn poster (shown above) but as a fourth grader I was intrigued by it and often drew my own versions (wish I’d kept those drawings).

More on Fritz Kahn’s “body machines” here.

Now that spring is here ...

... he can stay outside a little longer

Mar 20, 2009

First day of Spring

Dodgers forsake Florida for Arizona

Dodgertown in Vero Beach, Florida was the spring training home of the Los Angeles Dodgers for the last 60 years.

From now on, if you want to smell Dodger Dogs sizzling as you walk past the concession stand on your way to your seat for a pre-season Dodger game, you’ll need a plane ticket to Arizona.

The Dodger spring training facility in Glendale, Arizona is sparkling new and much closer to California.


Hey! Quick! Where’s that teleprompter?

The teleprompter operator will be searching on Monday looking for a new job.

Pennsylvania Labor Sec too drunk to sign her drunkenness citation

Sandy Vito (pictured) has been acting Labor Secretary for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania since February 2008. She awaits a Senate vote on naming her to the position permanently.

Police say Vito was too drunk to sign a citation issued to her for public drunkenness.

The citation against Vito, which carries a $200 fine, was filed in District Judge Joseph Solomon's office Wednesday, a week after Vito was cited with public drunkenness at the Harrisburg Hilton.

Vito was found "extremely intoxicated" inside the hotel bar, according to Officer Amy Bright, who issued the citation. The document also said Vito was shouting an obscenity at Bright and others.


How did you celebrate St. Patrick’s day?

This boy took part in St. Patrick's Day celebrations in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

... photo from Newsday

Building a bridge...

(click on cartoon to enlarge)

Mar 19, 2009

Shoemaker Crocs may be on the rocks

Crocs auditor questions the shoemaker’s viability.

The company may be a victim of bad timing. Crocs geared up for strong international and product growth only to watch sales drop last year amid the recession.

The auditor of Crocs Inc. says it has "substantial doubt" about the shoe company's ability to stay in business amid falling revenue.

Crocs disclosed the opinion of Deloitte & Touche LLP in an annual report filed Tuesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

"It's a really serious sign the company has some financial difficulties ahead," said Chris Hughen, associate professor of finance at the University of Denver's Daniels College of Business. Still, he didn't expect the company would die. "If they can right-size the company, the company will survive," he said.


Will gladiator shoes be back this spring?

Gladiator shoes seemed to come on strong in the spring of 2008.

What about this spring? Will they be back? Or did they ever go away?

Obama on Leno show: dumbing down the presidency

Will Mr. Obama bring his teleprompter along when he appears with Jay Leno (pictured) on The Tonight Show?

The news that President Obama will appear on Jay Leno’s show Thursday night could be told in a couple ways depending on what type of site you’re on.

More right-leaning: Faced with plummeting polls and Boston Tea Party-like rebellions popping up all over the country, President Barack Obama is attempting to save his faltering presidency by going to the last place that still accepts him: Hollywood.

More left-leaning: With rock solid poll numbers (higher than Reagan at this point in the presidency), President Barack Obama has the courage to leave the Washington echo chamber and talk to the common man.

Obama is dumbing down the presidency by his Tonight Show appearance with “the chin” marking the first time in history a sitting president has appeared on a chat show.


Did the Governator actually say that?

Arnold Schwarzenegger (pictured), former actor and star of the science fiction movie The Terminator, was caught in a “dumb celebrity quote” during a radio interview while campaigning for governor of California.

Arnold Schwarzenegger told radio host Sean Hannity in 2003:

"I think gay marriage is something that should be between a man and a woman."


Commerce Sec nominee tied to Chinese cash

Gary Locke (pictured), the former governor of the state of Washington, is the nominee for Secretary of Commerce.

The position would include approving sensitive exports to China,

Locke has performed legal work for companies doing business with Beijing and was forced to refund several political donations that he received in the 1990s from key figures in a Chinese influence-buying investigation.

Since leaving the governor's mansion in 2005, Mr. Locke has been working with the Seattle law firm of Davis Wright Tremaine LLP as part of its China practice, which has offices in Shanghai.

On its Web page,, the law firm says it has represented several state-run Chinese companies, including China Eastern Airlines, Shanghai Airlines and China Shipping as well as the Bank of China, BankOne, Boeing Co., Freightliner, Ford Motor Co., General Electric Capital Corp. and Microsoft Corp.

The Obama administration, however, claims there is no conflict of interest.


Mar 18, 2009

The Denver Broncos soap opera continues...

Newsday Sports cover

Why not call the Denver Broncos soap opera: As the stomach churns?

Speculation is swirling about a possible Jay Cutler trade. Will he stay in Denver? Where would he go?

The New York Jets haven’t had a great young quarterback since Joe Namath left in 1976 and the Detroit Lions haven’t had a great quarterback since they traded Bobby Lane in 1958.

The Detroit Lions have only two chances of landing Cutler: slim and none.

As for the Jets, Wallace Matthews writes in Newsday:

It's a no-brainer: Jets have to get Cutler.

The guy is big and strong. He's got a cannon for an arm. And he's physically tough. Plus, unlike the last Jets quarterback [Brett Favre], his best years are still to come.

Link here and here.

Obama thanked himself in teleprompter gaff

Obama and Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen were set to give speeches to White House party guests.

Cowen was set to speak twice at the White House on Tuesday night because there were two different parties going on at the executive mansion. No matter -- he would give the same speech to the two different audiences.

Problem is the wrong speech appeared on the teleprompter - it was the speech Obama had just given.

Cowen stopped and looked back at the president to say, "That's your speech."

Obama returned to the podium for his speech. In doing so, Obama thanked Obama for inviting everyone over.

Was he inebriated or just too dumb to realize he was thanking himself?

It must have been quite a party. From the report at the link below:

White House fountains and sparkling wine both ran green.

On tap for the evening's festivities -- which Obama described as "rambunctious" to East Room guests -- was green sparkling wine from a California vineyard.

Obama joked about the free-flowing bar and warned his guests not to wear lampshades on their heads in front of the cameras.

Rambunctious festivities indeed!

It was a party and a rambunctious party at that! Why did they need a teleprompter at the party?

And what about the teleprompter operator - did he stay sober during the rambunctious party?

By the way, since the teleprompter operator has such a critical roll in the administration, shouldn’t he go though Senate confirmation hearings? But what if he had paid all of his taxes, would he still be confirmed?


(click on cartoon to enlarge)

Fashion models in Milan

Models display creations as part of Agatha Ruiz De La Prada Fall/Winter 2009-2010 ready-to-wear collections during fashion week in Milan.

(AFP / Getty Images Photo)

Mexican drug lord on Forbes billionaire list

A question asked at the link below:

What do software mogul Bill Gates and banking investor Warren Buffett have in common with wanted Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman Loera?

The answer is:

They are all featured in Forbes magazine's world's billionaires report as "self-made" billionaires.

Guzman Loera (upper picture), whose nickname means Shorty, escaped from a Mexican prison in 2001. He heads the powerful Sinaloa cartel, investigators say.

Authorities on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border blame the Sinaloa and other cartels for a surge in violence in the region.

Mexican authorities, including Mexican president Felipe Calderon (lower picture), have expressed outrage at Forbes magazine and describe Forbes' calculations on Guzman Loera's fortune as mere "speculation."

"I will never accept that a criminal could be recognized as someone distinguished, even if it is by a magazine like Forbes," Medina Mora said to local media during a drug traffic summit Thursday in Vienna, Austria.

Forbes is "comparing the deplorable activity of a criminal wanted in Mexico and abroad with that of honest businessmen," he said.


Bush refuses to criticize Obama

George W. Bush made his first speech since leaving the White House when he spoke at a luncheon in Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Displaying his usual class, the former president declined to comment about the Obama administration saying only that Obama “deserves my silence.”


Mar 17, 2009

Hybrid car sales go from 60 to 0

Even as more hybrid cars are on the way, the gas-electric vehicles are piling up on dealers' lots as anxiety over gasoline prices evaporates.

The Ford and Honda hybrids due out this month are among dozens planned for the coming years as automakers try to meet new fuel-efficiency standards and please politicians overseeing the industry's multibillion-dollar bailout.

Unfortunately for the automakers, hybrids are a tough sell these days.

Americans have cut back on buying vehicles of all types as the economy continues its slide. But the slowdown has been particularly brutal for hybrids, which use electricity and gasoline as power sources.

They were the industry's darling just last summer, but sales have collapsed as consumers refuse to pay a premium for a fuel-efficient vehicle now that the average price of a gallon of gasoline nationally has slipped below $2.

In July, U.S. Toyota dealers didn't have enough Prius models in stock to last two days, and many were charging thousands of dollars above sticker price for the few they had.

Today there are about 80 days' worth on hand, and dealers are working much harder -- even with the help of $500 factory rebates -- to move the egg-shaped gas-savers off lots from Santa Monica to Miami.


Fox on top in Cable News viewership Race

Cable News viewership race
Friday March 13, 2009

As usual, Fox tops the cable news channels.

Fox News - Bill O’Reilly - 3,185,000
Fox News - Glenn Beck - 3,074,000
Fox News - Sean Hannity - 2,557,000
Fox News - Bret Baier - 2,151,000
Fox News - Shephard Smith - 1,879,000
Fox News - Greta Van Susteren - 1,522,000
MSNBC - Keith Olbernann - 1,223,000
CNN - Larry King - 1,046,000
CNNHN - Nancy Grace - 1,045,000
MSNBC - Rachel Maddow - 954,000

...from Matt Drudge

Bronco rookie manager vs. pro-bowl quarterback

The relationship between pro-bowl quarterback Jay Cutler (upper picture) and Bronco rookie manager Josh McDaniels (center picture) and Bronco owner Pat Bowlen (lower picture) is tenuous.

Cutler wants to split up. Bowlen wants to make up. McDaniels is about to throw up.

Veteran Denver Post sports writer Woody Paige tells it like it is:

Coach Josh McDaniels wanted to get rid of Cutler two weeks ago. Cutler now wants to rid himself of McDaniels.

Pat Bowlen wanted control of his team again when he fired Mike Shanahan. But he didn't take control, and the Broncos have raced completely out of control.

In his press conference on the last day of 2008, Bowlen said, "I run the show."

That day Bowlen said of Cutler, "Obviously, he is the man around here now."

Not any more.

And what about owner Pat Bowlen? If he is running the show, he is not doing very well because his billion-dollar football franchise is about to blow up in his face.

Instead of acting like he is in charge, all he did was say, “I'm very disappointed. I'm disappointed in the whole picture, not just disappointed that we might lose our star quarterback.”

Is Jay Cutler acting like a spoiled juvenile? Of course he is but this is nothing new. Many multi-million-dollar sports figures act that way. Teams wanting these star players learn to deal with it.

Is Pat Bowlen acting like he is running the show as he claimed he would? No.

What about rookie manager Josh McDaniels? He is acting like a ... well ... rookie manager. He told the team he “would take care of it” but he didn’t.

Denver may be following the path of the Oakland Raiders with an inept owner and a 32 year old rookie coach, who doesn’t seem to be able to handle the politics of dealing with players.

Cutler is a great leader on the field. He took care of his diabetes without missing a game. He broke many Bronco records in his second year as a full time starter. If the Broncos lose Cutler, they deserve their fate.

Wherever he is, fired coach Mike Shanahan is shaking is head with a slight smile on his face.


Recruiter gives résumé tips for job seekers

An executive recruiter says you've got only ten seconds for making an impression with your résumé.

Andrew Johnston, executive recruiter for Creative Financial Staffing of Colorado, joined 9NEWS Sunday Morning. He says you should avoid what he calls the "fluff factor."

Meaning: Don't use the words "goal oriented," "results oriented," or "team player" on your resume.

Who's not a team player, who's not results oriented?" Johnston said. "Instead, what I tell candidates to do is that resume needs to speak of specific accomplishments, such as implemented a new billing system that resulted in $60,000 a year in savings. That is something that's very specific. It's meat on the bones. It's something that the hiring manager can understand, again, quantifiable results, avoiding the fluff."

Johnston says instead of just sending a resume and hoping for a bite, find out who makes the decisions at a company and call them directly.

He says write up a list of companies you'd like to work with in the areas where you have experience, call the hiring managers and establish a relationship with them.


Sarah Palin to be keynote speaker at Senate-House GOP Dinner

National Republican Senatorial Committee and National Republican Congressional Committee announced that Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (pictured) will deliver the keynote address at the annual GOP Senate-House Dinner on June 8 at the Washington Convention Center.

Governor Palin has quickly emerged as one of the most popular and recognizable faces in the Republican Party,” said Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, who called her “a breath of fresh air from the business-as-usual crowd in Washington, and is one of our party’s up-and-coming young governors who will play a critical role in our re-building efforts in the years to come.

Last fall, she electrified and energized crowds across the country, and we expect she will generate a similar amount of enthusiasm at this spring’s dinner.”

Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Texas, called it “a pleasure to announce one of the brightest rising stars in the Republican Party” and said he's awaiting “the inspirational address our Party needs, as it rebuilds and prepares for a victorious election cycle.”

Expect the main stream media to once again roll out a bash Palin campaign. Actually, ABC News online has never stopped. Just last week they repeated an article from last October about the so-called “troopergate” story, which was a classic case of “much ado about nothing.”

All winter ABC News online has been regurgitating their 2008 reports about Governor Palin that were made into a negative stories.

Why? The media as well as liberal politicians in Washington are afraid of Palin. They realize that without the Alaska Governor on the ticket, Obama could have won in a landslide last November. Now they see Sarah Palin as the biggest threat the Republicans have to unseat Obama in 2012.

Link to the Jake Tapper article here. Stories like this are never shown on the regular ABC News online. They don’t make it beyond the ABC blogs.

Mar 16, 2009

You forgot to buckle up, dummy!

His passenger looked like Gandalf (pictured), the wizard in "Lord of the Rings" wearing a baseball cap.

A Washington State Patrol trooper noticed a dangling belt buckle on the passenger side and suspected a seat belt violation.

Instead of a seatbelt violation, the Trooper found an HOV lane violation. The bearded Gandolf look-alike passenger was a dummy.

The driver, who acknowledged trying to beat traffic by using the High Occupancy Vehicle lane was issued a $124 ticket.

The Trooper confiscated the dummy.


CSX train locomotive stolen for joyride

Two young men were arrested for taking a 120-ton CSX freight locomotive for a joyride.

A CSX employee reported Monday that a diesel locomotive had disappeared from a southwest Miami-Dade turnaround late Sunday night.

It was recovered about 7 miles to the south a few hours later. No injuries were reported.

Maybe CSX will stop leaving the "keys in the car" from now on.


This study could turn the climate change world upside down

Al Gore called it “global warming” and even said the science was “settled” on the subject. Since he made his movie, his elaborate charts have not changed and he still will not debate the issue.

Now that the globe has been cooling for the past decade, the “warmists” have changed their battle cry to “climate change” yet Gore’s elaborate charts still have not changed and he still won’t debate the issue.

From the report at the link below:

The bitter cold and record snowfalls from two wicked winters are causing people to ask if the global climate is truly changing.

The current trend of steady or even cooling earth temps may last a couple of decades or until the next climate shift occurs.

In the meanwhile, Mr. Gore and other liberals will find a way to get rich selling carbon credits even though none of them know the difference between weather and climate while their detractors will continue distributing Al Gore global warming posters as shown above.


Thousands rally at Cincinnati Tea Party

Thousands of Tri-State residents gathered Sunday on Fountain Square in downtown Cincinnati to voice their opposition to government spending bills recently signed by President Barack Obama.

The group called itself the Cincinnati Tea Party, modeled after the Boston Tea Party of 1773.

Some protestors wore Revolutionary War-era costumes. Many carried signs and banners.

One sign said Got Tea? A young child carried a sign saying: Stay out of my piggy bank. An 8-year-old held a
Stop spending my allowance

Protesters argued that the government shouldn't be spending money it doesn't have and they fear taxes and deflation will follow.

Organizers said they planned to gather again on April 15 and march the petition to city hall.


New York cops issue 9,000 tickets in driver cell phone crackdown

New York City police typically issue 500 phone-while-driving tickets per day.

Last Friday they issued 9,016 tickets during a 24-hour crackdown on phoning-while-driving.

Get caught driving while using a hand held phone and you could be fined $120.

Taxi drivers are held to an even higher standard. They can receive a $200 summons from the Taxi and Limousine Commission for using even a hands-free phone while driving.


Illinois income tax could jump 50 percent

Illinois residents earning more than $56,000 per year may wish Rod Blagojevich was still in the governors mansion.

Gov. Pat Quinn (pictured) confirmed Friday that he plans to raise taxes on some Illinois residents to combat deficits in a difficult state budget, and called for broader tax reform.

Quinn said Friday that he plans to hike taxes for families that make more than $56,000 a year.

But Quinn contends his income tax proposal would amount to a tax cut for millions of Illinoisans by increasing the personal exemption to let them shield more income from being taxed.


White House dog can do tricks

(click on cartoon to enlarge)

Mar 15, 2009

Back to the 1950’s

Highlights of the 1950’s - in no special order:

Twenty cent gasoline
Russian satellite Sputnik launched
US satellite Explorer-1 launched
Formica top chrome dinette sets
Pedal pushers
Step tables
Hula hoops
Interstate highway system begins
The Elvis phenomenon
Birth of Rock and Roll music
Senator Joseph McCarthy’s Communist hearings
Senator Estes Kefauver - organized crime hearings
Julius and Ethel Rosenberg executed for espionage
Korean War 1950-1953
Alaska and Hawaii become the 49th and 50th states
Supreme Court: racial segregation unconstitutional
“Under God” added to Pledge of Allegiance
Disneyland opened in Anaheim California
Dr. Jonas Salk developed polio vaccine
First domestic jet airline service
1950’s was the Golden Age of Television
TV-dinners served on TV- trays
Rabbit-ear TV antennas
TV Guide magazine
3-D movies
Telephone booth cramming on campuses
Chlorophyll to reduce odor
Ducktail hair style for young men
Sock hops
Frisbee becomes popular
Barbie dolls
Silly putty became popular
First copy machine
First plastic Coke bottle
Peanuts comic strip begins
First issue of Playboy magazine
Table lamps placed in front of picture windows
Five-cent soda-pop with two-cent bottle deposit
Five-cent candy bars


Automobile fins introduced
Ford Thunderbird introduced
Chevrolet Corvette introduced
Edsel automobile introduced
Packard merged with Studebaker
Hudson stopped building cars*
Nash stopped building cars*
Kaiser stopped building cars
Frazer stopped building cars

*Nash-Kelvinator and Hudson merged to form American Motors

Color Guard

Soldiers march during India's Republic Day parade in New Delhi.

Media and State Dept mum on Russian gaff

Joseph Curl poses a question in his Washington Times report at the link below. Why won’t the state department talk about the Russian gaff?

The simple answer is: the media won’t mention it because it was an embarrassment to the Obama administration.

So how did it come about that the U.S. secretary of state gave a gag "reset" button to the Russian foreign minister, but the Russian word inscribed on the small box by the State Department turned out to mean "overload" instead?

Dr. Condoleezza Rice would never have presented a foreign dignitary with such a poorly conceived and insulting gift.

This administration is different. DVD movies for Prime Minister Brown, toy helicopters for his boys and a plastic gag button for Russia?

It reminds one of the time during the Jimmy Carter presidency when he embarrassed Americans by telling the Polish people he “lusted after them” instead of saying he “understood their anxiety.”

Link here and here.