Jun 19, 2009

Cool sealion

This is a 21-year-old male sealion named Rook at the Sunshine International Aquarium in Tokyo.

Rook is practicing wearing sunglasses for the solar eclipse next month.

(AFP/Getty Images / June 18, 2009)

Car drives among the gondolas in Venice

Bernd Weise of the Amphicar Club Berlin pilots his 1961 Amphicar down the Grand Canal in Venice.

The German-built amphibious car uses a Triumph Herald engine and is capable of over 70 mph by road and 8 knots on water. The driver needs a regular driving license and a boat license.

Jun 18, 2009

New federal climate change report twists data

Dr. Roger Pielke, a professor of environmental studies at the University of Colorado, says the new federal report on climate change is not only wrong, it misrepresents his own research and that it wrongly concludes that climate change is already responsible for an increase in damages from natural disasters.

Dr. Pielke says they are relying on “non-peer reviewed, unsupportable studies rather than the relevant peer-reviewed literature” and for “featuring non-peer-reviewed work conducted by the authors.”

Evidently that’s the only way they can put their data in front of the public with any hope of acceptance.

The Democrats, led by Al Gore in the climate change debate, are determined to promote “man-made global warming” even when the true data no longer supports their claim!

They twist data from scientists like Dr. Pielke to make their “case” and the main stream media is reluctant to print anything that opposes the left viewpoint. Consequently, much of the public actually believes there is such a thing as man-made global warming.

Liberals in Washington are using “junk science,” or in this case “twisted science” to get their cap and trade scheme through congress.

Cap and trade, and the resultant carbon trading, will bankrupt many corporations and make billionaires of a lot of liberal politicians.

More of the story here.

NBC not in panic over Conan ratings crash

A New York Post report says Conan O'Brien seems to be losing viewers faster than DavidLetterman is losing his hair.

NBC is shrugging off the Conan crash saying its too early to tell.

When was it too early to tell that the Titanic was sinking after it hit the iceberg?

Jack Paar, the second host of the Tonight Show, was a snob but could be humorous at times.

Johnny Carson was funny. Carson also was the Tonight Show.

Jay Leno was funny util he turned stale.

Will Conan O'Brien last the year?

Depends on how far NBC will allow the Tonight Show to sink in ratings.


He has eaten a Twinkie every day for 64 years

Lewis Browning, a retired milk-truck driver, has been eating one or two Twinkies a day for 64 years. "Had one for breakfast this morning with a banana and a glass of milk," he says in a phone interview from his home south of Indianapolis.

The 22,000 he's eaten have earned him an appearance on "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno" and a lifetime supply of Twinkies from Hostess.

President Bill Clinton and the White House Millennium Council selected the Twinkie to be preserved in the nation's millennium time capsule in 1999, calling it an enduring American icon.

How about you? Do you eat Twinkie’s? It’s OK, go ahead and admit it. You won’t be alone.

A report at the link below says that Americans spent $47 million on them in the past 12 months.

There could be a downside to eating too many Twinkies.

Dan White was convicted of shooting to death San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and City Supervisor Harvey Milk in 1978. White’s attorney claimed the shooter was “high” on sugar snack food at the time of the murders. It was dubbed the “Twinkie defense” by the media.

How many sugar snack foods can claim to have a defense in the trial of a double-murderer named after them?

When I first started receiving an allowance as a kid, one thing on my “had to have” list was a package of Twinkies and I have eaten them off and on ever since. It never did make me murder anybody - especially the mayor of a major city.


Hillary met with eight of her predecessors

How often does a Secretary of State have a chance to consult with eight predecessors at one time?

All but one living former secretary of state attended the event. Those present were:

Henry Kissinger

George Shultz

James Baker

Lawrence Eagleburger

Warren Christopher

Madeline Albright

Colin Powell

Condoleezza Rice.

The only one missing was Alexander Haig.

No details about the conversation or menu were immediately available.


Swine flu reported at NBC headquarters

Will the Peacock building 30 Rockefeller Plaza get slapped with a quarantine?

MathewsFrom a New York Observer report:

The human resource department at NBC in New York sent out a bulk email to staffers warning them that a couple of employees at 30 Rockefeller Plaza have come down with the flu.

From the email:

Olbermann"Recently, like many other companies, we had a few NBC New York employees diagnosed with independent cases of the flu. In these cases, the employees quickly sought medical attention and went home immediately after diagnosis, thereby limiting any possible exposure. They are all recovering well."

Nbc-logos-smA commenter to the Observer report wondered if Chris Matthews (upper picture) or Keith Olbermann (lower picture) had the swine flu - then went on to say “Probably not. Even a virus has its standards.”


Jun 17, 2009

Seeing red

A Chinese paramilitary soldier stands during a welcoming ceremony for visiting Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing last May.

Iran unable to shut down Internet

In an attempt to stop stories and images of the riots following a disputed election, Iran has tried to follow the lead of North Korea, China and Cuba to control the Internet as the article at the link below reports:

Iran clamped down Tuesday on independent media in an attempt to control images of election protests, but pictures and videos leaked out anyway — showing how difficult it is to shut off the flow of information in the Internet age.

Restrictions imposed by the Iranian government made social-networking sites such as Twitter and Flickr more prominent and were used to send photos to the outside world of the “robust election debate” that Obama admired.

U.S. State Department even asked Twitter to put off a scheduled maintenance shutdown.

Some foreign journalists were forced to leave Iran because the government wouldn't extend the visas they received to cover Friday's election, in which President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was declared the landslide winner.

CNN turned in part to the social-networking sites, broadcasting images posted on Facebook and Twitter, and explaining on-air that it was using "creativity" to cover a big event under government restrictions.

More of the story here.

New York takes road rage title from Miami

A recent study shows that New York has overtaken Miami as the U.S. city with the angriest and most aggressive drivers.

Miami was the winner for the last four years but the latest study gave New Yorkers the prize for angriest, most aggressive drivers who tailgate, speed, honk their horns, overreact and lose their tempers.

We wonder how scientific this study was.

Did they go to Miami and count the dents in cars licensed in Miami and then go to New York and do the same for a comparison?


Like raw fish? You may get a 9-ft tapeworm

A Chicago man joins the ranks of those who’ve been infested from eating raw fish in recent years.

One summer day in August 2006, Anthony Franz went to a Chicago area hospital carrying a 9-foot worm.

He did not find it in his garden.

Franz is one of the few, but growing number of tapeworm victims in cities across the world who are discovering (or rediscovering) that some of the most popular fish can host parasites.

With more people eating sushi and undercooked fish diets around the world so too has the incidence of worms increased.

The variety of tapeworm that infested Mr. Franz was caused from uncooked seafood, particularly salmon.

Mr. Franz was not available for comment and is suing an Illinois seafood restaurant for $100,000.

More of the story here.

ABC turns programming over to Obama

How to force national healthcare on the backs of Americans in three easy steps.

1. Invite ABC News do a national healthcare infomercial in the White House.

2. Invite questions from call-in viewers - screened by ABC of course.

3. Do not allow equal time for any opposing point of view.

Media watchdogs doubted the show would be balanced.

Media credibility and fairness are at issue with some renaming ABC the "All Barack Channel."

With this ABC infomercial, to be filmed from the White House with no opposing viewpoint allowed, ABC has finally “come out of the closet” proving to America that the network is in bed with the Democrat’s and especially with Barack Obama.

Relations between ABC News and Mr. Obama could not be more intimate as ABC has now dropped any pretense of objectivity in their programming and reporting.

How long before ABC will be renamed Pravda?


Jun 16, 2009

Denver Broncos adjust to life without Jay Cutler

The Denver Broncos, trying to adjust to life without Jay Cutler, has named Kyle Orton as the starting quarterback.

Orton was chosen as the starter over Chris Simms, son of former New York Giants quarterback Phil Simms.

Kyle Orton, is the undistinguished quarterback that came to the Broncos from the Chicago Bears in that blockbuster deal that sent Jay Cutler to the Bears.

(click on picture to enlarge)

Denver cartoonist Drew Litton expresses the sentiments of many Bronco fans in the cartoon shown above.

Sadly, the “good news - bad news” story could be used the other way around as well based on the fact that Chris Simms hasn't played since Week 3 of the 2006 season due to complications from a ruptured spleen while playing for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Chris Simms came to Kyle Orton’s defense noting that he was underrated in college and underrated with the Chicago Bears.

Orton will probably be underrated with the Broncos as well.


Hit by the pitch

Rickie weeks of the Milwaukee Brewers may need to look up the phone number of his dentist after being hit in the face by Cincinnati Reds pitcher Edinson Volquez during a baseball game last April.

AP photo via MSNBC

Blade runner in training

He has been called the fastest man on no legs. But Oscar 'Blade Runner' Pistorius got a run for his money when five-year-old Ellie Challis challenged him to a race on their bionic feet.

The British youngster, from Little Clacton, Essex, lost her hands and lower legs after contracting meningitis at 16 months.

Judge von Brunn in no condition for court

James von Brunn (pictured), the 88-year-old who shot and killed a guard at the Holocaust Memorial Museum, is expected to recover from his wounds.

Mr. von Brunn has been charged with murder, however, a federal judge has ruled that von Brunn is in no condition to appear in court at this time.

Von Brunn's son has come out publicly against him, saying the shooting was unforgivable and he wished his father had died instead.

Erik von Brunn told ABC's Good Morning America that he and his father didn't like each other. The interview followed ABC's release Sunday of comments by the son that his father had long burdened their family with his white supremacist views.

“I loved my father. But what he did was unforgivable,” Erik von Brunn, 32, said.


No-win situation in Iran will haunt Obama

A Yahoo News report says the Obama administration is facing a dilemma over how to respond to Iran's disputed election.

Strong criticism could backfire but a muted response leaves an impression of weakness.

So far senior U.S. officials have given a guarded response to the disputed vote.

Several analysts said on Monday the White House was in a no-win situation but the best option was to stand back rather than inject U.S. views into the Iranian political debate.

The U.S. ability to do harm in Iranian politics is much greater than doing good.

Obama showed his inexperience, or maybe lack of judgement, when he said he was excited by Iran's robust election debate.

The photo above is from Andrew Sullivan’s blog The Daily Dish.

Was Obama na├»ve enough to think there would be a fair and uncontested election in Iran? Maybe there wasn’t a chapter about that in his Community Organizing handbook.

The “robust election debate” that Obama admired has killed and injured debaters.


Jun 15, 2009

Pointing the way for Rachel Alexandra

(click on picture to enlarge)

Jockey Calvin Borel appears to be pointing the way for his horse Rachel Alexandra near the finish line just ahead of Mine That Bird at the Preakness Stakes in Baltimore last month.

Harry Reid wants healthcare like the US Postal Service

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) compared his proposed healthcare reform to the relationship between the US Postal Service and private delivery companies.

Apparently, this was supposed to be a positive analogy:

“The Postal Service may not be perfect, but the public option is there, and the private companies, FedEx, UPS, know they cannot rip you off or [be] slacking on their service,” said Reid.

Okay, the first part is correct: the Postal Service isn’t perfect. But why does he think that FedEx or UPS would rip us off if it didn’t exist? If FedEx decided to jack up prices or cut back on its service, consumers would just go to UPS or DHL. New companies would open if they thought they could undercut the current ones or serve customers better.

As we all know, if the government lifted its legal monopoly on paper mail, private companies would rush in to do a better job! The mail would be faster, and cheaper.

Government stewardship usually means: no innovation. The Postal Service now offers overnight delivery (sometimes), but for years they said it wasn’t possible. Only when FedEx arrived did the impossible become possible.

Do we really want a healthcare system that’s run like the U.S. Post Office? Everyone waiting in line for service that is provided basically the same way it was a decade ago? If I get to choose, I’d prefer my healthcare to be provided by FedEx.


Some rural Michigan roads go back to gravel

An Associated Press article in the Chicago Tribune is titled: Rural Mich. counties turn failing roads to gravel.

As Michigan’s crumbling economy, so go some once-paved rural roads now being turned back into gravel.

About a quarter of the state's county road agencies largely left out of the federal stimulus package, which focuses on highways and other major thoroughfares, say they can't afford some costly repaving projects and have crushed up deteriorating roads.

Montcalm County alone estimates it saved nearly $900,000 by converting almost 10 miles of pothole-plagued pavement into gravel this spring.

As one official said, we were throwing good money into bad roads - it had to stop.”

Another said the new gravel road was “smoother than it was before, but wondered how they will maintain it - especially in the winter."

Many politicians doubt motorists would support higher taxes to fund road projects during tough economic times. But without new money, small agencies are left with few choices.

"We don't want to go backward, and I view this as going backward," said Tim Hammill, managing director of the Dickinson County Road Commission in Michigan's Upper Peninsula where 2.5 miles of paved road was converted to gravel last year. "It's depressing."

More of the story here.

U.S. family Christmas photo turns up in Czech advertisement

It's an international mystery: how did a Missouri family's Christmas card photo end up in the Czech Republic, splashed across a huge storefront advertisement?

Danielle Smith said Wednesday that the photo taken of her family last year got sent to family and friends, and was posted on her blog and a few social networking sites. The photo showed her and her husband Jeff holding their two young children.

One of Smith's college friends was driving through Prague when he spotted their life-size faces in the window of a store specializing in European food.

The friend snapped a few pictures and sent them to the Smith family back in Missouri with a note saying it was it's a life-size picture in a grocery store window in Prague!

Mario Bertuccio, who owns the Grazie store in Prague, said the photo was computer generated from a picture found on the Internet.

Bertuccio said he would be happy to write an e-mail with an apology. He also said he would send the Smiths a bottle of good wine if they lived in his eastern European country.


Does the new GM need a different name?

A report at the link below wonders if the new GM should start with a new name.

ValuJet was reborn as AirTran. Philip Morris rechristened itself Altria. Blackwater became Xe.

Would a name change work for beleaguered General Motors?

It would mean casting aside a brand that stood for almost a century as a symbol of American industrial might, but some marketing experts say it might be just the thing to help the once-mighty automaker make a fresh start.

A University of Chicago marketing professor thinks the brand isn’t in good shape so they have little to lose by changing to a different name.

With GM tarnished by its bankruptcy and its reputation for building cars no one wants, wiseacres have had no trouble coming up with new names.

There’s Groveling Motors, after GM’s appetite for federal bailouts. And General Moneypit. And, perhaps most popular, Government Motors, after the taxpayers’ major ownership stake.


Jun 14, 2009

Hiker falls to his death from Yosemite’s Half Dome

Yosemite National Park officials say a male hiker has fallen to his death while climbing Half Dome.

Park Ranger Scott Gediman says the man fell Saturday afternoon, and that officials believe he was using the cable handrails that help hikers make it up and down the landmark.

Park Ranger Gediman said conditions on Half Dome's granite face were slippery because of rain and hail.

(click on picture to enlarge)

Several climbers can be seen negotiating the last leg of the Half Dome climb can be seen on the left of the photo above.

Thirty other Half Dome climbers were being escorted down by rangers for their safety Saturday evening.


Kicking back in the sun

(click on picture to enlarge)

Getting some rays in front of beach huts in Blyth, northeast England.

Newsweek editor says Obama is God

On Hardball, Newsweek editor Evan Thomas (pictured) said, “I mean in a way Obama’s standing above the country, above – above the world, he’s sort of God!

Contrast that with Evan Thomas on the TV talk show Inside Washington, responding to a question on whether the media was unfair to Bush. Thomas said, “Well, our job is to bash the president, that's what we do."

Trash Bush and slobber over Obama calling him a God!

If Newsweek continues these unapologetic liberal promoting practices, The National Enquirer will be a more serious - and accurate - newsmagazine than Newsweek!


John Hinderaker talks about MSNBC

Speaking of irresponsible media...

Attorney John Hinderaker recently had this to say about MSNBC on Power Line:

MSNBC occupies a curious niche in the media landscape.

It is the first network that has ample financial resources but at the same time, production values are on a par with the average home movie and intellectual standards below those of the typical ninth grader.

It would be interesting to know who comprises their audience.

Don’t hold back John, tell us what you really thing about MSNBC.

Denver Broncos consider selling ads on practice jerseys

The Denver Broncos football team is considering selling advertising space on their practice jerseys.

The NFL says there will be no jersey advertisements on game day. The ads would only be on jerseys worn on the practice field.

We wonder how much that will help. The practices are often closed to the public. Prior to critical games the practices are even closed to the media.

Maybe the Broncos feel they need every dollar they can get because of future ticket sale loss because they let star quarterback Jay Cutler slip through their fingers.


Loser in Iran election arrested - that didn’t take long!

The Israeli news reported (at the first link below) that the defeated Ahmadinejad rival has been arrested in Iran.

Iranian presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi was reportedly arrested Saturday following the reformist's defeat at the polls by hardliner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Supporters of Mousavi, the main challenger to Ahmadinejad, have responded to the election with the most serious unrest in Tehran in a decade and claim that the result was the work of a dictatorship.

Will Jimmy Carter go to Iran and certify the election of Ahmadinejad like he did the election of Hugo Chavez in Venezuela?

Meanwhile, in the United States, Barack Obama was "excited" by Iran's robust election debate as reported by Reuters news (at the second link below).

"We are excited to see what appears to be a robust debate taking place in Iran," Obama told reporters when asked about the Iranian election during an event at the White House.

Link here and here.