Nov 28, 2009

Zebra impersonators - revisited

The Marah Land Zoo's only two zebras died of hunger earlier this year when they were neglected during the Israel-Hamas war.

The popular animals were considered too expensive to replace so the Gaza zookeepers decided to paint a pair of donkeys as zebras instead.

The photo below shows a zebra with masking tape ready to paint.


Nov 27, 2009

Gigantor robot under construction in Japan

A 60-foot statue of the cartoon robot Gigantor was near completion in Kobe, Japan in this photo taken last September.

The statue is being built to symbolize the completion of reconstruction after the Great Hanshin Earthquake that devastated Kobe in 1995.

Isolation space for cell phone users

For years we have joked about phone booths for cellular phones. Now there is such a thing - and from the looks of it - it’s still a joke.

The thing pictured above is called a Pentaphone.

It was designed by Robert Stadler of Austria and is intended to offer a stylish means of conducting a conversation on a cellphone without being distracted by ambient noise.

You can’t buy this product yet. It’s only a concept for now and it is likely to stay that way until people become comfortable with the idea of looking stupid under a giant helmet-like wooden dome.

That Austrian designer really needs to get out more.

Little Private Sector Experience in Obama cabinet

The chart below shows the percent of private sector experience in the cabinets of every president since 1900.

(click on chart to enlarge)

The more private sector experience the more diversity. Conversely, career politicians with no private sector experience can’t provide the president the same valuable knowledge base when seeking advice about helping the economy.

The Obama cabinet has more than 90 percent public sector experience. No other president comes close. It’s mostly politicians advising politicians in the Obama administration.


Nov 26, 2009

London Bus at Houses of Parliament

A new double-decker bus drives past the Houses of Parliament in central London.

Stack of towers at e-waste recycling plant

A workman arranges discarded computers at one of Taiwan's largest recycling factories

The first Thanksgiving

Washington Redskins won trademark dispute

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in favor of the Washington Redskins football team. The Redskins are allowed to keep the name and trademark.

An appeal by a group of American Indians was turned away. The group said the Washington Redskins’ nickname perpetuates racial stereotypes.

The justices let stand a lower court’s rejection of the group’s challenge to the National Football League team’s federal trademarks on its name.

The case had more symbolic importance than practical. A victory by the Indians in their challenge wouldn’t have forced the Redskins to change the nickname, though the team could have lost its exclusive rights.

Federal law bars trademarks that “may disparage” people. The issue in the appeal turned on a legal doctrine known as laches, which in some contexts bars lawsuits by people who weren’t vigilant in asserting their rights.

The Indians contend that laches doesn’t apply to efforts to cancel a federal trademark. A federal appeals court in Washington disagreed and threw out the lawsuit.

Other professional sports teams with Native American names
and imagery include the Cleveland Indians and Atlanta Braves baseball teams and the Kansas City Chiefs football team. College sports teams include the Florida State Seminoles and the University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux.


Nov 25, 2009

Is your grocer short on pumpkin this year?

Felix, a female African elephant, eats a pumpkin at the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore.

Climate debate in front of empty seats

Christine de Veyrac, a French member of the European Parliament, attends a debate on the upcoming Copenhagen summit on climate change in Strasbourg, France.

This $4.29 Thanksgiving Dinner is cheaper than fast food

A posting on It’s Your Money says:

The American Farm Bureau says that because prices have come down on certain foods, including turkey and milk, Thanksgiving dinner should be 4% cheaper than last year.

In 2009, the average cost for a Thanksgiving dinner that feeds ten is $42.91, or about $4.29 a person. Last year, the average meal for ten was $44.61, $1.70 more expensive.


Obama poll numbers continue to fall

Shown below are the poll results for September followed by October and November. The Obama poll drop is steady and consistent.

Detail for the most recent poll is here.

The $300 million Louisiana Purchase and other Reid side deals

A report at the link below says:

The $300 million Medicaid fix that Sen. Mary Landrieu got inserted into the Senate healthcare bill wasn’t the first “Louisiana Purchase” of the healthcare debate.

Before Rep. Joseph Cao (La.) cast the lone Republican vote for the healthcare bill in the House, he secured assurances from President Barack Obama to work on Medicaid funding, loan forgiveness and issues related to two of his local hospitals.

The best-known deal involved Reps. Dennis Cardoza and Jim Costa, two Blue Dog Democrats from the Golden State who secured funding for a medical school for California’s Central Valley.

The report mentions other last-second trade-offs and promises. Wavering legislators, fearful that a vote could cost them back home, hold out until leadership promises them a little sweetener.

But aren’t these “side deals” really bribes? Of course they are but probably none bigger than the Mary Landrieu $300 million deal.

Polls show only 38% of Americans favor ObamaCare but many politicians don’t care. Bribery must turn the ears of politicians deaf.


Nov 24, 2009

Bill Moyers to quit weekly television

A New York Times article at the link below reports that Bill Moyers (pictured) will end his Friday night public affairs show, “Bill Moyers Journal,” on April 30, 2010.

Bill Moyers, former White House Press Secretary for Lyndon Johnson, has become well known for his many one-sided political stories that appeared on his program on Public Television.

Moyers always championed liberal causes and beliefs while assailing anything conservative on his publicly funded program.

The end of Bill Moyers Journal will also end a program, heavily loaded with liberal political content, funded by taxpayer money.


The bow in Japan explained

Outdoor candy making in India

A laborer prepares Jaggery (candy) at a roadside factory at Banur village in the northern Indian state of Punjab.

We wonder how many flies and bugs get into the mix during outdoor candy making. How much do the bugs and flies affect the candy flavor?

Poll: Support for health care reform falls to new low

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 56% now oppose the plan.

More telling is the fact that only 38% of voters now favor the health care plan proposed by President Obama and congressional Democrats.

Congressional Democrats still trying to cram ObamaCare down the throats of Americans.

A short report here says:

The Democrats' polling must be showing something similar. Otherwise, House members wouldn't have competed for permission to vote against it, Senators wouldn't have demanded nine-figure payoffs to vote for it, and Harry Reid wouldn't have held the vote on a Saturday night (as Nancy Pelosi did with the House vote).

The recent suggestions of more limited mammograms and pap smears will further reduce the number of voters in favor of ObamaCare and further push Senate Democrat leaders to cram this bill through by any means possible.

Reducing the number of these critical tests will save money and will be a major step to health care rationing.

Poll data is here.

Big Red 907 a Loooonghorn steer

The current known legitimate record for a Texas Longhorn steer is Big Red 907 (shown below).

His horns measure just over 108 inches (9 feet) long.

The animal was born April 13, 1999 and is still considered a fairly young steer giving the owner every reason to believe he will live several more years and his horns should continue to grow.


The climate change push is all about taxing and control

From a report at the link below:

For nearly 20 years, from Al Gore to President Obama, they have been intoning to us that 'the science is settled'. But as ever more scientists from outside the IPCC's self- selected 'magic circle' now maintain, it has never been more obvious that this simply isn't true.

No one has put this better than Professor Lindzen, one of the world's leading climatologists, when he wrote: 'Future generations will wonder in bemused amazement that the early 21st-century's developed world went into hysterical panic over a globally average temperature increase of a few tenths of a degree, and on the basis of gross exaggerations of highly uncertain computer projections contemplated a roll-back of the industrial age.'

The climate controversy was never about stopping nature. It was about taxing and control.

Many scientists in the U.S. have been going along with the climate change theory in order to keep their grant money flowing. By going against the ‘warmists’ their grand money would suddenly dry up.

Ask a global warming believer why Al Gore will not debate the so-called ‘warming science’ in his books and movie. Gore won’t. He can’t.


Nov 23, 2009

The convenient deception

Deep fat turkey fryer warning

(click on picture to see video)

Have a Happy (and Safe) Thanksgiving!

Real jobless rate mostly ignored by media

A CNBC report at the link below says:

As experts debate the potential speed of the US recovery, one figure looms large but is often overlooked: nearly 1 in 5 Americans is either out of work or under-employed.

According to the government's broadest measure of unemployment, some 17.5 percent are either without a job entirely or underemployed. The so-called U-6 number is at the highest rate since becoming an official labor statistic in 1994.

So much for the stimulus creating jobs.


Outage on eBay crippled weekend shopping

Online auction giant eBay apologized for a daylong glitch that inactivated the search function on its Web site.

Shopping on eBay came to a screeching halt over the weekend as the site experienced technical issues that prevented users from finding listings through the search and browse functions.

eBay said the problem resulted from a surge in live listings as sellers ramped up for the holiday season.

In response to most eBay search requests over the weekend buyers saw the following screen:

The eBay Announcement Board had this message:

Due to errors in some of our backend systems, members may be seeing different errors in Search. This could be that "We were unable to run the search results you entered. Please try again in a few minutes" or a blank page, or simply the browser being unable to display the page. Please note that we are working as quickly as possible to get this resolved. Thank you for your patience as we continue to work to resolve this.

The auction giant said it would compensate sellers for their losses. In the past eBay has compensated sellers by extending their auction listings at no additional cost - there is never a cash compensation to sellers as a result of a glitch on eBay.

By the way, in case you wondered why you or your friends are having a more difficult time getting bids on your eBay auctions, it may be because eBay has 200,000,000 live listings which is 33 percent more than at this time one year ago.

Also, over the past year, eBay has rolled out a special ‘on-ramp’ for large retailers, manufacturers and liquidators called Large Merchant Services APIs flooding eBay with new auctions.

More here.

Its all about the company you keep

This handout picture from last September shows former Japanese prime minister Junichiro Koizumi posing with superhero characters for the movie "MegaMonsterBattle -- Ultra Galaxy" at a studio in Tokyo.

Koizumi was known for crooning Elvis Presley songs while in office.

Bishop bans Patrick Kennedy from Communion over abortion

A CNN article reports that:

Rhode Island's top Roman Catholic leader has asked Rep. Patrick Kennedy (pictured) to stop taking Communion over his support for abortion rights.

Kennedy, a Democrat, is the son of the late Massachusetts Sen. Edward Kennedy and a scion of the most prominent Catholic family in modern U.S. politics.

What about other Catholic lawmakers who support abortion rights?

Does the abortion question very from one diocese to another? If not, was Patrick Kennedy’s father, Sen. Ted Kennedy also asked to refrain from taking communion?

Ted Kennedy also supported abortion rights as do most Democrats in Washington, so what about John Kerry, Chris Dodd and other pro-abortion lawmakers in Washington?

Another question: why did Patrick Kennedy wait for nearly three years before criticizing his Bishop about the Communion ban?

It is interesting that this exchange was comes on the 46th anniversary of the assassination of Patrick Kennedy's uncle, John F. Kennedy, the nation's first Catholic president


Nov 22, 2009

Granny and the mall pollster

This was a winner in a recent cartoon caption contest by Indianapolis Star cartoonist Gary Varvel.

Red Cashion NFL referee extraordinaire

Mr. Alumnus M.L. "Red" Cashion (upper photo) is the current NFL Trainer of Referees.

Cashion is a past president of the National Football League Referees Association.

Red Cahion was a National Football League official for 25 years. He began as a line judge in 1972 and became a referee in 1976.

It wasn’t long until Red’s “First Dowwwnnn!” call became well-known to fans and players alike.

He refereed Super Bowl XX, Super Bowl XXX, 18 playoff games and almost 500 professional games.

The lower photo above shows Red Cahion with his whistle strapped to his hand rather than hung on the usual strap around the neck.

Teen murder suspect wanted to know what if felt like to kill

Alyssa Bustamante (pictured) was indicted today in a Missouri courtroom on a first degree murder charge stemming from the Oct. 21 slaying of Elizabeth Olten after a judge determined she could be tried as an adult. If convicted, Bustamante could be sentenced to life in prison.

A police officer testified that the 15-year-old girl accused of killing her 9-year-old neighbor confessed to the crime, saying that she did it so she would "know what it felt like to kill someone."

The court documents also revealed for the first time the violence of Bustamante's alleged attack on the young girl. Court papers state the Bustamante strangled Olten, slit her throat and stabbed the girl while she was dying.


Climate change promoters rocked by scandal

If this doesn’t turn out to be a hoax and if the ‘global warmers’ can’t find a way to spin this story around a full 160 degrees, the entire climate change fraternity could get a permanent black eye.

From a report at the link below:

There's big news for climate change students.

A hacker has gotten into the computers at Hadley CRU, Britain's largest climate research institute and a proponent of global warming, and seems to have uncovered evidence of substantial fraud in reporting the "evidence" on global warming; the unlawful destruction of records to cover up this fraud, conspiracy, and deceit in the entire operation.

While hacking into the institute's records is inappropriate if not illegal, the activities disclosed appear illegal and damaging to science and the economies of the world.

Link here and here.