May 29, 2010

A puppy feel good video

The Old Friends Quartet sing “How Long Has it Been”

Left to right: George Younce, Jake Hess, Wesley Pritchard and Ernie Haase

May 28, 2010

American crosses English Channel using helium balloons

American cluster balloonist Jonathan Trappe lifted off from near Kent, England and landed on farmland in Moeres, France, Friday May 28, 2010.

To control the decent, Trappe began cutting away balloons one by one in order to lose buoyancy.

The photo on the left above shows one balloon breaking away after being cut loose in preparation for decent.

Trappe had been planning the flight for several months, after setting a world record for the longest free-floating balloon flight of 14 hours in the skies above North Carolina.


A video adventure with Patches

… thanks Ingrid for putting us on to this

Obama to spend 3 hours in Louisiana on way to Chicago

Barack Obama takes time out for a short “excuse me” trip to the Gulf Coast.

The itinerary (as reported in the first link below) is shown here for the Obama trip to Louisiana. It is only the second visit to the gulf coast by Obama since the oil spill began.

10:10AM THE PRESIDENT arrives New Orleans, Louisiana
Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport
Open Press

12:10PM THE PRESIDENT attends a briefing by Admiral Thad Allen
US Coast Guard Station Grand Isle, Grand Isle, Louisiana
Pool spray for still photographers at the top of the briefing

12:30PM THE PRESIDENT delivers a statement to the press
US Coast Guard Station Grand Isle, Grand Isle, Louisiana
Pooled Press

1:25PM THE PRESIDENT departs New Orleans, Louisiana en route Chicago, Illinois
Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport
Open Press

That’s less than three hours on the ground in Louisiana.

Obama spends more time than that when he goes to the golf course as reported in the second link below.

Link here and here.

Heart attack in a milkshake glass

The Cold Stone PB&C (peanut butter and chocolate) milkshake tops the list of worst U.S. drinks.

The milkshake contains 2,010 calories which is equivalent to eating 68 strips of bacon or 30 chocolate chip cookies.

It has topped a list of the 20 worst drinks in America compiled by Men's Health magazine.

A spokesman from Cold Stone said the company does also offer low-calorie, reduced-fat options for customers looking for "a lighter indulgence" such as its range of sinless smoothies with only 110 calories.

The sinless smoothie has only about 5% of the calories of the PB&C milkshake. Probably has about 5% of the flavor as well.


Census workers can enter your apartment in your absence!

From a report at the link below:

What many Americans don’t realize, is that census workers — from the head of the Bureau and the Secretary of Commerce (its parent agency) down to the lowliest and newest Census employee — are empowered under federal law to actually demand access to any apartment or any other type of home or room that is rented out, in order to count persons in the abode and for “the collection of statistics.”

If the landlord of such apartment or other leased premises refuses to grant the government worker access to your living quarters, whether you are present or not, the landlord can be fined $500.00.

not only can citizens be fined if they fail to answer the increasingly intrusive questions asked of them by the federal government under the guise of simply counting the number of people in the country; but a landlord must give them access to your apartment whether you’re there or not, in order to gather whatever “statistics” the law permits.

In fact, some census workers apparently are going even further and demanding — and receiving — private cell phone numbers from landlords in order to call tenants and obtain information from them.

Isn’t it great to live in a “free” country?


May 27, 2010

Spill may be 3 times bigger than Valdez

From an Associated Press report at the link below:

Scientists say the Gulf of Mexico spill has now leaked far more oil than the Exxon Valdez disaster — maybe even three-and-a-half times as much.

That makes the Gulf spill by far the worst in U.S. history.


Media trying hard to keep spill from being Obama’s Kartina

Trying to keep Obama clean

Automobile computer systems at risk to hackers

From a report at the link below:

Automobiles, which will be increasingly connected to the Internet in the near future, could be vulnerable to hackers just as computers are now, two teams of computer scientists are warning in a paper to be presented next week.

The scientists say that they were able to remotely control braking and other functions, and that the car industry was running the risk of repeating the security mistakes of the PC industry.

More here.

The massive spill continues …

Obama expresses regrets as the massive spill continues.

Genial TV host Art Linkletter dead at age 97

Art Linkletter (pictured at right) was the host of two of television’s longest-running shows, “People are Funny” and “House Party,” in the 1950s and 1960s.

From his early days as an announcer on local radio and a roving broadcaster at state fairs, Mr. Linkletter showed a talent for ingratiating himself with his subjects and getting them to open up, often with hilarious results.

Art Linkletter is shown above interviewing a child on “House Party.”

He was particularly adept at putting small children at ease, which he did regularly on a segment of “House Party,” a reliably amusing question-and-answer session that provided the material for his best-selling book “Kids Say the Darndest Things!”

His wholesome, friendly manner and upbeat appeal endeared him to millions of Americans even though TV critics and intellectuals found the Linkletter persona "bland."


Putting the runaway Toyota deaths in perspective

To put the deaths attributed to runaway Toyotas into perspective, below is a comparison to the deaths attributed to the Ford Explorer - Firestone tire problems in 1990’s.

Experts believe there may be as many as 250 deaths and more than 3000 catastrophic injuries associated with the defective tires. Most of the deaths occur in accidents involving the Ford Explorer which tends to rollover when one of the tires blows out.

The government estimated that 89 deaths could have been related to unintended acceleration in Toyota vehicles in the last ten years. Compare that to 250 deaths in less than half that time in the Ford Explorer/Firestone tire problems of the 1990's.

The government has a vested interest in going after Toyota for two reasons.

First, Toyota is the biggest competitor to the government owned General Motors.

Second, Toyota’s are made in non-union plants and the Obama administration is very pro-union. Unions contributed heavily to the Obama presidential campaign.

Link here and here.

New House members turn away from Obama

A report at the link below say House Democrat freshmen who rose to power riding candidate Barack Obama ’s coattails in 2008 are now eager to strut their independence heading into the midterms.

Why? Obama has no coattails now!

The "four-time loser" cartoon below illustrates what has happed this year when candidates have found out the hard way that Obama’s help did not help.


May 26, 2010

Heart attack on a plate #2

Hardee's Loaded Biscuit 'N' Gravy is a split biscuit topped with two sausage patties, two folded eggs and a big dollop of hot sausage gravy.

The meal packs 1,000 calories, with a whopping 670 calories from fat.

The meal's 2,350 milligrams of salt are just 50 milligrams short of a day's worth of recommended salt intake

Carville rants about the WH non-response to oil spill - again!

James Carville (pictured), a former Obama cheerleader, rants again about Obama’s non-response to the gulf oil spill.

Better step aside when Carville gets his dander up. The ragin’ Cajun rants again about the failure of Obama to go after BP.

Link here for the video.

Brutus Thornapple reads the lazy way

Obama has main stream media in his pocket

Byron York has a report at the link below that says:

Obama can treat media with contempt since he knows they’ll always be ‘on his side’

Washington Examiner chief political correspondent Byron York contended in a recent column, “ “Fawning press now gets cold shoulder from Obama.” After all, “Obama treats them with contempt because he knows that when big tests come, they've always been on his side. There's no reason for him to think they won't be there in the future.”

“Most of you covered me,” he told the media elite at the 2009 White House Correspondents' Association dinner. “All of you voted for me.” That's the attitude coming out of the Oval Office every day.

Why does Obama do it? Because he can.

York echoed what Rich Lowry, Editor of the National Review where York used to toil, observed on FNC’s Fox Newswatch over the weekend: Obama has “contempt” for the Washington press corps, so “it's always been an unrequited one-way love affair.”

Many of the political correspondents, such as Chip Reid, are not happy with the “one-way love affair.” However, if they want to keep their jobs they will continue to fawn over Obama because their bosses will always be on the side of a liberal Democrat.


Heart attack on a plate

If you think cheesecake and pancake makes a natural mix, then you’ll probably like the new IHOP Pancake Stackers.

The dish consists of cheesecake filling between two buttermilk pancakes, topped with whipped cream and strawberry, blueberry or apple compote.

IHOP says it doesn't have nutritional info for the Stackers alone, but says a regular combo meal – which also includes eggs, bacon and hash browns – weighs in at 1,250 calories.

You can bet the Stackers will have more - maybe lots more.

CSpan has been doing that for years

Next bailout may be $165Billion for Unions

Just last week Obama said there would be no more bailouts.

Evidently Senator Bob Casey, a Democrat from Pennsylvania, didn’t get the word.

Casey is introducing legislation for a bailout of troubled union pension funds. If passed, the bill could put another $165 billion in liabilities on the shoulders of American taxpayers.

The bill would put the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation behind struggling pensions for union workers.

Right now taxpayers would be on the hook for $165 billion. However, the liability could essentially be unlimited because these pensions have to be paid out until the workers die.


Why won’t the WH do more about oil spill?

An AP report at the link below is titled, “Heat on White House to do more about Gulf spill.”

The giant gulf crude oil spill is a crude awakening but you’d never know it by the actions of the White House.

Barack Obama said he was ‘on it’ from day one.

On day 36 he has still avoided confronting BP. Is that because BP donated huge sums of money to his election campaign? He has instructed his Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar to go after BP. However, as we have said before, that’s like sending a toothless Chihuahua to fight a Pitbull.

On day 36 the gulf coast is endangered all the way to the tip of Florida with threats of oil damage all the way to the Atlantic Ocean.

On day 36 Obama is planning his second vacation since the oil spill. This time a long weekend to Chicago to see his old crony’s.

After 36 days Obama has made only one trip to the Gulf. During first 36 days of Katrina, Bush made 7 visits to Gulf Coast.

After 36 days one wonders just what he meant by being ‘on it’ from day one?

Is this is what happens when a community organizer fills government positions with political cronies and not by experts in the field?


May 25, 2010

Road sign hacked to say "No Latinos"

Electronic road sign hackers generally like to warn motorists of “zombie attacks” and “bigfoot attacks.” But in South Florida, the signs are apparently being used to express an opinion on the immigration debate.

A highway sign alternately flashing "NO LATINOS - NO TACOS" greeted drivers on the Palmetto Expressway in Northwest Miami-Dade, after hackers managed to alter it early Tuesday morning.


Carville rants at Obama and BP for “Obama’s Katrina”

This video is James Carville's rant on Obama’s response to the oil spill moderated by CNN’s Anderson Cooper.

Usually, hardcore left-winger James Carville backs Obama and the Democrats no matter what they do or don’t do. However, Obama’s reluctance to go after BP for the gulf oil spill has the ragin’ Cajun’s dander up.

The reason for Obama’s reluctance to trounce on BP is because of the huge political contributions he has received from the Oil Company over the last two years.

Instead, Obama has instructed his Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar to go after BP. However, that’s like sending a chihuahua with no teeth to fight a pitbull.

Barcelona swimsuit ban

This is the graphic released by Barcelona's City hall to prevent tourist from entering public places wearing swimsuits.

The city of Barcelona is about to launch a campaign against tourists who, before or after going to the beach, walk downtown in their swimsuits.

Are Best Buy advertised prices higher than regular prices?

Is Best Buy fleecing uninformed customers by advertising computers at higher than regular prices and passing them off as great deals without quite calling them sales?

Consumerist says:

Best Buy has been doing something sort of tricky lately on their laptop pricing. Each week advertised prices on a number of laptops are higher than regular pricing.

This is legal because nowhere is the word sale used. The ad doesn't say that the price is reduced, and the in store signage just says As Advertised. Still, it appears that they are attempting to gouge the uninformed.


Poll: support for repeal of ObamaCare 63%

Support for the repeal of the new national health care plan has jumped to its highest level ever.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 63% of U.S. voters favor repeal of the plan passed by congressional Democrats and signed into law in March.

Prior to today, weekly polling had shown support for repeal ranging from 54% to 58%.

Currently, just 32% oppose repeal.


May 24, 2010

Oxford English Dictionary error caught after 99 years

The Oxford English Dictionary got it wrong and no one noticed until Australian physicist Stephen Hughes spotted the error after nearly a century.

Since 1911 the Oxford English Dictionary has been saying siphons work because of atmospheric pressure.


"It is gravity that moves the fluid in a siphon," said Stephen Hughes, a physics lecturer at the University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia.

Siphons work by drawing fluids from a higher location to a lower one, not always an easy thing to do -- just ask anyone who's tried to empty a car's gas tank.

But then, folks at the Oxford English Dictionary probably weren’t accustomed to emptying gas tanks. However, they should have been aware of what Sir. Isaac Newton discovered when an apple fell on his head - gravitiy.

How could a siphon possibly work by a difference in pressure when atmospheric pressure is the same for the liquid at both ends of the tube?

Finding this 99-year-old schoolboy error in the prestigious Oxford English Dictionary will likely be talked about for the next 99 years.


Is the fighting in Thailand finally over?

In the photo above Bangkok's Central World shopping mall is engulfed in flames after it was fire bombed by Thai 'red shirt' protestors.

In the second photo Thai residents inspect the damage in Bangkok after the Thai army evicted the Red Shirt protesters who had been occupying the city's downtown shopping district for almost two months.

Bangkok's Central World shopping mall is engulfed in flames after it was fire bombed by Thai 'red shirt' protestors.

Photos from Time Magazine

Facebook gives user data to ad companies

Facebook has been plagued with lack of privacy issues for the last few months.

Now Facebook along with MySpace has been accused of releasing user data to ad companies that hadn't even asked for the info.

How many Facebook users are aware of this misuse of data? Probably very few.


The old Truman Capote Brooklyn townhouse for sale

The Brooklyn, New York, townhouse (shown above) where Truman Capote wrote "Breakfast at Tiffany's" and "In Cold Blood" is on sale for $18 million.

Sotheby's International Realty agent Karen Heyman said that the building, at 70 Willow St. in Brooklyn Heights, is expected to break sales records as one of the most expensive townhouses in the borough.

Truman Capote was openly gay and well known for his distinctive, high-pitched voice and odd vocal mannerisms as shown in the video below filmed during his appearance on an old Dean Martin Roast.

The Capote house story is here.

Obama approval rating drops - see chart

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll, for Monday May 24, shows that only twenty-five percent (25%) of the nation's voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as president. Forty-three percent (43%) Strongly Disapprove, giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -18 as shown on the Rasmussen chart below.
Following passage of health care, enthusiasm for Obama soared among Democrats.

Today, however, just 49% of Democrats Strongly Approve of Obama’s performance. That’s down from a high of 65%.


Colorado Rockies outfielder scales fence to retrieve glove

Colorado Rockies center fielder Dexter Fowler (24) climbed over the outfield wall to retrieve his glove during the seventh inning of the baseball game against the Kansas City Royals Sunday, May 23, 2010, in Kansas City, Missouri.

Teammate Seth Smith (7) watches the effort. Fowler lost his glove trying to catch a fly ball off the bat of Kansas City Royals' Jose Guillen who ended up with a triple on the play.

The Rockies won the game 11-7.

Want to learn Dutch customs laws? There's an app for that

Dutch authorities have embraced smartphone technology in a bid to make going through customs easier by releasing an application that tells travelers what they are not allowed to take with them.

Branded the "OK app," the software for smart mobile phone devices allows travelers to check the rules on what they cannot bring through customs, including counterfeit goods and endangered plants and animals. It also has information about currency conversion.

No mention if the Dutch government made the app free of commercial advertising.


ObamaCare will cause avalanche of IRS paperwork

The writer of the report at the link below has a sense of humor:

Congress should repeal the president’s health-care reform, or it should launch a new program to treat paper cuts.

Mr. Obama promised Americans “health-care reform.” So far, “health-care form” is more like it.

ObamaCare is devolving into the Paper Industry Salvation Act of 2010.

This new law spans 2,562 tree-killing pages. Far worse, it will force Americans to spend countless irritating hours completing, transmitting, and filing endless reams of federal paperwork.

The humor in the article stops suddenly with this:

The scariest news for America’s forests may be a brand-new mandate that will compel each business — from General Electric to the neighborhood handyman — to file an IRS Form 1099 for every business on which it spends at least $600. Form 1099 today applies only to independent contractors, e.g. a graphic artist who earns $1,000 for designing a sales brochure. Come 2012, ObamaCare will vastly expand 1099s to sellers of goods as well as services, and not just the self-employed, but also businesses — large and small.

More here.

May 23, 2010

The Vader project

The premise of The Vader Project is simple -- simply awesome, that is.

One hundred artists and designers rethink the iconic black helmet that defined the Star Ward character Darth Vader.

What started as a simple idea in 2005 became a record-setting exhibition in 2009. Now for the first time, these unique pieces of art will be available to the public in an auction.

Each artist customized a 1:1 scale authentic prop replica of the actual Darth Vader helmet featured in the Star Wars films.

Since its premiere in 2007, The Vader Project has toured the world. The collection launched in May 2007 at the Star Wars Celebration IV event in Los Angeles, and travelled internationally to Europe in July 2007 and Japan in July 2008. Most recently The Vader Project was on display from February 13 - May 3, 2009 at the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.


Is this the party to whom I am speaking?

This Star Wars fan dressed as a storm trooper makes a phone call during the 30th anniversary celebrations of The Empire Strikes Back at a shopping mall in central Budapest, Hungary.

House seat in Obama home district goes Republican

From a report in USA Today:

Republicans scored a midterm election victory Saturday when Honolulu City Councilman Charles Djou [pronounced duh-JOO] won a Democratic-held House seat in Hawaii in the district where Obama grew up — the latest triumph for the GOP as it looks to take back control of Congress.

Reaction from the left-wing Newsweek editors: “a Republican Wins in Blue Hawaii. So What?” and this, “predictably, the GOP reacted by thumping its chest.” but what else would one expect from Newsweek, the unofficial promotional publication of the Democrat party?

Even though this was a special election and Djou ran in a crowded field getting only 39.4% of the vote, it is a big deal no matter how anyone on the left tries to spin the story. He beat out the Hawaii State Senate President.

Djou received 67,610 votes, or 39.4%. He was trailed by state Senate President Colleen Hanabusa, a Democrat who received 52,802 votes, or 30.8%. The other leading Democrat, former U.S. Rep. Ed Case, received 47,391 votes, or 27.6%.

Back to the USA Today report:

Republicans see the victory as a powerful statement about their momentum heading into November. They already sent a Republican to the U.S. Senate to replace the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts— a place that was once thought to be the most hostile of territories for the GOP.

Now Republicans can say they won a congressional seat in the former backyard of the president and in a state that gave Obama 72% of the vote two years ago.


Top scientist warns of dangerous global cooling

New research from a leading geologist indicates a coming period of "global cooling" may be dangerous.

Newsweek published an article in the April 28, 1975 issue titled, “The Cooling World” speaking of a “little ice age” (see second link below).

Link here and here.

The illustration below is from the 2004 movie The Day After Tomorrow showing an ice covered Statue of Liberty with a frozen solid New York City in the background. Will the movie prove to be prophetic?

Give me your tired, your poor, your frozen…

Democrats mull doing away with superdelegates

First of all, what are superdelegates?

When a Democratic candidate wins the primary (or caucus) in a state, all of the delegates from that state are committed to vote for the winning candidate at the convention.

In addition to the committed delegates, the Democrats have many convention delegates selected because they are party officials or elected officeholders. These delegates are not committed to a candidate. In the Democratic party they are called superdelegates.

The use of superdelegates by Democrats at their political conventions is another way the party can control nominations at their national convention by having a large number of delegates who are free to vote for a candidate other than the one selected by voters.

It is just another example of why the Democratic Party is often not democratic.

Some have said the use of super delegates by Democrats came about in an attempt to prevent someone like former Alabama Governor George Wallace (or maybe another peanut farmer from Georgia) from winning the nomination.