Oct 23, 2010

Blackbuck antelopes

Blackbuck antelopes at the National Zoological Park in New Delhi, India.

Why can't anybody spell?

Weird or wierd? Minuscule or miniscule? Spelling has stumped, intrigued and infuriated us for centuries.

The following is an extract from “Accomodating Brocolli in the Cemetary : or, why can't anybody spell?” by linguistics professor Vivian Cook:

English spelling is far more systematic than most people suspect. The most well-known rule 'i before e except after c' applies to only 11 out of the 10,000 most common words of English - eight forms of receive, plus ceiling, receipt and perceive.

Many people argue that English spelling is simply awful. Six out of 10 15-year-olds can't write 10 lines without making at least one spelling mistake and adults struggle with words such as accommodate and broccoli all their lives.

The book by Vivian Cook is available in the UK if you really want to “break out of the spell.”

Link to book availiability here.

Oct 22, 2010

Growling Sumatra tiger cub

Three week old Sumatra tiger cub Daseep growls out of her box during her first public appearance at the zoo in Frankfurt, Germany.

Home again, home again, jiggity jig…

After ten days of blogging on the road it's back to the cave.

As always it's good to be on the road but also good to be back home.

Used private wireless networks in Michigan and Missouri a well as hotel provided broadband.

Clinton WH lost nuclear launch codes for months!

Gen. Hugh Shelton, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the Bill Clinton administration wrote a new book called, Without Hesitation.

In the book General Shelton (pictured) wrote that a key component of the president's nuclear launch protocol went missing.

"The codes were actually missing for months. This is a big deal," says Gen. Hugh Shelton. "We dodged a silver bullet."

What went missing was a card with code numbers on it that allows the president to access a briefcase -- called the "football" and kept by an aide always near the commander in chief -- containing instructions for launching a nuclear attack.

This is more fodder for those who have always said the Clinton administration took a casual, almost cavalier attitude toward national security as well as running the country in general.

Link here to the missing nuclear codes story.

Oct 21, 2010

Night hawk

A hawk is framed by the harvest moon.

Gallup: Obama's approval at new low

Barack Obama's approval rating at new low in most recent quarter.

This is not good news for Democrat politicians running for re-election.


Travel blogging on the last leg of trip

The Sienna is averaging 24.5 miles per gallon. Will be back in Colorado Friday night.

Filled up at Macon, Missouri this morning. Next fill was here in Kearney, Nebraska. That's too far. Plenty of gas left but don't like to see the fuel gauge get that low.

On Friday it's off to Pioneer Village in Minden and then back to the Archway Monument in Kearney.

Left wing Juan Williams fired from left wing NPR

Liberal stalwart fired from the liberal NPR because of Muslim comment.

Juan Williams (pictured) has been fired by National Public Radio because of comments he made about Muslims to Bill O'Reilly on the Fox News Channel.

NPR reported the dismissal of its longtime news analyst on its website. It said Williams appeared on Monday and told host Bill O'Reilly that he gets worried and nervous when he sees people dressed in Muslim-style clothes on airplanes.

NPR, which is partially government funded, said it had notified Williams that his contract was being severed. The statement says Williams' remarks "were inconsistent with our editorial standards and practices, and undermined his credibility as a news analyst with NPR."

Williams has been a political contributor for Fox News since 1997. He has also written extensively on race and civil rights in the U.S.

Maybe free speech doesn't live at NPR.

NPR is politically liberal. Juan Williams is politically liberal. It's fascinating to watch liberals eat their own.

More here and here.

= = = = = = = = U P D A T E = = = = = = = =

Fox News gives Juan Williams an expanded role by offering him a new three-year contract for nearly $2 million.


Oct 20, 2010

Pilot: TSA doesn’t make travel safer - refuses body scan

From a CBS/AP news report:

A Tennessee pilot who says he’s tired of being manhandled by security agents is waiting to see if he will lose his job because he refused a full body scan.

ExpressJet Airlines first officer Michael Roberts was chosen for the X-ray scan Friday at Memphis International Airport. The Houston-based pilot says he also refused a pat-down and went home.

The 35-year-old pilot says he wants to go to work and not be “harassed or molested without cause,” and called TSA a “make-work” program that doesn’t make travel safer.


(click on cartoon to enlarge)

Timid Yorkie at dog performance event

A Yorkshire terrier Chuta hides itself behind the owner at a dog performance event in Tokyo

Barbara Boxer fighting for her political life

A report at the link below says Barbara Boxer is in closest match of her career against former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina.

California's Senate slugfest has turned into a battle of extremes as both candidates play to their political bases while still trying to entice support from the moderate middle.

The hard-core left-wing activists are trying to paint Fiorina as another Sarah Palin. This tack will work to energize liberals to lean even more to Boxer and conservatives will embrace Fiorina all the more but will probably not change voters minds.


Bavarian hats

Bavarian hats

Oct 19, 2010

Report: GOP puts Democrat held House seats in danger

From a report at the link below:

With two weeks remaining until Election Day, the political map has expanded to put Democrats on the run across the country — with 99 Democratic-held House seats now in play, according to a POLITICO analysis, and Republicans well in reach of retaking the House.

It’s a dramatic departure from the outlook one year ago — and a broader landscape than even just prior to the summer congressional recess. As recently as early September, many Republicans were hesitant to talk about winning a majority for fear of overreaching.

More here.

Blogging on the road continues…

It was a very pleasant drive from Berrien Springs, Michigan to Centralia, Missouri. On to Nebraska on Thursday before returning to Colorado.

Oct 18, 2010

She's Got Mail?

Flooded cranberry bogs at harvest time

Cranberries are grown in wet, marshy areas called bogs.

Contrary to popular belief cranberries are not grown underwater. However, the cranberry bogs are flooded in the fall to aid in the harvest.

Below is a bag of chocolate covered cranberries called Bog Beans.

Oct 17, 2010

Couple turns pickup into Radio Flyer wagon

From an AP report at the link below:

Ever miss your childhood days riding around in a red wagon?

A Wasilla, Alaska, couple has the answer: A full-sized pickup that has been converted into a giant red Radio Flyer.

Fred Keller and Judy Foster worked on the vehicle for 11 months, using the base of a 1976 Mazda B1600 pickup truck.

More here.

Report: Obama's winning 2008 coalition has crumbled

Those craving for change now look to the GOP.

From a report at the link below:

President Barack Obama's winning coalition from 2008 has crumbled and his core backers are dispirited. It's now Republicans who stand to benefit from an electorate that's again craving change.

Nearly two years after putting Obama in the White House, one-quarter of those who voted for the Democrat are defecting to the GOP or considering voting against the party in power this fall.

Just half of them say they definitely will show up Nov. 2, according to an Associated Press-Knowledge Networks poll released two weeks before Obama's first midterm elections.


Hiker killed by mountain goat

A Rocky Mountain mountain goat was shot and killed Saturday after the animal attacked and killed a 63-year old hiker in Olympic National Park.

Rangers tracked down and killed the animal, which will be analyzed by a veterinary pathologist.

Mountain goats usually stand about 3-feet at the shoulder and can weigh up to 300lbs.


Blogging on the road

After two days in Iowa and anther day on the road we are enjoying a gorgeous day in southwestern Michigan.