Saturday, April 29, 2006

Cool story

I just think this is cool, that's all. (I loved Kon Tiki when I was a kid...)

A Norwegian team that includes the Thor Heyerdahl's grandson paddled Friday into the Pacific Ocean to repeat the famed adventurer's journey aboard the balsa raft Kon-Tiki.

"My personal motivation is to have a great adventure," 28-year-old Olav Heyerdahl told The Associated Press before he and five shipmates embarked for the trip across the Pacific on the balsa raft Tangaroa — named for the Polynesian god of the ocean.

In 1947, Thor Heyerdahl and his team sailed their primitive raft 5,000 miles from Peru to Polynesia in 101 days to support Heyerdahl's theory that the South Sea Islands were settled by ancient mariners from South America.


The Kon-Tiki carried only the most basic equipment, even by 1947 standards. But the Tangaroa features abundant modern technology, including solar panels to generate electricity and satellite navigation and communications gear.

Olav Heyerdahl said during the journey they planned to constantly update the Web page for the expedition — an $800,000 venture backed by the Norwegian Environment Ministry, private businesses and his grandfather's hometown of Larvik, Norway.

Their website forwards to a Norwegian-language site, but this part appears to be an English log. Hope they update often.

Friday, April 28, 2006

A Press Corps Emboldened

Heh. With proof in hand that Fox News is the media arm of the GOP, the flying press corps challenges the ruling that only Fox can be shown on Air Force One, get the channel changed... to CNN. (First reported in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.)

All our problems are solved!

I don't know why we didn't think of this before!

Religious leaders were to meet in Washington today to pray publicly for gasoline prices to ease, organizers with the group Pray Live said.

"It is our hope that seeing and hearing some of the nation's most powerful preachers gathered around a gas station and the United States capital as a backdrop, will remind everyone who is really in charge of our world -- God," said Wenda Royster, founder of Pray Live, a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week live prayer line, e-worship centre, and Internet radio station.

Pshew. It's such a relief to have one less thing to worry about.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Political Correctness


The CIA has imposed new and tighter restrictions on the books, articles, and opinion pieces published by former employees who are still contractors with the intelligence agency. According to several former CIA officials affected by the new policy, the rules are intended to suppress criticism of the Bush administration and of the CIA. The officials say the restrictions amount to an unprecedented political "appropriateness" test at odds with earlier CIA policies on outside publishing.

Aw. Boyfriend...

My fantasy boyfriend gets more work:

CNN's Anderson Cooper will become a contributor to "60 Minutes" under a deal he's hammering out with CBS.

Cooper will stay at CNN as the host of "Anderson Cooper 360" and will contribute occasional reports to "60 Minutes" - which will also air on Cooper's show.

No wonder he never has time for me any more. Sob

Great finds

You know how sometimes you stumble across something great looking for something else? This is one of those things:

Sushi Clocks.

Silver Linings

But just when you think the news is unrelieved doom and gloom, a bunch of protesters gets democracy (apparently) re-installed in Nepal.

I'm strangely cheered by this. I can't help but think that, should this crowd that currently 'leads' our nation consider a plan to foment more wars so they can suspend the constitution and postpone elections for the 'duration' of the neverending emergency, they will think of Nepal and reconsider. After all, the US is slightly different than Nepal - here, almost anyone can walk into a Walmart and buy a gun.

So Long and Thanks for All The Fish

Kevin Drum on the FEMA abolishment:

This is truly remarkable. FEMA was a fine organization for eight years under Bill Clinton, widely recognized as one of the best run agencies in the federal government. But after a mere five years of George Bush's stewardship there's now a bipartisan consensus that it's so rundown that the only choice is to get rid of it and build a completely new agency in its place. Astonishing.
You know, I've always been a little frustated at people who claim that the US can easily survive 4-8 years of bad leadership. The 'wait it out' clan who bemoan the Bushian depredations but say oh well, we'll just have to fix it when we get rid of this crowd.

Are they going to be saying, in '09, the only choice is to get rid of the US and build a completely new country in its place?

A Transparent Device


Every American taxpayer would get a $100 rebate check to offset the pain of higher pump prices for gasoline, under an amendment Senate Republicans hope to bring to a vote Thursday.

However, the GOP energy package may face tough sledding because it also includes a controversial proposal to open part of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska to oil exploration, which most Democrats and some moderate Republicans oppose.

Now of course when the bill doesn't make it because of the ANWR plundering provision, the GOP will go running around the country hollaring that the Dems just stole 100 dollars from 'your pocket'. And I very much fear people are stupid enough to fall for it. Again.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Le Bon Mot

From Bill Keller, editor of the NYT, as quoted in MediaBistro's DC-Fishbowl:

I don't know how far action will follow rhetoric, but some days it sounds like the administration is declaring war at home on the values they profess to be promoting abroad.
Of course, he's talking about reporters getting subpeonas, but he inadvertantly hit the whole nail on the head.

More signs of national decay


The percentage of working-age Americans with moderate to middle incomes who lacked health insurance for at least part of the year rose to 41 percent in 2005, a dramatic increase from the 28 percent in 2001 without coverage, a study released on Wednesday found.
On Bush's watch, gas prices have risen by 100%, and there are millions more Americans putting off rudimentary healthcare because they can't afford it. As one of those millions, I'd just like to say: Great little country you're running here, Hoss.

I'd also like to make an offer to the people of Nepal. They're so anxious to have democracy return to their country - I suggest we swap them, even-steven, our 'duly-elected' (*Kaff* *Kaff*) president for their king. Honestly, he simply could NOT do worse.

Springing Eternal?


Tuesday, April 25, 2006

David Gergen, Comedian

Heh, Froomkin noticed how funny the Gerg was on 360 last night. Man, the man is a past master at the never-knew-what-hit-you insult. Here he is on the leaked 'Bolton plan to fix the White House':

"I have too much respect for Josh Bolten to believe that this is his plan. You know, somebody who really doesn't like him leaked this and attributed it to him, because this plan is cynical.

"It plays -- it plays only to the base, in a way that I think that most Americans will reject. And it's -- it just is not responsive to the -- to the real issues of the day. I mean, what's the -- what's the heart of this plan? Scaring people about Iran, putting a lot more troops on the borders with big badges, as they say, and a lot of guns, and tax breaks for investors, and then going out there and bragging a lot about their accomplishments and cozying up to the press.

"That's a plan for recovery? Now, come on. That's -- that's not a serious plan. It's cynical. It's not responsive to the problems of the country, and many people would regard it as irresponsible. I just don't believe that's their plan. I think they're going to something more serious than this. I don't believe Josh Bolten would sign on to a plan like this."

What a scream. He calls Josh Bolton cynical, unresponsive and irresponsible with complete deniability.

I think there's room in my roster for a Pundit Boyfriend...

What ever happened to Jawboning

Does anyone but me remember Candidate Bush bragging about how he could 'jawbone' the Saudis into increasing the flow of crude?

"I would work with our friends in OPEC to convince them to open up the spigot, to increase the supply. Use the capital that my administration will earn, with the Kuwaitis or the Saudis, and convince them to open up the spigot. Ours is a nation that helped Kuwait and the Saudis, and you'd think we'd have the capital necessary to convince them to increase the crude supplies."

We were supposed to be impressed that he was such close buds with people who controlled the flow, I think, and therefore vote for him because of his connections.

Perhaps wiser people told Bush to shut up on that subject, that talk of that nature might reveal that the Saudis are pumping at peak capacity right now, and that Ghawar, the world's largest oilfield, is in decline. In any event, you'll notice there's not a lot of talk about persuading the Saudis to turn up the spigot these days, is there?

Sunday, April 23, 2006


Rumor: Charlie McCarthy being urged to dump Edgar Bergen.

Honestly, don't people see how ridiculous this is? How would he TALK?

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Assault with a Deadly Glitter

Most of you know I'm co-owner of a store. It's a New Age store, and kind of 'girlie' (well, except for the swords and knives). We have a gazebo in the middle of the store with a pond. We sell candles, incense, herbs, all kinds of woowoo stuff. Just to paint a verbal picture here, we're the kind of place that glitters the floor. Yeah, it was originally to sort of disguise the age of the carpetting we can't afford to replace, but it looks really nice and people like it.

One tradition of the store is to sprinkle little girls with 'fairy dust' - it's really cosmetic grade glitter (safe to wear on skin) and now we call it 'pixie dust' to more closely identify it with our housebrand Pixie Mixers scented pixie dust.

Over time, 'big girls' have demanded their right to be glittered too, and of course we have obliged. One of our employees is quite good at 'dusting', and is quite a favorite among the ladies. The only way to describe this particular employee is 'olde worlde courtly' - he is truly of another century and I don't mean the Twentieth. He always asked if people would like some pixie dust, never 'dusts' without permission.

If the lady in question is wearing clothing such as would make what follows feasible, he often asked if they would like the 'racier' dusting, and if so, he sprinkles pixie dust in their cleavage. Just to make it crystal clear here: he does not touch the people he is dusting. The glitter falls through the air to land on the 'dustee'. It usually invokes quite a round of giggles.

Well, the other day, a young lady was shopping in the store who was happy to be glittered, but apparently didn't understand the 'racier' part until he had already dusted her cleavage. She was quite embarrassed, but not enough to say something to him. No, she said something to the girl at the checkout, who apologized and said we'd let him know it wasn't appreciated.

This apparently wasn't enough for the chick (it sounds like someone else has been 'spinning her up' offline), for she went and filed a police report. For assault. With glitter.

So in June, this guy has to report to the magistrate to answer a charge that he did, with malice aforethought, glitter someone. I'm truly speechless.

When you don't know whether to laugh or cry, laugh first.

Friday, April 21, 2006


2008 will see the end of our Long National Nightmare in more ways than one.

More than three years after the last "Star Trek" movie crashed at the box office, the venerable sci-fi franchise is being revived by the director of the upcoming "Mission: Impossible" sequel, Daily Variety reported in its Friday edition.

The as-yet-untitled "Star Trek" feature, the 11th since 1979, is aiming for a fall 2008 release through Paramount Pictures, the Viacom Inc. unit looking to restore its box-office luster under new management, the trade paper said.


Daily Variety said the action would center on the early days of "Star Trek" characters James T. Kirk and Mr. Spock, including their first meeting at Starfleet Academy and first outer-space mission.

Now if we can just keep Messiah Bush from destroying the planet in order to save it in the meantime...

Thursday, April 20, 2006

An Amazing Series of Coincidences

Follow the bouncing ball...

George Ryan is convicted of racketeering in Illinois on Monday. Prosecutor on the case - Patrick Fitzgerald.

Having tied that one up with a bow, Fitzgerald returns to other still opened matters, such as the leak of a covert CIA agent's identity. A new grand jury starts considering evidence on Wednesday morning.

Also on Wednesday, amazingly, Karl Rove, boy-genuis and Bush's Backup Brain (such as it is) is relieved of his 'policy' portfolio. You know, the one where he says 'how can we play politics with people's lives by grandstanding on Social Security and Medicare?'

But I'm sure these latter two events have nothing to do with one another.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Shake-up.. Hahahahah!

I love the way they're playing the shuffling of the deckchairs as a 'shakeup'. Most fun - Karl Rove losing his 'role' as domestic policy czar. Wait, I thought Klepto Claude Allen was domestic policy czar? Oh, I see, Karl was policy COORDINATOR. Kind of an admission that policy is all politics in this admin, I think? That the only two visible people with 'policy' in their title can be removed and not replaced?

Four States

That's how many states have Bush approval ratings over 50%. Highest approval rating - 55% in (duh) Utah. Highest disapproval - 74% in Rhode Island. Kind of a gap there. Just saying.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006


What member of the MSM said "Coming up, global warming. It is real, and it is being felt most strongly at the polar ice caps"? Full quote:

Coming up, global warming. It is real, and it is being felt most strongly at the polar ice caps. We're going to take a look at that. It is especially, of course, bad news for polar bears...

Well, some news organizations might have you believe that global warming is a phony concern, but the overwhelming majority of scientists think otherwise. That's why to us at xxx the issue is too hot not to handle.

Give up?

Oh, I know you already scrolled ahead...

Yeah, it's my main TV boyfriend:

Anderson Cooper: Too Hot Not To Handle

And how sad is it when you have to hand out kudos when journalists don't impose a phony 'balance' by offsetting REAL science with flat-earthian wishful thinkingism?

Thanks to the talented and lovely Stillife for the screencap

Wow. Just... wow.

The Bush Administration has lost Field and Stream. The End is Nigh.


Happy Easter from Wrongville.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Is it just me?

Every now and then you still see the big ol' SUVs whose owners still haven't scraped off their Bush/Cheney stickers in abject shame yet. Lately when I pull up along side of one of these at a stoplight, I simply have to study the driver of the vehicle. Are there any visible signs of insanity? Perhaps the vacant stare of the zombie? A little bit of froth in the corner of the mouth?

Oddly, these nuts are indistinguishable from you and me. Frightening, isn't it?

String him up

What is the matter with some people??

A man who didn't get along with his neighbor trapped her cat in his back yard and then took it to an animal shelter to be euthanized, police said.

Regina Fagone searched the neighborhood for two days earlier this month after her cat disappeared, and then went to the Town of Islip Animal Shelter.

Employees there broke the news to her: Her cat, a Russian blue, had been euthanized that day.

Richard DeSantis, 56, was arrested Saturday and was charged with criminal mischief, criminal possession of stolen property and making a punishable false written statement, police said. He was issued a desk appearance ticket and will be arraigned June 5.

DeSantis, reached by telephone at his home Sunday, said there are two sides to every story and then hung up.

Sorry, Richard, but you're a psychopath. No two sides to that.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006


I'm on vacation (yeah, you can hear me going 'neener, neener' in the background there, but thought I needed to share this news from the world of science:

A major research institution has just announced the discovery of the heaviest element yet known to science. The new element has been named "Bushcronium."

Bushcronium has one neutron, 12 assistant neutrons, 75 deputy neutrons, and 224 assistant deputy neutrons, giving it an Atomic Mass of 311. These 311 particles are held together by forces called morons, which are surrounded by vast quantities of lepton-like particles called peons.

Since Bushcronium has no electrons, it is inert. However, it can be detected, as it impedes every reaction with which it comes into contact. A minute amount of Bushcronium causes one reaction to take over 4 days to complete when it would normally take less than a second. Bushcronium has a normal half-life of multiples of 4 years; it does not decay, but instead undergoes a reorganization in which a portion of the assistant neutrons and deputy neutrons exchange places.

In fact, Bushcronium's mass will actually increase over time, since each reorganization will cause more morons to become neutrons, forming new isodopes. This characteristic of moron-promotion leads some scientists to believe that Bushcronium is formed whenever morons reach a certain quantity in concentration. This hypothetical quantity is referred to as "Critical Morass."

When catalyzed with money, Bushcronium activates Foxnewsium, an element which radiates orders of magnitude more energy, albeit as incoherent noise, since it has 1/2 as many peons but twice as many morons.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

What is the sound of one shoe dropping?

Wandering around the blogosphere reading the DeLay fallout. It's clear there's something else pending, but it's actually quite enjoyable when the official rationale behind his removing himself from the race is that it would get too 'nasty'.

Speculate - how bad does the whatever-it-is have to be when you can't even trust Diebold to see you through?

And if a shoe falls in the forest and there's no one around, does it make a noise?

Monday, April 03, 2006

Idle Thought

When did the area that used to be called the Near East become the Middle East and where is the Near East now?


Thao Nguyen is the woman who took a cellphone photo of a subway flasher and posted it on the internet. Dan Hoyt was eventually identified as the owner of the flashed tool. He has been convicted of public lewdness and is awaiting sentencing, thought to be in the neighborhood of 2 years probation. Today, Hoyt blames Nguyen, for the crime of taking his photo in a public place. Further:

Hoyt believes that if he and Nguyen had only met under different circumstances, she might really like him. “You know, she’d go, ‘That guy’s pretty cool. He’s got this restaurant, and he’s fun,’ ” Hoyt says. “She’d probably want to go out with me.”
You can fool all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time, and some people can fool themselves forever. Dan's not learning.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Must Read

Too much that is quote-worthy, so I'll just link it. 'If you start looking at them as humans, then how are you gonna kill them?'

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Best yet

Bush twins to join Air Force tech unit in Iraq

The ending is the funniest:

It's become inappropriate to refer to them as girls now; they've earned the right to be called young women. They have, without the usual trickery of professional media relations management, positioned themselves as leaders of their generation, setting an example to be envied, and of course, to be emulated.

At the end of the press conference, in view of such unexpected and delightful developments, there was nothing left to do but stand and salute.

You Don't Send Me Flowers

No, title isn't a hint for flowers, it's a song, silly... Still, if you insist... From The Hill:

The roses kept coming - and coming - and coming - to the Hearst Newspapers office in downtown Washington on Thursday, until they filled a large conference room to overflowing.

By the time the Federal Express delivery was complete, there were 108 dozen roses, nearly 1,300 in every color. They were the result of an e-mail campaign to show support for Hearst columnist Helen Thomas after she grilled President Bush about his Iraq policy at last week's White House news conference.

Katrina Cottages

Okay, these are cute:

Click pic to expand

From Slate:

More than 13 years after Hurricane Andrew, people are still occupying FEMA trailers in South Florida. In Mississippi, Development Authority Director Leland Speed is quoted as saying, "We're still in FEMA trailers (seven months later). Can you imagine, 37,000 travel trailers with over 100,000 people in them (and hurricane season coming)?" So, why not provide something that is designed for permanent living, rather than camping? This question was raised during the Mississippi Renewal Forum, a planning workshop convened by new urbanists and state politicians in Biloxi last October. An architect from New York named Marianne Cusato drew up a design for a 400-square-foot cottage that could be erected on devastated lots and eventually be enlarged and added onto to become a permanent home.


Both Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour and Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu have come out in support of the Katrina Cottage and have lobbied FEMA on behalf of the project. The lobbying is necessary because current law limits the federal government to offering only temporary housing assistance. Presumably this was a recognition that the emergency management agency should not be in the housing business. But it clearly is. The legislators, too, need to go back to the drawing board.