What’s Up? 07/22/10

Well the firestorm on the Sherrod case continues. We hear that Fox is beside itself, being all put upon by the entire WORLD. I mean, they didn’t do a darn thing wrong, and it’s the filthy liberal media that is making up stories against them.

How sad.

Not having done a thing of course means that O’Reilly, trying to be “big about it” has offered an apology to Ms. Sherrod for not doing anything wrong. He then manages to slam her again, and of course defend Fox. So I guess we are to conclude that he was technically wrong, but morally right? Billo the Clown at his best.

Shephard Smith, also from Fox, was not so kind to his own network, blasting Fox for running the story without investigating the video, and claiming that his segment refused to engage in the story because of they “do not trust the source,” namely Breitbart and his scummy site.

But if you read nothing more on this story, don’t miss Keith Olbermann’s scathing utterly devastating commentary on the whole affair. Returning abruptly from his vacation just to speak on this issue, he puts all of us to shame. He condemns all, without exception, and points to the fact that today, the right is busily making the racists the victims and the victims the true racists. Quite a turn of events.

What seems to be a cry in unison, is the demand by the left en mass to stop kowtowing and  running scared from the right wing lie machine. Stand up! Stop trying to ignore and placate the right. They are not interested in any concept of fairness or truth. They want to rule and they are about almost any means to do so. They have declared that any election they don’t win is illegitimate. They are no longer into democracy or representative government. They are about tyranny of the One Party Rule. And they have the nerve to call the left fascist!

The right is so schizophrenic that one part never knows what the other is doing. On the one hand they are always criticizing Obama for “destroying religion (meaning of course Christianity) in Merika, while on the other Newt Slippery Gingrich is saying no to mosque’s at Ground Zero because Saudi Arabia doesn’t have churches there. Love the lack of logic. Or is Newt saying that we no longer care about being a “bastion” of religious freedom? Dopes like him seldom think beyond the last word out of their mouths.

“Lunar Apatite with Terrestrial Volatile Abundances.” Yeah, bet you know what that means? Sure ya do. Okay, it means that (hold onto your socks if ya gotta ’em) the moon is full of H2O. Yessiree Bob. It’s called Lunar “dew” (imagine Louis Black saying that–DOOOOO). The fine article alluded to will be in Nature’s July 22 issue, should you be so inclined to read all the specifics. This was all discovered last fall, and I’m at a loss how we have survived not knowing about this until NOW. Anyway, they have found even more that is different that the dew variety. That seems important to me. I figure it’s important because they finish by saying: “we must now re-evaluate the volatile inventories of the moon, relative to the Earth.”  See? That sounds quite important. Inventories? Cheeky moon scientists!

I can usually find something even weirder if I try. So, I have.

There is a world called possibilian. Okay. Digest that. And a neuro-scientist writer who writes about life in the space between what is and what if. Got that? Possibilianism celebrates the breath of our ignorance. Kinda like there is way more chit we don’t know than do, so let’s play. Or like the universe is so vast that anything that could happen has happened somewhere. (My personal favorite, since somewhere me and Johnny Depp are having wild sex in whipped cream!) Anyway, this Eagleman dude sounds like a real hoot to have at a party. The site is called “Killing the Buddha” and bears more watching I think.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve always felt like the poor relative when it comes to archaeology. Seems all the good stuff is somewhere else. The Pyramids, early human bones, caveman paintings, you know what I mean. But we can toot our Merikan horns a bit, since things are hoppin’ in Cincinnati, Ohio of all places. (See, doesn’t that help make you feel better after LeBron left Ohioans?). Seems we have a 2,000 year old “wooden” Stonehenge. Ours is called Moorehead Circle. :P So there you British with your royalty and castles and and  stuff. We got somethin’ too!

So, that’s all ya need to know today. You can return to your normal life.

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What’s Up? 06/10/10

Well, ya know my day has been a bit troubled from the last post, but frankly, I’m letting it go pretty easily. I’m praying for a woman to re-prioritise her life in a more meaningful way.

Other than that, the rolls are baking in the oven, making the house smell wonderful and the Contrarian has completed his gardening for the day and is busy re-reading a number of his short stories–reading me snippets here and there, much to my delight.

I am turning to see what the intertubes have collected for me to read, and if I find a thing or two that you might like, I’ll pass them along. Agreed?

Okay, my first stop was over at vodkaandgroundbeef. I find her writing simply hilarious. Okay, I won’t mention it every day, but really you can’t miss her.

Almost as delish is the post from Joe.My.God–did Sarah get a boob job? Oh dish that dirt! And we aren’t even linking to Perez Hilton. Miz Feminista coulda? Ranks up there with Carly’s gossipy girl snarl about Boxer’s hairdo. Oh ladies, remember, we are about POWER and TRUTH aren’t we?

Don’t know about you, but I watched a lot of Jacques Cousteau specials growing up. He more than anyone taught us the beauty and fragility of the oceans. Stephany Anne Golberg has a nice story about his life at The Smart Set.

Who killed Otzi is the oldest murder mystery going.  Seriously, like over 5,000 years old. That’s older than Columbo by at least 15 years I think, or Hawaii-50’s “Book em DanO.” Heck if that don’t titillate you, then they have a story on the oldest leather shoe ever found too. I mean you gotta know this stuff right?

The Archbishop of Canterbury has turned a cold shoulder to the Episcopal Church for failing to abide by his wishes. Tobias Haller strikes the perfect note in his poem at In a Godward Direction.

For all you anal types (I tend to be one) here’s a way to rethink and revise that constant urge to live by the to-do list. Brought to you by Balance in Me.

Questions, questions, always questions. Answers are optional. How is God the Creator is a thought provoking essay on what exactly do we mean when we say that God created everything? Brought to you by Closer to Truth, via Science and Religion Today.

Enough for today. Have a good one!

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Archaeology Anyone?

karnakAlthough my personal love has always been Roman history from the time of Julius Caesar, my second historical interest has always been Egypt.

Now, UCLA has spent two years working up this virtual tour of Karnak. It makes me wish I had some speed to this old clunker of a computer, but alas, I don’t think I can use the site well.

You can read a nice explanation at Science Daily about how this was accomplished. Karnak is one of the largest archaelogical sites in the world.

I grew up at a time when we mostly had slide shows. If we had the occasional “talking” school educational show, it usually the sound went out, and the film broke once or twice. It’s just amazing what is available to teachers now. I’m soooo jealous.

If you have kids, you might want to share this with them. More to the point, share it with your kids history teacher!

I haven’t brought you much science lately, but I still look over the posts most days, trying to find something of general interest.


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Short Takes on the Day 11/18/08

As you might expect, I’m a clear proponent of evolution. Over at Episcopal Cafe, there is a rather neat excerpt and link to a fine article on Darwin, and why he does not threaten traditional Christianity. I thought the arguments quite good and think you might like it too. Wander over and take a look if so motivated.

Archaeologists have found a funerary slab that indicates that as early as the 8th Century BCE, humans believed that there was a soul separate from the body.

081118071136The 800 lb basalt stele was found at the site of the ancient city of Sam’al, in what is now southeast Turkey. The man was apparently cremated, and according to the stele, his soul was thought to remain, residing in the stone itself. Follow the link to enjoy more of the fascinating story of this discovery.

And, on a similar note, we have the recently found the remains of the first known nuclear family. Yaba daba doo!


Discovered in Germany, there are several graves, but many of the dead were interred together, facing one another, sometimes with hands interlaced. The group seemed to have been victimized by a raid. Injuries were apparent to some of the remains.

So far no indication that any Dino or sabre toothed cat bones have been found with the family.

Oh I’m just in that kind of mood today!
funny pictures of cats with captions
more animals

History News Network gives us a glimpse as to how historians begin the examination of events that culminated in the election of Obama. What does it mean? How did it happen? These are questions that are too early to answer perhaps, but we do get a look at the way the experts begin to work on the mystery that just occurred. It’s fascinating reading.

Tis all today, and don’t expect a post tomorrow of any consequence. I have a meeting in town at noon about jail ministry and won’t be doing a lot of reading for the usual post. So, perhaps I’ll get cleared of an award post I owe Border Explorer! Have a great day, or rest of it at least.

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Short Takes on the Day 11/06/08

Well, I’ve been saving a few articles I have run across during my convalescence. As we alluded to last week, the post election press is full of the usual Obama transition elements, but much more fun is the crazy world of Republican politics. The fur is beginning to fly as predicted between Sarah and the McCain campaign operatives. As well, we find the beginnings of the super fight brewing between the moderate wing of the GOP and the reactionary wingnut right. Months of fun are to follow!

Religious Dispatches reports that the much touted and predicted death of the Religious Right is highly exaggerated. In fact, what we will witness seems to be a fight among them for control of the movement. The more moderate faction will attempt to work with the Obama administration, the more wingnuttery will vie for control and try to direct the GOP in an even more conservative mode. Read their analysis.

I am always fascinated with any article that purports to dissect people from a psychological point of view. This article from The Daily Beast suggests that at least subconsciously, McCain deliberately made decisions that would guarantee his defeat. This was not conscious but was subconsciously his way of destroying the people who had destroyed his campaign in 2000. I don’t know if its correct, but I very much have always assumed that much that drove Dubya was tied to his need to prove himself to daddy. I think McCain has issues that stem from his successful father and grandfather and his relative failure as a Navy man. Additionally I think his POW time has a huge impact on him psychologically that was dangerous in it’s possibilities. Read this article and make up your own mind.

Another great post at Religious Dispatches about what role race, gender and religion played in this election. I found the analysis quite thorough and if this subject interests you, I’m sure you will find something worthwhile in the reading.

As we welcome a new president in, Britannica Blog has a fun little post on other presidents and some of the quirky things they said and did. Did you know for instance that John Adams swam nude regularly in the Potomac? See? Now go get that perfect water cooler tidbit that you so desire to dazzle your coworkers with. Also good for the kids to use in that next book report! LOL.

History News Network probes the issue of race and it’s impact on the election. Their review of polling information provides some important conclusions that we should all reflect upon. Most important the so-called “Bradley” effect seems to have been debunked as erroneous.

As someone who is more often critical of the Vatican than otherwise, I am pleased to report that Vatican officials are returning the head of a sculpture to Greece for inclusion in it’s proper place in the Parthenon. The head will be on loan for a year, and may be renewed. As some may be aware, the topic of antiquity pieces being returned to their lawful owners is hot news around the archaeology world. Reportedly, the Vatican possesses at least two other pieces of the Parthenon which may also be turned over to Greece. In any event, it’s a fascinating subject. Visit Rogueclassicism for the details.

Oh chocolate sets my heart a singing as you well know. Baking Delights has a lovely chocolate lava cake to offer you palate. I tried one recipe for these which failed rather badly, so I’m interested to try it again when my back allows a little more time in the kitchen. Enjoy.

Since the holidays are now close upon us, I thought I would include this rather interesting recipe for empanadas which are a popular finger food in Spain and Portugal. These are pork curried empanadas and they just sounded great. If you are having a party and want something really elegant but not too hard to make, you might want to take a look. Simply Recipes also suggests that you can vary the filling and spices of course.

Okay, some of us deal with snow during the winter. And those of us who have been raised in that hellish environment know snow, you know what I mean? Well the Angry African sends us a hysterical piece on a novice and snow. He happily waves at the snow plow who covered up all his clean sidewalk and troops out to start shoveling again. You can imagine how long his love affair with snow lasted! Enjoy this piece, but be prepared to laugh a lot, or cry, if it sounds all too familiar. I was nearly screaming with laughter, and pain as my back started spasming from my guffaws! Stop this!

Although we scored a huge victory in Barack Obama’s presidency, we faired badly in California with Prop 8, the ban on gay marriage. I am sickened as are many by this development, one we thought was not possible only a few short weeks ago. But all is still not lost. Read AlterNet‘s report on the what the lawyers say about the legality of the new ban.

Well, enough for today. Enjoy the reads, I’ve already found some for tomorrow that will wow your socks off! LOL.

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Short Takes of the Day 10/08/08

You probably know that Garrison Keillor  is one of my favorites. While the subject today is somber,  the death of a motorist in California, you will be uplifted by his prose. If you need a moment to reconnect with life, read it.

Joe Klein  is a writer for Time Magazine. He has outdone himself this time. The new name on the block is Embarracuda, his appellation for Ms. Palinand her brand of political vitrole. I continue to wonder if all wacko Republican rightists must undergo a mind cleanse when it comes to remembering that their words and actions are recorded and they can be found. Klein does a good job of pointing out the incredible chutzpah of the kettle calling the frying pan black.

As you undoubtedly have heard, the Obama campaign kept a nice piece on McCain and the Keating Fivewaiting what they knew would come, this vicious onslaught of slander from the desperate McCain folks. The video is universally being acclaimed as being well done. McCain of course is crying foul, but of course that is the lie. It was his very admission of guilt that got him his real attention as being “different” than other politicians. If you would like a really nice overview of the truth as related by those who were there, stop by Hullabaloo  today. The video is also available for those of you who have the speed to watch it.

If you know of any undecided voters, you might want to direct them here, which has a plethora of tools to view side by side the positions of the candidates. Plenty of comments where you can learn how to use the package effectively. Our thanks to If I Ran the Zoo  for the heads up.

On an entirely different note, you might want to stop by In puris naturalibus  today and read Donald’s take on Jesus. Was he magician as recent Egyptian archaeological discovery suggests? Donald is one of the brighter lights around and his posts are thoroughly thought provoking. If you like examining Jesus you’ll love his take.

Sticking with religion, this next post is one of those guaranteed to curl the nose hairs of the reactionary right wingnuts. It seems that the Archbishop of Canterbury has preached at a Roman Catholic Mass celebrating the Lourdes vision. That is prohibited by the canons unless the person is considered validly ordained. Some suggest that Rome is recognizing finally the validity of Anglican ordination. Good news for most I would assume, in the spirit of brother and sisterhood.

If it could get worse in the McCain camp, believe me it will. Not only are their having rally “introducers” use the term Barack Hussein Obama, their campaign treasurer in Virginia authored this piece. Read it and be sickened. There is no shame left in the “straight” talker.

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Lil Bits of Rancor or Not 9/19/08

Starting out with good news, it appears that the bloom is definitely off the flower as regards the Palin candidacy. The cracks are there, and the buckling is starting to occur. Nearly 1500 gathered to denounce her candidacy in Alaska (that is a huge number for Alaska folks). The media seems to be ready to fight back at last, and there are plenty saying that only the most rabid racist hate mongers among us will be voting for that ticket in November.

Oh, I just love Tex-Mex if you hadn’t heard. And one of my favorites at the restaurant anyway is Chimichangas. Baking Delights  has a wonderful recipe that doesn’t require deep frying which is such a mess and since her brisket recipe was SOOOOO GOOOOD, I’m assuming this will be a hit too. These are for chicken but I’m sure you could substitute about any meat you like.

In a tour de force, the NYTimes  has vetting Ms Palin themselves, and boy what they have turned up is enough to curl your nose hairs as they say. It’s all cronyism and strong arm tactics and plenty of secrecy. Sound familiar? Believe me this is one damning article and you should read it. I’ve been saying that Palin would be relegated to a closet in a McCain administration. I may have been very wrong. It may be McCain who is shoved in the corner. This woman is an egomaniac on a mission to be president herself.

Oh boy, and don’t miss Frank Rich’s op ed in the Times  on the 13th. It is simplya scathing indictment of Palin and the weak McCain who now holds onto her coat tails hoping she can drag him into the White House.

We seem ruled by polls these days. And they seem to go up and down and round and round with little agreement. Distributor Cap NY  tries to make some sense out of them, and tries to explain to us how they should be viewed. I’d take a look and read his analysis and then you will understand why they are not the things to place too much credence in.

The mere mention of the word chocolate and I am there! So here is a lovely recipe, reprinted at Epicurious  from Gourmet Magazine. Chocolate-Glazed Chocolate Tart  is easy to make and will soothe the savage beast of a chocolate addiction. Don’t miss it.

There is a new website called Women Against Sarah Palin. You should take a look. Impressive response by women in America. They have an email and you can give you views of Ms. Palin some of which will be printed on their site. Email them at womensaynopalin@gmail.com. Please do so and make your voice heard. The tide is beginning to turn. We need your help.

Remember when Sarah and John told us that she was qualified to handle the economy since Alaska produced 20% of all US energy? WRONG. According to experts, even under the broadest definition, Alaska contributes at best 7.5%, and under traditional definitions, they produce only 3.5%. They lie it seems about everything. Alaska is 9th in production behind states like Texas and Wyoming. This was fact checked by the Washington Post  and brought to us by Ezra Klein.

Garrison Keillor gives us his take on the remade Republican party. Just forget the past  (and our responsibilities for it) and write a “new narrative” as the people who are going to clean up the mess we made. As always, nobody says it quite like Mr. Keillor. Enjoy the ride.

More bad news for McCain. It seems his pundit buddies, Richard Cohen, and now David Brooks are jumping off the trackand saying, “gone too far there John, we’re done with ya.” His colossal dishonor in picking Palin is just a tad too much for even some of his former supporters.

Joseph Welch? Remember him? He is the guy who finally put an end to the McCarthy hearings with the well placed words, “Have you no sense of decency sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?” History News Network  says this campaign of McCain’s is simply stunning in its use of lies and deception. If this works, then there facts and issues no longer matter at all, it’s just about skillful manipulation of facts to distort character. The answer, a well placed Welch remark in the debates. I hope it happens, and I’ve been predicting that Obama will push the buttons of Mr. McCain until he erupts. And that shall be that as they say. End of campaign.

If you are tired of the old rhetoric of gotcha politics, head over to Institute for America’s Future where they make a fine attempt to actually discuss the issues. There is a forum there as well. I haven’t had time to look it over very carefully but I got the tip from Hullabaloo.

Maureen Dowd  has a not to miss article this week. She slams dear Sarah for her non-thinking approach to running the world. Just platitudes and well, Sarah is sounding more and more like Dubya than Dubya did. Not a McCain clone at all, she’s a carbon copy of our dumb boy Bush himself. And we know where that got us don’t we?

I know you, like me, are always desperately happy to learn more about Troy. No not where I live, but where the whole Trojan Horse thing came about from. You know, Homer, Illiad? Ringing a bell? Sure, I knew it would. Well there are ongoing excavations going on there, and so I thought you would appreciate an update. Go to rogueclassicism  and read all about what they are learning these days.

A reader of this blog, Shannon, brought this to my attention, and I think it’s one of those things that we all should bookmark and read whenever we get depressed during this never ending election cycle. Anne Lamont offers us sage advice on how to deal with the insanity generated by the McCain campaign.

Two excellent entries from Scandalous Women today. One is a scandalous biography ofthe woman pope, Olimpia Maidalchini. No she wasn’t elected pope, but her brother was, and the word is she wielded the real power. And the second, right below, is a list of 100 of the best history blogs. So if you love history, check that out.

Lots of baking in the fall, as the kitchen is cool. You might want to try these Pistachio White Chocolate Cookies. These seem rather unusual and well, nuts and chocolate just go together. You can of course substitute white chocolate for any of your liking. I generally prefer bittersweet myself, but heck,  who are we kidding, there is no bad chocolate.

We of the liberal persuasion all know that if Barack Obama had Sarah Palin’s “qualifications” or did the things she and John do, he and his family would be vilified in ways that are too disgusting to relate.  Acts of Hope  has a fine piece that she got from Tim Wise on what it means to be White Privileged. If you haven’t had a chance to read it, stop by now and do so. It is very true. And I need to thank a number of folks like FranIAm  who have done similar whatif’s.

I’d recommend Susan Posner’s column, The Fundamentalist  this week at American Prospect.  She has a good perspective on the evangelical wacko right and how they have infiltrated and control the McCain campaign platform. They see Palin as their best hope of controlling McCain, whom they have always been suspicious of. They see her choice as their return to firm power. I suspect they are right. Let’s hope they don’t win.

Good news for gay marriage proponents. Prop 8 in California is losing steam and now trails by 17 points in the polls. I find this so wonderful and delight frankly in the fact that the wingnuttery right is gnashing their teeth over this development. They continue to tout that they are giving voice to the majority, but I submit that this isn’t the case! Bravo to Californians.

We reported yesterday that Old McCain got confused when being interviewed by a Spanish radio stationperson and didn’t apparently know who Jose Luiz  Rodriguez Zapatero was. Randy Scheunemann claims that of course that is wrong, he knew perfectly well who he was, but in his own bumbling round about way, he was just suggesting that he was going to continue the snub that Bush has started for the Spanish leader, when Zapatero withdrew his troops from Iraq. Well, okay, if you want to buy that rhetoric which is obviously silly, go ahead. So McCain is once again promising a continuation of Bush policies. That works! (So why did he say he would be happy to meet with Zapatero merely five months ago?) I just want to thank McCain now for screwing up relations with another ally. Good going there big guy. Ain’t senility a bitch?

Sorry, but the old dude is not to be believed. In trying to drum up voter support for his off shore drilling mantra, the dull one touts that oil rigs are safe and come through hurricanes just fine, and “fish love them.”No explanation for the latter remark of course, just the usual nonsense that pops into the old guy’s head. But the bit about oil rigs having no problems with hurricanes is simply absurd. Hurricanes Rita and Katrina destroyed 113 rigs off shore, and three rigs simply disappeared and their whereabouts is unknown. Untold spills were also the result. As they say, yes, and telephone wires are essential to the habitat of birds too. Caretakers, come in and clean up another one for da loony boss.

Okay, so I have to finish with AA. Today is a special, his love letter to  his wife. I know you will enjoy it, and you will recognize perhaps some things about your own spouse. Might be a good time to mention one or two. :)