4/28/2006

To be or not to be Hillary Clinton

"Who would make a better candidate, Hillary Clinton or Hillary Rodham Clinton?

Most Americans' feelings toward the Democratic senator from New York change depending on which name is used, according to a recent poll conducted by Opinion Research Corp. for CNN."

May 1 immigrant boycott aims to "close" US cities

"Pro-immigration activists say a national boycott and marches planned for May 1 will flood America's streets with millions of Latinos to demand amnesty for illegal immigrants and shake the ground under Congress as it debates reform."

This ought to be interesting. I also think it's interesting they don't mention Houston. You'd think the huge illegal immigrant population would make us a major target for this. Maybe the immigrants assume (and probably correctly) that in Texas, people are liable to open fire on them?

Smugness

"Because I drive a Prius I feel slightly pressured to adhere to some generic and murky set of beliefs that others have ascribed to Prius owners. All I know is that my old VW had a 12 gallon tank and I filled it up once a week. My Prius has a 10 gallon tank and I can drive for three, four, sometimes five weeks before I need to stop into a gas station. That feeling outweighs all others."

4/27/2006

Lawmakers Scramble to Ease Gas-Price Pain

"Senate Republicans advocate sending $100 rebate checks to millions of taxpayers, and a Democrat is leading the campaign for a 60-day gasoline tax holiday. "

An article about the different ways politicians are scrambling so as to seem to be doing something in response to rising gas prices. Of course, it wouldn't occur to them to do something long term and practical, like maybe improving public transportation. Here in Houston, a trip to work that takes me 30 minutes by car in horrible rush hour traffic would take me 2 hours by public transportation. And that's not a guess, I've actually done it for weeks at a time. A 4 hour commute isn't a great way to spend your day.

Jim Hightower

"Jeb, who likes to call himself the 'Education Governor,' wants Florida to require every incoming high schooler to make a career choice and declare a major - as they enter the ninth grade! Every student would then have to have their four-year high school education narrowed, concentrating on subjects within their declared major - whether that's music or auto repair.

The ninth grade! You're only 14 years old! How do you know at this tender (and confusing) age what career is best for you?"

Liz Taylor 'close to death' | the Daily Mail

"Liz Taylor is facing death after her heart began to fail, it has been reported.

The Oscar-winner, 74, is confined to her bedroom and has apparently planned her funeral.

Insiders say the British-born star would like to be buried next to former husband Richard Burton. "

This is from a British tabloid, so take it with a grain of salt. Haven't seen this info anywhere else.

America's rags-to-riches dream an illusion: study

"America may still think of itself as the land of opportunity, but the chances of living a rags-to-riches life are a lot lower than elsewhere in the world, according to a new study published on Wednesday"

Calif. Woman Spanked at Work Sues for $1.2M

"'No reasonable middle-aged woman would want to be put up there before a group of young men, turned around to show her buttocks, get spanked and called abusive names, and told it was to increase sales and motivate employees,' her lawyer, Nicholas 'Butch' Wagner, said in his closing argument. "

4/25/2006

Animusic - Pipe Dream

Animusic - Pipe Dream - Google Video

Very cool little animated music video.

The Plot Thickens

"President Bush on Tuesday ordered a temporary suspension of environmental rules for gasoline, making it easier for refiners to meet demand and possibly dampen prices at the pump. He also halted for the summer the purchase of crude oil for the government's emergency reserve.

Easing the environment rules will allow refiners greater flexibility in providing oil supplies since they will not have to use certain additives such as ethanol to meet clean air standards."

Police Arrest Nude Man Stuck in Chimney

"A man who spent five hours naked and stuck in the chimney of his stepmother's home was arrested on suspicion of being under the influence of drugs, police said.

Police say Michael Urbano, 23, locked himself out of the house early Saturday morning and decided to get in on a cable TV wire through the chimney. "

Hannah Named 'Most Beautiful Bulldog'

"To those who know her best, Hannah is the ultimate girly girl. She enjoys socializing in the neighborhood, wearing fancy outfits and pursuing a shoe fetish that would rival any Hollywood starlet.

But Hannah doesn't wear shoes she eats them. Still, that didn't stop this 2-year old English bulldog from beating out 49 others to claim top prize in the 27th annual 'Beautiful Bulldog' contest Monday. "

Scientists Probe the Use of the Tongue

"In their quest to create the super warrior of the future, some military researchers aren't focusing on organs like muscles or hearts. They're looking at tongues.

By routing signals from helmet-mounted cameras, sonar and other equipment through the tongue to the brain, they hope to give elite soldiers superhuman senses similar to owls, snakes and fish. "

4/24/2006

Let us spray

"Horn of rhinoceros. Penis of tiger. Root of sea holly. Husk of the emerald-green blister beetle known as the Spanish fly. So colourful and exotic is the list of substances that have been claimed to heighten sexual appetite that it is hard not to feel a twinge of disappointment on first beholding the latest entry - a small, white plastic nasal inhaler containing an odourless, colourless synthetic chemical called PT-141. Plain as it is, however, there is one thing that distinguishes PT-141 from the 4,000 years' worth of recorded medicinal aphrodisiacs that precede it: this one actually works."

4/21/2006

don't fuck with love

cute song, cool animated video.

Clip : "NewYork, NewYork"

Very cool animation of "New York, New York"! Kind of reminds me of the animation in "The Triplettes of Belleville".

Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire

"Sixteen days before President Bush's January 28, 2003, State of the Union address in which he said that the US learned from British intelligence that Iraq had attempted to acquire uranium from Africa -- an explosive claim that helped pave the way to war -- the State Department told the CIA that the intelligence the uranium claims were based upon were forgeries, according to a newly declassified State Department memo.

The revelation of the warning from the closely guarded State Department memo is the first piece of hard evidence and the strongest to date that the Bush administration manipulated and ignored documents information in their zeal to win public support for invading Iraq."

Kevin Sites in the Hot Zone: Conflict Journalist & Video News

"What is Kevin Sites in the Hot Zone?

Veteran international correspondent Kevin Sites is Yahoo! News' first multimedia journalist. He is currently traveling solo to cover every armed conflict in the world within one year.

To show the complete picture, reports are presented as a combination of text dispatches, photos, video, audio and interactivity. We post multiple stories for each location, sometimes as frequently as one per day. It's all available here, exclusively from Yahoo! News.


Why?
Our goal is to put a human face on the issues surrounding global conflict; to show you the unheard voices and the unreported stories about real people, their triumphs and their suffering. "

4/20/2006

Madeleine Albright Can Leg-Press 400 Pounds

"In an interview in the The New York Times Magazine that will appear this coming Sunday, Madeleine Albright reveals, among other things, that even at 68, she works out three times a week 'and I can leg-press up to 400 pounds.' This follows a discussion of how she does not expect to re-marry, partly because, as she says, 'I'm intimidating, don't you think?'"

Go, Maddy!

Not Out of the Woods Just Yet - New York Times

"OUR forests are the heart of our environmental support system. And yet, in the 36 years that have passed since the first Earth Day, on April 22, 1970, we have lost more than one billion acres of forest, with no end in sight.

Smaller forests mean fewer predators keeping insects and rodents in check in the Northeastern United States, a phenomenon linked to the spread of Lyme disease and West Nile virus, among others.

Everywhere, forests prevent erosion, filter and regulate the flow of fresh water, protect coral reefs and fisheries and harbor animals that pollinate, control pests and buffer disease. That is why the single most important action we can take to protect lives and livelihoods worldwide is to protect forests. And one of the best ways to do that is to change how we think about their economics."

one red paperclip

"My name is Kyle MacDonald and I am trying to trade one red paperclip for a house.

I started with one red paperclip on July 12th, 2005 and I am making a series of trades for bigger or better things. My current item up for trade is one year in Phoenix.

Do you want one year of FREE rent in Phoenix? Pop your offer over to me at (oneredpaperclip@gmail.com) or give me a shout at 514-833-3980. (If you can't get through - please send a text message)

You can see the current offers here. I live in Montreal Canada but will go anywhere in the world for the right offer. - (click on the pictures below to read stories about each trade I've made so far.)"

Only on the internet...

Meat-Eaters Aiding Global Warming?

"Your personal impact on global warming may be influenced as much by what you eat as by what you drive.

That surprising conclusion comes from a couple of scientists who have taken an unusual look at the production of greenhouse gases from an angle that not many folks have even thought about. Gidon Eshel and Pamela Martin, assistant professors of geophysics at the University of Chicago, have found that our consumption of red meat may be as bad for the planet as it is for our bodies. "

Um, this is not news. Frances Moore Lappe pointed this out in "Diet for a Small Planet", first published in 1971. The amount of energy used in producing and "harvesting" beef is just insane.

Also from the article above:

"Energy used in agriculture has grown substantially in recent years, he says, and now stands at around 18 percent or 19 percent of the nation's energy use.

The researchers say their findings show that at least 6 percent of that use comes from the production of foods that are not energy efficient, like cattle and the food to feed them.

Considering that the "mean American diet is responsible for an additional ton-and-a-half of greenhouse gas emissions a year from each of us," the savings could be substantial."

Got Unwanted CDs? Trade 'Em

" What do you do with the used CDs you don't want anymore? Throw them out? Sell them? Use them as very small Frisbees?"

""I think the big advantage is just the selection," said Bill Nguyen, one of the site's founders. "For example, if you go to a local record store, they have five or six thousand titles. You go to a Wal-Mart, about the same thing. You go to iTunes [music store] you have 150,000 albums, but la la has 1.8 million."

You have to be invited to join, but they have a waiting list, also.

4/19/2006

Global sex survey: guess who's satisfied

"Around the world, middle-aged and elderly men tend to be more satisfied with their sex lives than women in the same age group, a survey released on Wednesday said.

It found that a greater proportion of people in Europe, North America, and Australia, where men and women have more or less equal relations, enjoyed sex physically and emotionally, Laumann said.

A smaller percentage of people reported satisfying sex lives in male-dominated cultures in poorer countries, the research showed. "

4/17/2006

SNAFU

"How do you figure out whether a foam firefighting system in an air force hangar is set up correctly and works? Well you turn it on for a few seconds, to make sure it's got pressure and everything."

This is beautiful!

Airigami - The art of folding air in specially prepared latex balloon sculptures

"Balloons are not the toys they were when you were a kid."

Easter turducken

"Making Easter turducken is, fortunately, much easier than a traditional turducken, as it abandons all that pesky protein while fully embracing the empty carbohydrates and fat. While technically Easter turducken is a dessert and traditional turducken a main course, they should never be consumed in the same meal. That would be heresy."

Rev. Moon's Conjugal Visitations

"We all know the Right wants to decide what we can't do in the bedroom. But no one ever seems to ask what the Right wants us to do instead.

'After the act of love,' read the instructions from the Rev. Moon's conservative Family Federation, 'both spouses should wipe their sexual areas with the Holy Handkerchief. Hang the handkerchief[s] to dry naturally and keep them eternally. They must be kept individually labeled and should never be laundered and mixed up.'

Rev. Moon, whose Washington Times is a crown jewel of the conservative media Death Star, offers the essential lessons. He's the last man most Americans would associate with Republican power circles, but is in his own secretive way as important a figure in the Christian Right as Jerry Falwell, who's still in business thanks to a $3.5 million bailout from Moon in 1995, or Tim LaHaye of the Council For National Policy, who took money to serve on the board of a group rehabilitating Moon's image, and once wrote a letter addressing Moon as "the Master." "

Keep on Rockin' in the Free World!

"It started as a rumour - gossip shared by fans on internet chat sites. Could it true, they asked? Could Neil Young, a cultural lodestone for a generation of country rock fans, really be turning his attention to President George Bush and the war in Iraq?

Now Young himself has confirmed it. Not only has he recorded an entire album about the conflict, but in one of the songs he spells out who he thinks is to blame for the ongoing chaos and violence and what the consequences for that person should be. That track is called 'Impeach the President'. "

QUEEN GUITARIST ACCUSES IDOL PRODUCERS OF DECEPTION

"A member of the veteran rock group Queen has implied that he may have been used by the producers of American Idol to undermine the chances of one of the contestants.

Guitarist Brian May said on his personal blog Thursday that an encounter between him and contestant Ace Young shown on Tuesday night's show did not occur as represented. He said that after his conversation with May was taped, 'it was edited in such a way that it looked as if I was purely negative.' "

Experts ponder a future of new sex gizmos, robots

"A field dubbed 'teledildonics' already allows people at two remote computers to manipulate electronic devices such as a vibrator at the other end for sexual purposes. "

Be on the Lookout for Lucky Pennies

"National Coin Week starts April 16, and one coin expert hopes to spread the wealth. Scott A. Travers, coin aficionado and former vice president of the American Numismatic Association, is deliberately putting three valuable and highly coveted coins into circulation. "

4/15/2006

Erika's Knitting Blog - Tree Sweater

"Remember how I said that once I'd had the idea to make a company logo dog sweater, I couldn't NOT do it? I had another one of those tonight.

Outside our building is a sorry little sidewalk tree. At the height of summer, it had about five leaves. A dead glowstick has been dangling from its branches for three months.
Tonight while I was out on a smoke break, I looked at the tree and thought, "Man, that is one sad tree. It looks cold and wet and pathetic. It needs a sweater!"

I went home and whipped one up, it only took an hour and a half to knit. Then another fifteen minutes or so, standing outside in the cold at half past midnight, stitching it up.

If you would like to make your own little tree sweater, here's my pattern!"

This is about the coolest thing ever! I'm making one of the pictures my desktop wallpaper.

4/12/2006

Fat Fight Becomes a Rumble in the Jungle - New York Times

"IT all began simply enough, with the food industry exploring palm oil as an alternative to trans fat.

Now, Paul Newman is angry, orangutans are dying and sandwich cookies may never be the same.

Here's where the orangutans come in. Last summer, the Center for Science in the Public Interest issued a report called Cruel Oil. In it, the group said that crucial tracts of tropical rainforest were being destroyed and turned into palm plantations in Malaysia and Indonesia, which account for more than 80 percent of the production of the world's palm oil.

Orangutans live only in Sumatra and Borneo, and the campaign said they and other endangered animals, including tigers and rhinoceroses, were in danger of 'dying for a cookie.'"

THE SWAMP POP MUSIC LOVER'S PAGE

"THE REASON I'M PUTTING THIS SITE TOGETHER IS TO PROMOTE THE GREATEST MUSIC IN THE WORLD, SWAMP POP MUSIC. ALSO TO PROMOTE THE GREATEST MUSIC STARS IN THE WORLD, THE SWAMP POP STARS. I HOPE YOU ENJOY GOING THROUGH THIS SITE AND PLEASE TAKE TIME TO VISIT THE LINKS I'VE PUT ON THIS PAGE FOR YOUR ENJOYMENT. I AM KNOWN TO ALL MY FRIENDS AS SWAMPPOPNU. I WAS BORN AND RAISED IN LOCKPORT, LA. I AM 62 YEARS OLD AND I CONSIDER MYSELF THE GREATEST SWAMP POP MUSIC FAN IN THE WORLD.

Listen to this great music, and support these great musicians by buying their CD'S. These musicians are the greatest people in the world. By going out and buying these great CD'S encourages these musicians to keep recording this great music. Lets make SWAMP POP MUSIC the number one music in the world."

Has links to sites that you can listen live to radio stations playing swamp pop.

4/11/2006

World War II Secret Weapon: the Prune

"The humble prune is set to be recognized as one of the secret weapons of World War II. A London auction house, Spink, is selling two grizzled prunes that it says were destined to be stuffed with maps or other documents and smuggled to prisoners of war. The prunes were part of the memorabilia collection of a British spy. "

Top 10 Movies with Evil Bunnies

"They're so cute you just want to pick them up and hug them. But think twice before allowing that cute and fuzzy bunny to get too close...

Here's my personal picks for the top movies featuring evil bunnies, or movies that are evil and just happen to feature bunnies, or bunnies evil because of their association with unappealing movies. "

I didn't even read the article, I just love the headline!

Christians Sue for Right Not to Tolerate Policies

"Ruth Malhotra went to court last month for the right to be intolerant.

Malhotra says her Christian faith compels her to speak out against homosexuality. But the Georgia Institute of Technology, where she's a senior, bans speech that puts down others because of their sexual orientation."

4/10/2006

Wal-Mart Resists Pressure in 'Brokeback' DVD Sales

"The culture war surrounding 'Brokeback Mountain' may be nearing an end, but as the film was released on DVD last week, it found an unusual ally: Wal-Mart Stores.

On Tuesday, the retailer began selling 'Brokeback Mountain' on DVD, over the objection of the American Family Association, a conservative religious organization based in Tupelo, Miss.

Wal-Mart had previously agreed not to stock CD's bearing parental warning stickers and to cover up magazines like Cosmopolitan and Glamour with blinders.

Randy Sharp, the director of special projects for the American Family Association, is leading the charge against 'Brokeback Mountain' with an e-mail petition urging Wal-Mart customers to shun the store in protest.

The association says it is not opposed to Wal-Mart offering 'Brokeback Mountain' for sale. What it does mind is that Wal-Mart has promoted the movie by placing posters of its stars, Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal, in the front of the store 'where children can see them,' Mr. Sharp said."

In Carpool Lanes, Hybrids Find Cold Shoulders

When California allowed solo occupants of hybrid cars to use carpool lanes last year, many thought they were merging onto a narrow strip of car culture heaven.

But increasingly, hybrid owners say they feel like the victims of road rage.

Carpoolers accuse them of driving too slowly in order to maximize their fuel efficiency, and of clogging diamond lanes that were once clear.

Hybrid motorists even have a term for the ill will: 'Prius backlash.'

'There's a mentality out there that we're a bunch of liberal hippies or we're trying to make some statement on the environment,' said Travis Ruff, a real estate agent from Newbury Park who drives a Toyota Prius. 'People are a lot less friendly than when I drove a Mercedes.'"

4/07/2006

Golden Retriever Caught After 2 Years

"Satellite tracking, helicopter surveillance and dart gun attempts failed it was a boiled ham dinner that brought Sam, a golden retriever, in from the cold after two years on the lam.
Nicknamed the 'Golden Ghost,' Sam survived two New Hampshire winters, deer hunting season and being hit by a car and still no one could catch him. "

Google aims to track users with wi-fi

"Google aims to be able to track its users to within 100-200 feet of their location through new wireless networks in order to serve them with relevant advertising from local businesses.

The leading internet search company, which depends on advertising for 99 per cent of its revenues, was selected on Wednesday by San Francisco as its preferred bidder to provide a basic free wi-fi internet service covering the entire city. "

Big Brother is watching you.

4/06/2006

What Drives People to Want to Be Amputees?

"Karl is a double amputee, but not by accident, birth or disease. He is an amputee by choice. "

Very odd. Makes me wonder if perhaps there really is such a thing as reincarnation, and perhaps these people were amputees in a previous life.

4/05/2006

Man held as terrorism suspect over punk song

"British anti-terrorism detectives escorted a man from a plane after a taxi driver had earlier become suspicious when he started singing along to a track by punk band The Clash, police said Wednesday."

Wisconsin Residents Vote to Withdraw Troops From Iraq

"Voters in 32 Wisconsin communities had their say on the Iraq War in a referendum Tuesday, and they decreed that enough is enough. Residents in 24 of the 32 towns and villages voted to start bringing the troops home now, a greater victory than supporters of the referendum had hoped to get."

Air America Founders Seek Their Own Stations

"Anita and Sheldon Drobny, two of the founders of Air America Radio, are taking the next step to ensure that liberal programming stays on the air: obtaining radio stations. "