Friday, September 30, 2011
USA! USA! USA! U... OK, well, that's enough. It's too bad that there are people in the world like al-Awlaki that deserve a fate like this. Wouldn't it be wonderful if there weren't any?
athletes, but this showed just how hard it is to be an elite champion). Plus it provided some insight into how her personal life works with her husband in the dual role of husband and coach. Also showed some of her struggles with injury.
There was a little glamour, but it wasn't overdone.
If it's on again, I recommend it.
Here's a preview:
"The explosion of consciousness and advocacy on climate change is characterized by leadership from elders, respected and accomplished fixtures in their sport. And it’s also increasingly backed by savvy, and booming, outdoor businesses, like Black Diamond and The North Face. The former, through the leadership of CEO Peter Metcalf, has always avidly, and often radically, defended the environment, most famously threatening to move a huge outdoor industry conference out of Salt Lake City in response to then-governor John Huntsman’s position on wilderness. They won that battle. The North Face, through its support of groups like Protect Our Winters and All.I.Can, has quietly become the leader in climate advocacy in the apparel industry. The vibe they’ve helped create is palpable."
With the politicians dithering and the half of the electorate that is amenable to the message swallowing the skeptical codswallop, the real action will come from grassroots (or should I say snow base) organizations that have a real stake in the alterations that are coming. This is an example.
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
So I hadn't seen her lately, and it turns out during this pause in her acting gigs, she's been busy with a new boyfriend, Australian chef and TV host, Curtis Stone. Busy enough to get with child, in fact, which apparently has temporarily slowed down her actressing career, apparently. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
And of course this news gives me an excuse to post another picture of her fetchingness. (If a woman gave me a look like that from a position like that, I'd sure be tempted to attempt impregnation.)
Here she is with her baby's father, Curtis Stone. I would wish them the best of luck with the new tot and hope they stay together for the long haul, and vicariously envision his good fortune to enjoy her favors in the process of baby-making.
And here she is with the baby on board.
"Contrary to the often stated canard that addressing climate change would require a huge, expensive adjustment in our industrial economy, nuclear fission offers lower cost, safer, more reliable energy that does not produce any CO2. (Yes, there is a minor amount of CO2 production associated with initial plant construction and fuel manufacturing. It is approximately 0.5% of the amount produced by the lowest carbon fossil fuel on a per useful unit of energy basis.)"
See the video from here:
Doubt – confusion leads to inaction and benefits status quo
Ultimate silverback George Clooney is dating that. Wow.
This is my favorite picture of Stacy's posterior perfection, but there are others.
World record: Berlin Marathon
We need an alternate sports news channel. Speaking of which, how's the rugby World Cup going? I know that the U.S. got wallabied by the Aussies. Lemme go check...
I'd have to do more research to figure out who owns the tiebreakers (ha!) but it's interesting, as three of the four pools have two teams with the same number of points (all tied for second place), so in each of those cases, only one of those teams will be going to the knockout round.
The USA is knocked out, by the way. South Africa, home of nude rugby fan Jade Fairbrother (check that out, but careful if you click it), is on top of their pool and will be headed for the quarterfinals.
Congress is telling NASA, already hamstrung with the immense cost overruns on the James Webb Space Telescope and the Curiousity rover, to build a $32 billion (that's what they say NOW) deep space launch system. Partly because the last one, Constellation, was so successful.
(insert laugh track)
It turns that they're going to use the tried-and-true, no basic new designs. That seems like a good idea. But it still requires mating these components into a working system.
New packaging for old US rocket
I have a better idea.
Yes, the real reason Congress pushed the Space Launch System SLS on a NASA that can't really take it is -- jobs. Well, here's the way to do it on the cheap; buy a license to build Ariane-5's from France. Set up a factory (or factories) to build them here in the U.S. of A. Ariane-5 works, it's a heavy lifter, and that will save TONS of money on design and testing. If Ariane-5 has to be adapted for humans, then there's time for that.
Obviously it's too sensible idea for Congress and NASA to do it. But it would work.
Friday, September 23, 2011
All of this emphasizes that satellites need a controlled re-entry or parking orbit plan to reduce the space debris problem. Were it not for the economic woes around the world, a space plan to de-orbit or up-orbit defunct satellites would seem useful.
Second big satellite set to resist re-entry burnup
"On its ROSAT website, DLR estimates that "up to 30 individual debris items with a total mass of up to 1.6 tonnes might reach the surface of the Earth. The X-ray optical system, with its mirrors and a mechanical support structure made of carbon-fibre reinforced composite – or at least a part of it – could be the heaviest single component to reach the ground."
Thursday, September 22, 2011
Heavy rains yield big dinosaur fossil find in US
And while I'm thinking of Baltimore, the O's are doing a great job of playing spoiler to Red Sox Nation, aren't they?
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
"The effort by House Republicans to pay for disaster aid with funds from an Energy Department fuel-efficiency loan program has infuriated Democrats, who say the move is unprecedented since Congress routinely passes emergency spending without offsets since it is, by its very nature, for an emergency. They have also howled about Republicans tying the paid-for disaster aid to the continuing resolution, a must-pass measure."
"But House Republican leaders say they can't pass what Reid wants, which they say means the onus is on Senate Democrats to either pass the House continuing resolution as is or be at fault for delaying desperately needed disaster money to the Federal Emergency Management Administration. FEMA's disaster relief fund has dropped so low that the agency has already stopped approving long-term reconstruction projects in order to prioritize its resources for immediate emergency needs."
"As is"? Where have we heard THAT before?
This is stinky, smelly, putrid, BS, Cantor. Keep doing this so we can run on GOP willingness to let disaster victims suffer while you play politics. Again.
Atlantic Mackerel can't stand heat in our waters
"Using catch data and ocean sampling going back to 1968, the fisheries scientists say that Atlantic mackerel’s winter distribution has shifted 155 miles to the north and 30 miles to the east. The fish have also shifted to a larger area on the continental shelf."
Phenology beats the skeptics yet again.
Around the Halls: President Obama's Deficit Reduction Plan and the Super Committee
It gives the short views of many different analysts about the President's recently revealed and immediately vilified deficit reduction plan.
The best, from Jonathan Rauch -- and why the Republicans blew it for them and for us, big time:
"Obama's proposal makes even clearer what had already become evident, namely that conservative Republicans missed a major opportunity for the country—and a great political opportunity for themselves—when they walked out of deficit talks last summer. The president was apparently prepared to sign off on serious reductions to Medicare, including increasing the eligibility age: the sort of structural reform which Republicans are right to think absolutely must be made to Medicare, but which cannot realistically happen without bipartisan support. Obama could then have pushed a plan through the Democratic-controlled Senate, putting Democrats' imprimatur on Medicare reform, a political prize of high value both to Republicans and to spending hawks."
Monday, September 19, 2011
Sunday, September 18, 2011
Wait a minute, I'm talking about a Republican in Congress. Playing fair is not in their playbook. Demagoguing and holding the country hostage... nearly precipitating another financial crisis... trying to force the outcome of a Presidential election even though their actions might damage the country irretrievably... letting corporate polluters poison kids and unborn children... all THOSE things are in the GOP playbook.
Boehner: Tax increases off the table for debt supercommittee
"According to Boehner’s office, the speaker will say that House Republicans remain open to some of Obama’s jobs proposals but will push forward with the GOP’s “Plan for America’s Job Creators,” which calls for decreased regulation and cuts to spending and taxes in order to boost the economy."
"Decreased regulation" is GOP-speak for letting corporations write their own rules about how much toxic waste they want to be allowed to dump into America's atmosphere, rivers, lakes, ponds, and even school playgrounds. Think I'm kidding?...
Style Showdown: Nina Dobrev vs. Lea Michele at the Emmys
That is one *hot* dress.
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Europe's fishermen accused of being 'paid to overfish'
"Europe's fishing industry is being "paid to overfish", with subsidies totalling 3.3 billion euros in 2009, or half the value of the yearly catch, environmental group Oceana said Tuesday."
Excuse me whilst I get nauseous.
I've only seen "live" auroras about five times in my life, and the slowly-changing movement, akin to the languorous movement in a lava lamp, is what makes them hypnotic. This video captures their beauty, but not the essence of watching them.
The Aurora, by TSO Photography
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Let me illustrate.
Ford assembly line, ca. 1920s
Modern automobile assembly line
The concept should be clear; technology is allowing a lot more things to be done automatically and/or robotically than decades ago. That means there are less hands-on, traditional employment jobs in the world. So ongoing loss of jobs is only partially due to politics and economic policy; it is also due to what the author calls “fundamental structural change”.
Walker's World: A dying economy
"There are three important factors at work here, beyond the flawed and over-politicized design of most government stimulus packages."
(Skip the first 2; read the article)
“The third is more worrying: that current and future employment is being depressed not by the economic cycle but by fundamental structural and technological change in the economy.(One other thing that occurred to me is that there is also a problem, if it can be called that, of improved quality. Thus, manufactured things last longer. People are driving reliable cars for 9-10 years rather than five, because they still work and they aren't rusting out. Washers, dryers, refrigerators, dishwashers, stoves, ovens, TVs, air conditioners... they last longer. And that means that less of them need to be manufactured. The only thing that is keeping the buy cycle going is improvement, like better computers. But I don't want to trade in my old computer because then I'd have to get all new applications and games! So the overall improvement in quality is another drag on the manufacturing sector.)
The success of Amazon in selling books and e-books means the bankruptcy of bookstore chains like Borders, whose final 11,000 employees are being laid off. The U.S. Postal Service, the need for its services eroded by e-mail, is planning to cut 220,000 jobs over the next five years, half of them through layoffs.
Whereas automation began by eroding the need for a large blue-collar workforce, we are starting to see the way computerization is eroding the demand for a white-collar workforce, whether in newspapers, paralegal services or accounting. The education industry is likely to follow, as cheap distant learning starts to erode the demand for traditional college education.
The next victim will be healthcare services, hitherto one of the fastest-growing employment areas. The coming of constant and automated diagnosis through smart phones, followed by the eventual success of electronic health records, is going to reduce the need for human staff.”
So, does the author have an answer to the problem of fundamental structural change?
“But it is starting to become clear that many of the roots of this crisis stem from the reality that we are already entering a completely different technological era in which the traditional tools of job creation and demand stimulus no longer work in the same old ways.
Where this takes us as an economy dependent on mass employment to pay for consumption, taxes and pensions that still unclear.”
Soo… do I have an answer? I’ve got a partial one. User fees for fundamental services. Road use fees to pay for infrastructure maintenance. Park use fees for maintenance of parks and recreational areas. Sidewalks, public buildings, utilities: raise the fees to keep them working, on anyone that uses them. So the new jobs will be paid for by user fees (not takes, the anathemic word), and the new jobs will be maintenance, maintenance, maintenance – the dirty jobs that society needs done but that the higher classes don’t want to get their hands dirty doing.
Anybody got a better idea?
Also read: Economy in the doldrums, and how to get it out
Europe's oceans changing at unprecedented rate: report
If you don’t want to try to explain it, save time and don’t, because outside of the context of overall global climate change, these things CAN’T be explained. That’s a message that has to be constantly repeated. I observe that some entities are already trying.
I missed Miss Universe this year – I do like to watch it if I have a chance, because well frankly, those girls are lookers of the highest magnitude. I checked the results and was mildly (and pleasantly) surprised that an African woman, from Angola, won. Given how “Caucanized” the field is from non-Caucasian countries (i.e., most of the Asians and Africans are attractive to a male Caucasian eye), it’s good to see that it isn’t rigged totally toward the traditional winning regions: Nordic, Latin, or North American. I’ll have to see if there’s a percentage breakdown of where the winners have been from.
Wikipedia comes through. According to them, there's been one winner apiece from Namibia, Botswana, and South Africa, but that doesn't mean that they were all black Africans. The entry says this:
- Trinidad & Tobago's Janelle Commissiong became the first woman of African descent to be crowned Miss Universe, in 1977 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. The first black African to win Miss Universe was Mpule Kwelagobe, of Botswana, crowned in 1999 at Chaguaramas, Trinidad & Tobago.
- Only once have black women won Miss Universe in succession. Wendy Fitzwilliam of Trinidad & Tobago won the title in 1998, followed by Mpule Kwelagobe of Botswana in 1999.
Leila Lopes made history for her country yesterday, after becoming the very first Miss Angola to be crowned Miss Universe.
And on another note, I discovered some recent nude pictures of former (and controversial) Miss Universe Alicia Machado, which are rather impressive. You'll have to find them yourselves if you're interested.
Sunday, September 11, 2011
Kate Upton - Beach Bunny swimwear fashion show
Samantha Stosur wins U.S. Open title
Speaking of lack of variety, the men's game -- top 4 seeds through to the semis -- is now like the women's game used to be. Fed made it really interesting, and Djokovic made it stunning with that go-for-it crosscourter on match point. I expect another five setter on Monday. I might even be able to see part of it.
Saturday, September 10, 2011
Room for nuclear energy in the future: new IEA chief
"If you would like to abandon nuclear, then my question is: 'How are you going to meet the growing demand of energy when you are abandoning one of your sources?", she said in an interview with AFP.
"That question has to be answered by all those countries and governments who would like to abandon nuclear."
She added: "If the answer is 'we'll do it with renewables', then my question will be 'how'?.
"How cost effective are renewables? How much are they deployed at this moment? How are you going to speed up the curve of renewables so that they're going to be a greater part of the energy supply?"
That's what I call telling it like it is! Finally, a straightforward view on the world's energy future!
Mr Ban said the science of climate change was clear.
"We must take action. Every country - big or small - they have to take their national measures. And every citizen, they have to do their own (part)."
King Crab Distributions Limited by Temperature in the Southern Ocean
King Crabs Threaten Seafloor Life Near Antarctica
King Crabs Invade Antarctica
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
What on earth is Abbey Clancy not wearing?
Peter Crouch puts football future to one side as he enjoys Italian holiday with wife Abbey and daughter Sophia
I am the very definition of a modern yummy mummy.
Monday, September 5, 2011
Japanese asteroid mission a success
What scientists found in the Itokawa sample is unequivocal evidence that this type of asteroid is the parent of ordinary chondrites - the most common type of meteorites found on Earth. Space weather morphs asteroid fragments and when they enter Earth's atmosphere they burn up as meteors, changing their chemical nature a bit. That's why they are referred to as meteorites.
The Japanese's pristine sample has helped distinguish the original material on the rock and how it changed when it entered Earth's atmosphere. That is helpful to understanding the origin and evolution of the planet and the solar system.
3 yea's for Hayabusa, the satellite mission that wouldn't quit.
Mars Rover Discovery Elates NASA
The Endeavour [crater] rock that Opportunity looked at, named Tisdale 2, is a breccia, and was smashed apart by the impact, then fused back together. That was not unexpected for a rim of an impact crater.
The high levels of zinc, however, were unexpected. Dr. Squyres said it was a clue that this rock might have formed in a hydrothermal system, although it was much too early to speculate about whether it could have been geysers like those found at Yellowstone Park or something much less dramatic, like water vapor percolating through the rocks.
Good men's matches yesterday: Donald Young did great, and the Del Potro - Simon match was entertaining. Good to see Andy Roddick get into the second week. But given the current domination run, it's most likely to be Dvokojic-Nadal.
Andy Murray looks like he has an easy path to the semi-finals. I'd love to see him break through to a title here.
Where's your helmet and trainers Kelly? Miss Brook promotes cycling in five-inch heels... while Thom Evans decides to walk
MT @CFACT New #NASA data blow gaping hold in global #warming alarmism http://bit.ly/pxN99u #climate - this'll be refuted in 6 months, tops.
Well, it's been barely a month, and the fallout from this one is impressive. The author of the journal that published the flawed paper resigned; the paper has been refuted on several levels (with more to come); and the Spencer and Christy track record of providing results skeptics love has been documented extensively.
More on Climate Progress on this: The Damaging Results of Roy Spencer's Serially Incorrect Science
As might be expected, the skeptical sites are SHOCKED (#1), I tell you, SHOCKED (#2), that some reputable scientists would actually question these results in a peer-reviewed journal. They have even gone so far as to suggest that science is self-correcting; tell that to George Will who trotted out the error-ridden "scientists predicted global cooling in 1975" meme yesterday in op-ed. These are the same skeptics who repeatedly get down on Hansen when he publishes a correction. So what -- Spencer and Christy's results are sacrosanctly correct, while corrections from the mainstreamers are indicative of the breadth and width of the worldwide global warming conspiracy?
What takes the cake is Morano using a statistics prof to question the results of climate scientists. But Morano is an A-class idiot, anyway, so not much better is to be expected.
George Will's madcap excerpt:
"For Jon Huntsman: You, who preen about having cornered the market on good manners, recently tweeted, “I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming. Call me crazy.” Call you sarcastic. In the 1970s, would you have trusted scientists predicting calamity from global cooling? Are scientists a cohort without a sociology — uniquely homogenous and unanimous, without factions or interests and impervious to peer pressures or the agendas of funding agencies? Are the hundreds of scientists who are skeptical that human activities are increasing global temperatures not really scientists?"
Memo to George: there aren't hundreds of QUALIFIED scientists who are skeptical that human activities are increasing global temperatures. You've swallowed the skeptical line so deep that the barb on the hook is going to protrude out your rectum.
Friday, September 2, 2011
Kate Winslet's optical illusion dress at the Venice Film Festival was pretty-eyecatching. She's got a great body, of course, but this dress made it look even greater -- almost superhero-level.
Super-toned Kate Winslet emphasises her curves with the help of an clinging optical illusion dress
But now the costs of not having money are becoming all too apparent. Exhibit A-hole is Eric Cantor, who never met a poor person out on the street due to a natural disaster that he couldn't kick. So now, despite the suffering and hardship of numerous states due to Hurricane and Tropical Storm Irene, Eric sticks to his shoot-the-homeless guns and says that in order to pay for disaster relief, we'll have to cut somewhere else, nimbly turning our normal governmental and societal license to help our fellow citizens in their time of need into a political football.
Callous does not even BEGIN to describe that.
"Remember, Cantor isn’t denying something called “the government” the right to do something it wants to do. He’s denying disaster relief to people hard hit by a hurricane. That is, he’s holding suffering Americans hostage to his goal of smaller government. And the whole point of his offsetting spending cuts thing — his invention of a nonsense principle — is to obscure the ruthlessness of the blackmail involved."
Exhibit B-sh*t is the apparent fact that although one of our nation's most recognized monuments is now in need of repair due to two inconvenient (at least for the GOP) natural events (disasters may not apply to the East Coast earthquake, but it probably does to Irene), the National Park Service isn't sure where they're going to get the money to pay for the repairs.
Ridiculous does not even BEGIN to describe THAT.
Callous and ridiculous -- that sums up the Tea Party succinctly, I think.
More cracks found in Washington Monument
Eric Cantor should be a campaign issue. As in, "Do we want to live in a country that Eric Cantor wants to create?"
I certainly don't.
Hard to handicap, but I give the edge to the girls: Kristin Cavallari, Chynna Phillips, and Hope Solo. Derek Hough won't go all the way with Ricki Lake (unfortunately for him, he probably never went all the way with Cheryl Cole, either). Chaz Bono and Lacey are destined for an early exit, which may or may not help the ratings. There are some new girl and guy dancers: notably missing are lithesome Edyta Sliwinska and cutaceous Chelsie Hightower.
It'll be interesting to see how well the incredibly delovely Elizabetta Canalis, George Clooney's ex (and if you'll forgive me George, even if you've moved on to Stacy Keibler, YOU BLEW IT) can dance. Sometimes the cute and slinky and curvy and gorgeous models can dance -- Brooke Burke -- and sometimes they can't -- Josie Maran.
While I am a nuclear energy advocate, I recognize that the transportation sector is likely to be reliant on liquid fuels for a long time. Thus, the news that catalysts for biofuel production from biomass have been identified in panda poop (great headlines come of that) and engineered yeast that digest seaweed much more rapidly qualifies as good news. And I think seaweed production could be ramped up pretty readily; the green muck that keeps hitting the coast of Brittany in recent summers indicates we're already pretty good at it.
Turning seaweed into biofuel in half the time
Panda poop key to biofuel production?
"Based on other studies, [Ashli] Brown estimated that under certain conditions these panda gut bacteria can convert about 95 percent of plant biomass into simple sugars. The bacteria contain enzymes — highly active substances that speed up chemical reactions — so powerful that they can eliminate the need for high heat, harsh acids and high pressures currently used in biofuel production processes, she said. Those processes also tend to be time- and energy-intensive, as well as expensive. Panda bacteria could therefore provide a faster, cleaner and less costly way to make biofuels."