Monday, April 28, 2014

Taiwanese protesters are shortsighted on nuclear

In Taiwan, a report says that protests against nuclear power have shut down construction on a new nuclear power plant.

Definitely shortsighted.  Taiwan can't have a lot of other sources of domestic power, and nuclear would help keep their highly technological and industrial economy humming.

I expect that the protesters will eventually figure this out.  Hopefull that will be sooner and the construction slowdown won't lead to major delays.

Construction halted at Taiwan nuclear plant after protests

"Taiwan's three existing nuclear power plants supply about 20 percent of the nation's electricity and the fourth plant is almost complete.
The main opposition Democratic Progressive Party opposes the facility on safety grounds, while the Kuomintang party says the island will run short of power unless it goes ahead."
 I agree with the Kuomitangs here.  When the economy heads south, most of the protesters will likely have an enlightenment and agree with them, too.

Well, that would seem to follow

According to this article, if your nagged (by your wife) or bugged (by your husband) repeatedly, it makes for an unhappier life and potential depression, or at least it feels that way.

That makes sense.  The constant repetitiveness of such criticism has to cause stress, and we all know that too much stress makes for psychological repercussions in the mindset of the one experiencing the stress.

So, nagging wives, lay off the husband if he's at least trying to satisfy your wishes.  Husbands, stop bugging the wife about not having a fresh cooked gourmet meal on the table exactly at six every night and for not being ready to play in the garden of sexual delight and kinkiness every other night at 10 on the dot, looking fresh and smelling great.

I mean, really.

Being married makes you MORE depressed: Constant nagging triggers deep-rooted stress, study reveals

"Participants were shown a mix of 90 negative, neutral and positive photographs.

Those who reported a high level of tension in their marriage were far less responsive to positive images, the study published in the Journal of Psychophysiology concluded.

Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry Richard Davidson said the long-term study sheds light on what makes some people more vulnerable.

He said: 'This is extraordinarily important because of the cascade of changes that may be associated.

'This is the signature of an emotional style that reveals vulnerability to depression.' "

 Hey, it's even in the Bible!

Proverbs 27:15-16 A continual dripping on a rainy day and a quarrelsome wife are alike; to restrain her is to restrain the wind or to grasp oil in one's right hand.

Sorry, guys, if you've got a nagging wife.  I suggest you have a beer and then try to see if you can get her to marriage counseling.  She needs to know that she's dragging you down.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Three links, three swimsuits, no visible means of support

Awhile ago on this blog, I wrote about Lauren Stoner. She was movie director Michael Bay's girlfriend for an undetermined amount of time, and she was on a reality TV show for a very short run.   Turns out one of the links I had then now doesn't have what it had when I originally linked to it.  Oh well, if you need that, here it is again (NSFW):  Lauren Stoner suns topless in Miami

She still has a phenomenal body.  The thing is, she doesn't have any obvious form of income. She must do SOMETHING that allows her the free time of hitting the beach to demonstrate how phenomenal her body is.  What that something is, we don't appear to know.  (As demonstrated here.)  Further Google sleuthing indicated that she is listed as an Alexa Model, though.  Hard to tell if that's recent work, but the lingerie shot is quite fetching.

So, speaking of fetching, I fetched the three most recent Daily Mail articles about Miss Stoner's appearances on the Miami beaches.  I would think she could get some work as a bikini model in some capacity!

The new name of the third 'Hobbit' movie

The Daily Mail made a fairly big deal about the change of the name of the third Hobbit movie from "There and Back Again" to "The Battle of the Five Armies".

The third Hobbit movie is given bombastic new title The Battle Of The Five Armies... to replace the low-key There And Back Again

Regarding this, the chapter containing the pivotal and climactic events of the book is entitled "The Clouds Burst", and I don't think that would make a lot of sense to the general public.  And in the Tolkien histories, the climactic battle is indeed called The Battle of the Five Armies (here's a reference that shows this factoid).    After all, "The Desolation of Smaug" wasn't a chapter title either, it was a region shown on the map next to the Lonely Mountain.

So even if it is bombastic, it also makes a lot of sense.  And I'm looking forward to seeing the battle that I first read about when I was 11 years old.

Lighthouse of the Week, April 27-May 3, 2014: Bengtskär Lighthouse

Bengtskär Lighthouse, on the island of Bengtskar, is the tallest lighthouse in Finland.

Extra images:

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Crystal Palace is SAFE!


Even though as I write this things have already changed, one thing hasn't changed.  Before the start of play in the Barclays Premier League this weekend, it was already mathematically impossible for Crystal Palace FC to be relegated this season - i.e., be sent down to the second tier of British football (which we call soccer) by dubious virtue of being one of the bottom three teams in the Premier League point standings.

This article reviews the status of all the times that could still get relegated, and as you'll note, the Palace is not among them.  In fact, when the article was written, CP was in 11th place.

It's a remarkable turnaround for a team that just moved up, and didn't look too hot to start the season.  But new manager Tony Pulis and his new philosophy, plus a couple of effective transfer players, got them going and got them moving up.  The quirky take-the-points and run victory over mighty Chelsea (who I still like as a team) was pretty useful in moving them from possible relegation to nearly in the top 10.

Now that Liverpool is probably going to win the Premier League title, the most drama is left for the relegation-or-not showdowns of the next couple of weeks.

Overview of relegation battle

Crystal Palace - Barclays Premier League page

Their next two games, Sunday 4/27 against Manchester City and the following weekend v. Liverpool figure to be tough.  But no matter what happens, they are safe.  Quite a season.

About time!

Seems like Olivia Wilde has been pregnant for a real long time.

Well, she isn't any more.  Congrats to her and Jason.

Olivia Wilde gives birth

"Deimos and the Asteroids" is not a rock band

The Mars Curiosity Rover acquired an interesting image a couple of days ago.  It captured the Martian moon Deimos and the asteroids Vesta and Ceres in the same frame.  Recall, Vesta is where the Dawn satellite was and Ceres is where the Dawn satellite is going.

You've got to be impressed with our technology.

Asteroids as seen from Mars

Pitch drop drops (sort of); I was way off (sort of)

I predicted that the ninth pitch drop would fall by the end of July this year. 

 The Ninth Watch

The problem was, the drop was touching the previous drops in the beaker (actually bending the teardrop stem of the previous one).  When they attempted to remove the beaker after this historic "touchdown" (see the link) so that the drop could actually fall, the pitch column in the funnel exercised its thixotropic  rights and broke.

Darn.  It would have been interesting to actually see it fall all the way, but it wasn't going to fall the right way with the other drops in the way.

I wonder now if there is another kind of really-slow flowing liquid that isn't as slow as pitch.  It would be interesting to set up an experiment like this where drops would fall like once every few days to a few weeks or months. 

I think I'll try peanut butter.  But Silly Putty (which you can make at home if you look up the recipe) also works, and supposedly it's more viscous than peanut butter.

 Experiments with Silly Putty - High Viscosity

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The far end of the bell curve

In case you're wondering what 33-year-old mother of two and supermodel to the world Gisele Bundchen is looking like in a bikini these days, I can help.

Gisele Bundchen's sizzling swimwear shoot for H&M

This is one way of defining the top 0.1%.  Because the other 99.9% of the women in the human race don't look like this at 33 and after bearing two kids the natural way (by carrying and birthing them herself).

Haven't we heard this story before somewhere?

Seems like in Virginny (across ta river from me) dere's a chancit that the state guvmint could git shetdown becausin the Ree-Pawb-Lickins doesn't want to give po people Medicaid.


I.e., the GOP won't support an expansion of Medicaid because they aren't sure who's going to pay for it three years from now.


VA assembly, convening Wednesday [the day just past], unlikely to solve Medicaid, budget issues

Quotes from the above:

Unless the chambers decide to suspend their rules and take up matters not on their agendas, they will finish the day as they started — with no plan to fund schools, colleges, local governments and all manner of state services for the next two years.


Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) and a narrow majority in the evenly divided Senate say expanding Medicaid would help 400,000 uninsured Virginians and help the state’s economy. The GOP-dominated House says that Washington cannot afford to keep its promise to pay most of the cost, estimated at $2 billion a year.


A.E. Dick Howard, a constitutional law expert at the University of Virginia, said there would have to be a way to keep essential functions of government operating. He noted that the constitution vests the chief executive with certain powers that “at least raise the question of whether the governor has some inherent power to save the commonwealth from destruction.”

Time marches on.  In the case of the GOP, it seems it runs backward.

Lighthouse of the Week, April 20-26, 2014: Jetee de Sud Light, Lake Geneva, Switzerland

Switzerland is land-locked, but it also has some fairly large lakes.  Two of them have lighthouses. Lake Geneva has a few actual lighthouses, one that's apparently pretty famous, for which it is easy to find lots of pictures of.  The other one is less famous, and because it is in close proximity to a very large water fountain, sometimes it is not noticed.  But it is there.  It is called  the Jetée du Sud Light ("Southern Jetty" light, I would think).   The first picture shows it with the fountain (full size here). The second one shows just the lighthouse itself.  The third one shows the most famous one in the distance with the Jetée du Sud Light in the foreground.

Monday, April 21, 2014

I do like the IPCC

The IPCC, much reviled by know-very-little-but-think-they-know-it-all climate change skeptics, is an organization that calls climate change like it is: happening now, caused by humans, very likely to get worse. 

And since climate change is their thematic centrality, they don't worry much about some of the things that worry the rest of humankind, such as the peripheral issues surrounding safe, clean, low emission nuclear power.

Because of that, they are calling for a BIG increase in humankind's nuclear generating capacity to forestall the worst climate change paths that humanity could be headed upon.

IPCC Working Group III calls for nearly 4x nuclear energy

"At the global level scenarios reaching 450 ppm are also characterized by more rapid improvements in energy efficiency, a tripling to nearly a quadrupling of the share of zero- and low-carbon supply from renewables, nuclear energy AND fossil energy with carbon capture and storage (CCS) OR bioenergy with CCS (BECCS) by the year 2050. (p. 15)"

That's what has to happen.  If we are to keep on a path that avoids the worst climate calamities that we are currently creating for ourselves. 

Confirmations made during a break

OK, I am back.

Believe it or not, it has been 10 days since I last wrote here.  Did anyone notice?  Well, probably not.  Such is my lot, to be little heard and seldom seen.   But I will still stake my place in the electronic maelstrom which we call the Web.

I even missed my Lighthouse of the Week last week.  But I'll have one for this week, tomorrow.
I confirmed a few things while on the break.  Here are some of them.

1.  Gelato is one of mankind's highest culinary creations.  There is probably no such thing as a bad gelato.

2. You can go home again, but home will have changed while you were gone.

3. Sometimes someone you know will have appeared to have followed a less fortunate path in life than you, and then with one critical decision, they will have followed a more fortunate path in life than you.

4. It hurts when the home team loses, even if they aren't your home team. And it feels good when the home team wins, even if they aren't your home team.

5. Young women with firm buttocks, large breasts, and flat tummies are still very attractive to me, especially when they are nearly completely exposed and only a few feet away from me.

So those are some of my observations while observing -- and not commenting.

I'll be back to full speed in a few more posts.

Friday, April 11, 2014

The great Ledecky

Up in the Washington suburbs north of here, they had the high school Metro Championship swim meet a few weeks ago.  This is essentially the state championships of Maryland, a state that doesn't have swimming statewide as a sport, but nonetheless seems to be regularly producing pretty good swimmers (Mike Barrowman, Anita Nall, Katie Hoff, Jack Conger who set the 500-yard freestyle record for boys last year, some guy named Phelps, too).

Well, now Metro Maryland is also the home of Katie Ledecky.  Katie looked a bit tired in December, but at the Metros she was rested and ready.   So she proceeded to become the first woman ever to break 4:30 in the 500-yard freestyle, a new American, U.S. Open, and of course high school record.   She did this in the prelims, because she had something else to do in the finals, which was to smash the high school record in the 200-yard freestyle.

Now, I looked around and around and around, but could not find a video of the record-breaking 500-yard swim end-to-end. I did find what I think is the end of that race; see below.  She won the 500 in the finals, about 3 seconds slower, and that video is available.  If you're interested, go find it.  I did find the 200, which is also below.

It may sound trite to say that is pretty impressive swimming.  But it sure is.

The 500

The 200

So if you're not dead by now...

This is one of the deadliest animals known.

It's a box jellyfish.  Those lovely tentacles hold a very powerful venom.  If a swimmer encounters the box jellyfish and gets the tentacles on them, it's extremely painful.  The pain can cause swimmers to go into shock;  in the water they can drown.

Box jellyfish can kill.  It's no laughing matter.

If a box jellyfish victim comes ashore with the tentacles still attached, the standard way to treat the stinging tentacles has been to wash them off with vinegar (if it's available - if not, urine can work too, but not as well. Seriously.) New research has indicated that maybe that isn't the best way to do it.  But the research was attacked as not being conducted in such a way as to be comparable to the situation when a swimmer actually has tentacles on their skin.

Read about it here:
Should we stop using vinegar to treat box jelly stings?  Not yet

So now there's this scientific debate going on about whether or not washing off the tentacles with vinegar is a good protocol to follow, or not.  All of which is very scientifically interesting and proper, but when someone has burning, stinging box jellyfish tentacles on their skin, they aren't interested in the specifics, because they are danger of DYING.  So, based on the current state of the science, if a swimmer gets stung by a box jellyfish, don't consult the Internet to see what to do.  Wash them off with vinegar as fast as possible.

(Of course, if you're accidentally reading this because you're searching for how to treat someone that's been stung by a box jellyfish, then you didn't follow my advice.  OK, take care of that unfortunate victim NOW!)

Tax the carbon!

Another good article about some good reasons to tax carbon emissions from fossil fuel use.

A taxing solution to the greatest challenge of our time

"One of the simplest ways to slow the pace of climate change is by levying a fee on greenhouse gas emissions.
Putting a price on burning oil, gas, and coal that reflects the damage inflicted on the environment will make renewable energy alternatives (like solar, geothermal, and wind) and energy-reducing investments more competitive. 
Our friend Alan Rushforth lives near Philadelphia and started a small solar-powered water-heating business a few years ago. Even with state and federal subsidies, it took Rushforth Solar's customers five to seven years to break even compared with the cost of installing natural gas heaters, so it was a tough sell. 
"If there were a 10 to 15 percent fee on carbon pollution, with a schedule of more increases to come, it would light a fire under all sorts of energy saving technologies and behaviors," Alan said. "Not just hot water solar."
And I must myself point out -- taxing carbon emissions would provide funds for the R&D required to bring small modular nuclear reactors into the market and energy mix.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014


Chile plans to enact the first carbon tax in South America

A courageous, and smart, move.

"The proposal this week from [newly elected Chilean President] Bachelet calls for charging thermal power plants with a generation capacity of at least 50 megawatts a tax of $5 per metric ton of carbon dioxide emitted. Chile is the world’s leading copper producer, and many copper mines in the country are powered by coal-fired power plants that rely on imported oil and gas to operate.

“These companies can incorporate technologies to reduce pollutants or simply change the fuel they use,” Chile’s new environmental minister, Pablo Badenier, told local media. “Once you have the taxation in place, you open a range of possibilities to reduce emissions.”

That's very much right.  And something the U.S. government needs to learn - fast.

But we knew that already!

Oyster Aquaculture Could Significantly Improve Potomac River Estuary Water Quality 

"All of the nitrogen currently polluting the Potomac River estuary could be removed if 40 percent of its river bed were used for shellfish cultivation, according to the joint study. The researchers determined that a combination of aquaculture and restored oyster reefs may provide even larger overall ecosystem benefits. Oysters, who feed by filtering, can clean an enormous volume of water of algae which can cause poor water quality." 

No surprise here.  But can they aquaculturists keep the oysters alive?

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Americans? Winning WOMEN'S golf?

Apparently a young American woman won a major tournament on the women's PGA tour.  Her name is Lexi Thompson, and she's the real deal, athletic, skilled, and also cute.  And she's only 19!!

Surprisingly, not-quite-a-wunderkind Michelle Wie came in second.  She hasn't been near the top of the board at the end of tournaments for awhile.

It's refreshing to see the women from this country do well for a change, rather than the furriners (South Korea, Japan, Mexico, Sweden...)

Lexi Thompson  wins Kraft Nabisco

Two pics of Lexi below.

Could Rick Perry become the most dangerous man in America again?

When Rick Perry was about to enter, and then entered, the 2012 Presidential race, I tabbed him the Most Dangerous Man in America.  That's because he was good looking, and was bringing an evangelical Christian, Tea Party appealing message to the race (and was much more of a conservative than Mitt Romney could ever be).  Part of Perry's dangerousness was that he appears to believe everything he says, and he says some pretty darned stupid, er, far right-wing, things.  Remember, this is a guy who suggested Texas could and maybe should secede from the Union.

However, I thought that his unsuccessful and unceremonious run for the nomination would end his Presidential aspirations.  He appeared to be in over his head, and he's also an intellectual lightweight.  But apparently he's gotten healthier (he had some back problems), and maybe also smarter, at least about why he lost the last time.  So according to the article, he's considering running again, and might have a better chance this time.

So if he does, he then immediately becomes the Most Dangerous Man in America - again.

10 reasons we shouldn't discount Rick Perry for 2016

The first sonnet for April

Inspired by the right kind of look.

Your lips speak words and volumes, yet you do
not make a sound;  your eyes inquire to know
my deep appreciation;  you pursue
a singular expression with a show
of dedication and a special sight
of invocation, taking me to pla-
ces that I could not take myself -- a rite
of rights that I possess, yet do not say
that I should exercise, except you ask
and I enthusedly agree, and then provide
the symbol of my want which now is bask-
ing in your skillful pleasure as I glide
and smile and marvel, bursting with a true
impulsion that reveals my trust in you.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Obamacare denial

As GOP pretends Obamacare beneficiaries don't exist, number of uninsured falls again 

"As we’ve seen in the case of Americans for Prosperity’s ads, the individual horror stories have withered away under scrutiny — call it the “Incredible Shrinking Obamacare Sob Story.” Now we’re seeing that the broader GOP narrative about the law — that even if it hit sign-up targets, overall it has hurt more people than it has helped — is also getting whittled away by more and more evidence. Of course, it cannot be true that the law is functioning more or less as intended – Obamacare is fatally flawed; Republicans never entertained any other possibility – so therefore it isn’t." 

The question is:  can the Dems sell the reversal effectively through to the November elections?

Is Crystal Palace SAFE?!!

 Crystal Palace defeated Cardiff City 3-0 last weekend, pushing them up to 34 points and ahead of a couple more teams in the Barclay's Premier League, and further away from the danger of relegation.  Now, to answer my question in the title, they aren't safe.   They've got to get a few more points to be safe.

Puncheon's second goal was marvelous.

Here's their last six games:

BPL 12 Apr 2014  v Aston Villa  
BPL 16 Apr 2014  v Everton  
BPL 19 Apr 2014  v West Ham   
BPL 27 Apr 2014  v Man City  
BPL 5 May 2014  v Liverpool 
BPL 11 May 2014       v Fulham

 None of those are easy, with the possible exception of the lifesaver last game against Fulham.  I would hazard that if they get four more points they are probably safe, and with six more points they are pretty definitely safe.  They are actually tied right now on points with Aston Villa, their opponents next weekend, and they are only three points behind West Ham, who they play on the 19th.  By the time they get to Manchester City and Liverpool, games they aren't likely to win, they'll know if the situation is desperate or not.

Some links about the game and the future:

Pulis:  we still have work to do

Crystal Place FC:  Cardiff City 0, Crystal Palace 3 report

Cardiff City 0, Crystal Palace 3 Match Report: Jason Puncheon double, Joe Ledley help Eagles move clear of drop zone at expense of Bluebirds

Goals Arena:  Cardiff City v. Crystal Palace (all the scoring) (narrated in Russian!)

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Celebrating Michelle Keegan

Two pictures of Michelle Keegan in last year's white bikini.  I had not seen these before. 

Glad I didn't miss them.





Lots of pictures of a new volcanic island

Japan has a new volcanic island, named Nishinoshima.  It had been a little island next to an older island, but now the islands have joined basalts and merged.  

The Japanese Coast Guard (I think) has a page with lots of pictures of the growing island.  It's in Japanese, so if you don't know how to read that -- join the club -- and just enjoy the pictures.


Here's a picture of how the two islands got together.

Lighthouse of the Week, April 6-12, 2014: Cabo San Juan Light, Puerto Rico

I figured the Caribbean tropical isle of Puerto Rico would have some lighthouses.  I was right, then even have a page about them.

Out of this group, I picked the Cabo San Juan Light, also called the Fajardo or Cabezas de San Juan Lighthouse.

Here's a nice descriptive page about the Cabo San Juan Light, on the island's northeastern point, with a slideshow of pictures.

Fajardo - Cabezas de San Juan Lighthouse

Saturday, April 5, 2014

She's not shy and I don't mind

The Daily Mail had an article about Victoria's Secret model named Edita Vilkeviciute, which had pictures of sunbathing topless on the beach.  The article has lot and lots and lots and lots of pictures of Edita topless on the beach, but because it's public news Web site and not something else more prurient, the niceness of her model-class figure is spoilt by pixelation.

Now, I had not heard of Edita before.  So, disturbed by this digital photographic disfigurement, I went searching for these same pictures without the adjustment for our modesty.  And I couldn't find any of these particular pictures un-retouched.

What I did find out during this short survey is that Edita has been photographed topless (and bottomless, and both) many times.  Most of those times in a tasteful fashion.  And she's worth seeing in that state.

Below is an example of her NOT topless, but still demonstrating why topless, bottomless, and both is a very good way for her to be.

Late but good news

Just a brief comment from me about the ruling several days ago by the international court of law that the Japanese "scientific" whaling program in the Antarctic -- the one that has become both famous and infamous due to the harassment campaign of the Sea Shepherds ("Whale Wars") -- is illegal.  They basically said it really isn't for science, it's for the purpose of killing whales to sell their meat and other whale products.

Science is no excuse for Japan's Antarctic whaling, court rules

So what brief comment do I have to make about this?


That is all.

Friday, April 4, 2014

I'm getting to it

Pretty soon I'm going to provide a picture-by-picture review of Miranda Kerr's outstanding appearance in GQ.

But until then, this article shows how cute she is.  When she's mostly naked, then she's unfathomably sexy.

Miranda prompts mass hysteria as she pays a visit to central Tokyo in vibrant floral print dress

Here's the cute side, with just a hint of the sexy.

Great ocean photography

Here's an article about ocean conservation photographer Brian Skerry, with several of his incredible photographs.

This one is amazing.

Here's his Web site.  More amazing work.

Oh, just read it

This op-ed column was just totally fabulous.

Why America needs a Sputnik moment on climate change, and why it isn't going to happen

Taking quotes out of it doesn't do it justice, because it flows and connects and makes sense as a comprehensive whole.

But I have to at least offer up a flavor.

"However the court of US public opinion – anti-science, anti-intellectual, and driven by a fundamentalist approach to the Bible - is fiercely resistant to reason because (as I wrote last week) it has conflated rationalism with scientific materialism and moral decay.

In both 2008 and 2012 it was only the hardcore candidates denied evolution outright – Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee, Sam Brownback -  but plenty of others, like Mitt Romney, took the position of theistic evolutionists, but were careful to equivocate sufficiently to allow the grassroots to feel safe in their convictions.

Only the outliers – Jon Huntsman, an out-and-out evolutionist, and Newt Gingrich, an intellectual Catholic who simultaneously accepts the science of evolution and God-as-creator as part of his religious philosophy, adopted a position consistent with reason.

Why does this matter? Well, it just shows how entrenched the forces of opposition are to reason on climate change."
 How's that?

And then there's the finishing lines:

"Imagine for a moment if the argument could be won, and America threw its full weight behind developing the technologies -  agriculture, energy, water management, transport - that could change the way we live.

America had its "Sputnik moment" when faced with the threat of the rising Soviet Union: that put a man on the moon, and laid the foundations for a new era of science and technology that changed the world.

Today, the rising tides of the oceans  needs to spur another great burst of human invention, but unlike the threat of Communism which united the world's most powerful nation, the threat of climate change now divides it. That bodes ill for us all."

He's right, you know.

Read the whole thing.  It's great.

And sadly true.

WILL the GOP admit it was wrong?

How could the GOP admit it was wrong about Obamacare?

That would mean giving up their campaign issue, and for many in the Tea Party, their raison d'etre.  Even though they are wrong, they think that Obamacare is one more step toward total government control over every aspect of our lives -- actually, total government control over the parts of our lives they don't want to control, because if it has to do with the education of our kids or our reproductive rights, they want to control that.  As long as the right things are being taught - like the Earth being 6,000 years old -- and not the wrong things -- like the fact that increasing CO2 in the atmosphere is making the world get warmer.

But let's get back to the point at hand.  They're wrong about Obamacare -- and E.J. Dionne of the Washington Post thinks they should admit it.

A key section:

"So let’s say it out loud: The ACA is doing exactly what its supporters said it would do. It is getting health insurance to millions who didn’t have it before. (The Los Angeles Times pegged the number at 9.5 million at the beginning of the week.) And it’s working especially well in places such as Kentucky, where state officials threw themselves fully and competently behind the cause of signing up the uninsured. Those who want to repeal the law will have to admit that they are willing to deprive these people, or some large percentage of them, of insurance.

Too many conservatives would prefer not to say upfront what they really believe: They don’t want the federal government to spend the significant sums of money needed to get everyone covered. Admitting this can sound cruel, so they insist that their objections are to the ACA’s alleged unworkability, or to “a Washington takeover of the health system” (which makes you wonder what they think of Medicare, a far more centralized program). Or they peddle isolated horror stories that the fact-checkers usually discover are untrue or misleading."

So, like many other Tea Party-led conservative causes of the day, what they say is usually at least a 90 degree angle off the truth, and commonly more than that.

Now, we have to go and convince the American people about this, in sufficient numbers to keep the Senate under Democratic control.  And also because that's one of my undangerous predictions.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Looks great; still NOT pregnant

Every now and then the Daily Mail checks in with the royals of Monaco, most specifically former swimmer now Princess Charlene nee Wittstock, who it originally appeared had married Prince Albert for the specific and pretty much only purpose of bearing a legitimate child by him (as he had already managed to have a couple of the illegitimate variety).  While she and Prince Albert looked reasonably happy to be together at Monaco's annual Rose Ball bash, the willowyness of her still-slim athletic figure was indicative that her state was still non-preggers.

So the question remains - is she going to bear the heir, or not?  Only time will tell.  It should be pointed out that she's 36, so time should be telling pretty soon if birthing the babe was on the agenda, or not.

I should note that somewhat unlucky in love Princess Caroline was there too.

Gee Max, is this fair?

Poor Max George of the band The Wanted.  He was engaged to gloriously luscious Michelle Keegan, blew that up by cheating on her, then briefly had a fling with current hot top swimsuit and lingerie model Nina Agdal.  I'm not surprised (or unhappy) that didn't work out, considering Nina is barely out of her teens (22, actually), so I didn't expect her to settle down.

So now he's apparently dating the pretty darned good looking herself Amy Willerton, Britain's 2013 entry into the Miss Universe pageant.

Max is apparently trying to move into the Leonardo DiCaprio and George Clooney division in the Love 'Em and Leave 'Em World Tournament of Babe Bedding.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Rep. Ryan: same dog, old tricks

Former Republican vice-presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan has come out with another budget. Totally useless, but he did anyway.

Ryan's last budget proposal would slash $5 trillion over next decade

"Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) slammed the proposal as "Kochtopia," or fulfilling the requests of conservative businessmen Charles and David  Koch, who are financing tens of millions of dollars in advertisements this year to discredit Democratic congressional candidates. And House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) told reporters that the proposal is "an unserious partisan budget" and "as unrealistic as previous budgets — and some would argue even more so."
Do Republicans have a Plan B?

"The basic GOP gamble is that Obamacare is so plainly a disaster that Republicans cannot fail to win big this fall by campaigning against it, and that taking any policy risks could upset this dynamic. But they appear to have not even considered the possibility that the law could work tolerably over time."

I hope the Dems will catch them napping on their complacency pillows.

Ninth Drop Watch prediction

I occasionally check in on the world's slowest experiment, the Pitch Drop experiment now called The Ninth Watch at the University of Queensland in Australia.

"Ninth" refers to the ninth drop, which is due.  What's interesting is that there is actually visible monthly motion in the drop now.

In a three-month comparison, November 2013 - January 2014, the movement is even more obvious.

My prediction is that the drop will fall by the end of July 2014.  The question in my mind is how long it will be obvious that it will only be a matter of days before it actually falls.  The "other" pitch drop experiment, at Trinity College in Dublin, finally yielded a pitch drop in July 2013.  If you watch the video, it's clear that there was a final several day "stretch" of the upper part of the drop before it fell.  That ought to happen with the Queensland experiment's ninth drop, which should get into the news. The thing is, as the pictures show, it is definitely getting heavier and descending.  If you watch a slow-motion video of a water drop, you can see that the descent gets much faster just before it drops, and the top of the drop narrowing accelerates pretty drastically.

So if the pitch drop is starting to move faster, it really is due to fall soon.

Keep up the Watch.

Undangerous prediction right: 8+ earthquake off Chile

Wow.  It's only April 1st, and another one of my undangerous predictions for 2014 has proven correct.  This one is Number 4, predicting that there would be at least one 8+ on the Richter Scale earthquake this year.  Well, that one came right about 3 hours ago when an 8.2 or so quake hit off the coast of Chile.  We'll have to keep watching for a day or so to see if a tsunami hits across the Pacific (hope not).

What got me was that I actually wrote this as part of my prediction:  " Stretching - where?  I think South America is due. "

Seriously, that was just lucky.  But I'm still impressed with myself.