Sunday, October 30, 2011

Vesta in color (true and false)

These Dawn FC (framing camera) composite images show the spectacular spectral diversity of Vesta's surface. The FC has 7 color filters which allow it to image Vesta in a number of different wavelengths of light. Being able to image in many wavelengths enhances features and colors that would otherwise be indistinguishable to the human eye. The left image shows a RGB color composite image of Vesta.

Whole article here

Wild salmon may be in trouble on West Coast

OK, this is really not news I want to hear. The Pacific salmon is an anchor species for ecosystems on the whole Pacific Northwest Coast, from Oregon to the Aleutians. But what can be done?

Salmon-Killing Virus Seen for First Time in the Wild on the Pacific Coast

The virus could have “a devastating impact” not just on the region’s farmed and wild salmon but on the many species that depend on them in the food web, like grizzly bears, killer whales and wolves, Dr. Routledge said. “No country has ever gotten rid of it once it arrives,” he said in a statement.

The only barrier between the salmon farms and wild fish is a net, he noted at the news conference, opening the way for “pathogens sweeping in and out.” No treatment exists for infectious salmon anemia.

Canary in the coal mine? No, tiger in a bind

As if we didn't know, the world's top felines -- top predators in a lot of environments -- are SERIOUSLY endangered.

Lions, tigers, big cats may face extinction in 20 years

I don't like the fact, considering where I am in life, that this, and the disappearance of Arctic sea ice in summer, could both still happen in my lifetime. Sometimes I think I understand what Sol (Edward G. Robinson's character in "Soylent Green") was feeling when he was being euthanized.

Lutetia is in Science

Articles about asteroid Lutetia are the cover story in Science this week.

Three abstracts:

Images obtained by the Optical, Spectroscopic, and Infrared Remote Imaging System (OSIRIS) cameras onboard the Rosetta spacecraft reveal that asteroid 21 Lutetia has a complex geology and one of the highest asteroid densities measured so far, 3.4 ± 0.3 grams per cubic centimeter. The north pole region is covered by a thick layer of regolith, which is seen to flow in major landslides associated with albedo variation. Its geologically complex surface, ancient surface age, and high density suggest that Lutetia is most likely a primordial planetesimal. This contrasts with smaller asteroids visited by previous spacecraft, which are probably shattered bodies, fragments of larger parents, or reaccumulated rubble piles.

Asteroid 21 Lutetia was approached by the Rosetta spacecraft on 10 July 2010. The additional Doppler shift of the spacecraft radio signals imposed by 21 Lutetia’s gravitational perturbation on the flyby trajectory were used to determine the mass of the asteroid. Calibrating and correcting for all Doppler contributions not associated with Lutetia, a least-squares fit to the residual frequency observations from 4 hours before to 6 hours after closest approach yields a mass of (1.700 ± 0.017) × 1018 kilograms. Using the volume model of Lutetia determined by the Rosetta Optical, Spectroscopic, and Infrared Remote Imaging System (OSIRIS) camera, the bulk density, an important parameter for clues to its composition and interior, is (3.4 ± 0.3) × 103 kilograms per cubic meter.

The Visible, InfraRed, and Thermal Imaging Spectrometer (VIRTIS) on Rosetta obtained hyperspectral images, spectral reflectance maps, and temperature maps of the asteroid 21 Lutetia. No absorption features, of either silicates or hydrated minerals, have been detected across the observed area in the spectral range from 0.4 to 3.5 micrometers. The surface temperature reaches a maximum value of 245 kelvin and correlates well with topographic features. The thermal inertia is in the range from 20 to 30 joules meter−2 kelvin−1 second−0.5, comparable to a lunarlike powdery regolith. Spectral signatures of surface alteration, resulting from space weathering, seem to be missing. Lutetia is likely a remnant of the primordial planetesimal population, unaltered by differentiation processes and composed of chondritic materials of enstatitic or carbonaceous origin, dominated by iron-poor minerals that have not suffered aqueous alteration.

Popular summary articles:

Hard Rock: Asteroid Lutetia May Be an Intact Leftover from Planetary Formation

A 2010 flyby by the Rosetta spacecraft showed Lutetia to be dense and dusty, a probable member of the planetesimal population that coalesced to form Earth and other planets

Asteroid Lutetia: postcard from the past

Chronicles of Lutetia

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Lingerie is good for the heart, to a point

Just as long as it doesn't make the heart beat uncontrollably fast. This one actually lowered my blood pressure because the blood flow was redirected. (Y'know if you click on it you can see it fully larger.)

It's a simple answer, really

The Daily Mail asks:

Brief encounters: Why does George Clooney never seem to stay with any woman for more than a few months?

My initial response: Because it's fun?

Let's face it: if most men could live a dating life like George and Leo DiCaprio (more on Leo quite soon), they would. The hard part, if it is indeed hard, is moving on. Reading the article indicates that George has seriously injured a few maidenly hearts. Whether he has been similarly inflicted is hard to know -- he hasn't seemed badly affected.

Answer #2:

Higamous hogamous, women are monogamous.
Hogamous higamous, men are ...

(The article doesn't attempt to answer the question, it just gives a run-down on most of his relationships.)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Oh, really now?

Sometimes I just can't believe everything I read. Nonetheless, with a title like this, I still read it.

Want to know how many orgasms a woman has had? Just look at her walk

"The report, published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, concluded that 'a women’s experience of vaginal orgasm may be discerned from a gait that comprises fluidity, energy, sensuality, freedom, and absence of both flaccid and locked muscles.'

One of the comments on this Daily Mail article is "What utter rubbish!!".

I tend to agree.

Red State agrees with me

Why Governor Perry [the most dangerous man in America] is still likely to be nominated

Rick Perry is not an able debater. In fact he seems to be bored with the entire exercise and I don’t blame him for that. The process that currently passes for “debate” is a valueless mixture of antagonistic press conference and TV quiz show. Rick Perry is not a policy wonk. Neither was Ronald Reagan. Neither was Dwight Eisenhower. Neither was George Washington.

What Governor Perry does have is:

  • A demonstrated ability to win elections.
  • A demonstrated understanding of how to lead and govern.
  • A Reaganesque capacity to touch the “mystic chords of memory” that bind us together.
  • A large stockpile of cash.
  • A set of opponents who all have significant electoral problems of their own.
Perry is still a very real threat to become the next President of the United States. And that therefore means that he is still very dangerous to the future of this country.

Did I say there wasn't much interesting volcano news?

Yes, yesterday I think I said that there wasn't much interesting volcano news. Well today...

Alert Status Raised to RED at Chile's Hudson

Hudson has released some really big eruptions before. Chile has really been blasting away recently; we'll have to see what Hudson has in store.

Top five female celebs found when searching "Linda" images

Top five female celebs found when searching "Linda"

1. Linda Hamilton
2. Linda Evangelista
3. Linda Cardellini
4. Linda Hardy!!! -- this one is very interesting
5. Linda Thompson: blast from the past; Elvis squeeze, Bruce Jenner's ex, Brody Jenner's mom

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Beyond the power of mind to estimate

Yes, it's easy to calculate the price of the Victoria's Secret diamond-encrusted Fantasy Bra. That is being reported as $2.5 million.

But when Miranda Kerr puts it on, the result is, as they say, priceless.

And gorgeous.

On the other hand, just having Miranda naked on a bed is priceless, too.

And in the category of lucky, lucky men, Orlando Bloom is way, way up there. More on that soon, regarding the outrageous luckiness of Michael Buble.

(More on this theme of naked on a bed later too, hopefully sooner than a lot later.)

Ashley Tisdale continues to improve

Judging by these pictures taken in Miami, Ashley Tisdale is well out of the Disney mold and moving up into an actual major desirableness level.

Senator No

Yesterday in a fit of tweeting I tweeted thusly:

Sen. Mitch McConnell: if it came down to something good for the country and good for #Obama's reelection, would he do it?

This is truly a pertinent question. With the world teetering frequently on the edge of double-dip recession; with our nation's infrastructure badly and dangerously in need of repair; with serious cuts to our nationwide competitiveness in the global market of commerce and ideas being contemplated; with the GOP revving up their propaganda campaign to justify pollution and irreversible climate damage --- it still appears that anything reasonable that the Obama administration comes up with to address some of these things (most recently the infrastructure jobs bill) is met with abject refusal led by Senator No.

I despise him. But putting my personal feelings of distaste aside, this campaign against the President is truly dangerous to the future of the country. Disagreement and negotiation are expected between a President of one political affiliation and a Congress of the other, but stagnation of action regarding anything meaningful puts off necessary responses for too long. But the Republicans are willing to sacrifice the good of the nation's citizenry to promote their ideology, seemingly above all else. That is the opposite of statesmanship. It's one of the ingredients in a recipe for disaster.

How Obama's jobs policies would impact the rich (hint: not much)

"Senate Dems have announced that they will continue to force Republicans to vote on jobs policies funded by such surtaxes, and next week, the Senate will vote on another key piece of Obama’s jobs bill: The Rebuild America Jobs Act. The plan would create a national infrastructure bank and would invest $50 billion in upgrading highways, rail, and bridges, with the goal of putting construction workers across the country back on the job and revitalizing our infrastructure and economy. It would be paid for by a 0.7 percent surtax on income in excess of $1 million."

"*If the new infrastructure proposal were enacted, the surtax on millionaires would impact a grand total of 345,532 taxpayers nationwide — or 0.2 percent of American taxpayers.

* If the new infrastructure proposal were enacted, the 0.7 percent surtax would amount to all of $13,457 on average for the millionaires that would pay it. Given that their average income is $2,923,000, this means they would be paying on average an additional 1/217 of their overall income, or just over an additional 0.4 percent. That’s less than one half of one percent."

And still Senator No persists in his effort to undermine America.

Thanks a lot, Mitch. Thanks for nothing, which is what you're accomplishing.

The most interesting volcano news

Current volcanic activity around the Earth seems rather mundane, but that's usually preferable for most of the population living near active volcanoes to the alternative of earthshaking catastrophic danger. It's always possible, given what might be brewing, that this is the calm before the eruption. Of course, it's easy to say that, given that something is eventually bound to erupt, like Etna did a couple of days ago (below).

Likely the most worried-about eruption is Katla in Iceland, which has been shaking a bit, but hasn't yet gone into a more worrisime pre-eruptive phase. According to the reports, Kilauea just keeps percolating along, with small lava flows emanating from the Pu'u O'o cone. Cleveland volcano in the Aleutians still has a lava dome that hasn't popped. The mountain volcanoes in Kamchatka and Chile continue to simmer.

So it is that the most interesting volcano news right now is underwater. The eruption off of La Hierro island of the Canary Island archipelago is producing clouds of eruptive material that are discoloring the water near the island. These clouds can be seen from space (see the picture). What I'm waiting for is the first submersible, preferably a ROV, to go down and take a look around. The other question of interest is how deep this eruption is, and thus how much of a chance there is that a new steaming ash island will emerge from the depths.

One other thing: the most potentially disastrous volcano news is from Bolivia's Uturuncu, but nothing might happen for centuries. Or not. The "or not" alternative could be really, really bad.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Where I admit I watch 'Hung'

'Hung' on HBO is truly a guilty pleasure. It combines sex and the hard-luck city of Detroit, and some twisted, twisted, characters. And lead character Thomas Jane is intriguing as a man stuck with a hard problem and doing the best he can to make ends meet.

Yeah, I'm real proud of that last sentence.

Anyway, 'Hung' also features, HBO-style, some pretty hot babes, and I can make do with it until the next season of 'Game of Thrones'. Currently, Kaitlin Doubleday as Mr. Drecker's rich former student who's hot for teacher is pretty darned worth looking at.

There aren't any pics online that do her the justice of how she looks on the show, so you'll just have to watch the show. Currently, Ray's in a bit of a fix.

Some stunning sports scores

World Series, Game 3: St. Louis 16, Texas 7. Albert Pujols hits three home runs. And proving the adage that you have to play them one game at a time, Texas wins the next one 4-0. The World Series is now best 2 out of 3. Texas has to win Game 5. Darned All-Star Game!

Washington Capitals 7, Detroit Red Wings 1. Capitals appear to only have one real weakness right now - Alex Ovechkin's scoring touch. If that comes back like it used to be, look out.

Manchester City 6, Manchester United 1. Blowouts don't get this much worse in Premier League soccer (football, sorry) - but this wasn't a top of the league vs. bottom of the league matchup. This was Man U.!!! Goes to show, when the mojo has left the building, it's GONE.

New Zealand 8, France 7, Rugby World Cup final. Rugby scores aren't usually that low. NZ finally wins again.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

She's so cute

For cuteness combined with hotness, you can't beat Emmanuelle Chriqui in a short black skirt and a semi-exposed midriff. She is a total package.

Recipe for unrest

Widespread power outages and an uncomfortable winter could make the Chinese people more upset with the lack of governmental control.

China warns of winter power shortage

"Power outages and rationing have been imposed in a total of 17 provinces this year and shortages could worsen if the coal supply is not increased or the weather turns bitterly cold, commission spokesman Tan Rongyao said."

This could be amazingly good news for fish

SDA Soybeans: A New Sustainable Source of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

"In summary, leading health authorities have concluded that omega-3 fatty acids are important for human health. Limitations of a sustainable supply of fish coupled with a high cost make fish oil an insufficient source of omega-3 fatty acids to the majority of the world’s population. SDA soybean oil produced through biotechnology offers one potential sustainable solution to providing the health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids in foods acceptable to consumers with reasonable shelf life."

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

They're out there

A program of amateur astronomers looking for potentially catastrophic Near-Earth Objects (that would the kind that might eventually give the Earth a hard smack), has found one. I have no doubt that there are more to be found. I wish the governments of the world would do two things; one, deal creditably with climate change, and two, come up with an actual plan to deal with a dangerous rogue asteroid. Ah, if I was POTW (President of the World), things would get DONE.

Amateur Skywatchers Spot Near Earth Asteroid Threat

In case we were worried about how Kelly Brook has been keeping herself

She's been keeping herself in tip-top form, judging by these poses.

Kelly Brook sizzles in sequins as she models New Look's hot new party dresses - and there's something for every budget

The French President's babe and baby

Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, the hottest wife of a head of state in the world, finally (at least in her mind) had her baby with the French Prez, according to reports.

Now she can get back to drinking and smoking like a proper Parisian. In case you think that's being mean, that's what Carla said she wanted to do after she gets the pregnancy over with.

"She said: ‘Quite frankly, I can't stand it anymore. I spend most of my time either sitting down or lying down. I can't drink or smoke any more. I'm in a hurry to get it over with. It doesn't interest the French.’ "

I'm sure this is just about the inconvenience of being pregnant, and I'm sure she'll be a wonderful mother, though I expect a host of excellent nurses and nannies will be taking care of the youngster while Carla is drinking, smoking, and performing other important duties of the wife of the French president.

It's a girl! Carla and Sarkozy celebrate birth of their baby daughter in Paris clinic

Perry's stratagems

#1, while Rick Perry would never use Romney's Mormonism as a campaign issue (no matter how much he dislikes him), the evangelical far-right wing isn't definitely not above that. This is not unexpected; as I've pointed out before, evangelical Christians who truly believe that Mormonism is a heresy (not just a different religion, like Judaism) could not possibly vote for him. And that according to the numbers apparently locks down about 25% of the solid GOP primary vote for Perry.

Why Perry's backers won't lay off Romney's Mormonism:

#2, E.J. Dionne has described how Perry is planning to spend his campaign money, a strategy that is very telling (and potentially winning):

Romney and the joys of punditry

"So the Perry campaign believes in saving all their resources until a last minute, huge television ad buy rather than trying to combat the media narrative by wasting money on ads before they drive any votes. This strategy lends itself to a last minute rise in the polls, rather than peaking too early.
All these lessons make the Perry campaign look artificially weaker in the polls than they plan to be on Election Day. The plan for Governor Perry is to peak in the year of the election and not the year before (see Fred Thompson).
This, he concludes, means that Perry “may, at the very least, have a lot better chance than the 10 % that the markets are giving him of winning the Republican nomination for President in 2012.”

Because of the current sway of the hard right-wingers in the GOP, Perry is still to be feared greatly.

More happy baby-to-be news

Linda Cardellini, the quite-cute actress who managed to play Velma in the "Scooby Doo" movies (and who also was pretty hot as a nurse on ER) announced that she's been impregnated.

Linda Cardellini expecting first child

As Velma, not so hot:

As herself, hotter:

As herself, delightfully hot:

Monday, October 17, 2011

It figures: Republicans target OCO-2 for cut

After OCO-1 didn't make it to orbit, NASA realized it was such a high and important priority that they immediately started an OCO-2 mission. But things being what they are with Republicans, anything with a sniff of a chance of indicating what a important issue global warming is, let alone supplying vital data that the IPCC would use, would be an obvious target. And so it is - the GOP scum on the Science, Space, and Technology Committee, probably urged on by one of the scummiest of the scum, James Sensenbrenner, have targeted OCO-2 for termination. And all their other cuts were to Earth Science at NASA. God, they've got balls. (Actually, they don't have balls, as they LIED to the Democrats on the committee. See below.)

And of course our primary Maryland nutcase GOP representative, Andy Harris, signed on.

They also did this after the news cycle on Friday; so now let me see what's being said about it:

Republicans propose killing OCO-2 and other earth science reductions

Oh, it appears that the committee chairman Ralph Hall LIED to the Democrats and said that he wouldn't be sending any recommendations to the supercommittee -- according to the ranking Democrat.

Here's the opening of her letter to the supercommittee:

"Dear Chairman Hensarling and Chairman Murray,

The Budget Control Act of 2011 [Public Law 112-25] included a provision stating that Committees could provide recommendations to the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction. The Chairman of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee has informed me that he does not plan to have our Committee submit any recommendations."

And the next day the GOP scum sent their list of recommendations to the supercommittee.

They are, quite simply, SCUM.

Lest we forget:

"However, in December 2009 the Congressional Conference committee directed NASA to allocate no less than $50M for the 2010 fiscal year (FY10) for the initial costs associated with an OCO replacement. Released on February 1st, 2010, the President's Budget provided adequate funding to support the launch of an OCO re-flight mission (now known as OCO-2). The OCO-2 mission underwent critical design review (CDR) in August 2010 and key design point-C (KDP-C) in September 2010. On October 2010, it began the implementation phase. This launch is scheduled to be no later than February 2013."

So... the Committee is seeking to cancel a mission with proven technology that is already being built.

SCUM!!! And idiots too!

Something else about this:

Sunday, October 16, 2011

45% over, 55% under is just right

There's an article in the Daily Mail about a plastic surgeon's quest for the perfect breast (and there's a similar best of the breast story from 2007), so apparently he's quite into his chosen line of work.

This is the type of research that I find particularly appealing. For the current study, the dedicated doctor examined the famous "Page 3" topless girls in the British Tabloid paper The Sun.

Question: how many research assistants would do this work for free?

Elisabetta Canalis goes shopping

And how many normal human female beings look this good at the grocery store?

Elisabetta picks up a few things

World Series 2011 is set

Well, one of the two teams I was hoping would be in the Series is in -- the Rangers. Unfortunately, the remarkable run of the St. Louis Cardinals knocked out the brave Brewers. Because St. Looey has won a few Series and the Rangers have won none, I'm hoping that the Texas team ends the St. Louis fantasy run. First thought is that it's really hard to tell who has the pitching advantage in this one (after Chris Carpenter). I'll have to read how the experts handicap this one.

Strictly for sentimental reasons, I'm picking Texas in 5. But with St. Louis carrying an effective Pujols, a renewed Holliday, and other hot hitters, that could be totally wrong.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Friday 4fer part 4: How Julianne stays Julianne

Julianne Hough says that she keeps her bangin' bod (and I would say that again numerous times) in top shape via a combination of thrill sports and basic training. I would imagine that vigorous ... dancing also has something to do with it.

One thing about her, though -- when her glamor looks deviate from her All-American blonde bombshellness, she doesn't look like herself, and she tends to look funny, such as in the picture with the way too red, way too much lipstick. And she needs curls in her hair -- with straight hair she loses quite a bit of specialness.

'I crave danger': Julianne Hough reveals how thrill-seeking activities help her achieve her incredible bikini body

This is Julianne at the "Footloose" premiere -- and this does not look quite enough like the Julianne we've come to expect:

This is more like it.

Friday 4fer part 3: Priceless

Miranda Kerr in a $2.5 million diamond encrusted brassiere (Victoria's Secret, of course).

I'd hate to be asked to put a value on THAT combination for insurance underwiring. Er, underwriting.

A real Treasure chest! Miranda Kerr wears £1.6m Victoria's Secret bra made of diamonds

There are currently only two pictures of Miranda wearing the thing. So I guess we'll have to wait for the show to see Miranda fully-encrusted in high def.

Friday 4fer part 2: thou shalt not covet

OK, I'm sorry, but when she does things like this, I covet Kate Beckinsale and wish that I could experience what Len Wiseman's eyes, ears, mouth, hands, and ... well, you catch my drift regarding the tactile and sensate experiences that he has with the delish Kate. She's just so... scrumptiously yummy, and she also shows that she can be much more. And I can be vicarious with that.

Bikini girl Kate Beckinsale is ready for her close up as she smooches poolside with husband Len Wiseman

Friday 4fer part 1: Wales vs. France in rugby world cup semi

The movie "Invictus" made the rugby World Cup a little more accessible, even if it is more incomprehensible to watch than cricket. But anyway, while the England team faltered, the Wales team - I was a bit surprised that England and Wales fielded separate teams - is in the semifinals. With England out, the English are supporting the Welsh. Yay team.

After the shameful World Cup, England fans throw support behind Wales in France clash

That's right. Against France.

OK, I admit a cultural bias, but I never figured France was a place that would play world class rugby. Now I know different.

The match kicks off (or whatever they call it) in a couple of hours. I'll check back in tomorrow with the result.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Could shark fin bans help save bluefin tuna?

The atrocity that is shark finning seems to be so obviously cruel and wasteful that bans of the practice, with their concomitant benefits to the ocean ecosystem, are gaining strength and momentum. One of these aspects is that sharks are top predators, and losing top predators is bad for the oceans. So I think the connection between the importance of top predators should be extended to the highly endangered bluefin tuna, also a highly endangered top predator species in the world ocean. And perhaps by showing tuna carcasses alongside finned sharks (as I've done below) will make the cruelty being visited on both species more obvious -- and thus spur public action.

CNN: Push to stop shark hunting

Celebrating National Seafood Month

"October is National Seafood Month, a time to highlight smart seafood choices, sustainable fisheries, and the health benefits of eating a diet rich in seafood. It's also an opportunity to illustrate U.S. fisheries successes and challenges as we turn the corner on ending overfishing and begin to rebuild fish stocks. There are amazing stories to tell."

Mitt Romney, member of the Mormon cult

A collection of links debating the issue. Remember, I'm predicting that the most dangerous man in America, Rick Perry, is still really the GOP front-runner, because when the chips all fall, he will command the majority of the motivated Tea Party vote in the early primaries, and when Romney falls from his currently anointed place (by the media) as the leader (forgetting the sideshow that is Herman Cain), then Perry will accelerate quickly.

Why Romney's Mormon faith won't derail his campaign

"Jeffress is hardly alone in his hostility to Mormonism. More than one-third of GOP primary voters say most people they know would not vote for a candidate who is a Mormon, according to a recent New York Times/CBS poll."

Other contrary opinions:

Why Mitt Romney's Mormon question doesn't matter as much in 2012

Evangelical leader says LDS Church is not a cult

Karl Rove on pastor's anti-Mormon remark: cult comment will hurt Perry, doesn't belong in politics (remember that there is no love lost between Rove and Perry)

Mars Drive Video

Opportunity takes three years to get to the rim of Endeavour Crater -- in 3 minutes. With sound!

Getting there is half the fun

Another remake of "The Thing"?

Opening against the remake of "Footloose" is another remake, of "The Thing".

If you can't make a new movie, remake an old one. "The Thing" is a movie classic, both times, literally (the 1951 Cold War paranoia thriller with James Arness as a carrot-shaped alien, and the 1982 John Carpenter remake) -- so why not try again with even better special effects? Now, the trailer looks pretty good. So will the movie be good? Who knows? Who cares? It's "The Thing"! Getting there is all the fun.

Currently 32% at RottenTomatoes - but some of the reviewers that liked it really seemed to like it.

Looks good enough to me to look for the DVD.

Julianne Hough on Leno Monday

Julianne Hough was at Leno at her radiant best, promoting the "Footloose" remake. Now, I understand that there's a controversy about the remake (basically amounting to, "some classics are too good to be redone". It's cool that they mention "Better Off Dead", which truly could NOT be redone).

Ultimately it comes down to whether or not the controversy about sexy dancing has relevance in 2011. Now, when Hough as Ariel shows how sexy dancing is done, that could be controversial. Just her abs above those shorts could be controversial. The clip was incendiary.

And this review says "And in a lot of ways, Brewer has improved on the original. It's dirtier, grittier, steamier, sexier, and that's all the aesthetic stamp of a man who grew up in the South and previously brought us "Hustle & Flow" and "Black Snake Moan."

That (and Julianne) is good enough for me.

And in case you want to remember what she's capable of:

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Despair and desolation

Unless EPICC gets implemented on a really large scale, we're barreling down a road to environmental catastrophe (or at least some really hard times).

Planet far away on climate goals: study

A central snippet:

"A study by the group found that the world at current rates would emit 54 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide or its equivalent in 2020, a gap of 10 to 14 billion tonnes with what is needed to meet the goals.

The planet is "very, very far away" from meeting the 2.0-degree goal, said co-author Bill Hare, a lead writer of the major 2007 UN scientific report on climate change and director at Potsdam- based research group Climate Analytics.

"We are heading towards a warming of well over 3.0 degrees at present unless there are major improvements in the pledges," Hare, who has advised environmental group Greenpeace, told a news conference."

[He shoulda told the Republicans, even though they won't listen.]

Is EPICC truly epic?

There's still lots of carbon in the Earth to be burned for energy, but some sectors are realizing that it might not be a good idea to let all the by-product CO2 into the atmosphere. (Some of the sectors not realizing this are the higher-functioning zones of Rick Perry's brain -- provided he has any of those -- and at least one-quarter of the currently configured GOP in America.)

The more enlightened sectors are considering utilizing the carbon underground and capturing the carbon in place. Will that work? Not if it leaks, but if it were feasible, it might help the coming energy crunch. And believe me, it is coming.

The concept is called Electricity Production with In-situ Carbon Capture = EPICC.

Using the energy in oil shale without releasing carbon dioxide in a greenhouse world

Similar article, from Science Daily

Electricity Production with in Situ Carbon Capture

World-class swordsman Leo D. likes them young and hot

Leonardo DiCaprio continues to astound. Days after breaking up with the luscious Blake Lively (24), after incomprehensibly divesting himself of the radiant Bar Rafaeli (26), Leo has another hot babe on his arm. And she's only 21. Leo sure likes 'em fresh! After Alyce Crawford, his next date might take him to the senior prom. Lindsey Wixson is probably available, and she's only 17.

Moving on already? Leonardo DiCaprio 'dating Australian model Alyce Crawford' just days after splitting from Blake Lively

Alyce Crawford

Here's some more visual information on Alyce when she was on Australia's Next Top Model:

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Why Rick Perry is still really first (and still to be feared)

So, Rick Perry is slipping in the polls right now. Mitt Romney is holding steady. The liberal media see this as signs of weakness in the Perry campaign.

Sadly, this is all very misleading. Polls question everybody, and if if they question GOPers, they question a broad cross-section of self-identified Republicans. But that doesn't capture the hard-core that is destined to vote in the primaries, nor does it capture the mindset of what GOP voters will face in the primary voting booth. Essentially the viable choices by the primaries (which are happening in December now???) will boil down to Perry and Romney.

When the hard-core GOP voter, especially the Tea Party acolyte, enters the booth and sees the choices, they will physically be unable to select Romney. After all, though he waffled thoroughly, he accepts that the world is warming. He implemented a health care plan in Massachusetts. And above all else, he's a Mormon. How can the evangelical voters that embrace the fundamentalism of Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann, and of course Perry's, bring themselves to vote for someone who is not just not a Christian, but who practices a religion that they consider heretical and blasphemous?

Answer: THEY CAN'T.

So as the pretenders like Gingrich and Santorum and Cain fall, what will be left is the proven, smooth, executive, electable, tested, handsome Perry against the wishy-washy Mormon Romney. So despite Perry's apparent struggles, I am pretty certain that he will emerge as the
candidate-of-choice of the far right that will dominate the early primary voting. If Romney enters primary season as the "front-runner", and then falls to Perry consistently in the early going, he's dead, and Perry will steamroll to the nomination. And given the persistent economic problems that aren't the President's fault but which nevertheless the public (especially brain-challenged Republicans) blame him for, Perry has a path to the presidency.

And then, in the words of Denzel Washington, God Help Us All.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Spain is the bad boy of European fishing

From the article:

Spain's fishy practices cast shadow on seas

"What that stance implies in Spain has been laid out more clearly than ever in a new report from the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).

According to their analysis, Spanish fishing has been subsidised to the tune of 5.8bn euros ($7.8bn, £5bn) since 2000.

Those subsidies have spanned the scrapping of old boats and the building of new ones, and just about everything in between.

And the number is so high that one in every three fish landed by Spanish boats is paid for in subsidy, ICIJ calculates."

WOW doesn't come close

It's a movie of a comet hitting the Sun. And the Sun reacts.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

What Firefly fans might have been waiting for

OK, if you were a fan of Firefly and were inaraed of Enamor... that should be, enamored of Inara, the high class, high cost, high flying space call girl with a heart of gold played by Morena Baccarin -- well maybe you wished (like many other geeks like me) that her charms could be viewed on display much like they would be on display for one of her clients. But because both Firefly and the movie Serendipity were intended for audiences that might include youth, Inara/Morena's naked appeal was never fully revealed.

Well, wait no more. And I can add that the new Showtime series Homeland has a whole lot of promise. Not to put too much spin on it, because if you've seen any previews you know what the general plot is about, but Morena's hubby was a Marine missing and presumed dead in the Middle East, and he resurfaces after years of missing-ness. During which strange things may or may not have happened to him, possibly with potential impact on national security. That's about all I need to say right now, because the subject of this post is the wife who didn't know, played by Morena.

Two things:

1. She acts incredibly well in the premiere. She's just flat out good.

2. She's shacking up with hubby's best friend, and she displays most of her charms when they are seen shacking up seriously. And they're worth the wait.

Final note: didn't take much searching to find safe stills, if you're so inclined. But the show is worth a lot more than just Morena's show-time, and I'm not being paid to say so. I'm looking forward to seeing this every week.

Tonight: Premiere episode of the HOUSE final season. I expect a doozy, and make a prediction here: the ending will involve the self-absorbed doc making a final act that dooms himself to save a patient. Dr. House is so self-destructive that for him to not self-destruct, for him to somehow be apparently on the path to permanent redemption, would seem so contrived. No, I expect the good/bad doctor to go out in a true blaze of glory.

In case you were wondering where Cheryl Cole was

Brit beauty Cheryl Cole was spotted in New York, looking pretty. As usual.

(Short posts this week, trying to maintain schedule. Still have to describe the Encounter at El Chipotle.)