Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Lopilato Effect

Quoting the article: 

Luisana, 24, who forged a successful career as an actress in her home country of Argentina, signed up as the face of the brand [Ultimo] for a two-year stint in October last year. 

Since then, sales have rocketed by 37 per cent - a spike that [Ultimo founder Michelle] Mone attributes in part to the 'Lopilato effect'.

I don't think I need to describe the nature of that effect from the male physiological perspective.

Happy Valentine's Day! Michael Bublé's model wife Luisana Lopilato unveils new lingerie range for Ultimo


The all-Maria list

Since I just posted about Maria Menounos, I thought I should put together an all-time hot Maria list.  So here we go.  In addition to the above Maria, I came up with:

  • Sharapova (tennis)
  • Kirilenko  (tennis)
  • Grazia-Cucinotta  (actress, most famous for "Il Postino"
  • Bello (TV, movie actress) 

  • Schneider ("Last Tango in Paris")
  • von Trapp ("The Sound of Music")
  • Kanellis (WWE)
  • Muldaur (singer "Midnight at the Oasis")
  • Shriver (TV journalist, i.e., Kennedy clan and married to the Schwarzenegger Governator)
Got any others, sports fans?

Maria Menounos picked for 'Dancing with the Stars'

Among others (like Martina Navratilova, Jaleel White, Jack Wagner, Natalie Cole), the producers of the DWTS franchise picked entertainment newscaster Marie Menounos for the next season, and paired her up with Derek Hough -- which pretty much guarantees some staying power.  Derek has a way with the pretty ladies.

Now, one wonders if MAYBE the producers saw Maria lose her Super Bowl bet.  To our lasting enjoyment.

Her figure is so remarkably fine that the first disrobal is really an eye-candy opener.

Science proves what we might have guessed

New analysis indicates that Tyrannosaurus Rex had the strongest bite of any animal that has ever walked the Earth.

T. rex bite was world's strongest

Gee, ya think?

Maybe Boehner should try to lead

Astute readers of my postings and tweets will note that I don't think much of blowhard Boehner.  Considering that the real person who called the shots and the tune in the House last year was the loathsome Eric Cantor, it's surprising that the Speaker was even called a "leader" of any kind during the meltdown fiascoes of last year.  So when you read the following about doubts about Boehner, remember that us who admire statesmanship doubt that he's really capable of accomplishing anything, least of all telling the Tea Party idiots to shut the f*ck up and try to actually help the country.

Who’s Afraid of John Boehner? 
Speaker’s Approach to Leading Unruly GOP Starting to Wear Thin

"Signs of strain have been building for months. Conservatives have repeatedly and openly defied him over the debt limit, spending levels and a payroll tax cut measure. And Boehner this month saw his signature policy plan — a fundamental reworking of how the federal government pays for transportation and infrastructure projects — collapse in the face of widespread, and very public, rank-and-file opposition."

You'd think that the guy could just tell the idiots that they're making themselves look bad.  Hmmm, I wonder where the Congressional approval rating currently stands?

Fox News has them at 13% - and that's high.  Which ought to tell Boehner something about how good his leadership style is working.

Yes, nuclear makes sense

While some of the "enlightened" European countries, which are bailing out their fellow European countries, are backing off an energy future with nuclear power, many other countries are going ahead with the plans that they've laid to energize with the cleanest and most readily available source there is.   It's too bad that the world can't plan to get to the future more uniformly than this.  I may have to eventually become an expat and work in the Middle East.  That'd be weird, but that's where the nuclear industry jobs are moving to.

New countries go nuclear despite Fukushima: UN official

"We expect that this year Vietnam, Bangladesh, United Arab Emirates, Turkey and Belarus will start building their first nuclear power plants," Kwaku Aning, deputy director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), told a forum in New York.

He said Jordan and Saudi Arabia could follow in 2013.
 I'll bet the Saudis will pay relatively well for expert services, wouldn't you?

Monday, February 27, 2012

2012 Academy Awards fashion comment

Penelope Cruz and Stacy Keibler looked the best in my early review.  More final take on who take the babalicious cake in a future post.

Bird flu could be Pestilence

H5N1 flu is just as dangerous as feared

"Seroepidemiologic studies that have examined the exposure of various groups of people to H5N1 viruses only from 2004 onward indicate that only a small segment of the population has ever been exposed to H5N1, and that among those that have been exposed, many become seriously ill or die.

"The available seroepidemiologic data for human H5N1 infection support the current WHO reported case-fatality rates of 30% to 80%," Osterholm says. In the event of an H5N1 pandemic, they point out, if the virus is even one tenth or one twentieth as virulent as has been documented in these smaller outbreaks, the resulting fatality rate would be worse than in the 1918 pandemic, in which 2% of infected individuals died.

Vaccines will not head off an H5N1 pandemic either, the authors say, since the time required to develop and manufacture an influenza vaccine specific to new outbreak strain has resulted in "too little, too late" vaccine responses for the 1957, 1968, and 2009 influenza pandemics, and not much in the process has changed since 2009."

Given the much larger population of the world and the considerably increased population density in many megacities, transmission of a lethal flu virus would be easy.

Go get some sleep now, kid -- if you can.

Survival of the finest

What do you get when you cross "The Most Dangerous Game" with "The Running Man" with "Mortal Kombat" with "King of the Hill" with "Dodgeball to the Death" with "The Lottery", and toss in nubile young teen idols to boot?

"The Hunger Games", of course.

Not to belittle it, this could be a decent movie, and advance ticket sales are apparently through the roof.

And I couldn't overlook the fact that 21-year old Jennifer Lawrence is a kick-ass actress and hot as fire (you'll get it).

Saturday, February 25, 2012

This water tastes a little salty

Climate change will, can, and does raise global sea levels, but even a few inches or a foot in coming decades are not nearly as big a problem for water supplies on the heavily populated coasts as the people living there.  Pulling the groundwater out of the ground allows the nearby ocean water to flow into the spaces previously occupied by the salt water, and that makes the water pretty much upotable and undrinkable.   This is a good argument for reuse, conservation, and maybe not living so close to the coast, but that's just the liberal socialist government control freak in me talking.

Coastal drinking water more vulnerable to water use than climate change

A matter of time

On Hawaii, someone had the bright idea to build a few homes in an area bordering a national park.  The national park that this subdivision bordered on just happened to be Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, on the Big Island, next to the most active volcano on Earth.

Perhaps not a good idea.

Especially when Kilauea embarked on its ongoing and going and going Pu'u O'o flank eruption.  Not only have the lava flows from this event wiped out some of the most postcard-worthy black sand beaches on the Big Island (Kalapana), they also consumed all of the houses save one in the subdivision, which was called "Royal Gardens".   I think it's more appropriately termed "Royal Pahoehoe" now, because there aren't many gardens on the lava fields.

The most recent picture from the Hawaii Volcano Observatory shows just how close the current  lava flows are to the last occupied, make that the last existing, home in the Royal Gardens.  It's located just above the 'P' in Plumeria in the picture at the link below.  Hard to see how anyone living there could sleep soundly.  And plus, those lava flows emit some pretty annoying gases, not much fun to breathe.  It might not be me, but I'd at least have an apartment in the city ready, just in case.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

33 years old and looking tight

Jennifer Love Hewitt is 33 years old, about to star in a TV series based on a Lifetime movie about an economically challenged housewife who gets a part time job in a massage parlor and finds out that it's a whole body experience - and then gets her whole body involved.  For cash and prizes.   I may have to find time to sneak in "The Client List".

Meanwhile, happy birthday to the wonderland.

Jennifer Love Hewitt's curve-hugging styles

Then we get the businessmen involved

Since governments seem reluctant to rein in business to help save the world (in the manner of how climate change is threatening it), the UN's climate chief has a real good idea - get the businessmen out in front of the governments.

I like it.  If the governments (and especially those nasty skeptics like the ineffable Senator Inhofe) see the that businesses they think AREN'T interested in helping slow down climate change actually working to do exactly that, it kicks the chair out from under them.  Because then they'd have to sign on to policies that actually help businesses fight climate change, because politicians always like policies that help business, ESPECIALLY those nasty Tea Party Republican GOP skeptics.

I like it even more.

Christiana Figueres, UN Climate Chief, Turns To CEOs For Low-Carbon Plans

"I'm hoping to accelerate what I call the push and pull process," Figueres told AP in a phone interview from her agency's secretariat in Bonn, Germany.

Governments act as a pull factor by shaping the policies that promote green technology and help renewable energy sources like solar and wind power compete with the fossil fuels that scientists say contribute to global warming through the release of greenhouse gases.

"But the companies, particularly these very, very high-powered companies that ... have the ear of many of the decision-makers and the opinion leaders of different countries, they can act as a push factor," Figueres said.

She mentioned Walmart, Coca-Cola and Unilever as examples of companies that have "looked at their own production and up and down their value chain" for ways to reduce their carbon footprints.
 I really like it.  Now the trick is to get the government movers and shakers to like it as much as I do.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

First we save the syrup

Liquid gold, that tastes divine
Maple syrup, which is one of my own particular greatest honest pleasures, is in trouble.  This year, the strange warmth of the whole U.S. winter is making Vermont tappers uncertain as to when to tap.

Maple Syrup Winter 2012: Producers Say Mild Weather Could Hurt Output

"Below-freezing nights followed by warm days are necessary to start the sap flowing from maple trees, a period that usually begins in late February or early March. But those conditions arrived early in some areas, prompting producers like Ben Fisk, of Temple, to start collecting and boiling sap Feb. 2, more than a month earlier than he did last year."
However, there's a more serious concern - maple trees in Vermont may slowly die out due to global warming.

 Goodbye Maple Syrup: Climate Change Pushing Sugar Maple Out of Northeast U.S.

"Warmer weather has also translated to problems with pests such as the pear thrip, and the non-native Asian longhorn beetle destroying maple trees. Deer populations have also exploded in some places, meaning that more maple shoots are eaten before making it to maturity. It requires a mature tree of 40 to 50 years old to make maple syrup safely. Chemical pollutants from acid clouds are also a factor of stress."

Monday, February 20, 2012

2011 - year of major disasters

Well, we're almost 2 months into 2012, and we aren't facing a global disaster of mythological proportions (despite the Heartland Institute's work).  But 2011 sure was a banner year, if it can be called by that phrase, for big disasters.  Check out the map.  I'm doing this on the 1-year anniversary of the downtown Christchurch earthquake, which despite being a low 6 on the Richter, did its work by virtue of doing it directly under the city of Christchurch.  (Click it to see it much bigger)

The red dot on Japan is the Fukushima earthquake, the number 1 disaster last year.

Cleavage don't come better than this

The Daily Mail called the dress "eye-watering".  Not sure if they meant that as some sort of British-ism.  If they meant "eye-popping", I agree warmly.

Or maybe they did mean it this way:
an eye-watering amount is extremely high or large, and much higher or larger than you would expect

See if your eyes water or pop (or both) when you ogle, in the best sense of the word, Kelly's picture:

Here's the article:

Kelly Brook takes the plunge for Giles Deacon show at London Fashion Week with eye-watering neckline slashed down torso

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Totally all growed up?

Selena Gomez is going to have a long, big career (at least she should).  She's out of the Disney stable, moving to her own beat now musically after she had big pop hit, and she's supercute now and she's gonna be hot, hot, hot sooner than she needs to be.

And on the cover of Cosmopolitan, she's going all out for the hotness.   Her cleavage is delectable, highlighted by that beauty mark mole in just the right place.  And she's got her legs, well, in a provocative position.  Check out picture number 1 in my post about Shilpa Shetty and see what I mean byt comparison to this:

That's SEXY folks.  And of course the tantalizing titles of articles that you just might want to read draw a bit more attention to her maturity.

Is it good?  Maybe not.  Is it surprising?  No.  There have been other Disney starlets who have tried, with various levels of success, to break out of the Disney mold.  Selena's the latest and could be one of the greatest.  But maybe her reps should have rolled out this transition from girl to fully-realized WOMAN a little more slowly, to reduce the shock factor.  The cover just lays it all on the line, so to speak.

Of course, Selena has become so much of a paparazzi favorite in bikinis since she's dating Justin Bieber that this isn't quite as shocking as it could have been.

Some commentary:

Selena Gomez Cosmopolitan Cover: Former Disney star is all grown up

All woman:  ex-Disney star Selena Gomez flaunts her cleavage on Cosmopolitan cover

Selena Gomez and Cosmopolitan want you to have a good orgasm

Selena Gomez Cosmopolitan cover:  singer too young for racy spread? (Well, those are THEIR words in the headline, not mine)

And some other pictures of this controversial (?) subject.

Romney's Mormonism will always be an issue for GOP

OK, for months I've been saying that the hard right of the GOP -- and that means a lot of the Tea Party -- could never vote for Romney for President.  This hard right is what hearkens back to the Moral Majority, and Pat Robertson's flock, and all of the other social conservatives, not economic conservatives, who want to put a Christian in the White House.  Rick Santorum, climate change know-nothing who wants Intelligent Design taught in the public schools, suits them just fine.   (Even though he's Catholic -- but I won't go there with the theological problems that some Southron Baptizers have with Catholics).

No, this is about Mormons.  Y'see, Mormonism is not just another religion;  in the eyes of the devout Bible Belt Believers, it's heretical Christianity.   It's not hard to show Biblically that it pretty much is heretical Christianity.   And it has a lot of the hallmarks of a cult.  (Especially where Warren Jeffs is concerned.)

So basically, as this article alludes to ("The Mormon card is now being played against Mitt Romney"), one of the underlying reasons for Mitt's failures in the Deep South is his Mormonism.

And the article is pretty mild, as well as somewhat rambling.  Want something more to the point?

Is Mormonism a cult?

Mormonism's outlandish heresies (PDF)

The Major Heresies of Mormonism:  Why Mormonism can never be a part of true Christianity

So no matter what their leaders say, I think that there is no doubt that 30-40% of southern states Christians just can't vote for a guy that's a practicing heretic.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

I agree with conservatives (in the UK, at least)

Appears that on the issue of energy, I agree with conservatives in the UK who are trying to find a way forward.

How conservatives can help to tackle climate change 
Treaty-chasing is a futile waste of time and resources – the search for clean energy begins at home

I recommend reading the whole article.  But I was really taken by the summary statement, which is so straightforward and agreeable that it should make sense to everybody.

The French are surely right to rely on nuclear power. There are risks, but the management of risk is what the environmental question is all about.

Meanwhile, we should face the facts: the problem of clean energy is first and foremost a scientific problem. It will be solved by well-funded scientists working in an atmosphere of free enquiry. In other words, it will emerge in a wealthy and democratic nation state, and can only be hampered by devoting our resources to futile treaty-mongering. Like every other viable environmental policy, the search for clean energy begins at home.

It was me. I did it. I'm guilty. All my fault.

OK, I admit it now.  No point in keeping it a secret.  I'm the individual who had the brilliant wherewithal to pose as a Heartland Institute staff member and got another of the staff members to send me some very interesting documents, which I then forwarded to parties who'd be very interested in having them.

And now the Heartland Institute is trying to find me, and they want to ask me a lot of questions about who I am and why I did it.  They even claim that one of the documents in the set is fake, even though they could PROVE that simply by releasing the email with all the attachments that I received.  Because you see that if the document that they claim is fake wasn't part of that email, then it's clear that the document they say is fake is actually fake.

But of course they could fake the email by deleting the document that they claim is fake from the list of attachments.  And given how much they've misrepresented, distorted, cherry-picked, and skewed the debate about climate change by hiring and promoting charlatans who don't do science but merely redo it to suit their own interests, it's hard to see how they'd be very honest about something as important as that email message -- especially given how important public opinion is to them and their donors.

So come and get me.  I'm the one you're looking for, Heartland.  And there's a lot more like me.

(And in case you think I'm serious, it would be a good idea to consider the following movie excerpt.)

Space janitor

Lots of us know that the space debris problem is a big problem that's going to get bigger and harder to handle before it gets better, and it may not get better.   And that means problems for necessary things like working satellites in space.  Space debris will also make it more dangerous to operate a large target like the International Space Station.

So leave it to the Swiss, who run one of the tidiest and cleanest countries in the world, to come up with a plan to address the space debris issue -- a janitor satellite.  A satellite designed to pick up space junk and send it back to fiery destruction in the atmosphere.

The thing is, it's also going to be a money-making machine for the Swiss, because commercial satellite operators will probably chip in to pay them to clean up hazardous debris that will threaten multimillion dollar satellite investments.

All-in-all, a good idea from the Swiss. 

Swiss to launch space junk cleaning satellite

Swiss develop satellite to dispose of space junk

Friday, February 17, 2012

A cold, cold, cold place

Artist's impression video of what the surface of Pluto looks like.  The moon of Pluto, Charon, is to the left, and that bright spot in the sky is the Sun.

How long will it last?

Unless it gets another lucky dust devil cleaning, the eventual demise of the Opportunity Mars Rover will be due to the dust buildup on the solar panels.  They HAVE been lucky with the wind-cleaning events a couple of times, but they're going to have to get luckier now.

Dust Mars Rover self-portrait

Because, amazingly, almost everything else on the Rover is still functioning (and they've come up with ways to work around the glitches that have developed after eight years on Mars), it would be too bad if the dust was what finally ended the mission.

C'mon, dust devils! 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Lots of Bar Rafaeli, and a note about body paint

Bar Rafaeli poses with male athletes.  In a bikini or less. Nice work if you can get it.

Bar Rafaeli with Nadal, Paul, and Phelps (and her luscious self)

And paint or not, soccer player Alex Morgan has got great hair.  And a sweet athletic butt.

Yet even more proof of global warming

As if the Heartland Institute needed any, here we have some more proof of global warming, courtesy of the oh-so-beautiful elephant seals:

Ocean warming causes elephant seals to dive deeper

The Southern Ocean is warmed primarily in the water levels up to a depth of 1000 metres and therefore in those areas in which squid and fish ought to be found.

"This prey is moving down to greater depths presumably due to the increasing water temperatures and this is forcing the seals to follow them", explains Dr. Horst Bornemann from the Alfred Wegener Institute.

Hope he can't come back

The Democratic dream scenario continues.  Even while the economy gets marginally better (despite the upswing in gas prices, which could mess that up) the crazy GOP Presidential race is sapping what small amount of appeal Mitt Romney had with the arch-conservatives, and blasting his appeal to independens.  The more he tacks politically right, the less he appeals to the poliical  middle, which is what he wanted to get on good looks alone.

So right now, if Romney beats the pants off the menacing Santorum (didhja ever notice that there's only two letters different in Santorum and "sanatorium"?) then he'll have so rightened himsef that he'll never get back to the middle.

Which is what we wanted. Our evil socialist plan is WORKING!

Romney's slide among independents continues

Just found out about Ben Gazzara

A little more than a year ago (has it been that long and that many posts?) I wrote that I was a little surprised to find out then that Ben Gazzara was still alive.  Well, in early February of this year, that was no longer the case.  He was an old-fashioned character actor movie star, memorable in lots of roles but not leading man in many.   We'll miss him.  But they'll still show Road House about every week on late-night cable.

Ben Gazzara 1930-2012

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Grammy red carpet, briefly

I may write more after reviewing the published pictures, but I thought Katy Perry's dress was the best in the early going.  Rihanna showed the most male appeal.  Julianne Hough was cute, and Nicki Minaj was ridiculous.

Taylor Swift was nice, but it was her hillbilly version of "Mean" that really impressed me. And the audience, with a standing O.

Friday, February 10, 2012

We can hope a little

This report of a drug that reverses the effects of Alzheimer's disease - in mice - is at least hopeful.  With an aging population worldwide that is both a resource and economic concern, if a treatment for Alzheimer's was found that actually worked, it would help a lot of families -- and even countries, like Japan.

Cancer drug reverses Alzheimer's in mice

I remember this issue

I distinctly remember reading this issue of Life magazine back when it came out in 1971 - and wondering who the heck Elton John was.  I did know who the Jackson 5 were.

Rock legends pose with their parents

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

In their pocket

More on the Koch Brother nemesis later - but this defense of the indefensible by a sitting Congressmen nauseates the un-nauseable.

Rep. Pompeo (R-Koch) Defends ‘Vilified’ Koch Brothers From ‘Nixonian’ Obama

 According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Koch Industries is Pompeo’s largest campaign contributor, having contributed $107,500 to his campaign from both individuals and its PAC, nearly three times more than any other single entity.
So what did he say?

The Obama administration has long been criticized for maintaining a de facto “enemies list” of its perceived political opponents, whether they are respected Supreme Court justices, disfavored reporters or private citizens who just want to keep their own doctors. The Democrats’ obsession with the Kochs as a political target is, indeed, additional evidence of a truly Nixonian approach to politics.
That the Obama administration and its allies use private citizens as symbols to be attacked and vilified is unfair and deeply threatening to our civic life and the rule of law.
So what have they done?

Koch Brothers driving anti-Obama hate machine

Some spice from the above:

"Nor was this, as Charles Koch described it, just an innocent gathering of "some of America's greatest philanthropists and job creators." No, this was a meeting to line up corporate opposition to President Obama's re-election -- and a very successful one. Corporations attending the Rancho Mirage summit pledged $49 million for the 2012 anti-Obama campaign. And that's just the tip of the iceberg of what the Koch brothers have raised and pumped into politics over the last 20 years."

Oil supply could kick economy down

A new study indicates that oil supply has stagnated while world economies still want to grow. The oil dilemma could hold growth back. That might be mild good news for climate, but it's not good news for the economy.

Oil prices threaten economic recovery and growth

"Historically, there has been a tight link between oil production and global economic growth," the co-authors wrote. "If oil production can't grow, the implication is that the economy can't grow either."

Calculations from the International Monetary Fund, for example, say that to achieve a 4 percent growth in the global economy in the next five years, oil production must increase about 3 percent a year.

"Yet to achieve that will require either an heroic increase in oil production, ... increased efficiency of oil use, more energy-efficient growth or rapid substitution of other fuel sources," according to the commentary.

"Economists and politicians continually debate policies that will lead to a return to economic growth. But because they have failed to recognize that the high price of energy is a central problem, they haven't identified the necessary solutions: weaning society off fossil fuel."

Nuclear, anyone?

Monday, February 6, 2012

It works

Pretty impressive video of an avalanche survival airbag system. Reminds me of the James Bond avalanche survival jacket in "The World is Not Enough".

Venice freezes over, and

While we here on the U.S. East Coast continue to have considerably higher than average temperatures (even extending into the heartland), Europe is getting hammered by brutally cold temperatures.  Weather sure can be weird.   The pictures in the Daily Mail article of the canals of Venice are remarkable.  I'm sure it's findable, though I haven't looked yet, but I wonder when the last time this happened was.

Big freeze in Europe shows no signs of letting up as Venice's famous waterways ice over

Meanwhile, it is so cold in Poland that the local polar bear club had to cancel their frigid dip:

Deep freeze hits Poland's hardy lake swimmers
"This year's edition of the annual swim in a lake near the city of Elk -- which draws around a hundred participants -- was due to take place on Sunday.

But temperatures in northern Poland have plunged to minus 30 Celsius (minus 22 Fahrenheit), far below the minus 15 Celsius experienced by swimmers in 2010 during the coldest ever edition of the event."  [I think they mean before this year!]

Put your 3-D glasses on

If you've ever wondered what it's like to be in orbit around a big asteroid, put on your red-blue pair and look at this image of Vesta.  It's positively science-fictional.  But it's real.

Full-size 3D anaglyph of Vesta
"At the time the distance from Dawn to Vesta was about 5,200 kilometers (3,200 miles), which results in an image resolution of about 500 meters (1,600 feet) per pixel. The depth effect or topography differences in this anaglyph were calculated from the shape model of Vesta. A number of Vesta's large features are clear in this anaglyph. Firstly, the equatorial troughs are visible around Vesta's equator. These troughs encircle most of the asteroid and are up to 20 kilometers (12 miles) wide. Secondly, to the north of these troughs there are a number of highly degraded, old, large craters. Vesta's heavily cratered nature is clear from this anaglyph because younger, fresher craters are overlain onto many sets of older, more degraded craters. Due to Vesta's angle towards the Sun the northernmost part of Vesta has yet to be illuminated and studied and is shown in shadow in this anaglyph. Finally, in the southern hemisphere there are generally fewer craters than in the northern hemisphere. Also visible protruding out from Vesta's south polar region is a side view of the central complex of the Rheasilvia impact basin."

Chelsea tie with Manchester United

Great game, but I still question the first penalty kick call in the box; I thought that was well sold.

Nevertheless, if more soccer games were like this 3-3 tie instead of 0-0 or 1-0, there'd be a lot more fans in the States. I wondered where Ashley Cole was - he was out due to two yellow cards in the previous match. The article says the second penalty call was more questionable than the first. Shows what I know.

What we learned from the Chelsea vs. United Match

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Life is good, based on these criteria

Cisco ad:
Basically, life is good if you're 40-something, got a ~30-yo hot blonde wife who looks this good after two kids, you've got money flowing in, and she lets you go out with your friends on Friday night to watch football.
What, no Cialis?

A whole lot of Shakira goin' on

Wonderwall, which provides occasionally very entertaining and informative insight into celebrities in entertainment, provided an overview of Shakira's uniqueness and undeniably essential magnetic attractiveness.

Shakira - eye candy

She's amazingly talented as a singer, dancer, entertainer, and plus she's got a strong interest in helping children around the world.  What's not to admire?

She could command me.

There's this simple look too.  Yum. Wouldn't mind waking up to that.

Got one prediction right

So far, it's clear that one of my 10 predictions for 2012 won't happen (Washington Wizards making the playoffs).  But I was right about this one (my number 8):

New alien planet is perfect for life, scientists say

Good job - made me laugh

This Toyota Camry ad made me laugh out loud.  Seriously.   Good job, Toyota ad guys.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

A movie I missed the first time

I caught Adventureland a couple of nights ago on cable.  I was surprised by this one, which I hadn't heard of when it came out.  Kristen Stewart played her teen angst role again, very similar in tone to Bella Swan (without the blood overtones), not showing the range I know she has, like playing Joan Jett, for example.  It was pretty good all around as a coming-of-age story, in which the coming-of-age character was played by Jesse Eisenberg in all his stutterish glory.   I think the outstanding marks go the supporting cast, such as Ryan Reynolds, Bill Hader, and Kristen Wiig.   And also a young gorgeous starlet about which I will write more in the next day or two.

Really got me that Adventureland scored 89% at  But I agreed with that score.

Just wait for it

The changing pH of the oceans, in the direction of acidic (they are alkaline now, with surface pH around 8.2) is seen in this video animation. Wish Jo Nova would see this. When things start to change near the end of the period simulated, they start to change fast.

There aren't many better reasons for increased deployment of nuclear power generating plants.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Chinese cadmium pollution crisis, phase 3: finger-pointing

Looks like the Chinese cadmium pollution crisis is moving on to the blame game.  It's refreshing (and perhaps hopeful) to see the media getting indignant over this incident.

Chinese media blast officials over toxic river

"Local authorities need to investigate thoroughly the root cause of the incident. This incident should be a wake-up call to the rest of the country," it said in an editorial.


"Activists say officials in China often turn a blind eye to industrial pollution or even collude with companies, as they seek to push forward local economic development at all costs."

France proposes world government

Well, not really.  But if you really want to have an international agency with cross-boundary power, that could carry out enforcement of environmental regs around the world, with enough force to make them stick and work, then you're giving the UN a lot stronger power than it has ever enjoyed before.   And given the fisheries disaster that is unfolding tragically in the Southern Ocean, emblematic of the "everyone in it for themselves" parochial nationalistic mentalities, then many of us can see why such an environmental agency would be desirable.

100 countries back world environment agency: France

  "But rather than be just a branch of the UN, the proposed agency would help implement international environmental standards and include grassroots groups and business, according to the proposal."

and more:

It should be part of a rethink of the world's economy, in which green issues and social questions should be integrated into the search for profit, she [French ecology minister Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet]  said.

"The new capitalism which emerges from the crisis has to be environmental, or it won't be new," she said.

"We are looking for a new kind of environmental governance, something more inclusive, in which all parties have a stake and it's not just governments which have the right to speak."

Good luck with that.  Good luck to us all, because this is what we need, right?  The United States is obviously on board with this great idea, right?
Wrong. " the United States "has yet to back" to the proposal, citing questions of sovereignty."

With attitudes like that, the whole world could get considerably f*cked up.