Saturday, March 31, 2012

Looks like it's OVER over

Cheryl Cole has a new song out.  Its lyrics appear to be about ex-husband Chelsea footballer Ashley Cole.

See what I mean. 

But after spending much of the past six months in Los Angeles where she has been busy recording her third solo album, Cheryl appears to have a new and fresh outlook - and is confident enough to publicly shame her ex for what he did to her.

Good news for "John Carter" movie

Though critical reviews (and probably anticipation for "The Hunger Games") diminished the returns on John Carter, it's doing well enough overseas, including China, that it might break even.

'John Carter': China Box Office Surprisingly Strong 

With a current domestic box office total of $63 million, $172 million internationally (not including China or Japan), and China's 10 day total of $29.8 million, "John Carter" is currently sitting at around $264 million in total box-office earnings, with openings still set for Japan on April 13.
Not everybody has disliked "John Carter"; critics' scores on Rotten Tomatoes clock in at 51 percent positive, while users have been a bit more forgiving. Fans have given the film a 70-percent Fresh rating.
Good.  While not perfect, I thought it was well-made, and ambitious.  Definitely not a stale idea.

Seems like an easy decision to make

From the article:

NASA Measures Impact of Huge Solar Flare on Earth's Atmosphere

 "A key NASA instrument that can directly measure the impact of solar events on the Earth's upper atmosphere has weighed in on the huge flare that impacted Earth last week."

So the deal is:

"Its direct interaction with the upper atmosphere was measured by NASA's SABER (Sounding of the Atmosphere using Broadband Emission Radiometry) instrument orbiting on the TIMED (Thermosphere, Ionosphere, Mesosphere, Energetics and Dynamics) satellite."

Regarding SABER:
TIMED was designed to operate for two years but has operated flawlessly for more than 10 years. Another NASA review is planned in 2013 to determine if SABER will continue operating for at least three more years.

"This is well before the predicted solar maximum," Mlynczak said. There are no other measurements like it, and the entire SABER science team is working hard to make the scientific case to keep the mission operating."
So like the title of the blog post says, this sure seems like an easy decision to make right now.

Article about future of nuclear power in the UK

Rob Edwards writes:

What is the future of nuclear power in the UK?

So is nuclear power doomed?

Unlikely. The industry is politically very powerful and has successfully raised itself from the dead several times in the past. It has prevailed upon successive UK governments to take a series of "facilitative actions" to remove barriers to nuclear development. Last November, the pro-nuclear Department of Energy and Climate Change helped set up a high-powered programme management board with nuclear companies to try to prevent the nuclear project going off the rails. Britain's nuclear industry had "lost its international edge", the board said, yet it was now embarked on the UK's "most challenging infrastructure programme".
Later on, it says:

  Not everyone agrees with the British government's insistence that nuclear has to be the way forward. The Scottish government, for example, believes it can avoid replacing its two nuclear stations by rapidly developing renewable energy instead. This week, Scottish ministers said they had already beaten their target to provide more than 30% of Scotland's electricity from renewable sources.
Well good for them.  We'll see if they can keep up with the inevitable growing demand.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

But who is she?

Lauren Stoner has an absolutely divine body.

Lauren Stoner models bikini in Miami  (video from USA Today and Splash)

She's an erstwhile actress and apparently was director Michael Bay's swimsuit squeeze for a short time.  I'd say he should have stuck with it a bit longer, if only for the candy factor.

If you want more information or just a lot more pictures, pretty much all the information that's available and some really nice pictures (including toplessness, if you're in favor of that) are here:

Lauren Stoner is ... ?

Ariane-5 is the next best thing to a Space Shuttle

With the U.S. space shuttle program over, the best thing we've got to watch now in terms of launch drama is the European heavy lifter Ariane-5.  See what I mean:

Dazzling Night Launch Photos of the ATV-3 space cargo launch on Ariane 5

John Carter tanks, unfairly

John Carter got a 51% score at Rotten Tomatoes, which would normally mean it's not a bad movie.  But it cost a lot to make, and you can't have a movie that costs that much get middling reviews.  I saw it, and I while it wasn't the best sci-fi / sword and sorcery movie I've ever seen, it was pretty entertaining.   I think it suffered from three things:

1.  Lack of innovation; it wasn't really new, even though when Burroughs wrote the stories, it was;

2.  Lack of humor -- there weren't enough funny lines; everybody was taking themselves too seriously;

3.  Lack of fan following. "John Carter" came out of nowhere.  There should have been a much bigger historical look-back at who the character was in the stories, who Burroughs was, tie-ins with Tarzan, etc.  Disney blew that part big-time

And it could have been a bit sexier.  Kitsch and Collins had chemistry,  but there wasn't much chance for them to show it.  They needed a  romantic setup to lead to the (tiny spoiler) wedding.

The odds are going up

Due to the immense distances of galactic and intergalactic space, even if there are 100 planets in the Milky Way with intelligent beings living on them, we likely will never know.  But what we are learning via the advances of astronomy is that there are likely a lot of places that somethings could live, which up until a few years ago was a matter of conjecture and debate.  Now it turns out that it's very likely there are numbers of planets that Carl Sagan would have been really comfortable with.

Tens of billions of habitable worlds in Milky Way

So it appears the odds of someone like this living out there have gone up.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

How simple is that?

I had high, now dashed, hopes for Maryland to beat Notre Dame. With that hope gone, it looks like it was easy to fill out the women's basketball NCAA bracket.  All the #1 seeds are in the Final Four.  Further4more, the Elite 8 games were all #1 seed vs. #2 seed.   Parity is still theoretical in women's basketball (except when an Elena Delle Donne doesn't end up at U. Conn.)

So now we'll see if there's any answer for Britney Griner.

I think I recognize HER

An article about facial recognition caught my eyes -- because I'm pretty sure I recognize the face of the illustration in it.  Let's read on.

New research about facial recognition turns common wisdom on its head

Common wisdom has it that humans recognize the face "holistically," meaning that there is something about the picture created by the entire face - the particular arrangement of a face's eyes, nose, and mouth and not just these features themselves - that makes it easier for the human brain to make a positive ID.

That common wisdom appears to be wrong.
You can read the rest of the article to find out why.  And see if you agree.  But that's not the point of this story.  The article is illustrated with a picture of an attractive woman.  The picture below, in fact:

 This is actually a very famous picture; it's the only picture of a Playboy Playmate to have been in space.  (Umm, the title of the linked article is about an auction of a piece of the final frontier for space buffs.  Really now.)

And her name is DeDe Lind.  And I recognized her immediately.

Well, it just goes to show you that I appreciate the wholeness of a woman.

And if you want to see the whole picture, which includes the attributes that landed DeDe the August 1967 centerfold, just click here.   If you want to read more about her, including 60's vintage Playboy pictures of her uncensored (and one suggestive one with a banana that's more recent -- I have to be honest here), then click at this point.

The thing is, I was 9 when she was a centerfold.  I never saw it until years later due to the wonders of the Internet.  So I was not imprinted as a young boy, making her face "unforgettable" -- I just studied hard.

No nukes? Energy crunches possible on both sides of the Pacific

In both Japan and California, the lack of nuclear power plant generating capacity could cause problems this summer.  Japan is down to one plant after shutdowns related to the Fukushima tsunami event, and California is worried about a restart of San Onofre.

Japan has 17 reactors (54 units) and only one is currently generating power, and that one is going to have a maintenance shut down in May.  It could be a long hot summer in Japan.

Japan down to one nuclear reactor after shutdown

San Onofre is down because some of the pressurized lines are aging.  Well, I coulda told them that was going to happen.  If you don't keep up with the maintenance, like any complex system, stress failures are going to be increasingly likely.  So California is also facing the potentiality of a long hot summer.

The more that the world doesn't realize nuclear is both the way to avoid the long hot summers and the hotter decades (due to global warming from greenhouse gases), the more we're going to see power shortage stories like this.  Wind and solar aren't going to step into these yawning gaps anytime soon.

Concern over offline California nuclear plant

A major heat wave or transmission line outage during the peak season could see South Orange County and the San Diego and Los Angeles areas facing energy shortages without the 2,200 megawatts of power generated by San Onofre, a report presented to the Independent System Operator board said.  Board officials said they plan to produce more energy from other sources and convince customers to scale back on demand.
Good luck with THAT!

Tennis surprises from Key Biscayne tournament

Wozniacki wins over Serena:

Wozniacki ousts Serena at Key Biscayne

So now she plays Sharapova, who blasted past Li Na, 6-3, 6-0.  This'll be a pretty match.

Meanwhile, there's the ups-and-downs of trying-to-get-fit Andy Roddick:

Andy Roddick upsets Roger Federer at Key Biscayne
NOBODY beats Andy Roddick 22 times in 24 matches!  (His Wimbledon 2009 is still one of the greatest runner-up efforts in the history of the tournament.  Not a single loss of serve until the final game.  Geez.) 

Of course, he lost in the next round.  Obviously Djokovic is odds-on favorite for tourney title.  But Nadal is here too.

Key Biscayne tournament summary to this point

Another tribute to Kelly Brook's backside

Well, I have to blame the Daily Mail (again) for this one.

Bootylicious Brook! Kelly heads to her local park for a workout in some very tight leggings that show off her shapely derriere

 With views like this, one might forget she has a world-class bosom, too.



Sunday, March 25, 2012

One way to address overfishing

Overfishing is going to be with us for a long time, and I don't see any major improvements in the situation any time.  Thinking pessimistically, which I do frequently, I don't really see progress until we have a stronger global government.

But anyway, there are ways to try, and co-management of the resource is one of those ways.   Co-management is, according to the article, "... a collaborative arrangement between local communities, conservation groups, and governments..."

So, according to the article, it does work to an extent.

" The team of 17 scientists from eight nations concluded that co-management partnerships were having considerable success in both meeting the livelihood needs of local communities and protecting fish stocks. "

But can we get enough people in enough countries to act soon enough?  Can we?

One solution to global overfishing found

"Team leader Dr. Josh Cinner of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies and James Cook University, Australia explained: "We found clear evidence of people's ability to overcome the 'tragedy of the commons' by making and enforcing their own rules for managing fisheries. This is particularly encouraging because of the perceived failure of many open-access and top-down government-controlled attempts to manage fisheries around the world. More importantly, we have identified the conditions that allow people to make co-management successful, providing vital guidance for conservation groups, donors, and governments as to what arrangements are most likely to work."

The team studied local fisheries arrangements on coral reefs in Kenya, Tanzania, Madagascar, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea, using a combination of interviews with local fishers and community leaders, and underwater fish counts.

The study's main finding is that co-management has been largely successful in sustaining fisheries and improving people's livelihoods. More than half the fishers surveyed felt co-management was positive for their livelihoods, whereas only 9 percent felt it was negative. A comparison of co-managed reefs with other reefs showed that co-managed reefs were half as likely to be heavily overfished, which can lead to damaged ecosystems."
It's similar to climate change.  Major sectors of the world's population have to be convinced of the urgency to act a lot sooner (like now) than later.

Katniss Everdeen is 16 years old

In the Hunger Games, protagonist Katniss Everdeen is 16 years old. There was some criticism of the casting of Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss because she's older than 16 by a few years.

Well, by all accounts, Lawrence does a great job playing Katniss.   But as the dress at the New York premiere demonstrates, there are some things that she has which a 16-year old (unless that 16 year old is physically precocious) usually has less of.   Can you guess what they are?

Like the dress

Humor from the animal kingdom

Boobies are just plain funny (the name helps), but this video is all about the crab.  Narration is good too.

What I think about

Why is it that whenever I hear about or see a picture of Positano, the first thing I think about is Diane Lane's character in Under the Tuscan Sun having great sex?

(Maybe because that's something I'd like to do to;  have great sex in Positano. Having it with Diane Lane would be great, but not necessary.)

National Geographic guide to the Amalfi Coast

A note about the Etch-a-Sketch candidate and climate change

Why would we DOUBT that Romney will run (fast) toward the center the minute he has a chance?

One problem with Mitt is that though he's an inveterate panderer, he doesn't like to actually lie.  Pin him down on climate change and don't let him go until he blows it by indicating he has some belief in the science. 

If he does that, with the GOP, he's dead on arrival.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Never wrote about Sofia Vergara before

Yes, I haven't written about the Latina bombshell and comedienne, but I should have.

And I'll try to write more later.  Meanwhile, enjoy.

'We all like to have romantic sex, but...': Sofia Vergara slips into racy lingerie and  reveals why she's more fun in the bedroom

That's the kind of fun I could get into ... ahem, yes, you know what I mean. 

No, he wasn't offside

In the Washington Post article about this feat of the feet, they asked if Messi was offside for the second goal.  I took a close look at the replay and the answer is no, he wasn't.

What level of superlative can describe what this guy can do on a soccer field?

Messi Sets Barcelona Goals Record With Hat Trick Against Granada (VIDEO)


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

It's about time, and probably too late

I've noted the environmental challenges (putting it mildly) that China is facing on this blog before.  Well, one thing that an oppressive government that wants to keep its people happy needs to do, so they don't revolt when they feel betrayed by a government that's not watching out for their best interests, like their health and well being, is to make sure that they have water to drink.  And not just any water, but water that doesn't make them sick or give them cancer.

So China is wisely investing a whole lot of money, to the tune of $636 billion, in projects to keep the water flowing, and hopefully also reasonably clean, drinkable and potable.  That makes a great deal of sense.  Given the population, the pollution, the agriculture, and the massive economic growth and development, it may still not be enough.  But clearly they recognize that they've got a problem to address.

"China's Minister of Water Resources Chen Lei said the government is planning to invest $636 billion through 2020 in various projects to harness water and prevent related disasters.


"To address water safety, [Minister of Water Resources] Chen [ Lei ] said the Chinese government has decided to speed up the construction of rural water supply projects so that they are completed by 2015.

Meanwhile, he said China will implement a strict water resources management system, create a society that prioritizes water and soil conservation and rehabilitation and intensify the protection of rivers and lakes.

The investments will be used to treat heavily polluted rivers and lakes and to enhance the recovery of water ecosystems in ecologically fragile areas, while attaching great importance to the effects of construction on the environment."

We'll see if they can tame this particular raging dragon.

Kick back and watch

If I had not a care in the world (and a family and a house and a mortgage and upcoming college payments and a job that is great but for which the future is uncertain), I think I'd like to take a couple of months off, head to Sicily, enjoy lots of Sicilian culinary specialties, swim in the Med, and take in a few eruptions of Mount Etna.

Etna's most recent eruption, on March 18th

Figures 4 and 5 are impressive;  the twilight eruptions have been even more photogenic, but every one of them is a spectacle.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Lava flow is nature's performance art

Really, really spectacular video of lava flows from Kilauea volcano in Hawaii.  It even has humor;  look for the lava bubbles at around the 1:12 mark.

Definitely watch this full-screen. All that's missing is the radiant heat.

Getting off while getting fit?

OK, clearly some women have all the luck.  Not everybody looks forward to going to the club to get in a workout, but if you are a victim of the tragic malady of EIO, it might be understandable why you'd be ready for your gym class just about anytime.

Study: Exercise can lead to female orgasm, sexual pleasure

And well, I have a confession to make - a few times (fortunately not many) while performing a vigorous and challenging set of situps, the same thing happened to me.  And I'm a man.  I did what was necessary to take care of the consequences.  I expect that the stimulative mechanisms which caused mine were a little different than that which allowed the women to maximally enjoy their exercise session. 

Liked all over the place

Four utterly spectacular pictures of auroras over Canada:

Aurora in Northern Canada Caused by Solar Wind

Thorpe doesn't make it; watch out for Mags

Ian Thorpe didn't complete the comeback by qualifying for the Olympics (from Australia), but sprinting superstar James Magnussen came within two-tenths of a supersuit world record in the 100.

By the way, that doesn't mean that Thorpe was anything other than one of the truly dominant swimmers in the world in his prime.  His 400 at the Sydney Olympics was ridiculously sublime, and he went faster twice, including the REAL world record at the Commonwealth Games in 2002.

Thorpe fails to final in 200 free  (he didn't make it in the 100 either)

James Magnussen, a swimming superstar in the making

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Does Joe Romm know about this?

Joe Romm thinks nuclear power is too expensive, but it's going to be a major sector in China's energy future.

Nuclear power crucial to China

Nuclear power is important to China because of its quest for climate change mitigation, an expert with the environment ministry has said.

"The Chinese nuclear industry still feels confident to meet the installed capacity targets of 40 million and 70 million kilowatts by 2015 and 2020 respectively," Ren Junsheng, a member of the nuclear safety commission, said Saturday.
Got that, Joe?  China (perhaps unbelievably, to an extent) sees nuclear as a way to add more power and do it while addressing climate change.  Would that we in the USA could be so enlightened.

Fantasy Island

Oh, this is all over everywhere, but Vanessa Hudgens, Selena Gomez, and two other nubile young starlets are filming a movie called Spring Breakers.  The paparazzi are loving this, as they have lots and lots and lots and lots and lots -- you get the idea -- pictures of the nubiles doing what spring breakers do, like hang out in bikinis, smoke, drink, rob banks, and soak in a hot tub.

Nice work if you can do it.

Under no circumstances is this considered bad news

EXCLUSIVE: 140 Companies Drop Advertising From Rush Limbaugh

Why is it that I think that a lot of these companies have simply been waiting for an excuse to end their association with the blowhard nincompoop who has misled millions of innocent Americans??

Sex sells abstract art

The range of what can be called "artistic" and "art" is pretty wide -- so this project, in which amorous couples cover themselves (naked) in paint and then do what comes naturally to amorous couples doesn't seem that far afield.

'I tell them to take the paint, lay on top of the canvas and pour it on each other': New York artist turns passionate sex into art

Now, just make it performance art and you could get a lot more people involved.

100 100's

No, this is not one of the most boring swimming workouts ever conceived  (and believe me, I know, having done it once). 

This is about cricket.  Sachin Tendulkar of India FINALLY got his 100th international "ton" (100 runs) in cricket, a heck of a milestone.  He's been stuck on 99 tons for a year.  That's pretty impressive skill and longevity.

Unfortunately, India lost this match, but that doesn't detract a lot from Tendulkar's star turn.

Bangladesh upstage Tendulkar's 100th 100



Is this fair?

The University of Delaware women's basketball team, led by hometown girl Elena Delle Donne, play their 1st round NCAA tournament game against the University of Arkansas - Little Rock ...

at the University of Arkansas - Little Rock.  UDel is a 3 seed, and UALR is a 14-seed.  Is it common practice for the higher-seeded team to play the lower-seeded team on the lower-seeded team's home floor?   That's one ingredient in the recipe for an upset.

I checked the bracket and all the other top seeds are either playing/played at home or at a neutral site.  So how did UDel get stuck playing on the lower seed's home court?    Well, I wish them luck.  The country deserves a chance to see Delle Donne in later round games, so a first-round exit would not be good for them or women's basketball in general.

Blue Hens Earn No. 3 Seed in NCAA Tournament, Will Face No. 14 Seed Arkansas Little Rock Sunday in First Round

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Nominated for Funniest NHL goal of the year

This one was just plain ridiculous.

Follow the bouncing puck:

More on the Capitals' strange fortunes and observations about sports teams in the Baltimore - DC area coming up soon.

Will this marriage be doomed?

Researchers, somewhat tongue-in-cheekedly, have "refined" their formula for predicting the length and eventual demise of marriages between celebrities.

Refining the Formula That Predicts Celebrity Marriages’ Doom

The formula uses as one variable the number of appearances of the female partner in the marriage in a Google Image search wearing next-to-nothing, or even better, nothing at all.

Kinda like this (yes, she's married, to ex-star soccer player Gary Lineker).  Now, their difference in ages might weight in their favor;  plus he's rich as all get-out.  And I still gotta do that thing about happiness in marriage.  I will, I will.

 Unfortunately, I have to mention this right about the time that the marriage of Jenny Garth (Beverly Hills 90210, Dancing with the Stars) to Peter Faccinelli (Can't Hardly Wait, Twilight series) is breaking up, kids and all.  But face it, marriages between mortal humans and immortal vampires rarely work out for the best. 

New study of impact of overfishing on the Med

A National Geographic - sponsored study of the Mediterranean Sea, led by lead research Enric Sala, has described that there are many places in the sea with lots of fish, still (amazingly), but there are other places where they are virtually all gone.

Overfishing Leaves Much of Mediterranean a Dead Sea, Study Finds

 “We found a huge gradient, an enormous contrast. In reserves off Spain and Italy, we found the largest fish biomass in the Mediterranean,” said National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Enric Sala, the paper’s lead author. “Unfortunately, around Turkey and Greece, the waters were bare.”

 A series of marine reserves that shelter slivers of the sea allows certain ecosystems to recover and their all-important predators to eventually reappear. “The protection of the marine ecosystems is a necessity as well as a ‘business’ in which everyone wins,” Sala said. “The reserves act as savings accounts, with capital that is not yet spent and an interest yield we can live off. In Spain’s Medes Islands Marine Reserve, for example, a reserve of barely one square kilometer can generate jobs and a tourism revenue of 10 million euros, a sum 20 times larger than earnings from fishing.”
So the answer to helping ecosystems recover from overfishing is -- NO FISHING.

In the interests of balance

Even though I don't agree with it, this editorial discusses how Germany is phasing out, and how some politicians in France are saying they are going to phase out, nuclear power.  The author argues that Britain should do the same.  Well, there's really only one way that's going to work, a way that the author states clearly. 

Nuclear energy - a fading dream

One can refer to my earlier post about the fact that countries with money are investing in the building of new nuclear power plants, because they supply carbon-free energy in abundance.  It's nice if some Western countries think their populace is going to do without and do with less, but I think that's trusting a lot to human nature.  In developing countries where the populace has gone without for a long time, the leaders expect that their people are going to want more -- cars, TVs, computers, cellphones, lights, the basic things that we take for granted.

So here's what he said:

"And as European politicians have turned increasingly against nuclear, they have started taking energy efficiency seriously. In Germany politicians plan to reduce electricity demand by 25% by 2050 through energy efficiency."

Yes, they plan.  But is that realistic?

"But the coalition government here in Britain is planning for electricity demand to double over the same period, even though Ministers accept that energy saving is cheaper and greener than building new power stations."
Well, if they don't want more nuclear power stations, then they'd better get the people believing in, and practicing, lots and lots and lots of energy saving.  Hope that works out.

Next new national HS record in the 100-yard butterfly

Well, it's less than a month old, so this still counts as relatively recent - Maclin Davis of Montgomery Bell Academy in Nashville set a new national high school record in the 100-yard butterfly with a 46.64, breaking the 47.04 record set by Virginia swimmer Sean Fletcher in 2009.  And I think Fletcher was wearing a suit that no one can wear anymore when he did that, which makes the record even more impressive.

What seems really remarkable is that Davis did the record in the preliminaries of the Tennessee state championships, and hardly anyone (except at least the guy making the video) seemed to notice.  Ho-hum.

Joe Romm debates nuclear power

Joe Romm, whom I admire MIGHTILY, has a new article about how he claims nuclear power is too expensive to contribute greatly to a low-carbon energy future.

The question I'd like to pose directly to Joe is:  given the cost projections for the potential consequences of climate change, isn't it more expensive to not generate every possible Watt from non-carbon
sources?  And nuclear is the only proven high-yield energy source available right now.  Lots more solar would be great, even in the Sahara piped to Europe, but IS THAT GOING TO WORK?

In the comments, I noted that the oil countries are investing heavily in nuclear.  They've got the money to do it, and they can see the future when cheap fossil fuel energy won't be cheap for anybody, including them.  Developing countries are not going to back off their commitment to economic growth, and to do that rapidly (like the Western countries did during the Industrial Revolution) requires cheap energy. So with pressure on them from the developed nations to reduce the investment in carbon-based energy plants, and the fact that carbon is no longer as cheap as it used to be and is just going to get more expensive, both monetarily and climatically, the only real alternative that can keep economic growth going is nuclear.  And that's why another big growth place for nuclear is China. 

As I also noted, to really fight both the energy crunch and the climate catastrophes, developed Western nations should get on a war footing to implement the drastic energy conservation measures that are required now.  And I certainly don't see the collective will in Western economies to do that.  So the "low pain" alternative is nuclear.  Sad but true, unless energy efficiency gets on the fast track.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

After the fact, a public service announcement

Well, if anyone isn't paying attention, Jennifer Love Hewitt is going to be playing the role she was born to play in Lifetime's The Client List series.   She combines her girl-next-door appeal and her wonderland of a body in an episodic tale about a housewife who earns extra income to keep her family fed not with Texas tea (oil, that is), but with the endowments God gave her and a moneymaker worth shaking.

I.e., she's going to be earning a little on the side by being on her back.  Or taken from behind.  Or maybe a little reverse cowgirl.

And I likes the sounds of this:

"Thank you. I’ve never played a character who is this overtly sexual. It’s definitely going to be a departure from the normal stuff I do. Plus, we have a lot of really fun things in the series eye-candy-wise for our audience. ...  It’s a lingerie-heavy show every episode, for my character in particular. It’s not going to be your mother’s Lifetime."
No, thank you.  As I noted, April will be good (and busy) with the lustiness of the sinful Borgias, the power plays and sexual manipulations in Game of Thrones, and this surfeit of scandalousness, it's goin to be hard to keep track of who's doing what to who. 

So without further to-do, here's the link to the Maxim cover story, with six picks and a short video.

April 2012 Cover Girl Jennifer Love Hewitt

And may I say, though she's had a few fitness highs and lows, she's certainly looking tangy and tawny here.

New nuclear plant in Iowa?

This might be good news, but it looks like it's still a ways to go to get a nuclear plant built in Iowa.  Still, it constitutes a start, I think.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A legislator said Tuesday that he had struck a deal on a plan that would give MidAmerican Energy new incentives to build a nuclear power plant in Iowa.

Sen. Matt McCoy, chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, said his panel will approve the compromise Thursday.
  MidAmerican Energy Power Plant Deal Reached In Iowa 

So here's the problem:

" Senate Majority Leader Michael Gronstal, D-Council Bluffs, said no decision had been made about the measure if it wins committee approval.

"It's available for the rest of the session," Gronstal said. "We may or may not debate it."
One step at a time, I guess.

So is bluefin tuna

Spread the word, no matter how true it is (or isn't) - bluefin tuna, especially bluefin tuna served raw (the fattier parts are worse) also have a dangerous neurotoxin in their tissues.

Shark fins are loaded with a neurotoxin, study finds

"Shark fins contain high levels of a potent neurotoxin that scientists have linked to neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, according to a recent study published in the journal Marine Drugs. ... The study provides another reason not to eat shark fins or shark fin soup, an expensive delicacy prized in Asia for its taste and supposed health benefits. Growing demand for the product drives a global hunt that kills an estimated 73 million sharks a year; "

OK, so obviously shark fins could be real bad for you, and bluefin tuna has the same stuff, so bluefin tuna is real bad for you.  Pass the word now;  trust me.   Bluefin tuna -- bad, bad, bad.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

It's hard to look prettier pregnant, and nude...

... than Jessica Simpson on the cover of Elle.

Obviously and gorgeously preggers

Article from Daily Mail

One major contender in this competition was, of course, Miranda Kerr, who didn't mind posing sans hand.

Miranda with child  (and nothing else)

Oh yeah, there's one other quite fetching example of this particular genre:

Monica Belluci  (not quite nude, but who cares)

Of course, Italian actress Bellucci has never been shy, at all, about showing what God blessed her with, and it's worth the effort to look for if you like that kind of thing.  One of her semi-modest shots, and one of my favorites, is below.  Beautiful woman.  Click it if you like them big and bold.

The boundaries of the sporting possible

Lionel Messi scored five goals in one game.  A Championship League game, no less.

Lionel Messi makes Champions League history with five goals as Barcelona thrash Bayer Leverkusen at Nou Camp

 Here's all five goals, real quick like:

(Sorry about the cheesy music.)

Agent Provocateur sells lingerie differently

The Agent Provocateur lingerie line sells its product with sexy models and tantalizing videos.

I have no problem with that.

The videos are here.  I guess there's going to be one more in this set eventually.

Here's a sample of the product, worn by their current exotic lead model, MYLÈNE JAMPANOÏ:

Add this to the list of ills

Now, on top of all the other things that global warming is causing, or will cause, we can add this to the list:

Messing with cheetah reproduction, particularly sperm quality

Now, it has long been known that cheetahs never win.  Sorry about that.  It has long been known  that cheetahs suffer from severe inbreeding -- and thus their offspring have a lot of genetic defects.  This is bad for the survival of the species.  Of course, the regular things are happening, i.e., loss of habitat, loss of prey animals, etc.   So wild cheetah populations are crashing.   And one of the reasons is that male cheetahs have twisty sperm.

Risky Agwanda, head of mammology section at NMK, said: "Climate change has contributed to defects of the cheetah sperm. Many have abnormal coils, low sperm counts, as well as extremely low testosterone levels. Change in climate has made the survival of the gazelle difficult to survive and as a result, the cheetah has had to switch to other diets, also affecting its ability to reproduce effectively."
 And why is this related to global warming, you rightly ask?

 "Cheetahs love to prey on Thomson's gazelles, they have a very high protein content compared to other herbivores and the population of the gazelle has been on a rapid decline due to poor climate conditions and human activities.
Can't outrun climate change

"We have studied a large number of the cheetahs. As a result, it preys on other herbivores such as the zebra which do not have a high nutritional content. We discovered that the gazelle diet can actually help maintain the good health of the cheetah sperm if the animal has not yet been negatively affected by poor climate," explained Agwanda.
So that's why.  And if the cheetah isn't charismatic megafauna at its best, I don't know what is.

Linda Cardellini gets on the mommy track

Linda Cardellini, sweetheart from ER and the Scooby-Doo movies (as Velma) finished what she started, pregnancy-wise, by having a baby girl.    Always nice to hear this kind of news.

Linda Cardellini [and her boyfriend] Welcome Baby Girl Lilah-Rose

This, and watching Timecop a couple of nights ago, got me wondering about a few other ER female alums.  So I'm going to try, given the constraints of time and effort, to determine the current what-abouts of the following actresses:

Gloria Reuben
Sherry Stringfield
Ming-Na Wen
Kellie Martinaa

Linda C. was on the list too, but I guess we all know the main thing she's involved with right now.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Algae lamps save the world

There's a prize out there: The Virgin Earth Challenge -- which offers a prize of $25 million for a technology that removes a lot of CO2 from the atmosphere, helping to defer the inevitable consequences of climate change.

Now I read about a lamp that grows microalgae. According to the blurb, one lamp could remove as much CO2 as 150 to 200 trees, a ton of the greenhouse gas every year. If deployed widely, then it could have potential.

This lamp absorbs 150 times more CO2 than a tree 

 This gets me thinking -- algae have to live, grow, and die. There would have to be a build-up of algal muck in these lamps. And algal muck can be made, fairly easily, into biodiesel. If commercial biodiesel from algae was already running, then the algal muck that would have to be cleaned regularly out of the lamps could supplement the commercially-grown supply. There would have to be collection trucks, but heck, there are trucks now that clean out Porta-Potties and trucks that collect used cooking oil. What's wrong with a biodiesel-fueled truck collecting the feedstock for more biodiesel?

This idea isn't entered in the Virgin Earth Challenge, but it should be. Motto: Green light for green life. (OK, I'll work on it.)

A real world record

Back when I was a kid I had The Great International Paper Airplane Book. I made a few of them. The distance champion actually flew very far, and was quite balanced.

So when I saw the video of the new world record for distance flown by a paper airplane, it brought back childhood memories. Hopefully soon the "plans" for the distance champ will be available soon.

The Paper Airplane Guy shatters world record with the help of former QB

Monday, March 5, 2012

No one gets there with a lock

An "expert" at Town Hall weighed the odds of no one getting to the Republican Presidential Convention without the required majority of delegates to win.  As Super Tuesday voting will get started in a couple of hours (not counting the absentee voters who already voted), this particular prediction will be worth revisiting on Wednesday.

Super Tuesday Delegate Rules and Preview; Brokered Convention Revised Math

The end of Royal Gardens

Remember that I said it was only a matter of time before the most recent lava flow on Kilauea took out the last house in the Royal Gardens subdivision, the place where they built houses under an active volcano?  Well, of course, they didn't know Kilauea was going to start up a 26 year eruption in their backyard that would progressively and methodically burn down all their homes.

So, anyway, time's up.  The last house is now the abode of Pele.

Volcano claims community

Jack Thompson's  Royal Gardens home overtaken by lava (high quality video)

Sunday, March 4, 2012

April will be good

The Borgias, Game of Thrones, and

The Client List

It's going to be busy.

The ups and downs of Andy Murray

Andy Murray beats Novak Djokovic;  why can't he do this in a Grand Slam event?

Murray ends Djokovic’s 10-match winning streak, setting up Dubai final with Federer

But this is what he does in Grand Slam events:

Roger Federer edges Andy Murray 7-5, 6-4 to win his 5th Dubai Championships title

It's going to take an act of God for him to win Wimbledon.  But I'd still like to see it happen. 

Poetic? Just us

I haven't written a sonnet for awhile, but on impromptu inspiration, I came up with this one.

The Burgeoning Immense

Temptation rises quick in many guis-
es;  gluttony is easy to attain
as just desserts or just the lust of eyes
for food we shall not need.  Because the pain
of stark denial holds no vividness
that winsomeness or youth's nubility
innately radiate, we swift transgress
when sudden we shall mark tranquility
of features which are perfectly arranged
to stimulate the burgeoning immense
which overrides our reason; thus, estranged
from intellect's awareness of expense
we headlessly pursue destruction's sights
caressing smooth the stalk of strife's delights.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Another super close-up shot of Vesta

"These chains and clusters of craters were created by material that was ejected during the formation of a larger crater, which is located far outside of this image. These craters are called secondary craters because they are formed by material ejected from a primary impact of material from space."

NASA Dawn Image on Vesta: Chains and Clusters of Secondary Craters

Slapdown delivered on Coochie-Coochie-Cuccinelli

Throwback to the Stone Age Republican Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli of Virginia, who has been trying to exploit the GOP anti-science fervor about global warming for political gain, had been attempting to get the University of Virginia to release email messages from global warming lightning rod Michael Mann, on the pretense of the possibility that he committed some kind of taxpayer-funded scientific misbehavior.  Despite the fact that there were multiple exonerations, Cuccinelli persevered.   Well, now the Virginia Supreme Court has slapped down Cuccinelli in a big way.

Virginia: Court Rules for University

Ruling (pdf)

 Academic Freedom Wins in Cuccinelli Climate Case

From the Union of Concerned Scientists
Virginia Supreme Court Rejects Subpoenas of Climate Scientists’ Emails 

Just checked Rotten Tomatoes

Weird, as of yesterday, 8 out of the top 10 box office movies this week are rated "rotten" and the Jennifer Aniston vehicle Wanderlust, which tanked completely, is just barely over 60%. Surprising that it's doing that good; I read one review that bashed it. The Lorax is holding "fresh" at 61%. Now, it's hard to tell on limited numbers, but the highly-anticipated (at least by ME) John Carter is at 80% a week before it opens.

So far, Lynn Collins as Dejah Thoris has looked REAL good.   More on Dejah Thoris from me here.