Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Like it or not, climate change is an issue

Really, really, REALLY, liked this op-ed by Howard Fineman in the HuffingtonPost.

Climate change takes the campaign by storm

The lead:
" We interrupt this presidential campaign to bring you a disturbing special report from the future. It's called Lower Manhattan."

THAT's a stinger.

" The president and his supporters still insist that he has the right idea: While the first Manhattan Project harnessed a form of energy to win a war against fascism, now it's time to find other sources of energy to win the war against the depredations of climate change."

(There have been some pretty dire reports of how much climate change will cost in the future if we don't take action pretty soon now, that being about the same as right away.   It's in our economic best interest, and also health, and security, and even this little thing called the Earth that we find useful to live on).

Compare and contrast:
"Where is Romney on this? Once upon a time, as governor of Massachusetts, he was a standard-issue moderate Republican on environmental issues -- which is to say, he was open to using government to address problems. He was skeptical of coal, for example.

No more. Romney's campaign against Obama is based on the notion that federal action is not only a waste of money but strangling. The notion of communal effort led by Washington to attack a problem -- even an existential one -- is foreign to him, or so he says."
"And his energy platform is straight out of the Bush-Cheney playbook, which focuses almost entirely on drilling, digging and burning."
And, I might add, Romney also used to say that he knew humans were a major factor causing climate change -- and then he said he didn't know what was causing it -- and he reverted back partially to admitting that human activities probably have something to do with it, but basically it isn't so much of a problem that we have to change the way we burn things to make energy anytime soon.

I'd like a guy that understands the issues he's talking about are actually important.  He's so worried about building the economy back and getting jobs for college kids, what about the state and fate of the Earth that our kids in elementary school (and their kids, and their grandkids) are going to be left with?   Empty-suit business platitudes won't be of much use in 50 years when sea levels are a foot higher and global temperatures are a degree (C) warmer -- and that's where we're headed.

As Fineman finishes: 
"We need cheap energy now, and we need jobs now, and one generally helps the other. In a period of slow recovery, it makes sense.  Unless you are in Lower Manhattan."  

(with no power, no subway, no food, no gas, no cell phone, and no way out)

I'm reminded of The Dark Knight Rises.  The rich guys were in just as much trouble as the poor guys, and nobody could get off the island (the river turned out not to be much of an option).  Anarchy is just a block away.  It isn't rich man vs. poor man;  we're all in this together.

Sahara sun power plan loses steam

I actually had high hopes for this plan as a long-range way to deal with an area that is only going to have more and more energy demand.  The idea was to use a large area of the Sahara Desert to generate solar power (there is certainly a decent amount of consistent sunlight there), and transmit it under the Mediterranean to power-hungry, but want-to-be-green Europe.   And they could even grow crops under the solar panels or something like that.

Well, all is not sunny for this plan right now.

Siemens pulls out of DESERTEC project

Here are a couple of excerpts.  I would say that there is still some chance that this project could be implemented at some level.

1. Siemens also said that it will pull out of the solar-energy business altogether. Its decision was made in response to falling government subsidies for solar energy and a collapse in the price of solar equipment. But to DESERTEC’S critics, Siemens’ exit also adds to doubts about the plan, which is expected to cost hundreds of billions of dollars. “DESERTEC is an ambitious attempt to do every­thing at once,” says Jenny Chase, an analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance in Zurich, Switzerland. “I think it’s something that will be achieved organically, bit by bit, which will probably be cheaper, easier and achieve the same results.”
2. But Thiemo Gropp, director of the non-profit DESERTEC Foundation that set up Dii, says the fall in costs that drove Siemens out of the business will ultimately benefit the project. “Other companies will fill this gap with their own products,” he says. DESERTEC has endorsed one such project, a solar thermal plant planned for a site in Tunisia. Nur Energie, the London-based company behind the undertaking, hopes to supply Italy with power from the plant through an underwater cable.

Fabulous fossil flying fish found

I just had to write that tongue-twister after I read this article:

New flying fish fossils discovered in China

"The study shows that the new flying fish, named Potanichthys xingyiensis, was 153mm long and had the "unusual combination of morphological features" associated with gliding strategy in fishes."

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Excerpt from NY Times Obama endorsement

Barack Obama for President

"Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, has gotten this far with a guile that allows him to say whatever he thinks an audience wants to hear. But he has tied himself to the ultraconservative forces that control the Republican Party and embraced their policies, including reckless budget cuts and 30-year-old, discredited trickle-down ideas. Voters may still be confused about Mr. Romney’s true identity, but they know the Republican Party, and a Romney administration would reflect its agenda. Mr. Romney’s choice of Representative Paul Ryan as his running mate says volumes about that."



Sunday, October 28, 2012

Want a nice house?

This nice house in Wisconsin is for sale.   No price given, but it sold for $18.5 million in 2005.

It's on Green Bay, at the end of the Door Peninsula.  Nice location (probably a bit snowy and cold in the winter, though).   But if you lived in this place, you might not even notice.

Daily Mail article about the place

Actual place to go if you might want to buy it:  Sur la Baie
Get your bid in by November 14.

The home theater is impressive.  So is the indoor pool.

Catching up with Kelly Brook's backside

One of the most popular posts I've written on this blog was a tribute to lusciously curvaceous British swimsuit, lingerie, and occasionally (happily) nude model Kelly Brook's backside.  Now, her front side is justifiably celebratable, and I've done so in the past, but Kelly's got balance, and when she gives us a view of her fine butt, I can't help butt be happy about that.

So I did see, but didn't have a chance to comment, on a recent FHM photoshoot with Kelly (as publicized by the Daily Mail).  And one of the highlighted shots from the shoot was a very wonderful shot of prone Kelly wearing a thong.  And the thong framed the gluteal pair of Kelly quite nicely.

Here's a different shot from the shoot (and all of the pictures from it are right here). 

Don't look back, but a nice butt is following you

It's amazing to me

It's amazing to me...

... that the Tea Party Republicans, who have been famous for pushing the "purity" of their candidates, (which has resulted in many old-line Republicans losing primaries to the Tea Party upstarts), have embraced multi-position, opportunistic, unprincipled Presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

... that evangelical Christian Republicans, who have famously and unctuously dismissed even practicing Christian but liberal politicians as not Christian enough, have accepted that a Mormon -- a religion that is not just considered non-Christian, but HERESY for what it says about the savior Jesus Christ -- can be their Presidential candidate.

...that blue-collar worker Republicans can't see that Mitt Romney is a man that favors big business profits at the expense of anything that might stand in the way of that, including how many people are working for a particular company.

... that anti-abortion Republicans don't realize that Mitt has been all over the map on his abortion position (including an actual pro-choice position), and that his policies would actually make abortions more common if he's elected.

... that most Republicans accept that Mitt Romney will say anything he needs to say and do anything he needs to do to get elected -- particularly flat-out lie, repeatedly.

... that Paul Ryan tried to change the definition of "rape" to "forcible rape" so that abortions in the case of rape could be restricted.

... that Paul Ryan's radical budget plan has barely been mentioned by the Republicans in this campaign, because they're running away from it as fast as they can.

... that the Republicans can bold-facedly claim that President Obama is responsible for the military cuts that will happen with sequestration when it was the GOP Congress that forced the deal that made sequestration a possibility and the GOP Congress that stood in the way of any possible deal that might be reached by the super-committee.

... that Republicans are campaigning against President Obama by saying that he didn't try to work with Congress in a bipartisan fashion when from the beginning of his administration they vowed to oppose anything he did and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell vowed to do everything in his power to make President Obama a one-term President.

... and finally, that an empty suit like Mitt Romney can even have a chance to be elected President of the United States and endanger many of the tradition and accomplishments that have made this country great.

I'm terrified that he could win this election.  And, living in Maryland, there's not much I can do about it except hope that the good people of Ohio and Iowa and Wisconsin can hold the line against this disaster-in-the-making.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Still not pregnant

Supposedly, Princess Charlene of Monaco (the former Charlene Wittstock), who is a lovely woman and a former competitive swimmer as well -- all good things in my book -- would be free to leave her marriage to Prince Albert once she bears him a legitimate heir.   While he doesn't have looks that make the ladies swoon, he apparently has enough of a way with the ladies to have two heirs of the illegitimate variety.

Yes, she's in shape

Well, this Daily Mail article indicates that Charlene is still lovely to look at, and still not pregnant.

I sure hope Albert is trying.

A few more recent articles about Princess Charlene and the Prince:

Happy again: Princess Charlene and Prince Albert dance rumours of troubles away

Life's a picnic for Prince Albert of Monaco and his glamorous wife Charlene

Princess Charlene watches Chad le Clos swim to gold for South Africa

Truer than true can be

Notwithstanding the fact that the Republicans have the GALL to blame sequestration on the President because he signed the bill on the deal (!!!) that they forced on him, they also are hitting him on not being able to work with Congress.  That would be an intransigent, uncompromising House of Representatives led by the loathsome Eric Cantor and the spineless John Boehner, and a Senate behind Mitch "One Term President Obama" McConnell.

That's why this Huffington Post article is devastatingly true:

Republicans Filibuster Everything, Romney Blames Obama for Not Working With Congress

Here's the partial list that came with the article:

"What bills have the Republicans filibustered? To name a few:
H.R. 12 - Paycheck Fairness Act
H.R. 448 -- Elder Abuse Victims Act
H.R. 466 - Wounded Veteran Job Security Act
H.R. 515 - Radioactive Import Deterrence Act
H.R. 549 -- National Bombing Prevention Act
H.R. 577 - Vision Care for Kids Act
H.R. 626 - Federal Employees Paid Parental Leave Act
H.R. 1029 - Alien Smuggling and Terrorism Prevention Act
H.R. 1168 -- Veterans Retraining Act
H.R. 1171 - Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program Reauthorization
H.R. 1293 -- Disabled Veterans Home Improvement and Structural Alteration Grant Increase Act
H.R. 1429 -- Stop AIDS in Prison Act
H.R.5281 -- DREAM Act
S.3985 -- Emergency Senior Citizens Relief Act
S.3816 -- Creating American Jobs and Ending Offshoring Act
S.3369 -- A bill to provide for additional disclosure requirements for corporations, labor organizations, Super PACs and other entities
S.2237 -- Small Business Jobs and Tax Relief Act
S.2343 -- Stop the Student Loan Interest Rate Hike Act
S.1660 -- American Jobs Act of 2011
S.3457 -- Veterans Jobs Corps Act"

 "During the president's first two years in office, the 111th Congress, there were 137 cloture motions filed to end Republican filibusters. During the president's second two years, the 112th Congress, there were 109 motions filed to end Republican filibusters and we still have a few more months to go. 246 total cloture motions. Compare this to George W. Bush's first term when there were a total of 133 cloture motions filed"

It isn't the Do-Nothing Congress.  It's the Willfully-Refuse-to-do-Anything-Useful Congress.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

It's too hard to pass up

When the Daily Mail covers Miranda Kerr, I am nearly helpless to resist.  It's also worth remembering that Mrs. Orlando Bloom is a very yummy mummy, as well.

Miranda Kerr and new Victoria's Secret lingerie

The pink pyjamas are the cat's meow.   And a couple of other ones I found in the VS sleepwear/lingerie section are pretty nice, too.  (If you want to buy, or zoom in, click the captions).   These would sure be a nice Christmas present to unwrap.

I wonder how many of these the lucky Mr. Bloom gets to test-drive.

Satin and lace cami and tap short set


Chiffon babydoll

Worth repeating: science would suffer under Romney/Ryan

Found yet ANOTHER editorial pointing out that the Obama administration has been reasonably good for science, and a second one probably would be (despite the budget constraints and political necessities that addressing the deficit would entail); on the other hand, a Romney/Ryan administration would likely be a scorched-earth unmitigated disaster for science.  This we already knew, but it's worth repeating over again to note that here I said it along with many other opinionators in case of the horrifying prospect of a Romney win.  Which, as I write this, is horribly possible.

For science, a consequential election

"In the heat of a presidential election campaign it's easy to lose sight of the long-term. According to another Nobel Prize winner, the MIT economist Robert Solow, half of the growth of the U.S. economy since World War II is directly attributable to innovations in science and technology. Much of President Obama's stimulus package went to research institutions, resulting in billions of dollars to science labs and keeping thousands of scientists creating new basic knowledge that could not be done by private industry and helps sustain America's innovation economy."

Regarding the unmitigated disaster:

"Short-term thinking is characteristic of the GOP presidential ticket's approach to science: according to the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Congressman Ryan's budge plan could cut spending on non-defense-related research and development by 5 percent, or $3.2 billion, below the fiscal-year 2012 budget."

Hmm, I think I hear the 1980s calling - they want their science budget back, too.

Figure skating baby news (a bit late)

Discovered while researching something else that John Zimmerman and Silvia Fontana, a very attractive couple on and off the ice, had their first baby back in July. 

Baby makes three

And here's an example of them looking attractive together

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Naked people, fish, and Greta Scacchi

I like sustainable seafood, and overfishing is one of my biggest current environmental concerns.

I also like attractive naked women.

So when you put the two together, what's not to like?

* There are also a few purportedly naked men in this effort.  But that's hard to tell and I just skipped over them.


My favorite is Lizzy Jagger and the tuna.

And... actress Greta Scacchi, an all-time favorite of mine, and especially a favorite when she was naked in the movies (which occurred often enough to make us happy), got this whole thing started.

And here's a bonus picture of Greta in her prime, not naked, but that's not hard to find if you want to.

Missing the NHL?

Are you missing the NHL during the lockout?

I am.  Hockey is a nearly non-stop sport, not quite as non-stop as soccer, but with a lot more scoring chances.  When hockey players miss a goal shot, play frequently continues.  Penalty shots add more offensive interest.  Now, the concussion problem is vexing, and there's really no need for the fights, but overall, I like it better than basketball, baseball, or football.

The nearby Capitals have been a frustrating but winning team, and entertaining (if you don't count last season, when they were boring).   And they have a new coach, so I was looking forward to seeing how that worked out.  I still am.  But I'm still waiting.

But as the column notes, because the NHL is the fourth major sport, a lot of other people aren't noticing and really don't care.   And this is a problem for the NHL because they actually were getting more fans, perhaps fair-weather fans, but fans nonetheless, who may drift off and not come back.

And they need the revenue.

NHL's Biggest Problem As Lockout Draws On: Most People Don't Care

"The NHL is trying to fight its way back to relevance, particularly in the United States. It had years of growth following the cancellation of the '04-'05 season, even after ESPN pulled the plug on it. It was a good start.

And then it decided to erase all of its progress with its fourth work stoppage in 20 years. Not a good idea.

When you're competing against the big three in American sports -- the NFL, MLB, and NBA -- you can't afford to take time off. Intense competition like that requires extra time, overtime if you will, not time off.

Time off just makes the sport fade into the oblivion. It becomes a punch line. A joke. That league, that sometimes plays, and sometimes doesn't."
And if the owner's and players can't realize the damage that they're causing to their own cause, then the joke's on them.

New pictures of ... well, the 7th planet

Seventh planet Uranus suffers from a name that can sound a trifle embarrassing, but it's still a very cool gas giant planet.  And since it has only been visited once by a satellite, it's still pretty mysterious.  So it was interesting to me to see these pictures of Uranus from a ground-based telescope, that show it's got it's own planetary atmosphere circulation system. 

Now, if I you want me to take a detailed look at your nether orifice, I'll pass.

Ultra-detailed look at Uranus reveals mysterious weather patterns

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Barramundi is the new tuna

Neat article about the search for the best fish to farm - and it appears that barramundi is the leader in the clubhouse.  I didn't know that they can make their own omega-3 fatty acids.

A barramundi

"And, unlike most fish, which only obtain omega-3s from the plankton and algae — or other fish — that they eat, barramundi can actually synthesize them on their own. “They spend a lot of their early life cycle in freshwater, so they’re not exposed to the long-chain fatty acids,” explains Goldman. “They actually develop the ability to build omega-3s without necessarily having to consume them.”

So maybe they can take some pressure off the menhaden.

Miracle fish: Is the search for the perfect farmed seafood really over? 

So now I want to try some.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Body of Richard III barely escaped destruction

They dug up a parking lot to find what they think is the body of England's most notorious king, and it turns out that it was inches away from being smashed to bits.

This is fascinating forensic archaeology, by the way.

Body found in Richard III search was almost destroyed 

Cheryl Cole is happy again, and 'Girls Aloud'...

... is coming back.

Good for Cheryl.  And the video preview is saucy

Cheryl Cole enjoys another dinner date with boyfriend Tre Holloway... as she reveals: 'I'm happy again'

Sneak peak: Girls Aloud release a teaser of their long-awaited comeback... as upcoming single Something New is leaked online 

This really isn't of any use to me, directly

Since I'm a man, being multi-orgasmic is like that dream I once had when I was in a Roman bath surrounded by goddesses clad in togas draped over one shoulder, leaving one breast bare... but enough about that.

Here's an article that tells women how to improve their multiply-orgasmic abilities.

How to be multi-orgasmic

Am I a helpful guy or WHAT??

Huffington Post Electoral College Math

2012 Electoral Math - Obama's Debate Cliff

"Out of the 11 states up for grabs and their 131 EV, Obama now needs a lot more than he used to -- 33 EV in all. Winning Florida and New Hampshire would do this for him, as would winning Ohio, Virginia, and one additional state. He's still got many paths to victory, although he's now got  to pile up more electoral votes to get there.

Mitt Romney has to win 100 EV of the total 131 EV within reach, which is a mighty tall order.  Romney would need all his Lean, all the Too Close To Call, and a further 9 EV from Lean Obama  to win. Romney would have to either Ohio or Wisconsin to put him over the top.

At this point  in time, the odds still strongly favor Barack Obama."
 So, for example, if he holds his lead in these states, he wins.   And the debate performance tonight will help solidify any leads he has right now.

 Iowa (6), Nevada (6), Ohio (18), Wisconsin (10)

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Did you see Kate Upton on the cover of Cosmo?

It took me a minute to recognize Kate Upton on the cover of Cosmopolitan.  Her name was not prominently featured.

But what's even better than this nice demure white dress on the cover (well, there is a bit of cleavage, which is a Cosmo trademark and pretty much impossible to hide with Kate)  is the lingerie she's modeling inside.

Lucky guy Justin Verlander is dating her now.

Speaking of lucky guys, as a public service, I'm also passing on these articles from Cosmo:

The Best Blow Jobs He's Never Had

Hand Job Techniques He'll Never Forget

It might be a good idea to copy a couple of these and leave them on the nightstand, I think.

Piers Morgan opines on Mitt Romney

Talkie show host Piers Morgan thinks that Mitt Romney's business "experience", consisting of cutting up corporations and selling them for profit, and asking for huge donations to bail out the Salt Lake City Olympics, constitutes enough acumen improve our country's economic fortunes.  Even despite the prognostications that massive budget cuts that would be necessary to reduce the budget deficit would push our economy right back into recession promptly.

But ignoring that, here's what Piers says about the man that Republicans are going to vote for:

"He’s also one of the least principled politicians I’ve ever encountered. There’s barely a big issue that Romney hasn’t switched his position on for apparent political expediency, earning him the nickname ‘Mr Flip Flop’.

In fact, it’s hard to even recognise the new Mitt from the one who was a successful and popular Governor of Massachusetts. 

On abortion, he was once firmly pro-choice, now he’s equally firmly pro-life. 

On guns, he outlawed lethal assault weapons. Now he says they’re fine, despite a rash of horrific recent mass gun killings.

On healthcare, he was the first governor to bring in a compulsory ‘mandate’ health insurance scheme. But when Obama did the same thing, he lambasted it as a terrible idea. 

He was also a huge fan of stem-cell research, but now he says he’s been ‘persuaded  that the stem-cell debate was grounded in a false premise’.

Each move was dictated by the need to make him more electable – not to the wider public, but to his own party members, particularly the more Right-wing Tea Party element, so he could win the Republican nomination during the Primary race – and it worked.

But now he’s approaching the actual general election, he’s started moderating his positions once again. To widespread mockery, he said this week he wouldn’t seek any anti-abortion legislation if he became President, a direct contradiction of what he said at the start of the year. ‘Here’s old moderate Mitt!’ chortled former President Bill Clinton. ‘Where you been boy? .  .  . Just show up with a sunny face and say, “I didn’t say all that stuff I said for the last few years.” ’

Rick Santorum was right.  The Etch-a-Sketch plan is kicking in.  And the Republicans are buying what Mitt's selling.

Those of us watching the campaign knew this would happen -- knew it had to happen for Mittens to have a chance.

But will it work?  


Brutal truth: Telling it like it is 'bout Romney

Saw this Huffington Post Op-Ed and had to pass it on, with some pithy quotes:

Romney, Abortion, Evangelicals, Sex and Lies 

1. " Notwithstanding the facts of Romney's actual past political activity, the guaranteed results of his economic policies would be to undermine what he called "The 47 percent... who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing," evangelicals are working for this flip-flopping opportunistic Mormon tax-avoiding "heretic" (their word not mine).  "

2. " So when it comes to abortion politics what would you expect from folks who have ignored the fact that the only way to reduce the number of abortions is to first help the women who fall below the poverty line and account for half of all abortions and second, to embrace the efficacy of comprehensive sex education?"

3. "  Similarly the Republicans have also been hypocrites while talking big, for instance about their "pro-life" ethic. But what have they achieved? First, through their puritanical war on sex education they've hindered our country from actually preventing unwanted pregnancy. Second, through the Republican Party's marriage to the greediest and most polluting earth-destroying corporations they've created a climate (both moral and physical) that has scorched the earth for-profit, with no regard to future generations whatsoever."

Makes my stomach turn.  But is there anything about it that isn't true?

Sadly, no.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

You've got to prioritize - right?

Jason Chaffetz (R-Stupidland), quoted in the Huffington Post:

On Wednesday morning, CNN anchor Soledad O'Brien asked the Utah Republican if he had "voted to cut the funding for embassy security."

"Absolutely," Chaffetz said. "Look we have to make priorities and choices in this country. We have…15,000 contractors in Iraq. We have more than 6,000 contractors, a private army there, for President Obama, in Baghdad. And we’re talking about can we get two dozen or so people into Libya to help protect our forces. When you’re in tough economic times, you have to make difficult choices.

You have to prioritize things.”

For the past two years, House Republicans have continued to deprioritize the security forces protecting State Department personnel around the world. In fiscal year 2011, lawmakers shaved $128 million off of the administration's request for embassy security funding. House Republicans drained off even more funds in fiscal year 2012 -- cutting back on the department's request by $331 million."

So who's to blame for the attack on the Libyan embassy and the killing of the ambassador -- really?

That's an obvious answer.

What I really posted

I posted the following (verbatim) to Seth Borenstein's story, "Experts: Global warming means more Antarctic ice". Comments are moderated, and maybe this was a little strong. So this morning I reposted a toned-down version; we'll see if they accept that. 

"It is so FREAKING funny that climate change skeptics, motivated to attack this article by ominipotents of  obfuscation like Marc Morano and Anthony Watts, can't understand that there are feedbacks in a complex  climate system that will result in trends that are at odds with what "common sense" tells them MUST be true. This is classic biased, self-confirmation thinking, as if your knowledge must be better than the experts and the models built to understand the details of these processes.  Because if you were wrong, then your
whole belief system would collapse.

SORRY!  There are several factors at work in the unusual and isolated Antarctic climate system that are  causing this slight increase in sea ice coverage.  Borenstein's article covers several of them, but misses the effect of increased oceanic stratification (subject of Zhang, J. 2007: Increasing Antarctic  Sea Ice under Warming Atmospheric and Oceanic Conditions. J. Clim., 20, 2515–2529).

The Antarctic Peninsula ice shelves (NOT the same as sea ice) are shrinking and collapsing due to exposure to warmer Southern Ocean waters.

This article sums up all the processes that are affecting the Antarctic sea ice extent:

So yes, global warming can certainly cause increased sea ice extent in the Antarctic.   Global warming can cause more ice, and more snow, in some locations (as may happen in  North America this winter due to LESS Arctic sea ice).  Just because global warming doesn't  conform to your ideas about how it's supposed to work and how it's supposed to look doesn't  mean that it isn't happening.  But I know skeptics have an innate need for it not to be happening, or else their higher cognitive functions would get all snafued."

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Biden could nail Romney and Ryan at the same time

Read this, from Matt Miller of the Washington Post.

“That’s the point. It’s impossible to know Mitt Romney’s real values. But it’s entirely possible to understand the conservative forces Romney has pandered to and empowered in his thirst for office. They’re the same extremists who will be calling the shots if you send him to the White House.

“The selection of Paul Ryan was part of Governor Romney’s strategy to court the right wing. The key thing I want to persuade you of tonight, then, is why Congressman Ryan’s values, and those of today’s congressional Republicans who stand with him, are out of step with America’s best traditions and current needs."

Exactly right.  It needs to be SAID.   Clearly and repeatedly.

Romney: confuse, lie, obfuscate, distract, distort, as needed

Mitt Romney isn't going to alter any women's rights related to child-bearing and contraception and things like that.  (At least that's what he says today.  Tomorrow, who the f*ck knows?)

Even though his running mate wants to redefine rape as "forcible rape" and has sponsored legislation with Todd Akin outlawing abortion even in cases of rape and incest.

Now, Mitt isn't averse to appoint SCOTUS judges who would overturn Roe v. Wade and turn us back to an era of anarchic states' rights with regard to abortion.

But wait...

“There’s no legislation with regards to abortion that I’m familiar with that would become part of my agenda,” the Republican presidential nominee told the Des Moines Register in an interview.

The Romney campaign walked back the remark within two hours of the Register posting its story. Spokeswoman Andrea Saul told National Review Online's Katrina Trinko that Romney "would of course support legislation aimed at providing greater protections for life." 

(And he'd end funding for Planned Parenthood completely, even though Planned Parenthood doesn't use federal funds for abortion and provided such services as breast cancer screenings for poor women.  Remember how that got the Susan B. Komen Foundation in trouble??) 

Bottom line:  Mitt Romney will say anything to get elected.  And the moment's he's elected, nothing he said before that point has any bearing on what he's going to do next.

He's a liar and a loose cannon.  And Republicans love him.

They'll regret that, if he's elected.  A lot.

I missed this dress

Sad to say that in all the Emmy red carpet coverage both on live TV and recapped on many different celeb Web sites, I didn't see Morena Baccarin's dress until today.

It was worth the wait.

I've liked her since Firefly.   And Homeland gave us, briefly, a look at what's under the dress.

Thank you, Homeland.

Thank you, Morena.

Saturday, October 6, 2012


National Geographic Travel has listed the top 10 travel vistas from around the world.

I've seen half of them.  Care to guess which ones?

And I think limiting this list to 10 is really hard.  For example, they didn't include the vista below, which I've also seen.

You could actually sell it as a novelty for more money!

All of a sudden, some bees in France started producing blue and green honey.  This bothered the beekeepers, who were more used to the light gold to dark brown spectrum that is much more common.

The culprit turned out to be M&Ms.  The melts-in-your-mouth, not-in-your-hand candy.

See the story with video.

Now, the thing is, the beekeepers are apparently going to throw this stuff away.  As my title states, I think it would sell for more as a novelty - candy honey!

Catching up with Sasha Cohen

I wondered what skating wunderkind Sasha Cohen was doing since her competitive figure skating days have ended.  I can't tell if she's making some guy very very very very happy, but maybe not yet.  (Some good things are worth waiting for).

Turns out that Sasha is a student at Columbia University in NY and apparently because she has the panache of being an Olympic medalist and is also very, very cute (in that petite athletic way that I find incredibly sexy), she gets to do red carpet appearances, too.

I found this all out because she's on Twitter.

Here's a couple of examples of Sasha in NY. 

At the Charlie Chaplin musical premiere

With Sarah Hughes in Kristy Yamaguchi's fashion line, Tsu.ya

Adele breaks out of her mold with 'Skyfall'

Adele got a lot of traction and a lot of awards out of her brand of break-up songs.  But first it was leaked that she was singing the theme to the new James Bond movie 'Skyfall', and then the song came out.

It's good.  It's different.   And it's good to hear her singing about something other than getting dumped by a boyfriend (or pouring hot coals on his head).

Thursday, October 4, 2012

So do it already

Europe's nuclear power stations need about $25 billion euros of upgrades, maintenance, and safety enhancements.

Seems to me that's a small price to pay for the world's least polluting, most abundant, and most economy-friendly source of energy available with present-day technology.

Europe's nuclear plants need 25-bln-euro upgrade

"EU-sponsored stress tests conducted on 134 reactors point to a myriad of potential safety hazards, notably in Britain, France and Spain, according to a report obtained by AFP. But it does not go as far as recommending the closure of a single plant.

In the report, the European Commission estimates the cost of improving nuclear safety across the continent "in the order of 10-25 billion euros" ($13-$32 billion), and wants all upgrades to be closely monitored and then finalised by 2015."

As I said, just do it, and keep the 21st century on track.

Look! It's Kristi Noem again!

So, just shortly after I noted that unfortunately-Republican Kristi Noem belongs on the hottest-in-Congress list, comes this study indicating that Republican women in Congress have more feminine features than Democratic women in Congress.

That's interesting.  Lots of theories and psych-speak bandied about explaining why, but ultimately the bottom line seems to be that conservative Republicans like it when their women politicians looks like women.

Preferably reasonably hot women.

No, this will not in any circumstances make me even consider for a miniscule moment switching parties.

Link to UCLA press release about this study.

""The Democratic Party is associated with social liberal policies that aim to diminish gender disparities, whereas the Republican Party is associated with socially conservative policy issues that tend to bolster traditional sex roles," Johnson said. "These policy platforms are manifest in each party's image — apparently also in the physical characteristics exhibited by politicians."

We could also call this "the Reese Witherspoon chin" effect.  Compare and decide for yourself.

Who says losers never win?

I know that this has been passed around the Web thousands of times, but it's just a moment of pure joy and mindless frivolity.

Sometimes that's all we really need.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Looking way back in time

Not exactly sure how they did this (maybe I should read the paper, but I'm not certain I'd understand it) but astronomers figured out that the 1006 supernova was caused by two white dwarf stars slamming together.  This research made the cover of Nature magazine.

It was the brightest star explosion ever witnessed.

This is what's left over.

Monday, October 1, 2012

On the Antarctic sea ice

Because the Arctic sea ice melted to a new low extent record (nobody is happy about that) this summer, the skeptics have had to engage in serious CYA maneuvers.  The most prominent maneuver has been to downplay the drastic loss of Arctic sea ice, and to play up the very slight increase in Antarctic sea ice extent that is being observed right now, too.

On Twitter I have tried to repeatedly blast away at tweets by Marc "Climate Depot" Morano (who links to articles written by the his personal court jester, Steven Goddard), as well as meteorological sideshow Joe Bastardi, and even commenting to Revkin as well. And today I posted to the Washington Post on the exact same subject.

The main and extraordinarily easy to discover thing that the skeptics engaging in this CYA maneuver are  deliberately or unintentionally overlooking is the following. Let me make it big and clear so that they can see it (if they actually looked here, which I doubt they ever would):


So they are doing two stupid things.  One, they are engaging in a PPPP (perfectly predictable  propagandistic ploy), and two, the observation that they are pointing to is actually evidence for the exact same thing they are trying to be skeptical about;  the exact same thing that they are trying to provide their skeptical ilk with information about, to facilitate their ability to deny global warming.

How smart isn't that?

I heart tum-tums

A toned tummy is a joy to behold.  A toned tummy on a beautiful young woman takes the cake (though I doubt that these girls do that very often).  Examples provided in the following articulate article.

Doutzen Kroes, Behati Prinsloo display supertoned tummies in new Victoria's Secret campaign

But still, I think Playboy model Audrey Nicole has a masterpiece of tummy tonality.