Friday, November 30, 2012


The Huffington Post, and many, many other media outlets, have reported on a letter from David Petraeus to a friend of his

So I think I should comment as well.

“Team Petraeus will survive though [I] have obviously created enormous difficulty for us,"
Petraeus wrote. "Holly is, however, once again demonstrating how incredibly fortunate
I was to marry her.”

(Because she's sticking with me even after I got to play hide the sausage with a  really hot babe).

"Shelton [the person to whom the letter was written] dismissed the scandal to the Post, blaming it on Petraeus' "Achilles' heel." “He's a man, and all men have an Achilles' heel,” Shelton said.

Actually, I don't think that's exactly the anatomical problem area at fault here.

Another lingerie line

Saw lovely girls in their undies on TV, and it wasn't Victoria's Secret.  It was

So I checked it out, naturally.

 Turns out that it's the lingerie line from American Eagle (AE, aeries are where eagles live, get it?)

They don't have the camisoles and merrywidows and charmeuses and knee-highs and all of Victoria Secret's delectables.  Just bras and panties, as far as I can tell, worn by some cute/fit girls.

Which is fine by me.

( Of course I'll provide an example!  )

Somebody's tax rates are going to go up

If Congress and the President don't reach a deal, EVERYONE pays more taxes.  The Republicans are laughably forgetting who gets the blame for that (as well as the nasty budget cuts that they agreed to so that they would have to reach a deal - which they didn't).

But why raise somebody's taxes, especially the wealthiest among us?

Confident Obama sees path to fiscal cliff win

“For him [Obama] the question on top rates isn’t just about fairness, it’s about math,” said one top financial services executive, who like others interviewed for  this story declined to be identified by name in order to speak candidly about private meetings. “You might be able to get a similar amount of revenue but all of the deduction closings would create their own problems. Closing  the mortgage deduction could hurt the housing market, for example. His  commitment to rate increases is absolutely unshakable and he believes the politics are firmly on his side.”

Unsurprisingly, so do I.

More on the idiots, Boehner and McConnell, soon.

Could Emmy win a Grammy?

Multi-talented Emmy Rossum, who is a) a gorgeous woman, b) a fearless and talented actress, and c) a superb singer, is going with c) and is releasing a new album.   I'd like to hear a few tracks from this.  I really enjoy watching the movie version of "Phantom of the Opera" (even if Gerard Butler isn't all that scary) because Emmy is at turns sweet, loving, and romantic, and at other turns sexy, seductive, and a sultry soprano.

Emmy Rossum News:  Sentimental Journey

Here's what she's singing:
“Sentimental Journey” (Les Brown, Ben Homer, Arthur Green)
“The Object Of My Affection” (Pinky Tomlin)
“I’m Looking Over A Four Leaf Clover “(Mort Dixon, Harry M. Woods)
“These Foolish Things (Remind Me Of You)” (Eric Maschwitz, Jack Strachey)
“(I’ll Be With You) In Apple Blossom Time” (Albert Von Tilzer, Neville Fleeson)
“Summer Wind” (Heinz Meier, Johnny Mercer)
“Many Tears Ago” (Winfield Scott)
“All I Do Is Dream Of You” (Nacio Herb Brown, Arthur Freed)
“Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out” (Jimmy Cox)
“Autumn Leaves” (Joseph Kosma, Jacques PrĂ©vert)
“Things” (Bobby Darin)
“Pretty Paper” (Willie Nelson)

Bonus Track: "Keep Young and Beautiful" (Harry Warren, Al Dubin)

Not one to worry about for awhile

New views of an NEO (near Earth object).  

According to the article, "The radar measurements further refined the asteroid's trajectory, allowing computer models to accurately compute 2007 PA8's orbit for the next 632 years. NASA scientists were also able to confirm that this was the closest flyby since 1880 and the next flyby that brings the asteroid closer to Earth won't be until 2488".

These images were obtained by radar.

Following the locals in NCAA men's soccer

Just checking in with the Maryland and Georgetown men's soccer teams.  The Terps coasted past Coastal Carolina 5-1, and play Louisville next at 5 PM EST on December 1st.   Louisville was seeded 10th, Maryland 2nd.

Unseeded Georgetown went to penalty kicks to defeat Syracuse, and now will face unseeded San Diego at 1 PM EST on December 1st.

Wish both of those games were on television somewhere.   If they both advance, the semifinals will be televised on ESPN-U.

But there is a televised soccer game on December 1st - the MLS Cup at 4:30 Eastern time.  Last game for David Beckham with the LA Galaxy, so I might try to watch that.

Ahh, I just discovered that the Maryland game will be live (and free) on Terps TV.   I guess I'll have to multi-watch.

Another new vertebrate species

OK, it's not really a surprise when they find new bacteria or insects or plankton or deep sea pelagic species, because they can HIDE.  But new terrestrial vertebrate species are always a surprise.

This one's a new snake, a new species of blunt-headed vine snake.  Somewhat bizarre looking.  Here's a good picture of a different one.

A rather thin and long new snake crawls out of one of Earth's biodiversity hotspots

Glad to hear there are such things as biodiversity hotspots left in the world.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Republican pundits just don't get it

Jennifer Rubin, "Right Turn" in the Washington Post, writes this in "What to do about Grover?" (that's Grover Norquist, not the blue guy on 'Sesame Street'):

"The president is increasingly acting like, and through his congressional allies signaling, he would just as soon go over the cliff, send us into recession and break his own pledge not to raise taxes on the middle class (which he already broke with Obamacare) than forgo the opportunity to stick it to the rich in isolation. Think about that for a moment. It is breathtaking really how devoted this president is to serving up red meat to his base even at the expense of the country at large and middle-class taxpayers  specifically. But that is the president the voters chose and now they have him."

And my response is:

No, it's breathtaking how the REPUBLICANS will oppose any effort to keep the wealthy from being even more wealthy, Jennifer.  And the sequester, with its drastic cuts to the military, was supposed to force the REPUBLICANS to negotiate in good faith, with an actual compromise possible.  Obama is compromising by NOT letting the tax cuts expire for everyone, just those fortunate few who have a combined annual income over $250,000 - roughly three times more than my family's combined annual income.  Gee, who needs the tax break more?

And here's a bit from Greg Sargent (a liberal pundit in the Post, writing in "The Plum Line", "The Morning Plum: GOP will buckle on high end tax rates" --

"There is no equivalence between the Democratic and Republican sides, however. The GOP has not given an inch when it comes to the core question of whether tax rates on the rich will go up. Yes, Republicans have agreed to new revenues from the wealthy via closing loopholes and deductions. But many experts believe the math simply can’t be made to work without a rise in high end rates, and this was perhaps the central issue in the election that Obama just won decisively. The contrast is simple: Dems have given ground on the need for Medicare cuts — even if you think they haven’t given enough ground, they have given some ground. But Republicans have not given any ground on the central concession they will have to make for a deal to be possible."

And some of the Republicans (but not all of them) seem to be forgetting this little detail:

"Rep. Lee Terry of Nebraska tells the Ohama World Herald that the fact that taxes will go up automatically on January 1st  gives Dems the upper hand. “We’re screwed either way. We really have no leverage in these discussions.”
Oh yeah, that.  And the fact that more voters will blame the intransigent tone-deaf Republicans in Congress (more on them later) for an economic downslide than will blame the President, who can take it right to them in both his second inagural address and the State of the Union speech if they keep on forgetting to get real.

Two pictures of Taylor Swift in bed

Well, you didn't think she'd be nude, did you?

The second one is pretty sexy, though.  It's got that vibe like she's just wearing a thin shirt and skirt in a little hotel on the Mexican coast.

Another reason to like Marlo Thomas

I admit, as a young adolescent I crushed on Marlo Thomas in "That Girl", epitome of 60's itness.  And a few decades later, I can still like Marlo because she suggests sex tips from experts:

Expert tips to improve your sex life

Number 7 is the mildly spiciest.  Most of these make perfect sense.  And how many men have NOT heard that the stimulating a woman's clitoris can lead to orgasm?  I mean, really.

"That Girl" below:

Sunday, November 25, 2012

November sonnet, "No, it's not about the drink"

' No, it's not about the drink '

A sandy beach might not be quite ideal
for wondrous copulation - but indeed
it has been presented so. Were it real --
were I converged and merged to urge my seed
into the silken depths of her, beside
a coastal berm, the rhythm of my thrusts
enmerged to surging waves, our pleasures cried
to startled seabirds overhead -- my gusts
would not encompass mere concerns.  As she
created we with her entrustment, lust
and love in natural display, our free
expression glorified by starkest trust,
the sunswept shore would be perfection, viewed
unique and crystalline and sparkling nude.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

A carbon tax would be good for nuclear energy, too

Nature magazine has an editorial out advocating a carbon tax for the United States.

America's carbon compromise

An excerpt:
" Just consider the possibilities. To put a levy on carbon would raise revenues that could be used to offset lower tax rates for individuals and businesses. This is what conservatives say they want to do. It would put more income — and thus choice — in the hands of consumers. Economists like the idea for more fundamental reasons. Generally, it is best to tax things that one wishes to discourage (such as smoking) rather than those that should be encouraged (such as working). Environmentalists like the idea of a carbon tax because it could generate some much-needed revenue for clean-energy research and development while reducing carbon emissions. "

Yes, that last sentence - not just clean energy R&D, but money to complete, expand, and make even MORE safer (as if that was really necessary) existing and under-construction nuclear power plants.  Which would contribute MORE to the energy mix required to substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

It's thus a win-win-win situation.  Done right, no downsides.  Seriously.

(And let's note this second excerpt:  "Opposition to the idea may not be what it was. For example, on 13 November, the American Enterprise Institute hosted a conference in Washington DC on the economics of a carbon tax. The institute is a conservative think tank, and its officials have previously raised doubts about climate science. The idea has also been bubbling up in other right-leaning think tanks as a conservative solution to reduce greenhouse gases.")

Like I said.  Seriously.

DWTS ends with an all-(hot)female final

Last Monday, there were five couples remaining in the U.S. Dancing with the Stars competition.   This was them:

Apolo Anton Ohno - Karina Smirnoff
Emmitt Smith - Cheryl Burke
Derek Hough - Shawn Johnson
Tony Dovolani - Melissa Rycroft
Valentin Chmerkovskiy - Kelly Monaco

There's one thing that all these women have in common.

I'd like to see them all naked.  (Monaco and Smirnoff have already complied with that wish).  Also, if it was possible to add in Peta Murgatroyd to the display, I'd appreciate that too.

Watching recently indicated that Kelly still possesses a delectable posterior, Melissa still dances really sensual-sexy like (despite having had a baby, making her another sexy mama), and Shawn combines her power with a remarkable grace and a gymnast's precision.  And they are all dancing really well.  This finals was a surprise because I think generally the women stars are at a disadvantage because the women pro dancers are usually superior to them, skill-wise, and just like in pairs figure skating, the women get to do the WOW! moves while the men hold, lift, and support.  (Yes, they have to be good at that and their steps have to be right for the dances too, but they don't have to do the flips, backbends, splits, twirls, etc. as much as the pretty girls do).

That makes for an intriguing and appealing final.  I guess hoping for another wardrobe malfunction is asking too much.


Melissa Rycroft, Kelly Monaco and Shawn Johnson face all-female battle for Dancing With The Stars trophy after Apolo and Emmitt are sent packing

 (And I should add, I sincerely hope that Brooke Burke, who is at another level entirely with regard to incendiary pulchritudinous femaleness, has successful thyroid cancer surgery and a complete recovery).

Who's going to build it?

The forward-thinking Czech Republic wants to get building (despite the 2025 finish date) two more nuclear reactors at Temelin.   Three companies, including the U.S. firm Westinghouse, are in the bidding.  France's Areva was recently kicked out of the competition, but is appealing, and that's slowing everything down.  But that means the Yanks and the Russians are still in contention.

Unlike other nearby nations, getting these reactors at Temelin built would mean that the Czech Republic will be getting about half of its energy from reliable, non-greenhouse gas polluting, nuclear energy.

That IS forward thinking.

Czechs delay nuclear plant deal over Areva complaint

Amazing, astounding, scarifying

Found this video trailer for "Chasing Ice" on Twitter.   It looks like it would have been quite an experience in theaters, but I'll have to wait for on-demand or DVD.   The message and the images are unmistakable. 

The Earth is set on a path toward a very uncertain environmental future.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Are we all in this together?

Protecting the enviroment requires corporate (that means collective) effort.   The effects of Sandy extend beyond the damage to communities - the storm also significantly damaged wildlife refuges, one of our nation's collective national heritages.  But the problem is, fixing them up will require that often discussed factor - money.

Sandy's damage to wildlife refuges adds to questions about federal spending

Here's a partial tally:
Dozens of refuges between Maine and Virginia were pummeled. Four were damaged severely, including Forsythe, where about 130 boats in the Atlantic City area were blown into marshes, Kahan said.  At Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge in Virginia, part of the public beach and two parking lots were washed away on Assateague Island. At Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge in Delaware, a 1,500-foot breach in a dune sent salt water from the Delaware Bay into a freshwater pond where waterfowl eat, nest and give birth, and flooded homes on an island near the refuge. And at the Long Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex in New York, fallen trees blocked the entrance.
 And here's the problem:

Sandy struck as the Obama administration and Congress prepared to lock horns over the year-end “fiscal cliff,” which includes plans to cut the Interior Department’s budget for refuges by 10 percent, according to a report being released Monday by the Cooperative Alliance for Refuge Enhancement (CARE), a coalition of groups from the National Rifle Association to Defenders of Wildlife.

In the report, CARE argues that the 150 million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System cannot absorb another cut. Its more than 550 refuges, with 700 species of birds, 200 species of fish and 200 species of mammals, get by on about $3.24 per acre.
 So what we need to do is realize that we are all in this together, and that the protections afforded to wildlife in the refuges also protect coastal assets (as Chincoteague knows), are tourist attractions, storm buffers, and scenic spots, as well as providing safe harbor for shorebirds and migrating flocks.

Let's keep them healthy, shall we?

Good college soccer played in Maryland and DC

The Big 10 bound Maryland Terrapins soccer team advanced in the NCAA soccer tournament with a 2-1 win over Brown on Sunday.  Despite all the malignment of Maryland sports, the article notes that this is the 11th straight season Maryland has made the 3rd round of the tourney (best in the nation!)  They play Coastal Carolina next.

Meanwhile in DC, Georgetown beat Charlotte 1-0.   The Virginia teams didn't do so well, with Virginia losing to New Mexico and VCU losing to Syracuse, which is who Georgetown plays in the round of 16.  Better watch out, Syracuse has a player from England.

Since basketball and lacrosse are normally where these schools are noted (but obviously the Terps should be noted for soccer as well),  I'm glad to see success like this.


Yannick Agnel, a breakout swimming star in London, continued his world-record setting ways with a short course 400-meter freestyle record at the French championships.  And another supersuit record bites the dust.  Happy to see that every time.

Gold medalist Agnel sets world record

He broke the world record by half a second, and (probably because he doesn't swim a SC 400 very often), lowered his own PR by seven seconds.

This video of the swim shows how far ahead of the rest of the finalists he was.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Very appealing

This is Amber Campisi, Playboy Playmate from 2005, getting ready for a wedding.

I just love love love hotel robes.  Especially when they're wrapped around curves like Amber's.

Boehner digs himself deeper into the idiot hole

Umm, yes, Mr. Speaker, we actually DO know what's causing climate change.

Quote of ill repute:
“I don’t think there’s any doubt that we’ve had climate change over the last 100 years,” he told USA Today. “What has initiated it, though, has sparked a debate that’s gone on now for the last 10 years.”

 The Ohio Republican continued: “I don’t think we’re any closer to the answer than we were 10 years ago."

 So then the Washington Post editorial board sayeth thusly:
Since the middle of the 20th century, scientists have studied the warming effects of adding large amounts of additional heat-trapping gases to the atmosphere, and they have made great progress since then in describing how and why the world is warming, and how that trend is likely to play out years and decades from now.

It's simple. But it behooves the Republican leadership to act like anti-science climate change skeptics, because that's what their constituents want them to be.   How could they not be that, then?

Do we have to ADVERTISE eating endangered fish?

I've heard ads on the radio for the Bonefish Grill.   This guy is talking about how he and his friend are avoiding the mall crowds by having a great seafood dinner at the eatery.   The friend of the narrator has a salmon dish (salmon topped with spinach, bacon, and Gorgonzola cheese).  Not so bad.  But the narrator has Wolffish Rockefeller (wolffish topped with crabmeat).

This got me to wondering.  Is wolffish the same as wolf eel?  Turns out the answer to that is yes.  And I never thought there were so many wolffish or wolf eels in the oceans for this to be a sustainable seafood choice.  So I had to investigate further.

And it turns out my suspicions were right.

Status of Fishery Resources - Atlantic Wolffish

 Here's the first bad sign:
"Total USA commercial landings of Atlantic wolffish increased from 270 mt in 1970 to near 1,200 mt in 1983, but subsequently have continuously declined and reached a recent low of 118 mt in 2005."
 And here's the second:
"NEFSC spring and fall survey biomass indices of Atlantic wolffish indicate the resource is at an extremely, low level. Commercial landings are also at record lows."
 So thus I won't be ordering Wolffish Rockefeller at Bonefish Grill or any other seafood restaurant soon.  But it pains me that Bonefish Grill has to advertise a dish made from an apparently unsustainable (at least by the indications I can ascertain) fishery.

 More info:

Status review of Atlantic Wolffish (a PDF)

The Atlantic Wolffish - a species at risk in the north (from Canada)
Atlantic Wolffish - a depleted species that needs our help

And the other thing is;  they are so darned cute!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Lead me to what I want

There has been a different sound coming out of Congress since the election.  They are talking like maybe they'd like to cut a deal on the deficit and taxes.

But this is Congress, and they don't mean it.  What they are doing is making is sound like they want to cut a deal when they really don't want it.

I don't know if Speakeasy Boehner is going to get his shock troops in line for anything, but he doesn't sound any different than he did six months ago:

"This framework can lead to common grounds, and I hope the president will respond today in that same spirit," Boehner said. "This is an opportunity for the president to lead. This is his moment to engage the Congress and work towards a solution that can pass both chambers."

Implicit in that statement, however, was the idea that raising taxes on the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans could not pass the House, although in exit polls at Tuesday's elections, about 6 in 10 voters said they favored that approach. The statement also assumes that Democrats should abandon a position, favored by voters, that already represents a significant compromise from their original position.

 So, in essence, what Boehner is saying here is that the President has the opportunity to lead, provided he does it our way and gives us exactly what we want now, which is the same thing that we wanted before the election.

Screw him.

Which is essentially what Paul Krugman is saying: Let's Not Make a Deal

Both the Bush-era tax cuts and the Obama administration’s payroll tax cut are set to expire, even as automatic spending cuts in defense and elsewhere kick in thanks to the deal struck after the 2011 confrontation over the debt ceiling. And the looming combination of tax increases and spending cuts looks easily large enough to push America back into recession.

Nobody wants to see that happen. Yet it may happen all the same, and Mr. Obama has to be willing to let it happen if necessary. 

Why? Because Republicans are trying, for the third time since he took office, to use economic blackmail to achieve a goal they lack the votes to achieve through the normal legislative process. In particular, they want to extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, even though the nation can’t afford to make those tax cuts permanent and the public believes that taxes on the rich should go up — and they’re threatening to block any deal on anything else unless they get their way. So they are, in effect, threatening to tank the economy unless their demands are met.
What else is new?  Is there a light at the end of the tunnel, or is that just the light of the train that's coming full-speed to run us off the rails?

Now that's a snake!

It goes without saying that Amazonian anacondas can get big.

But this article has some amazing Amazonian anaconda pictures that show just HOW big they get.

What lies beneath... diver braves the waters to swim with 26-foot anaconda

A few years ago I read that after a snake swallows a rodent whole, it has to devote all its energy into digesting the rodent before the decomposition products emanating from the rodent would kill it.

Do Atlantic bluefin tuna still have a chance?

According to this article in the Huffington Post, relatively strict enforcement of low catch quotas for Mediterranean and Atlantic bluefin tuna may be having an effect.  Hard to believe, but apparently given the chance, tuna do what comes naturally, which is, make more tuna.

Atlantic bluefin tuna to be discussed by fisheries nations

Thanks in part to a sharp reduction in the amount of fish legally caught, the bluefin population in the Atlantic is on the rebound though "the magnitude and speed of the increase vary considerably," according to a stock assessment by scientists released ahead of the annual International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas which starts Monday in Morocco.
So what is the cultured Japanese sushi consumer eating now?  Tilapia?

But this is way too early to celebrate.  Further down:

"This year is really a test year for ICCAT," said Amanda Nickson, director of the Global Tuna Conservation Campaign at the Pew Environment Group.

"The stock assessment results seem to indicate there may be the possibility of a glimmer of recovery but it's so uncertain at the moment," she said. "This is the first year where they will have to stick to science even if does look like there is a bit of good news. So it's important from our perspective we retain pressure on governments at ICCAT to listen to that science. Our key message is hold those quotas where they are."
So it's all up to ICCAT... again.  Pardon me if I don't hold my breath.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Girl talk

Oh, by now you certainly have heard that the Princess of Wales got telephoto-snapped at a distance with her top off.   Yeah, I've seen them.  And she's slender, but it's obvious that she's a girl, and she's attractive, no doubt about it.  All good things.

Apparently Cheryl Cole, who I think very highly of, thought so too.

Here's the quote (there isn't much more in the article):
“Disgusting,” she says solemnly. “They were having a private moment and it was absolutely invaded. She does have a great pair of boobs, though, right?”
Ask yourself this: is anybody on the British Isles not going to agree with that assessment?

They found another meteorite in California

One definition of luck:  when a meteor is spotted in the air, and tracked enough that you can determine approximately where any pieces of it will hit the planet.   And then, double luck, a piece of the glowing chunk of asteroid or moon (or something) hits someone's roof loud enough to be noticed.

That's exactly what happened.

Meteorite from Wednesday's fireball found in Novato

This article includes a video.

(And here I thought I was lucky to find two Miocene shark teeth at Calvert Cliffs one day).

Short-sighted decision on Kewaunee nuclear plant

Dismaying news from Wisconsin in October;  the Kewaunee nuclear power plant, which began operation in 1974 and had an operating license to 2033, is being shut down permanently by Dominion Power, which owns it.

The reason?  Burning natural gas (which is not good for the planet, I must note) is cheaper.

Even though having a functioning power plant that doesn't pollute is a good thing, the company cites economics as the reason for their decision.

" The plant has become uneconomical because of low natural gas prices, and the boom in domestic natural gas production tied to hydraulic fracturing, or fracking."  [So in addition to emissions, we also have to worry about earthquakes and groundwater pollution from fracking. Great Choice.]
 "Those low natural gas prices have prompted other utilities to shift more of their power generation fleets to natural gas from coal."
There still might be a chance it could remain operating, because there will be a grid stability review. 
"The plan to shut the plant down is dependent on a grid reliability review to be conducted by the Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator, Dominion said."
Dominion says Kewaunee nuclear plant will shut down for good

Laetitia Casta? REALLY?

I thought former supreme model Laetitia Casta had quit doing what she did very well, to whit, modeling lingerie. 

I was wrong (happily).

First look:  Laetitia Casta in H&M lingerie campaign

I grabbed this directly from the online catalog:

I will add that Laetitia did some nude modeling in her first run at fame, and it was some of the finest examples of nude supermodeling ever done. 

Not hard to find in this Web age, of course.

Meet in the middle? Not likely

OK, so one of the worst and most manipulable Presidential candidates ever didn't get elected, but it was too close to be comfortable.  One of the lessons of this election was that the overstepping the bounds of propriety, decency, and common sense -- all hallmarks of the Tea Party -- ultimately is a losing proposition.

But the losingness of this position is apparently lost on Senate Minority Mouthpiece Mitch McConnell. 

Senate Election 2012 Results:  Democrats Gain Seats in Upper Chamber

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said the voters have not endorsed the "failures or excesses of the president's first term," but rather have given him more time to finish the job.

"To the extent he wants to move to the political center, which is where the work gets done in a divided government, we'll be there to meet him halfway," McConnell said.

I'll believe THAT when I see it.  Because Mitch's idea of where the center is lies approximately 30-60 degrees off of where normally-oriented people would put it.

Monday, November 5, 2012

The choice is now

E.J. Dionne, November 5, 2012:

"Obama’s aides are unanimous in saying that the breaking point came when Republicans, filled with tea party zeal, were willing to endanger the nation’s financial standing to achieve steep budget cuts during the debt-ceiling fight. When House Speaker John Boehner walked away from a deal that conservatives of another era would have hailed as a great victory, Obama realized a grand bargain would be a chimera until he could win the battle about first principles."

"If Teddy Roosevelt fought against the policies of the Gilded Age, Obama is fighting a Republican Party determined to bring the Gilded Age back and undo the achievements of a century.And so, beneath the attacks, the counterattacks, and the billions invested by small numbers of the very rich to sway the undecided, we face a choice on Tuesday that is worthy of a great democracy." 

And with that, I get ready to help our country make that choice.

On this Election Day, will Romney's lies win?

Answering my title question:  I sure hope not.

This article from Mother Jones indicates that we may have entered the post-truth era in American politics.  And that's indicative of a bad, bad trend.

Campaign 2012:  the end of political truth?

"Romney's stats reveal a different a trend: All but one of his 19 pants-on-fire statements were aimed at Obama or his policies. And they were all supersized fibs: the apology tour; Obama raising taxes on middle class families by $4,000; Obama "ending Medicare as we know it"; Obama endangering the United States by downsizing the Navy and Air Force; and, "we're only inches away from no longer being a free economy."
Romney's false assertions have been the building blocks of his campaign. And he has tethered his truth-trampling to a disregard for transparency. He succeeded in keeping most of his tax returns hidden from public scrutiny—one of the major tactical successes of his campaign. He never fully explained his offshore accounts or magical IRA, valued between $20 million and $100 million. Unlike Obama and past candidates, he refused to disclose his major campaign fundraisers (a.k.a. "bundlers"). Romney has not yielded to the calls to identify the tax deductions he would end to compensate for lowering tax rates for well-to-do Americans and other taxpayers."
Good luck to us all.

They use to think these were omens

Australia is going to see a total solar eclipse at dawn on November 13.   Such things used to be considered omens of change in olden times.  Let's hope this one doesn't indicate a big political change in the USA the week before.

November solar/lunar eclipses

And Tony Parker, too

One of the things that the Daily Mail is fond of doing is getting a picture of a desirable actress or starlet or model who has recently broken up with a boyfriend or husband, and saying that she's "showing him what he's missing" (the him being the male side of the defunct romantic pairing).

Eva Longoria recently broke up with quarterback Mark Sanchez after a short fling, and she was once wed to San Antonio Spurs basketball player Tony Parker.  So in this particular article, if Eva is showing Mark what he's missing, Tony must also remember what it was like to wed, bed, cruise, and then lose the lusciously amazing Ms. Longoria.  Stupid, stupid, stupid.

Showing him what he's missing: Eva Longoria shows off enviable figure as she she steps out in revealing dress following Mark Sanchez split

I actually don't think she looks as massively hot as she's capable of looking in this particular outfit.  Hmmm....

THIS is what he's missing:

Eva Longoria at the Cannes Film Festival 2012

Breaking up can be easy to do

According to reports, Comet Hergenrother, one of the little comets that keeps circling around near the sun (a periodic comet) rather than the big rare ones, was observed getting brighter a couple of weeks ago by the astronomers that do that type of thing.  It turns out that the brightening was indicative of a somewhat rare to observe, but probably fairly common in the solar system scale of things, cometary breakup.  Comet Hergenrother's main body broke into four smaller bodies. 

Nothing to worry about impact-wise, but interesting to watch.

Scientists monitor Hergenrother's breakup

Comet Hergenrother puts on a show

This picture of Comet Hergenrother supposedly shows four chunks, but I'm only sure of three

Friday, November 2, 2012

Opportunity update - still going

While the Curiosity rover tests out its array of instruments, the long-lived Opportunity rover just keeps going and contributing to our knowledge of Mars.   It's checking out a region called 'Matijevic Hill'.  Still trying to find clay minerals, I think.

Survey of Matijevic Hill continues

Here's a recent picture from the place.

There's also a stereo picture (need the blue-red glasses for it)

Also from Mars, a stunning image from the Mars Express orbiter of the Nereidium Montes region:

Nereidium Montes helps unlock Mars' glacial past

Is Lionel Messi's WAG (and now mother of his child) pretty?

In the sporting WAG news (WAG standing for "wives and girlfriends"), superduperstar Lionel Messi's girl Antonella Roccuzzo gave birth to Messi's son.

This of course made me wonder, given that I hadn't seen any pictures of her before, how she is qualified to be the girlfriend of the magical Messi.  The primary qualification being a high level of hotness.  Now, I'm sure that Lionel loves her for more than her looks, but world-class looks are always a good thing to have in a top level WAG.

Turns out that Antonella can be both sweet and hot.  Nice combination for a WAG to have.



VERY hot

New things small

Being a Web and science aficionado, I always look forward to the Nikon microphotograpy contest.  Huffington Post has the top 20.   My favorite was cacoxenite (an iron aluminum phosphate), shown below.  The coral sand picture would make a great wallpaper pattern for a scientifically-oriented room!


Coral Sand

In anticipation of 'Skyfall'

I'd forgotten that accomplished film soundtrack composer (and accomplished musician as well) John Barry passed away in 2011.  Among his many, many film scores, he was famous for one particular character's themes:

Bond.  James Bond.

So, looking forward to the release of 'Skyfall', I discovered this YouTube medley of Barry's James Bond work from the John Barry memorial concert.

Grab a bottle of Bollinger and sip as you listen. 

Starting about the 14 minute mark is "On Her Majesty's Secret Service", with some pictures of Tracy Bond (Diana Rigg), including both the sexy fur scene and the heartbreakingly tragic end of the movie.  


Public service message, courtesy of BrainPickings

Definitely requires a full course of study.

Lovely Miranda in Esquire

The Daily Mail provides coverage of the uncoverage of Miranda Kerr in Esquire magazine.  And I applaud heartily.

'I believe in celebrating the female figure'

Well, we're certainly alike in one respect, as I do too.

Still, I think the best way to enjoy Miranda is in her Victoria's Secret duds.  Or lack of them, as the case might be.