Sunday, October 27, 2013

Rock stars get the chicks - but watch out

According to this Swim Daily entry (which includes as a bonus a nice picture of Kate Upton), there's a link to this article in which it is "confirmed" that Max George of the group The Wanted is now dating Nina Agdal - who not very long ago was dropped by Adam Levine of Maroon 5 in favor of a restart with another Victoria's Secret model, Behati Prinsloo.

Max George?  Not up on the latest Brit bands?  Well, that name rang a bell with me -- because Max George was the rock star that formerly dated, and was engaged to, stunning soap star and soon to be a world-ruling sex symbol, Michelle Keegan.  And Max George is the same bloke who lost Michelle Keegan because - get this - he cheated on her.

OK, that's not possible.   Well, I guess it was possible for him, because he's a rock star, but it wouldn't be possible for me.  Well, maybe it would be possible for me if I wasn't having sex regularly with Michelle if we were 'dating' - you know, once a year or so.   Maybe then I could contemplate seeking other outlets for my lust.

But Nina, Nina, Nina - this guy cheated on Michelle Keegan!  Can't you Google that?  I mean, if he can cheat on Michelle, he can cheat on anyone - even your fabulous self.  Now, like I said, the Michelle rule probably applies to you too - I mean, once a year with you would suit me just fine, but if you couldn't bring yourself to that, maybe I'd have to find another dance partner - but Max doesn't share my limitations. Apparently once he's conquested, he gets restless for another conquest, and being a rock star, apparently conquests are not much of a problem for him to acquire.  So I'd be very, very, very careful with this guy - especially since you've got some real experience with the fickleness of the rock star.  Good luck, and hopefully this will work out better than your last rock star.

OK, that wasn't fair.  But still, couldn't you find someone more reliable than a rock star who cheated on one of the world's most beautiful women?  I mean, c'mon, you're NINA AGDAL.  Normal men would worship you and devote their lives to making your every dream come true.  I truly hope you find fulfillment with Max, but if not, you can't say that you didn't see it coming.

And of course, since this is about Nina Agdal, it's an excuse to post a picture of Nina Agdal.

Or two of them.

Ahem, Max George, if you ever read this - either God has blessed you or you've got one hell of a deal with the Devil.  If it's the latter, enjoy the time you have left.

The Palace not doing so well

I was hoping that Crystal Palace would have a chance to stay in the Premier League after one season, but so far it isn't looking too good.   That means that they're letting their manager go.  Or he's leaving because he can't stay.  Or he's fired by mutual consent.  Anyway you phrase it, he's gone.  Sometimes a move like this makes things better, sometimes not.  Have to watch to see which way this one goes.

Ian Holloway: Crystal Palace boss departs Premier League strugglers

It didn't help that they played Arsenal this weekend - they lost 2-0.  It seems it was a "game effort", as the Brits might say, but they still lost.

This sonnet worked out well

yet never once the same

Indeed, it is not necessary, yet
it is a hoped-for aspect of the act --
the trustful giving which is unforgett-
able when first awarded whole, intact,
and pure, accompanied by expecta-
tion that it will be welcomed and embraced;
then touched, caressed, adored, and stimula-
ted toward a goal that is overt, yet graced
by innate beauty celebrated by
both images and words, repetitive
yet never once the same -- and in the eye
of the beholder what they freely give 
is therefore taken, held and then possessed
and for this reason are our minds obsessed.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Save energy, save money, save oil, save the planet

Reading this blog you'll be aware that by profession and conviction, I believe that nuclear power is going to be a very important energy source for the human race this century.  But I am also pretty certain that renewables are going to be important, and I am HIGHLY aware that for the best future we can have, we should use energy much more efficiently.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) thinks so too.

Energy Efficiency Is The World’s Most Important “Fuel,” IEA Says In New Report

Here's the press release from the IEA:
From hidden fuel to the world's first fuel?

Talking points: 
  • From 2005 to 2010, efficiency measures saved the energy equivalent of USD 420 billion worth of oil in a group of 11 IEA member countries.
  • Had it not been for energy efficiency measures implemented in past years, consumers in those 11 IEA member countries would now be consuming – and thus paying for – about two-thirds more energy than they currently use.
  • In 2010 in those countries, the energy savings from efficiency measures exceeded the output from any other single fuel source. That year, the 11 IEA economies avoided burning 1.5 billion tonnes of oil equivalent thanks to efficiency improvements developed since 1974. By comparison, in 2010 those same economies consumed about 1 billion tonnes of oil equivalent from assets developed over the same period.
Pretty impressive numbers.

"The report notes that two key factors have driven the recent growth of the energy efficiency market: effective policies and the high price of energy."

Imagine what the USA could do if there was a war level effort to make our society more energy-efficient across all the economic strata.  Imagine what we could do if people believed this was so important that it should be done.

Even though we need nuclear energy, I'm in.  Who's with me?

“Energy efficiency has been called a ‘hidden fuel’, yet it is hiding in plain sight,” stated IEA executive director Maria van der Hoeven. “Indeed, the degree of global investment in energy efficiency and the resulting energy savings are so massive that they beg the following question: is energy efficiency not just a hidden fuel but rather the world’s first fuel?”
“Energy efficiency has been called a ‘hidden fuel’, yet it is hiding in plain sight,” stated IEA executive director Maria van der Hoeven. “Indeed, the degree of global investment in energy efficiency and the resulting energy savings are so massive that they beg the following question: is energy efficiency not just a hidden fuel but rather the world’s first fuel?”
“Energy efficiency has been called a ‘hidden fuel’, yet it is hiding in plain sight,” stated IEA executive director Maria van der Hoeven. “Indeed, the degree of global investment in energy efficiency and the resulting energy savings are so massive that they beg the following question: is energy efficiency not just a hidden fuel but rather the world’s first fuel?”

Don't forget Oppy

The Mars Rover Opportunity is still reliably in action.  Controllers (despite the government shutdown) have situated it such that it will be in an advantageous orientation facing the Sun while it explores new territory, and will apparently be able to keep going even during the Martian winter -- with scheduled rest breaks to recharge its batteries.

Pretty remarkable for a robot. They're still looking for the mother lode of clay minerals, apparently.

Mars Rover Opportunity heads uphill

Key targets on the ridge include clay-bearing rocks identified from observations by the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars, which is on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The observations were specially designed to yield mineral maps with enhanced spatial resolution.

This segment of the crater's rim stands much higher than "Cape York," a segment to the north that Opportunity investigated for 20 months beginning in mid-2011.

"At Cape York, we found fantastic things," Squyres said. "Gypsum veins, clay-rich terrain, the spherules we call newberries. We know there are even larger exposures of clay-rich materials where we're headed. They might look like what we found at Cape York or they might be completely different."

Good luck, and keep on truckin'.

She still looks heavenly

The big news in Miranda Kerr's life is that her marriage to husband and father to her son Orlando Bloom is reportedly over. This is sad.  It's sad to see two stunning examples of good lookingness break up.  However, as we all know, the most happiest marriages are those in which the husband is not as good looking as the wife, and frequently the husband is also older, too.  In this case, the prettiness was on both sides, and thus this could never work out long term.  (But the private family movies would sure be something to see.)

But despite that, one of the world's most beautiful women must persist in her calling to be very beautiful, and for Miranda, this is easy as breathing.   In this Daily Mail article, Miranda models some clothes and then just shows how beautiful she is.  Face wise.  We've had ample photographic and video evidence of how beautiful the body is.  (Just search "Miranda Kerr" on this blog and you will find some examples I've previously chosen.)

Miranda Kerr beach-side photos

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

It's hard to overlook a volcanic caldera (unless it's under ice)

After a recent jökulhlaup (a flood of meltwater released from a glacier), scientists in Iceland suspected that one of their smaller icecaps might have a volcano or geothermal area under it, one that hadn't been discovered before.   So they decided to find out.

A new cauldron confirmed
This article describes the image from Landsat 8 that indicated the location of the caldera.  I grabbed that image and it is shown below.  The arrow points to the newly-described caldera.

New caldera found on Iceland glacier
According to this article, they sent an expedition to the icecap to confirm that it was indeed a previously unknown, under-ice volcanic caldera.  

Now, it's unlikely that it actually erupted;  more likely, geothermal heat melted enough water to cause the jökulhlaup.  But it's still interesting that a feature like this had lain undiscovered until now.

Here's the icecap, Hofsjökull, from a viewpoint closer than space.

I hope this turns out not to be true

According to this article, Comet ISON - which has the potential to be one of the best comets in a long while - might be on the verge of breaking up, which would dramatically reduce its hoped-for display.   So I am hoping that the diagnosis of possible breakup turns out to be wrong.  But as it is, we have to just let nature take its course as ISON approaches the Sun.

Is the Christmas Comet breaking up?

Here's why the astronomers think this might be happening:
"Light signatures from ISON, which has just streaked past Mars, indicate the comet is about to break up, says Ignacio Ferrin, an astrophysicist at the University of Antioquia in Medellin, Colombia.

He explained that comets typically brighten as they get closer to the Sun, crossing a temperature threshold that causes their icy surfaces to evaporate, depositing water vapour, other gases and dust in their wake.

But, said Ferrin, the light curve from ISON slowed down and then remained practically constant, with no sign of greater brightness, as it raced forward.  This is a signature that matches four previous comets that have broken up catastrophically, he said."

Reactions to China's air pollution crisis

Temperatures went down in northern China a few days ago, and air pollution shot up, creating a true air pollution crisis reminiscent of London's "killer fogs" of the late 1940s and 1950s.   This has happened before and will definitely happen again.  But what caught my eye was more data points supporting my contention that environmental degradation will lead to enough civil unrest to endanger the ruling authorities.

Choking smog paralyzes cities in northeast China

“I live in a country making people desperate,” posted another Weibo user. “The environmental pollution is not scary. What’s scary is the no-action government and the silence of people like slaves.”

China’s breakneck dash for economic growth has badly damaged the environment, and the rapid deterioration in air and water quality increasingly has become a source of public unrest. As a result, improving environmental standards has become a major priority for the government."
We'll see if it works.

Losing more of my respect

A couple of years back I actually thought that Mike Huckabee was a likeable politician and a decent candidate for higher office -- even though he was a Republican.  However, after he retired from office he sold his soul to the Tea Party, and became a highly conservative pundit (despite the loss of brain cells that his conversion indicated).

He further indicated his affiliation and identification with the extreme far right by campaigning in Virginia for Ken "Cooch" Cuccinelli, candidate for governor.  Thus, he has gone down further on my estimation scale.  It's too bad that Huckabee has been caught in the whirlpoolish trap of Tea Party thinking - I was hoping for better from him.  But he's far gone now.

Huckabee campaigns for Cuccinelli in Virginia

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Early going in the Barclays Premier

This isn't exactly a normal season thus far in the Barclays Premier League.  Normally dominant Manchester United has lost a couple, and Arsenal is looking strong, with the reliable Chelsea and the resurgent Liverpool just two points behind.   Of course, there is a very long way to go, but this could be interesting come spring.

Unfortunately, I was hoping Crystal Palace would do well in their first season up in the Premier, because they had a connection to Maryland for a couple of years, but so far they've had very tough going.

Barclays Premier League Standings Table

Top goal scorer so far is Daniel Sturridge of Liverpool with 7.

Is this Jamaica's swimming version of Usain Bolt?

(Actually, the comparison might be better to Merlene Ottey, but I figured Bolt would get more attention).

You'd figure that a country that produces one world-class sprinter in track after another might also be able to apply those genetic tendencies to other sprint sports.  But the main difference between track and swimming is that in the case of swimming, you need a decent pool - for track, you need basically a track (and not necessarily a great one at that).   So I've been watching the FINA World Cup, and watched Alia Atkinson blow away the field in the 100 meter (short course) breaststroke at Doha - admittedly, a field that didn't have Rūta Meilutytė in it.   Nonetheless, Atkinson made a run at the world record, with a 1:03.38 (the record is 1:02.36 by Ruta, but Atkinson was close until a late fade).

Turns out that she was fourth in the 100 meter breaststroke in London - just off the podium and thus just out of the headlines.  But she appears to be making a move toward the top of the sport.

And to find a decent pool, she swims in Florida mostly, not Jamaica. 

Oh, and being a long-time fan of the Dune sci-fi trilogy, I've got to be a bit partial toward any woman named Alia.  

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Michelle Keegan gets ready for break out

The main thing standing between British soap actress Michelle Keegan and mega world domination is the fact that she's still acting on a British soap ("Coronation Street').   She announced awhile ago that she was leaving the show, but this being a soap and her being under contract, there were several months between the announcement and the end of her run as "Tina".   The Daily Mail is reporting that Tina is going to get killed off, but according to other statements, that hasn't been decided yet.  Now, death has rarely been a barrier to the return of popular soap characters (or their evil twins), so even if Corrie does kill off Tina, she could still come back in some fashion.  But I think the Brits prefer to have her leave on her own power so she has a chance to come back under her own power, should Michelle be unable to achieve mega world domination.

Facing the axe: Michelle Keegan's Coronation Street character to be killed off in 'whodunnit' storyline as part of ITV plan to win ratings war with EastEnders

Here are a couple of reasons why I think she's destined for superstardom.  And she might even be able to act, too.

Can they go lower?

The ongoing decrease in the level of the Great Lakes is a major environmental and economical concern.  So when reading this report, my first question was -- how much lower can the lake level go?  Second question, are there any prospects for a reversal of this trend?  Third question, is this another symptom of climate change or just a regional thing?

With Great Lakes stuck at historic lows, talk turns to adapting
"A mix of evaporating water and minimal ice cover due to warmer temperatures over the winter has contributed to the record-low levels, according to the corps [Army Corps of Engineers]. Heavy rainfall throughout April, which resulted in significant flooding in downtown Grand Rapids, as well as water flowing in from Lake Superior, has helped raise Lake Michigan, Steinman said."   [Check out the article; the main way to have higher water levels is to have a colder than normal winter.]
" Steinman said that under an early-stage initiative at the state level, headed by the Office of the Great Lakes within the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, a number of water experts from different fields have submitted white papers he hopes will result in a long-term strategy to address water-related issues in the state. Steinman is among the experts involved.
"Ultimately, we want this to translate into policy because that is how it will make a long-lasting impact," he said. "Every environmental issue we face boils down to an economic issue. We need to get the economics right when we start figuring out what the solutions are to these environmental challenges. …"

I think we're going to see a lot of the word "adapting" in climate change stories in coming years.

Interview with a meteorite

Just recently the Russians were able to haul the biggest piece of the Chelybinsk meteor (which of course when it hit the ground or lake becomes a meteorite) out of the lake that had a big hole in its covering of ice after the meteor punched through it.

Big hole:

This turned out to be somewhat of a media event.  Reports have it that this may be in the top 10 of the largest meteorites ever found (quick trivia - what's the biggest?)

The media frenzy:

And here's a frame from the first interview with a fresh meteorite:

"So, who are you wearing tonight?"

Kelly Brook for sale for all of 2014

Just a few posts back, I noted that Kelly Brook's 2014 calendar was on sale.

Now, as a preview and hopefully to spur sales, as well as interest, as well as blood flow, here's a link to a site with every month of Kelly's calendar in 2014.

Buy it!

Here's my SECOND favorite month.  (See if you can guess number one.)

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Fossil fuels - boon or balloon?

GREAT (I repeat, great) article from Michael Klare about the current overenthusiasm for fossil fuels, fueled by new discoveries and new technologies, and how it is influencing all sorts of different policies, from energy to international relations.    Klare lays bare the underlying flimsiness of the architecture of power that's being constructed, showing that there are a lot of unjustified assumptions and unfulfilled promises that are being banked on, big-time, and speculated on, even bigger time.

Behind all this is the specter of climate change, which fracked natural gas and tar sands oil will only make worse.  Add to that the pollution of groundwater, the instabilization of the ground surface, the triggering of earthquakes, pipeline problems and oil spills on land and in the water - and the future is not so rosy as the people with rose-colored glasses are seeing.  And that's why, even though I have not opined on this subject for awhile, that I believe nuclear power is still the only truly viable long-term non-polluting, reliable, large scale energy-generating source currently available to us.

So below I provide some pithy excerpts from Klare's article, entitled, aptly, "Fossil Fuel Euphoria". The links come from the article.

A. GOOD. "The boost in domestic oil and gas output, it is further claimed, will fuel an industrial renaissance in the United States -- with new plants and factories being built to take advantage of abundant local low-cost energy supplies.  “The economic consequences of this supply-and-demand revolution are potentially extraordinary,” asserted Ed Morse, the head of global commodities research at Citigroup in New York.  America’s gross domestic product, he claimed, will grow by 2% to 3% over the next seven years as a result of the energy revolution alone, adding as much as $624 billion to the national economy."

B. GOOD. " A new elite consensus is forming around the strategic advantages of expanded oil and gas production.  In particular, this outlook holds that the U.S. is benefiting from substantially reduced oil imports from the Middle East by eliminating a dependency that has led to several disastrous interventions in that region and exposed the country to periodic disruptions in oil deliveries, starting with the Arab oil embargo of 1973-74.  “The shift in oil sources means the global supply system will become more resilient, our energy supplies will become more secure, and the nation will have more flexibility in dealing with crises,” Yergin wrote in the Wall Street Journal. "

C. NOT SO GOOD. " To begin with, those virtually “boundless” untapped oil reserves have yet to be systematically explored, meaning that it’s impossible to know if they do, in fact, contain commercially significant reserves of oil and gas.  To offer an apt example, the U.S. Geological Survey, in one of the most widely cited estimates of untapped energy reserves, has reported that approximately 13% of the world’s undiscovered oil reserves and 30% percent of its natural gas lie above the Arctic Circle.  But this assessment is based on geological analyses of rock samples, not exploratory drilling. "

D. NOT GOOD EITHER. "Finally, there is a crucial but difficult to assess factor in the future energy equation: the degree to which energy companies and energy states will run into resistance when exploiting ever more remote (and environmentally sensitive) resource zones.  No one yet knows how much energy industry efforts may be constrained by the growing opposition of local residents, scientists, environmentalists, and others who worry about the environmental degradation caused by unconventional energy extraction and the climate consequences of rising fossil fuel combustion.  Despite industry claims that fracking, tar sands production, and Arctic drilling can be performed without endangering local residents, harming the environment, or wrecking the planet, ever more people are coming to the opposite conclusion -- and beginning to take steps to protect their perceived interests."

E. WORST.  " As heat waves and extreme storm activity increase, so will concern over climate change and opposition to wholesale fossil fuel extraction.  The IEA warned of this possibility in the 2012 edition of its World Energy Outlook.  Shale gas and other unconventional forms of natural gas are predicted to provide nearly half the net gain in world gas output over the next 25 years, the report noted.  “There are,” it added, “also concerns about the environmental impact of producing unconventional gas that, if not properly addressed, could halt the unconventional gas revolution in its tracks.”

Of course, I recommend reading the whole article to get the full impact.  It describes well the good, the bad, and the unlikely.

What "The Economist" said

Back issue reading found this article:

No way to run a country

This last paragraph REALLY NAILS IT.

"In the longer term, America needs to tackle polarisation. The problem is especially acute in the House, because many states let politicians draw their own electoral maps. Unsurprisingly, they tend to draw ultra-safe districts for themselves. This means that a typical congressman has no fear of losing a general election but is terrified of a primary challenge. Many therefore pander to extremists on their own side rather than forging sensible centrist deals with the other. This is no way to run a country. Electoral reforms, such as letting independent commissions draw district boundaries, would not suddenly make America governable, but they would help. It is time for less cliff-hanging, and more common sense."
Absolutely right.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The radical base of the shutdown

I found this article by Eric Boehlert in the HuffingtonPost quite intriguing.

The Shutdown's Radical Birther Streak That the Press Can No Longer Ignore

A couple of clips:

" And it's a base that still clings to the dark fantasy that Obama's an African-born impostor who's ineligible to be president or to command the U.S. military. And yes, Republican members of Congress still push that nonsense; House Republicans who fueled the futile shutdown. "


" The media's birther blind spot is part of the larger press problem [link goes to Media Matters] in its failure to grasp, and accurately detail, the truly radical nature of the procedural sabotage that Republicans are engaging in; the plotted chaos and dysfunction that's being employed in hopes of halting Obama's second term. (A second term that couldn't be stopped at the ballot box.) "

It's been clear they are extreme.  The shutdown and the debt ceiling cliffhanger made that VERY clear.  What we have to do now is to not let them off the hook - to keep pounding the drum about how extreme, and how dangerous to the country, their views are.

Leo - back to Brazil, or not?

Leonardo DiCaprio may or may not be newly dating a 24-year old Brazilian model.  Hearken back to the fact that he dated, for a few years, ultramodel Gisele Bundchen, also from Brazil.  So this makes perfect sense for someone who has a catalog of lingerie models to look through when he needs a partner for dinner, or something more after dinner.

Lucky guy.

Here's the article.

Model Kat Torres, 24, confirms she's dating DiCaprio as she opens up about pair's romance

This got picked up by other outlets, but there are also denials from the DiCaprio camp that they are actually dating.   So it's not clear or not if they are.  Nonetheless, even a hint of another DiCaprio model-girlfriend is worthy of checking out if she's worthy of Leo.  And it would appear that she fits his criteria quite well.

She fits into her lingerie quite well, too.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Republicans want to secede? This would solve ALL our problems

A short time ago I read a Washington Post article about the western part of Maryland wanting to secede from the rest of the state and become a new state because western Maryland is predominantly Republican and conservative, and the rest of the state is predominantly Democratic and godlessly liberal, thank God.  (The article got picked up by the HuffingtonPost via Reuters - read it here).   Apparently this is somewhat of a trend around the country, at least in certain places.  Pat Buchanan wrote about it recently on TownHall, too, quoted below:

"Like the western Maryland and northern Colorado counties, the northern California counties are conservative, small town, rural, and have little in common with San Francisco or Los Angeles, or Sacramento, where Republicans hold not one statewide office and are outnumbered better than 2-1 in both houses of the state legislature.
Folks on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, bordered by Wisconsin and the Great Lakes, which is connected to lower Michigan by a bridge, have long dreamed of a separate state called Superior. The UP has little in common with Lansing and nothing with Detroit."

There is only considered a small likelihood that any of these initiatives would succeed in seceding (ha ha ha). But there is apparently discontent around the country where conservatives are living in predominantly liberal Democratic states.  The other situation is less noticeable, because the liberal Dems in predominantly Republican states already tend to cluster in single-party enclaves that are also known as cities.

But there is a simple solution to all of this.  Let the discontent Republican conservatives have their own state, and let the government facilitate their movement to that state.  That would reduce the problem of gerrymandering in a lot of states - because there would be a lot fewer Republicans to gerrymander around - and also give the Republicans a state to run they way they like, living with like-minded people who also want to live in a state run the way they like.

But where to move them all to?  Where?  Where indeed?

I nominate Brownbackistan, formerly known as Kansas.  Governor Sam Brownback is already endeavouring to make Kansas the great Prairie Conservative Paradise.  There's lots and lots of room, plenty of small rural communities that could be a little bigger, the small towns and small town values that conservatives pine and opine for.   Kansas is famous for pushing creationism and prayer in schools, banning books, farming corn and wheat, cutting taxes, cutting taxes even more, cutting taxes so much that even Republicans are complaining, cutting godless art programs, godless educational programs, banning abortions,  limiting contraception, and building more churches.  (I'm not sure about that last part, but if more Christian right-wing conservatives move to Kansas, then it ought to be).  Furthermore, many of these discontenteds are already living in small, poor, rural communities - if they move to the same type of locale in Kansas, they'll feel right at home.

Here's Brownback's Road Map for Kansas (a PDF document).

Here's a partial assessment of how it's actually working thus far.   Doesn't appear to be working so good, so clearly they need more people to increase the tax base.  Oh wait, he eliminated the state income tax.  Never mind.  (Here's another commentary on how it's working, or not.)

I think it's fairly obvious that Brownback needs a lot more like-minded Kansans to live in Kansas, and apparently there are lot of people around the country not happy to be living where they are living now, because of the political bent of their own particular state.  So I propose that the Federal government provide low cost loans to allow anyone who wants to, for reasons of personal or political conscience, to move to Kansas. This helps the rest of the country, the states where these people don't like to be living, and Kansas, which is needing some help.

Hell, if they still want to secede, let them be their own country.  They're completely surrounded by the rest of the United States and they clearly can't have their own Navy.

I think this is an ideal situation for just about EVERYBODY.  When this whole shutdown and debt ceiling situation is done with, I'm going to call my Congresspeople and suggest it.  They're Democrats - they ought LIKE it.

"Day of the Jackal" plan to make Ted Cruz President without an election

As the government shutdown winds on and as global economic catastrophe looms, I keep thinking that the Tea Party supporters with deep pockets might have something more nefarious up their sleeves.

Now, mind you, this scenario is the partially the product of watching many political thrillers over the years, from "No Way Out" to "In the Line of Fire" to "Homeland" and of course the titular "Day of the Jackal".   In no way could I plan this.  In no way could I do this.  I can't fire a rifle;  I don't own a rifle.  Furthermore, FBI, if you're reading this, I'm a freakin' liberal.  Read a lot of my political posts (you can skip the ones about the girls).  There's no way that I'd want this to happen.

But some people might.  And mind you, this is even far-fetched politically.  But it's not impossible.  And if one or two unlikely pieces fell into place, it might suddenly become an attractive idea to somebody. Somebody with an ax to grind from the far, far, far right, who DOES own a rifle and who DOES have deep pockets.

So here's the scenario.

1.  After the shutdown and the debt ceiling fight end, the latter perhaps with a capitulation by John Boehner to let Democrats and moderate Republicans vote together to avert global economic catastrophe, a Tea Party-led revolt against His Speakership ensues.

2. The Tea Party gains the ascendancy, and in a history-making move, they elect Texas Senator Ted Cruz Speaker of the House.  It's never been done before, to have a non-member of the House be Speaker, but there's nothing in the bylaws that says this can't happen.  Besides, Cruz is persona non grata in the Senate right now - his colleagues would be glad to see him go.

3.  Realize now that the Speaker of the House is third in line for the Presidency.  That only leaves Barack Obama and Joe Biden standing in the way of President Cruz.  The Koch Brothers, who were mentioned as having bankrolled the Obamacare stand (though apparently they didn't) and the election or candidacies of many Tea Party candidates in 2012 (which they did), perceive a better way to invest their megabucks than backing insane crazies who can't get elected.  To whit, they decide to hire a couple of top-notch assassins to take out the POTUS and VPOTUS essentially simultaneously, and give them sufficient funds for all the high tech stuff they might need.  Need a ride?  We've got a private jet.

4.  These shouldn't be too hard to find;  there's still a lot of ticked-off Al Qaeda members out there who still are a wee bit upset with the U.S. for Zero Dark Thirtying Osama bin Laden.  Plus, you don't have to hire someone who will want to get away;  a la Brody in 'Homeland', a suicide bomber will do just fine.  The money can go to the deceased suicide bomber's family and his local community.

5.  What does have to happen is that it has to be done fast, or Biden will appoint a VP in a jiffy if Barack gets it first, and vice versa (ha) if the VP is done first  - either of them realizing that Cruz is waiting in the wings if the VP office is empty. Still, I think Congress has to approve the new VP, so that could get held up until the other assassination is completed.  Holding things up in Congress is apparently not very hard to do!

6.  And then, sans election, Ted Cruz is President of the United States.  Cruz then appoints Texas Governo Rick Perry as his Vice-President.

It's easy, right?

Think I'm crazy?  Well, maybe not so much after reading this in the Huffington Post today:

The Far-Right Christian Movement Driving the Debt Default

"That is what makes the debt ceiling debate so chilling. The Reconstructionists have waited a long time to be in powerful positions. And now that they possess power, they are perfectly willing to use it to "reduce the power of the state" so that the God of the Old Testament can swoop in to rule the Christian nation they believe will result from chaos."

Giada shows us the goods (almost)

Back in March, I stated my true and unfettered opinion that it would be great (if however extremely unlikely) to see the results of Food Network Italian specialist chef Giada de Laurentiis posing for high-class nude photographs.  I noted then, as I do again now, that this just won't happen, and I know that, but I can't help wishing that it would.

At the time, I posted a couple of fairly sexy shots of Giada, not knowing if anything more enticing would ever appear.  But only a few months later, it did, when Giada wore a truly remarkable dress that provided truly remarkable views of her most delectable decolletage to the Daytime Emmy Awards.

This outfit shows why it would be great if she deigned to show the entire wealth of her bodily assets.  And I can't help but thinking that the 'private' family photo folder at the de Laurentiis household must have some great shots, too.  Her husband would be crazy not to have captured both her anterior and posterior for posterity, if only theirs.

Dear God, how bad is it to pray for a wardrobe malfunction?  Just one?

Julie Efimova, Yuliya Yefimova, whatever, she's fast and cute

Not long ago in the 2013 World Swimming Championships, Russian woman breaststroke specialist Yulia Yefimova (the Westernized version of her name is Julia Efimova) beat out the challenge of 16-year-old Lithuanian wunderkind Ruta Meilutyte and won the 50 meter breaststroke with a world record, in which she won the gold, and she also won the 200 meter breaststroke, which is impressive considering the differences between flat-out sprinting and distance breaststroke.  

It should be pointed out that Yefimova is Chechnyan, remarkable in itself considering the recent political difficulties in that enclave.

By the way, Meilutyte just set a short-course world record in the 100 meter breaststroke at the FINA World Cup in Moscow.

I happened to be watching the FINA World Cup in Moscow, mentioned above, and saw Yefimova win the 200 meter breaststroke with a new Russian record, after an unfortunate DQ in the 50.  After it was over, I also noticed that she's somewhat cute.  So I did some research on that.  Below are the results of my research.

In her swimsuit:

She can also do this :  (whoever said that world-class athletes are just like the rest of us was wrong)

And in a glamor shot, dry and on land:

Like I said, fast and cute.  (She's only 21, too.)

Mid-October sonnet

Note:  in this sonnet, the word 'enlinked' in line 8 should be pronounced with three syllables, 'EN-link-ED'.  This one also has a non-standard rhyming scheme.

"Upon a marriage bed"

I wonder, could it ever be that way -
remarkable, fulfilling, sharing, true -
exceptional and fundamental, play
enmixed with pleasure, basic to pursue
the pleasures of their partner, first as each
explores and touches, deeper, stronger, hard 
and soft and smooth and straight, the key and breach
that form a whole, enlinked to the starred
infinity for moments as they reach
a summit of their own, yet shared in gard-
ens of fertility, made known by moan
and gasp and quake and final flow, and shown
to be appreciated and adored?
I wish it could, to have my joys restored.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

New adjective rules for the political press

I think that there should be a few rules for using adjectives in political stories about the debt ceiling and government shutdown:

1.  In all future articles, the plural term "Republicans" should be preceded with the words "stupid f*cking".

2.  All references to the current Speaker of the House John Boehner should be preceded with the words "simpering appeasing spineless a**hole".

3. All references to Tea Party members should be preceded with the words "insane brainded redneck idiot".

4.  All references to "GOP" should be preceded by "God save us from the". 

Let's see how this works:

"The plummeting standing of congressional Republicans in public opinion polls helped spur a move toward ending the standoff, Oklahoma Republican Representative James Lankford said on CNN Thursday night. The latest, an NBC-Wall Street Journal survey published on Thursday, showed the public blaming Republicans by a 22-point margin - 53 to 31 percent."


The plummeting standing of congressional stupid f*cking Republicans in public opinion polls helped spur a move toward ending the standoff, Oklahoma stupid f*cking Republican Representative James Lankford said on CNN Thursday night. The latest, an NBC-Wall Street Journal survey published on Thursday, showed the public blaming stupid f*cking Republicans by a 22-point margin - 53 to 31 percent.


"Boehner may have calculated that Obama would negotiate — if not over Obamacare, then about spending and entitlements. The president’s uncompromising stance against hostage-taking meant Boehner had to follow through on the threat of a government shutdown — and meant that the GOP would shoulder most of the blame for an episode of dysfunction. It also meant, however, that Boehner would get to stand before the cameras every day and show his defiance of Obama, which makes House Republicans swoon."


Simpering appeasing spineless a**hole Boehner may have calculated that Obama would negotiate — if not over Obamacare, then about spending and entitlements. The president’s uncompromising stance against hostage-taking meant simpering appeasing spineless a**hole Boehner had to follow through on the threat of a government shutdown — and meant that the God save us from the GOP would shoulder most of the blame for an episode of dysfunction. It also meant, however, that simpering appeasing spineless a**hole Boehner would get to stand before the cameras every day and show his defiance of Obama, which makes House stupid f*cking Republicans swoon.


"If the goal is to have minimal government, what do we have now? What would be a better victory for the tea party, then what exists right now with the shutdown?

It's not that we have no government right now. We have limited government. All military is getting paid. Our military support personnel is now getting paid. Anyone designated essential personnel is getting paid.

Isn't that what Republicans have been pushing for since the election? Any government branch which is not strictly essential should not exist.

This is not a negotiation. Why should they come to the table, they've won!

What government department does the Tea Party want to be funded that is not currently being funded right now during the shutdown? I can't think of one."


"If the goal is to have minimal government, what do we have now? What would be a better victory for the insane brainded redneck idiot tea party, then what exists right now with the shutdown? 

It's not that we have no government right now. We have limited government. All military is getting paid. Our military support personnel is now getting paid. Anyone designated essential personnel is getting paid.

Isn't that what stupid f*cking Republicans have been pushing for since the election? Any government branch which is not strictly essential should not exist. 

This is not a negotiation. Why should they come to the table, they've won!

What government department does the insane brainded redneck idiot Tea Party want to be funded that is not currently being funded right now during the shutdown? I can't think of one."

See?  That's much clearer. If you practice this just a few times, it becomes natural and easy.

When will Cheryl be happy at last?

Stunned and saddened to hear that the divinely delicious Cheryl Cole is single again after being in what looked like a secure happy relationship with Tre Holloway.

However, I think that somewhere out there she'll still find someone that's right for her.  And this will probably be someone who appreciates full-buttock tattoos.

Now, let me be clear on this.  If Cheryl ever entered my sphere of romance (which is IMPOSSIBLE, of course), I'd be in euphoric romantic heaven, even though I am not a fan of body art and she apparently is.  Still, I have to admit that getting her backside covered with tattoo roses dropped her in my ratings from a 10+ to about a 9.85.  Sorry, but that's the truth.

Still, she's going to have a new 2014 calendar out.  That's something to look forward to.  Hope I can see all the pictures from it eventually.

The end for Tendulkar

One of the world's greatest athletes, who a large portion of the world's population idolizes but who a large portion of the American populace has never heard of, is about to retire.  There are a lot (meaning a whole lot) of articles about this phenomenal athlete out there, but because he plays cricket, which is not a widely-followed sport in America, he isn't well-known (obviously).

Still, I think ESPN should consider a short tribute to him, somewhen.

End of an era: Indian great Tendulkar to retire from cricket after 200th Test

Just look at the statistics. Tendulkar, now 40, is the leading run-scorer in the history of Tests, with 15,837 runs in his 198 matches, He is also the leading run-scorer in the history of one-day internationals, with 18,246 runs in an extraordinary 463 ODIs.  He has 51 Test hundreds and more than 100 international centuries in all. Surely no-one will ever come close to that record.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Early holiday alert

Thanks to the Daily Mail, we can see an early sign of the upcoming holiday season:

Victoria's Secret holiday lingerie

I'm sure you wouldn't want to miss this!

Monday, October 7, 2013

A sonnet in early October

Inspired by an unexpected revelation

A treasure sits upon the throne - my queen
in all her splendor, unconcerned that she
is utterly revealed, her beauty seen
in stark totality - the curves that we 
revere as archetypes of feminine
affection and abundance, and the place
which lies enframed between her thighs, wherein
abides her passion, where I shall embrace
her with my purity of meaning and 
devotion as my noble scepter shows
its dedication to her ruling hand.
And when we share the basic sacred throes 
of an ecstatic bond, then I will claim
to have adored and known her regal fame.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Ken Coochie doesn't like Ted Cruzy

THIS JUST IN:  When you're a stupid Tea Party demagogue that led the country into a damaging governmental shutdown and constitutional crisis (yes, it's gone that far), then other stupid Tea Party demagogues running for local office -- like Virginia governor -- don't want to be associated with your sorry ass.

Cuccinelli shuns Cruz limelight

" In the clearest sign yet of the potent effect of the government shutdown on the Virginia governor’s race, Republican Ken Cuccinelli avoided being photographed with Ted Cruz at a gala they headlined here Saturday night—even leaving before the Texas senator rose to speak."
But this was even more telling:
After Cuccinelli finished, a pastor from Williamsburg named Mark Morrow praised Cruz for being willing to shut down the government and said many now see him as the most powerful man in the capitol.
“It’s about time that someone in Washington abandons the faulty notion that compromise is the best way to win,” he said.



"The Tune in Dan's Cafe"

Continuing with my Brooke Mills quest, here's the full episode of Rod Serling's Night Gallery that includes "The Tune in Dan's Cafe", with Brooke Mills in a lead role.   It's the last 15 minutes of the show.

She was such a pretty woman.  Great cleavage, too, which works well in this episode.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

An appealing picture of Jill Wagner

Whilst checking out Lacey Chabert in the most recent Maxim, I found three pictures of Wipeout's Jill Wagner.  I still remember Jill from the single season of Blade on TV, and of course the car commercials.  She wears this sweater well, but the tease is what makes it special.   I easily fall in love with pelvic indentations.

She's had more roles (notably on Teen Wolf), which is good because she's still pretty, hot, and an enjoyable actress to watch.  Emphasis on the watch.

Lacey Chabert gives us a body update

It's good to see Lacey Chabert has some new projects coming out.  It's also good to see Lacey wearing lacy stuff to promote the stuff she's got coming out.  She made a previous appearance in Maxim in lingerie, and she indicates that she's still pretty well shaped.

More here:  Lacey Chabert Maxim lingerie shoot

Friday, October 4, 2013

Modern fossils

I was amazed by these pictures of birds from Africa's bizarre Lake Natron, that have died and then been preserved by the high mineral content of the waters.   Very strange, and visually fascinating.

Example:  a flamingo.

Ghostly statues of birds from Lake Natron

Aaron Paul likes his wife, too

In a previous post, I noted how I like Aaron Paul's wife so much that she's on my list of women I'd like to see nude but very likely never will.  

Well, Aaron is in a situation where he has that privilege, and I think he knows the best way to keep getting that privilege, and all that comes with it.

Adore your wife, frequently and publically.

It's official:  Aaron Paul is the greatest husband ever

Oh yeah, I bet he's getting some, frequently.  But not publically.

It took some work, but here's a link to her by herself, in glamorous mode (this was an Emmys red carpet appearance with Aaron when she managed to get a picture taken without him).

Lauren Parsekian Paul

Bob Woodward on the shutdown

Bob Woodward, famous reporter most famous for the Watergate exposure, has an opinion on the Republican government shutdown:


Now, I don't know if that's the exact right word here; extortion seems more apropos, but clearly they're trying to force an issue through means that aren't the norm for the Congress.  And obviously I think the Dems and the President are in the right to not let the Tea Party get away with this.

So, here's Woodward's extended opinion:

Bob Woodward hits GOP over 'blackmail'

“Let’s call it what it is, they are trying to blackmail the president and say, ‘Look, we’re going to shut down the government or default on our debt unless you — we go back, rewind the clock, on Obamacare and delay it or somehow cut off the funding,’” the longtime Washington Post journalist said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “You can’t govern that way. It will not work. It will be exposed.”

The new Miss World

The new Miss World is Megan Young of the Phillipines.  Now, Miss World is traditionally a looker; past winners have included Aishwarya Rai, at least once called the most beautiful woman in the world and Rosanna Davison, who recently posed nude for an international Playboy edition and showed that she's truly world-class.  Halle Berry finished fourth;  I'd like to see who won THAT year.

Megan is a model and a Philippine soap actress.  As one would hope for a beauty pageant winner, she's really beautiful.  I did some research and below are my results showing how beautiful she really is.  I also included some bikini pictures, because this year's contest didn't have a bikini section due to it being in Indonesia and this caused concerns about appeasing Islamic propriety.

(I also included some bikini pictures because she's no-show topless in a couple.)

A snippet about Brooke Mills

A very short time ago, I posted a "Whatever Happened to..." article about the beautiful model and actress Brooke Mills.   I called it a mystery, because I don't know what happened to her.  But I have been indefatigably curious about her, and I did a little more searching, and I found a mention of her in a book that Amazon has online, entitled Close Encounters of the Worst Kind by Philip Lambro.

So here it is:  it turns out that Brooke was married to a mostly editor, slightly director named David Rawlins.   His directing credit is an episode of Rod Serling's Night Gallery, entitled "The Tune in Dan's Cafe", which had as one of its co-stars, get this - Brooke Mills.  Now, I'd found that credit before, but didn't know that the director was Brooke's husband.   According to the book, one of Rawlins' most noted editing jobs was on Saturday Night Fever.

But wait, there's more.  In the book, it turns out Brooke became pregnant by David around 1974, and they only had one child.  This is where I think it gets interesting.  Because Brooke stopped acting after 1977, when her child would've been 2 1/2 to 3 years old.   Which makes me suspect that she retired from show business to raise the child, presumably drawing child support from the relatively successful David Rawlins.  But that's just a theory.

So here's my inspiration.  Even though I don't know where Brooke is, I might be able to locate David Rawlins.  Big maybe, because there's one post on his entry from someone else looking for him, which isn't promising.  However, if it's possible to find David, maybe he knows what happened to Brooke Mills.   On the other hand, he may have died (IMDB isn't clear, neither are any references about him), so that would make it harder.

But I sure would still like to know what happened to her.

And now a message from a walrus

Did you hear about the huge walrus haul-out?

10,000 walruses on an island

They did this because of lack of sea ice;  something that the climate skeptics say wasn't as big a problem this year (referring to the lack of sea ice at the sea ice minimum time).

Which inspired me to make a comment on behalf of the walrus, using a picture from the USGS:

Here's another article about it (from my pals at Deep Sea News):

TGIF - Tusk, tusk