Saturday, November 30, 2013

Will China get its environmental act together?

Scientific American has a fairly long exposition of China's environmental woes and worries.  It puts the Chinese problems in great perspective, assessing whether or not the government can stand by its promises to clean up the environment while continuing to grow the economy at a breakneck pace.   And it's not optimistic.

This paragraph does a good job of describing how bad it can get:
"Haze wreathes the country, completely obscuring landmarks like sacred Mount Tai. Breathing can feel like smoking a cigarette, including rawness at the back of the throat and an unrelenting cough. The smog and smoke can achieve a density sufficient to block cellphone reception or prevent GPS from providing the requisite guidance coordinates, with the sky itself become like the ceiling of a building. (Perhaps it’s a defense mechanism against spy satellites, ordinary Chinese joke.) Even China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection provides tacit acknowledgement by noting tersely that a full third of the year in major cities across the country is taken up by days that boast “substandard air quality.” And that’s just the air."

And this is a pretty good summary of the current economic situation vis-a-vis the environment:
"China may have begun to become rich enough to afford the seeming luxury of a healthy environment (as predicted by economist Simon Kuznets long ago) but that reduction in carbon intensity has come about largely through replacing small, inefficient, heavily polluting coal-fired power plants with larger but more efficient ones (along with a growing contribution from large dams, which have their own environmental impacts in China and beyond.) Pollution apportioned per capita is tiny when meted out over a population of 1.35 billion. Like the rest of the world, a lot depends on class, however. The newly rich are responsible for pollution that exceeds that of the typical European bourgeois, while hundreds of millions of poor peasants hardly contribute to this global environmental burden."
And what's also interesting is that the comments have a good (as far as comments section discussions go) discussion of China's energy usage profile, including NUCLEAR ENERGY.  Because nuclear energy can maintain or increase their energy output while reducing their emissions drastically.  And the Chinese government KNOWS that.

NASA tries to bring back Kepler

Despite a couple of bad wheels (which is pretty much the end of a career for an NFL running back or an Olympic runner), the NASA planet-finding Kepler mission might possibly have a plan to keep going.

How NASA revived the Kepler Space Telescope

Well, it's not for sure yet, but they're going to see if this plan works.  The basics are illustrated here (click so you can see it full size, if you're interested).

By the way, isn't it amazing what Kepler has done regarding the prospects for life (maybe even intelligent life) elsewhere in the galaxy and Universe?   It used to be one big unknown was if other stars had planets.  Now it seems that the odds that a star doesn't have planets of some kind are higher than the odds a star will have planets of some kind.

Serious female motion

Just found this, even though it's a couple of years old and they're both mommies now.  This is Shakira and Beyonce doing "Beautiful Liar" together.

Despite the title of the song, both of those pairs of hips don't lie.

More on Shakira on video soon. VERY soon.

Cheryl Cole is DEFINITELY date-bait now

She's single, she's super cute or gorgeous depending on the occasion, she's highly talented, she dances like a dream, and now she's about $2 million dollars (U.S.) richer.

Cheryl Cole 'receives £1.4million fee' after court battle with X Factor USA is settled

Now if she'd just get a new (good) guy and do a U.S. tour, I'd be happy.  For her and for me. 

Thursday, November 28, 2013

It's not every day there's a new island

Similar to Iceland's Surtsey, a new island (that may or may not last) has arisen in the Pacific Islands south of Japan.  Technically it is part of Japan, but I don't think anyone's going to be living there for awhile.

Volcanic eruption raises new island

Is there a CHANCE for Atlantic bluefin tuna?

ICCAT takes positive action to rebuild Atlantic bluefin tuna population; ignores sharks

Many environmentalists and fisheries advocates have said that the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tuna (ICCAT) hasn't exactly done what it's name indicates it's supposed to do, but apparently at their latest meeting they at least held the line on current quotas.  As the title of the article indicates, they didn't do much for sharks, but one thing at a time, I guess.

What they didn't do was take good additional steps to track the stocks and to control illegal fishing. But they did take steps to track fishing vessels, which could help a bit.

As for the sharks, they didn't do anything to control the catch of porbeagle and shortfin mako sharks.

Also, the European Union is taking steps to control illegal fishing.  Every little step helps.

"ICCAT has taken the next step in supporting the recovery of severely depleted Atlantic bluefin tuna by maintaining catch limits, in line with scientific advice, for both the western and eastern bluefin populations at 1,750 metric tons and 13,400 mt, respectively. The future of one of the ocean’s most iconic and valuable fish—the Atlantic bluefin tuna—is brighter today. - See more at:
"ICCAT has taken the next step in supporting the recovery of severely depleted Atlantic bluefin tuna by maintaining catch limits, in line with scientific advice, for both the western and eastern bluefin populations at 1,750 metric tons and 13,400 mt, respectively. The future of one of the ocean’s most iconic and valuable fish—the Atlantic bluefin tuna—is brighter today - See more at:
"ICCAT has taken the next step in supporting the recovery of severely depleted Atlantic bluefin tuna by maintaining catch limits, in line with scientific advice, for both the western and eastern bluefin populations at 1,750 metric tons and 13,400 mt, respectively. The future of one of the ocean’s most iconic and valuable fish—the Atlantic bluefin tuna—is brighter today - See more at:
"ICCAT has taken the next step in supporting the recovery of severely depleted Atlantic bluefin tuna by maintaining catch limits, in line with scientific advice, for both the western and eastern bluefin populations at 1,750 metric tons and 13,400 mt, respectively. The future of one of the ocean’s most iconic and valuable fish—the Atlantic bluefin tuna—is brighter today - See more at:
"ICCAT has taken the next step in supporting the recovery of severely depleted Atlantic bluefin tuna by maintaining catch limits, in line with scientific advice, for both the western and eastern bluefin populations at 1,750 metric tons and 13,400 mt, respectively. The future of one of the ocean’s most iconic and valuable fish—the Atlantic bluefin tuna—is brighter today - See more at:

Pretty girl, Actress: Emily Bett Rickards

On the glad-it's-doing-well CW superhero show Arrow, Emily Bett Rickards plays a technogeek who has been added to the Arrow secret identity  "in the know" team, named Felicity Smoak.  As per the character, Felicity wears BIG glasses, but does dress smartly in office dresses and heels.  The thing is, she's PRETTY, and so far they have occasionally found a way to showcase that in a more glamorous mode. 

The real glamorous star of the show is Katie Cassidy, deservedly, but Emily also gives us guys plenty of reasons to keep watching when the show isn't doing superhero action stuff.

She's got a crush on the main character, and this occasionally comes out in her adoringly bumbling dialog. Whether or not she'll have an unexpected fling with him, or her own love interest, allowing the potential lingerie moment, we'll just have to wait and see.

Have to note that Oliver had a fling with Summer Glau's character, who's his business partner. Unfortunately we only got a glimpse of her in lingerie (a bit of that at the 0:18 mark here, ) but in those scenes she showed a different side of her actress self, because previously she's played a terminator (The Sarah Connor Chronicles), a Reiver-slayer (Serenity), and a geek (both on Dollhouse and the lamentably short-lived The Cape).  She actually acted nicely and smiled.   And then jumped Oliver's bones.  All good things.

Returning to Emily, below are some selected pretty-girl shots.

Wears those pants well

Now THAT's hot

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Isabel Lucas looks a lot different

I wrote about Isabel Lucas a couple of year ago (right here).

I noticed her in this appearance in Vogue Australia (courtesy of the Daily Mail).

Jessica Hart and Isabel Lucas pose in preppy ensembles

She's got a REALLY short haircut.  Still really really pretty, but a lot different from how she looked in that Fekkai ad.

Here's another example:

What a massive storm surge looks like

Here's what the storm surge from what was probably the strongest typhoon (and hurricane, of course) at landfall EVER looked like.  That would be Super Typhoon Haiyan, a couple of weeks ago, in the Philippines.

It's impressive.  Especially on the other side of the world from it, where we don't have to live through it.  I hope the Filipinos will be able to recover from this smash -- they are subject to a lot of different types of natural disasters.

Polar Bear Wars

Canada's refusal to protect polar bears comes under scrutiny

Here's the basics.  Canada's neighboring countries (mainly us, somehow Mexico is included) signed the North American Free Trade Agreement.  Part of that includes a Committee on Environmental Co-operation.  Because Canada is not paying enough attention to the findings of scientists who have strongly indicated that climate changes will seriously deplete polar bear populations (which is typical of the current Canadian government not being very kind to scientists in general), the other countries are asking for an inquiry into this polar bear situation.

Yeah, but this is a better part of the article:
"Meanwhile, the prime minister, Stephen Harper, has been accused of weakening environmental regulations and "muzzling" government scientists who do not fit in with his energy agenda.
"This is a government that believes first of all that economic development, particularly resource extraction, is substantially more important than environmental protection and environmental stewardship," said Chris Turner, whose book, The War on Science, charts the government's clashes with scientists."
And here's the best part:
"The Centre for Global Development this week ranked Canada last among the world's 27 richest countries for its environmental record."
 OHHH, Canada...

Monday, November 25, 2013

Same old, same old snarky Republican tactics on the budget

 While they hold court on Obamacare, behind the curtains the Republicans are screwing with the country's budget and economy again.  How could we possibly expect anything less from these clowns?

Dems hammer Ryan over budget talks

Rep. Steny Hoyer (Md.), the Democratic whip, said Ryan is slow-walking the process for the same reason GOP leaders refused to go to conference on the House and Senate budgets all year: "Because he does not believe there is any agreement that he can bring back to his caucus that his caucus will support."

"There does not seem to be a serious effort [among Republicans] to reach agreement in the budget conference," Hoyer said during his weekly press briefing in the Capitol. "And the reason for that, of course, is that, by definition, reaching an agreement will require compromise.

"I will reiterate that I don't believe that Mr. Ryan believes that if he did that [compromised], he could bring it back to the House and get an agreement from his caucus," Hoyer added. "And therefore, politically it's not wise for him to do so."

 These guys are absurd, useless, and also dangerous to the immediate future of this country.

Great news for AREVA

AREVA is still in business of building nuclear power plants, this one in Brazil.  Good for them, good for the world.  More on the latter, later.

AREVA wins a major contract for third nuclear reactor at Angra

"AREVA has signed a contract worth 1.25 billion euros with the Brazilian electrician Eletrobras Eletronuclear for the completion of the construction for the Angra 3 reactor, located in the state of Rio de Janeiro.
AREVA will supply engineering services and components, as well as the digital instrumentation and control system for the reactor. The group will also provide assistance in the supervision of the installation works and the commissioning activities."

The Misses trying-to-be Universe are stupendously pretty

When I was looking around for pictures of Miss England Amy Willerton (previous post), I found this site with the glamor shots of many of the Miss Universe contenders.  The winner was another Miss Venezuela.  She was a typically Venezuelan package of gorgeousness, but in reviewing the results I felt that several contenders offered a bit more personality and uniqueness.

Anyway, the Web site that offered the shots apparently was mildly complaining that Miss Vietnam was presented a bit frosty in her picture, while many of the other girls were much warmer.   Not all of them were - the picture of the outstanding Miss Switzerland wasn't particularly friendly. 

I invite you to peruse the page, but I must note that my love was given to Ukraine,  Olga Storozhenko (below).   There's a gallery of Olga at her linked name that demonstrates she's got the necessary physical qualifications quite markedly.

Another November sonnet

simple inspiration

Now speak to me the words that I desire --
an invitation from the wanting need
to share the bareness undiluted by
propiety, to show the cracking seed
which brings forth roots and shoots and stalks from my
innateness -- as these phrases do inspire
my overt display , then you shall provide
the satisfaction that my loving eyes
require, the goal and font and space, the dest-
ination for the strength you have made rise,
the place where I am more than just a guest,
where I become a part of you, inside 
your beauty and your hope, so deeply held
that we are alloyed by our naked meld.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

OK, this is fun, but it's also pseudoscience

Supposedly a group called the Norvik (or maybe Jorvik) Viking Center has decided that we're in the midst of Fimbulwinter* (the winter to end all winters) which precedes Ragnarok, the battle in which the major Norse Gods all get wiped out by the Fire and Ice giants.

* a massive global cold snap, which really isn't happening

[ Don't tell Thor, because he's currently doing great business at the box office. ]

But anyway, this apparently has been foretold on the basis of solar activity (we're having a lower-than-normal solar max) and a couple of oarfish that washed up on the beach in California.

Seriously.  Or maybe not.
"The Jorvik Viking Centre predicted that Ragnarok would occur on 22 February because this is the end of the feast of Jolablot. 
While not a scientific conclusion, they claim that Vikings loved to feast and wouldn't want to miss this event. For this reason, they argue that Vikings would believe the world would end in 100 days. 
The end of the world is coincidentally the start of the grand finale of the Viking festival in York."

Well, since I think that this pseudoscientific prediction is unlikely to happen, but they can always make the same prediction before next year's Viking festival.

Should you care who Miss England (UK) is?

I don't know if I should or not.  Apparently Miss England (UK), previously Miss London, is a gal named Amy Willerton, who counts Katie Price (Jordan) as a friend/mentor, and she's going now on a reality TV show called I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! (kinda like Survivor  with British humor).

But should we care?  Hmm, hmmm, hmm...

OK, I care. 

GOCE goes in

As reported and as expected, the gorgeous GOCE satellite made reentry on November 11th.  There's still a lot of ocean out there and that's where it ended up.   Here's the expected track.

As the "Bad Astronomer" found out, at least one photographer was looking up when GOCE went down over the Falklands.

Sequestration squelching science

(Alright, I'm very proud of that post title).   The news is in, and the news is bad for science.  The sequestration may be stealthy in its impact on the average American, but it is not with regard to scientific research.  The latest news and numbers, to put it bluntly, SUCK.

This figure is blatant and disgusting.  And that's what I think of the Republicans who forced this scenario on us and blame the President for doing what he had to do to avoid the disaster that they were promulgating.  And they are still at it, with budget negotiations reportedly making scant progress on the Hill.

Detestable.  And sad, sad, sad, for the best and brightest coming out of our schools and colleges.

Not good, not good at all

Sardines are a major intermediate pelagic fish.  That means that bigger fish eat them.  And as you might expect, we humans eat them too.  They were a big staple of the Cannery Row in Monterey, California, and certainly elsewhere up and down the West Coast of North America.

Not any more, apparently, as the West Coast sardine fishery is apparently mainly kaput.

This is bad for squid, seals, sea lions, bigger fish, seabirds of many kinds, cetaceans (dolphins, whales) -- just about all of the major consumers. 

And us. 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Want BAD? This would be BAD!

Ocean acifidification could trigger economic devastation

"The authors of the report, released today from the Third Symposium on the Ocean in a High-CO2 World, review the current science on the effects on marine organisms, and write that there is a “medium confidence” level that shellfish harvests will decline. There is also a medium confidence level that economic damage will result from impacts on coral reefs, with tourism, food and shoreline protection suffering. The size of this is unclear but one estimate is for $1 trillion in damage from coral loss alone."
"The report authors also say that the acidity of the oceans could increase by 170% by the end of the century, corresponding to a drop in surface ocean pH by 0.32. This occurs under a pessimistic scenario of high human emissions. Since the industrial revolution, surface ocean pH has dropped from 8.2 to 8.1. As pH is a logarithmic scale, the increase in acidity since the industrial revolution could reach around 170% under this scenario.

Under lower-emissions scenarios, this decrease would be around 0.07. But current emissions show no sign of dropping to those necessary to achieve such a goal, cautions Riebesell."
 Yeah, like the title says, BAD.  Simply bad. Indubitably bad. Totally bad.

I totally missed Morena's baby

Most of us have known that luminous Morena Baccarin (Firefly, Serenity, Homeland) was due to give birth in autumn.  Seems she was pregnant a long time, and REAL pregnant at the Emmys.  So I was surprised I missed any announcements of the actual birth until I went looking for them, and found out the blessed event had occurred in late October.

The tyke came into the world butt-first, but mama and baby are apparently doing fine.

Morena Baccarin gives birth, breech delivery

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The 'real' Jasmine

Neat little feature about an artist that paints the Disney princess characters as almost-real people.   I always thought Jasmine from 'Aladdin' was pretty good-looking.

Oh heck, I thought she was hot.

(Still do, in fact.)

For comparison:

I have to say, this 'real' Jasmine has a whiff of Kim Kardashian about her.

And in the feature, I'd swear Chrissy Teigen posed as Pocahontas.

Lest we forget

Even though it seems like the Mars rovers get all the publicity, we shouldn't forget that there are still orbiting satellites sending home much information about Mars.  Images from the European Mars Express recently was used to create a detailed and striking Mars flyover video (see here if you haven't seen it elsewhere).

Another satellite that keeps going and going is the Mars Reconnaisance Orbiter, which has the HiRISE camera.  HiRISE keeps sending back scads of high resolution pictures.   One of the newest ones is shown below (explanation at this link).

That's an easy site to get lost in and explore Mars for hours, days, months...

Top 10 most familiar classical music overtures

I was listening to the classical radio station the other day when they played van Suppe's "Light Cavalry Overture".  I said to myself, "I should know that", but until the familiar theme in the middle started, I didn't recognize it.   But once having recognized it, I started thinking about the other very famous overtures that get played over and over and over

and over and over and over

and over and over and over

etc., again.

So this is the list I came up for the Top 10 most-played (perhaps "overplayed" also fits) classical overtures.   See what you think.

Sometimes I regret that my blog has so few followers.  This would be a fun little topic to have comments on.  So if you are reading this and you can think of someone who might like to comment, tell them about it.

 Top 10 most familiar classical overtures

1. Poet and Peasant
2. 1812
3. Light Cavalry
4. Egmont
5. Academic Festival
6. William Tell
7. Barber of Seville
8. Romeo and Juliet Fantasy
9. The Bartered Bride
10. Carmen

Sunday, November 10, 2013

A November sonnet

I cannot help but think, when I am close to her

Oh place me there -- when they are linked and bound
inside the realm of passion -- when her face,
her fine facade of gorgeousness is crowned
with brilliant gems of ecstasy, when grace
is wound around necessity, and skin
exceeds the best express of fashion. Mind
expands appreciation, thinking in
these frankest terms, with unfulfillment find-
ing only my imagination where
my hands adore her glories, lips caress
her vessel and my adamance finds rare
acceptance in her heat. I could suppress
my nature, but her presence makes me weak,
and I desire to have what all men seek.

Pretty Girl, Swimmer: Jeanette Ottesen Gray

A couple of weeks ago I noted that Russian breaststroke specialist Yulia Efimova was a nice-looking
female swimmer (see here, if you're interested).

But what I missed until this point, despite a couple of world championships and several Grand Prix wins, was the real current hottie in the swimming world -- Jeanette Ottesen Gray.  (She used to be just Jeanette Ottesen, but she recently got married, and her husband (Bobby Gray) is lucky, lucky, LUCKY!)

[ Maybe not so lucky.  JUST read that they're getting separated. That's too bad.  Well, he WAS lucky, while it lasted.  At least for awhile, hopefully.]

Starting with: she's Danish.  Which immediately means she is blonde, blue-eyed, and totally Nordic. She has a tremendous smile, gorgeous hair, and (as one would expect) an athletic body. She's an all-out sprinter in freestyle and butterfly and she's got plenty of power.

Here's what she looks like as a swimmer:


She's got a number of glamor pictures out there, partly because she apparently was a contestant in the Danish version of "Dancing with the Stars".  Unfortunately I haven't been able to find any description of that which is written in English.  (Oh, I know I could try Google Translate, but I can only devote so much time to this.)

She's a true looker. A few pictures below, to show what I mean.



Nice, eh?  Sorry to her about her marriage, but that doesn't make her any less gorgeous.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

How to intercept an asteroid

Since the UN is talking about setting up an international cooperation to help save the Earth from potentially impactual asteroids, I thought I should at least offer up one way that's been suggested to actually divert a dangerous incomer.

Intercepting asteroids to avoid Armageddon

His research is focused on medium-size objects measuring between 100 and 300 meters in length. An asteroid of this size could potentially wipe out entire cities or regions. The scientists have conducted initial laboratory experiments to verify the possibility of deflecting asteroids by impacting them with heavy masses at high speeds -- for instance large space probes. The principle behind the impact is similar to a game of billiards: when one ball hits another, the second changes course. "During impact, not only does the probe transfer its own momentum to the asteroid, there is also the recoil of detached material from the crater, which is ejected against the direction of the impact," describes Schäfer with regard to one of the key test findings. "This recoil effect acts like a turbocharger on the deviation of the asteroid." Tests show that, due to this effect, the overall momentum transferred to the asteroid is up to four times greater than that of the probe alone.

Well, it's a start.  At least we have a strategy.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Pretty girl, Model: Kelly Brook

Well, we all know what to expect from Kelly.  But she frequently exceeds expectations. In the case of the lingerie pictures below from the new holiday collection (which  I should acknowledge here is from, she goes above, behind, and  beyond.

Natalia, are you pregnant AGAIN?

Natalia Vodanova, who I finally wrote about here, is three months pregnant by her new beau, who happens to be a billionaire beau.
OK, I get it, if you're a billionaire and you've got a supermodel girlfriend, you want to make babies with her.  (File this under the Alpha Wolf category.)
Well, congratulations, to both of them.

The environment could unravel China's economic rope

Yes, many times previously I have stated the opinion that China's environment could mean the end of the country as it now exists.  That isn't necessarily totally bad, but social unrest in the world's most populous country, especially something like a civil war (which is unlikely but not completely impossible) would be, to put it mildly, an event.  More likely is some serious effects on the economy, and because of the massiveness of the Chinese economic engine, that could be a problem, too.  Seriously.

Michael Friedman goes in deeper depth on this.  I'm providing two links to the same article because the first one direct to the NY Times might not work.

Too big to breathe (NY Times)

China gets too big to breathe  (Salt Lake Tribune)


"China has built amazing hardware in 30 years — modern cities, roads, airports, ports and telecoms — bringing more people out of poverty faster than any country in the history of the world. The Chinese have much to be proud of. Every healthy economy, though, depends on a healthy environment. China will stall if President Xi Jinping and his government do not now build the software — the institutionalized laws, courts and norms — to ensure that all this growth will not be undermined by an epidemic of despoiled land and dirty air."
That pretty much nails it.

Why the Internet is good and bad for politics

From Michael Gerson, Washington Post, "A Republican Party in Upheaval"

"The Internet allows people to find the like-minded, feed the intensity of their mutually held convictions and organize more swiftly and effectively. (It also allows people to filter out opposing views, anonymously attack their opponents and spread conspiracy theories.)"
That latter part is why so much pseudoscience can spread, assimilated, and regurgitated by people who have lost the inability to reason clearly and can only think in terms of their political ideology.

Scary Haiyan

The supertyphoon Haiyan is headed to the Philippines.  This is not good news for the Philippines.  The storm is incredible;  see the pictures below.  That symmetric open eye, the near-perfect circularity, is indicating a storm that is hitting on all cylinders.  Reports on this monster are saying that it is in record-
setting territory.

From a distance, we can watch the wonders of Nature at its worst.  But this could really be a serious disaster for the Philippines.

Update (since I wrote the above):  Haiyan is the strongest hurricane/typhoon at landfall EVER (probably).

Monday, November 4, 2013

Simple is sexier for Kate

There's an article out about Kate Hudson looking great in a fancy dress at the LACMA Art + Film Gala this past weekend.

See what you think:

She's also on the cover of Shape, and inside.  See what you think.

(I know what I think.  Simple is sexier, in this particular case - but we know Kate can glam it up with the best of them.   But as I have opined in the past (feel free to search the blog), Kate is amazing - and remember that she looks like this after birthing two children.  I enjoy the loveliness of a lot of women, but if I ever had a real chance to choose among ANY of the women of the world for a companion, for life experiences and also for some loving experiences, Kate would be a top choice.

And in this case, in the third picture down, she's wearing leather pants.  Yowza!)

A weird video, but it has its merits

Bar Refaeli posted a link to Twitter to a video in which she's representing Caroline Lemke glasses.

It's kind of strange.  But considering that Bar Refaeli is in it, it's also good.

She isn't exactly a stylish dancer (at least in this). But she can move quite well.

And she's wearing leather pants.  Tight leather pants.

Can Spaceguard be far off?

In Arthur C. Clarke's intriguing novel Rendesvous with Rama, an asteroid impact on Venice led to the world government creating an agency called Spaceguard that was tasked to prevent a catastrophic asteroid impact on the current world.

In modern times, the U.N. has just approved a plan to create an international union of space agencies to create an organization for tracking, predicting, and potentially diverting dangerous asteroids.

Truth is not stranger than science fiction - it's just modern-day reality.

World's space agencies unite to save planet Earth

"The plan aims to create an International Asteroid Warning Network so countries can share what they know about asteroids.  It will also organise groups of scientists’ from various space agencies to think up ways in which smaller asteroids can be diverted away from Earth."
 See?  It's true.   The Daily Mail article indicates that different types of asteroid diversion technologies are being investigated.

Let's hope if we need one to work, it will.

Voting advice for Virginians on November 5

I just have one piece of advice for Virginians participating in tomorrow's election (which I hope a lot of them will do):


The alternative is unspeakable.  And unthinkable.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

So cheating is out of the question, eh Max?

Max George, rock star who is dating glorious Nina Agdal, says she's "the most beautiful girl he's ever seen".

Coming from one who presumably saw incredibly scrumptious Michelle Keegan in the buff, that's a pretty strong statement.  But let's remember, despite Michelle's scrumptiousness, Max's rockstarness could not be suppressed and he managed to double dip, which led to their breakup.

If Nina's better than Michelle, then there's no chance of that happening THIS time.

Right, Max?

Oh, and by the way, there are bikini pictures of Nina in the linked article.  She's glorious as always, though they did go a bit heavy on the eye shadow.

I tried to resist the urge to post pictures to accompany this post, since it's not really mainly about Nina Agdal.  But resistance was futile.  Hopefully Max will resist the urge to stray.  Normal men could not be capable of such.

Basic white

Gold and white is just right

Tell me something I didn't know

From The Hill:

Rigell: Many Republicans don't live in political reality

The honorable representative from Virginia (which I think is on the verge of throwing the Tea Party on to its collective ass on Tuesday) has a couple of points of order.

This one is good:
He is one of the few Republicans willing to raise taxes, but claims the mantle of a fiscal conservative, noting that he voted in favor of the Republican Study Committee’s budget blueprint.  
“Revenues have to come up a bit because it’s a conservative principle that one generation pays for the goods or services that it benefits from,” Rigell said as he marked up a white board to explain his extensive calculation leading to the politically unpopular conclusion.  
But politics factors into that equation, Rigell noted, as he tied the idea together with the word “r-e-a-l-i-t-y.”
But this one is BETTER:
 “I don’t see the members who come from districts who are clearly — you could say gerrymandered — they are not the problem. But the process by which maybe that district was drawn is the problem,” Rigell said, acknowledging that solving this dilemma is a “long-term challenge.”
Take away the safeness of safe districts, and ideologues in Congress would vanish very quickly.

Would you believe new species from Australia?

This has been in the news recently, but what fascinated me about it is the place where the new species were found.  Apparently it's a rocky rain forest.  That makes it somewhat difficult to get around on (or in), and this has led to it being relatively little known despite being fairly close to civilization, or whatever they call it in Australia.

This article from CBS News has ten really good pictures of the new critters.

The picture below (which is from National Geographic, naturally -- ha ha) shows why it's so difficult to explore this place.

There could be a lot more ULS (unidentified lizard species) in there.

But STILL not pregnant

Princess Charlene (Wittstock) of Monaco has been making some public appearances recently. Unfortunately for the royal family of the principality, she's still looking svelte, and thus is apparently not carrying Prince Albert's legitimate child at this point in time, unlike a couple of his other flings that he was able to successfully knock up. 

I'm still hopeful.  But I can't tell if they are.  And thus I can't tell how hard they're trying.

Princess Charlene Of Monaco is stunning in white jumpsuit at screening of late mother-in-law Grace Kelly's movie To Catch A Thief

A credit to her! Princess Charlene is regal in green as she honours her late mother-in-law Grace Kelly at New York awards gala

She does manage a smile in one of the pictures in the second article. She's a beautiful woman. That would be plenty of motivation for me, Prince Albert.