Saturday, December 12, 2009

Wait-and-see game for Woods' sponsors

Some sponsors could keep Tiger Woods as pitchman, if he returns from his indefinite break to play great golf.

http://www.csmonitor.com/Money/new-economy/2009/1211/After-Tiger-Woods-s-indefinite-break-some-sponsors-might-keep-him

In February, Tiger Woods (right) and the New York Yankees' Derek Jeter helped launch Gillette's Fusion Power Gamer razor at an event in Orlando, Fla. Mr. Woods's sponsors face the dilemma of whether to drop the golfing legend because of reports of extra-marital affairs.

Republican Party fights ... with itself

Tamara Schirrmacher dresses up as The Statue of Liberty as she holds chains that she says represents the national debt during a Tax Day Tea Party in Pleasanton, Calif., earlier this year. In mock congressional elections, generic Tea Party candidate do better than Republicans.

On Capitol Hill these days, the Republican Party seems to be solidly (if stolidly) united.

Responses to Democratic or Obama administration proposals range from “No,” to “no way,” “uh-uh,” and “you’ve got to be kidding us.” Unless it’s about sending thousands more American troops to war.

But outside the Washington beltway, things are not so copacetic for the GOP – particularly among the conservative base.

A Rasmussen Poll this past week shows Republicans leading Democrats in a generic congressional ballot (43-39 percent). But throw in a “Tea Party” candidate, and things take a definite turn away from the party of Lincoln. In a generic three-way congressional race, the results are: 36 percent for the Democrat, 23 percent for the Tea Partier, and just 18 percent for the Republican (with 22 percent undecided).

Writing at Politico.com, Andy Barr notes that Tea Party groups are springing up like mushrooms around the country.

Even though there’s no national organization and some groups are competing for support, Barr writes, “The tea party brand is strong enough that a number of conservative candidates, including Republican California Senate hopeful Chuck DeVore, have tried to adopt the movement’s message.”

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politics/2009/1212/The-Republican-Party-fights-with-itself

Picture of the day


Two tourists in panda hats look at a map in Tienanmen Square in Beijing.

Ancient tablets decoded; shed light on Assyrian empire


Meticulous ancient notetakers have given archaeologists a glimpse of what life was like 3,000 years ago in the Assyrian Empire, which controlled much of the region between the Mediterranean Sea and the Persian Gulf.

Clay tablets inscribed with cuneiform, an ancient script once common in the Middle East, were unearthed in summer 2009 in an ancient palace in present-day southeastern Turkey.

Palace scribes jotted down seemingly mundane state affairs on the tablets during the Late Iron Age—which lasted from roughly the end of the ninth century B.C. until the mid-seventh century B.C.

But these everyday details, now in the early stages of decoding, may open up some of the inner workings of the Assyrian government—and the people who toiled in the empire, experts say.

"You're really getting at the nitty gritty of the management of the empire through these kind of records," said Melinda Zeder, director of the archaeobiology program at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., who was not involved in the research.

"And that does what history really should do—creates a connection between our lives and the lives of people [many] years ago," added Zeder, a member of the National Geographic Society's Committee for Research and Exploration. (The National Geographic Society owns National Geographic News.)

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/12/091209-ancient-tablets-decoded.html

View the Geminid meteor shower


Late Sunday night is the peak of the year's most prolific annual cosmic fireworks show—the Geminid meteor shower (Geminids picture).

The meteor shower has been growing in intensity in recent decades and should be an even better holiday treat than usual this year, since it's falling in a nearly moonless week.

Coming fast on the heels of its more famous cousin the Leonid meteor shower—which peaked less than a month ago—the Geminid show should feature as many as 140 shooting stars per hour between Sunday evening and Monday morning.

The Geminids are slow meteors that create beautiful long arcs across the sky—many lasting a second or two.

Favoring observers in the Northern Hemisphere, the Geminids are expected to be most frequent within two hours of 1:10 a.m. ET in the wee hours of Monday.

The shower's radiant—the point in the sky from which the meteors appear to originate—is the constellation Gemini, which rises above the eastern horizon after 9 p.m. local time.

Astronomers recommend observers head outside between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. local time.

Where Have All the Leaders Gone?

Where Have All the Leaders Gone? I've wondered myself, but Lee Iacocca spells it out in a funny, casual curmudgeonly way. It's like sitting down at the kitchen table and discussing world problems. Thanks, Lee, great, enjoyable book.

"The" 2010 calendar to have

extraordinary-chickens

Thanks to Conan O’Brien everyone wants a copy of Extraordinary Chickens 2010 Calendar. What can I say, they are chickens and they are extraordinary.

Joseph Heller -- I miss you

Yossarian was one of life's best characters

Catch-22: If you pretend to be crazy to get out of the war, then you couldn't possibly be crazy.


Exactly a decade ago today we lost one of America's literary lions -- Joseph Heller.

Today Christopher Buckley has written a remembrance that is worth reading:

My Mac...from Paris


I lost Mac today; my favorite patient. Crusty Mac, with the tattoo of the naked girl sitting on an anchor, prominently displayed on his forearm. My Mac; full of stories from WWII, and his experiences in the Navy. My office filled each day, with the smoky cloud of his Old Spice aftershave and his fabulous flaming opinions.
I'm saying this Irish prayer for you today Mac:
"...I have only slipped away into the next room. Everything remains as it was. The old life that we lived so fondly together is untouched, unchanged...call me by the old familiar name...put no sorrow in your tone...one brief moment, and all will be as it was before. How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting, when we meet again." (derived from a sermon by Henry Scott Holland delivered in St Paul's London May 15, 1910)

GW: Copenhagen

"We have demonized the one gas that keeps us alive on this planet." Ian Pilmer, Professor of Mining Geology at the University of Adelaide.

Cablinasian Studies

... Nordegren and Tiger Woods

abc_view_tiger_woods_450_fp ...

Stacy and I were conversing on Twitter yesterday about Tiger Woods’ woes, and both of us believe that this wouldn’t be such a big deal if it were not for the fact that he’s a Cablinasian. Americans have little understanding or tolerance for the Cablinasians in their midst, instead preferring to attempt to impose their values upon this minority. Who is to say that in Cablinasian society it is considered bad form to prefer buxom blondes, or to enjoy threesomes behind one’s wife’s back, fueled by booze, Ambien and Cialis? One may argue that the latter are unlikely to have been historical components of Cablinasian sex, but then there is no reliable document that I am aware of demonstrating that pre-Columbian Native Americans had keno or roulette parlors.

If indeed Tiger Woods was attacked by his wife, caught up in her own cultural interpretation of wedlock, with a golf club, then that represents the first time the MSM has reported on a hate crime against a Cablinasian. As deplorable as Scandi-on-Cablinasian violence may be, however, it is fortunate that Tiger Woods is a high-profile enough Cablinasian that this is getting a good deal of press coverage, and raising world-wide consciousness regarding this problem.

The Prettiest “one off” Ferrari

Ferrari P540 Superfast Aperta: The Golden 599

Inspired by a Luigi Chinetti-owned 330 LM used in an obscure Fellini film, the Ferrari P540 Superfast Aperta is a 599 GTB Fiorano-based one-off Pinfinarina designed for the son of the creator of cable TV.

Audi vs BMW

#

Audi Vs. BMW: quattro, FTW!

If this picture from yesterday's YDIW gallery looks like a snowy driveway to you, you're not an Audi fan-boy. If you were, you'd know it represents the ultimate wet dream of you and every BMW-hating Audi owner the world over.

Answer: Tiger’s has better pictures, ergo much more air time.

Which Prostitution Scandal Is Worse, Tiger or Max Baucus?

Tiger used his own cash. Baucus used your money.

Tiger Woods Scandal PicturesRevised HC Bill Strives for ...

Really well done by both. Very funny.

Shatner Does Palin Again

VIDEO: Sarah Palin and William Shatner do dueling dramatic readings on Conan.

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2009/12/sarah-palin-conan-obrien-surprise-nbc.html

Yesterday

(ESPN)
Obvious
Tiger Woods to take hiatus from golf, adultery

(CNN)
Spiffy
Pabst Blue Ribbon rides the recession and goofy hipsters to comeback success

(Wall Street Journal)
Cool
U.S. freezes Iran's $2 billion Citibank account. Proceeds go to the families of the 299 servicemen killed in the 1983 Marine barracks bombing in Beirut

(Deceiver)
Interesting
CNN commits actual journalism, confronts Al Gore with Climategate evidence. Sweating, lying, hilarity ensue (with video)

1/3 of the world wants to see beautiful women. (Who knew there was so many gays?)

The finale of the Miss World pageant will be broadcast tomorrow night, live from Johannesburg, South Africa. An international television audience of 2 billion--one third of the people on earth--is expected.

The strong betting favorite remains Puerto Rico's Jennifer Colon, at odds varying from 2:1 to 1:1.

PuertoRico409.jpg

Miss Barbados is generating a lot of publicity and is among the betting favorites.

11443_181726866900_649881900_3446353_8191460_n.jpg

So far, we haven't mentioned Miss USA, Lisa-Marie Kohrs. If only for patriotic reasons, we should. She is a good candidate and currently is ranked 15th in the betting odds:

MissUSA510.jpg

There are lots more strong contestants; I'll just mention one more, Miss Northern Ireland:

NorthernIreland910.jpg

       

They thinking Spending is an answer. Wow!

UPDATE: Democrats plan nearly $2 trillion debt limit hike...

Senate set to advance $1.1T spending bill...

Fed Workers Enjoy Boom Time; Average Pay Now at $71K...

Do Nothing, Majority Says: ObamaCare is now almost as unpopular as it is monstrous.

What does Obama have against Illinois?

Gitmo detainees to be transferred to Illinois prison

Sources: Gitmo closing goal ...