Monday, February 8, 2010

Babies and Georgia...From Paris

Life imitates art.

Georgia O'Keeffe...From Paris

Art imitates life.

Visually And Conceptually Speaking...From Paris

Visually and conceptually speaking, our world is fast. Very fast. A few quick clicks; a few quick blinks. Suddenly, we are full throttle-speeding toward a future of unknown, endless possibilities. Fasten your seat belt. Here. We. GOOOOOOOOOOO......

What Should the Gov’t be doing?

Robert Samuelson

WASHINGTON -- In all the recent reports, speeches and news conferences concerning the federal budget outlook -- including the administration's proposed budget for 2011 -- hardly anyone has posed these crucial questions: what should the federal government do and why; and who should pay? We ought to go back to first principles of defining a desirable role for government and abandon the expedient of assuming that anyone receiving a federal benefit is morally entitled to it simply because it's been received before.

We have a massive candor gap, led by President Obama but also implicating most leaders of both parties. The annual budget necessarily involves a bewildering blizzard of numbers. But just a few figures capture the essence of our predicament.

So Cool

Falling Down the Guggenheim Museum Hall

For Better Bones: Beer. For Best Bones – Light Ales

Ale is good, make no bones about it. “A beer a day could keep brittle bones at bay. That’s because beer is rich in silicon, an element that has been linked to bone health. . . . The pair found that lighter-coloured beers made from pale malted barley and hops, such as pale ales, are richest in silicon, while low-alcohol beers contain the least, along with stouts, porters and wheat beers.”

Tallest Isn't Very Smart...From Paris

Just because something is the "tallest" doesn't mean it was a good idea.

Saturday night at Gruene Hall

Boot scootin' at Texas' oldest dance hall ... it doesn't get much better'n this

Saturday night, our daughter took us to Gruene Hall in a small town south of Austin for a night of country western music. We were there to hear Bruce Robison, who has written songs for the Dixie Chicks, George Strait and Tim McGraw. Robison did not disappoint: he sang "Traveling Soldier" and "Desperately." Crowd roared.

It was a spectacular night. The hall holds somewhere between 500-800 folks. Small dance floor, big bar serving only beer, soft drinks and wine. Lots of boots of various and sundry colors, textures and ... age. There were smokers, but only enough to give you a real bar feel.

Plenty of women scoping out the guys across the room to better up on who brought them. Guys doin' the same thing, I imagine.

Plus the benches. They were very old, so carved up with initials, suggestions for the next visitor (can't write them here), limericks, it would be hard to tell what the surface of the original wood looked like.

It was great to watch the dancers. The better dancers tend to be the older folks. One particular gent had a silver gray pony tail underneath his straw-brimmed hat. He and his partner didn't merely dance to the music, they glided across the floor as if they were struttin' 2-3 inches off the ground, never really touching the floor. No line dancing here, everything is the two-step.

Dance halls are all across Texas, but the Gruene Hall tends to capture the most attention. Perhaps it is because of the proximity to Austin, where many bands call home. Robison does and so does Jerry Jeff Walker, whom we heard some months ago at the same venue. Good to hear "Mr. Bojangles" in person. It's a much more intimate feel than watching these same bands in a larger venue. There is more intimacy, more interaction between the artist and the crowd and the patrons seem to always be satisfied at Gruene.

On the walls near the bar are all the neon signs and the framed B&W photos of all the artists who have played there.

After we left, we all agreed that we've never been disappointed when we've headed out to Gruene Hall. And, at $12 a person, not too shabby on the pocketbook.

So long, Gruene Hall. So long, Texas dance halls. We'll miss you terribly. Hello, House of Blues.

Rating News: Great for CBS, terrible for CNN

Record 106.5 million Americans watch Super Bowl...


Lets see. Would they find GW? Does a bureaucracy always expand?

Gov't-Run Climate Care?

Obama administration proposes new Climate Service to examine and report on global warming

Quality Control?


World's Tallest Building Burj Khalifa Gets Shut DownIs the new world's tallest building going through some issues? While so far only the observation deck is open, it's been temporarily shut down due to "unexpected high traffic" and "electrical problems."

It will get worse

Scott Rasmussen finds that 75% of likely voters are either "very angry" or "somewhat angry" about the federal government's current policies. A plurality of 45% are "very angry," up nine points since September. A mere 19% say they are not very or not at all angry about the federal government's policies.

They have been pretty cocky about the 12th. Nuclear Test?


Calling All 'Uneducated' Dog Lovers...From Paris

Nothing else needs to be said.

Smart people? Bad Taste. From Paris

Smart people like cats? So. Just because you're smart, doesn't mean you have good taste.

Seeing Chocolate...From Paris

iPad heats up Kindle, and prices may drop

#amazon Click here to read Amazon's Working on a Full-Color Multitouch Kindle With Wi-Fi

Amazon's Working on a Full-Color Multitouch Kindle With Wi-Fi

After buying that little multitouch company Touchco last week and merging it with Lab126—their Kindle division—Amazon's now got job listings looking for a Hardware Display manager that knows LCDs, and a Wi-Fi specialist. You do the math



Well, well, well. According to a report in the Wall Street Journal today, Apple management is going to remain "nimble" in iPad pricing if sales start off slow.

Not sure about this one

Smarter People Own Cats Rather Than Dogs

From the BBC:

A poll of 2,524 households found that 47.2% of those with a cat had at least one person educated to degree level, compared with 38.4% of homes with dogs.

10 year olds? Please!

Planned Parenthood Pushes Intensive Sex Education for Kids as Young as 10

"Stand and Deliver," a new report by the International Planned Parenthood Federation, advocates that children as young as 10 be given extensive sex education.

A new report by the International Planned Parenthood Federation is advocating that children as young as 10 be given extensive sex education, including an awareness of sex's pleasures.

Paris Continues To Sing a Blue Note...

Desperately. Seeking. Chocolate...From Paris

The boy scout photo reminded me of a Cezanne' painting...Oh...NO...I'm afraid if someone doesn't send chocolate right away, I...(voice trails off)

One Hundred Years for Boy Scouts


Inspired by Robert Baden-Powell's Boy Scouts of Britain, Americans founded Boy Scouts of America on this day in 1910. The Girl Scouts were organized in 1912.

Newton was a preemie

Sir Isaac Newton surrounded by symbols of some of his greatest findings.

Sir Isaac Newton surrounded by symbols of some of his greatest findings.

Born two to three months prematurely on January 4, 1643, in a hamlet in Lincolnshire, England, Isaac Newton was a tiny baby who, according to his mother, could have fit inside a quart mug. A practical child, he enjoyed constructing models, including a tiny mill that actually ground flour—powered by a mouse running in a wheel.
Admitted to the University of Cambridge on 1661, Newton at first failed to shine as a student.
In 1665 the school temporarily closed because of a bubonic plague epidemic and Newton returned home to Lincolnshire for two years. It was then that the apple-falling brainstorm occurred, and he described his years on hiatus as "the prime of my age for invention."
Despite his apparent affinity for private study, Newton returned to Cambridge in 1667 and served as a mathematics professor and in other capacities until 1696.

Chasing the snow leopard

Ladakh: Chasing the snow leopard

Nigel Richardson heads to Ladakh in India to seek out the snow leopard, one of the planet's most elusive - and endangered - creatures.

Ladakh: Chasing the snow leopard

Ladakh: Chasing the snow leopard


It's the top-of-the-911-line 530 HP 2011 Porsche 911 Turbo S.

Don't call the 997 platform old unless you know another seven-year-old car capable of hitting 62 MPH in 3.3 seconds from a cold start, 196 MPH at the top end and can still look so good doing it. Thrown into the mix Porsche's Ceramic Composite Brakes, seven-speed PDK double-clutch gearbox, 19-inch RS Spyder wheels and a new leather interior to hold your bottom as you criss-cross poorly supervised backroads.

The 2011 911 Turbo S Coupe and Cabriolet will be available in May, 2010 with an MSRP of $159,100 and $170,200 respectively.

Georgia On My Mind...From Paris

Georgia Okeeffe. Art continues to influence.

Green Police – Audi’s Super Bowl Home Run

“I don’t know if Audi’s Super Bowl commercial, featuring a draconian and ruthless ‘Green Police’ jailing citizens for making any choice that wasn’t green, will sell a lot of cars. But I’ll bet it sells a lot of copies of Liberal Fascism by Jonah Goldberg.”

  • Barone on Gov’t/Union Marriage at Our Expense. Another part of We Work for Them

    Public-sector unionism is a very different animal from private-sector unionism. It is not adversarial but collusive. Public-sector unions strive to elect their management, which in turn can extract money from taxpayers to increase wages and benefits -- and can promise pensions that future taxpayers will have to fund.

    The results are plain to see. States such as New York, New Jersey and California, where public-sector unions are strong, now face enormous budget deficits and pension liabilities. In such states, the public sector has become a parasite sucking the life out of the private-sector economy. Not surprisingly, Americans have been steadily migrating out of such states and into states like Texas, where public-sector unions are weak and taxes are much lower.

    Barack Obama is probably the most union-friendly president since Lyndon Johnson. He has obviously been unable to stop the decline of private-sector unionism. But he is doing his best to increase the power -- and dues income -- of public-sector unions.

    Obama and his party are acting in collusion with unions that contributed something like $400,000,000 to Democrats in the 2008 campaign cycle.

    Read more at the Washington Examiner:

    We reported this days ago. “Nothing in the report to support this claim”

    Africa-Gate? U.N. Fears of Food Shortages Questioned

    Times of London

    Global warming could quickly cut rain-fed north African crop production by up to 50 percent, claims the U.N.'s controversial climate report. But a leading U.N. scientist is questioning his own group's claim.

    Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

    Global warming could quickly cut rain-fed north African crop production by up to 50 percent, claims the U.N.'s controversial climate report. But a leading U.N. scientist is questioning his own group's claim.

    This weekend Professor Chris Field, the new lead author of the IPCC's climate impacts team, told The Sunday Times that he could find nothing in the report to support the claim. The revelation follows the IPCC's retraction of a claim that the Himalayan glaciers might all melt by 2035, dubbed 'Glaciergate' by commentators.

    And the Beat Goes On…

    Stocks Edge Lower as New Week Begins...
    PAPER: Recession chugs on, except in government...