Wednesday, April 21, 2010

In honor of administrative professionals day ...

Are you familiar with the woman pictured below?
Administrative Professionals Day
Hint: She's a historical figure

Book picture of the day


An installation by J. Ignacio Diaz de Rabago in U.C. Berkeley’s Doe Library.

It’s Raining Books!,” by Tracy Wong.

Tis a pity -- today is anniversary of Twain's death

mark-twain-samuel-clemensThe Guardian posted another of their dastardly, difficult literary quizzes today - this time a Mark Twain quiz. I scored a pathetic 4 out of 12.

Mark Twain sure was an interesting guy. We recently did a feature about him, featuring a lot of Mark Twain quotes from his books. The more I read and learn about him, the more I’m annoyed that he’s dead, so I can never spend an evening drinking and chatting with him. He seemed like a fascinating man, politically ahead of his times, and very no-bull in his attitude to life, while maintaining a sense of humour. Also,The Adventures of Tom Sawyer was one of my favourite books growing up. I wanted to be Becky Thatcher in the worst way - I must have read that book ten times.

Want to know even more? Check out our list of Mark Twain facts for some interesting and little known tidbits of Twain.

Thoughts on being square and discovering fire...From Paris

I love chocolate. I confess. I've had some experience with it. With that backdrop, I'd like to share a story about a tiny chocolate company I have recently discovered. The company is called P2 C2. Two sisters from a small town, created a chocolate company. They combined the world's finest chocolate with peanut butter and potato chips (I know. What a great idea!). Then in a moment of unbridled unrestrained decadence, they tossed in carmel. It is the BEST chocolate I've ever 'experienced'.
If chocolate can be an experience, finding the best you've ever had is like discovering fire.

Only the suckers did not know this was coming

Obama suggests value-added tax may be an option...
Millions face tax increases under Dems budget plan...

Quick Hits

(ABC News)
Ladies and gentlemen, do not panic: in the time-honored tradition, Goldman Sachs has found a suitable scapegoat for their financial debacle

(Some Newspaper)
Biofuels may create up to four times as much CO2 as gasoline or diesel.

(Fox News)
Arizona  vote to require President Barack Obama show his birth certificate if he wants to be on the state's ballot when he runs for re-election

(Washington Post)
Americans are so sick of Democrats in Congress they gave them $22 Million more than Republicans last month

Pretty Amazing

Chocolate for your heart.

Easter eggs and other chocolate may be good for you – at least in small quantities and preferably if it's dark chocolate – according to research that shows just one small square of chocolate a day can lower your blood pressure and reduce your risk of heart disease. The study is published online today (Wednesday 31 March) in the European Heart Journal [1].

Researchers in Germany followed 19,357 people, aged between 35 and 65, for at least ten years and found that those who ate the most amount of chocolate – an average of 7.5 grams a day – had lower blood pressure and a 39% lower risk of having a heart attack or stroke compared to those who ate the least amount of chocolate – an average of 1.7 grams a day. The difference between the two groups amounts to six grams of chocolate: the equivalent of less than one small square of a 100g bar.

Vit K

Vitamin K May Protect Against Developing Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma, Say Mayo Clinic Researchers

ScienceDaily (Apr. 21, 2010) — In the first study of vitamin K and Non-Hodgkin lymphoma risk, researchers at the Mayo Clinic campus in Minnesota have found that people who have higher intakes of vitamin K from their diet have a lower risk of developing Non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma is a cancer of the immune system and is the most common hematologic malignancy in the United States.

News from MSNBC about MSNBC: “So Olbermann was really angry about being called angry?”

Question for Chris Matthews: Would this qualify as a “Stalin-esque purge”?

A week-long anchoring stint on MSNBC by Donny Deutsch ended abruptly on Wednesday, and four people briefed on the decision said the cancellation stemmed from an unflattering mention of that channel’s No. 1 anchor, Keith Olbermann, a day earlier.

Mr. Deutsch had labeled his hour on MSNBC “America the Angry,” and Mr. Olbermann was shown briefly in a series of clips of media bloviators during a segment that pondered what role the media plays in fomenting the public’s anger. The four people briefed on MSNBC’s decision said Mr. Olbermann’s anger about the segment prompted the cancellation of the weeklong “America the Angry” series…

I almost had a nephew named Galen

I saw your Galen Rowell photographs on the DB today. When P   was pregnant with J   , I wanted to name him Galen after Galen Rowell. Needless to say, I was vociferously outvoted in that attempt. Ya pick your battles

Split Rock and Cloud

Split Rock and Cloud, Eastern Sierra, California, 1976 Galen Rowell. Galen Rowell (1940-2002) was a master of incorporating fleeting qualities of natural light in compelling compositions

How to manipulate. Ask yourself a few questions and this claim disappears. How many surface temperature stations where there in Northern Canada in 1971? In the Sahara? If this were true, why was the Arctic Ice Pack bigger and thicker this winter?

Global Temperatures Push March 2010 to Hottest March on Record

ScienceDaily (Apr. 21, 2010) — The world's combined global land and ocean surface temperature made last month the warmest March on record, according to NOAA. Taken separately, average ocean temperatures were the warmest for any March and the global land surface was the fourth warmest for any March on record. Additionally, the planet has seen the fourth warmest January -- March period on record.

Not a dumb question, if one is protected why not the other. Way to go Justice Roberts


Supreme Court Confused About Tech? Not All Of Them!

Befuddled old judges? Not quite! Turns out Roberts is "the strongest proponent of Fourth Amendment protection" in City of Ontario v. Quon, a case that will affect the future of privacy for electronic communications. It's not a dumb question!

A reason not to drink

Drinking accelerates ageing of cells

Researchers have found that drinking damages part of the cells that are linked to premature ageing and cancer.

They discovered that it causes stress and inflammation to telomeres – the ends of DNA strands that stop them unravelling much like the ends of shoelaces.

As people age, telomere length shortens progressively and eventually they are so damaged the cell dies.

The study found alcohol accelerates this process.

Since telomere shortening is thought to also increase cancer risk, the researchers speculated that those with shorter telomeres due to heavy alcohol consumption would have an increased risk of cancer.


SHOCK: Botox may diminish emotions...

Both national party committees spend big chunks on fancy meals, hotels, travel...

Radical Muslim threatens SOUTH PARK creators with death!...

Strawberry Hills Forever

The Walpoles - politics as a source of wealth


I was reading the eccentric tale of Horace Walpole's Strawberry Hill when I began to wonder how his Norfolk family had managed to turn a modest fortune into palatial opulence. So I turned to the Oxford DNB's life of Horace's father, Sir Robert Walpole, Britain's first Prime Minister. For several hours this afternoon I have been swimming through the high seas of a history that is uncannily reminiscent of life in politics today. Robert Walpole built Houghton Hall and all its lavish interiors apparently as a result of his political position.

Some achievements to be proud of on Earth Day

Earth Day Turns 40.  Since 1980, ambient concentrations of the six major regulated air pollutants have dropped by 54 percent, while U.S. population grew 34 percent, energy use increased 32 percent, automobile miles nearly doubled, and GDP rose by 126 percent. Specifically, ambient carbon monoxide is down 79 percent; ozone down 25 percent; nitrogen dioxide down 46 percent; sulfur dioxide down 56 percent, particulates down 68 percent. . . .

Why CNN continues down

CNN still hasn’t heard of Allee Bautsch, the young campaign staffer to Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal who was beaten so badly, by leftist protesters, that her leg was broken in four places.

But former stoner movie actor Kal Penn, currently an Obama propagandist, was unhurt in an apparently non-politically-motivated robbery, and CNN’s Senior White House Correspondent is all over it.


40 of the world’s best nature photographs will be auctioned for the Green Auction to commemorate the 40th Earth Day, April 22nd. Here are 2 I liked and a link to the rest.

Split Rock and Cloud

Split Rock and Cloud, Eastern Sierra, California, 1976 Galen Rowell. Galen Rowell (1940-2002) was a master of incorporating fleeting qualities of natural light in compelling compositions

Paria Canyon

Paria Canyon - Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, Arizona. Pulitzer-prize winning photojournalist and landscape photographer Jack Dykinga made this photograph

“First they came for…

Now They Are Coming For Goldman Sachs

It would be easy to cheer as the Obama administration seeks to take down Goldman Sachs. After all, Goldman Sachs has become a proxy for Wall Street, since so many of the old icons no longer exist or have been consumed as a result of the 2008 credit crunch.
But do not cheer too quickly this time. As even the NY Times now is admitting, the actual civil charges against Goldman Sachs are far from clear cut.
Civil charges by the government can bring down an entire organization for reasons having nothing to do with the charges. As we speak, there is a clamor in Britain for the government to cease doing business with Goldman Sachs as a result of the charges.
Expect the same thing to happen here, as Democrats ratchet up the crisis atmosphere to get a quick vote on financial regulations which would give the government vast powers over the financial services industry. As I documented yesterday, the Goldman Sachs charges are being politicized for the administration's purposes.
It's the health care fiasco all over again. A manufactured crisis with an identifiable demon.
As tempting as it is to say "to hell with Goldman Sachs," remember the saying about "first they came for ...."

If you want to succeed take Risks

A CONTRARIAN TAKE FROM JOHN DICKERSON: Risk: The story of America’s greatest idea. “In this series, I seek to reclaim risk. I want to remind myself—and you—of the buoyant, thrilling side of risk, and I will do it by telling the stories of people who embrace risk and who live with the fear, exhilaration, and ambiguity it creates without shirking. People engaged in every kind of human endeavor say that taking risks is the key to fulfillment and success. It is at the heart of our biggest thrills and proudest achievements

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