Sunday, September 26, 2010

You fly to Capri and plan everything and the a seagull screw you to the wall

When Sergio Amiti took his wife on a romantic break to Capri last month,
he did not expect to find a seagull stealing their breakfast on the balcony overlooking the sea

When Sergio Amiti took his wife on a romantic break to Capri last month, he did not expect to find a seagull stealing their breakfast from a table on the balcony overlooking the sea

and what else do you need to know?

Ahmadinejad met with Farrakhan, New Black Panters in NYC...

CIA finally does something right


What could go wrong?

UN to appoint envoy to extraterrestrials

Men look to curves and beauty. Not shoes.

New research finds that men look for good bodies in short-term mates, pretty faces in long-term mates.

Men Look for Good Bodies in Short-Term Mates, Pretty Faces in Long-Term Mates

ScienceDaily (Sep. 26, 2010) — Men who are looking for short-term companionship are more interested in a woman's body than those looking for a long-term relationship, who focused on a woman's face, according to new research from psychologists at The University of Texas at Austin.

Paris just likes showing off a great pair of legs and how she got her name.

Saw/Listen to BB King three days after his 85 birthday. A great gentle man

High Heels... From Paris

It seems fitting that I reveal 'the' original photograph that forced me to 'step' in to Bill's blog.  'Paris' in Paris 2006.

So True

Boehner: Dems Have Time for Comedy, Not Tax Cuts, in Congress...

Racial Maps

With one dot equalling 25 people, digital cartographer Eric Fischer then colour-coded them based on race, with whites represented by pink, blacks by blue, Hispanic by orange and Asians by green.
Read more:

Washington, DC: The east-west divide of the nation's capital can clearly be seen

Washington, DC: The east-west divide of the nation's capital can clearly be seen

New York: The dots are so dense they almost cannot help but be integrated - yet the Big Apple still has clear pockets of ethnicity

Trying to top the US Congress and Colbert

Click here to read Meet Mazlan Othman, the United Nations ambassador to extraterrestrials

Meet Mazlan Othman, the United Nations ambassador to extraterrestrials

The United Nations has appointed Earth's ambassador should aliens touch down in the near future. Their selection? Malaysian astrophysicist Mazlan Othman, who heads the UN's Office for Outer Space Affairs. Othman will discuss her duties in Buckinghamshire, England next week

Paying attention to what matters

While U.S. is distracted, China develops sea power

The greatest geopolitical development that has occurred largely beneath the radar of our Middle East-focused media over the past decade has been the rise of Chinese sea power. This is evinced by President Obama's meeting Friday about the South China Sea, where China has conducted live-fire drills and made territorial claims against various Southeast Asian countries, and the dispute over the Senkaku Islands between Japan and China in the East China Sea, the site of a recent collision between a Chinese fishing trawler and two Japanese coast guard ships.

Whereas an island nation such as Britain goes to sea as a matter of course, a continental nation with long and contentious land borders, such as China, goes to sea as a luxury. The last time China went to sea in the manner that it is doing was in the early 15th century, when the Ming Dynasty explorer Zheng He sailed his fleets as far as the Horn of Africa.

China has the world's second-largest naval service, after only the United States. Rather than purchase warships across the board, it is developing niche capacities in sub-surface warfare and missile technology designed to hit moving targets at sea. At some point, the U.S. Navy is likely to be denied unimpeded access to the waters off East Asia. China's 66 submarines constitute roughly twice as many warships as the entire British Royal Navy. If China expands its submarine fleet to 78 by 2020 as planned, it would be on par with the U.S. Navy's undersea fleet in quantity, if not in quality. If our economy remains wobbly while China's continues to rise -- China's defense budget is growing nearly 10 percent annually -- this will have repercussions for each nation's sea power. And with 90 percent of commercial goods worldwide still transported by ship, sea control is critical.

Robert D. Kaplan is the author of "Monsoon: The Indian Ocean and the Future of American Power." He is a senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security and a national correspondent for the Atlantic magazine.

"Exhausted" Defending Shoes...From Paris


To Protect State Secrets, Pentagon Buys and Destroys Book

The Pentagon has purchased and arranged for the destruction of 9,500 copies of a book so it can protect classified information it contains.
Lt. Colonel Anthony Shaffer's memoir "Operation Dark Heart" had become a headache for the Defense Department which determined after it had gone to print that it contained classified information.  The book recounts the Army Reserve officer's experiences in Afghanistan in 2003 while working for the Defense Intelligence Agency.
An option being explored with the book's publisher was for the Pentagon to purchase the 9,500 copies of the book's first run so they could be destroyed.

Union hires none union picketers

“The Daily Show” humiliates union for using … non-union picketers


Lamborghini Gallardo LP 570-4 Blancpain EditionLamborghini Gallardo LP 570-4 Blancpain EditionThe Lamborghini Gallardo LP 570-4 Blancpain Edition, the newest super car from Sant'Agata Bolognese, merges raging bulls with watches to turn the Super Trofeo race series car into a road-legal vehicle.

The power output on this new version of the LP 570-4 hits the expected 570 HP, the same as the series Superleggera production car. But, thanks to the prodigious use of carbon fiber on the exterior and interior, drops the dry weight of the new Sant'Agata beast is a mere 2,954 lbs. That means a power-to-weight ratio of just 5.18 lbs per horse. And that means there's a lot less mass to motivate.


THE RISE OF THE political unicorns. “27% of self-identified gay and lesbian voters chose John McCain and Sarah Palin in 2008. That’s a figure that translates to roughly 1.7 million gay votes for McCain/Palin. If gay conservatives are unicorns, our herd is huge.”

Related: Politico: They’re Gay, Conservative, And Proud. “Even among the gays, the right is on the rise.”

Men unobservant? On some things. But not beauty, situational awareness or danger. Men observe those things that matter to them. Shoes do not matter.

Smiling...From Paris

Is he smiling at a woman who is wearing FLATS?

The fact that men DON'T notice that much about what women wear only confirms that men are generally unobservant.

Heels rule. 

"Move along here, there's nothing to see guys."

Political Cartoon by Glenn Foden

Land without roads

Namibia guide: sand and safari

From safaris in bushland to deserted dunes and a coastline scattered with skeletons, few countries offer such variety of landscape as Namibia.

Namibia guide: sand and safari

Driving through dunes at Swakopmund

Men do not look at high heels, even those that live down low

Khagendra Thapa, who is expected to be the world's shortest man next month when he turns 18, stands with Miss Nepal beauty pageant winners during a news conference in Kathmandu. The Nepal Tourism Board has nominated Thapa and Miss Nepal beauty pageant winners as goodwill ambassadors to promote tourism in Nepal. Thapa will carry the message: 'Shortest man in the world from the highest mountain in the world invites you to visit Nepal'

Khagendra Thapa, who is expected to be the world's shortest man next month when he turns 18, stands with Miss Nepal beauty pageant winners during a news conference in Kathmandu. The Nepal Tourism Board has nominated Thapa and Miss Nepal beauty pageant winners as goodwill ambassadors to promote tourism in Nepal. Thapa will carry the message: "Shortest man in the world from the highest mountain in the world invites you to visit Nepal"

Defeating Militant Islamist Ideology


Al-Qaida has always been a propaganda power. Its dark genius has been to connect the Muslim world's angry, humiliated and isolated young men with a utopian fantasy preaching the virtue of violence. That utopian fantasy seeks to explain and then redress roughly 800 years of Muslim decline.

Al-Qaida's rage predates any offense at Danish cartoons of Muhammad, protests over the ground zero mosque or goofy sectarian grandstanders in Florida threatening to burn the Quran. Al-Qaida's dedication to the destruction of its ideological enemies -- including its Muslim enemies -- lies at the organization's malign spiritual and savage philosophical core.

That malignant ideological core is the target of U.S. Navy Commander Yousef H. Aboul-Enein's extraordinary new book, "Miltant Islamist Ideology" (Naval Institute Press, 2010).

Aboul-Enein is an officer with a stellar professional resume and a compelling personal background. His book is immediately valuable to everyone engaged in the fight against Militant Islamist terrorism -- and Aboul-Enein would insist on militant with a capital M.

When Hikers Forget To Take Their Spouses To Provide Adult Supervision?...From Paris

Not Tonight, Dear...From Paris

Facebook has added an additional feature for your convenience.  A "Not Now" friend request.  This allows you to be indecisive, and put a potential friend request in a hidden holdinig pattern. 

When the architects do drugs

Click for Another Random Funny Pic

I enjoy his books, but always take them with a grain of salt. Suggest that if you did not always like it when he wrote about Bush, to also be a little critical of this book

Bob Woodward: best investigative reporter in the business or 'stenographer to the stars'?

Bob Woodward: best investigative reporter in the business or 'stenographer to the stars'?

Another autumn, a different president and a different war – but a familiar ritual was playing out in Washington last week. A new Bob Woodward book is coming out. The choreography never changes – much speculation over shock revelations, advance copies quietly slipped to The New York Times and The Washington Post to whet interest further – and bingo, another mega-seller, this one entitled Obama's Wars, glides down the publishers' slipway into a hugely lucrative literary ocean.

At 67, Woodward has long evolved from junior Post reporter assigned to the Watergate scandal into a journalistic institution surely without parallel anywhere. He is the modern equivalent of a medieval court scribe, neither a propagandist nor partisan. He seems to have equal and virtually unlimited access to Democratic and Republican administrations alike – the key players under Bush the elder and Clinton, Bush the younger and Obama have all opened up to him.

Misc Headlines

UN ‘to appoint space ambassador to greet alien visitors’

Telegraph | Aliens who landed on earth and asked: “Take me to your leader” would be directed to the United Nations.


Bono’s ONE foundation under fire for giving little over 1% of funds to charity

Daily Mail | The non-profit organisation set up by the U2 frontman received almost £9.6million in donations in 2008 but handed out only £118,000 to good causes (1.2 per cent).

Political Cartoon by Steve Breen

The View from London

Barack Obama: the Great Unravelling of a One-Term President?

The White House threw open its doors to Bob Woodward but the unflattering portrait could not have come at a worse time for Barack Obama

Barack Obama: the Great Unravelling of a One-Term President?


The first book about a new administration by Bob Woodward, Washington's court chronicler, usually promises to be the high watermark for an incoming commander-in-chief.

Officials are reluctant to dish the dirt because they have the chance of years of employment ahead of them. The cynic might think that a positive portrayal helps position the Watergate scribbler nicely for access next time.

But the clamour among staffers to present their boss and themselves (not necessarily in that order) in the best possible light has backfired spectacularly.

A president has no more solemn duty than that of being commander-in-chief. And judging from the evidence presented by Woodward, Barack Obama's view of that role is at best disquieting.

Nearly 100,000 American troops are now committed to Afghanistan but Obama's principal war aim is to withdraw and his main preoccupation is how the conflict plays domestically, particularly within his own Democratic party.

"This needs to be a plan about how we're going to hand it off and get out of Afghanistan," Obama says at one stage. At another he declares that "everything we're doing has to be focused on how we're going to get to the point where we can reduce our footprint".

Obama comes across as viewing his generals with thinly-disguised hostility, while at the same time acquiescing to their proposals for the escalation of the Afghan war he so wants to avoid. His arbitrary drawdown of July 2012 was a signal to the Taliban to hang on because American commitment to success was lukewarm and time-limited.

… Obama scarcely helped himself this week when he responded in a CNBC "town hall" event to a black woman who said she was "exhausted of defending you" by prefacing his answer with "as I said before" – code for "you're clearly too dumb to have understood me the first time".

11 items that Sci Fi predicted correctly (4 here, rest at the link)

The iPad: 1968

We all giggled earlier this year when Apple announced the iPad. Some of us made jokes about certain feminine products. But it looks like Arthur C. Clarke went down the the same naming route with the “newspad.”

2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke:

“When he tired of official reports and memoranda and minutes, he would plug in his foolscap-size newspad into the ship’s information circuit and scan the latest reports from Earth. One by one he would conjure up the world’s major electronic papers…Switching to the display unit’s short-term memory, he would hold the front page while he quickly searched the headlines and noted the items that interested him. Each had its own two-digit reference; when he punched that, the postage-stamp-size rectangle would expand until it neatly filled the screen and he could read it with comfort. When he had finished, he would flash back to the complete page and select a new subject for detailed examination…”



Tanks: 1903


The first tank battle in history didn’t take place until 1916, though it’s possible that seminal sci-fi author H.G. Wells was drawing upon Leonardo Da Vinci’s 15th century design when he imagined this scene in 1903.

The Land Ironclads by H.G. Wells:

‘Whit, whit, whit,’ sang something in the air…Bang came shrapnel, bursting close at hand as it seemed, and our two men were lying flat in a dip in the ground, and the light and everything had gone again, leaving a vast note of interrogation upon the night.

The war correspondent came within bawling range. ‘What the deuce was it? Shooting our men down!’
‘Black,’ said the artist, ‘and like a fort. Not two hundred yards from the first trench.’ He sought for comparisons in his mind. ‘Something between a big blockhouse and a giant’s dish-cover,’ he said.

‘And they were running!’ said the war correspondent.

‘You’d run if a thing like that, with a search-light to help it, turned up like a prowling nightmare in the middle of the night.’

In that flickering pallor it had the effect of a large and clumsy black insect, an insect the size of an iron-clad cruiser, crawling obliquely to the first line of trenches and firing shots out of portholes in its side. And on its carcass the bullets must have been battering with more than the passionate violence of hail on a roof of tin.

Then in the twinkling of an eye the curtain of the dark had fallen again and the monster had vanished, but the crescendo of musketry marked its approach to the trenches.



Earbud Headphones: 1950

Apple’s earbuds became the prominent headphone design when they were released with the first-generation iPod in 2001. When Bradbury wrote this in 1950, headphones looked more like this.

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury:

And in her ears the little seashells, the thimble radios tamped tight, and an electronic ocean of sound, of music and talk and music and talk coming in, coming in on the shore of her unsleeping mind.



Radar: 1911


The evocation of radar in this passage is to Rabkin’s knowledge, the “one invention that ever appeared first in science fiction in adequate form and detail to count as a true prediction.” Guglielmo Marconi didn’t create a working device that could detect remote objects by signals until 1933.

Ralph 124C 41+ by Hugo Gernsback:

A pulsating polarized ether wave, if directed on a metal object can be reflected in the same manner as a light ray is reflected from a bright surface… By manipulating the entire apparatus like a searchlight, waves would be sent over a large area. Sooner or later these waves would strike a space flyer. A small part of these waves would strike the metal body of the flyer, and these rays would be reflected back to the sending apparatus. Here they would fall on the Actinoscope, which records only the reflected waves, not direct ones.

…From the intensity and elapsed time of the reflected impulses, the distance between the earth and the flyer can then be accurately estimated.

Catching up

(Wall Street Journal)

GM, owned mostly by the US government, has resumed donating to political campaigns...mostly Democrat senators

(LA Times)

Nature calls, but California state parks can't afford toilet paper

(Fox News)

Voter registration drive was so successful, it submitted 25,000 new registrations, including 1,597 for the same person. SEIU, SEIU, SEIU

(Michelle Malkin)

Christine O'Donnell had trouble paying for her mortgage. Joe Biden didn't, he got the house for almost-free in a sweet-heart deal from a corporate donor. Where's your arugula now?

Today's example of a Democrat assaulting someone for daring to film a Democratic politician comes to you from an Oregon event for John Kitzhaber for Governor

This is a big game in Texas


Can the Packers...errr, uh, will the Chargers...ahhh, forget it. We're all here for the trainwreck that'll be the Cowboys after they lose to Houston today. Your week 3 NFL discussion


Katherine Kersten tells the story of the cartoonist formerly known as Molly Norris. Norris is the former Seattle Weekly cartoonist who he drew a lighthearted cartoon of a poster announcing "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day." Tongue firmly in cheek, Kersten recalls, she named the day's sponsor as a nonexistent group: "Citizens against Citizens against Humor."

Everything about Molly Norris is "former" because she's "gone ghost" on the advice of the FBI. That is, she has changed her name and identity and abandoned her livelihood because of a fatwa issued against her by Anwar al-Awlaki. Seattle is unsafe for cartoonists who blaspheme against the tenets of Islam. Norris is now in her very own cartoonist protection program

For Lisa

Young woman training with her horse outdoors at sunrise. Researchers found that the initial work on the lunge caused only a moderate amount of stress but the stress level rose markedly when the rider first mounted

Training the Trainers: How to Minimize Stress When Horses Are First Ridden

Perhaps surprisingly, when the horse and rider walk or trot forwards, the level of stress decreases somewhat. It thus seems as though the horse adapts rapidly to the idea of being ridden and that -- as is the case for humans -- exercise may help relieve stress. Furthermore, the extent of stress caused by mounting was found to decrease gradually as the horse is trained, providing that this is done correctly. Aurich cautions that a lack of care or an incorrect regime in early training could cause long-term damage to the relationship between a horse and its rider and thus prevent a sports horse from reaching its full potential as well as causing the animal unnecessary anxiety.

International Notes

Czech president tells UN to stay out of economics; Opposes calls for increased 'global governance'...

Venezuela opposition returns to take on Chavez...

Michelle Obama's hair-raising encounter with First Lady of Cameroon...



WASHINGTON -- Democratic candidates across the country are opening a fierce offensive of negative advertisements against Republicans, using lawsuits, tax filings, reports from the Better Business Bureau and even divorce proceedings to try to discredit their opponents and save their congressional majority.