Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Former Republican Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty told CNN’s Piers Morgan Tuesday he’s in the race. “I’m running for president,” Pawlenty said in an interview set to air Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET on “Piers Morgan Tonight.” “I’m not putting my hat in the ring rhetorically or ultimately for vice president. I’m focused on running for president.”
Please, Mr Speaker. It's time to stop whining. It's time to stop crying. It's time to get serious.
Mr Speaker: I'm beginning to think that you've eaten too many rum soaked raisins.
Fifty years ago today, Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first human to enter outer space. In doing so, he didn't just take humanity into a bold new era of exploration - he also got to see our planet in a way no one else ever had before.
Ultratravel golf special: what's new in the world of luxury travel
Bespoke golfing experiences, including a helicopter ride to the world's longest par three, and the best new courses.
Danger: extreme golf ahead
Golf is so seductive. It starts with a game in the holidays, progresses to a round each weekend? and soon a golfer is glued to the Masters, swapping scores on Virgin Swingers’ golf league, and craving ever-greater highs. In South Africa, there is the 19th hole at Legend. Set high on Hanglip Mountain, it is the longest par-three in the world, with a drop of 1,400ft. A helicopter takes golfers to the tee. At La Pause, Morocco, below, there’s cross-country golf to tackle in the desert, with nine holes across rocky riverbeds and high dunes. In China, 10,000ft up in the Himalayan peaks, balls fly 20 per cent further at the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain golf club, thanks to the thin air; useful when the fifth hole is 711 yards. And in Australia, it takes three days to play all 18 holes of the Nullarbor, 850 miles from Kalgoorlie in the west to Ceduna in the south. From £1,699 for six nights at La Pause
Golf is unusual in being a game that can be played throughout your life. No, there’s really no escape, and the success and massive earnings of new stars such as Ireland’s 21-year-old Rory McIlroy and Italy’s 17-year-old Matteo Manassero point to the sense of starting as young as possible. And if a person is going to learn, why not in the sunshine and in the South of France? The new Terre Blanche golf complex adjoining the Four Seasons Provence is being hailed as the best teaching facility in Europe – for adults as well as children.
Yas Links, Abu Dhabi
Along with the boom in Asian golf – and in India, visiting golfers are especially delighted to find they get not just a caddie but a retrieving ball wallah, too – a phenomenon of recent years has been the rise of Gulf golf. Following the success of hi-tech courses in Dubai, where the lush, 7,211-yard Majlis was the first grass course in the Middle East, the new Yas Links in Abu Dhabi, the first links course in the region, is now wowing golfers. Designed by Kyle Phillips, it is a challenging, 7,450-yard, par-72 course on Yas Island, with a golf academy and a world-class floodlit practice range introducing the novelty of sultry night-time play. Meanwhile, the Abu Dhabi Golf Club’s newly lengthened course – now 7,590 yards – is proving popular, if exhausting. The effort to go one better than Dubai never stops.
Family doctors are being prevented from prescribing drugs for conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and osteoporosis as NHS managers attempt to make drastic budget cuts.
When we drink alcohol, our subconscious is learning to consume more. But it doesn't stop there. We become more receptive to forming subsconscious memories and habits with respect to food, music, even people and social situations.
Can Alcohol Help the Brain Remember? Repeated Ethanol Exposure Enhances Synaptic Plasticity in Key Brain Area, Study Finds
ScienceDaily (Apr. 12, 2011) — Drinking alcohol primes certain areas of our brain to learn and remember better, says a new study from the Waggoner Center for Alcohol and Addiction Research at The University of Texas at Austin.
The common view that drinking is bad for learning and memory isn't wrong, says neurobiologist Hitoshi Morikawa, but it highlights only one side of what ethanol consumption does to the brain.
Why do most colleges require students to take a semester (sometimes two) of Western civilization? We want students to know about the history of our civilization because, amazingly enough, humans keep making the same stupid mistakes. The historian’s hope — well, at least this historian’s hope — is that students will recognize the stupidity of first century BC Rome, and fourth century BC Greece, and Weimar Republic Germany, and about nine zillion other moments in time — and not do it again! It’s probably a hopeless task, but I try.
But there is another reason as well. The West has a rich heritage of faith and reason that we want our students to understand. There are so many historical and cultural references contained in our books and literature that will be utterly mystifying if you do not know from whence they came. My students (well, most of them) now know why “Spartan” as an adjective refers to very primitive or basic services or provisions. They know what “crossing the Rubicon” means — and whose crossing of that river meant that “the die is cast.” They understand the importance of channelization in warfare, because of how the Greeks used it to defeat the Persians at Marathon, Thermopylae, and Salamis. They know why “Praetorian Guard” often means someone who is as much in charge as the person or institution that they are supposed to be protecting…
“We never pay any-one Dane-geld,
No matter how trifling the cost;
For the end of that game is oppression and shame,
And the nation that pays it is lost!”
Let's see, what else can our rulers waste money on as they squabble over cutting pocket change from $zillion budgets and the economy hurtles toward inevitable collapse? Here's an idea: provide trucks with new exhaust systems — in Mexico.
State and federal agencies can't force vehicles manufactured and bought in Mexico to comply with U.S. emissions rules, even though the trucks cross into this country.
So the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality tried a different approach, offering to pay Mexican truck owners to replace old mufflers with new catalytic converters that will reduce harmful diesel emissions by up to 30 percent. The project in effect circumvents the more lax Mexican rules about exhaust systems.
The new exhaust systems cost $1,600 per truck, compliments of the EPA
Budget Deal Only Cuts $14.7 Billion, Not $38.5 billion
The meat of the spending deal struck between the two parties late Friday night was revealed in a legislative omnibus released early Tuesday morning. The specifics show that finding nearly $40 billion in cuts during the 2011 fiscal year required clever accounting and, for the White House, a willingness to concede on rhetoric to find gains on substance.
For example, the final cuts in the deal are advertised as $38.5 billion less than was appropriated in 2010, but after removing rescissions, cuts to reserve funds, and reductions in mandatory spending programs, discretionary spending will be reduced only by $14.7 billion.
SANDY SPRINGS, GEORGIA: The City That Outsourced Everything: “Since incorporating in 2005, Sandy Springs has improved its services, invested tens of millions of dollars in infrastructure and kept taxes flat. And get this: Sandy Springs has no long-term liabilities.” As public-employee unions get more expensive and entitled, we’re likely to see a lot more of this.
Democratic senator wants Internet sales taxes
A Democratic senator is preparing to introduce legislation that aims to end the golden era of tax-free Internet shopping.
The proposal--expected to be made public soon after Tax Day--would rewrite the ground rules for Internet and mail order sales by eliminating the ability of Americans to shop at Web sites like Amazon.com and Overstock.com without paying state sales taxes.
Dick Durbin of Illinois, the second most senior Senate Democrat, will introduce the bill after the Easter recess, a Democratic aide told CNET.
“To my Republican friends: take back your party. So that it doesn’t matter so much who wins the election, because we have shared values about the education of our children, the growth of our economy, how we defend our country, our security and civil liberties, how we respect our seniors. Because there are so many things at risk right now -- perhaps in another question I'll go into them, if you want. But the fact is that elections shouldn't matter as much as they do.”
Make sure to revise your copy of the Newspeak dictionary so that you are not caught using incorrect terminology until the next official edition is published. As part of the ongoing campaign to eradicate even oblique references to Christianity from our culture, Easter eggs are henceforth to be referred to as spring spheres. From Seattle:
[High school sophomore] Jessica, 16, told KIRO Radio's Dori Monson Show that a week before spring break, the students commit to a week-long community service project. She decided to volunteer in a third grade class at a public school, which she would like to remain nameless.
"At the end of the week I had an idea to fill little plastic eggs with treats and jelly beans and other candy, but I was kind of unsure how the teacher would feel about that," Jessica said. …
"I went to the teacher to get her approval and she wanted to ask the administration to see if it was okay," Jessica explained. "She said that I could do it as long as I called this treat 'spring spheres.' I couldn't call them Easter eggs."
Periodically, certain folk remedies recirculate and garner fresh attention.
We have seen it happen with bee sting therapy for joint pain, lavender under a pillow for sleep and chicken soup for colds. Almost invariably, long-standing folk remedies appear to demonstrate real value when closely scrutinized, and scientists eventually figure out how they work.
Enter gin-soaked golden raisins, a folk remedy for relieving arthritis pain. Like stories of other remedies, this one won’t quit. We can thank the late inveterate radio celebrity Paul Harvey for helping to make this popular, at least over the past 20 years. And given the number of people who have tried this remedy and had relief, it’s fair to say that this one works. How? We’re not completely sure, but we have some very good ideas.
For starters, the remedy is as follows. Place a box full of golden raisins (must be golden) in a glass vessel, like a canning jar. Pour in gin specifically made with Juniper berries, until the raisins are completely covered. Let the raisins sit for a week at room temperature and soak up the gin. After that, eat 10 raisins per day. Theoretically, if you have arthritis pain, this will help.
AP: Budget Deal Was a Sham
A close look at the government shutdown-dodging agreement to cut federal spending by $38 billion reveals that lawmakers significantly eased the fiscal pain by pruning money left over from previous years, using accounting sleight of hand and going after programs President Barack Obama had targeted anyway.
Such moves permitted Obama to save favorite programs - Pell grants for poor college students, health research and "Race to the Top" aid for public schools, among others - from Republican knives.
And big holes in foreign aid and Environmental Protection Agency accounts were patched in large part. Republicans also gave up politically treacherous cuts to the Agriculture Department's food inspection program.
The full details of Friday's agreement weren't being released until overnight as it was officially submitted to the House. But the picture already emerging is of legislation financed with a lot of one-time savings and cuts that officially "score" as savings to pay for spending elsewhere, but that often have little to no actual impact on the deficit.
This is good news. I think naval rail guns will soon be operational for the USN. In December, 2010, the Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren broke the world record with a 33 mega joule shot from a modified rail gun built by BAE Systems. The current goal is a 64 MJ ship mounted gun which would fire a non explosive shell, exiting the tube at Mach seven, climb through the atmosphere into near space, and arc down to a target at Mach five. The kinetic energy delivered is breathtaking. Much cheaper than a Tomahawk and we could rain them down all day. The Rentman
'Star Wars' Weaponry On The High Seas
A futuristic laser mounted on a speeding cruiser successfully blasted a bobbing, weaving boat from the waters of the Pacific Ocean -- the first test at sea of such a gun and a fresh milestone in the Navy's quest to reoutfit the fleet with a host of laser weapons, the Navy announced Friday. "We were able to have a destructive effect on a high-speed cruising target," chief of Naval research Rear Adm. Nevin Carr told FoxNews.com. The test occurred Wednesday near San Nicholas Island, off the coast of Central California in the Pacific Ocean test range, from a laser gun mounted onto the deck of the Navy’s self-defense test ship, former USS Paul Foster.
Posted by Yossarian
Congressional hearings over building more F-22s has led to the release of data about how much it costs, per flight hour, to maintain the aircraft. It's $44,000 per flight hour, compared to $30,000 per hour for the older F-15 that the F-22 is replacing. The F-22 per-hour cost is nearly twice what it is for the F-16.
While it requires 19 man hours of maintenance for each F-16 flight hour, the F-22 requires 34 hours. The manufacturer originally said it would be less than ten hours. Most of this additional F-22 expense (and man hours) is for special materials and labor needed to keep the aircraft invisible to radar.
The main problem is the radar absorbent material used on the aircraft. The B-2 had a similar problem, which was eventually brought under control. But even then, the B-2 cost more than twice as much to operate than the half century old B-52. The B-2 and F-22 use different types of radar absorbent materials, so many of the B-2 solutions will not work for the F-22. But some of the F-35 materials did.
DoJ changed its banner and also changed the only legal quote on the page. Not one from Constitution or Bill of Rights, but from a little known socialist from the 30s. From Carol
And at the top of the page, is a rather interesting quote:
"The common law is the will of mankind, issuing from the life of the people."
The quote is from C. Wilfred Jenks, who in the 1930's was a leading proponent of the "international law" movement, which had as its goal to impose a global common law and which backed 'global workers' rights.'
Tax Freedom Day® will arrive on April 12 this year, the 102nd day of 2011. That means Americans will work well over three months of the year, from January 1 to April 12, before they have earned enough money to pay this year's tax obligations at the federal, state and local levels.
Tax Freedom Day arrives three day later in 2011 than it did in 2010, but nearly two weeks earlier than in 2007. This shift toward a lower tax burden since 2007 has been driven by three factors:
- The Great Recession has reduced tax collections even faster than it has reduced income.
- President Obama and the Congress, after a long debate, extended the Bush-era tax cuts for two additional years.
- As part of the extension agreement, the Making Work Pay tax credit was replaced with the 2% reduction in the payroll tax.
Despite these tax reductions, Americans will pay more in taxes in 2011 than they will spend on groceries, clothing and shelter combined.
Residents of Mississippi will bear the lowest average tax burden in 2011. Because of their modest incomes and extremely low state and local tax burden, we estimate Mississippi’s Tax Freedom Day for 2011 to be March 26. After Mississippi, the four states where Tax Freedom Day will arrive the earliest in 2011 are Tennessee (March 27), South Carolina (March 29), Louisiana (March 30), and South Dakota (March 30).
At the other end of the tax burden spectrum are states with comparatively late Tax Freedom Days. The residents of Connecticut will celebrate last, as usual, working until the 122nd day of the year, from January 1 to May 2, before earning enough to pay all their taxes.
YELLOWSTONE SUPERVOLCANO PLUME TURNS OUT TO BE BIGGER: “The volcanic plume beneath Yellowstone is larger than previously thought, according to a new study that measured the electrical conductivity of the hot and partly molten rock. The findings say nothing about the chances of another cataclysmic eruption at Yellowstone, but they give scientists another view of the vast and deep reservoir that feeds such eruptions.”
Thirteen years after purchasing four slightly-used British diesel-electric submarines, Canada still has not gotten any of them in shape to go to war. Currently, only one of the four Victoria class subs can even go to sea, and none will be able to fight until their torpedo tubes are converted to fire the U.S. made Mk 48 torpedoes (rather than the British Tigerfish and Spearfish models the subs were originally designed for.) But the conversion kits have been ordered, and are to be installed within two years. What Canada has learned from all this is that submarines are expensive boats to build and maintain, even if they are second hand.
Gasoline prices rose during 2008, mostly in response to world-wide demand driven by the growing economies of the time. In June 2008, average prices at the pump hit $4 per gallon for the first time. Candidate Obama wasted no time blaming gas prices on President Bush:
The Presidential campaign's focus turned sharply to the economy Monday, an inopportune time for Republican John McCain as Americans cope with record-high gasoline prices and a spike in job losses.
That "spike" took the unemployment rate to 5.5 percent, a level not even dreamed of during the Age of Obama. But Obama attacked the Bush administration on the issue of gas prices:
Obama took part of his speech from headlines across the nation, noting that the average price of gas just hit $4 a gallon for the first time. ....
"At a time when we're fighting two wars [Ed.: Obama took care of that, we're fighting three now.], when millions of Americans can't afford their medical bills or their tuition bills, when we're paying more than $4 a gallon for gas, the man who rails against government spending wants to spend $1.2 billion on a tax break for Exxon Mobil," Obama said. "That isn't just irresponsible. It's outrageous."
With the Democrats in the driver's seat, things have sure changed. $4 a gallon gasoline? Stunning! But just wait: Obama's anti-energy policies may bring us $5 a gallon gasoline by Memorial Day.
Oh, and about that 5.5% unemployment rate? The Obama administration considers anything below 9% a victory.
ScienceDaily (Apr. 10, 2011) — High-density lipoprotein's hauls excess cholesterol to the liver for disposal, but new research suggests "good cholesterol" can also act as a special delivery vehicle of destruction for cancer.
Synthetic HDL nanoparticles loaded with small interfering RNA to silence cancer-promoting genes selectively shrunk or destroyed ovarian cancer tumors in mice, a research team led by scientists from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and the University of North Texas Health Science Center reports in the April edition of Neoplasia.
Unidentified Female: What was the hardest challenge you had to overcome to become President, or being President?
President Obama: Being President? The hardest thing is that this is such a big country, with so many different kinds of people, and everybody has different ideas. And so even if you have a pretty clear sense of what you want to do on the budget, or on health care, on foreign policy, there are gonna be, you know, half the country may disagree with you and trying to make sure in a democracy everybody can come to the table, express their opinions, and do that in a respectful way that we're still able to solve problems. That's a challenge. Because it would be easier if I could just say, "Well here's what I think is the best thing to do" and I could just do it. But I've got this thing called Congress, and they're elected to make sure that your opinions when you vote for members of congress that their opinions are expressed. You've got the Judiciary that says, "Well we've got this Constitution and this is how we should do things." And so all those different branches, are part of what makes America special because no one person ends up having too much power. Everybody has to figure out how to work together and sort through our differences.
But sometimes in this kind of environment where you have all these folks on the TV who are shouting at each other all the time. And sometimes the general public, because they're so busy, you guys may just not have time to follow every little piece of debate. It could make democracy move really slowly. And some of the challenges we have on energy, or on education or research those are things where we've got to compete with all these other countries, we've got to be able to move forward in a clear, effective way. Sometimes I get a little, frustrated that the debates aren't more honest or as clear as I'd like them to be.
The identical twins who alleged that Mark Zuckerberg stole the idea for Facebook from his Harvard classmates — the gist of which became the hit movie "The Social Network" — cannot back out of a settlement they signed with Zuckerberg in 2008, a federal appeals court panel has ruled. The Winklevosses had sought to overturn the negotiated settlement, worth about $65 million at the time, alleging that Facebook had swindled them out of their fair share of stock. Facebook's value has risen sharply since the deal was reached.