Sunday, May 15, 2011

Did Someone Say Keith Olbermann and Michael Moore?...From Paris

Michael Moore to join Keith Olbermann's Current TV program

What do you get when you add junk to absolute crap? Answer: whatever Keith Olbermann is peddling now.

Sticking Your Hands Into Rich Soil And The Value Of A Potting Bench...From Paris

Now that we're safely outside, un-raveled and "un-cocooned", let's venture into the world of soil and potting.

Here's a 'potting' bench.  Don't you love the leisure; the full blown ease, comfort and repose of potting plants?

Me too.

Fail: global warming alarmist bunk

Former “alarmist” scientist says Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) based in false science.

The debate about global warming has reached ridiculous proportions and is full of micro-thin half-truths and misunderstandings. I am a scientist who was on the carbon gravy train, understands the evidence, was once an alarmist, but am now a skeptic.

The whole idea that carbon dioxide is the main cause of the recent global warming is based on a guess that was proved false by empirical evidence during the 1990s. But the gravy train was too big, with too many jobs, industries, trading profits, political careers, and the possibility of world government and total control riding on the outcome. So rather than admit they were wrong, the governments, and their tame climate scientists, now outrageously maintain the fiction that carbon dioxide is a dangerous pollutant.

Obesity 'master gene' found

Scientists have found that a gene linked to diabetes and cholesterol is a "master switch" that controls other genes found in fat in the body, and say it should help in the search for treatments for obesity-related diseases.

In a study published in the journal Nature Genetics, the British researchers said that since fat plays an important role in peoples' susceptibility to metabolic diseases like obesity, heart disease and diabetes, the regulating gene could be target for drugs to treat such illnesses.

"This is the first major study that shows how small changes in one master regulator gene can cause a cascade of other metabolic effects in other genes," said Tim Spector of King's College London, who led the study.

More violent than Iraq feet from our border

27 killed in Guatemala massacre near Mexico border.
At least 27 people were killed this weekend in a Guatemalan village near the border with Mexico in one of the worst mass killings in a generation, local police said.

The bloody incident started when 200 raiders attacked the small town of Caserio La Bomba about 275 miles north of the capital, police said.

Two women were among the victims in the attack, said police, who were trying to determine the exact time of the attack and searching for more bodies.

Obama's hypocritical rhetoric on immigration reform

Barack Obama's immigration speech in El Paso, Texas, on May 10 was an exercise in electioneering and hypocrisy. Hypocrisy because while Obama complained about "politicians" blocking comprehensive immigration bills, he was one of them himself.
In 2007, when such a bill was backed by a lame-duck Republican president and had bipartisan backing from Senate heavyweights Edward Kennedy and Jon Kyl, Sen. Obama voted for union-backed amendments that Kennedy and Kyl opposed as bill killers.

In 2009 and 2010, President Obama acquiesced in Speaker Nancy Pelosi's decision to pass cap and trade and bypass immigration, and in Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's decision not to bring an immigration bill to the floor.

This has been a theme of O's supporters.

Union Whistleblowers Beaten and Threatened

AP File
By Brian Kates, Daily News
Unionized phone company employees say they were beaten or threatened after they accused their labor bosses of looting their coffers through various scams.
One member of Communications Workers of America Local 1101 said that after he reported a time-sheet padding scheme, a thug beat him so badly his spine was injured.


Read more:

THis is what primaries are for, to allow the voters to narrow the field.

Newt Shocks Conservatives

Says Andrew Stiles of NRO, "Newt Gingrich's appearance on ‘Meet the Press' today could leave some wondering which party's nomination he is running for." DrewM at Ace's site thinks it's yet another illustration of Newt's loose-cannon lack of message discipline, but I can't believe that; he surely must have considered how this will play in the primaries, especially after the pounding Romney just took on the right for his health-care speech. 

The Outdoor Porch: Stepping Beyond The Cocoon...From Paris

Outdoor living is breaking into our 'cocooning' mode.  Cocooning feels claustrophobic.  Outdoor/backyard energy feels fresh; feels better; feels right.

TREND ALERT: Active living outdoor/back porch spaces include fire pits, lush landscaping, lighting, furnishings.    

Chocolate: Bittersweet And Tragically Good Trend...From Paris

It's one of my favorite movies of all, Chocolat.  Life is imitating art with a fun read about the latest trends in chocolate (very reminiscent of the film):
"A chocolate maker transforms the raw cacao bean into the silky stuff that we know as edible chocolate; a chocolatier goes a step further, using that same tasty chocolate as a base and carefully blending it with compatible strains or additional flavorings to create something new. Sebastian Cisneros falls into the latter camp.
His line of chocolate bars, CocanĂș, features complex combinations of spices. The spicy Picasso infuses a rare raw, dark strain made by Picari in Mr. Cisneros's homeland of Ecuador, with cayenne and smoked paprika.

Then, there's the Othello, which starts sweet with a wonderful white chocolate from Venezuelan producer El Ray, and "for the tragic finish," Mr. Cisneros says, hits you with coffee from Coava, a micro roastery in Portland, Ore., where he currently resides. From $4 per bar,

Seeds: Vintage, Heirloom, Old School ...From Paris

A juicy summer tomato, plucked ripe and warm  from the vine?  You can only beat that if it's an heirloom tomato.  I'm noticing a trend toward heirloom and vintage--in everything-- especially with clothing and comfort food.  WSJ has an interesting article on vintage seeds:  

"It's become a heyday for buying seeds. The old-school victory garden of cukes, tomatoes and mint is now an international alliance: black futsu squash, puntarelle, demi-root parsley and thousands of others. And the flower garden, long intent on hybrids and genetic show-boating, is returning to first principles: 19th-century favorites and native sons and daughters from across the country VINTAGE

Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds ( ) sells flower, vegetable and herb seeds: 1,300 varieties, including once-popular folk-remedy seeds like toothache plant (yes, you chew it, and it numbs the mouth)."

Operation Crossbow: How 3D glasses helped defeat Hitler

Hitler's deadly V-1 and V-2 missiles were early but effective weapons of mass destruction - unmanned flying bombs which brought terror to southern England.

But their impact could have been all the more devastating - costing thousands more lives, lengthening the war and threatening the D-Day landings - were it not for the fact that British intelligence worked in three, rather than two, dimensions.

One of the Royal Air Force's most significant successes came with Operation Crossbow, when it tracked down, identified and destroyed many of the V-weapons which could have prolonged the war.

Their secret weapon was a stereoscope - a simple Victorian invention which brought the enemy landscape into 3D.

Working on the same principles as modern-day 3D glasses, it allowed the PIs to measure height, especially of unidentified new structures - such as rockets and their launch sites.

This technique was to prove decisive, and it saved thousands from the V-missile barrage.

An observation about the 2012 elections

I have a habit of watching liberal talking heads on TV and reading liberal pundits in print and the Internet. It is a compulsion both aggravating and without known remedy. My blood pressure is probably high enough without engaging in this habit. What I have observed over the last two weeks is a broad-based attempt by so-called liberal thinkers to demonize every possible Republican opponent of President Obama. Each GOP hopeful that lifts his head with interest in a White House run gets whacked by intense scrutiny of his previously stated positions--like RomneyCare--or personal history --who knew Mitch Daniel's wife left him and his children and then remarried him years later? The scrutiny is okay, the double standard is not. These same liberal pundits had absolutely NO intellectual curiosity about candidate Obama in '07. Obama was the most unvetted presidential candidate in my lifetime. The liberal punditry has been reduced to being a motley-looking cheer leading squad for Obama.

Bioprinting: Body Parts Hot Off The Printer ...From Paris

The machine looks like the offspring of an Erector Set and an inkjet printer.

The “ink” feels like applesauce and looks like icing. As nozzles expel the pearly material, layer by layer, you imagine the elaborate designs this device could make on gingerbread cookies.
But the goo is made of living cells, and the machine is “printing” a new body part.

These machines — they’re called three-dimensional printers — work very much like ordinary desktop printers. But instead of just putting down ink on paper, they stack up layers of living material to make 3-D shapes.

Iraqi Donkey Brought to U.S. to Serve as Therapy Animal

It took 37 days and a group of determined animal lovers, but a donkey from Iraq is now a U.S. resident.

Smoke The Donkey, who became a friend and mascot to a group of U.S. Marines living in Iraq's Anbar Province nearly three years ago, arrived in New York this week aboard a cargo jet from Turkey. After being quarantined for two days he was released Saturday and began a road trip to Omaha, Nebraska, where he is destined to become a therapy animal.

SOCIALIST head of IMF accused of sexual assualt

The French political bigshot who heads the International Monetary Fund was arrested for allegedly sodomizing a Manhattan hotel maid yesterday -- hauled off an Air France flight just moments before takeoff from Kennedy Airport, police sources said.

Three Port Authority detectives pulled Dominique Strauss-Kahn from the plane's first-class cabin just two minutes before it was due to depart for Paris, according to the police sources.

Strauss-Kahn, 62 -- who was expected to challenge French President Nicholas Sarkozy in the 2012 election -- was turned over to NYPD officers and brought to the Special Victims Unit's uptown squad room.

California dreamin'...for fiscal sanity.

HUGE payouts for unused vacation days.

Managers in California's government routinely ignore official limits on the number of vacation days their employees can save, compelling the state to cut huge checks — many worth six figures — for unused time off when workers retire.

Prison doctor Fong Lai received $594,976 when he retired in 2010. Like most state employees, Lai was supposed to bank no more than 80 days of vacation, but his payment represented more than 2 1/2 years of unused time off.

Relaxing Warm Bath= Oyster Hanky Panky? ...From Paris

For Chesapeake Bay oysters, the urge to mess around starts with a warm and relaxing bath.

Researchers at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science know this because they stand over climate-controlled vats of water and watch. It’s not the mating rituals of mollusks that fascinate them. They are monitoring a key first step in an expanding government effort to save the endangered bay oyster — and with it, the sickly bay itself.

Pension shock...

...federal employees pay only $1 for every $15 paid into their pensions.

Federal worker pensions emerge as target in debt-reduction talks.

The generous pension system enjoyed by millions of federal workers from clerks to senators and judges has emerged as a key target in negotiations between Vice President Biden and congressional leaders looking to restrain the growing national debt.

Republicans have proposed saving more than $120 billion over the next decade by requiring the civilian workforce to contribute more toward retirement — a plan that would effectively impose an immediate 5 percent pay cut on more than 2 million federal employees. President Obama’s bipartisan fiscal commission has also endorsed the idea, calling the federal system “out of line” with the private sector.

It is your money being wasted

The federal government’s largest housing construction program for the poor has squandered hundreds of millions of dollars on stalled or abandoned projects and routinely failed to crack down on derelict developers or the local housing agencies that funded them.
Nationwide, nearly 700 projects awarded $400 million have been idling for years, a Washington Post investigation found. Some have languished for a decade or longer even as much of the country struggles with record-high foreclosures and a dramatic loss of affordable housing.