Thursday, June 16, 2011
Libs want higher gas prices. Also not the backwardness of their argument. Congress passes the laws, then regs are used to implement. They are arguing that regs trump statute. .
Obama Admin Objects to Alaska Oil and Gas Development Bill
By PHIL TAYLOR of Greenwire
Published: June 16, 2011
Harry Potter fans have the promise of more wizarding adventures after JK Rowling launched a mysterious website called 'Pottermore'.
The Harry Potter saga has spawned seven books, eight films and a theme park
The project was unveiled when Rowling set fans a series of clues, asking them to enter 10 sets of coordinates into a site called secretstreetview.com. A letter could be found at each location, spelling out the Pottermore name.
Another American Century. It is doable, we just need to get rid of this current ruling class. Victor David Hansen
And why did a bombed out Frankfurt and Tokyo (200,000 incinerated in March 1945 alone) rather quickly out-produce a less damaged Liverpool (4,000 killed in the blitz) or another former industrial hub at Manchester? Between 1945-1949, the United Kingdom chose a path of deliberate retrenchment, redistributive large government, high taxes, and socialism that a once flattened, and suddenly desperate Germany and Japan did not. ...
By every benchmark, this present age should be an American century, here and abroad. Our known fossil fuel reserves are soaring. New finds of coal, natural gas, oil, tar sands, and oil shale keep growing, not declining. Demographically, we are expanding. In comparison, Europe, Japan, and China are shrinking, unsure of how to address an aging population, single-child families, and scores of unassimilated immigrants. ...
We may well decline, and pass on a weaker, more divided, more insolvent and at-risk America to our children. But that is entirely our volition, not our destiny. It is a decision that many prosperous, but tired and squabbling societies--4th-century BC Athens, 5th-century AD Rome, 1950s Britain, 1970s America--chose willingly when they redistributed rather than created wealth, embraced envy rather than emulation of success as their collective creed, and whined about not being liked rather than unapologetically assuming leadership in the world.
June 16, 1884: A Technology With Plenty of Ups and Downs
1884: The first gravity roller coaster designed and built specifically as an amusement ride opens at Coney Island, New York. It is a commercial success and leads to the building of roller coasters all over the world.
LaMarcus Adna Thompson’s Coney Island coaster, which, for a nickel ($1.15 in today’s money), hurtled passengers down an undulating 600-foot-long track at speeds up to a blistering 6 mph, would hardly be recognizable to riders of modern-day roller coasters.
Passengers faced sideways, for one thing, and the track was not laid out in a continuous loop. Like the switchback gravity railway used by Pennsylvania coal miners that inspired it, the Coney Island coaster ran point-to-point, with nothing but gravity to provide the propulsion.
From Thompson’s Coney Island coaster, the technology quickly evolved. Within a year, the original tracks were replaced by an oval course that allowed riders to remain seated from start to finish. The seats on this new coaster, which was known as the Serpentine Railway, faced forward in what became the standard configuration for roller coaster cars the world over.
Natalia Avseenko, 36, was persuaded to strip naked as marine experts believe belugas do not like to be touched by artificial materials such as diving suits.
Come on in, the water's lovely: The whales wait for Natalia to take the plunge, but the sub-zero waters are enough to kill most people within five minutes
“Disobedient wives are the cause for upheaval in this world,” the club’s vice president and co-founder, Dr. Rohayah Mohamad, told told the Associated Press. She blames the country’s rising divorce rate—as well as incidents of prostitution, rape, and even incest—on wives who have neglected to keep their husbands satisfied in bed.
Ishak Md Nor, 40, is surrounded by his wives, Aishah Abdul Ghafar, left, 40, and Afiratul Abidah Mohd Hanan, 25, who are members of the newly launched Obedient Wives Club
When husbands come home, wives do not welcome their husbands with warm alluring smiles and sexy dressing ... That is the reality today," she said. "A good wife is a good sex worker to her husband."
MORE ON THAT ATF GUNRUNNING DEBACLE: The Definitive Scandal: ‘Gunwalker’ Much Worse Than ‘Iran-Contra.’
Memo to Robert Reich: The income tax brought in less revenue when the highest rate was 70% to 91% than it did when the highest rate was 28%.
The intelligentsia of the Democratic Party is growing increasingly enthusiastic about raising the highest federal income tax rates to 70% or more. Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich took the lead in February, proposing on his blog "a 70% marginal tax rate on the rich." After all, he noted, "between the late 1940s and 1980 America's highest marginal rate averaged above 70%. Under Republican President Dwight Eisenhower it was 91%. Not until the 1980s did Ronald Reagan slash it to 28%." ...
This new fascination with tax rates of 70% or more is ostensibly intended to raise gobs of new revenue, so federal spending could supposedly remain well above 24% of GDP rather than be scaled back toward the 19% average of 1997-2007. ...
[But] the individual income tax actually brought in less revenue when the highest tax rate was 70% to 91% than it did when the highest tax rate was 28%. ...
In the rush to prove bias in a scientist who erroneously used skull-size measurements to demonstrate racial differences, the great historian Stephen Jay Gould may have succumbed to bias himself.
The argument centers on the work of Samuel Morton, who rose to 19th century acclaim by rigorously measuring the volume of human skulls. In those pre-Darwin days, he was looking for evidence that God created the races separately, though his findings that Caucasians had the highest average volume were also interpreted as evidence of their cognitive superiority.
Gould’s critique, published in Science in 1978 (.pdf) and made famous in The Mismeasure of Man, was that Morton’s measurements unconsciously reflected his biases. Only by massaging data and using methods susceptible to error had Morton found racial difference. But there was a problem: Gould never actually measured the skulls himself. He accused Morton of cooking the books, but without fully reading them.
In a study published June 7 in Public Library of Science Biology, researchers led by anthropologists Jason Lewis of Stanford University and the Paleoanthropology Institute’s David DeGusta re-measured 308 skulls on which Morton had published data. Their conclusion: Morton’s numbers differed significantly from their own in just 7 cases, and those few mismeasurements didn’t favor the narrative of Caucasian superiority that Gould ascribed to Morton’s motivation. Three of them actually overestimated the volume of Egyptian skulls.
Indeed, it would seem that Gould was guilty of at least one accusation he made against Morton’s methods. He omitted measurement of Native American skulls that would have altered his racial averages in unpalatable ways. And once mathematical errors were corrected in Gould’s own cherry-picked dataset, they actually resembled Morton’s supposed racial hierarchy more closely than Morton’s own results.
“Morton has become a canonical example of scientific misconduct and an oft-told cautionary tale of how human variation is inevitably mismeasured,” wrote Lewis and Holloway. But “Morton did not manipulate data to support his preconceptions, contra Gould. In fact, the Morton case provides an example of how the scientific method can shield results from cultural biases.”
Q. There's a lot that's been written about Watson and Deep Blue and ThinkPad and other IBM milestones. But what are some of the unsung inventions to come out of the company?
A: The social security program back in the 30s couldn't have happened without IBM inventing a couple of machines to actually execute on what Franklin Roosevelt wrote into law beforehand. That's something that touches the lives of everybody in the country today.
Another example might be the Magnetic Tape Selectric, which was kind of word processing on steroids. We rolled that out in 1964, and that's the machine that basically invented word processing. That's the first time you were able to type at rough speed and not worry about making mistakes. It had the ability to go back and correct.
And the silicon germanium technology that's in virtually everybody's mobile computing and mobile phones today, that was something that came out of IBM. Nobody knows that the underlying technology behind that is something that came out of IBM Research Labs.
Outside of our core business, by the early 1950s we were working with a Dr. John Gibbon, who designed the world's first successful heart-lung machine. We actually did the construction of the machine for him. So that was a case where it was a bit of a milestone for the company. We didn't turn it into a product, necessarily. We donated the technology, since it was a little outside our bailiwick.
Another example of IBM being involved in health care was during Jonas Salk's polio vaccine trials. They used tabulating equipment to verify the accuracy of the vaccine, so when they were running these trials on millions of people across the United States they were collecting data on these people and tabulating the results to assess how well the vaccine worked. So that was another example, and that's 50 years ago.
First kittens, then puppies and hamsters and now goldfish?
San Francisco's Animal Control and Welfare Commission is recommending that the City ban the sale of goldfish, tropical fish and guppies in its borders, according to Matier and Ross.
The recommendation to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors is part of the commission's ongoing efforts to discourage "impulse buys" of animals.
Ayman al-Zawahiri, Al Qaeda's operational leader for many years, will succeed Osama bin Laden as the terror group's new chief.
'Tis a shame, Vancouver is a beautiful city and I would think the fans there would have been a little classier in defeat.
Angry, drunken fans ran wild after the Vancouver Canucks' 4-0 loss to Boston in the decisive Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals, setting cars and garbage cans ablaze, smashing windows, showering giant TV screens with beer bottles and dancing atop overturned vehicles.
Later, looters smashed windows and ran inside department stores.
Plenty of politicians refer to their spouses as true partners, important counselors, and advisers on the campaign trail and in office. But Marcus Bachmann is all that and more for Rep. Michele Bachmann. He shares his wife's religious path, political conversion, and unorthodox views, and he's reputed to be one her few close advisers.
So who is Mr. Bachmann, the man who would be first husband? A Christian therapist, who raised five children and nearly two dozen foster children with his wife, and stood by her side throughout her political career. (For her part, she put her career as a tax-litigation attorney on hold to raise her children when they were young.)
“Too often do we find counselors who will excuse a person and allow their feelings to take charge,” Marcus Bachmann has said.
Battle of the babeskis: Medvedev-Putin rivalry heats up as both appoint glamorous women as their 'personal photographers'
Putin's choice is 'sexy brunette' Yana Lapikova, a former Miss Moscow contestant, while rival Dimitry Medvedev has chosen the more highly-rated Katya Shtukina. The move to boost their respective images comes as the pair have failed to announce a decision on which of them will stand for the presidency in elections next year.
A Japanese theme park is set to claim the title of 'world's steepest rollercoaster'. The Takabisha ride, which involves a 121° freefall, will open at Fuji-Q Highland Amusement Park in July
Obesity and smoking to blame as life expectancy falls in poorest U.S. counties... but you can get 15 more years by living in the right areas
How long Americans live can vary by an incredible 15 years just based on where they are based.
Life expectancy has fallen in hundreds of U.S. counties - mostly in the South, according to a University of Washington study.
A man in Virginia’s Fairfax County on average now lives 15 years longer than one in Holmes County, Mississippi, demonstrating major health disparities.
Disparities: A man in Virginia's Fairfax County now lives 15 years longer than in Holmes County, Mississippi - and life expectancy has fallen in hundreds of U.S. counties - mostly in the South, a university study said
Study: Problems like smoking and obesity are partly behind the drop in life expectancy in the South - and there are enormous variations within the U.S., but overall life expectancy in the country is at an all-time high
The big disparities can also be seen between females - as a woman in Collier County, Florida, has 12 years on a woman in Holmes, reported Bloomberg.
This has to be one of the best scams ever on a co-worker. “Belugas don’t like artificial material Natalia, so you strip to swim with them in the Arctic.” Brilliant!
Princess of whales: The female scientist who took the plunge into the icy waters of the Arctic to tame belugas... stripped naked
Natalia Avseenko, 36, was persuaded to strip naked as marine experts believe belugas do not like to be touched by artificial materials such as diving suits. The skilled Russian diver took the plunge as the water temperature hit minus 1.5 degrees Centigrade,and uses yoga techniques to control her breathing.
2011 BMW M5: Yes, this is it
The unsurprising news? It looks exactly like the concept shown to a private group two months ago. The semi-surprising news? The twin-turbo V8 engine is putting down a sub-Cadillac CTS-V 552 horses. Hell, the uber-Caddy's even got a good 50 more torques than the new M5. Did an American automaker just beat the Germans at the power war? It seems so.
World’s Largest Radio Telescope Being Built in China
It'll not only be the world's largest, but it will also be the world's most sensitive radio telescope, taking over from Puerto Rico's Arecibo Observatory. FAST will allow the Chinese to see into space three times further than Arecibo, not to mention seeing wider sections of 19 different sky regions—all due to the larger size of the dish, but also the hanging mirrors which weigh 11,000 tons, acting as a "dish within a dish," as PopSci describes.
Breathalyzer Watch Tells You How Drunk You Are, and When It’s Time To Pass Out
Tokyo Flash's back with the crazy watch concepts, this time with something that alcoholics should probably consider: a breathalyzer watch. It tells the time, sure, but more importantly gives you a blood alcohol reading so you know your true drunkenness.
JUSTICE DEPARTMENT SHOULD BE ASHAMED. “Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) on Wednesday escalated his standoff with the Department of Justice over a gun-tracking program that might have contributed to the death of federal agent. As the family of slain ATF agent Brian Terry pleaded for justice, Issa said officials should be ‘ashamed’ for handing over heavily redacted documents about the program.”
“Misery Index” Up 62% Since Obama Took Office. “We can only hope the president will admit to his mistakes and make a sharp course correction, rather than continue to try to lay blame for all bad economic news at the feet of his predecessor. After a prolonged recession and a terrible recovery, the nation doesn’t deserve even more misery.”
WHAT WE SHOULD HAVE DONE? “Iceland didn’t rescue its banks. It couldn’t afford to do it. So, they went bust. Iceland looked like it was going down a path of permanent financial armageddon. However, Iceland is in better financial shape than the rest of Europe today.”
Physicists say sunspot cycle is ‘going into hibernation.
COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina senators on Tuesday approved requiring businesses of all sizes to use an online federal program to verify their employees can legally work in the U.S., and to remove fines as punishment if they don’t.
DOVER, Del. — The Delaware Senate on Tuesday approved a bill requiring state and local governments to verify that all their new hires are in the country legally, and to impose the same test for people seeking government benefits.
Yes, you read that right. Spurred on by state efforts to mandate the use of E-Verify, the House is about to act.
The number of ATMs more than doubled between 1998 and 2008, from 187,000 to 401,500, according to the American Bankers Association. Yet data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that during the same period, the number of bank tellers rose from 560,000 to 600,500. BLS expects “favorable” job prospects for bank tellers over the next decade.
The Democratic Congress hasn't adopted a budget in more than two years. This isn't just irresponsible, it is illegal. Jeff Sessions, the ranking Republican on the Senate Budget Committee, has been hammering away at the Democrats' dereliction, and things are starting to get a little hot for Harry Reid and Kent Conrad. Loyal Democrats like Dana Milbank and Tim Kaine are criticizing them for blowing off the budget, and Senate Democrats who have to fact the voters next year are reportedly getting nervous. So Harry Reid, naturally, is trying to change the subject.
New Hampshire, South Dakota and Indiana ranked at the top
It might be the ‘Land of the Free’, but some states certainly aren’t living up to the words of America’s national anthem.
New York, New Jersey and California are the least free in the U.S., based on an index of public policies affecting your individual freedoms.
The rankings are based economic, social and personal freedoms of Americans - and include measures such as taxes, government spending and regulations.
Map: New York, New Jersey and California are the least free states in the U.S., based on an index of public policies affecting your economic, social, and personal freedoms