Friday, June 17, 2011

The Irishman is running away with the U.S. Open

US Open 2011: Rory McIlroy claims new high with all-time low score of 131 after two rounds at Congressional.

Ladies Day At Royal Ascot ...From Paris

How Many Pounds Of Clothing Do Woman Buy Each Year? ...From Paris

"Last month, the Daily Mail published a piece by Lucy Siegle, author of To Die For: Is Fashion Wearing Out the World? In it, she argues that due to a combination of celebrity worship, fast-fashion retailers and the explosion of the Internet, "our wardrobes are stuffed full of micro trends of dubious quality and with hulking environmental and social footprints."

Siegle bases her claims on the statistical findings on the average British female (but we're guessing it's comparable stateside), of whom the following can be said:
•She invests in 62 lbs. of clothing each year.

•She has upwards of 20 garments hanging in her wardrobe that she has never worn.

•She owns four times the amount today than she did in 1980.

Our take away phrase?  "Micro trends."

Four Myths about the Crusades.

The verdict seems unanimous. From presidential speeches to role-playing games, the crusades are depicted as a deplorably violent episode in which thuggish Westerners trundled off, unprovoked, to murder and pillage peace-loving, sophisticated Muslims, laying down patterns of outrageous oppression that would be repeated throughout subsequent history. In many corners of the Western world today, this view is too commonplace and apparently obvious even to be challenged.

But unanimity is not a guarantee of accuracy. What everyone “knows” about the crusades may not, in fact, be true. From the many popular notions about the crusades, let us pick four and see if they bear close examination.

Myth #1: The crusades represented an unprovoked attack by Western Christians on the Muslim world.
Myth #2: Western Christians went on crusade because their greed led them to plunder Muslims in order to get rich.
Myth #3: Crusaders were a cynical lot who did not really believe their own religious propaganda; rather, they had ulterior, materialistic motives.
Myth #4: The crusades taught Muslims to hate and attack Christians.

Another Islamic Attack Stopped.

JITS: 'Suspicious Device' Rendered Safe Near Pentagon...
Man arrested after Al Qaeda statements, backpack found in car...
U.S. Citizen of Ethiopian Descent...

And of course this from the Dems:

Dem rep requests analysis of how 'Christian militants' might bring down country...

Beer Panache

Man arrested after drinking 48 beers; tells police it was '10 too many'...

The O economy


When it comes to measuring the combination of unemployment and inflation, it doesn’t get much more miserable than this.


In fact, misery, as measured in the unofficial Misery Index that simply totals the unemployment and inflation rates, is at a 28-year high, reflective of how weak the economic recovery has been and how far there is to go.

The index, first compiled during the soaring inflation days of the 1970s by economist Arthur Okun, is registering a nausea-inducing 12.7—9.1 percent for unemployment and 3.6 percent for annualized inflation—a number not seen since 1983. The index has been above 10 since November 2009 and had been under double-digits from June 1993 through May 2008.

Much bigger deal than it would appear

Braving police, Saudi women drivers take to streets

Dozens of Saudi Arabian women defied the Kingdom's ban against women behind the wheel today. Have they struck a blow for equal rights?

Saudi women board a taxi in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on May 24. Saudi women got behind the wheel today as part of a campaign to protest the ultraconservative kingdom's ban on female driving.

Hassan Ammar/AP


Why You (Probably) Can’t Exercise Too Much

From July 2 to 24, the world’s top cyclists will compete in the 98th running of the Tour, and the physical demands of the race will be as brutal as ever. For three weeks, riders will cover more than 2,000 miles and climb up nine different mountain stages — all with only two days of rest spread throughout.

To understand what effect such a demanding sport had on longevity, the research team identified 834 Tour competitors from three countries (France, Belgium and Italy) who were born between 1892 and 1942 and rode somewhere between 1930 and 1964.

By comparing the lifespans of these elite competitors to those of a separate population of non-athletes born during the same years in the same countries, the researchers found no evidence that highly competitive endurance activity heightened the risk of early death. In fact, the Tour de France athletes seemed to live, on average, 17 percent longer than their inactive compatriots.

They don’t believe in the law. They do believe that gov’t is their piggy bank.

Federal Agencies Slow to Implement ACORN Funding Cutoff, Report Finds


Nearly a dozen federal agencies did not take comprehensive action to cut off funding to ACORN and its affiliates until a government research group started asking about it -- a year after Congress voted for the funding restrictions.

Read more:

How Do You Transport a Super-Secret Plane When You Can’t Fly It?

In a giganormous wooden box, that's how. This is how Lockheed Martin was transporting this ultra-secret A-12 OXCART—the precursor of the SR-71 Blackbird— developed under the supervision of the CIA.

You can't see it, but it's there, in that giant wooden box sitting on that trailer, travelling from Burbank to Palmdale

Damn Good Question

“Why Aren’t You Speaking English?”

A Texas senator is receiving praise.
During committee testimony this week in Austin, a Texas senator interrupted a Spanish speaker telling him he should "be speaking in English" during a committee hearing.

Antolin Aguirre of the Austin Immigrant Rights Coalition was testifying against Senate Bill 9 that would help crack down on illegal immigrants in Texas.  Aguirre spoke through an interpreter even though he had been in the U.S. since 1988.

Read more:

DailyBrisk Breaks the One Million Barrier. (Just over a year ago we were at 7,500,000 plus.)

Alexa Traffic Rank
Global 964,663

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The rank is calculated using a combination of average daily visitors to and pageviews on over the past 3 months. The site with the highest combination of visitors and pageviews is ranked #1.
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United States Flag 312,273

Rank in US Traffic Rank in Country
A measure of's popularity in a specific country. The complete list of's ranks by country is on the 'Traffic Stats' tab below.
The rank by country is calculated using a combination of average daily visitors to and pageviews on from users from that country over the past 3 months. The site with the highest combination of visitors and pageviews is ranked #1 in that country.
Updated Daily

Weiner sitting pretty well

A $1million pension, a Hamptons vacation ... and even a cameo role on Entourage: Disgraced Weiner begins the first day of the rest of his life

Together: Anthony Weiner and wife Huma Abedin head into their Queens apartment ahead of today's resignation speech

As Anthony Weiner spends his first weekend out of office relaxing in the Hamptons with his wife, it has emerged that he could draw on pensions and benefits worth more than $1m in his lifetime as well as retirement perks. He has even been offered a cameo role in Entourage.

Political Cartoons by Lisa Benson

Why England is Doomed…

British Fishery Bans White Bread Bait, Claims it Makes Fish Too Fat

No empathy

On Obama’s Emotional Detachment and the Economy. “When it comes to the economy, Obama doesn’t seem as engaged as he was during the push to overhaul our nation’s health care system. Perhaps, he he just assumed the ‘stimulus’ would work as (his administration) advertised and can’t grapple with its failure to meet its expectations. Why else would he forego his regular (i.e., daily) economic briefings, holding only one in the past month? Is he really that indifferent to the nation’s economic health?”

UPDATE: “Obama seems like a very distant preacher who is constantly irritated by the failings of his flock.”

Even the Russians know better than O

WE APPEAR TO BE BEHIND THE RUSSIANS NOW: Medvedev: Govt role in economy has to be cut.

Barbara Walters frets about Weiner's future.

"You know, we can make fun of him but in a way it’s a tragedy,” Walters said. “[H]e’s never had another job. What does he do after this? … Many people have had a job before or they were lawyers.”

She ruled out him being a consultant and noted how thin his private sector experience was.

Note to Babwa: He'll probably get a job at CNN or MSNBC because his recent job history makes him a perfect fit with those network's corporate culture. Does Eliot Spitzer ring a bell Babs?

It pays to be a Weiner

While Rep. Anthony Weiner may no longer have the benefit of Congress’ generous health care plan once he resigns, he will still be able to collect his pension and other benefits that could total more than $1 million during his lifetime.

According to an analysis of his available benefits by the National Taxpayers Union, the New York Democrat’s pension and a savings plan lawmakers have access to similar to a 401(k) could be worth $1.12 million to $1.28 million.

At 46, Weiner will not be eligible for his pension for another decade, at which point he could begin drawing a reduced rate of $32,357 a year, according to NTU. If he waits until age 62 to begin drawing his pension, he will receive his full benefits, or $46,224, according to NTU’s calculations.

Comedians as government propagandists

In Cambodia, Comedians Double as Government Propagandists.

In the state-aligned media that dominates the country's airwaves, enormously popular comedians, often bearing the rank of colonel in the prime minister's personal bodyguard unit, inject the party line into Cambodian popular culture.
We call them Colbert, Stewart, and Maher in the U.S.

That must've been some kind of bird!

How did it get up THERE? Deer 'with wings' causes massive power cut

Deer with wings

"Weinergate is now at the thumbsucking stage"

Mickey Kaus critiques Weiner and Daily Kos:

Weiner is a victim of web-driven macho partisan cocooning. That is, it was the fight-back partisanship of the Daily Kos community that gave him a group of linked-up followers he could make himself a hero of. This included dozens or more women (real or virtual) who idolized him whom he could contact in the space of a coffee break. Weiner was arrogant enough to think he could get away with recklessly exploiting his fame and status in this Web niche in part because he figured his pack would always defend him in a pinch. He was too essential to the fight. The ingenious instant wisdom of the Kos crowd would be too powerful in a clinch.

The closest planet to our Sun may have ice

Despite their proximity to the sun, portions of the surface of Mercury appear to be covered in ice, scientists said Thursday after analyzing about 20,000 new images of the solar system's smallest planet.

The pictures beamed to Earth by the Messenger spacecraft strongly suggest that frozen water — and perhaps other frozen substances — coat portions of impact craters near the planet's north and south poles. Permanently enshrouded in shadow, these surfaces are typically 300 degrees below zero Fahrenheit.

2011 Lotus Evora S

Lotus has created its most well-rounded vehicle yet.

To create the S, Lotus started by bolting a Harrop supercharger onto the Evora’s 3.5-liter, Toyota-sourced V-6 engine. This bumps the horsepower from 276 in the naturally-aspirated Evora to 345 in the S, and pushes the torque from 258 foot-pounds to 295. The 0-60 time is predictably faster in the S, going from zero to hero in 4.3 seconds against the regular Evora's 4.9 seconds.

Obama Admin Blocks Alaska Drilling Effort