Saturday, July 16, 2011

Cock and Bull Story

Laura Ingraham Airs Scary ‘Obama Remix’ of Jimmy Carter‘s ’Malaise’ Speech

Friday marked the 32-year-anniversary of Jimmy Carter’s “crisis of confidence” later pegged “malaise speech,” a national-telivised and ill-recieved address trying to combat what Carter saw as apathy and doubt among Americans concerning politics and the energy crisis.

Thirty-two years later another first term Democratic president faces a crisis of continued economic decline and failure to bridge heated political differences from Capital Hill to Main Street.

Ingraham’s audio suggests that like Carter, Obama is failing to step up as a strong and believable leader in the eyes of Americans looking to him in a time of crisis.

When to buy and sell

According to a study from the Harvard Business Review, for a period of 15 days around a new moon, stock market returns are twice as high as those during the rest of the month. So as we approach a full moon, stock prices drop. It may seem like a coincidence but, again, this is not a minor amount of data here: the researchers analyzed 30 years of market data from 25 countries, even going as far back as 100 years with U.S. stock indexes. So stocks are also the opposite of werewolves.

That, or stock brokers are all werewolves who get distracted as "the change" approaches.



These rare lunar rainbows can only be seen in a few places on earth.

Spectacular: Sunlight is reflected off the moon to create this dazzling arc of colour in the Yosemite National Park

Spectacular: Sunlight is reflected off the moon to create this dazzling arc of colour in the Yosemite National Park

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How men and women really DO see things differently

The old advertising adage that 'sex sells' may be recognised worldwide, but new research has revealed exactly how men and women are drawn into looking at a sexy ad.

A study of where men and women look on a 'sexy' advertisement gave a fascinating insight - with men found to be first interested in the attractive woman's face rather than her toned physique.

Using two ads featuring attractive women posing for H&M and Reebok trainers, researchers analysed where the eyes of men and women were drawn on first glance.

The study shows that women, who results are on the right, paid more attention to the product information than men

Hot spots: The colour splashes shows where men, left, and women tend to look at the same bikini ad. Red indicates which part of the poster generates most interest and green the least. In this instance, attention ti the face is evenly matched between the genders. But women are much more interested in the model's toned stomach and the price of the bikini. Men to prefer to focus squarely on her breasts and crotch - rather than her surrounding physique

Sexy: The H&M advert featured a tanned, toned woman on a beach in a bikini

Sexy: The H&M advert, featuring a tanned, toned woman on a beach in a bikini, which men and women looked at

Results also showed that women were drawn first to the woman's torso, whereas men looked at the face first

Surprising: Contrary to expectations, women - and not men - looked at the model's breasts first. The numbers indicate the order in which both genders viewed the key areas of general interest

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This would be a wet mouth St Bernard

Milo, a Saint Bernard, rests after walking on a street with his owner Amphon Ananpavrivan in Bangkok, Thailand

Milo, a Saint Bernard, rests after walking on a street with his owner Amphon Ananpavrivan in Bangkok, Thailand

Owl meets glass

An imprint of an owl is left on a window pane after the bird crashed into the window. Sally Arnold returned home to Kendal, Cumbria, and found the huge imprint complete with eyes, beak and feathers on her bedroom window. The silhouette was left by the bird's 'powder down' - a substance protecting growing feathers.

An imprint of an owl is left on a window pane after the bird crashed into the window. Sally Arnold returned home to Kendal, Cumbria, and found the huge imprint complete with eyes, beak and feathers on her bedroom window. The silhouette was left by the bird's 'powder down' - a substance protecting growing feathers.

Trusted Traveler

I cannot count the number of times I have flown nationally and internationally over the past 20 years. I am a Christian, native-born, tax-paying, property-owning, passport-holding American with kids, with no criminal record (yet). If I am not a "trusted traveler," I don't know who is.

The New Normal

From Mark Steyn: No bargaining with Barack Obluffer:

In order to fund Obamacare and the other opiates of Big Government dependency, the feds need to take 25 percent of GDP, now and forever: The "new normal." It can't be done. Look around you. The new normal's already here: flat-line jobs market, negative equity, the dead parrot economy. What comes next will be profoundly abnormal. His name was Obamandias, King of Kings. Look upon his works, ye mighty, and despair. Round the decay of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare, the lone and level sands stretch far away.

Do they still teach Shelley in high school? Or just the "diversity manual" about "social justice" the Omaha Public Schools paid for with $130,000 of "stimulus" funding?

'Harry Potter' conjures first-day record of $92.1M - AP

Harry Potter has cast his biggest spell yet with a record-breaking first day at the box office

Very Real. In some states it is over 1% of total vote.

GOP Fighting for Tougher Voter Identification Laws, ‘Voter Fraud Is Real’

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus repeated his party’s commitment to stronger voter identification laws, saying that the GOP would not give up the fight against voter fraud.

“I think that we need to make it easy to vote, hard to cheat, and I think that that’s a mantra that we ought to shout from the rooftops all over the country as a Party,” Priebus told conservative bloggers on a conference call on Thursday.

Republican National Lawyers Association (RNLA) Chairman David Norcross said that voter fraud issues were very real, despite complaints from liberals that it is largely a phantom problem. Cross cited several cases where states had found thousands of ineligible votes after elections were already over.

Read more:

Largest gun of all time.

The story goes that back in 1939, Adolf Hitler needed to figure out how to infiltrate the French Maginot line, a highly fortified 930-plus mile long defensive wall along the French-German and French-Italian borders.

To achieve his goal, Hitler planned to simply obliterate the wall completely, hence the need for a “big” gun. He recruited one Friedrich Krupp to engineer a weapon capable of deploying enough ordinance to level the wall. By 1941, the Krupp company produced the largest gun of all time, the “Gustav Gun.”

The Gustav reportedly weighed a whopping 1344 tons and stood 4-stories high. Apparently, it was so heavy it had to be disassembled and attached to rail cars in order to be transported.

The Gustav had a bore diameter of 800 mm (just under a yard) and used 3000 pounds, more than a ton, of smokeless powder charge to fire its two primary shell types: a 10,584 lb. high explosive (HE) shell and a 16,540 lb. concrete-piercing shell—roughly the weight of an unladen 71-passenger school bus, travelling at 2700ft/s.

With a maximum elevation of 48 degrees, the HE shell could hit a target 29 miles away, while the bunker-buster could nail anything within 23 miles—both with reasonable accuracy. The Gustav could basically fire a shell over the widest point of Long Island, NY and hit nothing but water. If it did hit, the HE would leave a 30-foot deep crater while the piercing round could penetrate as much as 264 feet of reinforced concrete (or height of the Seattle Exchange Building).

SpaceShipTwo Factory Nearing Production

When Scaled Composites and Virgin Galactic decided to partner on a new generation of sub-orbital space vehicles, the new company needed a name. Keeping with the simplicity of naming Scaled’s spacecraft SpaceShipOne and SpaceShipTwo, choosing the name was apparently easy, The Spaceship Company.

Today as development of SpaceShipTwo continues over the Mojave desert, the final pieces of the facility where the production spacecraft will be built are being put into place. The Spaceship Company’s new building is located a very short walk from Scaled Composites main hangar at the Mojave Air & Space Port. Most of the building is complete and the facility is expected to be ready for production by September according to Aviation Week and Space Technology.

Once production begins, the joint venture will produce both the SpaceShipTwo spacecraft as well as the WhiteKnightTwo carrier aircraft. The fuselages for both are structurally identical. The new factory is far from a large assembly line facility found at big aerospace companies such as Boeing or Norhtrop Grumman. Instead, it will retain the smaller, handcrafted type of operation true to the Scaled name.

Ah, Paris

Fireworks burst over the Eiffel Tower during traditional Bastille Day celebrations

Fireworks burst over the Eiffel Tower during traditional Bastille Day celebrations

Bahamas from the North and up a bit. Florida is on the right.

The 'Tongue of the Ocean' and several of the 2,700 islands in the Bahamas chain and part of peninsular Florida, including Cape Canaveral, the location of the Kennedy Space Centre, are seen in this view photographed by one of the STS-135 crewmembers while Atlantis was docked with the International Space Station

The "Tongue of the Ocean" and several of the 2,700 islands in the Bahamas chain and part of peninsular Florida, including Cape Canaveral, the location of the Kennedy Space Centre, are seen in this view photographed by one of the STS-135 crewmembers while Atlantis was docked with the International Space Station

Milky Way Down Under

A view of the Milky Way from the southern tip of Australia. Amateur photographer Alex Cherney captures the night sky using just an ordinary digital camera. Alex has taken beautiful images of the night sky from the Mornington peninsula on the southern coast of Australia. He takes advantage of the lack of light pollution to capture detailed pictures of the cosmos using very long exposures...

...Amateur photographer Alex Cherney captures the Milky Way from the southern tip of Australia using just an ordinary digital camera

Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel

Silly, 'CRAZY' Pants...From Paris

Although I like this photograph from a purely artistic standpoint (by F.Martin Ramin WSJ) the idea that men will suddenly be wearing these 'pants' is absurd.  Described by Steve Garbarino as 'crazy pants' that were "designed to make their fearless arbiters stand out in  any crowd."
Yep.  You'll stand out.  That's true.

Seriously.  These remind me of pajamas my 6 year old daughter wore as I read her the first Harry Potter book.

"Last month, something crazy happened during the men's spring 2012 collections, first in Milan, then in Paris. On the runway, menswear designers went all-out bonkers over one bright idea: wildly patterned pants.
Even from the cheap seats, you couldn't miss the visual slacks attack. Like Glenn Close, they would not be ignored. Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, Versace and Alexander McQueen, to name a few, all had over-the-top pattern parties on their pants—a psychedelic safari of flora, stripes and dots."

State Lotteries Replace Corporate Income Taxes as Revenue Source ( I like this: self assessed tax.)

Steyn on the budget negotiations

Mark Steyn:

But in essence the spenders are negotiating among themselves how much debt they’re going to burden you with. It’s like you and your missus announcing you’ve set your new credit limit at $1.3 million, and then telling the bank to send demands for repayment to Mr. and Mrs. Smith’s kindergartner next door.

Casey Anthony Release: Security Experts Say She Needs A Safe House

...I've got just the place for her:

But it is ok to buy beer, cigarettes or to get on an airplane?


Democrats Claim GOP Conspiracy: Showing Photo ID at Polls Keeps Poor, Minorities From Voting

Carla Bruni confirms pregnancy

Photo Credit: Nice-Matin

The French leader's wife opens up about having a baby after staying quiet on the subject for months

Read more:

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Finale Is 3-D Done Right

Harry Potter (played by Daniel Radcliffe) and Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) head for a final showdown in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2.

The most ironic aspect of 3-D moviemaking jumps into the foreground with the opening of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2: Depth-of-field works most effectively when you hardly notice it.

For the final film in the Potter series, which opens Friday, director David Yates and his team exercised restraint throughout. The result? Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 is 3-D done right.

Why The U.S. Navy Is Falling Apart

July 15, 2011: Three years ago, the U.S. Navy began to realize that the readiness of warships was deteriorating to an alarming degree. Some eight percent of them were failing inspections. Since then, it's gotten worse. Now, 24 percent are failing inspections. Currently, about 20 percent of navy ships have failed readiness inspections or are unfit for combat. About 40 percent of ships at sea have one major system broken. About half of combat aircraft and helicopters at sea are not fully functional.

Admirals and staff officers scrambled to discover what went wrong. Turns out there was a lot wrong. Crew size has been shrinking, and the navy has not adapted its maintenance needs to this. This is a trend that has been going on for over a century. In the early 19th century, a typical 3,500 ton "ship of the line" had a crew of 800-900 sailors. That was about 240 sailors per thousand tons of ship. A century later, capital ships had eliminated labor intensive sails and were running on steam, and lots more machines. The 12,000 ton pre-World War I battleship had a crew of 750 (62 sailors per thousand tons of ship). But for the last century, not a lot of progress was made. The current U.S. nuclear carriers have 57 sailors per thousand tons of ship. But the new LCS gets that down to 25. Advances in automation, as well as the introduction of the combat UAVs in the next decade, will make the thousand sailor crew for a carrier possible. That's ten sailors per thousand tons of ship, plus a lot of robots, and equipment built to require very little manpower to fix or operate. That last innovation is already happening with warplanes, greatly reducing the man hours of maintenance required per flight hour. The navy has long since accepted those concepts for missiles (delivered in sealed containers, requiring little maintenance.) These are trends that have been building for some time, and show every indication of continuing. Although these new techniques are expensive, so are sailors. Each one costs over $100,000 a year. For a carrier crew of 5,700, that's over half a billion dollars a year. That buys lots of automation, and keeps a lot of people out of harm's way.

The problem is that the civilian automation has not adapted well to military needs. That came at the same time the navy was facing major budget cuts (which crippled efforts to make ship automation work on a warship) and sailors were spending less time in the classroom (where they would learn how to make the automation work). Currently, the navy is about half a billion dollars short in what it believes should be spent annually for ship and aircraft maintenance. Lots of navy cash is going to building new ships, to replace aging Cold War era vessels.

Math+Art=Dorthea Rockburne...From Paris

What if mathematical theories could be expressed using artworks instead of plus signs and pi symbols? Dorothea Rockburne has devoted four decades to the attempt, and the results are on view at the Parrish Art Museum in Southampton, N.Y., through Aug. 14.

Take disjunction, the logical argument that if A is true and B is true, their combination must also be true. Math textbooks usually illustrate this idea with a pair of slightly overlapping circles. In the 1970s, Ms. Rockburne began exploring this idea by soaking long sheets of paper in crude oil, a substance that permeated the paper without breaking it down into pulp. Instead, both materials could co-exist.

In one of her best-known works, 1971's "Scalar," she arranged a group of these oily, rust-colored sheets on a wall so that they slightly overlapped. Other series involved folding or layering linen or painted sheets into kaleidoscopes.

The most important thing in California higher eduction is...

...political correctness.

California’s budget crisis has reduced the University of California to near-penury, claim its spokesmen. “Our campuses and the UC Office of the President already have cut to the bone,” the university system’s vice president for budget and capital resources warned earlier this month, in advance of this week’s meeting of the university’s regents. Well, not exactly to the bone. Even as UC campuses jettison entire degree programs and lose faculty to competing universities, one fiefdom has remained virtually sacrosanct: the diversity machine.

Not only have diversity sinecures been protected from budget cuts, their numbers are actually growing. The University of California at San Diego, for example, is creating a new full-time “vice chancellor for equity, diversity, and inclusion.” This position would augment UC San Diego’s already massive diversity apparatus, which includes the Chancellor’s Diversity Office, the associate vice chancellor for faculty equity, the assistant vice chancellor for diversity, the faculty equity advisors, the graduate diversity coordinators, the staff diversity liaison, the undergraduate student diversity liaison, the graduate student diversity liaison, the chief diversity officer, the director of development for diversity initiatives, the Office of Academic Diversity and Equal Opportunity, the Committee on Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation Issues, the Committee on the Status of Women, the Campus Council on Climate, Culture and Inclusion, the Diversity Council, and the directors of the Cross-Cultural Center, the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Resource Center, and the Women’s Center.

Panic at the White House?

Gloomy Goldman Sachs sees high unemployment, possible recession.

“Alarms bells must be ringing all over Obamaland today. Unemployment on Election Day about where it is right now? Sputtering — if not stalling — economic growth? To many Americans that would sound like the car is back in the ditch — if it was ever out. . . . Goldman Sachs doesn’t have to tell you things are bad. I don’t have to tell you things are bad. Everybody knows things are bad. Unemployment is at 9.2 percent (11.4 percent if the official labor force hadn’t collapsed since 2008 and 16.2 percent if you include discouraged and underemployed workers.) Moreover, the economy grew at just 1.9 percent in the first quarter of this year and may have grown less than 2 percent in the second. Wages and income are going nowhere fast. When will the White House signal a change of economic direction? Will cutting tax rates and regulation ever make it on the agenda? That may be the only way Obama can win another term. And time is running short.”

It is startling to see how disconnected the Left is on this


 Scientists Discover Alternate Universe In Which Obama Has “Rolled” GOP: “It’s as if Obama has avoided emasculation by becoming a star in a fake little drama of his own creation, in which the audience (so far) consists mainly of MSNBC viewers, source-greasing reporters and Bloomberg editorialists. No wonder he has ‘reality tv’ on his mind. …”

Mickey is not impressed

Mickey Kaus:

It’s as if Obama has avoided emasculation by becoming a star in a fake little drama of his own creation, in which the audience (so far) consists mainly of MSNBC viewers, source-greasing reporters and Bloomberg editorialists. No wonder he has “reality tv” on his mind. …

True origins of the financial crisis

Gretchen Moregenson is the New York Times business reporter and columnist as well as a Pulitzer Prize-winning alumna of St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, and of Forbes. She is also the coauthor (with Joshua Rosner) of Reckless Endangerment, one of the most important books out about the origins of the financial crisis. Robert Reich’s review of the book provides a convenient summary.

The book belies the master Democratic/media narrative regarding the financial crisis.

NFL lockout: Pact between owners, players is all but complete

With a deal to end pro football’s four-month old lockout virtually complete, some teams and players began preparing Friday to return to work even as negotiators raced to finalize the accord’s details.

Attorneys and financial experts for the league and players are scheduled to work this weekend and negotiators are planning to reconvene Monday, amid widespread expectation that the deal will be finished in time for the two sides to present it to their court-appointed mediator Tuesday. Owners of the 32 NFL teams are scheduled to meet next Thursday in Atlanta and could vote to approve the deal then.
Good. I can resume my frustrating, unfulfilled life as a Cowboys fan.

This day in History

32 years ago today: The “malaise” speech

Seems like old times.

Everything is racial to Dems.

Sheila Jackson Lee: Let’s face it, this debt-ceiling battle is racial

Chessie the manatee returns to the Chesapeake

Chessie the manatee who suddenly appeared in the Chesapeake Bay 17 years ago and vanished just as suddenly nearly a decade later, came up for air again this week.

The U.S. Geological Survey, whose biologists had been on the lookout for the sea cow for all these years, announced the sighting Friday with a breathless e-mail that virtually shouted “It’s Chessie!”

Bundlers for Obama

President Obama has amassed a formidable team of more than 240 big-dollar fundraisers just three months into his 2012 reelection campaign, including more than two dozen bundlers who have each raised at least $500,000.

The bundler list and other campaign data released Friday provide further evidence of an astonishing fundraising effort by Obama amid a struggling economy and mediocre presidential approval ratings.
I tried to find the words 'fat cats' in this WashPost article on wealthy Obama donors but could not find them. Apparently 'fat cats' is a term used by the MSM to describe Republican donors.

Nice spot for some shade in Chicago

The long-awaited 26-foot sculpture of Marilyn Monroe was unveiled on the Magnificent Mile Friday morning, amid some controversy about its risqué appearance.

The three-part piece sculpture by artist Seward Johnson was unveiled in Pioneer Court alongside Tribune Tower

Obama says 80% of Americans want higher taxes I guess I can say 80% of Americans want the Measles, a flat tire, and Roseanne Barr singing the Star Spangled Banner.

From The Hill:
President Obama on Friday kept up the pressure on Republicans to agree to revenue increases in a deal to raise the debt ceiling, claiming 80 percent of the public supports Democrats' demand for tax increases.

Woman gropes TSA agent in Phoenix

A Colorado woman is accused of putting her hands on a TSA agent at Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix.

Court records show 61-year-old Yukari Mihamae grabbed the left breast of the female agent Thursday at the Terminal 4 checkpoint.

Police say she squeezed and twisted the agent's breast with both hands.

Officers say Mihamae admitted to the crime.