Monday, August 1, 2011

Happy birthday to Catch-22 this October



This October, get ready to sing "Happy 50th birthday" to Joseph Heller's Catch-22.

Publishers are already marking the anniversary:

•Out this week is One Catch: A Biography of Joseph Heller by Tracy Daugherty (St. Martin's Press, $35), the first full biography of the writer.


•Due in stores later this month is Yossarian Slept Here (Simon & Schuster, $25), Erica Heller's bittersweet memoir of her father.

•Released this spring: A 50th anniversary edition of Catch-22, with an introduction by Heller friend and fellow satirist Christopher Buckley (Simon & Schuster).

Biographer Daugherty, who teaches at Oregon State University, calls Heller's debut novel "the bible of American black humor." The classic has sold more than 10 million copies since 1961.

The novel, whose protagonist is named Capt. Yossarian (and played by Alan Arkin in the 1970 film), draws on Heller's experiences as a World War II bombardier (he flew 60 missions). But it also captures the timeless frustration of dealing with insane bureaucracies.

Docs not happy. Hospitals not happy. Self Surgery for Dummies authors real happy.

Congress's agreement to raise the U.S. debt ceiling could be bad news for healthcare providers. Hospitals in particular are concerned about the "trigger" mechanism — a cut of up to 2 percent in Medicare spending that would kick in if a newly formed joint committee doesn't come up with roughly $1.5 trillion in cuts.

Providers are likely to face cuts, whether they come from the trigger or the joint committee. And either way, they'll come just before another round of cuts — the regular scramble to offset a temporary patch in Medicare payments to doctors, which costs about $25 billion per year.

News Flash: Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee can read


Jackson Lee vowed to read the entire compromise plan before voting, stating “I’m going to say it publicly on national television: we’re going to read this document, this unknown entity, and we’re going to understand it before we vote for it.”

The best UFO synchronized films I have ever seen.

 

http://gizmodo.com/5750864/is-this-ufo-caught-by-multiple-cameras-a-real-alien-spaceship-updated

Why We’ve Wanted Our MTV for 30 Years

Why We've Wanted Our MTV for 30 Years MTV turns 30 today. How old! Also how historic; in three decades, the network revolutionized media, turned heads inside and out, and struggled to remain relevant. But one thing should be obvious now: it was never just about music

And the song that started it all:

Count on MSNBC to take thehigh ground

NBC's Matthews Comes Unhinged: Smears Tea Partiers as Baby-Kidnapping 'Terrorists'

An unhinged Chris Matthews on Monday decried the debt ceiling deal negotiated in Congress, attacking Tea Party Republicans as a group of baby-kidnapping terrorists. He also bizarrely described the compromise as "political polygamy."

Talking to Jonathan Chait of the New Republic, Matthews excoriated, "Why did [Obama] let this develop for six months...this drum roll of the Republicans saying, 'We've got the baby. You don't get the baby back unless you pay us?' Why do you let the other side have the baby, to use kidnapping terms?"

Read more: http://www.mrc.org/biasalert/2011/20110801062852.aspx#ixzz1TpBlPvll

More on the Volcanic Eruption on Mount Etna

The eruptions of Mount Etna in Sicily, Europe's tallest active volcano

30 July 2011: Lava spewing from a crater of the giant Etna volcano is seen from the town of Catania

Mount Etna volcano on the island of Sicily, southern Italy, started erupting again at the weekend, sending flames and sparks shooting 250 metres into the air, and flows of lava down its slopes. Etna is one of the most active volcanoes in the world, and in the last few decades eruptions have been very frequent and lava flows have often threatened the villages surrounding the crater.

30 July 2011: Lava flowing down Mount Etna is seen behind a church in Catania, Sicily

30 July 2011: Lava flowing down Mount Etna is seen behind a church in Catania, Sicily

Apple iPhone 5 'to launch in October, not September'

Apple will launch its new iPhone in October, not September, according to a new report.

Apple logo

Bears, Missoula and thinking.

'I just tried to be as large and aggressive as I could': U.S. ski champion reveals how she fought off black bear... with her fists

Cuts, bruises and a terrifying memory: U.S. skier Ani Haas shows off her injuries on the Today show from her black bear attack

Cuts, bruises and a terrifying memory: U.S. skier Ani Haas shows off her injuries on the Today show from her black bear attack

Ani Haas's worst fear became a horrifying reality last week when she was jogging along a trail in Missoula, Montana. She had come between a bear and her two cubs.

She hadn’t realized, but while she was running she had come between the bear and her two cubs.

At first she tried to run away, but quickly remembered the safety warnings she heard growing up in the state where confrontations with bears is always a possibility in the wild.

Instead of trying to flee, Ani turned and went toe to toe with the angry animal.

‘I looked behind me, and she was right behind me,’ she told anchor Anne Curry on this morning’s Today show.

‘I realized running from wild animals is the worst thing you can do,’ she added.

‘A wild animal attack has been one of my biggest fears.

Unpredictable: Female black bears can become aggressive when their cubs are close by

Unpredictable: Female black bears can become aggressive when their cubs are close by

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2021292/U-S-skier-Ani-Haas--lucky-walk-away-bear-attack.html#ixzz1Tp9LaEOR

It appears O hates men.

Vice President Hair Plug didn't get the memo

..."it’s important for us to pause for a moment and make sure that we are talking with each other in a way that heals, not a way that wounds.” --President Obama in Tucson.

According to Politico, Pennsylvania Rep. Mike Doyle was the one who introduced the analogy, saying that a "small group of terrorists have made it impossible to spend any money." Biden accepted the premise, saying to the wary caucus: "They have acted like terrorists."

Since it is now 106 in Dallas, this item. The first weather forecast was made 150 years ago today

People have been talking about the weather since time immemorial, but it wasn't until August 1, 1861 that someone finally decided to put his daily predictions into writing. And here's the really crazy thing: the first report was actually correct.

Weather prediction goes back well over two thousand years, with the ancient Chinese and Babylonians both having a crack at it. But the most they could do was identify general weather trends, often with more than a little help from astrology. The invention of the telegraph in 1835 finally allowed weather data to be communicated in real time. By examining changing conditions over a large enough area, it was now possible to forecast with some accuracy what the weather would be like the next day.

Two British naval officers began working on the new science of meteorology in the 1840s: Francis Beaufort and his student Robert FitzRoy. Vice-Admiral FitzRoy would gain lasting fame - or, at least, lasting proximity to fame - as the captain of the Beagle during Charles Darwin's legendary voyage. FitzRoy retired from the navy in 1851 due to ongoing health concerns, and it was with the support of Darwin that he was elected to Britain's preeminent scientific community, the Royal Society.

During his time there, FitzRoy invented a bunch of new barometers, enlisted various sea captains to provide him with constant weather updates, and organized Britain's first official weather service. In 1859, a steam clipper named the Royal Charter was lost in a terrible storm off the coast of Wales with at least 450 dead. This prompted FitzRoy to create charts that would allow him to really start predicting the weather - or, as he coined the phrase, "forecasting the weather."

And so it was precisely 150 years ago that the first ever weather forecast appeared in the Times of London.

How the Honda Civic went from first to worst

How the Honda Civic went from first to worstThe new Honda Civic is so mediocre even Consumer Reports, long a cheerleader for the Japanese econo-cruiser, dropped the redesigned 2012 model from its "recommended buy" list after the new model sunk to a rating of just 61 points on the magazine's 100-point scale. That means the newly-redesigned Honda Civic scored too low of a rating to even be recommended.

Increased competition from American and Korean automakers and decreased value conspire to make the new Civic, like many of the Japanese compact models, an also-ran in a category it once dominated.

As we noted in our 2012 Honda Civic first drive, the new model is mostly indistinguishable from the previous one and behind competitors like the Hyundai Elantra and Ford Focus in many key areas.

The reviewers at Consumer Reports agreed, stating:

Compared with its predecessor, the 2012 Civic has lower interior quality and suffers from a choppy ride, long stopping distances, and pronounced road noise. Vague steering impairs its agility and robs it of its fun-to-drive feel.

The result is a drop from 78 points in their rating, which is considered "Very Good," to a "mediocre" 61 points out of 100.

After decades of domination, the Civic is no longer the car you recommend to your sister-in-law's best friend as a good bet for better-than-basic transportation.

Ever notice the Left acts like a spoiled kid when it does not get its way?

Screaming Left-Wing Radicals Arrested in House Gallery

 

Protesters have been removed from the House spectators' gallery and arrested after causing a disturbance

Read more: http://www.newstimes.com/news/article/Protesters-removed-from-House-gallery-1684388.php#ixzz1ToMIM6BX

Won’t call Muslims Terrorist, but will call Americans who demonstrate “terrorists’.


CALLS TEA PARTY 'TERRORISTS'

Vice President Joe Biden joined House Democrats in lashing tea party Republicans Monday, accusing them of having “acted like terrorists” in the fight over raising the nation’s debt limit.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0811/60421.html#ixzz1ToLwlRP1

Growing Up Too Fast ...From Paris

This is a 10 year old French model?  In my opinion, this isn't dress up.  This is bad parenting, on display, and a beautiful little girl requiring a future of therapy to help her un-wind her lost childhood.  

Want to know why we are in $$ trouble?

Dog Gone Tired! Pooch Airlifted From Angeles National Forest After Pooping Out On Trail

SAN DIMAS (CBS) — An afternoon hike turned into an overnight ordeal when a couple whose 80-pound dog joined them for the trek couldn’t make it back down the trail.

Officials said the dog, Baxter, a Labrador mix, suffered cuts to his paws from rocks on the trail at the Angeles National Forest, just north of San Dimas. The walk became too hard and he grew too tired, forcing his owners to call police for help.

The couple couldn’t carry the dog themselves so they waited overnight for help to arrive.

On Sunday morning, a rescue helicopter arrived and had to completely shut down to calm the frightened dog enough to board. The couple and the dog were eventually airlifted to safety.

Now that is a fine

Mayor crushes misparked luxury car with troop carrier

The mayor of Vilnius, Lithuania was so upset with luxury cars parking in the city's bicycle lanes he held a demonstration to express his displeasure — using a troop carrier to crush a junked Mercedes W140, just like the Soviets used to

Good Advice

How to Supercharge Your Air Conditioning

It's hot. Parts of your body are sticking to other parts of your body, and it's horrible. Lucky for you, you've got air conditioning. Unlucky for you, A/C is a real punisher on the power bill.

Here are a few tips for maximizing your cool without crippling your bank account.

Keep it set to 78 degrees. You don't need to be cold, you just need to be comfortable. For every degree below 78, you are increasing your energy usage by approximately 8%.

http://gizmodo.com/5826599/how-to-supercharge-your-air-conditioning

Dating Patterns

MATCH.COM’S DATA ON RELATIONSHIPS:

Couple on a date.What makes a good match?

 “Conservatives are far more open to reaching out to someone with a different point of view than a liberal is. That is, when it comes to looking for love, conservatives are more open-minded than liberals.”

http://www.slate.com/id/2300430/pagenum/all/

The Party of Taxes

Why do Democrats want high taxation as their brand?

Snakes and Driving Drama

'I was clenching everything': Terrifying moment a snake slithered up windscreen as SUV sped along highway at 65mph

It's a miracle the driver managed not to crash - let alone keep in a straight line.

A snake terrified a young mother when it suddenly appeared on her SUV's windscreen after slithering out of the engine as she drove along an expressway into Memphis, Tennessee.

Rachel Fisher said she's not usually scared by snakes but she 'was clenching everything' as she drove at 65mph with the unusual hitchhiker on board - and her three young children in the back.

Scroll down for video

Terror: The huge snake suddenly appears on Rachel Fisher's windscreen as she speeds along the expressway towards Memphis, Tennessee

Terror: The huge snake suddenly appears on Rachel Fisher's windscreen as she speeds along the expressway towards Memphis, Tennessee

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2021207/Moment-snake-slithered-familys-windscreen-SUV-sped-highway.html#ixzz1TneZb1wX

Since we are at Day 30 in triple digits in Dallas…

Amangiri

Order a prickly-pear margarita to enhance the desert flavor during the day while you swim in the pool at Amangiri in Canyon Point, Utah.

 

  1. Hotel Chocolat

    The guest-only infinity pool at the five-month-old property Hotel Chocolat in St. Lucia is lined with black quartz tiles

Read more: http://www.budgettravel.com/slideshow/photos-worlds-most-amazing-hotel-pools,6271/#ixzz1Tnb9SlxP

Qasr Al Sarab

Guests at Qasr Al Sarab often stand in the shallow end of the curvy oasis, next to the bar, and observe the pool butlers bringing cold towels, iced fruit popsicles, and other treats to sun-worshippers on the 140 chaise lounges that line the sandstone patio.

  1. You can take small sailboats out on the saltwater pool at San Alfonso del Mar, in Algarrobo, Chile. The pool measures two-thirds of a mile in length—Guinness World Records calls it the largest in the world

Read more: http://www.budgettravel.com/slideshow/photos-worlds-most-amazing-hotel-pools,6271/#ixzz1TnblD8Kf

Not 50/50

Coin tosses don’t really give you fifty-fifty odds

When flipped by a machine, coins come up heads a solid fifty percent of the time, and tails the other fifty percent. Put the fate of the coin in grubby human hands and the odds tip slightly in favor of the side that faces up just before the coin is flipped. The side that was face up at the beginning of the flip has a fifty-one percent chance of landing face-up at the end. Humans are not as precise as machines, and so the coin rotates around several axes instead of one. The extra rotation favors the side the original position, to a measurable degree. This is independent of the material that the coin is made out of. Scientists have tried the experiment using coins made out of balsa wood (and probably the labor of some very tired interns), and gotten the same results.

UCLA: Media is Biased to the left

Study: All Major News Outlets Have Left-Leaning Bias that ‘Distorts’ Minds

  • Story Highlights:
  • UCLA political scientist Dr. Tim Groseclose pens new book about liberal media bias
  • Groseclose claims he has scientifically proven that mainstream outlets are biased
  • Liberal media bias, he says, impacts Americans’ perspectives on important issues

Charges of media bias have existed for years. Explicit examples — and there are many — showcase journalists’ inability to hide personal perspective. But, are the mainstream media biased on the whole? Many would answer affirmatively.

In America, conservatives tend to believe that national outlets favor Democratic candidates and politicians over their Republican counterparts. But, can this be proven? UCLA political scientist Dr. Tim Groseclose says “yes.”

In his new book, Left Turn — How Liberal Media Bias Distorts the American Mind, Groseclose not only sets out to showcase that the media are biased, but he also seeks to expose the profound influence liberal bias has had on the American public. Below, CBN sheds light on some of his findings:

- All mainstream news outlets in the United States have a liberal bias.

- The Drudge Report is the most fair, balanced and centrist news outlet in the United States.

- Fox News’ “Special Report,” which is usually characterized as conservative, is not biased as far right as typical mainstream outlets are biased to the left.

Reasons to be against the Deal

TEA PARTY IN SHOCK! INFURIATING DEBT DEAL DETAILS ...

AP

The 2012 budget: At one point in the negotiations, the 2012 budget was to be slashed by $36 billion. The final number of cuts: just $7 billion. And just to ensure we don’t have another bruising government shutdown fight over cuts in September, the deal deems and passes the 2012 budget. Yes, that’s right, the old Gephardt Rule or Slaughter Solution, is back. What’s deem and pass? It’s a legislative trick that essentially means that Congress will consider the budget passed without ever actually having to vote on it.

The trigger: This is counterintuitive, but the trigger is actually pretty good for Democrats. For all that MoveOn thinks that it would force benefit cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, it actually wouldn’t trigger benefit cuts to any entitlements. The only cuts it would force would be a 2% or more haircut for Medicare providers. And House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, along with most Democrats, has never opposed provider cuts. Not only that, most progressives actually want the Pentagon cuts. So if the committee deadlocks and the trigger is pulled, Democrats won’t be miserable.

The commission: Again, for all the liberal carping about a “Super Congress,” the commission of 12 members — three from each party in each chamber — set up to find the second phase of $1.5 trillion in cuts by Thanksgiving is actually rigged to force some revenue increases. Yes, the Bush tax cuts are off the table. But there are plenty of loops holes, subsidies and other corporate welfare programs that are on the table. And with such a strong trigger, it’s hard to imagine at least one Republican not voting to kill corporate jet subsidies over slashing $500 billion from the defense budget – even if the revenues aren’t offset. The question is: who are Republicans more afraid of, Grover Norquist or the joint chiefs? Democrats’ money is on the joint chiefs.

The immediate cuts: It may seem like a lot, but the $917 billion in the first phase of cuts were carefully negotiated by Vice President Joe Biden and his group. They include $350 billion in Pentagon cuts – a win for liberals. They don’t touch entitlement benefits, another win. And they set top line numbers for the next decade of budgets that aren’t draconian. It still cuts where liberals might prefer to spend, but most of the savings are backloaded to avoid extreme austerity in next few years of fragile economic recovery. Just $7 billion would be cut in 2012, and only $3 billion in 2013. And of that combined $10 billion, half would come from the Pentagon.

The debt ceiling: Raising the debt ceiling through 2013 will not be contingent on the second round of cuts. There will merely be a vote of disapproval. This avoids another messy fight in January and another round of painful forced cuts.

Read more: http://swampland.time.com/2011/08/01/five-things-for-liberals-to-like-in-the-debt-ceiling-deal/#ixzz1TnTVJCVz

It is very impressive.

World’s Most Ridiculous Roof Lies Deep in the Heart of Texas

The NFL lockout is finally over and we can all stop pretending to care about soccer. It's time to revel at the altar of America's Sport in the Mecca of Texas under the world's largest single-span retractable roof.

Cowboys Stadium is $1.5 billion worth of huge—like 2.3 million square-feet, 80,000-fan seating capacity sort of huge. You could fit the whole of the American Airlines Center in at field level and stand The Statue of Liberty on the 50-yard line with the roof closed. It's so big, I'm pretty sure it's visible from Cleveland on a clear day. And since everything must be bigger in Texas (per state law), the stadium designers capped it with a 660,800-square-foot roof.

The roof itself was designed by the Walter P Moore structural engineering firm and produced by Uni-Systems. The 660,800 square foot roof is supported by two 17- x 35-foot arch box trusses spanning 1,225 feet. Its 14,100-ton structural steel skeleton (that's 282 Fin Whales or 92 Boeing 777s worth) is covered with a weather-resistant PVC membrane on its non-moving sections. Its movable bits, however, are what set it apart from lesser retractable-roof stadiums.

Two 300- x 220-foot panels are hoisted 215 feet up and down a 23.9 degree slope (the steepest movable-roof incline in North America) using an ingenious, custom rack-and-pinion track system. Instead of using one or two massive engines to shift 1.6 million pounds of roof panel, designers employed a series of 64 separate 7.5HP motors embedded in 32 tractors. As the panels move down the side of the roof the motors are used counteract gravity's pull and, using regenerative drives, harness the power generated and fed into the stadium's power grid. The total 480 HP fully opens or closes the 256- x 410-foot gap n just 12 minutes. Even when closed, the roof retains the the old Texas Stadium's trademark hole thanks to the panels' 148,000 square feet of translucent, Teflon-coated, PTFE fiberglass membrane that is self-washing, impermeable to UV light, and can withstand temperatures from -100°F to +450°F (yes it does get that hot in Texas, they call it August).

D.C. Adults Top Alcohol Abusers in Country

WELL, THIS EXPLAINS A LOT: Washington, D.C. Adults Top Alcohol Abusers in Country: Also frequent marijuana, cocaine users.

Also frequent marijuana, cocaine users

D.C. Adults Top Alcohol Abusers

District adults had the highest rate of alcohol abuse in the country, according to a new survey.

A new report says that adults in Washington D.C. abuse alcohol more than anyone else in the country.

According to a new study by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), 8.1 percent of adults age 26 or older in D.C. are alcohol dependent.  Looking at a long-term sampling, alcohol abuse rate is on the rise for the District, according to the survey.

http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/DC-DC-Adults-Top-Alcohol-Abusers-in-Country-126507408.html?dr

Omega-3

Omega-3 Reduces Anxiety and Inflammation in Healthy Students, Study Suggests

ScienceDaily (July 13, 2011) — A new study gauging the impact of consuming more fish oil showed a marked reduction both in inflammation and, surprisingly, in anxiety among a cohort of healthy young people.

41% is impressive. 1/5th is not.

GALLUP: America Is a Conservative Country

 

U.S. Political Ideology Stable With Conservatives Leading
Most Republicans are conservative, but one in five is "very conservative"
by Lydia Saad, Gallup

PRINCETON, NJ -- Americans' political ideology at the midyear point of 2011 looks similar to 2009 and 2010, with 41% self-identifying as conservative, 36% as moderate, and 21% as liberal.

Read more: http://www.gallup.com/poll/148745/Political-Ideology-Stable-Conservatives-Leading.aspx?utm_source=alert&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=syndication&utm_content=morelink&utm_term=Americas%20-%20Politics%20-%20USA#ixzz1Tn3rMYNN

Remembering what the Tea Parties did, or more accurately, the American People.

Trust me. I’m not gloating. Far from it. Tonight’s deal is not what we wanted. But considering this was TIME magazine’s cover 2 years ago -

http://www.frugal-cafe.com/public_html/frugal-blog/frugal-cafe-blogzone/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/time-cover-endangered-species-2009.jpg

And this was a scene that caused 90% of the media to have to hand-wash some sort of protein stain out of their delicates…

I’d say we made a difference. We’re now wrestling with the captain’s wheel when we were relegated to the steerage compartment a very short time ago.

I am not sure this is as good for the country as Dems are showing, but I believe it is a start.

Huffington: Deal 'a terrible moment for Democrats'

Arianna81

HuffPo editor says Obama failed to communicate message properly and failed to see the importance of jobs and growth versus the deficit

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/#ixzz1TmxEBdzm

Some advice from Texas, where real men kill these with knives. You shot them from the side. Front shots just make them mad. Of course, you need a real gun.

Boar

Central New York Under Siege — by Wild Boars

"We've shot them right square in the head and the bullet will glance off."

Will he go to the fund raiser on Wednesday? (Ok, dumb question)

Why Obama actually cared about the Aug. 2 deadline

Back to what really matters: His reelection campaign.

[H]e also wanted to get back to some other critical business: fundraising for his 2012 campaign. Obama turns 50 on Thursday. The day before, he is scheduled to fly to his hometown of Chicago for a pair of birthday fundraisers at the Aragon Entertainment Center. The events will feature musical performers and cost up to $35,800 per person, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. …

After the Chicago trip, one administration official [said], the president will hit the road several more times before his annual vacation in Martha’s Vineyard at the end of August.

Islam chooses to go backwards.

French Secularism Dies in the Middle East

Walter Russell Mead

As Ramadan begins and the Islamic world starts its month of fasting, two historic events are pointing in the same direction: the era of Jacobin secularism in Middle Eastern government is over.

The mass resignations of Turkey’s top military leaders is the good news; the murderous crackdown by Syrian forces loyal to Butcher Assad is the bad.  The resignations in Turkey mean that the Kemalist establishment can no longer rely on coups as the ultimate guarantor of the rigid secularism the founder of modern Turkey imposed in his effort to “modernize” the country.  The murders in Syria at this moment in Arab history mean the irrecoverable loss of legitimacy for the aggressively secular politics that has been the mainstay of some important Arab regimes since the 1950s.

http://blogs.the-american-interest.com/wrm/2011/07/31/french-secularism-dies-in-the-middle-east/

Keynesian Economics has been a disaster. Durbin is right.

DICK DURBIN: Debt Deal Is The Death Of Keynesian Economics.

UFO at the bottom of the Baltic?

Is This a UFO On the Bottom of the Ocean?

Is This a UFO On the Bottom of the Ocean? Is This a UFO On the Bottom of the Ocean? Swedish sea treasure hunters have found something extraordinary: A 60-foot disc sunk in the bottom of the ocean, with what appears to be 985-foot-long impact tracks leading to it. The team leader never found anything like it:

You see a lot of weird stuff in this job but during my 18 years as a professional I have never seen anything like this. The shape is completely round… a circle.

Those are the words of Peter Lindberg, commander of the Ocean Explorer. He and his team found the strange disc on June 19 2011, at 285 feet below the surface of the Botnia Gulf, which is located somewhere between Finland and Sweden in the Baltic.

The Ocean Explorer is not a team of crazy UFO hunters, but a company that finds sunken ships and retrieve their contents for profit. In 1997 they found the ship Jönköping, which was loaded by 2.500 bottles of an amazing champagne: Heidsieck&Co Monopole 1907 "Gout Americain" dedicated to the Russian Imperial Fleet. They sold those bottles for $13,000 a pop.

http://gizmodo.com/5826491/is-this-a-ufo-on-the-bottom-of-the-ocean

Who Won? This sort of answers it.

NYT Calls GOP Hostage-Takers, Extremists and Extortionists

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/01/opinion/to-escape-chaos-a-terrible-debt-deal.html#ixzz1TmpoGuvb

Wild Boars Invade New York State

Wild boar are invading the farms of central New York state, attacking livestock, killing family pets, chasing people and posing "devastating consequences" for the area, federal officials warn.
The feral swine are a non-native species suspected of escaping from game farms, and as many as a couple of hundred are roaming the state, said Paul Curtis, a natural resources professor at Cornell University.

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/07/29/us-wildboar-newyork-idUSTRE76S3I220110729#ixzz1TmpUM5oX

Harry Potter film joins $1bn club

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 joins billion dollar club

The final instalment in the JK Rowling franchise, has joined the $1 billion club.

Flames soar 250m into the air as Mount Etna erupts for eighth time this year

Lucky: As winds were blowing the ash away from the nearby Catania airport towards the Ionian Sea - no flights out of the Italian island were cancelled or delayed

Volcanic cloud: But winds were blowing the ash away from the nearby Catania airport towards the Ionian Sea - so no flights out of the Italian island were cancelled or delayed

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2020987/Sparks-fly-250-metres-air-Mount-Etna-erupts-time-year.html#ixzz1TmfFM3Ua

Chile’s Cave

The marble cathedral of Chile: Is this the world's most beautiful cave network?

Azure temple: Lake General Carrera in Patagonia, Chile

Visitors to the water-sculpted blue caverns see light reflected off the turquoise waters of South America's second largest freshwater lake, General Carrera in Patagonia. Light bounces into the caverns and strikes the carved marble walls, creating this enchanting lightshow. The incredible set of pictures has been captured by landscape photographer and environmentalist, Linde Waidehofer, 67, from Colorado, USA.

Could eating grapes save you from skin cancer? Scientists find fruit protects against premature ageing

Skin saver? The humble grape could have more health properties than previously thought

Skin saver? The grape could have more health properties than previously thought

Grapes could protect against skin cancer and prevent premature ageing, research has revealed.

A study has shown that compounds found in the fruit protect cells from the ultraviolet radiation emitted by the sun – the  leading environmental cause of skin cancer.

UV rays increase the levels of reactive oxygen species – harmful molecules which damage the cells – in the skin. 

Scientists from the University of Barcelona and the Spanish National Research Council have shown that substances called flavonoids extracted from grapes can prevent these from forming in cells exposed to UV rays.

Marta Cascante, a biochemist at the University of Barcelona and director of the research project, said: ‘These encouraging results should be taken into consideration... to develop new photo- protection skin products.’

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2020975/Scientists-discover-grapes-protect-skin-cancer.html#ixzz1TmekoLga

Guess what happened to that Obama recovery?

For the past two years, the Obama administration has tried to sell the American public on the notion that its economic policies created a substantial recovery.  Friday’s GDP numbers, especially the revisions that impacted results for the past several years, has put an end to that illusion.  Derek Thompson at The Atlantic lowers the boom on the supposed Obama recovery (via Instapundit):

Yesterday, analysts thought the economy was expanding by 2.5% a year. This morning, they learned GDP grew by only 1.6% in the last four quarters. This is a remarkable discovery. It’s the difference between thinking we’re expanding at a decent, if disappointing, pace, and knowing we’re growing around half our historical norm.

Analysts also thought, as recently as twelve hours ago, that the economy declined 6.8% and 4.9% in the quarters bisected by Obama’s inauguration. It turns out the actual declines were much steeper: 8.9% and 6.7%.

To adopt the president’s favorite metaphor of the ditch and the driver: The ditch was a 33% deeper than we thought. And we’re driving 33% slower than we hoped.

Tea Parties and Hobbits

LL, YOU KNOW, THE HOBBITS WON IN THE ORIGINAL STORY, TOO: WaPo: How The Tea Party “Hobbits” Won The Debt Fight. “Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid complained Saturday evening that Congress has raised the debt limit 74 times since 1962 without conditions. He is right. This is happening for the first time in history, thanks to the Tea Party. . . . The Tea Party is also winning the battle of ideas. Last week, Obama campaign strategist David Axelrod crowed that the debt-limit battle was shaping up as a ‘definitional fight’ in which voters would see Obama as defending the reasonable center against Republicans who are ‘pandering to the extremes.’ Well, if Axelrod is so confident that Obama is winning this ‘definitional fight,’ why was the White House so adamant about ducking a second round next year?”

Dems senators wake up and see what others have seen for years.

Dem Senator Rips Obama: 'We Are Watching Him Turn Into Jimmy Carter Right Before Our Eyes'

 

By Maureen Dowd, New York Times

...Democratic lawmakers worry that the Tea Party freshmen have already “neutered” the president, as one told me. They fret that Obama is an inept negotiator. They worry that he should have been out in the country selling a concrete plan, rather than once more kowtowing to Republicans and, as with the stimulus plan, health care and Libya, leading from behind.
As one Democratic senator complained: “The president veers between talking like a peevish professor and a scolding parent.” (Not to mention a jilted lover.) Another moaned: “We are watching him turn into Jimmy Carter right before our eyes.”

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/31/opinion/sunday/dowd-tempest-in-a-tea-party.html#ixzz1TmcEvZa3