Comments by: YACCS
Wednesday, July 31
WASHINGTON — Backed by union members, Senate Democrats served notice Wednesday that they will fight President Bush's wish for greater management flexibility within the proposed Homeland Security Department.Right. You'll make it impossible to fire employees who won't or can't do the job - but it's not partisan. No, really, it's not.
Look at which party is more concerned with getting the job done, and which is more concerned with posturing.
Remember in November.
BBC NEWS | Education | Pupils 'not allowed to play tag'
Children have been banned from playing tag, making daisy-chains and doing hand-stands in school playgrounds over fears of safety, research suggests.No! Ya think?
I think the madness is spreading. It's spreading to the UK. And it's the lawyers' fault, it says further down in the article.
There's no such thing as a no-risk life. No matter what the lawyers say.
retrosystem - computers - consoles - art - customizing - supercharged - cool
We take original console or computer cases, clean them up, restore them, and build you a complete Windows/Linux compatible system to the limits of technology and to the limits of what we can stuff into these cases.A break from the grim. You too can have the fastest Atari on the block...
It's For Your Own Good. Really.
Abstract: The authors connected to the Internet through proxy servers in Saudi Arabia and attempted to access approximately 60,000 Web pages as a means of empirically determining the scope and pervasiveness of Internet filtering there. Saudi-installed filtering systems prevented access to certain requested Web pages; the authors tracked 2,038 blocked pages. Such pages contained information about religion, health, education, reference, humor, and entertainment. See highlights of blocked pages. The authors conclude (1) that the Saudi government maintains an active interest in filtering non-sexually explicit Web content for users within the Kingdom; (2) that substantial amounts of non-sexually explicit Web content is in fact effectively inaccessible to most Saudi Arabians; and (3) that much of this content consists of sites that are popular elsewhere in the world.
Okay - what are it's duties? Preserving Islamic values...
Let's take a brief look at what they ban:
And from the page providing their reasoning:
Usefulness of Filtering:
God Almighty directed humanity in the Nobel Qur’an in the words of His prophet Joseph: “He said: My Lord, prison is more beloved to me than that to which they entice me, and were you not to divert their plot away from me I will be drawn towards them and be of the ignorant. So his Lord answered him and diverted their plot away from him, truly, He is the All-Hearer, the All-Knower” Yusuf(12):33-34Okay. Guess it's their country, they can decide the rules they want to live under.
But it makes me wonder - what would the average Saudi say about the restrictions if he didn't have the club of the Religious Police hanging over his head? And WHY aren't our liberals complaining about the censorship that the Saudis have to endure? They're quick enough to scream about anything in our country that even remotely smacks of censorship - yet here's solid evidence.
Why the silence?
From Time.com comes the question: "Do we still need the Saudis?"
For the time being - perhaps. But it's tenuous.
Anti-Saudi hawks hope that once the U.S. installs a friendly regime in Iraq—the Administration says it is still merely considering such a plan—Washington will end its alliance with the kingdom, its oil and bases no longer critical to U.S. interests. "If we sort out Iraq and Detroit develops a hydrogen engine," says a U.S. diplomat, "Saudi Arabia will go back to being a fascinating, benighted part of the world that people don't visit."But the status quo won't work well either.
Plenty of questions - no easy answers...
The X-Prize is a $10 million award to whoever can manage to do two suborbital launches of the same vehicle within two weeks.
Canadian Arrow is a leading contender for this prize, and they've been testing out their liquid oxygen/alcohol engine.
They're planning on using carbon vanes in their exhaust stream for guidance. Hmmm.
Where have we seen this technology before? And somehow, the projected shape is mighty familiar...
What the heck - let's try out some proven technology for a change...
Tuesday, July 30
CNN.com - Church: 23 Cuban youngsters defect - July 29, 2002
Twenty-three of the 200 Cuban youngsters who attended the World Youth Conference in Toronto, Canada, decided not to return to the communist island, a spokesman for the Roman Catholic Church in Cuba said Monday.Care to guess how this is being reported in Cuba? "Catholic Canadians Coerce Cuban Children!" would be my guess.
WASHINGTON — With an estimated 61 percent of people in the United States classified as overweight or obese, America is the land of plenty and it shows.Right. Pass a law and folks will get skinny.
Next up, calorie ration books to each citizen - and woe betide the person who goes over his government calculated allowance!
Anti-gravity propulsion comes ‘out of the closet’ - Jane's Civil Aerospace
Boeing, the world’s largest aircraft manufacturer, has admitted it is working on experimental anti-gravity projects that could overturn a century of conventional aerospace propulsion technology if the science underpinning them can be engineered into hardware.If.
And this is from Jane's - which is a fairly solid organization, I think.
Wowsers. This COULD change a whole lot of things....
Monday, July 29
Why haven’t we heard from aliens?
Part 5 of ‘Rare Earth’ debate:And looking how we can't get along with our OWN kind - boy, I can't wait to see what would happen if there WERE alien signals detected.
FOXNews.com - Feds Arrest Al Qaeda Suspects With Plans to Poison Water Supplies on Them
Federal officials have arrested two Al Qaeda suspects in the U.S. with documents in their possession about how to poison the country's water supplies, sources tell Fox News
World Tribune.com: Kuwait on heightened alert as Iraqi buildup reported near border
Iraqi buildup near border puts Kuwait on heightened alert
Related? Or not?
Wasn't it August of 90 that Saddam did his thing the first time? And then, to cap it all off...
XM Radio - New Channel Announcement
As if traffic wasn't bad enough ALREADY, now XM will have the Playboy Radio channel. Get both hands on that wheel, bub!
Sunday, July 28
News about Space Operations at StrategyPage.com's How to Make War.
Suborbital flight - the final tourist frontier.
At least, till NASA reverses it's retrocranial stance and seriously starts promoting SSTO and space tourism.
Would you survive a horror movie? Find out @ She's Crafty
You know, I like these quiz things. Cheap late-night entertainment...
Dear Jerry Lawson,Wow. Cool.
Now, if we could just FIND something...
Saturday, July 27
However I have one comment before I get into this, the problem is that the eternal rebel 68-generation type has gotten a lot of power in this society, that is someone that has developed the youthful urge of rebellion into an old age sclerotic hatred of the society they came from.Norway's having problems.
The problems are with the immigrants from Islamic countries.
They are (in essence) demanding that the Norwegian culture change to suit them, instead of them changing their culture to mesh with Norway's.
The leaders of Norway see little to nothing wrong with this. The people of Norway are objecting to the hold the leaders have. This is being echoed at various volumes across Europe.
This is a cogent and interesting view of things. Not a pleasant one, however.
USS Clueless has an interesting post on how market forces have worked to our advantage in the PC world, and for a lesser extent the Mac world as far as development of hardware goes.
In fact, Macs have benefited greatly from the PC competition. If it hadn't been for the evolution in PC design, Apple wouldn't have had much choice as far as components go. No telling where video would be stuck for the current Macs. Probably back in the EGA ages - you'd have 16 colors at 640x400 and like it.
Anyway - like the current state of computers? Thank the gamers - they're the ones who've really pushed the hardware envelope. Machine speed, graphics capability, storage - it's been the gaming industry and it's continual challenges to the hardware that have pushed the envelope. (Along with Microsoft bloatware, too, to give the devil his due. If Windows was still under 20 mb in size, you think we'd have 20 GB drives selling for under $100? I doubt it, somehow.)
Going after starry pan-Islamic futurists with a rubber glove and a sharp stick.MuslimPundit is up - and his posting is bad news indeed for those (like me) who think of Islam as a peaceful religion.
Briefly, it is. When it's the only one.
And if it has to destroy non-Islamic peoples or cultures, that's just the way it is.
(Can't say that, as a member of a non-Islamic religion, I agree with that particular concept.)
So it may well be that I've got my head planted in my nether regions about the co-existance of Islam and other religions. Frankly, I'm thinking we're in for some VERY interesting times.
Yahoo! News - Rosie Suing Mad at "Rosie"?
The Koosh Balls have hit the fan for Rosie O'Donnell. The recently retired talk-show host is apparently so irked at the content of her eponymous magazine that Rosie has reportedly threatened to sue Rosie.And the only winners will be the lawyers involved.
WizKids - MechWarrior
At first it was going to be a simple little fort, nail the crates together cut a door and a couple windows, throw on some paint and voila the kids have a playhouse. But change had already set in; the girls started talking about a tree house so the design evolved “upwards” to a fort on stilts. Over the next week as the “air fort” design was coming together a shift in paradigm occurred. When looking at the crates, Jim’s Mech-riddled brain now saw two LRM racks. So the question was posed to the children…. How about a “Mech tree house”?Mission creep rears it's ugly head...
Marine Corps Times - R&R - News
The MRE Gourmet: How to make a pouch meal even betterWhat can I say - it's field non-cooking at it's finest.
Friday, July 26
FOXNews.com - Saddam Is Sending Money to Families of Suicide Bombers
GAZA — The friendship between Saddam Hussein and Yasser Arafat dates back to the Gulf War.So - tell me again how the kids in Iraq are suffering and starving because there's no money to buy food on the international markets?
Obese man sues fast food chains
A 5-foot-10-inch, 272-pound man has sued four major fast food chains, claiming their fare contributed to his obesity, heart disease and diabetes, his attorney said Friday. The lawsuit, which estimates that millions of Americans could be included in the claim, also seeks to have the companies label individual products with fat, salt, cholesterol and other dietary content as well as to warn consumers of potential health consequences.And it was filed in New York! I could see if it were filed in California - but New York?
The Perseids are coming! The Perseids are coming! Meteor show gets off to a start
The annual Perseid meteor shower has begun in modest fashion and will soon start building toward a peak Aug. 12, when as many as 60 or more shooting stars could be visible each hour from the Northern Hemisphere.Enjoy!
Thursday, July 25
OpinionJournal - Peggy Noonan
A month ago there were news reports of a post-Sept. 11 baby boom. Everyone was so rocked by news of their mortality that they realized there will never be a perfect time to have kids but we're here now so let's have a family. I believed the baby=boom story and waited for the babies.Life goes on. Occasionally, when I look at a baby, or my little boy, I am optimistic. Optimistic that we're going to find a way out of our religious troubles, our enviornmental troubles, our population troubles... troubles, period.
Laughter is God's gift to the soul.
And children laugh a lot.
Tuesday, July 23
lgf: the gloves are off
Think of it this way: if the Iraqi army tied a five-year-old to every tank, pillbox, and missile battery; if they had Saddam Hussein constantly surrounded by a slew of second-graders, if every soldier was always accompanied by a photogenic little ponytailed girl, would you let that neutralize the U.S. forces fighting this enemy? No -- the little children would die along with the soldiers and tank drivers, and the full responsibility for that would lay with Iraq, and we'd be telling tales of this cruelty for centuries hence. And so it is here. The Sheikh deliberately hid among civilians, and he wouldn't care one whit about killing 14 Israelis. So he was killed (to prevent more Israeli deaths), and unfortunately so were the people around him -- and the responsibility for those deaths lies with him and his lousy outfit.Yep. NOT with the Israelis.
The Palestinians are ignoring the Rules of Warfare. You AVOID causing civilian casualties if at all possible. And there seems to be evidence that this bozo knew he was a target, so he surrounded himself with civilians - figuring the Israelis would be hesitant to fire.
From Little Green Footballs, some commentary on the death of the leader of the military wing of Hamas, Sheikh Salah Shehada
lgf: the gloves are offPredictably, the Israelis are being cast as the evil folk who destroyed five houses and killed at least nine other people in addition to their target.As for the death of those civilians, they weren't "premeditated" -- they were unavoidable. Killing the Sheikh was a necessity. Killing him by any other means would have led to more, not fewer, Arab casualties, not to mention quite a few Israeli ones. The Israelis don't owe it to the Arabs to risk their own soldiers to save Arab lives. As I said earlier, the responsibility for civilian deaths is with the Palestinian militants who hid amongst the civilians.
And you know, I just don't care that Palestinian civilians died. This registers right up at almost .01 on the Care-O-Meter, and doesn't even show a flicker on the Sympathy Counter. They tapped out that account a long time ago - and they show no signs of making any new deposits.
Heartless, you may say? Cruel? Uncaring?
Yah, sure, you betcha! The Israeli army and air force have been trying hard to minimize civilian casualties. (Don't point at the Jenin massacre - they didn't find any bodies above the number the Israelis said they killed, and that was less than 60. No mass graves, no heaps of half-burned bodies. Basically, a non-starter. And there's been NOTHING that shows me that Israel, under attack from the Palestinians, have been excessive in their responses.)
The concept that you leave the leaders alone in a wartime situation is a rather ludicrous one. It's somehow more moral to throw thousands, tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of men into the meatgrinder of war, than to throw a missile that takes out the enemy's head military honcho. But that's not customary - it's just not done.
The Palestinians better hope the Israeli's haven't learned any MORE lessons from the way the Palestinians've been fighting the war.
Monday, July 22
Three engineering students were gathered together discussing theOldies, but goodies off of Usenet. Enjoy! (And try not to groan too loudly, okay?)
An Engineered Tragedy
Statistical Analysis of Casualties in the Palestinian - Israeli Conflict,Not a good read, if you're thinking the Palestinians are victims. Actually, I guess they are - they're victims of their own hatred, and their own leaders who foment that hatred.
‘Donahue’ for July 18
PHIL DONAHUE, HOST: Good evening. She’s a well-known conservative whose book, “Slander: Liberal Lies About the American Right” is on No. 1 position on “The New York Times” bestseller list. Looky, here.If you read the transcript, Donahue comes across as a complete jerk. Coulter comes across very well, staying on track while Donahue tries to get her goat.
After reading this, I'm even LESS likely to watch Donahue. I AM more likely to buy Coulter's book. I'm more likely - I'm not necessarily going to, but I'm more likely to.
Coulter 1, Donahue 0.
Yahoo! News - LAX Terminal Evacuated Over Buckle
LOS ANGELES (AP) - A belt buckle that raised suspicion with security workers at Los Angeles International Airport caused the temporary evacuation of part of a terminal area Sunday, authorities said.AAAAAAAAGH!!!!
IT'S A BELT BUCKLE WITH AN IMAGE OF AN EXPLOSIVE DEVICE!
RUN! RUN! RUN! < /capslock >
You know what's really scary about this? That there are (or were, I hope the screener who called this a problem got tossed out so fast that their head got windburn) people to whom this would be reasonable! Repeat after me: The PICTURE of a bomb is NOT the same thing AS a bomb!
A belt buckle with the image of a bomb on it.
Incredible. Simply incredible.
Ever wanted to see Action Comics #1? The original issue that Superman was in? Take a look at Action Comics #1 for a full-page scan. They don't make them like this anymore... For one thing - out of 64 pages you don't have half of them full of advertising.
Update: In fact, I think there's two pages of advertising. There's a bunch of stories, ranging in complexity from an almost wordless set of cartoons to half of a short story with a couple of illustrations. I can't think of a combination that would be better suited to drag kids along into reading - you start with the near-wordless illustrations, as you get older you read the dialog balloons and front pieces, then you move on up to the denser stories with few illustrations.
And it only cost 10 cents. 64 pages...
Then you look at comics these days. Complex story lines, virtually no explanation of the characters, 10 pages of artwork, twenty of ads, and kids don't buy them at $2.50 each. If you're lucky, you get a complete story in an issue - but that's rare.
Think there's any chance that the comics companies would rethink things, and come out with something like Action #1 again? With a bunch of stories, published weekly, and priced at a dollar I'd be interested. But I kind of lost interest in comics the first time they killed off Superman. I'd buy them for Aaron, but there's nothing I'd give him that's appropriate for a 4-year old.
Which is a shame.
New stuff up at MeatBlog - take a look if you've a mind to.
Sunday, July 21
TIME.com: Beyond the Rubber Bullet
The U.S. armed forces don't do much shooting anymore. Even in Afghanistan, they engage in more advising and guiding than gunplay. Soldiers today are asked more often to keep the peace or defuse demonstrations, and the last thing they want in those situations is to fire a lethal weapon. That's why the Pentagon is spending more and more research-and-development dollars on weapons that stun, scare, entangle or nauseate — anything but kill.Gods - ever wonder what would happen if peace activists ever had to confront reality?
Saturday, July 20
Editor: Myself - Hoder's English Blog
i am in tehran nowFrom an Iranian. Somehow, I'd be more inclined to trust his work than Iran's official news sources.
Yahoo! News - Flaws in U.S. Air War Left Hundreds of Civilians Dead
On-site reviews of 11 locations where airstrikes killed upward of 400 civilians suggest that American commanders have sometimes relied on mistaken information from local Afghans. Also, the Americans' preference for airstrikes instead of riskier ground operations has made it harder to discover when the intelligence is wrong.Okay - here we drop into the morally relative abyss.
We're bombing a country where the leadership was actively fighting the US. Civilian casualties occur, along with miltiary. Civilian casulaties occur because the intelligence information we get from the Afghani resistance (and far be it from me to suggest that there might be some old intertribal scores settled in the process, oh no...) and WE are to blame for the deaths because we didn't use ground forces. We've got folks who hold grudges for centuries, who see the chance to settle them with a satphone call.
Okay, for all you moral relativists out there - how many American lives is ONE Afghani civilian worth? Ten? A hundred?
I say 0. We didn't want this war, we didn't start this war. Our responsibility is to our soldiers to not put them in harm's way unless needed, to use all the assets we have to the best of our ability, and to try our best to sort out the information as well as we can.
But shit like this doesn't make it any easier.
"On Dec. 20, according to rival Afghan commanders in Gardez, Mr. Zadran ordered fighters manning a checkpoint south of the city to halt a convoy of tribal elders from Khost who were heading to Kabul for the inauguration of the new interim government. They demanded that the elders pressure Mr. Karzai to appoint Mr. Zadran the governor of Paktia Province, Paktika and Khost provinces. The elders, Afghans in Gardez say, refused.There's a lot of stuff going on - we need to be cautious about what we're hitting - but we STILL have to hit it. The best we can do is to try to minimize casualties - and I don't think risking our soldiers is the way to do it. Crosscheck info? Sure. Watch out for petty crap? Sure. Kill all the warlords? (Hmmm...)
It's war. Shit happens.
Phil Donahue's loved. Really, really loved.
He's always been a moron. I still remember one time when he was railing about Ronald Reagan "violating the constitution" because he had said something about his faith in God during a speech.Complexity generates controversy - controversy generates ratings. Taking a simple problem and increasing the complexity gives liberals a chance to show just how much they really, really care.
Off on a tangent, take the disposal of nuclear waste. From an engineering standpoint, the solution's simple. Vitrification of the stuff into glass blocks, storage of the glass in stainless steel containers, storage of the containers deep underground in geologically stable strata. It's not a perfect solution, but it's pretty good considering our courrent state of the art. And things can always be re-accessed and redone when the state of the art gets better.
But environmental groups oppose anything resembing a solution, oppose transport of the stuff because it's not safe (and you should see those casks they use for transport - an M-1 tank isn't as well armored) oppose storing it underground (because there might be a volcano or something) while complaining about nuclear energy and how we should never have started using it in the first place.
But they care. They really, really care. They don't know what to DO about it, they shoot down any ideas that come up, but you know they care. Because they tell you.
They care. At least, for this week they do.
Friday, July 19
Authoritarian regimes ultimately fall because, as societies become more developed and interdependent, they also become increasingly difficult to govern by coercion. In some cases, "people power" on the street has brought such regimes down; in others, more subtle forms of resistance have been decisive. In almost all cases, the role of the middle class has been critical.Hmmmm. Interesting idea there - might be worth checking out...
NEW YORK — Many Muslim Americans have faced discrimination since Sept. 11, but one Muslim cleric is working to change the terror-link perception while also working with the community to prevent further terror from within.It's nice to see a leading cleric of a branch of the Islamic faith come out publicly and say that his religion's been hijacked. It's also good to see one talking moderation, and speaking out in no uncertain terms against the terrorists that have infested Islam.
And if you're looking to send him some money (like I am) let me know what/when you find a good address.
Thursday, July 18
Moussaoui Attempts to Plead Guilty
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) -- The sole person charged in the Sept. 11 terror attacks, Zacarias Moussaoui, tried to plead guilty Thursday and declared himself an al-Qaida warrior loyal to Osama bin Laden. The judge insisted that he take a week to consider the consequences in the death penalty case.Okay - he wants to plead guilty. He's PROUD of his guilt.
And, he's a nutcase! Talk about entertainment value...
Wednesday, July 17
FBI official: Bin Laden likely dead
WASHINGTON, July 17 — The FBI’s head of counterterrorism said Wednesday that he believed terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden was dead, the first time a senior law enforcement figure had suggested that bin Laden did not survive the U.S. military campaign in Afghanistan after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.No loss to the world. No loss, at all.
Tuesday, July 16
Neat Stuff, at CosmicLog.
Space weather alert: The sun threw off a powerful “X3-class” solar flare as well as a wave of charged particles known as a coronal mass ejection on Monday — and that means there’s a heightened chance of geomagnetic disruptions and auroras, also known as the Northern or Southern Lights, over the next couple of days.Now if we only could see them locally...
Found at ColdFury.Com (along with some other good stuff)
Since the attack, I have seen, heard, and read thoughts of such surpassing stupidity that they must be addressed. You've heard them too. Here they are:The more I'm seeing, the less and less I think that Islam is as peaceful a religion as I thought. Perhaps I'm judging too harshly, perhaps I'm basing my views of it on information that's been colored by the media. Perhaps it's akin to judging Christianity by the folks who had those fun parties called the Crusades and the Inquisition.... but I don't like a lot of what I see, that apparently a lot of Islamic folk have no problem with. All it talkes is about ten, fifteen minutes of surfing, and you find plenty of evidence that dissent from the mainstream is only only discouraged, it can get you killed.
Relativisim is fine - but it would not only be banned under Islam, the practicioners would likely be killed.
Monday, July 15
News, Views, And Random Cursing
Count Me In On This OneOr, from Cold Fury.
Needless to say, I support the struggle of the people of Iran against the Mullahs that control them...
Sunday, July 14
IranMania News - Tehran slams Bush's "open interference" in its affairs
TEHRAN, July 13 (AFP) - Iranian state radio on Saturday denounced US President George W. Bush's "open interference" in the Islamic state's internal affairs after the US head of state urged Tehran to abandon its "destructive policies."If mentioning that your system doesn't work at all well is interfering, if having hundreds of thousands of people demonstrating against your government is just seen as normal politics and nothing to be concerned with, then it's probably about time you realized that you can keep a lid on dissent for only so long - and that it's a lot better to allow dissent and change than keep a culture oppressed and static.
IranMania News - Tower of Pisa impotence ad makes hardliners see red
TEHRAN, July 14 (AFP) - An advertisement for a "miracle" impotence cure depicting a man vying to raise the Tower of Pisa has left hardliners here fuming after it ran in the main official daily Iran over the weekend.Ummm, maybe because they don't think that YOUR standards are necessarily the best ones? The picture's funny, too. I can see the humor in it - it's a shame that the mullahs can't. (Many thanks to Asparagirl for posting this on her blog.)
China planning manned mission to space - The Times of India
WASHINGTON: China may launch its first manned mission to space by 2003 or 2004, the Pentagon says in its annual report to Congress on the state of Chinese military.Well, maybe THIS will get NASA moving. But then again, they only have so much money to work with...
BTW, did you know that you can fly from Bangalore to Hyderabad for Rs. 1999? (About $41 US...)
Rates subject to change - better reserve now!
From Daimnation!, the blog by Damian Penny of Corner Brook, Newfoundland
14.7.02The man's a nutcase. His site at http://www.white2002.com has some interesting links, he makes no bones about the fact of his dislike for Jews or Israel, and Pravda seems to love him.
I think I'm going to find out who his opponent(s) are, and donate to them. We don't need someone like this in office, except as a cautionary tale.
And I, for one, don't want to read the story involved...
Saturday, July 13
Yahoo! News - Bin Laden Along Afghan-Pakistan Border -- Spy Chief
BERLIN (Reuters) - Osama bin Laden ( news - web sites) is alive, probably in the border region between Pakistan and Afghanistan ( news - web sites), the head of Germany's BND foreign intelligence network said in a newspaper interview due to be published on Sunday.You know, that's a very interesting way of putting things. It strikes me that he could very well be alive, but severely wounded. It takes a long time to recover from losing an arm(s) or leg(s) and it's pretty certain he wouldn't have much in the way of decent medical care. Add it all in, and if he's not dead, it's pretty clear why he's not been doing his little "Live from The Cave of The Martyrs" videos. ...
Air Force releases most specialties from Stop-Loss
06/21/02 - WASHINGTON -- Air Force personnel officials announced June 21 the release of most Air Force specialty codes from Stop-Loss, a Defense Department program designed to retain members of the armed forces beyond established dates of separation or retirement.Hmmm.
You know, I'm kind of wondering at that. If we're going to get into a real war - could it be they're looking at quality over quantity, instead of going for quantity as they did in WW2, Korea, and such?
As I said... hmmm...
A Few Saudis Defy a Rigid Islam to Debate Their Own Intolerance
The austere teachings of Muhammad bin Abd al-Wahhab, who rejected the worship of saints or idols, have been prevalent in Saudi Arabia for more than two centuries. The ruling Saud dynasty owes its very control over the peninsula's once fractious tribes to the fact that their ancestors championed his teachings.Okay...
What is it with these folks? Do they have a definition of hatred that is perhaps akin to our "mild disgust looking at a pile of dogshit" or perhaps "dislike of cleaning out the catbox"?
This seems to be a very intolerant society and religious branch - yet we're supposed to give them all credence and be really nice to them, because we're the tolerant society and we've got to be a good example to them.
Like they apparently care.
I'll freely admit that the more of it I'm seeing, the less I'm inclined to respect the entire Islamic world. Intolerance is rampant, stagnation in science and literature is preferred, government corruption over there makes our governmental turbulence look positively non-existant, subjugation of women is legally assured, no questioning of the tenets of their beliefs is tolerated, and this is seen as perfectly acceptable by the leftward factions in our society. Or at least it was - there's indications that some of the more radical leftists are sawing off the limbs that are supporting them, and others are going "uh, you know that we're supporting folks who wouldn't have a moment's hesitation to kill us because of the freedoms we believe in."...
Sigh. Well, we lost Communism as an enemy - I hate to see it replaced with Islamofacism, but it may happen.
Okay - OilBlog is now up, regarding the new data and theories concerning petroleum sources and primordial composition. Mosat of the postings I had here have been moved THERE, so if you're looking for something that was here, go there.
The big question - what sort of relevance does it have for this site? It's an interesting sidebar, I think, and seeing we're so dependent on oil in our country it's worth looking at some theories that show the ME doesn't have quite the lock on things that they might think. Indeed, without the oil they sell they haven't got much at all...
Hey, don't yawn so much - you might find it interesting.
And don't all rush to it at once, hear? You might slip and hurt yourselves...
Friday, July 12
The Origin of Methane (and Oil) in the Crust of the Earth
AbstractOkay - here's the paper that started it all. And I think I'll be starting another blog, dealing with the oily stuff...
Ane a bit more...
Supplies of oil may be inexhaustible - 05/29/02
On April 16, Newsday, the Long Island newspaper, published a startling report that old oil fields in the Gulf of Mexico were somehow being refilled. That is, new oil was being discovered in fields where it previously had not existed.Oil heresy? Once tapped, forever gone - or so the thinking went.
Well, guess the old "good news, bad news" routine still works. Bad news is, the ME is about to destroy itself. Good news is, we won't have to depend on them for oil anyway...
Now, this one is a mix of geological science and Fortean philosophy. Can you tell where one ends and the other begins?
The End of Fossil Fuels
With a title like The End of Fossil Fuels you may think that this is an article about alternative energy or "free" energy, but alas, it is not. It is an attempt to describe the inadequacy of the term "fossil fuel" and to prevent its further usage in the English language through education in the mysteries of the hydrocarbon structures in the earth. I can't blame people for having used this misleading phrase, being guilty myself. We are regularly taught such misconceptions in school. But one should always be ready to learn new ideas and concepts, especially once the evidence is investigated.
Thursday, July 11
On Fear versus Caution:
Little kids are fearless. I watch my son, and he's doing things that almost continually have me biting my lower lip - because I know how much they're going to hurt IF he slips and falls. (He doesn't - mostly.) It's like "Hey, my body is a great toy! Let's see what it can do!" And more power to him on that - as long as he doesn't try to stick his hand through a fan blade or something. I'm not fearless - I know pain hurts (especially a badly twisted ankle, which isn't really right yet.) and I tend to avoid possible falls and physical contusions...
But yet, sometimes he's the most cautious person I know - attempts to get him to eat new foods elicit an expression like we're trying to feed him rat poison, and he will NOT go play with other kids at the church in his age group. This worries me - and I don't know what I can do about it. Me, I'll try pretty much any cuisine on the planet, and have eaten things that would make my wife (and a lot of my friends) gag. But like Aaron, I'm cautious around people until I get to know them. Is that hereditary, I wonder?
It strikes me that as we grow up we tend to get a lot less cautious, then it seems to kick in again. Taking my own case as an example, there's a lot of things I did in my teens and twenties that I wouldn't even attempt at the present time. Conversely, there's things I'd like to try that I probably won't - and again it's because of the cautious tendencies that seem to be cropping up as I get older. For instance, there's little to no way that we'd move if I got offered an excellent job in California - because we'd be leaving behind a life here. (In fact, I got offered the possibility to move to Rhode Island in '96, at a significant increase over my then pay. If I'd been single, I might have. But it wouldn't have been a certainty at all.)
Oh, I enjoy reading about new things and new technology - I'd dearly LOVE to go into space, though that doesn't seem to be in the cards. But really new experiences? Ummm... Heck, I've got enough problems trying to stir myself to clean out the garage and continue trying to teach myself sheet-metal work. Intellectual and physical inertia, I guess.
I just turned 46. My mother is still alive at 85, my father is 82. With expected advances in medicine, I figure I'm good till 90, if I take care of myself - and I try to.
But what's the point? Like I said, I'm interested in new tech - heck, I'm interested in a lot of things - but the urge to actually dive into them is limited in a lot of ways by my pre-existing cautions. I'm really not looking forward to viewing "This Same Old Shit, with minor variations on a theme" for the next 45 years...
Should I take a page from Aaron, and start stretching myself - even though I know the inevitable mistakes are going to hurt? Or am I just going through a mid-life crisis of sorts, and it'll be better in a few months...
Or, in the words of Glen Campbell from the '60s...
The Straight LifeMaybe that's it. What do you think?
VodkaPundit - Chill Before Serving
More Required ReadingHmmm.
November? Maybe late October.
Wednesday, July 10
From Little Green Footballs
Paranoia is totally justified (they ARE out to kill us) but I just don't see a hijacking working. Just today we saw a guy at Heathrow go for the cockpit, and the entire crew and passengers went after him, and they wern't even American (by and large). (Note: I haven't seen this anywhere else.)As I've said before, the paradigm has shifted. Being hijacked was once an 'adventure' - now it's a death sentence.
And as far as the possibility of pilots carrying firearms - Go for it! If (heaven forbid) a terrorist DOES attack and get the gun in the cockpit - the folks in the plane are dead anyway as soon as the terrorist can find his target, or an F-16 shoots down the plane.
Dreaded Purple Master
Daniel had a heart attack on the way to work Monday afternoon. He parked the car and called his boss who called the ambulance, which took him to the closest hospital, Kennestone. Kennestone stablilized him and sent him to Crawford W. Long. They did a heart catheterization and found the clot. They did the angioplasty and put in a stent then and there. Daniel did ask for a room with an internet connection but the nurses just laughed. :-)Good for you, Daniel! Got your priorities straight - blog the experience!
Seriously, my friend, here's wishing a speedy recovery. Anything I can do, let me know.
Tuesday, July 9
WhatDIDN'Treallyhappen.com -Take a look.
[08 Jul 2002 A.D. | 10.48 PM]Wow.
Rapatronic 'Rope Tricks'
In retrospect, you go "Oh, of course..."
But you don't think of it when you see it...
Monday, July 8
Michael Ledeen on Iran on National Review Online
Two bombs were found last week in downtown Tehran, one in an automobile in front of the Judiciary Ministry, the other at the intriguing "Council of Deciding What is Best For the Government." Dozens of anti-government organizations are calling for peaceful demonstrations on July 9, Tuesday, the third anniversary of the monster student rally against the regime at the university, and an army officer, thus far anonymous and perhaps even apocryphal, is widely quoted as having said "if a million people demonstrate July 9th we shall arrest the leaders of the Islamic Republic and turn them over to the people."Hmmmm....
Why do I get the feeling the next six months are going to be interesting...
Cold Fury - News, Views, and Random Cursing
Received a most interesting e-mail this morning, one that Lori Ann at least will find intriguing and encouraging:Any massive movement of equipment will indeed require a lot of these containers. As far as the troops go - remember the convoys passing through Atlanta for the Gulf War?I'm in Intermodal transportation, rail-truck/truck-rail, you know the drill. Anyway, lately the industry has been hobbled by an acute shortage of equipment, trailers & containers. A seasonal shortage is not unusual and is expected every fall. This year however the shortage is way early, like now. And in past years, the equipment always accumulated on the East or West coast and the shortage was felt at manufacturing centers. Rail Roads would reposition empties at their cost to the interior. This year it's different. There is no equipment to be had anywhere. Not East coast, not West coast, not in the interior. The last time this happened was just prior to the Gulf War. The military sucked up the containers/trailer and rail space prior to the public announcement of Desert Shield. Could the equipment shortages the Intermodal industry is seeing now be a precursor to a military build-up? Something for you to consider....Yep. Indeed it is.
If I were a betting man... I'd say about November things are going to kick off. Although, if Iran's clerical theocracy falls, the timetable might be accellerated. Ol' Saddam might think it's time to make a land-grab.
Wouldn't it be funny if Iran asked us for help? After stringing up the mullahs, of course...
Remember what happened in Romania. The leaders of repressive dictatorships can't allow their people ANY freedom. North Korea is a fine example of that. Iran's clerical leadership's been allowing it's people a lot of freedom, comparatively. It'll be their downfall...
CNN.com - Wave of husband killings in Iran - July 8, 2002
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- Married at age 13 to a man 18 years her senior, Ferdows was the wife that Iranian society expected her to be: obedient, and silent, despite the beatings and humiliation.Hmmm....
Looks like not all is happy under clerical rule. Other bits and pieces I've seen lead me to think that it's a matter of months, if not weeks, until Iran undergoes a revolution of sorts - and the hardline clerics will have two options. Bug out, or swing from the lampposts...
But hey, they're doing Allah's will - aren't they?
What if It's All Been a Big Fat Lie?
If the members of the American medical establishment were to have a collective find-yourself-standing-naked-in-Times-Square-type nightmare, this might be it. They spend 30 years ridiculing Robert Atkins, author of the phenomenally-best-selling ''Dr. Atkins' Diet Revolution'' and ''Dr. Atkins' New Diet Revolution,'' accusing the Manhattan doctor of quackery and fraud, only to discover that the unrepentant Atkins was right all along. Or maybe it's this: they find that their very own dietary recommendations -- eat less fat and more carbohydrates -- are the cause of the rampaging epidemic of obesity in America. Or, just possibly this: they find out both of the above are true.An interesting article - wouldn't it be odd if the food pyramid that's currently accepted (with sparse servings of meat and loads of grains) is inverted from what we're actually designed to process?
It'd also explain why I've been gaining weight the last couple of years - I'm eating less meat and a lot more starches. Maybe I ought to start the bacon and egg meals again...
Sunday, July 7
United Press International: Farrakhan in Iraq for 'solidarity' visit
BAGDAD, Iraq, July 6 (UPI) -- Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan held a series of meetings Saturday with Iraqi officials on the second day of his visit to the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, to discuss ways to avoid a possible U.S. military campaign.Hmmm.
Aid and comfort to Enemy?
Maybe we'll be lucky, and he'll stay there....
New metal alloy is super strong
It could be the new superhero of metals. More than twice as strong as titanium and steel, it doesn’t rust and it can be cast like plastic and honed to an edge as sharp as glass. And like any superhero, it has a weakness: don’t heat it too much, or it loses its strength.Neat! And they can cast it with accuracies of 1 micron.
Saturday, July 6
The Army Game
Not too shabby, at least what I've seen so far looks pretty good.
Code of ConductIt'll be interesting to see what the on-line gaming community has to say about this - and whether it does two things:
1. Has a long-term following (of course, games like Ultima On-Line and other on-line RPGs seem to)
2. Increases recruiting numbers.
Me, I want to see "America's Air Force"...
Oh, wait. I already have!