Archive for February, 2010
Speaking of USA Hockey, remember last year, when Chicago lost its bid to host the 2016 Olympics and the GOP cheered? That said, I hope they keep their hypocritical pie holes shut about what a great job our kids did in Vancouver this year. They care about the Olympics — or not — only if and when it helps them politically.
Great, great game. I know it hurts but you have nothing to be ashamed of!
Look at these amazing, tiny origami figures folded by Mui-Ling Teh. “Teh says that she creates these small creatures to calm down and relax, but most people would believe that the opposite will happen.” Ah, yeah.
Here’s a sample. More photos via the link above.
Love looking at it but folding it would drive me insane.
P. graminis, or “Ug99,” is a fungus that destroys wheat plants It:
causes stem rust, a calamitous disease of wheat. Its spores alight on a wheat leaf, then work their way into the flesh of the plant and hijack its metabolism, siphoning off nutrients that would otherwise fatten the grains. The pathogen makes its presence known to humans through crimson pustules on the plant’s stems and leaves. When those pustules burst, millions of spores flare out in search of fresh hosts. The ravaged plant then withers and dies, its grains shriveled into useless pebbles.
Indeed, 90 percent of the world’s wheat has little or no protection against the Ug99 race of P. graminis. If nothing is done to slow the pathogen, famines could soon become the norm — from the Red Sea to the Mongolian steppe — as Ug99 annihilates a crop that provides a third of our calories.
The pathogen has already been detected in Iran and may now be headed for South Asia’s most important breadbasket, the Punjab, which nourishes hundreds of millions of Indians and Pakistanis. What’s more, Ug99 could easily make the transoceanic leap to the United States. All it would take is for a single spore, barely bigger than a red blood cell, to latch onto the shirt of an oblivious traveler.
“If this stuff gets into the Western Hemisphere,” Steffenson says, “God help us.”
So, after the billions of dollars and countless lives we’ve lost fighting each other over the centuries, a little ol’ fungus might do us in? There’s a lesson in there.
Uber neo-con Bill Kristol was on Fox “News” Sunday this morning to talk about the “Health Care Summit.” Host Chris Wallace let him take part in the discussion even though Kristol admitted he didn’t watch it.
That’s how it is when it’s all about propaganda and spin.
(And WTF? Kristol has literally spent his entire life talking about which direction the country should go in so why the hell didn’t he watch it?)
I think we’re all experiencing heartbreak overload. I know I am, what with so much suffering going on in what seems like every nook and cranny of the planet. But in case you’re interested, and can take it, here’s a slide show of early pictures from the earthquake in Chile.
Hard as it is, and as much as we might want to, we can’t shut down IMHO.
Marie Osmond’s 18 year old son, Michael Blosil, killed himself last night by jumping from his Los Angeles apartment building. He left a suicide note saying he “intended to kill himself due to a long battle with depression.”
My brother Eric killed himself (via a hose from the exhaust pipe of his car to the passenger compartment) in February of 1988. He suffered, and I mean suffered, from depression from the time he was roughly 15-years-old.
It’s a long story, as I’m sure Michael’s is, but suffice it to say Marie, you will never get over this but a time will come when you won’t spend all day in the room of pain and grief you’re in now. Yes, you’ll go in there and sit for a while but you’ll be able to close the door and go out into the sun too.
What with the events in Hawaii today, vis-a-vis the potential tsunami, remember back in March, 2009 when Louisiana’s Republican Governor, Bobby Jindal, “complained about wasteful spending in President Obama’s economic stimulus package – including money he sneered was for something called ‘volcano monitoring’?”
Seems to me that monitoring volcanoes and tsunamis is a serious issue that deserves more than a sneer. But hey, all you small government people — you might want to think long and hard about where you live because if you have your way, you ain’t gettin’ no warnings about nothin’ from the govmnt. And if a catastrophe happens, you won’t look to Washington for help now, will you? Promise?
This is unconfirmed — from Pedlar7:
If it did in fact happen — I wouldn’t be surprised — video will surface eventually.
Can’t wait to hear who’s to blame for this morning’s earthquake in Chile.
Gawd, enough already. My Comcast bill — cable only, one notch above basic — just went up to $75.37. It seems to go up about $8.00 every six months. What a freakin’ racket.
As I watch coverage of the anticipated tsunami in Hawaii I see the presence of the government everywhere — from the tsunami warning system out in the ocean, to police who have shepherded people to higher ground and into shelters and closed roads, to the Coast Guard which is patrolling the shore, to Hawaiian officials who, per CNN, are huddled in a “war room” waiting to see what happens. And on and it goes.
If the only governmental entity we had was a military, which some people want, guess we’d have Blackwater or Boeing doing this stuff?
The Unemployed Now Have Their Own Union, and it’s Catching on Quickly. It’s called “UR Union of the Unemployed,” or “UCubed.”
UCubed is the brain-child of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), whose leaders feel that the millions of unemployed workers need a union of their own to join in the struggle for massive jobs programs.
The idea is that if millions of jobless join together and act as an organization, they are more likely to get Congress and the White House to provide the jobs that are urgently needed. They can also apply pressure for health insurance coverage, unemployment insurance and COBRA benefits and food stamps. An unemployed worker is virtually helpless if he or she has to act alone.
When an “international news” organization like CNN pares its staff down to the bone and doesn’t have correspondents stationed around the world, it relies on Twitter feeds for news of events in places like Chile and the earthquake there. It’s a pitiful thing to watch.
From Matthew Emmer:
If your unemployment benefits are delayed and/or you’re on COBRA and something funny’s going on with that, you might want to call Senator Jim Bunning (R-Ice in his Veins):
And what do we hear from Bunning’s fellow Republicans? Nada. Zip. Crickets.
Check out this cool “Worldmeter” which is updated in real time and shows, oh, say, the number of births today, the number of species that have gone extinct this year (21,566 – amazing), the number of email messages sent today, etc. (It takes about 10 seconds to load.)
This is really infuriating: House Democrats Move to Block EPA From Regulating Greenhouse Gases:
Their resolution aims to use the Congressional Review Act to effectively veto EPA’s finding that greenhouse gases endanger human health and welfare.
At this rate, it won’t be long before the rest of the world looks down on us like we’re some ignorant Third World country. And this is from DEMOCRATS!
Greenland.com — the “official tourism and business site” of the country of Greenland — has an extraordinary page up about how the country is literally melting due to climate change. Check it out.
David Sirota, who hosts a 3-hour, weekday morning radio program on Denver’s AM760, posts about the “stunning lack of cognition/brain function” on displayed in some hate mail he received recently from Glenn Beck fans: Hate Mail from Beck Disciples Confirms the American Idiocracy.
Fox has a new attraction, which it apparently thinks is pretty darn cleaver, but which, like everything Fox does, propagandizes against Democrats. It’s called “Photo Op-inion.” People send in photoshopped pictures that make a statement, like the one below, which is one of 17 slides currently posted on the “Photo Op-inion” page.
From Fox “News”: Obama Shows Testy Side at Health Care Summit.
Gosh, I can’t imagine why. Plop them down in a big bathtub and they’re going to be normal and happy? Of course not and we’re idiots if we’re shocked when they aren’t:
An orca can travel easily 100 nautical miles every day, and to put them in a pool where they swim around in circles continually, and kept away from their families, “takes a toll on their brains,” said Jim Borrowman, who has worked with whales for 30 years and runs Stubbs Island Whale Watching on Vancouver Island, British Columbia.
Today was an incredibly busy day at the food bank. We were surmising as to why. End of the month when money can be scarce? A snow-less day (for a change), making it easier for people to get around? Couldn’t put our finger on it but we three volunteers were escorting people through without a break. One of the three intake workers told me she alone saw 20 families.
Unfortunately, though the number of people coming through was very high, the amount of food on the shelves was low. We were lucky today in that we had a wonderful variety of dairy products — cottage cheese, cream cheese, American cheese, Provolone and milk. But some of the basics, like canned vegetables, bread and frozen meat were almost gone — beef was gone.
Several churches in the area will be holding food drives in the coming weeks and the Postal Service holds its drive in May. Come the summer local farmers will donate things like herbs and onions and corn. By then though, we could be seeing more need than ever.
Sometimes it feels like we’re swimming uphill.
I will never forget the enthusiasm and downright excitement of young voters during the summer and fall of 2008. They couldn’t get enough of Barack Obama. I saw them sitting at tables downtown, handing out bumper stickers and leaflets in support of him. I remember a 20-something who approached me in early 2008, when I hadn’t yet decided who I was going to support, and when I told her that, the look of disappointment in her eyes was obvious. Young people were involved and hopeful. They almost vibrated with enthusiasm.
Now? Obama has lost them. One wonders if they’re gone for good, literally. Will they ever trust a politician again? I wouldn’t be surprised if not, which undoubtedly makes Republicans very, very happy.
Here’s a short article about how Rupert Murdoch’s empire, which includes Fox News, is devolving into a cesspool of infighting and backstabbing as he fades into old age.
From Karen Tumulty:
This is great news for those of us who think the United States should concentrate — immediately – on developing wind and solar energy: In Historic Vote, Vermont Senate Blocks License Renewal for Nuclear Plant. “The vote was striking because the state relies on the plant for a third of its electricity.”
Vermont has to figure out how to make up for that loss but bless them for having the guts to do it.