November 30, 2006

Commenter Award of the Week

This is a beautiful thing.

Commenter Pentcho Valev, who appears not to have a blog of his own, although perhaps he should - on the other hand, it appears he has more important things to contemplate [oh, really? - ed] – has left a dash of depth, to test our synapses and metaphysical thoughts, on an earlier post about Dark Matter.

No, no – you don’t have to click on the link, unless you want to, I’m posting his magnificent input in full, for your enjoyment and personal illumination:

THE STRANGEST DILEMMA IN PHYSICS

Cosmological concepts like dark energy etc. are all based on frequency shift data and therefore the equations

c = Lf ; c' = L'f'

where c is speed of light, L is wavelength and f is frequency, are crucial. If c'=c=300000km/s we have

c = L'f' /1/

If the speed of light is variable and, as Einstein showed in 1911, obeys the equation c'=c(1+V/c^2), where V is the gravitational potential, /1/ is wrong and we have, instead,

L' = L ; c' = Lf' /2/

Clearly /1/ and /2/ are incompatible and here the strangeness begins. Physicists usually assume that /1/ is true but rarely say /2/ is wrong. Sometimes they give praise to Einstein's 1911 equation c'=c(1+V/c^2) and therefore implicitly assume that /2/ is true and /1/ is wrong. Yet physicists would never openly discuss the implications of /2/: they suspect that this particular discussion has something to do with a prophecy of Einstein's:

"If the speed of light is the least bit affected by the speed of the light source, then my whole theory of relativity and theory of gravity is false."

Pentcho Valev
pvalev@yahoo.com

THANK YOU PENTCHO!

November 29, 2006

Wild fish are not organic

Farm-raised? Wild-caught? Or farm-raised organic?

Your natural fish is the best, particularly for nutrients (only wild fish have high levels of your absolutely-beaut-for-everything-omega 3s), but over in America the intricacies of what does or doesn’t constitute “organic” fish continues with an alarming trove of odoriferous manmade logic.

Way back in 2000, a task force ruled out the possibility that wild fish could be labeled organic.

Why, you may ask. Indeed, go ahead, you may ask!

“What it comes down to is organic is about agriculture, and catching wild animals isn’t agriculture.”

The task force recommended that farm-raised fish could be labeled organic as long as their diets were almost entirely organic plant feed."

The problem of “organic” fish has now been revisited, with expanded possibilities, but still not a wild fish in sight.

“This year, the group recommended far less stringent rules, including three options for what organic fish could eat: an entirely organic diet; nonorganic fish during a seven-year transition period while fish farms shift to organic fish meal; or nonorganic fish meal from “sustainable” fisheries. Sustainable fisheries are those that ensure that their fish stocks do not become depleted.”

This rules out your omega rich wild salmon.

“Fish that are carnivores — salmon, for instance — are a different matter because they eat other fish, which cannot now be labeled organic.”

-------------------------------------

Organic

Relating to, derived from, or characteristic of living things;

Living organisms made up of carbon-based compounds;

Occurring or developing gradually and naturally, without being forced or contrived;

Forming a basic and inherent part of something and largely responsible for its identity or makeup;

Consisting of elements that exist together in a seemingly natural relationship that makes for organized efficiency;

Agriculture relating to or employing agricultural practices that avoid the use of synthetic chemicals in favor of naturally occurring pesticides, fertilizers, and other growing aids.

-------------------------------------

Meanwhile, the new blogger is trying to beat me into submission, with ever larger pages, reminders and cheerful notes appearing, encouraging me to make the move, irrevocably, every time I go to post anything.

Shopping till they drop

We haven’t progressed much from the stone age, when foraging was rather time consuming for women. Which is probably why women seemingly age in a less glamorous manner than men: they spend at least 8 years of their lives shopping, and that’s if they live to only 63. If they make it past that relative young age, they can expect to be shopping upwards of 10 years.

Based on an average working day, by the time they have reached 63, most women will have spent around 3148 days trudging around shops, which is about 8 and a half years.

November 28, 2006

Operation Noble Euphemism

From The Borowitz Report

Bush: US Committed to Finding New Synonyms for Civil War

Launches Operation Noble Euphemism

President George W. Bush said today that he would not allow a civil war in Iraq to erupt on his watch, and said that in order to prevent that from happening the United States would aggressively search for new synonyms for the phrase "civil war."

In order to seek out the most sanitized alternatives to that phrase, the president announced that he was launching an ambitious new mission called Operation Noble Euphemism.

Showing his trademark steely resolve, Mr. Bush told reporters at the White House that the US was prepared to hunt down every last thesaurus on Earth and would not quit until the job was done.

As if to demonstrate the high priority he was placing on finding new synonyms,
Mr. Bush said that the government would spend $12 billion, most of which had been previously earmarked to find Osama bin Laden.

But critics of Operation Noble Euphemism were skeptical of its outcome, particularly after the White House unsuccessfully launched a slogan contest last month to replace the phrase "stay the course."

That contest, which was announced with much fanfare, was abandoned after a leak revealed that the top contender was "slog through the mire."

White House spokesman Tony Snow attempted to quiet those critics today, saying that "the United States is committed to finding a lasting euphemism for civil war in
Iraq."

Mr. Snow refused to say which if any euphemisms were under consideration, but did say that the White House had already ruled out "Shiitepalooza."

Elsewhere, getting obese children to exercise can improve their sleep habits, according to a study published today in "Yeah, That'll Happen" magazine.

November 27, 2006

Near and Present Danger

I wonder if we will ever get to see this on our television screens? [The preview clips are brief and need to be loaded individually. Link at the top left navigation provides the introduction, alas, not the whole show.]

Certainly we can’t ever expect to see this one, or anything remotely like it. [The download shows 40 minutes of running time, but only the first 7 minutes of the program are available.]

Two new books* of Australian fiction jump into the fray with apocalyptic versions, not so much of the future, but of the present. The worst these authors can dredge from their imaginings is the here and now – our own leaders and countries the archetypal genesis of fascism, oppression, brain washing, manipulations, random and conspiracy-riddled violence perpetuated by Western governments against their own people.

That’s pretty much it: John Howard and George Bush, or proxies for such, are the worst they can imagine for the world and for humanity. Well, those two, plus capitalism, and the silliness of anyone objecting to terrorism – real terrorism.

I wonder when our intellectuals and creative communities will stop wringing their hands and clucking over the supposed threat from within and start portraying the threat from external fascism.

At what point will they be prepared to open their mouths and stand up to the increasingly virulent intolerance and race hatred that is the antithesis of the values that we and many countries have sent their own to fight and to die for during that last 100 years. If they ever do work up the gumption, whose intolerance and whose hatred will they identify as being the real and present danger to the world?

[*RICHARD FLANAGAN: I wanted to write a book that was a mirror to these times and a book that I hoped might be a warning to people about what I feel are a series of frightening tendencies in our society.]

Also well worth reading the link provided by Nick & Nora, on the media’s role in modern warfare, but in reading, I think it’s only fair and reasonable to consider the piece more widely, and even question whether the starting point is, in fact the media, or does defeat start with the intellectuals, the artists, the perpetually appeasing left, those who insist and believe they are radical thinkers, post-modernist with a monopoly on clear sighted understanding and capability to manage the human condition – perhaps with a good dispute resolution manager, a group bonding exercise, and a smorgasbord of multicultural food.


November 26, 2006

It's not easy being silly

Beijing volunteers for the 2008 Olympics have already commenced taking smiling lessons. The difficulty of this cultural shift has been eased, if only slightly, with one university establishing a debriefing room, where smiling volunteers can distress after a long day of grinning.

“… the students said that it needed a lot of practice to be able to smile three metres away with ease and calm …

During a recent international softball game, student volunteers found their university had set up a special room for them to discuss their experiences after work, so they would be less stressed out and could smile from their hearts.

“At first, I thought you might find it difficult to smile after you became tired. But later I realized if you don't treat smiling as a work assignment, but as a something normal, you may find it very easy to smile all the time.”

The plastic baby was also unharmed

“The pastor at Anchorage First Free Methodist Church was mystified. Why was the activist group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals chastising him? No animals are harmed in the church's holiday nativity display. In fact, animals aren't used at all.”

“Jackie Vergerio, PETA's captive animals in entertainment specialist, said her organization tracks churches nationwide that use real animals in "living nativity scenes."

Apart from their nasty habit of killing abandoned but adoptable animals, and successfully blackmailing governments and entire industries, PETA demands that we all become vegetarians and stop using wool.

Anything acrylic is okey dokey though. I guess that would be acrylic food and clothing, in some regards.

PETA love animals, so they tell us, (including the ones they kill?), yet seem to have trouble sorting through the cognitive dissonance they suffer when it comes to their own kind. Not to mention their quirky, yet not at all cute, difficulties with nativity scenes.

November 25, 2006

Patently Stupid

McDonald's wants to own the rights to how a sandwich is made.

In a 55-page patent application, filed in both the US and Europe, McDonald’s lays claim to a "simultaneous toasting of a bread component" (which sounds suspiciously like one of these), as well as a unique garnish delivery system, which entails garnishes being inserted into the sandwich cavity in a “sandwich delivery tool. Huh?

The folk at McDonald’s are beginning to sound like total tools.

November 24, 2006

My, my, what a big baby

In an act of self sabotage, we upstage Duck Friday with an in utero elephant calf.

Duck Friday


Who’s a pretty boy then?

November 23, 2006

Tough call?

For many people, if they live to the nice old age of 92, they are not necessarily equally blessed to still have their hearing and eye sight intact, let alone their target shooting skills.

Not so, it would seem, for the 92 year old woman shot dead by police in America.

Yes, I know: it sounds like a bad PR exercise, an impossible situation, a potentially monstrous basket of recriminations for the police.

Yes, Reverend Markel Hutchins, a civil rights leader, has said that the [the woman’s] family deserves an apology.

"Of the police brutality cases we've had, this is the most egregious because of the woman's age," Hutchins said.

Really Reverend; you’re serious?

This wasn’t a tough call for the police, all three of whom were shot by the nonagenarian, before she was felled.

“One was hit in the arm, another in a thigh and the third in a shoulder.”

When three police officers have been shot, should they really feel obliged to request age identification before deciding whether to fire back, with lethal force?

I don’t think so.

November 21, 2006

More Teleco Device Harassment

The following email was sent by the The Great Marquee Company in Auckland - to an already lost potential customer. It was written by the office manager and wife of the business owner. Hubby has since, sensibly, sacked his wife.
"Hi Steve, Thanks for your reply. Your wedding sounded cheap, nasty and tacky anyway, so we only ever considered you time wasters. Our marquees are for upper class clients which unfortunately you are not.

"Why don't you stay within your class level and buy something from payless plastics instead. Kindest Regards, Katrina."
When are people going to figure out how email works, hey?

November 20, 2006

Weasel Words Hit New Low

First the bad news: people in struggling and developing countries still go hungry, despite the world producing far more food than is needed for every person on the planet.

Now the good news: no one in the United States of America goes hungry, not anymore. Instead, 35 million Americans last year suffered "from “low food security,” meaning they chronically lacked the resources to be able to eat enough food. Of these, 10.8 million lived with “very low food security,” meaning they were the hungriest among the hungry".

Currently running at more than double the target, the sterling goal is for no more than 6 percent of the population of America to suffer from "low food security" at any given time.

Show of hands for volunteers?

[Ideology may be dead, but isn’t it nice to know that the euphemism breeds and thrives – ed]

Bad Thoughts

I know it’s wrong of me and I should neither think this nor air my unseemly thoughts in public, but if someone needs a size XXXXXXXL personal floatation device, I don’t want them on my plane, or on my boat.

I don’t care if they bring their own seat belt extender [“no one to tell” – yeah, no one will ever guess you needed it – ed], or if they come fully equipped with their very own portable health profile on a natty little USB [don’t forget it includes their living will – ed], or their no bend toenail clippers and sock aids, or a watchband long enough to act as a parachute for 12 passengers [now let’s not get carried away, it only goes up to a size XXXXL; five passengers, tops – ed], I’d rather they put down the XXXXXXXL burger and chips, get off the couch a bit, and not potentially prevent the smooth and happy execution of any emergency procedures.

It all comes down to health and safety – mine. Nothing personal.

Now jail the judge

I admit total ignorance of laws relating to illicit drug possession and use in Britain, but no matter what they are, I’m thinking it’s time the judge who keeps babying Pete Doherty should step aside, or face a charge of some sort herself.

This dope of a man – and we don’t use that description flippantly in his case – has been arrested again, for the umpteenth time this year, on suspicion of possession of yet more crack cocaine.

For the most part I don’t have strong views on drug use, other than total distain for illicit drug abusers who believe they’re way-cool; and a passing distain for licit drug abusers who believe they’re not one.

Yet, one has to draw the line at drug abusers who are unrelenting, unrepentant dickheads, such as Doherty.

It’s criminal enough that Doherty is a spectacularly repulsive looking man, in an ashen-swollen-faced way, with what appear to be rotting teeth, infrequent attention to morning or evening ablutions, along with wanton infliction of sartorial abuse on an innocent public, but add to this that he keeps fronting up to some frou-frou of a judge who insists on praising him – even when his rehabilitation efforts result in positive drug tests and more and more arrests – surely someone in this publicly played-out pathetic micro-drama should be thrown in jail for a goodly spell.

At various court appearances during this year, and despite his twice failing drug tests in a single month Magistrate Jane McIvor has oozed all types of praise in Doherty’s direction:

You’re doing quite well, but you need to keep it up.”

"It is very good progress and clearly a positive start. It seems that his determination is increasing." [His determination in relation to what? - ed]

"It is not expected to get a negative test in the first review period but I hope that opiate replacement will happen in the next period."

"It's a long, slow process, but you are showing sufficient signs of compliance and effort," Magistrate McIvor cooed, having been particularly tickled-pink that Doherty hadn't been arrested (at that stage) for drugs since Jan. 14. Oh bravo! I think that lasted for about five minutes, or five days – whichever is shorter in Pete Doherty-land.

November 18, 2006

Telecommunications Device Harassment

Lesson One – don’t vent with telecommunications devices, no matter who your wife is having an affair with, and no matter how creative your retaliatory thoughts.

Crime Free Town Makes Guns Mandatory

"I want to be a team player" - says town resident.

November 17, 2006

Dark Energy

From The New York Times - astronomers pursue dark matter, all the way back to nine billion years ago:

The data suggest that in fact, dark energy has changed little, if at all, over the course of cosmic history. Though hardly conclusive, that finding lends more support to what has become the conventional theory, that the source of cosmic antigravity is the cosmological constant, a sort of fudge factor that Einstein inserted into his cosmological equations in 1917 to represent a cosmic repulsion embedded in space.

Although Einstein later abandoned the cosmological constant, calling it a blunder, it would not go away. It is the one theorized form of dark energy that does not change with time.

Einstein invented his constant to explain why the universe does not collapse. After he abandoned it, the theory was resuscitated by quantum mechanics, which showed that empty space should be bubbling with staggering amounts of repulsive energy. The possibility that it really exists in the tiny amounts measured by the astronomers has flummoxed physicists and string theorists.

Because it is a property of empty space, the overall force of Einstein’s constant grows in proportion as the universe expands, until it overwhelms everything.

So far, he said, the results are consistent with the cosmological constant, but other answers are also possible. The possibility that it is the cosmological constant is a mixed blessing. Physicists concede that they do not understand it.

Dr. Carroll of Caltech said, “Dark energy makes us nervous.”

Hmmm, me too, now that you mention it. Thanks for that guys.

[Hell, didn't we have enough to worry about with the obesity crisis? - ed]

Song Dunes

No, it’s not the next wave of Microsoft trying to play catch-up; it’s actually sand dune songs, or singing sand, if you prefer.

From Physics Web

Matthew Chalmers exposes the fierce controversy behind attempts to explain the mystery of “singing” sand dunes, which provides a rare insight into how physics is done.

Fascinating reading, though you might find it dispiriting if you’ve ever imagined that you had an interesting day job. You'll never imagine so again.

One Week Wonders

It seems like only last week that President Bush was quipping about giving House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi the name of a Republican interior decorator to help her pick out curtains for her new office.

Oh, that's right, it was only last week.

That was a long time ago.

This week we quietly suggest that Nancy not get too attached to her curtains or her office.

The New Republic Online reports that Nancy is offering herself up as “Exhibit A” for why the Democrats have been in the wilderness for a dozen years. After only one week, it would seem they have already peaked and are now shaping up for a two year slide, which is a tad disappointing for anyone with a vested interest in the state of American politics – meaning all of us.

(I fear the same would be shown to be true of our own Federal ALP, if they make it over the line any time this millennium.)

"In one of her first important acts since Democrats recaptured Congress, Nancy Pelosi is about to make a decision that is both substantively foolish and politically tone-deaf. The decision involves the chairmanship of the House Intelligence Committee. For obvious reasons, that post has serious implications for national security--as well as the image of a Democratic Party seeking to convince the public it can be trusted to govern. But it appears alarmingly likely that Pelosi will spurn both with a decision based on petty personal and identity politics.

The current ranking Democrat on the Intelligence Committee is Jane Harman of California. Harman is one of the most respected Democrats in the House on national security and intelligence issues--a widely acknowledged expert in a field that Democrats as a whole are woefully unfamiliar with. Given her current seniority on the committee, Harman is the natural choice to become its chair in the Democratic Congress--and she has made clear that she wants the job.

All indications are that Pelosi will deny Harman the job and appoint in her place Alcee Hastings of Florida, a former judge who was impeached on bribery charges--and someone who has left no discernable mark upon the critical intelligence debates of the post-September 11 era.

Hastings was awfully unrepentant after his impeachment: "Everybody thinks that to get to be a judge is supposed to be the biggest doo-doo on earth. It aaaiiiin't! It ain't! It's just something else to do," he explained to The Washington Post in 1988 with a reverence for the judiciary befitting his alleged behavior.

Some have noted that Hastings might flunk a basic FBI background check for a sensitive government job, making him a curious choice to oversee the nation's most sensitive secrets.”

So, why the peculiar decision making by Nancy?

Well, in high office one must make difficult and carefully considered decisions in the interests of the nation everyday, and one must do so with consideration to a depth of factors and a level of morality that most of us common folk would find difficult to fathom.

In other words: Nancy hates the qualified and highly esteemed Harman (meow - ed); while the disgraced former judge Hastings is black.

It seems that the Democrats might not be up to the responsibility of governing.

[Access to full article on The New Republic Online requires sign-up.]

Meanwhile, the Democrats have already rejected Nancy's choice for majority leader, in lieu of, well, probably someone far more suitable.

Duck Friday

The President has taken up tango dancing; albeit, his commitment is a tad literal.

November 16, 2006

Do'h

Geneticists are decoding the bones of the Neanderthals and finding that the DNA is nearly identical to humans. From the data analysed so far, a scientific team reports that the Neanderthal and human genomes are at least 99.5 percent identical.

Disappointing, sure, but we already kinda knew that, didn’t we.

Let's just convince ourselves that the .5 percent difference covers both brains and beauty.

Trash Mag Monitor

Indulge me; I have to do this.

Not because it matters, and not because it’s like watching a train wreck.

No, it’s more superficial than you could ever imagine.

I’m fascinated by the invented stories that appear in the weekly trash mags. They all do it, but none more brazenly than a mag called NW.

It used to be that NW specialized in outrageously speculative stories about the rich and air-headed, with each week bringing either:

(a) A brand new version of the exact same story from the previous week; or

(b) A brand new story, in total contradiction to, and with no memory of the story written the previous week.

Either way, it’s a tour de force formula of fabrication and the weekly editorial meetings must be a hoot. Well, then again, maybe not. Perhaps even they get bored with writing about yet another rumored pregnancy, rumored break up or break down, rumored wedding, etc. All accompanied by photographs and strategically placed giant sized yellow arrows - yes, we readers would have trouble finding the alleged baby bumps on so many whippet thin celebs; arrowed directions really help when the stomachs in question are self-evidentially more concave than sterling signifiers of fecundity. The giant sized yellow arrows are also of enormous assistance to the reader when underarm hair, perspiration, cellulite, loose skin, receding hairlines, coupled-up body language, or cocaine filled nostrils are being discussed.

This week NW excelled in plummeting to new depths of brazenness in their journalistic coverage of all things relating to asinine celebrities, fashionatas and insipid celebutantes. Yes, even I was left gasping for breath to find that they have suddenly started believing their own stories, making the leap from mere speculation to statements of fact, despite the only supporting evidence being their own fictitious stories from the previous week.

Here’s a very small selection from this week:

“Pregnant Kate Hudson faces the prospect of bringing up her unborn baby alone, as both her former husband and new lover leave her and move on.”

“Pregnant Angelina Jolie is furious after Brad Pitt left her alone in India while he headed to LA to host a booze-fueled party …”

[Is there any other type of party? – ed]

“Less than a month into her marriage, a pregnant Kate Moss has kicked out her new husband Pete Doherty after pictures of the recovering junkie cheating on the supermodel were made public."

There is no evidence for any of the pregnancies or marriage mentioned above. They have all been covered in NW in previous weeks – as nothing other than hyperventilating nonsense. For no reason at all, NW have morphed all of these areas of wild speculation into the realms of fact. Audacious, to say the least.

Some of the other breathtaking story lines in this week’s episode – oops, sorry, “edition” – include:

On Jessica Simpson

“Where Jess used to keep her phases of compulsive eating a secret, she’s now openly indulging – something she’s never done before. Spotted eating a substantial lunch Jess, 26, clearly didn’t care whether anyone was watching.”

[Meaning: a perfectly normal sized lunch, consisting of food, eaten in a publicly located food processing establishment. How very careless of her. – ed]

On Pamela Anderson –

“… recently fled a Malibu restaurant mid-meal after bursting into tears during an emotional lunch with friends, during which the actress told her pals about all the problems in her fast-disintegrating relationship. … “She was going on about how her marriage was doomed” says a fellow diner at the restaurant. “She was spilling her guts about how he disrespects her how he ignores her … how he refused to compromise on anything.”

Prior to the current episode of NW hitting the stands, it had already been reported and confirmed that Pammy had suffered a miscarriage; she was entitled to private and public tearing-up.

Using the very same photographs as shown in the “my marriage is disintegrating” invention, NW have finally caught up with the truth on their website. Expect a revised version in the hardcopy next week, in which they will do an excellent job of pretending that this week’s story never existed – most especially their gauche and nasty closing paragraph:

“With the short lived union looking likely to fail miserably, the pair must surely be breathing a sigh of relief that their potential break-up won’t be further complicated by the arrival of a newborn child.”

Ouch – I guess that’s what happens when trash mag journalists start believing their own make believe world of gossip stories: their sense of ownership and entitlement grows, along with their delusions about their work.

Well, I’m Confused

Fresh from a lengthy and dignified appearance on the Oprah show to justify her recent adoption activities and to deplore the hurtful media coverage of such, Madge has publicly gone for the jugular on the good deeds of team Brangelina.

The 48-year-old pop superstar said: "I'm not interested in going in there like an idiot and going, 'OK, I'm going to build ten orphanages and I'll see you guys later.'"

"I could've joined the UN and become an ambassador, visited various countries and just showed up and smiled and looked concerned. But that's not getting to the root of the problem. And neither is building orphan care centres."

Huh? Didn’t Madge donate money in Malawi for the building of new orphanages at the same time as purchasing her new child?

So, Madge, how are you getting to the root cause of the problem and doing things that less saintly folk are failing to carry out? Do tell! Do tell! I await with worm on tongue for the wondrous details.

[PS. Have left warm saucer of milk for you on the back porch.]

November 15, 2006

Blog filler ...

Sorry folks, still being "sporadic". But, let's not allow that to spoil the fun of reading other reliably excellent posts from far more sophisticated bloggers.

Today's offering is care of the wonderful Borowitz Report.

Even if you don't like Bush humor, read to the end and enjoy the Kate Moss humor - it's a beautiful thing.

Scientists Demote Bush Presidency to Dwarf Status

White House Joins Pluto in New Classification


An international group of scientists who demoted the planet Pluto to dwarf status three months ago met in Oslo, Norway today and reclassified the Bush White House as a dwarf presidency.

In the aftermath of the midterm elections, in which the president's party lost control of both the House and the Senate, the scientists called an emergency meeting in Oslo to determine if the Bush administration in fact still qualified as a presidency.

But with the president's approval rating in a free fall, it became clear even before the scientists convened that some sort of reclassification along the lines of the Pluto demotion was in order.

"When the president's approval rating fell below Kevin Federline's, that was the last nail in the coffin," said Dr. Hiroshi Kyosuke of the University of Tokyo.

According to Dr. Kyosuke, one of the seventy scientists who gathered in Oslo to reassess the Bush presidency, dwarf status means that Mr. Bush is "less than a president, but more than a mayor."

In another troubling sign that Mr. Bush may be a has-been, White House spokesman Tony Snow revealed today that the president had signed on to make an appearance on the ABC series "Dancing with the Stars."

ABC spokesperson Carol Foyler confirmed that the president was slated to appear, but added that Mr. Bush was far from the network's first choice.

"We wanted Nancy Pelosi, but she said she was too busy," Ms. Foyler said.

Elsewhere, after a new study showed that the human body produces a painkiller several times more potent than morphine, supermodel Kate Moss attempted to inhale herself.

November 12, 2006

The Worm Has Turned

Cutting off her hair, back in May this year, failed to spark renewed interest in the Corby story from the Oz media, who universally ignored this dramatic development.

A few weeks ago I posted about the sneak preview contents of the Schapelle Corby book; as captured in a women’s mag, and then repeated across the MSM.

An anonymous reader posted some thoughts, which I intended to respond to, but kept running out of time & energy. So, to “anon”, if you’re out there somewhere, sorry for being tardy.

What I would have said to you, at that moment, is that I’m not convinced that journalists have turned against Corby. I would also have pointed out that coverage of the book's content was, necessarily, out of context, as only an extract had been published, which is a common enough marketing ploy, ahead of a publishing release date.

Now the book is out on the shelves and we can be entirely confident that at least some media outlets have, well, let’s say, grown weary of the Corby saga, and yes, rather less sympathetic than they once were.

Perhaps they don’t see how they can drag another 18 or 19 years of breathless interest and new insights into a story about a women locked in a Bali jail, particularly one who has already beaten her legal options into some distant place far, far over the rainbow.

Witness "Exhibit A”, by Neil McMahon, in the Sydney Morning Herald. Not only does this tend to support “anons” contention, but McMahon’s piece will only take five minutes to read, thus saving you ever having to purchase or read the book, and his piece has the welcome bonus of sparing you having to even bother perusing the book reviews. McMahon has performed a social service of sorts.

Yes, the worm does seem to have turned on Corby and her boogy board.

Her close relatives aren't much help in her ongoing PR dance. Perhaps that, as much as anything else, has dampened journalistic enthusiasm and unbridled support for this particular convict.

November 10, 2006

November 8, 2006

Recipes for James

James needs cooking suggestions, preferably by way of formal recipes.

James has no oven. Well, he has an oven, but it doesn't work.

I have a squillion recipes, a great many of which commence with: "pre-heat oven to xxx degrees".

So, let’s offer up a recipe or two, or ten, for the hungry James, but leave out the roasts or the oven cooked casseroles.

According to his last comments, James dislikes things like sultanas or bananas or pineapple in his cooking – fruity stuff and sweet stuff, in other words. Perhaps James is already sweet and fruity as he is.

Cubicle has layed claim to being a cook ... hmm, a family favorite recipe for James from Cube, perhaps? Come on Cubbie!

Kath will come good, because, well, Kath is a wonderful sort from way back.

Mrs DrunkaWife, possibly has a recipe or two from the wilds of Denver, or even Spain? [But no dead weird bird recipes, this is a family blog - 'kay - ed]


Geoff - come on, you got your very own duck cake, with blue ribbons, perhaps you have a nice recipe that you could share with James?

Tim is a young man about town, not unlike James, only really different. One would think that bachelor Tim would have a repertoire of reliable and manly recipes that he may be willing and able to share.

Darlene, a chicky babe domestic goddess type, for sure, but, you know, a gel still has to eat (and open cat food), so maybe Darl will offer something from her greatest hits of stove top stunners.

I was going to suggest that Jacob could show James how to whip up a side of goat, but Patrick seems to have gotten the jump on the goat cook up.

Patrick, of Blueberry Fool fame [whad-do-ya-mean-you’ve-never-heard-of-him – ed], kicks things off with his entirely involuntary offerings:

Mustard Pork Chops

Satay Curry with Chilli Mango Chutney

[Don't let the "chutney" word put you off James, this sounds yumm-o and not too sweet- ed]

Goat Curry

So, get to it goodly and kind folks, pop your recipe ideas for James into the comments - when you have time ... no pressure, no pressure, really .. this blog isn't going anywhere, and James can only cook so many meals in a day. Or leave them over at James' place, under any random post.


Politicians Win Elections – It’s Official !

WASHINGTON, DCAfter months of aggressive campaigning and with nearly 99 percent of ballots counted, politicians were the big winners in Tuesday's midterm election, taking all 435 seats in the House of Representatives, retaining a majority with 100 out of 100 seats in the Senate, and pushing political candidates to victory in each of the 36 gubernatorial races up for grabs.

Did the suspect have any distinctive features?

Yes, yes, this is all you get when the blogger-person only has time for "sporadic” posting. [You will learn to be grateful for crumbs! – ed].

First we had mustaches, now we have an abject lesson to all about choosing one’s tattoos wisely. And, oh yes, it’s well worth clicking on the additional links kindly provided by The Smoking Gun. (I’m thinking the guy in the fourth link has something more than just a tat problem.)


November 6, 2006

But why?


Eeewwww
the mustache is back.


[By Maira Kalman – via NY Times ]

Foot Fetish

It’s not pretty and it’s not stylish, but men wearing socks with sandals never have to leave early because their feet are killing them; never have to resort to taking off their glamour sandles to walk on filthy pavements; and never go home with bleeding and blistered feet

More unattractive pics can be at the Sandal & Sock Gallery - not for the squeamish or the fashionistas.

Very cheap inexpensive hot vinyl high heel sandals.
Cheap vinyl black heeled sandals with lacy pants. These types of vinyl shoes makes a woman sweat and develop feet fungus

Pic and way too much information, thanks to Metrovoyeurs Gallery.

November 5, 2006

Let Geoff Eat Cake

It took all weekend, but Geoff's very own duck cake is ready to eat. Tuck in birthday boy ... err ... whenever it may be!

November 4, 2006

Happens all the time

You call up a paid massage service.

You buy some drugs from the masseuse.

You are sorely tempted by the drugs [and the masseuse - ed].

You contemplate the wrong that is drugs.

You throw the drugs away.

Hey, it happens. Haven’t you ever bought something and wanted to return it to the store straight away?

“I never kept it very long because it was wrong,” Mr. Haggard said, smiling grimly and submitting to questions from a television reporter as he pulled out of his driveway yesterday, his wife, Gayle, silent in the passenger seat. “I was tempted, I bought it, but I never used it.”

I guess that means he didn't inhale, or swallow, either.

November 3, 2006

Duck Friday

We shall have cake and bubbly, err, bubbles!

November 2, 2006

Compare and Contrast

Earlier today in Victoria, a miner on his way to work noticed an out of control truck going in the opposite direction, with a driver slumped unconscious over the steering wheel. The miner did exactly as any normal person would do: he turned his car around, sped past the truck, pulled over, got out of his car, hauled himself into the moving truck as it came by, pulled on the handbrake, and called an ambulance for the driver - who had fallen into a diabetic coma. The truck driver is recovering well in hospital.

The miner toddled off to work without leaving a name.

Meanwhile, a few weeks ago in New Zealand, Qantas staff refused to allow a diabetic man to take his insulin medication onto a flight, insisting that it was “dangerous”. The man fell into a coma shortly after the plane arrived at its destination and spent two weeks in hospital recovering.

The airline staff toddled back to work with their total lack of decency and common sense intact.

November 1, 2006

Brilliant!

Australia provides Papua New Guinea (PNG) with an annual aid package to the tune of around $300 million.

Seems that PNG and Australian pollies are having a bit of a tiff.

PNG are now threatening to stop taking the entire aid package from Oz.

Fast footed tactics and political daring-doo! Nah, nah, nah, we will block your $300 M aid to us; you’ll have to find something else to spend it on – so there!

Tee hee.

Mental memo: never send PNG pollies to negotiate with terrorists. Or anyone.