Sunday, December 31, 2006

New Year!

I want to wish all of you a very Happy new year and hope it is better than your last!

A Peek At Our Future..

Wonder who she is?

From here

SEOUL, Korea (AVING) -- 'EveR-2 Muse', designed by KITEC (Korea Institute of Industrial Technology), is the world's first entertainer-robot. She had been first introduced last October and since then she even had ranked fourth with her first song on a certain website popularity poll.

Her skin is made of silicon material; 60 joints in her face, neck, and lower body enable her to demonstrate various facial expressions and some dance moves. She is 161cm tall and weighs 60kg, average figures of Korean women in their twenties.

Speaking dish says “stop eating”

I guess it can help some with their "new year resolutions" ;-) Link

Connected to a palm-size computer, this dish delivers a message 'stop eating' when quantity of food served exceeds a certain amount. If you insist on placing more on the dish, this impudent(?) dish even tells you “where is your willpower”.

Hot dinner table with sexy legs
A group of HONGIK UNIVERSITY students presented 'Hot Dinner' table with sexy legs at Korea Int'l Furniture & interior Fair 2006. It was reported last August.

Guys you have to keep your hands of those legs!

Friday, December 29, 2006

Top movies for 2006.. Not a movie review.. Dystopic visions/places

I have been mulling this post over in my mind for a while. I happened to listen to Terry Gross on fresh air on the public radio and she had their movie critic David Edelstein on, with a list of his top 10 movies for this year. The links take you to more information about the movies.

1. The Queen
2. Iraq documentaries: Blood of My Brother, Iraq in Fragments, Iraq for Sale, and The War Tapes
3. Our Brand is Crisis
4. Pan's Labyrinth and Children of Men
5. Flag of Our Fathers and Letters FromIwo Jima
6. Days of Glory
7 Neil Young: Heart of Gold
8. Religion documentaries: Jonestown, Jesus Camp, Deliver Us From Evil
9. A Prairie Home Companion
10. United 93

I am not a huge believer in top lists as such, numerous critics will come up with their own and countless others will quibble about their choices being left out. Well.. regardless his list is below. I have seen “The Queen”, it’s a good movie although it does not have that extensive of a storyline and it happens over the brief period of time from the death to the funeral of Princess Diana. But the brief time span of the movie is in complete contrast to the close look it provides in to the inner workings of the British royal family esp the queen. Not to rehash all that, but the movie has great acting especially by Helen Mirren in the lead role.

I have seen Flag of Our Fathers and loved it. I have to see Letter From Iwo Jima. I will skip United 93 for now. *A* watched it and said it was a great movie. I might watch it again, I just wanted to step back from movies related to 911 for a while. I have included a link to more about each of the movies on the list. Most of them we will catch on DVD. But the one that I really want to watch is “Children of Men”.

From the most excellent review by Manohla Dargis in the NY Times..

The end is nigh in “Children of Men,” the superbly directed political thriller by Alfonso Cuarón about a nervously plausible future. It’s 2027, and the human race is approaching the terminus of its long goodbye. Cities across the globe are in flames, and the “siege of Seattle” has entered Day 1,000. In a permanent war zone called Britain, smoke pours into the air as illegal immigrants are swept into detainment camps. It’s apocalypse right here, right now — the end of the world as we knew and loved it, if not nearly enough.

Based in broad outline on the 1992 dystopian novel by P. D. James about a world suffering from global infertility — and written with a nod to Orwell by Mr. Cuarón and his writing partner Timothy J. Sexton along with David Arata, Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby — “Children of Men” pictures a world that looks a lot like our own, but darker, grimmer and more frighteningly, violently precarious. It imagines a world drained of hope and defined by terror in which bombs regularly explode in cafes crowded with men and women on their way to work. It imagines the unthinkable: What if instead of containing Iraq, the world has become Iraq, a universal battleground of military control, security zones, refugee camps and warring tribal identities?

From the reviews I have read and heard the movie has amazing camera work including a 6 minute battle scene shot in one take. Here is an audio link to NPR's interview with Alfonso Cuaron who also made Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and Y Tu Mama Tambien.
This movie also has Julianne Moore who I absolutely love. The movie is in limited release, I hope to catch it in the coming weeks.

Talking about dystopic futures brought my mind an excellent article in the November 13th issue of the New Yorker magazine by George Packer about the mega city of Lagos, Nigeria. You can read more about it here. Your probably also aware of the recent pipeline explosion in Lagos, that killed more than 200 people. These two coup[led together almost make me feel there are places like this here and now. From that article...

The Third Mainland Bridge is a looping ribbon of concrete that connects Lagos Island to the continent of Africa. It was built in the nineteen-seventies, part of a vast network of bridges, cloverleafs, and expressways intended to transform the districts and islands of this Nigerian city--then comprising three million people--into an efficient modern metropolis. As the bridge snakes over sunken piers just above the waters of Lagos Lagoon, it passes a floating slum: thousands of wooden houses, perched on stilts a few feet above their own bobbing refuse, with rust-colored iron roofs wreathed in the haze from thousands of cooking fires. Fishermen and market women paddle dugout canoes on water as black and viscous as an oil slick. The bridge then passes the sawmill district, where rain-forest logs--sent across from the far shore, thirty miles to the east--form a floating mass by the piers. Smoldering hills of sawdust landfill send white smoke across the bridge, which mixes with diesel exhaust from the traffic. Beyond the sawmills, the old waterfront markets, the fishermen's shanties, the blackened facades of high-rise housing projects, and the half-abandoned skyscrapers of downtown Lagos Island loom under a low, dirty sky. Around the city, garbage dumps steam with the combustion of natural gases, and auto yards glow with fires from fuel spills. All of Lagos seems to be burning.

Newcomers to the city are not greeted with the words "Welcome to Lagos." They are told, "This is Lagos"--an ominous statement of fact. Olisa Izeobi, a worker in one of the sawmills along the lagoon, said, "We understand this as 'Nobody will care for you, and you have to struggle to survive.' " It is the singular truth awaiting the six hundred thousand people who pour into Lagos from West Africa every year. Their lungs will burn with smoke and exhaust; their eyes will sting; their skin will turn charcoal gray. And hardly any of them will ever leave.
By 2015, it is projected, Lagos will rank third, behind Tokyo and Bombay, with twenty-three million inhabitants.
Nigerians have become notorious for their Internet scams, such as e-mails with a bogus request to move funds to an offshore bank, which ask for the recipient's account number in exchange for lucrative profit. The con, which originated in Lagos, represents the perversion of talent and initiative in a society where normal paths of opportunity are closed to all but the well connected.
"Picture this city ten, twenty years from now. This is not the urban poor--this is the new urban destitute." He expressed surprise that the level of crime and ethnic violence in Lagos, let alone civil insurrection, is still relatively contained. "We're sitting on a powder keg here," he said. "If we don't address this question of economic growth, and I mean vigorously, there is no doubt as to what's going to happen here eventually. It's just going to boil over." He added, "And guess what? If all this fails, the world will feel the weight of Lagos not working out."
There is an even darker possibility: that the world won't feel the weight of it much at all. The really disturbing thing about Lagos's pickers and venders is that their lives have essentially nothing to do with ours. They scavenge an existence beyond the margins of macroeconomics. They are, in the harsh terms of globalization, superfluous.
You folks might feel there is a dark edge to this post, but there is a link here and a message or something and I think you folks can draw your own conclusions.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Drinking Liberally In Delaware And Dining/Drinking/Gloating in NYC

The Delaware chapter of drinking liberally has it's monthly meetup today.

Last Thursday of each month (next meeting December 28), 8:00 pm
Klondike Kate's, 158 E Main St (around the bar! Newark should also have free parking then too!) (map).

Unfortunately I won't be able to go this time.

I am off to New York City instead, to meet up for drinks and dinner with many fine NY area Atriots (people who make up the online community at Atrios's blog Eschaton). I haven't seen some of them in a couple of years, and there are some new faces.

The reason is to celebrate the democratic win in the November elections and as the lovely Res Ipsa said to "Gloat" ;-). It certainly is something to savor, for a lot of us who put our time, energy and $ in trying to defeat the GOP enablers in Congress who have helped Bush drag America down in so many ways.

My good friend Dan from CT, will also be driving down. It should be fun to talk about politics, football (darn Chicago Bears ;-) and the general state of the world.

Right Wing Idiocy
(Tip of the hat to Holden of First-Draft in the Eschaton comments for the link below).

Here's what I'm getting at: If the polar bears need more floating ice to
survive, let's get them some more floating ice! Like artificial reefs, we can
build fake floating ice, or make real floating ice, and distribute it across the
polar bear habitat. Mightn't this be expensive? you ask. I dunno maybe. I
haven't priced artificial polar bear ice platforms lately. But I will bet you
dollars to doughnuts it would cost a mere fraction of a fraction of a
fraction of a fraction of the cost of a Kyoto regime and it would save vastly
more polar bears than Kyoto would — at least in, say, the first couple
centuries. For all I know, the seals would dig the new digs too. And maybe we
could expand the program to the antarctic for the penguins.
Guess who said this?

That classic is from Jonah Glodberg of the republican National Review. He is also the son of the infamous Lucianne Goldberg known for her role in the Lewinsky scandal.

Don’t laugh he is serious!

These people are devoid of reason and they have a forum to air their idiocy. They have no respect for proven scientific fact ie. Climate change/global warming.

Of course Jonah conveniently forgets that there is a respected report commissioned by the British government out there on global warming when he cries about cost. You could spend no more than 1 % of global GDP/year to prevent global warming (alternative fuels, carbon traps etc.). The cost of not doing that will probably be anywhere from 5-20% of global GDP per year. Not to mention that it is irreversible.

Have a good day!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

A Book Related Tag And A Book Review..
Warning.. Long wordy post ahead.

I was tagged by Khushita.
Here is what I am supposed to do..

1. Grab the closest book.
2. Open to page 123, go down to the fifth sentence.
3. Post the text of next 3 sentences on the blog.
4. Put in also the name of the book and its author.
5. Tag three people.

So here goes..
He ignored my greeting entirely and asked Dr. Habibullah, “What religion is he?”
“He’s a Jahdui – a Jew,” said Dr. Habibullah.
“No, no. I’m an Esawi – a Christian.”
Name Of The book

Rory Stewart.

I am not tagging anyone. If any of you reading this feels like taking it up please do so.

The reason this book happens to be the closest book to me on the desk is because I have been unable to put it down during any free time I have had. I just finished reading it and it was on my desk, and it also was time to finish a tag.

I also read Lotusreads’s blog a while back and saw a post about reading a book a month for the year 2007. Well having a lot of books on our bookshelves that are to be read (TBR), I decided why wait till 2007? I had just read about “The Places In Between” on the NYTimes list of top 10 non-fiction books for 2006. I read the little blurb describing it and was enthralled and purchased it.

I am not good at writing and so am just gonna go with what I feel about this book. To any of you who believe that perhaps the best way to experience a country, place, people and their culture is by walking amongst them, or if you just love walking as a way of experiencing your surroundings will absolutely love this book.

The author as he starts his walk near Herat.

From the Times link
"You are the first tourist in Afghanistan," Stewart, a young Scotsman, was warned by an Afghan official before commencing the journey recounted in this splendid book. "It is mid-winter - there are three meters of snow on the high passes, there are wolves, and this is a war. You will die, I can guarantee." Stewart, thankfully, did not die, and his report on his adventures - walking across Afghanistan in January of 2002, shortly after the fall of the Taliban - belongs with the masterpieces of the travel genre. Stewart may be foolhardy, but on the page he is a terrific companion: smart, compassionate and human. His book cracks open a fascinating, blasted world miles away from the newspaper headlines.
This book also differs from most travelogues in that they hardly go to a battle ravaged country let alone set foot in it leave walking from one end to another.

I used to be an avid trekker. Couple this with having grown up in India, and having studied the history of the region. India has also been influenced by the invaders who came from this land and their cultures. Some of the more obvious ones are in cuisine, architecture and language. I was reminded about this time and again as I came across words used in Dari that are common place in Indian languages. I have read in the past about Afghanistan seen documentaries about the country (before 911 brought it in the consciousness of America). I actually have a desire to visit it someday, not sure when that will ever happen. All these were factors that made the book even more fun for me to read, although this was often punctuated by sadness at the state of that once great country.

I have mostly been reading this book on the train, and even after I close the book, I can’t let go. The words, travels and his experiences stayed with me long after.
Rory Stewart’s writing style I thought is fairly sparse but it is precise and complete in the picture he paints for us of his 500 mile plus walk from Herat in Western Afghanistan to Kabul in the East.

The book begins with Rory’s arrival a few weeks after the departure of the Taliban and traces his journey from it’s beginnings in dusty, chaotic Herat then ruled by the warlord Ismail Khan, and a brush with Iranian agents operating there.

He also makes this journey in the steps of Babur, the first emperor of Mughal India, and as he discovers like him (Babur) he will make this journey on January and record it in his diary. Somewhere along the way he picks up a former fighting dog, who is likely part wolf and he names him “Babur”. Their relationship evolves along the way and this might not mean a lot until you realize that for the most part dogs are considered unclean animals in Islam, in Afghanistan they were in addition used mostly as fighting animals meant to fight other dogs. So while Babur is not used to being treated kindly, you can see how the dynamic of their relationship changes along the walk.

Unsurprisingly, the author does not encounter any women during his journey until he reaches the Hazara region. The only glimpses he catches are of veiled faces as they flash past an open window.

Reading the book I was also made me aware of the shifting loyalties of the various tribal chiefs, village heads and other people that he encounters. Some fought on the side of the Russians or against them as a part of the various groups, some of which are now working with or against the US. Interestingly while some that he encounters have clearly worked with the Taliban, they never admit it.

The author does not go in to much detail about what it means to be an Afghani for the people he meets. He does talk about rivalries between tribes and villages, things like the hatred of the Taliban for the Hazara. While we in the west saw the destruction of the famous Bamiyan Buddhas, almost none of us out here read about the mass killings and destruction of entire Hazara villages.

Reading the book at times I could not help but feel how hard it is for people here to grasp the fact that a multiethnic, multicultural democracy might be extremely hard (though not impossible) to take root in Afghanistan. This task has been made harder by Bush’s misadventure in Iraq where a lot of resources have got diverted instead of being spent in Afghanistan.

This feeling was further strengthened by the author's passages that describe the looting of antiquities from what might be the lost city of Turquoise mountain by the local villagers that are now ending up in the collection of American and European collectors and perhaps in museums. I was also moved by the extreme poverty of many of the people along the way and one wonders what democracy and freedom mean to people when they live on so little and their biggest worry is their next meal, not to mention the other factors like their culture, religion and tribal systems that come in to play.

There are numerous vignettes in the book, sad,funny, tragic and touching. Some make us aware of how little we know about some parts of the world, even parts where our soldiers are at war.
To get the complete essence of this book, you have to read it and my simple review of it does it no justice.

One would think the author must be nuts to have walked across a battle scarred country often with little more than the hospitality of ordinary, poor people to rely on and his own wits. But as the author says “I was indulged, fed, nursed, and protected by people poorer, hungrier, sicker and more vulnerable than me”.

Maybe the author is nuts but the end result of his long journey is surely a classic of a travelogue, one that will stay with me for a long while.

PS: I am going to try to read a book each month and try to write about it, lets see how that goes.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Buzzwords..Best Things Ever Said..Different Kind Of Christmas Tree..

Read this interesting piece in the week in review in the December 24th New York Times. Not sure of this is behind a firewall , but here is a link. As the author Grant Barrett says these words sort of capture the schadenfreude of our times. Some of them below...

Anchor baby: a derogatory term for a child born in the United States to an immigrant. Since these children automatically qualify as American citizens, they can later act as a sponsor for other family members.

Fox lips: lips colored and lined with makeup to seem more prominent, said of female anchors on Fox News. (If you have watched fox news, even for a bit you will know what I mean. *A* who detests Fox news caught on this right away the first time she saw the women on Fox News).

Hubby-sitter: a man hired to keep a woman’s husband out of trouble.

Hummer house: an overly large single-family residence. Synonyms from earlier years are starter castle, faux chateau and McMansion.

Johnny Jihad: a Muslim or Muslim combatant. Although this term dates to 1996 or earlier, its heaviest usage by far has occurred since 9/11 and the invasion of Iraq.

seven-thousand-mile screwdriver: micromanagement of a situation from afar. Lately used to describe the difficulties of managing the war in Iraq.

sneeze: a television advertisement shorter than 15 seconds.

spaghetti bowl: the interconnected and tangled economic relationships of a group of nations.

subzero: a size of clothing smaller than zero, same as size 00.

vice mail: voice-mail messages disguised as confidential stock tips left on the wrong answering machine, a form of the pump-and-dump scam.

zeteophobia: a fear of career-planning. Coined by John Krumboltz, a Stanford University professor.

The 25 Best Things Ever Said..

From this diary on dailykos. The ones I liked are reproduced, they are very relevant to our times.
  1. It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.

-- Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

  1. To give pleasure to a single heart by a single act is better than a thousand heads bowing in prayer.

-- Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948)

2. There is nothing so horrible in nature as to see a beautiful theory murdered by an ugly gang of facts

--Benjamin Franklin

1. Most men worry about their own bellies, and other people's souls, when we all ought to be worried about our own souls, and other people's bellies.

-- Rabbi Israel Salanter 1810-1883

Overheard In New York.. Link

A Different Type Of Christmas Tree..

Where Depth and Sincerity are Appreciated

Chick #1: I have a friend who lives in Manhattan, but she totally hates it.
Chick #2: Why?
Chick #1: She says everyone here is so superficial. She's going to move to California.

--Greyhound bus, W 110th

Overheard by: Caroline

Can you spot what the cans of soft drink make up this tree?

From here, the answer is at the link too, in case you can't tell from the pic below. Hint..the color, focus on the color.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Seasons Greetings!

Picture from my cellphone taken at Penn Station in Baltimore last week. There was this quintet playing holiday music. A pleasant change while waiting for my train.

To those of you who celebrate it..
Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, Happy Kwanzaa.. and for those that don't enjoy the time off.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Friday Word..He Has No Future..Internet Maladies..Signs..

Friday Word

The always fun to read Maggie chose this Friday's word. It's "BELL". Maybe you can do a post, story, poem or anything you like on your site with the word "BELL" in it. Sai has also done a post on it, you can read it here.

Got My Bell Rung

I heard that term a few times, when a football player takes a big hit and hence gets his bell rung. So when I read about the Friday word, the following episode came to my mind. It was not football though, but my bell got rung pretty good, when I had a concussion about 3 years ago.

We lived in CT back then, me, *A* our friends Dan and Ken would often get together. One evening we went off to NYC for dinner. As usual the food, the company and drinks were great. The plan was to stay at Ken’s place for the night. Dan was driving and myself and *A* were in the back. I was asleep, so when we got to Ken’s, they woke me up. I got out of the car and shut the door. As I did that I realized that I was feeling faint. The last thing I recall was me trying to reach for the side of the car to steady myself.

When I came back, I saw *A*, Dan and Ken looking down at me. Everyone was shocked and worried. They had called 911. I said I was fine, but I felt terribly groggy. The paramedics showed up, my head and neck were immobilized and, we were off to the hospital ER. They asked me my name, day of the week and all that good stuff. I could even recall my SSN. That was a good sign I guess. It was in the ER that I started feeling the start of a nasty headache and I started throwing up.

The docs did an X-Ray and a scan on my head. I had had a concussion. They kept me overnight in the hospital and I was discharged the next day. I felt fine except for the pounding headaches (lasted about a week) and dizziness. I was out for about a week, before the headaches subsided and I was not always dizzy. But for about 2 months, every time I got out of the car I felt as if the world around me was spinning a bit. I was fine otherwise.

Apparently I fainted, because I had a bit of a low blood pressure. I went really quick from a state of restful sleep to a quick standing position. Apparently there was not enough time to get blood to my brain, and to prevent problems the primitive response of the body is to faint. The prone position would then ensure that my brain got the blood supply it needs. It just so happened that my head happened to hit the driveway which was a paved surface.

*A*, Dan and Ken told me that the sound of my head hitting the driveway was the most sickening sound they had heard. As Dan said, sort of like a coconut hitting the ground after it falls from a tree.

So now you know what I mean, when I said my bell got rung real good?

No Shit Sherlock!

MIAMI - The shadow of President Bush seemed to loom large over his younger brother Wednesday, as the outgoing Florida governor ruled out any plans to return to elected office.
“No tengo futuro (I have no future),” Jeb Bush told Spanish-language reporters in Miami, when asked about any possible political ambitions after he steps down next month.

I have no sympathy for you Jeb. Blame this on your brother who is responsible for the mess this country is in many ways. No wonder you don't have any future. This nation has had enough of the Bushes!

Signs written in Arabic raise eyebrows on GRTC buses
OMG..Somebody save us.. Link

The signs first showed up in the past few weeks on 170 GRTC buses covering routes all across the area. There is a meaning behind them, but it's probably not what you would think. It's a short Arabic phrase that has some people confused.

“We have had some people concerned that there is Arabic on our buses, they're a little scared that maybe there's a secret message or it's calling on a terrorist cell," says Rev. Douglas Smith of the Virginia Interfaith Center.

So what does the sign actually say? If you look close enough it's written right below: "Rock, Paper, Scissors."

"We react before we know and we need to take time to just think for a second and not just fall prey to our emotional, visceral reactions," says Dr. Archana Bhatt of A More Perfect Union, a non-profit group that’s behind the awareness campaign. They want to get riders re-thinking their biases and maybe start a discussion during their ride through downtown.

The group plans to extend the campaign to include other South Asian races and religions. They also plan to run public service announcements to get the message across -- but those will be more straightforward.

Internet Maladies

The Internet has given birth to a quirky range of modern addictions and maladies, the British weekly New Scientist says in its Christmas issue published this Saturday. Link

- EGO-SURFING: When you frequently check your name and reputation on the Internet.

- BLOG STREAKING: "Revealing secrets or personal information online which for everybody's sake would be best kept private."

- CRACKBERRY: "The curse of the modern executive: not being able to stop checking your BlackBerry, even at your grandmother's funeral." (A BlackBerry is a popular handheld device that can be used for phoning, emailing and web-browsing).

- GOOGLE-STALKING: Defined as "snooping online on old friends, colleagues or first dates."

- CYBERCHONDRIA: "A headache and a particular rash at the same time? Extensive online research tells you it must be cancer."

- PHOTOLURKING: Flicking through a photo album of someone you've never met.

- WIKIPEDIHOLISM: Excess devotion to contributing to the online collaborative encyclopaedia, Wikipedia. (Wikipedia even has a page where you can test whether you're an addict!

- CHEESEPODDING: Downloading of a song "so cheesy that you could cover it in plastic wrap and sell it at the deli counter." Cheesepodders are especially vulnerable to soft-rock favourites from the 1970s.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Quick Takes..

Bias Out In The Open..

.. link

Rep. Virgil Goode (R-VA) issued a letter to constituents earlier this month in which he declares, “I fear that in the next century we will have many more Muslims in the United States” if we do not adopt “strict immigration policies.” The letter was inadvertently sent to a local progressive activist, who shared it with the C-Ville Weekly newspaper.

In the letter, Goode references the election of Muslim Rep.-elect Keith Ellison (D-MN), and warns “American citizens” to “wake up” or “there will likely be many more Muslims elected to office”:
I do not subscribe to using the Koran in any way. The Muslim Representative from Minnesota was elected by the voters of that district and if American citizens don’t wake up and adopt the Virgil Goode position on immigration there will likely be many more Muslims elected to office and demanding the use of the Koran.

Read the rest at the link.

Baby is sent through X-ray machine at LAX

A woman places her month-old grandson in a bin for carry-on items. Doctors later determine he did not get a dangerous dose of radiation.
By Jennifer Oldham, Times Staff Writer
December 20, 2006
A woman going through security at Los Angeles International Airport put her month-old grandson into a plastic bin intended for carry-on items and slid it into an X-ray machine.

The early Saturday accident — bizarre but not unprecedented — caught airport workers by surprise, even though the security line was not busy at the time, officials said.

A screener watching the machine's monitor immediately noticed the outline of a baby and pulled the bin backward on the conveyor belt.

The infant was taken to Centinela Hospital, where doctors determined that he had not received a dangerous dose of radiation.

Latte Art?

I kid you not. Many more at the link, one below.


I had no idea. So like Jennifer Lopez was/is referred to as JLo, Lindsay Lohan is referred to LiLo? Link here. Whatever!

Cool Ad..

Click on the image below if you want a better look.

They did this such that when you hold the newspaper up to light you see the wrinkles appear along with the sunsense bottle and bodycopy. This was done by printing them (wrinkles, bottle and bodycopy) on the other side of the page. Neat eh?

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Miss USA, USA In Debt, Secondhand Stuff, Funnies

Miss USA Almost Lost Her Tiara

I had no idea there was some issue with the Miss USA, Tara Conner. But trust CNN to be on top of the right story. So while the killings go on in Iraq and the US sinks further in to debt and the quagmire in Iraq continues, we hear that the latest Miss USA (don’t they all look like they all came off some assembly line?) has issues with very un-Miss USA like behavior. Not to worry Donald Trump rides to the rescue.
Atrios blogged about it, casting a critical eye on the sorry state of our media. As usual the comments on the post were interesting, one comment is reproduced below...

A tempest in a C cup.
Vanessa Williams | 12.19.06 - 11:30 am

Oh That Little Piece About The US Debt..

From this report that was quietly released on a Friday..

Despite improvement in both the fiscal year 2006 reported net operating cost and the cash-based budget deficit, the U.S. government’s total reported liabilities, net social insurance commitments, and other fiscal exposures continue to grow and now total approximately $50 trillion, representing approximately four times the Nation’s total output (GDP) in fiscal year 2006, up from about $20 trillion, or two times GDP in fiscal year 2000.
As this long-term fiscal imbalance continues to grow, the retirement of the “baby boom” generation is closer to becoming a reality with the first wave of boomers eligible for early retirement under Social Security in 2008.
Given these and other factors, it seems clear that the nation’s current fiscal path is unsustainable and that tough choices by the President and the Congress are necessary in order to address the nation’s large and growing long-term fiscal imbalance.

That was too depressing no?

Colbert On Dear Leader And His Iraq Misadventure..

"American people, you should be ashamed! The president went and bit off a big piece of the Middle East and, like an eagle, brought it back to the nest and he's regurgitating it back into your mouths! Why won’t you swallow?!!
When history looks back at the actions of this president and the decisions he made regarding this war, you will go down as the most incompetent American people of all time. Deal with it!"
---Stephen Colbert

Ten Friends Decide To Live For A Year Buying Only Secondhand
These people haven't bought anything new in 352 days -- and counting. These 10 friends vowed last year not to purchase a single new thing in 2006 -- except food, the bare necessities for health and safety (toilet paper, brake fluid) and, thankfully, underwear, and maybe socks (they're still debating whether new socks are okay).

Everything else they bought secondhand. They bartered or borrowed. Recycled. Re-gifted. Reused. Where? Thrift stores and swap meets, friends and Dumpsters, and the Internet, from Craigslist to the Freecycle Network, which includes 3,843 communities and 2.8 million members giving away stuff to one another.
Guess what? Some people hate them for it. What does that say about us? I grew up in a family where we could only manage month to month and never had enough to splurge on clothes and extras. We had to make do with less.
When people voluntarily want to do that, why does it bother anyone? Cos some people think we are the land of the “shopping addled must keep up with the joneses maxed out credit card shopping is patriotic" types.
They second handers may be taking some of this a bit too far, but their choice only affects them and none of us, so let them be. Maybe there is a lesson here for the rest of us.

Lost In Translation.

From the folks at moronland, slogans lost in translation, some of them below.

  • When Parker Pen marketed a ball-point pen in Mexico, its ads were supposed to have read, "It won't leak in your pocket and embarrass you." The company thought that the word "embarazar" (to impregnate) meant to embarrass, so the ad read: "It won't leak in your pocket and make you pregnant."
  • Clairol introduced the "Mist Stick," a curling iron, into Germany only to find out that "mist" is slang for manure. Not too many people had use for the "Manure Stick."
  • Coors put its slogan, "Turn It Loose," into Spanish, where it was read as "Suffer From Diarrhea."
  • Colgate introduced a toothpaste in France called Cue, the name of a notorious porno magazine.
  • Frank Perdue's chicken slogan, "It takes a strong man to make a tender chicken," was translated into Spanish as "it takes an aroused man to make a chicken affectionate."
  • The Coca-Cola name in China was first read as "Kekoukela", meaning "Bite the Wax Tadpole" or "Female Horse Stuffed with Wax", depending on the dialect. Coke then researched 40,000 characters to find a phonetic equivalent "kokoukole", translating into "Happiness in the Mouth."

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Tuesday Ramblings...

The War On Science And Reason Continues..
KEARNY, N.J. — Before David Paszkiewicz got to teach his accelerated 11th-grade history class about the United States Constitution this fall, he was accused of violating it.

Shortly after school began in September, the teacher told his sixth-period students at Kearny High School that evolution and the Big Bang were not scientific, that dinosaurs were aboard Noah’s ark, and that only Christians had a place in heaven, according to audio recordings made by a student whose family is now considering a lawsuit claiming Mr. Paszkiewicz broke the church-state boundary.

“If you reject his gift of salvation, then you know where you belong,” Mr. Paszkiewicz was recorded saying of Jesus. “He did everything in his power to make sure that you could go to heaven, so much so that he took your sins on his own body, suffered your pains for you, and he’s saying, ‘Please, accept me, believe.’ If you reject that, you belong in hell.”

The student, Matthew LaClair, said that he felt uncomfortable with Mr. Paszkiewicz’s statements in the first week, and taped eight classes starting Sept. 13 out of fear that officials would not believe the teacher had made the comments.

Since Matthew’s complaint, administrators have said they have taken “corrective action” against Mr. Paszkiewicz, 38, who has taught in the district for 14 years and is also a youth pastor at Kearny Baptist Church. However, they declined to say what the action was, saying it was a personnel matter.


In this tale of the teacher who preached in class and the pupil he offended, students and the larger community have mostly lined up with Mr. Paszkiewicz, not with Matthew, who has received a death threat handled by the police, as well as critical comments from classmates.

Greice Coelho, who took Mr. Paszkiewicz’s class and is a member of his youth group, said in a letter to The Observer, the local weekly newspaper, that Matthew was “ignoring the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, which gives every citizen the freedom of religion.” Some anonymous posters on the town’s electronic bulletin board,, called for Matthew’s suspension.

Don't know about you folks but I am scared for America.

PZMyers Of Pharyngula Finds A Funny.. (click on the image to see a larger version)

Not to worry this was something in the pages of MAD magazine.

Newt Nutty As Always... Link

Gingrich: Imams should have been arrested

MANCHESTER, N.H., Dec. 16 (UPI) -- Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich told an audience in New Hampshire Muslim clerics pulled off a plane for praying should have been charged criminally.

Gingrich made the remark Friday night, as he delivered the keynote speech at the Manchester Republican City Committee Christmas dinner, the Manchester (N.H.) Union Leader reported.

"Those six people should have been arrested and prosecuted for pretending to be terrorists," Gingrich said. "And the crew of the U.S. airplane should have been invited to the White House and congratulated for being correct in the protection of citizens."

The imams, who had been attending a conference in Minneapolis, were pulled off a US Air flight to Phoenix after other passengers said they had been acting suspicious. They were questioned by the FBI for several hours and then released.

Their suspicious behavior apparently consisted of reports that they had prayed in Arabic and that they were not sitting together but had walked around to talk to each other.

Gingrich said last month the United States might have to accept new curbs of First Amendment rights to fight terrorism.

From Overhead In NewYork

When Was It Ever about Deserving?

Guy #1: I bought Xbox to play Spiderman 2.
Guy #2: I bought it to play Knights of the Old Republic.
Guy #3: I bought PlayStation One to play Final Fantasy Seven.
Chick: You're all losers who don't deserve girlfriends.

--Office, 47th & 6th

Overheard by: Joe

Why Oh Why?

Monday, December 18, 2006

Monday Musings

It's Not A Movie Review..

We finally managed to go see Blood Diamond directed by Ed Zwick (The last Samurai, The Siege). I have to say I did not quite get some of the criticism of this movie. One review I read talked about how the Africans in the movie were used as props. I have to disagree with this characterization. I think the backdrop of the civil war, the use of child soldiers and their manipulation via threats, drugs and the brutality including the hacking of limbs were not props. Did they have to develop the characters more? The central characters were fairly well developed.

Was this a message movie? Probably, but if ones knowledge about the role of blood diamonds in the overall diamond trade comes from a movie then we have bigger problems.

*A* is a huge Leonardo DiCaprio fan, and she was not disappointed. He does a very good job in his role here, very intense and believable. If you don't like him or can't get passed his baby faced looks, then you are likely missing the fact that he is a really good actor. The 2 golden globe nominations for his acting in this movie and "The Departed" also attest to this. Djimon Hounsou was also good in the movie in the role of the fisherman, forced into working for the rebels in the diamond mines, but he risks being typecast in roles similar to that in "Amistad". Jennifer Connelly, is also good in her role of a journalist working towards trying to bring the atrocities in to the world view.

This is the second consecutive movie with Leonardo in it where his character has the same .... Well I will let you find out for yourselves.

Iraq Is Not A Mess ;-)

Well if you are a wingnut supporting the mess in Iraq you just got a new talking point. Courtesy of this article in Newsweek.
It may sound unreal, given the daily images of carnage and chaos. But for a certain plucky breed of businessmen, there's good money to be made in Iraq. Consider Iraqna, the leading mobile-phone company. For sure, its quarterly reports seldom make for dull reading. Despite employees kidnapped, cell-phone towers bombed, storefronts shot up and a huge security budget—up to four guards for each employee—the company posted revenues of $333 million in 2005.

Even so, there's a vibrancy at the grass roots that is invisible in most international coverage of Iraq. Partly it's the trickle-down effect. However it's spent, whether on security or something else, money circulates. Nor are ordinary Iraqis themselves short on cash. After so many years of living under sanctions, with little to consume, many built up considerable nest eggs—which they are now spending. That's boosted economic activity, particularly in retail. Imported goods have grown increasingly affordable, thanks to the elimination of tariffs and trade barriers. Salaries have gone up more than 100 percent since the fall of Saddam, and income-tax cuts (from 45 percent to just 15 percent) have put more cash in Iraqi pockets. "The U.S. wanted to create the conditions in which small-scale private enterprise could blossom," says Jan Randolph, head of sovereign risk at Global Insight. "In a sense, they've succeeded."
Read the paragraph above folks.. "trickle-down.. lower tax rates.. more cash in the pockets of Iraqis..private enterprise". Smells like success (at 2 billion dollar a week cost.. some return on investment eh?) or like a wingnut wet dream eh? Just ignore the daily mayhem or the 2 billion dollar a week that we are putting off on future generations. This thing may haunt us for a long time in more ways than we know.

On A Lighter Note

Funnies from here
"This week a top general at the Pentagon said the War on Terror could take a 100 years to fight. President Bush was furious about the 100-year prediction and said, 'Stop setting a fixed timetable'" --Conan O'Brien

"They had the Iraqi Commission report and President Bush says he will not make a decision about getting us out of Iraq until 2007. He says he wants to give it some careful thought ... unlike getting us into Iraq." --David Letterman

President Bush has received a copy of the 96-page Iraq Study Group report. When they gave it to him, President Bush said, 'Don't tell me how it ends.' They said, 'Uh, it doesn't.'" --Jay Leno

Quotes from who else..

"Make no mistake about it, I understand how tough it is, sir. I talk to families who die." --President Bush, Washington, D.C., Dec. 7, 2006

"It's bad in Iraq. Does that help?" --Bush, after being asked by a reporter whether he's in denial about Iraq, Washington, D.C., Dec. 7, 2006

Funny video.. From Youtube

It's work safe, in case you were wondering..

Friday, December 15, 2006

It's Friday...Wheeee, It's Gold I Tell Ya..It's Gold!

For those who have trouble posting comments please use the comments link at the left at the bottom of the post, for those who used to comment as before continue to use the "comment" link to the right at the end of the post as always.

The Friday word that is...

Mona sez the Friday word be gold and so it is..
Sai usually picks up the Friday word too and she has a different insight from me.
Maggie will have a nifty poem about the Friday word as does Mona.

The first thing that comes to my mind that scene from Goldfinger with the woman painted in gold. I was of a much more impressionable age when I saw the movie for the first time during a festival of Bond films in Bombay. Don't laugh about a festival of Bond movies. ;-). If it were not dark in the movie theater you would have seen me with my mouth open ..jaw dropping at that vision on the screen of that woman painted in gold.

The next thing that comes to my mind.. India is the world's largest consumer of gold. I have no fascination or interest in the precious metal, either gold or diamonds.

Sorta off topic..
*A* was at a holiday party where some women were showing of their pieces of rock on their fingers, you know as Christmas gifts that they got.
And one of them goes "I notice you don't have any jewelery on most days too?"
*A*.. "I have no particular love of it and what I have I can't wear on a everyday basis."
(Women of Indian ethnicity usually have this 24 carat gold thingies which are usually suited for special occasions, not every day use).
Woman at party.. "So what does your husband get you then for the holidays?"
*A*.. "Lots of love and this time it was the iMac with the 24 inch widescreen with the Harman Kardon Speakers"
Woman at party... "Ohh"

Heh! When *A* told me that I got a kick out of it.

Back on gold....

From here

India consumes about a quarter of the world's gold production.
For the last several decades, the country has been the largest purchaser of gold in the global context and more than 90 per cent of this is for conversion to jewelery.

Effective collateral

It is also divisible, in the sense that one can acquire even 5 grams of it, unlike, say, real-estate, which is not divisible into smaller units of, say, five square feet. Gold is also portable in jewellery form and that is one of its major attractions. It is the most important insurance product for the housewife, particularly among the poorer segments.

Actually, the so-called superstition regarding not removing such gold ornaments as the mangalsutra till the death of the husband acts as an effective economic principle in protecting certain classes of assets for women.

Gold also provides collateral for the household in situations of distress. More important, it is normally not disposed of without the consent of the lady of the house. Actually, many men may not even know the exact amount of gold in possession since the housewife may keep changing its form, from bracelets to bangles, or chains to necklaces.

Gold is also considered a form of investment and let me tell ya no Indian wedding is complete without gold. For some of my readers not familiar with this, here is how a Indian bride might look like with all that gold or try to watch Monsoon Wedding.

Mind you that is not the typical Indian bride, but I have been to weddings where a bride wore close to that much in gold.

On to other things..

Still looking for some Christmas gift ideas?

Forget the Pretty Dishes of Candy, Think Santa Doing the Poopy Dance

Rather than putting out pretty crystal dishes of stale candy or nuts for your guest, do something different and let Santa poop out the candy this year. Merchant says "Poo Poo Novelty Santa Candy Dispenser - With our Poo Pooing Santa Claus, press down on the candy dispenser's head and watch Santa "poo-poo" the candies from his bottom!"

Maggie loves all things Santa..wonder if she finds this Santa acceptable? ;-)

There are a few more wacky a kiss my *** Elf.

Later folks :-)

For those who have trouble posting comments please use the comments link below, for those who used to comment as before continue to use the usual "comment" link to the right.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Movies..Things You May Not Know... Male Or Female?


Been on a movie watching binge lately. I want to write a review or two but have not had a chance and am not sure anyone cares.

Saw Superman Returns .. It is an ok movie. I liked it, glad to have seen it on DVD. I might have imagined it but the movie seemed to have this slight Christian thing to it, esp when Superman's father talks about sending his only son to save the earthlings. Sounds familiar?

After I finished this joined *A* to watch Gosford Park again. We loved the movie esp the ensemble cast, well acted and those lovely long Robert Altman takes. It's a smart movie funny and a satirical comment on the zeitgeist at the tail end of the British empire. I have to see some more of his movies.

I also saw this quirky and funny Japanese movie Who's Camus Anyway about a group of Japanese students who are out to make a film. Reminded me a lot about my days at school, sort of carefree and yet insular. I might actually write a review about this. This is on Netflix and may even be at your local public library, which where we got it from.

On the train I am currently watching Clerks, Kevin Smith's first feature and probably his best. Profane and funny or as a reviewer at rottentomatoes put it "It comes from bad stock, curses like a longshoreman and doesn't bring a gift. Nevertheless, it's the life of the party."
I can't believe I haven't seen it till now.

At home with *A* past couple of days been watching National Treasure with Nicholas Cage. Some mindless entertainment is good once in a while I guess. 42% is the rating at rottentomatoes. This means of all the reviewers whose reviews are collated here on 42% found it good. A movie needs to be 60% or above to be qualified as fresh or good.

Things You May Or May Not Know

More here

· Your stomach produces a new layer of mucus every two weeks - otherwise it will digest itself.
· The Declaration of Independence was written on hemp paper.
· Every person has a unique tongue print as well as fingerprints.
· 315 entries in Webster's 1996 Dictionary were misspelled.
· Most lipstick contains fish scales.
· Donald Duck comics were banned from Finland because he doesn't wear any pants. (heh!)
· Because metal was scarce, the Oscars given out during World War II were made of wood. (Now that we are at war we get tax cuts instead..cos 911 changed everything)
· There are no clocks in Las Vegas gambling casinos. (Gee no surprise there!)
· Chewing gum while peeling onions will keep you from crying! (I have to try that!)
· The glue on Israeli postage stamps is certified kosher.
· Guinness Book of Records holds the record for being the book most often stolen from Public Libraries.
· Astronauts are not allowed to eat beans before they go into space because passing wind in a space suit damages them. (Is this for real???)

Male Or Female..

From the folks at Moronland

You know things have genders too..

FREEZER BAGS: They are male, because they hold everything in, but you can see right through them.

PHOTOCOPIERS: These are female, because once turned off, it takes a while to warm them up again. They are an effective reproductive device if the right buttons are pushed, but can also wreak havoc if you push the wrong ones.

TYRES: Tyres are male, because they go bald easily and are often over-inflated.

HOT AIR BALLOONS: Also a male object, because to get them to go anywhere, you have to light a fire under them.

WEB PAGES: Female, because they're constantly being looked at and frequently getting hit on.

TRAINS: Definitely male, because they always use the same old lines for picking up people.

HAMMERS: Male, because in the last 5000 years, they've hardly changed at all, and are occasionally handy to have around.

THE REMOTE CONTROL: Female. You probably thought it would be male, but consider this: It easily gives a man pleasure, he'd be lost without it, and while he doesn't always know which buttons to push, he just keeps trying.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Wednesday Ramblings

Does anyone have problems posting comments? I have had a hard time posting comments at a lot of your blogs this morning EST. Just wondering...

Some Oversight Please?

Via Firedoglake
One of the good things about a Democratic takeover of Congress is California Congressman Henry Waxman, he will be the head of the House Government Reform Committee. He has a reputation for having an excellent research/investigative staff and I hope he will ask the questions that need to be asked. One among many is the issue of war profiteering. The process has begun.. sort of. It will not begin till the next Congress starts its inaugural session.

At the lowest level, Blackwater security guards were paid $600 a day. Blackwater added a 36 percent markup, plus overhead costs, and sent the bill to a Kuwaiti company that ordinarily runs hotels, according to the contract.

The California congressman said that Blackwater's services were not just pricey, but prohibited, because the Army never authorized Blackwater or any other Halliburton subcontractors to guard convoys or carry weapons. Houston-based Halliburton has been paid at least $16 billion to provide food, lodging and other support for troops in Iraq, and $2.4 billion to work on Iraqi oil infrastructure.

Waxman demanded "whether and how the Army intends to recover taxpayer funds paid to Halliburton and Blackwater for services prohibited under [Halliburton's] contract."

That company, Regency Hotel, tacked on costs and profit and sent an invoice to ESS. The food company added its costs and profit and sent its bill to Kellogg Brown & Root, a division of Halliburton, which added overhead and profit and presented the final bill to the Pentagon.
The idjit who rules Iran? They now have a conference denying the holocaust. WTF?

Holocaust deniers and skeptics from around the world gathered at a government-sponsored conference here today to discuss their theories about whether six million Jews were indeed killed by the Nazis during World War II and whether gas chambers existed.

Hate makes for some strange bedfellows.

Among those speaking today are David Duke, the American white-supremacist politician and former Ku Klux Klan leader, and Georges Thiel, a French writer who has been prosecuted in France over his denials of the Holocaust.

Mr. Duke’s remarks late this afternoon are expected to assert that no gas chambers or extermination camps were actually built during the war, on the ground that killing Jews that way would have been much too bothersome and expensive when the Nazis could have used much simpler methods, according to an advance summary of his speech published by the institute.

Oh and more idiocy...

Iran's president: Israel to be 'wiped out'

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Tuesday told delegates at an international conference questioning the Holocaust that Israel's days are numbered. "Just as the Soviet Union was wiped out and today does not exist, so will the Zionist regime soon be wiped out," he said.

On a lighter note..

If You Are A Woman And Are Tired Of Being Asked Why You Are Still Single

Snappy comebacks from here

Some of them below..

3. What? And spoil my great sex life?

14. Because I think it would take all the spontaneity out of dating.

18. I wouldn't want my parents to drop dead from sheer happiness.

21. We really want to, but my lover's spouse just won't go for it.

25. (Bonus reply for Single Mothers) Because having a husband and a child would be redundant.

Bet You Did Not Know These Things About Rats..

From here

5 A rat can tread water for three days and survive being flushed down the toilet. (And it can return to the building via the same route.) There is approximately one rat per person in the United States.

7 A Hindu temple dedicated to the rat goddess Karni Mata in Deshnoke, India, houses more than 20,000 rats. Many people travel far to pay respect to the rats, which are believed to be reincarnations of Karni Mata and her clansmen.

8 Perhaps they're reincarnated teenagers: According to a study by Martin Schein, founder of the Animal Behavior Society, the favorite foods of city-dwelling brown rats include scrambled eggs, macaroni and cheese, and cooked corn.

9 Well, junk food isn't much better: Rats eat their own feces, purely for the nutritional value.

14 "Drats" has nothing to do with rats. It's a short form of "od rat," a euphemism for "God rot," which is used like "Goddamn."

20 Yeah, but seriously, who wants one? In 2006 it was revealed that a team of scientists at Tel Aviv University in Israel had created a brain chip out of rat neurons.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Monday Notes..

So self and *A* were shopping at the local Indian grocery store. When we shop we
prefer using cloth shopping bags that we have. It’s the whole reduce/reuse/recycle thing. So as the store clerk finishes ringing up our stuff, we started putting our purchases away
in our bags and then on to the cart. We usually leave the cart in its place near the entrance. There was another woman in her 50s behind us, she appeared to be Indian too.
She asks *A* “Do you folks need a ride home?”
*A* who is always sweet replies with one of her charming smiles “No, thanks we have our car”.
The woman says “Oh, ok I thought you might need a ride since I saw you using cloth shopping bags”.
*A* .. “Well thanks for your offer but we are fine”.
As we left the store we were both smiling about it. I mean it was sweet of the woman to ask if we needed a ride home, but we found it amusing that merely using cloth shopping bags for shopping
put us in some “category” in her mind. I don’t know about you folks, but I have seen a few people here do their shopping using cloth shopping bags instead of using the plastic bags that stores provide.


Don Viti wrote about this horrible episode where a woman in Wilmington (of Indian origin.. last name Patel) we arrested for scalding her 3 year old daughters feet in the shower tub
with scalding water as a form of punishment. This was reported in our local newspaper The News Journal. On their web site it also happened to be one of the top stories that had comments
on them. So I read some of these comments, and while the woman is rightfully condemned by a lot of people. I found a lot of the comments just plain stupid, ignorant and if I might say somewhat racist. To be fair some of the other comments did say that her actions had nothing to
do with her being Indian. But on the whole I am not surprised, some samples below. More here

by: atiberi02- Sun Dec 10, 2006 7:50 am
Has this psycho mother
forgot that in her culture husbands can burn their wives becasue they are
considered property rather than family and get away with it so she should be

This may be tolerated in India
(I'm assuming with that name she is Indian). It may have been the way she was
punished. We should educate people on proper punishments for children and whats
too far. This was way too far though..she should be boiled alive.

that poor child and the mother's bail in only
$10,000! what was this judge thinking? lets torture
her and see how she


Let her go back to India where she belongs! You
know how I feel about some
foreigners; some of them don't belong here; I
would just love to chase them out
of this country

kachoo, you are an ignoramus...child abuse knows no
racial boundaries. All Americans are either
foreigners or descendents of
them. Bigoted cowards like you who spew this kind of crap and then cry "freedom
of speech" are what's wrong with our country right now. With freedom comes
responsibility. At any rate, I don't know how a mother can do something like
this to her child...I
hope she doesn't see the light of day until that poor
little girl is all grown up.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Weekend Notes...

*A* is a huge fan of Leonardo DiCaprio so a trip to the movies to see Blood Diamond is on. I dig the action and there is Jennifer Connelly.


From Moronland

1) In the 1400's a law was set forth that a man was not allowed to beat his wife with a stick no thicker than his thumb. Hence we have "the rule of thumb".

2) Many years ago in Scotland, a new game was invented. It was ruled "Gentlemen Only... Ladies Forbidden"... and thus the word GOLF entered into the English language.

3) Men can read smaller print than women can; women can hear better.

4) It is impossible to lick your elbow.

5) Intelligent people have more zinc and copper in their hair.

6) Each king in a deck of playing cards represents a great king in history:
Spades - King David
Hearts - Charlemagne
Clubs - Alexander, the Great
Diamonds - Julius Caesar

7) 111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321

8) Question: If you were to spell out numbers, how far would you have to go until you would find the letter "A"?
Answer: One thousand

9) In Shakespeare's time, mattresses were secured on bed frames by ropes. When you pulled on the ropes the mattress tightened, making the bed firmer to sleep on. Hence the phrase... "goodnight, sleep tight."

10) It was the accepted practice in Babylon 4,000 years ago that for a month after the wedding, the bride's father would supply his son-in-law with all the mead he could drink. Mead is a honey beer and because their calendar was lunar based, this period was called the honey month, which we know today as the honeymoon.

11) In English pubs, ale is ordered by pints and quarts... So in old England, when customers got unruly, the bartender would yell at them "Mind your pints and quarts, and settle down." It's where we get the phrase "mind your P's and Q's"

12) Many years ago in England, pub frequenters had a whistle baked into the rim, or handle, of their ceramic cups. When they needed a refill, they used the whistle to get some service. "Wet your whistle" is the phrase inspired by this practice.

13) This is pretty sick. I can read it actually!
I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdgnieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid aoccdrnig to rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.

A monster made just from newspaper..

More here..

Friday, December 08, 2006

Friday Post..

I am gonna get this done just barely.. I am just too tired and running on fumes and it is only Thursday evening. You might see this post published Friday morning at 4 am, but I usually type it up the night before. So there is not a lot here today (well there is not much here anyways) :-)

A Salute To The Amazing Asha Of Foodie's Hope...

I think I found her blog after she left a comment on mine. And I looked her blog up. She had me with her first recipe that I saw on her blog (speaking in a epicurean way that is). So I along with others are her fans. The pictures and recipes are always great and they are not restricted to just Indian food. Her talent and love of cooking permeate her blog. Anali's first amendment came up with this idea to honor her with a blog button but it really is more than that. So I am proud to say that I am a member of the foodie's fan club and I salute her with this lovely glass of Pinot Noir that I am having now..

Go read her blog if you have't you won't regret it..
And Anali says it better ...
As faithful readers of your blog, we have all come to admire and appreciate your posts - the stories you share, the photos, and the recipes. Oh those recipes! You are an amazing writer, photographer, and cook. I think we all want to come to your house for a meal! And even though most of us have never actually met you, there is a genuine warmth, kindness, and sincerity to your posts and comments back to us that makes us all feel appreciated and welcomed.
It's Friday So Must Be Time For A Friday Word.. It's "Dark" as per the amazing Mona..

But I have nothing, maybe inspiration will strike me on Friday after a good night's sleep. But do go read her, she always writes well as does Maggie.

I Salute These Two Women..

From the BBC...
An Indian tribe has given its consent to a lesbian 'marriage' in the eastern Indian state of Orissa.

A priest belonging to the Kandha tribe led the ceremony between Wetka Polang, 30, and Melka Nilsa, 22, in Koraput district recently.

Both the women are day labourers and now live together in Dandabadi village.

Same-sex relationships are outlawed in India. The 145-year-old colonial Indian Penal Code clearly describes a same sex relationship as an "unnatural offence".

Sociologists say that a community blessing a same-sex 'marriage' is unheard of in India.

It was not easy for Wetka and Melka to convince their tribe that they wanted to get married and live together - the local community at first fiercely protested at the idea.

The two women then eloped to another village to escape the wrath of their neighbours.

Both the women have had unhappy experiences with men in the past.

Wetka says she walked out of her marriage to an alcoholic after years of abuse.

Melka's family had arranged her marriage with another local man much against her wishes - she managed to break the engagement by telling the man's family that he was mentally "not normal".

The two women now hope to extend their family by adopting the son of Wetka's elder brother.
Late Night Funnies..

"It is in book form and entitled, 'The Way Forward -- A New Approach,' a stark contrast from the book Bush had been operating from, 'Deeper and Deeper into the Hole That I Myself Have Dug.'" --Jon Stewart, on the Iraq Study Group report.

"I don't think President Bush understands these things. When they told President Bush that Dick Cheney's gay daughter was pregnant, he said, 'It's a Christmas miracle.'" --Jay Leno.

"A lot of talk today about Vice President Cheney's lesbian daughter, Mary, who according to the Washington Post's 'Reliable Source' is pregnant. Now, for legal reasons I'm not supposed to say anything too definite about this matter, so I'll just say this: Not too long ago, we may or may not have received a special rush order for a vial of Stephen Colbert's Formula 401." --Stephen Colbert.

"According to a new study, children figure out the truth about Santa Claus between the ages of three and six. Although the study says that the age is much later for some U.S. presidents." --Conan O'Brien.

Some Cab Eh?


Thats me with my glass of Pinot Noir Just After I Finished My Post (My canine form that is ;-))

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Best Gadgets That You Cannot Buy

A big list here...

The one I liked.

The Taste DJ is a pretty crazy kitchen concept from designer Fei Zhu. Designed to make cooking more like spinning records (I guess), it's a countertop with two cooktops, a sink, and a built-in multimedia computer setup. You can spin rings on the outside of the burners that allow you to select ingredients to spray into whatever you're cooking, including salt, pepper, and… MSG? Alrighty. The built-in computer is meant to be used for music, surfing the web for recipes, and talking to people via a "visual phone." It's kind of a neat idea, but I can't see the whole ingredient-spraying cooktop ring thing being all that practical, which seems to be the backbone of the whole DJ concept. However, computers in the kitchen are sure to become more common as they become cheaper and smaller, and who doesn't like cooking to music? I'm sure some of these elements will start showing up in kitchens soon, along with cutting scales and induction stoves, to make all our culinary aspirations if not easier, at least a little flashier. — Adam Frucci.

Late Night Funnies

"Former secretary of State Colin Powell said Wednesday that it is time to face reality and recognize Iraq is in a state of civil war. Powell made the statement after growing what are known as ‘retirement balls.’"
---Amy Poehler
"President Bush met with the Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki. Afterwards President Bush said 'Maliki is the right man for the job.' Just to remind you, President Bush also said FEMA's Michael Brown was the right man for the job. Donald Rumsfeld [was the] right man for the job. Tom DeLay was the right man for the job. Which would be okay...if Bush was the right man for the job."
---Jay Leno

"A Trainer at Sea World Adventure Park in San Diego was hospitalized Thursday in San Diego after a killer whale grabbed him and twice held him underwater during a show. On the bright side, the trainer did give up the location of three al Qaeda hideouts."
---Seth Myers

Unusual eBay Responses

From Moronland

POSITIVE: Item shipped quickly, have been having erotic dreams about seller. Thanks!

POSITIVE: Thanks for great Rainbow Brite lunchbox. Should shrunken head be inside?

NEUTRAL: Excellent communication, but should've poked holes in box before shipping the kitten. Refunded.

NEGATIVE: Despite indication in listing, I could not fit item into any of my body cavities.

NEGATIVE: Honda R-Type sticker did not add horsepower as advertised.

NEUTRAL: Item shipped promptly and in good condition, but I should not have to bid on birthday presents from my parents.

POSITIVE: I don't really remember what I ordered. But I've been sitting in the box it came in all day, and it's great!

NEGATIVE: Product didn't work, possibly broken. I woke up this morning and was disappointed to find I still believe in Jesus Christ our Savior. :(

POSITIVE: Excellent Buyer. A++++++. Thrilled by the quartz movement of the "Rolex". HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

POSITIVE: Plain brown packaging seemed to fool my wife. Thanks!

NEGATIVE: The dog won't hunt.

NEGATIVE: Very nice monkey mascot costume, but it's a size 34, not a 63 as advertised.

NEGATIVE: Lederhosen not as pink as the picture led me to believe.

POSITIVE: One of the scents mixed in with the packing peanuts remind me of a passionate weekend in Rio... was that you?

POSITIVE: The way you wrote my zip-code makes me weak in the knees. Such smooth strokes. A+!

NEGATIVE: Though you did nothing wrong, I am giving you this negative feedback to teach you that the universe is arbitrary and unfair.

NEGATIVE: Buying this Space 1999 Lunchbox did not fill the void in my empty life for as long as I'd hoped.