Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wanna go 'Awwwwww'?

Then check out this vid of an Irish Lab swimming with his porpoise buddy:

A guaranteed Awwwwwwww.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Monday, September 26, 2011

Goldman Sachs rules the world

If you had any illusions about the govts of the world having any traction to save things, pipe this trader on BBC.

We can but hope this arrogant bastard is wrong. If that vid doesn't give you the jim-jams, here is a study in Der Spiegel that says traders are wilder than psychopaths. Such a world. Death to Goldman Sachs.

Worldwide G & D

A fascinating site replaces Weekly World News as my source for astonishing global misery – storms, earthquakes, subsidence, solar storms, &c, &c. Go here for the Extinction Protocol site, in case you are feeling unexplained waves of optimism.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Spontaneous Human Combustion

Since the departure of the Weekly World News from the American journalism scene, it's hard to get the straight skinny on such phenomena as SHC. The Brits are blessed with the Daily Mail to provide them with this sort of inside scientific reporting.
A baffled coroner has ruled that a man who burned to death in his home died as a result of spontaneous human combustion.
Dr Ciaran McLoughlin, the coroner for West Galway in Ireland, said that although Michael Faherty, 76, had been found lying on his back close to a fire in an open fireplace, that blaze had NOT caused his death.

Read more here. The Brit tabloids are wonderfully entertaining.

Saturday, September 17, 2011


An astonishing, at least to me, datum from the Los Angeles Times:
Drugs exceeded motor vehicle accidents as a cause of death in 2009, killing at least 37,485 people nationwide, according to preliminary data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
While most major causes of preventable death are declining, drugs are an exception. The death toll has doubled in the last decade, now claiming a life every 14 minutes. By contrast, traffic accidents have been dropping for decades because of huge investments in auto safety.

Read it all here. I am aware that prescription drugs are the top pick of your younger junkie crowd here by the bay, but I had no idea that they were killing people at such a rate nationwide. Reasons for the rash of overdose deaths are interesting and include heavy advertising and doctors who are quick on the script pad.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The republic is doomed

This summer has had about it the feeling of doom. Things fall apart. The center cannot hold. I keep reading economists blathering about how Americans must retool themselves for a brighter day under globalism. People who can't count to fifteen are not likely to become script writers, or video-game designers, or rap producers, or even economists [though editor is a possibility, as I have known more than one editor to brag, 'I don't do numbers.' ... Not a shamefaced admission but a proud boast], and these appear to be the trades that the economists believe we will use to save ourselves in a time of global wage arbitrage.
I knew a guy whose family ranched down by Del Rio. He told me that had an old Mexican pastor whom they'd set to counting sheep when they were gathering for shearing. He could count only to ten; when he had counted ten, he would drop a pebble in his shirt pocket. For the final count, he would take out the pebbles and show them and say, 'I have this many and six more.'

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Moving day

Shot these through the window by the computer. I liked the little guy drinking from the bird bath, partially hidden behind the bronze bird in the bath. The metal bird sometimes leads my wife's murderous cats to a fruitless stalk ending in that thing cats do when they're embarrassed. You know, that look that says, 'I knew that wasn't really a bird.'

The annual fall migration has started, and we have a lot of pretty and out-of-the-ordinary visitors out the window, including a few orioles who've been hanging around for a couple days. There appear to be a couple of pairs, but this one was without his lady friend when he dined this afternoon. One of the really fun things about life here in this non-fatal bird funnel is the traffic through here in fall and spring.
And, culture-vulture bonus but still on-topic, William Cullen Bryant's 'To a Waterfowl':
To A Waterfowl

by William Cullen Bryant

Whither, midst falling dew,
While glow the heavens with the last steps of day,
Far, through their rosy depths, dost thou pursue
Thy solitary way?

Vainly the fowler's eye
Might mark thy distant flight to do thee wrong,
As, darkly seen against the crimson sky,
Thy figure floats along.

Seek'st thou the plashy brink
Of weedy lake, or mlarge of river wide,
Or where the rocking billows rise and sink
On the chafed ocean-side?

There is a Power whose care
Teaches thy way along that pathless coast --
The desert and illimlitable air --
Lone wandering, but not lost.

All day thy wings have fanned,
At that far height, the cold, thin atmosphere,
Yet stoop not, weary, to the welcome land,
Though the dark night is near.

And soon that toil shall end;
Soon shalt thou find a summer home, and rest,
And scream among thy fellows; reeds shall bend,
Soon, o'er thy sheltered nest.

Thou'rt gone, the abyss of heaven
Hath swallowed up thy form; yet, on my heart
Deeply hath sunk the lesson thou hast given,
And shall not soon depart.

He who, from zone to zone,
Guides through the boundless sky thy certain flight,
In the long way that I must tread alone,
Will lead my steps aright.

Monday, September 5, 2011

New pack member

This little rascal showed up a couple weeks ago, slightly ragged but confident of his welcome. He's only about 10 lbs but does a pretty good big-dog bark and, mercifully, does it seldom. The name on his membership application was 'Ort.' We all know that's a good crossword-puzzle word for a table scrap, but there are other possibilities ... He may have misheard when I told him he ort to be a better dog. Or perhaps his name is Orthur and he prefers the breezier nickname, Ort. All dogs present some little mysteries. Although we cycle strays through here to benevolent and generous friends, he looks permanent. Tried posters in the local places and wife inquired around, to no avail.

Current events

The girl came down this weekend, bringing Lily Jane. Lily Jane is a pistol. You can get a hint of her character from these pix from the little playground down by the seawall. Her general direction and preferred velocity: FORWARD! FASTER!

Hard to get this kind of help these days

I always feel a little bad ragging on the Vicad, but how can I not, given sentences like this in a story on shrimping?
"'All right, let's see what we've got,' Harborth says, hitting the wench to pull the net in."
Maybe instead of hitting her, he should just holler at her a little. They used to employ persons to vet stories and make right things like that silly goof.
And couple of funnies from comments around the webs
'Just saw this shirt: In dog beers, I've only had one.'
'I'm a couchtivist. I'm working right now....'
"After Rep. Michele Bachmann said God created last week's earthquake and hurricane to punish America, God issued this rebuttal: 'Actually, that's why I created Michelle Bachmann.'"