Wednesday, October 26, 2005

I Can't Decide If This Guy Is Insane Or Just Incredibly Brave.....

I've never seen anything like this before. This diver is petting a great white shark on the nose like it's a big puppy dog.

Here's the video (warning:large file)

"whoseagoodboy? Hmm? whosedaddysfavoritemaneater? Hmm?"

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

And I'll Never Get Tired Of Hearing It

I stayed up late tonight to watch the end of Game Three of the World Series against the Chisox and The Astro's, hoping the Astro's would lose so that I could hear Joe Buck state my favorite baseball statistic of all time.

....Ahem.....(clears throat)...

"No team has ever come back down three games to none in a best of seven baseball playoff game EXCEPT for last years WORLD CHAMPIONS, THE BOSTON RED SOX...."

I will never, ever, ever get tired of hearing that stat brought up in any playoff game in any sport in which one team is down 0-3. And it's for two wonderful reasons as a Bosox fan.


Gave we Bosox Fans the following........

Monday, October 24, 2005

Do You Want To Know What It Sounds Like Around Saturn?

The planet, not the cars.

The Cassini-Huygens site has a collection of various recordings from both the Cassini and Huygens probes gathered during the exploration of the Saturnian system.

To play the sounds and for more information about them, click on the links below.
Sounds of Enceladus (QuickTime 678 KB)
Radar Echoes from Titan's Surface (Wav file 400 KB)
Speeding Through Titan's Haze (Wav file 400 KB)
Bizarre Sounds of Saturn's Radio Emission (Wav file 127 KB -- 13 seconds)
Eerie sounds of Saturn's Radio emissions (Wav file 718 KB -- 73 seconds)

Wait, Neo-Nazi Olsen Twins? Are You Serious?

Um, what?

Young Singers Spread Racist Hate

Duo Considered the Olsen Twins of the White Nationalist Movement

(ABC News)
Oct. 20, 2005 — Thirteen-year-old twins Lamb and Lynx Gaede have one album out, another on the way, a music video, and lots of fans.
They may remind you another famous pair of singers, the Olsen Twins, and the girls say they like that. But unlike the Olsens, who built a media empire on their fun-loving, squeaky-clean image, Lamb and Lynx are cultivating a much darker personna. They are white nationalists and use their talents to preach a message of hate.

Known as "Prussian Blue" — a nod to their German heritage and bright blue eyes — the girls from Bakersfield, Calif., have been performing songs about white nationalism before all-white crowds since they were nine.

"We're proud of being white, we want to keep being white," said Lynx. "We want our people to stay white … we don't want to just be, you know, a big muddle. We just want to preserve our race."

Lynx and Lamb have been nurtured on racist beliefs since birth by their mother April. "They need to have the background to understand why certain things are happening," said April, a stay-at-home mom who no longer lives with the twins' father. "I'm going to give them, give them my opinion just like any, any parent would."

April home-schools the girls, teaching them her own unique perspective on everything from current to historical events. In addition, April's father surrounds the family with symbols of his beliefs — specifically the Nazi swastika. It appears on his belt buckle, on the side of his pick-up truck and he's even registered it as his cattle brand with the Bureau of Livestock Identification.

"Because it's provocative," explains April of the cattle brand, "to him he thinks it's important as a symbol of freedom of speech that he can use it as his cattle brand."

Songs like "Sacrifice" — a tribute to Nazi Rudolf Hess, Hitler's deputy Fuhrer — clearly show the effect of the girls' upbringing. The lyrics praise Hess as a "man of peace who wouldn't give up."

Poor old Rudolf. He just wanted peace.

And dead jews. See how fabulous homeschooling can work out? What a wonderful way to teach children about the holocaust.

Rudolph just wanted peace kids, see?

Oh, those? Those were just, em, er, heating dens. It gets very cold in Germany in the winter!


And just look at the precious little young'ns-

Aren't they sweet? Dontchyaknow that these two talented Naz-er-Nationalists gave some big time charity donations to the victims of Hurricane Katrina-well, at least the white victims.

Yeah, Wow. That's what I said too.

If you feel like observing the shallow end of the gene pool, you can head over to the Prussian Blue website, where you will find the "Prussian Blue Forum", which I'm sure you can imagine is filled with pages upon pages of Nazi-loving, fearmongering racist garbage.

Hoo-Ray for diversity!

Friday, October 21, 2005

Saddam Hussein Better Recognize.....

Cox and Forkum are simply the BEST when it comes to political cartoons in this day and age.

I present to you the Recognition of Saddam Hussein-

Even Jay Pinkerton got in on the Saddam train-of-pain...

I think Mohammed at Iraq the Model may have spelled it out the best-
"Does he deserve a fair trial?" this was the question that kept surfacing every five minutes…he wasn’t the least fair to his people and he literally reduced justice to verbal orders from his mouth to be carried out by his dogs.
Why do we have to listen to his anticipated rudeness and arrogant stupid defenses? We already knew he was going to try to twist things and claim that the trial lacks legitimacy or that it’s more a court of politics rather than a court of law, blah, blah, blah…

"Why do we have to listen to this bull****?" said one of my friends.
"I prefer the trial goes like this:
Q:Are you Saddam Hussein?
Then take this bullet in the head."

It's interesting to observe the evolution of justice in Iraq through the trial of Saddam. Start at Iraq the Model and surf your way around the Iraqi blogosphere during the trial. It's like you're watching Jews from the mid-40's get to try Hitler. Truly fascinating.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Mahmoud Abbas Lives On Another Planet.

Once again highlighting the fact that Palestinian society is deep doo-doo if it expects someone this clueless to turn things around in Palestine, Mr Abbas, the president of the Palestinian National Authority, was allowed some inkspace today in the Wall Street Journal on the editorial page. (here's the link)

The entire article basically consists of Abbas complaining that its Israel's fault for the lack of peace in the region, and the inability of both nations to reach a compromise. He lays out some extreme fallacies that I will examine below.

Mr Abbas writes-
Since my democratic election as president of the Palestinian Authority in January, my government has done all in its power to advance the Road Map and live up to our commitments: My government has initiated serious reforms of our governing institutions; we have consolidated the official security agencies; we have declared a policy of non-violence and negotiations and we have worked hard to secure and maintain a cease-fire to which all factions signed on.

Really Mr Abbas? What about this- Palestinian Gunmen Abduct 2, Make Threats.-GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip - A shadowy Palestinian militant group on Tuesday said it has abducted two alleged collaborators with Israel and threatened to carry out additional kidnappings.

The announcement by the group calling itself the “Knights of the Storm” was latest sign of chaos and lawlessness in the Gaza Strip following Israel’s withdrawal from the area last month. The group said it abducted the two men in the southern town of Khan Younis on Monday after Palestinian officials refused demands to arrest them.

Several masked militants posed for pictures in front of the men, who were kneeling on the floor of an empty room with their faces against a wall.

The gunmen said they are affiliated with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah faction, which controls the Palestinian Authority.

Or this- Three Israelis killed in Gush Etzion shooting attack.Three Israelis were killed Sunday afternoon and three were wounded, one seriously, when Palestinians opened fire on a hitchhiking station at the Gush Etzion junction in the West Bank, south of Jerusalem, the Zaka rescue service said.

The Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, affiliated with Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ ruling Fatah movement, took responsibility for the attack, Israel Radio reported.

Bang up job with that cease fire agreement you have been doing there sir.

Mr. Abbas continues-

Unfortunately, Palestinians cannot pursue the Road Map alone. Implicit in the idea of the Road Map is that Israel and the Palestinians are partners in the journey to peace. Yet the Israeli government has not fully cooperated with my government, created obstacles in the face of a full and unconditional return to the negotiating table, and acted as if Israel can resolve the Middle East conflict unilaterally. In addition, the Israeli government has taken steps that undermine the Road Map.

For example, during Israel's Gaza disengagement, my government was asked to ensure that Israel's evacuation took place peacefully and without disruption. I am proud to say that we succeeded: not a single Israeli settler or soldier was attacked or fired on. We were told that our behavior would be a "test," and that if we did our part, Israel would reciprocate by allowing Gazans to breathe the air of freedom and begin rebuilding their shattered lives.

Ummm, Mahmoud, they left Gaza. You get to "breathe the air of freedom" now. Might be helpful if you would stop shooting rockets at Israel. Just a suggestion.

Yet, this has not happened: Gaza's airport and crossing point to Egypt remain closed; its waters are off-limits to our fishermen; its borders are completely sealed and movement into or out of Gaza is virtually impossible; and no safe passage between Gaza and the West Bank exists. Because investors rightly fear that without access to the outside world, Gazans will not be able to rebuild a functioning economy, they have been slow at investing.

Rrriiigghhtt....It's because their isn't any "access to the outside world" that investors are reluctant to move in to the Gaza strip. I'm sure that it has nothing to do with the lack of security or occasional spontaneous combustion that goes on from time to time in Gaza. And um, by the way, you might want to ask Egypt about their end of the Gaza border. If you know, Hamas would stop trying to blow it up first.

This is not the vision that President Bush and I had for the Gaza Strip back in May: We wanted to see a free Gaza Strip, open to the rest of the world, where Palestinians can be free and where our economy can prosper. But as long as Israel maintains its stronghold over the borders, water and airspace of the Gaza Strip this will never come to pass.

Similarly, this is not the vision that we have for the West Bank. Palestinians have been assured that "Gaza first" would not be "Gaza last." We were told that we would soon enjoy an expansion of our freedom in the West Bank. We were told that Israel's evacuation of the Gaza Strip would not come at the expense of deepening the settlement activity in the West Bank. Instead, Israel has accelerated its settlement expansion in the Palestinian heartland. In fact, the 26 months since Israel announced its plans to disengage from Gaza have witnessed the highest rate of West Bank settlement construction in all the occupation years. Israel has also continued construction of the Wall -- deemed illegal by the International Court of Justice -- depriving more and more Palestinians their freedom and livelihood, and closed off access to East Jerusalem, Palestine's religious, cultural and political capital.

Look Mahmoud, the deal was you guys stop killing Jews, Israel leaves the occupied territories. Well, Israel left Gaza, and you are still killing Jews. Not only that, but Hamas is claiming victory for the suicide bombers. Is this an indication to you that the suicide attacks will cease? Are you really this delusional? The security wall that Israel has built has been the only thing that has slowed down the terrorist attacks. It certainly isn't because the Palestinians have disarmed. Jerusaelum is not going to be turned over to the Palestinians. Get over it. Especially not when Hamas continually claims that until they take back ALL of Israel, the attacks will continue.

This last bit is just ridiculous.

I am not afraid of the Palestinian people. On the contrary, I have abiding faith that my people will pursue the path of tolerance and peace -- indeed, poll after poll shows that a majority of the Palestinian people wants a negotiated two-state solution to our conflict with Israel. I have managed, in the nine months since my election, to create a climate of peace and not a climate of violence amongst Palestinians.(??????WHAT???-ed.) Yet this climate of peace needs the help of the U.S. and the international community: For without sustained pressure on the Israeli government to sit down and negotiate, Israel will only bolster those within Palestinian society who do not share the majority's desire for peace. Every time Israel launches a violent attack on our cities, commits a political assassination, or confiscates more Palestinian land, the voices for peace grow weaker. By refusing to negotiate with my government and by insisting on pursuing unilateral actions, the Israeli government is nourishing that minority within Palestinian society that sees violent struggle as the only answer.

It's pretty simple Mr Abbas. Stop killing jews, and you will have peace. Keep letting Hamas and the Al-Aqsa martyrs brigade randomly kill innocent Israeli's at will, and you will not get an independent state. It's up to you. Israel is not going to roll over and let the terrorists destroy Israel, and this is something you will have to deal with on your end first. Because if you don't stop terrorists from attacking innocent Israeli's, you leave Israel little choice.

Ball's in your court Mahmoud. What are you gonna do with it?

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Former And Current Astronauts Speak Out On Impact Hazards

The Association of Space Explorers have posted a letter from their recent congress concerning the urgency needed for nations to act now to mitigate future impacts while we still have time. This issue needs to be continually raised whenever the discussion concerning funding for space exploration is brought up. As is stated repeatedly on this blog, THERE IS NO REASON WHATSOEVER TO SPEND A SINGLE DIME ON ANYTHING ELSE RELATED TO SPACE EXPLORATION UNTIL WE HAVE ADDRESSED THE MITIGATION ISSUE IN A TRULY SERIOUS AND PRO-ACTIVE SENSE.
Open Letter of the Association of Space Explorers 19th Annual Congress, Salt Lake City, UT 14 October 2005

The Association of Space Explorers (ASE), meeting in its annual congress in Salt Lake City, Utah from October 10 - 16, 2005, has taken special note of the series of unusually devastating natural disasters that have occurred around the world during the past year. While natural disasters of many types cause death, destruction and disruption of society around the world every year, the Indian Ocean tsunami in December 2004, hurricanes Katrina and Rita in September 2005 and the Pakistan earthquake in October 2005 have been unusually devastating. These unusually large events have, in our opinion, spotlighted the inadequacy of societal preparation for and response to these large natural disasters. In most cases it is clear in retrospect that the mitigation measures were inadequate not due to lack of understanding, but due to failure to effectively act based on well understood fore-knowledge of the disaster potential.

Yet we astronauts and cosmonauts are particularly concerned by a far more threatening natural disaster for which the world is totally unprepared; namely the future impact of a near-Earth object (NEO) with the Earth. While such cosmic impacts between NEOs and the Earth are infrequent their magnitude is often far greater than any other natural disaster, with an upper bound resulting in global, rather than local or regional devastation. Historically the largest of such cosmic impacts have lead to the virtually instantaneous extinction of a majority of the species alive on the planet at the time of impact.

In other NEO News, Russell L. Schweickart and Clark R. Chapman of the B612 Foundation have published an article in The American Scientist concerning another problem with Asteroids- ones that are less than 1 KM in diameter but still pose a very large threat.

NASA has been spending about $4 million a year to meet a 1998 Congressional mandate to chart (by 2008) at least 90 percent of the near-Earth asteroids that are more than 1 kilometer in diameter. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory has been overseeing the effort, called the Spaceguard Survey, which has to date discovered more than 790 of an estimated 1,100 or so of these huge, rocky objects. The impact of a 1-kilometer asteroid would release the same amount of energy as 70,000 megatons of TNT or, equivalently, as 1,400 of the largest thermonuclear weapons ever detonated. The subsequent Sun-dimming pall of debris lofted high into the atmosphere would envelop our planet for months, threatening all of human civilization.

The need to be on the lookout for such an immense catastrophe is clear enough, as more than one Hollywood blockbuster has made widely known. The capability of the current search effort, however, is inadequate to address the danger posed by the far more populous cohort of smaller near-Earth asteroids, those down to about 100 meters in diameter. Such objects can cause serious local or even regional destruction. The impact of a 100-meter-diameter body would release the equivalent of an 80-megaton bomb and thus could devastate an area the size of a large city, for example. And a several-hundred-meter body could cause a tsunami rivaling or exceeding last year's horrific Indian Ocean event.

Objects in this range of diameters are discovered only incidentally today by the modest equipment that has been dedicated to finding their larger siblings. A recent addition to the list of small asteroids that have a small but real chance of striking the Earth is a 330-meter-diameter asteroid named 99942 Apophis (formerly known as 2004 MN4). It has a 1-in-32,000 chance of impacting in April 2035 and a 1-in-12,000 chance of striking in April 2036. So there's no need to become alarmed at this stage. Yet one of these smaller asteroids is far more likely than their larger counterparts to constitute a danger in the foreseeable future. They are also easier to deflect away from Earth using space technology. The problem is that today astronomers have discovered such a low percentage of the smaller near-Earth asteroids that a strike with no warning whatsoever is far and away more likely than our having enough time to undertake an effort at deflection.

The authors go on to further discuss the shelving by NASA of the technology that will be needed to help possibly mitigate asteroids in the future.

First, consider the technology-development front. It happens that NASA was, at least until recently, headed in just the right direction for building hardware that could deflect an object away from a collision with Earth. Prometheus is a NASA program to develop cost-effective deep-space propulsion capability by utilizing high-performance ion or plasma engines powered by a small nuclear reactor—just what would be needed to give a menacing asteroid the necessary shove. The nuclear-electric propulsion portion of the program now seems to be on hold with priority shifted toward developing a small reactor for future work on the lunar surface.

Just prior to the arrival of Michael Griffin as the new NASA Administrator, an asteroid-deflection mission was in the final throes of consideration as the first operational test of the Prometheus technology. This mission would have demonstrated the use of an "asteroid tugboat" to deflect near-Earth asteroids, a concept that we and two other members of our group spelled out in Scientific American in November 2003. However, this proposal, along with the Prometheus program, was put into limbo in a reshuffling of NASA priorities.

We need to demand a reshuffling of priorities for NASA until this issue is resolved.

Monday, October 17, 2005

EXTREMELY COOL Picture from the Cassini Probe at Saturn...

I am having trouble digesting this one, it's just so incredibly vivid. Via the Cassini-Huygens Mission page-

Speeding toward pale, icy Dione, Cassini's view is enriched by the tranquil gold and blue hues of Saturn in the distance. The horizontal stripes near the bottom of the image are Saturn's rings. The spacecraft was nearly in the plane of the rings when the images were taken, thinning them by perspective and masking their awesome scale. The thin, curving shadows of the C ring and part of the B ring adorn the northern latitudes visible here, a reminder of the rings' grandeur.
It is notable that Dione, like most of the other icy Saturnian satellites, looks no different in natural color than in monochrome images.

Images taken on Oct. 11, 2005, with blue, green and infrared (centered at 752 nanometers) spectral filters were used to create this color view, which approximates the scene as it would appear to the human eye. The images were obtained with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera at a distance of approximately 39,000 kilometers (24,200 miles) from Dione and at a Sun-Dione-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 22 degrees. The image scale is about 2 kilometers (1 mile) per pixel.

Speeding toward pale, icy Dione, Cassini's view is enriched by the tranquil gold and blue hues of Saturn in the distance. The horizontal stripes near the bottom of the image are Saturn's rings. The spacecraft was nearly in the plane of the rings when the images were taken, thinning them by perspective and masking their awesome scale. The thin, curving shadows of the C ring and part of the B ring adorn the northern latitudes visible here, a reminder of the rings' grandeur.
It is notable that Dione, like most of the other icy Saturnian satellites, looks no different in natural color than in monochrome images.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Fark Photoshop Brilliance.

I do love me some quality photoshop threads over at Fark, but sometimes they go above and beyond. Today is one of those days.

The theme is: Redesign a movie poster so that it more accurately portrays the actual film...

Update: I have changed my favorite. It used to be this one, but I'm going with the above shown. The reason for this is because the movie Independence Day has so many freaking holes in it that it officially belongs on the "too unbelievable, even for Hollywood" list. The movie inspired the following essay from the QQQ Files-

"Things I did not know until I saw ID4"
(courtesy of Perry O'Grady)

A few excerpts-

*Alien spacecraft the size of Australia can be taken out with one
well-placed sidewinder missile

*Most PowerBooks are configured with interfaces powerful enough to override
the communications systems of the most sophisticated futuristic

*Despite the fact that they wear biomechanical body armor that can only
be removed with a scalpel and the fact that they possess hyper-developed
brains that allow them to destroy their enemies simply by thinking about
it, alien fighter pilots have a glass jaw and can be knocked unconscious
for hours with one punch

*The correct military honor for a hero who saves the world by
sacrificing his own life by flying directly into the alien death ray is
to clap and cheer wildly in front of the hero's family immediately after
he perishes.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

The Evolution To Guinness, and A Time Lapse Video of a Drive From L.A. to New York.

Yes, both very cool videos. The Guinness one is BRILLIANT!

The Evolution to Guinness.."Good things come to those who wait..."

And for your viewing pleasure, Time Lapse Video of a Drive From L.A. to New York. In a convertible no less.

The Wall Street Journal Takes A Swing At Creationism.......

Some people (*cough*New York Times Bleeding Heart Liberals*cough*) like to denigrate the Wall Street Journal for being an unabashed pro-capitalism-conservative-leaning newspaper. Some others take it a step further and claim the WSJ is a republican-Bush/Rove-talking-point memo for the far right masses. The second group obviously doesn't actually READ the WSJ newspaper.

Yes, the WSJ is a pro-capitalism-conservative-leaning newspaper, their specific motto is "Free Markets,Free People". Nothing to be ashamed of there. But to take the next big step and say that it is some christian-coalition talking point regurgitation means that one is simply not paying attention.

Case in point. Yesterdays right page WSJ editorial listed below is a major swing at those who pray at the altar of intelligent design/creationism. The simple fact that the bird-flu virus that people in Washington are so worried about is dangerous is BECAUSE IT IS EVOLVING. It is not necessarily evolving intelligently, nor with a "grand purpose", it simply is evolving, period.

I'm going to post the whole article and hope that the Dow Jones company decides not to sue me (because they could). The reason will be in bold at the end.

There's Something
Catching in Washington
October 12, 2005; Page A17

Be afraid. Be somewhat, slightly afraid.

Last week's panic over bird flu skipped right past the current fashion of intelligent design. Senate Major Leader Bill Frist minced no words in blaming natural selection for the impending deadly human contagion: "It's like pulling the lever on a Vegas slot machine over and over again. If you pull enough times, the reels will align and hit the jackpot. But in this case, the jackpot is a deadly virus to which humans have no natural immunity."

Well, yes. The virus would have to mutate in its animal host to develop the possibility of casual human-to-human transmission. It would have to survive and reproduce until it reached a human host. It would also have to retain the virulence of bird flu in the few humans that catch it today, yet somehow not snuff out its own spread by killing its carriers.

This does indeed amount to a giant long shot. Jeffrey Taubenberger, a civilian Army pathologist who recreated in a lab the 1918 Spanish flu, says today's bird flu would have to accumulate specific mutations on each of its eight RNA segments. Presumably a powerful selective pressure would be required to drive the virus down this path. If so, it's hard to imagine the virus not also discovering the adaptive benefit of less human lethality, which would aid its spread.

For this, we can give thanks to the Lord for a nature that operates on principles of unintelligent design.

How a catastrophe with low probability of occurring became a focus of Washington's attention can be explained in one word: Katrina. Unlike the universe, politicians operate on psychological principles. George Bush gave the press conference last week he wished he'd given in the year past about the danger of New Orleans being submerged in a hurricane. He even cited John Barry's book about the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic -- the same Mr. Barry whose earlier book on the 1927 Mississippi flood was widely cited in the aftermath of the New Orleans debacle.

You're seeing an administration more than usually needy to get its "I told you so" chits in hand. HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt has stated, quite accurately, that the U.S. is unprepared for a worst-case pandemic. But when pressed on the odds, he said, "From all I hear from scientists and physicians it is relatively low, but it is not zero."

Declared Julie Gerberding, head of the Centers for Disease Control, in more interviews than you can count last week: a global pandemic is "not a matter of 'if' but 'when.'" But note that she was speaking of any flu pandemic, not the mega-killer of recent Washington scenarios.

Her own experts say a medium-severity bird flu outbreak would kill, at most, 207,000 Americans. In a normal year, flu kills 36,000. The 1918 flu, which is now believed to have been derived from bird flu, killed nearly 700,000 in a population one-third the size of today's, but notice that many of its victims died of secondary bacterial pneumonia that now are treated with antibiotics.

Yes, it's just conceivable that a virus could evolve that spreads easily and kills in the tens of millions -- though it's far more likely that an easy-spreading virus would be one that had evolved not to kill. Bird flu, in the first place, is carried hither and yon in ducks because it doesn't make them sick. Cataclysms of many kinds are always possible. But the principle of unintelligent design gives us comfort that such cataclysms are vanishingly rare because otherwise we wouldn't be here. The universe defaults to order because non-order is too unstable to persist. Why don't the creationists give God for credit for that?

In his book "Catastrophe," Richard Posner, a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals in Chicago, writes: "The number of extreme catastrophes that have a more than negligible probability of occurring in this century is alarmingly great and their variety startling."

This is a delicious invitation to worry about everything. In all likelihood, however, each of us will die of something mundane, and in any case we'll all die. Very few policies recommend themselves as the answer to worst-case disasters, except perhaps a policy of space exploration to make sure mankind is not forever dependent on this planet and this solar system.

Panic is certainly not a sustainable response. Mr. Bush didn't tell families to stock up on Dinty Moore and Parmalat, enough to hunker down for an eight-week flu siege. After the duct tape and plastic sheeting nuttiness in the wake of the al Qaeda attacks, this suggests he's learned a lesson about using signals to help Americans put given risks in a realistic perspective.

Instead, stuck for something to do, Washington is turning bird flu into an opportunity for overdue progress on the vaccine industry's lawsuit problem. And China is being pressured to cooperate on disease control. Its agricultural sector, wedged weirdly between peasant husbandry and agribusiness, has become a hothouse for virus mutation. Progress here really might someday stop a global plague.

Almost everything about last week's flu panic goes to show why "intelligent design" simply makes a bad argument -- because it relies on the baseless assumption that complexity is evidence of design, a notion belied by everyday experience. Our economy achieves its complexity precisely because no one is in charge. Our politics creates order for 300 million contentious citizens in ways more supple and efficient than any authoritarian could impose.

That's why we're likely to get a policy response to the flu panic that's more rational, and less extravagant, than the scary talk that gives rise to it.

To repeat-

Almost everything about last week's flu panic goes to show why "intelligent design" simply makes a bad argument -- because it relies on the baseless assumption that complexity is evidence of design, a notion belied by everyday experience. Our economy achieves its complexity precisely because no one is in charge. Our politics creates order for 300 million contentious citizens in ways more supple and efficient than any authoritarian could impose.

Free markets, Free people. Don't let anyone tell you that the WSJ is some uber-rightwing talking point memo. Show them this column for proof.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Worst. Merger. Ever.

I'm pretty much scratching my head over this one. The Serbian automobile producer Zastava, famous for its production of the always dependable Yugo, is merging with FIAT (famous for the faux acronym-"Fix-It-Again-Tony!"). I am assuming they are doing this to see if they can make the least dependable, most unsafe at any speed car to grace the roadways of our fair planet.

My dad had a fiat when I was growing up, it looked like this- And when I say looked like this I mean to say looked like this because it isn't moving. My dads fiat probably made it out of the driveway a grand total of eight times in as many years if I remember correctly.

I actually got pretty excited to possibly be the beneficiary of said Spider the closer I got to being old enough to drive. Can you think of a cooler car to drive in High School? A convertible Spider? Unfortunately, it was not meant to be. Ironically enough, a twenty-something Serbian next door bought the car from my dad, proceeded to get it up and running in a matter of hours and then wrapped it around a tree a few days later. With this went my dreams of cruising in a convertible during high school. But those dreams were probably shortsighted anyways considering the fiat never ran for an extended period of time.

I simply cannot imagine how one could make a car that would be worse than a cross between a Yugo and a Fiat....unless maybe a Pinto and a Fiero decided to create the ultimate death trap..Any other ideas for the worst company merger? This one has me stumped.

Monday, October 10, 2005

The Apocalypse Watch Is Over

All seems right with the world again. The Red Sox choked in October, the Braves won the division but lost in the first round of the playoffs (albeit in dramatic fashion-18 Innings!) and THE MIGHTY TITANS HAVE WON AGAIN...

Three notes on the Titans win- Jeff Fisher received his 100th career victory, Steve McNair became the second player in franchise history and the 49th player in the NFL to reach 25,000 passing yards, and Jarret Payton, son of the late great Walter Payton rushed for his first career touchdown. Many reasons to celebrate, despite the fact the Titans were playing the sack prone Houston Texans. I'll let the following picture give you an idea of how the day went for David Carr, QB for the Texans...

This weekend I also had the pleasure of watching the Nashville Predators defeat the Anaheim Mighty Ducks in an exciting overtime shootout, which is part of the new rules for the NHL. This, I very much liked. Both teams were physically exhausted by the end of regulation, so the five minute overtime went quickly. The new rule is after the five minute overtime, you have a shootout to see who wins. This particular shootout ended with the newly acquired big gun Paul Kariya filling the basket for the win. Overall it was very exciting and left us wondering why the NHL waited so long to implement this in the system. GO PREDS!!

Yes, life is (somewhat) back to normal..

Friday, October 07, 2005

There Is No Joy In Red Sox Nation Tonight...........


For the mighty BoSox have struck out. The lack of a number one ace pitcher or decent bullpen combined with mediocre defense and ridiculously sad runners-left-on-base numbers equals an embarrassing sweep at the hands of the very beatable Chicago White Sox. So for me, baseball season is officially over. Yeah, it would be nice to see the New Yokr Spankees get beat down by whomever else is left, but hey, it would only be a consolation prize this year. I still have my 2004 World Champion Boston Red Sox Schwag, which will always be dear to me, but it looks like this was the last gasp of air from the Original Cowboy Up! Idiots. Manny will likely be gone, as well as Renterror, Johnny Caveman, Millar and probably Wells too. I won't be surprised if there are barely any left from the 2004 squad by next season.



Have a good weekend folks.........I'll be drowning my Red Sox Nation sorrows at Jacksons.....look for the drunk one at the little bar pounding Jager and Guiness...

Monday, October 03, 2005

Is There Anything Better On TV Right Now Than Family Guy?...


Methinks not. For your viewing pleasure I give you the Gorilla Masks archive of clips from this seasons Family favorite so far might be the Cookie Monster Goes to Rehab, priceless..

I also have updated the blogroll list to your right to include a few of my favorite humor spots on the web for your surfing enjoyment. The phat phree is my latest favorite, check out their list of the NFL's All Criminal Team, ex-Titan Samari Rolle even made the cut.

Yeah, I don't wanna talk about the Titans right now. Sunday was simply embarrassing to be a Titans Fan...

But how 'bout dem RED SAWX!!!! Wild card winners in the AL again, the Bosox will take on the Chicago WHITE Sox for the chance to move on to the ALCS. I think this is the best draw for the Bosox, and it seems inevitable that they will face the evil empire again in the ALCS. Can they repeat and bring yet another championship back to the bay state? Stay tuned sports fans....