Wednesday, December 28, 2005

NYC Trip Pictures....More to come...

12-27-2005-13, originally uploaded by Tman In TN.

Christmas In NYC........

Here's the slideshow...I'll post more as I get them...

Friday, December 23, 2005

Live From New York- It's Tman!!

Yep, I'm here in the heart of the evil empire visiting my sister before we drive up to Boston to see my mom for Christmas, and I have yet to run to Johnny "traitor" Damon. If I do sportsfans, it won't be pretty. Guiness has a tendency to remove my inhibitions and there is not shortage of that lovely black elxir here in the Big Apple.

On the Damon front, I received a link from my buddy Adam which has a picture documentary entitled "My Sensible Reaction to Johnny Damon Signing with the Yanks". If nothing else it shows the maturity and pose that Red Sox fans like myself have shown in the days since that traitorous bastard decided to leave the path and follow the dark side. Ahem.

Anyways, I may hate their baseball teams, but damn do I love visiting this city. I did the tourist stuf today with my sister- breakfast at Arties, Rockefeller Center, Times Square, etc. We even braved a relatively short line to get to the top of the Empire State building. And by "relatively short" I mean less than an hour. I can't imagine what it's like when it gets busy at that place. After that we went for one of these- at Katz Deli in the Lower East Side. I dare say there is not a better sandwich on the planet.

After that we did a little stroll through the village with a stop at Magnolia's for a cupcake, which was recently immortalized beyond NYC through the genius of Chris Parnell and Andy Samberg's "Lazy Sunday" on Saturday Night Live. Mr Pibb + Red Vine= Crazy Delicious bitches.... Tonight it's off to Rolf's for dinner and drinks. Pictures to follow when I get home..

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Johnny, We Hardly Knew Ye.

Farking Traitor.

Yankees add Damon to potent lineup
NEW YORK -- The New York Yankees grabbed center fielder Johnny Damon away from the rival Boston Red Sox, reaching a preliminary agreement Tuesday night on a $52 million, four-year contract.

Details of the deal were still being negotiated and Damon must pass a physical, a baseball official said on condition of anonymity because negotiations were not yet final.

Damon's contract with the Yankees includes a partial no-trade clause, ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney reported.

Moving from Fenway Park to Yankee Stadium will mean a change of style and scenery for the long-haired, bearded Damon -- a fan favorite in Boston for his scrappy play and scruffy look. But New York owner George Steinbrenner bans beards and long hair.

"Sad to say bye to some of the greatest fans in the world. Unfortunately they had to see this day, but it's time for me to move forward," Damon told WBZ television in Boston. "They were coming after me aggressively. We know George Steinbrenner's reputation.

Reportedly, the Sox offered Damon 4 years at $40 million, and this wasn't enough for Damon. He wanted the 5 at $52 million the Yanks offered. So much for being one the good guys. Tom Brady took pay cut after pay cut to help the Patriots get more depth so they could compete more. So did Steve McNair for that matter. Johnny just proved he is a me-first hired gun, so he'll fit in just fine in New York with the rest of the Spankee Mercenaries.

Look at this ridiculous figure from last night on Sportscenter-

The salaries of the first six in that lineup are almost equal to what last years entire salary for the World Series Champion Chicago White Sox was for the entire team.

Screw Steinbrenner, Screw Cashman, Screw the Chokees, and finally Screw that traitorous rat-bastard Johnny Unfrozen Caveman Damon. May the lord guide those double AA's thrown from the Fenway Bleachers next year directly to your sizeable useless melon.

Johnny, you are dead to me.Further thoughts from The Soxaholix...Bitter? Me? Nah...

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Yet Another Amazing Photo Of Saturn From The Cassini Probe

Check out the storm on the surface too. The storm itself is bigger than the earth.

Storm Down Under
December 20, 2005

An oval-shaped feature, wider than Earth and with streamers extending out to the east and west, swirls in Saturn's southern hemisphere. Like the rainbands of a Southern Hemisphere hurricane on Earth, the streamers spiral into the feature in a clockwise direction. Unlike Earth's hurricanes, this storm probably contains no liquid water.
The planet's equatorial rings cut across the top of the image.

The image was taken in wavelengths of polarized infrared light with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Oct. 30, 2005, at a distance of approximately 324,000 kilometers (202,000 miles) from Saturn. The image scale is 32 kilometers (20 miles) per pixel.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Spirit Of America: Operation Snapshot Successful

Yes, yes, I know. Iraq is a quagmire. According to Dean and the democrats, we can't win, it's Vietnam all over again, blahblahblah. Idiots. All of them.

Here's some of the latest news from Spirit of America. You remember them, right? Of course you do. I mean the New York Times has them on the front page like every other day, right?


Here's a refresher for those just tuning in-

Mission and Objectives
Spirit of America's mission is to extend the goodwill of the American people to assist those advancing freedom, democracy and peace abroad. We provide support to those on the front lines: American military and civilian personnel and people who call to Americans for help in their struggle for freedom and democracy.

Our objectives include:

Increase the reach, scale and impact of the informal humanitarian activities that take place on the front lines in troubled regions.
Contribute charitable goods that can have a positive, practical and timely impact in the local communities where American personnel are involved.
Establish connections and strengthen bonds between the American people and those in countries struggling for freedom and democracy.

The latest success story from Spirit of America is Operation Snapshot: LtCol Jeff Vold of the 1st Marine Division writes, "Many teams report that they have been able to open many doors and break down many barriers with something as simple as a Polaroid picture." So, Spirit of America sprung in to action and boom!- 40 polaroids shipped over to Iraq immediately.

Here's the result-
Operation Snapshot: A Picture IS worth a thousand words
Cost of 40 Polaroid Cameras sent to the troops in Iraq: $400.00

Seeing the faces of Iraqi children enjoying their photos: Priceless

You have to think that if mass media could read more emails and see pictures like these, we'd hear more news stories of the good things that our troops are doing in Iraq. These photos and update on the success of Operation Snapshot make it all worthwhile:

Thank you so much. I was completely amazed. I am always thankful to get out of this office and out into the field. This, by far, was the greatest adventure yet.

We convoyed out and drove to a local Iraqi Army Station, from there the IA Soldiers took on us a foot patrol out to a local school not far from their area.

Yes, it was a little tense, but once we arrived at the school the children started to come from everywhere. The team I was with was delivering backpacks and I toted along with my backpack full of Polaroids and film.

The pictures were the hit of the day. I showed the Iraqi Soldiers how to take pictures and just let them go with it.

Again, thanks for all your support.



I have another question for the defeatists who say we cannot win in Iraq despite the improvements of the Iraqi Security Forces, successful elections and the rule of law without a dictator- how many of you heard of the following stories?

All taken from the Spirit of America site-

Children’s Books Destined for Libraries Arrive in Baghdad
Soccer Equipment Delivered to Eastern Afghanistan
Backpacks for Kids Shipped From Iowa to Ramadi
An Email from Sgt Charity Lewis
Carpentry Program in Baghdad
Celebration for Ramadan in Baghdad
Sports Fans Provide Classroom Comfort for Children
Letters & Donations from Iraqi Children in Basrah to the Children of hurricane Katrina

We now return you to your regularly scheduled quagmire programming.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

If Israel Destroys Iran's Nuclear Facilities, How Can Anyone Blame Them?

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the president of Iran, has made some statements recently concerning what is every Arab controlled nations favorite pastime-destroying Israel- that shouldn't leave out much room for misinterpretation.

Stuff like-

Wednesday, October 26, 2005-

ABC News: Iran Leader Calls for Israel's Destruction

TEHRAN, Iran - Iran’s hard-line president called for Israel to be “wiped off the map” and said a new wave of Palestinian attacks will destroy the Jewish state, state-run media reported Wednesday.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad also denounced attempts to recognize Israel or normalize relations with it.

“There is no doubt that the new wave (of attacks) in Palestine will wipe off this stigma (Israel) from the face of the Islamic world,” Ahmadinejad told students Wednesday during a Tehran conference called “The World without Zionism.”

“Anybody who recognizes Israel will burn in the fire of the Islamic nation’s fury, (while) any (Islamic leader) who recognizes the Zionist regime means he is acknowledging the surrender and defeat of the Islamic world,” Ahmadinejad said.

Ahmadinejad also repeated the words of the founder of Iran’s Islamic revolution, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who called for the destruction of Israel.

“As the imam said, Israel must be wiped off the map,” said Ahmadinejad, who came to power in August and replaced Mohammad Khatami, a reformist who advocated international dialogue and tried to improve Iran’s relations with the West.

And, as Mark Steyn eloquently describes-
"Good news! On Thursday (December 11th), Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the president of Iran, who recently called for Israel to be wiped off the map, moderated his position. In a spirit of statesmanlike compromise, he now wants Israel wiped off the map of the Middle East and wiped on to the map of Europe.

"Some European countries insist on saying that Hitler killed millions of innocent Jews in furnaces," Ahmadinejad told Iranian TV viewers. "Although we don't accept this claim, if we suppose it is true," he added sportingly, "if European countries claim that they have killed Jews in World War II, why don't they provide the Zionist regime with a piece of Europe? Germany and Austria can provide the regime with two or three provinces for this regime to establish itself, and the issue will be resolved. You offer part of Europe, and we will support it."

Big of you. It's the perfect solution to the "Middle East peace process": out of sight, out of mind. And given that Ahmadinejad's out of his mind, we're already halfway there."

So this is the president of Iran? A holocaust denying nutball who has made himself perfectly clear that he intends to send Israel "back to where they got killed in WWII" either dead or alive?

Should anyone be surprised that Israel is taking Iran at their word?

"Israel readies forces for strike on nuclear Iran".

Many people these days seem to have historical amnesia about the middle east and Israel. The Jewish people have lived there for over 3700 years. The've had every type of misguided culture attempt to eradicate Israel and the Jews with them since then. And in the last century, you have the Balfour Declaration of 1917; the League of Nations Mandate, which incorporated the Balfour Declaration; the United Nations partition resolution of 1947 and Israel's admission to the UN in 1949 to further educate everyone that Israel was here to stay.

Israel has backed this up militarily for the last century by suviving repeated attacks from every available Arab nation. And all have gone away empty handed. Israel is not going anywhere. Larry Miller, the comedian/actor/editorialist describes the situation in terms that are unavoidably clear-

"Chew this around and spit it out: Five hundred million Arabs; five million Jews. Think of all the Arab countries as a football field, and Israel as a pack of matches sitting in the middle of it. And now these same folks swear that if Israel gives them half of that pack of matches, everyone will be pals. Really? Wow, what neat news. Hey, but what about the string of wars to obliterate the tiny country and the constant din of rabid blood oaths to drive every Jew into the sea? Oh, that? We were just kidding."

Israel has had to "renovate" the nuclear facilities of Arab nations in the past. Just ask Saddam how much better the Osirak Nuclear facility near Baghdad looks as a smoking crater with a few walls left standing as opposed to that French nuke factory it used to be.

What if your neighbor started building a big cannon -that he didn't really know how to build, but seemed to have plenty of people helping him- and then suddenly walked in to the street and told everyone in the neighborhood that he planned to blow up your house "somehow" as soon as he was able to.

How long do you ignore him?

How long should Israel?

I can't blame them. And I'd wager a bet that there would be a surprisingly large number of Iranians who wouldn't blame them either.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Saddam: 'I Am Not Afraid of Execution'

"Oh wait, maybe I am afraid of execution....can we have a do-over?"

The trial of Saddam is quite interesting to me, mainly because there hasn't been such a blatantly guilty dictator on the bench in quite some time. I'm surprised that it's taken this long, but hey- for reasons I outlined in this earlier post, they better get this one right. Hania Mufti and the entire Iraqi people deserve no less.

In the interests of science, I've decided to post the following poll to your right (above the blogroll) to see what you, dear readers, think should be the method of Saddams inevitable execution.

I suggest reading some of the various Iraqi blogs for reactions to the trial. Iraq the Model is always a good place to start.

Friday, December 02, 2005

There Are Cars, And Then There Is - Are You Freaking Kidding Me?

The Bugatti Veyron.

It's out.

I can't afford it, without robbing a bank, but I really really really want one.

Just one.

For $1.7 million, I want a luxury car with a 16 cylinder engine that does this-

1001 horsepower equip the Bugatti Veyron 16.4 with a level of acceleration unheard of in the sports car segment, propelling it from 0 to 60 mph in just three seconds and past the 200 mph mark in a mere 14 seconds. Thanks to its 923 lb-ft, the Bugatti Veyron 16.4’s enormous propulsive power is not exhausted until it reaches 252.3 mph (406 km/h): the maximum speed for which chassis and drive train have been designed. Any further performance escalation is limited by current design and construction.

I swear that I will never break the law in car like this..

Yes, I know, you could feed an Ethiopian village for the cost of one of these cars, but maybe I can feed that same Ethiopian village faster if I have one of these...

Come on, you know you want one.........

Thursday, December 01, 2005

It's Time For Another Installment Of DEEP SPACE NEWS!

Some cool stuff too.

First up we have the latest release from the Cassini-Huygens Mission. The folks at NASA and the European Space Agency have put together some of the data obtained from the Huygens Probe that landed on Titan last January. One of the cool things they did was put together 2 Quicktime movies of the Landing site and an artists conception of what the landing on Titan would have looked like.

Huygens Landing Site Movie
This movie shows a quick succession of multiple products of Titan's surface from the Cassini orbiter and the European Space Agency's Huygens probe. It shows Cassini imaging science sub-system images, radar images and visual and infrared mapping spectrometer images of the Huygens probe landing area. The rest of the movie consists of mosaics from the descent imager/spectral radiometer. The camera system on the Huygens probe mimics the descent profile of the probe starting at about 144 kilometers (89 miles), looking eastward throughout. It displays the Titan surface in true color. The sequence ends with a true-color surface image. The radar images of the Huygens landing site were taken by the Cassini orbiter radar instrument during the Titan flyby on Oct. 28, 2005.
Huygens Descent Sequence
The artist's concept shows the European Space Agency's Huygens probe descent sequence. The animation shows the Huygens probe's entry, descent and landing, with the descent imager/spectral radiometer lamp turned on at the end.
The probe was delivered to Saturn's moon Titan by the Cassini spacecraft, which is managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. NASA supplied two instruments on the probe, the descent imager/spectral radiometer and the gas chromatograph mass spectrometer.

Here's a picture of the real surface at Titan-

And from Japan, we have the latest news on the Hayabusa Asteroid Probe, which successfully landed on the asteroid Itokawa, scooped up a sample of the asteroid and is now on its return flight home. Here's a journal entry from Yasunori Matagowa -Asscociate Executive Director of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency- JAXA.

The Longest Day of “HAYABUSA”

November 27, 2005
Asscociate Executive Director, JAXA

We are sure that Hayabusa has accomplished the great feat to collect sample soils from a celestial body other than moon. I am heartily proud of those brilliant youths of this country. Below is a live coverage of “The Longest Day”.

That day, November 20th, I was studying the data from Hayabusa that flew as far as100km away in safe hold mode from ITOKAWA just like dreaming a nightmare. But Hayabusa team was not even allowed time to dream a nightmare. It took them a whole week by restless work to get it back to the original gate position.

At around 10:00 pm, Nov. 25th, Hayabusa started descending from 1km in altitude. The climax was coming for the 5th time. Each job done was not a joy any longer. They were not in that kind of mood any more. The goal for them was nothing, nothing but to get sample from the surface. The control room was filled up with their determination to fulfill the mission task. Each operation job sensitively swinging from joy to sorrow on each event until only yesterday was being just calmly carried on. No doubt, Japanese space exploration has entered the new stage just in a few days-----was my vivid feeling I had at that moment. Around 6:00 am, Hayabusa, under guidance by optical navigation system so far, was switched to vertical descent phase to maneuver Hayabusa sent down to “MUSES Sea” along with the direction of the gravity. Entering this phase, remote control from ground basically did not work any longer as scheduled. Hayabusa operates itself on its own. Well, this ability was originally given to the vehicle by human beings, though........

Read the rest here.

Pretty cool, huh?