Saturday, November 8, 2008
A little late for a Halloween reference... Last night I watched a comedian talk about nursery rhymes and the black/negative images they often project. I did some searching on the web today and found the following at http://www.scaryplace.com. Thought it was interesting enough to share. For many years I had no idea what the meaning of this first one was. I recently learned it came about as a reference to the plague....good thing to share with your precious little ones....
Ring around the Rosy
One of the first visible signs of infection were red rings surrounding a rosy bump, all over the victim's body.
Pocket full of Posy
A common belief of the time was that the plague was borne on "foul air." The rationale was that people could protect themselves from the bad air by keeping their local air smelling sweet. That, and it also helped them deal with the smell of death...
On the other hand, another sign of infection was the foul stench that would begin to emanate from the victim's body as their lymph system began filling with blood. Those still mobile endeavored to mask their stench and avoid detection by carrying flowers on their person.
In the terminal phases of the disease, victims would be hemorrhaging internally, sometimes triggering sneezing as it irritated the breathing passages. "Ashes" is a child's approximation of a paroxysm of sneezing. In this weakened state, a victim could, and often did, sneeze their lungs out. Messy...
We all Fall Down
By now, this one should need little explanation...
"Rock a bye baby - in the tree top..."
A soothing childhood lullaby, right? You probably had it sung to you when you were an infant.
(But what's a cradle doing in a tree top? Is that safe?)
"When the wind blows - the cradle will rock..."
Heck, you probably sang it to your siblings, dolls, or your own children.
(A rocking cradle, nice soothing image.)
"When the bough breaks - the cradle will fall..."
But did you ever listen to the words?
(When the bough breaks!? Hey, wait a minute! This is getting serious!)
"And down will come baby - cradle and all!"
What exactly is it we are supposed to be teaching our children with this little gem of a song? Doesn't it seem a bit strange to plant such images subconsciously?
(And they wonder why kids have nightmares...)
Friday, November 7, 2008
"Watch from home and avoid the stench:" http://www.jsonline.com/news/milwaukee/33590989.html
From The Onion, America's Finest News Source.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
10. While cooking, you can still wear your tool belt, simply replace the hammer with a whisk.
9. Several recipes include beer as a legitimate ingredient.
8. The blender, the electric mixer and the food processor are loud enough to drown out anyone in the house who is learning a musical instrument.
7. Whoever is cooking always gets the most attention from the dog.
6. Whatever recipe you choose, you can name it after yourself. Example: tonight’s dinner is called ‘Doug’s Surprise’.
5. Discovering that ‘250 ml’ is the same as ‘8 ounces’ AND ‘1 cup’ is half the fun.
4. Since YOU choose the recipe, it can be a turnip-free night.
3. Some desserts, such as crème brulee, require the use of a propane torch. How much fun is that?!
2. Since other husbands in your neighbourhood are also cooking dinner, ironically this could be the ultimate male bonding experience
1. Participating in ‘National Men Make Dinner Day’ gives you optimum points with your wife. Use those points wisely!
Personally, I would do liquid nitrogen ice cream for dessert!
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
This song has been in my head for the last couple of days. Led Zeppelin's The Battle of Evermore.This song can be found on their classic untitled 4th album. Note the Lord of the Ring references.Enjoy!
I just got a phone call from a friend in Iowa,
he just heard on the radio that gas in
either North or South Dakota jumped from
$1.98 a gallon to just over $3.
(I can never keep my Dakota's straight..)
He called to warn me it would probably happen here
in the near future, I said I would pass it on,
for whatever it's worth.
I'm filling up just to be safe!
The elections are over and the results are exactly as I predicted. Now is a good time for all Americans to set aside their differences and do what we do best: make money. Let’s get over this financial mountain (or tunnel through it) and back on the path to prosperity.
We were short on submissions this week. I assume that everyone was out campaigning. There was only one email, from Mr. AvengingAngel, who wrote:
Can Ben Dover really see Uranus?
Dear Mr. AA, considering that his head spends most of it’s time where the sun doesn’t shine, I’m not surprised by anything that he sees.
In lieu of more correspondence from the masses, I give you the following videos. The first one is "Make Me Psychic:"
If you like that, dearies, you can check out more Sally Cruikshank Films on the laughingsal page.
And here’s a video about one of my dear old friends. She was a mentor to me, and a trusted adviser to thousands. May I present, Miss Cleo:
While Miss Cleo may have faded, Madame Zoltar is in the ascendency. Be sure to send your questions and comments to me at firstname.lastname@example.org for an incisive look beyond the veil of everyday reality.
Toodle loo, my friends.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
First, I am kind of surprised...I mean, don't Democrats find a way to screw things like this up?
Now to the serious part. McCain's concession speech was one of the best I have seen him give. If he campaigned like that, he might have had a different outcome (and if he hadn't pandered to the far right with his VP pick). After a campaign that got nasty at times, it was good to see the decent man I saw running in 2000 (and still think we would have been a lot better off if he won the Republican nomination then...he probably would have won by a much wider margin over Gore IMHO). Although I like that Obama won, I do have empathy for McCain. He worked hard for a long time for this and it has to be tough to come so close.
So Obama won and boy is there a lot of work to do. Yeah, I voted for him in the end (after seriously considering third party candidates to show that I really wasn't totally enthralled with either of them). Here are a few things I hope he does...
First, he says he wants to work across party lines and one of the best first steps is to make sure there is a Republican or two in his Cabinet. Probably a moderate Republican (although I am sure some conservatives would complain that he just appointed a RINO). A Colin Powell could be a good choice for a couple of posts. Lincolen Chaffee is another possibility. I am sure there are other good choices as well and hopefully he can find one or two he can work with.
Second, he need to get control of Pelosi! She has some good qualities but seems to have spent most of the last two years more intent on punishing Repulbicans for what they did when they were in charge than in running a productive Congress. Under a Repubican administration, she seemed to see herself as the big dog of the Democratic party. Obama needs to get her in line (Harry Reid is guilty as well, although to a lesser extent).
Thrid, he needs to run a more open administration. The Clinton health care initiative and the famous Bush Energy task force were both hindered rather than helped by the secrecy that surrounded them. It's the people's business and we should be in on it. I know the argument is that people won't give candid advice if it's public, but unless its a true national security issue, they should have the cojones to go on the record if their advice is so hot.
The last one I am going to state (for now...believe me I could go on, but it's getting late) is don't let the majority go to their heads. Take a little time to be sure the bills really are well written and in the best interest of the country. That might even include an occasional Republican idea in there. Try it...they might not filabuster everything in the Senate (assuming the Democrats do not reach 60...some races are still to be decided as I write this).
So those are just my first thougths. There are a lot of important issues to be dealt with both at home and abroad. The celebration can't last too long. I look forward to his first appointments to see which direction he is going.
They predicted this, too.
How is it that we put a rover on Mars that takes commands from 120,000,000 miles away, but we cannot invent a machine that reliably and effectively counts votes?
I might have a pocket calculator that I can lend to election officials.
Monday, November 3, 2008
The VLT consists of four 8.2 meter telescopes. The telescopes can operate independently or they can combine the light from them to get the light gathering power of a single 16 meter telescope. Several smaller telescopes can be added to the mix to give the resolution of a single telescope 200 meters across!
This is not the first time as observatory has been used in a Bond film. Arecibo Observatory, a large radio telescope, was seen in the movie Goldeneye.
I have never been to the VLT and am looking forward to seeing it on the big screen.
Reprinted with permission from the Half-Astrophysicist Blog.
"Tuttuki Bako is a new video game where a player interacts with the device by sticking their finger in a hole. Your finger then appears on the LCD screen, and you can make contact with the characters in the game."
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Remember, while you are playing and learning, you are donating food to hungry and potentially starving people. It may not be enough to cover the world's hunger problems, but as they say on their web site, "To those who receive it, it does make a difference."
We are embarking on our virtual tour of Europe and its' environs tomorrow, if I'm not mistaken...
A little French, German, Italian or Spanish practice anyone?
Venus is to the right of the Moon. You can even see a little Earthshine on the Moon if you look closely. Earthshine illuminates the dark part of the Moon. It is light that is reflected from the Earth and then bounces off the Moon.
I took a wide shot as well.
Look to the upper left of the Moon and you see Jupiter. Jupiter and Venus are converging for a very close encounter coming up in a few weeks. On the evening of December 1st, Venus, the Moon and Jupiter will all be very close together. Be sure to mark you calendar for that!
Reprinted with permission from the Half-Astrophysicist Blog.