Saturday, October 4, 2008

McCain's awesum confidence in Palin

McCain/Palin, trust, respect, and openess. It was pretty amusing to read that Palin found out about McCain's departure from Michigan via the news the day after it happened. In this one brief stroke of "working together," McCain managed to show the world how much he really respects his running mate's opinion. If they make it to the White House, I can't help but wonder how often she will hear his plans via the news. I mean if McCain himself doesn't respect her opinion, why would anyone else?

Fannie Mae forgives loan for woman who shot herself

"(CNN) -- Fannie Mae said it will set aside the loan of a woman who shot herself as sheriff's deputies tried to evict her from her foreclosed home."

Well, that's one way to settle your mortgage.

Wind car racing

Hale Bopp can't possibly cover every interesting science wonderment on his own. Here's some help.

Friday, October 3, 2008


One song I have been playing alot this year is called "Free" from Donavon Frankenreiter. Kinda a smooth, chilling Jimmy Buffet kind of thing.

Thnaks for joining me on this trip from 45's to mp3's. One thing that hasnt changed in the last 40 years is music is the one constant. Nothing brings back a memory like a song.

#4 1998

In 1998 a trio called the Ben Folds Five released a song called Brick which hit the top 10. Didnt like that song but loved the rest of that album. Please enjoy a live version of "Battle Of Who Could Care Less". And Yes, I think the Rockford files is cool.......

#3, 1988

Ahh 1988. 20 years old and thinking I know everything. This video is from Midnight Oil, who had their big hit that year with "Beds are Burning". This song is better.
For your listening pleasure, I present "Dreamworld".

#2, 1978

Growing up, I was caught right smack between the Metal coming out of the late 70's, the forming of Hip Hop and New Wave Punk. Back before the Police was a commercial success they had a punk/reggae influence. This is one of my favorites from their first album Outlandous D'amour called "Peanuts". Listen for a little "Tequila"

Friday Nights lost Video, Decade edition.

Seeing as how I turned 40 years old October 2nd, I thought the videos this week should be a look back. One video from 1968, 1978, 1988, 1998 and 2008.I hope you all will indulge me the bandwidth to celebrate four decades of me.

True to form, all videos will be a little bit to the left of mainstream. The first is from 1968, the year I was born. A band called Lemon Pipers was playing a song called Green Tambourine. Enjoy Vid #1.

The Ig Nobel Prizes 2008

Is it that time of year already? For those of you that didn't watch the VP debate last night, you could have tuned into the 2008 Ig Nobel Prizes webcast. These annual awards recognize the strange, the quirky, and the downright bizarre science achievements of the year.

You can see this year's complete list of winners and they are going to post video of the ceremony. Nobel Laureates are on hand to honor the winners of the Ig Nobel Prizes. The ceremony is fun to watch and can feature one act operas, Win a Date With Nobel Laureate, 24/7 lectures, and the Goodbye, Goodbye speech.

A few highlights of this year's winners

  • The Ig Nobel Prize in medicine was given for a study that showed expensive fake medicine was more effective than cheap fake medicine.
  • The Ig Nobel Prize in economics went to a study that correlated strippers incomes with their monthly cycles.
  • The Ig Nobel Prize in chemistry was given for showing the Coca-Cola is an effective spermicide.
As the traditional ending of the Ig Nobel Prize ceremony says, to all those who did not win this year and especially to those who did, better luck next year!

Tennis for Two: Fifty Years of Video Games

Yep, that is not a typo...Brookhaven National Lab is sponsoring a special Arcade Showcase where you can play Tennis for two, a video game created in 1958. Here is a video to give you an idea of the game play.

That is a very old oscilloscope they are using for a screen (it looks a lot like the old oscilloscopes we used for various potentially destructive experiments when I was an undergrad).

The event takes place on October 24th at BNL which is on Long Island. I will have to challenge Scott to a game next time I visit there.

Congress to America: Eat More Pork!!!!!

A partial list of the continued porking of America by the leadership in the House and Senate. Shame to everyone on both sides of the aisle who voted for this Oinker. Some of what the “Bailout” is used for:

Manufacturers of kids' wooden arrows - $6 million
Puerto Rican and Virgin Is- lands rum producers - $192 million.
Wool research.
Auto-racing tracks - $128 million.
Corporations operating in American Samoa - $33 million.
Small- to medium-budget film and television productions - $10 million
$223 million package of tax benefits for fishermen and others whose livelihoods suffered as a result of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill

$3.8 billion health-care provision that forces insurance companies to provide coverage for mental-health treatment equivalent to the coverage they provide for physical illness.

Allows employers to provide a benefit to employees for costs associated with bicycle commuting, including purchase and repair of a bicycle, bicycle improvements, and bicycle storage. This provision is estimated to cost $10 million.

Provision allowing for deductions related to the charitable donation of “apparently wholesome food”—defined as food intended for human consumption that meets all quality and labeling standards imposed by law and regulations even though the food may not be readily marketable. The cost is $149 million, according to Joint Committee on Taxation.

Allows residents of states that don’t pay income tax to deduct, from their federal taxes, sales tax paid over the course of the year. States that benefit include Texas, Nevada, Florida, Washington and Wyoming. The bailout bill extends this provision for 2 years at a cost of $3.3 billion.

Secure Rural Schools provision sponsored by Reps. DeFazio (D-OR), Bill Sali (R-ID); Sens. Wyden (D-OR), Larry Craig (R-ID) The original version of this provision was estimated to cost $2.2 billion. To give the package more heft, Payment In Lieu of Taxes (PILT) was added to the package, bringing the total cost to $3.3 billion.

Will the Real Sarah Palin Please Stand Up!

I am not good at French, but this looks like a funny media gaffe.
This was found by Isabell Carreua of TV Squad. In case you can't tell the problem, the picture is NOT Sarah Palin and Katie Couric but Tina Fey and Amy Poehler in their Saturday Night Live sketch on the Palin-Couric interviews! The paper did publish a correction with a picture of the real Sarah Palin.

Open Notice to Obama Headquarters

To [some of] the people working at Obama headquarters on sixth street:

SHUT UP! Do you hear me? SHUT UP THE HELL UP! If you want to talk politics, do it at your headquarters. If you think that making a loud proclamation in Shillings, Waves, Ivanhoe, etc. is going to win over anyone to your side, YOU'RE WRONG.

All you are doing is pissing us off. We were forced to make snide comments to one of your folks a few weeks ago, but apparently the message hasn't gotten through.

We go to local bars and restaurants to relax. DO YOU HEAR ME? TO RELAX! We have been bombarded with political ads, stories and commentaries incessantly for the past few months and its only going to get worse. GIVE US A BREAK AND SHUT THE HELL UP.

I swear, if one of you this weekend so much as raises your voice to claim "McCain insulted America's intelligence by picking Palin" or "The only reason anyone won't vote for Obama is because they're racist", I'm going to KICK YOUR ASS!!! DO YOUN HEAR ME?? I'M GOING TO KICK YOUR ASS!!! Or, at the very least, PUBLICLY EMBARASS YOU!!

I'm going to be at Party on the Pavement. I'll be watching and listening. You've been warned, now LEAVE US ALONE!!

By the way, that goes for McCain people as well.

Jerry Lewis Goat

Whaaya...., hey Dean, whoaayaa....!

‘Poster child’ of the system

"[Milwaukee] Police Chief Edward Flynn said [19-year-old Artieas Y.] Shanks is 'the very definition of a menace to society.'

"'The phenomenon of the repeat violent offender is not an uncommon one,' Flynn said. 'It can be a serious challenge to police motivation to (ask officers) to go out there and risk their lives dealing with people who are armed and veterans of the criminal justice system.'

“'I’ll tell you right now that this guy is a poster child for the failures of the juvenile justice system and the failures of the adult justice system. I have one hope, and I hope that the court will learn from experience as rapidly as he has. He has learned that he can kill and maim without consequence.'”

Two things bear repeating:

"It can be a serious challenge to police motivation to (ask officers) to go out there and risk their lives dealing with people who are armed and veterans of the criminal justice system."

"I have one hope, and I hope that the court will learn from experience as rapidly as he has. He has learned that he can kill and maim without consequence."

And he's only 19. Party on!


TGIF! How was your week?
Are you going to Party on the Pavement?
It's do or die for the Brewers Saturday.
Are we bailed out yet?

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Save a Mega Firm Miracle Fund

See more funny videos at Funny or Die

Won't you please give?

The Great Antimetabole Debate Drinking Game

The NPR show On The Media had a piece on antimetaboles as the great rhetorical debate device of '08. Antimetaboles are not new and have been around for a long time, but really seem to be in vogue right now.

Antimetabole is "the repetition of words in successive clauses in reverse grammatical order." One of the most famous quotes in history by JFK is an antimetabole: "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country".

In this campaign we have both Obama* and McCain using variation on bringing change to Washington and Washington changing people.

A few more examples from the NPR piece.

Hillary Clinton: "In the end, the true test is not the speeches a president delivers, it’s whether the president delivers on the speeches."

Sarah Palin: "In politics there are some candidates who use change to promote their careers, and then there are those, like John McCain, who use their careers to promote change."

Jesus Christ: "The first will be last and the last will be first."

Yeah, it's that old of a device. And I never had a name for it before hearing this piece.

And now I hear them frakkin' EVERYWHERE! Kind of like how you never see a purple PT Cruiser until you hear a bank robber made a getaway in a purple PT Cruiser and then you see purple PT Cruisers EVERYWHERE! That's kind of how I feel about antimetaboles right now.

So the rule for tomorrow night when Biden and Palin tee it up: do a shot every time you hear an antimetabole. A pretty geeky drinking game!

*I would like to accuse this blogger tool of conservative bias as McCain is a recognized word while Obama is marked as misspelled. Even Palin is not marked as misspelled and she just joined the race...or is that becuase they like Michael Palin and put it in there for him?

Pretty Pictures for Leaf Lookers


Dear Madame Zoltar

Hello everyone! How about them Brewers? (And how about paying up, Mr. OrbsCorbs, for my help?)

Mr. SER, one of my favorite Irregulars, writes, "Dear Madame Zoltar, We’re all aware of 'Murphy’s Law'. You know, 'what can go wrong will go wrong at the worst possible time'. Lately this SOB hasn’t been cutting me any slack. My question is, 'what can I do to turn the tide on this scum bag and make him deal with the bullshit'?"

Dear Mr. SER: I have a variety of hexes, spells, potions, and incantations available to help move circumstances toward a desired objective. (Isn't that right, Mr. OrbsCorbs?) Contact me regarding a price schedule tailored to fit your needs and pocketbook. Unfortunately, because of difficulty in collecting payment from another member of this website, I must insist upon prepayment for all of my services.

On the cheap, though, there's always signing up his email address on porno sites.

The economy has been a major subject in my emails this week. I would like to reassure everyone on our financial future, but, alas, I cannot. My crystal ball remains mysteriously cloudy on this matter. I am convinced that there is a way to clear the air, as it were, and see the economic future. However, it will take the cooperation of everyone and the efforts of all who have a stake in our fiscal well being. It will also take approximately $750 cash, delivered to me personally, to finalize the foretelling of our markets' coming ups and downs.

Our next question comes from GEB, "Dear Mme. Zoltar, Do you have any predictions for Party on the Pavement this weekend?"

Dear GEB: I predict a good time, a really good time. Hope to see you there. Try to lay off the sauce, though, and leave the camel alone this time.

Finally, two words on the upcoming election: you lose. I don’t like to reveal my prognostications on elections in order to avoid affecting the electoral process. Therefore, I won’t say who the winner of the next election will be, but I can tell you this: both of the bozos up for the job want to reward the bankers and swindlers who have brought our economy to its knees with $700 billion of your money.

I would be laughing so hard if my tears didn’t erupt first.

Have a good week everyone. Don’t forget to send your questions and comments to me at And don’t forget to visit my fortune telling booth at Party on the Pavement. For only $5, I will tell you your future. For $10, I’ll lie.

Speed On Gary!

Looks like our favorite party guy and hizzhonor the Mayor has a bit of a lead foot. Fred over at RDW has a story about how Gary was going 20-24 over the limit in a 55 zone in Fond Du Lac County, when one of their finest pulled him over and fined him to the tune of over $200 bucks. Hope the taxpayers dont pay this ticket. Party on Gary, and I guess drive on as well!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

God I hate forwarded Emails

I REALLY hate brain dead forwarded Emails. Doesn't ANYONE know how to multiply? Doesn't ANYONE question before they hit SEND? 85 billion divided by 300 million is how much? Christ, a calculator is just a click away if you can't omit the zeros in your head.

What set me off? Getting that stupid Email from a secretary at my old college. Love the gal and I'd never go off on her, but come on, she represents my college!

Let me make it easy for you. Even 700 billion (the present bailout) divided by 200 million (Maybe the number of tax payers) only comes out to $3,500

People wonder why they are swamped with spam. sheesh.

Another Big Picture: The Russian Space Program

This week's Big Picture takes us to Baikonur Cosmodrome, launch facility for the Russian Space program. You can see a mockup of the Russian Space Shuttle in the background as this Soyuz is transported to the launch pad.
When the Shuttle retires in 2010, they are the only ticket to ride to the International Space Station for about five years until we get our new manned launch vehicles ready.

I am so used to seeing U.S. rocket design that I find it fascinating to look at other countries space programs. Everything looks different. Some of the differences are cosmetic, but there are also some different approaches to design evident.

Be sure to check out all the pictures.

Monday, September 29, 2008

First Snow of the Year...on Mars!

The Phoenix Mars Lander has seen its first snow! Well, kind of. The snow did not reach the ground as it isn't quite cold enough yet. Phoenix used an instrument called a LIDAR (think radar but it uses a laser instead of radar waves) to detect snow falling a few miles up in the atmosphere of Mars.

One of the neat things to notice is that you can see the trails moving off to the right as the snow falls. The snow is falling into a lower layer of the atmosphere and the wind is altering the snow's path...yep, you can see wind on Mars!

Winter is coming...I think it would be really cool if we got to see some snow reach the ground before Phoenix runs out of power.

Pics from Up North

Hello everybody,I'm back! Yep,back from Up North. I had a great weekend. Spent some time with my family. Friday,the weather was gorgeous-did some fishing with my son,a little 4wheelin',and took some long walks into the woods to get some pics. The first three pictures were taken on the family property and the last one is the Wolf River,taken along the way through the Menominee Indian Reservation. Saturday,it rained. Did a little window shopping in Antigo. Got some of my mom's home cooking into me. Even brought home of my mom's world's best homemade chocolate-chip cookies!

At the bank today

I saw bank officers on the phones assuring customers their deposites were safe. I saw tellers counting out piles of cash to the customers at the windows. I saw looks on their faces like they had been gut kicked. Think maybe, just maybe it's time to buy into gold. Sure, your deposites are insured. If you have up to 100k in the bank, you can rest assured you will get 100k out of it even if it goes under. What you aren't assured is that the buying power of that 100k will be worth spit in the future.

Now see, they don't want you to panic and do a run on the banks. If that happens, a lot of folks lose. If there is a run on the banks and you don't, then you lose. WAMU was a big bank. WAMU went under because it endured a 1.4 billion run in a five week period. Gold will always keep pace with commodities. paper don't. Last time I said to buy gold, gold almost tripled. I'm saying it's time to buy gold again.

Hubble Trouble

Breaking news today that the Hubble Space Telescope is having some trouble. The Control Unit/Science Data Formatter (CUSDF, great acronym people!) shut down. This means that no science data can be sent back to Earth. All cameras are shut down. It should be pointed out that this is side A of the CUSDF. Hubble has operated on side A its entire lifetime. As you probably expect by now, there is also a side B capable of performing exactly the same functions and NASA can switch to it with proper planning. It should be noted that side B has been in space for 18 years and never used, so hopefully, it it still functioning!

Hubble is now in safe mode. Most satellites have a safe mode designed to kick in if something big goes wrong. Going into safe mode is a positive sign. Hubble will keep its batteries charged and essential systems are protected. If everything shut down and Hubble started tumbling, we wouldn't even be able to capture it for service.

Right now the next Shuttle is still scheduled to lift off on October 14th for a servicing mission. It may be delayed if they decide to try and replace side A of the CUSDF on this mission. They would have to get a replacement to the Cape, test it and train the astronauts how to install it which would take months. If they switch to side B and it works, they have a tough call on whatto do. They could let it fly with just one side functioning and no backup. This mission is the last scheduled servicing mission for Hubble, and it definitely won't last another 18 years. However, there is no guarantee side B will last as long as side A.

Here's hoping our 18 year old piece of space hardware is up to the task!

Suckers! I am Making Out on This Bailout!

Yep, while you all are left holding the $700 billion bag, I am going to be on a beach in Rio. I just got an email from the Minister of Treasure asking for my help in the money transfer ensuring me of a healthy commission for my efforts.

Dear American:

I need to ask you to support an urgent secret business relationship with a transfer of funds of great magnitude.

I am Ministry of the Treasury of the Republic of America. My country has had crisis that has caused the need for large transfer of funds of 800 billion dollars US. If you would assist me in this transfer, it would be most profitable to you.

I am working with Mr. Phil Gram, lobbyist for UBS, who will be my replacement as Ministry of the Treasury in January. As a Senator, you may know him as the leader of the American banking deregulation movement in the 1990s. This transactin is 100% safe.

This is a matter of great urgency. We need a blank check. We need the funds as quickly as possible. We cannot directly transfer these funds in the names of our close friends because we are constantly under surveillance. My family lawyer advised me that I should look for a reliable and trustworthy person who will act as a next of kin so the funds can be transferred.

Please reply with all of your bank account, IRA and college fund account numbers and those of your children and grandchildren to so that we may transfer your commission for this transaction. After I receive that information, I will respond with detailed information about safeguards that will be used to protect the funds.

Yours Faithfully Minister of Treasury Paulson

Easy money...what could possibly go wrong?

Sunny Day, Keepin' Al Qaeada Away!

It turns out that the Department of Homeland Security is worried that children won't know what to do in an emergency such as a terrorist attack or natural disaster. So how to teach kids without traumatizing them? Using the beloved characters from Sesame Street!

You can download everything you need at the Ready Kids website and even watch the videos.

I haven't watched it yet, but look forward to the inevitable new characters such as Sammy Suicide Bomber, Hannah Hurricane, Tommy Tornado, Evan Earthquake, and Brian Bird Flu.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

I know.. this is Wi..

But I am a true BRETT fan!! I want him to succeed and have a really good season. I love watching him play. He's the reason I watched the Packers.
What a frigging game today he had! Scored a career high 6 touchdowns! He matched Joe Namath's record.

Wishing him the best of luck... 'not bad for an old guy' :)

Party like its 1982

Thank you Brewers.

Thank you Mark Antanasio for buying this team and investing money in it. Thank you for finally bringing a winner back to a city that loves this team. We have been saying for years "Just win and we will support this team" The fans proved it the last three years.

Thank you CC Sabathia for being the most dominating pitcher in the league.

Thank you Doug Melvin for getting CC and putting this team together. Now lets sign him for the future.

Thank you Ryan Braun for the home run today (And all your Home Runs)and your leadership to this team.

Thank you Prince Fielder for taking this team on your back in Setember.

Thank you Jason Kendall for being the unsung hero on this team and for catching an astonishing 147 out of 162 games.

Thank you Ben Sheets and Yovanni Gallardo for gutting it out.

Thank you Mike Cammeron and Craig Counsell for your veteran leadership.

Thank you Ned Yost for getting the team 5/6th of the way there.

Thank you Dale Sveum for changing the lineup and getting the team the rest of the way.

Thank you Brewer fans for waiting 26 years to make the playoffs.

Thank you NY Mets for losing and Florida Marlins for winning.

I cant wait to see how we do versus the Phillies and would love to play the Cubs for the pennant.

Howard Troxler's Rules For the Next Five Weeks...

I have linked to articles from Howard Troxler of the St. Petersburg Times before. He is one of my favorites (I have been reading him since 1994 when I moved to Florida and kept reading him online since I moved away).

Today, he gives his rules for the rest of the election cycle. To sum up: don't be distracted by trivia, don't believe forwarded emails, bloggers and talking head gasbags should be looked at with skpeticism, deal with facts even if you don't like them, and you don't get to call each other names.

Read his version...he says it well.

The Lost Ladybug Project

Today I bring you another citizen science project: The Lost Ladybug Project. There are hundreds of species of ladybugs. Over the last 20 years, some species have been in serious decline while others are booming and we aren't sure why.

Part of the problem is documenting which species are are doing well and which are disappearing in different parts of the country. It is difficult and expensive to dispatch that many researchers all over the place, so the idea is to engage students and citizens in the effort by photographing ladybugs. All you have to do is photograph ladybugs (tips are given on the web site) and upload your photos along with info such as the time, date, and location of the photo. The project is really targeting young students, but anyone is welcome to participate.

This effort reminds me a lot of the Great Backyard Bird Count or the Globe at Night Project. Sometimes scientists just can't collect the needed data.

If you have kids in school, pass this on to their teachers. I know ladybugs exist in Racine!