Saturday, March 21, 2009

Good grief Charlie Brown! The Great Pumpkin has gone crazy!

image via www.davesdaily.com

Welwitschia Mirabilis: This plant is really a one-of-a-kind...

  

It's not pretty to look at, but Namibia's plant Welwitschia Mirabilis can truly claim to be one of a kind. There really is nothing like it. Welwitschia plant consists of only two leaves and a sturdy stem with roots. That's all! Two leaves continue to grow until they resemble the shaggy mane of some sci-fi alien. The stem thickens, rather than gains in height , and can grow to be almost 2 meters high and 8 meters wide. Their estimated lifespan is 400 to 1500 years.

(image on left thanks to: via)

(Image on right thanks to: Botanik-Fotos.de, photo by Karlheinz Knoch)

Friday, March 20, 2009

Pat Buchanan says President Obama is 'too familiar' with 'common citizens'

   I took a few minutes and was watching Hardball on MSNBC (around 4:10 p.m.) and wasn't surprised by Buchanan's take on the president's familiarity with the general public.

   He thinks Obama should act more dignified (can you say aloof?) and not do such shocking things as taking his coat off in the White House!

Conservative guru Buchanan, tried running for the presidency twice; in 1992, 1996, and 2000 and lost every time. Now he thinks he's an expert on presidential demeanor. Just look at his hang-dog face and tell me that Pat is an inspiration to anyone!

   I know there are still some desperate conservatives crawling around in the political wasteland of the Republican Party trying to find someone to rally around.

  If GOP adherents plan to get out of their quagmire they better stop listening to elitists like Buchanan who secretly wishes we had a King and not a president for the people.

I suppose I should be questioning MSNBC for having him as a mainstay and calling him the nation's leading conservative voice. Don't MSNBC executives understand that Buchanan is a dinosaur who thinks women's place is in the home (barefoot and pregnant by the only accepted sex position - the missionary position!)?

The idea that we now have a president who doesn't claim to be doing the will of God, but instead that of the people, is unnerving to Republican acolytes. After all, they enjoy wielding power from an ivory tower! Perhaps I shouldn't be concerned that Buchanan is still influencing ideological blank minds.

He can serve as another splinter of the fractured GOP. That, in itself, is probably the best thing I can think about Buchanan being called a "leading conservative." As long as the Elephant heads want to argue among themselves, they won't be a challenge to the Democrats in 2012. So bring on more demigods and liven up the GOP Party!

As It Stands, Obama is doing all the right things, and it's pissing off his detractors (the majority of the Republican Party), but is playing well with the American people.

photo via Wikipedia

Public Outrage: The Latest Revelation about AIG and Some History

Thanks to Talking Points Memo, here are some great links to understand what's happening with this whole AIG scandal.

The Rise and Costly Fall of AIG's Cowboy Division

Is Former AIGFP Chief Cassano Vulnerable To Fraud Charges? ... Cassano's Lawyer Is White Collar Crime Expert ... AIG Gives Names Of Bonus Recipients To Cuomo ... AIG Suing Gov't For Return Of Taxes

Zack Roth (TPM) takes us through a brief history of AIGFP, the financial products division that brought AIG to its knees.

--David Kurtz/  image via TPM - via solo/ozuma Press

Lakers continue winning even though it was an ugly game to watch!

 The Lakers had to infuse some suspense in their game with Golden State last night against a team they haven't lost to this season (three prior match ups)! They let an 18 point lead shrink down to 3 points in the 4th quarter last night, before pulling out the Epson Salt and taking deep whiffs. They awoke enough to regain control of the game with a final score of 114 to 106. The Laker Bench Mob at least looked better than they have in the last couple of weeks. Sasha Vujacic found his shooting touch at just the right time. Josh Powell continues to impress. Luke Walton even had a good game.  THERE'S LAKER FANS EVERYWHERE...

Kobe Bryant sat through a jury selection process Thursday, and was part of the group that were cut by lawyers on both sides. No duty for Kobe, but... 

According to the celebrity-driven website TMZ.com, the judge asked Bryant what he does for a living:

"I play professional basketball for the Los Angeles Lakers," was his response.

Said the judge: "Go Lakers!"

Blind justice. A wonderful thing.

Having clinched the Pacific Division title and a playoff spot so early the Lakers have little incentive to play hard now.

I have to admit that the Lakers seem to be lacking motivation, or the killer instinct that will be needed to win it all in the Playoffs.

SOME GOOD NEWS...depending on how you look at it:

Lakers Coach Phil Jackson, recently said  Bynum's not likely to be available to play until the Playoffs start. There was a hope that he would get in a few regular season games to hone his skills. I suspect that he will be a little rusty against the Mavs (most likely opponent in the first round.

Photo by Alex Gallardo / Los Angeles Times)

Growing Trend: Michigan joins California & Other States in making medical marijuana legal

FROM THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE THIS MORNING...

As Michigan's medical marijuana law takes full effect next month, sufferers of chronic pain and other ailments cheer while police predict problems

By Tim Jones | Tribune correspondent
March 20, 2009

PAW PAW, Mich.—At first glance they look like old pals, maybe a bunch from the Rotary Club leisurely gabbing away over the hamburger special, making the waitress work overtime for her tip.
But these guys are different. Their eyes, their fidgeting and their restlessness betray a shared bond of chronic pain, sleepless nights, depression and a reliance on heavy-duty prescription drugs. Around this lunchtime table, they talk about the only thing that gives them a measure of peace, the only thing that, for perhaps a few hours, sets them free: marijuana.
They've been smoking or eating marijuana for years—privately and illegally. And now, because
Michigan voters approved marijuana use for the treatment of certain serious maladies, Bob White soon will be able to get himself together in his Three Rivers home "without having to draw the shades."Ron Stephens, who has a chronic neck disorder and depression, built his own marijuana "grow room" with high-powered lights and reflective paper on the walls. (E. Jason Wambsgans / Tribune photo / March 12, 2009) Read the whole article here.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

World's Heaviest Insect: Giant Beetles weigh up to a quarter pound!

 

Goliath Beetles weigh almost a quarter pound (think about a burger), and are the heaviest insects in the world. Being a species of a scarab beetle (which plays a major part in Ancient Egypt mythology), these creatures live mostly in Africa - but a beetle on the lower right image - Megasoma acteon (caleóptero) - lives in Equador and can easily crawl up the map to North America, if it so desires. Center photos: Scarab beetles in Ancient Egypt apparently were as big as a dog... which is a scary thought.

(images via) at darkroastedblend.com

Liar! Liar! Liar! Sen.Chris Dodd caught lying about AIG bonus backing!

I think I'm going to start an annual, or monthly, Hall of Shame for lying politicians. The latest entry can be Senator Chris Dodd. What really amazes me is when politicos like Dodd get caught red-handed,they still manage to weasel out an explanation for their actions.

Christopher Keating, of Capitol Watch website noted that...

"Amber Wilkerson, a spokeswoman for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, said "Senator Dodd's reversal on this issue is both astonishing and alarming. ... Contrary to his statements and denials over the last 24 hours, Senator Dodd has now admitted that he and his staff did in fact change the language in the stimulus bill to include a loophole for AIG executive bonuses."
Dodd said flatly that his comments were not a reversal, though when asked by CNN what had changed in his understanding between Tuesday and Wednesday, Dodd replied, "Going back and reviewing it. ... I apologize if we had some confusion.''

EXCUSE ME? The only confusion was on Doddy boy's part! He simply lied. If it were you or I caught in a lie...we'd pay the consequences. Not politicians like Dodd, who live according to a different set of rules than what he expects from others. Why doesn't someone really grill his lying ass and make him pay for the consequences? He helped those AIG thieves give themselves bonus after bonus while the ship was sinking. What kind of consideration did good old Dodd get for this covert action? He knew what he was doing. If he didn't he's an idiot. But, make no mistake, he knew what he was doing. I wouldn't be surprised if some tax-free tropical isle bank is now bulging with a new deposit from Dodd.

Today's Talking Points Memo asked,  WHO ASKED DODD TO DEFANG ANTI-BONUS PROVISION?

By Justin Elliot

Who in the Obama Administration pushed to weaken a key anti-bonus provision in the stimulus bill last month? Sen. Chris Dodd, who wrote the provision -- and ultimately agreed to defang it -- isn't saying.

Ever since the AIG story broke, we've heard about the company's binding contracts as a key barrier to the government blocking bonuses to AIG executives.

Read the whole article here.

There's more to read if you are so inclined.

Jane Hamsher of Firedoglake has a different take on the blame game. She thinks it's Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner's fault the bonus language made it's way into law.

TREASURY ATTEMPTS TO "BLAME DODD" FOR AIG BONUSES

As Geithner tries to get out of the way of the AIG bonus train wreck, it looks like the designated sin eater is going to be Chris Dodd:

The administration official said the Treasury Department did its own legal analysis and concluded that those contracts could not be broken. The official noted that even a provision recently pushed through Congress by Senator Christopher J. Dodd, a Connecticut Democrat, had an exemption for such bonus agreements already in place.

Read the rest of the article here.

Why do we buy Chinese goods when most are defective or dangerous to our health?

Take a long look at the quality of products we buy from China and then try to figure out why we bother buying junk from them every year. There have been numerous recalls on pet food, baby food, toys with lead, and now it's dry wall that can make people sick! Could it be that because we owe China one trillion dollars we have to buy their shit or they'll call in their markers? You have to wonder. There doesn't seem to be any justification for buying Chinese goods - other than they are cheaper...which to unscrupulous American companies is a real plus.

Here's information regarding the latest crap we're buying to build homes with from HomeOwners For Better Building....

Chinese drywall? Call your insurance company
There is an urgent message for people who may have Chinese Drywall in their homes: Contact your insurance company right away. Wednesday night, builders from across Southwest Florida tried to get a grasp on the Chinese drywall epidemic that's spread throughout the state and beyond. Dr. David Krause is the Florida Health Department Toxicologist who has been heading up the investigation into potential health risks.

To read the whole article click here.

Here's More News on the subject from hoanewsnetwork.com ...

Chinese drywall fears widen in SW Florida

By DICK HOGANdhogan@news-press.com

"Richard Cesta’s on his third air conditioning coil in a few months at his Bella Terra condominium. The air in his home sometimes smells of sulfur.

Like other Lee County residents, he’s worried he may be victim of Chinese drywall leaking corrosive chemicals into his home and endangering his health. "

To read more of this article click here.

image via Google Images

 

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Good Public Art Stirs the Masses to Wonder... and to Question Why?

I've always been interested in public art sculptures, and when I ran across these

two examples I thought I'd share them with you.

Taken in Melbourne, Australia ( top left) and Los Angeles, California (top right)

The bottom two photos were taken in unknown locations.

If you happen to know where they are please share the locations with me.

All photos - via

Laws are supposed to protects us, but when the government decides to get in our pants, some crazy stuff goes down!

From AlterNet today...

By Simcha , The Frisky. Posted March 18, 2009.

Here are some actual sex laws truly for the record books!

1. In Bakersfield, Calif., if you're going to have sex with Satan, you've gotta use a condom. And definitely come up with a safe word!

2. Poking a porcupine is illegal in Florida. But apparently that law didn't go far enough. Just a couple of weeks ago, State Sen. Nan Rich submitted a bill that would ban peeps in the Sunshine State from being able to stick it in where the sun don't shine on any animal.

3. In Minnesota, it's illegal for any slime bucket to hook up with a live fishDon't worry disinterested wives, a cold fish is still A-OK!

4. In Dyersburg, Tenn., it is illegal for a lady to call a gentleman for a date. Clearly no one in that town is getting laid!

5. In Merryville, Mo., no woman can change her natural waist. Wearing a corset is illegal because "the privilege of admiring the curvaceous, unencumbered body of a young woman should not be denied to the normal, red-blooded American male." No wonder it's called the "Show Me State!"

6. It's illegal to purchase sex toys in Alabama. This law can beat it!

7. In Washington State, it's totally legal to eff an animal like an animal, as long as it weighs less than 40 lbs. What, fatty farm pets don't deserve some love?

8. While most would argue that this is place where the people get screwed many different ways, in Washington, D.C., engaging in any sexual position other than missionary is illegal.

9. In Massachusetts, you cannot recklessly consummate your love with a rodeo clown while the horses are still around. But seriously, there's a reason for the expression "hung like a horse." I doubt the animal would get jealous!

10. The biggest Internet-porn-consuming state, Utah, gets freaky in its laws too. Sex with an animal is totally cool, unless you're doing it for cold, hard cash! Hey, why buy the cow when you can have the milk for free!

image via Google Images

Some Scary Halloween Costumes: What Would Happen If There Wasn't a Dress Code in Congress?

Inspired by Rep. "Gym" Jordan's refusal to wear a suit jacket in the Capitol (or anywhere else), I have a stunning prediction...