Amazon Deals

New at Amazon

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Best Football Move... ...Ever?

The Pumpkin Maestros, A Short Film About the Guys Behind Maniac Pumpkin Carvers

via Laughing Squid.  More information there.

STORYBOARD: The Pumpkin Maestros from Tumblr on Vimeo.

Hurricane Sandy’s Track Speeding Up; Today is the Day to Prepare

Lots of good information and advice - read the whole thing, and follow the links for preparation ideas.

Landfall is now expected to occur Monday night, not Tuesday, and bad weather will begin well in advance of the center.

Creepy "virgin voter" Obama ad & prior creepy Putin ad were preceded by creepy Australian ad

Via Mark Steyn at The Corner:

Important correction: In my weekend column, I wrote that President Obama’s virgin-sacrifice campaign ad was lifted from Vladimir Putin. I deeply regret this appalling error. In turns out, Putin got it from Australia’s Green Party Senator, Sarah Hanson-Young. Our friends at Quadrant have the full story with cringe-making video.

So, if you’re an impressionable liberal anxious to lose your virginity to a bold forceful leader, pick a politician who’s big Down Under. (Titter.)

Here's the Obama version:

The Putin version:

And the Aussie version:

Friday, October 26, 2012

Very informative transcript of former Lt Colonel call to Limbaugh on Benghazi

Read the whole thing.

I wanted to speak to the question of when the president knew and why Secretary Panetta refused to support the CIA annex request either to move to the consulate or to reinforce. Within a few minutes of the consulate being under attack -- I'm a retired lieutenant colonel special operations planner for 15 years -- the personal security detail for the ambassador notified the communications room in Tripoli who then, on the top secret side, sent a message to the White House Situation Room that the ambassador was in peril, okay? And they did that by code word and it would have been within minutes of the attack commencing.

Crowder has a parody of the "My First Time" Obama ad

Previous post: Creepy Obama "My First Time" ad, and the (even creepier) Putin version

Assets Ordered to “Stand Down” During Libya Attacks; Delta Force Spec Ops Waited Hours For Deployment Orders

Fox News has learned from sources who were on the ground in Benghazi that an urgent request from the CIA annex for military back-up during the attack on the U.S. consulate and subsequent attack several hours later on the annex itself was denied by the CIA chain of command -- who also told the CIA operators twice to "stand down" rather than help the ambassador's team when shots were heard at approximately 9:40 p.m. in Benghazi on Sept. 11.

'Did your son always have balls the size of cue balls?' Biden's bizarre question to father of Navy SEAL who died in Benghazi attack

The President, by contrast, was apparently much more subdued, to the point of coldness.

'Shaking hands with him, quite frankly, was like shaking hands with a dead fish. His face was pointed towards me but he would not look me in the eye, his eyes were over my shoulder.

'I could tell that he was not sorry. He had no remorse.'

When Mr Woods met Mrs Clinton, she made a reference to the U.S.-made YouTube video mocking the Prophet Muhammad which was originally thought to have been behind the attack.

'When she said that, I could tell that she was not telling me the truth,' he said.

Excellent post: 5 Reasons This Election Is Ward Cleaver vs. Eddie Haskell

Read the whole thing at PJM.

What’s so satisfying about Leave It To Beaver is that it presents a time-tested way of ordering the world: it trusts maturity. Even the best-intentioned young people lack the wisdom and knowledge to cope with instability, danger, dishonesty, and disorder. Their innocence and naivete mean that they’ll too easily trust demagogues and make foolish, hurtful, and potentially harmful mistakes.

What kept the show from being a tragedy, and turned it into an amusing morality tale, was that week in and week out, the grown-ups in the room were able to sort out the child’s chaotic world. Sadly, real life isn’t like that. Too often, naive voters put their faith in demagogues and there is no rescue. This election, though, there’s still a chance that Ward Cleaver’s political stand-in can win the vote and save the day.

From the moment Mitt Romney became the presumptive Republican candidate, this election took on the trappings of a contest between Ward Cleaver (played by Mitt Romney) and Eddie Haskell (played by Barack Obama). The comparison was easy at a superficial level: Romney bears an almost uncanny resemblance to Ward Cleaver, complete with commanding height, combed-back black hair, square jaw, and fatherly meme. Obama, too, is Eddie Haskell’s double since he shares the youthful face, lanky body, and manipulative, hustler’s demeanor.

If one digs beneath the superficial similarities, it’s uncanny how Mitt and Obama still stay close to the Ward and Eddie characters.

Lost iPhone insurance claim: Farmer says phone disappeared inside the back end of cow - he'd been using the phone's flashlight while assisting the cow during calving

Farmer who lost iPhone inside cow tops bizarre mobile insurance claims list

Friday links

How to Weaponize Office Supplies.

How Turkey Got Its Name.

Grandmothers gave humans longer lifespans

The Interesting Origins Of Some Of Our Favorite Food And Drink.

Red Cross Nursing Posters from World War I. Kind of related, Ghosts of WWII: Photos of Soldiers Seen in the Streets of Modern Day France.

Why Are Elections on Tuesdays?

Ronald McDonald breaches restraining order by following wife to McDonald's

RONALD McDonald has admitted breaching a restraining order after he followed his wife to McDonald's, writes Max Evans.

The 50-year-old Westgate man, who shares his name with the fast-food chain’s famous mascot, flouted a ban barring him from contacting his wife last month.

via Fark.

TX Trooper Kills 2 During Car Chase With Vehicle Suspected of Carrying Illegals

This will get ugly fast: A Texas Department of Public Safety sharpshooter opened fire on an evading vehicle loaded with suspected illegal immigrants, leaving at least two people dead, sources familiar with the investigation said.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Creepy Obama "My First Time" ad, and the (even creepier) Putin version

The Putin version - click on CC for subtitles.

Father of Slain SEAL: Who Made the Decision Not to Save My Son?

Weekly Standard:

Charles Woods, the father Tyrone Woods, who was killed in the 9/11 terrorist attack at the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya, reveals details of meeting Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton at the publically broadcast memorial service for the slain Americans at Andrews Air Force Base only days after the attack. And, in a recent radio appearance, Woods publicly questions who made the call not to send in back-up forces to possibly save his son’s life, as well as the three other Americans killed in Benghazi (which includes the American ambassador to Libya).

“When [Obama] came over to our little area” at Andrew Air Force Base, says Woods, “he kind of just mumbled, you know, ‘I’m sorry.’ His face was looking at me, but his eyes were looking over my shoulder like he could not look me in the eye. And it was not a sincere, ‘I’m really sorry, you know, that you’re son died,’ but it was totally insincere, more of whining type, ‘I’m sorry.’”

Woods says that shaking President Obama’s hands at his son’s memorial service was “like shaking hands with a dead fish.”

“It just didn’t feel right,” he says of his encounter with the commander in chief. “And now that it’s coming out that apparently the White House situation room was watching our people die in real time, as this was happening,” Woods says, he wants answers on what happened—and why there was no apparent effort to save his son’s life.

“Well, this is what Hillary did,” Woods continues. “She came over and, you know, did the same thing—separately came over and talked with me. I gave her a hug, shook her hand. And she did not appear to be one bit sincere—at all. And you know, she mentioned that the thing about, we’re going to have that person arrested and prosecuted that did the video. That was the first time I had even heard about anything like that.”

World's largest bottle of single malt Scotch

Standing at 4ft 9ins, the giant bottle of Tomintoul 14-year-old single malt contains 105.3 litres and would serve up 5,250 drams.

The record-breaking tipple is on view to visitors at the Scotch Whisky Experience in Edinburgh until April next year.

The specially-commissioned bottle holds 150 bottles and is worth about £5,000.

The neuroscience of zombies

Full lesson on zombie diagnosis at TED-Ed, via io9.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Things you’d love to say at work

via Bitsandpieces.

Mark Levin’s legal arm sues EPA

More at Daily Caller.

Levin’s law firm, the Landmark Legal Foundation, filed the lawsuit in federal court this week, seeking a court order directing the EPA to preserve and produce all records related to the agency’s regulatory plans after the presidential election.

The suit argues that news stories and political observers have indicated the EPA is “intentionally delaying the issuance of controversial new regulations until after the November election” with the possibility that “a) the Obama Administration is improperly politicizing EPA activities; b) EPA officials are attempting to shield their true policy goals from the public; and/or c) EPA officials themselves are putting partisan interests above the public welfare.”

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

This would make an excellent Halloween costume

Magician Rich Ferguson Scares People With His Head Drop Trick

Physicists Invent (Tiny) Working Tractor Beam, World Becomes Instantly More Awesome


We have tractor beams now! Like where you zap a thing with a laser and pull it toward you with beam power? Yeah, those! We have those now. Even though they are super tiny and effective only on microscopic items like silica spheres suspended in water for right now, they are still working tractor beams, and now that we have the principle down, they are pretty much only going to get cooler from here.

Wednesday links

UK scientists recreated Neanderthal man, and he looks just like Chuck Norris.

How to make buildings from the blood of cows.

What would happen if your nose were upside down?

76-Year-Old Goes After Roomate With Chainsaw.

Beetles Dance on Poop Balls to Keep Cool.

Geneticists create mice that find the smell of landmines irresistible.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

You know those "Rugby Players Eat Their Dead" bumper stickers? The plane crash in the Andes was 40 years ago

Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012. Uruguay's former rugby players marked the 40 year anniversary since they survived 72 days in the Chilean Andes by playing a rugby match with the former members of Chile's team. Only 16 of the 45 passengers aboard survived, by feeding on dead passengers preserved in the snow.

Alien Crop Circles For Romney

More at DesMoines Register.

Happy B'day Weird Al Yankovic

Wikepedia has 40 times more information on him than you ever wanted to know.

Here's White n' Nerdy:

and One More Minute:

New research suggests premenstrual syndrome is a myth

I grew up in the 60's before anyone ever mentioned PMS, so none of us had it.  I've always thought it was a terrible thing for the women's movement - if you want to be treated equally you shouldn't look for excuses to be bitchy several days each month.

Read the whole thing.

Women who feel grouchy before getting their periods shouldn't blame it on their hormones directly, according to researchers at the University of Toronto.

Women's menstrual cycles are mythologized as a time of the month of low mood and irrationality.

"Taken together, these studies failed to provide clear evidence in support of the existence of a specific premenstrual negative mood syndrome in the general population," Gillian Einstein, a professor in the psychology department at the University of Toronto and her co-authors concluded in the journal Gender Medicine.

"This puzzlingly widespread belief needs challenging, as it perpetuates negative concepts linking female reproduction with negative emotionality."

Italy’s top disaster experts quit after jail sentences in earthquake trial

ROME—Four top Italian disaster experts have quit their jobs, saying the convictions of several former colleagues for failing to adequately warn of a deadly 2009 earthquake means they can’t properly perform their duties.

A court on Monday convicted seven former members of Italy’s so-called “Great Risks Commission” on manslaughter charges, giving each a six-year prison sentence.

Prosecutors alleged the defendants didn’t properly inform residents of L’Aquila town of the risk for a big quake following weeks of small tremors.

Scientists have ridiculed the case, saying there’s no definitive way to predict temblors.

Commission president Luciano Maiani and two other members resigned Tuesday. Maiani said the court ruling made it impossible to work in a “serene and efficient” way.

Also quitting was a top official at the Department of Civil Protection.

29th anniversary of the Beirut barracks bombing

Malkin has more information and links.

October 23, 1983.

On that day, 241 U.S. Marines, soldiers, and sailors were murdered as they slept by truck bomb jihadists — who were waging a war on us long before we woke up and started fighting the war against them.

Chocolate Hats For Your Penis

"Satisfaction guaranteed."  Probably NSFW.

Video: Helen Keller visiting Martha Graham's dance studio

Not sure of the date on this.

via Neatorama.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Joe Biden's Brother Wins $100 Million Federal Contract to Build Homes in Iraq

Doug Ross has details and links:

Even better: he has no background in residential construction. Charles Gasparino at Fox Business gives us the lowdown:

David Richter, the president of Hill International (HIL), a mid-sized outfit that manages construction projects, was speaking last year at a private meeting with investors when he was asked about the recent success of his newest subsidiary, HillStone International.

How was it that HillStone, a newcomer in the business of home building, landed a massive and potentially lucrative contract to build 100,000 homes in war-torn Iraq?

Richter didn’t mince words. It really helps, he said, to have “the brother of the vice president as a partner,” according to a person who was present.

Since November 2010, James Biden has been the executive vice president of Hill International’s housing subsidiary despite little if any documented work history in residential construction. And if the company’s projections are accurate, both Hill and Biden are on the verge of a huge payday...

...the Iraq project may be the most lucrative single development in Hill’s history.

Just a coincidence, I'm sure.

When the final history of this administration is written -- with the dozens of green energy companies tied to Obama's campaign bundlers, the hundreds of Mexicans and Americans killed by Operation Fast and Furious, and the rest of the hideous Obama legacy -- it will have recorded the greatest collective fleecing of the American taxpayer in history.

This vegetarian festival in Thailand appears to be full of Reavers

Not for the faint of heart - let's call this NSFW due to graphic weirdness.  Click through at your own risk.

Brutal rituals of festival goers who force knives and guns through their own cheeks.

L'Aquila quake: Italy scientists guilty of manslaughter

This strikes me as rather extraordinary:

Six Italian scientists and an ex-government official have been sentenced to six years in prison over the 2009 deadly earthquake in L'Aquila.

A regional court found them guilty of multiple manslaughter.

Prosecutors said the defendants gave a falsely reassuring statement before the quake, while the defence maintained there was no way to predict major quakes.

It took Judge Marco Billi slightly more than four hours to reach the verdict.

The seven - all members of the National Commission for the Forecast and Prevention of Major Risks - were judged to have provided "inexact, incomplete and contradictory" information about the danger of the tremors felt ahead of 6 April 2009 quake, Italian media report.

In the closing statement, the prosecution quoted one of its witnesses, whose father died in the earthquake.

It described how Guido Fioravanti had called his mother at about 11pm on the night of the earthquake - straight after the first tremor.

"I remember the fear in her voice. On other occasions they would have fled but that night, with my father, they told themselves what the risk commission had said. And they stayed."

The judge also ordered the defendants to pay court costs and damages.

It was not immediately known if they planned to appeal.

The case has alarmed many in the scientific community, who feel science itself has been put on trial.

More than 5,000 scientists signed an open letter to Italian President Giorgio Napolitano in support of the defendants.

Previous articles:

L'Aquila quake scientists in dock

Must read VDH: Do We Believe Anymore?

Read the whole thing at PJM.

We live in an age of disbelief, in which citizens increasingly do not believe what their government says or, for that matter, what is accepted as true by popular culture.

Yesterday was Trafalgar Day

May the Great God, whom I worship, grant to my country and for the benefit of Europe in general, a great and glorious Victory; and may no misconduct in any one tarnish it; and may humanity after Victory be the predominant feature of the British Fleet. For myself, individually, I commit my life to Him who made me, and may His blessing light upon my endeavors for serving my Country faithfully. To Him I resign myself and the just cause which is entrusted to me to defend. Amen. Amen. Amen.
- Horatio, Lord Nelson (his prayer, 20 October 1805, on the eve of the Battle of Trafalgar)

No captain can do very wrong if he places his ship alongside that of an enemy.
- Nelson (memorandum, written onboard HMS Victory, off Cadiz, 9 October 1805)

- Nelson's favorite signal* (made "general" to the fleet by him for the last
time at 1156 on 21 October 1805)

Yesterday was Trafalgar Day in the Royal Navy, the 207th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar and the death of England's greatest naval hero, Admiral Horatio Nelson on 21 October 1805. Fought off the southwest coast of Spain, Trafalgar was the greatest naval victory of the Napoleonic wars and essentially destroyed the sea power of France in a single engagement. Nelson and the British fleet had been blockading the French and Spanish fleet under Villeneuve in Cadiz after pursuing it to the Caribbean and back. When Villeneuve finally emerged to give battle, Nelson, depending on the superior seamanship and fighting skill of his "band of brothers" and the British sailor, adopted an unorthodox tactic that split the French/Spanish line into three parts and led to a general melee in which the British took 19 ships without loss. At the height of the battle however, Nelson was cut down by a French sharpshooter's bullet, and he died a few hours later. In his History of Modern Europe (1883), Charles Alan Fyfe wrote,

"Trafalgar was not only the greatest naval victory, it was the greatest and
the most momentous victory either by land or by sea during the whole of the Revolutionary War.** No victory, and no series of victories, of Napoleon produced the same effect upon Europe... Nelson's last triumph left England in such a position that no means remained to injure her."

* N.B. However, much more famous was his signal at the start of the battle:


In signal flags, this appeared as:

** Meaning here, the conflicts that followed the French revolution in 1789.

One of several paintings of the battle of Trafalgar by English artist J.M.W. Turner (1875-1851):

Since this post is largely is about Trafalgar Day the Lady Hamilton affair is left out. BBC History has more on that, if you're interested.

Also, here's their Animated Map: Battle of Trafalgar - A step-by-step guide to the battle,

And additional resources:

Battlefield Academy: Refight Trafalgar! - Refight Nelson's greatest battle against the remorseless Artificial Intelligence engine of the Academy.
The Battle of Trafalgar by Andrew Lambert
Trafalgar: The Long-Term Impact by NAM Rodger
Napoleon, Nelson and the French Threat by Dan Cruickshank
Nelson: The Hero and the Man by Colin White
The Art of War Gallery by Professor Daniel Moran
Life at Sea in the Royal Navy of the 18th Century by Andrew Lambert
Women in Nelson's Navy by Nick Slope

Taken from Ed's Quotation of the Day, only available via email. If you'd like to be added to his list, leave your email address in the comments.

Excellent election cartoon

More Day by Day cartoons here.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Skeleton of French man found in bed after 15 years

(Reuters) - Police in France said on Friday they were trying to identify the skeleton of a man believed to have lain undiscovered in bed for more than 15 years.

The body, found in an abandoned house in the northern city of Lille, is thought to be that of the elderly owner of the property, who lived alone and appeared to have no relatives.

Police said they had found piles of unopened mail at the house dating back to 1996.

What Does Giant Panda Taste Like?

Terrible, apparently. In 1983, a Chinese villager named Leng Zhizhong was tried for illegally killing a giant panda. He told the judge that his wife cooked the meat with turnips, but they didn’t enjoy it, so he fed some to his pigs and gave the remainder to his sister. Leng, unfortunately, didn’t explain what made the meat so unpalatable in what appears to be the only written description of panda-eating. Rural Chinese people have no tradition of eating the animal, and some ethnic groups may have considered the practice forbidden. When President Theodore Roosevelt’s sons, Kermit and Theodore IV, killed a giant panda in 1928, their local guides refused to join them in eating the meat and called in a priest to purify the hayloft where the beast had been butchered. (The Roosevelt boys left no description of the taste.) Today, the penalty for killing a panda is several years in prison.

It’s tempting to assume that giant pandas would taste like other members of the taxonomic family Ursidae, such as black and brown bears, which were a regular part of the frontier diet in 18th-century North America. Bear meat is darker and fattier than beef, although similar in flavor. The problem with the comparison, though, is that an animal’s diet greatly affects the flavor of its own flesh. Bears that dine mainly on salmon, for example, taste worse than those with a more varied diet. Since 99 percent of a giant panda’s diet is bamboo—with the occasional addition of a rodent, bird, or fish that popped out of a stream—it’s very unlikely that its flesh tastes anything like that of other bears.

RIP George McGovern - Libertarian Hero?

Read the whole thing at Bloomberg - extracts below.  I can't say I've followed him post his presidential run, but Nick Gillespie makes a good case.

George McGovern’s Legacy as a Libertarian Hero

When you take a longer view of his career -- especially after he got bounced from the Senate in 1980 during the Republican landslide he helped create -- what emerges is a rare public figure whose policy positions shifted to an increasingly libertarian stance in response to a world that’s far more complicated than most politicians can ever allow....

McGovern believed that attempts to impose single-value standards were profoundly un-American and “that we cannot allow the micromanaging of each other’s lives.” But as governments at various levels expand their control of everything from health- care to mortgages to the consumption of soda pop and so much more, that’s exactly what’s happening.

In 1972, McGovern was out of step with the American public. Not anymore. Large majorities see the long wars in Afghanistan and Iraq as the mistakes and failures they plainly were. And his criticism of paternalism is wildly popular with everyone but our rulers. An August 2012 CNN/ORC International Poll found that only 40 percent of registered voters want the government to “promote traditional values,” a finding that is down from 57 percent in 2008. CNN also found that “six in 10 say that government is doing too much that should be left to businesses and individuals.”

These days, it’s politicians of both parties who are out of step with the voting public. As the nation prepares to pay its last respects to George McGovern, we can only hope that our leaders will learn from his example and become less confident in telling us how to live our lives.