Archive for November, 2010

18
Nov
10

Roundup – DEFENESTRATION

Line O’ the Day:

“Frankly, I find female porn stars — women who get filmed having sex for money — to be less depressing than women who compete for a man’s affection on TV.” – Matt Ufford, ‘Bachelor’ Porn Parody Looks More Compelling Than ‘The Bachelor’ [Warming Glow]

Best of the Best:

Tracking Your Federal Tax Dollars [Wall Street Journal]

Where do your federal tax dollars go? Many people don’t know. A recent Kaiser Family Foundation survey found that 40% thought foreign aid was one of the two largest federal-budget expenses. In reality, Uncle Sam spends $14 on Medicare—itself the second-largest expense—for every dollar spent on foreign aid.  To counter such misconceptions, a not-for-profit Washington-based group called Third Way has produced an itemized taxpayer receipt that helps show the spending issues the new Congress will face.

Baghdad attacks on Christians prompt archbishop’s call for mass exodus [The Guardian]

This morning, the terrorists who had killed 44 of Baghdad’s Christians at their place of worship, came hunting them once more – this time in their homes. They struck 10 times just after 7am in six different places in Baghdad, almost all of them Christian houses.
The Americans had no idea China’s fast-growing submarine fleet had reached such a level of sophistication, or that it posed such a threat. One Nato figure said the effect was “as big a shock as the Russians launching Sputnik” – a reference to the Soviet Union’s first orbiting satellite in 1957 which marked the start of the space age. The incident, which took place in the ocean between southern Japan and Taiwan, is a major embarrassment for the Pentagon.

In the ancient Amazon, children had many fathers – and women many lovers [The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences via io9]

For children, having as many fathers as possible had its advantages. More dads meant more gifts and support for the child, which is known to increase a youngster’s odds of reaching adulthood. Besides, it was a rather pragmatic solution to a basic fact of life in a culture where warfare was all too common and brutal. If a child’s primary father died, he or she would have other males around to step in and act as father figures, easing the newly widowed mother’s burden.  Men also benefited from this system. Sharing paternity brought men together, cementing bonds and friendships (basically, just like Three Men and a Baby, just with less Steve Guttenberg). Indeed, one of the best ways for two men to cement an alliance was to share wives, often in a family – brothers were some of the most frequent wife-sharers.

Guys in Breach of Thrust [New York Post] and Snow Job [New York Magazine]

A new survey has found that 17 percent of men have used a bedroom ploy usually associated with women: faking an orgasm. Some of these faking fellows interviewed by The Post said they turned on the histrionics because they were bored, drunk or just not into their partner.

Mozart quells mall violence [The Press]

The number of anti-social incidents attended by city centre security guards, known as ambassadors, fell from 77 a week in October 2008 to two for the same week this year. The number of drug and alcohol-related incidents fell from 16 in 2008 to zero this year.  The number of times the ambassadors helped shopkeepers with troublesome customers has fallen from 35 to nothing.

Ky. Man Forced To Eat Own Beard [MSNBC]

“One thing led to another, and before I knew it, there were knives and guns and everything just went haywire. (Then) they cut my beard and forced me to eat it,” he said.

Ban-happy SF Targets Male Circumsion [The Washington Examiner]

The Board of Supervisors just banned toys in Happy Meals, which drew worldwide attention. Now the latest ban being proposed in San Francisco is on male circumcision.  A proposed ballot measure for the November 2011 ballot – when voters will be electing the San Francisco’s next mayor – would amend The City’s police code “to make it a misdemeanor to circumcise, excise, cut or mutilate the foreskin, testicle or penis of another person who has not attained the age of 18.

Democrats and the rule of law [Glenn Greenwald on Salon]

Obviously, those who screamed bloody murder over Bush/Cheney Terrorism policies but now justify or at least acquiesce to the same policies when implemented by Obama have serious issues with partisan loyalties trumping honest advocacy.  But it’s when the Obama administration reverses itself — such as with the torture photos — that one’s intellectual honesty is most conclusively tested:  one’s beliefs and principles can’t shift with Obama’s reversals if they’re to be meaningful or credible.  The same issue applies here:  shouldn’t anyone who defended Holder’s original decision on the ground that it was compelled by the Constitution, the rule of law and our values now vocally denounce Obama for his profound violations of those same doctrines?

World’s Worst Muay Thai Ref Sees No Problems With Garbage Can Lids [The Spoiler via Deadspin]

A pretty exciting Muay Thai match becomes a whole different animal after the introduction of some garbage can lids. Then it becomes a regular match again, all the while the referee does nothing. Niche sports are fantastic sometimes.

Heat Strokes, Game 10: Miami Teaches Its Pitiful Fans How To Cheer [Eric Freeman on Free Darko via Deadspin]

To be sure, the Heat haven’t started this season as they were supposed to — particularly at home — but Miami has sat on its hands even during championship runs. In 2006, Heat crowds didn’t bother to make much noise for Wade and Shaq, and the Florida Marlins haven’t caught on with local fans despite winning the World Series in two of their first 11 seasons. In most cities — in Cleveland, let’s say — this run of championships would constitute a golden age for local sports. In South Beach, they’re teaching their fans how to cheer.

Jesus Walks Like A Cowboy: Manny Pacquiao Does Dallas [Hamilton Nolan via Deadspin]

It was a very Texan kind of place, which is how I will hereafter refer to things that I don’t understand. The Gaylord reflected a particular Texan obsession with enclosing the outdoors, boasting a huge glassed-in atrium, where you could see the sun but at the same time enjoy a temperature-controlled space and many bad restaurants.

How to Make the Dollar Sound Again [Jim Grant via The New York Times]

Let the economists gasp: The classical gold standard, the one that was in place from 1880 to 1914, is what the world needs now. In its utility, economy and elegance, there has never been a monetary system like it.

Airline frequent fliers ‘radiation poisoning risks’ from space ‘solar flare’ storm activity [The Telegraph]

During one “major space weather event”, in October 2003, the FAA issued a formal warned that all routes north and south of 35 degree latitude “were subject to excessive radiation doses” and the researchers said further airline disruption was almost certain.

In Iran, Hailing Detroit With Vintage V-8’s [Jim Koscs on The New York Times]

One big difference this time: the encounter, which took place at summer’s end, did not begin on the main drag of a small Midwestern town and pursue resolution on a deserted country road. Instead, the Camaros, a pair of pumped-up early ’70s models owned by friends, faced off at the Azadi Stadium Race Track in Tehran.

Metallica Guitarist Accidentally Kicks a Child [Gawker]

During a Sydney performance of “Seek and Destroy,” Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett is kicking balloons around the stage. He winds up, swings his foot, and—uh oh. Was that a child that just went flying?

Peter King Loves His Four-Way [Big Daddy Drew on KSK]

Wait a second. Is Peter saying Favre now refuses to talk to him because King “criticized” him? Holy shit, what a gash. “There has been a shocking decline in the quantity and quality of your toadying, Peter!”

Remember, Michael Vick Was On Pros Vs. Joes Just Eight Months Ago [AJ Daulerio on Deadspin]

By going on Spike TV he could appear in a football context, make some easy cash, not have to talk about dogs or rape stands, and maybe rebuild his public image just a little — even if it meant being touted as “the most controversial player in the NFL” in the promo reel. He did the show in March. Surprisingly, Vick had one of the most disastrous outings in PVJ history.

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The content on this site is provided as general information and entertainment only and should not be taken as investment advice. All site content shall not be construed as a recommendation to buy or sell any security or financial product, or to participate in any particular trading or investment strategy. The ideas expressed on this site are solely the opinions of the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of firms affiliated with the author. The author may or may not have a position in any security referenced herein and may or may not seek to do business with companies mentioned via this website. Any action that you take as a result of information or analysis on this site is ultimately your responsibility. Consult your investment adviser before making any investment decisions.

The uninvited guest: Chinese sub pops up in middle of U.S. Navy exercise, leaving military chiefs red-facedRead more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-492804/The-uninvited-guest-Chinese-sub-pops-middle-U-S-Navy-exercise-leaving-military-chiefs-red-faced.html#ixzz15Df9tnxc
13
Nov
10

Roundup – Four Loko

Line O’ the Day:

“Sarah Palin, the patron saint of lower IQ Americans, has hovered over this sordid contest like an evil Halloween wraith.” – Eric Margolis, Hey Republican Samurai!  You Want More Wars?  Then Pay for Them!  Time for a War Tax [LRC]

Best of the Best:

Birth of a Movement [Wall Street Journal]

In August 2009, Tea Party Patriots was formally incorporated with a four-person board, including Ms. Martin, Ms. Kremer, Mr. Meckler and Rob Neppell, a conservative blogger. But relations quickly deteriorated. At one meeting, Ms. Kremer indicated she had hired her own lawyers and might try to claim ownership of the group’s intellectual property, according to an affidavit from Ms. Martin. A few weeks later, she was voted off the board.  In countersuits filed in a suburban Atlanta county court, Mr. Kremer and Tea Party Patriots are now fighting out who owns what.

U.S. Midterm Elections, Obama and Iran [StratFor]

I am arguing the following. First, Obama will be paralyzed on domestic policies by this election. He can craft a re-election campaign blaming the Republicans for gridlock. This has its advantages and disadvantages; the Republicans, charging that he refused to adjust to the electorate’s wishes, can blame him for the gridlock. It can go either way. The other option for Obama is to look for triumph in foreign policy where he has a weak hand. The only obvious way to achieve success that would have a positive effect on the U.S. strategic position is to attack Iran. Such an attack would have substantial advantages and very real dangers. It could change the dynamics of the Middle East and it could be a military failure.
But the Tea Party’s grassroots members are more hostile to trade agreements than the broader population. A recent Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll found that 61% of those who identified themselves as supporters of the movement believe the deals have hurt the U.S., while 53% of all respondents held the same view.But the Tea Party’s grassroots members are more hostile to trade agreements than the broader population. A recent Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll found that 61% of those who identified themselves as supporters of the movement believe the deals have hurt the U.S., while 53% of all respondents held the same view.

La Fuente: Slow Afternoon [Fred Reed on FredOnEverything]

The waiter came by on a resupply run with more Corona and I mentioned coming out of Angola on a story for Soldier of Fortune in a DC-3, flying ten feet over the trees to keep SAM-7s from getting a lock. This was this when Cuban soldiers, whom I rather like, were supporting the evil commmie government in Luanda. I didn’t care. The world is complex. I didn’t need to solve all its problems, or take sides.

‘Invalid’ Forms by Supposed Billionaires Skew U.S. Wage Figures [Ryan J. Donmoyer on Bloomberg]

Two people were found to have filed multiple W-2 forms that made them into multibillionaires, an agency official said yesterday. Those reports threw statistical wage tables out of whack and, in figures released Oct. 15, made it appear that top U.S. earners had seen their pay quintuple in 2009 to an average of $519 million.  The agency yesterday released corrected tables that showed the average incomes of the top earners, in fact, declined 7.7 percent to $84 million each.

Is the Religious Right Taking Over the Tea Party? [MyType Blog]

Involving the government in moral prescription is expanding its influence, not scaling back.  Karl Denninger, widely credited as one of the founders of the Tea Party, may have become the spokesman of Tea Party defectors when he recently denounced the movement, saying it has been hijacked by people obsessed with “guns, gays and God”.  Given the religious conservatives’ relative strength in numbers, the current trend will likely continue.  Already they comprise over 23.5% of Tea Party supporters, compared to 17.0% for libertarians.  A little over a year after the birth of the Tea Party, libertarians and other proponents of small government – no moral strings attached – may need to start yet another movement.

Tea Partier Backs Democrat Over Ilario Pantano [Benjy Sarlin via The Daily Beast]

Ilario Pantano shot and killed two unarmed prisoners in Iraq while serving in the Marines and survived charges of premeditated murder before returning to America to run for Congress in North Carolina this year. His opponent, Democratic Rep. Mike McIntyre, has been unwilling to raise the issue of Pantano’s war record even as it’s drawn national attention, but a shocking protest against Pantano from a Tea Party leader could provide an opening…he Tea Party Express has put out a harsher condemnation of Johns, sending over a statement saying “she has absolutely no involvement with the tea party activities of the Tea Party Express, nor will she ever in the future.  We find Ms. Johns’ comments towards a proud Iraq war veteran abhorrent and reprehensible,” it continues. “They do not speak for our organization nor reflect our views in any way, shape or form.”

Aokigahara Suicide Forest [VBS News (ed note - video autoplays)]

The Aokigahara Forest is the most popular site for suicides in Japan. After the novel Kuroi Jukai was published, in which a young lover commits suicide in the forest, people started taking their own lives there at a rate of 50 to 100 deaths a year. The site holds so many bodies that the Yakuza pays homeless people to sneak into the forest and rob the corpses. The authorities sweep for bodies only on an annual basis, as the forest sits at the base of Mt. Fuji and is too dense to patrol more frequently.
Koby added that Andy, “wanted to die young. He knew it. Everyone kinda knew it. I think he wanted to be remembered like Elvis. Then, with his boy being born soon, he called and he was like, ‘I take it all back, I take it all back. I wanna be there for my boy.’ Just recently, Andy seemed like he’d been at peace with himself. He said to me, ‘I’ve done everything I wanted to do.’”

The real reason women outlive men: it’s all a matter of breeding [The Independent]

Now the answer to one of the biggest conundrums of human biology may come down to the fact that the female body seems to be better at carrying out the “routine maintenance” that keeps cells alive and ageing at bay – despite the widespread belief in cosmetic circles, based on skin changes alone, that men age more slowly than women.  Professor Tom Kirkwood, a leading gerontologist at the University of Newcastle, believes there is now growing evidence to suggest that men are literally more disposable than women, because the cells of their bodies are not genetically programmed to last as long as they are in females.

Californians say “no” to legal pot but “yes” to pot taxes [John Hoeffel on Los Angeles Times]

With Proposition 19 failing, 54% to 46%, the 10 cities will not be able to approve recreational marijuana and tax it, but most will join Oakland in imposing taxes on medical marijuana sold in dispensaries. Long Beach had proposed the highest tax on legal marijuana at 15%, but several other cities had proposed 10% levies on it.

The Last Patrol [Brian Mockenhaupt via The Atlantic]

“I don’t want my guys going,” Sgt. Andrew Bragg said. “I’ll go for them.” He passed the bottle to Knollinger, one of 2 Charlie’s most aggressive soldiers. “I want revenge,” he said, in a plain, deep-throated speaking style that reminded me of Rocky Balboa. “It’s not worth another casualty, but I personally want to go.” Knollinger passed the bottle to Lachance, who seemed to thrive on the battlefield, exposing himself to enemy fire to call in airstrikes with a surprising calm. “I don’t want to see people get blown up, because that sucks,” Lachance said. “I don’t think that this entire war is worth losing people for, so that sums it up for me.”

How To Win While Losing, And Vice Versa: Zab Judah Says Goodbye [Hamilton Nolan via Deadspin]

And then Michael Buffer read the three judges’ scores. 114-113, Judah. 114-113, Matthysse. 114-113, Judah. A split decision in favor of Zab.  It was the most corrupt thing I’d ever had the privilege of witnessing in person. Before the decision was read I’d thought Zab had lost rather pitifully, a poor showing even for an over-the-hill ex-champ. But of course losing would have been much more dignified than “winning” like that. I never would have watched another Zab Judah fight either way, but at least if he’d lost fair and square the fans could have retained some fond memories of him. It was a disgrace.

Exotic dancer Michele Suszek expects to put on a show in Sunday’s ING New York City Marathon [New York Daily News]

Earlier this year, Carol Suszek’s daughter set a course record on a 10K trail race after dancing the night before. In Michele Suszek’s dreams, she will keep up her high-energy balancing act, bettering her times and breaking 2:30 and getting one of the three spots on the Olympic team. She will become a full-fledged professional, but even then, she won’t stop dancing, or following her passions.

Faces of War [Caroline Alexander via Smithsonian Magazine]

In Sidcup, England, the town that was home to Gillies’ special facial hospital, some park benches were painted blue; a code that warned townspeople that any man sitting on one would be distressful to view. A more upsetting encounter, however, was often between the disfigured man and his own image. Mirrors were banned in most wards, and men who somehow managed an illicit peek had been known to collapse in shock. “The psychological effect on a man who must go through life, an object of horror to himself as well as to others, is beyond description,” wrote Dr. Albee. “…It is a fairly common experience for the maladjusted person to feel like a stranger to his world. It must be unmitigated hell to feel like a stranger to yourself.”
Broadcaster and writer Stephen Fry has tried to establish himself as an unlikely authority on female sexuality, claiming that straight women only go to bed with men “because sex is the price they are willing to pay for a relationship”.

My Uncomfortable Encounter With An Angry Joe Morgan [Tommy Craggs on SF Weekly via Deadspin]

“He was the perfect Billy Beane player,” says ESPN.com writer Rob Neyer, a Bill James acolyte and co-author of The Neyer/James Guide to Pitchers. In fact, Morgan’s career has gotten nothing if not a boost from the statistics crowd, which makes his crusade even more puzzling. “A lot of people, myself included, think Joe Morgan was the greatest second baseman of all time,” Neyer says. “I don’t think, 25 to 30 years ago, anybody would’ve bought into that. I don’t know if people talked about him like that during his career. I suspect that if you had done a poll of the nation’s sportswriters 25 years ago, you would’ve seen a lot of names like Rogers Hornsby, Nap Lajoie, Frankie Frisch. But if you did one now, Joe Morgan would pop up a lot, in part because we have a greater respect for the things he did so well.”

What Alcohol Actually Does to Your Brain and Body [Kevin Purdy on Lifehacker]

Alcohol, like caffeine, has an enormous reputation but loose understanding in popular culture. Learn how it’s absorbed and how fast, why it’s essential to reality TV altercations, its paradoxical sexual effects, and its life-lengthening potential, whether red wine or Bud Light.

The sight of meat lowers human aggression [McGill University via io9]

Instead, the pictures of meat actually made the subjects less aggressive. That certainly suggests the subjects did have some kind of innate reaction to the meat, but not the one the researchers expected. After all, ancient humans would have associated meat with hunting and the competition for and protection of food resources. Those are all tasks where aggression would be a definite advantage, but these results suggest the exact opposite.

The Fascinating Story of the Twins Who Share Brains, Thoughts, and Senses [Maclean's via io9]

This is one of the most surprising and awesome tales ever told in the history of medicine. These twins are Tatiana and Krista Hogan. Their brains and sensory systems are networked together, but they have separate personalities. Their story defies belief.

Scientists unlock the secrets behind growing giant bugs [PhysOrg via DVICE via io9]

VanderBrooks raised groups of dragonflies, cockroaches, grasshoppers, meal worms, beetles, and other insects in atmospheres with different levels of oxygen. As predicted, the dragonflies and many of the other insects raised in higher oxygen matured more quickly and became larger adults; when these same species of insects were raised in atmospheres with oxygen levels lower than modern Earth’s they grew to be smaller than those reared in modern atmosphere.

Coffin technologies that protect you from being buried alive [Annalee Newitz via io9]

In the eighteenth century, rumors swirled about people accidentally buried alive when they lapsed into a deathlike state from cholera. As a result, the safety coffin was invented. Here’s how it worked.  From those eighteen century fears there arose a thriving cottage industry of inventors who promised to protect the seemingly-dead from being prematurely interred. Above you can see one of the more popular kinds of safety coffin, sometimes called an “escape vault,” because each grave door was built as a hatch that could be opened from the inside.

The Cam Newton Scandal Spirals Into Incoherency [Barry Petchesky on Deadspin]

So now where are we? Gene Chizik says Newton will play this weekend, end of story. The FBI plans to meet with John Bond, to investigate “whether young men are being shopped to colleges.” (They are, obviously; they have been since well before Marcus Dupree.) And sports books are rapidly taking the Auburn game off the board, after some bigtime action appeared for Georgia +8.5. That’s not saying Vegas knows something we don’t. They’re just worried that the pro bettors know something we don’t. Which could be anything. We don’t know a hell of a lot right now.

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The content on this site is provided as general information and entertainment only and should not be taken as investment advice. All site content shall not be construed as a recommendation to buy or sell any security or financial product, or to participate in any particular trading or investment strategy. The ideas expressed on this site are solely the opinions of the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of firms affiliated with the author. The author may or may not have a position in any security referenced herein and may or may not seek to do business with companies mentioned via this website. Any action that you take as a result of information or analysis on this site is ultimately your responsibility. Consult your investment adviser before making any investment decisions.

But the Tea Party’s grassroots members are more hostile to trade agreements than the broader population. A recent Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll found that 61% of those who identified themselves as supporters of the movement believe the deals have hurt the U.S., while 53% of all respondents held the same view.



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