Friday, August 31, 2012

Obamanation: The Interactive Painting

Artist Jon McNaughton has created a painting which illustrates the wrongdoings of the Obama presidency.  On his website, he has made an interactive version, in which you can hover your mouse pointer over its various features and read a brief summary of what is illustrated.  If you click, a new window will open, which has some links, where you can find more detailed information.  Here's a video introduction:
Go here to see and interact with the painting.  (H/T Pat Dollard)

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Isaac Hits Gulf Coast, LA and MS Start To Recover

Hurricane Isaac has weaken into a tropical depression and moved northward, allowing some residents of Louisiana and Mississippi to slowly move back toward their normal lives.  Others will be dealing with damage from coastal flooding, but the waters have receded, allowing roads to open and utility workers to restore services.  One situation that could have caused more damage was a potential breach of the earthen dam that holds back Lake Tangipahoa, along the river of the same name in Percy Quin State Park in Mississippi, but the Pike County Emergency Management Agency has made plans to create a spillway or a "controlled breach" to relieve pressure on the dam.  Residents along the Tangipahoa River downstream from the dam had previously been asked to evacuate.  Read the story at CNN, which includes pictures such as this one:

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Presidential Quotes

Shamelessly pilfered from a pic posted on Twitter.  A comparison of Obama's most notable recent saying with one each from three of his predecessors.  To see it, click here.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Bigfoot Imitator Becomes Eligible For Darwin Award

A man in Montana decided to imitate Bigfoot.  Not yours truly, mind you, but the large, furry, quasi-human, possibly non-existent primate whose name I have appropriated.  After donning a military-style camouflage outfit known as a Ghillie suit, and possibly imbibing some adult beverages, Randy Lee Tenley tried to haux a Bigfoot sighting.   His attempt ended tragically when he was hit by a car while walking on US 93, and then struck a second time while lying in the road.

Mr. Tenley has apparently become eligible for the Darwin Award, given to someone who improves the human gene pool by removing himself from it.  The most obvious way to do this is to die, but another way is to render oneself unable to reproduce while remaining alive.

Read the story at the Daily Inter Lake.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Neil Armstrong 1930-2012

Neil Armstrong, whose "one small step" became a "giant leap for mankind" as he set foot on the moon, has died following complications from heart surgery which he underwent several weeks ago.  He had previously suffered a minor heart attack in 1991.

Before becoming the first person to walk on the moon, Armstrong had become the first American civilian to fly into earth orbit, as the commander of the two-man mission Gemini VIII, which accomplished the first-ever docking with another spacecraft.

After his historical flight on Apollo 11, Armstrong served as a NASA manager in Washington, DC, taught engineering at the University of Cincinnati, and served on the panels that investigated the Apollo 13 accident and the Challenger disaster.

As he stepped onto the moon, Armstrong said, "That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind."  In doing so, he spoke the "a" so faintly that it was often left out when the sentence was quoted.  This led to some confusion because "man" (without the article) and "mankind" have similar meanings.  But the recording of his words caught the faint "a", thus preserving the context and contrasting the small size of his literal step with its enormous significance for the human race.

Read more at ABC News, the New York Times, BBC News, CNN and Cosmic Log at NBC News.  Here's a brief video from Armstrong's visit to the moon:

Friday, August 24, 2012

Shootings At The Empire State Building

In New York City this morning, a women's apparel designer, who had been laid off last year from his job at Hazan Imports, shot and killed a former co-worker, and then died in a gun battle with police.  Nine other people (which was earlier reported to be eight) were wounded during the incident, which occured in a busy area in front of the Empire State Building.

Read the story at CNN (with video), the Washington Post (with a live blog), the Christian Science Monitor, ABC News, Yahoo News and the New York TimesCBS News has this video of Mayor Bloomberg's subsequent press conference:

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

That's What It's All About

Up there on the red planet, Curiosity gets ready to do the Hokey Pokey and turn itself around.  Of course, I like to use a different spelling and call it the Hokie Pokie.  From Wired:

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Music Break: Fleetwood Mac (Sort Of)

During the last year of my time with AndRightySo, I started making monthly "Music Break" posts.  Naturally, I've wanted to resume that practice here, but was preempted, so to speak, by the deaths of Bob Welch and Jon Lord, each of whom I felt deserved a musical tribute.

Anyone who read my post about Bob Welch will realize that I'm a big fan of Fleetwood Mac, in many of their incarnations.  Like many in the late 1970s, I enjoyed the music of Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Christine McVie, Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham, and also noticed that their ex-member Bob Welch was doing pretty well as a solo artist.  I knew that there had been earlier lineups, and was told by a friend that in their early years, they were led by a man named Peter Green.  Only more recently have I come to know Fleetwood Mac's complicated history.  This post will show a tangent to that history.  These are some songs recorded by members of Fleetwood Mac, before or after they were in the band.

In 1967, Peter Green (guitar) and John McVie (bass) were in John Mayall's Bluesbreakers.  For their album A Hard Road, they recorded Dust My Blues, a variation of the song Dust My Broom, which was written by Robert Johnson but sometimes attributed to Elmore James.  Besides singing the lead vocal, Mayall plays slide guitar.  Aynsley Dunbar, who later played for Journey and Jefferson Starship, is on the drums.


 I got a chuckle out of this picture of our Teleprompter Reader In Chief.  From Reuters:

Monday, August 20, 2012

Monday Links

A few stories in the news:

From the Washington Free Beacon, Air Force and Coast Guard aircraft will be used in an anti-terror exercise over the Washington, DC area.

From the Los Angeles Times, comedian and actor Phyllis Diller has died at age 95.  The cause of her death has not yet been released.

From BBC News, for the first time in over 20 years, Somalia has a parliament.

From RedState, the International Longshoremen's Association is protesting against the US Marines for hiring a company that employs workers from a different union to transport transport cargo between Jacksonville, FL and Charleston, SC.

From the Atlanta Journal Constitution, a federal appeals court in Atlanta has upheld a Georgia state law allowing policemen to investigate the immigration status of certain suspects.

From Michigan Capitol Confidential, the Detroit water and sewage department does not have or use any horses, but they still employ a horseshoer.

From CBS Philly, scientists have discovered a "miracle molecule" in red wine, which helps to improve mobility in older adults.  The compound, calls resveratrol, is also found in "dark-skinned fruits" such as blueberries.

From Fox News, President Obama is running against an outdated version of Congressman Paul Ryan's Medicare plan.

From Yahoo News, the Bank Of Canada apologies for allegedly racist bank notes.

From Weird Asia News, the world's oldest stash of marijuana has been found in China.

From BND, archaeologists studying the Cahokia Mounds in Illinois have discovered that the inhabitants of that site would drink a highly caffeinated beverage made from a variety of holly found on the gulf coast, hundreds of miles to the south.  Full disclosure:  I visited the Cahokia Mounds in 2000 on a tour arranged by the Archaeological Conservancy, the same organization that put on the tour I went on earlier this year.  The Cahokia Mounds and some that I visited this past May were constructed by people of the Mississippian Culture.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Fort Frederick

In 1756, during the early days of the French and Indian War, the Colony of Maryland built Fort Frederick to protect its western frontier.  The outer walls of the fort were built of stone instead of wood, which was more commonly used at the time.  During the Revolutionary War, Fort Frederick was used to house British prisoners.  It was auctioned off in 1791, and the surrounding land became a farm.  Although Union soldiers were often in the area during the Civil War, as they were trying to protect the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, the fort remained in private hands until it was purchased by the State of Maryland in 1922.  During the 1930s, with the help of the Civilian Conservation Corps, Maryland converted Fort Frederick into a state park.

Today, two barracks remain, each with two levels.  This is the westside barracks.  The upper level of the eastside barracks houses a small museum.

There was one entrance to the fort, a gap in its southern wall, with top of the southern end of the eastside barracks seen behind it.

Outside of the fort are the gift shop and a few other small buildings.

After leaving Fort Frederick (and stopping by Cumberland, as stated in today's earlier post), I drove up into Pennsylvania, where I saw a lot of windmills, such as these.

Along The C&O Canal

The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal once connected the Georgetown section of Washington, DC with Cumberland, Maryland.  It was intended to go all the way to Pittsburgh, where it would have ended at the Ohio River, but construction was discontinued after it reached Cumberland.  Today, what remains of it, including its towpath, is a National Historical Park.  During the 1990s, I explored all of it by bicycle, except for a small region that was closed off due to its own deterioration.  Every once in a while, I go down to the canal and take a hike, or maybe just see a few sights.  One place along the canal I recently visited is the Cushwa Basin in Williamsport, Maryland.  Very close to the parking lot, which is just off US 11, is the Conococheague Aqueduct, named for the creek it spans.  The aqueduct appears to have stopped some flotsam from reaching the nearby Potomac River.

The top of the aqueduct includes a modern walkway.

A few hundred yards east of the aqueduct is an old railroad drawbridge.  A system of cables and pulleys lifted the bridge straight up to allow canal boats to pass under it.  Today, the bridge and its rail line are no longer in use.  Boards nailed to the railroad ties allow pedestrians to walk across it.  In this picture, the modern bridge behind the drawbridge is US 11.

I also took a swing by Cumberland, to see where the Chesapeake and Ohio towpath met the much more recently constructed Great Alleghany Passage, which will allow hikers and bikers to reach Pittsburgh, the original intended western terminus of the C&O.  In front of the Western Maryland railroad station is a statue of a canal-boat-towing mule and his human handler.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Meet Chris The Baker

The story of Joe the Plumber, famous for his encounter with then-candidate Obama in 2008, now has a worthy sequel.  Yesterday in Radford, Virginia, the owner of the recently-opened bakery Crumb and Get It, Chris McMurray, politely declined an opportunity to host a media event for Vice President Joe Biden.  Instead, Biden appeared at the nearby River Street Grill, before continuing on to a scheduled speaking event at Virginia Tech, which is located in Blacksburg, about 10 miles east of Radford.  In response to McMurray's decision not to host the vice president, local customers arrived in numbers sufficient to cause the bakery to run out of food around 1:15 p.m.

Read the story in the Roanoke Times and WLBJ7.  In a further development reported by the Washington Examiner, some Secret Service agents bought a bunch of McMurray's cupcakes.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Shooting At FRC Headquarters

At around 10:45 a.m. this morning, a gunman entered the lobby of the headquarters of the Family Research Council in the Chinatown area of Washington, DC.  After expressing disagreement with some of the FRC's policies, he was confronted by a security guard, whom he shot in the arm.  The guard then wrestled the gunman to the ground.  The suspect was arrested and turned over to the FBI for questioning.  The guard remains in stable condition.  According to some witnesses, the suspect carried a Chik-Fil-A bag.

Read more at Fox News, the Washington Post, ABC News, CNN and Yahoo News.

UPDATE, from Fox News:  The gunman has been identified as Floyd Lee Corkins II, a volunteer at the DC Center for the LGBT community.  The security guard's name is Leo Johnson.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Obama's Latest Beer Summit

From the Des Moines Register via the Washington Examiner:

While campaigning in Iowa yesterday, President Obama bought beer for 10 supporters at the State Fair.  This caused some people to change their "Four more years!" cheer into "Four more beers!"  He also ate a cold pork chop.

The only problem is that, as reported in USA Today, the presidential visit may have cost the owner of the beer tent about $25,000 in sales.

Meanwhile, back here in Maryland, a recently passed law allows farmers to brew up to 15,000 barrels of beer in a calendar year, if they meet certain requirements.  From the Baltimore Sun:
The law, which took effect July 1, allows Maryland farmers to produce up to 15,000 barrels of beer in a calendar year. Farm-based brewers must feature home-grown barley, hops or fruits in their beer. The brewers may sell their beer for consumption both on and off the farm, offering a boost not only to the farmers but to the state's burgeoning craft beer industry.

VP Biden Forgets Where He Is

I know that Danville, Virginia is close to the border with North Carolina, but I think the vice president might want to check the map before he gives his next speech.  On the other hand, I can see that it might be a bit more difficult to remember your geography when you have 57 states to deal with, instead of just 50.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Paul Ryan's Speech At CPAC

The presumptive Republican Vice Presidential nominee speaking at CPAC this past February:

Three Dead In Shootings Near Texas A&M

Earlier today, a few blocks from Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, a man exchanged gunfire with police officers, killing one of them and a "civilian bystander", before being shot and killed by the police.  The police victim was identified as Brian Bachmann, who was a constable in Brazos County, and was serving an eviction notice when he was attacked.  The identities of the civilian victim and the gunman have not been released, other than that the gunman was believed to be in his mid-30s.

Read more at CNN, Yahoo News, Fox News, ABC News and the Atlantic Wire.

Sunday, August 12, 2012


Now that the 2012 Olympics have come to a close, the final medal totals have been counted.  The team with the most overall (104), gold (46) and silver (29) medals is the good ol' USA.  China, which hosted the games in 2008 in Beijing, came in second in overall (87), gold (38) and silver (27) medals.  The home team, Great Britain, came in third in gold medals (29).  Russia came in third in overall (82) and silver (25).

Read more at CNS News, including a list of the top ten overall medal-winning countries.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Paul Ryan On Obamacare

Here's the new GOP vice presidential nominee, explaining (a while back) why Obamacare won't work - to Obama himself.  From Virginia Right via Before It's News:

Romney Picks Ryan

At 9:00 a.m. EDT this morning in Norfolk, Virginia, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney announced 7-term congressman Paul Ryan (R-Wis) as his choice for his party's vice presidential nominee.

Read more at USA Today, the Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune and ABC News.

Before Romney's announcement, US News gave 10 reasons why Romney should pick Ryan and on the other hand, said why Ryan would be a risky running mate.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

A Few Things Going On Out There

The Washington Free Beacon finds that women employed by the DNC make 15% less than their male counterparts.

The Boston Herald reports that DEMOS, a non-profit group that likes to sue states into sending out voter registration cards to people on welfare, has included the daughter of Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren on their board of directors.  (Via the Weekly Standard)

From (instead of via) the Weekly Standard, over 100 million people are now receiving some form of Federal welfare assistance.

From the Canada Free Press, Brian Ross, who previously tried to link the theater shootings in Aurora, Colorado to the Tea Party movement, calls the man who killed seven people at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin a member of the "right wing".

From Watchdog, an oil boom in eastern Montana is giving the state the "illusion of prosperity".

From Fox Nation, Teh OneTM complains that the First Lady doesn't make any money.  (Aren't all her expensive vacations worth something, Mr. President?)

From Fox News, according to documents procured by Judicial Watch, the Obama administration urged local authorities to "go easy" on Occupy protesters.

StixBlog tells us about how Obama's policies have affected Julia's wallet.  (When I joined AndRightlySo, about 4 years ago, Stix was the first person to comment on my first post.)

From Townhall, the Obama campaign has been caught in a "blatant lie" about the anti-Romney "cancer" ad.

From the Catholic News Agency, Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York gave the keynote speech at the 130th Supreme Convention of the Knights of Columbus, saying that strong marriages "serve as a foundation of a healthy society".

From USA Today, an Ohio teenager's 4-day X-Box marathon lands him in the hospital.

You've probably heard the expression "bull in an china shop".  But now, according to Yahoo News, there was a bear in a chocolate shop.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

For Sale: A Slighty Used.....Town?

If you've got at least quarter million dollars to spare, Chris Kortlander will sell you the entire town of Garryowen, Montana, which he bought in 1993 after losing his home in California to a wildfire.  Due to health reasons, Kortlander has decided to auction off the town.

Garryowen includes a gas station and convenience store, and has a population of 2 and an area of 7.7 acres.  It is located along Interstate 90 and US 87 near the banks of the Little Bighorn River, and is not too far from where Custer made his "last stand". 

Some historical notes:
Garryowen is named after an Irish folk song.
Garryowen was the site of Sitting Bull's camp as the Battle of Little Bighorn got underway.
In 1926, a road crew constructing US 87 discovered the remains of a US Cavalry soldier.

Read more at the Huffington Post, and if you're interested, place your bid.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Curiosity Rover Lands Successfully On Mars

This morning at around 1:15 a.m. EDT, the rover dubbed "Curiosity", part of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft, touched down safely on the surface of the red planet, in the Aeolis Palus region of Gale Crater.  The spacecraft had spent over 8 months in transit between Earth and Mars.  Due to the finite speed of radio waves (the same as the speed of light), NASA learned of the successful landing at around 1:30, upon which Curiosity's human controllers broke out in celebration.

Curiosity is about twice as long and 5 times as massive as the earlier Spirit and Opportunity rovers, and is intended to stay in operation for one Martian year.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Seven Killed At Sikh Temple In Wisconsin

Earlier today, a gunman attacked worshippers at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, a suburb of Milwaukee, killing six of them, before being shot and killed by a policeman.  The officer himself was shot before returning fire.  At least two other people, including another policeman, were wounded.  Not much is yet known (or has been released) concerning the identity and possible motive of the gunman, or if he had any accomplices.

Read more at CNN, ABC News, USA Today, Fox Now, TMJ4 and the Oak Creek Patch.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Chik-Fil-A Kiss-In Largely A Dud

Yesterday was the day for members of the LGBT community to go to Chik-Fil-A restaurants and kiss each other, in response to Wednesday's Chik-Fil-A Appreciation Day, and to protest CEO Dan Cathy's opinion against gay marriage.  So how, then, did it go?

The Blaze has some pictures, some of which might be a bit unpleasant.

The protests were peaceful, except for a Torrance, California restaurant being hit with graphiti.

In New York, one woman, described as a "gay Republican vegetarian", lamented having no one to kiss.

In (obviously conservative) Utah, there were very few displays of affection.

In Orange County, California, it was "little more than a peck on the cheek".

In St. Louis, the anti-Chik-Fil-A protests fizzled.

At Minnesota's three Chik-Fil-A restaurants, only a few kissers showed up.

In West Des Moines, Iowa, there was not much passion.

In Roanoke, Virginia, "dozens" showed up to protest.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Dems Sue To Change Ohio Military Voting Law

In Ohio, voters are allowed by law to vote early in person, up until the Friday before an election.  If they can't vote on or before that particular Friday, they must wait until the following Tuesday, the normal day for voting.  Military personnel are also allowed to vote in person on the day before the election, which would be a Monday.  Considering all they do for us, I would think that giving them this little bit of accommodation would be perfectly reasonable.  It would be merely a small token of our appreciation.  Unfortunately, however, some people don't see it that way.
On July 17th, the Obama for America Campaign, the Democratic National Committee and the Ohio Democratic Party filed suit in OH to strike down part of that state's law governing voting by members of the military. Their suit said that part of the law is "arbitrary" with "no discernible rational basis."
Currently, Ohio allows the public to vote early in-person up until the Friday before the election. Members of the military are given three extra days to do so. While the Democrats may see this as "arbitrary" and having "no discernible rational basis," I think it is entirely reasonable given the demands on servicemen and women's time and their obligations to their sworn duty. [emphasis in original]
Read the full story at Breitbart's Big Government and the Ohio law itself.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Chik-Fil-A Gets Swamped With Customers

Chik-Fil-A Appreciation Day, held today in response to disparaging comments by the mayors of Boston and Chicago, appears to have been a smashing success, if the photos in this report from Townhall are any indication.  On the other hand, some members of Planned Parenthood became party-poopers.  Meanwhile, cartoonist Scott Stantis gives the mayor of Chicago a well-deserved poke