Thursday, February 27, 2014

Bo(eh)ner In The News

Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) has recently remarked that he's not happy about some Tea Party groups that in his words, "raise money by beating up on me and others".  Read the story at Roll Call.

Meanwhile, one of the bloggers at Pat Dollard reports that the Speaker has humorously adopted a certain pronunciation of his name that is often used among Tea Partiers.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Murderer Of UK Soldier Gets Life Sentence

Michael Adebolajo, the man who was convicted of murdering British soldier Lee Rigby, has been sentenced to life without parole.  Adebolajo, described as an "al Qaeda-inspired extremist" and self-described as a "soldier of Allah", was seen holding a butcher knife and a cleaver after hacking Rigby to death.  His accomplice, Michael Adebowale, was given a sentence of at least 45 years.

Read the story at the New York Post.

You know, I vaguely recall hearing that term "soldier of Allah" on my side of the pond.

UPDATE:  Read more on this story at CBC News.

Chinese Particulate Pollution 8 Times WHO Standards

Via End Times Headlines:

In recent years, China has become notorious for its air pollution.  On February 22, levels of particulate matter having the designation PM2.5 were measured at 198 micrograms per cubic meter (mcg/m3), which is almost 8 times the World Health Organization's recommended safety level.  In another development, Chinese officials stated in December that over 8 million acres of farmland has been made "too polluted for growing crops".  A question for members of Greenpeace or other environmental organizations:  When will you be protesting in front of any Chinese embassy or consulate?

Read the story at Natural News.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

An Overlooked Bit Of Texas History

I've known for a long time that while Texas was still part of Mexico, Americans such as Davy Crockett and Sam Houston, to name two famous examples, migrated into Texas.  Later on, Texas succeeded from Mexico and existed as a separate country before joining the United States as a state.  There were many reasons for the Texan succession from Mexico, but only from this post by my blogging friend Smokie of Somewhere In Texas did I learn about one reason in particular.

According to Smokie:
In 1824 the Mexicans enacted the Constitution of 1824. In the new constitution, the republic took the name of United Mexican States, and was defined as a representative federal republic, with Catholicism as the official and unique religion. This constitution was much like the Constitution of the United States.
So far, so good.  But then, things changed.
In 1835 under President Santa Anna there was a drastic shift in the government. While Santa Anna was out of office, Interim President Miguel Barragán approved the ”Basis of Reorganization of the Mexican Nation.”  This ended the federal system and established a provisional centralist system. Therefore states, which till that time had been free states became provinces. This created conflicts with many of the former states and rebellions occurred at various locations.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Monday Links

Here are a few things in the news out there:

From ABC News, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel (R) has announced plans for cuts to the military that could shrink it down to the size it was before World War II.

From the New York Post, comedian Harold Ramis, who appeared in Stripes and Ghost Busters, has died at age 69 from complications of autoimmune inflammatory disease.

From Fox News, Samuel Sheinbein, who was convicted in Israel after committing murder in the United States, has been killed by Israeli special forces after stealing a gun and shooting three guards.

From Politico, in the Texas governor's race, Attorney General Greg Abbott (R) has widened his lead in the polls over state Senator Wendy Davis (D).

From Prophecy News Watch, some Egyptian hieroglyphs are stirring debate over the Biblical Nephilim.

From The Hill, congressman John Dingell (D-Mich), who took office in 1955, has decided to retire.

From Canada Free Press, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has decided to open talks with the opposition.

From Reuters, the bodies of seven Egyptian Christians have been found on a Libyan beach with gunshot wounds in their heads.

From Breitbart's Big Peace, the Ukraine Gun Owners Association wants their Constitution to contain an equivalent of the American Second Amendment.

From Before It's News, a graphic illustration showing how consolidated the media have become.

From Yahoo Sports, New York Mets first baseman Ike Davis admits to concealing an injury.

From BBC News, the firing of British talk show host Piers Morgan results in "transatlantic schadenfreude", to which yours truly proudly pleads guilty.  According to Twitchy, he also seems to be having some technical difficulties with his Twitter account.

From American Thinker, the New York Times publishes a cartoon on how to deal with global warming "deniers".

And from PCWorld, the vice president of the European Commission thinks that the next generation of smart phones could cure youth unemployment.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Abandoned Amusement Park For Sale

Via The Tech Journal:

For a cool 1.62 million Euros, you can be the proud owner of a now-abandoned amusement park in Berlin, Germany.  Originally built by the East German government in 1969, Kulturpark Plänterwald was later taken over by a man named Norbert Witte, who renamed it Spreepark.  Unfortunately for his business, Witte was arrested for and later convicted of cocaine smuggling.  The park closed in 2002.

Read the story and view the pics at Gizmodo.  And if you've got 1.62 million spare Euros in the bank, and can read German, you can place your bid on e-Bay.

Current Cold Winter Opposite Of Government Predictions

While much of the United States has been enduring repeated rounds of the dreaded Polar Vortex, and the resulting colder-than-normal temperatures, this turns out to be the opposite of what had been predicted for this current winter.  According to Bloomberg Businessweek:
Surprised by how tough this winter has been? You’re in good company: Last fall the Climate Prediction Center of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicted that temperatures would be above normal from November through January across much of the Lower 48 states.
Read the story at the above link, which appeared in a comment on a story in HotAir.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Maryland Republicans Still Without AG Candidate

Just four days before the 2/25 deadline, the Maryland GOP does not have anyone running for the state's Attorney General.  The present incumbent, Doug Gansler (D), has been in office since 2007, and ran in 2010 without any GOP rival.  Now that Gansler is planning to run for governor, the Democrats have several candidates vying for his current position.  Meanwhile, two Republicans considered running, but have backed out.  I can see why any GOP candidate would be discouraged, because Maryland has not had a Republican Attorney General since 1954.

Read the story at The Quinton Report.

Violence In Venezuela

Venezuela has seen a lot of violence in recent weeks, largely from the Maduro government and pro-government vigilantes called colectivos against people protesting against the government.  Here are some related stories:

From The Economist, after opposition leader Leopoldo López turns himself in, the violence continues.

From the New York Times, the protests swell "as places to rally disappear".


According to BBC News, and speaking of CNN, the latter has been threatened with expulsion.


From Yahoo News, the government has deployed paratroopers.

From Russia Today, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro accuses American President Barack Obama of inciting violence.  In other words, those yanquis once again become a convenient scapegoat.

Faking Passports Results In Conviction

A passport office adjudications manager has been convicted of falsely submitting and approving passport applications for people who were not US citizens.  According to LexisNexis:
During a four-day trial, co-workers testified that Jamaican applicants who were not U.S. citizens would visit the passport office and use the personal identification information and photos of birth certificates from other people to apply for a passport.  (I wonder how they got that information.)  The Houston man would then accept the fake documents and issue a passport.  According to court records, the 51-year-old man also provided false parental identification for a minor child without the proper two-parent consent.  (That’s a big no-no.)
Read the full story.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Protests And Violence Continue In Ukraine

Here are a few stories about what's been going on in Ukraine:

From CNN, Ukraine is "on edge" as a cycle of protests, talks and violence continues.

From The Telegraph, a truce has been broken by "fresh fighting".

Fox News has a "timeline of key events".

From Metro, video shows snipers shooting protesters.

From The Guardian, the protests are spreading out from Kiev.

From USA Today, as many as 100 people may have been killed.

From Bloomberg, Ukraine faces sanctions from EU governments.

From CBC News, EU governments are trying to negotiate with Ukrainian leaders and opposition.

ABC Australia has before and after photos from Kiev.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Russian Olympic Hockey Team Eliminated

The Russian Olympic men's hockey team, representing the host country, will not be winning any medal in this year's games, having lost in the quarterfinals to Finland by a score of 3-1.  Finnish goaltender Tuukka Rask saved 37 Russian shots, allowing only an early goal by Ilya Kovalchuk.  His Russian counterpart Semyon Varlamov allowed 3 goals on just 15 shots before being pulled for Sergei Bobrovsky.  Finland's goals were scored by Juhamatti Aaltonen, Teemu Selanne and Mikael Granlund.

In another quarterfinals game, Sweden beat Slovenia 5-0.  As of this posting, the games between United States and the Czech Republic, and between Canada and Latvia are still being played.

Read the story at CBS Sports and ESPN.

UPDATE: Also from CBS Sports, the United States defeats the Czech Republic 5-2 and Canada beats Latvia 2-1.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Protests In Kiev Turn Deadly

Earlier today, anti-government protests in Kiev, Ukraine turned violent, resulting in 9 people being killed, including two policemen.  At total of 47 policemen have been injured.  The protests started about three months ago, but recently have included attempts to enter government buildings.

Read more at CNN, Reuters, BBC News, Yahoo News, France24 and The Guardian.

UPDATE:  From Fox News, 18 have now been reported dead.

Satan Edited Out Of Film About Jesus

Via Weasel Zippers:

Last year, many bloggers noticed that in the TV miniseries The Bible, Satan (played by Moroccan actor Mohamen Mehdi Ouazanni) bore a striking resemblance to the man currently occupying the White House.  From that 10-hour miniseries, the roughly two hours of footage dealing with Jesus have been used to make a shorter film entitled Son of God.  Although Jesus and Satan appear in the same episode of The Bible, Satan has been deleted from Son of God.  Anyone who familiar with the Gospels will recall the story of Satan tempting Jesus.  Thus, an authentic portrayal would not only show Jesus and Satan in the same story, but have them interact with each other.

Read the story at The Hollywood Reporter.

UPDATE:  Read more about this story at Canada Free Press.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Kopernik Would Be Disappointed

Via Pat Dollard:

Mikołaj Kopernik, the Polish astronomer known to the world by his Latin name Nicholaus Copernicus, would not be pleased with the results of a survey made by the National Science Foundation.  Among Americans surveyed, 26 percent incorrectly answered the question "Does the Earth go around the Sun, or does the Sun go around the Earth?"  Out of nine questions on the survey, the average score was 5.8 correct answers.

Read the story at The Telegraph.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Music Break

This month's break includes songs that aren't very well known, at least here in the U.S.  Most of these I've only recently run across.

Starting off is Gudbuy T'Jane by Slade, who developed their own way of spelling their titles.  Their songs Cum On Feel The Noize and Mama Weer All Crazee Now were both covered by Quiet Riot.  During their heyday, Slade consisted of Noddy Holder (lead vocals & guitar), Dave Hill (lead guitar & vocals), Jim Lea (bass, keyboards, violin & vocals) and Don Powell (drums).  Today, only Hill and Powell remain from the original lineup.

USA Beats Russia In Epic Hockey Game

It took overtime and an eight-round shootout, but the United States Olympic hockey team defeated the Russian team on its home ice in Sochi, the final score officially being 3-2.  The teams were tied at 2 at the end of regulation, and did not score in the 5-minute sudden-death overtime period.  The USA won the shootout 4-3, with T. J. Oshie (who plays for the NHL St. Louis Blues) collecting all 4 American goals.  For the Russians, Ilya Kovalchuk scored 2 goals and Pavel Datsyuk scored 1 during the shootout.  Datsyuk also scored Russia's two goals in regulation.  America's regulation-time goals came from Cam Fowler and Joe Pavelski.

CBS Sports has a live blog of the game and a short summary.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Child Euthanasia Approved In Belgium

Via Live Action News:

The Belgian parliament as passed a bill that allows euthanasia for terminally ill children, which requires parental consent, but with no age limit for the child.  Belgium started to allow euthanasia for adults 12 years ago.  The new law is similar to one in the Netherlands, which requires the child to be over 12 years old.

Read the story at BBC News.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Former Mayor Ray Nagin Convicted

Ray Nagin, the mayor of New Orleans who found his way into the national spotlight in 2005 when his city was struck by Hurricane Katrina, has been convicted of 20 of the 21 counts against him, including accepting "bribes, free trips and other gratuities from contractors in exchange for helping them secure millions of dollars in city work while he was in office".  Nagin had been in office for 8 years when he stepped down in 2010, and was indicted in 2013.

Read the story at NOLA(dot)com and the Los Angeles Times.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Tuesday Links

A few stories in the news:

From Reuters, the U.S. House of Representatives passes a "clean" bill to increase the debt ceiling.

From Bizpac Review, the murderer of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry receives a 30-year sentence.

From Life News, an abortionist facing criminal charges has been found after being on the lam for 11 years.

From the New York Post, GOP donors are starting to have their doubts about New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's presidential prospects.

From Catholic News Service, the daily routine of retired Pope Benedict.

From Foodbeast and the "say goodbye to your arteries" department, 7-Eleven stores are test-marketing deep-fried Doritos stuffed with cheese.

From The New York Times, the text of new Mayor Bill DeBlasio's (D) first state of the city address.  (Via Breitbart's Big Government)

From Independent Journal Review, even MSNBC disapproves of the latest delay in the implementation of Obamacare.

From Watchdog(dot)org, many Minnesota state agencies have failed to file a report on outdated rules.

ABC News recalls "five films in which Shirley Temple shined".  (See today's earlier post on her passing.)

From Gateway Pundit, President Obama claims that Obamacare gives women the chance to work on the farm.  That's interesting.  I thought that women have worked on farms, alongside men, for thousands of years.  (Via Weasel Zippers)

From IPT News, CAIR appears to have no tolerance for other Muslim viewpoints.

And from BabaMail, those amazing Russian circus cats.

Shirley Temple Black 1928-2014

Shirley Temple Black, the legendary child star who later became a diplomat, passed away late last night from natural causes at her home in Woodside, California.  Starting when she was three years old, Shirley Temple used her talents as an actor, singer and tap-dancer to create a successful show business career, often beating out the adult stars of her day at the box office.  When she was 17, she married fellow actor John Agar, but they divorced after four years.  At age 22, she left the movie business and married Charles Black, a California businessman.  As an adult, she became a Republican fundraiser and found a second career as a diplomat, serving as a delegate to the United Nations, Ambassador to Ghana, and Ambassador to Czechoslovakia.

Read more at CNN, The Washington Post, The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Yahoo News, TMZ, Fox News and Reuters.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Obamacare Taxes Gym Memberships

It appears that we have yet another example of finding out what's in the Affordable (in the Orwellian sense) Care Act, to paraphrase a certain former House Speaker.  Ashley Pratte, an officer with Young America's Foundation, found that under the ACA, Black Card Memberships in Planet Fitness are subject to a tax.  As she recalls:
Immediately questioning why this tax was going to be added to my monthly membership fee of $19.99, I decided to ask a staff member. My first thought was that the tax was a result of the 10 percent tanning tax that was implemented in 2010 and revised in 2012.
The staff member told me that this was, in fact, where the tax was coming from and that a 5-cent tax would be added to my monthly membership.
Yes, the tax is minimal, but as far as Ms. Pratte is concerned, "it’s the principle of the matter."  Read her story at The Washington Times.

Iraqi Terror Instructor Blows Up His Class

Brought to my attention by Monkey In The Middle:

An instructor at a terrorist training camp about 60 miles north of Baghdad, while trying to demonstrate how to make car bombs, accidentally set off his explosives, killing 21 of his pupils.  Other terrorists at the site, including some who were wounded, were later arrested.

Read the story at The Times Of Israel.

This is not the first time I've heard about bomb-making terrorists blowing themselves up.  Another such incident took place in 1970, in a city that is a lot closer than Baghdad.

Maryland Eastern Shore Veterans Cemetary

The Maryland Eastern Shore Veterans Cemetery is located a few miles south of Preston, along state routes 16 and 331, which coincide.  Many times, I have heard my fellow conservatives say "Freedom isn't free", but the sign at the entrance takes that expression one step further with "The Price Of Freedom Is Visible Here."

Near the center of the cemetery grounds is the chapel, with three flagpoles with flags at half-staff and a carillon.

The gravestones are all low to the ground, and arranged in a circular pattern.

This marker is dedicated to recipients of the Purple Heart.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

The First Mason-Dixon Stone

The southwest corner of Delaware is marked by the first stone used to set out the Mason-Dixon line.  Today, it is enclosed by a structure made of brick columns and iron fencing, along Maryland route 54 a few miles east of Mardela Springs.   In this photo, the stone is viewed from a southwest angle, in which a smaller darker stone appears behind the stone used to mark the corner of Delaware.  Numerous coins appear to have been tossed into the enclosure, including a few that landed on the marker stone itself and stayed there.

This view is from the east, in which what appeared to be a smaller stone behind the main stone in the first picture is actually three smaller stones.  From this angle, there's a better view of the coins sitting on top of the main stone.

While the Mason-Dixon Line is thought to be the boundary between Maryland and Pennsylvania, it also includes the boundary between Maryland and Delaware, which runs north-south to the north of these stones and east-west to the east of them.  This would mean that I was standing in Delaware when taking the second picture.

Old Trinity Church

About a mile west of Church Creek, Maryland is the Old Trinity Church, which was first constructed around 1670, and then restored during the 1950's.  The church is just off state route 16 and surrounded by a rather large cemetery.  The first picture shows the front and one side, including a bell on a separate pole.  Notice how some gravestones are right next to the church.

This shot shows the back of the church and the other side, with part of a gravestone in the left foreground.  Notice the rounded section of the back wall.

Here are some gravestones behind the back of the church, including two circular stones that look like they may have previously been millstones used for grinding grain.

In another part of the church grounds is this curved columbarium, used to store urns that contain the ashes of the deceased, who are identified on each corresponding plaque.

The Old Trinity Church has its own website and is mentioned in Scenic USA.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Obamacare Deconstructed

This video was produced by the organization Conservatism Is Calling last fall.   Although it's several months old, I'd say that it's still relevant to what's going on today with Obamacare.  If I have one problem with the video, it's that some of its music gets intrusive.  Toward the end, we hear part of a speech by Ronald Reagan, who spoke out against socialized medicine during the early 1960's, before he entered politics.  This would imply that even back then, someone was advocating for the socialization of the American medical system.

German Woman: "I Break This Curse."

Via Holger Awakens, who recently added SmokieTX, who posted on this, to his formidable roster of contributors:

A recent performance at a church in Speyer, Germany of The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace by Welsh composer Karl Jenkins was supposed to be an interfaith event between Muslims and Christians.  When the Muslim imam started the Islamic call to prayer, a Christian woman named Heidi Mund would have none of it.  To find out what she said and did, of which the title of this post is a sample, read the story at CBN News, and watch their video:

Friday, February 7, 2014

Clint Eastwood Saves Man From Choking

Clint Eastwood, known for recently representing President Obama with an empty chair, saved the life of Steve John, director of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, using the Heimlich maneuver to stop John from choking, while they were at the tournament’s volunteer dinner.  Eastwood has served as mayor of nearby Carmel, California.

Read the story at SFGate.

Is This A Coincidence?

Via a12iggymom:

Imagine that you run a business for almost 20 years, without ever being visited by OSHA, the BATFE or the FBI, or audited by the IRS.  Then, you apply for tax-exempt status for a political organization of which you are the founder, and find your business dealing with all of the above governmental agencies.  Bare in mind that your business and your political organization are two different entities.  The only thing they have in common is you.  Wouldn't you start to wonder if maybe, just maybe, something fishy is going on?

The above scenario might seem hypothetical, but for Catherine Engelbrecht, founder of a group called King Street Patriots, it's reality, as she testified yesterday before a Congressional committee.

Read the story at The Blaze.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Lifelike Statue At Wellesley Causes A Stir

Via Bizpac Review:

Students of Wellesley College (Hillary Clinton's alma mater) were startled to find a sleepwalking man clad only in his underpants on their snowbound campus.  They might have wondered if he had frozen to death.  But such worries would have been misplaced, because he was only a statue, made of bronze and paint.  Even so, some students were angry enough to sign a petition asking for its removal.

Read the story and see the pic at The Boston Globe.

(H/T Yankeemom, who brought this to my attention.)

Merlin Dialect

The following post was originally put on And Rightly So during its first incarnation, and disappeared into cyber-oblivion when the site went down.  Fortunately, I had saved a copy of it on an old computer.
-------------------------
In the state where I live, we have our own way of talking.  While the state is known as "Maryland" in standard English, in the local dialect, it's called "Merlin".  Thus, "Maryland" is what you might call our "full fake name".

Merlin Dialect differs from standard in English in several ways, some of which are:

1.  Some vowels are shortened, most often in unaccented syllables.  For example, "ee" as in "seen" becomes "i" as in "sin".  This is in common with some dialects of upstate New York.  The long "i" before an "r" becomes "a" as in "car".  This is in common with some dialects in eastern Kentucky.

2:  The dipthong "ow" as in "cow" becomes "a" as in "cat".  This is similar to Australian English.

3.  An "r" is inserted after "a" in some standard English words.  This is in common with some dialects in central Texas.

4.  Syllables that sound like "air" in standard English sound like the "er" in "her".  This may be spelled either "er" or "ur".

5.  Consonants within groups thereof can disappear.

Pillow Shortage In Sochi

Tomorrow the Winter Olympics start in Sochi, but the city's Olympic village didn't have enough pillows for the athletes.  As a result, pillows were collected from the apartments of staffers and volunteers so that they could be used by athletes.  This is but one problem in the area.  Some visitors are finding the local infrastructure to be, shall we say, less than adequate.

Read the story at V[]cativ.  If you happen to be in Sochi,.....

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Whatever Happened To "Kelo"?

In 2005, the United States Supreme Court upheld a Connecticut Supreme Court ruling in the case Kelo v. City of New London, in which the plaintiffs had filed suit after losing their homes in an eminent domain action by the city and an entity it had created called the New London Development Corporation (NLDC).  As explained in The Weekly Standard:
That is, the city and the NLDC were entitled to condemn and then bulldoze people’s homes solely in order to have something else built on the land that would produce higher property taxes​ - ​such as the office buildings, luxury condos, five-star hotel, spacious conference center, a “river walk” to a brand-new marina, and high-end retail stores that were part of an elaborate “economic development” plan for Fort Trumbull that the NLDC had launched in 1997.  The Constitution’s Fifth Amendment bars governments from taking private property unless the taking is for a “public use.”  Historically “public use,” as courts had interpreted it, meant a road, a bridge, a public school, or some other government structure.  But in the Kelo decision, the High Court majority declared that “economic development” that would involve using eminent domain to transfer the property of one private owner to a different but more economically ambitious private owner​ - ​such as a hotel​ - ​qualified as a public use just as much as, say, a new city library.
Today, the action by the New London government, later upheld by the state and federal Supreme Courts, looks like a huge mistake.  The residential area formerly known as Fort Trumbull, where Susette Kelo and the other plaintiffs once lived, was torn down, but nothing has been built in its place.  The only thing remaining is a line of telephone poles extending through an empty field.  Click on the link above to read the full story.

UPDATE:  National Review Online also has a story on Fort Trumbull and Kelo, including some pictures.

Raining Under The Trees

Many times I've taken a walk during a light rain, and noticed how when I walked under a tree, there would be very little rain getting through.  Only between the trees did there seem to be any rain.  Today, however, I experienced the opposite phenomenon, in which there was rain under the trees, but none between them.  This is because last night there was freezing rain in my area, which coated the trees with ice.  Today, with milder temperatures, the ice on the trees is melting and falling from them.  In other words, it's raining under the trees.  Here are some icebound trees in my neighborhood.

Here are a few more trees, with a lake behind them:

This row of bushes also received a coating of ice.

1,400-Year-Old Well Found In Tel Aviv

A large water well has been discovered in the neighborhood of Ramat HaHayal  in Tel Aviv, Israel, which according to archaeologists is at least 1,400 years old.  The well is of a type called "Antilla well", and is the first of this kind found in Tel Aviv.  The well used animal labor to power a pumping mechanism.

Read the story at Israeli National News and The Jerusalem Post.

Sandra Fluke Alters Political Ambitions

Via Life News:

Sandra Fluke, known for pushing a mandate for religious groups to provide birth control, has decided not to run for the Congressional seat of soon-to-be-retired Henry Waxman (D-Cal), but instead to run for a seat in the California state Senate.

As an aside, if I could give her some advice, it would be to pronounce her last name like the common noun "fluke" instead of like "fluck", which sounds way too close another word that begins with "f".

Read the story at the Los Angeles Times.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

A Giraffe Walks Into A Bar

It's one thing to have an elephant in the living room, but this was a giraffe in a restaurant.  Customers at a restaurant in Lion Park animal sanctuary in Johannesburg, South Africa were briefly joined by a 20-foot female giraffe, who stopped by to sniff some bins, and then walked away without eating anything.

Read the story at the Mail Online.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Tim Tebow's No-Contract Commercial

Via USA Today:

This year's Super Bowl ads seem to have underwhelmed the general public, but T-Mobile's ad starring former football player Tim Tebow seems to have been a bit of a bright spot.  For one thing, I'm impressed by his ability to tackle a Bigfoot.


Sunday, February 2, 2014

New Video Of Felix Baumgartner's Record-Breaking Skydive

Via Don't Let Them Invalidate You:

The camera manufacturer GoPro has released a new video of Felix Baumgartner's record-breaking skydive from 2012.  The video includes some historical footage of previous record holder Joe Kittinger, who talked Baumgartner through the procedure of leaving his capsule, and some brief mentions of his corporate sponsors.  At 1:42, Baumgartner gives us his impression of Darth Vader.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

A Hokie Contributes To History

In 1938, Watson Warriner graduated from Virginia Tech with a degree in Chemical Engineering.  In 1939, he took a job with DuPont, who transferred him to several different places during the next few years.  In 1943, he was transferred to the company's facility in Wilmington, Delaware, where he worked to design plants that produce heavy water, and later plants that separated plutonium from uranium.  In 1944, he was again moved, this time to Hanford, Washington to help bring about the latter operation on an industrial scale.  As imperial Japan would find out - the hard way - the rest is history.

Warriner retired from DuPont in 1981 and lives near Winterthur, Delaware.  Although he is 96, he can still recall his contribution to the project that ended World War II.  Read the story at Delaware Online and watch their video:

Illegal Aliens In Illinois Start Getting Driver's Licenses

Via Champion News:

According to a song by Genesis, "it's no fun being an illegal alien", but in Illinois and 9 other states, illegal aliens can get driver's licenses because of laws passed in 2013.  Each license is good for three years and includes a purple border instead of the normal red border.  State officials expect up to 500,000 illegal aliens might apply for what are called "temporary visitors licenses".  Applicants must set up appointments in order to start the application process.  They required to take vision, written and road tests, and provide proof of insurance and residence in Illinois for at least a year.  This begs a question.  If applicant must reside in Illinois for at least a year, and may have the license for up to three more years, how can the licences be legitimately called "temporary" and "visitor's"?

According to one state official, providing these licences won't be easy.
“It’s a monumental task,” said Henry Haupt, spokesman for Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White.
If Mr. Haupt thinks that the task is "monumental" now, how big does he (or anyone else) think the task will be if amnesty immigration reform is passed, causing numerous more illegal aliens to allegedly "come out of the shadows", and many more (if the 1986 amnesty is any indication) to come in illegally afterwards?

Read the story at The Southern.

Lies And Theft In The SOTU Address

Shamelessly pilfered from Political Pistachio:

Wayne Allyn Root, who went to Columbia University at the same time as Barack Obama, points out the lies in the 2014 State of the Union address, and the alleged plagiarism from a previous SOTU by George W. Bush.