Sunday, October 05, 2008

Ted Briggs has Died.

HMS Hood.


Ted Briggs was the last of three survivors of the HMS Hood, the ill-fated battlecruiser destroyed by the Bismarck May 23, 1941. At the time of the sinking the Hood was the world's largest warship. He now joins his 1,420 shipmates.


UNTO Almighty God we commend the soul of our brother departed, and we commit his body to the deep; in sure and certain hope of the Resurrection unto eternal life, through our Lord Jesus Christ; at whose coming in glorious majesty to judge the world, the sea shall give up her dead; and the corruptible bodies of those who sleep in him shall be changed, and made like unto his glorious body; according to the mighty working whereby he is able to subdue all things unto himself.
-Book of Common Prayer (1925)


Daily Telegraph Obitary.

HMS Hood Association.

Pedal-Powered Panzer.


Must get one of these. It shoots hot dogs for Pete's sake!

Tales From the Help Desk...

CIOs were asked, “What is the strangest or most unusual request you or a member of your help desk or technical support team has ever received?” Their responses included:

“Why isn’t my wireless mouse connected to the computer?”

“My laptop was run over by a truck. What should I do?”

“Can you rearrange the keyboard alphabetically?”

“How do I read my e-mail?”

“My computer is telling me to press any key to continue. Where is the ‘any’ key?”

“Can you reset the Internet for me?”

“There are animal crackers in my CD-ROM drive.”

“Can you build me a robot?”

More here.

What Fresh Hell is This...

Apparently this is supposed to be an Alaska politician...I'm guessing it's Ted Stevens.


Pet Costumes.

Free Speech and my Alma Mater.


Citing a state law banning state workers from certain types of political activity while on state time, the school went overboard:

The University of Illinois has sparked outrage by telling faculty, staff and graduate students that a 5-year-old state law designed to prevent state workers from campaigning for candidates on state time or with state resources meant they could not express support for candidates or parties through pins, T-shirts or bumper stickers while on campus. Nor could they attend any political rally or event on campus, the administration said.

The governor's Office of Executive Inspector General, which investigates ethical violations, has gone one step further, saying state law meant that university students, not just employees, were prohibited from participating in political rallies on campus--an assertion at odds with the university's interpretation.

Outright thuggery.

The Heart Attack Grill.












I know where I'm going next time I'm in Chandler Arizona.

The Art of Groundskeeping.

Carl Spackler would be proud.

Solar Power Faces Environmentalist Opposition.

Solar companies proposing large power plants in the Mojave Desert are facing opposition from conservationists. They say a rush to build solar here threatens to tear up large tracts of desert habitat and open space.

I've been trying to point out the environmental costs of solar power are not zero for some time now. Glad to see I'm not the only one.

Don't get me wrong, I'm for solar power (and nuclear and coal and just about everything else), but the idea that it was free energy without consequences was always stupid.

What’s In a Product Name? Why, Deception Of Course!

Product names don't necessarily reflect the truth of the products. Ever heard of Corinthian Leather? Think New Jersey, not Corinth, Greece. How about Häagen Dazs? Nothing Scandinavian about it. Read on to find out how a product's name can deceive you ...

The story is here.



How the markets really work.

Can’t See the Forest for the Trees.

Despite assumptions that globalization is destroying forests, these researchers argue that in many parts of the world globalization and the policies that go along with it are in fact helping to create them. Migration from rural areas to cities or other countries, new markets for forest commodities, and even war are helping in some places to bring trees back. In other places the demand for diverse and far-flung products like rubber, tea, and açaí fruit, for example, is transforming existing forests and the lives that depend on them, often in unexpected ways. Perhaps most surprisingly, archaeologists and ecologists have discovered growing evidence that many forests once considered pristine, including much of the Amazon, have long been marked by human activity.

The VP Debate

The Appearance of Impropriety.

Unqualified home buyers were not the only ones who benefitted from Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank’s efforts to deregulate Fannie Mae throughout the 1990s.


So did Frank’s partner, a Fannie Mae executive at the forefront of the agency’s push to relax lending restrictions.



The fallout for all of this is just beginning.

Bailout Saga Proves that Elites Don’t Care What We Think.


In mid-September, when it became clear to Hank Paulson, Ben Bernanke, and George Bush that extraordinary measures were needed to address the mess that had built up in the financial markets during the past decade or so, their first instincts should have been to say:
“We need to have a complete plan to deal with this.”


“We need to make a case to Congress and the American people that our plan will work.”


They did neither of these things; nor did they even seem to consider whether what they wanted was even constitutional.


Instead, they in essence demanded that Congress and the American people give them a blank check, saying, “Do this, or else.” Last Sunday, I called it blackmail. I stand by that.


Of course, a large plurality of Congressmen and Senators, along with a majority of the American people, were repulsed. The wonder is that everyone wasn’t.

Stupid Criminal of the Week.


Never rob a Dunkin Donuts...especially one where you just turned in a job application...with your address on it.


The story is here.

Themistocles: Master of Deception.


About 2,500 years ago, a Greek commander executed what might be the most perfect case of deception in the history of warfare. He was cunning and cocky, but above all, he was successful because he knew how to use human intelligence. This brilliant Greek commander was Themistocles of Athens, and the date was 480 B.C.


A nice little article on the battle of Salamis.

Sorry about the erratic blogging...

I've been kinda sleep deprived lately. Twins will do that I guess. I haven't been visiting my friends blogs, writing anything original, or even really answering my email...to all of you I apologize for that. It seems the wife thinks the twins need to be fed every day-that seems a bit much if you ask me...and what's this whole "changing diapers" thing? Are we supposed to be doing that? They're only a month old, how much could they have possibly accumulated yet?

One of the big surprises so far is how often we wind up going to the doctor. Some of that is just normal follow up I guess, but we had a concern about one of the girls kidneys. It turned out to be nothing but the whole episode stands as powerful testimony to the ability of modern medicine to really freak you out.

The trips to the hospital wouldn't be so bad if weren't for the fact that they keep asking the same annoying background questions....so annoying that I've begun to have a little fun with it.

"Any pets in the house?" Just the lions. "What about smoking?" Oh I think there a little young for that doc. I guess if you insist could start them on Virginia Slims but surely it's too soon for menthol-that sort of thing.

Hopefully the worst is behind us.

Sports have been a bit of a distraction lately as well. For those who don't know I grew up in the Chicago area, went to University of Illinois as an undergrad and Nebraska for law school. The two sports I really care about are major league baseball and college football. I watch other stuff, the Ryder Cup was great this year for example, but baseball and football are my passions.

Just a few days ago, the fall was shaping up pretty well. Illinois went to the Rose Bowl last year and stood a good chance to go to a decent bowl game this year. Nebraska was well on it's way to repairing the damage caused by Bill Callahan and best of all, both the Cubs and the White Sox were going to the play-offs.

What can I say...as I write this the Cubs have lost nine straight playoff games and were eliminated in three straight this year. The White Sox will probably be knocked out tonight. And the Cornhuskers? Well on the plus side, they held Missouri scoreless in the fourth quarter last night. The Wife and I are still debating if this because they were too tired from from scoring 52 points in the first three quarters (my view) or because they put in the girls chess club for the final 15 minutes (her view). In any case, it was an abject thumping of epic proportions.

The ray of sunshine in all this was the Illini. When I was a student at U of I we weren't exactly a football powerhouse. We had to satisfy ourselves with occasionally ruining the seasons of others...I'm looking at you Ohio State. Michigan, needless to say would usually beat us like a red headed step child. The Wolverines were a perennial power before I was born and probably will continue to be long after I'm gone...but every once in a while...

We hadn't beaten Michigan in nine years...as in almost half the lifespan of a redshirt freshman. Even worse the game was in Ann Arbor, the place where Illinois football dreams go to die. What ever hope we had, it was of perhaps squeaking out a narrow victory with a late field goal after we've stayed close thanks to lucky plays. In my wildest dreams I couldn't have imagined what actually transpired.

Illinois 45
Michigan 20

Actually it was more lopsided than the score suggests. We utterly destroyed them. At one point we had scored four unanswered touchdowns. Aside from a Citrus Bowl against Tennessee a few years back, I don't think I've ever seen Michigan beaten this badly...and we did it! Yea!

Hopefully I can get back on a a regular posting schedule soon.

Update: Overheard at the barbershop this morning.

Customer: Hey...NASCAR has a black guy doing commentary...I wonder what his family thinks of that?

Barber: How would they ever find out?

Customer: You mean it's like those girls who come from really religious families and wind up doing porn?

Barber: Yep.

As the kids say...LOL.