March 28, 2005
Anyways, in honor of the very first blog I myself ever discovered, I've decided that the theme for this edition of the New Blog Showcase will be creepy floating baby heads.
Let's kick this off with a trip in the ol' wayback machine to a time when every toy we played with was dangerous and deadly. How in the world did we ever survive? Could it be that only the brightest of us did? *thinks about recent headlines* Nahhhh. Thanks to Melinama at Pratie Place for reminding me of that simpler if seemingly less-safe time.
Welcome to Hermitville, a mostly fictional collection of monologues and observations. I was going to include a sample here, but couldn't decide on just one snippet. This crab can write!
aTypical Joe chimes in with I say eat him. This is a very nicely designed blog, so I say read him (is there an echo in here?)
Michael Minton is an experienced blogger who recently started The Gunner's Corner. He's going to focus on news with a conservative slant. According to the creepy floating baby head, you must go check it out.
Scared Monkeys is two guys represented by the "see no, hear no, speak no" icon. Get it? Two guys... three monkeys? Nope, me either. Anyway, they invite you to drop in and read their take on a major US news media outlet. I notice that they don't promise to not fling poo at you. So, are you feeling lucky punk?
The masthead at The Nose On Your Face reads "News so fake you'll swear it came from the mainstream media". If you like your news with a hint of onion and with a heaping side of satire, then this might be your new daily special. Don't miss the "Top 9" list either. No hints, just go.
This next new blog is written by a reservist currently stationed in Iraq. Firstly, please accept my thanks for your service to our country, and pass those thanks on to your troops as well. Secondly, if the rest of you have ever wondered what the heck all that "hooah" business is about, well, Mustang 23 has the complete word. I almost forgot to mention that the name of his place is Assumption of Command, and if you hover your mouse over his creepy floating baby head (on your left... your military left) then you'll see that the enthusiasm starts young.
Atlas Shrugged is another blog taking on today's big issues, and Pamela has started a very nice weekly roundup op-ed series. I note again that she does not promise to not fling poo at you. Hooah! (I really need to get some sleep.)
Last but certainly not least is a very new blog called Constructive Ideas, with some intriguing analysis of our educational system from an angle that hasn't occurred to me before. He writes under the moniker of 'Positive' from the state of Florida. Did you know that Florida has the highest incidence of lightning ground-strikes in the world? That's something pilots and steely-eyed missile men know.
Every blogger started somewhere, and those first few weeks are the hardest of all as you try to build up your momentum. Check out these newest members of the blogging community, leave a comment and some encouragement, and you just might discover a new daily read. That might not be enough reason for some of you. Fair enough.
Do it for the creepy floating baby heads.
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March 27, 2005
As Douglas Adams said, it's all about nailing a guy to a tree for the crime of saying that we should be nice to each other.
So I'm guilty of mocking the commercialized version of the holiday. When the Cadbury Police knock on the door, I'll go quietly.
I'll post one of these every once in a while, with a couple of simple links to IMDB.com or a bio if I can find one. You might be surpirsed at some of the familiar names you'll see. The category is "Star Cards" (over on the right column), and you can click there at any time to see all that I've posted. Hope you enjoy.
(in the extended entry) more...
March 26, 2005
(the reason why I'm so tired is in the extended entry, so's you don't have to read it unless you want to) more...
An intriguing theory about this moon being the source of one of Saturns rings is put forth.
What was that quote? "Not only is the universe stranger than we imagine, it is stranger than we can imagine."
Thanks to Fred at the Eternal Golden Braid for the pointer.
Tamales are the ultimate anti-fast food. TheyÂ’re simple enough to make (although it takes a little practice) but they arenÂ’t something you just slap together in a hurry. Tamales are cooking-for-the-love-of-cooking food.
You can also turn tamale making into a family event. There are plenty of things to do, even for the little ones. Making these in one day would make for a long but relaxed day in the kitchen.
IÂ’ll list an overview of the process, and then put down detailed steps for each part. Please remember though, that IÂ’ve done this a grand total of once so far. All I can say for sure is that the number of steps might seem intimidating, but they break down into easily manageable chunks and my results were spectacularly delicious the very first time.
I found this book: Tamales 101 (available from Amazon) to be a great help. IÂ’ll be using this book as a reference and for recipes for a long long time.
(the rest is in the extended entry) more...
March 25, 2005
March 24, 2005
A tussle has broken out in Japan's tradition-bound sumo world over the right to wear pants in the ring.
Gargantuan sumo wrestlers generally compete naked but for a "mawashi," an arrangement of wrapped cloth that preserves a bare minimum of modesty.
Sumo's amateur association hit upon the idea of allowing shy youngsters to wear "sumo pants," a more substantial garment similar to cycling shorts, to try to boost the dwindling numbers of children taking up the sport, the daily Yomiuri Shimbun said on Thursday.
What's next? A kabuki version of Gigli? I'm no hidebound stick in the mud, but you have to draw the line somewhere.
And if they start allowing pants, well, I'll just have to forego my career in Sumo. I already had a great name picked out too: Yomama.
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Update: Around this place, confusion doesn't reign, it pours!
March 23, 2005
Now you do.
The 900-page book appeared in serial form in a French newspaper and lacked just a few chapters when Dumas died in 1870. Claude Schopp, the Dumas specialist who made the discovery, has added a short section to bring the tale to its conclusion.
The story was discovered almost ten years ago, and it's existance has been kept secret while being made ready for publication. The title is "Le Chevalier de Sainte-Hermine" (The Knight of Saint-Hermine).
In typical Dumas fashion, his characters are inserted into real history, and this time the lead character is involved in the Battle of Trafalgar.
I'm looking forward to this one.
Thanks to Rodger for pointing this one out.
PS. When you go to look (and I really urge you to do so), turn up your speakers and enjoy the background music too. This is a really well-done site.
March 22, 2005
(click for huge kinky size, just once only please)
Daughter: At WalMart, in the discount bin. Some babe in a fur bikini.
Mom: One Million B.C. starring Rachel Welch. Would you want that?
Me: Oh yeah!
Daughter (to mom): Told you.
"Faces of the Fallen," 1,327 individual portraits of the dead produced by 200 artists, opens to the public Wednesday at Arlington National Cemetery.
The images, each 6-by-8 inches, are mounted on plain steel rods that reach to near eye level. Each rod includes a label with the soldier's name, hometown and date of death.
The display does not include every soldier who've given their life to date.
The artists worked mostly from newspaper and Internet photos, and some sent by families of the dead.
One particularly poignant portrait was done by John R. Phelps, a Vietnam veteran chosen to design the World War II memorial in Lander, Wyo. He painted his son, Marine Pfc. Clarence Phelps, who died April 9 from head wounds.
The artists, who donated their time and paid for all the materials, plan to give the portraits to the families when the exhibit is over, Polan said.
The memorial will be on display until September 5th, and admission is free.
You're stuck inside Fahrenheit 451, which book do you want to be?
Green Eggs and Ham, Sam I am.
Have you ever had a crush on a fictional character?
The only one I can think of that might apply is Corson, from the series Silverglass. She's a strong, stubborn, cagey sword-for-hire. I'd never be bored around her, and there's more to her than a pretty face and a sharp edge. Here's the cover illustration of her from the cover of the first book of the series: Corson (big graphic image).
The last book you bought is:
The last book you read:
I just finished rereading P.J. O'Rourke's Eat the Rich.
What are you currently reading?
Sams Teach Yourself PHP in 24 Hours, Third Edition
Five books you would take to a deserted island.
Hmmmm... I could read these over and over (and have). I'm shallow... deal.
1. Job: A Comedy of Justice. Heinlein. My all-time favorite book.
2. Starship Troopers. Heinlein. My all-time favorite book that isn't listed above.
3. Team Yankee. Coyle. War fiction. Love it.
4. Any anthology of H.P. Lovecraft. The closest thing to mind-altering drugs without involving actual drugs.
5. The Lord of The Rings. Complex and rich in texture, this is a story you can spend years understanding. Not one of my all-time favorites, but I'm thinking about whiling away many hours with this one.
Who are you going to pass this stick to (3 persons) and why?
Nic, who always has something interesting to say, even when she claims she's being trite.
Rob, who also goes to concerts at King's Dominion, and I don't hear from often enough.
Oorgo, another guy who has interesting opinions, even when we disagree.
Amy, because I have counting issues and her cute toes would've come in handy right about now. Besides, she only does one meme on her blog and I'm a sucker for rejection.
Thanks to Transterrestrial Musings for pointing it out.
March 21, 2005
On January 11, 2005, Greg Hammond hosted a comment based fundraiser on his blog, http://www.californiahammonds.com. The fundraiser was in memory of his lovely wife, Cheryl, who lost her battle with breast cancer after more than 5 years of fighting. The proceeds from the fundraiser totaled $2,846 and were donated to the National Breast Cancer Foundation's education and screening programs.
The fundraiser worked by spreading the word of the need for donations and asking those who heard about it to please leave a comment on his blog. Sponsors pledged money for certain numbers of comments. For example, Greg himself donated $1 for each of the first 500 comments. A different sponsor donated $1 for each of the first 50. The another donated $1 for the 50 following those. And on and on.
On April 1, 2005, the one year anniversary of Cheryl's death, Greg plans to host another fundraiser. Again, the proceeds will go to the National Breast Cancer Foundation's education and screening programs, and the format of comments and sponsors will remain the same.
You can get more information here. Please consider clicking the banner and leaving a comment on April 1st.
Thanks to Tricia for pointing this one out and asking me to help.
The submarine is from the I-400 Sensuikan Toku class of subs, the largest built before the nuclear ballistic missile submarines of the 1960s.
They were 400 feet long and nearly 40 feet high and could carry a crew of 144. The submarines were designed to carry three "fold-up" bombers that could be assembled for flight within minutes.
The story says that the wreckage was discovered near Pearl Harbor, and also mentions that two of the type were deliberately scuttled near Pearl after the war because the Russians were demanding access to them for study. What isn't clear is whether this is one of the deliberately sunk boats or an actual war casualty.
An I-400 and I-401 were captured at sea a week after the Japanese surrendered in 1945. Their mission Â— which was never completed Â— reportedly was to use the aircraft to drop rats and insects infected with bubonic plague, cholera, typhus and other diseases on U.S. cities.
When the bacteriological bombs could not be prepared in time, the mission was reportedly changed to bomb the Panama Canal.
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