January 12, 2008

Sir Edmund Hillary Dies

First man to stand atop Mt. Everest, he died in hospital on Friday in Auckland, New Zealand. He was 88 years old.

Sir Edmund wrote of his and Tenzing's final push to the roof of the world: "Another few weary steps and there was nothing above us but the sky. There was no false cornice, no final pinnacle. We were standing together on the summit. There was enough space for about six people. We had conquered Everest."

They stayed about 15 minutes, taking pictures as proof, before descending again. He later greeted a fellow expedition member with the words:

Well, George, we've knocked the bastard off.

He will be given a New Zealand state funeral on January 22. Read more about this remarkable man and his equally remarkable life here (for a start).

Posted by: Ted at 07:31 AM | category: Links
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January 11, 2008

Proof Positive

God is male. We know this because boobs come in pairs.

Posted by: Ted at 04:48 PM | category: Square Pegs
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Majestic, In the Air and On the Water

I had no idea, but bald eagles are excellent swimmers:

Q. Can a Bald Eagle swim?

A. Great question. Absolutely. They are very good swimmers, and I've even seen older nestlings who can't fly yet swim. It's not uncommon for an eagle to "misjudge" and latch into a fish too heavy/large for it to fly with, so they then may swim quite a distance to shore (wouldn't want to let go of lunch now would we), drag the fish up on shore and then eat it.

This page has more swimming eagle stories, plus more links.

Posted by: Ted at 05:38 AM | category: Links
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January 10, 2008

Secret Clues to Classified Space Missions

Zoe Brain points out this interesting article about mission patches for rockets carrying classified payloads, and what can be deduced from them.

Posted by: Ted at 06:44 PM | category: Space Program
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January 08, 2008

Government, *ANY* Government, Is Not Your Friend

Alternate title: A politician is a politician is a politician...

While the Democrats try to figure out whether it's more about "change" to nominate a woman or a black man, let's not forget that Republicans can also do serious damage to our freedoms.

For instance, in California (land of Ahhhnold) there's a little plan afoot.

Title 24, California's state-mandated energy regulatory code is about to be revised to implement a requirement that will allow the state to take control of the thermostat in every new home and office in the state.

You like it a little cooler in the summer? Willing to pay for the higher electric usage? Too bad, sucka. The state now controls the amount of heating and cooling in your house (I say heating because heat pumps do both jobs). Oh, and as written, it's not just new construction, it's also any "change" to an existing home's heating and a/c system. Betcha that "change" will be defined to include annual maintenance checkups too. Any takers?

Meanwhile, all the way across the country in Massachusetts (you know, where Mitt Romney used to be guv'ner), their state-mandated universal health care plan is showing signs of being in serious trouble. After it's first year of operation, costs are running 150 million dollars above projections, and non-participants are being fined up to $1,800.00.

One year. $150,000,000 over budget.

They want you to believe that they know better than you how to spend your money.

See those QandO links for quotes and more.

Posted by: Ted at 05:29 PM | category: Links
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January 07, 2008

Too Funny Not to Pass Along

From McQ over at Q&O:

I was depressed last night so I called Lifeline.

Got a call center in Pakistan.

I told them I was suicidal.

They got all excited and asked if I could drive a truck.

Posted by: Ted at 07:13 PM | category: Links
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January 06, 2008

Cooking in Lingerie

Via YouTube. Not me, for those who were worried about that.

Posted by: Ted at 08:54 AM | category: Links
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January 05, 2008

Great Name

The Mets just signed outfielder Angel Pagan.

Posted by: Ted at 06:34 PM | category: Square Pegs
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Go On, Expand Your Horizons, I Dare Ya!!!

Crank it up and be prepared to dance, Benny Lava.

Posted by: Ted at 10:51 AM | category: Links
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January 03, 2008

Movie Review: Fido

Fido is a sweet, funny, heartwarming and nostalgic look at the world back in the 1950's, just after the zombies attacked.

Think of this as a cross between Night of the Living Dead and Leave It To Beaver to get a general feel for the movie. As for the look, it's reminiscent of Edward Scissorhands, although greatly toned down from the pastel hell that Ed was.

The Robinson's are the only family on their block that don't own their own zombie, and status-conscious Mrs. Robinson is bound and determined to do something about that. When she finally orders one, Timmy and the zombie (whom he names Fido) become fast friends.

Of course, even the most domesticated zombie can still be dangerous, and that's where the problems begin. Through it all, we're treated to a family becoming closer than ever thanks to love, acceptance and the undead.

Ok, that's enough dancing around the plot. Despite the fact that in a very real way this is a family movie, Fido also features some blood and mild gore. It is, after all, a movie about zombies. There are disturbing scenes and some parts of these people's lives that are genuinely scary, but it's perfectly balanced by some of the most delightful situations and funniest writing I've experienced in a long time. We actually had to stop the movie once because we were laughing our asses off.

Believe it or not, actor Billy Connolly manages to give Fido a full range of emotions and motivations, making you care for him despite the fact that he never falls out of his zombie persona.

If you've ever wanted to introduce someone to horror movies, this is about the most gentle way I can imagine. It's what the Donna Reed Show would've been like if they added all the classic horror elements, and that, my friends, is excellence. Good enough to go straight to the top of my "to buy" list.

Fido. See it. Seriously.

Posted by: Ted at 08:27 PM | category: Cult Flicks
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Happy Birthday Radar O'Reilly!

Something or other is happening in Iowa today, and that's the only thing I can think of that I might possibly care about.

Posted by: Ted at 04:54 PM | category: Square Pegs
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January 02, 2008

Thai Food

Mookie adores it, so she found a place nearby that got rave reviews and treated me to dinner. She says the food there was really, really good.

I tried several things, but I discovered that I just don't like Thai food.

Posted by: Ted at 07:16 PM | category: Square Pegs
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January 01, 2008

Thump... Thump... Thump....

I've mentioned before that Ozzie, one of our house rabbits, "thumps" with his back legs when he's not happy about something. He's thumping away right now in his cage.

Liz and daughter Robyn are in Florida to visit Mom and Dad. Apparently Ozzie is feeling neglected because nobody is in the sewing room with him. I put the stereo on in there, but he's used to Liz sitting in there where he can see her.

This is going to get old real quick.

Posted by: Ted at 07:50 PM | category: Square Pegs
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Happy New Year!

As promised yesterday, here's what you can expect from Rocket Jones for the next year (or eternity).

BeatDeadHorse.gif

This one amuses me greatly, boys and girls. Expect to see it again.

Posted by: Ted at 10:43 AM | category: Square Pegs
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All the Ranting With None of that Fattening Common Sense!

I'm gonna link to myself here, because you *must* read the comment that was left.

Bot or Nut? What say you?

Posted by: Ted at 09:58 AM | category: Links
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