Happy Holidays.

Seeya sometime next year....gotta go be a Wiitard.


Misc. Friday Ramblings...

WPMS: We play blues 3 weeks a month. The 4th week is ragtime.

  • Maps to local shooting ranges.
    Just in case you ever need to know.

  • Using silly string to detect tripwires.
    In an age of multimillion-dollar high-tech weapons systems, sometimes it's the simplest ideas that can save lives. Which is why a New Jersey mother is organizing a drive to send cans of Silly String to Iraq.

    American troops use the stuff to detect trip wires around bombs, as Marcelle Shriver learned from her son, a soldier in Iraq.

    Before entering a building, troops squirt the plastic goo, which can shoot strands about 10 to 12 feet, across the room. If it falls to the ground, no trip wires. If it hangs in the air, they know they have a problem. The wires are otherwise nearly invisible.

    The military is reluctant to talk about the use of Silly String, saying that discussing specific tactics will tip off insurgents.

    But Lt. Col. Christopher Garver, a U.S. military spokesman in Baghdad, said Army soldiers and Marines are not forbidden to come up with new ways to do their jobs, especially in Iraq's ever-evolving battlefield. And he said commanders are given money to buy nonstandard supplies as needed.

    In other cases of battlefield improvisation in Iraq, U.S. soldiers have bolted scrap metal to Humvees in what has come to be known as "Hillybilly Armor." Medics use tampons to plug bullet holes in the wounded until they can be patched up.

    Also, soldiers put condoms and rubber bands around their rifle muzzles to keep out sand. And troops have welded old bulletproof windshields to the tops of Humvees to give gunners extra protection. They have dubbed it "Pope's glass" — a reference to the barriers that protect the pontiff.

    Improvise, Adapt, Overcome.


RIP Peter Boyle.

Peter Boyle, the tall, prematurely bald actor who was the tap-dancing monster in "Young Frankenstein" and the curmudgeonly father in the long-running sitcom "Everybody Loves Raymond," has died. He was 71.

Boyle died Tuesday evening at New York Presbyterian Hospital. He had been suffering from multiple myeloma and heart disease, said his publicist, Jennifer Plante.
A Christian Brothers monk who turned to acting, Boyle gained notice playing an angry workingman in the Vietnam-era hit "Joe." But he overcome typecasting when he took on the role of the hulking, lab-created monster in Mel Brooks' 1974 send-up of horror films.

The movie's defining moment came when Gene Wilder, as scientist Frederick Frankenstein, introduced his creation to an upscale audience. Boyle, decked out in tails, performed a song-and-dance routine to the Irving Berlin classic "Puttin' On the Ritz."


Getting a piece of ass, literally.

If you see these body parts hanging in a shop window in Ratchaburi Bangkok, don’t be scared or grossed out. These are not real body parts, they’re actually yummy pastries.

Even if you dare to take a bite, too bad, they’re not for sale. The owner of the pastry shop was trying to deliver a message: “Do not always believe what your eyes see”.

Gives new meaning to the phrases "Bite me" and "Eat me".


Slacker! Why yes I am.

Many of us spend our work days sitting, and we're killing our backs.

A sweeping study now confirms what ergonomic gurus long have preached: Reclining at a 135-degree angle is better for your back than sitting up straight.

In West Michigan -- ground zero for office-chair production -- designers are glad to hear the rest of the world is catching up. They've been incorporating reclining positions into their creations for years.

"(The study is) proof positive that 135 degrees is the best angle for a healthy back," said Bill Dowell, the Zeeland company's research director and a certified professional ergonomist. "But we've always been a proponent of reclining. All of our chairs recline to at least that angle because we know it's a healthy posture."

Dowell said the study conducted at the University of Alberta Hospital in Canada used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to confirm what previous studies have found: The 135-degree recline relieves back pressure. The finding should not be that surprising, Dowell said, because researchers have found the human body automatically achieves that posture when weightless in space or water.

Now I wish they'd study the effects of propping your feet up while reclining at the work desk.


Misc. Friday Ramblings...

  • It's a knife and a gun.
    Just what we need: more weapons and even better, increasingly innovative ways to murder and maim each other. With this G.R.A.D. $699 .22-caliber gun disguised as a knife, you can pull the trigger on the handle, filling someone with five holes and then cut them up into little pieces, or vice-versa.

    From the looks of it, by the time you get it ready to use, you could have pulled a real firearm.


A Date Which Will Live in Infamy.

Mr. Vice President, Mr. Speaker, Members of the Senate, and of the House of Representatives:

Yesterday, December 7th, 1941 -- a date which will live in infamy -- the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.

The United States was at peace with that nation and, at the solicitation of Japan, was still in conversation with its government and its emperor looking toward the maintenance of peace in the Pacific.

Indeed, one hour after Japanese air squadrons had commenced bombing in the American island of Oahu, the Japanese ambassador to the United States and his colleague delivered to our Secretary of State a formal reply to a recent American message. And while this reply stated that it seemed useless to continue the existing diplomatic negotiations, it contained no threat or hint of war or of armed attack.

It will be recorded that the distance of Hawaii from Japan makes it obvious that the attack was deliberately planned many days or even weeks ago. During the intervening time, the Japanese government has deliberately sought to deceive the United States by false statements and expressions of hope for continued peace.

The attack yesterday on the Hawaiian islands has caused severe damage to American naval and military forces. I regret to tell you that very many American lives have been lost. In addition, American ships have been reported torpedoed on the high seas between San Francisco and Honolulu.

Yesterday, the Japanese government also launched an attack against Malaya.

Last night, Japanese forces attacked Hong Kong.

Last night, Japanese forces attacked Guam.

Last night, Japanese forces attacked the Philippine Islands.

Last night, the Japanese attacked Wake Island.

And this morning, the Japanese attacked Midway Island.

Japan has, therefore, undertaken a surprise offensive extending throughout the Pacific area. The facts of yesterday and today speak for themselves. The people of the United States have already formed their opinions and well understand the implications to the very life and safety of our nation.

As commander in chief of the Army and Navy, I have directed that all measures be taken for our defense. But always will our whole nation remember the character of the onslaught against us.

No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory.

I believe that I interpret the will of the Congress and of the people when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost, but will make it very certain that this form of treachery shall never again endanger us.

Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory, and our interests are in grave danger.

With confidence in our armed forces, with the unbounding determination of our people, we will gain the inevitable triumph -- so help us God.

I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday, December 7th, 1941, a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese empire.



B.O. or terror threat.

An American Airlines flight bound for Dallas-Fort Worth was diverted in Nashville Monday after passengers reported smelling burning matches.

Airport officials had 99 passengers and five crew members disembark the plane after it landed around 6:40 a.m. Monday.

The plane, which was en route from Reagan National Airport in Washington, was searched and luggage was screened.

Matches were found in the seat of one passenger, who was detained and questioned by the FBI. The matches were safety matches allowed in carry-on luggage under Transportation Security Administration rules.

Airport officials said the woman, who was not identified, was trying to conceal body odor.

She was released without being charged, but was not allowed back on an American Airlines flight.

The remaining passengers were screened, and the plane resumed its flight four hours later.

I guess they should stop giving away the peanuts then.


Aquapet indeed

I don't know what's worse: That this thing looks like a sex toy, that there is one with Sponge Bob in it, or that people are selling them used.


He's Cosmo Kramer, the ass...

I think people were leaving, no because of the content, but the fear that the insulted party would come back with weapons.


Misc. Friday Ramblings...

Wally: I can't risk being know as the guy who knows how to edit the database. I barely have time to avoid the work I already have.

  • Putting the gun in his pants was first mistake.
    Three men attempted to kidnap a teenager in a dispute over stereo speakers shortly before 4:45 p.m. on Monday, Wichita police reported. One of the three pulled out a gun and fired it at the teen in the 1000 block of South Wichita.
    The shot missed the teen. But then the shooter jammed the gun back into the waistband of his pants -- and it went off.
    The bullet struck the 23-year-old man in his left testicle, causing him to cringe -- which caused the gun to fire again.
    The second shot struck him in the left calf.
    Police did not release information about the size of the gun he was using at the time.

    I can’t make this up. But it begs the question, does size matter?

  • State Senator Foils Robbery, Holds Suspects At Gunpoint
    A pistol-packing politician catches a group of intruders suspected of stealing motorcycles from his warehouse.

    State senator Tim Burchett had to draw his gun on four people as they were leaving his warehouse on Ball Camp Pike Wednesday morning. Senator Burchett had three motorcycles stolen out of his warehouse in recent weeks. He had been staking out the building and called 911 after catching the burglars in the act, but told us he had to draw his gun to prevent them from escaping.

    I don't know Tennessee laws, but in Florida I do not believe that this would be a legal action. The statute I could quickly find was 776.07. This pertains to an actual arrest, though, not just detaining criminals. Ah well, he was a politician. He'd pretty much be immune by default.

  • The Kalashnikov Museum.
    Currently, guided on-site tours to the museum are provided only in Russian - so, if you were to visit Izhevsk, but you don't know Russian, you'd need to bring an interpreter along with you to the museum to understand what the tour guide is saying. The purpose behind this virtual tour is to provide a richly illustrated tour in English, a language that is accessible to many of the world's people who are interested in all things Kalashnikov.

    Oh yes, especially interested in the Vodka.



Misc. Friday Ramblings...

To those who have served, Thank You!


  • Starting them off a little to early.
    .22 is the right caliber, but it is better to start with a long arm. Oh yeh, and WAIT UNTIL THEY ARE OUT OF DIAPERS!

  • The HAMMER H2X-40 Turret.

  • In God We Trust.
    A 54-year-old Florida man credits two small Bibles in his shirt pocket with saving his life when they stopped a bullet.

    The man, whose name was withheld because his attackers are still at large, told Orange Park police that two men he didn't recognize ambushed him with a rifle as he carried bags of garbage to a trash bin.

    He said his attackers then fled in opposite directions.

    The man said the bullet was stopped by two New Testaments that he was carrying in his shirt pocket to give to friends. Police took them as evidence.

    The Florida Times-Union reported that aside from a red mark and a pain in his chest, the man was not injured.


Asleep on the job.

Workers at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center were forced to review the rulesbook Monday after photos of three space workers snoozing on the job were released on a Web site.

The photos released on the watchdog Web site NASA Watch showed three employees at the Huntsville, Ala. space center sleeping at consoles and a fourth playing an online card game.

The employees for the NASA contractor Teledyne Brown Engineering Inc. worked in the space center's Payload Operations Center which manages the science operations of the international space station.

"The pictures ... are not indicative of the performance of the overall team. They're isolated incidents," NASA spokesman Steve Roy said Monday. "This is serious to us. We're extremely concerned about it."

A spokeswoman for Teledyne Brown Engineering didn't return a phone call.

Only one of the employees in the photos still works for the Payload Operations Center, said Roy, who estimated the photos were 11/2 years old.

The photos were sent to NASA Watch by a former employee at the Marshall Space Flight Center.

Takes on a new meaning when someone's life might be endangered.


Your soul is mine.

You Are a Seeker Soul

You are on a quest for knowledge and life challenges.
You love to be curious and ask a ton of questions.
Since you know so much, you make for an interesting conversationalist.
Mentally alert, you can outwit almost anyone (and have fun doing it!).

Very introspective, you can be silently critical of others.
And your quiet nature makes it difficult for people to get to know you.
You see yourself as a philosopher, and you take everything philosophically.
Your main talent is expressing and communicating ideas.

Souls you are most compatible with: Hunter Soul and Visionary Soul


Target your Wii

Someone on the IGN web boards posted a numerical scheme that Target supposedly used to determine how many Wii's a store will get on launch day. So, using the tool in the link above, you can put in your area code to start a search for your local stores. Interesting if true.


Monkey's on a boat

THE crew of a large cargo ship headed for Sydney have been told to catch or kill a rogue monkey running loose aboard the vessel or they will not be allowed to dock.

A spokesman for the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) said the container ship, said to be coming from China, was due in Australian waters within two days.

The ship's crew have sent Australian authorities photos of the animal in a bid to have it identified, but the quarantine spokesman said the shots were of a poor quality and showed only a "small brown blur".

The crew have no idea how the animal came to be aboard and say they have not been able to get close to it since first spotting it sitting on top of a container some weeks ago.

The ship's captain has been advised of Australia's quarantine requirements and warned the monkey had to be captured or "appropriately disposed of" before the ship would be allowed to berth in Australia.

Quarantine agents are concerned that a wild monkey could carry rabies or even simian encephalitis.

This could make a very interesting movie. What if the monkey was a mutant....with frickin laser beams. I wonder if Samuel Jackson would go for Monkey on a boat.


Misc. Friday Ramblings...

PHB: Alice, your problem is that you take on too much work.
Alice: The problem is that you give me too much work.
PHB: Your second problem is that you blame others. And your third problem is that you're always angry.
Alice: GAAAA!!! IT'S ALL YOU!!!!



Alabama Man

Police say a Marshall County, Alabama teen raped his mother to get revenge on his brother.

Police say 19-year-old Gary Helms, Jr., raped his 45-year-old mother this past weekend, at Willow Terrace Trailer Park on Doyle Drive in Albertville.

It's a twisted crime that police say Helms admits.

"From what we understand the rape stemmed from an argument between him and his brother. And apparently they were arguing over a girlfriend. And the rape was some sort of retaliation towards his brother," said Sgt. Jamie Smith of the Albertville Police Department.

It was unusual retaliation on an unsuspecting victim.

Authorities say Helms' mother was apparently passed out drunk on the couch when the rape started.

"During the attack she did come to and recognize her attacker. (Reporter: As her son?) As her son," said Smith.

That's when, according to the police report, the mother "tried to get away, but he held her down until he was finished."

A few points:
  1. Alcohol was involved.

  2. They are in Alabama.

  3. If it was a retaliation, then I think the girl at the heart of the conflict could have been the mother. Ick.


Your life as a soundtrack.

Thanks to CJ for this fun little exercise!


Here's how it works:

- Open your music library
- Put it on shuffle
- For every question, type the song that's playing, and don't be cheating, dammit!
- When you go to a new question, press the next button

Opening Credits: Joe Satriani - Hands in the Air

First Day At School: NoFX - Iron Man

Falling In Love: Wang Chung - Everyone Have Fun Tonight (Did I?)

Fight Song: Trivium - Like Light to the Flies

Breaking Up: Judas Priest - You Got Another Thing Coming (hmmm, that could be promising)

Life's OK: Crystal Method - Trip Like I Do

Mental Breakdown: Captain and Tenille - Do That To Me One More Time (how in the fuck did that get in there?)

Driving: Loverboy - Workin for the Weekend

Flashback: The Cars - My Best Friend's Girl

Getting Back Together: Iron Maiden - 2 Minutes to Midnight (before she turns into a pumpkin...)

Wedding: Def Leppard - Pour Some Sugar on Me (and shove some cake in my face...LOL)

Birth of Child: Wallflowers - We Can Be Heroes

Death Scene: Staind - Just Go (ouch...)

Funeral Song: Soft Cell - Tainted Love

End Credits: Linkin Park - Numb (that should have been the funeral song...lol)

Wow, I need to clean off my HD. 30 gigs of MP3s, and I only selected about half for this survey. I wonder what the hell answers I would have gotten if I would have put in the soundtracks, comedy tracks, rap, and country songs.


HAL-5 Robot Suit Ready for Production.

Cyberdyne announced that they will start mass producing the HAL-5 , a Hybrid Assistive Limb (HAL) for “walking assistance and rehabilitation, nursing, factory work and disaster relief.” This robot suit allows anyone who wears it, the potential to lift up to 10-times the weight they normally could. Production will be limited to just 20-units next year and 400-500 units in 2008.

Oooh, next up, Cyclone armor!


The Your SESAME STREET Persona Test

Count von Count
You scored 77% Organization, 23% abstract, and 47% extroverted!
This test measured 3 variables.

First, this test measured how organized you are. Some muppets like Cookie Monster make big messes, while others like Bert are quite anal about things being clean.

Second, this test measured if you prefer a concrete or an abstract viewpoint. For the purposes of this test, concrete people are considered to gravitate more to mathematical and logical approaches, whereas abstract people are more the dreamers and artistic type.

Third, this test measured if you are more of an introvert or an extrovert. By definition, an introvert concentrates more on herself and an extrovert focuses more on others. In this test an introvert was somebody that either tends to spend more time alone or thinks more about herself.

You are very organized, more concrete, and both introverted and extroverted.

Here is why are you The Count.

You are both very organized. You almost always know where your belongings are and you prefer things neat. You may even enjoy cleaning and find it therapeutic. The Count is obsessive compulsive and needs to always count what he has. You would never find The Count missing a bat.

You both are concrete thinkers. The Count is very mathminded and wants to know what he has and where it is. His purpose in life is clear. You probably also know what you want in life, and you have a real plan toward achieving it. You aren't likely to throw everything away to take a risky chance.

You are both somewhat introverted. The Count is quite obsessed with himself and the things that belong to him. At the same time he has had 2 girlfriends and he has guests in his castle. Like The Count, you probably like to have some time to yourself, but you do appreciate spending time with your friends, and you aren't scared of social situations.

The other possible characters are
Oscar the Grouch
Big Bird
Kermit the Frog
Cookie Monster
Guy Smiley

If you enjoyed this test, I would love the feedback! Also if you want to tell me your favorite Sesame Street character, I can total them up and post them here. Perhaps your choice will win!

My test tracked 3 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:

free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 99% on Organization
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 99% on concrete-abstra
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 99% on intro-extrovert
Link: The Your SESAME STREET Persona Test written by greencowsgomoo on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the The Dating Persona Test


Misc. Friday Ramblings...

  • Mozambique...in Miami Vice.
    The shooter was an IPSC Grandmaster (see the classification system here) and was a consultant on the show. Here he got a bit part as an assassin. For the pistol shooting at the end the director told him, "Don't worry about making it look fast. We'll take care of that when we edit it." Apparently the director had never seen a real shooter draw and shoot. Needless to say they didn't need to do any editing to make it look faster. Another thing Guy said was that the script didn't say what to do with the gun afterward and he didn't realize it until the shooting was over. So what happens is the shooter double taps the other guy looks down, realizes he has a "stove pipe" failure, clears the gun and puts it on the chest of the victim as he walks away. The crew was so slack jawed over the display of speed they just kept filming even though that wasn't part of the scene.

    Notice, three shots. Also, there wasn't a stovepipe at all. The gun is in battery. What he did was unload and show clear...probably out of habit.

  • Shooting skeet with cars.
    We need a bigger gun....and more cars!


The King is Dead. Hail to the King baby!

Rock 'n' roll legend Elvis Presley ceded his crown to Nirvana lead singer Kurt Cobain on Forbes.com's list as the top-earning dead celebrity.

The list, published on Tuesday, said grunge rocker Cobain earned $50 million between October 2005 and October 2006. Presley wound up in the No. 2 slot with $42 million, down from last year's $45 million.

Forbes.com bases its dollar amounts on licensing deals for using the deceased celebrities' work or image in advertising or elsewhere.

This was Cobain's first time on the list in its six years of publication. Presley has ruled the roost since its inception, said Forbes.com staff writer Lacey Rose.

Cobain's coup was due to his widow, actress and singer Courtney Love, who sold a 25-percent stake in the Seattle grunge group's song catalog to New York music publishing company PrimeWave.

Ranked after Presley is "Peanuts" cartoon strip creator Charles Schulz at $35 million.

Rounding out the top five were Beatle John Lennon at $24 million and groundbreaking physicist Albert Einstein at $20 million, whose estate profited from such licensing deals as the popular "Baby Einstein" educational videos.

So I wonder if Love's share will end up going up her nose or not.


"Franks be to God."

Franks for the memories, Hot Dogma.

In the dog-eat-dog world of hot dog restaurants, the Pittsburgh location has decided to settle and change its name to Franktuary.

The settlement ends 17 months of legal wrangling with a Miami Beach restaurant that made a federal case out of the Pittsburgh site's name. Dogma Grill has a trademark on the word "dogma" and its attorneys contended the similarity in names might confuse consumers.

The settlement includes a small, undisclosed financial compensation and an agreement to drop the name Hot Dogma from its signs, Web site and merchandising.

In the end, business sense held sway. While Hot Dogma has received pro bono representation since the four-count federal suit was filed in April, Ms. Lindsey didn't relish the effort an extended legal fight would require.

And to properly bury the name Hot Dogma, a "giant funeral" is planned for down the road, she said.

That means a fire sale of the restaurant's hoodies and T-shirts, whose logo, is, of course, "Franks be to God."

Wanted for questioning:

edit: sorry for the crap...er, short week. Being under the weather doesn't help. Last time I ever get a flu shot.


Misc. Friday Ramblings...

Bruce Baum: If you want too much porn on the internet, you could get hair on your palm pilot.

  • FN SCAR evaluation and video.
    SOCom awarded a Nov. 5, 2004, contract to FN Herstal to develop a highly reliable, modular weapon system for its elite forces.

    Army Times recently spent a few hours at FNH USA’s weapons training and test facility in Fredericksburg, Va., checking out the latest prototypes of the new weapon system.

    The SCAR program is really two rifles — the SCAR Light, chambered for 5.56mm NATO rounds, and the SCAR Heavy, chambered for 7.62mm NATO ammo.

    Both versions of the SCAR can be equipped with different barrel lengths to suit missions ranging from close-quarter fights to long-range shooting.

    The SCAR Light has a 10-inch “close quarter combat” barrel, a 14-inch “standard” barrel and an 18-inch “long barrel.”

    The SCAR Heavy also has a 10-inch CQC barrel but has a 13-inch standard barrel and a 20-inch long barrel.

    The CQC barrel is intended for urban-style targets out to 200 meters; the standard barrel is for targets at 300 to 500 meters; and the long barrel is for targets at 500 to 800 meters out.

    For cleaning, the SCAR breaks down into five main groups:

    • Upper receiver assembly, including the barrel.

    • Lower receiver assembly, including the trigger mechanism.

    • Moving parts assembly, which houses the bolt carrier group and recoil spring.

    • Buttstock assembly.

    • Magazine assembly.

    The joint command is looking at SCAR for Army, Navy and Air Force special operators. In addition, the Marine Corps is looking at SCAR for its elite units and hasn’t ruled it out as a future option for the entire Corps.

    The conventional Army, however, is not interested in SCAR. For the foreseeable future, Army officials have said combat units will continue to use the M16 rifle and the M4 carbine. Over the next five years, the Army’s first priority is to look for a replacement for the M249 squad automatic weapon.

    Video: SCAR (S.O.F. Combat Assault Rifle)

    Hope and pray that a civilian version comes out before the Republican rule ends in 2008.

  • Self-defense in Seattle.
    Daniel Culotti was shot shortly after 11 a.m. by a 52-year-old man he was assaulting in an unprovoked attack, according to Seattle police. The victim of the assault was carrying a handgun and had a concealed-weapons permit, police said.

    Seattle police continue to investigate Saturday's shooting, and their findings will be turned over the prosecutor's office to decide whether charges are warranted. While police would not speculate on whether the shooting of Culotti was self-defense - saying the term is a legal finding that will be determined by prosecutors -the account offered by a police spokeswoman supports that possibility.

    Moments earlier, witnesses told police, a man in his 20s apparently attacked the 52-year-old man, punching and kicking him until he fell to the sidewalk. The older man pulled out a .357-caliber Ruger revolver and fired one round, striking the man in the abdomen.

    The older man "was not winning the fight" - the other man "just starts attacking him, he's on the ground and a shot is fired," Brown said, describing witnesses' accounts.

    "It happened pretty fast. Probably by the time anybody thought to intervene, it was already over."

    The 52-year-old had a concealed-weapons license and was in legal possession of the handgun, Brown said. Police have not released the man's name because he was not booked into jail.

  • Slow-motion bullets and impacts.
    Because it is always more effecive to go full-auto while wearing a hockey mask.


Voting Myths

Any leader hoping to draw lessons from this book should start first by jettisoning any preconceived notions about how to connect with voters, consumers, and churchgoers, ignoring conventional wisdom and the false assumptions of pundits. This book debunks their many myths. Our findings include:

Myth 1: A company's product, a candidate's policies, or a pastor's sermons are the main appeal for most people.

Reality: People are looking first for a Gut Values Connection.

Myth 2: September 11, 2001, changed Americans.

Reality: The attacks did hasten change, but Americans had been transforming their values and lifestyles since the mid-1990s.

Myth 3: Technology has created a more disconnected nation.

Reality: Americans are using new technologies to build new forms of community and civic engagement.

Myth 4: The glut of information has made people more independent and less reliant on one another.

Reality: The Information Age and fragmented media have caused people to turn more often to peers for advice, giving rise to Navigators.

Myth 5: A vast majority of megachurch worshipers are antigay, antiabortion conservative Republicans.

Reality: Few megachurches are politically active because they don't want to turn off a single potential customer. A surprisingly large portion of megachurch worshipers are Democrats and independents.

Myth 6: The electorate is divided into Republican "red states" and Democratic "blue states."

Reality: Americans are highly mobile and self-polarizing, so it makes more sense to categorize them by their lifestyle choices rather than arbitrary geographic boundaries. We call them Red Tribes, Blue Tribes, and Tipping Tribes.

Myth 7: Republicans have a lock on exurban America, as shown by the fact that because Bush won 96 out of 100 of the fast-growing counties in 2004.

Reality: Democrats can win exurbia because voters in these new, fast-growing areas are driven by their lifestyle choices and values, not partisanship.

Myth 8: Americans slavishly vote their self-interest.

Reality: Their idea of self-interest is more selfless than most politicians realize. Voters will turn to a candidate who reflects their Gut Values over one who sides with them on policies.

Myth 9: The best indicator of how a person will vote is his voting history or views on abortion, taxes, and other issues.

Reality: The key to predicting how a person will vote (or shop and worship, for that matter) is his or her lifestyle choices. To borrow and bastardize a phrase from President Clinton's 1992 campaign -- It's the Lifestyles, Stupid.

According to the following quiz, I am barely a red tribe member. I tend to do what they are saying, vote for the candidate that view the issues that interest me the most in the same light. So, if they like guns, games, boobies, etc, they are okay in my book. :)


You drink that crap?

Britain needs to use more recycled effluent as drinking water if it is to deal with a long-term shortage crisis, a report said today.

The Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) said using treated sewage was one radical suggestion that needed to be pursued if the country was deal with the growing problem.

Many UK water companies were forced to impose tough restrictions on water usage this summer, banning the use of hosepipes and sprinklers, because of low reservoir levels.

The Environment Agency said southeast England had endured its worst drought for a century.

"Parts of the UK are experiencing long term water shortages, so we need a range of solutions to keep the water running," said John Lawson, the ICE's Water Board chairman.

"Effluent water reuse is still a relatively untapped way of providing drinking water to meet growing long term needs."

AdvertisementAdvertisementSewage can be turned into drinking water by processes which sieve and then chemically clean the water so it can be put back into rivers to be re-treated for human consumption.

We all drink some form of wastewater. Whether it goes through a man-made water treatment facility before returning to nature, or it passes directly into nature, it all gets back to the water we have supplied to us. That's why I drink Dasani. :)


Only you can prevent crime against your family.

According to authorities, the man believed to have shot two people in a Macclenny home Monday morning was arrested in Georgia.

Police said Bobbie Dressel went into a convenience store in Liberty County, Georgia, and told the clerk he had killed someone. Police were called and he was taken into custody.

Police said they tracked him while he used his cell phone.

A woman was killed and her stepfather was wounded in a double shooting at about 6 a.m., and the Baker County Sheriff's Office said they believe the woman's ex-boyfriend, Dressel, who they said had threatened her in the past, is the gunman.

The shootings took place before dawn at a home in the 9300 block of Brent Lane, off State Road 121, near Macclenny. Investigators said there were three other people inside the home at the time of the shootings, including two young children, ages 1 and 8. They were not harmed.

Deputies identified the woman killed as Cynthia Below, 30, a corrections officer with the state. Her stepfather, Malcolm Jones, was in critical condition at Shands-Jacksonville Medical Center.

Family members told Channel 4's Casey Black that Dressel had hidden in the woods with a gun on prior occasions and deputies were called to the house on Sunday after Dressel allegedly called the house dozens of times -- a violation of the restraining order.

Outside the home Monday morning, family members were visibly angry with Baker County Sheriff Joey Dobson for not arresting him before the shooting.

"My question is, why didn't they pick him up yesterday when there was a complaint against him," Jean-White said. "If they would have picked him up yesterday, I believe she would have still been alive today."

"We were frustrated too, as the family is. We're sorrowful for the family," Dobson said. "As any person knows, a law enforcement agency can only do what we can do. We can't place a deputy out here at this house 24 hours a day, seven days a week."

Dressel has a criminal history in neighboring counties, having been arrested for shooting into an occupied dwelling in Union County and an arrest for failure to appear on a drug charge in Clay County.

Deputies said Dressel was wearing an ankle monitor, and it was tracked for three blocks after the shootings, then the signal was lost.

"The monitoring system is supposed to keep up with him. Apparently, it did. It tracked that he came up here, and tracked that he left," Dobson said.

However, the ankle monitor worn by Dressel requires the wearer to charge its battery, and the battery on his ankle monitor died about 30 minutes after the shooting.

A few comments that I'd like to make:
  • If they were tracking him by his cel. phone usage, why weren't they able to apprehend him before his surrender.

  • If the criminal is in charge of charging his monitor, then you are putting the key element of the tracking program in the control of the criminal.

  • Restraining orders are only worth the paper they are written on if the opposing party believes in obeying the order.

  • Only you can prevent violent crimes from occurring to your family under your own roof. The police are not there for your personal protection.


Misc. Friday Ramblings...

The best part about hating people is that I never run out of great ideas.

  • What caliber is best for pumpkins?
    They're coming right for us!

  • Dragon Skin armor.
    "Pinnacle Dragon Skin SOV-2000 level III armor was tested this week for an LE agency, along with stand-alone Armored Mobility Incorporated level III plate armor used as a control and for comparison. Both types of armor were conditioned for 12 hours at 170 degrees F, then moved to ambient air for approximately 90 min prior to being shot. The problems associated with the use of inelastic clay backing material have been well documented; as such, the armor was secured to a life-size curvilinear torso replica made of Perma-Gel. Each armor system was shot a minimum of 20 times with five shots of each ammunition type fired against each armor system--one 90 degree perpendicular shot, two shots at 60 degrees obliquity, and two shots at 30 degrees obliquity, using each of the following loads fired at a distance of 10 feet:

    -- 5.56 mm 40 gr LeMas Urban Warfare (using a moly coated Nosler Ballistic Tip bullet) with a 3718 f/s average velocity.
    -- 5.56 mm M855 62 gr FMJ with a 3054 f/s average velocity.
    -- 7.62x39 mm M43 123 gr steel-core FMJ with a 2307 f/s average velocity.
    -- .30-06 M2 150 gr FMJ with a 2736 f/s average velocity.

    All of the above ammo was successfully stopped by both armor systems in this testing, with no armor failures or penetrations, even after receiving multiple hits."

  • North Korea's nuk-u-lar program.
    Estimating the yield is tricky business, because it depends on the geology of the test site. The South Koreans called the yield half a kiloton (550 tons), which is more or less—a factor of two—consistent with the relationship for tests in that yield range at the Soviet Shagan test site:

    Mb = 4.262 + .973LogW

    Where Mb is the magnitude of the body wave, and W is the yield.

    3.58-3.7 gives you a couple hundred tons (not kilotons), which is pretty close in this business unless you’re really math positive. The same equation, given the US estimate of 4.2, yields (pun intended) around a kiloton.

    A plutonium device should produce a yield in the range of the 20 kilotons, like the one we dropped on Nagasaki. No one has ever dudded their first test of a simple fission device. North Korean nuclear scientists are now officially the worst ever.


Teen drops out to play video games.

A high school dropout from Jupiter is earning six figures playing video games. Tom Taylor says people were skeptical when he quit school to concentrate on a career as a video gamer. Now the 18 year old has product endorsements and a video game tutoring business.

He's one of about 100 professional gamers associated with Major League Gaming -- a video gaming league founded in 2002. When playing well, pros can bring home a few grand a month.

Six months after he started gaming full time, Taylor signed a $250,000 contract. He also got a publicist, a financial adviser and media training. Taylor says he was born to play video games.

I went the wrong way in college. I learned programming in the hopes of one day designing and building games. Instead, I should have concentrated on playing them for money. Back then, however, the best thing going was Street Fighter 2 in the arcade.


White & Nerdy

Yes, I can quote Monty Python. I'm so white and nerdy.

Check out the guest appearances from Seth Green, Donny Osmond, and Judy Tenuta.


Join the club!

Make your fantasy a reality with Mile High Atlanta. We are located at West Georgia Regional Airport near Carrollton, GA. just a short drive from the Metro Atlanta area in rural Georgia. We will take you up to over 5,280 feet above the earth's surface so you have the opportunity to join the exclusive "Mile High Club." For only $299.00 you will have an hour flight in a Piper Cherokee Six designed exclusively for this purpose. Also included is a bottle of champagne and you get to keep your sheets as a souvenir of this special event.

Remember to ask for the parabolic maneuver so you can do it in true zero-G.


Misc. Friday Ramblings...

Heard on the radio concerning the local dating scene:
The odds are good, but the goods are odd.

  • Police officer shot at with an AK-47.
    It doesn't matter what weapon you have, if you aren't trained well with it, hitting the target is just dumb luck. The office, with training, returns fire with his sidearm and scores three hits under stress. Stupid criminals.

  • Stupid Weapons Scorecard.
    A system for rating a (possibly) stupid weapons idea:
    1) Promises a “revolution in warfare.” Add 50 points. Add 25 points for claims of a “new arms race.”

    Add 5 points for each time any derivative of the word “transformation” is used in promotional materials describing the weapon.

    2) Is supposedly a “new” idea, yet on closer examination, there are myriad examples of attempts using similar ideas in the past.

    Add 10 points for each case of a similar idea in the past. Add another 15 points, for each case inventor/company was unaware of this earlier attempt, and thus failed to learn from past mistakes.

    3) Lacks a realistic operational scenario of where or how such a weapon could be used.

    Add 25 points. Add 15 points if inventor/company describes an operational scenario, but it has no relation to current warfare (i.e. aircraft equipped with laser beams shooting at each other).

    4) The usability of the weapon assumes as yet unproven leaps in technology to reduce size, power generation or other critical elements.

    Add 15 points for each needed technological advance.

    5) The idea comes from someone who is unfamiliar with how the military fights and how weapons are used.

    Add 15 points (this is slightly subjective, so add only five points if served in military, but never involved in any military operations). Add 20 points if military experience is derived from watching war movies or the evening news.

    6) The company/inventor relies on obtaining funding (private or public) from people who themselves have no idea how the military uses weapons (i.e. private investors, congressional earmarks).

    Add 20 points if developmental funding relies on congressional earmarks (as opposed to funds requested in the Pentagon’s budget). Add 25 points if developmental funding relies on publicly traded stock. Add 30 points for developmental funding from intelligence agencies.

    7) Incorporates references to and/or inspiration from Star Trek, Star Wars, Buck Rogers, or video games. Add 10 points for Star Trek, 5 points for Star Wars, 3 points for Buck Rogers, and 2 points for video games (regardless whether XBox or Playstation II).

    8) Inventor/company argues that people also once doubted the feasibility of a nuclear weapon, as if that automatically means that this weapon will work and/or is deserving of nearly unlimited funding.

    Add 25 points. Also add 20 points if similar references are made to the Wright Brothers and airplanes.

    9) Claims foreign countries are working hard on this technology, and could overtake the United States if we don’t invest in it (without proof of such work).

    Add 10 points for claiming Russia is working on the same type of weapons, 20 points for China, 30 points for North Korea, and 5 points for the French. Score extra 100 points if claim is that extraterrestrial life forms are working on it (in fact, stop now if that’s the case – trust me, that’s a stupid weapon).

    10) Claims foreign governments have contacted inventor/company about buying the weapon and/or idea (but with no actual sales).

    Add 10 points.

    11) Relies on PowerPoint in lieu of engineering details to demonstrate workability. Add 5 points for each cartoon depiction of technology not yet in existence.

    12) References to previous military funding as proof the idea is valid, because we all know the military only funds things that work.

    Add 5 points.

    13) When presented with possible scientific laws that the weapon – as proposed – might violate, inventor/company simply insists the technology works, and it’s up to the scientists to explain how.

    Add 35 points.

    14) Cost of the weapon (please include nonrecurring costs if the weapon doesn’t yet exist), exceeds that of similar one currently in inventory by a factor of 10.

    Add 20 points for each factor of 10. Add another 5 points if you assert that costs will come down with mass production without being able to cite evidence for demand and/or how much those costs would be reduced.

    15) Any proof the weapon works is openly paraded to the media, but questions about problems with the weapon are rebuffed by claims that the information is “classified” or “proprietary.”

    Add 25 points.

    What’s the weapon’s total score?


The Burger King scares me.

"Finally, Sneak King takes the stealth action genre and puts it to a friendlier use than usual. Instead of tiptoeing behind enemy guards to silently snap their necks, players will sneak up on hungry people to surprise them with offerings of Burger King food. Gamers will have to sneak up on people in a logging yard, a construction site, downtown, and the suburbs, and they will be graded on their performance 'based on how elaborate the delivery is executed.' This is not the King's first visit to the world of gaming. The genuinely off-putting monarch of meat appeared in Electronic Arts' Fight Night Round 3 as an unlockable manager character to accompany your boxer to the ring. "



Stomping a man when he's down.

Tennessee Titans defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth was suspended five games for kicking Dallas center Andre Gurode in the face during Sunday's game.

The NFL said Monday that Haynesworth was suspended for flagrant unnecessary roughness. The suspension, which is without pay, is effective immediately. Haynesworth will be eligible to return to the field Nov. 19 for the Titans' game at Philadelphia.

Haynesworth was penalized and ejected from the game early in the third quarter after he twice kicked Gurode in the head following a 5-yard touchdown run by Julius Jones of the Cowboys.

Jones had just scored on a 5-yard run, putting Dallas up 20-6 in what wound up as a 45-14 victory. Gurode's helmet came off, and Haynesworth, standing over him, used his right foot to kick Gurode in the head.

Haynesworth's previous problems had been hidden from attention because they took place in practice. As a sophomore at Tennessee, he fought with a teammate and left practice, returning with a long pole looking for tackle Will Ofenheusle before Coach Phillip Fulmer stopped him. He was suspended for half a game.

During 2003 Titans training camp, Haynesworth kicked center Justin Hartwig, now with Carolina. Charges for a road rage incident earlier this year were dismissed.

Repeat offender offends offense with feet.


Misc. Friday Ramblings...

Boss: I can't give you the salary that you deserve because there'd be no room for a raise next year. I wouldn't want you to be all disincentivized, you know. Just moping around.

  • China firing lasers at US Satellites.
    The U.S. has revealed that China's developed a powerful, land based laser, that has been fired at American satellites. This has apparently been going on for three years. In theory, a land based laser of sufficient power could damage some types of low orbit photo and radar satellites. No details on the effects of the laser attacks were given, as this would inform the Chinese as to how well, or not well, they were doing. The Chinese may have lasered some of their own satellites, as part of what is apparently a development project.

    It's long been believed that interceptors (small satellites that can maneuver) would be a better way to take down enemy birds. Electronic jamming can also be used to interfere with communications with a satellite. A laser is also limited to satellites that pass nearby. Moreover, satellites can be modified to make them more difficult for lasers to damage. It is believed the Chinese project is a result of China realizing that a major American vulnerability is its large satellite network. Thus any damage to U.S. satellites would have a larger payoff than if the money were spent on more conventional defense investments.

    One of the easiest ways to win a fight is to poke your opponent's eye out.

  • Don't play with guns. Especially illegal length shotguns.
    A 16-year-old boy accidentally shot himself inside his home while playing with a sawed-off shotgun, according to Salinas police.

    The boy's left hand was partially over the muzzle of the gun when it discharged, partially amputating his middle finger at the palm, according to police.

    Officers recovered the shotgun, which had been thrown a short distance from the residence in the 2000 block of Santa Rita Street, and discovered it had been cut down below lawful size.

    The boy was flown to Stanford Medical Center for surgery. According to police, he was extremely uncooperative and refused to provide details as to where he got the gun.

    Of course, the gun just discharged on its own. *rolls eyes*


The Madden Curse.

What began as a coincidence has come to be characterized as a curse.

Shaun Alexander, the reigning NFL MVP, is the sixth consecutive player whose career took a turn for the worse the year they appeared on the cover of the popular "Madden" football video game.

"We work so closely with these athletes, and we root for them to succeed. It's so disappointing that this keeps happening," said Chris Erb, director of marketing for EA Sports.

The Seattle Seahawks running back has a broken left foot and may be out for a month. He said this summer he didn't believe in curses and wasn't superstitious.

"Curse or no curse, everybody, and I mean everybody, wants to be on that cover," Alexander said.

2001 ("Madden 2002"): Daunte Culpepper: Missed the final five games with a knee injury, but the curse kicked in well before the injury. He went from being tied for the league lead with 33 TD passes in 2000 to having almost as many interceptions (13) as touchdown passes (14) in 2001.

2002 ("Madden 2003"): Marshall Faulk: Rushed for 1,000 yards in seven of his first eight seasons, but he hasn't surpassed that mark since appearing on the cover of the game.

2003 ("Madden 2004"): Michael Vick: Suffered a broken right leg and missed the first 11 games.

2004 ("Madden 2005"): Ray Lewis: The Ravens' linebacker didn't have an interception for the only time in his career. He missed the regular-season finale because of an injured wrist.

2005 ("Madden 2006"): Donovan McNabb: After the Eagles slipped to a 4-5 record, McNabb missed the final seven games with a sports hernia.

2006 ("Madden 2007"): Shaun Alexander: Gained 187 yards in the first three games, his slowest start since 2002, and now is out indefinitely with a broken foot.

I think the curse of Madden is having to fork out over $50 for pretty much what is only an expansion pack of features and roster updates.


Evolving Hawaiian Crickets Lose Ability to Chirp

In just a few generations, the male crickets on the Hawaiian island of Kauai underwent a drastic genetic change that rendered them incapable of belting out courtship songs, according to a new study.

Typically, male field crickets sport curved wings, and by rubbing a sharp ridge of one wing with a rough part of the other, the cricket produces a mating call.

But this serenade also attracts a parasitic fly.

Once the insect spots a singing cricket, it deposits larvae onto the cricket. The larvae burrow into the cricket's body, where they mature and subsequently kill the cricket as they emerge.

Researchers led by Marlene Zuk of the University of California, Riverside, have monitored the crickets on Kauai since 1991.

With each visit, the team heard fewer and fewer singing crickets. Then, in 2003, they realized the crickets were abundant but 90 percent of the males had flat wings.

The scientists figured that the quiet mutation protects the crickets from the parasitic fly.

But how do they attract females? It turns out the flat-winged male crickets have altered their behavior so they can mate successfully.

The song-less males rely on the few male crickets with "normal" wings. By congregating around a serenading male, the silent crickets enable females to find and mate with them.

"The behavior of the flatwings allows them to capitalize on the few callers that remain, and thus escape the fly and still reproduce," Zuk said. "This is seeing evolution at work."

I'm not sure what is more interesting, that this evolution is occurring or that it is being reported on Fox News website.


Console on "Hot Toy" list for first time

Toy retailer Toys "R" Us has unveiled its "hot toy" list for the upcoming holiday season, and this year it includes a video game console for the first time -- Nintendo Co. Ltd.'s (7974.OS: Quote, NEWS, Research) Wii.

Wii's inclusion in the list comes as electronics play an increasingly prominent role in children's toys.

Nintendo's Wii will make its U.S. debut on Nov. 19 in what is expected to be a hot holiday season for video game consoles, with Sony Corp.'s (6758.T: Quote, NEWS, Research) PlayStation 3 slated to hit U.S. stores Nov. 17.

But Nintendo, with its "Donkey Kong," "Mario Brothers" and "Pokemon" game franchises, has found success with a younger audience.

"The PlayStation 3 is really geared to a savvy gaming enthusiast," said Kathleen Waugh, a spokeswoman for Toys "R" Us, of the decision to add the Wii to the list. "The Wii system appeals to young kids as well as adults."

The Wii, priced at $250, features a motion-sensing controller that operates like a television remote control and lets players simulate swinging a bat, sword or tennis racquet.

Waugh said one of Toys "R" Us' criteria of adding an item to its hot list is knowing it will have sufficient stock of the item for the holiday season, and she said that Toys "R" Us was able to ensure that by "taking a leadership position on the launch of Wii."

Sony is telling us that they will not have the stock that they thought they would, and Nintendo will have sufficient enough stock to make a hot list. I'm sure Sony will produce a fine product, but how many people are going to shell out the $600 for it? Especially knowing that very few titles will be PS3 only exclusives, and systems like the Xbox360 and Wii are easier to develop for.


Eyes without a face.



Darnit, there goes the hope for Xcom. Now what will Art Bell have to talk about?


Misc. Friday Ramblings...

Dogbert:Bob, remember that money can't buy happiness. But, it can buy expensive possessions that make other people envious. That feels just as good. And you can pay to have people whacked.
Can I trade my happiness for some money?

  • Newest Stryker Variant: Mobile Gun System.
    The 10th and final version of the Stryker armored vehicle to be delivered to Fort Lewis looks a lot like its predecessors, with one exception.

    The Mobile Gun System features a 105 mm cannon. Five years in the making, it brings much more to the fight than other versions armed with a heavy machine gun, a grenade launcher or anti-tank missiles.

    The new variant – they call it the MGS – is designed to back up the infantry with a gun that can blast through walls, knock out a fortified sniper nest, stop another armored vehicle and clear a street of enemy fighters.

    The main challenges: a reliable mechanism to automatically load rounds into the MGS, firing it accurately off a bouncy wheeled platform instead of a more stable tracked base, and keeping the vehicle light enough to meet the Army’s weight requirements, officials said.

    The MGS will carry four types of ammunition: a depleted-uranium armor-piercing round, a high-explosive anti-tank round, a high-explosive plastic round for blowing through walls and barricades, and a canister round filled with 2,300 tungsten ball bearings for firing on enemy fighters.

    2300 ball bearings? Ouch. What does the commander yell to the gunner, "PULL"?

  • Ever been to Mozambique? Wanna know the drill?
    The Mozambique Drill was added to the modern technique of gunfighting by Jeff Cooper based on the experience of one of his students, Mike Rouseau, while on duty in Mozambique. Rouseau was later killed in action in the Rhodesian War.

    The Mozambique Drill considers the deficiency of the pistol round in stopping an adversary. Statistics show that reactions in gunfights are extremely irregular -- one must be prepared for the worst. Many times it is the case that after absorbing the trauma of the first shots, the enemy will disregard further ballistic insult. It has been pointed out that simply "more shots" are not the answer. The Mozambique Drill instructs the shooter to place a double-tap in the center of mass, followed by a carefully aimed headshot.

    Contrary to popular belief, the immediate aim of defensive shooting is to incapacitate a target so as to render that person unable to attack. Unlike what is commonly seen on television and in movies, gunshot wounds rarely kill instantly. The incapacitation caused by gunshots is the result of neurocirculatory shock. The trauma resulting from impact and wound channel after two shots to a target's center of mass will produce a reflexive nervous system collapse in about 96% of cases. In the other 4%, either an adrenaline rush or the effect of stimulant drugs will override this reflex, and further shots will not produce this instantly-incapacitating shock. Because of this, the third shot should be aimed to destroy the brain, ensuring that the target's nervous system will shut down and leave the target unable to attack. This third shot is most effective when placed between a target's eyes as a higher shot is more likely to deflect off of hard bone and a lower shot is unlikely to produce the nervous system damage required to instantly stop an attacker.

    Also known as the 'failure to stop drill' or '2+1 drill'. As part of the U.S. National Guard Combat Pistol and other military combat pistol competitions, the Mozambique Drill is called Body Armor Defeat, and is frequently a discriminator between the average shooter and the gifted shooter, especially when it is timed.

    Vincent's second target is neutralized with this technique.