February 27, 2006
— Ace Just in time to distract us from the Iraq Civil War:
The US economy is set for a strong rebound in the first quarter of 2006, shaking off the hurricane-related weakness of the fourth quarter, a survey of business economists showed.
The survey of the National Association of Business Economists called for the economy to expand at a robust 4.5 percent pace in the current quarter -- the fastest since 2003 -- after a disappointing 1.1 percent annualized rate in the fourth quarter.
"The NABE panel sees the economy roaring back in early 2006 following the fourth quarter's tepid 1.1 percent growth," said Stuart Hoffman, NABE president and chief economist at PNC Financial Services Group.
"Our forecasters expect the economy to shake off the effects of last years hurricanes and surging oil price."
The report based on a survey of 53 economists projected the overall pace of growth for 2006 at 3.3 percent.
— Ace If you think white Christian men have tough words about Muslim extremism, wait 'till you get a load of Wafa Sultan, a Muslim woman, giving them the wood.
Thanks to Ogre Gunner.
— Ace 9PM Eastern on NBC.
Now I get why Trump was calling Martha a moron last week.
— Ace Shaa-zam:
A Scottish distillery said Monday it was reviving a centuries-old recipe for whisky so strong that one 17th-century writer feared more than two spoonfuls could be lethal.
Risk-taking whisky connoisseurs will have to wait, however - the spirit will not be ready for at least 10 years.
The Bruichladdich distillery on the Isle of Islay, off Scotland's west coast, is producing the quadruple-distilled 184-proof - or 92 percent alcohol - spirit "purely for fun," managing director Mark Reynier said.
Whisky usually is distilled twice and has an alcohol content of between 40 and 63.5 per cent.
Bruichladdich is using a recipe for a spirit known in the Gaelic language as usquebaugh-baul, "perilous water of life."
Thanks to Scott.
Apologies... for the very light and trivial blogging I've done today. I'm pretty busy with life-type stuff at the moment. Thanks to LauraW and Tanker for picking up the blog-slack.
— LauraW. Only in Oz:
An Australian grandmother was honoured with a bravery award for wrestling a giant saltwater crocodile as it dragged her friend from a tent.
Alicia Sorohan, 61, was awoken in the early hours of the morning of October 11, 2004 by the screams of family friend Andrew Kerr in a nearby tent at their campsite on the northern Cape York peninsular.
Seeing her friend in the jaws of a 4.2 metre (14-foot), 300 kilogram (660 pound) crocodile, Sorohan "did what anyone would do" and jumped on its back.
The man-eater then turned on her, breaking her nose and almost ripping her arm off before her son Jason shot it.
"It was pretty scary. But it's one of those things -- if you see someone in trouble you've got to help them," Sorohan said. "He was a big one. But I would do the same thing again."
That's quite the Grandma you got there, Mate.
— Ace It's worst than a crime. It's a mistake:
Rasmussen has a new poll up in which -- hold on now -- Democrats in Congress are outpolling President Bush on national security. By a margin of 43 to 41 percent, Americans say they trust Congressional Democrats more than Bush when it comes to protecting our national security. And by a margin of 64-17 percent, they oppose the sale of the ports to Dubai.
The deal is dead. It won't survive after a 45-day extension or a 450-day extension. Congressional Republicans have no choice but to be extremely aggressive and nasty toward the president and the White House...
— LauraW. From The American Spectator:
Word out of the Defense Intelligence Agency and law enforcement sources has the FBI and the Department of Justice comparing notes and dates on who in the U.S. Senate received national security briefings on both the overseas terrorist prisons and the NSA overseas terrorist monitoring programs, and when those briefings took place.
"The number of Senators who received briefings is not as large as people think," says one law enforcement source. "These were programs with a limited 'Need to Know" list on Capitol Hill."
Federal investigators looking into the leaks of both those programs to the press are zeroing in on the Senate, and are expected to continue to hold interviews of both Senators and their senior staff in the coming days. "This investigation is moving forward at a pretty fast clip," says the law enforcement source. "We're not looking at a two-year probe. We're talking about moving fast."
Senator Jay Rockefeller declined to comment, on account of we never contacted him in the first place.
— Tanker Its official. Iraqi genocidal dictator Saddam Hussein has called off his hunger strike. His chief lawyer claims it has to do with health reasons.
When asked by reporters if it was just a coincidence that the Baghdad PX just got a new shipment from Frito Lay, the lawyer replied, "no comment."
However, one reporter did note that the lawyer's fingers had an unusual orange hue.
— LauraW. This guy is unbelievable:
Prosecutors call it a corruption case with no parallel in the long history of the U.S. Congress. And it keeps getting worse. Convicted Rep. Randall "Duke" Cunningham actually priced the illegal services he provided.
Prices came in the form of a "bribe menu" that detailed how much it would cost contractors to essentially order multimillion-dollar government contracts, according to documents submitted by federal prosecutors for Cunningham's sentencing hearing this Friday.
Be sure to check out what's on the menu and the rate scale.
Though the fact that he's being prosecuted mitigates my cynicism, it is probably fair to say that the only difference between this fellow and many of his colleagues is that he was enough of a dope to put his crime in writing.
— LauraW. South Africa:
"I took my horse for an evening swim in one of the farm dams. There are lots of crocs and hippos in the area but they move around all the time, from dam to dam and into the river and out again," he said.
"I was on the lookout for hippos and didn't see any. It slipped my mind that there might be crocodiles," he said.
Yes, I can see how that could slip your mind.
To Do List:
-Take horse for swim
-Watch out for hippos
-Pick up some Zebra steaks on the way home
YUP, totally blanked out on the whole crocodile thing.
"I'm lucky, I didn't lose too much blood ... The biggest problem with a croc bite is it can be septic. They never brush their teeth," said Abrahamse.
And when he gets out of the hospital does he plan to look for the culprit? "Oh yes, I'll be looking for him alright," he said with a laugh.
Tee hee! When I see that croc again, I'm going to give him such a pinch!
Thanks to snookums, who says "I like his attitude."
— LauraW. I can't help it. This video of a Beluga whale blowing air-rings makes me smile.
Belugas look like big babies.
— Ace "A Christmas Story" trailer, recut to look like a horror movie. Or an episode of The Night Stalker.
Thanks to Boston Irish.
February 26, 2006
— Ace He attributes them to Walt Disney-- they weren't; they were MGM -- but forget it, he's rolling:
Tom and Jerry, the lovable cat and mouse locked in cartoon combat, is a Jewish conspiracy, according to an Iranian official.
Prof. Hasan Bolkhari, a cultural advisor to the Iranian Education Ministry, delivered the news last week on Iran's Channel 4 during a broadcast of film seminar where he was lecturing. An excerpt of the video was translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute.
"The Jewish Walt Disney Company gained international fame with this cartoon," said Bolkhari. "It is still shown throughout the world. This cartoon maintains its status because of the cute antics of the cat and mouse especially the mouse.
"Some say that the main reason for making this very appealing cartoon was to erase a certain derogatory term that was prevalent in Europe."
According to the professor, "Tom and Jerry" was created to irradicate the association between mice and Jews created in the minds of Europeans by Hitler.
"If you study European history, you will see who was the main power in hoarding money and wealth in the 19th century," continued Bolkhari. "In most cases, it is the Jews. Perhaps that was one of the reasons which caused Hitler to begin the anti-Semitic trend, and then the extensive propaganda about the crematoria began. ... Some of this is true. We do not deny all of it.
"Watch 'Schindler's List.' Every Jew was forced to wear yellow star on his clothing. The Jews were degraded and termed 'dirty mice.' 'Tom and Jerry' was made in order to change the Europeans' perception of mice. One of terms used was 'dirty mice.'
"It should be noted that mice are very cunning ... and dirty."
And also: mice are notoriously tight with a dollar, you know.
— Ace Scan down for the last update.
This has happened before. Ricin is derived from castor beans, and some tests to determine the presence of ricin merely indicate the presence of castor beans or its non-toxic derivatives.
I posted a while ago about a big ricin scare up in New Hampshire that just turned out to be castor beans, too.
— Ace Brett sends this link to Pandora.com, which supposedly will build your own radio station by asking what sorts of music you like and then playing that sort of music. You can guide the program by giving a thumb's down or thumb's up to certain songs.
I just started using it ten minutes ago, so I don't know yet how well it works. Supposedly I like Richard Hell. I don't think so, but I guess we'll see.
— Ace Science:
THE modern gentleman may prefer blondes. But new research has found that it was cavemen who were the first to be lured by flaxen locks.
According to the study, north European women evolved blonde hair and blue eyes at the end of the Ice Age to make them stand out from their rivals at a time of fierce competition for scarce males.
The study argues that blond hair originated in the region because of food shortages 10,000-11,000 years ago. Until then, humans had the dark brown hair and dark eyes that still dominate in the rest of the world. Almost the only sustenance in northern Europe came from roaming herds of mammoths, reindeer, bison and horses. Finding them required long, arduous hunting trips in which numerous males died, leading to a high ratio of surviving women to men.
Lighter hair colours, which started as rare mutations, became popular for breeding and numbers increased dramatically, according to the research, published under the aegis of the University of St Andrews.
Human hair and eye colour are unusually diverse in northern and eastern Europe (and their) origin over a short span of evolutionary time indicates some kind of selection, says the study by Peter Frost, a Canadian anthropologist. Frost adds that the high death rate among male hunters increased the pressures of sexual selection on early European women, one possible outcome being an unusual complex of colour traits.
Meanwhile... Blondes Dying Out In Japan: Or at least bottle-blondes:
Ten years ago, a stroll through central Tokyo could leave travelers wondering what country they were in as they watched a parade of tanned, fair-haired women walking tall in precarious platform shoes.
Now fashion has moved on and hairdressers say bleached blonde tresses are going the way of fake tans, although a dark brown tint still seems more popular than natural black.
10,000 years later, and women are still fretting about how to attract men. I likes it.
— Ace Steyn. Only Steyn:
In five years' time, how many Jews will be living in France? Two years ago, a 23-year-old Paris disc jockey called Sebastien Selam was heading off to work from his parents' apartment when he was jumped in the parking garage by his Muslim neighbor Adel. Selam's throat was slit twice, to the point of near-decapitation; his face was ripped off with a fork; and his eyes were gouged out. Adel climbed the stairs of the apartment house dripping blood and yelling, "I have killed my Jew. I will go to heaven."
Is that an gripping story? You'd think so. Particularly when, in the same city, on the same night, a Jewish woman was brutally murdered in the presence of her daughter by another Muslim. You've got the making of a mini-trend there, and the media love trends.
Yet no major French newspaper carried the story.
This month, there was another murder. Ilan Halimi, also 23, also Jewish, was found by a railway track outside Paris with burns and knife wounds all over his body. He died en route to the hospital, having been held prisoner, hooded and naked, and brutally tortured for almost three weeks by a gang that had demanded half a million dollars from his family. Can you take a wild guess at the particular identity of the gang? During the ransom phone calls, his uncle reported that they were made to listen to Ilan's screams as he was being burned while his torturers read out verses from the Quran.
This time around, the French media did carry the story, yet every public official insisted there was no anti-Jewish element. Just one of those things. Coulda happened to anyone. And, if the gang did seem inordinately fixated on, ah, Jews, it was just because, as one police detective put it, ''Jews equal money.'' In London, the Observer couldn't even bring itself to pursue that particular angle. Its report of the murder managed to avoid any mention of the unfortunate Halimi's, um, Jewishness. Another British paper, the Independent, did dwell on the particular, er, identity groups involved in the incident but only in the context of a protest march by Parisian Jews marred by ''radical young Jewish men'' who'd attacked an ''Arab-run grocery.''
This little stinger is good:
adical young Muslim men are changing the realities of daily life for Jews and gays and women in Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Oslo and beyond. If you don't care for the Yids, big deal; look out for yourself. The Jews are playing their traditional role of the canaries in history's coal mine.
Resolved: As long as Muslims are going to murder Jews outside of Israel, they must admit the need of such a state to serve as sanctuary.
Thanks to Craig again.
— Ace They're going to stall themselves into a bomb. Hopefully one of ours. Or actually hopefully 100 or ours.
Iran has reached a "basic" agreement with Russia on jointly enriching uranium, officials said on Sunday -- but there was no immediate sign that it would suspend home-grown enrichment to allay fears that it is developing nuclear weapons.
It was unclear what this basic agreement involved and both Russian and Iranian officials identified serious obstacles to a full deal.
These principally concerned a suspension of Tehran's home-grown uranium enrichment work, the main demand of Western powers who are threatening to press for UN sanctions.
— Ace Not juggling rocks, but juggling to rock (well, are the Bealtes rock? I don't know). Specifically to Golden Slumbers/Carry that Weight/The End.
Pretty damn good. Kind of makes juggling look cool.
Thanks to Craig.
Link Fixed, I Hope. I now link directly to SondraK, who has a working link. I think.
February 25, 2006
— Ace Weird. I just mentioned him.
Thanks to Mrrmm.
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