Thursday, November 16, 2006

A Tour of Richmond Hill

A tour of Richmond Hill from Forgotten NY:

Richmond Hill Victorian Posted by Picasa

High Curbs Posted by Picasa

Monday, October 09, 2006

Top of the World

Hilltop Posted by Picasa

New York, New York!

Wonder City of the World. Posted by Picasa

Another Full Moon at Cape Sunion

Another Full Moon at Cape Sunion Posted by Picasa

Other Cape Sunion pictures here and here.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

South America - Penguins and Mountains

Penguins in South America

Penguins in South America Posted by Picasa

and some mountains.

South American Mountains Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

And to Balance Things Out...

A Beasties Boy/al Zarqawi Airstrike Remix of Sabotage at the Hot Air blog.

Bush Singing "Sunday Bloody Sunday"

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

The Farce of Modern Art - 2

You too can create your own Jackson Pollack. Here's mine:

Something to Cool You Off

It's been hot and muggy here.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The Farce of "Modern Art"

It's not really art if the judges mistake the stand the art is supposed to be displayed on for a piece of art itself. More to the point, the judges who make the mistake shouldn't be judging art.

That's exactly what happened recently, as the BBC reports:

An artist's sculpture has been rejected by the Royal Academy of Arts which has instead opted to display the wooden support it was put on.
David Hensel, 64, from East Grinstead, West Sussex, was told the laughing head would be part of the summer exhibition.

But at a preview he found that just a piece of wood intended to support the head was on display on the plinth.

The Academy said the judging panel assumed the two pieces were separate and decided the support was better.
Here's the sculpture and the stand it was supposed to sit on.

What Passes for Modern Art Posted by Picasa

Do you think that if Leonardo submitted the Mona Lisa nowadays, the Royal Academy would ditch the painting and judge the packing crate?

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Danube Flooding

Some pictures from earlier this Spring:

Danube Flooding Posted by Picasa

Danube Flooding 2 Posted by Picasa

Thursday, May 18, 2006

High School Sex Survey Scandal!

Parents in Port Washington, Wisconsin are up in arms over a sex survey handed out by two teachers that included the question:
"If you have never slept with someone of your same gender, then how do you know you wouldn't prefer it?"
The follow-up question was:
"If you have slept with someone of your same gender, do you have any pictures and/or video?"
Not really, but you can see the rest of the questions at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel site. The survey was distributed in advance of national Day of Silence;

"an annual event co-sponsored by the New York City-based Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network.

According to the Day of Silence Web site, the event is a "student-led day of action" that attempts to eliminate harassment of non-heterosexual students."
Good luck with that. Its a worthy goal and all, but everyone gets harassed in high school. Maybe they should start out trying to eliminate harassment of kids with pimples, or nerds or fat kids? What I'm saying is that although harassment of any kind is wrong, its part of life. Hopefully, one day harassment over sexual orientation will be a non-issue, just like harassment of geeks.

And, while this may be news in Wisconsin, you get the feeling it wouldn't raise eyebrows at Brooklyn's Stuyvesant High School, home of the Cuddle Puddle.

Social Studies at Stuyvesant HS Posted by Picasa

(Hat-tip: Ace)

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Please Enjoy This Humorous Blogging of a Topical Nature

Outsourced comedy - high laffs, low price!

Now, imagine if you will the following satirical conversation taking place between United States President George Bush and the deposed Iraqi Saddam Hussein:

Saddam Hussein: Let me out of this jail, you scalawag!
George Bush: I cannot do it, I tell you!
Saddam Hussein: And why not?!
George Bush: Rooty toot toot, for I am an American cowboy and it is our custom to pen such wild animals as yourself!
Saddam Hussein: Grrr! I am assuredly vexed!
Read the best Risibility Outsourcing Systems Ltd. of Bangalore has to offer over at Iowahawk.

Global Warming Fear Mongering

Richard Lindzen, a professor of Atmospheric Science at MIT on the silencing of global warming skeptics:

Climate of Fear - Global-warming alarmists intimidate dissenting scientists into silence

"In Europe, Henk Tennekes was dismissed as research director of the Royal Dutch Meteorological Society after questioning the scientific underpinnings of global warming. Aksel Winn-Nielsen, former director of the U.N.'s World Meteorological Organization, was tarred by Bert Bolin, first head of the IPCC, as a tool of the coal industry for questioning climate alarmism. Respected Italian professors Alfonso Sutera and Antonio Speranza disappeared from the debate in 1991, apparently losing climate-research funding for raising questions."
Lindzen also discusses some of the claims made by the alarmists:

"There have been repeated claims that this past year's hurricane activity was another sign of human-induced climate change. Everything from the heat wave in Paris to heavy snows in Buffalo has been blamed on people burning gasoline to fuel their cars, and coal and natural gas to heat, cool and electrify their homes. Yet how can a barely discernible, one-degree increase in the recorded global mean temperature since the late 19th century possibly gain public acceptance as the source of recent weather catastrophes? And how can it translate into unlikely claims about future catastrophes? (snip)

In fact, those who make the most outlandish claims of alarm are actually demonstrating skepticism of the very science they say supports them. It isn't just that the alarmists are trumpeting model results that we know must be wrong. It is that they are trumpeting catastrophes that couldn't happen even if the models were right as justifying costly policies to try to prevent global warming."

Monday, April 03, 2006

Wrestling and Immigration

WWE hopefuls cross the border Posted by Picasa

Although news reports have focused on the effects of immigration reform on the agriculture and services industries, The Onion looks at the critical role undocumented (and most times unknown) immigrants play in professional wrestling:
In response to criticism over World Wrestling Entertainment hiring policies, World Wrestling Entertainment Chairman Vince McMahon defended the league's reliance on Mexican wrestlers as "the only way fans can witness the grueling, bone-crunching maneuvers that American wrestlers want nothing to do with."
Life is tough for these warriors from parts unknown:
Pro Wrestling Illustrated investigative reporter Bart Sweet said that McMahon is hiding cynical motives. "The WWE just wants these men for cheap labor they can use at non-televised house shows," Sweet said. "They believe luchadores lack the looks, personality, or basic speaking skills to headline main events. Even if one did successfully climb to the top of the company ladder, he would immediately be suplexed off of it and through a table."

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Timewasters - Fetchfido's Free Online Games

Main game page here: Fetchfido's Free Online Games

Real Pool here.

Baseball Uniform Database

A very cool feature from the Baseball Hall of Fame - a searchable database of baseball uniforms through the years:

Dressed to the Nines - Uniform Database

Uniforms go back to 1900 and up to the present time.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Was Columbus a Catalan Pirate?

Columbus Posted by Picasa

From South Africa's Sunday Independent:

Spanish scientists are to test the DNA of hundreds of Catalans with the surname Colom to determine whether Christopher Columbus, far from the Italian gentleman he has long been believed to be, was in fact a pirate born in Catalonia. (snip)

The first historian to suggest that Columbus was Catalan was a Peruvian, Luis Ulloa Cisneros, who published his theory in Paris in 1927. Linguists favour the idea, saying that Columbus used Catalan "or something like it" rather than Italian or Castilian Spanish in his writings, and gave many of his discoveries in the New World Catalan names.

One historian points out that most of the places in the Caribbean and Central America named by Columbus can be linked directly to the Balearic island of Ibiza.

Historians have speculated that Columbus may have been a Catalan nobleman who joined a failed uprising against King Joan II of Aragon, the father of King Ferdinand, and took orders from the French in various acts of piracy, including the sinking of Portuguese galleons.

Columbus then expunged his former identity to avoid reprisals and maintain the support of the new monarch for his planned voyage to America. Ferdinand and his wife, Queen Isabella, united Spain and sponsored Columbus's voyages, and on the strength of his discoveries, founded the richest maritime empire the world had ever seen.

Some versions suggest Columbus was the illegitimate son of Prince Carlos of Viana, a mallorquin nobleman related to Ferdinand and Isabella. They suggest that Columbus was aware of his royal connections, which were never acknowledged, addressing his patrons with the unusually familiar "my natural lords".
The Discovery Channel also did a show on this, Columbus - Secrets from the Grave, with a historian, Charles Merril, who believes that Columbus was Catalan.. Some of his evidence is here.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Optical Illusions

Some very cool ones:

Rotating Snakes

Revolving Pink Dot

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Color Photos from Both World Wars

M-4 Tank Crew, Fort Knox, Kentucky - June '42 Posted by Picasa

Via Instapundit - links to some very cool color photos from both WWII (at The Officers Club)and WWI (at World War I Color Photos, fittingly enough).

Check out this one from WWII:

Children Stage a Patriotic Demonstration - May '42 Posted by Picasa

Wouldn't that be derided as "triumphalism" nowadays? Oh yeah, we were still losing at that point.

Here's one from WWI:

Young Girl with a Doll Posted by Picasa

Very haunting. If you want to see what Hemmingway was writing about in his WWWI stories, these pictures give you an idea.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

The Andaman Islands

Andaman Association, Lonely Islands - The Andamanese

Very cool website devoted to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands - two small groups of islands off the East Coast of India in the Bay of Bengal that are the home to some unique aboriginal people.

A steatopygous Onge woman, 1960s.
Posted by Picasa

Only two living populations are to day known to still (occasionally and increasingly rarely) have steatopygous women. Both are (or until very recently have been) among the few remaining hunting-gathering societies: the Khoisan of South Africa and the Andamanese. That those two populations also thave in common the rare "peppercorn hair" type (see below) adds to the suspicions that they are somehow related. If so, it is a relationship that would go back right to the development of the earliest modern Homo sapiens. That he and she developed in Africa there is little doubt today.

That such remarkable similarities of otherwise rare genetic traits in two widely separated groups has received so little scientific attention is remarkable.

Sharing at least steatopygia and peppercorn hair, the two groups could indeed be genetically related. Another possibility is that both groups have lived hunting-gathering lives in harsh environments until only a century or so ago and so have preserved traits that were once universal or widespread among Homo sapiens. But then, why is steatopygia absent among, for example, hunting-gathering Australian aborigines? We do not know. Steatopygia has many unexplained and unexplored aspects hinting at as yet unexplored ancient Human migrations and relationships.

Three "Venus figurines" from the European ice age of ca. 25,000 years ago. All show what has convincingly been interpreted as steatopygia
Posted by Picasa

The website also hosts a report on the Toba volcano and its possible historic significance to human evolution as the cause of a "bottleneck" event about 73,000 years ago.

Fig. 5-1. Schematic progress of the post-Toba bottleneck.
 Posted by Picasa

Monday, January 02, 2006

Fear, Complexity, Environmental Management in the 21st Century

Fear, Complexity, Environmental Management in the 21st Century

Text of a speech by Michael Crichton on the problems in treating complex systems (like the environment) as simple systems and the tendency to exagerate problems we really don't understand. Some examples:

On Chernobyl:

But the shock that I had experienced reverberated within me for a while. Because what I had been led to believe about Chernobyl was not merely wrong—it was astonishingly wrong. Let’s review the data.

The initial reports in 1986 claimed 2,000 dead, and an unknown number of future deaths and deformities occurring in a wide swath extending from Sweden to the Black Sea. As the years passed, the size of the disaster increased; by 2000, the BBC and New York Times estimated 15,000-30,000 dead, and so on…

Now, to report that 15,000-30,000 people have died, when the actual number is 56, represents a big error. Let’s try to get some idea of how big. Suppose we line up all the victims in a row. If 56 people are each represented by one foot of space, then 56 feet is roughly the distance from me to the fourth row of the auditorium. Fifteen thousand people is three miles away. It seems difficult to make a mistake of that scale.
The UN on Y2K:

"History offers no example of a parallel threat on a global, national or even local scale. To "wait and see" invites disaster. Only the long-term threats of global warming, oxygen loss, exhaustion of other basic resources in the oceans and continents as well as the eventual possibility of an earth-asteroid collision demand world-=wide action on a similar scale...A worldwide strategic mobilization...similar to the effort required by World War II must be developed in the weeks ahead."

On-Line Tests

A bunch of on-line tests at, including the Zombie Survival Test.

OKCupid! Tests

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Jump The Shark - Chronicling the Moments of When TV Shows go Downhill

Saturday, December 03, 2005

The Moosepath League

Cordelia Underwood Posted by Picasa

The Moosepath League Group on MSN.

The first chapter of Cordelia Underwood at the NY Times Book Review.

The official website (which seems out of date).

A selection of the "crime thru time" book club.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Foggy Mountains - South Korea

Foggy Mountains - South Korea Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Korean Block Game

CNET Bandwidth Meter Speed Test - Bandwidth Test


A Spell for Chameleon Posted by Picasa

The Series listing at Amazon - here. The Xanth homepage at Piers Anthony's site, with a timeline and character database.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

International Alert Levels

The British are feeling the pinch in relation to recent bombings and have raised their security level from "Miffed" to "Peeved." Soon though, security levels may be raised yet again to "Irritated" or even "A Bit Cross." Londoners have not been "A Bit Cross" since the blitz in 1940 when tea supplies all but ran out. Terrorists have been re-categorised from "Tiresome" to a "Bloody Nuisance." The last time the British issued a "Bloody Nuisance" warning level was during the great fire of 1666.

Also, the French government announced yesterday that it has raised its terror alert level from "Run" to "Hide". The only two higher levels in France are "Surrender" and "Collaborate." The rise was precipitated by a recent fire that destroyed France's white flag factory, effectively paralysing the country's military capability. It's not only the English and French that are on a heightened level of alert.

Italy has increased the alert level from "shout loudly and excitedly" to "elaborate military posturing". Two more levels remain, "ineffective combat operations" and "change sides".

The Germans also increased their alert state from "disdainful arrogance" to "dress in uniform and sing marching songs". They also have two higher levels: "invade a neighbour" and "lose".

Belgians, on the other hand, are all on holiday as usual and the only threat they worry about is NATO pulling out of Brussels

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Ghost City of Cyprus

Ghost City of Cyprus Posted by Picasa

Michael Totten reports from Varosha on Cyprus:
In 1974 the Turkish military invaded and carved up the island. Greek Cypriots in the north were forced to move south side of the line. Turkish Cypriots from the south were forced to move north. Greek Cypriot citizens in Varosha fled the Turkish invasion in terror. They expected to return to their homes within days. Instead, the Turks seized the empty city and wrapped it in fencing and wire. They forbid anyone from entering it to this day.
He took lots of pictures of the deserted city, despite being chased by Turkish soldiers. Take a look.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Did Bush Exist? Revisited

From Did Bush Exist? Revisited

See, the legend of George W. Bush may have started quite harmlessly really. At some point, confusion arose over the order of presidential succession and specifically whether George Bush was President before Bill Clinton or after him. Clearly the older tradition is that George Bush was President before Bill Clinton and this, of course, finds clear support in the historical record for we know that a George Bush served as Vice-President under Ronald Reagan. As it was fairly common for the Vice-President to become President, it must be that this George Bush became President in the four years between the end of Reagan's term and the beginning of Bill Clinton's term. This George Bush was clearly a lacklustre President, who accomplished very little in his Presidency besides coming to the aid of the Kuwaitis in the war with Iraq. Consequently, he does not win re-election and is succeeded by the popular President, Bill Clinton, who serves two terms.

After Bill Clinton's eight years, we run into the problem of the second George Bush. People like Dr. Wright want us to believe that a second "George Bush", distinguished only by middle initials and so even perhaps related to the first, became President. We are also expected to believe that like the George H. Bush, who we know was real, this George W. Bush invaded Iraq; but, that this was a second war some twelve years after the first one and it was only then that the United States managed to overthrow Saddam Hussein; and, that Richard Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, and Colin Powell, who are all attested members of the George H. Bush administration, were again administrators in the presidency of this second Bush. The sheer outlandishness and improbability that you would have two presidents with the same names, engage in parallel international conflicts with the same enemy (and this second one as a "preemptive" invasion), and be surrounded by many of the same characters strains credulity. It is, therefore, manifestly obvious that this second George Bush never existed. The tradition is, in fact, what we historians call a doublet. We notice immediately that the subsidiary characters all get promotions in the doublet; the second Bush wins a second term in office rather than serving just one; instead of one Supreme Court nomination, the second Bush makes two nominations; and, we notice that in the second tradition the whole Iraq conflict grows from a relatively quick, strangely abbreviated conflict into an epic battle, pitting good against evil.

Wollemi Pines - Prehistoric Trees Found in Australia

Wollemi Pines Posted by Picasa

Very cool - back in 1994 a National Parks employee in Austarlia discovered a stand of trees he didn't recognize in a park about 150 miles West of Sydney. The trees, Wollemi Pines turned out to be a species thought extinct for millions of years. Only about 100 exist in the wild, but a conservation society has cultivated it and is now offering it to the public.