Friday, March 26, 2004

Something to Think About...

Only in drugstores make the sick walk all the way to the back of the store to get their prescriptions while healthy people can buy cigarettes at the front.

Only in people order double cheeseburgers, large fries,
and a diet coke.

Only in banks leave both doors open and then chain the
pens to the counters.

Only in we leave cars worth thousands of dollars in the driveway and put our useless junk in the garage.

Only in we buy hot dogs in packages of ten and buns in packages of eight.

Only in we use the word 'politics' to describe the process so well: 'Poli' in Latin meaning 'many' and 'tics' meaning 'bloodsucking creatures'.

Only in they have drive-up ATM machines with Braille lettering.


Why the sun lightens our hair, but darkens our skin?

Why women can't put on mascara with their mouth closed?

Why don't you ever see the headline "Psychic Wins Lottery"?

Why is "abbreviated" such a long word?

Why is it that doctors call what they do "practice"?

Why is lemon juice made with artificial flavor, and dishwashing liquid made with real lemons?

Why is the man who invests all your money called a broker?

Why is the time of day with the slowest traffic called rush hour?

Why isn't there mouse-flavored cat food?

Why didn't Noah swat those two mosquitoes?

Why do they sterilize the needle for lethal injections?

You know that indestructible black box that is used on airplanes?
Why don't they make the whole plane out of that stuff?!

Why don't sheep shrink when it rains?

Why are they called apartments when they are all stuck together?

If con is the opposite of pro, is Congress the opposite of progress?

If flying is so safe, why do they call the airport the terminal?

NCAA Basketball!

Have you been tuning in? Some good games recently. Saw a great game last night between Wake Forest and St. Joseph's. Right to the wire. The one thing I notice about really good teams, that I certainly didn't notice about my school (Indiana) this year, is that players on good teams know how to move without the ball. No one just standing around - these guys are constant motion, looking for the quick advantage. I can't figure out how coaches of teams that just aren't cutting it, can't see this. It's all so obvious :)

Duke/Illinois and Texas/Xavier should both be great games tonight. Better tune in!

Quote of the Day
"I know God will not give me anything I can't handle. I just wish that He didn't trust me so much."
Mother Theresa

Word of the Day
pulchritude (PUL-kruh-tood)That quality of appearance which pleases the eye; beauty; comeliness; grace; loveliness. (Pulchritude comes from Latin pulchritudo, from pulcher, "beautiful." The adjective form is pulchritudinous) Usage: "Where Linda has her infectious charm, Polly has only her empty pulchritude"

(hardly a word that comes to mind when thinking of beauty and loveliness, is it? - you would almost guess it means something foul smelling - like putrid. LOL)

Oddball Story of the Day

Hot oven shoots woman

SAN ANTONIO, Texas (Reuters) - A woman heating fish fingers has been shot in the leg by a gun that had been stashed in her oven, police say. Roxanne Perez, 29, from Texas, was taken to hospital on Friday where she was in good condition, they said. An acquaintance stored the gun for safekeeping in the bottom drawer of Perez's oven about two weeks ago, then "completely forgot about it" according to a police report.

Perez, who said had no idea a gun was in the oven, said she heard several shots then felt a sharp pain in her left hip.

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Change your font size

Here's a neat tip:
Quickly change the font on Web pages (Win XP)

You may already know that you can change the size of the font appearing on Web pages by opening Internet Explorer, and choosing View | Text Size, and then selecting either Smallest, Smaller,Medium, Larger, or Largest, depending on your preferences. But ifyou have a mouse with a scroll wheel, you can accomplish the same task without having to access the View menu at all.

All you need to do is hold down the [Ctrl] key and then scroll the wheel down to enlarge the text on the Web page, or scroll the
wheel up to reduce the text size.
I've noticed that this works on many web pages, but not necessarily all.

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Want to see Cuban Performers? Tough!

Jackson Browne protests the US Policy in an article from the NY Times. Visas have been denied to other Cuban artists because their visits are "detrimental to the interests" of our country. In essence, the government says that if Carlos Varela plays concerts in the United States, the money he makes would go to Fidel Castro. This is untrue. In Cuba, renowned artists keep much of what they earn, because the government does not want them to leave the country and live somewhere else. Yet, the Bush administration used the same reasoning to keep Ibrahim Ferrer, of the Buena Vista Social Club, and Manuel Galbán from attending the Grammy award ceremony in Los Angeles last month. (Both men won awards.)
Jackson Browne, a singer-songwriter, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on March 15

Close Call

Space Shuttle
It appears that those brave souls riding the Shuttle space missions were damn lucky over the years. Mr. Parsons said he could not explain why a critical part like the speed brake actuator had not been inspected for more than two decades, despite the major overhauls and examinations each shuttle underwent every three or four years.... Mr. Parsons said finding and fixing the speed brake problems had resulted from increased safety awareness after the Columbia disaster. The Columbia and its crew were lost on Feb. 1, 2003, in a re-entry accident, and the remaining shuttle fleet has been grounded ever since.

The brake issue was not found as a result of the Columbia investigation, but corrosion and other problems found on another part of the Discovery led NASA engineers to look at similar machinery, like the brake actuators, officials said.

And you want to vote for this crowd?
Did the Bush administration ignore terrorism warnings before 9/11? Justice Department documents obtained by the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank, show that it did. Not only did John Ashcroft completely drop terrorism as a priority — it wasn't even mentioned in his list of seven "strategic goals" — just one day before 9/11 he proposed a reduction in counterterrorism funds. .....Did the administration neglect counterterrorism even after 9/11? After 9/11 the F.B.I. requested $1.5 billion for counterterrorism operations, but the White House slashed this by two-thirds. (Meanwhile, the Bush campaign has been attacking John Kerry because he once voted for a small cut in intelligence funds.) . For more on this, read Krugman's article in the Times. Better yet, watch the 9/11 hearings on CNN - they're going to be veryinteresting. Richard Clarke appears tomorrow before the commission. Will Condi Rice appear? Looks like she is trying the big dodgeroooooo - gee, Condi, don't you want to get to the bottom of this mess? hmmm......

Freedom Tower - Irresponsible?
The total amount of energy released by the two 767's that struck the Twin Towers equaled that of a tactical nuclear weapon — almost a quarter of a kiloton. In 2006, two years before Freedom Tower is scheduled to open, a new generation of aircraft, led by the Airbus A380, will begin entering service in the world's airlines. The A380 will carry almost 82,000 gallons of fuel, more than three times as much as a 767. One hardly needs to do the math........ Dangling an iconic and indefensible target in front of terrorists is inconsistent with a strategy of reducing our vulnerabilities wherever possible. A thought provoking article - I couldn't agree more. How about a nice park? A few trees blown up sounds bettter than thousands of people.

Quote of the Day
"If only God would give me some clear sign! Like making a large deposit in my name in a Swiss bank."
Woody Allen

How fast can you Read?

This is fun and rather humbling. Go to this web page and find out how fast of a reader you are. Then come back here and post your speed in the comments section below this post. No lying!

Monday, March 22, 2004

Google goes Local

Google now has a neat new tool. Just got to type in for example pizza+your zip code and check out the results! Click on the little compass that will show up. Try bookstores, restaurants, you name it. Very neat way to find something quickly. You'll get a map to find the place, phone numbers, directions from where you are, etc. Way cool. This would be quite handy if you were on the road traveling. If you're not all that familiar with all the tools Google has , you might want to check out this page. It might surprise you.

Sunday, March 21, 2004

Clarke drops a bomb on the Bush Administration

A rough day for the Bush folks. Richard Clarke debuted his new book on 60 minutes (he was Bush's counter terroism expert - and Reagans, Papa Bush and Clinton's) and poked a damning finger at how Bush and his administration have handled the war on terror. Knowing this fixation the current administration has on Iraq, I have the sickening feeling, he is dead-on. At the same time Joseph Biden was saying on This Week, ""I am much more concerned about the safety of my granddaughter in school here in Washington because of al-Qaeda than I am with 10 Saddam Husseins. And we took our eye off the ball because of a preoccupation with Iraq,". Even Chuck Hagel (R) commented on the program that "he is concerned by Mr. Clarke's allegations that the Bush administration did not give adequate attention to al-Qaida. "Without bringing this to the highest levels of government and putting the appropriate focus on it, with the responsible players, then it is going to get lost. And according to Clarke's book, or at least what I read of it, that's much of what he charges here, that it did get lost, that it wasn't a priority, and that's a very serious charge," he said. "

I have a growing concern (as was espoused on This Week) that come June 30th when it is time for the Iraqi's to govern themselves, and we start some kind of exit move, that Al Qaeda is going to find that a fine time to attack. Bush needs to go to Nato and to the World Community now and doing some major fixing up or I shudder to think.... I think this country is at a crisis point in this war on terror and if we reelect this administration that still hasn't awoken to the real threat of terroism, we are in for some damn rough times. Your choice America - if you don't vote, don't blame me.... (For a refreshing look at what a Kerry Administration might bring in dealing with the countries of the world, read this article in the Wash. Post.

Hey Paul - think there might just be a better use for all that money?
Here's a guy blessed with gazillions of bucks and he's going Alien chasing. How bout spending that 13.5 million on schools or something? Chump change to you Paul, but might keep some teachers from having to buy their own crayons. Get a grip, buddy. Nothing wrong with space exploration, but we have a few more pressing problems at the moment, don't you think?

On a brighter note, the state of Alabama must be going nuts. First Alabama upsets top seed Stanford, then little Univ. of Alabama at Birmingham rises up and smites the big boy Kentucky, another #1 seed. This is one of the really great sports that one can watch during the year - the NCAA basketball finals. They're not yet making the obnoxious bucks and the little guy can rise up and smack the big guy - great fun.

Word of the Day

red herring
  • A smoked herring having a reddish color.

  • Something that draws attention away from the central issue.

  • Usage: The White House is dismissing as a "red herring" charges from the administration's former counter-terrorism coordinator that President Bush has been more focused on Iraq than al Qaeda.
    Idomatic Note: Something that draws attention away from the central issue, as in Talking about the new plant is a red herring to keep us from learning about downsizing plans. The herring in this expression is red and strong-smelling from being preserved by smoking. The idiom alludes to dragging a smoked herring across a trail to cover up the scent and throw off tracking dogs. [Late 1800s]

    Quote of the Day
    "America has always been an argument about wilderness, what it means and how it is measured and defined. The old idea is that wilderness defines a place out there, an amplitude of emptiness that can easily accommodate the human imperative. After all, it was once commonly predicted that it would take centuries to populate this vast land. But in our world wilderness is sharply demarcated, surrounded and, in logistical terms, not really wilderness at all, like Yellowstone. What preserves it isn't its amplitude but our restraint." ... a quotation from "Stumbling Upon Wolf Tracks in the Northern Reaches of Yellowstone" by Verilyn Klinkenborg (New York Times 10/5/03)