Happy Solstice

And first day of Summer. Does anything say summer quite like fresh fruit?

In closing: glitch, or back door to true universal health care?; digital destruction; good luck with that first line; trickle down; enough war; Science American Style; it’s the jobs, stupid; tied; origins of the Japanese; explains the evening “news“; and 747-8.

A few pictures for you

First off, we have an old tsunami warning.

Then, well, I, uh. Hmm this one may be NSFW. It’s certainly WTF.

And when I drove past this, I almost took my own picture. But I figured “Hey, it’s in the MLS!” Somebody is buying this delightful old house. Well, I think “house” is a strong word for it. And by “delightful” I mean that it is devoid of electric lights. But the buyer is getting over an acre on a major road with a structure that needs tearing down.

And to finish off, here’s one I call “Tie a Red Ribbon Round the Old Brass T”

The T Is Not Silent

If you watch a Japanese news broadcast about the tsunami, every time you hear a word that ends in “ken,” they are talking about a prefecture. That’s kind of like a state or province.

Fukushima — where they are having the nuclear issue — is the Capitol of Fukushima Prefecture, number 7 on that map. For reference, Tokyo Prefecture is number 13. Thanks to Jill, we now know that if the reactor does blow the fallout will reach all the way to Colorado, Montana, Wyoming, and New Mexico: Update: there seems to be a lot of debate over this map. It’s true that I should have said fallout may reach, rather than will reach. As someone who lives in the yellow zone, it is still my duty to prepare myself and my family for the worst but hope for the best.

Speaking of which, I don’t know how anybody with any understanding of geology can look at the mountains just west of Vegas and possibly think Yucca Mountain is a good idea.

If you were to lay Japan down next to the East Coast of the United States, it would look something like this:

As you can see, Hokkaido is as far north as Maine, but Kyuushu is as far south as Florida. Okinawa extends quite a bit further south. The tsunami was by any standard a big deal.

Speaking of the United States, thanks to TYWKIWDI for pointing out this graphic:

For the record, that’s 12 events in the 80s, and 38 events in the 90s, 47 from 2000 to 2009, and an additional 3 events in 2010. I think I’ve said before that actuaries believe in global warming.

First hand accounts of the quake are starting to be heard. For those of you trying to contact someone in Japan to make sure they are safe, the State Department says “We understand also that some telephone landlines there are disrupted. We are recommending that people try contacting loved ones in Japan by email, text, SMS message, or social media.”

I posted this picture 4 years ago. It’s a sign warning people of tsunami risk. Of course, the current crop of Republicans thinks that tsunami warnings — and other weather warnings — are a waste of time. I’ve got news for you, that’s not going to play well in Iowa.

Susie Madrak had this up, and I think it’s a good sentiment:

In Closing: leave your laptop home; old fashioned boycott causes old fashioned bank run; Bill Maher; on oil; No Depositor Left Behind; long but interesting; and after all that I sure do need a good laugh.

Uh, That’s for Boys Then?

Surely the nice folks at Old Navy just choose a bad place for the maternity mannequins. Or maybe this is a commentary on childhood obesity!

In Closing: I know I packed it; food by state; claiming profit on money never paid; Dog Fort; WTF; Con, duh; safety net; science; wolves; the truth about buying a smart phone; lost daughter; Peach and Zelda; love story; begging; nachos; how to read a legal opinion; consensus; on birth control.

No Santa! Don’t Do It!

Today’s post courtesy of my neighbors. On a serious note, though, you have got to read this. No wonder Santa’s thinking of jumping. Please remember those in need this holiday season, and please help if you can.

In Closing: “The world’s biggest banks are still hugely overextended” (but heaven knows we can’t do anything about it); don’t tell the Republicans, but hundreds of thousands of unemployed people are applying for thousands of low-paying jobs; and Reaganomics Redux.

Prepare for Battle

Sargeant?

Yes Sir!

Assemble the troops for inspection.

ATTENTION POINSETTIA ARMY! This is Commander Potted Palm. The time has come to rise up! You’ve trained long and hard for this mission, and I see all of you are in your dress uniforms. Let’s get out there and make people believe that yes, we do indeed celebrate both Hanukkah and Christmas in Las Vegas!

In closing: stopping terrorism with pork; Computer Engineer Barbie got a phone upgrade (and she’s reasonably priced); body image fail; a few items on employment, unemployment, jobs, and our clueless government; it’s hard to hate a benevolent dictator; stop trying to kill Social Security!; now we might be getting somewhere, a couple of Harvard Law Students suing the TSA; Fed lent trillions of dollars rather than admit that our biggest banks should have been taken over by the government as insolvent; even a Fed Governor says some institutions are “too big to succeed“; it’s been a good week for Senator John Ensign; please, some freaking sanity about the Bush tax cuts!; close the Washington Monument; a strategy so simple even a Democrat can do it; I’m wondering why I canvassed for that man; and finally, Kim Jong-Il looking at things. Enjoy.

Grape Leaves Changing Color

Fall has officially arrived in Vegas.

In Closing: 22.5%; a brave man confronts ignorant women; it’s the continuing adventures of Harry and Sharron!; glad I’m not in Chicago this week; accidental gay marriage; is anyone really, honestly surprised they’ve found oil at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico? Really?; no wonder things are tough all over; Vote For Jobs (and in my opinion, against ballot initiatives); the Problem with Charity; I bet that there may be jobs at the worlds largest solar-thermal plant; what is the Treasury hiding?; BlueGal‘s got your Contract With America; Hup, two, three, four, keep it up, two, three, four; trial balloon (notice that the things under consideration mostly effect working class people?); gee I can’t imagine why; the “step 2” problem with austerity; President Obama created more jobs this year than President Bush created in 8 years; on poverty and student performance; ZAP!; and Janitors with PhDs.

Wouldn’t that be nice?

Taken at Clark High School in Las Vegas.

In Closing: Foreclosure mess (update, Bank of America has halted all foreclosures nationwide); new 300 year old Vivaldi concerto; progressive agenda; we have to be better; I hope the FDIC bankrupts these [redacted]; always check your work; on Afghanistan; 30% of unemployed have been out of work for at least a year, and the number of jobs in the economy went down last month (no wonder bankruptcies are up); good idea; speaking of food stamps; “none of the above“; new style CPR; sometimes it’s how you say it; and cell phones don’t and can’t cause cancer (“physics shows that it is virtually impossible for cell phones to cause cancer”).

Oh and one more thing! Surf over to Vegas Video Network to see my new show later today!