Hints of Sanity:Newt says something’s got to change.
Yesterday this was the funniest thing on the Internet:Review of Guy Fieri’s restaurant.
UN Believable:UN says “increasing funding for family planning by a further $4.1 billion could save $11.3 billion annually in health bills for mothers and newborns in poor countries.”
Pro-Life My @$$: Woman suffers for days in excruciating pain and eventually dies because her miscarrying fetus still had a heartbeat, despite the actually born mother’s pleas to terminate the doomed pregnancy. I have some very harsh words for the so-called pro-life people — mostly men who will never get pregnant — who think there is never a reason to abort. Those words are probably not safe for work.
Interesting consequence: Hurricane Sandy caused a rise in used car prices.
I bet there’s a simpler reason: Romney believes that he lost because of Obama’s “gifts” to minorities? What? Seriously? Couldn’t have anything to do with unemployment and real wages, could it? At least Ryan was smart enough to dogwhistle the issue by blaming “urban voters” rather than by flat out saying “brown and black people.”
Poverty might be worse than we think: Depending how you measure it, poverty might be over 16%. And worse yet, over 3% of Americans are in poverty simply because of medical bills.
Less popular than Vietnam: 82% think we are losing the War on Drugs. Only 23% think we should keep shouldering on.
Can’t tell what’s going on without a chart: The Petraeus mess is so weird that you couldn’t make it into an episode of a TV crime drama. Nobody would believe it. I can barely wrap my head around it without laughing. Shouldn’t a General know better than to stick his **** in crazy? And what is with the socialite that she thinks a few emails are worth calling in a favor from an FBI agent? For those of you who are having trouble keeping up USA Today has you covered with a chart. I love the image for “Shirtless Guy.” You know some intern had to sort through dozens of stock photos. At least Holly Petraeus will still have a job at the end of this mess.
That’s exactly what happened on Tuesday when a cabin crew was checking an airplane that landed in Glasgow, Scotland, according to The Scotsman newspaperin Edinburgh. The flight had come in from Cancun, Mexico when staff found a 18-inch long, juvenile snake under a row of seats in the passenger cabin, the newspaper reported.
A Scottish animal welfare charity was called in to recover the snake, The Scotsman reported.
Ok, not exactly a new story. I delayed commenting due to travel. Anyone want to guess where I was?
My first thought was: “Silly snake! Why would you leave Cancun to go to Scotland?”
My second thought was that I could completely understand how the little fellow got on board. His home was mere yards from the tarmac.
Cancun — the “nest of the snakes” — was carved out of the jungle. The airport itself is testament to that, and it is even more obvious if you travel South towards Playa Del Carmen. Outside the Hotel Zone, there are clear and constant efforts to keep the jungle from reclaiming territory. Even within the Hotel Zone, sun and salty air mean an ongoing battle against modern human-built structures. A bright coat of paint appears to be shorthand for “recently maintained.” You’ll see at least one person with a paint brush on a regular basis at any resort.
I’ve been getting more than my fair share of comment spam recently (not quite enough that I’m ready to use one of those “prove you’re human” things). Lately, one of the topics is HCG diets.
Let me make one thing perfectly crystal clear about HCG: it is the only diet drug required by the FDA to have a black box warning saying it does not work! Really, that’s the only thing you need to know about HCG. Just say no. It’s a waste of your money and potentially dangerous.
As for the new “safer” homeopathic HCG drops, they’re still sugar water. Further, even if homeopathy did work, the “Law of Similars” — “a substance that when taken in crude form causes a set of symptoms or disease in a healthy person can cure similar symptoms occurring during an illness when treated with small, often infinitesimal, potentised doses of the same substance” — would suggest that diluting a weight loss “drug” for homeopathic use would make the user gain weight, wouldn’t it?
It is at this point that I will point out that I’m not a doctor, nor a dietician. I’m only pointing out two things: HCG is FDA proven to not work for weight loss, and mixing it with a bunch of water isn’t likely to make it more effective.
While we are on the topic, here’s some tips for not letting the holidays ruin your diet.
In Closing: tricorder; oops; The Jungle returns; doing good work; what??; free markets won’t fix health care; which reality will win, not enough money to retire or not enough health to keep working?; couples and money; the near poor; I’ve always thought it would be a great idea to have a “third party debate,” and apparently there was; and who needs MacGyver when DolphLundgren really exists??
Free term theme idea: Recurring Thematic Material in the Collected Works of FloRida.
If one were to listen to his entire discography, how many songs would seem to reference oral sex?
Regrettably, there doesn’t seem to be an official music video I could embed.
In Closing: a bounty I hope gets paid; waaah, the media isn’t telling why it might be a good idea to shoot 14 year old girls in the head for wanting an education (damn liberal media!); maps; quiet victory; this could be a bumpy election; confession; she’d be a Saint even without the Pope’s say-so; who needs effective antibiotics anyway?; science literacy; duh; and just say no.
Once more it is book review time. Today’s selection from the BlogHer Book Club is Trust Your Eyes by Linwood Barclay. As usual, this is a paid review for BlogHer Book Club but the opinions expressed are my own. Join the discussion here!
When Ray Kilbride comes home after his father’s fatal accident, one of the things he must deal with is his schizophrenic brother Thomas: a recluse who thinks former President Bill Clinton has personally tasked him with memorizing every street in every major city on the behalf of the CIA. Thomas spends all day, every day, clicking down streets of the world using a tool that is absolutely not Google Maps at all against the possibility of a massive internet outage making all online maps inaccessible. Then one day, he spots what looks like a possible murder.
This has by far been my favorite of the books I’ve been asked to review. It is a thriller with more twists than a mountain highway. I absolutely promise there will be things you didn’t see coming. Chapters are generally short, so I found myself thinking “Oh, I have time for one more” often. It is unfortunate that any accurate description of the plot gives away what should have been the first twist in the Prologue.
A++, Would Read Again.
In Closing: be sure to read to the end; aw that’s sweet; I’m so glad somebody is asking what the heck information on 12,000,000 Apple devices was doing on a laptop for any reason; “Ok, you can play, but only approved games led by an adult”; dirtylies; wage stats; as expected; and I liked number 4.
Fortune Magazine tells us that “For banks, it’s getting harder and harder to earn a buck.” That’s because interest rates are so low. Or at least that’s what “conventional wisdom” would tell us. Please cry for the banks and demand higher interest rates!
Not so fast. If banks are having such a hard time making an “honest” buck, then how come “U.S. bank earnings rose 21% in the April-June quarter and lending to consumers increased, adding to evidence that the industry is strengthening four years after the financial crisis.” Turns out there’s actually a good reason the banks are doing so well:
That’s because most of them have increased the historic spread between the interest they charge for mortgages and the interest they have to pay for their own borrowing and, of course, the now minuscule rates they pay to folks with savings accounts. As a result, according to a recent news story in the New York Times, bankers are enjoying ballooning profits from their mortgage business.
If the banks were using the formula that was in effect up until a couple of years ago, the 3.55 percent rate for a 30-year mortgage would be close to 3.05 percent. Or, they could increase the rates they pay savers by about a half percent.
So yeah, the gap between “what they pay you” and “what we pay them” got bigger despite mortgage rates near record lows.
I hope Fortune Magazine isn’t hoping for a subscription fee from me anytime soon.
In Closing: you might want to disable Java; trying to change the law without bothering to involve lawmakers; 14.8% of Americans are on food stamps; and Boehner admits that the easiest way to win is for poor people to stay home on election day.
And now for something completely different, a Baroque Concerto for Two Violins by the Red Monk, Antonio Vivaldi. My favorite is the second movement. Sorry about the static video.
In Closing: Clearly this was compiled before the weekend political talkies; Siberian Princess; some miscellaneousfood items; as someone with experience, I don’t think much of their mapping algorithm; who could have known that making sure people can afford a mortgage could prevent default??; 5 reasons the Romney/Ryan plan is bad for America; rhetorical ammo; roads; the unemploymentrate sucks; Arnold has ad-libs bigger than that car; why we need Social Security; and they should have made him check the damned thing.
On the Economy: global growth; more than 3 people for every available job in June despite the highest number of job openings in 4 years.
Math: “With regard to mathematics, the problem is not that we are teaching too much of it—but that we are teaching math ineffectively. The expectations and architecture of the new Common Core State Standards in Mathematics can help to remedy this. Faithful implementation of those standards will support districts that want to adopt curricula that unfurl mathematics in a rational, coherent program and that jettison approaches that are illogically sequenced and that overuse and abuse manipulatives.”
Perhaps there’s a logical explanation: Kids who eat good food turn out smarter than kids that eat junk food. Is it that good food contributes to intelligence, or that smarter parents feed their kids better stuff? I fail to see that this study accounted for the IQ, educational level, or socio-economic level of the parents.
People stand with the Nuns: and they appreciate it.
Today I learned: apparently, a psychic’s word is enough to get a warrant to search somebody’s property for a mass grave. Local governments are strapped for cash, but somehow they’ve got money for psychics? I do hope the locals find a way to get rid of the sheriff and judge that signed off on this.
The truth about corporate income tax: Many companies don’t pay that much.
Killer Kats: Turns out that outdoor cats kill a lot more than anybody knew. Funny thing about them being predators.
Funny, I have yet to kill anybody: “People without Facebook accounts are suspicious“? Seriously? I don’t have a Facebook account. There are millions of people who don’t. I’d say that relatively few of us are planning violence. Except maybe against idiots who think it means anything that I choose not to participate.
Praise Sandy Weill, for he hath told the truth — and delivered you from Shorties.
Seriously, I thought I’d have to resort to Shorties today until I saw this little gem: Sandy Weill, the same man who had a giant game of “chicken” with Congress, forcing them to pass laws that allowed his company to become a huge “financial supermarket” now says that we should go back to the way things were after the Great Depression and break up “too big to fail” banks “so that the taxpayer will never be at risk, the depositors won’t be at risk, the leverage of the banks will be something reasonable, and the investment banks can do trading…they can make some mistakes, but they’ll have everything that clears with each other every single night so they can be mark-to-market.” He goes on to drop a second bomb: “There should be no such thing as off balance sheet.”
Really, Sandy? Why the change of heart? Has it suddenly occurred to you that if We The People don’t have any money, we don’t put it in the bank and we don’t buy things? Perhaps you realized that Japan never got out of it’s doldrums until the “zombie firms” were allowed to fail? Have a “spiritual” moment where fair play and the bigger picture somehow seemed important? Don’t get me wrong, glad you joined the “common sense” bandwagon. Just wish you’d popped aboard in the 90s instead of pooh-poohing sensible and necessary banking laws as “archaic” and “not reflecting the needs of the next century.
In Closing: 1 in 5 companies misrepresentsfreaking lies about their profits; a conservative would probably say they need to get jobs!; two must see videoclips; outlawing abortion kills women; what’s retirement?; wasn’t expecting that one; no wonder the “news” doesn’t say anything anymore; what a coincidence [you don’t want to get me started about Pyschiatric Institutes of America and why you’ll never ever get mental health care parity]; Give a big LOL to the State Department Anti-Terror Troll Team; and neither will I.
I’ve been in a seminar all week and haven’t really had much to say worth posting. Hopefully next week will be back to normal.
In Closing:looks like a great way to drown; doesn’t everyone need one; wealth gap; “you people“; is the media going to let them get away with an outright lie?; an odd proposal with interesting connotations (Zoolander Zoolander Zoolander); and you don’t normally find something this cute in a wrecking yard.