Saturday, August 18, 2012

Insulin Shock Videos

The rare and utterly adorable sand cat was once extinct in Israel, but now thanks to concerted efforts by the Tel Aviv safari and Jerusalem Zoo. Typically these painfully cute members of the family felidae live in deserts such as the Sahara. Felix Margarita, as they are technically called, are also referred to as sand dune cats, and are unique for their large, pointed ears, short and stocky build and the fact that they have large fur tufts between their toes to help insulate their foot pads against the heat of the sand in their desert homes. In fact sand cats are so specialized for their environment that when kept in captivity they must be housed in rooms with a low humidity and high temperature or they suffer a variety of respiratory infections, which are the leading killer of sand cats in captivity. Only 26 captive sand cats are housed in the United States, making them uniquely rare even in zoo exhibits. Bloody adorable, though, aren't they?

Punk Protestors Jailed In Russia

Three members of the punk rock band Pussy Riot where sentenced to two years in  prison earlier this week for a protest prayer aimed at Vladimir Putin as he begins his new six year term as the Russian President. "The girls' actions were sacrilegious, blasphemous and broke the church's rules," Judge Marina Syrova told the court as she spent three hours reading the verdict, Meanwhile the three girls, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 22, Marina Alyokhina, 24, and Yekaterina Samutsevich, 30, giggled in the glass courtroom cage they were being kept in. 

Syrova declared all three guilty of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred, stating that they had deliberately offended Russian Orthodox believers by storming the altar of Moscow's main cathedral in February to belt out a "punk prayer" deriding Putin. Opponents however described it as part of a crackdown by the ex-KGB man against a protest movement that grew over the winter, attracting what witnesses said were crowds of up to 100,000 people in Moscow to oppose his return to power.

Personally I'm torn, I've never been a fan of Putin and my writing shows that. He is a figure troubling because his rhetoric calls back to the "glory days" of the Soviet Union and his KGB past marks him as a man dangerous in more ways than one. However despite the support of Madonna, Paul McCartney and Sting the band called Pussy Riot have never had a hit song or even released an album. It makes me think they were either lucky and became part of a populist movement, or more likely got on the bandwagon in hopes of quick notoriety leading to fame and fortune. In either case the three women are now viewed as martyrs for the movement as they begin their prison sentence. Still I think it would be remiss to mention how these girls jeopardize the movement they are part of. A poll of Russian citizens found only 6% viewed the girls favorably, while 50% viewed them negatively, the rest of the people questioned by independent researchers Levada had no opinion. It may very well be these ladies end up their own worst enemy in the court of public opinion.

Cupcakes And Hookers, Sounds Like A Party!

By now everyone has heard about the bakery owner who refused service to Biden and his entourage in Virginia over the president's "You didn't build that" line. What most people are unaware of is that the secret service are so fed up with the current administration that they returned to the bakery and ordered a huge amount of cookies and cupcakes from the owner, Chris McMurray, that between that and a jump in requests from local patrons caused the confectionery to run out of food by 1:15 in the afternoon. We find that out thanks to the the Valley Reporter, a local newspaper. Normally I'm not a fan of food-as-protest but even I have to admit it is shocking, and kind of funny, the reaction that the current administration is getting from middle-americans and small business owners. It definitely doesn't say anything good for the president, but beyond that Biden had been promised a cookie if he was a good boy, and now the president isn't going to get him to bed on time.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Twitchy For A Pulitzer

I really wish news aggregaters could win a pulitzer. Right now on Twitchy you can read about how Bill Maher thinks Obama is too white for liberals. Of course he also says Barack knows how to fight because he is black. You can even follow people's thoughts on why the mainstream media are ignoring the shooting at the Family Research Council and downplaying it when they do bother to mention it. When will the dinosaurs on the left realize they can't freely lie anymore? The net is here and it is blowing the closed doors open to show everyone's back door shenanigans. 

Make Your Own Chainmail

Since I posted possibly the worst do it yourself project I can imagine I am also going to post one of the coolest. If you have ever been to medieval times, a renaissance faire, or just like historical movies then you have probably wanted your own chainmail at some point. Here's your chance to build your own  and prove how badass a do-it-yourselfer you really are. The link goes to a makeprojects page that has the basic instruction for making the mail in swatches, with links to the ring lord where you can buy supplies and patterns and what was "the art of chainmail", but is now just an advertisement site for a book by the owner of the site on making chainmail crafts. You can go to cgmaile for free patterns and instructions though fair warning that it is a graphics intensive site.

The Worst DIY Craft Project EVER!

Over at Buzz shift they have video of some idiot cutting apart books so she can hot glue the spines on to a decorative box. The perpetrator of this horror is Lauren Conrad, and while I'm not advocating violence against her I'm sorely tempted to kick her in her undecorated box.... well, undecorated unless she vajazzles. Seriously, how vapid and appearance conscious do you have to be to destroy books so you can decorate something while making it look like you read? I weep for humanity if this woman has kids.

DHS And Their Wonderful Redactomatic

Clash Daily has an article up on the heavily redacted no bid contract for an undisclosed amount of ammo. Coupled with their purchase of riot gear it has some people asking what the department is preparing for, and what level of force they are planning to use against U.S. citizens. Follow the link and read the entire article.

In any case the further militarization of law enforcement, and that is what the Department of Homeland Security is if you go by it's charter, is concerning. Supposedly this uparming is for crowd control at the RNC and DNC but I still find it questionable that among other things we do know they acquired tens of thousands of rounds of hollow point ammo.  Hollow point rounds are meant to cause maximum trauma to an unarmored target after all, and with the training that DHS and other low enforcement receive the typical scenario is that you shoot for center mass and don't stop till the target is down. I hope I'm not the only one who sees how the combination of that style of engagement, that type of ammunition, and a charged political atmosphere are troubling.

So Many Projects

So, I've spoken on the site about gaming, still working on that star wars conversion in fact. That isn't my only project lately though, I'm rewrapping the handle of my longsword with braided leather and have begun cutting a frame for a viking shield using some patterns I found online, when the shield is built and painted I'm probably going to take some pictures of it for the site. Beyond that is the fun of working on my site and the visual upgrade I'm planning for it. Between all that, work, and working out it would seem I've decided sleep is a trifling detail.

Obama Takes On Navy Seals

Earlier this week a group called the Special Operations OPSEC Education Fund came out against the president for leaking information related to national security and for focusing so much of the credit for killing Bin laden on himself. To make it clear, this group is comprised of former Special Forces and intelligence officials including former Navy SEALS. They know their stuff.

Their campaign consists of television ads and a 22 minute long film that blast Obama for his behavior, it seems they've picked a good fight too.  As a May 2011 USAToday/Gallup poll showed, Americans overwhelmingly credit the U.S. military and the CIA for the mission over the president. “The U.S. military and the CIA emerge as the big winners in the public’s eyes,” wrote Frank Newport who works for Gallup.

Still, the president has come out swinging, comparing these brave men and women who are peerless experts in their field to the swift boat veterans who went after Kerry in 2004. This goes way beyond a risky move and borders on political suicide, traditionally Americans support their armed services far more than their politicians and if any real media coverage of this scuffle occurs it could damage the president's personal likeability numbers, which remain his biggest real advantage in this election.

There are avenues the president can take, as The Los Angeles Times noted yesterday, a number of OPSEC leaders identify as Republicans, such as Fred Rustmann, who worked for the CIA for 23 years before retiring in 1990, Scott Taylor, a former Navy SEAL and chairman of OPSEC, and Chad Kolton, an OPSEC member and former flack in the Bush administration. At this point, the effectiveness of the OPSEC attacks rely almost exclusively on the identity of who’s leveling the attacks (former Navy SEALs) rather than the merit of the attacks, and the pres could play it off as being partisan by pointing out the condemnatory tone it takes.  Still, the jury’s out on whether it’s a fight worth picking for the Obama campaign, it's going to be a tough fight to win at the very least and not one he can take without expecting to bleed a little when it comes to his image.

Eric Boehlert of Media Matters, that George Soros sock puppet, has called the Navy SEALs of OPSEC "gutless" for running a smear campaign. Typically this sort of attack is going over like a lead balloon and you can follow the response on Twitchy here.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Page Update

Not a lot to say, I'm planning a few graphic tweaks to the page, between that and other stuff I'm too damn tired for any real posting today. Sorry folks, normal posting will resume tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

New Black Panthers are at it again

Michelle Williams the “Chief of Staff” of the New Black Panther Party says the NBPP’s are going to be on the the necks of the GOPers at the RNC. That is the cleaned up version of her statement at least. Maybe we should applaud the NBPP for having a woman in such a position considering how traditionally chauvinist they are, but I'm a bit more concerned with what the media would be doing if a white person had made a similar statement about the congressional black caucus or a similar group? When does liberal white guilt end and we can call these people what they are, racist jackasses who buy in to Malcolm X's rhetoric at the expense of Martin Luthor King's dream, exactly?

Ok, fine, I'm a white guy and I don't "understand the struggle" except for the fact I'm Irish and Roma, two groups with a history of subjugation, oppression, and exclusion that is pretty recent too. Do these people not get that the rhetoric of  violence and racial animosity harms the cause of equality and justice? Screw it, some people just don't want to think it through that much, I suppose. Too emotionally invested in the struggle.

Another Installment From The Budget Gourmand

For a bolder grilled steak this summer, try marinating skirt steak in red wine and topping it with all of the classic steakhouse pairings: blue cheese, mushrooms, red onion, and bacon. Cooking bacon strips right on the grill means zero grease cleanup, and a quick chop of the grilled vegetables makes for an easy, savory steak topping. 
This pairs perfectly with a Caesar salad.
Special equipment: None, but a pastry brush does make it easier
Game plan: If you’re using wooden skewers, soak them in warm water for 30 minutes beforehand, so they don’t burn on the grill.

Total Time: 3 hrs
Makes: 3 to 4 servings

For the steak:
1/2 cup dry red wine
3 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 pound skirt steak, cut across the width into 2 or 3 pieces

For the topping:
4 (10-inch) wooden or metal skewers (soak wooden skewers in warm water for 30 minutes to avoid burning on the grill)
8 ounces cremini mushrooms, cleaned and stems removed
1/2 medium red onion, halved again and layers separated
Vegetable oil, for coating the vegetables and grill
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
4 slices bacon
1 ounce blue cheese, crumbled (about 1/4 cup)
2 teaspoons finely chopped Italian parsley leaves 


For the steak:
  1. Place the wine, garlic, pepper, and salt in 13-by-9-inch baking dish and whisk to combine. Add the steak pieces, turn to coat, cover, and refrigerate for 2 hours, turning once.
To grill the topping and the steak:
  1. Heat an outdoor grill to high (about 450°F to 550°F).
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the skewers: Thread half of the mushrooms onto 1 skewer through the center of the cap and out through the stem. Repeat with the remaining mushrooms on a second skewer. Thread equal amounts of onion onto the remaining 2 skewers, leaving 1/4 inch in between the onion pieces. Lightly coat the mushrooms and onions all over with vegetable oil. Then lightly coat the mushrooms all over with a thin layer of Worcestershire sauce; set the mushroom skewers and the remaining Worcestershire sauce aside. Season the onion skewers with salt and pepper; set aside.
  3. Rub the grill grates with a towel dipped in vegetable oil. Place the bacon flat on the grill, cover the grill, and cook, flipping halfway through, until the bacon is crisp, about 5 minutes total. Remove to a medium bowl to cool, then crumble and set aside.
  4. Place the mushroom and onion skewers on the grill and cover the grill. Cook, covering the mushrooms with the reserved Worcestershire sauce every 2 minutes and rotating all of the skewers until the mushrooms and onions have charred and are slightly softened, about 13 to 15 minutes total. (You may have some Worcestershire sauce left over.) Remove the skewers to a baking sheet or large dish, cover with foil, and set aside.
  5. Remove the steak from the marinade and pat dry with paper towels; discard the marinade. Rub the grill grates again with oil. Place the steak on the grill, cover the grill, and cook until medium rare, flipping halfway through, about 5 to 6 minutes total. Remove to a cutting board and let rest while you finish the topping.
  6. Remove the mushrooms and onions from the skewers. Cut the mushrooms into quarters and add to the bowl with the bacon. Coarsely chop the onions and add them to the bowl. Add the blue cheese and parsley and stir to combine. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.
  7. Slice the skirt steak and serve with the topping.
Voila, skirt steak that would be the envy of most high end steak houses. Enjoy, I find this meal goes particularly well with a light beer like a pilsner or cider. Then again most meals do.

Koalas Catch The Clap!

It's no secret I'm a bibliophile, and I've just started a new book I have to suggest to anyone interested in the relationship between man and animal. That book is "Zoobiquity: What Animals Can Teach Us About Health And The Science Of Healing", and right from the start it grabs the attention with the parallels between humanity and our kin in the animal kingdom.

As someone who has studied zoology (don't get me started on obligate hemovores, my particular specialty) and alternative medical theories like comparative medicine this book plays to my particular intellectual bent, but the writing is accessible enough for even the basest lay person to get, with ideas laid out in an open and easily read manner that goes step by step through how studying animals used to be part of standard medical practice and how it can benefit us today in a variety of areas from cardiology to behavioral sciences.

An interesting note is the author musing on how studying koalas, which by default practice unsafe sex and are experiencing a chlamydia epidemic, might help us understand transmission in certain human populations. In a latter chapter the authors, and the book is co-authored by doctor Barbara Natterson-Horowitz and her associate Kathryn Bowers, go in to the matter in some detail. The book manages to put forward a number of examples in a light but intellectually engaging manner. Needless to say I am suggesting this as a perfect weekend read if you are of a particularly inquisitive mindset.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Obama Asks "What's Behind The Paul Ryan Pick"

In a mass mail sent out by the president's campaign for reelection he absolutely loses it over Romney picking tea party star Paul Ryan for VP, the title for the piece actually is "What's Behind The Paul Ryan Pick". Let's ignore the fact that Paul Ryan wins handily every time he is on the ballot, or the fact that despite going head to head with the president over budget issues and Obamacare the president himself was forced to admit Ryan's courage, conviction, and sincerity when it came to the issues. Paul Ryan brings a sense of youth, energy and fun to the ticket and he is well spoken to the point I actually feel a little sorry for Joe Biden when it comes to the VP debates.

Read the letter below:

Friend –
Congressman Paul Ryan is the poster boy for the extreme Republican leadership in a Congress whose overall approval rating is 12 percent. His plan to dismantle Medicare is deeply unpopular with the general public, and especially undecided voters.
You might be wondering why the hell Romney picked this guy. But this is a strategic pick that carries real danger for us.
Here’s the calculation: Mitt Romney doesn’t need or expect Paul Ryan to convince even one undecided voter to cast their ballot for him. That’s not what he’s on the ticket for. He’s there to reassure and inspire ultraconservative ideologues and corporate interests that they will have one of their own a heartbeat from the presidency.
That means tens or even hundreds of millions more dollars for the Romney campaign and the array of outside groups supporting him – and if current trends hold, more than 90 percent of that money will be spent on TV ads — lying, distorting and trashing Barack Obama. Those ads will have more impact on undecided voters than anything Paul Ryan himself does or says.
Mitt Romney is convinced that picking Paul Ryan is a great investment for him. And his campaign is already touting the pledges and donations they’ve received as a result, with fundraising events planned for this week.
We’re already being outraised, and we can’t afford to fall further behind. Our records show that you’re still waiting to make your first online donation — now is the time.
Please donate $5 or more today:
More soon.
Jim Messina
Campaign Manager
Obama for America

Look at the conspiracy theory logic in there, Obama might as well be telling his supporters to look out for black helicopters should the Romney ticket win in November, he goes in for fear mongering and outright lies about the trend concerning Romney and negative ads.  If anything the president has been slinging more mud than all of Romneys G.O.P. competitors in the primary did combined. It speaks of desperation and deliberate dishonesty, revealing exactly how worried the president is about his own job security in this election. You can read more on this at Breitbart and Clash Daily.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Obama and the Soptic Story

So, Obama went to the bottom of the barrel with the Soptic story, an old man claiming that he couldn't maintain insurance for his wife, and implying that if he had been able to she might not have died of cancer. Why? Evil Mitt Romney and Bain Capital bought the company he worked for, and then sold off it's assets, sooooo evil. The problem is that Bain closed the company Mr. Soptic worked for in 2001, two years after Romney left the company. Well, that is one of the problems. It turns out that Bain offered Mr. Soptic a buyout package which he refused, and Mrs Soptic had her own private insurance when she was diagnosed with cancer in 2003. At no point did Romney or Bain Capital (which he was no longer a part of) act irresponsibly.

Now, some are going to get miffed by me putting any of the blame on the president for this ad, after all it was produced by a Super PAC. Not his fault, right? Well it turns out that one of his campaign staff, Jen Psaki was coordinated efforts between Mr. Soptic, the aforementioned PAC and the Obama campaign itself. In point of fact Mr. Soptic does appear in a campaign ad for the president's campaign, but does not go in to the specifics he does in the PAC ad. When you get that level of coordination and cooperation you can't reasonably claim to have been hands off, sure the mainstream media are covering for Obama, but it doesn't seem to be working as more and more people turn to alternative news sources to stay informed, and the vicious tone of the president's campaign is eroding his likeability which some would say is his biggest strength. Is this sort of mud slinging going to tarnish president Obama's image? Certainly, and in a close race he can't afford that. I just hope it helps people see the man for who he really is.

Anti-Hunting Extremists Harass Olympian

Anti Hunting activists are on a harassment campaign against 26 year old Olympic trap shooter Corey Cogdell in social media. The body of vitriol aimed at the young woman is surprising, everything from people calling for her to lose to posters on the facebook page for “Corey Cogdell Please Stop Killing Animals For Sport”; which has over sixteen hundred members, calling her a murderer. It shouldn't surprise me, leftist activists tend to fit perfectly Le Bon's maxim that crowds, mobs really, aren't motivated by logic and quickly devolve to their basest forms....

See, I'm a hunter, I don't get to go hunting as much as I like, but I do go whenever the chance to arrives. I view it as a sacrament in a way, yes an animal dies so I can eat, but I don't fool myself in to thinking it is a clean process and I try to make it as quick and painless for the animal as possible as a form of thanks. By being mindful and thankful for my meal I have noticed over the years that I am less and less wasteful when it comes to food, especially compared to some of the doughy anti-hunting activists at my college when I was still a student. Like most hunters I view myself as a steward of the land and I am willing to bet miss Cogdell holds much the same opinion.

Beyond that is the matter of decency and respect. I get pretty irreverent from time to time in my writing when my aim is humor (or at least venting anger in an amusing fashion) but this is an athlete, one of the best in the world, it is pretty juvenile to sling insults and mockery at someone representing your nation at a global competition. It's worse when it is because you disagree on a matter of opinion. These hate filled little tantrum throwers really do need to grow up.