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"All that we may see or seem, is but a dream within a dream."- Edgar Allan Poe

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“A generation is now growing old, which never had anything to say for itself except that it was young. It was the first progressive generation – the first generation that believed in progress and nothing else…. [They believed] simply that the new thing is always better than the old thing; that the young man is always right and the old wrong. And now that they are old men themselves, they have naturally nothing whatever to say or do. Their only business in life was to be the rising generation knocking at the door. Now that they have got into the house, and have been accorded the seat of honour by the hearth, they have completely forgotten why they wanted to come in. The aged younger generation never knew why it knocked at the door; and the truth is that it only knocked at the door because it was shut. It had nothing to say; it had no message; it had no convictions to impart to anybody…. The old generation of rebels was purely negative in its rebellion, and cannot give the new generation of rebels anything positive against which it should not rebel. It is not that the old man cannot convince young people that he is right; it is that he cannot even convince them that he is convinced. And he is not convinced; for he never had any conviction except that he was young, and that is not a conviction that strengthens with years.”

- G.K. Chesterton, Illustrated London News of July 9, 1921

Via [The Anchoress: 85 Years Ago, Chesterton nailed the Boomers]

gerardvanderleun : May 25, 15  |  Your Say (6)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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Orphaned at age 5, WWII veteran, went on to play first chair trumpet at BYU.

gerardvanderleun : May 25, 15  |  Your Say (6)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England's foam.

But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;

As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain,
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.



[The buglers of The United States Army Band "Pershing's Own" perform over 5000 missions a year in Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA.Featured here are SSG Jesse Tubb (summer) and SSG Drew Fremder (winter)]

gerardvanderleun : May 25, 15  |  Your Say (3)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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The Gray and the gray. "Confederate veteran reunion, Washington, 1917"

Row after row with strict impunity
The headstones yield their names to the element,
The wind whirrs without recollection;
In the riven troughs the splayed leaves
Pile up, of nature the casual sacrament
To the seasonal eternity of death;
Then driven by the fierce scrutiny
Of heaven to their election in the vast breath,
They sough the rumour of mortality.

Autumn is desolation in the plot
Of a thousand acres where these memories grow
From the inexhaustible bodies that are not
Dead, but feed the grass row after rich row.
Think of the autumns that have come and gone!--
Ambitious November with the humors of the year,
With a particular zeal for every slab,
Staining the uncomfortable angels that rot
On the slabs, a wing chipped here, an arm there:
The brute curiosity of an angel's stare
Turns you, like them, to stone,
Transforms the heaving air
Till plunged to a heavier world below
You shift your sea-space blindly
Heaving, turning like the blind crab.

         Dazed by the wind, only the wind
         The leaves flying, plunge

You know who have waited by the wall
The twilight certainty of an animal,
Those midnight restitutions of the blood
You know--the immitigable pines, the smoky frieze
Of the sky, the sudden call: you know the rage,
The cold pool left by the mounting flood,
Of muted Zeno and Parmenides.
You who have waited for the angry resolution
Of those desires that should be yours tomorrow,
You know the unimportant shrift of death
And praise the vision
And praise the arrogant circumstance
Of those who fall
Rank upon rank, hurried beyond decision--
Here by the sagging gate, stopped by the wall.

         Seeing, seeing only the leaves
         Flying, plunge and expire

Turn your eyes to the immoderate past,
Turn to the inscrutable infantry rising
Demons out of the earth they will not last.
Stonewall, Stonewall, and the sunken fields of hemp,
Shiloh, Antietam, Malvern Hill, Bull Run.
Lost in that orient of the thick and fast
You will curse the setting sun.

         Cursing only the leaves crying
         Like an old man in a storm

You hear the shout, the crazy hemlocks point
With troubled fingers to the silence which
Smothers you, a mummy, in time.

         The hound bitch
Toothless and dying, in a musty cellar
Hears the wind only.

         Now that the salt of their blood
Stiffens the saltier oblivion of the sea,
Seals the malignant purity of the flood,
What shall we who count our days and bow
Our heads with a commemorial woe
In the ribboned coats of grim felicity,
What shall we say of the bones, unclean,
Whose verdurous anonymity will grow?
The ragged arms, the ragged heads and eyes
Lost in these acres of the insane green?
The gray lean spiders come, they come and go;
In a tangle of willows without light
The singular screech-owl's tight
Invisible lyric seeds the mind
With the furious murmur of their chivalry.

         We shall say only the leaves
         Flying, plunge and expire

We shall say only the leaves whispering
In the improbable mist of nightfall
That flies on multiple wing:
Night is the beginning and the end
And in between the ends of distraction
Waits mute speculation, the patient curse
That stones the eyes, or like the jaguar leaps
For his own image in a jungle pool, his victim.

What shall we say who have knowledge
Carried to the heart? Shall we take the act
To the grave? Shall we, more hopeful, set up the grave
In the house? The ravenous grave?

         Leave now
The shut gate and the decomposing wall:
The gentle serpent, green in the mulberry bush,
Riots with his tongue through the hush--
Sentinel of the grave who counts us all!

Vanderleun : May 24, 15  |  Your Say (18)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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Every Memorial Day (and many other patriotic holidays) Paradise California puts out the Parade of Flags all along the main street through town.

gerardvanderleun : May 23, 15  |  Your Say (8)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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Now (2015)

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Then (2006)

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gerardvanderleun : May 23, 15  |  Your Say (2)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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Self-Driving Trucks Are Going to Hit Us Like a Human-Driven Truck

"It should be clear at a glance just how dependent the American economy is on truck drivers. According to the American Trucker Association, there are 3.5 million professional truck drivers in the US, and an additional 5.2 million people employed within the truck-driving industry who don’t drive the trucks. That’s 8.7 million trucking-related jobs. We can’t stop there though, because the incomes received by these 8.2 million people create the jobs of others. Those 3.5 million truck drivers driving all over the country stop regularly to eat, drink, rest, and sleep. Entire businesses have been built around serving their wants and needs. Think restaurants and motels as just two examples. So now we’re talking about millions more whose employment depends on the employment of truck drivers. But we still can’t even stop there. Those working in these restaurants and motels along truck-driving routes are also consumers within their own local economies. Think about what a server spends her paycheck and tips on in her own community, and what a motel maid spends from her earnings into the same community. That spending creates other paychecks in turn. So now we’re not only talking about millions more who depend on those who depend on truck drivers, but we’re also talking about entire small town communities full of people who depend on all of the above in more rural areas. With any amount of reduced consumer spending, these local economies will shrink."

gerardvanderleun : May 23, 15  |  Your Say (14)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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Awesome Ted - Maggie's Farm

Ted Cruz made a campaign stop in Beaumont, TX on Tuesday, May 19. He was asked repeatedly by Kevin Steele from KMBT-TV about the issue of gay marriage, to which Cruz responds by turning the tables. The man is too smart to be president and conveys too much aggression, too little seduction.
To dominate, Conservatives need good cheer and optimism, a strong Libertarian/freedom streak, and less hawkishness about places that Americans do not give a damn about. To my Repub friends: Americans do not give a darn about Ukraine, Syria, Somalia, Guatemala, Mexico, etc. as long as you keep those people out of the USA. Americans do not want to run the world and are sick of the Middle East insanity. End of rant. Gone Fishin with my good gal. Newport this summer, as it happens.

gerardvanderleun : May 22, 15  |  Your Say (17)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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American Studies

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Army Capt. Ed Arntson, of Chicago, kissed the grave of Staff Sgt. Henry Linck in Arlington, Va., National Cemetery Thursday. Staff Sgt. Linck was killed in Iraq in 2006. Armed forces placed flags at more than 300,000 gravestones ahead of Memorial Day.

The cemetery at the top of Queen Anne in Seattle is busy this weekend. This even though a cemetery under all circumstances is seldom thought of as a busy place. We haven't had busy cemeteries since 1945. Since then the long peace and its sleep was only briefly, for a few years every now and then, interrupted by a small war. The cemeteries fill up more slowly now than ever before. And our sleep, regardless of continuing alarms, deepens.

These days we resent, it seems, having them fill at all, clinging to our tiny lives with a passion that passes all understanding; clinging to our large liberty with the belief that all payments on such a loan will be interest-free and deferred for at least 100 years.

Still, the cemetery at the top of Queen Anne does tend to take on a calm, resigned bustle over Memorial Day weekend, as the decreasing number of families who have lost members to war come to decorate the graves of those we now so delicately refer to as "The Fallen." They are not, of course, fallen in the sense that they will, suddenly and to our utter surprise, get up. That they will never do in this world. For they are not "The Fallen," they are "The Dead."

In the cemetery at the end of my street , of course, all the permanent residents are dead. But those who are among the war dead, or among those who served in a war, are easily found on this day by the small American flags their loved ones who still survive place and refresh. In this cemetery atop Queen Anne hill in Seattle, the small flags grow fewer and smaller with each passing year. It is not, of course, that the size of the sacrifice has been reduced. That remains the largest gift one free man may give to the country that sustained him. It is instead the regard of the country for whom the sacrifices were made that has gotten smaller, eroded by the self-love that the secular celebrate above all other values.

As you walk about the green lawn and weave among the markers, the slight breeze moves the small three-colored flags. Some are tattered and faded. Some are wound around the small gold sticks that hold them up. You straighten these out almost as an afterthought. Then the breeze unfurls them.

Here and there, people tend the grave of this or that loved one; weeding, washing, or otherwise making the gradually fading marks in the stone clear under the sky. Cars pull in and wind slow, careful on the curves, and park almost at random. An old woman emerges from one, a father and son from another, an entire family from yet another. They carry flowers in bunches or potted and, at times, gardening implements and a bucket for carrying away the weeds. It's a quiet morning. Nobody is in a hurry to arrive and once arrived to leave.

When I lived in Villers-Cotteret , between Compaigne and Soissons, along the Western Front in France, the cemeteries were as quiet but on a scale difficult to imagine unless they were seen.

In the Battle of Soissons in July of 1918, 12,000 men (Americans and Germans) were killed in four days. Vast crops of white crosses sprouted from the fields their rows and columns fading into the distance as they marched back from the roadside like an army of the dead called to attention until the end of time. American cemeteries merged with French cemeteries that merged with German cemeteries; their only distinction being the flags that flew over what one took to be the center of the arrangement. I suppose one could find out the number of graves in these serried ranks. Somewhere they keep the count. Governments are especially good at counting. But it is enough to know they are beyond numbering by an individual; that the mind would cease before the final number was reached.

To have even a hundredth of those cemeteries in the United States now would be more than we, as a nation, could bear. It would not be so much the dead within it, but the truth that made it happen that would be unbearable. This is, of course, what we are as a nation fiddling about with on this Memorial Day. We count our war dead daily now, but we count mostly on the fingers of one hand, at times on two. Never in numbers now beyond our ability to imagine. This is not because we cannot die daily in large numbers in a war. September 11th proved to us that we still die in the thousands, but many among us cannot now hold that number as a reality, but only as a "tragic" exception that need not have happened and will -- most likely -- never happen again.

That, at least, is the mind set that I assume when I read how the "War on Terror" is but a bumper strip. In a way, that's preferable to the the mind set that now, in increasing numbers among us, prefers to take refuge in the unbalanced belief that 9/11 was actually something planned and executed by the American government. Why many of my fellow Americans prefer this "explanation" is something that I once felt was beyond comprehension. Now I see it is just another comfortable position taken up by those for whom the habits of automatic treason have become just another fashionable denigration of the country that has made their liberty to believe the worst of it not only possible but popular.

Like the graves in my local cemetery, these souls too bear within them a small flag, but that flag -- unlike their souls -- is white and, in its increasing rootedness in our body politic signals not sacrifice for the advancement of the American experiment, but the abject surrender of their lives to small spites and the tiny victories of lifestyle liberation.

In the cemetery at the end of my street, there are a few small flags. There are many more graves with no flag at all, but they are the ones that the small flags made possible. Should the terrible forests of white crosses ever bloom across our landscape -- as once they did during the Civil War -- it will not be because we had too few of those small, three-colored flags, but because we became a nation with far too many white ones.

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The grave of James A. Wilmot, Pvt 49th Spruce Squadron, World War I. Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Queen Anne, Seattle

[Originally published Memorial Day, 2007]

Vanderleun : May 22, 15  |  Your Say (64)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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"When I'm home...
everything seems to be...
right...

When I'm home...
feeling you
holding me
tight,
... tight,
... yeah"


Wash. Rinse. Repeat....

gvanderleun : May 22, 15  |  Your Say (1)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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This jet-powered go kart is basically a fire breathing monster on wheels

Life demanded it so the mad genius that is Colin Furze delivered a jet-powered go kart that can go as fast as cars on a highway. The jet-powered go kart is so ridiculous it basically spits out fire while you drive it. I mean, the metal pipes turns orange because it burns so hot. What a beast.

"So it’s finished and it’s brilliant, it’s stable it starts easy and the fuel system after a slight redesign (see website) works perfectly. Top speed so far is 60mph but i run out of airstrip so might be more in it."

It only looks dangerous. As you can see he is wearing a safety tie he doesn't need a helmet...

gerardvanderleun : May 21, 15  |  Your Say (8)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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"Together, we can blow up ANYTHING!" (For a good cause, of course.)

gerardvanderleun : May 19, 15  |  Your Say (6)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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UPDATE: Who Says There's No Good News?: Beheadings are surging in Saudi Arabia in 2015. Wanted in Saudi Arabia: Executioners -

Job seekers in Saudi Arabia who have a strong constitution and endorse strict Islamic law might consider new opportunities carrying out public beheadings and amputating the hands of convicted thieves. The eight positions, as advertised on the website of the Ministry of Civil Service, require no specific skills or educational background for “carrying out the death sentence according to Islamic Shariah after it is ordered by a legal ruling.” But given the grisly nature of the job, a scarcity of qualified swordsmen in some regions of the country and a rise in the frequency of executions, candidates might face a heavy workload.

Previously in 2013: Just when you think that beheadings in the kingdom of SA are one solid bit of land in a sea of chaos, this comes out!

Reduced Beheadings in the Religion of Pieces:

It's Come to This Saudi Arabia may stop beheadings over shortage of swordsmen | Fox News
Needless to say this threatens the wonderful world of CHOPPER!

Wiccans, don't let the sun set on you in Saudi Arabia!

A man named Muree bin Ali bin Issa al-Asiri was beheaded in Saudi Arabia this week after being found in possession of spell books and talismans. Beheading is "God's punishment" for "sorcerers and charlatans," according to a statement that the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice issued in March.
Al-Asiri's execution was the latest accomplishment of Saudi Arabia's Anti-Witchcraft Unit, an elite police force specifically trained to track down and arrest practitioners of magic.... The Anti-Witchcraft Unit received almost 600 reports of witchcraft in the past few years. Whether or not these are actual cases of people purporting to practice the occult or just a pretext, the government clearly takes the problem seriously. --Saudi Witch Hunt | FP Passport

I don't know why the Supreme Court and the 50 states don't get behind the beheading sensation that's sweeping the Saudi nation. Yes, it may be "sharia law," but it's still "law." And it would reduce the plague of wiccans currently sweeping the nation.

But if they did, how would it all go down?

Here's a quick graphic novel I made in 2006 from screen grabs of an interview on Saudi Television with their Lord High Executioner.

Click Here to Continue
Vanderleun : May 19, 15  |  Your Say (53)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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"No problem. I've done this thousands of times...."

Every time I think that mankind really is "the crown of creation," something like this comes along to confirm we're just God's experiment with "the smart monkey" to see if He can generate better monologue material for "The Late Late Eternity Show with Jehovah:"

A man has been severely injured after attempting to loosen a stiff wheel-nut on his car by blasting it with a shotgun. The 66-year-old American shot the wheel from arm's length with a 12-gauge shotgun and was peppered with ricocheting buckshot and debris. According to a sheriff's office report, he was taken to Tacoma General Hospital with severe but not life threatening injuries. His legs, feet and abdomen were worst affected, but some injuries went as high as his chin.

The man had been repairing a Lincoln Continental for about two weeks at his home near Southworth in Washington state, about ten miles from Seattle. He had successfully removed all but one wheel-nut on the right rear wheel and resorted to firepower out of sheer frustration on Saturday afternoon. -- Man hurt after blasting wheel with shotgun - Telegraph

How I would have loved to have been listening in on that thought process:

"One damn nut to go.... just one..... Just fit this lug wrench over the nut, and t...w....i....s...t, and....."

SPROING!

"ARRRRGH! SHIT! KNUCKLE FUC.... BUT... BUT... no problem... just get this big Visegrip and lock it down.... there. Now just whack the sucker with this small sledge hammer and....."

WHAA-TUNK!

"SAAAYWHAT! YOU MOTHER.....! OH, MY SHIN! MY SHIN!....."

Deep measured breathing and slowly rising rage rumblings ensue as the afflicted limps and hobbles about the shop.

"That's it. THAT'S IT! You sombitch nut! You're COMING OFF BABY! OFF! Time for the BIG GUNS!.... Guns? Yes, that's it. I'll just BLOW THIS MOTHER OFF! Get me that shotgun out of the cabinet. That's it. Load both chambers. Saves time. Won't be effing around this time. Got to get in close. Get that barrel right on the steel nut which is on the steel wheel which is on the steel axle which is on the steel car.... and.... and... oh yeah, stand at an angle so that there won't be any chance of ricochet and just s..q..e..e..z..e off a round and...."

KABLAMM!

And then a silence over which we hear a slowly rising siren and the a small voice-over saying,

"I wonder if they've got Monster Garage on the hospital's cable system...."

gerardvanderleun : May 18, 15  |  Your Say (7)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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gerardvanderleun : May 18, 15  |  Your Say (5)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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"BIOLOGISTS EXPLAIN how organisms adapt to their physical environment, but ideologues also adapt to their social environment. The most fundamental fact about the ideas of the political left is that they do not work. Therefore we should not be surprised to find the left concentrated in institutions where ideas do not have to work in order to survive.

"The academic world is the natural habitat of half-baked ideas, except for those fields in which there are decisive tests, such as science, mathematics, engineering, medicine;and athletics. In all these fields, in their differing ways, there comes a time when you must either put up or shut up. It should not be surprising that all of these fields are notable exceptions to the complete domination by the left on campuses across the country....

"Academia is only one of the places where wholly subjective criteria rule;and where leftists predominate. Endowed institutions such as foundations and museums likewise often face no test other than what like-minded people find “exciting” and what enables those who run these institutions to get the heady feeling that they are “making a difference.” The same is true of cultural institutions supported involuntarily by the taxpayers, such as the Smithsonian or the National Endowments for the Arts and the Humanities.

"Taxpayer-supported “public” radio and television are similarly insulated from reality and similarly dominated by the left, not only in the United States but in other countries as well. All the nostrums of the left that have brought hunger to millions in countries which used to have surplus food to export, all the pretty words and ugly realities that have caused millions more to flee the lands of their birth, these nostrums live on in public television;much like old classic movies with familiar lines that the audience of aficionados can recite along with the characters on the screen."

The survival of the left - Forbes

gerardvanderleun : May 18, 15  |  Your Say (2)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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Talk about focus....

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gerardvanderleun : May 18, 15  |  Your Say (12)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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"I fear for the things that I cherish being threatened."

From Vimeo "Conrad Milster, Pratt Institute’s chief engineer, has worked in the Brooklyn power plant nearly his entire adult life.

Starting as a mechanic in 1958, he later became one of only four chief engineers in the plant’s 127-year history, taking over the official duties in 1965. He’s been there ever since. For the last six decades, Milster (now 79 years old) has lovingly maintained the nineteenth century steam engines that provide heat and hot water to Pratt’s campus. “We have our hands full,” says Milster. “If the plant stops in the winter, Pratt stops.” In addition, Conrad is the person behind the infamous “Pratt Cats,” responsible for the 12-14 felines that wander the campus and call the steam plant home.
An important figure in Pratt’s history, Milster has extended his impact on the Pratt community through a generous gift—the Phyllis and Conrad Milster Endowed Scholarship—that provides scholarships in perpetuity to students in Pratt’s Industrial Design program. The scholarship is named for Milster and his late wife, Phyllis, who passed away in 2011."

gerardvanderleun : May 16, 15  |  Your Say (7)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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JennaMarbles @ YouTube does the job. The whole job.

"My bank account has more digits than your phone number."

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gerardvanderleun : May 14, 15  |  Your Say (8)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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Sympathy for the Devil in all its variations represents the Boomers acme and epitaph.

I last saw the Stones perform this at Altamont, where it was accompanied by pool cue bludgeoning and a lethal stabbing. I sort of last my taste for it after that concert, but I check in on variations from the Stones' endless tours from time to time.

More and more the penultimate line,

"Just as every cop is a criminal /
And all the sinners saints"

seems to be prophetic of this Baltimore spring.

This particular performance is from 2006.

Lately it occurs to me that the most frightening thought is that the Rolling Stones might just outlive all of the rest of us.

Please allow me to introduce myself
I'm a man of wealth and taste
I've been around for a long, long year
Stole many a man's soul to waste

And I was 'round when Jesus Christ
Had his moment of doubt and pain
Made damn sure that Pilate
Washed his hands and sealed his fate

Pleased to meet you
Hope you guess my name
But what's puzzling you
Is the nature of my game

Click Here to Continue
gerardvanderleun : May 13, 15  |  Your Say (13)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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"How different does sunset appear from Mars than from Earth?

For comparison, two images of our common star were taken at sunset, one from Earth and one from Mars. These images were scaled to have same angular width and featured here side-by-side. A quick inspection will reveal that the Sun appears slightly smaller from Mars than from Earth. This makes sense since Mars is 50% further from the Sun than Earth. More striking, perhaps, is that the Martian sunset is noticeably bluer near the Sun than the typically orange colors near the setting Sun from Earth. The reason for the blue hues from Mars is not fully understood, but thought to be related to forward scattering properties of Martian dust. The terrestrial sunset was taken in 2012 March from Marseille, France, while the Martian sunset was captured last month by NASA's robotic Curiosity rover from Gale crater on Mars. APOD: 2015 May 12

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Soopermexican

gerardvanderleun : May 11, 15  |  Your Say (11)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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"A collision of 1999 FN53 with Earth, especially an ocean strike, would be nothing short of catastrophic.

The fire and blast alone would likely kill millions. It would cause massive earthquakes across the world. An ocean strike would raise mountain size tsunamis which would smash coastal cities thousands of miles from the strike. The climate impact would also be significant – the Younger Dryas, a brutal collapse in global temperatures which lasted 1200 years, may have been caused by an asteroid impact.
"What could we do if a large Asteroid on a collision course was detected? The answer is quite a lot, given a few years warning. The Manhattan Project scientists, in the 1950s, developed a simple design for a space drive whose capabilities were straight out of science fiction – capable of lifting gigantic payloads in a single stage to orbit. The most powerful designs could have powered starships – up to around 10% of the speed of light. Such a ship could be built in a year or two, if it was a priority, and would be more than capable of pushing a dangerous asteroid into a different orbit. Gigantic asteroid near miss coming this Thursday | Watts Up With That?
[It's good to start the day with an item that puts everything else in perspective, isn't it?]

gerardvanderleun : May 11, 15  |  Your Say (11)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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Okay, this was the plan...

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Er... uh... excuse me, but....

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An aerial view shows the car that was used the previous night by two gunmen, who were killed by police, as it is investigated by local police and the FBI in Garland, Texas, on May 4, 2015. Texas police shot dead two gunmen who opened fire on Sunday outside an exhibit of caricatures of the Prophet Mohammad... Photos of the Week: 5/2-5/8 - The Atlantic

Mark Steyn Online

It'll be a long time before you see "Washington Post Offers No Apology for Attacking Target of Thwarted Attack" or "AP Says It Has No Regrets After Blaming The Victim". The respectable class in the American media share the same goal as the Islamic fanatics: They want to silence Pam Geller. To be sure, they have a mild disagreement about the means to that end - although even then you get the feeling, as with Garry Trudeau and those dozens of PEN novelists' reaction to Charlie Hebdo, that the "narrative" wouldn't change very much if the jihad boys had got luckier and Pam, Geert Wilders, Robert Spencer and a dozen others were all piled up in the Garland morgue.
If the American press were not so lazy and parochial, they would understand that this was the third Islamic attack on free speech this year - first, Charlie Hebdo in Paris; second, the Lars Vilks event in Copenhagen; and now Texas. The difference in the corpse count is easily explained by a look at the video of the Paris gunmen, or the bullet holes they put in the police car. The French and Texan attackers supposedly had the same kind of weapons, although one should always treat American media reports with a high degree of skepticism when it comes to early identification of "assault weapons" and "AK47s". Nonetheless, from this reconstruction, it seems clear that the key distinction between the two attacks is that in Paris they knew how to use their guns and in Garland they didn't. So a very cool 60-year-old local cop with nothing but his service pistol advanced under fire and took down two guys whose heavier firepower managed only to put a bullet in an unarmed security guard's foot.

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Impending cuts in your social security benefits? Can't afford erectile dysfunction medicine, Cadillac payments, lottery tickets, trips to Vegas, expanded cable service, gifts to grand kids, and veterinary care for your two dogs and five cats?

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By Mail: Gerard Van der Leun | c/o Lake Union Mail | 117 East Louisa, #380 | Seattle, WA 98102

Just Say "No" to Saying "No" to Thongs

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Young Women Say No to Thongs Ms. Javitch, back in 2010, founded Ten Undies,
a line with a cult following that sells cotton full-bottom bikinis, boy shorts and high-waist briefs not unlike the kind immortalized in "Bridget Jones's Diary." ("Hello, mommy.") Ten's wares are comfortable and practical, to be sure, but that's hardly the only draw. "Within millennial and Generation Y consumer groups, it's considered cool to be wearing full-bottom underwear," said Bernadette Kissane, an apparel analyst at the market intelligence firm Euromonitor. "Thongs have had their moment."


Immortal But Damned to Hell on Earth

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So let us imagine inconceivably durable hardware that holds a human consciousness.
This computer is attached to a generator that runs off of nuclear waste as it decays. Thus it is deep in a vault in the earth, but attached to the rest of humanity via cables. For 100 years, the disembodied mind revels in all she can explore: the sum of human knowledge; every other uploaded consciousness; and this universe of diverting data just keeps expanding with every day.
Then a super-volcano explodes.
All embodied human life is extinguished. Most disembodied life is destroyed too. But not the computer deep in the bunker of nuclear waste. - The Atlantic


Details

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"We still have whistles in the night"

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A Gorgeous Photographic Elegy to the Last Great Steam Train- - Steam engines, Reevy wrote to me, were "highly reflected in our music, our folklore, and our art.
Perhaps due to its animate appearance (seeming to breathe, with an air pump that sounds like a heartbeat and so on), the steam locomotive added a richness to the American cultural scene that the diesel locomotive does not." In losing steam power, America lost that particular artistic inspiration, that icon. "At least," Reevy reflected, "even with diesel locomotives, we still have whistles in the night."


Recycling

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I damn sure didn’t go to war for this country twice

to come home and be told by a bunch of homely chicks with daddy issues, effete literary fops scandalized by the notion of resistance to Third World pathologies, and nimrod sons of politicians playing at journalism what I can and can’t say.
And I don’t think most Americans are ready to have everything they speak, write, or think perused for possible hate criminality by these same goose-stepping creeps. We’d rather die than “live” on our knees, begging permission to exercise the right God gave us to say whatever we damn well please, whenever we damn well please, and in the manner we damn well please. And those who want to shut us up better be equally committed if they want to succeed. Speak Free or Die - Kurt Schlichter


Venezuelan Bolivar now worth more as toilet paper than as money.

“I am convinced that the path to a new, better and possible world is not capitalism, the path is socialism.” -Hugo Chávez

“I have said it already, I am convinced that the way to build a new and better world is not capitalism. Capitalism leads us straight to hell.” -Hugo Chávez

Good Riddance to Letterman

Dave’s media pals forgave his many sins. The biggest of these may have been that he wasn’t funny.
No matter how much the media tried to prop him up as the thinking man’s late show host, audiences knew better. A decade in, Letterman had fallen into the bad habit of many successful comedians of beating a routine into the ground. But his awkward fumbling comedy had never been funny to begin with. Beating it into the ground only made it worse. - - Sultan Knish


Michael Savage is right and liberalism a mental disease.

Bernie Sanders is now running for president.

First he tied an onion to his belt because that’s what they did back when his ideas sounded fresh and original. Soda pop cost a nickel and you could get a good haircut and a shave for two bits. Back then, the Party stood up for the working man against the syndicates, dadgummit! Listening to clips from his announcement, I could not help but think that Michael Savage is right and liberalism a mental disease. Bernie Sanders is an old man, 73 to be exact. That means he has seen every idea of the American Left tried multiple times, all of which failed exactly as predicted. Yet, he’s still demanding we spend more money on roads and bridges, the poor and the environment.Sanders-nistas | The Z Blog



Scientific American, let me say it has not always been a tranch of worthless, unreliable, often mendacious pulp.

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An important exception should be noted. The front article — in the position where a short story or other fictional item would be placed in the traditional magazine format — was even then, almost invariably, a spray of liberal-sociological hogwash.
But after passing over that, one would generally find, decades later, two or three articles of enduring interest, routinely presenting historical background that does not date. In the 1980s, the publishers realized that there was no longer an intelligent general audience for science, and that the editorial focus would have to be redirected to caressing half-educated, smartass twits. That is now a highly competitive market. Losing the appearances : Essays in Idleness


By being born in 1749, he may very well be the earliest born human being ever photographed.

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The fine gentleman above is Conrad Heyer, this picture was taken circa 1852.
He was approximately 103 when photographed, having been born in 1749. He was reportedly the first white child born in Waldoboro, Maine, then a German immigrant community. He served in the Continental Army under George Washington during the Revolutionary War, crossing the Delaware with him and fighting in other major battles. He eventually bought a farm and retired to Waldoboro, where he happily regaled visitors with tales of his Revolutionary War exploits until his dying day. The World’s First Eyewitness? | Doug's Darkworld


The theology of the great climate god has taken hold of minds, like a virus in a cell.

‘Climate change,’ say the authors, ‘is the largest global health threat of the 21st century and, despite limited empirical evidence,
it is expected directly and indirectly to harm communities’ psychosocial well-being.’ This is not so much science as it is religion, in which the god worshipped is the bringer-bout of future catastrophe, a kind of Kali, whose destructiveness must be appeased by word, puja and sacrifice. The Theology of Climate Change


Faster Please: “It appears as if the car in this video is not equipped with Pedestrian detection,” Volvo spokesperson said. “This is sold as a separate package.”

A video showing a car attempting to park but actually plowing into journalists
might have resulted from the Volvo’s owner not paying an extra fee to have the car avoid pedestrians. The video, taken in the Dominican Republic, shows a Volvo XC60 reversing itself, waiting, and then driving back into pedestrians at speed. The horrifying pictures went viral and were presumed to have resulted from a malfunction with the car — but the car might not have had the ability to recognise a human at all. - - The Independent


Sparking the Diapause: Zookeepers Jedi Mind Tricked This Adorable Baby Tortoise to Get It to Hatch

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Favorable conditions are when it’s warm enough that the hatchling won’t freeze and will have access to plenty of vegetation for food and camouflage, she told me.
"So you need to kind of spark the egg out of this diapause," Augustine said. To do this, the zoo takes the egg and puts it in an incubator to keep it warm. If they don’t see any signs of development, they’ll slowly cool the egg down to simulate a cold snap. Then, after a few weeks, they bring the temperature back up. Every zoo does this process slightly differently. | Motherboard


The Sexual Interests of 4 Million People Are Now on Sale for $17,000

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You can now buy the private data of almost 4 million users of the hacked hook up website AdultFriendFinder for a little less than $17,000—in Bitcoin, naturally.
AdultFriendFinder, a dating site for online and real life hookups, admitted that it had been breached last week. The attack was allegedly carried out earlier this year by a hacker that goes by the name of ROR[RG] -- | Motherboard


And a lovely stamp it is.

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Flannery O'Connor to Grace New U.S. Postage Stamp
Since 1979, the US Postal Service has made a practice of issuing postage stamps honoring “skillful wordsmiths” who have “spun our favorite tales — and American history along with them.” Edgar Allan Poe, Richard Wright, Julia De Burgos, Mark Twain, O. Henry, and Ralph Ellison have all been fêted since 2009. And soon we can add the Southern Gothic writer Flannery O’Connor to the list. Her stamp will make its debut on June 5th.


Right after Penn Jillette went bonkers and took up atheism as his cause,

he was on Red Eye making the case for his new religion.
Like all converts, he was proselytizing because he was full of doubt. Logically, the reason people try to recruit is for confirmation. If scads of other sensible people are signing up for the cause, the cause must be a good thing. So, he was trying to get the others on the panel with him to go along with his new cause. He also employed a little trick I suppose has become popular with the atheist movement. It works like this. If you cannot or will not fully embrace the belief in a living god, then you are an atheist. This is an attempt to widen the pool and normalize atheism by declaring it the default position. Dennett, Dawkins and other Atheist Crackpots | The Z Blog


There are no job opportunities for genderqueer bloggers who want “full communism.”

On the train this morning, I saw a twenty-something decked out in a movie-quality Captain America costume.
I asked him what he was doing because I knew I’d be writing this and he said, “I’m going to a photo shoot.” I asked him why and he said, “It’s just a photo shoot. A bunch of us are doing it. Spider-Man is going to be there.” Assuming he meant another man in a costume and not the real Spider-Man, I walked off the train horrified (as the train pulled out, I saw a man in the next car wearing Despicable Me pajamas). Turn On, Tune In, and Drop Out - Taki's Magazine


Mistaeks Wur Maid: Updated NASA Data: Global Warming Not Causing Any Polar Ice Retreat

Updated data from NASA satellite instruments reveal the Earth’s polar ice caps have not receded at all since the satellite instruments began measuring the ice caps in 1979.
Since the end of 2012, moreover, total polar ice extent has largely remained above the post-1979 average. The updated data contradict one of the most frequently asserted global warming claims – that global warming is causing the polar ice caps to recede. - - Forbes


"Imagine what we could do to someone we actually have a personal problem with, perhaps someone who betrayed us."

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We are not the “peaceful” generation; we won’t just watch.
We are not the “greatest” generation; we don’t need a cause. We are a different kind of generation. We are the Heroes of Lost Fucking Causes. Did you see what we did in Iraq and Afghanistan? Did you see the carnage we spread? According to the News … we did that … because it was Tuesday. Imagine what we could do to someone we actually have a personal problem with, perhaps someone who betrayed us. The Heroes Of Lost Causes | Western Rifle Shooters Association


ISIS is not a reaction. It’s the underlying pathology in the Muslim world.

Everything planted on top of that, from democracy to dictatorships, from smartphones to soft drinks, suppresses the disease. But the disease is always there. The left insists that Western colonialism is the problem. But the true regional alternative to Western colonialism is slavery, genocide and the tyranny of Jihadist bandit armies. Sultan Knish: De-Islamization is the Only Way to Fight ISIS

Apparently we are supposed to be worried about fracking depleting water in California.

ThinkProgress reports that Despite Historic Drought, California Used 70 Million Gallons Of Water For Fracking Last Year.
Similar concerns are raised by RT, Huffington Post, and even The New York Times. But 70 million gallons equals 214 acre-feet. Remember, alfalfa production uses 5.3 million acre feet. In our family-of-four analogy above, all the fracking in California costs them about a quarter. Worrying over fracking is like seeing an upper middle class family who are $6,000 in debt, and freaking out because one of their kids bought a gumball from a machine. California, Water You Doing? | Slate Star Codex


“Let no unauthorized personnel or vehicles pass.”

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The truck’s windshield explodes into shards of glass as their rounds take it apart and tear into the body of the son of a bitch trying to get past them to kill their brothers
– American and Iraqi – bedded down in the barracks, totally unaware that their lives at that moment depended entirely on two Marines standing their ground. Yale and Haerter never hesitated. By all reports and by the recording, they never stepped back. They never even shifted their weight. With their feet spread shoulder-width apart, they leaned into the danger, firing as fast as they could. They had only one second left to live, and I think they knew. The truck explodes. The camera goes blank. Two young men go to their God. Six seconds. Not enough time to think about their families, their country, their flag, or about their lives or their deaths, but more than enough time for two very brave young men to do their duty. Never Yet Melted » "Six Seconds"€


The "Droneiacs" Way of War [Bumped]

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The drone attacks which the high-tech-idolizing idiots around the White House now favour.
These latter depend on the sort of algorithms that have resulted in the annihilation of many wedding parties, and other defenceless people who happen by ill-luck to fit the current programming criteria. It is a monstrous, an unambiguously evil way to conduct war, which is nevertheless attractive in the post-modern West because, for the perpetrators, it is sanitized and casualty-free — and thus compatible with the smug self-satisfaction of our liberal and progressive elites. Against bombing : Essays in Idleness


The apparent randomness of history should remind us, on Memorial Day,

of how great an act of faith our forefathers made in carrying us to this point.
The men who crossed Omaha Beach or took Mount Surabachi with Bibles in their pockets and simple belief that they could make the world right didn’t know that America would win the war, just as the men who took Ramadi didn’t know that politicians would give the city back. They only knew they had to try, armed with a wisdom the Great rarely learned: that neither the future nor heaven can be treated like a business proposition. Faith of Our Fathers | Belmont Club


White Woodland Privilege

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Albino redwood
An 'albino' redwood is a redwood tree which is unable to produce chlorophyll, and so has white needles instead of the normal green. In order to survive it must join its roots to the roots of a normal redwood, usually the parent tree from whose base it has sprouted, from which it obtains nutrition as a parasite.


Hell's Alarm Clock

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Once it goes off, to stop it you must get out of bed, go into the kitchen or bathroom, and punch the day's date into a telephone-style keypad. That's the only way to stop the loud 'ding-ding,' designed to sound like a customer angrily banging on a concierge bell at a hotel. -- | Stuff.co.nz

Hate speech is the most protected speech. We're at liberty to spew hate-speech at anyone or anything.

Except the Muslims? ...because they are threatening to murder us because we object to their murdering us?
You are kidding me! We are free to object to whatever we wish and to hate whomever we wish. Because some primitives are holding a knife to our throats we should just throw it in and say, "Aw, shucks, guys, we never really meant free-free? -- Why I love 'hate speech'


How to Keep Down Sky-High Hospital Bills: Don’t Pay

The bill was $600,000, Hartter said... The administrator looked at the bill and said, “‘Don’t worry. By the time we apply the discounts and everything else, it’ll be down to about $300,000,’” Hartter recalled.
“I said, ‘What’s the difference? That doesn’t make me feel any better.’” Instead, he had ELAP analyze the bill. The firm estimated costs for the treatment based on the hospital’s financial reports filed with Medicare. Then it added a cushion so the hospital could make a modest profit. “We wrote a check to the hospital for $28,900 and we never heard from them again,” Hartter said. -- Newsweek


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