Comments or suggestions: Gerard Van der Leun
Drive-By Daybook August 31

bluemoon.jpg
Last 'blue moon' until 2015 lights up night sky tonight Tonight's blue moon also happens to fall on the day of late astronaut Neil Armstrong's memorial service.

Catchy headline of the day from the oneCʘsmos' most demented wordsmith: The Satanic Fecundity of Envy

Continued...

Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 31, 2012 10:38 AM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
State of the Union: The Tombstone Blues

Continued...

Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 31, 2012 10:15 AM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Poster
"College graduates should not have to live out their 20s in their childhood bedrooms, staring up at fading Obama posters and wondering when they can move out and get going with life." -- Paul Ryan

Power Politics in less than 24 hours. By XG | Crossroads Generation

UPDATE: This just in from Flickr: BKeyser_'s Photostream

7895634032_351087c0f2_z.jpg



Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 30, 2012 5:51 PM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
What to Say. What to Do: Silent Cal Gives Mitt a Clue

Once upon a time, there was another Republican and Conservative governor of Massachusetts who became president. Here is Calvin Coolidge making the first Presidential "talkie" in 1924. His subject? The runaway costs of government.

"This country needs every ounce of its energy to restore itself. The costs of government are all assessed upon the people.
“This means that the farmer is doomed to provide a certain amount of money out of the sale of his produce, no matter how low the price, to pay his taxes. The manufacturer, the professional man, the clerk, must do the same from their income. The wage earner-often at a higher rate when compared to his earnings-makes his contribution, perhaps not directly but indirectly, in the advanced cost of everything he buys.

“The expenses of government reach everybody.

“Taxes take from everyone a part of his earnings and force everyone to work for a certain part of his time for the government.

“When we come to realize that the yearly expenses of the governments of this country-the stupendous sum of about $7.5 billion -- $700 million needed by the national government. And the remainder by local governments.

“Such a sum is difficult to comprehend. It represents all the pay of 5 million wage earners making $5 a day, working for 300 days in the year. If the government should add $100 million of expense, it should represent four days more work of these wage earners. These are some of the reasons why I want to cut down public expense.

“I want the people of America to be able to work less for the government and more for themselves.

“I want them to have the rewards of their own industry-this is the chief meaning of freedom.

“Until we can reestablish a condition under which the earnings of the people can be kept by the people, we are bound to suffer a very severe and distinct curtailment of our liberty.

“These results are not fanciful, they are not imaginary, they are grimlt actual, and real, reaching into every household in the land. They take from each home annually an average of over $300.00, and taxes must be paid. They are not a voluntary contribution to be met out of surplus earnings. They are a stern necessity. They come first.

“It is only out of what is left, after they are paid, that the necessities of food, clothing, and shelter can be provided and the comforts of home secured, or the yearnings of the soul for a broader and more abundant life gratified.

“When the government affects a new economy, it grants everybody a life pension with which to raise the standards of existence. It increases the value of everybody's property, raises the scale of everybody's wages.

“One of the greatest favors that can be bestowed on the American people is economy in government."



Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 30, 2012 5:13 PM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Whittle On The Incredible Shrinking Man, or "The small and sad little fellow still looking for the love he never got from his absent father and neglectful mother."



Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 30, 2012 10:01 AM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Amazing: Isaac Makes Landfall by Moonlight

landfallbymoonlight.jpg

"The way we look to a distant constellation
That's dying in a corner of the sky
These are the days of miracle and wonder
And don't cry baby, don't cry
Don't cry"



Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 30, 2012 7:43 AM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Odd Plaques of Dealey Plaza, Dallas

7653259792_a7e4ba7fd7_c.jpg
"National Significance"

"One thing that always stuck me as odd on my various trips to Dealey Plaza over the years is that there is a plaque at the side of the road where Kennedy as assassinated that reads: “This site possesses national significance in commemorating the history of the United States of America”. Why not say what actually happened?" -- Laughing Squid

Why not indeed? And also, what's with the "allegedly"? Did the city fathers of Dallas just get tired of beating back the whackos?

7653276362_331f3306db_c.jpg
"Allegedly shot"

7653275708_b135290a46_c.jpg



Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 28, 2012 5:46 PM | Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Terrifying [Racist Republican] Weather Event Moves Ever Closer to Wiping [Black Population of] New Orleans Off the Planet

pb-120828-isaac-landfall-kb-330p-03.jpg
Population shaking in their boots. Frozen with fear. Paralyzed with panic. It's Armageddon for New Orleans in 5, 4, 3, 2....



Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 28, 2012 4:50 PM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Life of Neil Armstrong: "Those slopes are steep, the rocks are very large....

armstrongstatuebrokenmouse.jpg
The Boilermaker, Neil Armstrong by Brokenmouse

Continued...

Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 26, 2012 12:44 PM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Neil Armstrong Passes: The American Who Will Be Remembered.... For As Long As the Human Race Exists
Continued...

Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 25, 2012 2:28 PM | Comments (19)  | QuickLink: Permalink
[Bumped New Commentary] Signage: How Do You Really Screw Up Something Universal? Redesign It!

newsignage.jpg
It may be said that "Not all who wander are lost," but the overweening ego that looks to redesign a common interface that has been taught to hundreds of millions guarentees that "all who read this will become lost if not injured and dead."

No profession other than politics has more raw hubris sewage sloshing about in it than "graphic" design. Manual is such a design firm; a firm so deeply sunk in slop that you know without looking that it has to be based in San Francisco and hence already targeted for nuking from orbit. But before they go out on the downstroke they'd like to take a crack at the road signage system. Why? Because they can ultimately write "an app for that."

Pages_for_site.jpg
All current drivers from 16 to 99 know what these mean.

Pages_for_site2_new.jpg
Nobody knows what these mean. Care to figure them out at 70 MPH?

We took on the task of redesigning the US road signage system. For a country so heavily reliant on cars, we feel the current signage system is confusing, inconsistent and messy. Our plan is to modernize and add clarity to a signage system that millions of road users rely upon every day. .... For a country so heavily reliant on cars, we feel the current signage system is confusing, inconsistent and messy. Our plan is to modernize and add clarity to a signage system that millions of road users rely upon every day. The current use of shields feels dated and too “police state”, so we have abandoned them in the main system. However, we have retained a simplified shield for historic routes as we appreciate they may have a certain Americana charm. -- Manual /€” Icon Magazine - Rethink
Shields. So retro. So "police state," don't you know? Odds are whatever staff pretend to work at Manual have no problem voting for the current PC police state of San Francisco. And how does the so-edgily named operation known as "Manual" define itself? Via post-post-modern bullshit, of course: "Manual is a design and visual communication studio. Our work strives to uncover the intangible essence of a brand and express it through unique visual solutions. In doing so, we give brands more value and distinction." So would you trust your day and your life at 70 MPH to this "branding bullshit" group? If so, pre-deploy your airbags and make ready for impact with the median!

HT: Tim George



Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 24, 2012 9:52 AM | Comments (49)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Might Want to Set Aside an Evening in November

11-sheet_lincoln_v81.jpg

"Steven Spielberg directs two-time Academy Award® winner Daniel Day-Lewis in "Lincoln."€ a revealing drama that focuses on the 16th President'€™s tumultuous final months in office. In a nation divided by war and the strong winds of change, Lincoln pursues a course of action designed to end the war, unite the country and abolish slavery. With the moral courage and fierce determination to succeed, his choices during this critical moment will change the fate of generations to come.
"Starring Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, David Strathairn, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, James Spader, Hal Holbrook and Tommy Lee Jones, “Lincoln” is produced by Steven Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy, with a screenplay by Tony Kushner, based in part on the book €œTeam of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln€ by Doris Kearns Goodwin. The DreamWorks Pictures/Twentieth Century Fox film, in association with Participant Media, releases in U.S. theaters exclusive on November 9, 2012, with expansion on November 16, 2012. -- /Film


Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 23, 2012 3:44 AM | Comments (20)  | QuickLink: Permalink
How We Live Now: Israeli biblical park outfits donkeys with Wi-Fi

wifidonk.jpg

"American tourist Ella uses an iPad while riding a Wi-Fi-outfitted donkey lead by her brother Aaron, in Kfar Kedem, a biblical reenactment park in the village of Hoshaya in the Galilee, Israel, on August 22, 2012. Visitors riding donkeys through the Old Testament landscape can now also surf the web while being transported across the land of the Bible. Organizers are hoping to connect the younger generation to ancient Galillee life while allowing them to like, share, tweet and snap it instantly to their friends." -- Animals in the News - In Focus - The Atlantic


Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 22, 2012 5:48 PM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Late Ripeness by Czeslaw Milosz

moomportrait.jpg

Not soon, as late as the approach of my ninetieth year,
I felt a door opening in me and I entered
the clarity of early morning.

One after another my former lives were departing,
like ships, together with their sorrow.

And the countries, cities, gardens, the bays of seas
assigned to my brush came closer,
ready now to be described better than they were before.

I was not separated from people,
grief and pity joined us.
We forget – I kept saying – that we are all children of the King.

For where we come from there is no division
into Yes and No, into is, was, and will be.

We were miserable, we used no more than a hundredth part
of the gift we received for our long journey.

Moments from yesterday and from centuries ago –
a sword blow, the painting of eyelashes before a mirror
of polished metal, a lethal musket shot, a caravel
staving its hull against a reef – they dwell in us,
waiting for a fulfillment.

I knew, always, that I would be a worker in the vineyard,
as are all men and women living at the same time,
whether they are aware of it or not.

[Translated by Robert Hass]



Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 22, 2012 10:13 AM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"I've got nothing to say and I'm saying it."

baracko.jpeg
Just add words.

Discovered @ This. | Primordial Slack



Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 21, 2012 2:58 PM | Comments (19)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Obamagas: Why Pay Less?

obamgass.jpg
SUMMERTIME BLUES FOR DRIVERS: GAS AT AUGUST RECORD

Across the U.S., prices range from a low of $3.43 per gallon in South Carolina to $4.32 in Hawaii. Arizona, Mississippi and New Mexico also have average prices below $3.50 per gallon, while California and Illinois are up above the $4 mark.

So, Grasshopper, are you driving more or less than you did four years ago?

[Graph via The Ulsterman Report]



Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 20, 2012 1:40 PM | Comments (11)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Old Ironsides Still Under Sail

pb-120819-ussconstitution-cannon2.jpg
USS Constitution sets sail again in Boston Harbor

USS Constitution is a wooden-hulled, three-masted heavy frigate of the United States Navy. Named by President George Washington after the Constitution of the United States of America, she is the world's oldest commissioned naval vessel afloat.... The crew of the Constitution and her commanding officer, Commander Matt Bonner, during the bicentennial observances of the War of 1812, sailed the Constitution under her own power on August 19, 2012, the anniversary of her defeat of the Guerriere. Bonner is Constitution's 72nd commanding officer. -- Wikipedia

USS Constitution: Engagement with HMS Guerriere

".... and gave us an opportunity of pouring in upon his Larboard Bow several Broadsides, which made great havock amongst his men on the forecastle and did great injury to his forerigging, and sails, The Enemy put his helm to Port, at the time we did, but his MizenMast being over the quarter, prevented her coming too, which brought us across his Bows, with his Bowsprit over our Stern. At this moment I determined to board him, but the instant the Boarders were called, for that purpose, his Foremast, and Mainmast went by the board, and took with them the Gib-boom, and every other Spar except the Bowsprit. On seeing the Enemy totally disabled, and the Constitution received but little injury I ordered the Sails filled, to hawl off, and repair our damages and return again to renew the action...."

Thomas_Chambers_-_The_Constitution_and_the_Guerriere.jpg

Old Ironsides

Ay, tear her tattered ensign down!
Long has it waved on high,
And many an eye has danced to see
That banner in the sky;
Beneath it rung the battle shout,
And burst the cannon’s roar;—
The meteor of the ocean air
Shall sweep the clouds no more!

Her deck, once red with heroes’ blood
Where knelt the vanquished foe,
When winds were hurrying o’er the flood
And waves were white below,
No more shall feel the victor’s tread,
Or know the conquered knee;—
The harpies of the shore shall pluck
The eagle of the sea!

O, better that her shattered hulk
Should sink beneath the wave;
Her thunders shook the mighty deep,
And there should be her grave;
Nail to the mast her holy flag,
Set every thread-bare sail,
And give her to the god of storms,—
The lightning and the gale!

-- Oliver Wendell Holmes

ironsides.jpg



Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 19, 2012 9:11 PM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Mythic: "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald"

At seven P.M. a main hatchway caved in;
He said,"Fellas, it's bin good t'know ya!"



Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 18, 2012 5:28 PM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
On "Niggerization:" An Open Letter to Toure of MSNBC

"Accusing Mitt Romney of "niggarization" is ugly, base, cheap and just plain wrong. -- Kira Davis

HT: Rob De Witt



Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 17, 2012 4:49 PM | Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Amazing: "Imaging at a trillion frames per second"

lightphoton.jpg
Photon packet [Right] transiting bottle

Ramesh Raskar presents femto-photography, a new type of imaging so fast it visualizes the world one trillion frames per second, so detailed it shows light itself in motion. This technology may someday be used to build cameras that can look "around" corners or see inside the body without X-rays.


Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 17, 2012 11:15 AM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
In•Teresting Items

Will Obama Stage a Self-Coup?

Perhaps America, needs to suffer a disastrous, doomed coup attempt that gets lots of good people killed for nothing, after a resentful Black President loses in a landslide. Maybe only that horror show will shock America into confronting the truth of Black (and White elite) dysfunction and absolute, complete, and utter failure on every level imaginable.

ghostchina.jpg
Weeds cover a deserted theme park north of Beijing
China's ghost towns and phantom malls
The Disneyesque castle and medieval ramparts of this theme park north of Beijing, conceived nearly 20 years ago, lie abandoned. Local farmers grow crops among the empty buildings.

Continued...

Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 17, 2012 8:30 AM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Educational: How to Eat a Watermelon Tutorial

"Instructions were too vague. I woke up in Tijuana with no pants on."



Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 15, 2012 10:53 AM | Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
In•Teresting

elviscard.jpg
For Sale: Check Out Card Signed by Elvis Presley

In 1948, the Man Who Would Be King checked The Courageous Heart, a biography of Andrew Jackson, out of the library at Humes High School.

Continued...

Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 15, 2012 7:29 AM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Oh, the Country's In the Very Best of Hands

120814-files-hmed-940a.jpg

How's the Sooper Genius Executive Talent Due to Take Over America's Health Care Working for Veterans?

Let's review: VA office stacked 37,000 files on cabinets after running out of storage - U.S. News

At the VA's Winston-Salem Regional Office in North Carolina, an estimated 37,000 claims folders had been stored on top of file cabinets, according to the Inspector General's report released last week. Those piles had been stacked two feet high and two rows deep. The file cabinets were so close to each other that drawers could not be opened completely. More files had been stored in boxes on the floor and stacked along the wall.

A load-bearing study found that the weight of the files exceeded the floor's capacity by 39 pounds per square foot.
"The excess weight of the stored files has the potential to compromise the structural integrity of the sixth floor of the facility," said the Inspector General report. "We noticed floors bowing under the excess weight to the extent that the tops of file cabinets were noticeably unlevel throughout the storage area."

[More grisly DETAILS HERE.]

This particular office handles a mere 770,000 veterans' various disability and medical claims and records. Just imagine what it and other offices like it across the nation are going to be able to do with the records and needs of 320 MILL-I-ON! citizens.



Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 14, 2012 7:32 PM | Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Last Clear Victory: V-J Day, August 14, 1945

squence_a-6web.jpg
Photo from V-J Day in Contact Sheets @ Iconic Photos



Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 14, 2012 7:26 AM | Comments (12)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Second American Revolution

Relax, it's just a movie promo.

Continued...

Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 13, 2012 2:23 PM | Comments (12)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Or, as we call it around my house, "The New American Freak Show"
Continued...

Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 11, 2012 6:06 AM | Comments (11)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Smoking Obama's Crack and Yearning for the Mud
Continued...

Posted by Vanderleun Aug 10, 2012 9:17 AM | Comments (16)  | QuickLink: Permalink
When I see this fascist rig ...

8-7-12wellfleetetc008.jpg

Birddog @ Maggie's Farm see this spiffy new stimulus-money bought truck parked at the beach and asks, "What the heck?"

Me? I see them and go back to my car for:

Caltrop.jpg
Caltrop used by the US Office of Strategic Services. The hollow spikes puncture self-sealing rubber tires. The hole in the center allows air to escape even if the other end of the tube is sealed by soft ground.

At least 4. This crap's gotta stop somewhere. Time to fight them bitches on the beaches.



Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 9, 2012 7:42 PM | Comments (10)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Famous Last Words: "No problem, I've done this thousands of times...."

It looks friendly so it probably won't bite you.
Soak the coal in gasoline first and then light it.
Let's cut down that really tall tree ourselves & save some money.
It won't hurt the mower if you go over some rocks.
My tire is low but I can still make it home without any problems.
You can point that laser anywhere as long as you don't hit them in the eye.
It's fine.... cops know the difference between real and fake guns.
Let's put some gasoline in the carburetor to get it to start....



Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 8, 2012 8:39 AM | Comments (13)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Okay... You're Russian and you got this Canadian Marijuana Plantation... and you got 13 bears... and they are, check it out, guarding it and then this Vietnamese pig....



Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 6, 2012 12:31 AM | Comments (16)  | QuickLink: Permalink
On First Looking Out of JPL's Rover

marslanded.jpeg

Much have I imagined the arcing vaults of space,
And many fiery launches and cold orbits seen;
Round the darksided moon have I been,
And raised a flag above Tranquility base.
Oft on one Red Planet would I place
Dreams of deep-brow'd Bradbury's Morning Green
Yet did I never breathe its pure serene
Till I saw Curiosity gaze upon our brother's face:
Then felt I like some sentinel in strange skies
When a new planet swims into his ken;
Or like those at JPL, when the Curiosity's eyes
Delivered them an image through the stars,
Look'd at each other with a wild surmise--
"All green" upon the dusty plains of Mars.

(Apologies to Keats. who would understand)



Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 5, 2012 11:45 PM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Palin's Clout Continues

This just in: Sarah Palin: Senate kingmaker - David Catanese - POLITICO.com

“She’s a rock star right now in Republican Senate primaries. She’s hit a pretty strong streak,” said Scott Bensing, a former executive director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. “She gives the impression that she has deeply held beliefs she’s willing to take on water for and doesn’t really care what her critics think. She comes off resolute and principled.”

Reminds me (courtesy of an attentive reader) of this from November, 2010:

[AGAIN] LET'S REVIEW: How Sarah Palin Will HAS Become the Most Powerful Republican... and [UPDATED] will be the next President of the United States.

NOVEMBER4, 2010: This just in from SarahPAC

Just who do you think that grizzly is?

UPDATE: NOVEMBER 4, 2010 At Morgan's place where the daggers are being drawn, sheathed, and drawn again in the comments:

House of Eratosthenes

Obama will be challenged, and He will lose. There isn’t time for the Tea Party to form, recruit, organize, and offer a candidate. Libertarians don’t have the flexibility to ever become relevant. It all comes down to, a Republican is going to be sworn in on January 20, 2013. There really isn’t any avoiding it.

It won’t be Sarah Palin…if she doesn’t want to do it.

Or if she’s hit by a bus, or eaten by a bear.

Or if aliens abduct her.

Or if a majority of Americans become simultaneously transfixed and enamored with Newt, or Huck, or Mitt. The three erstwhile gentlemen who have almost completely sat this whole thing out, while Palin has been out stumping and speechifying and endorsing, and generally being a potent force.

She’s easy on the eyes, too. Plus, she owns this night like nobody else in the country does, except maybe Rick Santelli.

At lot can happen in twenty-six months. But at this point, an awful lot would have to happen to stop her from being the next president. None of these events are terribly likely, and a whole bunch of loudmouths yammering over and over again how much they’re irritated by her, aren’t going to make it happen.

Like it or not, it would be entirely reasonable to pick out the perfect bearskin rug for the Oval Office. If that makes you mad, you can get just as mad about it as you want to. She’s headed in that direction and there’s nothing in her way.

UPDATE: NOVEMBER 4, 2010 -- Sarah Palin today:The Midterms: Lessons Learned and the Way Forward - National Review Online

"In the coming weeks there will also be a debate about the viability of particular candidates. Anyone with the courage to throw his or her hat in the ring and stand up and be counted always has my respect. Some of them were stronger candidates than others, but they all had the courage to be “in the arena.” The second lesson of this election is one a number of the candidates had to learn to their cost: Fight back the lies immediately and consistently. Some candidates assumed that, once they received their party’s nomination, the conservative message would automatically carry the day. Unfortunately, political contests aren’t always about truth and justice. Powerful vested interests will combine to keep bad candidates in place and good candidates out of office. Once they let themselves be defined as “unfit” (decorated war hero Joe Miller) or “heartless” (pro-life, international women’s rights champion Carly Fiorina), good candidates often find it virtually impossible to get their message across. The moral of their stories: You must be prepared to fight for your right to be heard."

Continued...

Posted by Vanderleun Aug 5, 2012 8:28 PM | Comments (53)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Four Formerly Funny Fellows Frown

4formerlyfunnyfellowsfrown.jpeg
Once he quit cocaine it was all downhill into the morass of mawkishness for Williams. For the others it was just age and chance.

PhotoOp staged by Twitter / SteveMartinToGo



Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 5, 2012 12:11 PM | Comments (12)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Curiosity Just Days Away From Mars

curiositymarslaunch.jpg
Curiosity Launching

"More than eight months ago, on November 26, 2011, NASA launched its newest rover named Curiosity from Florida's Cape Canaveral, headed to the planet Mars. Now, after traveling hundreds of millions of kilometers, the landing is scheduled to take place at 1:31 am Eastern Time on Monday, August 6 (10:31 pm August 5, Pacific Time). The capsule containing the rover will experience "seven minutes of terror", decelerating through the Martian atmosphere, as a series of entry events quickly take place, ending with a rocket-powered sky crane lowering the rover gently to the surface. Curiosity is a beast of a rover, weighing one ton, measuring ten feet long by seven feet tall (at the top of the mast), and powered by a plutonium-238 fueled electrical generator. The rover carries ten instruments, including several high-resolution cameras, and a laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy instrument called ChemCam that can vaporize tiny amounts of minerals and analyze their components. If all goes according to plan, Curiosity is scheduled for a stay on Mars of about 668 Martian sols, or nearly two Earth years, starting in Gale crater. Researchers hope to use the tools on Curiosity to study whether the area in Gale crater has had environmental conditions favorable for supporting microbial life and for preserving clues about whether life existed. (Most of these photos were featured in a November, 2011 entry, when Curiosity was launched). [36 photos] " -- - In Focus - The Atlantic

curiositymarsdescents_m35_RTR35YVN.jpg
Curiosity Landing. Source of giant Martian not disclosed by NASA.



Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 3, 2012 7:13 AM | Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Angels Are Back and Passing Over the House All Afternoon

pb-120802-blue-angels-kb-330p.jpg

Blue Angels visit Seattle- - U.S. Navy Blue Angels pilots Lt. C.J. Simonsen, back, and Lt. David Tickle, middle, fly in formation with Team Oracle stunt pilot Sean D. Tucker, front, on Aug. 2, 2012, near downtown Seattle. Tucker and the Blue Angels are in town for the annual Seafair summer festival featuring an air show and other events.



Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 2, 2012 5:41 PM | Comments (9)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: The Boys of Summer

Out on the road today
I saw a deadhead sticker on a cadillac
A little voice inside my head said:
"Don't look back, you can never look back"
I thought I knew what love was
What did I know?
Those days are gone forever
I should just let them go
but,

I can see you
Your brown skin shining in the sun
You got the top pulled down
Radio on baby
I can tell you my love for you will still be strong
After the boys of summer have gone

I can see you
Your brown skin shining in the sun
You got your hair slicked back and those
Wayfarers on, baby
I can tell you my love for you will still be strong
After the boys of summer, have gone



Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 2, 2012 1:40 PM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wicked This Way Comes: Clint Eastwood. "I Talk To the Trees"

You have been warned.



Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 2, 2012 10:59 AM | Comments (10)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Americans: The Light Foot Militia

lightfoot.jpg

The panhandle of Idaho is known for its beautiful mountains, trees, and waterways.
It's also home to a growing group of men and women who call themselves the Idaho regiment of the Light Foot Militia. Members believe they are the "teeth of the Constitution" at a time of economic and political uncertainty for the United States of America.
Cody Hoyt, a corporal in the Light Foot militia, looks west over the Clark Fork River and Lake Pend Oreille near the Idaho and Montana border during an overnight cold weather training exercise.

The Light Foot Militia Slideshow is HERE.



Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 2, 2012 8:01 AM | Comments (17)  | QuickLink: Permalink
McKayla Maroney's Vault, The "Amanar" -- Difficulty: 10 Perfection: 10+

Perfection is seldom seen in this life. It's mostly near misses, hard tries, do-overs, quitting or a grudging "that's good enough." Nothing wrong with that. That is, as they say, just life and life only. Too much perfection is a mistake. But when perfection does come along, we all see it and we all applaud it. It reminds us that perfection is not just some abstract goal but something that can be achieved. Yesterday the Olympics delivered a moment of perfection to the world with McKayla Maroney's vault. Swift, quick, and soaring, it lifts the soul and the heart. It's called the "Amanar:"


As it happened. In the first three seconds above look for the glaring stare of supreme focus between the smile and the beginning. It's just there for a split-second, but it is the key.


Hard to follow? Try it in slow-mo.


And from another angle. "Look at the height!"

How difficult is the "Amanar?" Here's how it is done:

Maroney indicated to the judges that she was ready to vault. She paused for a moment, staring at the vaulting table, looking fierce. Then she slid back on her left foot, as if loading a spring, and launched down the run. At a full sprint she hurdled herself onto her hands and into a round-off. Her feet slammed into the springboard and her back arched toward the table, her hands finding the crest of the slope. She kept her arms straight and punched off the table — Maroney has one of the best blocks in the world — and suddenly she was a bottle rocket launched. Her body flew high, her torso extended, her legs straight and fused, and only when she reached the height of her flight did she start to spin, remaining totally tight as she twisted and flipped. After two and a half twists, she opened up, stopped her rotation, and prepared her body for the landing. That vault — a 2.5-twisting Yurchenko, also called an "Amanar" or, by the gymnasts, a "2.5" — has a blind landing, which means she couldn't see the floor coming. She took a large step forward, but it was a controlled step. -- The key to victory for the U.S. women's gymnastics team lies with its vault, the Amanar, a 2.5 Yurchenko - Grantland
How overwhelmingly perfect was this vault? Well, even though someone among the judges found a "reason" to shave a whisper off a perfect score, this judge's expression at the moment Maroney landed tells the truth:
Judges_original_original.jpeg

Maroney didn't win gold for the team with the vault but it did give Team USA a 1.7-point lead in the first rotation. No other team could catch up to that. Long after the judges who robbed her of her perfect score are forgotten, Maroney and her team mates will be remembering those fleeting seconds of absolute perfection. And those memories will be solid gold.



Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 1, 2012 11:37 AM | Comments (9)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The [NSFW] 2010 Women's Water Polo Team

This is the old 2010 squad, but I'm sure you`re OK with that.

Continued...

Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 1, 2012 10:16 AM | Comments (9)  | QuickLink: Permalink
An American: Muhammad Ali / U.S. Olympic Team Tribute



Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 1, 2012 8:24 AM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: There Is A City....

"Once a year on August 1st, the people of Warsaw pay hommage to the fallen heroes that fought for freedom in 1944 during the Warsaw Uprising. The biggest rebellion against German Nazi occupation during WWII cost over 200 000 lives and destruction of the capital. "



Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 1, 2012 1:19 AM | Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
G2E Media GmbH

MONTHLY ARCHIVES


SIDELINES

opuhleasesire.jpg

By Mail: Gerard Van der Leun | 6616-D Clark Road #176 | Paradise, CA 95969

Your Shower Is Lame, Your Dishwasher Doesn’t Work, and Your Clothes are Dirty

It’s not just about the showerhead.
The water pressure in our homes and apartments has been gradually getting worse for two decades, thanks to EPA mandates on state and local governments. This has meant that even with a good showerhead, the shower is not as good as it might be. It also means that less water is running through our pipes, causing lines to clog and homes to stink just slightly like the sewer. This problem is much more difficult to fix, especially because plumbers are forbidden by law from hacking your water pressure. | Foundation for Economic Education [HT: Never Yet Melted]


In 2016 the Western political system had a stroke.

The American political system is operating in the curious condition of being an impaired state.
It's not really thinking -- about China, Russia, Syria, Kurdistan. It's not really thinking about anything except half remembered slogans from 1968. Like a person afflicted by a stroke, it can't take a consistent view of external reality because it's regressing into atavisms by a loss of brain function. Impaired


Fake News. At the same time of the political putsch, the mainstream media outlets,

in particular the Washington Post, the New York Times, CNN, MSNBC, and the major networks, via broadcasts and social media, began an orchestrated campaign of defamation and delegitimization.
The crazier and more diverse the media mythologies, the better. Melania Trump was a former call girl and illegal alien. Ivanka Trump was peddling her business wares from the West Wing. Jared Kushner was a profiteering collusionist. Steve Bannon was a racist, Sebastian Gorka an unrepentant Nazi. Baron Trump was a spoiled, autistic child. The late elder Trump had run a racist campaign for mayor. And on and on. Resistance & Regime Change: Any Means Necessary – Lies, Leaks, Violence | National Review


Crime simply does not pay as well as politics or banking.

That may be the way to look at something like the Clinton Foundation and, coming soon, the Obama Foundation.
These are not explicitly criminal organizations, but they certainly play outside the spirit of the laws. Obama is out of office and prohibited from running again, but he still controls the Democratic party. The Clintons would be in charge, if not for the fact that the voters took their under boss out in the Tuesday Night Massacre, otherwise known as the presidential election. Even so, the Clinton Family is still a player. Late Phase Capitalism | The Z Blog


Bodymore, Murderville”

Most whites have become habituated to the reality of life in this part of the world.
Everyone, white and black, knows the reality on the street. The blacks with anything on the ball do exactly like the whites and that’s put distance between themselves and the black ghetto. That does not stop the Progressive maniacs from ranting about racism, but they do it from high up in the towers of their whites-only neighborhoods. As a result, no one hears them and so they can be ignored. The Killing Season | The Z Blog


New Blog Arriving Soon

Some have asked, "Gee whiz, Unca Gerard, where is that thar new blog you keeps a promisin'?"

I am hoping for sometime tonight. Hoping. We've been having some issues getting this winged dinosaur landed.


Drink Tea

ateapour.JPG

Drink tea, together with your friends; pay attention to the tea, and to your friends, and pay attention to your friends paying attention to the tea. Therein lies the meaning of life. The Essence of Peopling

We would love to cut a deal with the noble indigenous peoples across the Earth—

you can have your Navajo panties and aboriginal dot paintings and every last freaking burrito on the planet so long as you give us back our computers and cell phones and cars and indoor plumbing and electricity and air conditioners. Deal?

If people go their separate ways such a divorce would be an astonishing defeat for the Left.

As late as 2016 it was possible to imagine an America led to a "progressive" future by Hillary Clinton;
an EU guiding all of Europe to a similar destiny and the G20 taking the whole world to the same destination. Indeed everyone told they were fated to follow an Arc of History. Yet after Brexit, Trump and G-Zero it is no longer possible to visualize this outcome. A blue-red division would confirm the failure to create a "progressive" world. No conceivable rollback will ever put Humpty Dumpty together again. Opportunity


Trump, Julius Caesar, and killing tyrants

The Roman lower classes, with whom Caesar was popular, became enraged that a small group of aristocrats had sacrificed Caesar. -- neoneocon

Execute Trump? Nah, You First.

Draining the swamp means not only ejecting Trump from the presidency,
but also bringing himself and everyone assisting in his agenda up on charges of treason. They must be convicted (there is little room to doubt their guilt). And then — upon receiving guilty verdicts — they must all be executed under the law. Impeachment Is No Longer Enough; Donald Trump Must Face Justice | HuffPost [Retreived from GoogleCache after it was expunged from the Huffington Post]


A bee in her bonnet

aabeecar.jpg

Thousands of bees took over a car in the UK and beekeepers are struggling to make them leave -
At first it wasn't clear why the bees chose the blue Nissan car and he and a colleague were trying to determine whether this was just a temporary stop or a new nesting site. But as the bees moved to the inside of the bonnet, filling every nook and cranny, things got more serious. "They're building a lot of wax in there now, and of course once they start doing that, they're reluctant to leave it, because it's the start of building a house. They put a lot of effort into producing the wax," Coulson told Hull Daily Mail. "I've got a feeling this might be their chosen permanent home."


[Bumped] "They send one of ours to the hospital, we send two of theirs to the morgue."

Baseball Shooter a Big Wake-Up Call for the Left | Roger L. SimonRobespierre is alive and well in 2017 USA.

This pathetic character in Alexandria is, now was, the left's ungoverned id. By any means necessary -- that's for sure. They will undoubtedly try to shove him under the rug as quickly as possible, just one more aberrant individual to be forgotten, just one obscure Bernie volunteer gone bad. Sanders did his best to separate himself within minutes of the revelation. Yes, it's undoubtedly true that this was just one rotten apple, but it's also true that only five years ago Bernie was recommending Venezuela -- now ground zero for starvation, kidnapping and murder -- as a path for us to emulate.



Greatest antitheft device when the thieves are millenials:

Man leads Jeffco deputies on low-speed chase in stolen flatbed truck after unable to get out of 1st gear The driver - later identified as 29-year-old Randy Dewayne Vert - refused to stop and continued driving south on Center Point Parkway, Christian said. Vert was apparently unfamiliar with the complexities of a modern manual transmission.

The natural impulse of a political system in institutional crisis is to dig in.

Too many institutions in the West remain decades after their birth, frozen in the moment of their creation.
NASA, the Southern Poverty Law Center, the university system and the United Nations rule us from the past. Public life has become a museum of memes from which nothing can escape without a mummy hand dragging the fugitive back into the darkened interior. It is perhaps no coincidence the two most popular leaders of the Western left, Jeremy Corbyn and Bernie Sanders, might credibly impersonate Boris Karloff. They are here to lead us back to 1968. Stuck


The Japanese. Nuked Too Much... or Trying to Get Their Mouths Around Fujiyama Volcano Plate

vk-10.jpg

We put Japan's most phallic-looking roast beef meal into our mouth at VolcanoKitchen | SoraNews24
Since we’d already become somewhat desensitized to the initially unsettling sensation of peeling strips of meat off the top of the shaft, we mercilessly crushed the egg, sending viscous, gooey liquid running down to the base of the meat rod.
vk-8.jpg


The power of the press is a figment of the imagination -- humbug --

Oscar Diggs behind the curtain projecting the image of Oz the Great and Powerful!
The Internet did not kill the power of the newspapers. It was suicide. And not just because most of them had Marxist editorials, editors, and reporters. Newspapers lost their sense of community -- and their credibility -- when the heirs to hometown publishers didn't want the paper, sold it to a chain for $1,000 per subscriber to a chain -- Gannett, Knight-Ridder, Thomson -- and moved on. Don Surber: Craigslist killed newspapers


When terrorists enter your children’s school and begin to execute them...

will the gun ban (you favored) in school that prevented abiding staff and teachers from saving your child, come to mind as a good idea?
If the answer to any or all of these and many more reasonable questions, is 'yes,' then you may be a delusional liberal, and likely a coward, and almost as big a threat to our nation as the terrorists who are at war with us." - Morgan K. Freeberg


"Happy birthday, Mr. President...."

atrumpbaSTARD.jpg



First truth which has been grounded into dust, must spring forth from the earth again.

At the present time . . .he who practices loving-kindness is esteemed and sought after, while he who champions the truth in word and in deed is persecuted and shunned. 
For men desire to base their affairs on everything except the one incorruptible truth which has been set down before us by God , and therefore these affairs have no permanent value . . . only when love and truth meet together, only when men come to understand that the highest act of loving-kindness is to bring men to know and practice the truth, only then will the marriage of love and truth produce that condition on earth in which everyone and everything will occupy the place which has been assigned to it by the will of God. Truth and Peace - Men Of The West


What happened to Nuclear Winter?

Gasmask.jpg

As the media glare faded, its robust scenario appeared less persuasive;
John Maddox, editor of Nature, repeatedly criticized its claims; within a year, Stephen Schneider, one of the leading figures in the climate model, began to speak of "nuclear autumn." It just didn't have the same ring. A final media embarrassment came in 1991, when Carl Sagan predicted on Nightline that Kuwaiti oil fires would produce a nuclear winter effect, causing a "year without a summer," and endangering crops around the world. Sagan stressed this outcome was so likely that "it should affect the war plans." None of it happened. Raconteur Report: Aliens Cause Global Warming by Michael Crichton


If it's consensus, it isn't science. If it's science, it isn't consensus.

I regard consensus science as an extremely pernicious development that ought to be stopped cold in its tracks.
Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus. - - Woodpile Report


Joe Biden’s niece dodges jail after $100K credit card scam

She walks on a major felony? Of course she did. And who believes she'll keep her end of the deal? In her defense, we're assured she's "a very complicated girl who has a lot of feelings and a lot of issues." Oh ... okay. That explains everything. Hugs from all the little people. Woodpile Report

Why is English so weirdly different from other languages?

There is exactly one language on Earth whose present tense requires a special ending only in the third‑person singular.
I’m writing in it. I talk, you talk, he/she talk-s – why just that? The present‑tense verbs of a normal language have either no endings or a bunch of different ones (Spanish: hablo, hablas, habla). And try naming another language where you have to slip do into sentences to negate or question something. Do you find that difficult? | Aeon Essays



☛ Thinking Right Archives

FIND


BACKMATTER

RECENT ITEMS