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
"I think I know the warm place you allude to.
Just between the thighs, is it not, my lady?"
-- Frank Harris
Copulations on candelabras draped in overcoats,
And illuminated by burning children,
Guide us inside for the pearl of great price.
Our questions and cards of aging identity
Have been checked with our hats at the door.
Within, in the gray steam composed of our breath,
The mongoloid's lips nibble the rose
That pulses and glows in the garden of meat.
No sound at all flows from the audience.
No sound at all but the wind over stones.
Surely some triple somersault is about to be performed.
Surely some deadly edged object is about to be swallowed,
To the death rasps and rattle of drums draped in black.
Surely some revelation is at hand, and its promise,
A love without name, without years, is arriving at last.
We are decently clothed and seated quite primly.
We have read all the arguments and remained most informed.
We have all made it through to these seats, our reward.
But suppose if that coupling couple smeared on the screen
Would appear (for an instant, a moment, a minute)
Immersed with the bloom, the resurrection of the rose,
Possessed of that intelligence which kindles stars,
And capable, in dance, of painting the sunset dawn,
Would we then, yawning, stumble from our seats?
Would we then demand our ragged dollars back?
Nonsense! Bald nonsense! The most formless of fantasies!
For the flesh show, we know, has barely begun
To run on and run on and run on.
The shorts come first, and then cartoons,
And then coming attractions run on and run on and
Tease us deeper towards the Feature! The one we pay and wait for.
Who of all the Shes that She could be will this She be?
Or more precisely what will be the color, length and luster
Of her hair; the tint of nipples, her age and shaving rituals;
Her basic shape complete with curving thighs and breasts?
And what will be the central sight -- her central secret now
Revealed, unlike her name, to all admitted here?
Or more precisely still, describe the moves and methods
Done to her, undone in her and spun from her
Beneath the lights and looks and lenses
That complicate her love and face, her lunges
That stimulate our frozen senses.
In how many poses, positions and postures
Can orifices and organs stumble and waddle,
Plugging and piercing and probing and pumping
To the beat and the wheeze of the old in and out?
Men gathered in darkness await their pale answers,
Their eyelids in traction while their hands grasp the void.
Twenty-four images flail every second
Suggesting the best way to beat headache pain,
Suggesting a hole to retire, to die in,
To be buried or burned in the funnel of clocks;
Advising one daily to dispense with all dreams
Left broken in childhood where hopes for the future
Dwelt in dim rooms on cold afternoons
With one naked lightbulb whose hands explored shadows
With the ghosts of small candles.
Dispensed with such riches, this cold pleasure we clutch,
Shutting out silence with hands made of marble,
Supporting the sex shops with the flesh of burned peasants.
Ceaseless and useless and chattering streets.
Shops without limit or number or conscience.
Scraping for mica with frozen, torn fingers
To acquire our quota and provide for our pleasures
With those of another, addicted to rations
Of popcorn and playmates and slaughter and puke.
And yet, who escapes it? No one face can be found.
There remains in the center of all our dreamed heavens
That same barren room with no card on the door.
And the streets that slide out from that room
Are all empty, all barren of traffic or children,
Of laughter or new moons or open far fields
Where green paths beneath branches hang glimmered with rain,
Where no one is running, or lounging or loving.
They have all paid their taxes and gone to the theater --
And the theater is empty though they are all present,
And the seats that wait, folded, are spattered with darkness,
For the Feature is finished and only the night
Remains with its daydreams to lull us in slumber.
Shifting our bodies and rising en masse,
We mumbling shuffle from drama to drugs,
And notice in passing the promising placard.
Tomorrow, as always, there will be a fresh show.
Tomorrow more hours immersed in her thighs
Where the boy with blank eyes will ravish the rose.
He will never be older. He refuses to die.
"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
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."
"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
Thanks to the unremitting efforts of two wives and a number of concerned girlfriends I have, over the years, become a fully domesticated man. I cook. I iron. I put the seat down out of pure reflex.
And I clean.
Yes, I clean the house. I have a wide variety of products and tools for floors, ceilings, window, toilets, and counter tops (I’m especially good on counter tops since I not only have cleaning spritzers in plain acid wash and foaming bleach blaster, I also have a compound that renews the polish once the sanitizing has been completed.) I am the very model of the modern major traife buster.
I am, however, a bit sketchy on floors. That is not to say you couldn’t eat off my floors. You could because you’d find a host of food shreds there on any given afternoon. This is not because I like floors configured as mouse buffets but only because, being 6’1”, the floors are so far away I don’t really focus on them. My solution? The world’s most rapacious vacuum cleaner, “The Kirby.”
Actually, I have 2 (two!) solutions since I own 2 (two!) vacuum cleaners. The first is a kind of cheap, plastic metrosexual’s vacuum bought at some box store because it was cheap. Like all metrosexual items, it performs in a manner that lets you know all cheap things are worth much less than you spent on them. It sucks by not sucking as a sucker of floor dirt should. Very sucky. It is, at the best, back-up. Bags and parts for it are sold everywhere.
Then there’s “The Kirby” weighing in are over twenty pounds of solid chromed steel, titanium bristles that can skin a black rhino, and a woven cloth bag wrapped around the vacuum bag that could be made into an outdoor area rug. The motor in this bad boy is so powerful it can suck kittens out of my basement through the floorboards in the living room. It is the chopped Harley Hog of vacuums.
The bags for this hoovering T-Rex are built to blast stresses and are rare as dinosaur eggs. Finding them always calls for an expedition to a far-away strip malls and into some Norwegian albino's small appliance parts shop sandwiched between a sketchy Malaysian smoke shop and a lap-dance rec room. It’s a chore.
So much of a chore that when The Kirby’s bag filled up about six months back I was too lazy to pack a lunch and go find new ones. My solution? Pure genius!
I took out the old bag which was almost rock solid with dust mites, hair, and the bones of desiccated kittens and, holding it over the toxic waste recycling bin behind the garage, cut the bottom open and shook the contents into the bin. Then, because there is nothing it cannot do, I duct-taped the bottom of the bag and slapped it back in The Kirby.
“There. I fixed it.”
Fast forward half a year and I am found manhandling The Kirby over the current mouse buffet and noticing that for a super-sucker its sucking sucks. So I say to myself, “Self, check it out.”
I open the military gauge zipper on the back of the bag and instantly a fibrous tumor of hair and dust mites oozes out. I retreat and don Haz-Mat suit. I inspect the superfund site that is my kitchen.
It would seem that my duct-tape resealing of the bag had, well, failed to hold the bag’s universe together some months back and that all creatures great and small that had been sucked off my floors was now compressed into a hair ball that threatened to expand into all of known space.
Seeing everything that has come off your floors in the last six months in one wad is a unique experience but I resisted the urge to perform an archeological dig on the site. Instead, I deployed a very large garbage back and, grimacing, transferred the dust mite condo from the bag into the bag. It was only the beginning.
Upon inspection of the inside of The Kirby’s bag I found that at least an inch of detritus was still impacted into the cloth on all surfaces. I scraped at it a bit but the dust cloud just deepened around me and drifted out onto the previously pristine floors. Disaster loomed. Then I remembered.
“I own two vacuums. I shall vacuum this vacuum with a vacuum!” Sooper-Genius!
In no time I had deployed vacuum two -- the previously mentioned “cheap, plastic metrosexual’s vacuum” -- attached the hose with the special little attachment that is used for sucking coins and popcorn kernels out of deep crevices in the couch, and switched it on.
Its puny little motor wound up and went to its wheezing limit. I tested the nozzle on my hand and felt the feeble suck but knew it would be better than scraping The Kirby’s inner bag surface with my fingernails. I deployed it inside the clogged bag and carefully and thoroughly went over all the surfaces until they seemed, well, “clean enough for government work.” Then I shut it down and carefully swept the dust and other detritus on the floor into a pile and sucked that up too. Then I mopped the floor of the kitchen. Twice. Until it gleamed.
I took a shower. I mixed a celebratory cocktail. I went to Amazon, found a pack of 12 bags for The Kirby, and ordered them on two day delivery. I went into the kitchen and thought to myself, “A wise man would now replace the bag in the weak little vacuum that has all the leavings from The Kirby in it.”
I opened the “cheap, plastic metrosexual’s vacuum” and knew instantly that many moons ago I had taken a bag out of that vacuum and somehow failed, FAILED, to install a new one. A cloud of hair, dust, dust mites and the bones of small animals exploded from the case and drifted across the gleaming kitchen floor and the carefully polished counter tops. I stood in the cloud at ground zero and felt the dust of ages settle on me.
They say that “Nature abhors a vacuum.” Nature’s got nothing on me.
[Yes, from this time last year. Because... well, because I'm stone cold bored with the politics of perversions.]
Photo from Poretto @ Bastion of Liberty
This image in this morning's email brought this meditation from 2006 to mind:
To the secular, nothing is sacred. Then again, why should it be? They're "secular."
Back in 2006 National Geographic and other media echo chambers thought enough of this "discovery" to headline it, Jesus May Have Walked on Ice, Not Water, Scientists Say . I'm not nearly so objective. After I read the story, I thought it could more reasonably be headlined, Scientist Confirms Popular Theory That Most Scientists Are Atheistic Asses with Too Much Time and Money on their Hands, Sensible People Say
The New Testament says that Jesus walked on water, but a Florida university professor believes there could be a less miraculous explanation -- he walked on a floating piece of ice....
Nof, a professor of oceanography at Florida State University, said on Tuesday that his study found an unusual combination of water and atmospheric conditions in what is now northern Israel could have led to ice formation on the Sea of Galilee.....
"If you ask me if I believe someone walked on water, no, I don't," Nof said. "Maybe somebody walked on the ice, I don't know. I believe that something natural was there that explains it."
"We leave to others the question of whether or not our research explains the biblical account."
We leave to others the question of whether or not this research is worth diddly-squat. What is of broader interest is the present state of the secular mindset to all things religious.
Religious in the Christian sense, that is, since the current global climate of "Fear of Muslims" seems to have created a shortage of "scientific research" into the various miracles and powers assigned to Allah in the Koran. Indeed, given the reaction to a drawing of the Prophet with a bomb in his turban, it is not hard to imagine that even if a "scientist" were to notice "something natural that explains" Allah, his next thought would be something on the order of "Why should I put my head on the chopping block?" Jesus, being a more forgiving God, is safer game.
Of course, it is, as scientists are wont to say, 'only a theory.' This is used in two ways.
When it comes to a central tenet of modern science, Darwinism for example, the word "theory" is used in a manner that merges forcefully into the word "fact," and a great deal of effort is put into why "The Theory of Evolution" really means "The Absolute and Forever Established Fact of How the World and Life and Everything Else Came to Be and Everyone Else Can Just Shut UP and Sit Down."
Nof opts for the Non-Denial Denial use of "Theory" in his paper. The Non-concluding Conclusion to his paper, "Is there a paleolimnological explanation for 'walking on water' in the Sea of Galilee," reads:
We hesitate to draw any conclusion regarding the implications of this study to the actual events that took place at Tabgha during the last few (or several) thousand years. Our springs ice calculation may or may not be related to the origin of the account of Christ walking on water. The whole story may have originated in local ancient folklore which happened to be told best in the Christian Bible. It is hoped, however, that archeologists, religion scholars, anthropologists and believers will examine such implications in detail.
Translation: "I just pulled the pin and threw the grenade in the building. Can't blame me. I was just the hand grenade's messenger. And, by the way, you may cower and abase yourself when you note the insertion of the word "paleolimnnological" in the title. Makes it sound real solid scientific, don't it?"
Of course, when Nof gets a little attention from a supportive and loving media, he phrases it a bit differently, "If you ask me if I believe someone walked on water, no, I don't," Nof said. "Maybe somebody walked on the ice, I don't know. I believe that something natural was there that explains it."
Nof's entitled to his 'belief' in "something natural." That belief system is not only the foundation of his career, but of his self-limited life itself. It is, in a very real sense, his religion.
As far as the whole "Jesus walked on the water" issue goes, my own belief is: "I don't know. I wasn't there. I can't seem to find the weather report from that day online. And there's no video tape that I'm aware of. Just some eye witnesses, with all that implies."
I'm also aware of another theory that holds that the Star of Bethlehem was a supernova that just happened to show up in the sky at Christ's birth. Arthur C. Clarke used this to good effect in his short story "The Star." T.S. Eliot used it earlier in "The Journey of the Magi." In a much less distinguished manner, I've even used it myself in Sunday Meditation: The Star @ AMERICAN DIGEST where I noted, in passing,
In time stronger sciences would rise upon the structures of the proto-sciences of astrology and alchemy. These sciences would push the first sciences into the realm of myth, speculation, and popular fantasy. The new sciences, you see, were much, much more about Reality. They would never be tossed aside in their time as so many playthings of mankind's youth. The authority of astronomy, biology, physics, chemistry and others was certain. Unlike astrology and alchemy, they would never be questioned. We had the evidence. There was no doubt. They were as eternal and as fixed in the truth as... well, as astrology was in 5 B.C.
Nof seems to have a sense of timing and a way with words as well. I'm sure there are nods of approval and various other high fives pinging into his email today from other true believers world-wide. After all, it seems that the only thing that makes a bigger splash in Science these days than a cure for cancer is some bit of "cutting-edge research" (almost always with the aid of computer modeling) that either warms the globe or disparages religion.
Why? Because it is a central tenet of faith, of pure faith, in the Secular Religion, that traditional Christianity is the "Anti-Darwin" to that faith. Strange when you consider that, in terms of actual dogma and actual acts, Islam is far more hostile to all the core tenets of science, but -- as I noted above -- it really isn't very safe to take too close a look at that collection of ergot-derived insights out of the desert. Those adherents are a bit more lethal when it comes to accepting slights on their religion. But then Christianity is the dominant religion of the First World and that's what we're discussing here -- not which faith is right, but which faith is to be master. It seems that for Science to triumph as the new religion, Christ has to die again -- and this time he's got to stay dead.
There are fundamentalist Christians who hold that everything in the Bible is as the Bible says it is. And there are fundamentalist Scientists, like Nof, who hold that nothing in the Bible is as it says it is.
My very small puppy in this fight says that there is a lot in Science that lets all of us live longer and better lives while there is a lot in Christianity that lets us live deeper and more meaningful lives.
I don't look to Christianity to bring me the weather reports for tomorrow. At the same time I don't look to Science to ever, in its widest dreams, reveal the core of the miracle and mystery of being a conscious entity who has been granted the gift of being able, in my better moments, to witness -- even for an inch of time -- the wonder of Creation.
I know that there are many zealots of the Secular Faith who will think the less of me for not being "tough minded" enough just to face up to the fact that everything really is "purposeless matter hovering in the dark." I know that habit of mind well. I wore it like a pre-fab Medal of Honor for many years. Then one day I had had enough of Nothingness and I sent it back.
I guess you could say that being a Secular Atheist started to feel like trying to walk on thin ice.
"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?
Population shaking in their boots. Frozen with fear. Paralyzed with panic. It's Armageddon for New Orleans in 5, 4, 3, 2....
Unknown photographs from when Adams was, if only for a few days, an urban photographer.
I don't recall what I was searching for when I came across the Ansel Adams photographs of Los Angeles at the beginning of World War II, but I don't think it was a handsome rendering of Half Dome or a Moonrise in New Mexico. It was something much more gritty. On reflection, it might have been photographs of my original elementary school, Benjamin Franklin in Glendale. In any case I was running a search in the Los Angeles Public Library's immense online collection of photographs when something in a record caught my eye, the name "Ansel Adams." The image attached to this record was of a parking lot with a cars jumbled together around a prominent No Parking sign.
I don't normally associate Ansel Adams with ironic snapshots of parking lots or small format urban photography at all. Like you, a photograph by Adams means the classic evocation of the great American wilderness. It never crossed my mind that he had photographed any of the cities of men, much less Los Angeles. But there it was. Maybe, I thought, there were more.Continued...
Imagine a future planetary exploration team is surveying the surface of Mars. During an excavation, they are astonished to discover what appears to be a computer chip embedded in the rock. Further investigation reveals the object to be a functional integrated circuit device.
"This is the most momentous discovery in the history of science, " says the team leader. "Finally, proof positive that an intelligent creature has existed on Mars at some point in the past. We are not alone!"
"Not so fast," says the chief scientist. "Just because we found a piece of silica that happens to be in the form of a computer chip doesn't necessarily imply that any extraterrestrial intelligence exists."
"It certainly does," says the team leader. "Micrographs show definitively that this is an integrated circuit chip. Since no human beings have ever been to Mars, and none of our probes have penetrated to this area, logic dictates that an extraterrestrial intelligence exists."
"Nope," says the scientist. "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. What evidence have you that this 'chip' was made my an intelligent being?"
The Team Leader is nonplussed. "I -- it's a circuit, Chief. A functional electronic circuit! The computer says it could be made to run like any IC chip. Integrated circuits don't just create themselves. Someone designed this!"
"That's an interesting statement of belief," replies the Chief Scientist, "But not a demonstrable fact." He examines his nails nonchalantly. "I can't accept your faith in some invisible sky person as a scientific theory, Team Leader. All I can know from what we have here is that we have found a functional circuit chip. Where it comes from, how it came to be -- all of this remains unknown."
"But somebody had to make it!" The Team Leader is incredulous. "It's obviously an artifact. Complex structures like computer chips don't just appear out of thin air!"
"Sure they do, Team Leader," says the Chief Scientist. "Biological cells. A single living cell is billions of times more complex than this chip we've found, and yet cells just 'appeared', without the aid of some fantastic 'designer' in the sky." He looks up from his nails. "Like a living cell, this chip merely appears to be the product of an intelligent designer. In fact, it's complexity is probably just the result of the random actions of wind, water, and radiation upon local geology over eons of time."
He stands, looks the Team Leader in the eye. "Just as we have learned that we need not invoke the supernatural to explain life, we need not posit a race of chip-designing Martians to explain this object. Like us, this chip was produced by the action of natural forces upon natural materials over billions of years of time. It, for lack of a better word, evolved into its present state." He points toward the airlock. "In fact, there are probably ancestors of this chip -- transitional forms -- buried in the rock beneath us right now."
"Sir!" cries a nearby technician. "We've finished the circuit analysis. The computer says this is a data storage chip -- and the data is readable!"
"What's it contain?" the Team Leader asks.
"A raster image sir," says the tech. "I'm calling it up now." On a nearby screen, an image appears: a creature utterly inhuman in form, but wearing what can only be the Martian equivalent of a clean-room suit. In one hand -- tentacle -- the creature holds a small box containing a duplicate of the found IC chip.
"Holy cow," says the Team Leader. "It's a photo. A photo of a Martian -- and he's holding the chip. I just won a freaking Nobel Prize!"
"Coincidence," scoffs the Chief Scientist. "Over billions of years, local radiation probably flipped the bits on that chip randomly into this configuration. It only appears to our pattern-sensitive brains to be a clear, color image of a blue-eyed extraterrestrial creature in a clean room suit holding in its appendage a copy of the so-called 'chip' we've found."
The tech and the Team Leader stare at the Chief Scientist open-mouthed.
"What?" asks the Chief Scientist. "It's Science 101: extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. I see no reason to believe in any Martians."
No one speaks for a handful of moments. "What," asks the Team Leader quietly, "would it take to make you believe?"
"Proof," responds the Chief Scientist primly. "I'm a scientist, Team Leader. If I can't poke it with a stick, it ain't real." The Chief Scientist grins ironically. "Call me Doubting Thomas. 'Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.'"
"There lives the dearest freshness deep down things"
At 2:21: "It spins the DNA as fast as a jet engine as it unwinds the double helix into two strands. One strand is copied continuously and can be seen spooling off to the right. Things are not so simple for the other strand, because it must be copied BACKWARDS."
Credo in unum Deum, Patrem omnipoténtem, factorem cæli et terræ, visibílium ómnium et invisibílium.
["I believe in one God, the Father Almighty Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible."]-- Anne Barnhardt
by Gerard Manly Hopkins
The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
And wears man's smudge and shares man's smell: the soil
Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.
And for all this, nature is never spent;
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs —
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.
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."
All current drivers from 16 to 99 know what these mean.
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 - RethinkShields. 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
If we knew the intent of the beasts that we keep
In the far fields and dark valleys, in the pale light of sleep,
In the marked shards of clay, in papyrus and parchment,
Beneath the brick hearth, in the marks on old bones,
In the marrow of bones, in the plowing of stones
Parting sand furrows where our dreams are pale sparks
In the roots of our nerves, sprouting to thoughts,
To the tee-shirt philosophies of cheap magazines,
And the afternoon shows of electronic dreams,
That drown our blank selves when dredged up from sleep.
If we knew the intent of the beasts that we keep,
We would surely sit senseless, would hide from the sun,
And turn on ourselves the unregistered gun.
If we knew the intent of the beasts that we seek.
If we knew the intent of the beasts which we slay
From couches confessional, in the stone barns of God
Where the soul's soundings echo the light in the sod
To our penitent minds; which illumines our stark
Hearts from within, that dazzles our dark
With His fierce pyrotechnics, with His animate spark
That glows in that womb where all yearning starts,
And yearns for the flare at the top of the arc --
But burns like dead screams flung down in the dark,
Like torches cast deep where drowned Incas decay --
We would know then this life takes place in one day,
That the beasts which we keep are the beasts of our sleep,
Created from dust in the long dusk of God,
That we know the intent of the beasts that we keep.
** Photo from today's Animals in the News - In Focus - The Atlantic - [41 photos]
"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, âLincolnâ is produced by Steven Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy, with a screenplay by Tony Kushner, based in part on the book Team 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
"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
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]
Just add words.
Discovered @ This. | Primordial Slack
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.
[Graph via The Ulsterman Report]
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
".... 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...."
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
At seven P.M. a main hatchway caved in;
He said,"Fellas, it's bin good t'know ya!"
"Accusing Mitt Romney of "niggarization" is ugly, base, cheap and just plain wrong. -- Kira Davis
HT: Rob De Witt
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.
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.
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...
"Instructions were too vague. I woke up in Tijuana with no pants on."
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...
How's the Sooper Genius Executive Talent Due to Take Over America's Health Care Working for Veterans?
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.
Photo from V-J Day in Contact Sheets @ Iconic Photos
Relax, it's just a movie promo.Continued...
The Ferris Wheel, lit in long stripes of searing red and blue and green neon like some whirling sketch of an earth-bound star, pirouettes into the night sky above the slate waters of the Pacific at the end of the Santa Monica pier. Below it, the old seafood restaurant now serves Mexican food where gang-bangers herd their Saturday night dates around the bar, and the loud murmur of Angelino-accented Spanish rises above the waves that lap the pilings driven deep through the slow Pacific swell and into the sands below.
In a dark hollow somewhere in the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina, the first winds of winter hiss around an old dance hall where hundreds of white people and one black man stomp the boards in a contra dance. Dressed as vampires, wolf men, fairies, cowboys, and a host of other laughing fantasies, the dancers welcome the day of the dead to fiddles, guitars, pianos and drums as the caller makes the long lines of whirling people into stars and boxes, and a new girl is spun into your arms, flirting and bobbing, with every change in the ancient pattern of the dance, only to roll away with a half-sashay.
Outside the lights from the hall catch the flying drifts of gold and red leaves the wind is tearing from the trees, pushing them across the stars, and rolling them up in long drifts of crisp shadows against the wheels of Willys jeeps, old bangers, and brand new SUVs of every make and model. After the dance, Waffle Houses along Route 26 will fill up with costumed, exhausted dancers, their endorphins convincing them that, for this night at least, they are probably immortal.
The long wave laved beaches of the Isle of Palms outside of Charleston reinforce the new rule that no poor -- or even middle class -- people are now allowed to live by the ocean in America. The lots on which the endlessly elaborate houses that look out on the sea stand now cost between three and four million dollars each. If you bought one and immediately burned down the four to six bedroom three-story house, the cost of the lot would still be three to four million dollars. The house is, in essence, free.
Offshore, even on a dank day with large winds pushing in from the Atlantic, the bright scoops of kite surfers soar and pull their riders up off the crest of the waves high into air before gliding down to slide on the surface of the long breaking waves, and into the sands where the plastic pails of the nation's fortunate children are abandoned just above the reach of the waters.
In the Detroit airport, visitors to the United States stand in line to check into the country via a networked series of touch-screen computers. Above them, those too weak, too obese, or too lazy to walk a block or so can ride the glossy red new monorail from gate to gate, or rather from food court to food court.
Las Vegas, "What? Can't hear you!," Las Vegas is still not finished. After all, it still has a vast waste of desert all around it in which to ooze, even if it is bumping up against the Red Rock on one side. Road rubble and fenced off tracks of hard pack frame the Eiffel and other towers of pure fantasy blotching the night with a collection of illuminated signs that form their own Louvre of lighting.
Inside the outside-of-time casinos, the lights and the beeping clang of the slots still form their own eternal sound tracks as the glamorous and the ugly, the meth-skinny and the morbidly obese all take their turns on the wheel of misfortune. The only sound missing in the Hard Rock Casino these days is the clatter of coins dropping from the slots. Instead, there's the faint staccato as the machine prints your ticket when you "cash out." The barely clad money girl is only too happy to turn your winnings into money and see you on your way with the now standard secular blessing of the United States, "Have a nice day," at the stroke of midnight.
The Strip is like New York's Fifth Avenue at Christmas. There are so many people shuffling between fantasies that you can't walk down the wide sidewalks without getting stuck behind pedlock and fleets of electric Rascals moving those who have been far too long at the $5.00 Buffet. A nice new touch is that, should you require one, you can rent your Rascal at the airport, and all the big buffets have portable defibrillators.
After the casual and lightly populated Carolinas where everyone is slow and polite and easy, there are far too many people happening in the Happy World of Las Vegas. So you rent a car that rides like taking your sofa out for a drive and comes complete with 300 radio stations, and move out to where there will be, surely, not very many people at all, ever: Death Valley.
In the midst of an arid nothing on which 95 North is drawn like some temporary hash-mark on the land, your own personal communicator beeps. It's a friend calling from somewhere far away over the mountains and the vast land sea of the plains. He's driving at high speeds through savannahs. You're driving at high speeds over the desert where not even Joshua Trees make the effort to live. His voice is as crisp as if he was sitting beside you on this mobile sofa: "Death Valley? I went there once. It isn't really there. Not as a destination. It's not a place, it's a region. Gas up and keep going once you get there. You want to see nobody, that's the place to be."
Hours later I swoop down the long descending road to the spot on the map that is the lowest part of the country. Hundreds of feet below the level of the sea, which was once here, and, in time, will be again. At the cross roads at Furnace Creek, cars are being blocked by a Highway Patrol SUV and over the road come hundreds of people on horseback out of the desert to mill around in the parking lot by Furnace Creek Inn. After this mob of cowboys and cowgirls clears the road I drive on about a half a mile to where several thousand people have set out lawn chairs, umbrellas, and coolers by the side of the road waiting, it turns out, for the parade.
It's 49ers weekend in Death Valley and the RV culture has shown up in their multitudes. Across the road and on up the slope of the rise, thousands of RVs bake in the sun as their occupants – mostly all older and "retired but not tired" make for the parade and the barbeque and the beer. In the main it looks a lot like the streets of the Las Vegas strip, but without the neon and Elton John. In the store at Stovepipe Wells, the hottest place in America, I get my choice of popsicles and Dove Bars and at least twenty different kinds of beer, all, of course, ice-cold. This is, after all, America and nothing, but nothing, is going to roil our very Happy World.
Until further notice.
A clear, calm dawn in Bishop, California at the top of the vast Owens valley. The Sierras rise to the West with Mt. Whitney white at the top beyond the brindle hills. There's gold and rose in the meadows and trees here just as there were in the trees around the barn dance in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Yesterday, at a fishing retreat at around 10,000 feet in the bright sun small snowflakes blew into my face for a minute or so, spun down from the mountains high above as fly fishermen cast off into impossibly clear and bone-biting cold streams. It's been a long autumn and now winter is falling down from the mountains towards this town.
Later today, I'll drive south through the Mojave and into the wedged and irritated environs of Los Angeles. I'll probably take a room somewhere near the beach in Santa Monica. Tonight I'll go for another ride on the star-lit Ferris Wheel on the Santa Monica Pier. I once lived, briefly, above the Merry-Go-Round at the end of that pier and made moonlight love on the damp sand beneath the boardwalk. But that was in another time and in another world with a girl whose name has faded into the smoke of the world.
Ferris Wheels and Merry-Go-Rounds. Lots of circles in life. It clears the mind to ride our metaphors in the real world from time to time. It lets us see where we stand and where we've been and where we might be going. Even if it is only to "arrive where we started and know the place for the first time."
For some weeks now, and mostly without meaning to, I've been taking a core sample of the United States. Over the decades I've done this from time to time. The first time was a college trip in the early Sixties when some friends and I went 9,000 miles in 9 days in a Volkswagen. The last time before this was when I fled New York and went west with marriage on my mind. This time was less intentioned and worked out better. This time there wasn't a plan or a destination, only a route that emerged as I went.
It's a commonplace to say that the states of our nation are now so diverse that we are a deeply divided country. I've come to see that that old saw is a dull old saw, useful for pundits and prognosticators, but much more false than true. It's the view that arises when people are pent up in the cities far too long, and fall far too much in love with their own voice and views; their own set and setting; their own media-mirrored visage.
What all our media mouthpieces assert is happening in America, is happening -- it turns out -- almost completely within in their sealed and secular Happy World. It is not what's happening in the core of our states where the whirr and the buzz and the blather of the coasts come through only faintly, like screams heard through walls and quickly fading.
Out here, there's a different drum sounded and different dances danced. And, if you could, as I did yesterday, look out over the Owens valley and coast down into the small town of Bishop and watch the men come out at dusk to furl the American flags that line the sidewalks by the hundreds, you'd know, beyond a shred of a doubt, that the states of our union are still strong, and will survive, no matter what happens in the Happy World of our coastal cities, our capitols of culture and corruption, into which, in the course of the decades, everything cheap and corrupt and loose has rolled and congealed.
What happens in those cities may matter in the news of the day, but out here it is the news of the decade that matters. Here is where what we were and are and will become is finally and irrevocably decided. Everyone who thinks they know what the country is and where it is going needs to take some time out every so often and take their own personal core sample. This, for now, was mine.
[First published 2006-11-12]
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 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.
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....
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)
“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...
PhotoOp staged by Twitter / SteveMartinToGo
Once he quit cocaine it was all downhill into the morass of mawkishness for Williams. For the others it was just age and chance.
"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
Curiosity Landing. Source of giant Martian not disclosed by NASA.
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.
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
You have been warned.
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.
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 - GrantlandHow 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:
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.
This is the old 2010 squad, but I'm sure you`re OK with that.Continued...
"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. "