Saturday, January 10, 2004

Sushi takes another hit.  

Well it seems like the hip days of drugs, sex and sushi are finally over. Sushi took a hit following reports of mercury contamination in fish high on the food chain especially tuna. Strike two has hit the sushi industry:

Salmon Warning

Diners who are partial to salmon should avoid most farm-raised varieties, which often contain dangerous levels of cancer-causing contaminants, according to a major new international study that compared commercially bred salmon with their wild counterparts.

The orange-fleshed fish can harbor so many toxic substances that salmon eaters in the San Francisco area should ration their intake to one eight-ounce farmed salmon steak every two months, the researchers found. The two-year study, published today in the journal Science, found that farm-raised salmon has about 10 times the level of environmental toxins of wild fish -- largely because the farmed variety are fed other fish harvested from waters close to sources of industrial runoff.

I hear the vegetarian california rolls are pretty tasty!


Toilets & Terror 

Once you could say only in The Onion. The terrorism madness now gripping our nation gives rise to rules that lead to articles like these: Australians given mid-air toilet advice. From now on passengers in Airplanes when in need of the can can:

still queue for the toilet, but that congregating in groups would be discouraged.


[and] it was up to flight crews to distinguish between "politely waiting for the toilet" and huddling.

In short you may not huddle if you have to make a puddle. I think I see an opening for the marketers of those pee bottles sold to truckers and others.

- Lupus
p.s. Busy this week accounts for the light blogging on my part. Thanks to Wilk and Vulf for picking up the slack. I was working on an opus in regard to mad cow's disease, but my computer crashed along with all my work. Sigh!

Prisoner of War 

Saddam has now been declared a prisoner of War. Cruel and unusual punishment, he'll be forced to listen to their music over and over and over again.

Soon he'll be singing "Why can't we be friends?"

Because you're a murdering psychopath, that's why!

Boy, now I feel better for getting that off my chest...not safer, though.


The Blind Leading the Stupid 

Warning: This article uses the same kind of "reasoning" you'll see featured on Fox with Sean Hannity and colmes.

Gosh, I'll admit the picture of Paul O'Neill looks exactly like an axman with some rusty equipment. Still, to say Bush is like a blind man is pretty powerful stuff.

However, I think it's safe to say we can find flaws in his comments, even before the Hannitys and other invertebrates pick it apart.

Here's the first:

Describing his first such meeting with Bush, O'Neill said, "I went in with a long list of things to talk about and, I thought, to engage [him] on. ... I was surprised it turned out me talking and the president just listening. ... It was mostly a monologue."

Sorry, Paul, he wasn't listening.

Even Bush's supporters were ambiguous (by the way, this intentional misuse of a quote by yours truly is the exact type of "credible" reporting done by Hannity): See, even McClellan said Bush only "approaches" governing...not quite there yet!

White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan dismissed the characterization of Bush's style. "It's well known the way the president approaches governing and setting priorities," he told reporters.

As for Bush being a cronyist, well you hear it right from McClellan's mouth (which is the other end of the gastrointestinal pathway through a horse, by the way):

"The president is someone that leads and acts decisively on our biggest priorities, and that is exactly what he'll continue to do."

Elsewhere, O'Neill leaves us hanging:

O'Neill also reveals new information about key economic and foreign policy discussions within the Bush administration that took place during his two years there, including decisions on what to do about Saddam Hussein and how far to go with tax cuts

He went far enough to get arrested in 49 states.


Friday, January 09, 2004

Another "accidental" halo over Bush's head... 

This is really getting ridiculous. This is about the fifth time in the last two months Bush has "accidentally" looked like an angel. If he is an angel, then he's definitely from the Old Testament, i.e. when god was going through puberty.


Slow leak in the Space Station... 

OK, so they're trying to find the leak in the Space Station.

Let's just hope it's not what I think it is...

Flatulence: Digestive gas cannot "rise" toward the mouth, and is more likely to pass through the other end of the digestive tract - in the words of Skylab crewman-doctor Joe Kerwin: "very effectively with great volume and frequency" [62]. Without gravity there is no convection; contaminants neither rise nor settle, but remain suspended in the air.

Count me out of the list of astronaut wannabes!


Gephardt get smart... 

and just quit. If you can't even get Harkin to back you, instead of backing Dean, it's pretty much over.

Not sure I'd want his endorsement, though:

Dean is "the Harry Truman of our time. Howard Dean is really the kind of plain-spoken Democrat we need," Harkin said in an interview with The Associated Press hours before his official announcement. Great, comparing him to the man who dropped the bomb on Nagasaki. Help.


More things I hate 



Coalition partners? Suspicious criminals. 

Poles are finally getting slightly annoyed with the USA. They send a couple of folks to Iraq and Afghanistan and support Jerry Hedge and what do they get in return?

1) on OBL's shit list
2) no spoils from the rebuilding Iraq profiteering
3) more expensive, harder to get visas - and if they do manage to get a visa, they are still fingerprinted at the border

Sure, Poles are a fair risk to work illegally in Chicago or New York, but so are young British lasses. This visa thing is becoming a sticky point in relations. In about 4 months, Poland will be in the EU but Poles will still need visas. An application costs 100 bucks and there is no guarantee of receiving a visa.

The coalition of suckers


Mountain lion bait 

Once again, it looks like people are surprised that mountain lions are dangerous.
One of the mountain bikers attacked said: "I've been on the trail hundreds of time," Castellano said. "I have seen a few mountain lions in my time. Usually, you come around a corner and they scatter in the brush. But this lion was hunting. This wasn't random. It pounced on her as she came by."

Of course it was random. What does she think it was, a new species of mountain lion stalker - who looked her up in the phone book, learned her routine and then waited to pounce?

What we are really seeing is Mother Nature fighting back now that we have pushed her towards the brink - this is a death throe. Humans have appropriated so much land for themselves that wild animals can do little else if they want to survive. The young cat - very territorial, had no doubt been pushed out of the prime habitat by the most senior cats and it just so happened that it staked out some new digs were bikers come to call. If someone left a banana cream pie on your doorstep to cool, would you eat it?

Wonder if this incident will be used by Jerry Hedge to declare a crusade against the evil doers of the natural world and at least defang all of the cats of their WMD? "Endangered? Bring it on! We'll make you extinct!"


Thursday, January 08, 2004

Seconding Wilk's Boycott... 

Wilk, well said.

As for those TWINkies, though, hmmm, seems to me they were the first--and second--team to win the "(small) World" Series without winning a road game. And they didn't have the better record. No wonder baseball is less relevant than "Dan Quayle's Book of Insights"...


Wife, strife, take a life... 

Thanks to Faolin for this little tidbit calmly swept under the rug. I guess if you want to be a Bush, you'd damn well better have killed someone.

Bush senior ordered hundreds dead as head of the CIA (that is your job, if you have that title). Little bush/shrub has ordered hundreds dead to colonize Iraq. And Laura has done it the old fashioned way...using the second Bush generation's way with alcohol to kill.

You know, Barbara was a megabitch, but at least they put her on the dollar bill. And Bush senior was completely removed from the real world, but at least he was competent. Man, can genetics emphasize your faults!


Saddam's Arrest is really turning the corner... 

Gosh, every day in every way, the world is safer for the U.S. thanks to Saddam's arrest. Thanks, "W". Now why don't you go harass every person in the world still gullible/courageous enough to enter our "welcoming nation"?

OK, maybe not THIS welcoming!


Screw the sports world 

Vulf just gives more evidence that the sports world should not be looked upon for societal guidance. Players and coaches are annoying and only worthy of our collective disdain. I like watching professional sports - but more and more it is becoming a detached appreciation of sports in general and events in particular. The players are little more than actors on a stage - their understudies or replacements just a trade or free agency away.

Sports also brings out the worst in idiots or "fans" if you prefer. As if it makes any difference who wins. I have been a Minnesota sports fan since I became aware of my surroundings (in other words since last Tuesday ...). What did I get when the Twins won the World Series in 1987 and 1991? Shares in the team? Profit sharing plan? A congratulatory note? A commemorative plague? A "my team won the world series and all I got was this lousy t-shirt" shirt? Nope. Not a thing. Oh wait, "bragging rites" Whoopdedoo.

Boycott the sports world! Humbug I say! End the madness of idiots on and off the field. Don't contribute to collective imbecility in stadiums! Go to the local playground and play of pick up game of whatever instead.


Wednesday, January 07, 2004

Boo for Denver fans, and boo for ESPN... 

A classless display...Ha ha guess you showed Kobe a thing or two.

Even worse is ESPN's sanctimonious comment:

Bryant has been accused of attacking a 19-year-old employee at a resort near Vail and faces four years to life in prison or 20 years to life on probation. He has said the sex was consensual, but the Denver crowd obviously wasn't buying it.

And a nice touch of class by the Denver crowd:

The crowd booed Bryant loudly during introductions and kept it going every time he touched the ball. A chant of ``Guilty! Guilty!'' rang out midway through the third quarter, and several fans made sexual references throughout the game.

Must've been Dan Issel back in the stadium...


Colorado's 7th District: Help Draft Ed Perlmutter, the Strongest Candidate for the Race 

Dear Pack,

As mentioned in the Newt's post, Congressional Races: Part One -- The West and The West Coast, Colorado's 7th District is one of the most vulnerable seats controlled by Republicans. Taking back the House was always an uphill battle, now maintaining even our current status is in danger because of the Texas redistricting.

You can help by encouraging Ed Perlmutter to run. Ed Perlmutter is the strongest candidate for the house seat. He has charisma, fundraising capability, and name recognition, In fact, the district was created with him in mind. A little prodding would help him decide to run.

You can help by sending emails of support to: draftperlmutter@yahoo.com. I want to bring this email account to its knees under the "weight" of emails. Please forward this to any and all interested parties.


Tuesday, January 06, 2004

You mean center of the universe ... 

Jekaterinburg is the center of the universe - that is what I was led to believe by one of the city adminstration clerks I had the displeasure of dealing with while working there. Incidentally, he drove a Toyota Land Cruiser - a sure sign that someone is into shady deals since no clerk could afford such a vehicle.

It was just a matter of time before the whole world converged on the place. Still, in 1990 it was still a closed city to foreigners and even in 1996 an English consultant had a city map he had bought confiscated at the airport because it was deemed "sensitive material."

It is not a beautiful city. But it is also not too bad. It looks more like Oklahoma City except without any buildings of any height (except the Oblast government building - a hideous white concrete trouser snake - the "white house" as it is fondly called). The best part are the wide streets (for marching and parading tanks) and just across from the city adminstration building is a nice statue of good old V.I. Lenin, with his right hand holding his suit coat and his left open and gesturing as if to say, "isn't this communist shithole fucking beautiful?"

Incidentally, the (now international) airport has a cool map of the Soviet Union with all of the plane connections. E-burg is still Sverdlovsk on the map.


Ekaterinburg...Heaven on earth 

Here is the public interest story that HAD to be told...Ekaterinburg (formerly known by the mellifluous moniker Sverdlovsk) is, quite surprisingly, Heaven on Earth.

It's history is charming:

In the eighteenth century Russia was seeking a way to the ocean, Peter the Great was building the first Russian fleet. The army commenced construction on a number of new factories and fortresses as there was an increased demand for iron and steel armaments of all kinds. Even then the Urals was famous for its minerals. Peter the Great sent people to the Urals to establish new factories and plants. In 1720 he sent Vasilij Tatischev, a captain of artillery to be a supervisor of mine plants of the Urals. In 1721 Tatischev chose a place on the Iset river to built a new factory and a town. This place had wood, water, ore - everything necessary for a factory. Approval for building the new plant took a long time, but finally in spring of 1723 the city was founded. The new plant-fortress gave its first production in November of 1723.

After Ekaterina, the wife of Peter the Great, the city was given a name Ekaterinburg. The Ekaterinburg plant became the biggest on the Urals. In 1726 another plant was build near the first one, it was named Verkh-Isetskij. This plant still exists and works.

And it figures in the Revolution, World War II, the U2 incident and so much more...

In 1917 there was the October Revolution. Russia turned into communism. The last Russian tzar, Nickolas the Second was prisoned in Ekaterinburg with all his family. In 1918, when the White Guard was about to take the city from the Red Army, all the tzar's entire family was executed. They were shot in a building, which later became well known to the world as Ipatyev's Home. Somewhere in the 70s this building was destroyed by order of Yeltsin, who was a first secretary of the communist party committee (obkom) of the city. He himself got this order from Moscow.

Obviously, at communist times no city could have a name of a tzar's wife. In 1924, after Lenin's death, the city was renamed into Sverdlovsk, after Sverdlov - a friend of Lenin, who promoted communist takeover on the Urals.

During the Second World War, Sverdlovsk became a center of Soviet Union military production. Tanks, cannons, shells had been produced day and night. The well known Sverdlovsk tank Corp fought fascists from Kursk to Berlin. All the equipment for this corp was made for money, voluntarily given by citizens, and the soldiers were also volunteers. The city became one of the evacuation centers for the west part of the country. After the end of the war, Sverdlovsk region becomes the second biggest industrial region after Moscow.

Soon after that Sverdlovsk became a closed city for foreigners, because of a number of plants producing high-tech military stuff. In 1960 an American spy plain was shot down above the city. The pilot ejected, was imprisoned, and later exchanged for a Russian spy.

In 1979 one of the military factories in the city had a leak of some biological weapon for which they were working on creation of an antidote. Some two hundred people died of anthrax. The official version was then that the epidemic started from a bad meat. Although everybody knew that already, the officials said truth about the accident only recently.

After Perestroika, in 1992, the original name Ekaterinburg was returned to the city.

Let's see..where the Czars were offed, where WWII was won, where anthrax scares first began, how U2 got its name, and where Russia started its move into east Asia. All pretty impressive, but of course the most impressive is the following...

Ekaterinburg today is a beautiful city

This in the public interest....


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