Archive for February 26, 2008

Nobarbies! En Vivo! Crank Those Speakers!

February 26, 2008



Previously here:

You Need To Hear Them

BC Wasn’t So BC (Before Computers)

February 26, 2008

Mysteries of computer from 65BC are solved

A 2,000-year-old mechanical computer salvaged from a Roman shipwreck has astounded scientists who have finally unravelled the secrets of how the sophisticated device works.

Get this:

Using modern computer x-ray tomography and high resolution surface scanning, a team led by Mike Edmunds and Tony Freeth at Cardiff University peered inside fragments of the crust-encased mechanism and read the faintest inscriptions that once covered the outer casing of the machine. Detailed imaging of the mechanism suggests it dates back to 150-100 BC and had 37 gear wheels enabling it to follow the movements of the moon and the sun through the zodiac, predict eclipses and even recreate the irregular orbit of the moon. The motion, known as the first lunar anomaly, was developed by the astronomer Hipparcus of Rhodes in the 2nd century BC, and he may have been consulted in the machine’s construction, the scientists speculate.

Remarkably, scans showed the device uses a differential gear, which was previously believed to have been invented in the 16th century. The level of miniaturisation and complexity of its parts is comparable to that of 18th century clocks.

Emphasis added by me.

And here’s the kicker:

No other civilisation is believed to have created anything as complex for another 1,000 years.

— via Matthew St Amand

What Would You Do For Money?

February 26, 2008

Tell the truth, the whole truth, nothing but the truth?

Fox has a new show called Moment of Truth. Last night was devastating.

Watch and cringe:

And so justice (TV gameshow style, at least) seems to prevail.

Yet I can’t help wondering what would have happened if she had answered that final one truthfully and gone on.

I have a suspicion they might have been along these lines:

1) Have you even wished your husband was dead?

2) If you could get away with it, would you ever kill your husband ?

(Fox, however, says only: “Do you think you are your parents’ favorite child?” Yeah, right, Fox!)

The Worst Buzz Term: Food Security

February 26, 2008

World Grain Demand Straining U.S. Supply

Consumers usually reduce their purchases of goods and services if prices become too high. Buyers of United States corn, soybeans and wheat seem to be ignoring that economic principle, however, as the nation‘s grain stocks reach critically low levels, said Chris Hurt, a Purdue University agricultural economist. With global demand for grain and oilseeds at record levels and a weak U.S. dollar, foreign buyers are outbidding domestic buyers for American grain. While the higher commodity prices are good for crop agriculture there are disconcerting downsides, Hurt said. “Food consumers worldwide are going to have to pay more,” Hurt said. “We ended 2007 with our monthly inflation rate on food nearly 5 percent higher. I think we‘ll see times in 2008 where the food inflation rate might be as much as 6 percent. “I also think we‘ll have discussions about food security in 2008. We‘ll have discussions about whether we should allow the foreign sector to buy our food. Is food a strategic item that we need to keep in our country?”

Which of the three stooges mainstream sellouts prominent candidates for the Presidency have mentioned this?

Indeed These Are The End Times

February 26, 2008


‘splainin done.

Stagflation: That 70s Show

February 26, 2008

Weak confidence, PPI jump stoke U.S. stagflation fear

“It looks like there is no confidence in an economy where inflation is getting out of control,” said Andrew Brenner, market analyst at MF Global in New York. “This is a classic stagflation scenario.”

In the face of fresh signs of economic weakness, a top Federal Reserve official played down the risks presented by current price growth, saying the danger the U.S. economy will weaken further is a bigger worry than higher inflation.

“I do not expect the recent elevated inflation rates to persist,” Fed Vice Chairman Donald Kohn said in a speech at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.

“In my view, the adverse dynamics of the financial markets and the economy have presented the greater threat to economic welfare in the United States,” he said.

Emphasis added by me.

Is this some sort of bad transcription or just bad leadership:

“In my view, the adverse dynamics of the financial markets and the economy

The economy is the people. Weren’t we told to spend ourselves into victory post-9/11? Isn’t that what this faux “stimulus package” of “rebates” is all about?

Say hello to the repo man …

A Slow Leak Is Better Than A Pop

February 26, 2008

Gradual home price drop good: Yale’s Shiller

“We can’t have millions of low-income people be thrown on the streets because of some financial dealings. That would be disastrous to our sense of fairness and cause damage for years to come.”

Years of double-digit price gains put homes out of the reach of many consumers, and a correction is necessary.

“In major cities, we see often the service people can’t live there any more, the firemen, school teachers. This is not the way we want our society. We want affordable housing,” he said.

A little over a month ago he was preaching outright doom.

He seems to have modulated his tone.

Dubai Tries A PR Gambit

February 26, 2008

Dubai pardons Briton ‘with cannabis on shoe’

DUBAI (AFP) — A British man sentenced to four years in jail in the Gulf emirate of Dubai for having a tiny amount of cannabis stuck to his shoe has been pardoned, a newspaper reported on Tuesday.

Andrew Brown was released early from prison in the Western-orientated emirate which is a popular destination for British tourists, the English language 7Days reported, without stating how much of the jail term he served.

The 43-year-old was arrested in September at Dubai International Airport after customs officers found 0.003 grams (0.0001 ounces) of cannabis on the sole of one his shoes.

Emphasis added by me.

What happens if they test American money? At one time it was said most $100 bills showed trace amounts of cocaine!

Here’s an article about the cocaine contamination of British currency.

Should people refrain from bringing cash to Dubai too?

Meanwhile, that kid with the legal melatonin is still stuck in jail but half of his defense money has been raised.

And no, Dubai never bothered to reply to my email.

Dubai: How about simply refusing entry to people you deem are contaminated with drug traces? That’d be better than unjustly slinging them in jail! It would make the individuals look stupid, not you.

Previously here:

Dubai Continues Its Madness
More About Dubai
Dubai: Don’t Go There, Ever!
Dubai’s Been Busy
Let Dubai Know You Are Not Pleased
Reference: Dubai, The Enemy
Reference: Dubai

Ever Read Any Muslim Articles?

February 26, 2008

You will now:

Questions to ask a prospective spouse
— this is very wise.

Black History Month and the contributions of Islam
— I’d never heard of Bilal Ibne Rabah.

Ihsan, The pursuit of Excellence

This is wonderful:

[. . .] What does ihsan mean in our lives?

It means that every day, when you’re in a boring class and get handed an assignment for a 15 page paper or you learn about a comprehensive final exam, or you get a huge project from your boss, or your mom asks you to make dinner or clean your room or your brother or sister asks for help with homework or to play with you outside – that you stopÉthat you stop the immediate negative reaction that we’ve been trained to play over and over again when it comes to these sorts of things and do the right thing, which is to remain positive.

We stop, and we realize that this is our opportunity for ihsan. That this is another opportunity for us to make our intentions for Allah (swt), to please Him. That this is a chance for us to add something to our Life’s Book that Allah (swt) will open on the Day of Judgment and look upon us with joy and be proud of us. For, as Professor Yusuf al-Qaradawi has mentioned,

Allah loves when one of you is given a task, that he or she does it in the most excellent manner.

Sheikh al-Qaradawi didn’t say that Allah “likes” when you do things with ihsan. He didn’t say that Allah thinks it’s “ok” or “cool” or “alright.” One of the greatest scholars of Islam says that Allah “LOVES” when we do things with ihsan. Allah LOVES. Think about that for just a second and let it sink in. Think about the last time someone you respected/admired told you that they loved something you did. How did that make you feel? You were beaming for days, most likely. You remembered what they said and how they reacted and you kept replaying it in your head again and again. Imagine then, how amazing it would feel to do something that Allah (swt) LOVES.

Imagine standing in front of Allah (swt) on the Day of Judgment and having Him tell you all the things that you did that He LOVED. Imagine how you would feel.

So when you have a test or a paper or you have to mow the law or you are going to the gym or playing football or doing an MSA event, do it with ihsan! Don’t just “be,” don’t just get by, don’t just pass. Be EXCELLENT, strive for PERFECTION, be the BEST in your class, show the world how Islam inspires you to attain ihsan!

We are given just a few moments in this dunya. Each breath is a priceless jewel and when it passes it never returns…make this moment, this breath, this heart beat one that resounds with ihsan (Excellence)!

I always like to quote:

Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.

Ecclesiastes 9:10

Statin Drugs: Does V.P. Dick Cheney Take One?

February 26, 2008

I don’t know why, but that question popped into my mind last night.

He just might.

Looking at that complex chart, I also have to wonder if his breathing problems are a side-effect of the statin drug. I had near-daily breathing problems with Simvastatin.

The link doesn’t work on that page, but there is also mention of the infamous hunting trip where he accidentally shot a fellow hunter. Did he have, as I did under the influence of Simvastatin, violent impulses? And did he happen to give into one?

I have to tell you right now that I fear someone under the influence of a statin drug holding a high office in our country.

Previously here:

Statin Drugs: Jarvik Ads Withdrawn
Statin Drugs: More Better!
Statin Drugs: Pain For Nothing
Statin Drugs: Survey
Simvastatin Made Me Insane
Simvastatin: This Happened To Me Too!
Simvastatin Vs. My Mind
Stopping My Statin
Give Me Back My Mind!