Hill ties one on with the boys.

The Raw Story | NYT: Senators Clinton, McCain held 'vodka-drinking contest' during congressional trip to Estonia two summers ago:
“What happens in Estonia stays in Estonia,” a Clinton spokesman tells The Times.
Excellent idea.

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Well here's a list we can all natter about for days on end.

eWEEK Labs Picks the Top 25 Products of the Last 25 Years:

But I'm tellin' you, dude, the only “innovative” thing about the IBM PC was the IBM logo on it. And wherever the IBM box winds up on the list, Lotus 1-2-3 should be right beside it, because it was the combination of IBM's name and Lotus' nifty spreadsheet that turned the corporate world on to stand-alone computing.

And maybe somebody might have mentioned HTML. Seems to me that was as much a “product” as, say, PGP.

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Woohoo! Didn't I just mention the Newton a while back?

Apple's early Newtons occasioned some serious chuckling over their sometimes imaginatively flaky handwriting recognition software, including some memorable (and much lamented among the Apple faithful) mentions in several Doonesbury episodes.

But hey. Bygones are bygones. Check out this demo of Microsoft Vista's new speech recognition feature. (Heads up: it's a video.)

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Put on a happy spin.

Bush: Lebanon Clash Brings Hope for Change:
“This moment of conflict in the Middle East is painful and tragic, yet it is also a moment of opportunity for broader change in the region,” said Bush. “Transforming countries that have suffered decades of tyranny and violence is difficult, and it will take time to achieve. But the consequences will be profound _ for our country and the world.”

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In Bagdad, even the good news is bad.

Violence in Iraq Is Creating Chaos in Bank System - New York Times:
Praised by the United States as a success story as recently as a few months ago, that [Iraqi banking] system has quickly become a wild landscape of clandestine cash runs, huge hauls by robbers dressed as police officers and soldiers, kidnappings of bank executives with ransoms as high as $6 million, American allegations of tie-ins with insurgent financiers, and legitimate customers turned away when they go to pick up their savings and flee the country.

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Using Firefox? Thunderbird?

Slashdot | Thunderbird 2.0 Alpha 1, Firefox Available:
“This release of Firefox fixes 12 security holes, many of which can be used to execute malicious code. The Browser Fun project has provided an online demonstration of one of these flaws. This demonstration is capable of executing code on Windows, Linux, and both architectures of the Mac OS X platform; you're going to want to upgrade today!”

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Don't steal this art. Like me.

Go to Diesel Sweeties and buy a t-shirt instead. Be cool!

I don't know, these are some kind of lilies I think, or something like that.

In Beiruit, musician plays improv duet with Israeli air force.

KERBLOG: "i am sorry to decline your proposition":
i was asked twice so far: "don't you think that your piece of music and bombs is of a bad taste?

i answered twice: "do you think that it is of a good taste to throw a bomb on a bus with civilians escaping their village?"
The composition is difficult to hear, I'm finding (I'm talking about sound level here), but it's available from various sources listed at KERBLOG.

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Nah, I'd go with bleep. War is bleep.

War is heck - Yahoo! News:
Noted filmmaker Burns' highly anticipated seven-part series
"The War" features salty language used by servicemen and
others. If the expletives make it to air, they could lead to
crippling fines for the offending stations as a result of a new
law signed last month by President George W. Bush.

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Let's skip the editorializing, Reuters.

Naked women leave police speechless - Yahoo! News:
The Scandinavians left after two hours when their guide was informed that nude bathing was banned on public beaches. Nudity and topless bathing are still taboo in the poor Balkan country.

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There'll always be an England.

Like taking candy from a bobby - Yahoo! News:
LONDON (Reuters) - Two British police officers have been
arrested by colleagues on suspicion of stealing candy from the staff confectionery shop.

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Sort of reminds me of whatzisname.

Rice to return to Mideast to work on truce - Yahoo! News:
White House spokesman Tony Snow said the administration would "push back" against criticism of the United States.
Yeah. Sisyphus. Right.

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Israelis succeed in fostering agreement among Lebanese religious groups..

Israeli strikes may boost Hizbullah base | csmonitor.com:
The stakes are high for Hizbullah, but it seems it can count on an unprecedented swell of public support that cuts across sectarian lines. According to a poll released by the Beirut Center for Research and Information, 87 percent of Lebanese support Hizbullah's fight with Israel, a rise of 29 percent on a similar poll conducted in February. More striking, however, is the level of support for Hizbullah's resistance from non-Shiite communities. Eighty percent of Christians polled supported Hizbullah along with 80 percent of Druze and 89 percent of Sunnis.
Turning the whole place into one big lovefest.

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I don't know, sounds like as good a place as any to me.

Solar-power compactors press the mess in Boston - The Boston Globe:
``We don't want people putting their tax forms in there," joked Timothy McCarthy, an aide to the commissioner of public works.

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First ImpeachPAC crashes and burns, then - gasp! - Muslims get it right.

The Associated Press:
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) -- Islamic clerics have banned Malaysian Muslims from undergoing Botox treatment for cosmetic purposes because the compound contains prohibited and harmful substances, a news report said Friday.
Oh, no! The World Turned Upside Down.

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Ahh. So that's what I'm missing around here.

Chicago Sun-Times:
Study: Housework still women's burden

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Debate, dude?

ImpeachPAC Unveils TV Ad in Lamont-Lieberman Race | ImpeachPAC:
“We hope these ads will stimulate debate in the blogosphere and beyond about the disastrous consequences of the Iraq War, and persuade voters to defeat those politicians - like Senator Joe Lieberman - who continue to support this war,” Fertik said.
What's to debate? That's right up there with the most pathetically disgusting campaign commercials I've ever seen. Or, should I say, down there. Isn't it nice to know the Rs aren't the only nitwits in town.

Shame on you, “ImpeachPAC.” Shame.

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Check the ceiling tiles.

Series of Woes Mar Iraq Project Hailed as Model - New York Times:
BAGHDAD, Iraq, July 27 — The United States is dropping Bechtel, the American construction giant, from a project to build a high-tech children’s hospital in the southern Iraqi city of Basra after the project fell nearly a year behind schedule and exceeded its expected cost by as much as 150 percent.
Bechtel, same guys who built the Big Dig.

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OK, I have a thing about windows. So sue me.

(The other kind too, but that's a different thing.)

Yes, Bunky, there really is a difference between men and women.

Why I hate s'mores. By Liesl Schillinger:
As I had feared, my refusal was met with disbelief, mockery, suspicion, then, lastly, a solemn sadness. I had to insist, apologetically, with a cringing, hopeful little smile: “No. I do not want one. Really.” I then stuck my fingers into a tart cherry pie, pulled out a crumbling, delicious wedge, and crammed it into my mouth to shore up my sugar cred.
If you're a man you don't have to apologize for detesting s'mores.

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Father "has issues," Minnesota Senator says.

The Raw Story | GOP Senator Norm Coleman's father in public sex bust:
Coleman's father was arrested for lewd and disorderly conduct after he was found having sex outside a pizzeria with 38-year old Patrizia Marie Schrag. Norm Coleman, Sr., is 81-years old.
Maybe so. But what was in that pizza, I'm wondering.

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Poor guys at Exxon Mobil say in the long run they're damn near broke.

Exxon Mobil makes more than $10 billion - Jul. 27, 2006:
But the industry says that oil prices fluctuate widely over time and that, in the long run, it's actually less profitable than a number of other industries.
Getting by for the moment though, it seems.

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Is it fair to call a Republican a Republican?

Reynolds airs his ads early:
In addition, Reynolds, a 30-year veteran of upstate New York politics and a former GOP minority leader in the state Assembly, is one of several House GOP leaders who do not mention their party affiliation on their campaign websites. In ads posted on their sites, Majority Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and Republican Conference Chairwoman Deborah Pryce (R-Ohio) also do not state their Republican credentials.

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Don't ask, don't tell, and never, ever, under any circumstances, think.

Army Dismisses Gay Arabic Linguist:
Bleu Copas, 30, told The Associated Press he is gay, but said he was “outed” by a stream of anonymous e-mails to his superiors in the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, N.C

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Gotta love it: good news from Iraq

Iraqi Leader Embraces Terror Fight in Speech to Congress - New York Times:
In his half-hour speech, the prime minister made little mention of the casualties in Iraq. Instead, he highlighted the doubling of the gross domestic product over the last three years and improvements in the lives of Iraqis.
Sounds great. Except that the most recent data (2005) in the CIA World Factbook puts Iraq's GDP real growth rate at -3%. By contrast, Syria's GDP real growth rate is 4.5% (that would be +); Iran's, 6.1%; Saudi Arabia's, 6.1%; Israel's, 5.2%; even Lebanon had a positive GDP real growth rate, just barely, at 0.5%.

You don't suppose our boy Maliki is blowing smoke, do you?

At the US Congress. Surely not.

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So we're talking a very, very long war, then, indeed.

AP Wire | 07/27/2006 | Rice defends U.S. position on cease-fire:
Aboard her plane en route to Asia, Rice tried to downplay expectations of a quick fix in the Lebanon or the Middle East. “I am a student of history, so perhaps I have a little bit more patience with the enormous change in the international system and the complete shifting of tectonic plates, and I don't expect it to happen in a few days or even a year,” she said.
OK, she said she's a student of history, not geology. But I'm just wondering here. Tectonic plates?

Sometimes the idea moving tectonic plates is used metaphorically, e.g. “the tectonic plates have moved” in a BBC TV news program describing the political effects of Ariel Sharon's illness on 4 January 2005.
Ah. Right. So that's what we're waiting for. Only this time, complete. Like a sign of some kind, I guess.

Only if the Israelis and Lebanese stop shooting at each other that wouldn't be a tectonic plate shift, that'd be a ceasefire. Which we're against.

So, something else. Like the US getting a coherent foreign policy, maybe. Would that count?

Or even a few coherent politicians?

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Horseless in Ohio.

Black Box Voting : 7-21-06: BBV EXCLUSIVE - Cuyahoga B.o.E. members call for Director of Elections Vu's resignation:
Bob Bennett, the Chairman of the Ohio state Republican Party, was in favor of retaining Vu, saying “we can't change ships in the middle of the stream.”
But they have plenty of Yellow cabs. So in Cuyahoga County (that'd be Cleveland), when they needed somebody to pick up election machine memory cards and return them to the Board of Elections after a May 2 primary they called the taxi company.
Channel-8 news interviewed one cab driver who confirmed that she was left all by herself with a cab filled with memory cards and other supplies. Chris Nance, Stephanie Tubbs Jones' assistant, has said that he witnessed many yellow cabs driving up delivering supplies with only the driver overseeing the votes during transportation.
“Many” memory cards went missing and a dozen or so have yet to be accounted for.

Which all leaves me wondering, why are so many of these Republicans named Bennett?

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Heinous is as heinous does.

The Raw Story | Rape victim denied morning after pill by PA hospital:
“A Good Samaritan Hospital emergency room doctor refused to give a rape victim a morning-after pill because he said it was against his Mennonite religion,” the (registration-restricted) PennLive.com reported late Tuesday....

“The question is, if you are a physician, do you have to provide services to patients that you think are heinous? And the answer is in this country [is] no, you don't,” Kearns said.
The question is, how do guys like this get licensed to practice medicine?

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Krispy Kreme blanked in Seattle Donut Duel.

The Ethicurean » Blog Archive » Everybody must get doned!:
It’s a Donut Duel that will leave you Doned: Mighty-O, Top Pot, and Krispy Kreme!

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Well, what the hell, the boss is out of town.

July 22, 2006 --
A State Department worker cruising down 34th Street with three scantily clad women in what appeared to be a government car with flashing lights collided with a yellow cab last night after allegedly running a red light, police said.....

The women, who appeared to be hurt, according to a video tape of the incident obtained by The Post, ran off before cops arrived, taking a small brown paper bag from the agent's car.

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Running for office anonymously?

For One Senate Candidate, the 'R' Is a 'Scarlet Letter':
The candidate gave the luncheon briefing to nine reporters from newspapers, magazines and networks under the condition that he be identified only as a GOP Senate candidate. When he was pressed to go on the record, his campaign toyed with the idea but got cold feet. He was anxious enough to air his gripes but cautious enough to avoid a public brawl with the White House.
Well, hey. Why not. We have secret laws, secret courts, secret police and secret prisons...why not make the whole thing secret and get it over with?

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That's OK, Tony, we remember what you are.

Snow apologizes for stem cell comment - Yahoo! News:
Said Snow on Monday: “I overstepped my brief there, and so I created a little trouble for Josh Bolten in the interview. And I feel bad about it.”
And by the way, maybe you'd have less trouble with boxers.

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Gadget alert.

Apple to do eBooks? - Engadget:
With the iRex iLiad and Sony PRS-500 Portable Reader both right around the corner, is it possible the next iPod might catch the eBook bug?
Just when I thought....

Oh, never mind. I didn't, really, anyway.

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There'll always be an England.

Only one in seven switch off their phones during sex | The Register :
A survey into Brit's MobileLifestyles™ has revealed a paltry 14 per cent have the courtesy to switch off during sex with their partner, lest they get a txt msg from their m8 asking if they fncy a pnt.

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Just when you thought it was safe to take off again.

Flying on holiday 'a sin', says bishop | the Daily Mail:
Flying abroad for a foreign holiday is “a sin” against the planet, one of the country's leading bishops has declared.

Like murder, adultery and stealing, choosing to travel on jet planes has moral consequences, according to the Bishop of London because flights are doing too much damage to the environment.

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Oh yeah, I love this one.

spiiderweb™: File Under “These People Can Vote”:
Counter person: Hi, can I help you?
Customer: Yes, I'd like a dinner for twelve, please.
Counter person: Oh, I'm sorry. For orders that large you have to call catering at least twenty-four hours in advance.
Customer: Er, then how about two dinners for six?
Counter person: Oh, sure, we can do that.
My Dad used to tell about walking into a diner somewhere, sitting down at the counter, and ordering a ham sandwich. “We don't have a ham sandwich,” the waitress said.

“Well then,” my Dad said, “how about an egg sandwich?”

“We don't have an egg sandwich,” the waitress said.

“OK, what do you have that's good?” he asked.

“We have a ham and egg sandwich,” the waitress replied.

I don't know if restaurants are just inherently funny places or what, but a lot of funny things do seem to happen in them. I remember hanging out in a Winston-Salem restaurant one evening, drinking beer at the counter, when some guy came in and ordered a chicken sandwich to go. “A chicken sandwich?” asked the owner, Nick the Greek, incredulously.

“Yeah,” said the guy.

“OK,” shrugged Nick, and went off toward the kitchen, flashing me a what-kind-of-dumb-Yankee-is-this grin as he passed...and returned to present the hapless Yankee with a drumstick on a bun.

That wasn't the only funny thing that ever happened at Nicks, I've been told.

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Conceits of the press.

CNN.com - Rice holds surprise talks with Lebanese premier - Jul 24, 2006:
BEIRUT, Lebanon (CNN) -- U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's shuttle diplomacy mission to the Mideast made a surprise stop in Beirut on Monday....
These guys don't go anywhere unannounced. Especially not to cities in the process of being bombed. Oh, no. They don't just arrive at the airport wearing sunglasses and pass through customs unnoticed, grab a cab to the palace. They arrive with great armadas of security, everything carefully arranged in advance.The only one surprised here, Bunky, is you.

And possibly CNN.

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And several onlookers require CPR.

Tight dress makes Miss Universe faint
- Breaking news - NEWS.com.au

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Wait! Whatever happened to...

...the Taliban?

Independent Online Edition > Asia:
The Afghan government has alarmed human rights groups by approving a plan to reintroduce a Department for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, the body which the Taliban used to enforce its extreme religious doctrine.
Doesn't matter, I guess.

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Yikes! Is this anything like kudzu?

Alabama barbecue restaurants spreading - Yahoo! News:
Well, hard to tell.
Alabama barbecue restaurants are hard to pigeonhole, serving everything from saucy chopped pork to spare ribs rubbed with dry spices to chicken coated in white sauce. Some even serve Texas-style beef, for heaven's sake.
Actually, I bet some if it is pretty good. More than pretty good, in fact. I've eaten barbecue in the South (even in Texas, for heaven's sake) and it sure ain't nothing like what they serve you in Massachusetts, you can bet.

Which is why it won't work, this spreading thing. To make it work they'd have to dumb it down. And then it won't be like Alabama any more. For heaven's sake.

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Woohoo! Here's one feisty monkey.

Check this out.

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One of the great things about audible.com is, it's not.

Ever. I've been listening to "V for Vendetta," a beach book if there ever was one, but it's been a beachy weekend - in spirit, if not in fact - and I'll be lucky if it lasts the evening.

All right! Moonshine fuel!

Cooking oil cars turn the table on high fuel prices - Yahoo! News:
WASHINGTON (AFP) - A growing number of Americans are setting up mini-refineries in their homes to produce biodiesel, a fuel made from waste cooking oil which is cleaner and cheaper than the petrol sold in gas stations.
Whoa. Wait till the Revenuers hear about this! Better yet, Robert Mitchum.

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Oh no! The end is near!

Slashdot | The Future of Computing:
“The role of CPU performance is definitely waning, and if a radical new technology fails to materialize quickly we will be compelled to write more efficient code for power consumption costs and reasons,” Fomitchev writes.
Back in the day - this would be the late '70s, early '80s - before the IBM PC, with it's whopping 640K of RAM came on the scene, 64K was considered a pretty big deal. I had a Radio Shack Model 100 laptop I upgraded to 64K, and I had a perfectly capable little spreadsheet program that ran on it just fine. Granted, it was no Excel. But just opening a blank Excel workbook on my Mac requires 34,000K (34M), and I can assure you it's not that much better.

I could do without the little paperclip.

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Another mission accomplished.

NASA’s Goals Delete Mention of Home Planet - New York Times:
From 2002 until this year, NASA’s mission statement, prominently featured in its budget and planning documents, read: “To understand and protect our home planet; to explore the universe and search for life; to inspire the next generation of explorers ... as only NASA can.”

In early February, the statement was quietly altered, with the phrase “to understand and protect our home planet” deleted.

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Hold on troop deployments on hold.

Capitol Hill Blue: More troops to Iraq:
As units in Iraq prepare for their scheduled departure, military leaders had considered not sending all of the units that had been planned to replace them. But that idea has been put on hold, at least for now, according to the official.

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