Thursday, November 30, 2006

Fake Your Space


From Fake Your Space:



"Welcome to Fake Your Space. You have found a new and exciting service which offers help to all the men and women out there who don't feel like they are popular enough on social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook. If you are tired of seeing everyone else with the hottest friends and want some hotties of your own, then this is the place for you."



Read how here.

Laser Monks


Laser Monks, saving you money, serving those in need.

Strategy 21 - Negociate While Advancing


The 33 Strategies Of War

by Robert Greene and Joost Elffers



Strategy 21

The Diplomatic War Strategy

"People will always try to take from you in negociation what they could not get from you in battle or direct confrontation. They will even use appeals to fairness and morality as a cover to advance their position. Do not be taken in: negotiation is about meneuvering for power or placement, and you must always put yourself in the kind of strong position that makes it impossible for the other side to nibble away at you during your talks. Before and during negotiations, you must keep advancing, creating relentless pressure and compelling the other side to settle on your terms. The more you take, the more you can give back in meaningless concessions. Create a reputation for being tough and uncompromising, so that people are back on their heels before they even meet you."



Stalker


06.11.30.Stalker-X


Cartoon courtesy Cox&Forkum

More On The Story From C&F


Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Strategy 20 - Maneuver Them Into Weakness


The 33 Strategies Of War

by Robert Greene and Joost Elffers



Strategy 20

The Ripening-For-The-Sickle Strategy

"No matter how strong you are, fighting endless battles with people is exhausting, costly and unimaginative. Wise strategists generally prefer the art of maneuver: before the battle even begins, they find ways to put their opponents in positions of such weakness that victory is easy and quick. Bait enemies into taking positions that may seem alluring but are actually traps and blind alleys. If their position is strong, get them to abandon it by leading them on a wild goose chase. Create dilemmas: devise maneuvers that give them a choice of ways to respond - all of them bad. Channel chaos and disorder in their direction. Confused, frustrated, and angry opponents are like ripe fruit on the bough: the slightest breeze will make them fall."



Napoleon was a master of this strategy.

Backsliding


05.02.22.Backsliding-X


Cartoon courtesy Cox&Forkum

More On The Story From C&F


Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Found On The Web




Doesn't Pass The Smell Test


From New York Times:



2 U.S. Pilots Still Held in Brazil as Air Collision Inquiry Plods On

By PAULO PRADA and MATTHEW L. WALD
November 29, 2006

RIO DE JANEIRO, Nov. 28 — The two pilots of an American-owned executive jet that collided with a Brazilian airliner over the Amazon jungle two months ago are still being kept in the country by Brazilian authorities, even though a growing pile of reports by Brazilian and international investigators indicate that they made no error contributing to the crash.

Last week the Brazilian investigators belatedly began interviewing air traffic controllers who were on duty at the time of the accident on Sept. 29. The controllers’ employer, the Brazilian Air Force, previously said they were unavailable because of the psychological trauma of the crash. Brazilian officials say the investigation could take 10 more months.

The pilots have had no interaction with investigators since Oct. 3, according to Representative Peter T. King, the New York Republican whose district on Long Island includes Ronkonkoma, where the charter company the pilots work for, ExcelAire, is based.



Read the rest here.

Best.Commercial.Ever


Click the one at the left.

(Sorry, I can't embed.)

Random Article From Wikipedia


From Wikipedia:



Le Corbusier

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Charles-Edouard Jeanneret, widely known as Le Corbusier (October 6, 1887– August 27, 1965), was a French Swiss born architect, famous for his contributions to what is now called modernism, or the International Style. He was a pioneer in theoretical studies of modern design and was dedicated to providing better living conditions for the residents of crowded cities. His career spanned five decades, with iconic buildings constructed across central Europe, India, Russia, and one structure each in North and South America. He was also an urban planner, painter, sculptor, writer and modern furniture designer.



Read the whole thing here.

Found On Ebay This Evening


Mike Myers Cat in the Hat Cat Suit Screen Used Hero #1.

(Really. Bidding ends in three days, currently stands at U$152.)

Write Your Own Headline


From The Telegraph:



Women talk more than men, true

November 29, 2006 12:00

IT IS something one half of the population has long suspected, and the other has always vocally denied: women talk more than men.

In fact, women talk almost three times as much, uttering a staggering 20,000 words a day on average compared to men's 7000.

They speak more quickly, devote more brainpower to chit-chat and get a buzz out of hearing their own voices, a female psychiatrist suggests.

In her book, The Female Mind, Dr Luan Brizendine says the disparity is caused by differences in the male and female brain.

The sex hormone testosterone, responsible for moulding the male brain in the womb, shrinks the areas responsible for communication, emotion and memory, she claims.

The result is that men chat less than females and struggle to express their emotions to the same extent.



Read the rest here.

I've Got You Under My Skin


From the website of Body Modification Artist Steve Haworth:



" Before Steve Haworth became known as the pioneer of 3D Body Art he designed superior piercing tools & techniques, created new styles of body jewelry, designed amazing shaped dermal punches & jewelry (like stars), perfected surface to surface piercing, and began cautery scalpel branding. An artist who's often quoted as saying "flesh is my medium". His living art is in the form of 3D implants, transdermals, and scarification of various individuals, who work with Steve to design the ideal type of art for them to display in their daily life. He continues to explore other art media, including photography and metal sculpture, but is mostly known for his incredible 3D Body Art. Check out his portfolio for examples..."



And check out the Church of Body Modification.

From The Big House To Your House


From The Baltimore Sun:



Web Catalog Offers Prison-Made Products

By DAVID DISHNEAU
Associated Press Writer
Originally published November 25, 2006, 5:30 PM EST

HAGERSTOWN, Md. // Internet shopping knows no boundaries, not even for products made behind bars. Maryland Correctional Enterprises, the manufacturing division of the state Division of Correction, has put its 182-page catalog online. Now anyone can see, if not buy, hundreds of items the agency offers for sale to government agencies and Maryland nonprofit organizations. The catalog is at

http://www.dpscs.state.md.us/mcem

The products include institutional clothing, bedding, clocks, signs -- and lots of furniture. Nearly half the pages are filled with furniture, including the Slammer table, designed for correctional environments and named "because they put 'em in the slammer," said Jeff Beeson, executive director of Maryland Correctional Enterprises' board of directors.

Topping the furniture offerings is the Traditional Veneer Line, with prices up to $1,885 for a U-shaped desk.



Read the rest here.

Strategy 19 - Envelop The Enemy


The 33 Strategies Of War

by Robert Greene and Joost Elffers



Strategy 19

The Annihilation Strategy

"People will use any kind of gap in your defenses to attack you or revenge themselves on you. So offer no gaps. The secret is to envelop your opponents - create relentless pressure on them from all sides, dominate their attention, and close off their access to the outside world. Make your attacks unpredictable to create a vaporous feeling of vulnerability. Finally, as you sense their weakening resolve, crush their will power by tightening the noose. The best encirclements are psychological - you have surrounded their minds."



Shaka Zulu perfected this strategy in his wars with the British in Southern Africa

Sit Up Straight - Not


From The Australian:



Sit back, relax and enjoy life without back pain

David Rose
November 29, 2006

YOUR mother probably told you to sit up straight. Whether at table, in class or at work, we have always been told that sitting stiff-backed and upright is good for our bones, our posture, our digestion, our alertness and our general air of looking as if we are plugged into the world.

Now British research suggests that we would be far better off slouching and slumping. Today's advice is to let go and recline.

Using a new form of magnetic resonance imaging, a team of radiologists has found that sitting up straight puts unnecessary strain on the spine and could cause chronic back pain from trapped nerves or slipped discs.

The ideal angle for office workers who sit for long periods is about 135 degrees. It may make working at a computer impractical but it puts less pressure on the spine than a hunched or upright position, the researchers say.



Read the rest here.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Found On The Web




Please Mr. Postman


From Remote Control Mail:



Your phone, your email, your fax... they're all digital and they all allow you to stay fully informed from anywhere. So why be tied down to your house by your postal mail (or drive to check a post office box)?

Now your postal mail is finally online, too! With Remote Control Mail, you can see your mail from anywhere in the world, and with a few mouse clicks you can have your mail forwarded, opened and scanned into a PDF document you can read online (or print or save), recycled or shredded, or stored securely.

Remote Control Mail is the ultimate solution for P.O. Box holders, frequent travelers, RVers, frequent movers, multiple home owners, expatriates, and university students. Take longer vacations and stop worrying about missing any important mail. And greatly reduce the risk of identity theft that plagues



Read the FAQ here.

This Is Encouraging News


From Science Daily:



November 27, 2006

New Ultrasound Technique Accurately Distinguishes Benign From Malignant Breast Lesions


A new ultrasound technique allows radiologists to accurately distinguish benign from malignant breast lesions. Using elasticity imaging, researchers correctly identified both cancerous and harmless lesions in nearly all of the cases studied. The findings were presented today at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).

"In our work, elasticity imaging has been found to have high specificity," said Richard G. Barr, M.D., Ph.D., professor of radiology at Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine and radiologist at Southwoods X-Ray and MRI in Youngstown. "If our results can be reproduced in a large, multicenter trial, this technique could significantly reduce the number of breast biopsies required."

The American Cancer Society (ACS) estimates that 212,920 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States this year. Early detection through screening is the best way to combat cancer at its early, most treatable stage. While mammography is the standard breast cancer screening exam, screening with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or ultrasound may be more effective for high-risk patients or women with dense breast tissue. MRI and ultrasound depict more breast lesions than mammography but have low specificity, meaning they are less effective at distinguishing benign from malignant lesions, resulting in a high number of invasive biopsies. ACS reports that 80 percent of breast lesions biopsied are found to be benign.



Read the rest here.

Music Monday - Grab Bag




'Bad Day'
Daniel Powter

+++++




'Somebody Told Me'
The Killers

+++++




'Fix You'
Coldplay

+++++




'Miss The Mississippi'
Emmylou Harris

+++++


Didn't See This Coming


From Yahoo News:



Pamela Anderson, Kid Rock to divorce

Mon Nov 27, 5:08 PM ET

Actress Pamela Anderson and her husband, recording star Kid Rock, filed for divorce from each other on Monday after just four months of marriage, according to court papers.

The divorce petitions, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, cite irreconcilable differences as the reason for the couple's split.

"Yes, it's true. Unfortunately impossible," Anderson, 39, wrote in the "diary" section of her Web site at www.pamelaanderson.com, under the heading "divorce."

Earlier on Monday, People magazine quoted Anderson's New York-based publicist, Tracy Nguyen, as saying the former "Baywatch" star had filed for divorce last week.

"It wasn't a happy Thanksgiving," Nguyen told People.



Read the rest here.

Strategy 18 - Expose And Attack Your Opponent's Soft Flank


The 33 Strategies Of War

by Robert Greene and Joost Elffers



Strategy 18

The Turning Strategy

"When you attack people directly, you stiffen their resistance and make your task that much harder. There is a better way: distract your opponents' attention to the front, then attack them from the side, where they least expect it. By hitting them where they are soft, tender, and unprotected, you create a shock, a moment of weakness for you to exploit. Bait people into going out on a limb, exposing their weakness, then rake them with fire from the side. The only way to get stubborn opponents to move is to approach them indirectly."



The coalition forces led by the US and Britain exploited this strategy in the ground war phase of the Gulf War of 1991 with Iraq.

Deal Breaker


06.11.26.DealBreaker-X


Cartoon courtesy Cox&Forkum

More On The Story From C&F


Sunday, November 26, 2006

Blame It On What?


From Yahoo News:



Rio thieves armed with grenades rob tourists

November 26, 2006

Thieves armed with automatic rifles and military-issue grenades robbed a busload of British tourists in Rio de Janeiro before dawn on Sunday, the latest incident in a wave of violent crime plaguing Brazil's seaside tourist mecca.

Police said four armed men pretending to be police stopped the tour bus as it pulled into an upscale neighborhood in the southern part of the city.

At least 18 British tourists who had just arrived in Brazil were robbed, losing their luggage, passports and cash. One tourist who resisted was hit in the head with the butt of a rifle but was not seriously hurt, police said.

The robbery took place near Rio's famed Ipanema beach, a swanky area where police and drug traffickers squared off in a prolonged shootout this week that sent tourists ducking for cover.

Two days later a prominent socialite was shot and killed by a teenage assailant on a bicycle as she pulled up to a stoplight in Leblon, another glitzy beach neighborhood popular with tourists.

Nestled between lush mountains covered in tropical vegetation and the Atlantic ocean, Rio has long been Brazil's most popular tourist destination. But it also has one of the highest murder rates in the world, prompting some travel agencies to warn tourists that it might be safer to vacation elsewhere.



We'll always have Paris.

Review This!


Here's how to translate what's in your performance review:



Dictionary of Evaluation Comments

Some of you might like to know what the supervisor is really saying in all those glowing employee work performance evaluations s/he keeps cranking out.

AVERAGE: Not too bright.

EXCEPTIONALLY WELL QUALIFIED: Has committed no major blunders to date.

ACTIVE SOCIALLY: Drinks heavily.

ZEALOUS ATTITUDE: Opinionated.

CHARACTER ABOVE REPROACH: Still one step ahead of the law.

UNLIMITED POTENTIAL: Will stick with us until retirement.

QUICK THINKING: Offers plausible excuses for errors.

TAKES PRIDE IN WORK: Conceited.

TAKES ADVANTAGE OF EVERY OPPERTUNITY TO PROGRESS: Buys drinks for superiors.

INDIFFERENT TO INSTRUCTION: Knows more than superiors.

STERN DISCIPLINARIAN: A real jerk.

TACTFUL IN DEALING WITH SUPERIORS: Knows when to keep mouth shut.

APPROACHES DIFFICULT PROBLEMS WITH LOGIC: Finds someone else to do the job.

A KEEN ANALYST: Thoroughly confused.

NOT A DESK PERSON: Did not go to college.

EXPRESSES SELF WELL: Can string two sentences together.

SPENDS EXTRA HOURS ON THE JOB: Miserable home life.

CONSCIENTIOUS AND CAREFUL: Scared.

METICULOUS IN ATTENTION TO DETAIL: A nitpicker.

DEMONSTRATES QUALITIES OF LEADERSHIP: Has a loud voice.

JUDGEMENT IS USUALLY SOUND: Lucky.

MAINTAINS PROFESSIONAL ATTITUDE: A snob.

KEEN SENSE OF HUMOR: Knows lots of dirty jokes.

STRONG ADHERENCE TO PRINCIPLES: Stubborn.

GETS ALONG EXTREMELY WELL WITH SUPERIORS AND SUBORDINATES ALIKE: A coward.

SLIGHTLY BELOW AVERAGE: Stupid.

OF GREAT VALUE TO THE ORGANIZATION: Turns in work on time.

IS UNUSUALLY LOYAL: Wanted by no-one else.

ALERT TO COMPANY DEVELOPMENTS: An office gossip.

REQUIRES WORK-VALUE ATTITUDINAL READJUSTMENT: Lazy and hard-headed.

HARD WORKER: Usually does it the hard way.

ENJOYS JOB: Needs more to do.

HAPPY: Paid too much.

WELL ORGANIZED: Does too much busywork.

COMPETENT: Is still able to get work done if supervisor helps.

CONSULTS WITH SUPERVISOR OFTEN: Annoying.

WILL GO FAR: Relative of management.

SHOULD GO FAR: Please.

USES TIME EFFECTIVELY: Clock watcher.

VERY CREATIVE: Finds 22 reasons to do anything except original work.

USES RESOURSES WELL: Delegates everything.

DESERVES PROMOTION: Create new title to make h/h feel appreciated.



Hmm, I didn't see mine:

ALREADY WORKING AT FULL POTENTIAL: His future is securely behind him.

(HT2AJ)

But Which Came First?


From Science Daily:



Anxiety Disorders Linked To Physical Conditions

Anxiety disorders appear to be independently associated with several physical conditions, including thyroid disease, respiratory disease, arthritis and migraine headaches, according to a report in the October 23 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. This co-occurrence of disorders may significantly increase the risk of disability and negatively affect quality of life.

Although depression has long been linked to physical illness, evidence supporting an association between anxiety disorders and physical health problems is more recent, according to background information in the article. Anxiety disorders include panic disorder, agoraphobia (fear of being in a situation where panic or anxiety may occur and escape from the situation might be difficult), social phobia and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Studies have found that those with phobic (fearful) anxiety may be more likely to experience sudden cardiac death, and rates of anxiety disorders are higher than expected in patients with thyroid disease, cancer, hypertension and several other conditions.



Read the rest here.

Cosmo's Apology




Gotta Wonder How He *Really* Feels


From the Sun Times:



Avoid the loony Zune

November 23, 2006

BY ANDY IHNATKO

Yes, Microsoft's new Zune digital music player is just plain dreadful. I've spent a week setting this thing up and using it, and the overall experience is about as pleasant as having an airbag deploy in your face.

"Avoid," is my general message. The Zune is a square wheel, a product that's so absurd and so obviously immune to success that it evokes something akin to a sense of pity.

The setup process stands among the very worst experiences I've ever had with digital music players. The installer app failed, and an hour into the ordeal, I found myself asking my office goldfish, "Has it really come to this? Am I really about to manually create and install a .dll file?"

But there it was, right on the Zune's tech support page. Is this really what parents want to be doing at 4 a.m. on Christmas morning?

That might not be Zune's fault. After about a year of operation, it's almost as if a Windows machine develops some sort of antibodies that prevent it from recognizing new hardware. But what's Microsoft's excuse for everything else?



Read the rest here.

Want One




Chilling Interview


From WND:



Recruited attacker for terror group talks to WND about 'serving Allah by blasting unbelievers to hell'

Friday, November 24, 2006
1:00 a.m. Eastern

By Aaron Klein
© 2006 WorldNetDaily.com

JENIN – WND was granted access through the Islamic Jihad terror group to a 23-year old Palestinian man who has volunteered to become a suicide bomber and who the organization says has "great potential" to carry out one of the next attempted suicide attacks against Israeli civilians.

According to Islamic Jihad leaders, the potential bomber interviewed is one of over "hundreds" of young Palestinians in the northern West Bank who passed necessary recruitment stages and is available to attempt to infiltrate Jewish population centers wearing an explosive belt with the goal of blowing up as many Israelis as possible.

The interview took place in a remote building in the northern West Bank city of Jenin, a well-known Islamic Jihad stronghold from which the majority of recent Palestinian suicide bombers have originated.

The Islamic Jihad terror group has taken responsibility for every suicide attack inside Israel the past two years, including a bombing in Tel Aviv in April that killed American teenager Daniel Wultz and nine Israelis. Islamic Jihad also has carried out scores of recent deadly shootings and rocket attacks against Israeli civilians.

Islamic Jihad leaders allowed WND to interview the potential suicide bomber in a room together with his recruiter, who is a senior member of the terror group.

Both the recruiter and potential bomber were aware WND's reporter is Jewish.

The recruiter several times ordered the want-to-be bomber to refrain from answering certain questions during the interview, which was conducted using an English-Arabic translator.

The potential bomber's face was not covered during the interview, but he was told by the Islamic Jihad recruiter not to provide his name or extensive biographical information.

Following are excerpts from WND's conversation with the potential bomber, which includes topics such as the supposed reward of 72 dark-eyed virgins for carrying out an attack; the belief among some Muslims that Jews descended from pigs and monkeys; and the potential suicide bomber's desire to kill WND's reporter in a suicide operation.



Read the interview here.

Found On The Web




They've Got Game


From NY Times:



Getting Everybody Back in the Game

By SETH SCHIESEL

Judging by sheer silicon horsepower, the Nintendo Wii is the least powerful of the new generation of video game systems. But for many people it will be the most fun, and that’s what really matters.

Unlike Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and Sony’s PlayStation 3, the Wii does not produce eyepopping high-definition graphics. Unlike its brawnier and more expensive brethren, it does not feature an extensive online service built around multiplayer gaming. Unlike the 360 and the PS3, the Wii isn’t trying to be the most advanced digital entertainment system out there. Instead, the Wii (pronounced “we,” not “why”) is about rescuing gaming from the clutches of the hard-core young male demographic that has dominated the industry’s thinking for years. It is about making video games accessible again by providing a simple, intuitive, relatively inexpensive entertainment experience that an entire family can actually enjoy together.

At that, the Wii succeeds admirably.



Read the rest here.

Strategy 17 - Defeat Them In Detail


The 33 Strategies Of War

by Robert Greene and Joost Elffers



Strategy 17

The Divide-And-Conquer Strategy

"When you look at your enemies, do not be intimidated by their appearance. Instead look at the parts that make up the whole. By separating the parts, sowing dissension and division from within, you can weaken and bring down even the most formidable foe. In setting up your attack, work on their minds to create internal conflict. Look for the joints and links, the things that connect the people in a group or connect one group to another. Division is weakenss, and the joints are the weakest part of any structure. When you are facing troubles or enemies, turn a large problem into small, eminently defeatable parts"



CNet's 2006 Holiday Gift Guide


Gift ideas in every price range:


(If yer feeling flush, Muzzy wants this.)

Saturday, November 25, 2006

256 GB On A Sheet Of Paper?


From Techworld:



Store 256GB on an A4 sheet

24 November 2006

By Chris Mellor, Techworld

How much information can you store on an A4 sheet? Well, according to some new technology designed by an Indian engineering student, an extraordinary 256GB.

New "rainbow technology", devised by Sainul Abideen who has just completed an MCA degree in Kerala, data can be encoded into coloured geometric shapes and stored in dense patterns on paper.

Files such as text, images, sounds and video clips are encoded in "rainbow format" as coloured circles, triangles, squares and so on, and printed as dense graphics on paper at a density of 2.7GB per square inch. The paper can then be read through a specially developed scanner and the contents decoded into their original digital format and viewed or played. The encoding and decoding processes have not been revealed.



Read the rest here.

Hello Kitty


Teach Your Cat To Read

Diabetes And Obesity


From Science Daily:



Diabetes, Not Obesity, Increases Risk Of Developing Critical Illness And Early Death

Diabetes puts people at risk of developing critical illness and dying early, but obesity without diabetes does not. A study published in the open access journal Critical Care reveals that individuals suffering from diabetes are three times more at risk of developing critical illness and dying young than individuals who do not have diabetes.

Obese individuals who do not have diabetes, by contrast, have the same risk of dying or of falling critically ill as non-obese patients who do not have diabetes.

These results are surprising, as obesity is linked to diabetes. The authors of the study conclude that the relationship between obesity, diabetes and critical illness is complex and that obesity, per se, does not predict poor outcomes.



Read the rest here.

Africam


The world's first virtual game reserve

Found On The Web




I Love Windows 98 (Wink, Wink, Nudge, Nudge)


Several years back I was working on a Computer Science degree and my Father-In-Law graciously ceded me his (even then) creaky Compaq Presario 1230 laptop. It was running Windows 98 when he gave it to me, and had only 32 megs of RAM, which I upgraded to 96 megs, and in time, upgraded to Windows 98SE.

At the time I used it alot, because it allowed me to do the homework assignments I had that required a Wintel machine. Today the computer sits on seven year-old AE's desk, mostly used for simple games and Kid Pix.

The time I spent using the computer made me appreciate the generosity of my FIL, but it also helped me realize how great the Mac OS is. Sure, I'll grant that OS 8 and 9 each had its faults, and I'll admit that Windows XP is a tolerable operating system. But I use both OS' daily, and I'm here to tell you: Mac OSX is a superior product.

So, where was I?

Oh yeah. I went to Best Buy last night and bought a PCMIA slot card that promised to allow that old Compaq laptop to connect to the home WIFI network, for daughter number one AE to use AOL. The price was modest, so I picked one up, and the salesgirl told me set up would be easy and straightforward.

Hmm. Easy? Nope. Not even close.

Now, I am willing to grant that the process would have been alot simpler it I'd been using XP, as I would probably not have had to deal with driver installation. But since I'm running Windows 98SE on that machine, it was not so easy to set up.

First I tried to read the miniscule print in the instruction manual. It was so tiny that I had to take my glasses off, and even then, I could barely read it. I finally said the aitch with it, and decided to try to proceed without the instructions. How hard could it be, after all?

Okay, now before you go off on me, I actually *did* read the instructions, but I just didn't follow them precisely, not because I'm belligerent - well, I am - but because they were wrong. Wrong. As in, what happened on the screen when I did what they told me to do didn't match the widdle biddy pictures. Of course, how would I know? I could barely see them, remember? In the end, it took me over an hour to get the connection software and drivers properly loaded onto the computer. I was able to connect to the net, and promptly used Firefox to download AOL 9.0, which I proceeded to install.

Not such a good idea, methinks, Grasshopper.

But that was the whole point of the exercise, wasn't it? To install AOL, right? Notice that in all this I haven't referred to the company as AOHell, for solid legal reasons. Problem is that once I installed the software, it seems it 'optimized' my Windows OS to run AOL. And how could I object to that? Coulda, woulda, shoulda: the program seemed to have trashed my network card configuration files, which I then had to reinstall from scratch. Another hour later, I had everything working.

After supper, with AE's input, I set up a screen name for her, and helped her log into AOL using the software, where she read an email from Mommy and sent one to her Grandma and Grandpa. She was just pleased as could be, and I was happy for her. It seemed that I'd managed to breathe new life and utility into an aging computer, and I felt rather proud of myself.

See? Now that's when I should have known better: Murphy's Law to the rescue.

I went into AOL's parental controls to install an additional something - I don't remember what - to keep Bad Stuff from happening to my little girl during her online sessions, some kind of anti-spam software. At the end of the install I was instructed to restart the computer, which I did and...nothing. Well, that's not entirely true. The computer still boots, and it appears to work, but the changes I made in AOL appear to have trashed the connection software for the wireless card. Again.

Well, that's no problem, is it? I'll just uninstall, and then reinstall the driver software. Easy, right? It worked before. Sure, easy. Easy, if you consider a 'general protection fault' that crashes the installer now, when I try to run it, 'easy.' Plus, the little bleeper keeps prompting me for the Windows 98SE upgrade disc, trying to tell me that it needs to search there for drivers for the new device. When I insert the Win 98SE disk, the infernal process tells me it can't find the drivers there. Of course not. They are on the WIFI card install disc. But they aren't found there, either. And then the installer crashes. Rinse, repeat.

So, the bottom line? I cannot reinstall the connector software, the one that I need to used to connect to the net. And without my connection, my darling daughter cannot use AOL via WIFI. Of course, I just canceled my AOL dial-up account, in exchange for their new and improved free software. But wait: by doing that, I forfeited the right to phone or email their customer service, so I can't call the company to find out what they suggest I do.

As my sister used to say: 'Sugar Honey, Iced Tea.'

You know, other than the fact that I just spent some four or five hours dinking around with this wonderful (for legal reasons) computer and its operating system, what really frosts my cake is the fact that I'm going to have to try to explain to my dear daughter why the computer on her desk won't actually connect to the net. She was so proud of it, and of the fact that she now has her own email account. Of course, all is not lost for her, as she still has the account. I'll just have to let her use *my* computer, now, won't I? Gah!

Yup: 'Sugar Honey, Iced Tea!'

Strategy 16 - Hit Them Where It Hurts


The 33 Strategies Of War

by Robert Greene and Joost Elffers



Strategy 16

The Center-Of-Gravity Strategy

"Everyone has a source of power on which he or she depends. When you look at your rivals, search below the surface for that source, the center of gravity that holds the entire structure together. That center can be their wealth, their popularity, a key position, a winning strategy. Hitting them there will inflict disproportionate pain. Find what the other side most cherishes and protects - that is where you must strike."



WWII German General Erwin Rommel was a master of this strategy.

Snow Gray


06.11.21.SnowGray-X


Cartoon courtesy Cox&Forkum

More On The Story From C&F


Friday, November 24, 2006

Friday Night Videos - The Big 80's II




'Just Like Starting Over'
John Lennon

+++++




'Pipes Of Peace'
Paul McCartney

+++++




'Pride (In The Name Of Love)
U2

+++++




'Billie Jean'
Michael Jackson

+++++




'Let's Dance'
David Bowie

+++++


Are They Serious?


Time Magazine's list of The All-Time 100 Albums.

H2G2


BBC's Hitchiker's Guide To The Galaxy

Book Meme


1) Total number of books owned?

Hmm. I have no idea, really. Between my books, my wife's books and my kid's books, I'd say there are at least 5000 volumes in our house, probably far more.

2) Last book I bought?

Again, I have no idea. I buy books all the time. I have the notion it may have been a kiddie book, something for one of my daughters. I probably go into a new or used bookstore at least once a week, and I almost always buy something, either a book or magazine, or CD/DVD.

3) Last book I read?

Hard to say, because I almost never read a book thru in one sitting. I am constantly picking up a book, reading it to some point, inserting a marker and putting it down. I do that far more than is probably healthy.

That said, within the past week I was at one time or another reading some of H.L. Mencken's 'A Mencken Chrestomathy,' Paul Johnson's 'Art - A New History,' Emily Bronte's 'Wuthering Heights,' Robert Greene's 'The 33 Strategies of War,' Leo Rosten's 'Joy of Yinglish,' and the New Testament book of 'Romans.' I also read this past week several magazines, including OK!, People, Newsweek, Wired, Vanity Fair, and The Week.

(Additionally, I'm in the middle of listening to Jane Austen's unabridged 'Emma,' on CD, and to the first of Adam Eason's several dozen motivational podcasts.)

4) Three books I thought over-rated?

'The Da Vinci Code' - Dan Brown
'Canterbury Tales' - Geoffrey Chaucer
'The Catcher In The Rye' - J.D. Salinger

5) Five Books that mean a lot to me?

'Mere Christianity' - C.S. Lewis
'Huckleberry Finn' - Mark Twain
'Intellectuals' - Paul Johnson
'A Mencken Chrestomathy' - H.L. Mencken
'48 Laws Of Power' - Robert Greene

A Thousand Pounds Of TomKat?


Celebdaq

Made In The Shade


From Science Daily:



Space Sunshade Might Be Feasible In Global Warming Emergency

The possibility that global warming will trigger abrupt climate change is something people might not want to think about.

But University of Arizona astronomer Roger Angel thinks about it.

Angel, a University of Arizona Regents' Professor and one of the world's foremost minds in modern optics, directs the Steward Observatory Mirror Laboratory and the Center for Astronomical Adaptive Optics. He has won top honors for his many extraordinary conceptual ideas that have become practical engineering solutions for astronomy.

For the past year, Angel has been looking at ways to cool the Earth in an emergency. He's been studying the practicality of deploying a space sunshade in a global warming crisis, a crisis where it becomes clear that Earth is unmistakably headed for disastrous climate change within a decade or two.

Angel presented the idea at the National Academy of Sciences in April and won a NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts grant for further research in July. His collaborators on the grant are David Miller of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Nick Woolf of UA's Steward Observatory, and NASA Ames Research Center Director S. Pete Worden.

Angel is now publishing a first detailed, scholarly paper, "Feasibility of cooling the Earth with a cloud of small spacecraft near L1," in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The plan would be to launch a constellation of trillions of small free-flying spacecraft a million miles above Earth into an orbit aligned with the sun, called the L-1 orbit.



Read the rest here.

Sorry Gotta Go


When you need to get off the phone.

Found On The Web




Yikes!


This hurts my eyes.

Sobering Story


From NY Times:



Proof Is Scant on Psychiatric Drug Mix for Young

November 23, 2006
By GARDINER HARRIS

Their rooms are a mess, their trophies line the walls, and both have profiles on MySpace.com. Stephen and Jacob Meszaros seem like typical teenagers until their mother offers a glimpse into the family’s medicine cabinet.

Bottles of psychiatric medications fill the shelves. Stephen, 15, takes the antidepressants Zoloft and Desyrel for depression, the anticonvulsant Lamictal to moderate his moods and the stimulant Focalin XR to improve concentration. Jacob, 14, takes Focalin XR for concentration, the anticonvulsant Depakote to moderate his moods, the antipsychotic Risperdal to reduce anger and the antihypertensive Catapres to induce sleep.

Over the last three years, each boy has been prescribed 28 different psychiatric drugs.

“Sometimes, when you look at all the drugs they’ve taken, you wonder, ‘Wow, did I really do this to my kids?’ ” said their mother, Tricia Kehoe of Sharpsville, Pa. “But I’ve seen them without the meds, and there’s a major difference.”

There is little doubt that some psychiatric medicines, taken by themselves, work well in children. For example, dozens of studies have shown that stimulants improve attentiveness. A handful of other psychiatric drugs have proven effective against childhood obsessive compulsive disorder, among other problems.

But a growing number of children and teenagers in the United States are taking not just a single drug for discrete psychiatric difficulties but combinations of powerful and even life-threatening medications to treat a dizzying array of problems.

Last year in the United States, about 1.6 million children and teenagers — 280,000 of them under age 10 — were given at least two psychiatric drugs in combination, according to an analysis performed by Medco Health Solutions at the request of The New York Times. More than 500,000 were prescribed at least three psychiatric drugs. More than 160,000 got at least four medications together, the analysis found.

Many psychiatrists and parents believe that such drug combinations, often referred to as drug cocktails, help. But there is virtually no scientific evidence to justify this multiplication of pills, researchers say. A few studies have shown that a combination of two drugs can be helpful in adult patients, but the evidence in children is scant. And there is no evidence at all — “zero,” “zip,” “nil,” experts said — that combining three or more drugs is appropriate or even effective in children or adults.

“There are not any good scientific data to support the widespread use of these medicines in children, particularly in young children where the scientific data are even more scarce,” said Dr. Thomas R. Insel, director of the National Institute of Mental Health.



Read the rest here.

Very Cool


It's like TiVo for those too busy or broke for TiVo: CBS and ABC have made full episodes of their most popular shows available for viewing online, although CBS only streams to US IP addresses. (Fox and NBC only show short clips.)

Found On Flickr


Photo album of the Danish weddding of Kris and Chris.

Strategy 15 - Control The Dynamic


The 33 Strategies Of War

by Robert Greene and Joost Elffers



Strategy 15

Forcing Strategies

"People are constantly struggling to control you - getting you to act in their interests, keeping the dynamic on their terms. The only way to get the upper hand is to make your play for control more intelligent and insidious. Instead of trying to dominate the other side's every move, work to define the nature of the relationship itself. Shift the conflict to terrain of your choice, altering the pace and stakes to suit you. Maneuver to control your opponents' minds, pushing their emotional buttons, and compelling them to make mistakes. If necessary, let them feel they are in control in order to get them to lower their guard. If you control the overall direction and framing of the battle, anything they do will play into your hands."



WWII German General Erwin Rommel was a master of this strategy.

Driving While Ancient


BUST.06.09.21.DrivAncient


Cartoon courtesy Cox&Forkum

More On The Story From C&F


Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Health News


From the Globe And Mail:



Stem cells core of more cancers

New discoveries that pinpoint bad seeds leading to a major redirection of research


CAROLYN ABRAHAM

A spate of new discoveries about the basic biology of cancer is pushing researchers toward an astonishing conclusion: For decades, efforts to cure the disease may have targeted the wrong cells.

Current therapies treat all cancer cells the same. They're aimed at shrinking tumours on the basis that the various cells within them all have similar powers to spawn new cancers and spread destruction.

But mounting evidence suggests that cancer's real culprits -- the roots of perhaps every tumour -- are actually a small subset of bad seeds known best to the world as stem cells.

"It is not unreasonable to say that all this time, the 30 or 40 years that chemotherapy and radiation [have] been around, we've been going after the wrong cells," said Alan Bernstein, president of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the country's main medical research funding agency. If the theory bears out, he said, "All of our therapies have been targeting and killing the pawns.



Read the rest here.

Found On The Web




RIP


Robert Bernard Altman (February 20, 1925 – November 20, 2006)

Wii Want Won


From Wikipedia:



(pronounced as the pronoun "we", IPA: /wiː/) is Nintendo's seventh-generation video game console. Previously known by its project code name of Revolution, it is the successor to the Nintendo GameCube and competes against Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Sony's PlayStation 3.

A distinguishing feature of the Wii console is its wireless controller, the Wii Remote, which may be used as a handheld pointing device and can detect motion and rotation in three dimensions. The console also notably features WiiConnect24, which enables it to receive messages and updates over the Internet while consuming very little electrical power.



Read the rest here.

Write Your Own Caption


From Yahoo News:



Calif. couple calls for orgasm for peace

By MARCUS WOHLSEN

Associated Press Writer
Sun Nov 19, 9:05 PM ET

Two peace activists have planned a massive anti-war demonstration for the first day of winter.

But they don't want you marching in the streets. They'd much rather you just stay home.

The Global Orgasm for Peace was conceived by Donna Sheehan, 76, and Paul Reffell, 55, whose immodest goal is for everyone in the world to have an orgasm Dec. 22 while focusing on world peace.

"The orgasm gives out an incredible feeling of peace during it and after it," Reffell said Sunday. "Your mind is like a blank. It's like a meditative state. And mass meditations have been shown to make a change."



Read the rest here.

All You Need


Beatles Ultimate Experience.

Law 14 - Overwhelm Resistence With Speed And Suddenness


The 33 Strategies Of War

by Robert Greene and Joost Elffers



Law 14

The Blitzkrieg Strategy

"In a world in which many people are indecisive and overly cautious, the use of speed will bring you untold power. Striking first, before your opponents have time to think or prepare, will make them emotional, unbalanced, and prone to error. When you follow with another swift and sudden maneuver, you will induce further panic and confusion. This strategy works best with a setup, a lull - your unexpected action catches your enemy off guard. When you strike, hit with unrelenting force. Acting with speed and decisiveness will garner you respect, awe, and irresistible momentum."



Status Quo Redux


06.11.19.StatusQuoReduxCOL


Cartoon courtesy Cox&Forkum

More On The Story From C&F


Saturday, November 18, 2006

Cool Site


Great Buildings

Found On The Web




Blogging Yahweh


David Plotz blogs the Bible - sorta.

Heart Ache


From Forbes:



50,000 Unnecessary Heart Procedures

Matthew Herper, 11.14.06, 12:00 PM ET

CHICAGO - Some 50,000 procedures done every year to open patients' arteries after a heart attack are unnecessary and possibly harmful, according to a large study.

The 2,166-patient study found no benefit to the procedure, called angioplasty, when it was performed more than three days after the patient had a heart attack. Angioplasty, in which a balloon is used to open a clogged artery and a metal mesh tube called a stent is then used to hold the blood vessel open, has been shown to be lifesaving when performed right after a heart attack, and doctors are making a big push to make sure that patients get the treatment then.

But the new study, presented here at the American Heart Association and published online in The New England Journal of Medicine, looks at patients whose heart disease had become stable, putting them at somewhat lower risk for a repeat heart attack.

All patients received the best drug therapy available, but only half received angioplasty and a stent. There was no statistically significant difference between the two groups, but there was a trend showing an increase in heart attacks among the people who received the stent after four years.



Read the rest here.

Comes In Handy


From NYT:



Germs Never Sleep

By ALLEN SALKIN

SIMON SASSOON saw the future in a dream. Mr. Sassoon, a former watch designer, dreamed he was standing in a women’s public restroom, which his hygiene-conscious girlfriend had just left. Attached to the door above the knob was a white plastic box.

As Mr. Sassoon’s dream self watched, the box made a gushing sound. Out from the bottom sprayed a fine dry mist, which bathed the metal knob and killed every germ on it.

“I felt I’d found my calling,” Mr. Sassoon said last week, very much awake as he demonstrated a prototype, which he said looked exactly like the box in his dream. “There’s a tremendous ‘ick’ factor when it comes to doorknobs.”



Read the rest here.

Minnesota Thanks You For Your Service


From USA Today



Minnesota beauty queen trades sash for fatigues as her Guard unit deploys to Iraq

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Jessica Gaulke is trading in her sash as a Minnesota beauty queen for Army fatigues—and Iraq.

Gaulke, who was chosen Minneapolis Aquatennial Queen of the Lakes in July, is giving up her title because her National Guard unit has been activated for duty. The 22-year-old Augsburg College sociology student will be going to the Mideast as a diesel generator mechanic.

"It really wasn't a decision that was mine to be made," said Gaulke. "My unit's going. I've accepted it. It's part of the whole scope of why I joined; I'll be there for all of us over here."



Read the rest here.

RIP - Milton Friedman


Milton Friedman - (July 31, 1912 – November 16, 2006)

FT obit here.

This Is Very Cool


Baby Name Wizard

Overhead At The Mom's Group


From Nerdherd



THE NEXT SURVIVOR SERIES

Six married men will be dropped on an island with one car and 3 kids each for six weeks.

Each kid will play two sports and either take music or dance classes.

There is no fast food.



Read the rest here.

Don't Just Stand There



From WikiHow



How to Do Nothing

For those of us who are non-stop workaholics, doing nothing can actually be pretty difficult! If you're like the Energizer bunny in that you keep going, and going, and going, here's how to stop once in a while and just do nothing.



Read the rest here - or not.

Dubyah Does U2




'Sunday Bloody Sunday'
GW Bush

+++++


Law 13 - Know Your Enemy


The 33 Strategies Of War

by Robert Greene and Joost Elffers



Law 13

The Intelligence Strategy

"The target of your strategies should be less the army you face than the mind of the man or woman who runs it. If you understand how that mind works, you have the key to deceiving and controlling it. Train yourself to read people, picking up the signals they unconsciously send about their innermost thoughts and intentions. A friendly front will let you watch them closely and mine them for information. Beware of projecting your own emotions and mental habits onto them; try to think as they think. By finding your opponents psychological weaknesses, you can work to unhinge their minds."



Friday, November 17, 2006

Friday Night Videos - Big 80's Edition




'Fantastic Day'
Haircut 100

+++++




'Never Stop'
Echo And The Bunnymen

+++++




'Up On The Catwalk'
Simple Minds

+++++




'The Sun Always Shines On TV'
Aha

+++++




'Years Later'
Cactus World News

+++++


Law 12 - Lose Battles But Win The War


The 33 Strategies Of War

by Robert Greene and Joost Elffers



Law 12

Grand Strategy

"Everyone around you is a strategist angling for power, all trying to promote their own interests, often at your expense. Your daily battles with them make you lose sight of the only thing that really matters: victory in the end, the achievement of greater goals, lasting power. Grand strategy is the art of looking beyond the battle and calculating ahead. It requires that you focus on your ultimate goal and plot to reach it. In grand strategy you consider the political ramifications and long-term consequences of what you do. Instead of reacting emotionally to people, you take control, and make your actions more dimensional, subtle, and effective. Let others get caught up in the twists and turns of the battle, relishing their little victories. Grand strategy will bring you the ultimate rewared: the last laugh."



Family Feud


06.11.16.FamilyFeud-X


Cartoon courtesy Cox&Forkum

More On The Story From C&F


Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Law 11 - Trade Space For Time


The 33 Strategies Of War

by Robert Greene and Joost Elffers



Law 11

The Nonengagement Strategy

"Retreat in the face of a strong enemy is a sign not of weakness but of strength. By resisting the temptation to respond to an aggressor, you buy yourself valuable time - time to recover, to think, to gain perspective. Let your enemies advance; time is more important than space. By refusing to fight, you infuriate them and feed their arrogance. They will soon overextend themselves and start making mistakes. Time will reveal them as rash and you as wise. Sometimes you can accomplish most by doing nothing."



Eminent Domain


05.12.11.EminentDomain-X


Cartoon courtesy Cox&Forkum

More On The Story From C&F


Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Escargot?


From Science Daily:



Snail Toxins Reveal Novel Way To Fight Severe Nerve Pain

Source: University of Utah
Date: November 14, 2006

A brand new approach to treating severe nerve pain -- by aiming drugs at a previously unrecognized molecular target -- has been discovered by University of Utah scientists who study the venoms of deadly, sea-dwelling cone snails.

"We found a new way to treat a chronic and debilitating form of pain suffered by hundreds of millions of people on Earth," says J. Michael McIntosh, a University of Utah research professor of biology, and research director and professor in the Department of Psychiatry. "It is a previously unrecognized mechanism for treating pain."



Read the rest here.

Found On The Web




Borat Soundboard


Really.

Angrytime


From Yahoo News:



Stand-in village for Borat's hometown furious

By Justyna PawlakTue Nov 14, 8:53 AM ET

Romania may not be a stop on Borat's fictional road trip, but Romanian villagers are furious their roles in this month's top-grossing U.S. film by a British comedian earned them a few laughs but little cash.

Nestled in a narrow valley in southern Romania, the village of Glod starred as Borat's hometown in Kazakhstan where, in the film, peasants live with cattle, horses are used to pull cars and brothers can share steamy kisses with their sisters.

Like many others who became extras in the film about an unwittingly offensive TV journalist from Central Asia, Borat Sagdiyev, traveling through the United States, poor villagers feel they were cheated.

"We want to sue them. They made the world laugh at us," said Marin Marcel, a 34-year-old Roma Gypsy, who along with his neighbors carves out an income by working in local quarries and picking forest fruit. "They taped us without paying us money!"

Behind him, a potholed asphalt road curves along bare hills and old women carry bundles of firewood, dodging large trucks, horse-drawn carts and cows. Lining the road are tiny houses draped in vine, some lack running water.

The Roma villagers said the film, which portrays Kazakhstan as a nation of horse urine-drinking misogynists, can only increase further discrimination they say they face in Romania and damage the country's image abroad.



Read the rest here.

Law 10 - Create A Threatening Presence


The 33 Strategies Of War

by Robert Greene and Joost Elffers



Law 10

Deterrence Strategies

"The best way to fight off aggressors is to keep them from attacking you in the first place. To acccomplish this you much create the impression of being more powerful than you are. Build up a reputation: You're a little crazy. Fighting you is not worth it. You take your enemies with you when you lose. Create this reputation and make it credible with a few impressive - and impressively violent - acts. Uncertainty is sometimes better than overt threat: if your opponents are never sure what messing with you will cost, they will not want to find out. Play on people's natural fears and anxieties to make them think twice."



Flashback


06.11.14.Flashback-X


Cartoon courtesy Cox&Forkum

More On The Story From C&F


Monday, November 13, 2006

Weekend At Sydney's


From Yahoo News:



He drives awfully fast, for a dead guy

Mon Nov 13, 8:13 AM ET

A dead man has been blamed for hundreds of speeding offences in Australia in what police believe is a major fraud designed to help motorists avoid traffic fines.

Police in Sydney said 240 people were under investigation over the speeding scam, where hundreds of motorists blamed either the same dead man, or a person living in another state, for driving their cars at the time of the speeding offences.

"These offences amount to fraud and, if proven, those involved could face stiff penalties including imprisonment," New South Wales Police Superintendent Daryl Donnolly said in a statement Saturday.



Read the rest here.

And more from SMH here.

Music Monday - Grab Bag Edition




'Promiscious'
Nelly Furtado

+++++




'Alive'
P.O.D.

+++++




'New York, New York'
Frank Sinatra

+++++




'Sexy Back'
Justin Timberlake

+++++




"Siam navi all'onde algenti (Vivaldi)'
Cecilia Bartoli

+++++




'Come As You Are'
Nirvana

+++++




'New York State Of Mind'
Tony Bennett

+++++


Metabolic Syndrome?


From Wired:



The Thin Pill

75 million Americans may have something called metabolic syndrome. How Big Pharma turned obesity into a disease – then invented the drugs to cure it.


By Thomas Goetz

What is a disease?

FOR PATIENTS, disease puts a name to an affliction. It answers that question we all face at one time or another: What's the matter with me? If there is a clear and precise explanation for what's wrong, then surely there is an equally clear way to get better.

At 228 pounds, Karen Cunningham knew she wasn't in great health. The owner of a small transcribing business in Louisville, Kentucky, Cunningham had gained 60 pounds during pregnancy in 1991 and just couldn't shake the weight. She always felt fatigued, and her hands and feet were often swollen. Doctors blamed it on her weight. "They said I just needed to lose the excess and I'd be fine," she recalls. Eventually, various specialists (rheumatologists, endocrinologists, internists) offered various diagnoses (high blood pressure, hypothyroidism, osteoarthritis) and prescribed various medications (Synthroid, Celebrex). But nothing worked. "I was really at the end of my rope, really thought whatever I had was going to kill me," she says. "And it would have, had I not found out what the problem was. You can't fight an enemy when you don't know who he is."

The breakthrough came last December when her new endocrinologist diagnosed her with something called metabolic syndrome. She'd never heard of it. As she Googled to learn more, her chronic ailments – the weight, the high blood pressure, the lack of energy – started to make sense. They even seemed treatable. She's now on Glucophage and Avandia (which both regulate blood sugar) and has lost 20 pounds by cutting out carbohydrates. "Getting a diagnosis was a relief," Cunningham says. "I have hope now, whereas I didn't have any before."

Cunningham is among the first wave of Americans to be diagnosed with metabolic syndrome, a condition that, though only concretely defined five years ago, is now said to afflict as many as 75 million Americans – whether they know it or not. We sit, indeed, amid an epidemic of metabolic syndrome, a fact all the more remarkable because so few people are familiar with it. For this is no virus on the loose, no plague that has spread unchecked. Rather, metabolic syndrome is just a new way to think about a cluster of well-known and increasingly prevalent conditions. Metabolic syndrome is characterized by five risk factors: high blood pressure, high blood sugar, high triglycerides (fatty acids in the bloodstream), low HDL ("good") cholesterol, and obesity. Of the five, obesity – which is itself often referred to as an epidemic – is the most important, because the rise of the morbidly overweight is directly driving the rise in the syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is, in fact, almost indistinguishable from obesity – at least 85 percent of those who have the syndrome are obese or overweight.



Read the rest here.

Law 9 - Turn The Tables


The 33 Strategies Of War

by Robert Greene and Joost Elffers



Law 9

The Counterattack Strategy

"Moving fast - initiating the attack - will often put you at a disadvantage: you are exposing your strategy and limiting your options. Instead discover the power of holding back and letting the other side move first, giving you the flexibility to counterattack from any angle. If your opponents are aggressive, bait them into a rash attack that will leave them in a weak position. Learn to use their impatience, their eagerness to get at you, as a way to throw them off balance and bring them down. In the difficult moments do not despair or retreat: any situation can be turned around. If you learn how to hold back, waiting for the right moment to launch an unexpected counterattack, weakness can become strength."



Battle Royale


06.11.12.BattleRoyale-X


Cartoon courtesy Cox&Forkum

More On The Story From C&F


Sunday, November 12, 2006

Law 8 - Pick Your Battles Carefully


The 33 Strategies Of War

by Robert Greene and Joost Elffers



Law 8

The Perfect Economy Strategy

"We all have limitations - our energies and skills will take us only so far. Danger comes from trying to surpass our limits. Seduced by some glittereing prize into overextending ourselves, we end up exhausted and vulnerable. You must know your limits and pick your battles carefully. Consider the hidden costs of a war: time lost, political goodwill squandered, an embittered enemy bent on revenge. Sometimes it is better to wait, to undermine your enemies covertly rather than hitting them straight on. If battle cannot be avoided, get them to fight on your terms. Aim at their weaknesses; make the war expensive for them and cheap for you. Fighting with perfect economy, you can outlast even the most peowerful foe."



Saturday, November 11, 2006

For All Veterans


On this Veteran's Day, thank you for your sevice.

And for everyone, please read (or re-read) Ben Stein's 'Visiting Hours.'

Rule 7 - Transform Your War Into A Crusade


The 33 Strategies Of War

by Robert Greene and Joost Elffers



Law 7

Morale Strategies

"The secret to motivating people and maintaining their morale is to get them to think less about themselves and more about the group. Involve them in a cause, a crusade against a hated enemy. Make them see their survival as tied to the success of the army as a whole. In a group in which people have truly bonded, moods and emotions are so contagious that it becomes easy to infect your troops with enthusiasm. Lead from the front: let your soldiers see you in the trenches, making sacrifices for the cause. That will fill them with the desire to emulate and please you. Make both rewards and punishments rare but meaningful. Remember: a motivated army can work wonders, making up for any lack of material resources."



Friday, November 10, 2006

Found On The Web




I Seem To Recall...


From Yahoo News:



Broad Recall Of Acetaminophen Under Way

By ANDREW BRIDGES,
Associated Press Writer
Fri Nov 10, 8:04 PM ET

WASHINGTON - Check your medicine cabinet: Millions of bottles of the widely used pain reliever acetaminophen — some sold as long as three years ago — are being recalled because they may contain metal fragments.

The recall affects 11 million bottles containing varying quantities of 500-milligram acetaminophen caplets made by the Perrigo Co. The pills were sold under store brands by Wal-Mart, CVS, Safeway and more than 120 other major retailers, the Food and Drug Administration said. At least two chains — CVS Corp. and SuperValu Inc. — started pulling the pills from store shelves Thursday.

There were no immediate reports of injuries or illness. The contaminated pills included metal fragments ranging in size from "microdots" to portions of wire one-third of an inch long, the FDA said. The FDA could not describe further the type of metal.



Read the rest here.

Borat Time


"Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan".

Friday Night Videos - This And That




'Beatles And Stones'
The House Of Love

+++++




'The Master Plan'
Oasis

+++++




'Veronica''
Elvis Costello

+++++




'I Bet You Look On The Dance Floor'
Arctic Monkeys

+++++




'And Hiding Away'
The Innocence Mission

+++++


Rule 6 - Segment Your Forces


The 33 Strategies Of War

by Robert Greene and Joost Elffers



Law 6

The Controlled Chaos Strategy

"The critical elements in war are speed and adaptability - the ability to move and make decisions faster than the enemy. But speed and adaptability are hard to achieve today. We have more information then ever before at our fingertips, making interpretation and decision making more difficult. We have more people to manage, those people are more widely spread, and we face more uncertainty. Learn from Napoleon, warfare's greatest master: speed and adaptability come from flexible organizations. Break your forces into independant groups that can operate and make decisions on their own. Make your forces elusive and unstoppable by infusing them with the spirit of the campaign, giving them a mission to accomplish, and then letting them run."