Well, He Is Parallel To The Curb
I think I know what happened here. The driver was obviously attempting to steer with his arrow keys.
Warning: Sound effects.
I think I know what happened here. The driver was obviously attempting to steer with his arrow keys.
Warning: Sound effects.
Just in case your house is attacked by those annoying Turks:
In 1476, after defeating the Moldavian armies in the Battle of Valea Albă, the Ottoman Empire Sultan Mehmet II forced the Moldavian voivode Ştefan cel Mare to retreat to Cetatea Neamţului. However, as legend says, his mother refused to let him enter the stronghold, and instead advised him to go north into what is now Bukovina and gather a new army. While Ştefan was in Bukovina gathering more forces, Mehmet II laid siege to Cetatea Neamţului. He positioned his cannons on a nearby hill, and began bombarding the stronghold, causing much damage. The Moldavian garrison was at the point of surrender, when a German prisoner held in the dungeons had the idea of using the cannons against the Ottoman position on the hill. His idea was put into practice, and soon the camp of the Turks was being bombarded, forcing Mehmet II to leave the area. The event is recorded by the late Moldavian chronicle of Ion Neculce.[emphasis mine]
DoH! That's what these things are for!
Other Canadian soldiers arriving by convoy in the middle of the night with me last night after a couple days out awoke to a big surprise -- the Americans and South Africans who work with the bomb-sniffing dogs here spent that time constructing a giant maple leaf flag using rocks they then painted. It's on a hill overlooking the camp.
"It's our thanks," said dog handler Van Thames of South Carolina. He admits he had "reservations at first" when told he and his dog would be working with the Canadians. But the experience proved rewarding: "I've met a lot of good, life-long friends here, Canadians."
I double-dog dare you to read this and not get a little choked up. It's by Doug Schmidt of the Windsor Star, blogging from Afghanistan.
Via The Torch
Fortunately I do not embarrass easily, so I have no problem pointing you to Solaris, where Steve lists his Canadian blogs of the year:
gnotalex (or Pierre, which is his first name...) actually doesn't make political posts that often. but when he does, it's always informative and insightful in some way. so, aside from being a funny guy (another supposedly iconoclastic notion against people's supposed impressions of the typical Conservative voters), the man is in no shortage of awareness and ideas.
And thanks much for those kind words.
Except the "funny." What is this "funny" of which you speak? I am a very serious blogger.
Of course, when discussing the activities of a professional comedian like citoyen Dion, I might accidentally make humorous remarks. What choice do I have? He cracks me up.
I was reading up on the now-finalized purchase of Boeing C-17 heavy airlift by the government. I see that the USAF is allowing us to cut in on its current order. That's most gracious on its part. Or maybe it's getting a bit fed up with schlepping our tanks 'n' stuff around.
Not everyone was thrilled by the news. One man took time from his busy schedule of marching for Hezbollah to denounce it:
"We believe you can lease the aircraft you need for this role," said Denis Coderre, the Liberal Party’s defense critic. "It doesn’t make financial sense to purchase these planes."
Aside from the fact that Coderre is a blithering idiot, there are plenty of good reasons to buy the planes, as enumerated in this Globe and Mail comment thread on the same story (to my surprise, it was about 70% in favor).
I'd completely forgotten about it, but this commenter reminded me of one of the perils of depending on outside assistance:
in one example in the late 1990s we used a foreign owned and registered cargo ship to return sensitive communications and other military equipment to canada from a mission abroad. a contract dispute arose between the canadian government and the owner of the ship while the ship was at sea. the owner ordered the captain to stay at sea and to not sail into montreal harbour and to not deliver his cargo until the dispute was resolved. needless to say, a navy ship went out and had to escort the freighter back into canadian waters (after we boarded it and took control of it). i worked in the ops centre and witnessed this whole fiasco unfold.
It actually happened in August of 2000; as I recall, commandos (either JTF-2 or a specialized Navy team) had to rappel down from helicopters to seize the ship. Most likely the prospect of having our decrepit Sea King choppers hovering overhead so terrified the crew that they offered no resistance.
More on the incident here.
I would drive 900 miles
And I would drive 900 more
Just to be the chick who drove 900 miles
To be charged with attempted vehicle burglary with battery, destruction of evidence and battery
I'm sure you've all heard the sad tale of astronaut Lisa Nowak by now. I've refrained from posting on it, because of its sordid nature, and because I don't traffic in human tragedy. The commenters on Fark.com (where the above parody of The Proclaimers' 1988 hit/instrument of torture appeared) are fortunately not so sensitive.
That's what it's called -- the football card pictures of a ballcarrier with one leg in the air, straight-arming an imaginary would-be tackler. At least that's what it's called on this site. I can't find any other reference to it on Google or in Wikipedia.
If it's not called the "ol' huck 'n' buck" -- it damned well should be. I suspect that after Google indexes this page, the pressure to call it the "ol' huck 'n' buck" will be unstoppable. (The pose, that is. I think Google's name is still safe.)
There are three pages of quality huckness 'n' buckitude. Or photos of the rejects from a Bolshoi Ballet audition. The link to the next is at the centre-bottom of each page (it's hard to see, but lights up when you hover your cursor over it).
This is a simple concept if I've ever seen one, but beautifully executed. Just connect the dots in order. If you miss a number -- say going 1-2-4 before touching 3 -- you start the level again. Score is determined by your cumulative time through twenty levels.
Warning: Perky, perky, perky music that will drive you mad, mad, mad.
I've grown accustomed to her hate.
She almost makes the stomach spin.
I've grown accustomed to her posts
too nuts for Daily Kos.
That's about the only thing I can quote from Iowahawk's hilarious take on the John Edwards/Amanda Marcotte imbroglio. If you know nothing about the story, Edwards hired the foul-mouthed Marcotte, who runs the Pandagon blog, as one of his official bloggers for his presidential run. If you'd like a taste of her style, Michelle Malkin collected some nice samples of it from Pandagon before they were deleted.
Warning: Language, though if you did read Pandagon, you certainly won't be surprised by it.
of the February 11 Climate Change Celebrity Smackdown Prize is Tom Brodbeck of the Winnipeg Sun: [emphasis mine]
I’m not a scientist. I have no idea if humans are responsible for some, most or all of global warming -- or none at all.
But I do know there’s a pretty healthy debate on it by scientists who actually study this stuff.
And I’m not talking about unqualified frog counters like David Suzuki, either.
I've republished these quotes from the Globe and Mail out of sequence, mainly for my convenience:
[University of Ottawa Professor Amir] Attaran said his interest in the detainee issue began about a year ago when he was asked by the Law Society of Upper Canada to speak at a symposium on torture.
"I asked myself, 'What steps is Canada taking to make sure there will not be torture during our military intervention in Afghanistan?' " He said he ran into a brick wall when he tried to get a copy of the detainee-transfer agreement and that it would have remained secret if he had not persisted in asking questions.
"When I saw it I was very alarmed," he said. "What scandalizes me and what should scandalize this nation . . . [is that] today we are signatories to a treaty under which we do transfer prisoners to the Afghan National Police, self-confessed torturers."
Now what, I wonder, would Prof. Attaran have us do with these prisoners? I doubt he has in mind shooting them on the spot, as we are fully entitled to do, given their status as non-uniformed combatants.
Since handing them over to the Afghan authorities is not an option in Attaran's opinion, are we then to keep them in our custody indefinitely; our soldiers increasingly tied up as glorified jailers? Or should we transfer them to Canada, whence a veritable feast of litigation will ensue by Attaran and his cronies (all underwritten by the government, mind you), trying to gain freedom (and refugee status) for these barbarians.
If Attaran gets his way, expect a quiet message to be propagated through the ranks: Taliban and al-Qaeda die where we find them.
It wouldn't be anything new. Following the massacre of Canadian prisoners by the SS in Normandy, we proved rather difficult to surrender to.
Attaran said his interest in human rights and the accountability of institutions grew out of his immigrant experience and a seminal trip through Africa before working on his doctorate at Oxford.
"There in Africa, in the middle of Angola, it was astonishing to me that young men and women of my age who were just fantastically mentally gifted . . . would never have the opportunity to go to Berkeley, to go to Oxford, UBC, be a faculty member at Harvard, Ottawa.
"They were opportunities I got and they didn't -- just by accident of birth. . . . So it is clear to me that there is something that I have to pay back. That is the foundation of my morality."
Yeah, whatever, you preening jackass. If the Taliban get back in power, too bad that Afghan children won't get those opportunities. Sucks to be them, huh?
I certainly hope that Stephen Harper follows through on the idiotic Kyoto bill, which I have renamed in the above title in honor of its sponsor; as well as the fact that his head will decorate a pike on Parliament once it becomes clear what it would entail.
Harper should put out a plan in 60 days as specified by the bill plainly detailing the Kyoto targets and the costs and consequences of achieving them. Then call an election and point out that this is the Liberal-NDP-Bloc plan to possibly fix a problem that may or may not exist.
Harper can personally supervise the installation of Rodriguez's noggin on top of the Peace Tower.
I've long maintained that the signing of the Kyoto Accord was nothing less than an act of treason. I've seen nothing in the interim to change my mind.
I don't go looking for them, but if I encounter one, I am compelled to finish it. Before I delete it from my bookmarks on account that I am getting nothing else done, you might want to look at JigZone. It has a wide variety of good-looking puzzles, any of which can be cut into as many as 247 pieces (an eye-glazer, to be sure), in many different patterns. If you register with the site, you can upload your own pictures. It also sells traditional cardboard puzzles, the biggest having 18,000 pieces. That's a bit too involved for even me.
If you have a blog or a webpage, you can embed any of the puzzles. The minimum width, though, is 700 px, which blows up my formatting most impressively.
It's actually the Crazy Horse Monument in South Dakota, but I've never seen a picture of Crazy Horse. I have, however, seen a picture of Karl Malden, and it sort of looks like him. Or maybe Dustin Hoffman.
There are more pictures on the making of the monument here, including a larger version of this picture. It's quite interesting how it was created, primarily with explosives. Why anyone would go to all that trouble to create a sculpture of -- George C. Scott? David Lee Roth? -- escapes me, though.
* Coincidence? I think not.
Via J-Walk Blog
Al Franken gave his listeners an expected going-away Valentine yesterday by announcing that he would seek the Democratic nomination for Norm Coleman's Senate seat. Franken had plowed the ground for this move since the 2004 election, and spent most of last year raising money for the DFL (Minnesota's Democratic Party) in order to bolster his credentials as a serious candidate. However, even some in the DFL apparently consider the comedian a bad joke as a candidate . . .
Franken is a comedian? Why wasn't I informed of this?
Al Gore, the former vice president and now hit documentary-maker, on Thursday added rock promoter to his resume, announcing plans for a 24-hour concert series around the world to highlight the dangers of global warming.
The concerts, set for July 7, are part of a campaign, Save Our Selves--The Campaign for a Climate in Crisis, that promoters hope will trigger a broad movement to address what Gore calls a climate crisis.
Ban rock concerts, that is. Do you know how much juice those Marshall stacks suck up? Me either, but I'll bet it's a lot. And all that Bic-flicking is sending an entirely wrong message. Let's not even get into the pyrotechnic displays. Or trucking gear around and choppering in the talent.
It's time to share the pain, kiddies.
Thumbnails from Yahoo's Odd Photo News page. (Image edited somewhat to remove intervening photos.)
From the CBC's report on the East Coast Music Awards:
It is the second year the foul-mouthed TV and film stars, played by Robb Wells, John Paul Tremblay and Mike Smith, have played host.
The boys kept their language clean and performed a heart-warming rendition of Kitties are So Nice, with Bubbles on guitar.
However, Newfoundland and Labrador comedian Mary Walsh referred to the federal Conservatives as 'the arse-lickers of Satan' before introducing a performer.
Walsh, a state-sponsored "comedienne" who combines the physical charm of Rosie O'Donnell with the comic range of Margaret Cho, has an interesting approach to telling a joke. If nobody laughs, she repeats it word for word, but LOUDER. I've never had the misfortune of finding out, but I would imagine that her shows are a rather deafening affair by their conclusion.
Woman in a supermarket searches out the manager.
Woman: I can't find the broccoli.
Manager: Madam, I'm afraid we don't have any broccoli.
W: Do you have any dried broccoli?
M: No, sorry, no dried broccoli either.
W: How about tinned broccoli?
M: No, we're clean out of broccoli. I'm really sorry. You could try again tomorrow.
W: So you don't have any bottled broccoli then?
M: Madam, we have no broccoli of any kind. But look around the store; maybe something else will do.
W: Hmmm... it's disappointing. I did want to get broccoli.
The woman goes off to look for other purchases. The manager let's out a long breath, tries to remember what he was doing when interrupted, and when he does, resumes it. About 10 minutes later, the same customer is back.
W: Do you, by any chance, have stewed broccoli?
M: No, Madam, it's like I said before: we just have no broccoli.
W: Curried broccoli?
And off she goes. But after a short spell, she's tapping the manager on the shoulder again.
Alicia Colon in the New York Sun:
The total military dead in the Iraq war between 2003 and this month stands at about 3,133. This is tragic, as are all deaths due to war, and we are facing a cowardly enemy unlike any other in our past that hides behind innocent citizens. Each death is blazoned in the headlines of newspapers and Internet sites. What is never compared is the number of military deaths during the Clinton administration: 1,245 in 1993; 1,109 in 1994; 1,055 in 1995; 1,008 in 1996. That's 4,417 deaths in peacetime but, of course, who's counting?
Jonah Goldberg in The Corner asked for confirmation of these numbers, and a reader obliged:
Note that there were far more military deaths in 1980, the last year of Carter's presidency, than any year of the current administration. The death rate was, also, higher. This was because of lower standards and less care in training.
The bottom line is that we're fighting this war with lower casualties than that expected from normal training accidents in a peacetime army. You should be embarassed that you didn't know this. It's a testiment to the near universal innumeracy and incompetence of the journalism profession that most journalists haven't even seriously considered looking at basic statistics and putting things in context 5 1/2 years after 9/11.
and also included a Department of Defense link (warning: PDF file) that lists deaths by all causes from 1980 to 2004. In fact, the Clinton quagmire years total out at 8,793 casualties.
See, the italics are what makes this link irresistably clickable. When you arrive at your destination, there you will find a blank screen, on which you can construct the slot-car track of your dreams. Assuming the slot-car track of your dreams fits on one screen.
It actually isn't bad. It would have been nice to be able to build bigger tracks, add scenery, etc., but whaddya want for free?
You control your car by clicking on its icon (or use the D or K keys) at the bottom. There are five selectable levels, of which 1 is the easiest.
Warning: Typical slot-car sounds. Also some voice offering inane commentary when your car flips off the track. I think it's meant to be humorous.
Because they are nurturing and considerate of others. And pretty good actresses, too.
Background: A Carson City (Nevada?) council meeting. The black woman is identified as Vera Robles Dewitt, owner of Carson Bail Bonds; the other is Carson Public Works Commission chairman Jan Schaefer.
Warning: Sounds. Uh, make that sounds.
It seems like an unpromising premise for a game -- man loads crates onto trucks -- but this is so well done that it deserves a look.
There are 43 (!) pages of instruction, but they're all illustrated and the concepts and controls are easy to understand.
Warning: Music and sfx, but you can toggle them off at the lower left of the opening screen.
Iraq's cabinet has approved a draft of a national oil law that would share revenues from the country's vast oil reserves among its ethnic groups.
Prime Minister Nouri Maliki described the agreement as a "gift to all the Iraqi people".
Iraq's Shia majority and Sunni and Kurdish minority groups have squabbled over how to distribute oil revenues since the US-led invasion in 2003.
The draft bill must now be submitted to Iraq's parliament for a vote.
The cabinet decision to back the oil law came two months after the government's own deadline for legislation to come into force.
This is huge news from Iraq; critical for its future stability. You would think it would merit just the slightest mention on the CBC's national newscast.
You would be wrong. I guess it doesn't fit into the standard Americans-are-there-just-to-steal-the-oil template.
I happened across a fashion-show photo the other day but it was too small and poorly-lit, so I went looking for a better copy. It was from the Fall/Winter show at London Fashion Week, the work of a hot young designer named Gareth Pugh.
Google found a Gareth Pugh, all right, but it turned out to be the name of a company in England (Wales, actually) that specializes in industrial and agricultural pre-fab buildings, such as the winery storage shed at left. This couldn't be the Gareth Pugh, lion of the catwalks from Paris to Milan to New York, could it?
Plugging gamely along, I finally found the show I was looking for. I must apologize for my initial skepticism; surely only the fertile mind of the man who gave us this:
could have conceived of this.
It might become a more common description than you bargained on.
Mexican men who display extreme jealousy or avoid sex with their wives could be tried in court and punished under a new law. Men who phone their wives every half hour to check up on them, constantly suspect them of infidelity or try to control the way they dress are committing the crime of jealousy, special prosecutor Alicia Elena Perez Duarte told Excelsior newspaper.
Those who stop talking to their wives, avoid sex or try to convince suspicious spouses they are "crazy" even if they are caught red-handed having an affair, are guilty of indifference, she said.
Men found guilty of jealousy or indifference could face up to five years in prison, the newspaper said. Mexico's individual states will determine the punishments, it said.
If you have stock in Mexican wedding caterers, dump it now.
Liberals are demanding that a Conservative member of Parliament apologize for saying that there are "extremist elements" within the Liberal party.
"We know there is an extremist element in the Liberal party generally that has been very vocal in opposing measures that are designed to combat terrorism," Ottawa Tory MP Pierre Poilievre told a radio interviewer last week.
"And it would seem that Mr. Dion has collapsed under the pressure from those groups."
Poilievre remarks come in the wake of Tuesday's vote over extending anti-terrorism measures that provide authorities with special arrest and investigative powers. The measures, which are set to expire Thursday, were introduced by the Liberals following the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. But Liberal Leader Stephané Dion opposes extending some of the provisions.
"All of us are looking to understand why the Liberals have had this sudden flip-flop. We're looking for an explanation of their motives," Poilievre said. "Now we know that a lot of extremist groups and people with some very hard left-wing views have advocated for along time that these provisions should be scrapped."
Cue the extremists. Oh, you thought he meant you?
Liberal MP Omar Alghabra called Poilievre's comments "outrageous, slanderous" and demanded an apology.
"This is the pattern that this government, this Conservative party, is following in choosing to go to the lowest level of politics that they can find to smear people just to make a political point," he said.
"Instead of focusing on the substance of the debate, they're trying to distract Canadians and smear honourable members of the House."
Liberal MP Navdeep Bains said the Liberal party is seeking legal advice about possibly suing Poilievre.
In the radio interview, Poilievre was asked whether he thought Bains was an extremist. Poilievre would only say that he doesn't comment on individuals.
I think we might be on to something here. Every week we accuse the Libs of harboring other miscreants -- pornographers, arsonists, double parkers -- and see who shows up to hold an indignant press conference.
Steer the balloon using the fan (slightly to the left in the picture) and collect stars and other objects while avoiding the walls, which are covered with sharp spikes for some reason.
If the graphics seem somewhat Nintendoesque, there's a reason for that. The game (and all the others on this site) are optimized to work with the Nintendo Wii (though if you don't have one, your mouse will do just fine). It's not an official Nintendo site; the games for the most part are programmed by amateurs. If you can work with Flash and the WiiCade API, you, too, can upload your own efforts.
Warning: Sounds and music, both of which can be muted from the splash screen.
Michael Ignatieff considered before settling on 'just a sideshow' to describe the relatives of Canadian 9/11 victims:
1. fame addicts
2. a freak show
4. pity whores
5. Canadian Idol wanna-bees
6. a travelling carnival of grief
7. Israeli war criminals
8. climate change deniers
9. sleepy-eepy gwumblebunnies, sss oo are, sss oo are!
and <drum roll> this one, which he plans to use frequently in the future: </drum roll>
10. a bunch of people who probably aren't voting Liberal, anyway.