Saturday, November 13, 2010


Alan Parsons Project, Eye in the Sky:

The Rolling Stones, Sympathy for the Devil:

Fleetwood Mac, Tusk:

A couple of these (the latter two) predate the 80's. I couldn't stand the Stones when I started hearing their music in the 70's- they had gone disco at the time. But I loved their earlier stuff when I finally heard it.

Christopher Booker is a Putz

Putz: n
1. Slang A fool; an idiot.
2. Vulgar Slang A penis.
Shorter version: since Climategate totally proved that climate change claims are totally false and climate science doesn't even exist and climate scientists are totally scamming the planet, totally everybody has totally forgotten about the issue, except British politicians. And, oh yeah, in case you didn't notice, it's cold again. What's up with that?

Followup: Dear me. I have been skimming Booker's idiocy at The Telegraph (UK) online for some time now, but I hadn't quite realized the sheer breadth of topics he has "debunked." Via Wikipedia, from his "Views on Science:"
Booker has repeatedly claimed that white asbestos is "chemically identical to talcum powder" and poses a "non-existent" risk to human health.
Also too, swords are chemically identical to spoons, and couldn't possibly be a concern on airliners.
On climate change Booker is a global warming skeptic...
No, he's a denier. Skeptics can be convinced by enough evidence. Booker will never be convinced, QED, he's not a skeptic.
Booker has also argued in support of intelligent design, claiming that supporters of the theory of evolution "rest their case on nothing more than blind faith and unexamined a priori assumptions"
That and a couple of hundred years of data gathering, hypothesis testing, restructuring theoretical frameworks as new information and insights became available, and debate- frequently fierce- to determine which ideas made the most sense. An awful lot of trouble, really, when you can just cut through the Gordian knot with a simple "God did it" and be done, right?
Wilson highlighted Booker's repeated endorsement of the alleged scientific expertise of John Bridle, who in 2005 was convicted under the UK's Trade Descriptions Act of making false claims about his qualifications.
So there you have it... cherry pick the data you want, choose the "experts" who make conclusions you want to come to, regardless of their actual "expertise." Cause really, in the end, credibility is all in the eye of the beholder.


Let's Do Lunch!

in a few tens of millions of years...Via Geology Rocks.

What Happens When You Fall Behind on Your Exorcism Payments?

You get repossessed. But seriously folks, do atheists, agnostics or even non-Catholic Christians ever get possessed? Because the Roman Catholic Clergy seem to think it's a pressing issue.
“What they’re trying to do in restoring exorcisms,” said Dr. Appleby, a longtime observer of the bishops, “is to strengthen and enhance what seems to be lost in the church, which is the sense that the church is not like any other institution. It is supernatural, and the key players in that are the hierarchy and the priests who can be given the faculties of exorcism.
So there you have it: the church is supernatural. And Christine McDonnell is a witch. Maybe they should get together.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Today In Oregon History

November 12, 1970: A day that will forever live in hilarity...

Not the first time I've posted a version of this clip, and likely not the last.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Word Games

In contrast to head games, with which I have no patience, I really enjoy word games. There was a game credited to the Washington Post, which pops onto my radar from time to time that involved adding, dropping, or changing one letter in a preexisting word, then defining your new word. The list, which has been around for at least a few years, can be found here. Some of my favorites:
  • Ignoranus: A person who's both stupid and an asshole.
  • Reintarnation: Coming back to life as a hillbilly.
  • Foreploy: Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of getting laid.
  • Inoculatte: To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.
Another geo-tweep brought this back to my attention today- always good for a laugh. But this time, I was able to come up with my own: Porkelain: Ceramic ham. Speaking of which, "I am President, and I am holding this ham."

Stalking Wild Jade

The story is at The NYT, at least the first of two parts is. I'll watch for and try to remember to post tomorrow's segment as a followup link here. Today's portion seems mostly about getting to the general neighborhood, though there's plenty of background information on the rock/mineral associations and tectonic setting.

Followup, Nov. 12: And here's part II. Not a bad piece, overall, but it feels kind of empty and lacking in detail. It's not clear to me why they're collecting. The pictures are small and not very interesting. I can think of dozens of geobloggers who would have done a better job with this. But credit to The Times for even making it available. As I said, despite my criticism, it's not bad, I just think it could have been better.

Hmm... looking at the sidebar stuff, I found this:
Are there scientists you would like to see write about their field work? Are you a researcher interested in writing about your own field work? Send an e-mail to If you are nominating yourself, please include a description of your field work and samples of your writing and photographs.
Might be a chance for someone to get a little publicity, perhaps even paid, in freelance journalism.

One Look...

...and I'd vote to convict this guy.OregonLive often runs mugshots with crime and arrest reports, and I've occasionally been tempted to post ones that amuse me. I think this is the first one I've actually passed along.

Seriously, dude, if you plan to contest your charges, you might want to reconsider your presentation.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Up There

It's snowing up there. Different reports are making different predictions, but above 3500 to 4000 feet elevation, there will be in the neighborhood of 10-18 inches of snow by mid-morning tomorrow. I'm sure it's snowing here as well, but it's not reaching the ground in snow form. If we get a clear spot tomorrow, take a look toward Marys Peak: in the eastern light, Marys Peak with snow is gorgeous. The above is the current view (notice the early nightfall- the price we pay for an extra hour of sleep and "fall back") at Tombstone Pass, where US 20 crosses the Western Cascades. Below is the view where 20 crosses Santiam Pass, the crest of the High Cascades- the axis of current volcanism. I haven't seen that chains or traction devices are required, but if you're crossing the mountains in the next day, you should probably carry them.
While I don't have many opportunities to be assaulted by Christmas music, it's beginning to look and feel a lot like winter around here.

Tuesday Tits

Yellow-bellied tit, Periparus venustulus, from Bird, with the caption, "Yellow-bellied Tit - Immature with adult in the inset."

Late-Breaking Election News

Fox calls Florida for George Bush.

(Via the great Driftglass, who posted a number of his election night tweets here)

Happy Birthday, Carl

Anyone who claims understanding something destroys its beauty neither understands anything nor appreciates beauty. (Tree Lobsters)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Awesome Photos of the Day

cute baby animals-Acting Like Animals: What a Catch!
see more Daily Squee

That is really gorgeous. This next is mind-boggling:
I'm always suspicious, when a photo is composed with a sense of scale (in this case, Steve Holen) behind the object of interest: there's a good chance the subject will be seen as exaggerated in size. But in this case, this prehistoric bison skull has a horn tip-to-horn tip size of over six feet! This guy was about twice the size of modern bison... and at around a ton in weight, those aren't kittens.
LinkFinally, today's Big Picture has a gallery of 39 photos from the eruption of Mt Merapi in Indonesia. Some of the pictures are quite grim and graphic, though the two worst are blacked out so you won't see them unless you click through- an option I appreciate. Others such as the one above are just beautiful. But as spectacular as eruptions can be, they have their downside too. Despite something called volcano monitoring, and timely calls for evacuation, many locals have disregarded the warnings, and the death toll, last I heard, was approaching 150 from repeated nuées ardentes.

Update: The death toll is now 156.

Meet West Virginia's Governor and Senator-Elect

Oh, wait... that's Joe Manchin, not Tim Minchin. Never mind.

All The Wisdom and Discernment of Lugnuts

David Horsey, at The Seattle PI.


I had to click through and read this. Turns out, donuts were a big winner in this election- along with teevee stations, caterers and others who sell and rent goods and services in demand from cash-swollen campaigns.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Swarms!

Earlier this week, Ron Schott posted a beautiful set of dikes as a Where On Google Earth challenge:I didn't solve the puzzle, but I did spend several hours flitting about our planet's surface trying. It was solved by Peter L, who found it in northern Peru. So, several hours wasted, right? Well, not exactly. I found some pretty nice dike swarms myself, and rather than hold them until I win another WoGE, and take the chance I'd simply forget, I figured I'd share now. The first two are near a volcanic field in NW Saudi Arabia, the second two on Egypt's Sinai Penninsula. All the images will get much larger if clicked, and I've left the lat-long data at the bottom of the pictures, for more precise locations.

Incidentally, the closest I got in my searching to the actual location was in the Gulf of California area, where I didn't find any good dike swarms. The two main issues here are first, that I was focused on modern extensional tectonism, and second, I'm not really familiar with older rift areas. But I certainly don't consider this time wasted.

All The President's E-Mails

The Guardian's ongoing satirical "experiment in democratic transparency" offers a gem this week. The next one in today's issue, to John Boehner, is pretty good, too.

To: All White House Staff Subject: A humbling moment

All: in light of this week's results, I wanted to say a few words before speaking to the nation. As Jon F wrote in the speech I'm about to give, we took a shellacking, and I'm humbled. Humbled that we lost sight of the fact that leadership isn't just about passing sweeping, long-overdue legislation. Humbled that we couldn't communicate that extending healthcare to 95% of the American population was an indisputable moral imperative that the Republicans, by the way, are never going to manage to repeal. And humbled that we didn't find a way to unite not only the majority of people who support reform, but also the billionaire backers of the Tea Party, Glenn Beck, Rupert Murdoch, the millions who'd never vote Democratic anyway, and the delusional clowns who think I'm a Kenyan-born Sikh fundamentalist Catalan separatist. And by "we", I mean Nancy Pelosi. Point is, I didn't fight so hard to win office just to stay popular and keep winning office, but to do what's right, which we're doing. So let's move forward in a spirit of bipartisanship, extending the hand of friendship and collegiality to those on the other side who are, let's face it, totally wrong. Humbly, Barack

Sunday Funnies: Elections and Underpants Edition

Jack Ohman, via Balloon Juice
Celebrity Pictures - Emma Watson
see more Lol Celebs
demotivational posters - BROKE BACK MOUNTAIN 2
see more Very Demotivational
Celebrity Pictures - AT-AT Walker
see more Lol Celebs
Dildo-Copter Gif - Dildo-Copter
see more Gifs I wish I had a fleet of these... I'd never miss a political protest, demonstration or convention again.
demotivational posters - DON'T WORRY
see more Very Demotivational
Bits and Pieces
Rangers and Devils Vs. Camera Gif - Rangers and Devils Vs. Camera
see more Gifs
see more Gifs
demotivational posters - EMO LOG
see more Very Demotivational
Darius Whiteplume's Tumblr
funny puns-Geom Henson Presents...
see more So Much Pun
Night Of The Creeps Gif - Night Of The Creeps
see more Gifs
Funny Pictures - Cat Scares Cat
see more Lolcats and funny pictures
demotivational posters - MINISTRY OF SILLY WALKS
see more Very Demotivational
Wait a Minute . . .
see more Ugliest Tattoos
funny puns-Troy Story
see more So Much Pun
funny pictures-I iz de missing lynx     What? U expect a monkey?
see more Lolcats and funny pictures
Who wants Pizza?
see more Historic LOL
demotivational posters - VOTING ON PROP 19
see more Very Demotivational
Hipster Hitler (click for readable size)
funny puns-The Roulette Wheel Kept Pawsing on 11
see more So Much Pun
demotivational posters - IN CAPITALIST AMERICA
see more Very Demotivational
Sober in a Nightclub
Sober in a Nightclub
Celebrity Pictures - The Exorcist
see more Lol Celebs
demotivational posters - CHAINSWORDS
see more Very Demotivational
Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal
Great    Gramma Gaga
see more Historic LOL
Night Deposits
Bits and Pieces
Fake Science
Sofa Pizza
Sofa Pizza
funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures
The Daily What
funny pictures-De-Caff?
see more Lolcats and funny pictures
Via Bits and Pieces
Once again, the cyoot cracks me up. The Daily What.