Archive for May, 2008

May 29, 2008

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La Costa, Market Square, Knoxville, Tennessee.

May 29, 2008

ANGLICANS GETTING ANGRY: Bishop says collapse of Christianity is wrecking British society – and Islam is filling the void. Plus, thoughts from the Black Crowes.

May 29, 2008

VITAMIN D UPDATE: “High vitamin D concentration in the blood is not associated with a reduced risk of prostate cancer, researchers report in an article published online May 27 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.”

May 29, 2008

ANOTHER REASON TO FLOSS: Gum Disease Might Boost Cancer Risk.

May 29, 2008

IVY LEAGUE: Elitist? Us? “Requiring every student to swim three laps and understand Renaissance art is not elitist. It’s essential for any person.”

May 29, 2008

NEWS ON NUCLEAR FUSION: Hot and cold. Stay tuned and hope for good news.

May 29, 2008

RALPH PETERS: “To date, not one ‘mainstream media’ journalist has pressed the leading advocates of unconditional surrender to describe in detail what might happen after we ‘bring the troops home now.’ There’s plenty of unchallenged sloganeering, but no serious debate. This selective political softball and pep-rally journalism serves neither our country nor our political process well.”

May 29, 2008

PLEASE SEND Libby Spencer of Newshoggers your best wishes for recovery from her cancer surgery.

May 29, 2008

WEBB AS VP: Ross Douthat and James Joyner are skeptical. But regardless of whether having Webb on the ticket is good for the Dems, it seems pretty clear that it’s not good for Webb.

May 29, 2008

TRAINING IN VAIN: “A generation of athletes will retire after training a lifetime in vain if women’s ski jumping is kept out of the 2010 Games, say a group of elite female jumpers. . . . The sport has been in the Olympics since 1924, but has never had a women’s component, prompting nine female jumpers to sue the Vancouver Organizing Committee alleging it’s breaking equal rights laws.”

May 29, 2008

VOTED OUT OF KINDERGARTEN: “Five-year-old Alex Barton was voted out of kindergarten class by his fellow students in Port St. Lucie, Florida. Before the vote, his teacher told classmates to say what they didn’t like about Alex.”

May 29, 2008

EVAN COYNE MALONEY: on the media and bloggers. “Unfortunately, as this CJR piece shows, some in the media view bloggers as the enemy, a tormentor that must be defeated. By seeing bloggers as direct competitors, outlets put themselves in a position of competing on their greatest weakness while at the same time undermining their greatest strength.” Read the whole thing. Hard-news gathering is the killer app for Big Media. Why do they resist it, then? Because it costs money?

May 29, 2008

ACCEPT NO SUBSTITUTES: Authentic Viking DNA! “Stereotypically, these Norsemen are usually pictured wearing a horned helmet but in a new study published in the journal PLoS ONE this week, Jørgen Dissing and colleagues from the University of Copenhagen, investigated what went under the helmet; the scientists were able to extract authentic DNA from ancient Viking skeletons, avoiding many of the problems of contamination faced by past researchers.”

May 29, 2008

TOM SMITH ON AFFRONTS TO HUMAN DIGNITY.

May 28, 2008

JERRY POURNELLE ON THE Texas polygamy case: “If we are going to establish that precedent — that I can call the police and allege that you are abusing me and your children — and never come forward to confront you, or give any real specifications, but they will come and take your children for their own protection, I have the power to ruin your life.” Plus, reflections on education in 1957 versus education in 2007.

May 28, 2008

ANOTHER MASS SHOOTING stopped by a man with a gun carry permit.

May 28, 2008

DARTMOUTH AGAINST DEMOCRACY?

May 28, 2008

HOW TO SNACK LIKE Barack Obama.

May 28, 2008

RAND SIMBERG ON OBAMA: The uncle seems real.

May 28, 2008

SARAH PULLMAN has read Nina Planck’s Real Food and likes it. Our podcast interview with Planck is here.

May 28, 2008

NOW THERE’S A WINNER: “Senator Biden Wants to Give Your Ex-Wife a Free Attorney…”

May 28, 2008

A 220 MPG HYBRID SUPERCAR featuring “wild horsepower?” I’d like to see one. Er, and drive one . . .

May 28, 2008

EXTREME BALLOON TYING! But it’s only “pop art” if you do it wrong . . . .

May 28, 2008

I HAVEN’T SEEN SCOTT MCCLELLAN’S NEW BOOK, but McClellan himself is not exactly getting raves at The New Republic:

Writing a harsh tell-all memoir of the Bush years is just good business sense at this point. You only need to look back at the anemic sales of Ari Fleischer’s rosy, no-tell memoir of his White House years to realize that–and Fleischer’s low-seller came out at a time when Bush’s approval rating was higher than 28 percent.

So kudos to McClellan. His book displays a calculating mind that was never much in evidence in the White House press room.

Ouch. Anyway, the Wall Street Journal has an excerpt, and some are noting the contrast between the press’s reception of McClellan’s book and the heavily-documented work of Doug Feith. What could account for the difference?

UPDATE: Clayton Cramer: “Still, I find myself asking this rather serious question: if, as McClellan says, he could see that Bush was intentionally misleading the nation into war back then, why didn’t McClellan say anything? Why didn’t he quit his job and blow the whistle? . . . It makes me wonder how much of this is that McClellan is trying to sell a book.” Yes, it’s hard to decide whether he comes off worse if he’s lying, or if he’s telling the truth.

MORE: Indeed: “It’s not the disloyalty that bothers me. It’s the press suddenly finding wisdom in a guy they previously disregarded as stupid and unreliable. It’s inevitable that critical Bush-era memoirs will come out, but written by smarter people. I’ll read those.”

May 28, 2008

POLITICS, COLLECTIVISM, and hypocrisy.

May 28, 2008

CHOCOLATE: Is there anything it can’t do? “All the talk about chocolate being good for your health is starting to get serious. Mars Inc., of chocolate bar fame, has established a scientific division. And a group of researchers, some in Germany, others with the new Mars division known as Symbioscience, has just published a report showing that an enriched hot cocoa beverage can improve blood flow in people with type 2 diabetes.”

May 28, 2008

ADVICE ON AVOIDING TRASH on airplanes.

May 28, 2008

HANGING OUT AT the Law Review Lounge.

May 28, 2008

YOU WOULDN’T HAVE TO WARN ME TWICE. Or, actually, even once: “Health officials are warning New Yorkers to stay away from an illegal aphrodisiac made from toad venom after the product apparently killed a man.”

Others may see things differently, but to me there’s a big gap between “toad venom” and “feeling sexy.”

May 28, 2008

MICHAEL SILENCE IS down on NBC’s economic coverage: “I’ve watched NBC Nightly News for quite some time now, but that’s going to end. I used to have a lot of respect for Brian Williams but I’m over seeing the network night after night seemingly trying to drive a stake into the nation’s economy. I don’t want my news sugarcoated but I do want it in context. NBC News is failing to deliver on that simple request.” Ouch.

May 28, 2008

WHEN BEING WILLING TO MEET WITH ANYONE doesn’t mean being willing to meet with anyone.

May 28, 2008

PROS AND CONS OF switching to scooters to save gas.

What if the scooter’s electric? You’ll still need proper attire, advertisements notwithstanding.

UPDATE: Well, it’s not all advertising hype.

May 28, 2008

DEMOGRAPHIC UPDATE: “Hypermortality” in Russia.

May 28, 2008

POLITICO: Dems seek to avoid meltdown.

May 28, 2008

THIS IS COOL: Mars Reconnaisance Orbiter Captures Images of Phoenix Lander’s Descent.

May 28, 2008

SAILING UP THE RHINE TO AUSCHWITZ BUCHENWALD IS SEARED, SEARED IN HIS MEMORY: “You know, if I were an Obama staffer, I’d start fact checking everything he says, to try to stay ahead of the blogosphere.”

May 28, 2008

PROGRESS, OF A SORT: Childhood Obesity May Be Leveling Off. We had a podcast on the subject a while back, with Dr. Michael Zemel.

May 28, 2008

IN THE MAIL: Tom Kratman’s dystopian novel, Caliphate.

It’s bound to be at least as realistic as The Handmaid’s Tale.

May 28, 2008

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Northshore Brasserie, Knoxville, Tennessee. That’s the lamb shank with risotto. It was good.

Yeah, it’s a food theme this week. . . .

May 28, 2008

DEAN NANCY ROGERS is the new Ohio Attorney General, replacing the scandal-plagued Marc Dann.

May 28, 2008

A LOOK AT Key 2008 House races.

May 28, 2008

LIBERAL VS. CONSERVATIVE: What’s in a name?

May 28, 2008

MORE TROUBLE IN CHINA: “Bereaved parents whose children were crushed to death in their classrooms during the earthquake in Sichuan Province have turned mourning ceremonies into protests in recent days, forcing officials to address growing political repercussions over shoddy construction of public schools. arents of the estimated 10,000 children who lost their lives in the quake have grown so enraged about collapsed schools that they have overcome their usual caution about confronting Communist Party officials. Many say they are especially upset that some schools for poor students crumbled into rubble even though government offices and more elite schools not far away survived the May 12 quake largely intact.”

I suspect that the one-child policy is amplifying the effects here.

May 28, 2008

VIDEO: John McCain’s temper on display.

May 28, 2008

AN INTERVIEW WITH DEMOCRAT MIKE PADGETT, who’s running for Lamar Alexander’s Senate seat.

May 28, 2008

REVIEWING THE REVIEWERS: A roundup of book reviews from all over.

May 28, 2008

HEROES AND ZEROS at MSNBC. Seems like they went downhill right about the time I left. I’m sure it’s a coincidence.

May 28, 2008

ARCHAEOLOGISTS’ COMPLAINTS about what Indiana Jones has done to the image of their profession seem a bit overwrought — especially if it’s true, as many claim, that the Indiana Jones character was actually based on Hiram Bingham, Yale prof. and discoverer of Machu Picchu. Of course, all those claims probably came from Yalies. But if you check out the cover photo on Bingham’s Lost City of the Incas, the resemblance is pretty strong . . . .

May 28, 2008

MY REVIEW OF THE NEW 9″ XP-EQUIPPED ASUS MINI-PC is now up over at PJ Media.

May 28, 2008

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INSTAPUNDIT IRAQ CORRESPONDENT Maj. John Tammes sends this report (typed laboriously with his injured hand):

Meet Alaa. He is a regular soldier in the G-1 section of an Iraqi Army unit I work with. His story has given me additional hope that Iraq will be OK in the near future.

Alaa had been working outside of Iraq for some time before 2003. He was an accountant and corporate secretary for more than one construction firm in the Gulf region. After OEF swept away the Ba’ath and Saddam his father asked him to come back to Iraq and help rebuild his country. Being a dutiful son, he did so. He took his experience and knowledge to the new Iraqi Army, where he has done excellent work in a difficult job.

When his original enlistment is finished, he may re-up, or he may turn to help his country as a businessman with experience from abroad. Either way, Iraq is better off for having people like Alaa work for her future.

May there be more.

May 28, 2008

A BIG BREAK for Internet-based Realtors.

May 28, 2008

MICKEY KAUS: “What if the Dems aren’t serious about health care? The immigration angle! Bubbling around the blogosphere is an inconclusive debate on whether Dem Senators are preparing to go slow on health care, staging endless hearings but passing little actual legislation.”

May 27, 2008

REVOLUTIONIZING DIAGNOSTICS, with nanotechnology.

May 27, 2008

JAMES LILEKS ON THE BOON OF AMERICA — plus, advice for Chairman Bob.

May 27, 2008

A PROFILE OF LOWELL CUNNINGHAM, Knoxvillian and Men in Black creator.

May 27, 2008

A “SUPER-CRAPPY PLAN:”

I do not believe you’re going to teach anyone a “lesson” by sitting this one out or writing in Fred Thompson or Sunny Lucas. I believe that way too many people are ignoring the forest for the trees and that in doing so, they’re going to have a hand in electing Obama. Some say that’s fine because if the country’s going to be “ruined”, better that it’s ruined by a Democrat, and somehow magically we’ll come up with a fantastic, “real” conservative in 4 years even though there is no one like that on the horizon and everyone knows it. Like I said, I think that’s a super-crappy plan.

More on this theme at the link, from Rachel Lucas. (Via the Insta-Wife).

May 27, 2008

JASON VAN STEENWYK: An open letter to David Carr of the New York Times.

UPDATE: Thoughts on the media’s Iraq narrative.

May 27, 2008

WELL, HE’S RIGHT:

Kids actually understand robotics in an amazing way. If NASA said they were going to land monster robots on Mars and crash them into each other we would have a huge pool of kids who were interested in science and engineering.

That’s Obama advisor Steve Robinson, quoted in the (print only) May 19 Space News. The next President should bring in Conn Iggulden, along with Andrea Buchanan and Miriam Peskowitz as consultants.

May 27, 2008

ILYA SOMIN explains why Robert Bork is wrong.

UPDATE: But Obama gets it!

May 27, 2008

FRONTLINE; Mexico: Crimes at the Border.

May 27, 2008

I’VE MENTIONED Doug Feith’s new book on Iraq before. Now he’s got a piece in the Wall Street Journal on the selling of the war. I don’t think the shift in emphasis was as stunning as he makes it sound, though — in fact, back before the war people were criticizing Bush for talking about promoting democracy. Nonetheless, he’s right that the Bush Administration should have engaged in more pushback on the WMD question. Read this, too.

May 27, 2008

ANN ALTHOUSE DOESN’T LIKE HER KINDLE.

May 27, 2008

OBAMA: Not Auschwitz, but Buchenwald. And not his uncle, but his great-uncle.

UPDATE: Apparently, he’s been telling variations of this story for years.

May 27, 2008

A ROUNDUP OF all-time favorite war films.

May 27, 2008

IT’S NOT A ZBIG DEAL: If you don’t believe me, watch the media coverage . . . .

May 27, 2008

A MCCAIN-LINGLE TICKET? “Feel a tingle, with McCain/Lingle!” Nah, too Chris-Matthewsish.

May 27, 2008

NOT FOLLOWING THE NARRATIVE (CONT’D): “U.S. and Iraqi military officials said violence in Iraq has decreased significantly in recent weeks to levels not seen in four years.”

May 27, 2008

HOW TO WIN THE GOOGLE LUNAR X PRIZE.

May 27, 2008

SOCIAL WORKERS behaving badly.

May 27, 2008

SO I GOT EXCITED FOR A MINUTE BY THIS HEADLINE: Aerojet Tests Prototype of Orion Propulsion System in the latest Space News, (sorry, not online) but it was about this Orion, not this one. Oh, well, there’s always China.

May 27, 2008

SOMEWHERE, LESTER MADDOX IS LAUGHING: Congressional contempt for “race-blind” hiring.

May 27, 2008

THE DOCTOR WITH THE “funny accent.”

May 27, 2008

THE NEXT RIGHT is a project of Patrick Ruffini, Jon Henke, and Soren Dayton. Check it out.

May 27, 2008

JENNIFER RUBIN on the media wars. Conclusion: “It would also be nice if, as a result of all the scrutiny, the mainstream coverage actually got better–but that may be too much to ask.” Yeah, that was my hope years ago, but so far it hasn’t panned out.

On the other hand, at least it’s harder to keep people in the dark.

May 27, 2008

EUGENE VOLOKH looks at California’s proposed porn tax.

May 27, 2008

TOM COBURN: Republicans Are In Denial.

He’s right. At least, the GOP leadership is. Grassroots Republican seem to be in despair . . . .

And read these diagnostic quotes from Jon Henke. I’ll take Reagan over Santorum any day.

May 27, 2008

RELYING ON HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS for blood supplies? “The country is increasingly dependent on high school blood donors to maintain the nation’s blood supply. Restrictions limiting donation by people who have recently had tattoos or who have lived in high-risk countries have caused the pool of eligible donors to shrink to less than 40 percent of the United States population.”

Well, you can’t expect law professors to carry the whole load . . . .

May 27, 2008

PAGING DAN AYKROYD: Gaffe-o-Matic!

May 27, 2008

IF YOU READ BLOGS, you knew this a long time ago, but if you read the L.A. Times you know it now: Iraqis losing patience with militiamen.

Of course, not everything on blogs is reliable.

UPDATE: Read this, too.

May 27, 2008

DO YOU HAVE SYNESTHESIA? I do. I see sounds as visual analogs with shape, color, and texture. Based on my own conversations, this is quite common among people who do sound engineering, and probably helpful.

May 27, 2008

NOT UNTIL RICH CELEBRITIES AND GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS FLY COMMERCIAL: Every adult in Britain should be forced to carry ‘carbon ration cards’, say MPs.

May 27, 2008

GRAND ROUNDS is up!

May 27, 2008

IN THE MAIL: Julia Gorin’s Clintonisms: The Amusing, Confusing, and Even Suspect Musing, of Billary.

May 27, 2008

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Leo’s Pulled Pig, Lenoir City, Tennessee.

May 27, 2008

DOG BITES MAN: U.N. Peacekeepers and aid workers abusing children. Again. Think how much more attention this would get if these were American soldiers. Instead, we get this: “A UN spokesman, Nick Birnback, said that it was impossible to ensure ‘zero incidents’ within an organisation that has up to 200,000 personnel serving around the world.”

May 27, 2008

MORE EMBARRASSMENT FOR THE HARVARD LAW REVIEW.

May 27, 2008

CARBON TRADING: Not bad in principle, but more like Oil-for-Food in practice? That’s how I’d bet.

May 27, 2008

A MCCAIN-OBAMA TRIP TO IRAQ? Well, that would show renewed interest. But don’t count on it.

UPDATE: Reader Matthew Conlan notices something:

Within the link you provided on a McCain-Obama Trip to Iraq, there seemed to be an explanation for Obama’s “I See Dead People” comments yesterday. Perhaps he and his campaign honestly don’t know the difference between Memorial Day and Veterans Day. The quote from the article:

Obama spokesman Bill Burton replied: “Senator Obama thinks Memorial Day is a day to honor our nation’s veterans, not a day for political posturing.”

Shouldn’t this Elementary School-knowledge be a pre-requisite for the position of Commander In Chief?

Or at least for spokesmen. To be fair to Obama, he spent those elementary school years in Indonesia, where that distinction probably wasn’t emphasized.

May 27, 2008

HAS OBAMA lost interest in Iraq? Well, unfortunately things aren’t proceeding according to the narrative.

May 27, 2008

RON BAILEY REPORTS from the Copenhagen Consensus Conference.

May 27, 2008

LOTS MORE BLOGGING FROM THE SASQUATCH! FESTIVAL: Just keep scrolling.

May 27, 2008

RAND SIMBERG: Time to head for Mars?

May 27, 2008

REASON TV: Are sports subsidies worth it? Er, no.

May 27, 2008

BECKY JACOBS on clinical legal education.

May 27, 2008

SHOWERING WITH JOHN EDWARDS, at Oberlin.

May 27, 2008

ITALY’S NUCLEAR MOVE triggers chain reaction: “Italy, which last week decided to embrace nuclear power two decades after a public referendum banned nuclear power and deactivated all its reactors, could be just the first of several European countries to reverse its stance on nuclear power, a leading industry group has said. Ian Hore-Lacey, spokesman for the London-based World Nuclear Association, said: ‘Italy has had the most dramatic, the most public turnaround, but the sentiments against nuclear are reversing very quickly all across Europe.’”

May 27, 2008

THOUGHTS ON LIBERALS, CONSERVATIVES, and racial guilt.

May 26, 2008

HIGH FOOD PRICES: Reader Robert Denton notes this post and this one, and suggests that I’m wrong to think that food prices aren’t really up.

Well, I don’t think that food prices aren’t up. I do the grocery shopping for my household, and believe me, I’ve noticed; my average grocery run costs about 20 bucks more than last year. Rather, my point was the lameness of media efforts to report on that — interviewing people at fancy gourmet markets? — and the cheesiness of their “holiday” angle. As is often the case, even as they try hard to manufacture one bit of bad news, they’re actually missing the real bad news, because reporting on that usefully would require actual work. As I’ve noted on this topic before, their bias is exceeded only by their laziness and ignorance. The data in the AP story don’t prove its ostensible point — that holiday barbecues (by which they mean cookouts, not actual barbecue) are vastly more expensive — but to do an actual story on what food prices are up across the board, and why, would be actual work and wouldn’t produce the “holiday angle” that editors want.

UPDATE: Related item here.

ANOTHER UPDATE: More from Steven Malanga at RealClearMarkets. (Thanks to reader Tom Scott for the tip).

May 26, 2008

SURPRISE: Nuclear Agency Accuses Iran of Willful Lack of Cooperation: “The nine-page report accused the Iranians of a willful lack of cooperation, particularly in answering allegations that its nuclear program may be pointed less at energy generation than at military use.” Do tell. That National Intelligence Estimate is looking kinda shaky, isn’t it?

May 26, 2008

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Maryville, Tennessee.