American Elephants


The Magic of Winter. Blowing Bubbles. by The Elephant's Child

When the temperature dropped to 16 degrees in Washington, and everyone hid indoors around the fireplace, the stove, or just wrapped up in blankets,  Angela Kelly and her 7 year-old son mixed  up some homemade soap and blew bubbles to see what would happen:

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Angela took photos as the frost created intricate designs in the larger bubbles, while the smaller ones froze and shattered as they it the ground. Before the sun came up the bubbles behaved as if they were made of glass. After the sun came up, the tops of the bubbles would defrost. Here is the rest of the story:

What a great idea. Perhaps people all over America will be blowing bubbles in the cold.



Christmas Gifts for Conservatives! 30% OFF ‘TIL MIDNIGHT by American Elephant

The perfect gifts & stocking-stuffers for the Conservatives on your Christmas list!

Not just t-shirts, but Hoodies, Campaign Buttons, Stickers, Mugs, Pajama sets and much, much more! ALL ITEMS are 30% today (use promo-code “HoHo”), with plenty of time to get there by Christmas! Here are just a FEW of our many available designs:

UPDATE: All items 50% OFF until 9PM. Use code “CANE”:

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The Original, Iconic 1980 Ronald Reagan primary campaign logo. Available ONLY from American Elephants!

The Original, Iconic 1980 Ronald Reagan & Bush campaign logo. Available ONLY from American Elephants!

Andrew Breitbart's Clarion Call to Conservatives, Tired of Being Demonized and Lied About By the Democrat-Media Complex

I (heart) Big Oil



They told me and told me—get a flu shot! by The Elephant's Child

Dang! I was in the pharmacy quite recently, and there were several people waiting in line to get a flu shot, so I thought I’d come back later. Big Mistake.

I woke up this morning with the flu. Full fledged. my eyebrows hurt, as does every other centimeter of my body. So there will be little posting. Sorry about that.



ObamaCare: The Timeline by The Elephant's Child

I have believed from the beginning that ObamaCare was an unworkable mess that would deeply damage the country, and events have only heightened my apprehension. With every leftist working to demonize the Tea Party as ignorant backwoods radicals who are to be feared, it’s worth mentioning that the Tea Party had it’s birth in opposition to the passage of ObamaCare.

I read just the other day that the real origin was a casual mention in an Obama campaign speech when he was first running, that didn’t mean anything, because most of what Obama said in campaign speeches didn’t mean anything — but Team Obama liked it, and thought it might be a good idea to pursue.  No documentation, don’t know if it’s true. But it’s interesting.

Megyn Kelly revisits the timeline of ObamaCare at the Kelly File on Fox News. I can’t embed the video, but follow the link and do watch it. Not long, but we forget ( or at least I forget) just how these things came about.  Valuable.



Other Voices: by The Elephant's Child

“…it’s worth noting … that there is something fundamentally unpatriotic in the yearning to fundamentally transform your country. I love my wife. Inherent to loving her is loving her for who she is. Gentlemen, turn to your wife and say, “Honey, I love you completely. It’s just that I want to fundamentally transform you into someone else.” See how that plays out. If you want to fundamentally transform the object of your affection so that it conforms to your fantasies, that is not love…” –Jonah Goldberg, National Review

Psychologically (as well as rhetorically), the individual mandate is very important to the left.  Obamacare is all about coercion—about forcing people to do things they don’t freely choose to do—and the individual mandate serves as its coercive core.  It’s what allows Obama to grasp onto the thinnest reed of legitimacy when describing Obamacare as offering “universal coverage,” despite the CBO’s estimate that, even after ten years and $1.8 trillion, Obamacare would cover less than 45 percent of the uninsured (at the whopping cost of $72,000 per newly insured person).  That’s a far cry from “universal coverage.”  But one can think of it—and describe it—as “universal,” so long as one is forcing every American, as a matter of federal law, to do the government’s bidding.  Without the individual mandate, Obamacare would cease to be “universal coverage,” even in the sense of being universally coercive, and would simply become “45 percent coverage.”  That would be demoralizing to the left. Jeffrey H. Anderson, Weekly Standard

…the implication from Democrats that once a bill becomes a law, it is as indelible as the Ten Commandments, etched into rock by the hand of God Himself, is precious when we consider the source. The Democrats, after all, mounted a 10-year campaign against the “Bush tax cuts,” and did so despite defeat after defeat on the issue. Those tax cuts joined a long line of laws that the country later substantially revised or repealed entirely. A partial list includes: the Clinton tax increases, portions of the Reagan tax cuts, the Gulf of Tonkin resolution, portions of the Kennedy tax cuts, the gold standard, portions of the National Labor Relations Act, Prohibition, the direct election of senators, the Sherman Silver Purchase Act, innumerable tariff schedules set during the 19th century, the three-fifths clause, the Kansas-Nebraska Act, the Missouri Compromise, the Second Bank of the United States, the original rules of the Electoral College, the Articles of Confederation, and, of course, the rule of King George III. Jay Cost, Weekly Standard

… it is widely presumed that the president’s wishes should serve as the baseline for the debate. This makes little sense. Yes, the president can veto anything he doesn’t like. But so can the House. Why is it incumbent upon the House to come up with a platform that the president likes and not vice-versa? After all, the House is at the top of the fiscal hierarchy, followed closely by the Senate, and then, last and very much least, by the president, who, remember, is supposed primarily to concern himself with foreign affairs. Sure, Barack Obama may have won election to head up the executive branch. But, this being a constitutional republic not an parliamentary monarchy, that doesn’t give him carte blanche over legislative and fiscal matters. The idea that there is anything wrong with the House demanding fiscal and legislative concessions from the executive branch is absurd. Especially, perhaps, when the point of contention is a deeply unpopular piece of legislation and the matter at hand is fiscal. Charles C.W. Cooke, National Review

…they paled in comparison to the dishonesty of the president’s central claim, which was that the attempt to link defunding to the debt-ceiling fight is illegitimate because Obamacare has “nothing to do with the budget.” I struggle to imagine how the president could have kept a straight face when he said this. This is a law, remember, that was crowbarred through Congress with the questionable use of reconciliation, a parliamentary procedure that is reserved exclusively for budgetary matters; a law that was sold as a deficit-reduction measure; a law that contains a significant spending component, including a 5-10 percent increase in the size of the federal budget; and, alas, a law that boasts a central mandate that was upheld (rewritten) by the Supreme Court as a tax, thus ensuring that any changes to the penalties must be approved by the House. “Nothing to do with the budget”? This is what we call a lie…Charles C.W. Cooke, National Review



40 Maps That Help You Understand the World: by The Elephant's Child

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A Visual Representation of World Population Distribution.  (click to enlarge)

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U.S Map of the Highest Paid Public Employees by State. (click to enlarge)

Here are the entire 40 maps. They make you think a little differently about the world from the distribution of McDonald’s across the world to which side of the road the world drives on.



This Little 6″ High Figure Is a 3-D Printed Portrait! by The Elephant's Child

TWINKIND11

If you happen to be in Germany this summer, in Hamburg, you can stop by a new company called Twinkind, and for just $300 get a stunning 6″ high 3-D printed version of yourself. The final figurines range in size from roughly 6″ to 13″, around $1,700. The final figurines are strikingly realistic, capturing everything from poses and facial expressions down to hair styles and the folds in clothes— all in full, faithful color.  Pretty cool!

The picture comes from an article in Wired which has a slide show to show some of the figures they have done. They have perfected a system that could photograph subjects in the round in a split second. The products are small but the technologies and workflows are pretty complex.

I don’t understand 3-D printing at all, but these results are truly spectacular.

 



Computer Problems. by The Elephant's Child
March 7, 2013, 8:31 pm
Filed under: Blogging, Domestic Policy, Intelligence, Science/Technology

This has been a day poorly spent.  I’ve been battling computer problems all day, and as soon as I think I’ve fixed one thing, I discover that some other needed icon or toolbar has disappeared. I’ve been having multiple crashes every day, and it’s become really bad. but never mind. That’s one thing I’m sure you don’t want to hear about. Just offering an explanation for my absence..



An Interactive Graphic of the Scale of the Universe by The Elephant's Child

Understanding everything from microscopic to unimaginably vast: An Interactive Scale of the Universe.  Or you could call it an interactive visual essay on size. Fascinating. At the same site are also “Powers of Ten.” “The Most Astounding Fact,” and “the Observable Universe.”

Changes your perceptions a little, or a lot. What a lot of work went into this video. Aside from just being really cool, it gives a hint of what education could be, if it were enhanced with interactive maps and timelines, pictures and portraits. You can read about a person, read their writings, but they don’t become fully real until you have some sense of what they look like.

I was unfortunate enough to have a history professor in college who was date obsessed. He would even give Saturday morning pop quizzes in which we had to construct a timeline of events from, say, 1872—1882. Developed a deep dislike of history for me, and it was only several years later that I began to read history and learned that it could be fascinating after all.

 



A Bird Ballet by The Elephant's Child

If you just looked at your W2 to find out how much your employer paid for your health insurance this year, here’s a peaceful moment. Sit back, relax, drain your mind of disturbing thoughts and enjoy. Do enlarge to full screen.



Ten Great Photos of Calvin Coolidge by The Elephant's Child

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The Daily Caller has “10 Awesome photos of Calvin Coolidge” today, and they are indeed awesome. (from the Bain Collection/Library of Congress) Don’t miss it.



A Terrifying Creature Stalks the Night! by The Elephant's Child

Zoologger is a weekly column at New Scientist that highlights extraordinary animals from around the world.

Onychomys torridus lives in the arid badlands of the Sonoran Desert in the south-western United States and northern Mexico.

In the dark expanses of the Sonoran desert in the US, a terrifying creature stalks the night, searching for fresh meat. Anything will do: crickets, rodents, tarantulas – the nastier the better.

Even the poisonous scorpion cannot escape the savage monster’s little pink paws. It fights bravely, stinging its attacker on the nose. To no avail. The mouse ignores the painful venom and cruelly breaks the scorpion’s tail by pummeling it into the ground, then bites its head and feasts on its flesh. Throwing its head back, the murderous animal howls at the moon.

dn23072-1_300(Image: Michael and Patricia Fogden/Minden/NGS)

This is the southern grasshopper mouse, the only carnivorous mouse in North America. It’s unique biology and resistance to scorpion venom may one day help researchers to treat human pain disorders.

This odd little fellow is a natural-born killer. They take over burrows of other animals and remover any occupants by force. In particularly bad times, they may turn cannibalistic, killing and eating their own species. But they do have unusual resistance to pain. Read the whole article to see how this characteristic may one day help humans.

(purloined from Vanderleun)




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