American Elephants

A Glimpse Into the Life of a Sailor: by The Elephant's Child
January 11, 2013, 6:59 am
Filed under: Cool Site of the Day, Freedom, Humor, Military | Tags: , ,

There is a quite wonderful post at the Marine Corps Web Log entitled:


For those of you have been in the Navy it will be a wonderful chance to reminisce. For wives and family, an appreciation of why they behave the way they do. For those who are complete landlubbers, you need some exposure to the life of a sailor, and some understanding of their reality. It’s only fair.

Don’t miss it.

Birth of a Tool: Damascus Steel Knife Making (By John Neeman Tools) by The Elephant's Child

I love these videos that show how things are made, because there are so many things and I am so ignorant about how it is done. Skilled craftsmen are a joy to watch.

(h/t: Vanderleun)

Christmas Gifts for Republicans! by American Elephant


There is still time to order our authentic reproductions of the official, iconic 1980 Reagan campaign t-shirts, and other great designs and have them delivered by December 24th using standard shipping. Our t-shirts, buttons, bumper stickers, mugs & other gear make perfect gifts and stocking stuffers for every member of the family!

Shop now!

The Strange Beauty of Planned Cities Seen From Space by The Elephant's Child


Wired features a fascinating series of pictures of planned cities seen from space. A planned city is laid out all at once and built from scratch. They are designed with a definite purpose, to formalize a capitol city, to maximize green space, or just to organize people into their proper places. Some were designed as a compromise between two cities vying to be their country’s capitol. Some are built to keep workers near a nuclear plant or a copper mine in the middle of nowhere. Some are designed to be a kind of Utopia—with public gardens, promenades, throughways and harmony— to improve on what city design has been before or what other cities have grown to become.

City planning is not just contemporary, planned cities can be found throughout history. The pictures from space are beautiful, and somehow haunting. Imagine the architects or planners seeing their original plans and drawings newly visualized in reality—what was once only a dream.  See all ten here.

Technical Difficulties! by American Elephant
November 29, 2012, 10:32 pm
Filed under: Blogging

Sorry for the lack of posts today. We’re having technical trouble with the WordPress blogging interface which we hope to have resolved shortly.

~The Elephants :^)

S-L-O-W Dismal Rainy Day. by The Elephant's Child
November 5, 2012, 12:13 am
Filed under: Blogging, Domestic Policy, Environment, Politics | Tags: , ,

Sorry for the absence of posting today. Computer was S-l-o-w,  v–e–r–y  s—l—o—w. Could not find websites, videos would not open. I began to think that all servers were located in New York City. After a chat with the cable people, we’re back up, but it was an annoying day. Just as well.

When computers are implants, will they have problems as frequently? and will they have to wheel us into the shop? Just wondering.

The Very Creepy Cult of Personality by The Elephant's Child

The Obama Campaign in 2008 depended heavily on a cult of personality. One wouldn’t think that the techniques of personality as imposed on the desperate citizens of North Korea would ever be attempted in the United States of America.

They have not given up on the technique. The Obama campaign is now offering a print of Obama’s O-Logo flag for just $35.00.

Doug Ray pointed out some similarities to present events. He tweeted:

Weird… BO’s O-Logo US flag bears a resemblance 2 the blood stained walls of US embassy (post terrorist attack)

Over at Human Events, David Harsanyi has assembled a


It’s an excellent collection, quite representative, but there is lots more available if you look. It is indeed creepy. Perhaps it is inevitable in a time of celebrity-worship such as today. Man-in-the-street interviews clearly show that more people can answer questions about their favorite celebrity than can identify their senator or the vice president.

When we elect a president, we are hiring a manager for the executive branch of the government. Back when the Revolution was won, and George Washington was unanimously elected to be the first President of the new United States of America, many thought he should be a king, that he should be called “your highness.” A President was something quite new, and Mr. Washington wisely rejected all aspects of royalty, and trappings of the very class-conscious excess of hereditary divine right of kings.  Pity that Barack Obama never learned much history, nor understood that restraint breeds respect. There’s a reason why Ronald Reagan never took off his jacket in the Oval Office.

I posted this quote from Jonah Goldberg recently. It’s not supposed to be about falling in love.

The people are the boss, the government is the servant. The Constitution is the government’s job description, the Declaration of Independence is its mission statement.  Campaigns are the job interview, elections are the hiring and firing process.

ADDENDUM: Texas governor Rick Perry has a gentle comment to add>

Best Headline of the Month: by The Elephant's Child

Syria threatens to use WMD which are
figment of neocons’ imagination

William Jacobson at Legal Insurrection has great fun reporting on everybody’s comments on current affairs in Syria.  Well, not everybody—just all the liberals, and the Assad regime.  Do read the whole thing.

The Heavy Hand of the State Censors A Blogger by The Elephant's Child

Steven Cooksey 51, of Stanley N.C. had diabetes. He was hospitalized in 2009 after his blood sugar spiked. At the time, Cooksey, who works for a medical equipment company weighed more than 240 pounds.  He was, he admitted, in bad physical shape, ate poorly and didn’t exercise.  In the hospital, he was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, and was told by a doctor that he would probably be insulin-dependent for the rest of his life.

So he began reading and studying about diabetes and how it is affected by diet and exercise. He discovered that there were many different opinions. He decided on a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet similar to what stone age men ate with ordinary unprocessed foods like meat, eggs, vegetables and butter. He ate nuts and fruits sparingly. Within a month of reducing his carbohydrate intake, his blood sugar normalized. Cooksey is now down to 163 pounds.

He was passionate about his life-altering change. Cooksey started a website to chronicle his personal transformation. Later that year, he added a “Diabetes Support” life-coaching service, where he charged a modest fee for the same knowledge, opinions and advice he had been giving to his friends for free. He never described himself as a doctor, dietician, or nutritionist, but only offered his own success.

In December, he started answering reader questions in a Dear Abby-style column. A month later he received a notice from the state asking him to stop “providing advice to readers, friends and family in private emails and conversations, and offering a paid life-coaching service.”

The state’s interest seemed to come from a nutritional seminar for diabetics. A director of  diabetic services at a local hospital was the guest and she said diabetics should eat a diet rich in whole-grain carbohydrates and low in fat. During the question and answer session, Cooksey disagreed. Someone filed a complaint saying he was acting as an unlicensed dietician.

The state ordered him to take down the part of his website where he offered his life-coaching services. Um, there’s that little thing about free speech.

Historic New York City As You’ve Never Seen It Before by The Elephant's Child

New York City’s Municipal Archives have just released over 870,000 images from its photographic collection. It is, as the Atlantic describes  it,”a visual coming-of-age story, documenting its maturation into one of the world’s most influential cities.”

The Atlantic’s Alan Taylor has sifted through the images, and come up with 53 early and mid-20th century images for their magazine. The Atlantic has done a number of these spectacular photo essays, and they are always worth your time. There is a link to the whole collection, but they warn the website is swamped, and you may have difficulty reaching it. I loved this early street sweeper. Click on the image to enlarge.

Something Wonderful by The Elephant's Child
April 23, 2012, 6:43 am
Filed under: Art, Cool Site of the Day | Tags: , ,

To pass the time during long flights, artist Nina Katchadourian goes to the lavatory, adorns herself in tissue costume, and creates hilarious self-portrait photos in the style of Flemish Renaissance paintings. She calls the series
Seat Assignment Lavatory Self-Portraits in the Flemish Style”

(h/t: Laughing Squid)

This is Elphaba. Friday Morning Cuteness! by The Elephant's Child

Good Morning!  This is Elphaba, a baby Aye-aye who was born November 29 at the Duke Lemur Center. She is one of the many baby animals featured at Zoo Borns, a website that features all sorts of animals being raised in the world’s zoos to save endangered species.

Aye-ayes are considered one of the most unusual primates. It is nocturnal, lives in tropical rainforest, and has a very specialized diet, consisting mostly of the interior of Ramy nuts, nectar from the Traveller’s Palm tree and some fungi and insect grubs.  They are known to raid coconut plantations and have been seen eating lychees and mangoes.

This is a great website to visit, especially after a bad meeting. Who can resist cute baby animals, and has pages and pages of cuteness. In addition to the baby wolves and lions and gorillas, all sorts of animals that I had never heard of. Have you ever seen a baby forest buffalo? Or a baby Bongo? Be careful though, you can get lost in the pictures and spend hours.



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