American Elephants


The Latest News from the Greenies: by The Elephant's Child

From Mother Jones, Friday, March 21: “One Reason It May Be Harder to Find Flight 370: We Messed Up the Currents: How climate change factors into the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight.

Scientists say man-made climate change has fundamentally altered the currents of the vast, deep oceans where investigators are currently scouring for the missing Malaysian Airlines flight, setting a complex stage for the ongoing search for MH370. If the Boeing 777 did plunge into the ocean somewhere in the vicinity of where the Indian Ocean meets the Southern Ocean, the location where its debris finally ends up, if found at all, may be vastly different from where investigators could have anticipated 30 years ago.

From The Hollywood Reporter: 3/20/2014: “Darren Aronofsky wrestles one of scripture’s most primal stories to the ground and extracts something vital and audacious, while also pushing some aggressive environmentalism, in Noah…. Already banned in some Middle Eastern countries, Noah will rile some for the complete omission of the name “God” from the dialogue, others for its numerous dramatic fabrications and still more for its heavy-handed ecological doomsday messages, which unmistakably mark it as a product of its time.”

From the Washington Examiner, March 21, 2014:”Burials go green; bodies interred in just a cloth bag or wicker basket”

Cemeteries are the latest business go to green.

The new trend is for families of the dead to skip the traditional embalming, elaborate casket and concrete box and simply wrap the dead in a cloth shroud and put the body into the earth.

A Washington, D.C., cemetery is being recognized for helping lead the green drive. And not just any cemetery. The Historic Congressional Cemetery reported on Friday that it has been certified as a “Hybrid Service Provider from the Green Burial Council.” They said Congressional is the only cemetery within a 100-mile radius of Washington to get the certificate.

“Green burial options are increasingly popular with pre-planning baby boomers and other socially and environmentally conscious individuals,” said cemetery president Paul K. Williams, “and with the designation, we are proud to be the only cemetery in the Washington D.C. metropolitan region to qualify to date.”



Who Was It Who Said Celebrities are Those Who are Famous Only for Being Famous? by The Elephant's Child

us-oscars-times-square

I am not watching the Oscars. I am only grateful that it marks the end of the seemingly endless exercise of the glitterati congratulating themselves for the remarkable wonderfulness of their contributions to the world’s culture. Oscars and Emmys and endless awards, borrowed dresses and borrowed jewelery and borrowed makeup. I don’t care who wins what. I don’t care who wears what. I am not interested. There are more important things going on in the world. And it may be astonishing, but there are way more important people, more important ideas and more important events.



Excuses, Excuses, Excuses! by The Elephant's Child

Sorry about the light posting recently. I just finished a course of radiation treatment following surgery in December, and it has temporarily wiped me out. Fatigue.  All is well, however, and I’ll just be tired for a couple of weeks.

Misspellings and odd juxtapositions of letters are to be excused. Be patient. We had about an inch and a half of snow on Saturday, which melted on Sunday and we’re back to our normal rain and clouds. Good. Did not need icy streets just now. Told to take extra vitamin D to cope with our gloomy climate. Figures.



The Headline of the Day! by The Elephant's Child

From Jammie Wearing Fools: ” Woman Who Can’t Afford Her Own Birth Control Scrapes Up Money to File for Congressional Run.”

Surely you remember Sandra Fluke (rhymes with Cluck) who appeared before the nation in a pretend Congressional hearing, set up to  look as if it was official after the committee in question (I can’t remember which committee) refused to have her as a witness since they didn’t think she had any testimony worth hearing.

Her testimony was a protracted whine about the vast expense of contraceptives which she thought taxpayers should pay for so she didn’t have to. It emerged that a month’s supply was available for around $9.00, which made her demand that taxpayers spring for it seem remarkably silly. But silly me. There it is in ObamaCare, and everybody is paying for it. If you wonder why you can no longer see your doctor, or afford health care — it’s because the Democrats stuck in all sorts of little goodies to reach favored voting groups, in this case radical feminists.

With the retirement of Henry Waxman, Ms. Fluke has filed with the California state Democratic Party to seek its endorsement in the race for the Waxman seat. She has not yet officially announced her campaign, nor filed with the Federal Election Commission. But California is known for some of the dumbest women in Congress, so why not? The idea that someone should work their way up in politics seems to have gone by the wayside. Experience is no longer necessary.

Jammie adds: “Just what Congress needs, another attention whore.”

 



And the Award for Dumbest Quote of The Year Goes To: by The Elephant's Child

Thomas Friedman of the New York Times

131228-thomas-friedman-dumbest-quote-o-the-year
(Click to enlarge)
What could he possibly have been thinking? Or was this simply the absence of all thought?

(h/t: American Digest)



“It’s Going to Be a Glorious Thing.” Can She Possibly Believe That? by The Elephant's Child

Pelosi

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) says December has been a “great month” for ObamaCare sign-ups, and she says things will only get better as more people enroll. “It’s worth the trouble. It’s going to be a glorious thing,” Pelosi told a conference call on Monday.

“It’s about life, a healthier life, liberty, the freedom to pursue our happiness. It honors the vows of our founders. A person can follow his or her passion and not be chained by a policy, so they could start a business, be self-employed, change jobs. It’s a very, very exciting thing. And it’s about wellness and prevention. It’s about the health of America, not just the health care for Americans. So we’re very proud of it, and our enthusiasm for it…strengthens our determination to make sure it works.”

Pretty amazing, huh. Do  you think she actually believes that?



When a Story Plot Becomes All Too Real by The Elephant's Child

It’s a favorite plot, so overused that it has become trite: something happens to the pilot and a passenger, a stewardess, someone who is not a pilot has to be coached into bringing the plane in for a landing. Heard it all too many times, right? Tiresome.

Except it just happened, in England. Officials at Humberside Airport in northwest England put emergency plans into place and called in flight instructors when the pilot of a small Cessna 172 collapsed in the cockpit and his passenger, 77 year-old John Wildey took the controls and began his first landing with help from flight instructors.  Soon after he landed, his friend, the pilot, died.

It has always been a possible scenario, as so many scary situations are — and sometimes they turn real.  Here’s the full story;

 



Resemblances. It’s Said That Everyone Has a Twin. by The Elephant's Child
September 20, 2013, 3:10 pm
Filed under: Humor, News of the Weird, Russia | Tags: , ,

putindog

We are all fascinated with human resemblances. It is said that we all have a twin somewhere. Many years ago, I had left our home and business with some friends heading for a mountain picnic. Someone about my age walked in to our business about twenty minutes later, and at first my parents thought it was me — returning. My parents would not be impressed by an unlikely resemblance.

A friend from Fort Worth told me she was always being stopped on the street by strangers who were sure she was someone else and offended when she cut them dead, although she didn’t know them at all. She never met her “twin,” who apparently existed in the same city.

That said, the internet often features posts with people who are supposed to look very much alike, but don’t really. On the other hand, this is a pretty remarkable resemblance. The gentleman on the left you will recognize. The dog was discovered by a man from the Ukraine in Kiev, and the picture of the two was published on the front page of the Moscow Times. We do not know if the man on the left was amused.

(h/t: Vanderleun)



Fancy Fried Favorites Vie For the Big Tex Choice Award! by The Elephant's Child

In keeping with our State Fair theme, The State Fair of Texas has a “Big Tex Choice Award,” a fried food award for the most — maybe just the “MOST“. Past winners have been Fried Coke, Deep Fried Jambalaya, Deep-Fried Bubblegum ?, Deep Fried Latte and Deep-Fried Butter. Why? I guess because you have a big deep fryer and a vivid imagination.

fair_friedkingranchcas

This Texas-shaped morsel is melted cheese, dipped in a zesty southwestern egg wash and coated in panko breadcrumbs, then deep fried golden brown and crunchy on the outside, steamy and creamy on the inside! Served with a side of red, white and blue tortilla chips and a choice of homemade “salsafied” sour cream or cheesy queso (sic). Each one proudly flies the flag of the Lone Star State and is deep fried in the heart of Texas!

Fox News pictures the eight finalists, with enough of a recipe for you to create them at home if you wish. Besides Fernie’s Deep Fried King Ranch Casserole (above), there is 2). Awesome Deep Fried Nutella®, 3) Deep Fried Cuban Roll, 4) Fried Thanksgiving Dinner, 5) Golden Fried Millionaire Pie, 6) Spinach Dip Bites, 7) Southern Style Chicken-Fried Meatloaf, and 8) Texas Fried Fireball.

Step right up, Ladies and Gentlemen. Do you have a cast-iron stomach? Tums are available at the drugstore right across the street from the fair entrance. Vote for your favorite!

Deep fried bubblegum? Why?

 



The Pentagon Calls the Founding Fathers “Extremists” by The Elephant's Child

Major Nidal Hasan the U.S. Army Psychiatrist who opened fire on dozens of soldiers at Fort Hood, Texas, has been found guilty of murdering thirteen people and of attempted murder of thirty-two by a panel of senior officers. In the sentencing phase of the trial, the panel has recommended that he be put to death, an unusual punishment for a military tribunal.  The entire incident remains classified by the U.S. government as “workplace violence” — a ludicrous euphemism for what was clearly a jihadist attack, and what Major Hasan has admitted that he intended.

Hasan, a U.S.-born Muslim, admitted responsibility for the shooting at the start of the trial, saying he had been on the wrong side of a war against Islam and had switched over. During the proceedings, he declined to call any witnesses, testify or give a closing argument. He was prohibited by military law from entering a guilty plea.

At a pretrial hearing, the judge, Col. Tara Osborn, ruled that Hasan could not defend himself by arguing that he carried out the killings to protect Taliban leaders in Afghanistan. Instead, the defendant chose to make his case to the public through communiques and authorized leaks to newspapers, arguing that he was waging jihad because of the United States’ “illegal and immoral aggression against Muslims” in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Now the trial enters an appeals process, which will take several years. Hasan clearly prefers the death sentence, but appeals courts are unlikely to allow him to represent himself.

Those not on trial were those who, out of reluctance to offend or to appear Islamophobic, passed him on through training, ignoring his Jihadist outbursts, close association with Anwar al Awaliki the Muslim Imam who had decamped for Yemen, and statements about Islam. Even after the shooting, a ranking officer in his division remarked that it would be the greatest of tragedies if our diversity is harmed.

There are increasing signs that political correctness has reared its ugly influence in our nation’s military. So far it has killed far more of our soldiers than just the 13 at Fort Hood. The “Blue on Green” attacks in Afghanistan, where our troops are forbidden to carry loaded weapons to show their trust of their Afghan trainees is an inexcusable violation of basic safety — yet such a thing could not happen without orders and policy from above.

The “workplace violence” designation deprives the Fort Hood’s wounded of benefits, and recognition in a shameful way. The Obama administration still insists that Nidal Hasan was not a terrorist — an ongoing and embarrassing lie.

In the meantime, military training has become a strange world where the Founding Fathers have become depicted as extremists and conservative groups are defined as “hate groups.”

Saying “Give me liberty or give me death” qualifies Patrick Henry as an extremist, according to the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute training guide which has been obtained by Judicial Watch under a Freedom of Information Act Request. …

Under a section titled “Extremist Ideologies,” the document states, “In U.S. history, there are many examples of extremist ideologies and movements. The colonists who sought to free themselves from British rule and the Confederate states who sought to secede from the Northern states are just two examples.”…

“Nowadays, instead of dressing in sheets or publicly espousing hate messages, many extremists will talk of individual liberties, states’ rights, and how to make the world a better place,” the Pentagon guide advises.

This is an emerging, and very troubling pattern.



This 47-Story Skyscraper in Alicante, Spain Has Some Surprising Problems by The Elephant's Child

spain-houses

This 47-story skyscraper under construction in Alicante, Spain has had its construction fraught with problems, including allegations of fraud from both customers and suppliers who are owed $3.3 million. The fact that it looks like a giant pair of pants is beside the point. The real problem — the really, really big one is that they forgot the elevator shafts. “In what will surely go down in history as one of the greatest architectural blunders, the building was almost completed when it realized that it had excluded plans for elevator shafts.” Great analogy for ObamaCare.

(h/t: Althouse)

The comments were a riot!

“On the other hand the advertising potential of this design is impressive. Haggar and Dockers are in a bidding war right now.”

“Can I show you something nice in a 40th floor walk-up?”

“On the subject of Spanish design flaws, their new, 2 Billion Euro submarine is 70 tons too heavy. If it submerged it wouldn’t be able to resurface.
Its named the Peral.”

“This is a great apartment if you ‘re into cardio.”

ADDENDUM: This story is turning out to be a hoax. The building is so dramatically ugly that it is easy to believe stories of major mistakes. The building, according to a Spanish blog, Barcepundit, does have elevators—11 of them: 3 in each tower plus 4 for the penthouses on top and a panoramic one on the outside. If you look really closely at the left tower, you will see an orange stripe which is the panoramic elevator.

Supposedly a bad translation from a confusing article in El Pais, a Spanish daily newspaper that only touched on the elevator issue tangentially. American TV crews are reportedly on the way to investigate. Der Spiegel reported on the story and had a building planned for only 20 stories, a late decision to make it significantly taller, with no freight elevator until the first 23 stories were constructed. When the freight elevator was finally installed, it collapsed, injuring 13 workers.

So what will happen when U.S. TV crews arrive? If it is a non-story and they have been hoaxed will they still report it? The town is apparently Benidorm, not Alicante, but is Alicante a province, a county? I have no idea how a story can get so fouled up. It seems to be a town with a magnificent long beach. The building towers over the rest of the town and is beyond ugly. I apologize for falling for a story without further checking, but further checking would not have been accurate anyway.



The Mysterious Moving Rocks of Racetrack Playa by The Elephant's Child

This Post From August 5, 2008 Interested Many Readers

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This is a fascinating puzzle, and completely new to me — the moving rocks of Racetrack Playa in the Panamint Mountains in Death Valley National Park, California. The moving rocks, also called sailing stones or sliding rocks, slide across the surface of the playa leaving long tracks behind them. A playa is a seasonally dry lake bed. No one has ever seen the stones move, but the trails indicate that they do. Nor are these all little rocks, many are as big as a man, and some are as large as 750 lbs. For more pictures and possible explanation, follow the link above.

Now It Appears That We May Have an Answer:

How Do Death Valley’s “Sailing Stones” Move Themselves Across the Desert?’

Start at the Furnace Creek visitor center in Death Valley National Park. Drive 50 miles north on pavement, then head west for another 30 miles on bone-rattling gravel roads. During the drive—which will take you four hours if you make good time—you’ll pass sand dunes, a meteor crater, narrow canyons, solitary Joshua trees and virtually no evidence of human existence whatsoever.  But soon after cresting the Cottonwood Mountains, you’ll come upon a landscape so out of place even in this geologically bizarre park that it almost seems artificial.

Racetrack Playa is a dried-up lakebed, ringed by mountains, about 3 miles long and flat as a tabletop. During summer, the cracked floor looks prehistoric under the desert sun; during winter, it’s intermittently covered by sheets of ice and dustings of snow. But the dozens of stones scattered across the playa floor are the most puzzling part of the view. Ranging from the size of a computer mouse to a microwave, each one is followed by a track etched into the dirt, like the contrail behind an airplane. Some tracks are straight and just a few feet long, while others stretch the length of a football field and curve gracefully or jut off at sharp angles.

Staring at these “sailing stones,” you’re torn between a pair of certainties that are simply not compatible: (1) these rocks appear to have moved, propelled by their own volition, across the flat playa floor, and yet (2) rocks don’t just move themselves.

And as they say: Here’s the rest of the storyThey have apparently been working on the puzzle for years, and they have an answer. How nice to get a puzzle explained.




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