Friday, June 13, 2014

Satisfaction On The Location Hunt

BrBa tourism at its best!

Snake Bite Relief In a Nasal Spray

This was on BBC World last night. Snakebite kills over 125,000 people a year, and there is a crying need for better and more effective first aid (the test subject was the doctor himself):
Dr. Matt Lewin, an expedition medicine expert with the University of California, San Francisco, says he has hit on a way to produce a cheap, portable first-aid snakebite treatment that could change the way travelers and residents of third-world countries respond to the venomous threat.

"Just get rid of the needles," said Lewin, the director of the Center for Exploration and Travel Health at the California Academy of Sciences.

Instead of grappling with cumbersome syringes and complicated directions, an unfortunate snakebite victim could sniff a drug called neostigmine, which already is recommended for use intravenously to treat paralyzing bites.

The research is in its very early stages, but Lewin has put out a paper that describes an experiment with a single volunteer, a 45-year-old man who agreed to be chemically paralyzed – and then take the antidote. Twenty minutes later, the deadly symptoms were reversed, the paper reports.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Kevin Turvey (Rik Mayall) - The Man Behind The Green Door

I simply couldn't sleep last night, so decided to do some investigative reporting on Rik Mayall, the British comic who recently passed away, and with whom I'm utterly unfamiliar with. What an amazing comic genius! I will miss him, for sure!

Bob Dylan - Knocking On Heavens Door

Last night, TMC featured "Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid". Some parts just struck me as bizarre, like Billy the Kid's famous Lincoln County jailbreak. Still, I liked hearing all the geographic references, the gratuitous nudity (de rigeur in 1973), the landscapes, and some fine acting. And (storekeeper) Bob Dylan.

The Walkabouts - Albuquerque

Oh! I didn't realize Neil Young covered this song, rather than wrote it himself.

Wow! The Iraqi Kurds Take Kirkuk!

Wonders never cease! Good for them!:
IRBIL, Iraq — Iraq was on the brink of disintegration Thursday as al-Qaeda-inspired fighters swept through northern Iraq toward Baghdad and Kurdish soldiers seized the city of Kirkuk without a fight.

...But after the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) captured fresh territory and set its sights on Baghdad, Iraq seemed to be fast slipping out of government control.

...The Iraqi army’s collapse in the north has deepened divides, in some cases physically. On the outskirts of the Christian village of Bakhdida in Iraq’s Nineveh plains less than 20 miles southeast of Mosul, a mound of newly dumped earth on the road forms a barrier between the Kurdish pesh merga forces and their new neighbors: militants from ISIS.

“We’ve had to block it off in case they try to cross,” said Brig. Gen. Ashkander Haji Saleh, standing on the berm. “We are watching their movements,” he said, pointing across the scrubland toward Mosul and an ISIS checkpoint that he estimated was just two miles away.

...For the Kurds, despite the concerns about having al-Qaeda-inspired militants so close, the withdrawal has meant consolidation and advances in areas where control has long been disputed with the central government in Iraq.

Bakhdida is one of them. It has harbored a Kurdish security presence since 2003, but the pesh merga has bolstered its presence in the village since the Iraq army streamed out of its nearby bases.

For the Kurds, fiercely disputed Kirkuk, a major oil-producing center with a diverse population, has been a far bigger prize.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Position Wanted


And it was all Cooter's fault!:
But by voting for David Brat in the Seventh District Republican primary, we Democrats, independents, and Libertarians can make a big difference in American politics. It is your right to cast that vote. It is an “open” primary and it doesn’t preclude anyone from voting anyway they wish in November. It may be the only way to empower those who want to make a statement about the dysfunctional Congress and “politics as usual.”

Eric Cantor Loses His Seat

The most amazing primary fail ever!:
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor was defeated Tuesday by a little-known economics professor in Virginia’s Republican primary, a stunning upset and major victory for the tea party.

Cantor is the second-most powerful member of the U.S. House and was seen by some as a possible successor to the House speaker.

His loss to Dave Brat, a political novice with little money marks a huge victory for the tea party movement, which supported Cantor just a few years ago.

Brat had been a thorn in Cantor’s side on the campaign, casting the congressman as a Washington insider who isn’t conservative enough. Last month, a feisty crowd of Brat supporters booed Cantor in front of his family at a local party convention.

His message apparently scored well with voters in the 7th District.
This likely portends Complete Fail in November, but we'll see!

Where Pop Music Is At In The Summer Of 2014

I like this mashup: Iggy and Jason and Pharrell compacted together.

Breaking Badlands

Credit: 16-year-old Benjamin Winter of Cypress, CA.

Exercise Inspiration

I'm trying to lose a few pounds and need a bit of inspiration. Here is Robert Preston singing about exercise.

The Tree Vanishes

Mysteries. Late last year, the City of Sacramento saw fit to plant two saplings in front of my house (I thought it wasn't the best location, because of the sunburnt southern slope, but whatever). Last night or this morning, after 2 a.m. and before 11 a.m., the Japanese Maple got stolen.

Craig notes that it still might be the City of Sacramento acting in its infinite wisdom. They did the same thing to a tree in front of our workplace.

Nevertheless, if so, I'm bothered by the lack of consultation.

So, if you see furtive gardeners planting trees, let me know.

Monday, June 09, 2014

Things Northern Mockingbirds Don't Like

An extensive list:

  • Squirrels;
  • Crows;
  • People.

Just about anything that isn't a Northern Mockingbird.

(I'm hearing the "aggressive, rasping call" - A LOT - these days!)


Saw "Belle" at the Tower. SUPERB movie! A dramatization of England's celebrated "Zong" court verdict, as seen from the highly-unusual aristocratic position of a woman who was both a mulatto and an heiress.

The Right Is Going To Pretend None Of This Happened

There is virtually no commentary on regarding the Millers! Amazing! Hard to believe, but they are going to pretend none of this happened! That it wasn't THEIR people responsible for the whole thing!

Jerad Miller, Interviewed In Support Of Bundy

The Courts Are The Target

"The next-door neighbor and friend of Jerad and Amanda Miller was holding documents for for the couple that included detailed plans to take over a courthouse and execute public officials." ... "Miller was dressed in camouflage and wearing a T-shirt advertising Gordon Martines for Clark County Sheriff. Martines is a former Metro detective who claims on his campaign Facebook page to be a lifetime member of the Oath Keepers, a patriot group that rallied to Bundy’s side during the standoff."
Of course, the courts have been the one institution consistent in maintaining Cliven Bundy is a serious, serial lawbreaker, thus opening themselves up not only to political attack from the Martines' of the world, but to armed attack as well.

And this is what they mean by "FREEDOM"!

The Corn-Fed Murderers From Indiana

Beliefs inform actions:
The police official said neither officer had a chance to return fire, an account that differs from Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillespie’s statements in the immediate hours following the shooting.

Jerad Miller then covered the officers with the Gadsden flag, a yellow banner with a coiled snake above the words, “Don’t tread on Me,” and placed a manifesto with a swastika symbol on one officer’s body.

The flag is named for Christopher Gadsden a Revolutionary War general who designed it. It has recently come back in vogue as an adopted symbol of the American tea party movement.

The couple had left their Bruce Street apartment about 4:30 a.m., telling neighbors they planned to murder cops, the official said.

“He knew he wasn’t going to survive that day,” the official said. “Cops were going to die, and he was going to die.”

...The official said both Millers went to the Bundy Ranch near Bunkerville in April, hoping to join a militia standoff with federal agents who were trying to roundup Cliven Bundy’s cattle.

Miller on Facebook said Bundy’s ranch was “under siege,” and he hoped to help save the rancher “and his family from Federal Government slaughter.”

On his Google+ account, Jerad Miller said he was shunned by the Bundy Ranch group for being a felon. He posted that he and Amanda “sold everything” they had and quit their jobs to go to the ranch.

“As far as I am concerned my government is a fascist enemy,”…. “My family has bled for this nation and our freedoms and I will not let their sacrifice go unanswered without my own sacrifice.”

...“There is no greater cause to die for than liberty. To die for that cause is easy, to live for it is another matter. I will willingly die for liberty. Death, in a sense is freedom from tyranny. Death, is the easy way out. Most notably is the “suicide by cop” routine. Yes, standing before despots is dangerous and most likely does not end well for you. I know this, my wife knows this. Soon they will come for us, because they don’t like what we think, and what we say. They don’t like the fact that we, simply will not submit to fascist rule. We don’t have much, but we are willing to sacrifice everything…….for you, for your freedoms. Even if you wouldn’t let us have ours. We know who we are and what we stand for, do you?”

...Jerad Miller’s last post on the social media website, time-stamped at 4 a.m. Saturday reads “The dawn of a new day. May all of our coming sacrifice be worth it.”
Hmm.... My cousins used to live only a mile from this Wal-Mart. Hell, I probably drove past.  The shooters were either linked to, or inspired by, criminal rancher Cliven Bundy. They used a Gadsden flag too (which is easy to order on-line).

I think they knew precisely what they stood for, and their question is well-posed. Do you know what you stand for? I certainly do! People like General William Tecumseh Sherman knew too. You put people like this into coffins. If you don't, you will pay a high price.

Interestingly, Forbes did several articles on the Sovereign Rights Movement, which Bundy is most closely-affiliated with, and which may include these folks. Various Tea Party and Untax groups are close cousins.

We aren't talking about madness here. The Miller's police ambush was a carefully-calculated political act meant to inspire an uprising. It is the logical conclusion to which an arms fetish leans. If you don't oppose it, if you excuse it like the Rush Limbaughs of the world do, you give it room to flourish. And not in some abstract sense either, but on your next visit to a restaurant!

Sacramento Choral Society & Orchestra (SCSO) Fundraiser


Steve And Jan's 40th Anniversary Vow Renewal

OneRepublic - Love Runs Out

First time I've paid much attention to OneRepublic, but this great song is getting some air play on the radio.