Fear of Clowns

"Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurrence of the improbable."
- H. L. Mencken

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Three carnivoes 

One's first thought about the plants in this picture isn't "They eat meat."

three carnivorous plants

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From an email John McCain sent me today,

Today, there are 47 million uninsured individuals in the U.S., and nearly a quarter of them are children. High costs and limited access are the underlying, fundamental problems in our healthcare system.

As you know, both Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are touting outrageously expensive and unrealistic universal health care plans - a government monopoly over health care.

Unlike my opponents, I do not believe that all of our nation's problems can be solved by turning control over to our government, with all the tax increases, new mandates and government regulation that come with that idea.

The Mcain solution,

I will reform the tax code to provide every family the option of receiving a direct, refundable tax deposit - effectively $2,500 for individuals and $5,000 cash for families to offset the cost of insurance.

McCain openly admits he's no economic genius, however few realize this means he can't multiply or divide even with the assistance of senior campaign lobbyists aides.

Assuming every U.S. household received McCain's proposed individual refund ("$$$CASH$$$" no less!), the math is,

126,316,181 US Households x $2,500 each = $315,790,452,500

Without raising taxes, McCain is proposing greater than a new $316 billion unfunded mandate. In other terms he's proposing more than doubling the yearly deficit.

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Three of salsas habaneros 

I first diced then slightly browned the habaneros and garlic in chili oil, adding salt and the diced tomatoes later.

browned habaneros

This mixture was blended and pureed with about 8 oz. of each of three bases,

mango, avacado and honeydew, carrot

Served with chips and black beans,

mango, avacado and honeydew, carrot

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Monday, April 28, 2008

Wild elephants kill 2 children in Bangladesh, possible virus kills 2 elephants in Kerala 

Two children were trampled to death and a man maimed as straying wild elephants destroyed two villages over the last 24 hours in southeastern Bangladesh, officials said on Monday.

A girl was killed and six bamboo houses flattened as elephants ravaged a village near Cox's Bazar district town, 400 km (250 miles) from the capital Dhaka on Monday.

A boy was killed and a man seriously injured when wild elephants strayed into another village in the same district on Sunday. Five houses were levelled by the rampaging elephants.

Recalling last week's elephant incident in Kerala, India,

A suspected case of viral disease has resulted in the death of two wild elephants in the Wayanad district in Kerala in the last one month.

... "A nine-month-old calf was found in the forest in a very weak condition Friday. The elephant herd was seen trying to help the calf stand upright. Though we tried to help the calf, the herd did not allow us to approach. The next day the calf died," forest range officer T. Pradeep said.

According to officials, elephants get stressed and become susceptible to diseases during summer when water and fodder are in short supply. Veterinary experts who examined the carcasses suspect that the deaths were caused by viral infection.


Two of my pings are in bloom and hopefully will give viable seeds. Based on its distinctive flower, I believe this first one is P. vulgaris,

Pinguicula vulgaris flower

Pinguicula vulgaris flower

It has a very long quick growing stem,

Pinguicula vulgaris blooming

I didn't see roots on this, my first ping so pulled off half the leaves in an attempt to root them aqnd planted the rest what seemed right-side-up to me. It's regenerating,

Here you can see some fruit flies I crushed until barely alive and let this P. moranensis (I think) finish them off.

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Saturday, April 26, 2008

Welcome Comet 

I could no longer stand Snoopy's growling, barking fits, pooping on the carpet and biting, so we gave him back to the agency to deal with. We picked up Comet, who doesn't know what to make of our other cat, Willie, but is adjusting quite quickly.

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Thursday, April 24, 2008

McCain must ExPlain 

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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Elephant runs amok in Kerala, kills three 

An elephant gored to death three people, including a woman, during a temple festival in Kerala's Thrissur district on Wednesday afternoon.

... The police identified two of those killed as Kausalya, 75, and Nidheesh, 20. "The third person's identity is yet to be confirmed. His face was crushed beyond recognition," an official at Irinjalakkuda police station said.

The jumbo, which continued the rampage for about two hours, was calmed down by the mahouts and chained.

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Sunday, April 20, 2008

Kraftwerk 4/19/2008 in suburban Saint Paul 

For their first encore, the curtains opened to robots playing "We Are the Robots".

The band came out in "Tron" suits for the second encore.

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Where to buy naga jolokia seedlings 

My eBay auctions.

The famous Dorsert naga, various jolokia strains and other chilis among the worl;d's hottest peppers.

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Friday, April 18, 2008

Is it art? 

Brilliant, no matter what.

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Thursday, April 17, 2008

Abu Dhabi from the sky 

The following pictures of Abu Dhabi are from an email forwarded to me by Rami in Syria.

Now a metropolis of nearly half a million people, the first paved road on the island was laid in 1961.

Also from Rami,

The Advantage of Being Arab

An old Arab lived close to New York City for more than 40 years.

One day, he decided that he would love to plant some herbs in his garden, but he knew he was alone and too old and weak.

His son was in college in Paris, so the old man sent him an e-mail explaining the problem:

"Beloved son, I am very sad, because I can't plant any herbs in my garden. I am sure, if only you were here, that you would help me and dig up the garden for me. I love you, your father."

The following day, the old man received a response e-mail from his son:

"Beloved father, please don't touch the garden. That is where I have hidden 'THE THING.' I love you, too, Ahmed."

At 4am the FBI and the Rangers visited the house of the old man and took the whole garden apart, searching every inch. But they couldn't find anything. Disappointed, they left the house.

The next day, the old man received another e-mail from his son:

"Beloved father, I hope the garden is dug up by now and you can plant your herbs. That is all I could do for you from here. Your loving son, Ahmed".

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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Senile or stupid? 

Your guess as good as any.

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Saturday, April 12, 2008

Animal menaces 

Our animals love one another.

animal lovers


animals kissing

He can be biological.

closeup of dig nose

We are hopeful the dog will work out for the couple interested in trying him out. He's a menace though - every time I'm away from him for an hour or so he seems to forget who I am - or remember I'm the guy he should snarl at before running under the bed. If I'm quick enough to catch him, he immediately becomes loverboy, licking all of my exposed skin. He also hasn't figured out he can let us know when he needs to go outside although he does seem to "hold it". He'll get up from the couch and poop behind the chair. Maybe he's just kind of dumb. I wish him good luck. Next stop: glue factory.

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Friday, April 11, 2008

Only an idiot 

During the Crocker and Petraeus testimonies earlier this week, McCain asserted that we're "no longer staring into the abyss of defeat" in Iraq.

He's a trainwreck in every sense of the word - I'm embarrassed to watch video clips of him when my girlfriend is within earshot.

I can't imagine Americans are as stupid as McCain assumes. You can go back and back and back and you'll find McCain always saying we're winning (even if it may take another six months for it to really turn around) and never find him anywhere nearly as pessimistic as "staring into the abyss of defeat".

In fact, according to McCain, we're pretty much perpetually coming out of the abyss ... we just need another six months.

Update: check out the second result for "six months":

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Where to buy Dorset Naga and other jolokia type peppers 

I started 5 flats of pepper seedlings for myself and my friends but mostly for selling on eBay. This round, it's

Dorset naga, bih jolokia and various habaneros:

bih jolokia seedlings

dorset naga seedlings

chocolate habanero seedlings

The Dorset Naga seedlings are grown from seed purchased directly from the breeders of the famous Dorset Naga, holder of the Guinness World Record for hottest chilli pepper. Others claim that a pepper from the jokolia strain is actually the world's hottest pepper. I purchased seeds of the varied jolokia strains from The Chile Seed Company.

Here are my seedling chili plant auctions,

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Wednesday, April 02, 2008

YouTube Resurrected the Video Stars 

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